Monday, April 30, 2012

A Bunch of Books

I haven't posted a review in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. In fact, I think I've been reading more since I haven't been blogging about it. Having an ereader makes me read more/faster too, for some reason.
Anyway, in this post I'm going to do mini reviews of the books I've read recently.

The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin has been occupying most of my time lately. I've read through #4, and I know that after I finish A Dance with Dragons that there will be a huge hole in my heart until the next book comes out. These books aren't YA, but they're SO GOOD. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver was a great sequel to Delirium. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but it definitely surpassed Delirium. So much stuff goes down in this book that you'll tear through it in a day and then be angry at yourself because book 3 is a year away. At least that's what happened to me.

This Is Not A Test buy Courtney Summers is a contemp disguised as a zombie book. That's a great thing. You'll come for the zombies, and you'll get them (some of those scenes are so tense you guys), but you also get FEELINGS. I was completely engrossed by this book and am going to be shoving it into people's hands when it comes out in June. If you like zombies and horror, you'll like this book. If you like contemporary books with issues and complex characters, you'll like this book.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is so unique in a YA landscape of vampires and werewolves and high school. I've never read The Da Vinci Code, but this is what I imagine it's like, only BETTER. There are a bunch of threads throughout the story, and it's fun seeing them all come together in the end. If you're burned out on the paranormal YA scene, definitely give this one a try. You won't regret it. 

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin was a mixed bag for me. The premise sounded great, and when it started I really liked it. But as the novel went on, I kept finding things that turned me off from the book. I wasn't very invested in the characters, and I felt that some of the aspects of the story could have been pulled off better. That said, I did think that the writing style was very good. Talking with some other people, I've found that I'm definitely in the minority on this one, so if you're into dystopian and steampunk this might be something you'll like. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was ah-mah-zing. I was completely captivated from the beginning. The world building is fantastic, and I'd kinda describe the plot as a mix between Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Hunger Games. Kind of. Actually, forget I said that because this is in a class by itself. The story and language are so deep and captivating that I predict that this will be on many "best of" lists this year. 

Finally, Purity by Jackson Pearce. Purity is different from her other novels, but just as good. I don't read a lot of contemp, but this was a great read. The characters felt real, and while the subject matter may be a little much for some people (or so I've seen), I thought that it was handled very well and with a lot of heart and humor. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Black Heart by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy. 

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

Okay. I'm just gonna put this out there. The Curseworker trilogy is one of the best YA series you're going to find. Period. It's combination of mobsters, magic, and con artists sounds fantastic, and it's even better than your expectations. So if you haven't read White Cat, do it. I'll wait.
If you have read the first two in the series, book three isn't a disappointment. There is so much going on in this book, that you won't be able to put it down. The ending was just right, not just for the book, but for the series. I'm sad it's over, but it's been an amazing ride.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

Croak was a nice, original read. It reminded me of the tv show Dead Like Me, in a good way. It took me a while to get used to the voice, but once I got used to it the rest of the book flew by. The concept of a town full of Grim Reapers was unique and interesting, and it lends itself to a lot of dark humor, which I enjoyed. 
There is a lot of violence and language in this novel, something I didn't mind, but some people might. 
This is a great debut and nice start to the series, and I can't wait to see where book two goes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. 
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies. 
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart. 

I'm just going to put this out there: Across the Universe and A Million Suns are probably the best Sci-Fi YA titles on the market right now. I've got friends who don't read this genre raving about these books. If you haven't read them get on it now. 
As for AMS, it goes above and beyond AtU. It felt like every other chapter I was finding out that what I thought I knew was a lie. This book constantly kept me on my toes. I can't wait to see what happens in book three. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. 

Looking for Alaska is one of those rare books that, after you finish it, makes you sit back and think about life. I knew what was going to happen, so I wasn't expecting much, but the book honestly blew me away. The characters felt so real (although I kept imagining them older than the book states they are) and it was very east to relate to them. I expect that this book will be taught in schools and read and loved for many years to come. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. 

I'm not going to do a long review of this, because if you've read the first two books you're probably going to pick this one up regardless of what I say. 
Bloodrose definitely is a perfect end to the series I can honestly say I didn't see the ending coming at all, and I loved it. If you haven't read the series, now is the perfect time to start because since this is the final book you won't have to wait to find out what happens. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Book I'm Most Grateful For

Beth Revis is having an awesome contest, and all you have to do is tell her what book you're most grateful for.

I'm most grateful for the Harry Potter books, because without them all of the other awesome books that are out now probably wouldn't be here.


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