Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year All!

Here's to many more experiences, a clean slate, a new beginning, and hopefully more books and a lot more reviews, guys!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fated by Alyson Noel Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Soul Seekers, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Though in some ways it reminded me of Evermore, the first installment in this new series is a good time in its own right.

Fated begins with the reader meeting Daire Santos, a teenage gypsy of sorts, walking through the streets of Marrakesh, Morocco, with her boyfriend, a fictional movie star, on the evening of her sixteenth birthday. The day starts out normally for her, wandering the city. When coming upon a square, however, something grim happens that is all too familiar to Daire: glowing spirits beckon to her. Spooked and trying to block it out, she lashes out in an attempt to run from the terrifying premonition, acting out so violently that to the rest of the world, she looks as though she had a psychotic break. This is Daire's secret--she can see souls of the lost.

Long story short, Daire's mother, after sending her to several doctors who all give her the same diagnosis: that Daire has paranoid delusions, sends her back to the States, desperate, where Daire meets the grandmother she's never known. Angry and frustrated, Daire tries to escape Enchantment, New Mexico, the town so small and constricting she doesn't see the point in staying. After meeting a terrifying boy with empty eyes, she passes out right in the middle of the road, getting hit by a car in the process.

After this happens, Daire learns the secret of her heritage: She is a Soul Seeker, born to protect the town of Enchantment and on a bigger scale, the entire world, from the Richters, a powerful clan of sorcerers that steal souls--literally--in an attempt to conquer death and rule the world with iron fists. In the midst of trying to harness her powers, she is also confronted with her feelings toward one of the sons of this clan, Dace Whitefeather--the one good apple in the bushel, while Cade, his twin brother, tries to win Daire's affections with the promise of power and seduction.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel, though occasionally with Cade I could see a real resemblance to Roman, the adversary of The Immortals series. Daire seemed a bit whiny at first, irking me slightly at times, but as I saw her mature into a woman worthy of her role, I felt a little better. This book is definitely worth checking out, especially for previous fans. Also, a sequel was promised and I'll be reviewing that soon as well!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Next on Deck... -drumroll-

Fated by Alyson Noel! I will be reviewing it as soon as I can get my hands on it and read it, but there's a really bad blizzard blowing through this area, so I will try to put up a new review soon. Merry Christmas and happy New Year, all! Be safe and careful when you're celebrating! (Psst! The world didn't end! Yay!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taking a Small Break.

I'm taking a little breather for a few days, but next on deck will either be: The Selection by Kiera Cass, or Fated by Alyson Noel, it depends on what comes in from the library first. (There will probably be little breaks between two books or so, as I have to order them from the library from my book list.) There will be a goodie or two to occupy your time though! ;)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Heaven
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Halo, book three
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The final book in the Halo trilogy wraps things up neatly, as well as adding new characters and new twists, and it was enjoyable--I couldn't put it down!

Heaven begins with Xavier and Bethany getting married after graduation, much to Heaven's displeasure. Their union is met by dissent up above, leading a rebel faction of celestial soldiers called the Sevens to pursue them and bring the "renegade" Bethany home to Heaven, to deal with the repercussions of their decision. Ivy and Gabriel are panicked, as the two didn't even talk to them before marrying and defying God's law. Forced to flee to Mississippi from Venus Cove, the family hides in plain sight, the couple enrolls at Ole Miss to try and have a normal life, albeit under aliases--and as brother and sister. Fun, huh? Meanwhile, Molly follows the two, having transferred to the university for a guy named Wade. The family is able to hide for about a month or so until they are found by the Sevens and their leader, Hamiel. In a showdown between them and Bethany's family, Xavier is killed. Inconsolable, Bethany actually fights a grim reaper to bring back Xavier's soul.

She succeeds, but the time period was so long between Xavier being dead and alive that Lucifer--that's right, the Lucifer, as in the Devil, possesses Xavier's body, as recompense for Gabriel murdering Jake, one of the Original angels to fall with him and one of Lucifer's first sons. For a while Lucifer torments the Churches--Bethany in particular--through Xavier's body--until Bethany conjures up Jake's soul from Hell at Lucifer's behest to propose a trade: Xavier's body free of Lucifer in exchange for Gabriel's wings being literally ripped out of his back. Gabriel agrees, much to Bethany and Ivy's dismay, and thus saves Xavier. Right after that, the reader finds out a secret about Ivy, Xavier, and his family--I won't reveal this. You guys will see if you decide to read it.

That threat eliminated, Gabriel falls into a very human state of depression and ends up saving Molly from Wade's abuse, and soon Bethany and Xavier are once again cornered by the Sevens. Bethany, unable to see Xavier or his family harmed, surrenders and goes back to Heaven with them all, getting locked up as a result and placed with the Heavenly equivalent of a shrink. Despondent and angry, Bethany goes out of her way to antagonize her shrink, Eve. Gabriel comes to give Bethany a hint on coming back to earth, and soon she meets Xavier's dead girlfriend, Emily, who reluctantly agrees to help her. One thing leads to another, and Bethany loses her divinity, ripping out her wings and falling to earth, and making her way back to Xavier. The book ends with the two joyously reuniting, and Bethany rapturously realizing she has a belly button, can have children, grow old, and die. I loved it and it ended perfectly for me, but the whole series was wonderful and is one of my favorites of all time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Hades
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Halo, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Almost as beautiful as its predecessor, Hades offers more background into the mythology--and the villain--of the trilogy, and I enjoyed it despite its slight predictability.

Hades begins six months after the Church family's confrontation with the demon Jake Thorn. Bethany and Xavier, tentatively begin to relax, still relatively cautious over the demonic forces that raided their town not so long ago. It is the day of Halloween, and all of Venus Cove is getting ready for a night of fun. Bethany and Xavier go to a Halloween party, and this is where things start to get interesting. Molly, Bethany's best friend, and several other friends from school, decide to hold a seance, fooling around and just acting like bored teenagers. Despite Bethany's initial instincts telling her that they should call this off, she reluctantly goes along with it. Push comes to shove, and the spirit that was summoned by the girls' foolishness is released.

Can you guys guess where this is headed? Bethany finds through the party grapevine that Xavier has hurt himself at the ocean cliffs not far away, and begins to panic. Bethany is offered a ride on a friend's motorcycle--and then shortly after that she discovers she has been tricked, by the very demon that has haunted her nightmares: Jake Thorn has returned and by accepting a ride on his motorcycle, Beth has unwittingly consented to going with him to Hell.

I won't say much about the rest, because it would reveal too much. Bethany is stuck in Hell, or Hades as Jake prefers to call it, and while she is there Jake tries to woo her, to seduce her, to make her his bride, corrupt her, and make her his own, despite Bethany's unwavering loyalty to God, Heaven, her family, and of course, Xavier. When the reader gets deeper into this part of the novel, they learn more about the mythology of the trilogy and the origins of the villain that I've come to enjoy so much. Most of the book takes place in Hades, hence its name, but the ending is wonderful and full of twists and turns, even to the final page, and promises another installment. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to reading Heaven. If you guys can get past the slight predictability of Hades and the series itself, it's definitely worth your time and a great diversion.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Halo, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Halo, a coming of age tale of literally celestial proportions, captivated me from the first page, but my favorite part of the book was its villain.

Halo begins with the main character, Bethany, landing on Earth, with her brother and sister, Gabriel and Ivy. Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy are all angels--literally--sent by God to the small coastal town of Venus Cove to protect from dark forces, and to help human beings be kinder and more aware to and of one another. Gabriel is the Gabriel from the Bible, you know, the avenging angel, one of God's best, Ivy is a seraphim, also one of the highest angels in the Heavenly hierarchy, and that leaves Bethany, who is 'just a baby in celestial years'--seventeen human years. This is her first time on earth, and she is hungry for all the new experiences a human life--or at least the closest thing she has to such a thing--can offer, things we take for granted--food, family, falling in love, the luxury of making mistakes and forgiveness.

Bethany meets a boy named Xavier Woods, and simply put, kids: It all goes to hell after that. Bethany slowly begins to make friends and become accustomed to human life, but she and Xavier get close and then they begin to fall in love. The only flaw with this part of the novel for me was that they seemed to fall in love a bit too fast, but it didn't bother me so much I was put off the whole novel. Meanwhile, in the background, a new student, a British boy named Jake Thorn, comes to school. He is in Bethany's literature class, and after their first meeting, she senses something off about him, though she ignores her instinct in an attempt to make him feel welcome.

After a series of linear events (I won't express them here, it would probably give too much away, and I've done that already), Bethany realizes that Jake Thorn is not what he seems to be, hiding behind a charming, almost seductive facade, in fact, he is part of the very forces she has pledged to fight against: he is a demon, promoting destruction, murder, and sin in Venus Cove, and what's worse is that he wants Bethany for himself.

I won't give the ending away, guys, but I will say that it promises for a sequel and I will be reviewing here the remaining two novels in the series: Hades, and Heaven. If anyone loves a good fight between the forces of good and evil, you should definitely check this book out. It is romantic, full of mystery and action, and absolutely wonderful, and here's an interesting fact about the author: She was only eighteen when she wrote Halo!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Requiem by Lauren Oliver Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Delirium, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The last book in the Delirium series, Requiem is full of surprises, told in the same lush, beautiful prose of Lauren Oliver, with a satisfying, simple ending. It's worth checking out.

I loved Requiem. I got it as an advance readers' copy here on Goodreads fortunately. It had a wonderful ending, bittersweet and beautiful. Lauren Oliver's writing is still beautiful and lush, the prose flowing on the pages like water, smooth and sweet, this time spanning between Lena and her former best friend, Hana.

Requiem begins where Pandemonium left off, Lena still in the Wilds with Julian and the other resistance fighters. Alex has also returned to the trilogy, miraculously alive after months of not turning up, bitter and angry that Lena has moved on to Julian, despite her thinking that Alex had been murdered by government regulators (soldiers). Lena is left reeling at his sudden appearance, as well as Alex's slow, cold retreat from her. Despite loving Julian, feelings for Alex and their memories together begin to resurface, causing her pain and guilt, especially when it seems Alex, too, has moved on, to a young new ingenue named Coral. Struggling with her jealousy,Lena tries to swallow it and move on, trying to do her work with the resistance and make her friends safe, all the while trying to navigate her still newly minted relationship with Julian.

Meanwhile, back in Portland, Hana has been cured, preparing for her wedding to Fred Hargrove, her pairing. Despite the supposed perfection her life offers, Hana is terrified as new feelings begin to surface, the past rearing its ugly head--she thinks of Lena, of her old life, of how she made previous steps to try to resist the norm, to be her own person, and she realizes with regret, sadness and surprise that it was in fact Lena who fought to be herself, and even ran away from Portland to fight for the cause. Hana begins to see a different, more frightening side of her fiance, reminding me of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde--just as likely to kill as he is to shake your hand. (She also finds information on Fred's first wife, Mealana, who is in jail because Fred tried to kill her and then convinced everyone they knew she was psychotic.) Slowly, the book goes back and forth between Lena and Hana, and eventually the two girls meet--Lena is let go by Hana, and Hana admits to turning Lena and Alex in to the government, and then she leaves Fred to die in the bomb in his house, walking toward a new beginning and a new life. Lena and Alex finally admit that they love one another, and the book ends at the perfect spot for me: The townspeople tearing down the wall separating them all--with a few surprises regarding Lena's family as well. I loved it. Thank you, Miss Oliver, and thank you, Goodreads!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reached by Ally Condie Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Futuristic/Dystopian Fiction
Series: Matched, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The final novel of the Matched trilogy, Reached offers just as many twists, turns, and surprises as its predecessors, as well as a satisfying payoff.

Reached begins with Cassia in Central, Ky flying airships in the Outer Provinces, and Xander working to become a licensed medic in the same city as Cassia. The novel flies, what with all three of them narrating events. I don't want to say too much, so as to give anything much away. The story progresses with a sudden virus called The Plague making its way into The Society, leaving hysteria and death in its wake. No one seems to know what to do, that is, until something called The Rising steps in, apparently with the cure to the disease that is killing people. But soon, the virus begins to mutate, and once again, people begin to die in rapid waves. In a panic, The Society can no longer contain the epidemic of the disease, and neither can the Rising.

Cassia, Xander, and Ky are all reunited, under the mysterious Pilot's direction, and locked up, seen as traitors and spies against the very cause they have fought for. Soon, the three of them are all sent spiraling into a war that seems so much more subtle than one against The Society, forced against the wall by the Pilot's urgency. They do eventually find a cure, but with a great cost. The entire time this is happening, Ky, Xander, and Cassia are forced to deal with the love triangle still lingering between them. Overall, I loved this book and I wouldn't have had it end any other way. The entire series is worth reading, but this is my favorite installment of all of them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

YOU GUYS! An author answered my question about her book!

I was on Tumblr earlier and I was asking if The Selection by Keira Cass was worth reading.. And.. YOU GUYS..

She actually responded to the question! I was asking if it was worth reading and Keira actually commented and answered! She said, "I think it's totally worth it, but I wrote it.. So I'm biased.." That made my whole night, you guys! This is almost as good as Emma commenting on my review here! I think I'm going to read the book just for that!

Crossed by Ally Condie Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Futuristic/Dystopian Fiction
Series: Matched, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The sequel to Matched is a worthy addition to the series, spanning outside of The Society and into the Outer Provinces, and secrets, betrayals, and mystery abound throughout.

Picking up where Matched left off, Cassia is sent to the Outer Provinces to work. When she is suddenly transported further out, she makes a decision that took fruit at the end of the first novel: to run as far away as she can and try to find Ky, as well as join the resistance, an organization called The Rising. Half of the novel is Ky and Cassia's life before they run: Cassia working with other girls, Ky fighting The Enemy and burying the dead, Aberrations like himself. (Aberrations are people who are branded with Infractions--crimes--and thus cannot be eligible for citizenship in The Society, and the benefits surrounding it.) Cassia is able to get away, slipping into the canyons of the Outer Provinces with another girl named Indie. Ky too escapes during an attack, taking a boy his own age, Vick, and a younger boy named Eli. Slowly but surely, Cassia and Ky find their way to one another.

Despite their joyful reunion, questions are asked and secrets are made uncovered--secrets that could tear them apart and their love to shreds. By the end of the novel, Ky and Cassia do find The Rising, only for Cassia to be spent back into The Society's capitol, Central, to work from the inside, with Ky still at camp. It seemed a bit of a ripoff to me to have them travel all that way and then have Cassia walk right back into the fray. But other than that, the book was glorious. I look forward to Reached and I hope you guys will enjoy the series as much as I do.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Matched by Ally Condie Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopia/Futuristic Fiction
Series: Matched, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
The bottom line: The appeal of this book is the way it bounces through genres: dystopian fiction, romance novel, allegory, coming of age. I loved it.

Think about this, guys: What if your life was perfect? What if you were paired with someone to have perfect children, a job suited to your skills, impeccable health, to live until the age of eighty, guaranteed? Would you take that chance? Would you take it even if you knew that the people who gave you such gifts were doing something unethical? Not just unethical, but downright wrong? If not, would you do something to stop it?

Cassia Reyes, the poetic narrator of Matched, has to make that terrifying choice. Cassia's world is that where The Society rules, and the novel begins at her Matching Banquet. In The Society, instead of getting married, a girl and boy are Matched sometime after their seventeenth birthday, for the best chance of fertility and having healthy citizens. Cassia is filled with hope, anxiety, and joy at her banquet, and she is Matched to someone she knows. Sounds pretty boring, right?

Ah, I promise you, folks, it gets better. When Cassia reviews her Match on her port, she thinks it's just going to be another normal day. But it isn't her Match's face on the microcard: It's someone else's. Suddenly, Cassia begins to question her whole world, everything she's ever known to be true, as she starts to fall in love for the first time, and just how perfect her life is. Guys, this book is one of the best books ever for me. I love it and you guys should check it out!

By the way, the discussion guides for each of the novels (Matched, Crossed, and Reached), can be found on the author's website.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Beautiful Redemption
Author(s): Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Beautiful Creatures, book four
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The final installment of the Beautiful Creatures series is beautiful, sad, and most definitely a fitting end to this explosive fantasy saga.

Ethan wakes up after singlehandedly saving the world. Thinking he is in Heaven, he finds himself in Wate's Landing--just the version in the Otherworld, as well as Lila, his mother. After a bittersweet reunion with her, Ethan's only goal is simple--to get back to the family that loves him. Meanwhile, Lena, Amma, and Link, on the other side of the void, try every way they know how to get Ethan back, even if it means putting her own life, and those of whom she loves, at risk. Along the way, Lena and Ethan discover the remaining secrets of the Caster and Mortal world, things better left buried. Discovering that even the world in between has laws and rules that must be heeded, Ethan and Lena struggle to find the way back to each other, and back to the world they once knew, all the while fending off the evil Abraham Ravenwood, his henchmen, Hunting, and the secrets of John Breed's existence. I loved this novel and it was so incredibly beautiful and sad. Though deaths happen throughout the novel, I promise you all, it is worth it. Take a chance and check the whole series out.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review (Spoilers?)

Title: Beautiful Chaos
Author(s): Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Beautiful Creatures, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Picking up where Beautiful Darkness left off, readers are introduced to the consequences of Lena's Claiming--the equivalent of the world ending, and with something even more terrifying ahead.

Ethan and Lena are finally right again--they love one another and they've gotten past all the obstacles that had separated them a few months prior. The only problems? Abraham Ravenwood chasing them, the December weather feeling like summer, plagues of locusts.. It's almost like the world is ending, or at least that's what everyone in Gatlin is afraid of. On top of all this, Ethan's dreams have turned violent and frightening, like before he met Lena. Little does he know, these dreams will lead to a frightening death, one of the most unexpected. Sad, frightening, and enlightening, I loved this novel, especially with the more insights into Lena's twisted family origins. Garcia and Stohl's metaphor about the differences between Mortals and Casters never fails to hit me to the core. No matter what our differences are, we all struggle with dark and light impulses inside us, and that nothing is destined.

'The Wheel of Fate crushes us all.'

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author(s): Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Beautiful Creatures, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: This is definitely a great sequel to Beautiful Creatures. Filled with even more drama and more information about the worldbuilding, this book was gorgeous and sad and almost perfect.

Beautiful Darkness picks up where Beautiful Creatures left off: Lena is left with the terrible choice of Claiming herself: If she becomes a Dark Caster, everyone who is Light will die, and vice versa. On top of it all, Macon, the only father Lena has ever known, is gone, dead. Lost and confused and scared, she pulls away from Ethan in an attempt not to hurt him. Confused, hurt, and frightened, Ethan finds himself wondering if Lena has left him for good. With the appearance of Ridley, Lena's Dark Siren cousin, and a mysterious boy named John Breed, Ethan begins to doubt everything he knew to be true. He uncovers secrets about Macon, his mother and father, and Lena's family as well. Sent spinning onto a quest he never asked for in an attempt to find Lena and right his world once more. Along the way, he meets a few new friends, as well as different types of Casters. I loved it, even as it riled me up. (I wanted to yell and scream--I cried for a good half of the novel.) But this novel pulled on my heartstrings, folks, and it is worth reading, the whole series is! Anyone who's into magic, forbidden romances, supernatural novels, and fantasies will be left screaming for more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author(s): Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Beautiful Creatures, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Anyone looking for a fresh new fantasy to sink their teeth into will love this novel. (Sidebar: My husband loved it and normally he hates to read.)

Beautiful Creatures is a big, glorious Southern gothic drama, beginning in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Gatlin is a typical small town--close-minded, close-knit, and unwilling to accept anyone different from them. In the middle of all this is Ethan Wate, a boy who is suddenly having mysterious dreams about a girl, and he can't see her face. All he knows is that he can't lose her, feeling an unexplainable pull to her. Lena Duchannes comes to town, and she and Ethan form a fast connection.

Unfortunately, Lena is the niece of a known recluse in town, and she and her whole family are hiding a huge secret--a big enough secret to blow Ethan's small life--and Gatlin--to pieces.

(Sorry about the length, guys! I just don't want to give too much away if you guys decide to check it out!)

Announcement.

At some point in the very near future, I shall be doing every other or every two or three reviews in video form. Stay tuned! Next on deck: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, in honor of the movie coming to theaters in February!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr Review

Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Wicked Lovely, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
The bottom line: This book is beautiful. Fairy stories are a dime a dozen these days, but this one is a true gem to me.

Wicked Lovely begins with Aislinn Foy, a seemingly normal teenage girl. But there's a serious catch. You know how fairies are normally invisible? Well, this girl, unfortunately for her, can see the Fair Folk. Aislinn has always followed the rules, the most important of which is to not attract attention, because in most stories, if the fey like you, they don't leave you alone. Enter Keenan, a mysterious, beautiful young man--a fey. Keenan has roamed the earth for nearly nine centuries, searching for his Summer Queen, so his powers will be unbound and he can save the Summer Court. Only thing is, Aislinn is the only girl in centuries who has rejected Keenan's advances.

With his appearance, and with the appearances of several other fairies, Aislinn's life changes forever, and she is propelled into a world of mysterious fairy politics, a pawn in a game that has gone on for centuries. I would recommend this to anyone who is somewhat reluctant to enter the world of the fey, as they're constant and swiftly becoming the new Twilight these days. I loved this novel, the writing simplistic and beautiful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

All In: The Education of David Petraeus by Paula Broadwell Bias Review

Note: This is not a review about the whole book, as it was a military expose on David Petraeus and most of the 'facts' about the military went entirely over my head. I did this for a friend, looking for bias in the book.

Now, on to the actual review, to answer his question. Is there bias in this book? Yes, there is bias. The author seemed intent on defending Petraeus despite trying hard to seem objective and unbiased. Most of the book went over my head, and from what I could tell, the author seemed to believe that Obama threw the man under the bus after the plan in Afghanistan went under. The prose seemed complicated, and it felt to me as if one would have to have an intimate knowledge of the military and its workings to understand even the slightest bit of what went on.

Most of the book was about him growing up, his meteoric ascent to the top of his class in school, then his numerous accolades when the daunting task of Afghanistan presented itself to him. I will say this, though--I admire the man's humanity and resilience, his sanctity for human life. I admire his approach to the whole situation. In my opinion, based on the facts presented in this book, the man did his best with an already bad situation.

(Note to Tim: She made no mention of an attraction to Petraeus, but there was a definite bias there. She supported him, flat out.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock Review

Title: Hemlock
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Horror, Mystery/Thriller
Series: Hemlock, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5
The bottom line: I loved this novel. Despite some flaws and cliches and a slightly predictable love triangle, it was scary and lovely, the prose beautiful, and anyone, girls especially, looking for a horror novel to read would love this.

Hemlock begins with the main character, Mackenzie Dobson, mourning the untimely passing of her best friend, Amy Walsh. Confused, left spinning after the loss of her only friend, Mac tries to go back to her life, though she can't seem to shake the feeling that something about Amy's death is wrong. Why? Because in this new world Peacock has created, werewolves are real, and discriminated against, seen as bloodthirsty, vicious killers--and Amy's death only seems to confirm the belief. Soon Mac is drawn into a world she didn't even know about, where secrets hide in plain sight and suspicion and hysteria run rampant in Hemlock and around the country. I couldn't put this book down once I began it, eager to solve the puzzle it presented.

Where Hemlock ends, it leaves room for sequels, and the title is the first in a projected trilogy. Any fan of Ellen Schrieber, Andrea Cremer, Cynthia Leitich Smith, or Stephenie Meyer would thoroughly enjoy this novel, as the romance takes the spotlight just as much as the mystery itself.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa Review (Spoiler Alert!)

Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Iron Fey, book five
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
The bottom line: I love this novel and would recommend this series as a whole to fans of Melissa Marr and Lesley Livingston.

'My name is Ethan Chase, and I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.' So The Lost Prince begins. (Note: This is the beginning of The Iron Fey's spinoff series, Call of the Forgotten, so I would suggest reading those first. You can find the reading list on the author's website.) Ethan Chase, first seen in The Iron King at four years old, abducted by the fey as bait for his sixteen year old sister Meghan, is now seventeen, and unfortunately gifted with the Sight.

Angry, left alone by a sister he now has to pretend is deceased, and sick of being harassed by the Fair Folk, Ethan walks through life acting mean and angry so as not to get anyone close to him hurt, much in the same way his sister left the mortal world. All is normal (for him, anyway) until he is encountered by a girl named Kenzie Saint James, and a strange fey who appears to him, warning him to stay out of fairie affairs.

Suddenly, Ethan Chase's already unbelievable life spins out of control, and he finds himself thrust into the very world that haunts him when the lights go out. Drawn reluctantly into the world his sister left their family for, he meets Grimalkin, a fey cat, and Kierran--who also turns out to be one of his few connections to his distant sister, now a queen in the Iron Kingdom. He makes his way through the Nevernever, trying to stop dark forces that even he doesn't know about. Overall, I loved this novel and it is a worthy addition to the enjoyable diversion that is The Iron Fey series. I would recommend this to every person who's always wondered what the Fair Folk are like. (However, as I said above, it's recommended to read the others first. The first ones are just as good as this one. My personal favorite in the series is The Iron Knight.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Next on Deck!

My next review coming up will be The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa. It is the fifth novel in The Iron Fey series.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Suggestions?

If any of you are unsure about a novel, please let me know in the comment boxes below so I can review it here for you, and help make your decisions easier, please!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Elephant Keepers' Children by Peter Hoeg Review

Title: The Elephant Keepers' Children
Author: Peter Hoeg
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Literary fiction
Star Rating:  1 out of 5
The bottom line: I would not recommend this novel. It was overwrought and too complicated.

I regret to say that I didn't really enjoy this book, The Elephant Keepers' Children by Peter Hoeg, that I won on Goodreads, and I'll tell you why:

-the prose was overwrought and overcomplicated, and it made me feel like I was stupid, and keep in mind, the narrator is a fourteen year old boy, and shouldn't sound like he is a Rhodes scholar
-there are far too many characters to keep track of and I kept getting confused
-because the prose was so confusing to me, I barely even absorbed what was happening
-I honestly felt the author was trying to purposely use huge words to sound intelligent, when in reality he didn't have to do such a thing
-it came across to me as a total condemnation of religion and society that depends on 'a higher power

I really tried to give it a chance, but it just wasn't for me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Under The Desert Moon by Emma Meade Review (spoiler alert!)

Title: Under the Desert Moon
Author: Emma Meade
Age Group: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Star Rating: 4 out of 5
The bottom line: I would definitely recommend this to others.

I promised you all I would be getting a review up here soon, and it's my first one ever on this blog. I won this book on Goodreads, and here is my review. You guys should check out both the site and the novel--both were and are wonderful.

** spoiler alert ** Under The Desert Moon by Emma Meade is a vampire novel I won as an advanced reader's copy here on Goodreads. I really, really enjoyed it. It started out a little slow, but in the end it was an enchanting read that will appeal to readers of supernatural novels, and readers who enjoyed the Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer, or the Vampire Kisses series. (It was made even better that the novel was signed and I got a special message! Thank you, Emma!)

The things I loved about the novel:
-Erin, the headstrong, incredibly brave heroine, and her desire to get out of confining Copperfield and make her own life
-James, who despite his own monstrous nature, falls for Erin, loving her even though he is a killer and has no choice but to feed his bloodlust, or die
-Carla, the wicked villain who comes into the later part of the novel, through a connection of James's, evil and consumed by the desire to destroy James for not loving her, despite her creating him, giving him the 'gift of life' thirty years prior
-Nick, Erin's protective older brother who does everything he can to protect Erin from love's sometimes destructive force, and eventually falls in love himself

What I didn't like about the book:
-Erin's drunk father
-Tom, the director and who later dies for nearly outing James
-Lyndsey and Nancy
-most of the townspeople
-Zach and how messed up he is, and no explanation behind it-I wonder if Emma plans to enlighten us on that point?

Overall, I am happy with the novel and I am so, so happy I won it. More, more, more please! Thank you, Emma, and Goodreads! I had so much fun in sleepy, dusty Copperfield!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My first post ever.

Welp, since my friends came up with the awesome idea to start a book reviewing blog, and so I've obliged. Some things you all need to know about me:

-My name is Kelesea, and obviously, I love books. They are my lifeblood, my obsession, one of the reasons I get out of bed in the morning. It's a pleasure to meet all of you! -waves-
-I am 21 currently and I live in Ohio right now.
-I also enjoy Glee, Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures, classics, singing (badly), Spongebob Squarepants, and many other things. I'm sure you'll all glimpse them at some point.
-I am married to my husband, Cody, and have been for two years. He is the love of my life.
-I am starting college for the second time in January.

That's all I think of to say right now! But as soon as I'm finished with the novel I'm reading, Under The Desert Moon, by Emma Meade, I'll post a review for you all!