Friday, February 28, 2014

Also Known As by Robin Benway Review

"Which is more dangerous: being an international spy... or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world's premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it's three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she's attending a private school with hundreds of "mean girl" wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school's elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat... all while trying not to blow her cover.

From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world's greatest spies don't have a mission plan for love."

What I love most about Also Known As is its lightness despite the deadly situation. Also Known As (let's call it AKA for short) is a good book for light reading. You know those types of reading like after class or work? Yeah, AKA is perfect for those times. I can easily lose myself in AKA and enjoy it. It's, I hate to say, adorable. 

Yeah, lately, I been quite into adorable books. I can't get enough of them. Well, at least not yet. You'll notice the difference in a few weeks (or days). 

Let's talk about AKA (not the phrase). It's funny, charming, and cute (I have to say it; it's the best way to describe it). And...I'm bored already. Let's move on.

Maggie Silver (one of her many alias) is a smart, intelligent girl who is apparently a prodigy at math and lock picking. She was four years old when she cracked open her first lock. (I'll admit it. I looked up how to crack a lock and I fell asleep. Lock picking is more boring than I originally thought. There's too much to write down). I don't know what to think of her character. She's rather quite confusing. Actually, the correct phrase is "on the fence." Torn between her parents, her true assignment, and that boy, Maggie is trying to figure everything out including the mystery of the security breach at the Collective (the agency Maggie works at. Apparently, it's bigger than the CIA, FBI, and other agencies). 

Now the guy. His name is...something like Jesse? I'm quite horrible with names which starts with "J"s. There's a lot of names like that. I can never set them straight. Anyway, Jesse (yes, I'm going to use his name even though I'm not sure if it's right) is this cute, innocent (he's only in the company of bad people) boy who Maggie Silver likes. He's the assignment. Seduce him, befriend him, whatever. That's Maggie's assignment. All she has to do is wiggle out an invite to his father's penthouse (it's a penthouse, right? Can't remember; I was drunk with Roux. Joke!). 

It gets complicated. The plot gets complicated. Don't you love it when it gets very complicated? Villains behind every curtains and all those things. Um...I should continue instead of ranting on. Anyway, the conflict gets complicated. There's a lot of lovable twists in AKA. I bet most girls (age 12 to age infinity) would love it. Roux, Maggie, and Jesse (not to mention the parents) are hilarious together. And here it is again, AKA is light reading for (especially) summertime. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik Review

"At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

- As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school--not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
- As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn't exactly on everyone's must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise's beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince's best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long."

It's really cute. Like many chick-lits before this book, Epic Fail is truly one little cute present. The best time to read Epic Fail is when you are sort of down and in the mood for debating who's the better guy. The two guys are Webster and Derek. It's sort of a debate to see who is the better guy and the charming one. Better known as "The One."

Let's debate.

Webster is the seemingly nice guy of the school. Although he's the social outcast, he's rather charming and sweet. Of course, it takes awhile to see the wolf behind the sheep. Anyway, this is a guy with a lot of past and secrets. Elise deems him sort of cute, so I'll take that as his description. It's giving him some points, I guess. BTW, he has a past with Derek Edwards (reminds me of some other characters). 

Derek Edwards, son of celebrity couple and remarkably handsome (as noted by Elise), may be a better Prince Charming. Well, don't take my word. I already read this book, so I'm sort of biased. Read it yourself. Then you will see who is the better Prince Charming. 

Note: Webster's and Elise's relationship resembles friendship. Derek's and Elise's relation is...well, it goes up and down the friendship chart. Then it goes kind of weird like Webster's and Elise's friendship. 

Ah! Look at me! Debating about relationships. Let's move on.

The storyline (serious, I'm only focusing on three main things. Writing, plot, and characters. I feel lazy today) is cute. I swear. Everything about this book is adorable. It's like staring at puppies or something like that. Or maybe a crush. Anyway, Epic Fail is a perfect story for the summertime. Or break time, if you're into that like me. (I finish most books during break time or lunch time. Pretty quick reader, that's me). 

Claire LaZebnik's writing (author with a weird last name) is really cute. I love the way she describes Coral Tree Prep. I'm tempted by her words to laugh over and over again. It's really funny (and cute, yes). 

Basic line (if you don't want to read the review): It's cute and playful, not very serious (and serious, sort of). 

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where Evil Waits by Kate Brady Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

Special prosecutor Kara Chandler is very good at her job, so good that a homicidal mastermind vows to kill her and everyone she cares about. Desperate to save herself and her son, Kara seeks out cartel hit man Luke Varón. The last time she dealt with Luke, she saw him beat the system and escape prison. But now, the most dangerous man she's ever met is the only one who can keep her alive.

Luke Varón isn't who he appears to be. After spending years in the criminal underworld, he seeks redemption . . . and revenge. Yet when he sees the fear in Kara's eyes, he can't walk away. People around her are being murdered, and only he can help uncover the killer's motive. Now as danger closes in, Kara and Luke must trust each other with their darkest secrets - before the evil in their lives destroys them both."

Those two lovebirds, Kara Chandler and Luke Varon, are really adorable. Both of them. Cute, especially with Kara's fiery manner and Luke's sort of smug (there's no better words to describe it; how about this one: knowing things other people don't) attitude. It's like staring at two puppies for Christmas. Very cute, very aww! 

The creeper. Sasha is the creeper/serial killer/villain of the book. A disgustingly good and skilled serial killer, Sasha is a hard one to catch. Apparently, he did some jail time early in his life, then went back to stalking Kara. Oh please. This detail isn't a spoiler. (Well, sort of spoiler? It was mentioned in the first chapter of the book). Ah...oh, well. The secret ("secret") is out, I guess. Anyway, I just want to say that this guy is really sick. I mean, sociopath sick. Very smart, but mentally ill. Sometimes, I want to shoot him in the face or kick him in the place that will make him squeal like a little girl. The author did a very good job of creating hatred toward this villainous character. She made me hate him with a passion. 

Where Evil Waits is mostly a book about "How?" and "Why?" It's not a classic "Whodunit?" book. It's a more of a "How did Sasha kill people?" among other questions. The "Why?" is "Why the killer does this?" The plot slowly takes you down the road, answering questions you didn't even know you had. Using a series of flashbacks, the plot jumps back and forth, from the present to the past. Too bad there isn't a psychic reading along the lines. (Psychic reading isn't needed; it would be interesting if it was there though). No flashforwards, if you must take a note.

Kara Chandler cares for her son, is somewhat suspicious of Luke, and came from a rich family. The third part is sort of truth. She was adopted by a rich family. What's even more sad is that it looks like she didn't seem to have a great relationship with them. (Lots of spoilers in this section). Anyway, she's a widow. She's determined. She's smart. She's angry at pretty much the entire world. And she's scared. (Actually, screw angry. She's scared for her son's life. As for her life, she doesn't really care. Like a true mother...)

Luke Varon is the "bad boy" (notice the quotes) of this book. He's no evil guy. He's actually (and strangely, at first) the good guy. He did a favor for Kara and had the hots for her. I thought that feeling was one way until I read Kara's POV. Luke is smart and truly sweet in the inside. He's the one who is pretty much changing in character. Hah! He's changing alter egos. After all, he does work with the... (gasp!)

What's great about Where Evil Waits is that it's a standalone book. There's no need to read the previous book (about Town Sheriff Mann). It's so easy to abscond yourself into the book. Disappear and settle into the book. It does have a nice ring to it, right?

Rating: Four out of Five

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin Review

"All These Things I’ve Done, the first novel in the Birthright series, introduced us to timeless heroine Anya Balanchine, a plucky sixteen year old with the heart of a girl and the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.

Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life. 
In the Age of Love and Chocolate is the story of growing up and learning what love really is. It showcases the best of Gabrielle Zevin’s writing for young adults: the intricate characterization of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac and the big-heartedness of Elsewhere. It will make you remember why you loved her writing in the first place."

In the Age of Love and Chocolate takes over four years of Anya Balanchine's life. She did a lot of things, from opening a nightclub to almost being killed by a very Bitter person. And yes, pun intended. There was a lot of things happening in this book, from conversations with Win to fights with the Family. Too many things yet also too little things. I really want the author to write a good conclusion for the end. I mean, like a short story or something that comes after this book. I just want to confirm my theories. 

The book is great. It's a change for Anya. Instead of having others being taken care of by her, she gets the special treatment. It seems that she will live a lonely life by herself and she says she wants it that way. Of course, it would had been that way if it weren't for a boy named Win. I'm not saying that she ended up that way, but let's just say that she becomes more than friends with Win. From a wreck in their relationship to a better place, those lovebirds may become something even more (if only Zevin will write something to confirm it). 

I love the comparisons. I didn't even realize it until the author finally mentions it. Comparison, symbols, whatever. Shall I mention it? Yes, I shall. (BTW: This is the third and final book of the trilogy). Chocolate stands for life. And there was one more comparison I realize. Um...what was it? It was... I can't find it. I admit defeat. But if you do, please tell me. I seem to lost my memory of the second comparison. 

When I received my copy of this book in the mail, I was kind of hoping it smells of chocolate. Silly, right? I don't know why I still thought of this even now. Maybe I'm still hoping for the smell of chocolate. I'm crazy. Please ignore this paragraph. 

Ah! I think I remember the comparison (symbol). Love is work. That's the second one. Actually, no. That doesn't sound right. But for the most part it is, but I can't seem to remember the second comparison correctly.

(I'm hungry for chocolate). 

What I love most about the trilogy is Anya. Her kicking butts attitude totally made me fell in love with her. If I was a guy (which I'm not), I'll totally hit that. Unfortunately, Win got there first. Actually, I got that wrong. I'm born too early. And in the wrong body. Anyway, ignoring my rantings, I say that Anya is a great character. It's so cute to see her rise from a young girl to a strong woman. I remember a few words from Red Rising (couldn't resist; a copy was selling in Costco, but I only read first chapter). "Sharpened by hate. Strengthen by love." Or something like that. But that those words totally reminds me of Anya. 

Overall, I think In the Age of Love and Chocolate is perfect. Perfect plot, even though it's pretty fast (it covers four years of Anya's life in that two hundred page book). Perfect words, I never get tired of reading Zevin's work. Perfect characters, I will never get over the utterly shocking transformation of Mr. Win's father. His last name is kind of hard (too much effort to type it) to spell.  

Rating: Five out of Five

Monday, February 24, 2014

Until It Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard Review

"When you can’t trust anyone, how can you ever feel safe?

In seventh grade, Maggie Camden was the class outcast. Every day, the other girls tripped her, pinched her, trapped her in the bathroom, told her she would be better off dead. Four years have passed since then, and Maggie’s tormentors seem to have moved on. The ringleader of them all, Raleigh Barringer, even moved out of town. But Maggie has never stopped watching for attacks, and every laugh still sounds like it’s at her expense. The only time Maggie feels at peace is when she’s hiking up in the mountains with her best friend, Nick. Lately, though, there’s a new sort of tension between the two of them—a tension both dangerous and delicious. But how can Maggie expect anything more out of Nick when all she’s ever been told is that she’s ugly, she’s pathetic, she’s unworthy of love? And how can she ever feel safe, now that Raleigh Barringer is suddenly—terrifyingly—back in town?"

Truthfully, I think this is a really good book. It's a story about moving on, moving forward, onward and upward. (heh). It's not exactly many people's piece of cake, but it is mine. (Until It Hurts To Stop reminds me of Meet the Robinsons. The overall message of the movie is Keep Moving Forward). 

What I love most about Until It Hurts To Stop is the message. Moving on, not dwelling on things you can't change. For example, the past. Maggie Camden wishes to change the past because of her past as a victim of Raleigh Barringer. She can't change that, but all she has left is to move on. And that's what Until It Hurts To Stop is about. Moving on is one of the major messages from this book. And along with the smaller message about half-truths and secrets. That message is a bit more hidden, but it's there. 

Until It Hurts To Stop is an inspiring book. I haven't read one like this in a long time. Perhaps the last time I read an inspiring book was last year. Movies, on the other hand, a few days ago. But we are not talking about movies! We are talking about books! Sorry about that. I'm getting off track once again. 

The book is really short, so it shouldn't be too hard to read. It's about two hundred and fifty pages long, so that's a great plus. It's not a five hundred page book where you have to paw through every word.

Maggie Camden isn't the strongest characters of all time. For most of the book, Maggie's character slowly builds strength. It would seem, at first, that she's a quite normal human being. When Raleigh Barringer returns, she becomes a shell of her former self. When her friends slowly become distant, she grows weaker and weaker (but thankfully never thought of finishing herself) until she finds the support of her friends and the wrongs of her character. 

Nick, or better known as Maggie's best friend and potential boyfriend, is more of a supporting character. He's a stable character actually. A basketball player, he seems to be calm and very athletic. And along with those wonderful traits, he has a really thick head. I mean, a really thick head like most men. I wish I could know more about him.

Rating: Four out of five

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer Review

"Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can."

I hate airports. I truly hate them. I read Cress for the first two hundred and fifty pages before leaving San Francisco International Airport. It was nice, but I had no copy to finish reading that book. So I bought one off the internet and waited five days so the stupid book would arrive, only to find a damn cliffhanger at the end of the freaking book.

So let me start again.

I hate airports.

Cress is not as good as Scarlet, but it's good. In my opinion, there's just too much going on. It's almost overwhelming. There's three main POV (Scarlet, Cress, and Cinder). Let me tell you what happens to Scarlet. Ignore the rest of the paragraph if you don't want to read spoilers. Scarlet is stuck on the moon, as a prisoner of Queen Levana. Cinder finally reunites with Emperor Kai (heh, about to say Prince). Cress makes up with Thorne. Wolf is brokenhearted. In the end, there's three groups. Princess Winter is with Scarlet. Wolf, Captain Thorne, Cress, Cinder, Emperor Kai, and Iko are together. Only Jacin is alone.

Spoilers are over! You can open your eyes now! One recommendation: Read Cress after Winter is out. It's a long way till next year.

Still, the plot is better than many books. I simply love how Marissa Meyer tells the story of Cress (Rapunzel). She's amazing. I really love how Meyer tells the story of Cinder (Cinderella) and Emperor Kai. I'm so glad I got what I wanted in the end. I won't tell you what I got, but I did get something. (Something worse dancing). 

But it's not the plot or writing we really care about. It's the characters.

Cinder is getting stronger. I love her character development the most. There's a lot of bumps in the road, but hey! Not everyone is perfect. The best part of Cinder is her learning the bad and the goods. She is trying to uphold her morals yet is tempted by the (I assume) same road Queen Levana was offered. 

Scarlet isn't seen as much as Cinder. Her character isn't very developed, but I hope to see a bit more of her in Winter. (Poor Wolf). 

And Cress! Cress and Thorne. Hmm...I don't know about those two. I can't help but feel a little weird. I never thought that Thorne would be kind of like a jerk. Well, a little bit of a jerk. Well, I guess Marissa Meyer really follows the story. Blindness, another lover, a witch. It's a very well set up fairy tale retelling. 

I see a tiny bit of Winter. She's seemingly insane. Actually, she is insane, but I hope Winter will be a nice conclusion. Wait! One more thing. Jacin is paired with Winter, isn't that correct? I guess, we found our next Prince Charming. We know that Winter is coming. 2015 is a long way. I just can't wait for it.

Rating: Four out of Five

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase Review

"Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders."

Warning: Suddenly Royal is not for young children. It's for mature readers, who can handle weird scenes and events. And yes, it does get very weird. Think about it this way. It's like the movie the Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement with older people and more serious people. Same amount of chemistry, but in book form. (Does anyone else wish that Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine will date? They are a dream couple). 

Suddenly Royal is for fans of Princess Diaries. Of course, there are some moments when you wish that Mia would end up with a prince instead of what-his-name. 

It's great. It's a really wonderfully story about family. And birds. Although I'm not sure if these bird facts are true or not. Anyway, it's really adorable. The story, I mean! Not the birds! Not the birds. Not the birds.

What's cute about Samantha Rousseau's story is not the prince. It's actually the plot itself that's cute. All these little events. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Remember those little things? Shall I repeat? I will. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Flirt back, flirt forward, flirt, flirt, flirt. Very cute and very, very, thrilling. Romance, itself, is an art to be played by the author. You have to make it believable. And right now, I feel like I'm one weird person...

A very weird person...

Yeah... *sucks in breath* let's go to some other topic. Perhaps I should move on to another book? I'm itching to review Cress (Marissa Meyer's book). But no, I will not be unfaithful until this review is over. 

Let's talk about Sam! Yes, she's awesome. No, she's weird. Yes, I have no idea what questions are you asking so stop asking questions. Anyway, there's some distinctive traits about her. She loves her love ones. She hates photographers. She's really funny when she's drunk. She's afraid of new changes. Did I get everything? Not very 3D, if you ask me. 

The prince. Cinderella's prince. (Joke). Hmm...very cute. Not exactly my type, but very adorable. He sounds like a puppy to me. 

Rating: Three out of Five

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge Review

"Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love."

It made me cry. Yes. C. R. Y. I can't believe it either, but those last words (of the first timeline) or almost last words are so sweet and tender.

You won't get it until you read it. But for right now, let's talk about Cruel Beauty. And yes, the beauty of this book is cruel. I guess some of us like looking at book titles in that way. And I am one of them. 

It's a really good story. Cruel Beauty has Shatter Me's insanity, Beauty and the Beast's beauty, and Frozen's storyline. But no, Cruel Beauty isn't the love child of these three stories. If I had to pick the ingredients, I would choice Beauty and the Beast (duh) and maybe Pandora (yes, the myth). I would also add some demon stories and that's pretty much it. (But I can't forget about the romance! Ignifex and Nyx are so cute together). 

Ignifex's house is a maze. It's one of the most important concepts in the book (other than the romance between Ignifex and Nyx). It's a very creepy house. Very creepy. Let me explain it. There's doors that go to nowhere. There's doors that will lead you to your death. It's like Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth with romance and curses. And Hera doesn't count. She's not the enemy in this story. 

Who is the villain? Fate themselves. I kid you not. It's Fate. I'll give you a little hint on who it is. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief. It's a minor character/villain in that book. And the word Fate is another hint. 

Nyx is a really strong character. She's very sure of herself, but when she looks at Ignifex...well...her entire plan blows itself up. Ignifex/some other guy (yep, it's a sort of three way love triangle) are her major distraction. Anything about them, she abandons everything just to hope for the best even though both of them are her enemy. Trained from the beginning of her birth (or at least close to it), she is very handy in knife fighting among killing people (but she never does it in the book). 

Last section before rating! The romance (kiss, kiss, kiss) between Ignifex and Nyx is really hot. I thought that it would be quite obvious that she would end up with him, but... Fate had to intervene.'s always fate. And the other guy! Shade and Nyx? Ugh...really disgusting couple. Well, not that bad, but just...not right. Okay, right, but not exactly right. Cruel Beauty is totally making the statement "love part of him, but not all of him" true. And, yes. I did just made up that statement. There's no way I could put it in better words. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker Review

"Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. 

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself."

Imposter is a really good book (even though it sounds very similar to Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel). It's kind of like the X-Mens and Shatter Me series, but way different. For example, X-Mens are commonly known, but the Variants (the counterparts of X-Men) are top secret secret in the FBI. And Shatter Me...well, the only thing similar between the two is the people with extreme powers and awesomeness. 

Let's start with Tessa. She's a seemingly plain character with whines about her never-been-kissed status and her parents. Despite that I still root for Imposter. You just have to remember that Imposter is simply pushing things around, trying things out before it goes down the right path. Of course, it is easy to see the next book in a more serious tone. Abel's Army and serial killer Variants are marking the spot for Imposter. I can't wait to see what the author has in stores. 

Warning: Don't read this book until June of 2014. The sequel isn't out yet (or at least of right now). I don't want you to be all panicky over a book which isn't even out yet. Oh, if excitement can kill, many of us would be in the grave.

I like what's the author doing. In a somewhat awesome story of mutants, Imposter (the series) is going to be a wild ride. So far, the book Imposter, is stretching its legs and acting very odd. From a forbidden romance (it's really disturbing) to serial killers, Imposter's plot goes on steroids. The plot twist (actually, twists) makes the book very interesting. Like a roller coaster, with a lot of rolling and escaping and death. 

One of the only problems I have with this book is the oh-so-many-questions. Like what exactly is Abel's Army? Why did it leave the FEA? How did Alec break up with Kate? Or Kate with Alec? Why is Tessa so annoying? Well, sometimes annoying, not always. Anyway, on with more questions. Who is Tessa's father? What's up with her mommy issues? 

I have to know, I have to know. What is going to happen in the next book? I have so many theories, but I'm not going to put them here. Anyway, I hope there will be a much better sequel (Imposter is a good book; I haven't read one as good in a while). Let's raise a glass for an awesome Tessa story. Please, no immortal stuff like what Cassandra Clare put. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hear No Evil by Terry Persun Review

I won a copy from Goodreads Firstreads. 

"A colony of scientists, a megalomaniac, an alien race…which will prevail?

Brandon and Palmer, soldier and pilot, pitch their skills against a high-profile negotiator bent on taking over an entire planet, which could change the lives of every colonist on it. And why would one man want to do such a thing? To gain control of a secret alien race discovered on C47. It’s not about scientific discovery, and it’s not about saving an alien race, it’s about power and control.

If Garth Killjoy, President of Section 204 of the Intergalactic Peace Force, gets his way he’ll have the entire Earth Central government under his control, and he knows it. That means all bets are off when it comes to honesty or fairness when working with the colonists. That’s why he sent a fake negotiator pummeling toward C47 in a cruiser filled with explosives.

Before the ship gets blown out of the sky, Captain Palmer Luce ejects and is rescued by a second cruiser. She believes her friend may have gone down with the ship. But Lieutenant Brandon Lockhardt barely escapes with his life…and he’s not happy. He can’t wait to talk with Palmer to see why she left him behind. And she’s heartbroken that he may be dead.

HEAR NO EVIL mixes space opera with science fiction mystery to deliver a fun-filled and dynamic story that will get your mind thinking and your heart pumping. Let Brandon and Palmer warm your hearts…a new team has been born."

There are some things in the book that are so weird that it is so memorable. I can't seem to shake the words out of my head. And for the record, these words are NOT something I want in my head. Ugh! These words ruin the entire book for me. I just can't get them out of my head. It's so creepy and utterly disgusting. I want to shrivel up and crawl into a dark hole. It is just...

But still! Hear No Evil will be easier on my heart if I had skipped a few pages. I'll admit I lost focus from the beginning (reason in previous paragraph). Anyway, I think Hear No Evil started out great (I couldn't stop reading until I reached that disturbing part). But is my message to you is to read the beginning and forget the end? No, I'm just saying that I find the middle part rather boring and the ending slightly interesting. But the beginning was amazing. 

Even though it seemed like there's a lot of characters (as seemed from the synopsis), it was easy for me to keep all of them straight. Garth Killjoy is the true villain of the book. Brandon and Palmer are the lovers and main characters. James is the person underneath Garth (like a right-hand man). Oliver is the ruler (or one of them) of C47, the planet which is centered on by the book. Captain Stark is evil. Eldon is okay, just a supporting character. And...I'm impressed by how much I remembered. Usually, I don't remember this many characters because their names sort of blend together in a gooey soup (located in my brain). 

Hmm...strange, very strange. But that doesn't matter. We have more pressing matters. 

Like the ending. Honestly, I was very disappointed by how Garth Killjoy was sacked in the end. I was hoping for a little more drama, but it was kind of like watching one of those serial killers end up in prison without getting a death sentence. But still, it's a bit sweet. (However, I'm a bit bloodthirsty right now). 

But right now, that doesn't matter. Well, it does matter since I'm taking that factor in for the overall rating of book, but right now, let's relax. 

One concept of the book is making me feel very strange. The concept of intelligent life. I wonder why the author doesn't call them aliens, but technically, the humans are aliens since they don't live on Earth. Instead, they live on a whole new planet, but interesting. Not calling these intelligent life aliens... Interesting. Interesting. (Neutral factor in the book). 

Rating: Three out of Five (memorable, but I don't want it to be)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep Review

"Here we go again … 

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead. 

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …"

Gwen Frost is in trouble all over again. But this time, it's a life or death situation for the librarian. I mean, Logan's uncle who is the librarian at Mythos Academy. So basically for most of the book, Gwen is after the antidote for the poison. 

And the series still covers an entire school year. Well, less than an entire school year. Surprisingly, Gwen is still chasing Loki's Champion. But I expect there to be a showdown between her and Loki's Champion by the final book. 

Thankfully, it's near the publication date of the last book. But why am I talking about that? I should be talking about Midnight Frost, not the next book. Gosh, it's like I'm already reviewing (or planning) the sequel's review. 

Midnight Frost is an adventure for an antidote. Not that much killing, but a lot more saving. Um...more saving than usual. Saving of Gwen, Nick, and a few other people. And the deceased? A few students and some other people. Not that much, but there's a lot of "Let's be friends" time. Gwen has a few more buddies to help her save the world. But I'm still summarizing instead of telling you what I think of it.

It's fast. Ridiculously fast. I didn't even realize it was over. I mean, the plot/story. I was surprise by how quick it ended. Of course, I was reading an online copy, so I didn't even know it was going to be over. But the ending was quite surprising to me. I didn't even see it. 

Overall, Midnight Frost is good. It's kind of not as good as the previous book, but it's good. I been kind of hoping for a bumpy road with the Logan Quinn plot, but it's quite smooth despite the stabbing and almost killing part. I'm honestly quite surprise Logan Quinn hasn't committed suicide (If I tried to kill one of my family members, I know I probably will in shame and misery), but he didn't. Yay for him that he manages to get through the hard road. 

The Verdict: Wait to read Midnight Frost after the last book comes out. Or wait for the entire series to be out before you read all the books. But anyway, I think the series is going to end on a high note. This book did. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Monday, February 17, 2014

Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep Review

"For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…"

Crimson Frost is basically a showdown between Loki's Champion and Nike's Champion. Loki's Champion is Vivian Holler while Gwen Frost is Nike's Champion. That's in case anything goes astray with your memory. Of course, some of guys probably aren't going to read this review, so feel free to ditch me here while I talk about Crimson Frost.

Please ditch, if you don't want to hear this.

Things are definitely on fire. There's a great amount of events and craziness. It's very tempting to lift your eyebrow in confusion. There's a few main plots. The Vivian Holler plot, the Gwen Frost plot, the Reapers plot, the Logan Quinn plot. Everything else is pretty much minor facts. All you need to know about is those plots. Then you'll be alright for the next book. And yes, I did read the sequel to Crimson Frost.

It still amazes me that all of these books happen within one year. Actually, it happens in less than one year. But still. The author must really like dragging out the entire book over the course of a year. It totally reminds me of the last season of How I Met Your Mother. The writers have to drag everything on and on and on. 

Gwen Frost made a lot of sacrifices. However, I have a deep and dark feeling that it isn't the end. Of course, the last book of the series isn't out yet, so I won't know for sure. But for now, I can say that Gwen Frost's character has somewhat improved. Towards the end, Gwen is less immature and more...sad. Yes, sad. That's the word for her feeling along with wistful and wishful and sorrowful. She's quite in love with Logan Quinn. (Although, I'm nearly tempted to snort in fits of laughter every time she talks about him). 

The last plot twist of the book, which involves Logan Quinn and Loki, is perhaps the deadliest parts. I can't believe she did that, but it totally made sense. You probably don't understand me, but there's a huge sacrifice Gwen made. It's totally a plot twist. I didn't even see it, but the author hasn't been really forthcoming. 

Best parts: Vivian Holler's confession. Well, the part with the truth-telling snake. That was awesome. Devout of violence or practically any blood, that moment revealed Gwen's nastier and darker side. I didn't even know Gwen had a side like that. 

Rating: Four out of Five (failure to make book more serious)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"A riveting tale from the author of The Orphanmaster about a wild girl from Nevada who lands in Manhattan’s Gilded Age society

Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society.

Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, self-dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative—a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable—is his confession."

It's a very twisted story, full of blood and murder and mystery and Dr. Frankenstein along with a narrator with multiple personality disorder. There's a lot of things going on, so I recommend you to take a step back and breathe.

I repeat, breathe. Do yoga while you are at it. It will help since this book gets really disgusting. And yes, it does get weird.

How weird? Remember Criminal Minds? Towards the later seasons of the tv show, it gets bloodier and gruesome? Well, the Savage Girl episode should be hanging around the end, probably around the season with Emily Prentiss or after her time. But most people probably don't know what's Criminal Minds. Let me just say this is a book about mystery and tons of cases. All cases include a serial killer. Yes, a serial killer. So there's a lot of dead bodies.

Savage Girl is told from Hugo Delegate, but it is mostly centered on Savage girl whose true name is Bronwyn or something like that. Savage Girl isn't really that bad, but know that she has a very complicated past. If you ever want to say something very nasty to her (mentally or physically), just remember she isn't great with people. Okay, she's good with people, but...well, just remember there's something very interesting about her.  

I want to debate (with myself) who is more insane. In fact, Hugo and Bronwyn (I'm more used to her name being Virginia) are so insane that they are perfect for each other. I guess their relationship is more subtle, but it's there. It starts off as hate and then slowly builds up admiration along with flirting and love. Puppy love is what I'll call it. Character in the books would probably call it brotherly/sisterly love. Bronwyn is the adopted sister of Hugo, so don't worry about incest and DNA problems and all that stuff.

Sorry about that 'insane' adjective. They are not really insane. They are more like weird and broken yet also strong. Instead of a multi-layered male character, there's a multi-layered female character with a silent male character. Well, not that silent. He's the one admitting everything, not Bronwyn. She's the quiet one, but the one more mentioned and analysis.

Hugo's confession or four hundred pages confession (yeah, it's kind of long) is really deadly. But it's really good. But I won't go into details. I can give similar things, but not the exact details because that's spoiling the book before (it's February) it is even out. 

But let me just simply say: Savage Girl is good. There's a lot of things going on, but it's not too bad. Not like the world news page. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder Review

"The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear."

Fire Study isn't as good as Poison Study, but it is still pretty good for the third book. Fortunately, Fire Study isn't the last. There's a few other books, maybe three sequels? Anyway, there's a few more books plan for this series. It isn't over yet.  

But for now, let's focus on Fire Study. No, Yelena does not study fire and succeed. Instead, she seeks a different way to master over fire. Yelena is still awesome, but I hope there will be more use of poisons. She doesn't seem to be mastering over the powers of poison or practicing the powers of poisons very frequently. After all, practice does make perfection. Yelena may be close to perfection, but she's not there yet.

The plot of Fire Study is insane. First, there's tons of fighting (yay!) and a lot of backstabbing. Of course, there's more moves created by Valek (who is apparently at least thirty five, or in other words, at least fifteen years older than Yelena). Valek is still insane and unusually, as usual. And yes, he still kills people. He is the spymaster and the poison-know-it-all. Then there's the fun action created by Ari and Janco and a lot of lunatics who are very powerhungry. And that's not all. There's also the Commander fighting (verbally) with the Council of Magic. More old enemies are back and new villains are revealed. 

Wow! That was a lot. Don't forget the fact that Yelena had to practice her magic skills. Magic versus physical fighting seems to be one of Yelena's problems. Actually, it's one of her smallest problems. For more of her problems, please go back to the previous paragraph. Notice all her problems. It's even worse than high school drama.

Nice character growth from Yelena. She's definitely a little softer, but willing to do what's necessary when a problem arises. I can't wait to see Yelena in another book, like the sequel. Ahh! I just can't wait to see her on fire!

I have to admire one thing from Maria V. Snyder (the author of this book). She can really put seemingly meaningless plots together to make a whole picture. For example, Opal seems to be a very minor character with a huge role in the conclusion. Without her, the book would have a huge plot hole. Or how about the villainess, Roze? Without her, there will be no conflicts. Or the wannable king? Without him, there will be no complications/death. 

My needs: Another sequel. I'm nearly done with the Ice Study book. 

Rating: Five out of Five

Friday, February 14, 2014

Afterglow by Karsten Knight Review

"In this conclusion to the Wildefire trilogy, teen volcano goddess Ashline Wilde learns her former love, Colt Halliday, has an evil plan to kill the Cloak, benevolent beings who oversee the gods. Also, he wants to merge Ash and her two sisters back into a single, too-powerful goddess, Pele. Ash must stop her trickster-god ex-boyfriend once and for all, by feeding a few flames."

I thought I wouldn't finish this trilogy, but I had a lot of time to kill at the library. I picked up this book in the new book section and read the entire book, cover to cover. This time I do not regret it, because the trilogy did improve.

I no longer like Colt Halliday. He's an idiot along with a bunch of other nicknames. Scumbag. Loser. Selfish dunce. Cheater. There's plenty more. Just simply mentally add in names after cheater. Colt Halliday is going down (in my mind) ever since the first chapter of Afterglow. Colt is a good villain, but a horrible dad (or babysitter, whatever you call it). 

That's the only change I have. No longer supports Colt Halliday and that's it. Oh, I definitely agree that Afterglow is on the plus side of the trilogy. 

Afterglow follows the last part of Ashline Wilde's journey. Boy! There's a lot of things on fire, not only the earth. More characters pop out like Colt Halliday's true "girlfriend." It turns out Pele (Ashline Wilde is one third of Pele) is the mistress and Colt was cheated on his girlfriend with Pele all along. Isn't that lovely? I agree. Along with the goddess of nightmares (Colt's girlfriend), there was Artemis (goddess of the moon), a goddess of memory, Aphrodite (goddess of beauty and love) and some more gods. Too bad there wasn't any other gods. I wanted to see Athena (goddess of wisdom).

What's a plus in Afterglow is the issue of sisters. Eve and Rose (Ashline's sisters and the other parts of Pele) explodes in this book. I don't really like how Karsten Knight tied up the Rose plot, because it seemed a bit messy. A very messy cleanup. Nice try is what I thought after I watched Knight clean that plot up. Eve, on the other hand, had a nicer cleanup, but it was a shame she ended that way. On the plus side, Eve had a nice ending and was very touchy/heartfelt. That was a nice change of the rudge girl she is.

Ashline Wide totally changed. From a violent, I-don't-take-crap, smart, and cold girl, Ashline turns into question-before-fighting and warmer girl. She was very sweet with her sisters in the end. It looks like she forgives them for their sins. 

It's a nice ending. I'm serious. It's a really nice ending. Well, Afterglow has a really nice ending. It ties everything up. Although some facts are sort of shaky, Afterglow is nicely put together. I really enjoy the last book and the first book. The middle book was a a middle child. Whiny, and looking for attention.

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep Review

"I've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me--again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects--and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me--and I'm in for the fight of my life."

Dark Frost is one bad book. Bad in a good way. Bad in a bad way. Let's me say this: This book is where everything goes from bad to worse. Just read the synopsis of the next book and you'll understand why everything is going down.

Despite all of this, Dark Frost is awesome. There's a few fine points in this book of darkness. Gwen learns to trust Nike (or at least respects her a bit more). We know why the cranky librarian "hates" Gwen. And the bond between Logan and Gwen certainly deepen. Oh, and we also find out the identity of Loki's Champion. Grandma Frost is a formidable force. I learn not to piss off Grandma Frost. She will poison me with her cookies or kill me with her sword.

First kill for Gwen happens in this book. Gwen does fall a little bit (like all good characters and Percy Jackson), but it's obvious that her time to rise is coming soon. Even though her powers are simply beginning to reveal itself, it's clear that it's going to be rising out of her. Stealing people's lives or something. Manipulating people like Loki's Champion. Whatever. The true power of Niki's Champion has yet to be revealed.

Logan. I have a really funky feeling that Gwen's going to need Logan. I can say one thing about her fighting skills and I'll say it's not happening. She's a horrible fighter unless there's someone who could fight stays near her. Of course, that person has to be on her side. Logan, Daphne, the Celt or Green Irishmen (I like to call him that). But every hero (or heroine) needs his/her friends. It has always been that way. So go and tune on that Barney song of "I love you" and that sort of crap. Yes, Barney as in the purple dinosaur. No! Not Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, although he does need his bro.

I can't wait for the sequel for Dark Frost. Even though it's already out, I have to wait for the book to arrive. I hate shipping and handling and all that hallelujah. Anyway, I just want to say that this series is starting to become even more frosty. (There's nothing to do with snow. Other than snowflake necklaces and the last name Frost. Nothing to do with winter). 

The storyline is downright hilarious. Okay, Gwen is becoming mature. She's slowly evolving into a young woman. I hope to see more of that along with Nike. I want some more Nike scenes. Nike, the goddess of victory, is awesome. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder Review


With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies...."

Magic Study is awesome, not as good as Poison Study, but still good. I was hoping for some more Valek scenes, but oh well... He looks good even from afar. What a shame he's a character in this book, just like so many other appealing boys (want a list? I'll give you one; Duval, Peeta, Percy Jackson...)

Magic Study is more focus on magic than poison. Not because Velak is gone (well, I guess that might be part of the reason), but because Yelena is another area. Instead of being with her heartmate and the Commander, she's with her family. That's right. She's returned to her blood family, who are strangers to her. 

It's really sweet. (There's nothing sweet in Poison Study except for Velak and the cakes. Those were yummy). It's great to see some characters relax their guards. Of course, Valek is suspicious of everyone since he's the assassin, but he seems more relax. Yelena doesn't kill as many people in Magic Study. 

But there's even crazier and complicated villains. New villains, evil villains, evil people. There's tons of types of villains. Hmm...I wouldn't call some of them villains, I would call them anti-hero. You have to admit it sounds a lot better than villain. Villain will suggest someone who deserves to die or someone who deserves to be imprisoned. Anti-hero, well, they can grow to like the hero. In this case, the hero is Yelena and Valek. 

Who's crazier? Yelena or Valek. The answer's obvious. It's Valek. He's the craziest person in the world. Even though he rarely appears, he still has that devilish touch. When feel like some plot is going to come up, expect Valek to be at the center of it. That man is the craziest puppet master. And how old is he? It creeps me out because I can't figure out his age. He could be in his forties and be looking good for all we know. 

Yelena, revealed to be twenty, is pure awesome. With magic under her sleeve, Yelena can really do anything. I think she's one step closer to exterminating her ghost. But not yet, of course. Just one step closer.

I'm hungry for the sequel. Imagine my surprise when I find out that the fourth book isn't even out yet. Thank goodness, there's a third book that's out. I can use that as my eye candy as I wait for the fourth book to be release.

Rating: Five out of Five