Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard Review: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
550 (Hardcover)
The Lunar Chronicles #3
Source: Bought
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Published: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
400 (Hardcover)
Splintered #2
Source: Bought
My Rating:
2.5 of 5 stars

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
Published: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
368 (Hardcover)
Everneath #3
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love. 

I was very nervous about starting this book. I had seen a few people rate it really low and call it a disappointment, so I tried not to get my hopes up that the final installment in this series would live up to my expectations. While Evertrue may not have been as enthralling as the previous two, it is still an enjoyable read.

It took awhile for the story to get going because the beginning was mainly Jack and Nikki reassuring each other that everything would be ok and that they love each other. After most of that was over, I could barely put the book down. Mainly because Cole was a huge part of the book. I wasn't a fan of what happened to him near the beginning of the book, but I still enjoyed his character. The mythology and the plot were definitely the best parts of the book but I don't want to talk too much about the plot because that would spoil the book.

I don't remember ever having a problem with Jack and Nikki's relationship, but I couldn't stand how cheesy it all was. There were numerous mentions of them having each others hearts and how they wouldn't be able to live without each other. Nikki also excessively mentioned Jack's biceps. I had to put the book down a few times when she mentioned his biceps because I couldn't take the story seriously. I get that Jack is now very muscular because of the Tunnels, but I don't need to be reminded of his biceps every time he has to do something involving his strength. In fact I could care less about Jack and his jealousy because honestly there's nothing truly likable about the character, but there's also nothing to really hate.

The one problem I had with Nikki is that her emotions change so rapidly. I never completely sure what she was actually feeling. Sometimes she would think that Cole wasn't so bad and then other times she would hate him. Sometimes she would think about sacrificing herself and then she would decide against it, over and over again. At first it wasn't so bad but it continued to happen and it just got old. Despite this problem, I still liked Nikki because she made sure that Jack didn't make her decisions for her and she cared about the people around her.

As I said before I was disappointed about what happened to Cole near the beginning of the book because it felt almost like it was just an easy way for Nikki to realize that she still liked Cole. Thankfully what happened to him wasn't permanent, otherwise I doubt the ending would have been as emotional as it was. One of the good things that did come out of it was that Cole was pretty funny, even though he wasn't trying to be.

The ending was very bittersweet and it felt like the best way to end the series because in the end it was their choices that led to it, not someone forcing another character to do it. This series had it's ups and downs, but it's still worth reading.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published: August 15, 2013
360 (Hardcover)
Between #1
My Rating:
1.5 of 5 stars

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

*A few spoilers ahead

First off have you seen that cover? Gorgeous. No wonder why I picked this book up in the first place. It also got quite a lot of love when it first came out so I had to read it. Did I read the same book as everyone else because I feel like I'm in the minority here when I say that this book and I didn't get along.

It all started when I realized that there was nothing mildly redeemable about the characters. There was no substance to any of the side characters, especially Luke and Sunshine. The main character is weird and not in the good way and to top it all off the love interest is a creep. The book was packed to the brim with instances of Violet blurting out the most random things and it almost never made sense, but none of the characters except for Luke seemed to notice that she didn't know how to hold a conversation and that she brought up irrelevant topics.

There was also absolutely no reason for Luke to be that nasty to his sister. I get it, siblings fight, but there wasn't a reason for Luke to hate on Violet. I kept waiting for some sort of childhood flashback to explain his hatred but there wasn't any. It was just there for the author's convenience and to show that the characters developed by the end. The same issue was present with Sunshine. She was written as a self-absorbed, bitchy girl but it's not like this added to the story, in fact it detracted from it because most of the time I just wanted to her go away.

The romance made me cringe. Their relationship developed unnaturally fast and I felt like I had no reason to root for them. The way River talked to Violet was very strange. If a guy started talking to me like that I would avoid that relationship at all costs. Occasionally Violet would start thinking logically about how dangerous River was, but then she would decide she didn't care because she felt in her heart that she should keep giving him chances and that he doesn't mean to kill people, even though he tells her that he does not think killing is morally wrong and that some people deserve to die. He also can't seem to stop lying and Violet is aware that everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie, yet she still chooses to believe what he says. If that's not alarming then I don't know what is.

The entire book felt like a jumble of literary and movie references that did very little to advance the plot. It also seemed like the author tried to mash too many gothic or horror story ideas into one book. The whole thing with Jack and the kids in the cemetery was very strange and it felt out of place. The villain of the story didn't even make much of an appearance until the end of the book. I saw a few people talking about how great the twist was at the end of the book, but I knew what the twist was since the mention of siblings and Texas.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was a major disappointment because it had so much potential, but it was executed poorly.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year by Gayle Forman
Published: October 10, 2013
Dutton Juvenile
323 (Hardcover)
Just One Day #2
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

Just One Year is certainly not a book for someone looking for contemporary fluff. It may not have been as engaging as the first book, but it packs the same, if not more, emotional punch.

At first, it was slightly disappointing to read that this book did not pick up right where Just One Day left off. Instead it's Willem's year long journey to find the mysterious Lulu, who he knows next to nothing about, yet he fell in love with her that day in Paris. Surprisingly, I never had a problem with the relationship between Willem and Lulu (Allyson). My major problem with this book was that it was very difficult to get into. The beginning was slow and almost uninteresting because I wasn't emotionally invested in Willem until about halfway through the book. That's when I started to really enjoy it.

There's so much more to Willem and his past than I initially thought. I loved how both Allyson and Willem's lives were changed by just meeting each other accidentally. In a day both of them managed to start to change the other in good ways. At times it was hard to keep track of all the names of the people Willem knew, but by the end it grew easier to remember who the major players in his life were. I really enjoyed all the scenes of Willem acting, especially when he played Orlando.

The only complains that I had were that it was very slow paced and it ended rather abruptly. I believe it ends at the same place that Just One Day does, but I'm not entirely sure. Other than that, the book was very good. Gayle Forman's writing is fantastic and all of her books have the most realistic characters.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion by Marie Lu
Published:  November 5, 2013
Putnam Juvenile
369 (Hardcover)
Legend #3
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic-and each other0 and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the republic, working within the government's elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

It seems like so many series have been coming to an end recently. And those endings have so far been heartbreaking. If you thought the ending of Prodigy was sad, wait until you read Champion.

I will never get tired of reading about protagonists like June. She's fierce and able to hold her own in a world ravaged by a tyrannical government and war. Yet, she isn't completely fearless and that's what makes her human. Without some weakness it would be impossible to connect with her. June still fears Commander Jameson no matter how much she tries to convince herself that she doesn't and she isn't a coldblooded killer. Day is another example of a character that I love. He's strong, but he isn't invincible. In the first book, it seemed that he could do almost anything, but since Prodigy that has changed. His character development was very well done. He went from a boy that would do anything to see the Republic fall to a someone that wanted to protect the Republic.

June and Day's relationship in this book is strained after the end of Prodigy. It's clear that both of them love each other, but it took them awhile for them to get past the eight months of separation that they put themselves through. It was a little frustrating, but it wouldn't have been realistic if everything went back to the way it was before. It's also very clear that Anden is in love with June, but their relationship isn't annoying, probably because I knew exactly how June and Day feel.

The beginning of the book isn't slow, but it isn't as exciting as the rest of the book. Once the story got going, it is basically nonstop action. It was interesting to get to learn more about how the Republic's political system works and a little about the rest of the world.

Champion is for anyone looking for a thrilling conclusion to an action packed series. It's always sad to see characters go, especially after such a heartbreaking ending, but at the same time the ending was pretty satisfying.

Monday, December 23, 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

best books 2013 end of year survey

Best In Books 2013

1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat- you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs backlist)

Dystopian-All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Paranormal- The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Science Fiction- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Contemporary- This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Fantasy- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people the most in 2013?

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill or Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Leila Sales

7. Best book that was out of you comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

1984 by George Orwell

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I read Everbound by Brodi Ashton in a day

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Ronan from The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

14. Book you can't believe you wainted until 2013 to finally read?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

“I think everything is happening all the time, but if you don't put yourself in the path of it, you miss it.”
― Gayle Forman, Just One Day

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2013?

Longest- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (570 pages)
Shortest- Macbeth by William Shakespeare (132 pages)

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I was dying to talk about basically everything about  The Dream Thieves after I finished it

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be romantic, friendship, etc.)?

Athena and Odysseus from Antigoddess

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously?

Tie between The Eternity Cure and The Dream Thieves

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013

Either Dystopian or Fantasy

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Finn from All Our Yesterdays

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

All Our Yesterdays

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Either Siege and Storm or The Dream Thieves

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

Allegiant, The Eternity Cure, and Clockwork Princess

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Looking Ahead...

1. One book you didn't get to in 2013 but will be your number 1 priority in 2014?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2014 (non-debut)?

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa or Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

3. 2014 debut you are most anticipating?

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

4. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014?

The Forever Song, Dreams of Gods & Monsters, and Evertrue

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging in 2014?

I want to try and post more often. I know I was gone for awhile during October-December because of school but I really want to try and get a lot of reading done this year and post some new stuff.

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