Friday, June 28, 2013

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan Review

"They've gotten good grades - but that's not good enough. They've spent hours on community service - but that's not good enough. Finn and Chloe's advisor says that colleges have enough kids with good grades and perfect attendance, so Chloe decides they'll have to attract attention another way. She and Finn will stage Chloe's disappearance, and then, when CNN is on their doorstep and the nation is riveted, Finn will find and save her. It seems like the perfect plan - until things start to go wrong. Very wrong."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mistwood by Leah Cypess Review

"The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew."

 I have to give applause to the author for how original the Mistwood is. The synopsis is another story because it was so ordinary and simple and bland. (It needs some improvement, obviously!)

In summary, Mistwood is a stunning beautiful story, lost in the neverending stacks of new and old books. Every move is brilliant and every word fits in with harmony like a sheet of lines and notes. Leah Cypess has created a new world where nothing is certain. Deception is everywhere. Any misplaced trust, you can be betrayed. Any wrong move, you can end up dead or worse. 

The plot of Mistwood is cleverly written. With many strange twist and fascinating turns, Mistwood will delight readers of all ages. The ending was the last twist of Mistwood! It was so... Wow, I'm still speechless. 

No dialects, unfortunately. It would be a nice addition if dialects were included because the Shifter world is another world and not at all the modern world.

Isabel, the Shifter, is intelligent and legendary. She doesn't remember anything from her past and can't use her shifting powers. She's careful and knows when someone is lying to her like the Prince and the other Prince. Isabel is amazing at unraveling deception, but horrible at internal unraveling. She's torn between her loyalty to the original prince and her loyalty to the new prince/false prince.  Even worse, the original prince thinks she failed him and doesn't trust her anymore. (The twist involving Isabel is brilliant and so unexpected. The most shocking twist of Mistwood.)

Rokan, the false prince, is threaten by a hidden unseen force. He enlists the help of a certain Shifter to protect him. He knows a hidden truth/dead secret that will turn the Shifter against him forever. He's hopelessly naive and absolutely horrible at uncovering deception unlike the Shifter, Isabel.

Rating: Three point five out of five. The three point five will be round up to four. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross Review

"In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her."

The Girl in the Steel Corset is a wonderful book, in summary.  

The plot is quite interesting, with nothing more to be said. The ending isn't too amazing or too surprising. She fights, she wins. The usual stuff in a 'Happy Ever After' book. No major cliffhanger or anything! However, the dialects are wonderful! I love how Kady Cross brings you back in time to experience the eighteen hundreds. You figuratively 'time travel' back to the past.

Finley, the main character. Naturally suspicious of everything, she's no match for the dashing, manipulative Griffin King, who can manipulate minds and feelings. (King manipulates Finley to trust him). Finley is caught up with a plot. Queen Victoria is going to be replaced by an automaton, Queen Victoria look-like. The mastermind behind the plot is watching every move Finley makes. How will she ever save Queen Victoria and her new friends, even if they don't trust her?

Griffin King, an orphaned duke, is handsome and quite attracted to Finley Jayne. He's busy trying to solve his internal battles and later external. With dreamy looks and his parent's death haunting his mind, he's the Batman of the eighteen hundreds. With the gadgets. Alas, no cape, no fancy suit, no mask, no secret identity. And the Machinist, the evil and nutty mastermind and the Joker of the age, is watching his every move. 

Jack Dandy, the bad boy of the block. He's the one who grandmothers and mothers tell you to stay far, far, far away from. With a charming personality and ladies man suave, Jack Dandy will have all the female readers swooning with delight. And the Machinist is watching his every move. (Gasp!)

The villain, Machinist, is clever. He is a true Joker and madman of the Victorian Era. He's a clever man who doesn't play by the rules. He's hidden and hidden well. He's mysterious. He's the Machinist.

Rating: Four out of five

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs Review

"On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?"

I always like the Fins Trilogy. Fins Are Forever is the second book of the Fins Trilogy. It's been awhile since I read the first book, so I'm slightly off on Fins. 

Fins Are Forever did a good job of recapping as it tells the plot and situations. As it go, the characters like Lily or Quince usually recap what happens in the first book as the situations or conflicts pop up. 

The plot is not so twisty or fun like the first book. In my opinion, Fins Are Forever is a boring book, written to just get readers excited about nothing. (Sorry, Tera Lynn Childs.) The setting is much better than the plot. I love the under the sea castle. Too bad, there isn't a part in the book where the crab, all the sudden, sings some random song about how great is the sea. 

The ending is so weird and not so surprising. I mean, we all know what it is going to be like in the end, but it's the 'how' that is interesting. Wow, Lily, you have to make that decision, but then Lily is the princess and princesses/rulers should make the best choice for their kingdoms.

Off-topic: I hope the last book doesn't turn Barbie at the last second.

Lilywater is sometimes a little too whiny that I just want to give her the... She's a little ignorant about life and can't but help failing the SATs and her GPA. Lily is getting the little picture; she's not exactly getting the bigger picture until the end. For most of the book, she's in her own little world. (Isn't she blond?)

Quince is better than Lily. He's smart and cute! Despite her innocence and ignorance, Quince sticks around Lily. The chemistry between Quince and Lily isn't that strong in Fins Are Forever. It's would be prefered if there is more Quince/Lily moments. Quince is forgiving and has a bad boy attitude. (Yes, he still has it.)

Rating: Three out of Five.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Neftzger Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads. 

"Perhaps everyone could use a miracle, but very few will find the one they truly need.

Amid a war torn land and hidden deep within an enchanted forest lays an orphanage where miracles abound. It’s a magical place created years ago by a resolute king who must defeat an evil sorcerer waging bitter war against his land and his people. He knew that in order to save his people, victory would require a miracle.

A young girl named Kelsey also desperately needs a miracle. She sets out on a quest to find the whispered-of orphanage. Along the way she’s joined by several traveling companions, including an over-sized snow leopard and a boy who cannot speak. In a land under a spell cast by the evil sorcerer, it's difficult to know the difference between what's real and what isn't … and what a true friend looks like. Join Kelsey and her companions as they embark on an extraordinary adventure and a quest unlike any other and take a peek inside The Orphanage of Miracles."

The Orphanage of Miracles is a strange, but wonderful read. It's not confusing, but it is befuddling and mad, in a good way. Told from two POVs, The Orphanage of Miracles is full of delight for the Middle Grade Audience. 

The plot was good. It's uniqueness and spunky craziness enchanted me from the beginning. With twist and turns and crazy lessons, the plot will be confusing and maddening, in a good way, of course. Full of mystery and strange sisters and snow leopard, The Orphanage of Miracles is a nice surprise. The setting is much more surprising. In a cursed world of a kingdom where right is wrong and wrong is right/ truths are lies and lies are truths, characters and readers will experience a maddening world of a conflict, directly caused by a battle between a king and an evil sorcerer. 

The ending of the Orphanage of Miracles was so surprising. Major cliffhanger at the end.

Kelsey is on a quest for a miracle. She sets off with a funny and sweet snow leopard and a mute boy, who Kelsey calls Silence. She journeys off to find the legendary Orphanage of Miracles, hoping to save her village from all sorts of problems. Kelsey is a huntress with a beautiful, in Kelsey's mind, knife. She's broken inside, but she doesn't know it. She's grumpy and rude most of the time, but mostly because of Silence, the mute boy. The character change of Kelsey is amazing and huge.

Nicholas is at the Orphanage of Miracles. His Orphanage orders him and others to make a miracle, but they don't tell him how. With a heart of gold and a mind of selflessness, Nicholas makes the first miracle in a long time. He's determine to find out why the Orphanage of Miracles  only has autumn, why the guardians are so odd, what do the words on the walls of the orphanage mean, and why are the guardians so obsessed with plants. As a naturally curious boy, Nicholas seeks answers from the insides of the Orphanage of Miracles. 

The two POVs of Nicholas and Kelsey switches every chapter until their paths finally meet and intertwine. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer Review

"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. In this remarkable final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, international bestselling author Andrea Cremer crafts a dynamic novel with twists and turns that will keep you breathless until its final pages."

Wow... After an okay book in the middle of the series, I didn't feel that I really need to read the last book. I mean, come on, the ending is soooo obvious. 

Bloodrose is the final book of the Nightshade trilogy as said in the synopsis. Before Bloodrose was Wolfsbane and before Wolfsbane is Nightshade. (All of these books have reviews).

After spending hours of finishing this series, I was going to call it quits until I found read the final battle. Let's start with the rotten parts of Bloodrose.

Rotten Part One: First all, once a traitor, always a traitor. I don't understand how Ren can switch sides so fast. He was about to kill his father and now he wants to help his father. Well, Calla, you should really have learn your lesson by now. Traitors are traitors, especially if they betray the pack.

Rotten Part Two: The beginning was horrible. Why would you start off with the escape of Ren? Seriously, that is a horrible place to start of Bloodrose. I don't even like Ren. 

Rotten Part Three: You start looking for the three pieces of the weapon now. The search should have start before this book. It's just like Harry Potter, but worse. At least Harry Potter had the sense to start in the six book instead of the seventh. (Remember the locket?) Instead, the search has to start in the final book of the trilogy. Wow. BTW, the search for the cross went by way too fast. Andrea Cremer could have slow down a bit.

Rotten Part Four: Ren's death. What a shame. It could have been a good fight of Shay vs. Ren. 

Good Part One: Calla's reaction to the situations. Her way of reacting to Shay/Ren drama was pretty smart. Tell them to stay back and away from her. She's the alpha, not them. They'll solve the issue after the war. 

Good Part Two: Shay's weapon. At least, he found it.

Good Part Three: The plot. Lots of twist and turns to satisfy the reviewer. 

Good Part Four: The ending was amazing and sweet. I love how well the happily ever after part works. Good ending.

Rating: Three point five out of five. Rounded to Four. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer Review

"You're an alpha, a leader. That's what we need. It's what we've always needed. When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save her pack and the boy she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure."

Wolfsbane is the second book of this series. The book after Nightshade. 

After reading Nightshade, Wolfsbane has higher expectations. Did Wolfsbane meet its expectations? 

Obviously, the answer isn't that simple. Yes, there are some parts that reach the expectation. No, other parts were not quite... brilliant.


The writing of Andrea Cremer is always amazing. It didn't really exceed expectations nor fail it. I wasn't really wowed by it. The plot was faired much better than the writing. Full of twist and turns, it will delight readers like you and me. 

Calla is a strong and leading character. She isn't as ignorant as she used to be, but still frustrating and annoying. Focus on your pack's safety, not your love triangle! I like how Calla grieves for her lost teammates, but she doesn't clutch hold to the past. Instead, she lets go of it, refusing to stay behind like some other main characters. Calla is a little too obsessed into her little own world and the situation between Ren and Shay, and needs to focus on other people. Be like Tris from Divergent. 

Shay is the awesome love interest of Calla. I like how protective he was of her throughout the series so far. He's the lone wolf, but is truly an alpha inside. I want more of Ren and Shay moments!


The ending was terrible. The cliffhanger left off at on a off-pitch tune. If I write a book, I would have pick a much better ending.

Too many people died. It's like half of the Searchers died. Too much like an Harry Potter death scene. Save the blood for the last battle.

Shay has a hidden weapon. Why don't you search for it right away? Don't wait for your pack. Search for those three pieces.

Rating: Three out of five.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The President's Daughter by Ellen Emerson White Review

"Sixteen-year-old Meghan Powers likes her life just the way it is. She likes living in Massachusetts. She likes her school. And she has plenty of friends. But all that is about to change. Because Meg’s mother, one of the most prestigious senators in the country, is running for President. And she’s going to win."

This book is the 2008 revision. 

The President's Daughter was an amusing book for bored readers like me. The President's Daughter is a big eye opener. I love books like this. Fictional politics are fun and hilarious to me. 

The writing of the President's Daughter was too bland and boring. I felt that the author could have used some more colorful descriptions. I wished the author went in more details in describing settings and people.

The plot faired better than the writing. Lots of promising twists and exciting turns. I hope the second book is better than the first. 

The ending of the book was okay. 

Meghan Powers is a normal girl, or as normal as she can be. She is the daughter of the fictional Senator Powers. She wants to be normal above everything. She wants to have a normal life. Date normal guys. But, alas, that doesn't happen. Her mother runs from president is, at first, not likely to win. She becomes the president-elected and Meghan is thrown into the limelight as the president-elected's daughter. 

What makes it worse was the guys who are only using Meghan for that limelight. They want their own share. Meghan after that brief but powerful lesson learns to be careful who to date. She learns that family is important. 

In summary, The President's Daughter wasn't a good or bad book. There were some good parts, and bad parts. It was just okay. The President's Daughter was a short read, which took up a hour and a half of my time. (two-hundredish)

Rating: Three out of five.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer Review

"Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?"

Nightshade, the first book in the series. In summary, Nightshade is a good book, with a lot of promise and hope for the second book in the series. It is spunky, funny, and wolffishly hilarious. It took awhile for me to read it, but it was worth the time. The cliffhanger was stunning and surprising. The plot was twisty and had a lot of turns that was entertaining.

The love triangle. Nightshade's love triangle between Calla, Ren, and Shay is awesome. It the only love triangle, other than the love triangle with Meghan, Puck, and Ash from the Iron King, I love and root for. It exciting to bet the ending of the love triangle. Ahhhh! I can't wait to see who will be alpha. And it is still a better love story than Twilight.

Nightshade is kind of like a vampire/werewolf story. Still a better story than Twilight.

Calla is the alpha of the wolf pack Nightshade. Her father, like his daughter, is the male alpha of the pack. Like a true alpha, she is a leader. It sometimes annoys me how she can be so intelligent yet so... ignorant. Calla is torn between two guys--Ren and Shay. She can't decide which one she really wants. Calla is a good character. She is strong and brave. She has good thoughts and good narrating skills. Calla isn't annoying to listen to. Instead she is rather addicting to listen to.

Shay. The Chosen One. (This book has turn Harry Potter!) He is clever and shy in a cute way. Good character. I don't see how is he exactly an alpha, though. Shay is an amazing character and is a huge part of Nightshade and Calla's kind-of betrayal.

Ren is a true ladies man. Every time Sabine wraps her dirty arm around him, I want to puke. (But poor Sabine, she sacrificed so much for the weak.) Ren loves Calla, sure. But Ren doesn't know how to communicate, probably the number one reason why couples like Ren and Calla don't get along so well. Ren is so twisted by his father and his secrets. I can't help but feel sad for him.

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Witch World by Christopher Pike Review

"Heading off for a weekend in Las Vegas with her friends, Jessie Ralle has only one worry—how to make it through the road trip in the same car with her Ex, Jimmy Kelter. The guy who broke her heart five months ago when he dumped her for no reason. The guy who’s finally ready to tell her why he did it, because he wants her back.

But what Jessie doesn’t realize is that Jimmy is the least of her problems.

In Las Vegas she meets Russ, a mesmerizing stranger who shows her how to gamble, and who never seems to lose. Curious, Jessie wants to know his secret, and in response, alone in his hotel room, he teaches her a game that opens a door to another reality.

To Witch World.

Suddenly Jessie discovers that she’s stumbled into a world where some people can do the impossible, and others may not even be human. For a time she fears she’s lost her mind. Are there really witches? Is she one of them?"

 Witch World, in summary, is a very confusing and twisty book. I wouldn't recommend it to easily confused readers. I'm not usually confused by very confusing books, but Witch World pushed the limits of my mind. I just don't get it. 

Witch World doesn't involve witches. Not like the witches from Harry Potter and "witches" from the Salem Witch Trial.

Instead it involves people, 'witches,' from two different dimensions. I was too confused when Jessie/Jessica was told about two worlds. Is this series (I think it's a series) going to become like Earth Two and Earth One?

The plot: Too confusing.

The ending: At least the ending makes sense. Wow, that was some cliffhanger.

I like Jessica/Jessie. However, in my opinion, she understood the Witch World faster than possible. Jessie is torn between her sense of right and wrong. She is not a bad narrator  but I wish a better narrator was telling the story of Witch World. She made Witch World too confusing and odd. Her humor, however, was easily understood. At least I didn't suffer from not so funny jokes. Jessie could have been worse.

Jimmy is not very unpredictable. His feelings for Jessie is obvious and boring too. We need more chemistry between Jessie and Jimmy. 

The villain? Seriously? The villain is suppose to die in an assassination attempt, not live. 

Too confusing, don't bother to read it.

Rating: one out of five

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Avalon High by Meg Cabot Review

"To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn't take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history. A powerful novel by the author of The Princess Diaries."

I have always been a huge fan of Meg Cabot. From The Princess Diaries to Awaken Trilogy to now Avalon High. Avalon High is another favorite written by Meg Cabot. 

Avalon High is a cleverly written Arthurian retelling of the King Arthur legends. I was surprised to find out that Avalon High isn't a popular book of Meg Cabot. Clearly, Avalon High is one of those hidden gem (books) of the Young Adult book world.

Avalon High has a fun and twisty plot, cleverly designed and perfectly paced. With the plot in mind, Avalon High just got twistier. 

The ending was surprising. Truly I was in for a twist! I am not familiar with the King Arthur legend or the Lily Maid legend, so I was really into the shocking ending. Wow! That threw me off. I feel like the story of Avalon High can be continued and it is a story worth having a sequel.


Ellie or Elaine: She's cleverer than most of the character. Although on the last scene of the book, I wonder if she acted on impulse or by her past. (Maybe both.) Elaine is named after the Lily Maid. She hates the Lily Maid legend and stories. She doesn't like anything related to the King Arthur legends.

Will: QB. Mr. four-point-oh. Homecoming King. The love interest of Ellie. And reincarnation of King Arthur. Will is constantly shadowed by his brother, his girlfriend (not Ellie), and his father. He is at crossroads, divided by choice. 

Jennifer: Cheerleader. Beautiful. Will's girlfriend. The reincarnation of Guinevere the Queen and wife of King Arthur. She is tormented by the fact that she cheated on Will with Lance. Her choices will affect Will's mentality (meaning making him more vulnerable to attack) unless...

Lance: The guard. The jock. The reincarnation of Lancelot the knight. He will always be there to protect King Arthur, in football and against Will's brother.

Rating: Four out of Five.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler Review

"For Daphne, the glass is always half full, a situation is better managed with a dab of lip gloss, and the boy of her dreams—the one she's read about in all of her novels—is waiting for her just around the corner.
For Gabby, nothing ever works out positively; wearing any form of makeup is a waste of study time, and boys will only leave you heartbroken. Her best friend, Mule, is the only one who has been there for her every step of the way. 
But when the richest boy in town befriends Gabby, and Daphne starts to hang out more and more with her best and only friend, Mule, Gabby is forced to confront the emotional barriers she has put up to stop the hurting. And for once, her sassiness may fall prey to her definition of stupidity."

WOW! What a great read!

Sass and Serendipity will make you want to read the original book, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. (I'm so curious about Sense and Sensibility.)

Sass and Serendipity is a hilarious and crazy book. Sass and Serendipity will attract the attentions of younger readers, usually around twelve to fifteen. It's cute, but not realistic or believable. Despite that, I love Sass and Serendipity.

The plot... Written and created brilliantly by Jennifer Ziegler. Every twist and turn was so incredible that this book is almost on my recommended list. 

The writing... AMAZING! Beautiful. This is an author who can really piece sentences together. Descriptions of the girls were so deep and realistic. 

The sister relationship: Gabby and Daphne are sisters. They are not so close. One favors her father. The other favors their mother. One daughter-parent relationship will be shattered and reformed. Another one will heal again. 

Sass and Serendipity is not exactly a "Surprise! Haha! You didn't see before I hit your!" Everything was obvious, but how Jennifer Ziegler wrote the 'how' they go there was amazing. It was clever and ingenious. 

The sisters:

Gabby: The clever one. She is intelligent yet cold towards the people around her. She once wasn't like that until an horrible accident took her beloved away.

Daphne: The ignorant one. She doesn't really know anything. She is confused and lost in the world. All she had was her father and her fairy tales to guide her. The character growth of Daphne was outrageous in a good way. 

Rating: Four out of Five.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers Review

"Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?"

The synopsis slightly exaggerates the expression "For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?" The book only involves that expression for only one chapter. *raise eyebrows*

Out of all books I love, Grave Mercy is one book of the top of the top. I'm going to add it in to my Recommended List. (That is how much I liked it) Grave Mercy is one of those books readers can't help but read it over and over again. It is so addicting. 

Grave Mercy stars Ismae, a girl who is a handmaiden to Death, her father. Her mission is to find the traitor in the court of Anne, Duchess of Brittany. In order to be near the court, she poses as the mistress of Duval, half-brother of Anne, Duchess of Brittany.

The plot was wonderful! Full of surprises and endless delight, the plot was eye candy for me. I gobbled the entire plot up. After reading it once, I read it again. Every time, the plot never failed to shock and surprise me.

The writing. Strong point of Grave Mercy. 

The dialects were amazing. Each word brought more of the past alive. It's an interesting characteristic of a historical fiction series. 

The ending! Ah! What a wonderful ending. I'm so pleased with the ending. It's so fitting yet also sad. I love how Ismae moved on and just stopped thinking about the convent's ways. Instead, she moved onto a much different path. The road less traveled by. 


Ismae: She's brave. She is Death's handmaiden. She is an assassin. She is sometimes afraid yet in other times brave. She is intelligent. She has her own scars and is afraid of showing them, because scars are weaknesses, right? (That is what she thinks) Ismae is killer. Sarah Conner bad. Angelina Jolie as Salt bad. She is, after all, helping Death do his duty to all mortals, especially the traitors of Brittany. 

Duval: Gorgeous. And awesome character. Unfortunately, he is an old man inside. He is wise and good at chess. Strategy is his game and life. One wrong step made by Duval, he would be dead before he could fix his mistake. He is also good at politics. With his skill and cleverness, Duval helps his sister Anne of Brittany survived through the political world, full of blood thirsty barons and power hungry lords. 

The villain: Clever man. Clever man. Sneaky. Cunning. Ingenious. Invisible. All marks of a great villain. 

Rating: Five out of Five

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Velvet by Mary Hooper Review

"Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry's work is back-breaking and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet's very life is in danger ...A romantic and thrillingly exciting new novel from an acclaimed and much loved historical writer for teens."

Ugh! To tell you the truth, Velvet was fair. Not so good, but not so bad. Yes, there were some good parts. Yes, there were some bad parts. It's so-so. Okay.  

The cover of Velvet is nice. I love the background. 

Velvet isn't on my recommended list. The synopsis and cover were screaming 'Read this book. Read me. Please read me.' Velvet didn't reach my standards. However I did learn some things about 'psychics'. The secrets of psychics revealed by Velvet and some other characters were fascinating and amazing. Those secrets are quite clever and sad. It's sad how false psychics can play some cheap trips and get a lot of money from their rich clients. It's so sad.

Velvet was a short read. Velvet should only be read if one is really bored out of their minds. It took me about two hours to finish Velvet.

The good part...

The writing. Velvet was easily understood. I found it interesting that the author, Mary Hooper, used some seventeen/eighteen century terms. Those old fashion words mad Velvet seem more alive. It made Velvet real. I am there with Velvet in every part of her story. It was a strong element of Velvet.

Deception. The deception of the villains in Velvet was beautiful. It was surprising and shocking. I had to reread that entire chapter because I was so stunned by the deception and hidden traps. 

Charlie and George. Two brilliant characters, even though Charlie doesn't appear that often. George, crazier and more money hungry than Charlie. 

The private meetings of Madame's clients. The side subplots of the story. It's so interesting to read about the deception in it. 

The bad part...

The plot. It's not exactly anywhere near The Hunger Games or Grave Mercy, but it was still good. I felt that there wasn't enough twists and turns. The plot was sometimes slow and annoying. I felt that some of the events were a little too slow. I mean, the plot was just a little bit behind.

Velvet, the character. I was so disappointed in her. Velvet or Kitty was a bit slow. I typically wouldn't say blonde, but she is close to being called a dumb blonde. (She's not blonde though). Everything, the cheap tricks and the fake feelings, were obvious. She is so blind to not see it. I felt that Velvet mostly relied on luck and chance. It was by chance that she was born into the world of Velvet.

Rating: Three out of Five

Friday, June 14, 2013

Golden By Jessi Kirby Review

"Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference."

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Parker is that one traveler who stood in a yellow wood trying to decide which road to take. The less traveled by or the more traveled by road. Two choices to make. It's a huge topic of Golden. Most likely the theme. (Actually it is the one of the main themes of Golden.) From this analogy, you should be able to guess which road she taken. If not, perhaps you didn't click on the link or didn't understand the poem. Or you never read the poem.

Golden was entertaining. It was all about the paths, the choices one can make. All these endless possibilities. One after another. Then there is always bandits on the path, taking away chance. Golden was an emotional roller coaster. It was well written, beautiful and surprising in the 'how' section. It was sad yet happy between the pages. In the journal entries of Julianna Farnetti. 

The writing was amazing. It was good as Divergent by Veronica Roth. I love books like this. The description of the love interest could be much more descriptive. Then it would be much more interesting like Jace Lightwood. Then Golden would be a whole new book, so unlike the Golden already here.

The plot was goooood. I love Golden! All those twist and turns were exciting. It was nice to read this book right after Grave Mercy. 

The ending! I love how Jessi Kirby wrote the ending. The ending allowed readers to discuss theories and ridiculous ideas. Golden's ending=More Discussion about Golden. Good job, Jessi Kirby. Wonderful ending.


Parker Frost... Amazing girl. She's smart, beautiful in personality, and hilarious. I love her. She's torn between choices. She has to fight between two parts. Her heart and her mind. Her want and her mother's want. (What is it always the parents?) I don't blame her choices, they may not be good, but they are interesting. Parker is hopeful. She has a lot of hope, that fades with Hope's decision. But she gets up and went through it. 

Julianna: Even though she doesn't appear very much, readers can feel her spirit. I can't believe her choices in her conflicts. 

Rating: Five out of Five

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards Reviews

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads. Thanks for the giveaway, Erin Richards!

"A "good boy" will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?

After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren't identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.

After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he's crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver's former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver's death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance."

I'll try not to reveal anything big. 

Okay, first of all, mental bond? Lucas and Silver are Fraternal Twins. If they were Identical Twins, the story would make much more sense, because identical twins share the same DNA and are practically the same. It sounds kind of illogical, but I'll let it go. I'll say its a brother-sister bond/shared-the-same-space(aka uterus)-before-birth bond.

Anyway, let's get to the book. Vigilante Nights is brilliant for a Young Adult book. It faces the pressure and craziness of teenages in horrible, poor areas. It's a mystery book with twists and turns at every path, fake or real. Vigilante Nights had me guessing who was the real person who cause the death of Luca's beloved sister, Silver. For all those romance book lovers out there, Vigilante Nights is a romance, too. And it is a story of revenge. (Now we are going all Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke) 

The plot of Vigilante Nights is fascinating. As I said before, twist and turns run Vigilante Nights. Just as you thought the book was over, BOOM! A major event happens. It was surprising while being dangerous for many of my favorite characters in Vigilante Nights.

Supernatural is a natural part of Vigilante Nights. Silver, like in "The Ghost and The Goth" by Stacey Kade, is following Lucas Alexander around. Not exactly like Alona though. Silver is nicer and sweeter than Alona, who is simply to say a blond mean bitch. 

The ending was amazing. It was beautiful, although I won't tell you why. Let just say it involves with peace.

The changes in relationship between characters were amazing. An accident can change so much, just like life. An accident can change so little, just like life. The influence affects everyone, little or big. It's like a wave or an earthquake causing a tsunami. 


Lucas Alexander: The twin brother of Silver Alexander. An ex-quarterback, injured. Intelligent. Sherlock Holmes, in Vigilante Nights. Ruined by a car accident. The same car accident which took the life of his beloved sister. Like a good brother, he was adorably protective of Silver. He has this anger inside of him. With the support and love from Tara, he semi-heals, but the ghost of Silver still haunted him. Lucas went through this huge character change, affected by the very same car accident/gang rivalry war. From a bad boy, in the beginning, to the protector of the weak, in the end. It was a spectacular change to see.

Silver Alexander: The twin sister of Lucas Alexander. An interesting character, in my opinion. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands Review

"National Bestseller 

In this, the first major single-volume biography of Andrew Jackson in decades, H.W. Brands reshapes our understanding of this fascinating man, and of the Age of Democracy that he ushered in.

An orphan at a young age and without formal education or the family lineage of the Founding Fathers, Jackson showed that the Presidency was not the exclusive province of the wealthy and the well-born but could truly be held by a man of the people. On a majestic, sweeping scale Brands re-creates Jackson’s rise from his hardscrabble roots to his days as frontier lawyer, then on to his heroic victory in the Battle of New Orleans, and finally to the White House. Capturing Jackson’s outsized life and deep impact on American history, Brands also explores his controversial actions, from his unapologetic expansionism to the disgraceful Trail of Tears. This is a thrilling portrait, in full, of the president who defined American democracy."

Ahhh! Old Hickory! Despite my knowledge before reading this book, I found some events quite interesting and insightful. 

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times is not usual cup of tea. I thought it would be boring and endless by its amount of pages. I prefer biographies around four hundred pages. Not six or seven hundred. Or somewhere around there. Long biographies usually 'talk' too much for my liking.

Unlike my thoughts, Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times was entertaining and amusing while also being very serious, which makes the events of Andrew Jackson's life very amusing. (It goes around and around and around. A boomerang.) Andrew Jackson will not bored readers to death despite society's common beliefs.

Andrew Jackson: He's a fighter. A warrior. A patriot. One who will live, fight, and die for his country. He can never resist a call to help the US. He is whatever the US needs him to be. He is wherever the US needs him to be. He fought the Revolutionary War on the Rebel's side. He fought the War against Indians on the American's side. Wherever Andrew Jackson is, he is always on the American's side. He is a true patriot at heart. He puts duty and country first, above all. Above everything. Even his beloved wife, Rachel.

It's amazing how Andrew Jackson has two sides. The softer side and the harsher (Patriot) side. Anyway, why am I talking about Old Hickory? I should be talking about the writing of H.W. Brands, the author.

The writing was clear and smooth. It was easy to understand. I believe that a well educated fourth grader can read it with the help of a dictionary. I like the slight tone in the writing. Slight. You can barely feel it, but it's there.

Andrew Jackson is lost in the history of presidency. He's not lost in this history of money, however. (He's on the bill, hello?) It is nice to see someone talking about Andrew Jackson. These days all you hear about is Honest Abe and The Founding Father. 

Talking about Honest Abe, I love the little paragraph at the end of the book about him. I found it fascinating and interesting. Poor Abe. 

"With great power comes with great responsibility."- Uncle Ben, my favorite and only comic uncle

Rating: Four out of Five

(I know that this is unusual for me to write a review on biography, but I wrote one. KittiKat may also be including biographies' reviews.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Outview by Brandt Legg Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"A coming of age thriller of mystics and magic. Nate's father died mysteriously when he was twelve. His older brother knows the truth but their mother had him committed to a mental institution. As Outviews try to take over his mind, sixteen year old Nate fears his turn is next.During the search for his brother, Nate and his three school friends fight to stay alive. Along the way they encounter five mystics who show Nate his lost powers, teach the forgotten wisdom and reveal his extraordinary destiny.In time, Nate discovers that everything he believed about his life is a lie, and that the world contains secrets far more beautiful than he could ever have imagined, and evil far more terrifying than he could ever have feared.Across time and dimension they are after him . . ."

Sorry it took so long. I was busy reading and reviewing other books. 


Just finished it! Wow, that was confusing!

The plot was easily understood. It flowed really well, but I wished the author paced a little better. It was a little too fast for my speed and taste. The author kind of rushed in some parts of the book while slowed down a bit in other parts. That was annoying.

The writing. Easier to understand than the plot. A few typos here and there, but it wasn't too bad.

The description was the main thing that ticked me off. The author didn't do a great job of describing things. He left them to the reader's imagination. If you visualize the events as you read, you may find it difficult to picture the events in Outview. It was hard to feel the character's thought, feelings, and experiences. 

Empathize. Lots of empathizing death in Outview. It was brilliantly finished. Nate has repeatedly empathize the death of his father and a certain other family member, which I will not reveal.

The ending. It was not too cliffhangerish material. It wasn't killer enough. You know the ending in Catching Fire and Scarlet? Well, the cliffhanger in Outview was the complete opposite of it. Cliffhanger like. But not shocking or outrageous. 

At first I thought this book was about ghost and all that stuff. Then Outview started mentioning psychic abilities. Then the people around Nate start talking about connecting to the spirits and stuff. And then, the secret-keepers tell Nate about this government program named Lightyear? 


Nate: The boy with a whole lot of sarcasm. He's the Dr. Reid in Outview. This guy can basically remember anything, if he tried. He's the know it all. The nerd in school. He is under a lot of stressful emotions, from the death of his father. The disappearance of his brother, Duncan. (Later revealed to be kidnapping) The distance between him and his mother. The death of a fellow/distant yet also close family member.

Amber: She's older than Nate. She's described as being the hot girl. She's no dumb blond though.

Duncan: The something-I-shall-not-reveal of Nate. He's has been locked up in a mental institution for two years for being diagnosed as a nut case. He's charming despite his physical appearance.

Rating: Three out of Five

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fragments by Dan Wells Review

"Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence—it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means—and even more important, a reason—for our survival."

The sequel to Partials, the first book of the Partials Sequence. Fragments is the second book in the Partials Sequence. 

As revealed by the first book, Kira is a Partial. She's not human, she's a Partial. In this book, her main job is to find the truth behind Paragen. She has been to some of the buildings of Paragen, but could not find the building with Paragen's top secret information behind the Partials and RM. 

With rotating POV between the many characters -- Kira Walker and Marcus, who are the main characters in Fragments -- Fragments tells an entertaining story between the two sides. Partial and Human. The switching POVs were useful and a major tool of storytelling of Fragments.

Mr. Well's writing certainly has improved from the last book. It seemed to be much smoother and easier to understand than the last book, Partials.

The ending was ironic. But in a setting of uncertainty and life and death and darkness and light and right and wrong, good guys can become bad guys and bad guys can become good guys. Right becomes Wrong. Wrong becomes Right. Enemy becomes friend. And friend becomes enemy. Deception is everywhere in the future of Long Island and North America. Can you see beyond the deception?

Before Reading: My friend let me borrowed Fragments. It was nice of her to do that. I had only read Partials and was quite eager to read Fragments despite the fact I was already reading a book. I usually don't read two books at a time. My rule of reading: Article 1. Read One and ONLY One book at a time. Oops.

During Reading: I was a little confused by the events and had to reread many of the sentences/paragraphs over and over again.

After Reading: The First few paragraphs of this review and after the synopsis.


Kira Walker: She is a good character. Her internal conflict? To choose/support humans or to choose/support Partials. She leaning more the the former, because of her upbringings and beliefs. As the plot unfolds, Kira is split between the decisions  It rips her into pieces and and leaves her crying. With pressure from her companions, she is forced into an unbearable position that leaves her confused and sobbing. 

Samm: Yes! He finally has the nerve to reveal his feelings. Some of his feelings were sweetly revealed in a minor character's POV. Samm is still awesome in Fragments, yet slightly distant, unfortunately. 

Marcus: Wow! War and battle and blood and death has changed the personality of Marcus. He's figuratively on fire in Fragments. Marcus is Kira's boyfriend. With Samm in the way, will Marcus soon be boyfriend with ex in front of it?

Rating: Four out of Five