Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette Review

Title: Dark Star
Author: Bethany Frenette
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dark Star, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Action-packed, romantic, and dark, Dark Star had me on the edge of my seat--I read it in a couple of hours! One of the best superhero novels I've come across!

Audrey Whitticomb is the daughter of Morning Star--superhero of the Twin Cities and sole savior of their beloved town. This has never bothered Audrey--that is, until her psychic powers alert her to killings throughout the city, and she knows the truth: Her mother fights Harrowers, terrifying creatures from the Beneath, and bloodthirsty killers--and guess what? They're all out for Audrey's blood. Audrey must find a way to save herself, her mother, her mother's annoying sidekick, Leon, and the city--before it's too late.

What I enjoyed:
-The hilarious, snappy prose that had me laughing my head off
-Audrey's distinct personality, and her desire to be like her mother, despite everything--and her powers
-Lucy
-The dark, yet realistic world that everyone lives in (especially the Harrowers)
-Tink and Gideon
-The mythology of the Kin's origins
-Mickey
-Esther and the twins
-Patrick Tigue
-The origins surrounding Audrey's birth, and secrets surrounding her
-Leon
-Shane
-The way I had no idea what was coming next
-The way this wholly original superhero novel was executed

What I didn't enjoy:
-At times the prose seemed to drag
-Mr. Alvarez (I pictured George Lopez the entire time I was reading about him)

I really liked Dark Star--anyone looking for an action-packed adventure, or for an awesome heroine, or just a superhero novel in general should pick up Dark Star--it was wonderful! Next on deck: Juliet, Immortal by Stacey Jay!

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund Review

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: For Darkness Shows the Stars, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Romantic, thought-provoking, and absolutely beautiful, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion and a favorite of 2012--I can't wait for more!

Elliott North is a girl who is rich, spoiled, and has everything the world has to offer. She is a Luddite, the society's Elite after a genetic disaster called The Reduction. Malakai, her best friend, is a Reduced--the equal to a slave, and a laborer on the Norths farm. Four years ago, Kai asked Elliott to run away with him. She refused, choosing duty over love. Well now Kai is back, and she has to fight feelings long-buried--and save herself and her family from a secret he's hiding before it's too late.

What I enjoyed:
-the exquisite prose I drank in like water
-the letters throughout the novel that further explored Kai and Elliot's relationship
-The way the book did such justice to Persuasion and yet held its own
-The dystopian world the two lived in, where Posts are servants to Luddites, unfairly so
-Kai
-Elliot's strong will and her love for Kai
-Ro
-Andromeda and Donovan
-Felicia
-Olivia
-Dee
-Elliot's mother
-The romance in it had me swooning more than once
-The sweet, happy ending--it was really worth it to stick with the book

What I didn't enjoy:
-Tatiana
-Elliot's father
-Benedict
-the story started out slow for me at first and was hard to stick with until things started to pick up

Any fan of Jane Austen or dystopian worlds, love stories and adventures, should pick this up--it's worth reading! Next on deck: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn Review

Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A whimsical, delicious fantasy caper, Poison swept me away entirely, and I enjoyed every single minute of the ride--it was absolutely wonderful!

Kyra has a problem. She's a Master Potioner, and she was once on top of the world--engaged to a sexy man named Hal, in a lucrative potion makers' business, and best friends with Princess Ariana--but then, she attempts to shoot the princess with a poisoned dart after discovering a terrifying secret. Just like that, Kyra ends up a fugitive, friendless, on the run, and constantly hungry--until a pig comes into her life and is led on a journey that could endanger the whole kingdom.

What I enjoyed:
-the hilarious prose that had me laughing, and drawn in, from the first paragraph
-Kyra, and her kickass actions throughout the whole novel
-The fantasy element to it that felt like a delicious fairy tale I couldn't help savoring
-The breakneck pace of the novel--I couldn't put it down and was a little upset when I had to
-The caper that bled into the novel
-The romance--it was so cute!
-Rosie
-Langley
-Hal and Ned
-Ariana
-Fred
-Aldo
-Kyra's parents

There was nothing I didn't love about Poison--any fantasy fan or a fan of amazing heroines should grab it at the local library or bookstore! Next on deck: For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund!

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike Review

Title: Life After Theft
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A teenage spin on The Scarlet Pimpernel, Life After Theft was really funny and sweet, and I really wanted to love it, but Kimberlee--one of the main characters--at times fell flat for me and even bogged down the story.

Jeff Clayson is a normal kid with the usual problems: In moving from Phoenix to sunny, glamorous California, he has to start over, in a school full of privileged rich kids. As if this wasn't enough, he's being haunted by the ghost of former mean girl and total klepto, Kimberlee. He's the only one that can see her, and she's got a lot of unfinished business to take care of before she moves on to the afterlife. (re: a lot of people to apologize to and a lot of crap to return.) On the way, he finds love, friendship, and the true meaning of facing who you really are.

What I enjoyed:
-the hilarious prose, narrated by the wry, sarcastic Jeff (I was reminded of John Green a little bit)
-The daunting task that Jeff is faced with--helping a spoiled girl return spoiled items and face herself
-Sera--she was one of the only people who felt authentic at times
-Khail
-Most of Jeff's teachers and friends
-Jeff's parents
-Kimberlee's journey to facing herself and her deeds
-The haunting--Kimberlee was funny, if nothing else
-The way the theme of facing yourself rang true in the story
-The pacing of the prose--I couldn't put it down

What I didn't enjoy:
-Kimberlee, mostly--at times her selfishness and spoiled ways, as well as her constant lying, bogged down the story and had me feeling weary to the finish

I just liked Life After Theft--it fell short for me, though I'm sure Pike's fans would enjoy it. Next on deck: Poison, by Bridget Zinn!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons Review

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: Article 5, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Chilling, romantic, and action-packed, Article 5 had me absolutely riveted--I read it in half a day and I loved it!

Ember Miller is in big trouble: The FBR has come to arrest her mother for violation of Article 5: All persons conceived under wedlock are not valid citizens. Ember lives in a world where the former United States is gone, and the government has abolished the Bill of Rights--leaving only the Moral Statutes. Ember's all about blending into the background and not causing trouble, but she's arrested too. To add insult to injury, one of the arresting officers is Chase Jennings, Ember's childhood sweetheart. The two are led across the country in a race against time--all the while trying to fight powerful feelings long buried.

What I enjoyed:
-Ember's tense narration of the novel
-The pacing--I couldn't put it down, even when I was sickened in spots
-Ember and Chase's evolving relationship throughout
-Ember's flashbacks
-The chilling world that Ember lives in, so lifelike and not too far off, it seems
-Chase
-Tucker
-Sean and Rebecca
-Ember's mother
-Rosa


What I didn't enjoy:
-Delilah
-Tucker
-Brock
-The terrifying reform school Ember goes to when arrested
-Many people Ember and Chase meet along the way

I loved Article 5--it was amazing and worth every moment! Next on deck: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter Review

Title: Bluestar's Prophecy
Author: Erin Hunter
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Warriors, stand-alone prequel
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Action-packed, tender, and informative, this prequel to Hunter's bestselling Warriors series chronicles the Thunderclan leader Bluestar's ascent to power with Hunter's usual finesse--I really enjoyed it!

Bluestar is Thunderclan leader--but her life didn't begin that way! Documenting her life lovingly--literally from birth to the beginning of the first Warriors novel--readers are granted an intimate look at the way Thunderclan works, and how Bluestar's life has made her the cat--and clan leader--that she is in the current books. I really enjoyed the background that the book provided, as well as the close-up look into Bluestar's life.

What I enjoyed:
-Hunter's writing, as always, done with tenderness and finesse
-The breakneck pace of the novel
-The intimacy of it--the look into the clan leader's life
-The way the book tied seamlessly into the current series, yet stood on its own
-The way I understand Bluestar a lot better now--particularly when it came to the incident with her kits
-Bluestar's evolution throughout the novel
-The look into Thunderclan life, and clan life itself

I really liked Bluestar's Prophecy, and any Warriors fan should pick it up at the local library or bookstore--it was great! Next on deck: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan Review

Title: The Demon's Surrender
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Demon's Lexicon, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Full of thrills, sensuality, and action, the third and final volume in The Demon's Lexicon series was beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking--a new favorite!

Nick and Alan are in trouble again--but this time, you get to see the world from Sin's point of view--Sin, princess of the Goblin Market--while she tries to come to terms with dancing for the Market, losing her mother-figure, falling in love--and fighting for her place in the Market--as well as for her life.

What I enjoyed:
-Seeing the world from Sin's point of view--it really felt cool and different
-Nick and Alan
-Sin's evolution throughout the novel
-Alan's, as well
-The gorgeous prose
-The pacing--it was breakneck and I couldn't put it down
-Mae and Jamie
-The constant thrills that the book offered--I really enjoyed it!
-Nick
-Anzu
-Seb
-The happy ending
-The way everything tied together so neatly at the end

Anyone who loves fantasy, action, magic, or demons should pick up The Demon's Lexicon series--wonderful! Next on deck: Bluestar's Prophecy by Erin Hunter!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan Review

Title: The Demon's Covenant
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Demon's Lexicon, book two
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Every bit as lovely and heartbreaking as the first book, The Demon's Covenant had me screaming, crying, and tore me apart--and I loved every bit of the tempestuous journey!

Nick and Alan are back--and in a bind neither of them are sure they'll get out of it whole. In a frightening world of demons, magicians, and magic, both brothers must struggle to hold on to each other--and Mae and Jamie are unlucky enough to be caught up in the mess, too. Amidst secrets, a struggle for power, and trying to find themselves, this little family of misfits must think fast.. Or this time they could be in real trouble.

What I enjoyed:
-the pacing of the novel--I couldn't put it down
-The way Mae and Jamie get a bigger role in the novel and the series itself
-The love triangle between Mae, Nick, and Alan
-Mae and Jamie
-Seb
-The deeper understanding of the world they all live in
-The action of the novel
-The struggle for power throughout the whole novel
-Daniel Ryves's journal entries
-The lovely prose
-The deeper exploration of Nick and Alan's complex relationship
-Liannan and Anzu
-Sin, and Mae's deeper delving into the Goblin Market
-The bittersweet ending

What I didn't enjoy:
-At times I was rolling my eyes at Mae's constant indecision

I loved The Demon's Covenant--I love the whole series period! Wonderful! Next on deck: The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: The Demon's Lexicon
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Demon's Lexicon, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Action-packed, tender, and full of thrills, I loved The Demon's Lexicon--a great novel from Sarah Rees Brennan!

Nick and Alan Ryves have been on the run from magicians all their lives. Nick, the warrior, and Alan, the gentle soul, are interrupted in their tempestuous lives by Mae and Jamie Crawford, with disturbing news--James has been triple-marked by a demon. With that, their already crazy lives are turned upside down--and Nick learns that some secrets are better left alone.

What I enjoyed:
-Nick, and his strange way of doing things
-Alan, and his quiet desperation, and his altogether gentle soul
-Mae and Jamie
-The Goblin Market
-Merris
-Black Arthur
-Olivia
-The frightening, seductive world that the boys live in
-The terrifying, cliffhanger ending--thank God I grabbed The Demon's Covenant!
-The action-packed prose
-The pacing

There was nothing I didn't love about The Demon's Lexicon--it was beautiful! Next on deck: The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard Review

Title: Pretty Little Secrets
Author: Sara Shepard
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Mystery
Series: Pretty Little Liars, book eleven
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A short story collection taking place between Unbelievable and Wicked, Pretty Little Secrets reveals just what happened in the winter between the fourth and fifth books, with usual flair and spine-tingling chills--I loved it and can't wait to finish the series!

Hanna's Pretty Little Secret: Hanna Marin is lonely. Her boyfriend, Lucas, has left for the Yucatan Peninsula, leaving Hanna all alone and abandoned with no one but her dad, stepmom, and evil stepsister Kate for company. Lonely and upset, she is approached by Vince, a sexy personal trainer.. And once she pursues him, Hanna finds out the real meaning of betrayal.

Emily's Pretty Little Secret: Emily is trying to deal with the fact that now her family knows she's a lesbian. As if that's not hard enough, Emily finds that her mother's precious baby Jesus has been stolen, and that this Christmas is going to be tighter than ever. Suckered into being Santa at the local mall, Emily is recruited to find out just who is causing the holiday chaos around town.. And ends up making some real friends.

Aria's Pretty Little Secret: Still reeling after the drama A caused on all four girls, all Aria wants is a break. Instead, she's stuck spending the holiday with her dad, brother, and her dad's pregnant fiance. Fed up with being left out of Byron's new family, she goes to her mother's house, and her Icelandic boyfriend, Hallbjorn, comes to visit--on the run from the law, no less. Aria ends up in hot water!

Spencer's Pretty Little Secret: Spencer is still upset over her seemingly never ending feud with her big sister, Melissa. As if that's not enough drama for one pretty little liar, her parents are acting weird. On vacay in Florida, Spencer feels she finds love in Colin, a sexy tennis player who's been flirting with her. Unfortunately, that's just one surprise for Spence before Christmas break is over!

I loved Pretty Little Secrets--it sucked me in immediately and I can't wait to finish the series and find out just who A is! Next on deck: The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sanctum by Sarah Fine Review

Title: Sanctum
Author: Sarah Fine
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fiction
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Dark, frightening, and action-packed, I loved Sanctum--especially the romance that blooms between Lela and Malachi--I can't wait for the sequel!

Lela Santos isn't your typical juvie kid. She's been in quite a few fights, has dealt with more than most kids her age would ever dream. And now she's got a series problem: Lela's best friend, Nadia Vetter, has committed suicide via pills. While saying goodbye to her friend, Lela falls to her death and ends up in a terrifying place: the Shadowlands. Whilst there, she tries desperately to find her friend--and in the process, she learns to trust, to love, and to be true to herself.

What I enjoyed:
-Lela, and her strength, and her dedication to her mission to find her best friend
-Malachi, and the way his past affects him and brings him closer to Lela
-The hypnotic, poetic prose
-Lela's evolution throughout the novel
-The dark world that Lela, Malachi, Ana, and Nadia inhabit, very real and terrifying
-The very real way that Malachi and Lela get closer throughout the novel
-Ana and her backstory
-The Guards
-The bittersweet ending, leaving the opening for a sequel
-The opening sentence, which had me sucked in
-The pacing of the novel, which was action-packed and didn't slow in the least
-The romance of Malachi and Lela

What I didn't enjoy:
-At times Nadia had me rolling my eyes
-Malachi and Lela's stubbornness

I really liked Sanctum--anyone looking for a good, dark horror novel that makes you think should pick it up. Next on deck: Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard!

*Reread on March 15-18/15 through the Kindle Unlimited Library

I loved this book even more after reading it a second time! Especially Malachi--he in particular was my favorite. Dark and twisted, creepy and cruel, Sarah Fine's vision of the afterlife is wonderful! (Actually, this book made me an eternal fan of Sarah Fine's work. Totally fangirling and completely unashamed!) One of my favorite series of all time! Next on deck: Fractured by Sarah Fine!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reckless by Cornelia Funke Review

Title: Reckless
Author: Cornelia Funke
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Reckless, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Beautiful, dangerous, and thrilling, Reckless is a darkly wrought, glittering fairy tale for young adults that made me feel like a child again--the only flaw is, I want more and can't wait for Fearless!

Jacob Reckless is a teenage boy who wants nothing more than to escape his life of sorrow and imprisonment, abandoning by his father. But soon, Jacob finds a gateway to another glittering world, through a mirror in his father's study. Mirrorworld is his and his alone--that is, until his younger brother follows him and is cursed by a fairy, doomed to turn into a stone Goyl and forget who he is. Along with a beautiful shapeshifter and Will's girlfriend, Clara, Jacob ventures all the deeper in this dark world--and this time, he isn't sure if he's going to make it out alive.

What I enjoyed:
-the exquisite writing style, like that of an old fairy tale passed down through the generations
-The world that is so believable and beautiful--and at the same time terribly dangerous and frightening
-Fox, and her rich history with Jacob
-The Goyl
-The way fairy lore was kept to in this novel
-The Dark Fairy and Miranda
-The many characters that Jacob comes across, but it was easy to keep track
-Clara
-The lore behind the Mirrorworld
-The mystery about Jacob's father
-Valiant

What I didn't enjoy:
-The Empress
-Amalie

I loved this novel--anyone looking for something like a fairy tale or a well-rounded fantasy story should check out Reckless! Next on deck: Sanctum by Sarah Fine!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman Review

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Seraphina, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Exquisite, rich, and heartbreaking, Seraphina is the start to a new dragon series that's sure to garner many fans!

Seraphina Dombegh is a teenage girl with an extraordinary talent: She is exceedingly musically gifted, and she and her father are hiding a secret: She's a half dragon. With tensions high with the coming approach of the renewal of a treaty between dragons and humans, Phina is in a delicate position.

What I enjoyed:
-Seraphina and her slow ascent to self-acceptance
-The rich, beautiful world she lives in
-Kiggs
-Glisselda
-Seraphina's family line
-Seraphina's mother and the insight on her and her past
-The people in Phina's head
-Orma
-The cliffhanger
-The intricate mystery Hartman paints so easily
-Claude and his family

This is one of the best dragon novels I've ever read: I would recommend it to Janet Carey Lee and Christopher Paolini--beautiful! Next on deck: Reckless by Cornelia Funke!

*Reread on April 14, 2015. Just as beautiful as last time, I loved Seraphina--chock full of dragon lore, exquisite world-building, mouth-watering food porn, and deeply realized, nuanced characters with complex dilemmas. Easily one of my favorite books, and authors, of all time, and I'm so glad that I bought it! Highly enjoyable, and well worth the reread! Next on deck: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Review

Title: Etiquette and Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Steampunk/Fantasy/Science Fiction
Series: Finishing School, book the first
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The first in a new young adult steampunk series, I loved Etiquette and Espionage--especially its spunky heroine, Sophronia--one of my favorites of 2013!

Sophronia Temminnick is a trial to her mother--always climbing things, fiddling with things, and her curtsy is absolutely horrendous! But her family is approached by a representative of Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality--and suddenly this spunky, plucky teenager is thrust into a world of intrigue, secrecy, friends, and what it truly means to be a lady of good standing--and what it means to have real courage.

What I enjoyed:
-Sophronia, plucky and spunky and hilarious
-Her family
-The constant hilarious quips--at times I ended up actually laughing aloud
-Dimity
-Pilover, and his school
-The intricate, believable world Carriger paints
-Braithwope and Niall
-The professors
-The girls that Sophronia meets at Miss Geraldine's
-Soap and the sooties
-Bumbersnoot
-Vieve

What I didn't enjoy:
-Monique
-Preshea
-Sometimes the narration stuttered a little
-At times I thought the mystery was a little too easy to figure out

I really, really liked Etiquette and Espionage, and I'm looking forward to the sequel! Next on deck: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth Review

Title: Struck
Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A chilling, beautiful dystopian tale, Struck is one of my favorites of 2012--I loved every minute of it!

Mia Price is just a girl trying to live in a not so distant future's turbulent, terrifying times: LA is torn apart by natural disasters: earthquakes, storms, starvation, and famine. But Mia isn't the ordinary girl she wishes to be. She is one of the people who have the Spark: that is, people who have been struck by lightning, and so blessed with supernatural powers. Two cults--the cult of the Seekers, and of the mysterious, seductive Prophet--have risen to power, and both groups will stop at nothing until they have what they want: Mia and her power on their side.

What I enjoyed:
-The chilling dystopian world that Bosworth so vividly
-Mia, and her conviction to try to fit in and do anything to protect her family
-Parker, and his willfulness
-The cults that are so convincing and scary
-Prophet and his Followers--accounts of him and his followers were maybe the scariest thing I've read yet
-Katrina
-Mr. Kale
-Jeremy
-The Apostles
-The pacing--there was never a dull moment for me in Struck
-Janna

What I didn't enjoy:
-Rachel
-Mia's mother and her foolishness, and the belief that her daughter is cursed because of something she can't control

I really, really enjoyed Struck--it was an amazing feat of a novel and I enjoyed every minute of the wild thrill-ride! Next on deck: The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead Review

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Bloodlines, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The sequel to Mead's spinoff series Bloodlines, I loved The Golden Lily, chronicling Sydney's self-doubt and her slow defection from the Alchemists' ways--and she learns that humans using magic isn't so bad, as well as learning to fall in love--I can't wait for The Indigo Spell!

Sydney is back, staying in Palm Springs with Jill, Eddie, and Adrian. This time around, she actually gets a boyfriend, goes out on date, does reacreational magic work for her history teacher, digging up secrets about the Alchemists that they are hiding from her--and learning how to love and trust the vampires she has been entrusted with, all the while trying to figure out what exactly is right--what the Alchemists have taught her, or her heart and instincts.

What I enjoyed:
-Sydney, and her own unique brand of narration
-Adrian, and the way he and Sydney got closer throughout the novel
-Jill
-Eddie
-Angeline
-Sydney's development throughout the novel
-The pacing of the novel--I couldn't put the book down!
-The secrets that almost had me screaming as I read through the book--I want the Indigo Spell now!
-The Alchemists and the branch that petered off from them
-The beginning of the novel, starting with Keith's judgment

What I didn't enjoy:
-Brayden
-Trey
-The ending--I was honestly on the verge of tears, it's so unfair!
-At times I was rolling my eyes--sometimes the pacing seemed to stutter

I really liked The Golden Lily, even better than Bloodlines, though as I've said before, I prefer Vampire Academy hands down. Next on deck: Struck, by Jennifer Bosworth!

Top Literary Villains List (Possible Spoilers)

These are my top literary villains in no real particular order--I'll let you guys speak your minds and see what you think you should go where. If you agree or if you feel others should be put on this list, please say so in the comment box below. This is a celebration for more than a hundred posts thus far! Okay, here we go--

1. Valentine Morgenstern/Sebastian Morgenstern, The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare. Why: Truly a frightening father son duo, Valentine wreaks havoc through the whole saga, convinced in his fanatic conviction that Shadowhunters should reign supreme and keep the world 'pure' for humans, eliminating Downworlders wholesale. So great is his conviction in his own beliefs, that Valentine goes so far as to inject demon blood into his own son and steal the son of a murdered official. In my opinion, the greater threat of this twosome is Sebastian. Full of hate and bloodlust, he goes on to murder several people, though he inherits the charm of his father. I won't reveal anything else, but if you're curious, read City of Lost Souls.

2. Eira- Rift and Rise, The Nightshade Prequel Series, Andrea Cremer. Why: You first hear of Eira in Nightshade, the woman who defected from the Searchers' noble cause due to a lust for power. In Rift, you get an up close and personal look at precisely why she defected. Unsatisfied at being hidden in the background, only to be called upon at a moment's notice, Eira begins to long for power beyond a woman of her standing. In taking up with the dark forces that the Order of Conatus has pledged to fight, Eira commits the ultimate betrayal in her quest for power. One of my favorite villains ever.

3.The Phantom of the Opera, from the novel of the same name, by Gaston Leroux. Why: Chilling, seductive, and out of his mind all at once, the lonely villain of the novel goes on killing sprees when his words go unheeded by the employees of the Opera House, and yet when it comes to romancing Christine, there are no qualms, and I can't say I blame her for being tempted by the offer.

4. Voldemort, The Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. Why: The mysterious foe in Harry Potter that seems determined to conquer death, Voldemort is truly chilling to me, for the sole reason that the cause of his corruption isn't power, but racism. The thing about him that scares me most is that one mistake, one flaw, one thing one dwells on destroys him. Though Voldemort is evil, the magnitude he goes to to eliminate humans scared the hell out of me. Regardless, in Half Blood Prince, I couldn't help feeling sympathy for him.

5. Jake Thorn, The Halo Trilogy, Alexandra Adornetto. Why: Sexy and scary and charming, Jake Thorn is a big ball of wickedness, wrapped up in charm and a British accent, the reader meets him in the middle of Halo, trying to seduce Bethany, and charm the entire Venus Cove student body. Throughout the trilogy, he works desperately to win Bethany's affections despite being a demon, even going so far as to drag her down to Hell, literally.

6. Beira, Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr. Why: Frightening, manipulative, and cold as all hell--literally--Beira is the Winter Queen in the faerie series Wicked Lovely. She delights in making Keenan--the Summer King--yearn for her motherly affections, and manipulating him, even going so far as to binding his power so she can rule the Fae world. Luckily, she meets her demise at the end of Wicked Lovely, replaced by Donia.

7. Mr. Wickham, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. Why: Handsome, charming, and manipulative, Wickham seduces one of the younger Bennet girls to elope with him to steal her money. Luckily, Darcy and the girl's parents intervene before it gets too out of hand--for me, Wickham is a classic example of a man taking advantage of a young ingenue.

8. Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. Why: The poor gypsy boy that wants nothing more than to marry Catherine and live his life happily with her, Heathcliff gets his ass handed to him over and over, despite his innocent, childlike love for her--all culminating into turning Heathcliff into an angry, bitter young man that is so fed up with his lot in life he destroys what little family he's got.

9. Abraham/Sarafine, Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Why: Both of them scary, frightening, and compelling, especially Sarafine, both powerful magical beings set on nothing less than the total destruction of the human race, Abraham and Sarafine thrive on chaos, disorder, and wickedness, and are easily two of the scariest villains I have ever encountered in my years as a reader, but at the same time, they stole my heart--bravo!

10. Adam Rosier, The Eternal Ones, Kirsten Miller. Why: Compelling, seductive, and completely, horribly evil, Adam Rosier chases Haven Moore across multiple lifetimes, driven by obsession and consumed with want to own Haven. Despite his obsession, I found him incredibly sexy and convincing--I wanted him, I won't lie. One of my favorite villains of all time!

11. Galbatorix, The Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini. Why: Galbatorix becomes a Rider as a teenager. When he loses his beloved dragon, he goes half-mad with grief and murders several people--his own Rider brethren included--before he crowns himself as king of the country. In doing so, he slaughters most of the Riders and their dragons, nearly driving them to extinction, and nearly causing his people to starve and suffer under the weight of excessive taxes--but don't worry! He gets his just desserts soon enough!

12. Miss Havisham, Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. Why: The classic example of a bitter old woman drowning in unfulfilled dreams, Miss Havisham never got married, despite her childhood dreams of a white wedding and children. As such, she twists her ward, Estella, into manipulating the main character of Great Expectations, until the very last page, when both of them leave her.

13. President Snow, The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. Why: Manipulative, terrifying, and cold--even going so far as to murder his own people to get his way--President Snow torments the main character, Katniss Everdeen, through the whole trilogy, leaving cryptic little taunts for Katniss the entire time--for the Capitol does not like to lose. I loved the uniqueness of him, for you see villains all the time, but rarely do you see one so cold.

14. Bosque Mar, The Nightshade Trilogy, Andrea Cremer. Why: Called the 'Harbringer' by both Keepers and Searchers, Bosque Mar is the epitome of pure evil--and the reason for Eira's defection, bringing on the War of All Against All singlehandedly. Not only is he the epitome of pure evil, he is capable of bringing on worldwide destruction and able to bring other creatures from the other world with him: wraiths, fire hounds, and other monstrosities. One of the most cool and fun villains I've ever seen, even more so in Rift and Rise.

15. Roman, The Immortals Series, Alyson Noel. Why: Sexy, gorgeous, British, and dark, Roman comes into the Immortals series bearing a grudge against Ever's true love, Damen: Drina, his former lover, has chased Damen across lifetimes, slaughtering Ever in every one of them to gain his affections. In every book, Roman has tempted Ever into joining him--casting spells, manipulating her and Damen, and in Dark Flame, Ever's foray into dark magic results in her being drawn to him.. In the worst possible way.

That's it, folk! If you think of anymore follow me or drop me a line on Tumblr--I hope you enjoyed reading the list as much as I liked writing it for you! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross Review

Title: The Girl with the Iron Touch
Author: Kady Cross
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Steampunk/Fantasy
Series: The Steampunk Chronicles, book three
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: I have mixed feelings about The Girl with the Iron Touch--I expected more, especially since the first two novels were so much fun--and the cliffhanger seems to promise another volume in the series.

Finley, Griffin, Emily, Sam, and Jasper are back--and this time, the sweet, smart Emily O'Brien has been kidnapped--by what is left of the wicked Machinist, to implant his brain in a new body so he can wreak havoc on London once again. But Emily isn't going to go down without a fight. Meanwhile, Finley has to confront growing feelings for the smart, handsome Griffin, and the mysterious, sensual Jack Dandy--all the while, the friends scrambling to save Emily.

What I enjoyed:
-Finley, and the way her personalities continued to meld throughout the novel
-The sexual tension between Finley and Griffin
-Emily, as always, and the way her history was expanded upon
-Emily and Sam's blossoming romance
-The plot in the middle of the novel
-Mila
-Jack
-Sam

What I didn't enjoy:
-The way Jasper barely played a role at all
-Mei
-At times I was rolling my eyes at how cliched everything was
-I really feel like the book could've been better, considering it seemed like the last in the series
-The cliffhanger--I didn't like how indefinite everything was at the end
-Nothing was really wrapped up properly for me
-It just fell short, compared to the first two books, and I was really disappointed by it

I just liked this novel--for me, it wasn't great. It could've been so much better for me. Next on deck: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reckoning by Lili St. Crow Review

Title: Reckoning
Author: Lili St. Crow
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Strange Angels, book five
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The fifth and final book in the darkly addictive Strange Angels series, Reckoning thankfully blew me away, packed full of action, secrets, and humor, though at times I felt a little dissatisfied.

Dru Anderson has returned for the final time, running for her life toward the Appalachia mountains, to her home down south in a last-ditch attempt to find some safety and some normalcy to gain her bearings--all the while trying to keep a very pissed off king of vampires off of her back, protect her friends, and try to live. But, unfortunately, that isn't in the cards for our little Dru, and the last action-packed novel had me breathlessly turning pages, hand locked around my throat until I got to the final page.

What I enjoyed:
-Dru, and her quick thinking, and her glowing ability to fall back on humor whenever things get too bad, as well as her evolution into an adult
-Graves, and the way he loyally sticks by Dru throughout it all
-Ash, and his adorable, childlike way of acting
-Christophe, and his fierce protectiveness over Dru, as well as his feelings for her
 -The pacing--the book flew, and I couldn't stop reading
-The constant secrets
-The action--there wasn't a dull moment throughout the book
-The way Dru was left on her own for a while in the book
-The scene with Sergej, Christophe, and Dru
-The even deeper expansion into Dru's parentage

What I didn't enjoy:
-The secrets about Dru's grandmother
-The way the book ended, with all three main characters hanging off of a cliff and nothing decided
-We still don't know what Dru is short for!
-I feel like the book could've expanded a lot more and fell short at times

Overall, I really, really enjoyed Reckoning and the Strange Angels series altogether as a whole--I didn't want it to end! Next on deck: The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross!