Monday, December 16, 2013

The Almost Girl By Amalie Howard Review

The Almost GirlThe Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

The Almost Girl is overall a good YA novel, however I did have some problems with it. Let me first start off with what I loved about this book. The characters for one;I love that Riven' personality is practically robotic but you start to see it crack slowly throughout the novel. Also who doesn't love bad ass chicks who end up saving the male version of the damsel in distress? However I'm going to go a little negative on the character. I feel as if Caden could have been so much more. He' kinda wimpy and there could have been more character development for him. He just kind of floated in the book like "Hey I'm right here! I'm a person too!". He was more background noise and he felt like a filler to build Riven's character more. Which yes i good but only when the character used is well defined already.Also I feel as if Cale was never really elaborated on. Every so often you get a snippet about who he was but then you're left hanging like "How does he fit in?! There has to be more between him and Riven! what is going on?!" It was like I was reading the book to find out the full background and would get frustrated when I became empty handed over and over. Which saddened me because both characters had so much potential. Is it bad to say that the main character of the book, the one that the whole thing is about, received too much attention? Alright enough with the characters... Another good thing about the novel was the plot. Rather than just regular dystopian or fantasy it had a twit. Imagine a world that was just like ours but ended up advancing so much that they became violent and ran out of their natural resources. Now imagine if these people figured out how to enter your world. Now that they have imagine what they would eventually want or need seeing as how they practically destroyed their world? It sounds like an action packed thriller right? Yeah the plot is that good.This world which was essentially destroyed sounds amazing and I for one would have liked to see more of it. Hopefully in the next book that will happen. Because honestly? Who really wants to read something that is almost fully based in our world when we know there's this place hidden just around the corner that the characters can actually go to. That is just my opinion though, and many of you may disagree with me.

I will be honest, I liked this book and I want to see where this series will lead. I do recommend this book to people who are into this kind of genre and I ask that you try to stay open to the possibilities of where this book may go; despite how frustrating it can be.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back in Business

So as you have seen I have sort of disappeared.


Now if you're wondering where I went.....

I joined a National Service program called AmeriCorps NCCC. And, that kids, is what you call crazy. A full 10-months of basically manual labor for various non-profits. It sounds like something where you would go "And why on earth would I do that." It is... HOWEVER... I learned a ton of new skills that I probably would have never learned otherwise i.e. dry-walling, trail maintenance, robotics competitions, various things like that. I was able to travel to numerous states and I lived in NY on the beach for a month. It was actually pretty great. I got to live with a team of 9 other people and I wouldn't trade them for the world. We, lived, worked and ate together. We cooked each other meals. We fought. We drove each other insane. I made some friendships in this program that otherwise wouldn't have happened considering we are all from different states. These 10 months have been rigorous but honestly they were probably some of the best 10 months of my life. I will be proud to say that I graduated Class XIX of AmeriCorps NCCC.

(Moose 1 AKA Moosicorns)

As of now I will be able to start up book reviews again, however, I am hoping to join another service program and dedicate another 10 months to volunteer work, and afterwards I want to go back to NCCC as a team leader. So during both of those times reviews will be far and few.

Also I live in Washington, Illinois, it has been all over the news but a week ago a lot of my town was destroyed by tornados. So please keeps Washington in your thoughts and if you're religious, your prayers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Unfortunate Events.

So as you might have noticed...I disappeared!

Unfortunately my Dell laptop of two years decided to break. Now I no longer have a computer. Right now I'm posting via kindle fire. I tried to use mobile blogger but it sadly decided it wanted to post gibberish.

If you're wondering about my reviews...I lost everything...All of my books that were sent to me...All of my written reviews that I was going to post....It's all gone.

This however does not mean that I will stop posting reviews. I will just simply start over. Things will be slow until I get another laptop so please bear with me. I will try to get my first new review done within a week.

Wish me luck! (Btw blogging on kindle is a pain in the bum. And also I do have a couple of books from an author that I will be able to review later on)

Sorry to those authors who's books I was not able to review.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review. Book one of Moonstone series.

Moonstone (Unbidden Magic, #1)Moonstone by Marilee Brothers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sickly mom. A tiny house trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens. Bad-guy dudes with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there's that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil. Geez. Welcome to the sad, funny, sometimes-scary world of fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, who's struggling to keep her and her mom's act together in the small-town world of Peacock Flats, Washington. An electrical zap from a TV antenna sets off Allie's weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows she's being visited by a hippy-dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town "witch," gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a good-hearted "Star Seeker" is meant to command. "Who, me?" is Allie's first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she's got a destiny to live up to. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.

Marilee Brothers takes an interesting spin on the magical world in her novel Moonstone. Allie, a typical high school girl who doesn't have the best home life, is thrown into a world of magic on which she isn't prepared for. Challenges and regular life battles, Allie must figure out if she is wiling to live up to her destiny.

Allie the main character is actually a very likable person. It is hard to write about a character and have her not be overly strong nor be overly whimpy. She is very easy to relate to and is very believable. What I love about this character is that she doesn't automatically jump into situations and she actually thinks like the typical teenager. I don't know about you but I hate when a character just easily accepts things or has the personality of someone who existed a long time ago. Allie is everything you would imagine a girl her age to be which makes this novel easy to read and enjoyable.

Character interaction is another thing I liked about this novel. The way Allie's family treats her, the simple crush she has on her step-cousin who isn't related to her at all. How her relationship moves on with her love interest. The last is actually a big thing that I loved. I am simply tired of books rushing relationships between characters so it was refreshing to see that there are some that actually do take things slowly. It makes the novel more realistic and less likely to annoy people. Everything about the characters in this novel just worked and seemed to fit together perfectly. There was no confusion while reading this like I have had with some books.

The story-line for this novel was very interesting. I loved how Allie was basically poor and not exactly miss popular. I also loved how the magic was slowly introduced into the novel. Nothing really jumped around and the whole novel flowed smoothly. Also I'd like to point out that nothing in this novel felt rushed and that there was just enough action in several places to keep the reader interested. There was no point in this novel where I felt bored or could wait for some parts of it to be over. This was a great book to read and I enjoyed very minute of it.

Now this book was great but I should warn you. It was a very simple read it's meant for teens and it reads like it is exactly that. If you can look past that then I suggest you pick this book up and read it. :].

InkInk by S.J. Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sparrow stumbles between two worlds,
light and dark, love and hate, what is real
and what is in her mind.

When her mother dies on the Reservation,
Sparrow’s world is shadowed with anger
and narrowed by pain. The voices arrive,
but are they real? And how can a tattoo
make her stronger?

Ink by S.J. Davis was actually a good read but there were some issues I had with it. Davis uses the idea of the native american religion for the basis of her book. Spirit guides and native prophecies passed down through generations give this book a very interesting plot and world.

I feel like there is never enough novels based off of native american traditions and things like that. So I was extremely excited for the chance to read this. The description of the book sounded great and like something I wouldn't want to miss out on. I still feel this way even though throughout the whole book I felt lost until the end then it all became clear.

Instead of me breaking down the main character like I usually do I'm going to lump all the characters together. They were to me... Unfinished. Now why do they seem that way to me? I felt like the book jump straight into the story and didn't explain who people were and I was left in the dark with personalities and relationships. There was a couple of points where I felt like I missed weeks of interactions between characters because of how relationships jumped within the book. I felt like these characters could have been expanded and I could have loved them but I didn't feel a connection to any of them. These characters had the potential to be great but instead I was more excited about the plot which I also had issues with.

Now lets get to the plot...I LOVED the idea behind this book. It was great and creative. And I do want to read more. I am sad to say that the execution of the plot wasn't in my opinion...The best... Now don't get me wrong I enjoyed this book but I felt like a lot of things were left out and I literally felt lost throughout the book. I had to stop reading and pick it back up later several times. It jumped frequently and there were things in the book that were confusing. Everything is eventually explained towards the end but it doesn't lessen the confusion felt earlier in the book. It was more like "Why wasn't I told this before to prevent my headache?"

Now let me explain why I like this book. This book has the potential to be great..No scratch that..Fantastic. I feel like the author didn't take full advantage of such a wonderful story. But there is just something about this book that makes me want to read more despite all that it's lacking. It might be the hot spirit guide or just the idea of a magical tattoo. Or even just because it seems like it could be truly worth reading the rest of it later on. Who knows? But something grabbed my attention. I can at least give the book that much credit.

This book is very short only 80 pages long, but I think if you have time to waste and want a quick read you should pull this book out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finally here.

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he's not. In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die. But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own. And that's when her whole world begins to unravel...

Matched is another dystopian novel where society controls the people and the people have little choice. This sounds just like The Giver and Delirium and even a few other choice dystopian novels. Now what makes Matched different from these others? I'll have to be honest.. There isn't much. When I read a novel I want to be surprised I want to read something that hasn't been done before. Don't get me wrong Matched is a good book but I just feel like this story has been written numerous amounts of times. Okay now that I have ranted let's get to the review.

Condie does take a different approach to the dystopian society by using match ceremonies. Making the match ceremonies the basis of the book really keeps it this novel from being too much like the others. Sure they have little choice on how they live or die but these ceremonies is what keeps the book going. Cassia is left the choice of choosing her best friend or following her heart. This book proves there are different types of loves and how it can catch people in the middle. Not only that but her choices ultimately lead to something a lot bigger than who she loves. The choices each person makes empowers the society but what happens when people stop making the choices expected of them?

I had mixed feelings about Cassia. I felt like through the book she was never truly her own person. She's constantly doing what people tell her and she's forever doing things for others and not herself. I get the whole wanting to make others feel better but the reason she left should have been for herself not because she made a promise and couldn't let such and such get hurt. It actually looks like she leaves for her own reasons but then she says some things that make it seem more like an obligation and that drives me crazy. I felt more attached to the other characters in the book than I did to her.

One thing I did like about the book was that there was a bigger picture other than Cassia's love life. I felt like I wanted to help these people have a choice in how they live and who they love. So thank you Ally Condie for you ability to take a story that has been written a million times and changing it and making it your own.

The reason I gave this book 3 stars (Well it really deserves 3.5) is because I feel like it could have been written differently than the other novels like it. I'm just tired of things being written over and over again. This book had a good plot it was just too like the others. Overall, this book was a good read to pass the time and if you like this type of dystopian novels I say go for it. I also recommend it for people who have yet to read a dystopian novel.


SeraphinaSeraphina by Rachel Hartman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page." - Amazon description

Rachel Hartman takes a new spin on Dragons in her fantasy debut Seraphina. In a complex world where Dragons can disguise themselves as humans and where there is an unsteady truce; Hartman will leave you wanting to read more.

To begin with let me say...I just adore fantasy novels. A plus side to this novel is that it is YA and fantasy novels that are YA are hard to come by. Especially one that is well thought out and doesn't revolve around romance. Seraphina is exactly that; a YA Fantasy novel that is well written and doesn't leave you wanting to kick yourself because of the quick romance or the endless love triangles. The main character Seraphina is a young woman who gets sent to court. She was raised to blend in and not bring attention to herself. What is so good about this novel is that Seraphina tries to blend in but finds herself in a situation where blending in is the opposite of what she wants and who she is. She goes from a girl who just does the bare minimum and turns into a strong young woman who will do whatever it takes to help. What is even better is the author was able to show gradual growth in the character's personality rather than what most YA novels do nowadays; which is shove them in a situation right away that changes them. Serpahina is exactly how you would imagine a person to be in her given situation. She questions things and doesn't jump in right away without thinking. She also puts other's welfare before her own. How could this character not get any better? She's perfect in the sense that she is realistic. For her to be realistic in a fantasy novel,just shows this author knows how to build characters, and boy does she do that well.

The Prince is...Amazing. What I love about his character is that he isn't exactly charming and he has his negative qualities. He has a weird mixture of cockiness and selfconscienceness; Which you would think wouldn't work. But it does... It does so well that I automatically fell in love with his character. He pretends that what people say or how they see him doesn't matter but it really does. He loves those people who he protects and helps guide them. He is the perfect Prince who you can't help but love.

When you picture a world full of dragons you expect giant flying lizards who hoard wealth and knowledge. That is exactly what is in this novel but there is a spin on it. Imagine a country of dragons who can make themselves appear human. Imagine prejudice between humans and dragons and throw them in an uneasy truce. Imagine where it is illegal for dragons to feel emotion...To feel human. This novel makes you take a look at how exactly you view others and how they might feel about it. Think of the strictist rules, which breaking could equal death or worse...Surgery to remove emotion and memory. This world that Hartman has created is complex, exciting and really makes you think. What if I were in that situation? What if I wasn't allowed to love? Experience? Care? What if I had to hide because of who I am? This world full of false peace and unexpected friendships is exactly what the doctor ordered for a fantasy novel.

Now now...If you're thinking "I really do not want to read a YA novel.", consider this....Seraphina does not lack anything an adult fantasy novel has...It's possible it may even have more. The whole novel is focused on the world she created and the bigger picture. Sure there is a little romance but the romance isn't exactly YA or's just normal. So if you're looking for a fantasy novel that has morals and doesn't focus too heavily on romance then this is the book for you. It's a book that anyone can pick up and read... And Ultimately enjoy. I for one cannot wait for the next novel to come out. And I'm sure if you read Serpahina you will feel the same way (Impatience for the next book).


Did this review before Matched. I have my reasons. ;p. Matched will come next for sure though. I do not plan on doing that mystery book from last month I just couldn't read it x.x. Hopefully I will be able to later on but for now it's a no go.