Thursday, December 22, 2011


 Stars: 3/5
 Format: Hardback 
 Read: December 22, 2011

The good parts: The premise of this book is good. It was creative and executed fairly well. The world and problems of this story were well thought out and consistent. The main character was someone that most teens could identify with. I didn't feel like reading this series was a waste of my time. But there were enough bits about this book that rubbed me wrong for me to ever really like it more than a fleeting nod to the author's writing style.

So with (some) relief, I finished this book in time for Christmas. I am so happy I didn't buy this for myself. It's a very disjointed story and I felt a little dragged by my lapels down a maze of confusion not unlike the feeling I had when reading the last Hunger Games installment. The characters never did develop very much at all. I'd venture to say that all the "development" happened in THE MAZE RUNNER. And people are dying, living, getting shot at, running, escaping mostly, with a dash of mystery (that was more like flat soda compared to the earlier books in this trilogy) that instead of urging me onward, pushed me to care less and less.

The book was a good conclusion to the series, but I never was crazy about THE MAZE RUNNER to begin with. I think it ended up with me praying the story would take off and waiting with bated breath, lightheaded oxygen deprivation, and finally gasping to relieve my aching brain when nothing ever happened. It was like THE MAZE RUNNER was the grand finale that appeared before its time; after that, nothing really crescendoed at all. Sure, I sometimes have very high standards and I am aware of that, but I also try my very hardest to find pieces of books to like when the story falls flat. I could not feasibly find anything I even half way liked about this series.
Yes, this is considered a "young adult" (ages 12+) book, but it is also true that I can name more several young adult books that surpass this series without even trying. And the "made up" curse words were just like saying "what the fudge?" when everyone disregards the editing and reads what was meant. They just really bothered me. Lots of teens curse, I am highly aware of that (my mom is a teacher after all) but come on, the world doesn't need more incentive and encouraging on the matter.

So all in all, if you loved THE MAZE RUNNER and got through THE SCORCH TRIALS, read this and you might actually enjoy this. I will edit this review with what my younger brother thinks as well (he's 15) once he's done (and it might be a long while, so get comfy!).

Monday, December 19, 2011


 Stars: 4/5
 Format: Hardback 
 Read: December 15, 2011
So this book started fairly slowly, and continued at a fairly slow pace. The world description, character description, and plot threads were beautifully done, but I felt like I was being dragged by my shirt slowly down dusty alleyways that had no foreseeable ending. There's Kaoru's world that slowly becomes not-Kaoru's world and then the story leaves you as confused as Kaoru. Most of the time, I felt like I was sitting there in a math class that has no patterns to even try and follow and it was highly frustrating.
Now those who love epic fantasy books that have a lot of world building and confusion up until the end, some satisfaction, and then way more confusion will love this book. I have to admit, I liked the characters enough that the pace wasn't an issue for me (most of the time), and I liked Akiva the more I got to know him.

I have mixed feelings about this book, and right now I'm a little emotionally wrung out to figure out exactly why I liked this book, I'll try to go with stating facts.

1. Angel and chimera lore was very well researched. I felt that there was no inconsistencies and we were given enough information just to wonder and marvel at these different races.
2. Wishes were involved. The fact and fiction of magic was fascinating and logical if not a little sad.
3. The humanity of the non-humans. This was interesting to me, because I always like to explore what defines humans as humans versus other creatures. I think that what we've termed as "humanity" is not exclusive to humans at all, but more of a universal rightness that exists in all creatures. This book is a fabulous example of that.

I hope that is more descriptive than the rambling words my brain produced.

 Stars: 4.5/5
 Format: Hardback 
 Read: December 18, 2011

This middle-grade read was given to me by my mom as a senior in college gift. The writing is geared towards middle grade, so no lavish descriptions or large words, but it is just as lyrical as some young adult books. Throughout this book, I was reminded of The Thief Lord with the whimsical characters and action.

This book is more of a suspense book. Nothing huge, but each chapter alternates between the three main characters and the chapters more often than not end in cliffhangers. I had to resist the impulse to flip ahead and see what happened. It was sweet and innocent, with some violence and a little technical jargon with the clockwork pieces, but it was also mysterious and fascinating. The hotel, for example, holds many secrets with boarded up rooms and odd guests. I love exploring old houses, so I was very excited when I came upon the old hotel. However, since it is geared toward middle-grade readers, there were plot strings that were never resolved. It felt a little like there was only one purpose of this book, and the plot threads that were on the side were largely ignored once they had played their parts. This didn't detract from the book, but just indicated it was not like a young adult book I'm used to reading.
Light-hearted and fun, it was long for a lower level book but definitely an easy read for a day or so. I would recommend it as a breath of fresh air for your brain. It was a very nice break from dismal and gritty novels I've been reading.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: LEGEND

Stars: 5/5
Format: Hardback First Edition
Read: December 1, 2011

So I have been anticipating this book ever since I stumbled upon it earlier this year on goodreads. Fascinating synopsis (if a little vague) and dystopian. I'm all for it. But the real question was, would it stand up to the hype and the platform I had unconsciously placed it on during the many month wait for its release date? Let me tell you, it was on a very high platform. Somehow, Lu surpassed this insanely large and glittering platform.
This isn't a life changing novel like, say, The Hunger Games or The Book Thief. Yet it is like a cool glass of semi-sweet lemonade on a hot Georgia day. Corny, but true. This book took every dystopian novel written between The Hunger Games and now and found the tiny path less traveled and blew through it. Somehow, Lu avoided the overused stereotypes that have developed within the past five years or so and crafted something beautiful and frank and real.

Although this book has a strong female lead, it also has an equal and opposite strong male lead, where neither overshadows the other. The characters equally balanced each other out, like they were a natural part of the world and not a fantastical story made from some ideas scribbled on a paper. It just felt effortless and right. I liked Day AND June equally for different reasons. This is a rarity, because I have never encountered a shared situation where I liked both of the main characters independently AND together. That I understood them, and didn't root against either's point of view. I was simply content to lose myself in the story.

I made myself savor this book (savoring, for me, is three days instead of one) because I knew I wouldn't find another voice like Lu's for a while and I wanted to bask in the glow of a beautifully crafted book. And by book, I mean the plot, characters, twists, world-building, you name it. Of course, I'm not saying it's perfect and amazing and you'll adore it no matter who you are. There will be critics I am sure, but what I am saying is that whatever flaws there were, were so small that I (being the picky reader I am) don't remember anything bad about this book.
Marie Lu has found a die hard fan simply because of one book that I happened to anticipate, decide to pre-order without looking for prior reviews, gamble with my hard earned college student salary for a book that I had no guarantees on, and tear through it like a chocolate addict. Quite simply, I will buy whatever she writes from now on, no questions asked (and that is high praise from a college student).

Monday, November 21, 2011


Stars: 4/5
 Format: Kindle Book
 Read: November 13, 2011

I'm sad to say I didn't love this as much as the first book. It starts 6 months after Hollowland ended, and started fairly well. And then everything went to pot.
So they end up having to move, like usual, because no place is truly safe. I get that. Remy has to find her younger brother, so they take a detour to Arizona and I get that too. Remy is kind of emotionally damaged, so stuff isn't quite so engaging for the reader. That's fine. And then the author begins picking off characters. Which is also fine. However, the fact that Remy has basically turned into a flat, monotonous character that expresses few emotions and all shallowly is what bothered me.
When people begin to die, Remy doesn't engage. I felt like I was reading the story through a fog, where everything was dampened and not always in a good way. I know she's emotionally damaged, but I felt like this was an extreme that wasn't plausible. So my favorite character is gone, there's a whole slew of new characters, and other characters are mentioned in passing as dying. The whole story is very removed from Hollowland in a way that didn't connect well at all with me.
I didn't feel the characters at all. In fact, I went from Hollowland being my favorite to mourning the characters and story prematurely in Hollowmen. Because whatever spark that was in the first book, was gone from this one. I might also be overly disappointed because I had anticipated this sequel for so long that I sort of built a fairly large expectation, but even looking at it from a neutral stand point, I just did not connect with this book.
However, I will read any subsequent books in this series and hope that Remy will find her way back to us.

 Stars: 3/5
 Format: ARC Book Won
 Read: October 18, 2011

After so much hype and a gorgeous cover, I deeply wanted this book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, only to be highly disappointed by the book itself.
The characters are fascinating, if a bit slow to develop, but the plot was the main problem. It felt that the author was overenthusiastic about writing and pours out several plot threads at once, most of which having nothing to do with the main agenda of the book. Tiki steals to care for her family, oh wait she has a mysterious birthmark-tattoo on her wrist, on wow she happens to be inside Buckingham palace and happens to have a ring fall right in front of her, she takes it... and then the writing changes completely. It's like two different writers tried to fit the same book idea and characters into one novel. The writing starts declining from "mediocre" to "childish" to "high schooler trying to write a book and make it big with no regards to prose or character development". It wasn't too bad, until everything is resolved. Then everything magically turns out okay; all that was missing was "and they lived happily ever after". Which, you know, is fine in some circumstances, but felt like silk tacked on to a burlap sack. It just doesn't fit together, no matter what you do.
Even the lore was weak, if nonexistent, to the point where I had no reservations on whether or not the agent even read any faerie books before taking this one on. I wanted to love it so much, even just like it, but in the end I just couldn't. It was a rocky "oh well this is getting better" only to turn to the next chapter and have it decline again.
It was just painful to read, having so much potential gradually get burned to dust. You're welcome to try it, but don't expect too much or your soul will cry a little.


 Stars: 5/5
 Format: ARC from Simon and Schuster
 Read: November 20, 2011

This was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things happen, but there's always hope.
The book is filled with straight forward innocence. It's the magic of having animals to love and protect you, about having an imperfect family that really is perfect in the end, and about having hope.
I entered a drawing for the ARC because my mom's a teacher who deals with lots of children with broken families. I won it, and was reading it for my mom, to test drive it. I would personally recommend this book to any age, from toddlers to grown ups. Perfect magic.

Stars: 5/5
Format: ARC from Simon and Schuster
Read: November 21, 2011 

I got this book as an ARC from Simon and Schuster along with the ARC that I 
actually wanted. They said they had "extra" so, naturally, give the girl who wanted a children's book ARC a YA ARC. I read the synopsis and promptly rolled my eyes and put it at the bottom of my "to read and review" pile. Really, a drug addict violinist? That could go so many different ways, most of them shady.
However, I eventually broke down and read it because I needed the book space. Well, another book is going to have to go because I actually liked this book a lot. Enough to give it five stars.
This book isn't about Carmen being a druggie. In fact the "drug", which happens to be a beta blocker (and you can't physically get addicted to those easily), appears every now and then. Whoever wrote the blurb obviously didn't know what they were talking about and condemned the book. Let it be noted that I hate most all romance, especially modern ones. Every modern romance I pick up includes sex, shallow people, sex, prissy teen whiners, and more sex. This book has none of those.
Carmen is quirky, independent, and refreshing. She's not a stereotype, which I was shocked about. And Jeremy isn't hanging on every page, blubbering and carrying on about love and such. It isn't even a typical "I hate the guy because he's a jerk and oh now I find that hawt and I'm totally into the bad boy thing". It's actually very... normal. But like, normal refreshing where the characters could actually exist in real life. It's hard to explain, but all "modern" novels walk a fine line between stereotypes and plausible characters and the author did a fantastic job staying on the right side of the line.
Although I enjoyed it, I am not completely in love with this book like some of my other 5 star books. But that doesn't mean it's not good, and I believe it deserves 5 stars because of the refreshing way the author tackled what could have easily been a huge disaster. I'm sure that for romance lovers that are sick of romance this would be the perfect book.
I'm super excited the semester is almost over. It's been awful, worst semester yet in terms of trying to pass and it's my senior year! Anyhow, I've been studying hours per day, every day, weekends and weekdays. I've been reading when I can, but reviewing is a sporadic thing. So yeah, lots of updating with my few reviews over Thanksgiving Break!

Thursday, October 06, 2011


Stars: 4/5
Format: Hardback personal copy
Read: October 6, 2011

I disagree that the point of view ruined this book. It didn't, not completely. I liked Sin alright, she was dynamic and interesting, but compared to Alan, Mae, Nick, and Jamie, she can't win. Taking this point of view was a challenge, mainly because in order to include all the facts that are needed, Sin does a lot of creepy stalking in the shadows. More often than not, there's an entire scene in which Sin is watching interactions from outside a door without voicing a thought in her head and you forget that it's from her point of view.
Also, there were some loose plot threads. For example, you see Jamie from Sin's eyes, and all of his struggles are shrugged off because Sin has written him off as a magician gone to the dark side. Mae (lovable Mae whom I fell in love with in The Demon's Covenant)is a rival and is viewed in a not so nice light, and the interactions with Alan were just flat (not Alan himself, but Sin because she's not so dynamic). Plus you never really find out what becomes of Sin's little sister and brother, other than "they live happily ever after" together. I was interested in that bit (though it was a hugely side plot) and I got nothing.
Was it a good book by itself? Yes. Was it a good companion book to the series? Yeah, more or less. Was it a good way to end an awesome action-packed and witty trilogy? No. If this book was a stand alone, in addition to a book with no Sin POV, I think people would like it more. As it is, I don't believe becoming experimental in side characters at the end of a three or so year trilogy with very vocal fans was the greatest choice. However, I enjoyed the book, even if it wasn't quite up to par.
If you enjoyed The Demon's Lexicon and Covenant, pick up this book. But I'd wait for a price drop because there's a high chance you'll be a little disappointed and paying too much for it will fuel your frustrations.

Stars: 5/5
Format: Hardback personal copy
Read: October 1, 2011

After reading Graceling, I was super excited to pick up anything with Kristin Cashore's name on it. I went to Amazon in search of her next masterpiece, only to find her next book didn't involve any characters from Graceling. In fact, it was termed "a companion". The word companion usually means nothing good in the world of a reader, and I didn't buy it. If I were honest, I flat out refused. But shopping at McKay's used bookstore here in Nashville, I came across a beautiful, pristine copy and picked it up for almost 75% off. I wasn't disappointed.
Where I thought that Kristin Cashore couldn't match the characters in Graceling, she most definitely did. Fire is lyrical, witty, funny, and lovable. She is so different from Katsa, an entirely different species in fact, yet I found myself loving her just as I had done with Katsa. The characters are beautifully woven, like fine silk and rubbed to perfection. Fire has weaknesses, but she's not weak. She's complicated, ashamed of herself, but so utterly and undeniably human at heart you can't help but want her to come out on top.
Of course there's a romance, no novel from Kristin Cashore could be complete without one, and it's fairly obvious who is going to hook up with whom. However, in another typical Kristin Cashore plot thread, you never can quite predict much else. Fire had me entranced, where no chapter was boring and I only skipped ahead once just to make sure nothing horrible (such as the world ending) was about to happen before I turned in for the night. This is a rare feat for me, since I have little control over my eyes and brain impulses with books.
Pick it up. If you didn't want to because there was no Katsa, do it anyways. You will love Fire and you will adore the complicated Archer and the elusive prince and his brther the king. You will not go wrong and it will be money well spent.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Stars: 4.5/5
Format: Hardback Library Book
Read: August 10, 2011

Very beautiful and poignant, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is unlike any angel story I've read. The protagonist is flawed, but in a relatable sort of way and even though she does good things, by no means does that mean she's some saint that doesn't curse or have pre-marital sex, etc. But that doesn't detract. It doesn't attract either, because it made me comfortable being in her story. Like I could be her friend. Usually a protagonist either makes me hate them or love them, but never just accept them without being infatuated, if that makes any sense.

Young does a fantastic job with the mythology and the way Charlotte's "Need" works. I was fascinated. I've always loved the shows like Touched by an Angel were you get to learn about who the person was before they so desperately needed help, and that's exactly what you get in this book.

More satisfying than I imagined it would be, I was taken through Charlotte's world, her life, and the fact that everyone may slowly forget her. With an ending that promises another book (which is already listed on goodreads), I was very happy with the book. I even shed a few tears, but not enough to send me into a full blown cry fest.

Pick it up. It really is beautiful, even if Charlotte hates that word. It'll give you hope without forcing religion on you.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Stars: 5/5
Format: Hardback from the library
Read: August 6, 2011

This was one of the sweetest books I've read. A match between a dead girl and a live boy that doesn't involve zombies. HEREAFTER starts the ball rolling right away and it continues, going through the "waking up" of Amelia, the meeting of Eli, and the first sparks between her and Joshua. This entire book happens within only a few days, perhaps the max of a week and a half. It's not clear because time up until that point hadn't been clear to Amelia.
The love story between a ghost and a boy sounds lame and has lots of obvious problems. Touching, kissing, hanging out. But Hudson addressed all of these with a unique and refreshing take, with the bonus of the boy being a decent, good, normal boy with no ego problems or dark sides and the girl being an ordinary girl with a big personality that isn't flamboyant but more real.
I wasn't a huge fan of how Amelia died and the villain Eli because I really didn't feel them like I felt Amelia and Joshua. Perhaps she did the Amelia Joshua relationship so well that everything in comparison was just mediocre. But whatever the reason, I am in love with this book. It doesn't give you really any answers, but it doesn't claim to have any to begin with.
The cover makes this book look spooky, but it was never scary to me at all, not even when Eli came in. I could read it at night without worrying about freaking myself out. Do pick up this book, it's worth it and I will be getting my own copy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hello! This is the official opening of my book review blog! I honestly have no idea how to do fancy html stuff, so it's probably going to look like every other blog until I can figure it out.

I get books from,, and

Also, any book that I don't absolutely fall in love with and want to keep in my library I might give away here or on so be on the look out for that.

This weekend I am going to Tybee Island so I'll have a lot of book reviews to share when I'm done I suspect.

I hope my reviews, which I will also post on Amazon, goodreads, and whatever establishments I get the books from, will help you decide whether or not to purchase the books. Thanks for looking!