Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Prime Minister's Daughter by William Manchee Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"A young adult novel about Kevin Wells, a Texas high school student, who has a chance encounter with the daughter of the Prime Minister of Trinidad-Tobago, Kiran Shah, and thinks he is in love. He knows there is no hope for such a long distance relationship but can't shake the feeling that Kiran is his soul mate. Much to his surprise and delight, however, Kiran is jolted back into his life due to a shocking and dangerous turn of events."

Okay. Okay. Can I just say this one thing? The cover looks so wrong when you look at from the distance. I swear I thought she was... Yeah, let's not go there.  

Other than the slight problem with the cover, The Prime Minister's Daughter is quite...let's just simply say, not for children. There's a lot of inappropriate material that will not be considered suitable by an adult. (Now I'm sounding like a walking, talking, movie trailer). Just know that when an eighteen year old virgin boy starts talking about doing it, it's going to get dirty fast. Whether in his daydreams or...

It's an excellent conflict. An American high school student saved a foreign official from an assassin's bullet. The student nearly dies, but was treated just in time, on the brink of death. Twist: The assassin has an entire organization behind him, called the... (can't remember acronyms very well). He must juggled fame, assassins and hitmans, along with two beautiful women who may have a liking to him. Reminds me of James Bond, without the kicking. 

I wished that the writing could had held up the plot and conflict. Sometimes it was falling apart to be put back together by the author. I didn't really connect to the book, unlike many other books. I frequently felt lost and unable to piece together the events. The plot is like cookie crumbs that is glued together by the writing to make a cookie cake. (Have you ever baked one? I don't think it exist.) 

An excellent ending I must say. Ho. Ho. Ho. (Please think this with an old man's voice. Old man meaning Santa Claus with a mix of Albus Dumbledore and Alfred from Batman. I'm in the mood for an early Christmas). 

Kevin Wells is a fairly unpredictable character. But to think about it, he's kind of cute and boys are certainly another species. If you were a guy, I'll ask this question. Are girls unpredictable? Or are we predictable... I hope not. Anyway, Kevin Wells is kind of a character where you go "Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. Why did you do that?" 

Rating: Three out of Five

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grounded by Angela Correll Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded, putting a halt to weekends in Rome and her jet-setting lifestyle. Soon her noncommittal boyfriend’s true nature is revealed, and to top it all off, she loses her apartment.
With nowhere else to go, Annie leaves the city for the family farm in Kentucky, a place she’s avoided for years. She finds a shotgun-wielding grandmother, a farm in disrepair, and a suspicious stranger renting the old stone house.
The country quiet haunts Annie with reminders of a past that can’t be changed. She tries persuading her grandmother to sell the farm, but is met with stubborn refusal? Yet in the midst of her crashing life, Annie sees a glimmer of hope for a second chance.
 Jake Wilder is contemplating jumping off the corporate ladder to follow his passion for sustainable farming. He’s almost ready to propose to Camille, a girl who wants more, not less. Annie believes Jake is about to make a terrible mistake, but does she have the right to tell him?
As the summer heats up, so do Annie’s unexpected feelings for Jake and her interest in the land. When a sudden phone call comes from New York, Annie is forced to choose between coming to terms with her past or leaving it all behind."

Grounded is a pretty short book that takes about a few hours at most to read unless you're taking time off in between pages. Let me tell you something, so you will know this ahead of time. Grounded barely mentions anything about Annie's job as a flight attendant. Yes, she's grounded. No, she does not care a thing.

It's told from majorly two POVs, the shotgun grandma (thank goodness it's not mine), and Annie (Oakley) Taylor (who is deathly afraid of shotguns). Truthfully, I dislike the grandmother whenever she tells her side of the story. I think it's because she reminds me of my own grandmother who's off telling me what's right and what's wrong ever since I was two years old. (Oh, should I mention that my grandmother wanted me to do whatever she says?)

Grounded is a romantic book, although the romance barely appears between the two main characters (Jake and Annie). I'm not sure what is another good genre to name it, but that's pretty much it. Grounded is not recommended to another under fourteen. 

The beginning of Grounded goes by fast. I sometimes had to go back to previous pages to check what I know so far. It's damn annoying when you have to do that, especially when you're trying to go through a two hundred page book in just a few hours. The plot is fast-paced, so be prepared to be lost once in awhile because the plot is just fast!

The ending of Grounded is completely unsatisfactory. Everything seems to be quickly wrapped up by the author, as if the author is eagered to end Grounded. Nevertheless, Grounded ending is just the ending. Nothing quite happened out of the extraordinary. And the things that did happen out of the extraordinary happened too quickly to even be considered surprising.

There's not much character development. I don't see any good characters to root for in this book. (The author tries to make this book look like A Year Down Yonder, I'm afraid).

Rating: One out of Five

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

All For A Story by Allison Pittman Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Monica Brisbane loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away--and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the "Capitol Chatter" newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves. Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson's paper, "The Bridal Call," but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the "Capitol Chatter," infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Brisbane.Under Max's direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants."

Oy! We have an oldie book! All For A Story is a Christian, Historical Fiction, and New Adult to Adult book. But truly, it's not Monica who's a true Christian. It's Max Moore. 

All For A Story doesn't give me a thrill like so many other books despite the fact that the ever so thirsty gossip, Monica Brisbane, hangs out in clubs with mobsters and gangsters. It's still pretty good considering that I read the entire book, without considering abandoning it. (Yeah, I have an incredible will to do things. *Roll eyes*) 

I like the writing in the book because it's quite attractive and keeps me interested in the story. I feel that there's still something quite missing in the book. Maybe some other piece of information, the author is holding back? Or perhaps it's just a fidget of my imagination? Or maybe it's the plot. The plot is slow paced, just slow enough that you'll understand the story, but too slow for the events to get the blood flowing. Or maybe it's because of the characters? (Ha! The characters are definitely holding something back. Both of them are, Max and Monica). 

Let's talk about Max Moore. That guy's a piece of something. Something is hot and hunky. I swear, Max is probably one of the reasons I keep reading. He's ambitious, wanting to turn Capitol Chatter into a "normal paper". (Please, how many "normal" newspapers are out there in the world. There's always a few criticizing the government. A little gossip trash isn't going to harm anyone, unless it's true of course. I never believe the tabloid magazines.) What else about this guy? Max really likes change, only if it is going towards his ideals (who isn't like that?). I don't really see a big change in his character for Max. Oh, yeah, he's definitely holding a secret back. Not a very shameless one though. 

Monica Brisbane is a shameless flirt who isn't afraid of becoming a modern girl. She flirts. She gossips (like old ladies). She drinks. She goes to bars. She winks. And she flirts in a funeral. (My new best friend!) What about her ambitions? Well, she's smart and funny. She won't stop until she gets what she truly wants. She has the most amazing character development throughout All For A Story. 

The ending of All For A Story is a complete wreck. I'm left open-mouthed, jaw on the floor by how completely nuts the author is because of how she left the ending. I wouldn't even call that an end! That's a hint-hint. 

Rating: Three out of Five

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vortex by Julie Cross Review

"Julie Cross's Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, in which the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again."

I had pleasant memories of Tempest, the previous novel. I remember reading to about page one hundred and something, before putting it down for about five months because I didn't had my library card (Yeah, I check out books from the library and they are pretty hot ;D). Yes, I have a memory of an elephant. No, I do not have photographic memory, but you can consider me pretty close depending on how interested I am in the subject. 

Anyway, after reading the lovely book, Risked by Ms. Haddix, I decided to take a little trip into the genre of time traveling. I wanted more, especially being slightly disappointed by Risked's performance. Now I end up here, reading Vortex by Julie Cross. I didn't write a review for the first book of the series, but I can tell you this: I was pretty neutral about the book. I neither hated it or loved it. 

After reading Vortex, I have a bit more feelings towards it. And it's not good because it's leaning toward the negative side of the notch. Why?

Now that's an excellent question. Why? A brilliant question that lead scientists to conclusions and unfortunately, science classes like Biology and Chemistry. It's what got Mr. Bacon to create the Scientific Method. At least, I think it was Mr. Bacon. Well, I believe you go the point. Questions leads to explanation, which leads to more questions. But why am I talking about this? Because I love talking about how much I remember science crap. Yes, I said. I love telling the world how nerdy I truly am. Then again, you guys are nerds too because you read. Right? 

Vortex is annoying (yep, I'm definitely overusing that word) because of Time Traveling. Julie Cross went overboard with time traveling. It's quite difficult telling the difference from 2007 Holly, 2007 Jackson's Dad, 1946 Jackson's Dad, Jackson's Three Year Old Self, Courtney's Old Self, Courtney's New Self, and all those alternate personalities. Apparently, there's also two timelines which is the equivalent of two parallel universe as how you nerds would say. And can it get anymore confusing? Yes, yes, it can. Then there's genetics going in too with the book, so Vortex just had a computer crash that overwhelmed itself so much. I have no idea what was going on in the book. These little dates in the left-hand side of the corner of each page may be a tiny bit helpful, but it's not good enough. Jackson may not jump a lot, but he does it way too much towards the end of Vortex.  

The writing of Vortex is unfortunately addicting, with a hint of suspense. Let's not talk about the crazy plot/timeline. There's too many jumps back into time. 

Oh, should I mention good old gf Holly? Yeah, she's working for Eyewall, the enemy of CIA and Jackson Meyer. Go figure, Jackson's in an alternate world, affected by time traveling. And she's a freaking Eyewall agent. Every time she says something like "Call me Agent...", I roll my eyes. This girl really wants to be James Bond II. And Jackson? What about him? He's screwing up the entire series, like many main characters

Rating: Two out of Five

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore Review

"CHERUB spies, 17 and under, hack into computers, bug houses, download crucial documents, and Do Not Exist. James, recently orphaned, is their newest recruit, and brilliant in math. After 100 days grueling training, his mission begins." 

Wow, The Recruit is...interesting. The first thing I noticed about it is how screenplay-ish it looks. I mean that everything is like a perfect screenplay. Directors can make a straight movie out of this without hiring a screenwriter! 

I'm pretty sure that after 100 days, James can not possibly become as strong as the book suggest. Three months isn't exactly a reasonable amount of time to become fit. I say there's a good error in logic for this book. 

There's really no words I can use singularly to describe this book. The Recruit is truly a mixture of feelings, a mixture of words and thoughts. There is no simple way of describing The Recruit. I could say that The Recruit is similar to Alex Rider, yet also different. A hefty explanation will soon follow. I can say The Recruit is like James Bond. Another long and boring explanation will quickly follow. 

Needless to say, The Recruit is an espionage novel that targets teens and James Bond wannabes. (Oh, I'm not a wannabe. I can't be James Bond; I'm a girl.) 

The characters in The Recruit are eh... I don't really care about them (Great, I'm going to screw up this review). Some of them are wonderfully amazing, but others are so minor that I could barely pay attention to them. All characters are difficult to remember. They have such plain names that I can't remember their names. I remember a few memorable ones, like James' partner named Terry or something like that, who is a young girl who can defend herself from a young age. She's a young Nikita.

The writing of The Recruit is bland and dull. I can't help but occasionally zone out because of how annoying the font is (not the author's fault) and how boring the words are (that's the author's fault). I hate how most of the book is about James' training at Cherub; it's only about half-way when things get a little bit more interesting. 

The last words/epilogue of The Recruit is in the similar style of the Septimus Heap series. Remember the hilarious epilogues of all the characters at the end? Well, there's a similar one in the back of the book, without the humor. (It's a tad disappointing. But Robert Muchamore is not Angie Sage.) 

Rating: Two out of Five

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Renegade by J.A. Souders Review

"Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. 

Her memories have been altered. 

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. 

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all."

Now this is a confusing story. I roll my eyes every time Evelyn says, "My life is perfect." That phrase is part of her programming or what she calls "conditioning." Whatever you, Evelyn, or I call it, we can all agree that is it brainwashing/manipulation.

Renegade is difficult to understand because of how the narrator (Evelyn Winters, the Daughter of the People) tells the book. It's also because Evelyn has a severe case of Alzheimer's. No, I'm just kidding. She has a severe case of mind manipulation, done by her own "Mother" who is the leader of the underwater utopia Elysium. (What kind of a mother does that to her adopted kid? Oh wait, some do.)

I feel no interest towards the book, not to mention the confusion in it, if I tried to pay more attention to it. Renegade's writing is difficult to understand, much less than being addicting or fun. What more is there to words and paper? A voice. And this voice, this futuristic voice of Evelyn Winters or whatever persona the author's using is just not cutting it. 

What's even worse is the plot. Every time the manipulation grows stronger in Evelyn's mind, the more backtracked the plot is. Then the more the plot has to be carried on by Gavin, because Evelyn forgets everything to be conveniently remembering her past when it's needed. 

Oh, then there's an ending, of course. But what do I think of it? I think it's horrible, because of some character's fate in the end. OF COURSE, Evelyn gets out of Elysium by being kick-ass, only to be held back by some forgotten memories. Right, uh-huh. 

The sentencing of Renegade? Just forget about it. 

Rating: One out of Five

Friday, October 25, 2013

Risked by Margaret Peterson Haddix Review

"Jonah thought that after his last adventure in 1903, he and his sister Katherine would have a break from time travel for a while. For the first time, he’s willing to look into his own identity in the past, and he thinks this is his chance.

But he barely has time for a single Google search before he, Katherine, and their friend Chip are tricked and zapped back to 1918--and to the house where the Romanov family was imprisoned after the Russian Revolution. Trapped without a fully working Elucidator, the three kids still hope they can escape and save the lives of Anastasia and Alexei Romanov.

But is it possible to change time that much when modern-day scientists have identified the entire Romanov family’s remains?"

Yes, yes, yes, yes! It's Risked, the sixth book in this woefully long series. (And we still don't know the true identity of Jonah!) 

My guesses for the true identity of Jonah Skidmore: Grant Ellis Beaumont of the Missing Beaumont Children, Peter Winston who is a chess prodigy, Etan Patz who is the first child on the milk carton, Martin Allen who was last seen in the company of a male who may look similar to Hodge, Michael Rockefeller (23, may be too old, but he's damn famous and a member of the rich Rockefeller family), Everett Ruess (20, but he's an artist who draws a lot and apparently gifted), Joe Pichler (18) who is a child actor, and Jacob Wetterling who was kidnapped. Wow, that's a lot of people. To tell you the truth, I have no idea who is Jonah, but Peter, Etan, Joe, and Michael are probably the best bet. 

Now, on to the book. Risked is an amazing book, I'll admit, but it's a slower and not-so-exciting book compared to the last one. In Caught, we see JB's true line or should I say, Tate Einstein's true line? In Risked, we meet Hodge and his BFF in crime again. They're wonderful together, and all of that is great, but I really want to know the true name of Jonah Skidmore. Risked is not exciting or fun enough, despite the gunfire and taste of danger that exist in this book. 

The addicting writing and the perfect amount of intrigue is just enough to keep the readers reading. Unfortunately, it is also enough to dreadfully and continuously tortured us for another year. Thankfully, the next book is named "Revealed" so we might have a taste of whom Jonah really was. For my guessing list, look at the second reviewing paragraph (not the synopsis) of this review. 

The profile of Jonah: As revealed in the first book, all these missing children are someone famous or well-known in history, as said by Hodge or the other guy whose name I can't remember. There was a minor princess of China. There's the Romanov children. Henry Hudson's own son. Albert Einstein's daughter. King Edward and his brother Prince Richard of England. Virginia Dare from The Lost Colony. These are only a few examples I recall. Jonah's most likely existed somewhere after 1918, if you haven't notice that the book always move forward in time. Jonah's missing (duh) in history. 

Okay, I'm pretty obsessed with Jonah, because I really want to know who he is. (If you want to know about characters, let me just say that some characters will be returnings while others will make their first appearances. Don't be surprised when Jonah gets all antsy and disappointed). 

Rating: Three out of Five

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wolves by Cary Griffith Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads. 

"Sam Rivers, biologist and special agent for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, has a penchant for understanding predators. His expertise finds him returning to Defiance, Minnesota, his boyhood home on the Mesabi Iron Range. There, he investigates wolf depredation of local livestock. But the mysterious death of his estranged father lands the agent on a case unlike any he's worked before. His knowledge of cold, wilderness and wolves was bred in his bones. He learned his lessons well, and now he'll need to use them."


Wolves is a story that reminds us of horrible days of reading The Call of the Wild because there's just too many mentions of wolves and dogs. Now, we're remembering Buck, this dog, that dog, this wolf, that wolf, and all the other stuff. 

What is Wolves about? Wolves, yes, but that's only a midget of what the book's really about. It's about Sam Rivers, whose father is pretty much the meanest and greediest guy around. His father wanted Sam's mother's money so he can enjoy it all. He fake his death so he can get insurance money. He's going to fake his friend's death so he'll get more insurance money. 

Sam's knowledge of the wild will certainly help him in Wolves. It's relevant to the story, but it gets quite annoying, especially when he goes wolves this, wolves that. 

If I was to recommend this book to someone, I'll recommend it to my worse enemy because it is such a boring read. Not only it is annoying, IT IS BORING! Let me empathized: BORING! Avoid this book at all cost!

Wolves is, as I said before, an annoying and boring read. It's brings back fond memories of The Call of the Wild (which is a finer book than this one). Wolves... You know what? I have enough of Wolves, this book is already too much.

Rating: One out of Five

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review

"One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent."

There was never a book that made me cry so hard and so loud. I had never cried like this, not even in the time when I first found out about death, when I first found out about sadness, when I first found out about hopelessness.  

Now I feel all of it. I feel so empty, so hopeless, so awestruck by how Allegiant struck me. It's a truly sad and powerful conclusion, one I never saw coming. Why? Why? Why? Why? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. And it confuses me, making me more lost and heartbroken than ever. I don't if I could ever feel again. Now I just want to close my eyes, go back in time to Divergent. How did we get to here? Why did Veronica Roth do this? I don't know.

Allegiant is a shattering conclusion, one that is completely brilliant and utterly heartbreaking. My heart breaks and stops and cries for all the characters in this book. The lost. The mended. The new. The remade. The dead. The hopeful. The dreams and hopes they shared. I cry for them all; why? It's just a story. But I think we all know that Allegiant is more than a story. It's the last push over the edge of a cliff. (I'll include spoilers to spare you the pain.) 

The writing of Veronica Roth is addicting and weaving as the spider's web. I'm drawn in by the love and new story I read. I love every second of it. I don't want it to end, but I don't want it to be bad. It's not bad, it's a true heartbreaker. It's a knife, that grows sharper and sharper until it's so sharp that it breaks into our hearts, leaving us bleeding on the open floors.

Allegiant is the most meaningful of all three books. It's the most stunning and deadly book of all. 

The ending is a reader's worse nightmare. I don't know if I could ever be normal ever again. It's just shattering. When I say surprise me and destroy me, I don't mean it in this way. The ending destroy all of it me, leaving me crying uselessly and writing this review. Sympathies grow as I think over the ending over and over and over again. Then I think of how truly beautiful and completely amazing this book it. It has the power to break me apart and give me the start to put myself back together. 

-Tris dies, killed and took the bullet that would have saved Caleb. 
-The faction is really an experiment for the "perfect" genes. 
-Tobias and his mother come back together.
-Tobias is brokenhearted like the rest of us.
-We see a new beautiful world in the end.

Rating: Five out of Five

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby Review

"While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairyÑand it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?"

Fairy Bad Day is overall a humorous book that remains humorous throughout the entire book. Sometimes it gets serious, but the characters remain rather silly despite how dreadful or terrifying the book gets. I can't really absorb myself into the book because I hate how 'this, this, this' the book gets. It's difficult to get into a book like this. 

This book's universe is insane. Apparently you can kill fairies by shoving Skittles into their open wounds. Go figure. (I shudder to think of what those Skittles contain. Silver? Iron? Definitely small metal pieces because that's one of bad things for fairies. Maybe even salt.) Okay, enough of conspiracy theories. Then there's dragons, fairies, goblins, zombies. What a pleasant world! I feel as if this author just shove every paranormal into this book. What's next? Angels and Demons?

(What part of the book is my next victim?) Oy! The characters are funny, reminding me of the Hex Hall Trilogy (I love and miss that series). Hex Hall is a witch/wizard, demons, etc. type of book. It's good for immature people and younger girls. They (characters) don't have good growth development. It's the same from beginning to end. 

The writing in Fairy Bad Day is rather interesting, but not too addicting. I could have easily let go of this book in a heartbeat. 

(Yay, there isn't a sequel! I don't have to read the next book because I want to know if the character got any better!) 

The ending of Fairy Bad Day is... No, I'm not going to bother with this book.

Rating: One out of Five

Monday, October 21, 2013

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan Review

"At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus."

Finally! I went to Target three days after the book was released and couldn't find a copy. They said it was all gone. And then I thought, wow this is just amazing. The House of Hades seems to be doing very well in the market. 

The House of Hades is a very ominous and serious story, so far different from it precedents and fellow novels. It involves many things that are very adultish. If you're a... Actually, I'm not going to go in there. That's politics and I'm not a politician, unlike my aunt (I think she wants me to be one). 

It starts off so well. I'm fairly impress with the entire book, overall. This series gets better and better as Riordan writes more. However, I feel that his books are getting kind of repetitive. For example, in The Lost Hero, it was Jason's and Piper's big moment (big moment meaning the moment they do an epic quest or fight or something like that). Then in Son of Neptune, it was Percy's big moment. Then in Mark of Athena, it's Annabeth's. Now, in House of Hades, the big moment belongs to Frank and Hazel. I'm getting in Blood of Olympus, Leo will be the big guy in the story. "To storm or fire, the world must fall." What if Leo caused the fire?

This is probably the first book of Mr. Riordan's that I cried (internal cry) in. The ending is pure beautiful and sweet. I love how Percy was the one to deliver the... I can't say it. It's major spoiler.

Oh, look at the time! It's time to reveal spoilers. *Evil Laughter* (Yeah, I lied. I waited all this time and now I'm going to reveal it). 

Most shocking spoilers: 
1. Nico diAngelo has a crush on one of those people who fell into Tartarus. It's Annabeth, right? Because he listened to her when he was visibly upset by his sister's passing. WRONG. It's Percy Jackson, the guy Nico loves. That's right: LOVE. This was sadly revealed by Cupid/Eros, who forcefully revealed that to Jason Grace, who happened to be the unfortunate and ONLY listener to Cupid's and Nico's private and deep conversation. 

2. Percabeth escapes Tartarus. No surprises there. Bob (the titian who was dipped into River Lethe) and a peace loving giant gave up their lives to close the doors of Death while Percabeth escapes. 

3. Leo makes a promise to find Calypso. That's right, the Fates sent him to Calypso for treatment. In the fourth book of Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson was sent to Calypso because of his severe injuries caused by Mt. Helena. Now Leo arrives there and boom! He makes a promise. "An Oath to keep with a final breath." Ominous. 

4. Romans and Greeks may finally work together for the final battle. The statue of Athena is on the way back to Half-Blood Camp. 

5. Frank becomes more manly. (Finally, no baby face!)

6. Percabeth goes insane. They grow mature and more in love. 

7. Hazel is a witch. She has the ability to cast spells, like her mother. She can manipulate the Mist. I wonder if she's the granddaughter of Hecate. 


Rating: Five out of Five

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"She's been broken by her past. He's been breaking for as long as he can remember.
Together, they can make each other whole--or destroy each other.

When his best friend asks for something, Dane rarely says no. But babysitting a newly sober Scout Grimes for three weeks isn't exactly a normal request. And with their history, it's a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, she's drop dead gorgeous and he can't touch her.

There are few people Scout trusts as much as Dane Guillot. He's always been her safe place, where nothing can hurt her. He's also been the only man she's never let herself want--screwing up their friendship isn't worth one amazing night together.

They have too much history, and too much personal baggage to ever work. But if they are willing to take a chance on love--it might be worth the risk."

I'm not sure how people can deem this book "Romantic" and "Sweet." But I'm not going into that...yet. 

I wonder how many people notice the similar names to the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird. For example, Scout Grimes is the same as Scout Finch (or at least her first name). And Atticus Grimes (Scout Grimes' brother) is the same as Atticus Finch (Scout Finch's father). And that's pretty much it, but I just wanted to point that out. 

Beautiful Broken (is going to make me throw up, but that might be because of lactose intolerant [and I drank milk five minutes ago]) is a sickly romantic story built on all the wrong parts. It's gross and perverted in ways many people will not see. Should I add a few quotes? 
"'The first time you [Scout] you were lying out back with Lou is that tiny green suit you got down in that thing. I probably would have killed any guy who saw you in it...I was walking through the woods, and I saw you lying there, and you untied that damn top...I stayed in the woods for almost an hour, just listening to y'all laugh and watching you.'" -Dane Guillot, Beautiful Broken
And do you want to know what's even worse? That this is only the beginning of all the perverted things he said. What kind of girl sleeps with a freaking pervert? I don't see this as romantic. I see this as obsessive and stalkerish. Yes, the stalker (I'm just calling Dane that) may love her, but I don't like say, "Hey, that guy saw me topless. I'm going to bang him." Scout's mind is an enigma. Sheesh girl, you really need to go to a shrink (but you're going to one). 

Despite the disgusting foundation of the beginning, I'm going to ignore that and pretend that Dane is a normal guy, with a dad who seems to be abusive. Yeah, there's no way Dane is going to be normal, but I can pretend he's not a pervert. Beautiful Broken has a good strong story and exposition that really gets the blood flowing. It has a strong plot and conflict.

Scout, perhaps the major character of Beautiful Broken despite sharing half of the spotlight with Dane, undergoes major character change. I like how more open and courageous (not to mention stupid and reckless) she becomes at the end. It's a true emotional rollercoaster for her. There's a good ending for her. 

Rating: Three out of Five

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore Review

"The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again."

This is a horrible book. Don't even bother reading it.

I had such high hopes for The Fall of Five. The Rise of Nine ended on such a good note. All the members of the Garde, or at least most of them, together at last.

The name "Fall of Five" certainly brings worry and curiosity to a reader's mind. What does the author mean by the "Fall of Five"? The fall of five members of the Garde? Or the fall of Five himself? What a great job of naming books, this author. He's making us all paranoid and antsy old ladies. 

The Fall of Five is an annoying book that is ridiculously fast-paced to the extreme. Remember The Power of Six, how fast it was? Well, The Fall of Five is just as fast. I wonder if the author is just writing this for the sake of money. The author is like oh yeah, more money, let's do this and make this book a crappy mess, but at least I get some money out of it. Well, this is what my mother would say, "Laziness is inexcusable and unacceptable. If you do this one more time, you're out." Obviously, the author's mother doesn't give advice like that to her son. 

The Fall of Five starts off with no one knowing what to do except to find Five. (Quick note: Sam's dreaming about him being a Garde, poor kid). Thankfully, there's this device that helps the Garde find all of the members of the number line. Oh, other than the dead people and less than or equal to ten. (Oh, here we are doing simple Algebra again. And must be positive!) 

Then we go off and all the sudden we find Five. Yay! Yeah, no. Turns out Five is totally worthless unless it comes to betraying the Garde. That's right, Five is a traitor. Then Eight dies, so the damn prophecy is completed after all. Poor Seven is left widowed (Joke, they're not married). 

BTW, I hate the fonts of this book. I can't tell the differences between Six's, Seven's, Four's, Sam's, and (is there anyone else?)'s POV. I have poor eyes, don't torture me with bad fonts. 

Ooo! Is anyone going to read the next book? Because I'm totally giving up on this series. Twice now. If you don't understand look at the quote from my dear momsy. 

Rating: One out of Five

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow Review

"Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school.  But is being a doctor what she wants?  It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent.  Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her?  Set in the 1980s."

First thing that comes into mind after I read this? Story of my life, just not set in the 1980s (I'm not even born at the time) and without the crazy mom and horrible living areas. Pretty close, right? Not really, but anyone with pushy parents who wants their kids to do beyond amazing can understand Frances and empathized with her. She's the easiest character (I've ever met) I can empathized with and walk around in. 

Bitter Melon is a brilliantly written book. It's really good, full of deep meaning and hidden thoughts that makes you ask: "Why did she do that?" Specifically, the question "Why?" Why is Bitter Melon good? Why is her mother all this, this, this, that, that, that? Many questions to ask yourself. Many answers hidden beneath the words. 

Bitter Melon's plot is wonderfully twisted. I love how bitter it is in the beginning. (Reminds me of home and my mom). Cara Chow makes awesome usage of symbolism and minor suspense to keep the reader's interest in check. The writing of Bitter Melon is compelling and addicting; I love how beautiful it is when it tells Frances' story.

Although the story is set in the 1980s, Bitter Melon doesn't need a short background info page. It will be helpful if it has one, but it doesn't and it doesn't matter unlike some books. Does anyone know what the SAT were out of in the 1980s? That will be helpful, because that question remains unanswered in Bitter Melon. It might have help my understanding of Bitter Melon, but I guess not. 

Bitter Melon talks about innocence, manipulation, freedom, parental control, first love, and the future of the young people. 

There's great character development in Frances. I like how Frances went from a non-questioning, naive, try hard, smart girl to a inquisitive, knowledgeable, and brave young lady. She went through a big change all because of one class.

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver Review

I received a copy from Harlequin in exchange for an honest review. 

"Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again. 

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equaled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself. 

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined…."

Scores and scores of reviews ago, I reviewed another book by Cayla Kluver. I believe it to be called Legacy, starring a princess and an enemy. Many of you know that I was sorely disappointed in its debut. Legacy (you can read the review if you like) is one of the most disappointing books ever because the synopsis is so damn great. (Total letdown. I hate books like Legacy.)

The Queen's Choice is unfortunately as disappointing as Legacy. Without the romance (or the near absence of it) in Legacy, The Queen's Choice is still as exciting as Legacy.

When I say the Queen's Choice is as exciting as Legacy, I mean it is as boring as Legacy. They both hold the same level of excitement. Frankly, the four hundred pages of The Queen's Choice could have been cut down to three hundred and be more awesome than Legacy. There's too much distraction of events for the main characters that the book starts to get dry and boring.

I like what is going on in The Queen's Choice, but it gets too overwhelming quickly. All these events mimic real life (other than the fact that there's pirates, faeries, killers, murderers, royalty, etc.). It has the same pace of a busy/bad day in your life. And you can tell what the plot is going to be like from what I just said. (And endings are usually fast paced right? Yep, its really fast and crazy. There's lunatic in every page, especially the main character, who is perhaps the biggest lunatic of all. I think she's going crazy without her...whoops, almost spoiler alert!)

The Queen's Choice starts off promising. I like it, but I was suspicious of it because Legacy had a good start with the right foot. My suspicious thoughts are correct, it turns out. As the plot starts turning around in circles, my fears grew and I instantly knew. The ending left off with me bored out of my mind. My thoughts on the last few chapters: Yawn. Gasp. Gasp. Yawn. Uh-huh. Yawn. Yawn. <-Yup, I was bored and slightly interested in a certain part, but overall I wasn't entertained.

Even without romance, The Queen's Choice is actually decent and I'm delighted (for a little while) by this change. (I know I mention this earlier; I don't have Alzheimer's yet.) It's interesting. I wish Cayla Kluver explain the world of The Queen's Choice in more details because she didn't give a lot of details in the book. 

Anya is (a lunatic) fey. She longs to be free of duty and responsibility. She's a confusing character, complex yet not really hidden. She's intelligent and sometimes stupid in the most annoying way possible. I'm practically screaming "It's right there!" when she is having one of her problems.

Rating: Three out of Five

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard Review

"The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance."

This is one of those books where you frequently scream "Damn it. The answer to your problem is right in front of your eyes!" This time I wouldn't say that the main character is stupid. I say that the main character is just bias and refusing to see the truth in the disaster.

Something Strange and Deadly is a book that will delight all. It reminds me of Wrapped, which was a really good book to read. Something Strange and Deadly is obviously a zombie book, if you can't tell by the synopsis. Something Strange and Deadly is a delicious meal to my eyes. It's steampunk, with mixes of the paranormal zombies and crazy evil souls that want to take revenge on the living. It's perfect for YA. 

Something Strange and Deadly is narrated from Eleanor's POV. Eleanor is this rich girl (whose family is currently deep in debt) who tries to find a way to continue her rich life. Or at least that's what her mother wants her to do. A familiar character trait, defiance, shows up to spin the book into a new direction. (You can only go in One Direction. Ha. Sorry, bad joke). 

Something Strange and Deadly (wow, third paragraph to start with the title) is fast-paced (as all good books should be, but not too fast that readers can't understand a word of it). The plot leads everything (the suspense, characters, zombies) up till the final point, which is the epic part of the book. (I'm not going to tell you, of course). Dennard's writing is amazing; I was hanging on to every word in the book (I'm a word/book addict). 

What's next? Oh, the lovely ending. What a nice twist. AND I HAVE TO WAIT A YEAR TO FIND THE NEXT CHAPTER!!! A YEAR! Authors are so nice these days, aren't they. I love them so much. And they torture us! 

Eleanor is not capable of defiance until she sees this boy and here we go! As usual, we see some form of a Romeo and Juliet retelling. Eleanor as the rich girl and Daniel as the poor boy. Classic Romeo and Juliet, with only a screaming mother and the rules of society going against them. Classic. Just classic. Daniel's a good boy so far. (I wonder if he'll turn evil.)

Rating: Four out of Five

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon Review

"Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction."

There's some connections/parallel events between this book and Twilight. Although Twilight was a popular franchise, it's still hated by many people. Including me. Carrier of the Mark is similar to Twilight, and written in a similar way. Thankfully Megan Rosenberg isn't as crazy/stupid/personality-unpredictable-because-the-authors-manipulates-it-at-every-turn-just-for-her-book. Adam is no Edward Cullen, although the couple is bordering on "dependent on each other" like what happened in Twilight.

I can give you many examples of parallel events of Carrier of the Mark and Twilight. Thankfully this time, the author throws in twist and turns, changing Carrier of the Mark. Changing it a little bit. Parts of it reminds me of City of Ashes, when Jace and Clary can't see each other. 

The love between Megan and Adam is supposedly "meant to be." Uh-huh, as if I hadn't heard that twenty hundred times. Everytime I read them doing this or doing that, I envision them as Bella and Edward. (I need to vomit). 

Ignoring how similar Twilight is to this book, I can say Carrier of the Mark is somewhat interesting, but I'm groaning at how unoriginal the storyline/conflict is. (Obviously, I'm too familiar with plot and conflict). Boy likes girl. Girl thinks boy stalks her. Girl likes boy. Boy and Girl make up. Girl and Boy can't see each other anymore because of some holy or whatever bad omen. Girl and Boy declare their everlasting love to each other. How many times have you heard that before? Too many to count.

The character development sucks. I don't see a change in Adam or Megan. They are as...You know what I'm not even going to go into there. 

*Excuse me as I gag*

The writing of Carrier of the Mark is good. I applaud the author for her ability to write a decent sentence. She can really put a sentence together. Her writing is addicting and amazing, much better than many authors I've read before. The tone of it is awesome. It's active and delivers what the readers ask for.

I hate the ending. The ending is nothing I've not seen before.

Rating: Two out of Five

Monday, October 14, 2013

Awaken by Meg Cabot Review

"From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, the dark reimagining of the Persephone myth comes to a thrilling conclusion.

Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die."

A little something I don't get: What is up with all these "From #1 New York Times bestselling author..." Seriously, how many bestselling authors are there? 

Moving on to the more important subject. Awaken. Finally, after all these years (actually only 9 months) I have this book in my hands, in my hands. (Yes!) Meg Cabot is probably the author I can count on, because when she promises, she delivers. Always. Always. Always.

Now, I'm shattered. And I also want to escort her to the Furies for her eternal sentence. Why did she tortured me for so long? So long? I'm so upset over this tiny wording which destroyed my entire experience with the book. Meg Cabot is wonderful and great with words, but this time, she overestimated the power of words and phrases and meanings. (Now, I'm not going to ruin it all, of course). 

Awaken, overall, is a thrilling and chaotic sequel/conclusion that happens to be terribly "Oh my gosh, Kill me now" to me. Awaken, for all of you guys who don't know, is the last of the trilogy Abandon, which is also the same name for the first book. Awaken is an amazing book, contrary to what I said earlier (no, I didn't say it was horrible, but I did say it was ruined[it's fine; i'm just overreacting]). It's has an awesome synopsis, really convincing and "whoa! Help! Someone's going to die!"

Awaken's not the best of Meg Cabot, but it is still pretty good. It's smooth and funny despite the drastic situation at hand. Meg Cabot's voice shines through in this book; the familiar voice in all of her books is there narrating. 

The plot of Awaken is fast; don't be surprised when John happens to teleport people from one spot to another and you didn't know until Pierce mentions it. Yes, it is that bad. You won't see the minor details until it is mentioned by a character.

The characters of Awaken reached their aha moments. Pierce, John, that's only some of them. They will see the truth and the darkness of the world. There's good character development. (But Awaken has a similar ending feeling like the Hunger Games).

Rating: Three out of Five

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Echo by Alyson Noel Review

"She inherited a magical destiny—and a mission to stop a powerful family of dark sorcerers. She never expected to fall in love with one of them.

There’s still so much Daire Santos has to learn about being the last Soul Seeker….and about herself.  As her magical training becomes more intense, so does her relationship with Dace.  But when she learns that his connection to the evil Richter family goes far deeper than she ever imagined, she begins to question if love really can conquer all.

Dace is painfully aware that he wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the Richters’ dark magic—and now his brother Cade is determined to use his love for Daire against him.  Dace is willing to sacrifice anything to protect the girl he loves —including his own life.  But will Daire allow it?  And what if defeating Cade costs not only his life, but his soul too?"

Now this series is just getting ironic. In Fated, we learn of a separate group that isn't with Ever and the Immortals but set in the same universe. First in Fated, Dace and Daire are meant to be, or at least in their minds. Now, the world is bent on breaking them apart. Yeah, the cruel world and I have no sympathy (which is even sadder). 

Echo digs deeper into the strange bond of Cade and Dace. (Anyone notice that when you switch the places in the consonants of Cade or Dade's name, you get the opposite twin's name. Damn, I wonder if that has anything to do with the book or the author is just simply twisting our minds). We see the stranger sides of Dear Old Dad Mr. Richter and the evil (just plain evil) side of Cade. Background info: Echo is another word for Cade/Dace, who are echoes of each other. (And this isn't fully explain until the first quarter mark of Echo, so yes, it's a spoiler.) 

Echo is trending on the border of "I'm going to follow the same path of the Immortals" and "I want to make a new path." I am always wondering if this series, The Soul Seekers, is going to turn out like the Immortals. It's teetering on the edge and I'm suspicious of similar characters and parallel events.

The plot of Echo is always moving; although I'm annoyed by how it is being moved. (By the grandmothers.) Yep, by the elderly people like the grandmothers. They give all the advices, and (as usual) the young and stupid people (like Cade and Dace, just to mention a few) always don't listen. Is there ever a time when young people make good choices? Oh, I guess everyones on...oh wait, that doesn't happen in Echo. Drugs aren't exactly what controls young people in Echo, but it's power that controls everyone's minds. 

Hmm...I don't really like any of the characters. Sometimes I just wish that authors don't make their characters/love interest seem so pretty and outrageously gorgeous (like Vogue gorgeous). Anyway, the characters in the book are annoying and super egotistical (Cade, Dace, etc.) Daire's okay, but she's pushing the limits. (Isn't it annoying how Daire and Dace look so similar in spelling? These names had been tripping me up in my reading. I always confuse one for the other.)

Rating: Two out of Five