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!