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.

Review.



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 adult..it'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).

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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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review.



Angel Evolution (The Evolution Trilogy, #1)Angel Evolution by David Estes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy... When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice. Something about him scares her. Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.

Angel Evolution takes a new spin on the idea of Angels and Demons. David Estes shows his creativity by taking the age old war of the two and shaping it into a whole different reality. I am usually skeptical about books that are about Angels because I feel that they all have the same story-line. "Angel is on mission to save/help and has to prevent themselves from falling from grace" This book was nothing like that. I was surprised that anyone could come up with the idea that David did and I am so glad he did because boy is it great.

The age old war of Angels and Demons is believe it or not...Reversed! And! To twist it up some more...It isn't an age old battle after all! My oh my, never had I thought I would see a book take this direction. Angels are evil and demons are good? (Well not exactly but this is the overall idea...There's always always good and bad apples) This just shows you can't judge a book by it's cover. (Ha bad pun.) I was afraid while starting this book that I would be annoyed or bored by some of the ideas. I was greatly proved wrong. The ideas he created were well thought out and different. I am excited to see where the other books in his series will take me.

The characters were good but I do have some complaints. I found Taylor to be annoying to some degree. Her personality jumped around too much for my liking. One minute she's Miss independent and the next she's bent out of shape over some guy.I also felt her relationship with rushed. This occurs a lot in YA novels so it is to be expected. I guess my annoyance isn't exactly with the author it just annoys me when a character is so set in her lifestyle and is quick to let go of her ideas. (This happens with real people and it annoys me as well.) One thing I'd like to point out and thank the author for... The lack of a love triangle. Thank you for finding a way to incorporate a new male character in the book without making him fall for and fight for the attentions of the lead female. It is so refreshing to sit down and read a novel where there isn't drama over who the lead female is going to choose. That gets annoying after a while. Overall the characters were great, although semi-annoying.

How do I feel about this book as a whole? It took me a little bit to get into reading this book. I'm used to books being more fast-paced and straight forward. Even though it did take me a little bit I never had the urge to put the book down. This book spent a lot of time on character building and background information. However in order for it to be understandable this had to be done. He did a good job pulling this off while throwing in some action scenes in between so it didn't feel like I was waiting till the end of the book for anything to happen. It was a great read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA paranormal or YA books in general.

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MATCHED REVIEW COMING SOON

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review. Monthly book list.

A day late, but never fear my review is here!


The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


My rating: 5 of 5 stars




In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.



Where to begin? First let me explain my dislike of Dystopian novels. I feel that they are on the verge of almost being SciFi but not exactly? A lot of them have things that are overly advanced or creatures that appear in the future. Which can be great if written about in the right way. I feel that a lot of authors overwrite when it comes to this so that you get a better feel of how things are but sometimes it's just too much. There are a few Dystopian novels here and there that I do like but mostly I just pick up books like these to pass the time. That is just me though. Now let's get on with the review.



This novel... What can I say? I honestly loved it. The things that happened in this novel I could actually see happening as a possible future. It was one of the more realistic of the Dystopian novels that I have ever read. The idea that North America could break up into little areas due to war. And that those areas are heavily governed is a simple and obvious idea but the author made it more than simple and took a spin on the obvious. The structure of the Panem Nation is very well done. Not only do you see how the government works but you also see how it effects the people in the districts. More so, the lowest of the lower class, district 12. The way the government is set up is practically a futuristic spin on an old idea of power. The idea that people who have conquered are somehow higher up in the food chain than others. Which is hard to write about in a dystopian novel without going to over the top with weird weapons or creatures.



The characters in this novel are on a whole other level. Katniss is a determined young woman who puts others first despite what it might do to her. She is not exactly brave but will do what she has to in order to survive and help others and her family survive. This unique personality for her character made it easy to really like her. She is sweet and innocent in her own way. She doesn't understand a lot about what's going to happen as well as how she will eventually interact with other characters. Which I believe makes her character more realistic and easier to compare ourselves to. The other characters in this novel are just as interesting as katniss and they each play a very important part in the novel and Katniss' life. I fell in love with some of the characters especially a little girl from a little later in the book. Brief some of the characters roles may have been in the book but that briefness didn't diminish them as a whole.



I am going to admit something that very RARELY happens. I cried. I cried for Katniss, I cried for the situation, I cried for the hunger games, I cried for the loss, the characters, everything as a whole. There was a breaking point for me in this novel where I literally hated the book for what it made me feel. I have never had that happen before. This novel was heartbreaking and I wanted to rip it up. I wanted to stop reading it entirely...But instead I pushed through the heartbreak and at the end of the book was I glad I did. This world in this novel, the way people are how they act, left me disgusted. Now just because I was disgusted and hated the book for making me cry doesn't mean that the novel was horrid. In fact it was opposite..It was Fantastic. I may have cried and hated it but I was transfixed in what would happen next. I was glued to the pages and lost in this world. And despite the heartbreak I enjoyed every sad minute of this novel.



So for those of you who aren't afraid of the horrors that can come from human nature,who aren't afraid to maybe cry a little, who love dystopian novels, who love books in general. I suggest you read this novel, because this is an experience you will not regret.


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So I said I wouldn't have that big of a list. I lied...It turns out that I got approved for books on NetGalley quicker than I had thought. So I decided that I will post these books as a for sure thing for reviews and more than likely there will be no changes or additions to the list. Well maybe a couple of additions since an author asked me if I would review more of her novels (Which I agreed to do). I think I may even have more books from NetGalley that haven't even been approved yet. I forsee a long month of reviewing. Wish me luck.

March Book list:
Angel Evolution by David Estes
Halflings by Heather Burch
Torn by Stephani Guerra
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Amy Carter
The Moonstone Series by Marliee Brothers. (4 books in series)
*****1-2 more books from an author and possibly a book from goodreads R2R*****


I will be working on linking all of my reviews so that you can go straight to them from the reviews page.