Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story in the vein of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all."

Guy In Real Life is one confusing book. It's good, I'll admit that, but it's a bit confusing. For one thing, I have no idea what exactly is the genre of this book. Perhaps it's LGBT? Hmm...I think that's the correct genre, although the genre can be open to debate and a lot of discussion. (BTW, I'm going to say this right away. This is going to be a short review. I have tons of stuff to do, so this is going to really fast). 

Book. I think the cover is awesome. Those two are adorable on the front cover. On the back of my copy is a bunch of sales information. In case you haven't notice already, I have the arc copy, so some of this might be off on the actual book. Still, I'll fire off this review anyway. (It's the only break I have from my work).

The story is certainly interesting. It totally makes me want to play MMOs. I simply love how the author describes them. The addiction you get from it is so powerful you can feel it from the author's words. Or the author has a great way of telling this story. Eh...I can't really say, but I do want to say it's both. That brings me to the author's writing/way of telling the story. He switches between two POVs (Svetlana and that other guy). The way he skirts around them is amazing. I could also believe he's a pro (well, he's a writer, right?). Anyway, I just want to say that the writing and book and story is smooth as a lake.

The scary possibilities of internet is played in this book. People, one warning: Never give out your locations and it's better to use TOR unless you are one of those people who like fast internet. Also, always know that there are creepy people out there.

The sexuatlity. LGBT/possible crossdresser. Okay, I'm done here. Nothing else to say other than how well it was portrayed. Telling kids and teens that it's okay to be open despite the pressing world is good. However, there might be some parents...Okay, I'll stop now.

Moving on.  Svetlana seems to be a model from the times I read the male's POV. I can't remember his name other than the fact that it's unusual. It starts with an L. I can't name anything after that. Oh, well. Anyway, Svetlana doesn't have a major character change. She seems to be the stable character while the boy is around his Coming of Age.

Lesh. That's his name. It's right in the synopsis and I couldn't find it. (How stupid of me). Anyway, he's the person who changed the most. Without giving it away, I would say that he's out in the open and away from the shadows. Enough of a hint?

Rating: Four out of Five

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce Review

""Let her prove herself worthy as a man."
Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death -- either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman -- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes -- for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
Alanna's journey continues..."

I'm now really upset at Alanna. I'm terribly sad. I wished she stayed with Jon. Unfortunately, it's her choice and her choice only (along with the author's painful ideas). I think George Cooper is alright, but I wish she stayed with Prince Jonathan.

Anyway, I'll move on. (I guess you find out about the major spoiler in this book). The Woman Who Rides Like a Man is certainly a long title. Whatever. It's still a good book. It's not as good as the first book, but it's still better than the last book (yes, I already read it). It goes by fast, as usual. The plot is really fast. Everything goes by in a blink of an eye. Before you know it, the hour is gone and the day is fading.

Anyway, the character, Alanna, is growing. Her characteristics are amazing. She grows bigger and bigger (like a full human being) with each death she takes or sees. She becomes more caring and compassionate (like a mother). The best part about Alanna is her Independence. She's unhappy sometimes, but she's also smart in her execution. Also, her expression at someone's resurrection is certainly interesting. I always love resurrections. It's always fun when that happens. And that clever use of family! (Now all I need is Alanna's real father and I will be happy for the rest of the Lioness series). 

What's next? Hmm...I'll try to keep this one (review) short. I can't really talk about this. It's not as interesting as the previous books. My recommendation? Read the first two books, then forget about the next two. It's boring (compared to the excitement in the previous books).

Best moment: When Jonathan and Alanna comes together to meet one another once again. It's such a shame they are no longer together. That's the problem with their relationship. She's a knight. He's a prince. They may be both nobles, but they will never mix together in their worlds. Jonathan's kingdom won't gain anything if he marries Alanna. And his proposal! It's a huge dang-it-Alanna moment!

Overall, I think this series is great. If this is your cup of tea, then this is good for you. It touches on subjects like sexism, knighthood, and other stuff (plots, schemes, politics, power, greed, revenge, etc). It's great.

Rating: Three out of Five

Friday, April 25, 2014

In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce Review

""I don't want to fall in love. I just want to be a warrior maiden."

Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna's liege lord, he is also her best friend -- and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorcerer threatens the prince's life, it will take all of Alanna's skill, strength, and magical power to protect him -- even at the risk of revealing who she really is...

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's second adventure continues the saga of a girl who dares to follow her dreams -- and the magical destiny that awaits her."

Ooo! This is as good as the previous book, Alanna: The First Adventure. Once again, I'm questioning where in the world I was when I could had been reading a good book like In the Hand of the Goddess. I always have a liking for tough heroines, even ones who don't believe in love like Alanna. It's such a shame. I always liked it when heroines put a little more fight into things they don't believe in. She jumped the bones. (That's all I'm going to hint. All you need is the name of the owner's bones and you'll know the spoiler). 

Anyway, In the Hand of the Goddess is even better than the previous book. I wasn't that happy with Alanna: The First Adventure as this one. Gosh! This series gets better and better as time goes on. I think Tamora Pierce was on fire at this time. She's one of those authors where you question your whereabouts when the book was published. (Me? I think it wasn't even born yet. This book was published in what? The eighties? The seventies? It's old). 

It's a really short story. Okay, it's two hundred and fifty pages long. It's short for a reader like me. I can read five hundred pages and not even blink an eye (exaggeration, of course). Still, it's pretty short. Like I said before (in a different review), these plots go by fast. All the words perfectly flow together and make this masterpiece.

Alanna's character grows even more. She starts accepting sorcery and even uses it for her goddess. Even better? She gets a new pet. I love her cat (is that a bad sign or something? Will I become a future forty year old single with thirty cats? Sorry. Overactive thinking). And the love! Oh, I really like her with Prince Jonathan. I think those two are practically made to be. They are perfect together. That thing with George, though! makes me angry. Make sure my copy of this book is still okay after I reread this book. (Oh, it's a library book).

Prince Jonathan is not a jerk. Well, maybe a little. But I think George is more like the jerk. He's way too cocky for my liking. I don't like him at all. The only reason I see for friendship with this rogue is the connection to the criminal world. That's the only reason. Still, I think I'm one for Prince Jonathan and Alanna. They are to be a couple. Love triangles are terrible.

Anyhow, I can't wait for the next book. I'm going to go and check it out. See ya, guys!

Rating: Four out of Five (boo for George!)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce Review

""From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight."
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
Alanna's journey continues..."

This is one of those books where you ask yourself: Why haven't you read this book earlier? Yeah, Tamora Pierce is one of those authors you don't want to miss out on. Although her books are sort of old, they are a masterpiece. It's old, but it's good. Quality over age. You always have to look for quality words instead of crappy new shiny books. Sometimes looking back in time isn't that bad. There are some books people read every day that are over thousands of years old, right? (Hello? Don't forget about the Quran and the Bible). 

Alanna: The First Adventure is certainly a mouthful title. Nevertheless, I will shorten it. Or keep tying it. It certainly wastes words and help me reach my word count limit for this review. Eh...I don't really care. I'll forget about the first name. Alanna is already one word with a ton of characters (letters). Yeah, I'll stop wasting time.

Anyway, The First Adventure is pretty awesome. I really liked the fighting scenes and Alanna's cute meetings with Prince Jonathan. I totally wished they would have something much more. It's such a shame. Those two should had kissed by the end of the book (no, they don't kiss by the end sadly). 

Best moment: Alanna's crazy healing power against Prince Jonathan's illness. She is really that amazing. It's such a shame that such talent has to go to waste. I really liked Alanna, from the beginning of The First Adventure to the end of The First Adventure.

The book is rather short. Actually, I got that wrong. The book is rather fast-paced. Everything, everything went by fast, too fast to be accurate. By the time I was finish with this book, I wanted more and more and more. It is too good. Oh, it's as good as chocolate and strawberry and ice cream! Ah, I'm hungry now.

It's great to see Alanna's character in action. I see her fears. I feel her love. I dislike the people she hates. I have to admit that Pierce always does a good job, even my good friends agree. She changes throughout the book. Her feelings towards magic changes. She likes Jonathan in a different manner (let's hope for romance). Best of all? Alanna kicks butts over and over again. This girl is as bad as Katniss Everdeen. 

Let's hope for Prince Jonathan to be something more. They have a great sort of chemistry together. Of course, we can always hope. But will it actually happen? That's the endless question.

Rating: Five out of Five

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spoiled by Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan Review

"You say Spoiled like it's a bad thing.

Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix has just discovered that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Intrigued (and a little) terrified by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Los Angeles and plunges headfirst into the deep of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her life couldn't get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous, spoiled half sister, who welcomes Molly to la-la land with a smothering dose "sisterly love"...but in this town, nothing is ever what it seems. 

Set against a world of Redbull-fuelled stylists, tiny tanned girls, popped-collar guys, and Blackberry-wielding publicists, Spoiled is a sparkling debut from the writers behind the viciously funny celebrity blog"

I thought Spoiled would be great. It's great when my predictions turn out to be correct. Yes, Spoiled is actually pretty great. However, there's a few points I wish the authors explored on, but I supposed it has to leave some threads hanging. 

Spoiled goes around two POVs. Molly Dix is the farmer girl turned Hollywood Princess. Brooke Berlin is the happy Hollywood Princess turned spoiled brat. Wait. Brooke was always a spoiled brat. Never mind. She hasn't changed. Until the end of the book, of course. I guess there's always a reason for dramatic characters' existence: So they can change.

Overall, I think Spoiled would be the best for younger teens. I mean, there's so many issues dealt with in this book. First of all, there's the sisterly 'advice.' It's better known as sister/sibling arguments and disagreements. Second of all, there's the problem with best friends who want more than friendship. (This book totally says that truth will set you free). Lastly, but also most important, the problem with bullying is met and touched. The best lesson taught is the second one I mention. The Truth will set you free. It comes with a price, of course. Stalking may be one of them, but let's pretend it won't happen.

Molly Dix is no innocent little girl. She comes fairly close to it, but I think she learns the ropes fairly well. She doesn't care about what other people think (eventually). She tries to be herself. She becomes awesome in her own way. 

Brooke? Not so much. For most of the book, I thought about how rude and spoiled she is. She's Daddy's little girl from head down to toe up. Yeah, that kind of sounded a bit weird. Moving on, because it's going to get weird. I think a better lesson that could be taught here is how terrible fake tans are for your skin. Now, I'm done.

The ending is the best part. All the characters change so much, with the sort of exception of Mr. Brick Berlin. I don't think he's really the best guy. At least he tries his hardest to be the best guy. Anyway, Molly lets go of her daddy/mommy issues (yeah, I'm being pretty cruel right now). Brooke lets go of her daddy issues (and she certainly has a lot of it). Brooke certainly stops taking it out on Molly. Brick tries to be around for his girls instead of playing in awesome action movies (dang it) and being awesome.

Rating: Four out of Five

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ruins by Dan Wells Review

"Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost."

Whoo! Whoo! Check out that pretty, pretty cover. I really liked all those waves and that hair! Gosh, it's so pretty. Yeah, I'm crazy. But still! I wish my hair looks as good as that. Okay, I'll stop talking about hair. It's getting a bit old.

Ruins is the last installment of the Partial series. I'm pretty sure it was called the Partial Sequence, right? Oh, well. It might be or might not. I guess I'm done for now. I'll stop talking about the actual name of the series. Partial series vs. Partial Sequence. Whatever. I think Partial Sequence is still awesome.

Ruins is told from many POVs. I think it's around five or six. Somewhere around there. I immediately suggest that you read the previous books unless you have an excellent memory. There was so much going on in the previous books. Like everything is fast-paced with crazy plot scenes too much. Still, I think Ruins, even after all that crazy long journey, is pretty good. I liked it enough, especially the Armin story arc. I always wanted to know the true history behind Kira's father. He's always the mystery.

I always liked the writing of Dan Wells. He kept it (mostly) organized. I'm pretty sure I saw a few typos, but I think it's great. I was kept entertained for the entire two hours of reading this long book and ending.

Best part: The last battle. That's all I should say. Otherwise, there will be too many spoilers revealed to those who haven't read the book yet.

The weakest part of the book is probably Heron's story. I didn't really liked her character change/last action made. It didn't seem like her. I mean, seriously? A character change after witnessing something big? It seemed a bit sloppy to me. I'll tell you what happened. She died. Yep, she died to save everyone else. Words didn't change Heron, yet a look at a wolf and her cubs changed everything for her. Hmm...I don't really like that part. I'm pretty sure Heron would kill the wolf and eat it instead of changing her views on the world after watching them from afar. Seems suspicious. I do see that her sacrifice is needed, but I don't really get why she wanted to do that. Heron was always saved herself. She does not die for other people. She is programmed to be like that.

Yes, it's a Happily Ever After story. It has that ending. Is that a spoiler alert? Hmm...I don't know. Actually, yes it is. 

Overall, I think this series is great. The story is wonderful (other than some small snags). Everything seemed to be good. I think the fall of snow is a nice touch.

Rating: Four out of Five

Monday, April 21, 2014

Story Time by Edward Bloor Review

"George and Kate are promised the finest education when they transfer to the Whittaker Magnet School. It boasts the highest test scores in the nation. But at what price? Their school's curriculum is focused on beating standardized tests; classes are held in dreary, windowless rooms; and students are force-fed noxious protein shakes to improve their test performance. Worst of all, there seems to be a demon loose in the building—one whose murderous work has only just begun.
A bitterly funny satire about the state of modern education from the author of Tangerine and Crusader."

Story Time isn't funny. It's boring, long, and painful to my eyes. I wished I abandoned the book earlier, but I was so hoping it would turn out for the better. Ah! Investment failure. It's a good thing it was only a library book. It would had been burned to ashes by this time. I hated, hated it. It was terrible.

Nevertheless, I shall mention that this is going to be a short review. I'm afraid I would get carried away in insulting this poor author's work. Yes, it does happen. Yes, it has happened before. I don't remember which review, but I'm afraid I done it before. I'll try to make it as painless and quick as possible with a touch of humor. Let's see if I can deliver.

Jack and Jill went up the hill. To be short, I will say that there are demons inside of books. These books are in the private libraries of Whittaker Magnet School. And when someone touches the books, the demons go into the victim and possess them. These demons are rather dangerous. However, it's hard to see that part of them when the victims are dancing to Mother Goose's poems and stories. 

For most of the book, Story Time is very dry. It has the locomotion of a dead cockroach. I disliked most of the book, especially how the author wrote this book. It wasn't really fun or addictive. The only reason I stayed in the murky waters is because of demons. You have to admit that demons in books is sort of creepy. Besides, I was reading it under the blankets, so I wanted something that would scare me into a nightmare. Did it? No, I was so bored...

George is the young uncle of Kate. It's a long story, but let's just say that the family tree is a bit weird. It's just like Once Upon A Time. Poor Henry Mills. His family tree is insane. He's the genius of the family, but he's quite young. He's naive and innocent. But as the book goes on, he becomes a more observant person.

Kate, on the other hand, is a smart kid of the two. She sees how bad the school is. She's more observant, yet she seems to be a little bit submissive when it comes to the words of her parents even though in the beginning of the book, she clearly isn't. It's a bit confusing, I'll admit. I thought Kate's character was quite stable until the ending.

Rating: Two out of Five

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway Review

"California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is."

Audrey, Wait! is a clever book about getting over your ex-boyfriend. No joke, it's a clever way. Sure, you can think about all the things you want to say to him even though his phone is disconnected, but let's admit it, it's no use. The best way to move on is to get a new crush or a new boyfriend. It's better if they are the one and the same. 

But we all have to admit that it is hard to get over your ex-boyfriend when he sang a song about your breakup with him. Hello, Future Mr. Taylor Swift. So, now you have to avoid the paparazzi and a whole bunch of crazy artist, who thinks that you could be their next muse. Yep, it's pretty insane. I have to wonder briefly if this is what Taylor Swift's victims have to put up with. Perhaps. I guess there's a chance it would be like that for Swift's ex-boyfriends. 

Well, that's what Audrey has to put up with. It's a good thing she is not the ex-boyfriend of Taylor Swift. We will all know how crazy people will be when it comes to Taylor Swift.

Anyway, I think Audrey, Wait! is an amazing book. The writing could improve, but I thought it was overall well-written. However, Also Known As is an even better book written by Robin Benway. I guess she did a bit more editing on AKA. The compelling tone isn't as strong as AKA. Writing only improves with age unless you have Jason Bourne syndrome. Actually, no. He's still pretty good even at that time. After amnesia, I mean. 

Best moment: MTV interview. That moment shows how much Audrey grown as a character. Suddenly, she no longer hated her ex-boyfriend. She accepted who he was and moved on. Time to be fully invested in her relationship with "Keep scooping" guy. 

Audrey is sort of a whiny girl. She's not that spoiled, but she might as well be. She complained way too much about her ex-boyfriend. Shall I mention that it's a boyfriend she didn't even like? Yep, this girl certainly has issues. But her character development is still amazing. It's huge, compared to the rest of the characters. Audrey, however, is sort of dumb and smart at all the chosen moments. It was clear to me who was friend and who was not. For example, I noticed how wrong her best friend is. She was practically using Audrey to get cars, lotion, and a bunch of other free stuff. Even worse is Audrey's enemy. The only one who seems to have truth in his or her body is Audrey's new boyfriend. 

Did I mention writing is sort of dry in the beginning? It was hard to get into this book from the start. That's all about Audrey, Wait! Thank you so much and have a nice day.

Rating: Three out of Five

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt Review

"I will tell you a story of magic and love, of daring and death, and one to comfort your heart. It will be the truest story I have ever told. Now listen, and tell me if it is not so.

Keturah follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near--and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve--but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and romance."

Warning: Lots of spoilers. That's all I have to say for now.

Wow, this story was obvious from the beginning. You know what this story reminds me of? Persephone and Hades. Their story is rather similar. However, I'm not sure if Persephone developed any feelings for Hades other than respect. From this analogy, I'm sure you can probably guess who is Keturah's true love. 

It's a bit amusing, I'll say. Death gets cheated by the girl he likes. (Kind of like Poison Princess and The Endless Knight by Kresley Cole). He makes deal after deal after deal with her. And it is all in hopes that she will fall in love with him.

Keturah tries to evade Death's darkly grasps by telling a story of how a young girl found her true love. Let's just say that the story ends in death, quite literally. I sort of liked it, because it is kind of adorable. Keturah and Lord Death is a short, but also a happily ever after book. Most young readers will probably like it. Older readers? Not so much, unless they are hungry for "ever after." Still, it's adorable how Lord Death tolerates her.

Lord Death is a young lord. I don't know how he is one, but apparently he is what others perceive him to be. I like that. Death is what people think he is. It's fitting.

The plot goes by pretty fast. I'm surprised by how quickly I finished the entire book. It seemed to be just an eyeblink from the beginning to the end. Nevertheless, I think it's pretty. After all, Keturah is on stolen time. She tries her best to fight Death, but eventually she gets taken by him in the end. All stories end in death. There's no way around it. There's no way against it. All stories, all lives end in death. Although Keturah ends in something more than death. I guess that's the author's way of saying that the end of Keturah and Lord Death is the beginning of Keturah's story. As I said before, it's fitting.

Hmm... Let's go on. The best moment of this book is probably when Keturah finds out about Lord Death's true feelings for her. She sort of realizes it, but she unfortunately uses it to her advantage. It reminds me of unrequited love until the circle becomes whole. As I said before, all lives end in death. 

Rating: Four out of Five

Friday, April 18, 2014

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

"Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is."

This is not I am Number Four. Yes, there's aliens, but it's not strange little green men. Nope, it's strange human-sized bright men and women. No, it's not supposed to make sense. It's a bit complicated, but I'll take down challenge.

Challenge Accepted. I had to do that. Anyway, Daemon is the local alien. He is made out of light. Literally, made out of light. Isn't that impressive? Sounds like a sparkly vampire we all know. Just kidding. Still, they both give off light. There are more people like Daemon, but there are darker aliens (of course). They are people/aliens which are made of darkness. So Daemon is of light (despite his name) and the other aliens are of darkness. I mean, actually force of light. Daemon is actual force of light.

Points are given to the author for the appearance of Men In Black. Cheers for getting the government involved! It's always fun when those Men In Black people appear. There isn't much information about them other than the fact that they are government people. They don't know about the aliens' real powers. I guess, we'll have to see if anything interesting goes on. MIB is always fun to read.

Okay, let's get this straight. Daemon is a jerk. He's a jerk, I repeat. He's a jerk. I have no idea why he's so mean other than the fact that MIB hunts any human that looks to have a relationship with an alien. That's the only notable reason I see. Other that fact, I don't see any reason why for Daemon to be a jerk. I don't know why the main character likes him so much. I was sort of hoping he was actually his twin brother (yeah, he had a twin), because he has bipolar disorder. Or at least, that's what I believe.

Katy, on the other hand, is a bloggist. Specifically, she's a book reviewer. She's kinder (unlike the jerk). She managed to worm her way into the hearts of the aliens. Then she somehow became more awesome. No questions answered by the author. I'm telling the truth. No questions are answered. I have no idea how she suddenly became more awesome.

Throughout the entire book, I was hoping Katy to be a bad guy. Sort of like an enemy alien. Is that weird or something? Perhaps, I'm weird. Still, I was hoping Katy to be more awesome. Because she was (before the ending) that boring.

Overall, I think Obsidian was great. The biggest problem was the dullness of the main character. As for the Twilightness, the author has to work on that. Let's face it. No book should look or sound like Twilight. Ever again.

Rating: Three out of Five

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead Review

"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe."

I love! I love! I love! Oh my goodness. The Fiery Heart is the best. I hate how Mead ended on a cliffhanger. This is why you wait until the last book comes out to read the entire series. At least that worked pretty well with Vampire Academy. Bloodlines? Not so much. It's 2014 and the next book, Silver Shadows, is months away. Like four months away. So annoying! I totally hate waiting for the next book.

Told from two POVs, The Fiery Heart is a big on surprises. It's told from Adrian and Sydney, in case you were wondering. Which POV is better? Well, I admit that I favor Sydney's POV. Adrian is too depressing. I think he's even more depressing than Poe. And that's saying something, because few are more depressing than Poe. (Edgar Allen Poe, if you can't figure it out. If you can't figure out, then you have a problem). 

The ending is something I have to talk about. Right now. I can't believe it! She left us on a freaking cliffhanger. Whatever happens, I hope Sydney and Adrian will be okay. Apparently, the next book will be more romantic than sexual. That's according to the wiki page on Silver Shadows. Don't look so embarrassed. It's the truth. If wiki is right.

What I totally like about Bloodlines series is the lack of the infamous love triangle. You may argue that smart boy may had been a candidate, but you're only kidding yourself. It was always and always will be Adrian at the end. Remember Vampire Academy? For Rose, there were Dimitri, Mason, and Adrian. For Dimitri, there was a few other woman I won't name and Rose. Then I could also talk about some other weird things that happened in Vampire Academy. Let's face it. Vampire Academy is much stranger than the Bloodlines series.

The plot is so exciting. There is so many problems and situations. Magic takes a back seat for the most part of the book. The Alchemists and their organization is back in the limelight. They take front and center along with a few other people. Even though there's tons of problems, I'm going to say that you aren't going to be confused. Mead takes you into the book very well.

I will tell you that there are a few what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-this-author moments. For one example... Actually, I shouldn't talk about spoilers. Hmm...maybe I shouldn't. Close your eyes unless you want to see. Okay, apparently Sydney's witch mentor is dating Sydney's self-defense teacher. Isn't that wonderful? Totally gross moment. Open your eyes now. Heh. I should had used the words, spoiler alert, but that would be boring. I like a little bit of change. Change is good for us.

Sydney is growing up as a character. She's discovering more of the Alchemist's deception and secrets. She struggles with her heart and the Alchemist. It totally reminds me of Grave Mercy, when Ismae had to chose between Duval (the guy/love interest) or her convent (the organization she's obeying).

Adrian grows much more than Sydney. Since we are reading from his POV, we see more from his perspective. He's not exactly a drunk by choice. It's just that spirit is too depressing for him. That's why he has been kind of a jerk lately. In addition, we get to see how much Sydney's love changed him. Yes, it might be totally cheesy, but it's sort of cute and romantic. Sorry to all the men out there.

Rating: Five out of Five

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead Review

"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets--and human lives." 
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next."

Go for Adrian! The best parts in this book are the parts with Adrian in it. I have to be serious. I'm serious. The best parts are the Adrian parts. He's awesome, as usual. Too bad there isn't any Dimitri and Adrian actions. I was hoping for a little more action and humor between these former main characters and current main characters. I'm talking about Rose and Dimitri as the former main characters. Adrian and Sydney, the current main characters.

Yay for those two for finally showing up together. Mead is just teasing us! Anyway, they show up during a WEDDING, which is plain torture. It's not their wedding. It's Sonya's wedding. But still! It's very close. Any chance for wedding bells to ring for Dimitri and Rose? We can all wish and hope, right? Let's hope it happens in Silver Shadows or the sixth book. It would be legendary! I need more of them!

Sydney is still suspicious towards the vampires, but I think she's becoming more friendly with them, especially Adrian and Jill. It's nice to see her develop some more trust towards these guys. Her character development is working pretty well. I want to see more of Sydney and Adrian. They seem to be something interesting, but they aren't as good as the first power couple. I mean, Dimitri and Rose, of course. Dimitri and Rose have something more...strong. I guess they have a more profound bond than Adrian and Sydney. Let's hope it gets a bit more interesting. So far, the most Sydney and Adrian argue about is his drinking problem. Spirit, Adrian's power, is driving him to the point of no return.

There's something sinister going on with the Alchemists. Sydney is trying to find out their secrets, but first she must render the tattoo useless. The tattoo basically forces the Alchemists to keep their secrets and not reveal it to anyone. So when Sydney goes digging, she only finds more questions than answers. What exactly is going on with the Alchemists?

Witchcraft is taking a strong step forward into the light. In The Indigo Spell, there's a rogue witch taking people's life force and magic. It turns about to be Sydney's witch mentor's sister. Isn't that wonderful? But that's obvious. The real trick is to capture that rogue witch. It's not really a spoiler to readers.

Overall, I think The Indigo Spell is really heating up the entire series. We have Adrian and Sydney's relationship. Then we also have witchcraft, drunkenness, and tons of secrets. Yeah, Mead is just doing fine.

Rating: Four out of Five

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead Review

"Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?"

Okay. Okay.

Sydney Sage certainly is keeping a bunch of secrets. She's dating the boy version of herself, Brayden. Unfortunately, it seems to have no chemistry. Well, to me, it was just plain torture. They weren't great with each other. Brayden remains awkward and strange. That just proves it! Especially at the end of The Golden Lily. Adrian is the one!

Anyway, I thought The Golden Lily was golden. It hit right on. I totally love it. It's the perfect amount of drama and insanity. Well, not insanity. That's not the perfect word for it. No, it's actually a perfect amount of charm. Perhaps I should use the word twist. Twisty plot, twisty Golden Lily. Yes, I believe that's perfect. Twisty and dramatic. I totally love it. Gosh, I'm repeating myself like a madwoman. 

The conflict is amazing. Sydney is charged with watching Jill, but she's frequently distracted by Adrian. Adrian, of course, is still drinking like crazy. He doesn't seem to be doing very well with spirit. It appears he could probably take a few good advice from Lissa, who seems to be doing a bit better with spirit than him. And then there's something else. Sydney has to practice witchcraft, because her teacher wants her to. It turns out Sydney is very special indeed. A human witch, who can use magic. It's like the special Moroi vampires who can play with the elements. And then there's some special type of people out there. (Not going to say). Let me just say this: The Golden Lily will always be entertaining and never disappointing. Mead has yet to fail.

I noticed something common among Mead's writing. Yes, I did reread the previous books (series, Vampire Academy) because I wanted to catch up. Go ahead. Start screaming 'nerd' at me. I will be okay. I got called stranger things also. Anyway, Mead frequently uses the word "legitimate" or any variations of it. It's not a big concern, but I just wanted to point that out. It's annoying me to a certain extent. Okay, it's somewhat a big concern. Not too big. It's just legitimately annoying me like crazy.

Adrian is still drinking. That's what I want to point out. Also, he's still an annoying jerk as usual. He will need to work a bit harder if he really wants Sydney. 

On the brighter side, there's Dimitri. Yes, Mr. Hottie is handsome. Guardian Handsome. Agent Handsome. Hmm...I'll just call him Dimitri. Guardian Handsome doesn't have the same ring to his real name. Anyway, I do enjoy the little banter/fight between Adrian and Dimitri. Wouldn't it be funny if I shipped them? Actually, I'm not shipping Dimitri and Adrian, but still. It's kind of funny. Oh, shoot. I better check to see if they exist before I start insulting anyone.

No Rose.

Rating: Five out of Five

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead Review

"Blood doesn't lie...

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning..."

Excuse me while I go bang my head on something hard.

Thank you for waiting. Bloodlines is the start of the spinoff series from Vampire Academy. Now I know (actually, heard) about how terrible the movie was, so I'm not going to go into that. But if you are really upset by how the movie was adapted, I would suggest you go read Bloodlines. On second thought, don't read Bloodlines. Wait until 2015 to read Bloodlines, so you can get this series over with without being upset at yourself. Or read it now and be like me: freaking upset at my stupidity to read this book and sequels already.

Okay, dokey. Bloodlines is awesome. I really enjoyed it. I have to admit that when Rose and Dimitri, I had a little fangirl moment. Too bad, they didn't show up at the exact same moment. Rose was somewhere in the beginning. Dimitri was at the last page of the freaking book. So it wasn't much, but it was still awesome. Anyway, any characters from Vampire Academy like Eddie, Rose, and Dimitri and show up in Bloodlines are awesome. Oh, I should mention Adrian, too. He's still drinking.

Sydney and Adrian. I'm just waiting for them to happen. They have good chemistry, but it's not too strong. Hopefully, they will be a couple by the end of the series. I'm shipping those two lovebirds. Let's hope they will be together.

The plot and conflicts are entertaining. Sydney is sort of nervous around vampires, but she isn't as nervous as before. She handles them all very nicely. I really enjoyed reading from her POV. Anyway, there's a bunch of things going on. First of all, kids at her school are getting tattoos with similar properties as alchemist tattoos, so she suspects something bad is going on. There's a few other things going on like witchcraft so it does indeed get interesting.

The ending of Bloodlines leave off with the appearance of Dimitri. There isn't much, but I have to admit that I'm so excited to see him. Of course, Adrian doesn't seem to happy and won't be when he finds out. After all, Dimitri was always the one for Rose and Adrian sort of hates him because of it. Poor Adrian. His heart is always on the line. You can't but feel so terrible for him. Richelle Mead plays with his heart.

Anything worth mentioning: More Adrian and Sydney scenes. They are awesome. BTW, I would love if Sydney would talk more about her work. She doesn't seem very open about the alchemists. Very secretive.

Rating: Five out of Five

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly. 

Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome."

Oh, my goodness. I'm totally in love with Blonde Ops. I mean, the mystery, love, intrigue, and characters were all perfect. I thought this book was absolutely fabulous. I warn you: It's addicting and lovely.

Yes, there's the CIA involved. Along with Interpol and a whole bunch of other people. It's espionage, but Blonde Ops isn't exactly espionage. Yes, Parker is a hacker, but she isn't skilled enough to be a professional. Still, I would label this book as espionage, mystery, thriller, romance, and YA. To me, it's the perfect combination of delight and squeals. I just love espionage because of the mystery. However, I don't like mysteries without espionage. I must have them both. I guess that's the way I am.

What's next? Oh, Parker. Parker reminds me of Parker from Leverage (tv show). Although they are different in many ways, they are in the same world. Still, Parker (tv show) is better than Parker from here.

Bec is the main character. (I had a terrible case of identity recognition). She's wonderful and is a girl at heart. She may think she's smart and good, but she soon realizes she isn't good enough. (Fingers-crossed for a chance CIA train her. Espionage is always fun). She's innocent and naive at times, but she can be as fierce as a lion.

There's a love triangle. First is a guy named Taj who is a fashion blogger from South America or something like that. He posses a British accent and is very hot according to Parker. The other guy is Dante or something like that. I can't remember his name, because the chemistry between Taj and Parker is hotter than Parker and Dante. Anyway, Dante is a delivery boy and works for his family. He's a family man.

I root for Taj! I don't care about what you guys hate about him. He's awesome and has more depth than this Dante guy.

The plot is perfect. I love how it spins around and around. It twists here and there. Then you start forming a list of suspects. I can certainly give you mind, but that's sort of a cheat-cheat, so no. Anyway, someone is trying to kill the First Lady. At least that's what the CIA believes. The plot goes around and around (I'm repeating myself) until it stops in the final betrayal/reveal of the plot. And I can't help but love it.

I'm addicted. I can't help it. I hope there's a sequel to Blonde Ops. When I finished the book, I'm quick to realize that not everything has been completed yet. And I hope the authors won't leave the conclusion to debate. I hate when that happens!

Rating: Five out of Five

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sketchy by Olivia Samms Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"The first book in a series about 17 year old Bea Washington, an edgy, charismatic outsider and recovering addict, who discovers that with her new-found sobriety, she has a disturbing new ?skill? ? an ability to see, and draw, people's thoughts. Alarmingly, these visions are only getting stronger and increasing in frequency. As another girl in school is raped and left for dead, Bea must come to terms with her talent, learn to face her own truth, and try to help identify and stop the killer before he strikes again."

What I like about Sketchy is how troubled Bea is. I know trouble isn't always great, but it does make a good story. 

Let me talk about and explain Bea's problem. She has an addiction to drugs like some teens. However, she has a superpower. She can literally draw the truth out of people. She tries to keep it a secret until a serial rapist/killer comes knocking on doors. Anyway, I'm going to continue about drugs. She's trying to stay sober for as long as possible. She has been sober for three months now. Well, sober as in alcohol. However, it looks like she takes over drugs. Cocaine for one example. Apparently her ex-boyfriend is a drug dealer and drug user, so it certainly does get a bit complicated.

There's no major guy. Although I think there's someone special but too old for Bea. I know she's seventeen, eighteen years old. I think she has feelings for someone much older than her. It's a bit weird, but that guy has a kid. Anyway, I hope I'm reading it wrong. It's a bit weird. I can easily tell you that.

Sketchy is a rather short book. I finished it while I was eating dinner. However, I was also watching tv, so I know I ate dinner rather slower than usual. But still, I did multitasking. I think I was pretty good. Yeah, I'm good.

Anyway, Sketchy is about two hundred pages or something like that. It's still full of action and plot. The plot is fast-paced, but that doesn't stop the author from doing this book with doing a good job with Sketchy. Speaking of Sketchy, this book totally reminds me of Sketchy Behavior (another book). If you liked that book, then you will totally like this one.

Olivia Samms' writing is good. It's not addicting, but it's interesting enough to tell a good story. I rather enjoyed reading this book, but I'm probably not going to read the next. The addiction is enough to read this entire book, but the addiction isn't enough to read the next one. And I'm pretty sure there is another one. I mean, a sequel.

Anything bad about Sketchy? Hmm... I think the only thing bad about Sketchy is the creepiness with the older guy. I mean, the compassion and the sorrow is great. I do love the bullying and how Bea handles it, but I think that some choices are hard to make. Gosh, some choices are hard to make. She clearly likes him, but that is just wrong. Let's hope I'm not seeing him correctly.

Rating: Four out of Five

Friday, April 11, 2014

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him sectetly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom."

Assassin's Apprentice is awesome. Even though it's sort of old, it's still awesome. I love how Fitz does his thing (assassin business) and I love how the author tells the book. I really enjoyed reading this book even though it's longer than To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm not joking. It feels way longer than that book. Like longer by small font and a hundred pages. Yeah, I think that's a pretty accurate description of it.

The reason I mention To Kill a Mockingbird is because it's similar to that book. Assassin's Apprentice begins with Fitz not truly understanding the world. He is similar to the children from To Kill a Mockingbird. His innocence is very endearing yet also the weakest part of his character until he grows older. That's when he becomes so scary. Like really scary. Like when Agent Grant Ward shot Victoria Hand scary (still thinking about Tuesday's episode). 

I really loved Robin Hobb's writing. She has a way of making this world seem so real despite the rather silly names of the kingdoms and princes. You notice that too? Chivalry, Regal, Shrewd (King, but still). They all have horrible names. That's not a big deal. You will get use to it. It's sort of strange. Anyway, how this book was written is making me all excited for the next book even though it's already out. If I have enough time, I will attempt to read the second book. Hopefully, it's not twice as long as this book.

This 'Skill' is sort of like magic, I believe. Anyway, there's no wand waving or anything like that. It's just mind control and other things. It's not too pleasant, but it certainly keeps me interested and invested in this book/trilogy.

The ending is simply the best. I loved every part of it. I was like, oh, Fitz, you are good. I simply fell in love with Fitz. He's brilliant, of course. He's intelligent and is willing to do everything for his kingdom. I love his character, no matter how deeply flawed or drunk it gets. The most important thing is that he tries.

The overall lesson of the entire book? Nothing is what it seems to be. And the devil is everywhere. (Okay, the second one is a sort of joke. I'm kind of joking yet I'm not). 

Rating: Five out of Five