Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

This is book two in the series. Read my review for Lament by Maggie Stiefvater.

After a summer of hell, filled with faeries, almost death, and an awkward text, James is headed off to Thornking-Ash, a prestigious musical school that also seems to be aware of the strange world of faeries. As James struggles with his unrequited love for his best friend Dee and being an outcast in a school of outcasts, he must avoid the strange music he hears every night, calling him. When a mysterious girl shows up asking for James’s talent he begins to approach a line he hoped to never come across again. The line between humans and faeries. As Nuala grows closer to James she has to make a choice that will irrevocably change her and James’s lives.

The Good: Maggie Stiefvater is such a genius. Her characters are so dynamic. I loved James especially and his point of view was very interesting. I dubbed it “The Jacob”, in other words the best friend that doesn’t get chosen in the romance department. I loved learning about the bagpipes and was amused with his hand-writing fetish and large vocab. Dee, though not a large character in Ballad, had unsent text messages to James about things happening to her. This was a unique way to get another side of the story and to clue in the reader but not the main character. Ballad was very well written. Stiefvater has this was of making the world of her books seem so real and believable. Its such a reality check when I remember faeries aren’t real. And Ballad gives me hope that Stiefvater can write books that don’t make me bawl and that Forever will be happy. But it still seems unlikely.

The Bad: Ballad started out a little slow. Till about halfway through the book I just wasn’t very into the book. I found it hard to really get into and relate to the characters. This may just have been a weird time in my week. It felt like I was just kind of watching a tv show and not really paying attention. But I still recognize that Maggie is a fantastic writer and would recommend this book to fans of her. 

Ugly Updates:  Stiefvater has written another series, The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Shiver and Linger are published. The conclusion, Forever, comes out July 2011 . Visit Stiefvater's website for more info about her and her books. She also has a mailing list and a blog with up to date info on all of her books.
(Book links to Amazon)

Rating: B (Thanks Angela!)

Happy Clockwork Angel Release Day!

Today is the day we've all been waiting for (or at least I have)...Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare release day. Clockwork Angel is the first book in the in prequel trilogy to The Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices. Come back next week to check out my review! To purchase the book at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and Book Depository click on the links.
Watch the trailer: 

Be sure to tell me your thoughts on the book when you're finished.

Keep Reading,

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm on Better Know a Blogger!

Check out this interview of me from Tiger of All-Consuming Books. This is a feature of the Ultimate Review Challenge. For more info click on the picture in the sidebar. You can learn a little bit about me and my blog. Leave comments here or there.

Keep Reading,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox (3)

IMM is a meme hosted by Kristi akaThe Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!

This week I got my first two books for review! Very exciting!! (Links to Goodreads)

For Review:

Keep Reading,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

So I don’t know if I”ll share my thoughts of Mockingjay on here. They are quite personal and I don’t know if I could share what I felt without spoiling anything for you. But if your reading this review to find out whether to read Mockingjay or not. The answer is absolutely yes. If you read Hunger Games and didn’t enjoy it, whether it be the writing style, the plot line or the charcters I think you could have stopped right there, been satisfied with the ending and would have been able to go on with your life without regretting anything. If you thought Hunger Games was decent or good enough to read and finish Catching Fire. Then I really think there is no way you wouldn’t have to read Mockingjay. So my point is it almost inevitable that you will read Mockingjay if you've gotten to the point of reading a review about it.

As for if it was a good book or if its worth your time. Its hard for me to be objective. I don’t feel that Mockingjay can be summed up with so staments on the flow of the plot or if it kept you interested or a letter grade or stars. I think if Suzanne Collins had been ubducted by the most illeterate aliens and wrote the book I would still need to read it till the end.

So whether you decide to read the book is up to you. But I'll leave you with this... Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Did it fufill your expectations? It exceeded them. Did you find it hard or easy to get through? A fair balence of both. Would you read it again? Not for a long time.

Keep Reading,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mockingjay Intermission!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins just got here I will not resurface to the technology world until I'm finished! See you all in a couple of hours =)

Keep Reading,

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Deirdre has always been invisible and has always been great at everything; the harp, school, life. And when she meets the mysterious Luke her life changes forever. Her and Luke fall into an unspoken agreement that she pretends he is normal and then can continue to be together. But when strange things start happening to Deidre she has to question what Luke is really hiding. And if his secret is too big, is it too late to go back or has she chosen to fall into a world she knows nothing about but is irrevocably drawn to her.

The Good: I don’t know why I hadn’t read this story sooner. Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors. I just love the beautiful, diverse things she can do with words. She really has an incredible talent. I absolutely loved the opening and I’ve really never seen anything like it. She alternates between scenes every other paragraph yet they both coincide. Very unique, you really just have to read it. The big secrets really make the story enthralling. I just kept flipping pages for answers. And of course because it’s Maggie even your water proof mascara won’t stand up to her. Though I will admit it wasn’t near as bad as Shiver or Linger. Stiefvater just has a way to keep you captivated and entertained through every second.

The Bad: Lament had a really weird structure to it. It was broken up into six books. Which were kind of like glorified chapters. And it did have chapters. The only think that really set them apart was the fact they had what I’m assuming a poem or a song found in faerie folklore. I didn’t really mind it was just different. Also this book is not for the action lovers. While it has loads of mystery and romance it lacks in the action department.

The Ugly Updates: Ballad, the sequel to Lament, is out. Look for my review next week. Stiefvater has also written another series, The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Shiver and Linger are published. The conclusion, Forever, comes out July 2011 . Visit Stiefvater's website for more info about her and her books. She also has a mailing list and a blog with up to date info on all of her books.
(Book links to Amazon)

Overall: A

Keep Reading,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

View my review of The Iron King, book one in the Iron Fey series.

When we left Meghan at the end of The Iron King, she had just defeated Machina, the ruling Iron King and was headed back to Tir Na Nog, the kingdom of the Winter Court. As Meghan’s story continues, she has been at the Winter Court, bored out of her mind for several months and when she is called upon by the icy Queen Mab, she is only called a liar and accused of turning her son, Ash, against her. As it seems her life can’t get any worse, Ash does something to utterly crush her. Then when someone attacks the Winter Court and an important artifact is stolen from both the Seelie and Unseelie an all out war breaks out between the two. It is left to Meghan and her friends both new and old to save all of Nevernever or risk all that she holds most dear to vanish into thin air.

The Good: Kagawa did it yet again her beautiful active writing sparked yet another hit. We see lots of snarky comments from Puck and well a large lack of emotion from Ash. Though we do see a totally new side of Ash in The Iron Daughter. We also meet an array of new characters that provide new adventures. Kagawa has a great attention to detail which really caught my eye. A little hint of Romeo and Juliet in the beginning makes the romance a prominent part of the story. Overall, The Iron Daughter was a continuation of the series and had my favorite ending, no huge cliffhangers but a decent amount of unanswered questions to keep it interesting.

The Bad: The Iron Daughter was not very consistant the beginning had many long descriptions that made it hard to really get into the book but in the middle it lacked in descriptions. It was a little slow towards the middle that made it hard to continue through but overall it was satisfying and definitely not a waste of time. 

Ugly Updates: The final novel in the trilogy, The Iron Queen, comes out in February 2011. Find the cover here. I personally think its gorgeous. Also check out the e-book novella Winter's Passage, a story that explains what happened between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Check out Julie Kagawa's website for info on her, fun stuff, and more info on her books.
(Book links to Amazon)

Rating: B 

Keep Reading,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

The twelve Dragons and their Dragoneyes have existed for as long as time has been recorded. The energy dragons can manipulate Hua, the energy source in all living things. They with their corresponding Dragoneyes are the protectors of the nation, a cycling year, and a Greater Virtue. Once a year the ascending Dragoneye chooses a new apprentice who will serves twelve years before becoming a Dragoneye for another twelve. Eon is a candidate for the Rat Dragon apprentice among eleven others. He is an outcast in many ways. He is the smallest of all the candidates; he is a cripple, a demon in most’s mind, and he how an uncanny power to connect to all the Dragons. Eon is also a female living in secret because women would be scorned and killed for even attempting to fool the long practiced traditions.

The Good: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn was such a great story of courage, girl power, mystery, and suspense. I am such a huge fan of girls pretending to be guys. It’s such a large archetype and usually ends up the same way, the fact that she’s a girl is discovered but then she saves all the guys and she kicks some serious butt doing it. But though it sounds like a much overused plot Goodman does it in such an incredible way that it is well worth reading. The Asian customs that are explained throughout the novel are such interesting to read and really make the book tangible. I loved reading about the different bows and it made me smile when they scoffed at using a chair or took off their shoes before going inside. The novel is filled with such dynamic and is continually active so you are never bored. Finally, the best part of this story is Eon or Eona. She is such a strong heroine that you will immediately be drawn to her. The transformation she goes through in this novel, alone, is worth reading the book.

The Bad: It’s really hard to say anything bad about this book. It really flew by. And unfortunately it has a cliff-hanger ending, and you should know by now those drive me crazy. But I might just be able to forgive this one. It was set up very nicely for a sequel and I will just wait patiently(ish).

The Ugly Updates: The sequel, Eona: The Last Dragoneye, comes out April 19, 2011. *sigh* so far away. Goodman lives in Australia and has written two other novels; Singing The Dogstar Blues, a science-fiction comedy thriller and Killing the Rabbit, is a crime/thriller for adults. I'm sure they are just as incredible as Eon. Check out Goodman's site for more information about her research behind Eon and details on international versions of the book.

Rating: A+

Keep Reading, 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blood Fued by Alyxandra Harvey

As the Drake Chronicles continue, Logan, the more flamboyant, old-fashioned brother, is in charge of showing the Hound representative, Isabeau, who saved his sister, around the Royal grounds and nearby caves. Isabeau is here on business for the Hounds to create a treaty with the new queen, Helena Drake. As threats are made to the royal family, specifically Solange, a one-of-a-kind female born vampire, Isabeau feels it is her duty to protect them. But when someone from her past comes back to haunt her, she must learn to forgive and forget and trust those who mean the most to her. Join Lucy, Solange, and the Drake brothers as they continue their story of love, revenge, and royal politics. 

The Good: Harvey does it again in Blood Feud. She perfectly blends romance, suspense, and action. Her characters are also unique and they really stand out. Isabeau calm, sensible disposition create a character that you know has big secrets. And Isabeau really does which make her all the more intriguing. Logan’s old-fashioned nature makes him fun to read because of the ironic way he blends modern-ness with past traditions and customs. The romance in this book is to die for. Harvey has a way of doing it in a classy but heart-pounding way that is not tacky. With alternating points of view and flashbacks to the past, Blood Fued provides a complex dynamic that makes the book fly by in a very good way.

The Bad: Both big and small novels have their pros and cons. This being a small novel I feel like you didn’t have a lot of time to build up to a giant climax with many twists and secrets. But for a small book it had an adequate amount of action. But if you are comparing it to a book with 400+ pages it leaves a little to be desired.

The Ugly Updates: This is the second novel in the Drake Chronicles and Harvey's second published novel. View my review on book one, Hearts at Stake (aka My Love Lies Bleeding). The third book, Out for Blood, comes out November 1st (I found several dates for this book. This may be incorrect). Haunting Violet will be out in Spring 2011. Visit Harvey's site too. Order books from Amazon; Hearts at Stake, Blood Fued, & Out for Blood.

Rating: B
Keep Reading,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

IMM is a meme I started at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Hey everyone so I'm back! I had amazing time in Florida and I'm tan which is awesome. Here was my view from the balcony. Amazing right? Well I missed you all. Hope you had an amazing week.

So very exciting news. I got my first review request from a publisher this week. So check out future IMM for that book. but in my mailbox this week:

I received this book from the Harlequin Teen Panel. It's a great community for teen girls who love to read. Check it out.

Keep Reading,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vacation: Saturday August 7th - August 14th

I'd like to let everyone know I will be on vacation next week. So no reviews sadly. I plan to read lots of books, so I'll have plenty of reviews when I get back. Make sure to have lots of fun this week and check out my blog roll located on the left sidebar to see reviews from the blogs I follow and read. And I'll see everyone when I get back!

Keep Reading,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

INCREDIBLE News from Cassandra Clare

So today Cassandra Clare hosted a big announcement/interview/chat via Ustream. You can watch it here. She answered some really great questions. But her big announcement was by far the most  amazing! Get ready.....
Exciting right?!? The books will be titled City of Lost Souls & City of Heavenly Fire. They are currently called COFA, COLS, & COHF Mortal Instruments Cycle 2. But its very exciting!

Just some other highlights from the interview. There is currently no new movie news. The City of Fallen Angels book trailer will be out any day now. I will be sure to post it as soon as I get news. Clockwork Angel (the first book in the prequel trilogy Infernal Devices) comes out in 27 days (out August 31). Pre-order it here. Just some fun other tidbits:
  • Aline will find a girl. (Yes, she's gay)
  • Simon is dating two girls at the beginning of COFA
  • Cassandra Clare and Holly Black have written two short stories together that will be featured in upcoming anthologies. 
  • Expect unicorn babies from Jace and Clary (see 29 min into vid)
  • Church and Chairman Meow are gonna hook up (also see 29 min in)
  • Jem will be on Clockwork Prince's cover and Tessa on Clockwork Princess
  • And lastly, Clare chooses Dumbledore in the Dumbledore vs Magnus battle
Be sure to check out all the chat. Again you can watch it here. Let me know what you thought of it. Are you excited for the new books? What side are you on the Dumbledore vs Magnus battle? 

Keep Reading,

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Life has always been very average for Meghan Chase. She is practically invisible to everyone around her, including her parents. And when people do pay attention, it’s usually the bad stuff they comment on. Meghan’s sixteen birthday is expected to be just another day, she’ll be lucky if she even gets a card. After a humiliating prank, a weird overheard conversation in the nurse’s office, Meghan discovers her brother has been switched with a Faerie changeling. She is thrust into a world of the Nevernever, where goblins, centaurs, Seelie and Unseelie fey, and talking cats run abound. Meghan and her best friend, Robbie, who she discovers is a fey, travel into the world of faeries to find her brother. What they discover could change the tradition-bound Nevernever in a way that could make all the fey disappear. Meghan must make a choice to save the very people who took her brother or loose her newfound friends.

The Good: The Iron King had interesting, fun, unique characters. Meghan, the protagonist was most definitely not a helpless heroine. She was a take charge, don’t-think-before-you-jump kind of girl. And while that put her into sticky situations it was very enjoyable to read. Ash was also a pleasure to read. With his cool composure and stoic emotions he reminded me of Jace from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments. But Ash had the tendency to smile a bit more than the Shadowhunter :). Kagawa was very good about keeping the pace steadily moving forward and kept you enticed throughout the whole book. Lately, Faeries have really interested me and not just from the YA fiction standpoint. I’ve seen many similarities between the multiple faery books and I’ve been interested in the “non-fiction” aspect. Kagawa brilliantly added her unique spin to these histories and I really enjoyed it.

The Bad: The Iron King had this weird predictability about it. Towards the beginning/middle of the book the plot would go into a certain medium, where it looked like everything was going to work out. Which is strange to happen in the middle of a book. So if you are an avid reader like I am you know that well happy endings don’t happen in the middle of a book. Assuming all of this you know if the book can’t be happy, it has to get chaotic. And therefore when something bad did happen it wasn’t a surprise. Well, what happened was a surprise but the fact that is was happening wasn’t. Hope that wasn’t too confusing. Overall, not a huge deal but it definitely lacked a big shock factor. 

Ugly Updates: The sequel, The Iron Daughter, came out August 1st. Look out for a review in the next couple weeks. The final novel in the trilogy, The Iron Queen, comes out in February 2011. It's covered was just recently released. Find it here. I personally think its gorgeous. Also check out the e-book novella Winter's Passage, a story that explains what happened between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Check out Julie Kagawa's website for info on her, fun stuff, and more info on her books. 
(Book links to Amazon)

Rating: A-

Keep Reading,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mockingjay Contest Winner!

And the winner of a brand new copy of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, out August 24th is.....
Congrats! Hope you enjoy your book. I'm sending you an email now, please get back to me within 72 hours. Thanks to everyone who entered. I would have loved to given you all books!

Keep Reading,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

So I've decided to stop doing weekly updates. There is really no point to them so unless I here that you guys really like them they're gone. Instead of an update today I'm going to do my first IMM, a meme hosted by Kristi aka The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie! Today my mom and I went on a huge book excursion! Spending the whole afternoon looking at books. So half my paycheck gone and this is  what I got. (Links to Goodreads)

Can't wait to get started on these! What did you get this week?

Keep Reading,