Thursday, May 30, 2013

Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things by Kathryn Burak Review

"When Claire’s best friend Richy went missing, he disappeared without a trace. But when Emily Dickinson’s dress goes missing from the Amherst museum, she knows exactly where it is: in her closet.
As Claire and her student teacher, Tate, attempt to figure out what do to about the dress, they begin to uncover the truth behind Richy's disappearing act. Following a trail of clues across state lines, Claire and Tate attempt to find the person that Claire knows in her gut is responsible for his disappearance."


Okay... I'm not kidding. For those who love poetry and is sad/moody, this is the book for you. I felt that this book was too sad and moody and too full of poetry for me. (I don't like poetry that much. I don't like sad books. I don't like Emily Dickinson. I do love history.) Needless to say, this book wasn't the right one for me. However, it wasn't horrible according to my standards. To my standards, it was good and wonderful to read.

Claire is a girl who is sad. She's the last person to talk to her mother before she died. She was the last person to talk to her best friend, Richy before he went missing. It was revealed that he was dead, a year later. Claire suspected that her best friend was murdered. However, the police say that Richy committed suicide. Anyway, Claire is one of those people who are regularly sad and depressed. She is withdrawn and antisocial. She has a lot of trust issues. She doesn't like to reveal anything about her or anything that is associated with her like Mother's death or Richy's disappearance.

Richy... The missing boy. He is later revealed to be deceased. It was obvious that Claire deeply cared about him. I felt that the author was a little confusing on Richy's character. The author first said he was gay and then Richy says the L word to Claire. Did the author mean the L word as friend love or love love? Gosh, that is confusing.

Sam or what Claire calls him, Tate. He is the teacher assistant in Claire's English class. He was attracted to her by her dark and creepy poems. Not creepy, but creepy for many people. Her poems were rather sad and depressing than creepy. Sam is interesting. He's not a boring character. Readers will find him interesting and strong.

The search for Richy's killer didn't really happen until about halfway of the book. Ms. Burak, you need to kick the action on a little earlier. Readers may get bored and will need to live a little through Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things.

WOW! The name is such a mouthful. Just saying it is annoying. Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things. This is one of the longest name of books I've ever seen. (I'll admit it. I love typing out Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things).

Overall, Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things was a wonderful book. Poetry lovers would fall in love with Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things. Especially Emily Dickinson lovers and adoring readers. Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things will make readers questioned whether or not Claire is telling to the truth about Richy's Disappearance. (I won't tell you.) (Actually I will/Spoilers Section)


  1. Richy was murdered. 
  2. Yep, Claire stole Emily's Dress. 
  3. Tate and Claire starts dating toward the end of the book.
  4. Emily's Dress safely made it back to the house.
  5. Claire gets stopped by the police many times.
  6. Claire writes a lot of sad poems which should be obvious.
  7. Tate's sister is similar to Claire. They both have the Emily Dickinson obsession. It's another reason why Tate is attracted to Claire.

This book's rating is a three point five out of five. It's round to four out of five. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So Close to You by Rachel Carter

"Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.

When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices—and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them... and herself."

Lydia's great grandfather went missing during WWII. Her grandfather never gave up on trying to find his beloved father. He went crazy, or so she and everyone thought.

Not a bad book. I felt that the author, Rachel Carter, could have describe the events in So Close To You in greater detail. Cassandra Clare did a well job of that in City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Angel, and Clockwork Princess. (Or Cassandra Clare did a well job of that in every book she has wrote, for those who don't read Cassandra Clare and has no idea what the hell am I talking about).

The mysterious boy... I like how the author talks about him. However, I felt that, like the events, he could have been describe in much greater detail. Then he would be unbelievably hot. The girls would never take their hands of So Close To You, like City of Bones and City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. (Not kidding, one girl I knew wouldn't let go of her copy of City of Lost Souls because of how obsessed she was).

The mysterious boy... I wished he had more of an appearance in So Close To You. He appears only when he feels like it. If he appeared a little more, then he will have a greater impact on the readers. Anyway, the mysterious boy is a child time traveler. (He's only seventeen.) He is knowledgeable about the enemy of Lydia. He is in fact once upon a time one of them. (So this book is turning these two into starcrossed lovers. Wonderful.)

Lydia... I can't tell you whether she is reckless and insane or stupid and confident. Neither of those options look good on her profile. Lydia, despite all those warnings, messes with people's business. She tries to change everything, but ended up making it much worse. 

Project Montauk is real. The project is a time traveling machine. The mysterious boy is part of the project. He's one of the few time traveler. Only children under eighteen can travel in the time traveling machine. Any older persons will be severely injured and mentally insane. It's a very pleasant journey for the older people right? *Shakes head*

The plot... I love the ending, the most. Despite all the hardships and horrible events, Lydia makes the killing choice. People she loves get hurt really badly and she still made that choice. She had two choices, stopping her younger self from going into the machine or letting her younger self go into the machine and travel to the past. Guess what choice she made.

The ending... It killed me too. I slam the book close and was tempted to throw it because of the ending. UGH!!! I hate the ending. 


  1. The mysterious boy is shot and assumed dead.
  2. Lydia lets her former self go into the machine and change time because of her love for the mysterious boy. 
  3. Her great-grandfather was missing. When Lydia came back to the present, her grandfather was missing instead of her great-grandfather. 
  4. Her father adopted the behavior of her grandfather after Lydia changed time.


This book's rating is a four out of five. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman Review

"Vince Luca is just like any other high school guy. His best friend, Alex, is trying to score vicariously through him; his brother is a giant pain; and his father keeps bugging him to get motivated. There is just one thing that really sets him apart for other kids?his father happens to be the head of a powerful crime organization. Needless to say, while Vince's family's connections can be handy for certain things-like when teachers are afraid to give him a bad grade as they can put a serious crimp in his dating life. How is he supposed to explain to a girl what his father does for a living? But when Vince finally meets one who seems to be worth the trouble, her family turns out to be the biggest problem of all. Because her father is an FBI agent-the one who wants to put his father away for good."
This book is recommended to readers who love Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief. Son of the Mob and Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief are both humorous and have crazy, rich daddys. In Son of the Mob, Vince Luca's father is the head of the mob in New York. In Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson's father is the god of the seas, Poseidon. See the similarity? They both love their sons, Percy Jackson and Vince Luca. They are both powerful figures in the world. They are both leaders of something. They are both ruthless. And there are a lot more similarities between Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and The Son of the Mob.

Ahhh! The humor. Every page has something to laugh about. I loved it. Vince Luca's POV just gets me chuckling and laughing like a donkey. I love the humor. It's so light and beautiful. The humor makes the book seem more alive and not as dark as it can be.

Vince Luca...Is smart, is intelligent, is maybe or maybe not good-looking, is obviously powerful, has a crazy family, and has an exceptional crazy father. Vince's POV is a pot of gold. Full of delight and open curiously. He is seems to be younger than what he really is (seventeen). Vince Luca is very intelligent and has a heart of kindness. He couldn't resist helping the little people (and it's not in the way you think). Vince Luca wants a girlfriend, but he doesn't really admit it and let his actions tell readers that.

His girlfriend... (Um...What's her name? It's been awhile since I read this book and unfortunately I am horrible with names). She is the daughter of a FBI agent, making this book kind-of-like Romeo and Juliet. She is intelligent, can piece together information, is a great singer, and is beautiful according to Vince Luca. She has partially inherited her dad's FBI DNA. She can be sometimes suspicious, and careful, and worried, and curious. (And I still don't remember her name.)

Alex... I don't think guys like these exist. Total nerd and totally clueless when it comes to girls.

Vince Luca's father... Wow, this guy is epic. He is amazing like Poseidon. His father is looser than Poseidon and shadier than him.

(I finally remember her name. Kendra).

A fast and quick book to read. For fast readers, it would be around an hour. For slow readers... Depends on how slow they are. Son of the Mob is recommended to children at least eleven. Any younger and they might not understand Son of the Mob. This book is more like children's book/young adult. Some suggestions/words that toward inappropriate actions/behavior.

This book's rating is a four out of five. Highly recommended.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem."
 I borrow an edition from the library. The preface says that there are some missing pages. So if you go "WHAT!", it might, might be because of the missing pages/plot holes.

Wow. This book is recommended by me for all those lazy, clueless teenagers out there. Punks. Lazy. *Cough* Lazy! *Cough*

The Great Gatsby is a Romeo and Juliet book from the beginning to the very end. It's a sad song that continuously foreshadows the misfortunates at the end. It's told from Nick's side of the story. Nick is what I call a person who stands on the sidelines. Touching the main characters if he needs to touch them. What he really does is sit on the sidelines and act as a bard, telling and singing of the sad love song between a married rich woman and a single party animal, who was once in the army.

The changes in Nick's perspective were rather interesting. Mr. Fitzgerald (what a mouthful) has done a excellent job on his personality and behavior. *Applauds*

The main stars are Daisy and Jay.

Jay Gatsby throws parties frequently, hoping for a day when Daisy would come over and visit his house. I found that his love has turn into severe stalking/obsessed behaviors. Jay Gatsby, who is very delightful with his "old sport" talk, is desperately in love with Daisy every since he saw her five years ago. (Wish we have guys like Mr. Gatsby.) Five years ago, Jay Gatsby was a major in World War I. That was how he met Daisy. Mr. Gatsby, believing he needed to be rich to earn Daisy's love, became a little shady. He went to the bad side of the law (bootlegging).

Mr. Gatsby was adorable when he constantly thought that it was a bad idea to meet Daisy. He kept on repeating that it was a bad idea and wanted to walk away because he thought he couldn't do it.

Daisy Fay or Daisy Buchanan is apparently very attractive, is a mother, has a child, and is married. She is also (as I mentioned before) MARRIED to Tom Buchanan. Daisy Fay is in love with both Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. She's in a love triangle, unfortunately. She ends up having an affair with Jay Gatsby. As I mentioned before, this book is like Romeo and Juliet because of the ending. Daisy Buchanan is a rich girl with a rich background unlike Jay Gatsby. Daisy Buchanan is not exactly an likable character. She doesn't really care about her actions. She doesn't take full blame for what she does. I felt that Daisy Buchanan should have took full blame and the fall instead of Jay Gatsby. 

Tom Buchanan... It's easy for readers to just hate him. He is not exactly likable. Readers can hate him within the first few chapters of The Great Gatsby.

The writing was difficult for me to understand. I felt that it would be difficult for younger readers to understand. Older readers would have an easier time than the younger readers, but it is considered difficult even for them. Many readers would just give up within the first five pages, maybe even the first page. It's hard to understand the older and stricter (grammatically) book of the old age. 

The rating of this book is a three out of five. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Phoenix By Elizabeth Richards Review

I won an advance copy from Goodreads giveaway.

I love the cover. It fits perfectly with the title. The cover reminds me of Catching Fire because of the fire on the feather. Amazing cover.

Phoenix is recommended to readers who like The Hunger Games. Phoenix has some similarities with The Hunger Games Trilogy, especially with Catching Fire.

This review does not have a spoiler section.

"Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion."
Before Reading: I was debating whether or not to read this book. After all, Phoenix is the second book in this series. I decided to go for it, because there is a bigger chance for me to not read the first book. I did the same thing with Liar's Moon (no review of this book, unfortunately).

While Reading: "Phoenix sounds a lot like Hunger Games." "Interesting." "Whoo! Go Ash! Nice thinking there!" "What!?! Are you seriously that stupid? Ohhh..."

After Reading:

I have issues with this book. Maybe because I haven't read the first book. Or with the actions of the characters. Mostly the first, few latter.

Phoenix is an outstanding book with beautiful characters that explore betrayal, love, danger, threats, risk, and unrequited love. If you like Hunger Games, then this is the book for you. If you like paranormal books, then this is the book for you. Anyone who likes dystopian? Yep, this is the book for you.

A recap of the first book would had been useful. For many parts of the book, I was left utterly clueless. That was when I realized that I really need to read the first book. Unfortunately, my local libraries (public library, school library, classroom library) doesn't carry the first book. Oh well.

There were lots of similarities to Hunger Games (No review), Twilight (No review and I wouldn't dare to), and The Fault In Our Stars (review available). For example, Purian Rose sounds so similar to President Snow of The Hunger Games. "Rose" as in Purian Rose's last name may be related to President Snow's rose perfume. Purian Rose and President Snow have a noticeable amount of similar characteristic traits. (No, I will not list them). (I am happy about this, because I get to read doppelganger [in personality] President Snow die).

Ash, one of the main characters, is similar to Edward Cullen from Twilight. (soft groan) Ash is to Phoenix as Katniss Everdeen is to Catching Fire. Ash is, according to the ladies, hot and handsome. Unfortunately for them, he is engaged. *Evil laughter* And the symbol of the rebellion. (That is a huge bell to Katniss Everdeen, don't you think?) Ash is brave, smart, and hungry (you won't get it till you read the book). Ash is an amazing character. He has conflicts, both internal and external. The choices he makes will affect the world of Phoenix. I enjoyed reading his POV. He may not notice things easily, but he is adept at jumping to conclusions and piecing little information by little information. Ash is the character that readers would admire and love.

Natalie...I admire her courage, but she wasn't as impressive as Ash. I felt that Natalie was just a secondary character despite her importance. Her POV and character traits were not as interesting as Ash. Ash is gold. Natalie should be gold, too, but she is more like silver. Not that bad. Not that good. Just...somewhere in the middle. Natalie has doubts. She's often worried about herself and her love ones. I felt that Natalie was less confident than Ash. (Probably the reason why Ash is the Phoenix, not Natalie).

The disappointing. It didn't even make an appearance. I was intrigued by the talk about the weapon, but was really disappointed when Ora didn't appear at all. Mentioned, several times in fact. But never seen or used by the rebels. See? Disappointing.

Elijah seemed to be a promising character. There were many ups and downs in the relationship between Natalie and Ash. However, I felt that Elijah was just there to make things interesting. I was exceptionally surprise by the actions of Elijah. It was surprising and so unpredictable. I liked it. It was a clever twist by the author. Elijah is a fascinating character who has a lot of depth and very well hidden secrets. He was open yet also hidden. 

The rebels...I felt that there were many similarities between the rebels of The Elite (there's a review) and rebels of The Hunger Games (no review) and the rebels of The Girl Of Fire and Thorns (no review). Every  group of rebels have a powerful purpose and a willing mind. They have a strong determination. The rebels of Phoenix are slightly different. They aren't as strong, but they have the same determination as the rest of them.

Again, Ms. Richards, a recap of the first book would be helpful. Really helpful for readers like me, who didn't read the first book.

The book's rating is a four out of five. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Darker Still By Leanna Renee Hieber Review

"I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still."

Darker Still is a charming little book. It will captives readers everywhere with its crazy yet also logical sense of darkness and magic.

Natalie Stewart is a mute girl. She's a young girl full of hope and dreams. She wants to speak again but she can't because of the death of her mother. She's smart, quiet (obviously, she's mute, hello), and aware of her surroundings. She's a girl not to be underestimated. She's brave and wants to help people. She wants to save the innocent. (The girls are the innocent people in this book, Darker Still). Natalie is a wonderful character and narrator who will delight the young audience of Darker Still. And she is indeed obsessed with the painting of Lord Denbury. 

Jonathan... is awesome. I love how the author describes him. The author seriously has describe him in great detail. Almost to the tiny flaws. Jonathan is the strongest male character in Darker Still. He is fighting a battle with the devil. He's pretty strong according to Natalie's POV. He gets weaker throughout the book because the devil is doing horrible things with his body. Jonathan, by the way, is trapped inside a portrait. He has been split from his body. And the body has been hacked by the demon. 

The dialects are amazing. The way the character speak felt old in the eighteen hundreds way. I wish the author would put a little more efforts into the dialects. The dialects have to be there since this book is a historical fiction and young adult and paranormal fiction and supernatural. I love books with dialects because it makes the book seem a little more alive.

The writing is smooth. I love having Natalie Stewart as a narrator. She is an awesome narrator. Readers will love her. She is a wonderful character that will delight readers endlessly. I just wish that the book wasn't Natalie's diary. It would be much more interesting if it was just Natalie's view. Not just what she puts in her diary. Although, her voice in a diary is much more impressive. It's an interesting change compared to how other books narrative their story. It's similar to Meg Cabot's series, The Princess Diaries. The difference between The Princess Diaries and Darker Still is that The Princess Diaries has a lot more humor than Darker Still. Darker Still is more romantic and exciting than The Princess Diaries.

I like the ending of Darker Still. The author included some pages of police reports on the disappearance of Natalie Stewart. It was interesting to read what the police had thought of her and her mysterious disappearance. I found it rather entertaining and downright hilarious. Especially when the writer of the report includes his thoughts and feelings about the situation. 

The demon... I like what the author did to make readers like me hate the demon more and more. First of all, he robbed Jonathan's body. (That's is a big reason to hate the demon). Second of all, the demon is hurting the innocent. (The same people Natalie is protecting, yes). Third, the demon did something so foul to Natalie which makes readers hate him even more. (I think the demon likes being hated). 

Darker Still is an eyeopener to the world of the eighteen hundreds in New York City, New York. The author has done a good job in plugging in the variables of the characters. Example: Natalie's disability to talk, gender, and money. 

This book's rating is a four out of five. The next book is already out, I believe. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Swimming to Chicago By David-Matthew Barnes Review

I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

I will try to keep this review as clean as possible. The implied thoughts, not as clean as the review. It would have a lot of 'hint, hint.' No Spoilers Section in this review. If you want spoilers, read the synopsis and take the hint. Or if you are really lazy, go read the summary of the book on someone else's review.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It was good yet I felt that Swimming to Chicago was a little disturbing. First of all, this book is NOT recommend to children thirteen and under. Just don't ask why. Parents, take it from me, you don't want to know.

The writing was good. I love how fluent the book was. I like how the author knows when to not get to graphic. For example: Alex's mom's dead body suicide scene. I'm happy that the author didn't include the creepy details of her death. It would be...ugh! And gross!

The behavior of characters... I love how Mr. Barnes puts together all the behaviors and personalities and moral sense of characters. It made Swimming to Chicago a little more realistic.
A little more alive as if Swimming to Chicago has a tiny heartbeat within its pages.

Alex... Depressed. Sad. And lonely. Becoming less and less social especially when his mother died. I love how he comes back when he found something he loved. (I will not talk about that thing). Alex is a wonderful character. He has a lot of strength despite the situation he is in. I like how Alex knows his wants. He knows what he wants to do. He is solid on the outside but soft and sweet the inside. Emotional, along with soft and sweet. (Just saying it again.) Alex is a character with a lot of depth.

Jillian... Interesting character. But the truth is that I hated this character. Jillian annoyed me to no end. Annoyed. Irritated. Some of her thoughts and feelings made me want to scream at her. I wanted to go into her world and slap her face ten time for every ridiculous thought and feeling she mentioned. (Yes, she annoyed me to that end. I resorted to violence because of this endlessly annoying character). She is that little annoying voice in the back of everyone's head.

Robby... I love Robby. I love how brave and defiant he is. He stood up despite all that embarrassment. All that looks and unfairness given to him. He is a beautiful character. He is strong and true to himself. He is a rare type of character to see in books. Great job on Robby, Mr. Barnes!

 In my opinion, Swimming to Chicago is not a Young Adult book. However, it did remind me of the Young Adult book, Anne Frank: Diary of A Young Girl.

This book's rating is a three out of five. NOT RECOMMENDED TO CHILDREN THIRTEEN AND UNDER!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wings By E.D. Baker Review

"Theres always been something a little unusual about Tamisin. Her freckles look more like sparkles, and the full moon makes her want to dance. 

But nothing could have prepared her for the day when real, working fairy wings sprout from her back. At school theres a new guy named Jak, who seems to know something she doesn't. As her world get stranger by the minute, Tamisin finds out more about herself and the fairy world."
This book was recommended to me by a friend. By the looks of the cover, I wasn't really enthusiastic about reading Wings. By the description of the book, I wasn't very excited about it. The cover didn't really match the synopsis. Not a very good start.

The first chapter wasn't really impressive. I thought that it was slightly slow. The only thing that was interesting was the bumped into scene. However, the interesting line quickly falls back to slow and dry and simply boring. I was about to give up on the book.

I'm surprised by the reactions of secondary characters. They don't really seemed to be fazed by all that usually traits of Tamisin. I thought that there will be more of a reaction. I felt that E.D. Baker was too soft in some parts of the book. For example: when Tamisin revealed the wings to her parents, her parents just said (implied) that was normal for her and calmly told her that she was adopted. For humans, Tamisin would be locked up and in a lab where scientists take her every movement into record and poke her with needles and sticks. And cut off her wings.

Jak... I love his POV. I love how he sees the human world. It's so interesting. I love his ability to cope with his situations. He's so intelligent and according to the female characters, hot. I love the fact that his is highly underestimated. Jak is a true born leader, capable of leading troops into battle even though his family doubt that. 

The goblins make me laugh so much. They tease each other, even though they aren't that smart. Goblins have so much humor. And are quite selfish, but funny. Lots of humorous scenes with goblins in this book. Goblins are so cute and childish in a good way. Readers will laugh and chuckle merrily at these strange little creatures called goblins. They have a huge sense of 'we are the best, we are the smartest, blah, blah, blah.' Any parts of the book that mentions those senses are funny.

E. D. Baker has done a wonderful job describing the goblins. I can see them clearly as if I have the ability to see them myself. The writing really flows in the middle of the book. It was written very well in the end although some parts may be questioning.

I love those switching POVs. It's so useful in a book like this. Jak's POV totally helped me understand the fairy/goblin world much better.

Issue#1: Tamisin. How can she forget her parents that fast? For a girl who loves her parents very much, I would expect her to mention them at least once every chapter. Not never mention them at all. Need a little more logic here!

Issue#2: Tatiana. According to Shakespeare's poem, Tatiana is much more bitchy. Here she's so sweet and everything. All honey and sugar. I expected Tatiana to be more proud and 'I'm higher than all of you. I'm your queen, so shut up and pay attention to only me.' Instead she is portrayed as a queen with a good heart and little bitchy attitude. Definitely not her. 

Issue#3: Slow beginning.

This book's rating is a four out of five. Highly recommended to the Young Adult audience. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Body & Soul by Stacey Kade Review

"The final book in The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy!
The Ghost. I've been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I'm Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don't know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.
Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn't get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being me. Seriously?
I'm determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...
The Goth. I'll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.
Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn't come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner..."

Wow... It's sad to see another good series leave. The final book in this series, The Ghost and the Goth. It's just sad to see all these characters grow up and leave forever. Kind of like when kids grow up and then hopefully leave their parent's house. (Hopefully).

I love all these character growths and everything. Will. Alona. The Enemy. The brother of The Enemy. The brother of Lily Turner. It's so pretty.

I just wish that this series will go on. Alas, it won't. 

The biggest flaw that I could see is the new plot thrown in. I hated it. It seemed so sudden and awkward with the timing. Ms. Stacey Kade threw in some random plot. It was so confusing. This series could have ended two books ago. But instead authors have to make more and more money. (Sadly, it's all about the money these days.)

I love Alona's attitude. Always love her attitude. She's so funny and snarky. But a brilliant, beautifully flawed character. Selfish sometimes. Jealous for many parts of the book. Confident. The devil himself at some parts. But always good at heart despite other people's thoughts and feelings. I love her determination. Her stubborness. Her refusal to believe that was it. She simply would never give up. She is an amazing character. A perfectly balanced character. She is ignorant. She doesn't appreciate what she has already which is very unlike Anne Frank. 

"I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains." -Anne Frank
Will is just that hot character for that hot girl. The goodboy. Alona is more like the angel on the dark side. The bad girl. (Opposites attract). He's the one that keeps Alona in line. Yeah, Alona always have a run with the law, but Will helps her stay in line. At least for a while until Will is not around anymore.

Erin, the Enemy. I like Erin. Not because I want the book to end, but she's such a simple character at first glance. But when the reader takes a second look, the reader will notice that she is surprisingly different. Unexpected. And I hate her too.

The writing was smooth, elegant. (not as elegant as formal English, though) Ms. Kade's writing was clear and descriptive. It would be easily understood by the young adult audience. 

This book's rating is a three out of five. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett Review

"Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone. 

But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?"
 Honestly I am very disappointed with this book. I expected an awestruck, rush-hour-like, violent, and fast book. Instead I receive a slow (for many parts of the book), boring, dull, and dry book.


For many parts of After the Snow, Willo was just sitting around, hiding, and listening. (more yawns). There was little violence and not very much of a fast-paced book.

The biggest annoying thing is that Mary, the girl of After the Snow, was not in many of the scenes. Seriously. I expected Mary to be a much more dramatic and exciting character. Instead, she rarely appears and when she does, she plays a little six year old who is scared out of her wits and crying for her father the ponyman. Not a particular fascinating character. 

The second biggest thing is that Willo is just... slow. Slow. I wished he would just get things. Understand. But he is such a little boy. Definitely not a fifteen year old. Willo should be more hunterish and more willing to be careful like a hunter trying to find its prey. Nahhh! He is careless. Reckless, sometimes. Willo spends a major amount of time (most of wintertime) stitching up some coats for a beautiful lady (who is also a prostitute). 

The third... Well, I didn't like the twist at all. Or any of the characters. Especially Willo's father. I was irritated by all these references to Willo's father John Blake. All these ideas that were drilled in by John Blake were interesting, yes, but then it gets repeated over and over and over again. Get the picture? Annoying.

The death. From a harsh world with hungry, cold, and evil-hearted people, I expected a whole lot more death. Let me see. How many people die? There's the little boy. And another person, I believe. The hunter. The prostitute. John Blake. Magda. Some other people. But I thought that there wasn't enough deaths. (Sorry for those sensitive people out there.)

The twist about John Blake. (I have to mention this twice to emphasize on how much I don't like the twist). 

The parts of the book I love...

The dialects. Willo speaks in a way that suggests he hasn't been to a school or learn proper grammar. It makes the story a little more realistic  I would have liked it even more if the author enlisted/created new words because as time goes on, new words are created and old words discarded. I doubt some of the words the author uses will even be said in the future. 

The traitor in the mist... Yeah, traitor. I was delighted when I discovered the new twist. I was so giddy and curious on what will happen to the traitor, the prisoners, and our main character, Willo. Good job, Mr. Crockett (like Davy Crockett?). I totally love that twist. Unlike the one with John Blake (yes, again). The traitor was fascinating. I love how the traitor open himself up, shined a little light into his POV. 

This book's rating is a two out of five. Not enough action to satisfy me. (Got Elvis in my head.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade Review

"After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea. 

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth."

Queen of the Dead is just wow. Not as good as If You Find Me, but better than most of the recent books I had been reading. 

Alona and Will are back in town! I'll keep this review short, so I'll do this numbers and words.

1)Hilarious moments. Lots of them. It helps keeping the mood of the story light not dar.

2)Alona's feelings. So much LOL on her feelings. 

3)Will's feelings. I'm begging for them to just get together. But no... It can't be that way...yet. There is a book after Queen of the Dead.

4)Alona's personality. I love how the author manages to keep Alona's personality slightly the same. I love the  bitchiness of Alona. She's like the queen of the dead. Alona is much lighter...She's not as dark as before. But she is still as horrible. And much nicer than the first book, The Ghost and the Goth.

5)The plot. How the author wrote the plot was amazing. I love how these characters react to each other. And there's a sort of happy ending. Sort of.

6)Will's conflicts. Stacey Kade did a great job on Will. Will is trying to find answers. About the Order. About his dad. About his ability. Plus, he has that little, ahem, problem with Alona and her parents and her personality and her treasures. 

1) The chemistry between Alona and Will. They need to get the move on. 

And that is about it. Really short review. Short and simple.

This book's rating is a four out of five.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch Review

"There are some things you can’t leave behind…A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down."
Wow. This book is stunning. Dark yet also light. Pretty yet also with ugly secrets. Every page reveals a little more of what is unexpected.

This book is the best I had read in quite a while. It is mindblowing. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph will echo in the reader's head.

Carey... The main character who is the victim with a lot of dark secrets. She is the one narrating the book. Carey gives a little information one bit at a time. It's also as if she is afraid of what the reader might think of her. Carey is a perfectly balanced character. She is light and kind and protective. But she is also dark, shameful, and full of guilt. She balances all the responsibilities her mother gave her. She is badass. (She could fire a shotgun. Badass, for sure.) Carey has a unique view of the world. She believes that a certain of group of people are like that, but they are not. She slowly learns that there are good people in the world. Not everyone is as horrible as she thinks. Carey is slow to trust people because of the time she spent in the woods. Carey's big secret was dark, yet Carey doesn't realize that her secret isn't really dark at all. She is just guilty, but it isn't her fault. Carey, like a lot of women in the world, is slow to forgive things. Carey is such a complex character with a lot of depth like the Pacific Ocean. And she is only fourteen years old. Totally like a huntress.

Jenessa... Carey's sister (biological). Who couldn't fall in love with a girl like Jennessa? She is so adorable. Jenessa is six years old. She seems much more mature than how old she really is. I wish there are more six year olds like her. The world of six years old will suddenly be a whole lot more cuter! Jenessa is selectively mute. The why question? Because of Carey's dark secret.

Del... Carey's other sister (by marriage). And evil stepsister. I love how her attitude change throughout the book. When Carey discovers her sister's dirty secrets, Carey and her stepsister are a little closer to each other. They are friendlier. I love the character change.

The plot was good. The twists and turns can make the reader's jaw drop all the way to the ground. Some of it was just outrageous in a good way, of course. Many of it was shocking. Other twists and turns, you'll have to put the book down just to catch your breath because the twists/turns were...shocking and mindblowing and... Just WOW!

I mentioned that Carey drops a little of her past bit by bit right? Every little word or sentence or even paragraph will echo in the reader's mind until they can process it. Actually, even if the reader can process it, the words will echo for a very long time. The darkest secret was so dark that I shut the book and didn't start reading it again for a long time.

I love all these little references to Winnie the Pooh, Emily Dickinson, and other famous poets. These little references totally helped me understand the story. The little sections of poems and references to Winnie the Pooh somehow made the book a little more realistic.

SPOILERS (Skip this section if you didn't read this book)

1) Carey's darkest secret:

She killed a man. With her shotgun. Because he was a threat to Jenessa and Carey. He wanted money and Carey's mother.

2) Jenessa will start talking again.

3) Del's secret:

She is sleeping with some boy in her school. Del's a Sophomore.

4) Carey and Jenessa attacked.

End Spoilers

This book's rating is a five out of five.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Daughters Join the Party by Joanna Philbin

"They didn't ask for fame. They were born with it.In the third Daughters novel, The Daughters Take the Stage, Hudson found her own place in "the family business," aka: show business. Now, for the first time, readers will meet Emma Conway, daughter of a powerful New York State Senator. 

Emma has never fit into the sweater-set-wearing world of her political family, opting for purple hair and Chuck Taylors to keep herself out of countless photo ops, but when she accidentally lets her father's presidential plans slip on national television, Emma finds herself thrown into the spotlight. Facing pressure to be the perfect First Daughter-in-training, Emma must learn to speak up for herself and for what she believes in. Thankfully, she has her new friends and fellow daughters - Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson - to help her along the way."

This book was a huge disappointment and a success. Why?

Issue #1: I felt that Joanna Philbin was simply recycling old plots. This book just felt similar to The Daughters.

Issue #2: I don't get it. The ending. So...Is there going to be another book or what? I hate books like these.

Issue #3: Really? A fourteen/fifteen years old drinking? I don't think that is a good example for our young audience.

Issue #4: The characters...For the first book, the characters were exciting. People you just want to explore and dig. The second book was fascinating. It goes in more detail. The third book was like "We got that figure out so yeah go on." Now this book, The Daughters Join the Party, is just annoying.

Issue #5: Recycled Personality. I really want to see different characters not characters with different names.

The good parts were the:

Positive Side: Humor. I love the humor in this book. This book makes you laugh in different places. It really gets readers to be more emotional.

Positive Side #2: The speeches. WOW! I love Emma's speech. They are so beautiful. They come from the heart and readers can really see that. She is so open and like a free spirit. Unfortunately other characters don't like that.

Positive Side #3: Emma's character, the exception to Issue #4. I really love Emma. Out of the four girls, I love Emma the most. She is badass. She doesn't listen to adults. She doesn't pay attention to the rules. She speaks her mind (even though that causes a lot of problems.) She is kind, thoughtful (sometimes), and intelligent. Readers everywhere will love Emma.

Positive Side #4: The love interest. I love how the author describes him. It just makes him and Emma even more adorable.

Positive Side #5: The conflicts at home. Emma's brother has a lot of problems. He's stressed out. He is pushed by peer pressure. It was taking a toll on Emma's life. I like how the author uses that as a variable in the book.

This book's rating is a three out of five. Not bad. I wish I didn't read the few books before this one. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Daughters Take the Stage by Joanna Philbin

"The daughter of chart-topping pop star Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own musical debut. Hudson has inherited her mother's talent, but she hasn't yet embraced Holla's love of the megawatt spotlight. Can Hudson find a way to perform that reflects her own low-key style? Or will Holla see to it that her only daughter becomes a pop music sensation?"

Side Note: The cover is amazing. I love the style of it. Markers and then realistic when close to the three girls. It's beautiful. I want to draw like that!

Okay... This book picks up where the last book, The Daughters Break the Rules (read my review), left off. 

Out of the three good girls in this book, I think I like Carina the most. Hudson is tied with Lizzie. 

As suspected, Hudson Jones has some issues with her mother. Her mother wants Hudson's career to be like her career. Holla Jones is demanding her daughter to change this, do that, love that, and sing that. Blah, blah, blah. A little similar to Lizzie's supermodel mother. 

Hudson wants to be free from her mother. She wants to do the things her way. Not her mother's way. But her mother is very aggressive and demanding. Her mother is controlling and a freak in many reader's eyes. Holla Jones is perhaps the most controlling mother I had ever read about.

This series seems to be following one major theme. DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. DON'T LISTEN TO OTHER PEOPLE.

In this book, The Daughters Take the Stage, readers will be captivated by the humor, the plot, and the writing. Readers will see how Hudson Jones deals with her mother. (How is quite interesting).

The Characters:
Lizzie: still doing modeling and a little trouble in paradise

Carina: much better relationship with the Jurg and Alex

Hudson: Up

Hillary: the stalker, yeah. Hillary has a good heart despite all that stalking. Lizzie and Carina call it stalking, I call it admiration that went a little over the top. Hillary is an excellent life coach, BTW.

Ben: the love interest. They don't get together in this book, unfortunately. (I was egging them on. But they never did).

Todd: Dad's in trouble.

Alex: Not so much about him.

Logan: possible love interest, but was eliminated. (Because he was a jerk. And a little creep. And a player. And a little too twisty.)

Aunt Jenny: WOW! I wish I could be like Jenny. A free agent. I wish I could be like that and I don't care about the negatives of being a free agent. 

The Good Parts...

The plot. The plot of The Daughters Take The Stage was amazing. I love the little twists and turns. They sometime surprise me. Other times I go "I knew it!"

The characters. Most of the characters were lovable. Especially Hudson and Ben.

The rule breakings. I love it when characters break the rules. I find it amusing to see the reactions of the authorities. Ex: Harry Potter in Hagrid's Hut after the curfew. Professor McGonagall was going all "Fifty Points" this and "Fifty Points" that. 

The Bad Parts...

The ending. I can't believe it has to end this way. Just wow.

This book is recommended to Young Adult readers. This book's rating is a four out of five. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Battle for Cascadia by Kenneth G. Bennett Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads/giveaways.
"When Warren Wilkes, age 13, stumbles upon a mysterious relic deep in the Cascade Mountains (The Gaia Wars) wonder reigns. Brimming with secrets and sentient energy, the relic leads Warren to a fantastic chamber, and to shocking revelations about his identity.
Now wonder has turned to dread.
A forgotten terror-- a demon that knows Warren better than he knows himself-- has risen again and is gathering power with a singularly evil goal in mind: to capture and enslave the wild spirit of the Earth itself.
Warren must fight or see all that he cherishes destroyed."

The cover for both books, The Gaia Wars and The Battle For Cascadia, are creepy. 

This book was good, then exciting, and finally confusing.

The good parts...

The changing POVs. Like what I said in the review of the pervious book, the POVs were strong and made the book much more exciting. It revolves around Warren, the evil doers, and the Earth Mother/Warren's Mother.

The descriptions. I love how the author uses words to describe the setting. Everything was well described. *applauds*

The way the author sticks with the character's personality. And knowledge. I love how the author keeps the characters ignorant sometimes.

The ending of the conflict mentioned in the first book. The ending for many books are disappointing or not as dramatic as I wish. For example: the Pendragon Series. The way St. Dane died/diminished was so disappointing  Many of us readers, after reading ten books, would appreciate an awesome, showdown-like ending.

The characters changing. I found the change of characters unique. I love it. Especially Todd Jr's transformation. Some parts of his traits were the same, but overall there were a lot of changes in his character. It was a beautiful sight to read.

The plot was good. Even better than the Gaia Wars. (I was thinking that this book, Battle for Cascadia, was where things go down and awesome. How right I was).

The neutral parts...

Yes, there are neutral parts. The writing. I won't complain about it this time, but I thought it was a bit better than the previous books.

The bad parts...

The ending. Seriously? I just don't get it. I felt that Mr. Bennett just randomly threw in that twist. So... Is there going to be a third book? Is the series over or not? I'm so confused.

The book itself. I felt that this book could have been part of The Gaia Wars. Then this series would just be a novel. It would had been better if it was just one book instead of two.

This book's rating is a three out of five.