I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Cold Kiss- Amy Garvey
The only thing I can say about Cold Kiss is that it was okay, which if you think about it, is actually disappointing. I found Garvey’s presentation of a different kind of zombie interesting but not revelatory. The female protagonist suffers from Scarlett O’Hara levels of procrastination and denial, yet without Scarlett’s pluck, energy or drive. The points made about loss, secrets, and first loves are accurate though they’re nothing new. All in all, I’d much rather hate a book than only be able to say it was unoffensive.
You can get a copy here.
Destined (House of Night #9)- P.C. and Kristin Cast
Destined is the 9th House of Night novel and it’s probably my favorite. I pretty much cried my way through this book from start to finish. The HON crew is suffering from so much loss, from frustration at the machinations of Neferet and from the Council’s inaction, and as a reader you can’t help but suffer with them. The plot focuses on sacrifice and redemption. Stark is still Stark and utterly perfect. And as of Awakened, we know Heath is back and this time around he’s far more interesting. As ever, the ending leaves us right where all hell is about to break loose.
Angel Fire- L.A. Weatherly
Some things never change and in Angel Fire the angels may be even more scary than the first book. The threat to Willow, Alex, and the entire world is massive. Luckily, our half angel and her Angel Killer boyfriend are willing to sacrifice themselves to try to save the day once more. If there’s something that redeems Willow and Alex through all thier trials and tribulations as a new couple (and in being their own worse enemies), it’s that they are heros to the core. We meet several new and interesting characters, and Alex finally has some competition with the entrance of Seb. I won’t ruin that for you but he is definitely a welcome addition. Poor Willow has to deal with Alex being an idiot (again). The ups and downs of their relationship may be the most poignant part of the plot. There’s definitely more adventure, more high running emotions, and more consequences than in Angel Burn. Angel Fire was a strong second book to the series which sets up some cataclysmic events. I’m definitely looking forward to see where they go next and how on earth they can possibly fix things in Angel Fever.
P.S. Angel Burn has one of the most beautiful spines I’ve seen on a book and it seems like the Angel Fire cover will continue with that theme.
Angel Fire is due out in January 2012. You can pre-order your copy here.
eGalley provided gratis by Candlewick Press via NetGalley
Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins
The day I read Lola and the Boy Next Door was the day I fell in love with a boy named Cricket, something heretofore unimaginable to me. Then again, so was the day I fell in love with Etienne, but that’s a different story. To be honest, Lola is just a phenomenal story; it’s the kind of story that you come back to again and again and which reveals more every time you read it. It is the kind of story that leaves you feeling warm and golden and lovely. Lola is spunky and fun and Cricket just melts your heart in all of his awkward, nerdy wonder. Fans of Perkins will also enjoy the re-entry of Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss. Seeing their relationship through Lola’s eyes but knowing what you know as a reader makes you feel like you’re in on a secret. Frankly, the only thing wrong with this book is that it had to end, but oh, what an ending it is.
P.S. if someone can figure out how to make me a small cosmos in a locket or compact where the moon changes according to the lunar cycle, I’d marry them.
Lola and the Boy Next Door is out NOW! Get your copy hereand follow Stephanie Perkins on twitter @naturallysteph
Legacy has all the hallmarks of books I tend to like: a small, spooky New England town setting, a good vs. evil plot, magic and mystery. Did I mention also boarding school and a girl who knows little of her past or herself? Also there’s a great boy, really the cherry on the cake at this point. The journey through this book is one of self-discovery for Katy as much as anything else. I liked the plot, but I didn’t like the timeline. I felt like it was both too long and moved too fast. The father’s transformation from absent to controlling is odd too but once the motivations are explained it sort of makes sense. Basically, besides minor odds and ends, I liked this book quite a bit, particularly right before Halloween. Fans of The Secret Circle and witches in general will like it as well.
Legacy is due out December 20th from Simon and Schuster. Preorder your copy here!
eGalley courtesy of Simon and Schuster Galley Grab.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Laini Taylor
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone among the most stunningly beautiful prose I’ve ever read. Read it; I dare you to disagree. I could die of writer’s envy. The names are a little weird but the story is lovely, sweeping you into its mysteries with delightful enticement. While I’m sort of over the angel and demon thing, there’s so much different here, so much left undiscovered that I would go back to read it for the subtleties of the plot alone, in addition to the wonderous writing. In short, if you appreciate good writing you need to read this book.
Overall: A- (story)/ A+ writing
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is due out September 27th. You can pre-order your copy here.
Follow @LainiTaylor on twitter or at her website here.
An ARC was loaned to me by E of E Reads and Writes. Thanks E!
Supernaturally- Kiersten White
I have to say I was not as pleased with this sequel as I thought I would be. Evie from page 1 of Paranormalcy was this kick-ass, take no prisoners, strong female. Yet in Supernaturally we find a very different Evie. While I understand the choices White has made regarding Evie’s psychological state here, I miss the old Evie who stole my heart. Also where the hell was Tasey (our favorite pink bejeweled taser)??? There was not enough tasing. Thankfully, the plot becomes increasingly complex, particularly in regards to her relations to Lend and Reth. It’s interesting which is enough to balance my disappointment with our main character.
One things that won’t get old is “eyes like rivers of melting snow;” still love that imagery.
You can get your copy here.
Prom and Prejudice-Elizabeth Eulberg
One of the hallmarks of a great story is that it can be taken many years later, twisted and updated and still remain completely enchanting. Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice is one such work. Eulberg stays true to the characters and follows the general scheme of the plot here in Prom and Prejudice. Lizzie and Darcy are as charming as ever in this modern prep school version of the story. I found this to be a cute adaption, similar to April Linder’s Jane. Both books update the plots to a contemporary setting without sacrificing the characters or intent of the plot. Young readers who are intimidated by the language of the original will find Prom and Prejudice a good stand in.
You can get your copy here.
Instructions for a Broken Heart- Kim Culbertson
Instructions for a Broken Heart is among a very select group of books that have made me cry. That alone makes this book exceptional. Clearly what you need to get over a cheating ex is a trip to Italy and 20 envelopes full of instructions. Never have I seen so much of myself in a book, not necessarily in Jessa, but in the prose and ideas itself. The writing is lovely and the words chosen so accurately that beautiful sentiments are conveyed without cliche. Jessa is the most realistic portrayal of teen heartbreak I’ve read yet. The comedic best friend Tyler, the charming boy of interest Dylan Thomas (also a poet!), and the backdrop of Italy round out the story perfectly. Instructions for a Broken Heart is a travel narrative, love story, and tale of self-discovery all in one. Fans of Maureen Johnson’s Little Blue Envelopes series will delight in this book, as will fans of Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols.
You can purchase your copy here.
The Iron Knight-Julie Kagawa
Winter is coming. This is the only time I’ll ever be excited about that phrase.
The first thing that struck me as I began reading The Iron Knight was how much I missed Meghan Chase’s voice. It didn’t take long however before I loved Ash’s narration just as much. The best part is that the story endeared both Ash and Puck to me. We learn more about their past, their current tension, and the future of their friendship. There were interesting plot twists, fun friendly banter, and an eclectic group of characters. I love where Kagawa went with the concept of memory tied to existence and all the “what ifs” of humanity for Ash. I don’t think there could have been a better ending to the Iron Fey than The Iron Knight. I highly recommend it to fans of the fey and male protagonists alike.
The Iron Knight is due out October 25th. You can pre-order your copy here.
Follow Julie Kagawa on Twitter @JKagawa or at her website here.
This eGalley was provided gratis by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley.
The Marked (The Talents #2) )- Inara Scott
also known as The Watchers (Delacroix Academy #2)
You know a book is going to be good when it starts with an initiation into a secret society. Really, you can’t go wrong there. As for the plot of The Marked, I loved the extended struggle between what is truly right and wrong. The questions of control and manipulation, of evil cloaked in good, of megalomania and power are riveting. There is tons of action as we literally stumble into the midst of a war: the Irin vs Delacroix. It remains unclear as to which side is good and which evil, though I suspect Scott won’t let us off as easily as that with clear cut good vs evil: a fact I delight in. The end is a redefining of “the program” but this time on Dancia’s terms. FANTASTIC! I have to say that I found Cam much more intriguing this book and Jack far far worse, though both are misguided and woefully inferior to our leading lady. Dancia is reckless at times but her moral compass is nearly infallible. Her force of will and eagerness to jump in a fight to protect those she loves makes her one of my favorite heroines.
Songtrack song: Rockwell "Somebody’s Watching Me"
On a side-note: I completely understand the change in title and cover by the publisher but I honestly liked the original covers and titles more. Maybe that’s just me though
The Watches is due out April 3, 2012 from Hyperion. Pre-order your copy here.
Follow Inara on Twitter @inarascott or on her website here
Sometimes It Happens- Lauren Barnholdt
Sometimes It Happens is an age old storyline with a new twist. I enjoyed the alternating timeline of the narrative which I normally dislike immensly. I related strongly to Hannah even though from the start we know she’s done something wrong, something most people find unforgivable. I also disliked Ava despite the fact that she is the one wronged. Kudos to Barnholdt for questioning our black and white sense of wrong and throwing us firmly into shades of gray. At the end of the story there’s a message that people do things for complex reasons, and sometimes an action isnt a reflection of a person’s character but a single instance of time where weakness triumphs. That being said, lets not give an excuse or a pass to cheating. There is no reason for that. While the book made me think about ethics and the moral “ought”, I’m not sure everyone reads that way or would see this as something more than a dramatic attempt to excuse inexcusable behavior.
Sometimes It Happens just came out yesterday! You can get a copy here.
This egalley was provided gratis by Simon and Schuster Galley Grab.
After Obsession- Carrie Jones and Steve Wedel
After Obsession is maybe the only story about possession that I have read, liked and not been too scared to close my eyes and go to sleep. Kudos! I really enjoy Jones’ writing style especially in her Need series; I think that she and new-comer and debut author Wedel pull off the dual alternating perspectives well here, a hard feat by my estimation. I will say that I found it doubtful that Aimee would have dumped Brandon, whom she’s been dating forever, get over it and start dating Alan in less than 24 hours. However skeptical I am about how they get there, I think Aimee and Alan are are a balanced and effective pairing here. Anything new in YA is refreshing to me at this point, and the inclusion of the Native American perspective on the supernatural was a welcome breath of fresh air as far as I’m concerned. Even the supporting characters are really interesting; I would love to see more of their stories. The writing has these glorious moments of descriptions so entirely sensual that you feel like you can see the River Man, touch the mud, feel the whip of the wind. While it’s not there yet, the descriptive style reminds me a bit of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I will certainly be on the lookout for more from Steve Wedel, he’s clearly bringing some good stuff to YA.
After Obsession is due out from Bloomsbury September 13th. You can pre-order your copy here.
This ARC was provided gratis by Bloomsbury at BEA.
The Iron Witch- Karen Mahoney
The Iron Witch is a good addition to the Faerie trend abounding at the moment. Here, alchemey meets fae. Donna is an average character for me. She is a bit too self-conscious, unsure, and unaware of what is going on around her for my tastes. The cover depicting her tattoos is just beautiful though. I’m not a fan of the love triangle, Navin just isn’t compelling as anything more than a friend. Xan is more convincing, not to mention darker. The past of both Xan and Donna is the most interesting part of the plot, and several mysteries remain to be explored in book 2.
The sequel to The Iron Witch, The Wood Queen, is due out in February 2012. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover which I can only hope means Donna is embracing who she is without trepidation.
You can follow Karen on her website here.
You can buy the book here.
Fairy Bad Day- Amanda Ashby
Fairy Bad Day started off rocky for me. Emma was a bit too whiny, a bit too woe is me. She really needed a “Suck it up, cupcake.” But Emma and the book won me over as the plot progressed and Emma smartened up. In truth, by the end I would say Emma had endeared herself to me with her revised expectations of her future. Curtis is our main man and is truly, utterly lovable particularly with his courage and concern; better yet, his secret is almost too good a plot twist. Loni and Tyler are perfect counterbalances to Emma and Curtis rounding out the group of friends with brains and humor. Faeries are interesting in the plot, divided not into traditional courts but more into simple categories, the harmless (and hilarious) impish faeries and then super-evil darkhels. I like the idea of the elemental hunters and the school setting as well. By the end, the book that I wasn’t sure I was going to like had me hoping there would be a sequel.
P.S. The cover kind of makes me want to own a sword, though I suspect my appendages would be happier without one.
Fairy Bad Day is out now and is a steal at $7.99 on Amazon.
This book was given to me by Erica of The Book Cellar! THANK YOU ERICA!