Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?"

Now, The Art of Lainey (the title of this book) is a play on the title, The Art of War, which is by Sun Tzu, who is a dead Chinese warlord. Lainey, the main character, is at war against Jason, her ex-boyfriend. She is trying to get him back and jealous after he dumped her. I don't know why she is getting back Jason (who dumped her) other than the reason "we're meant to be/soulmates." Gag. That is disgusting. If he dumped you, then there is something wrong with him. If you are trying to get him back after he dumped you, then there is a problem with you. A relationship that ended should stay over.

BTW, I love the comparisons between battlefields, relationship, job interviews, and more. Now that is interesting. Relationships and battlefields are alike. That is one interesting comparison, don't you agree?

Anyway, armed with the quotes of Sun Tzu and war advice from her best friend, Lainey is at war to get him back. This is a battle between two exes. Needless to say, this is going to get pretty ugly. And undeniably hilarious.

The only problem? She is falling for another boy or as her mother calls it, "new love." Micah, her rebound guy, is actually pretty good to her. And they both have a lot of chemistry. So now she has two choices. Jason or Micah? Anyone wanting to take a bet who she chooses? Oh, wait. I already know. I can't be in this bet unfortunately.

Let me tell you about Micah and Jason. Then Lainey.

Micah is that guy with a mohawk. Yep. One of those crazy hairstyles. And he smokes. Plus, he has a sister and a mother and a dead father. He got arrested one time, too. Pretty interesting, right? Well, I tell you a lot more about him. He has daddy issues. That is the simplest way of saying it without giving too much of this away. But! He has a gift of cooking and baking. Remind you of anyone? Peeta Mellark, anyone?

Jason, on the other hand, is a mostly good boy. He had charges against him, but there were dropped. So he is sort of a bad boy. He can really play soccer, but not much of his character is known (other than being a jerk) because Lainey spends most of her time with Micah.

And Lainey. Well, she is the one with a bunch of problems. She is really good at soccer, but instead of spending time practicing, she focuses more on Micah and Jason. Eventually, she finds her true problems and... Well, that is for you to find out.

Overall, I think The Art of Lainey is a really funny and sweet book about first love and war. All is fair in love and war, eh? I think it would be a really good idea to read it, especially when you have problems against reading The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The quotes are much easier to digest and understand.

Rating: Five out of Five

Friday, May 30, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare Review


I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance?"

Well, one thing that is truth about City of Heavenly Fire is the fact that it is long. Just how long? Seven hundred freaking pages. Let me repeat that. Seven hundred freaking pages. How many paper cuts can you get with that? A lot. How many paper cuts did I get? None, although I did have a bandage because I touched broken porcelain (long story). I'm quite surprised I didn't get a paper cut from the pages and the flipping.

Let's keep going.

City of Heavenly Fire does not refer to a city of heavenly fire. I'm sorry. I just had to say that. (This is the first book of Clare's I'm actually reviewing). Still, I think it is great. It may not do a quick summary over of the previous books, but it works. Plus, we get to see Tessa and Jem. Poor Jem isn't using his old name anymore. Such a shame. Still, there is some points in seeing those two. I don't think that counts as spoiler, right? Well, I will tell you a small spoiler. Jem steals Church from the New York Institute. So yes, Brother Jem does steal the cat.

Let me start with the storyline. It is Sebastian vs. everyone else, right? Well, the beginning of City of Heavenly Fire shows how powerful and scary he is. Plus, it introduces us to Emma and Julian, who will the the main character of the next series. Gosh, there is so much going on right? Series, after series, after series. Clockwork, Mortal Instruments, Dark something. How many Shadowhunters are left now? Twenty? After so much blood and war, there seems to be so few of them left.

But it is awesome. Who doesn't like bloodshed? Oh, wait. Don't answer that. I don't need an answer. 

City of Heavenly Fire touches on several issues and topics like homosexuality, and... Well, I can't recall anymore. My brain is fired (electronical-wise). Anyway, it is all good. Ugh, I hate the fact I can't reveal any spoilers.

You know, I'm actually quite happy to finish the last of the Mortal Instruments. Do you know why? Because now we can finally move on to the next series. That's why. Yeah, I'm so cruel and rude. Whatever. I honestly think this series should had ended at number three.

The ending and the sassiness is all gold. Jace, Jace especially, is the Queen of Sass. I'm sorry. He can't be a king. A king is only a pawn that can move backwards. Sorry, chess terms. Anyway, the ending stars Simon and Simon completely. This time it isn't Clary and Jace's relationship at stake. It is Alec/Magnus (for a while) and Isabelle and Simon's relationship. His sacrifice at the end is undeniably sweet. His fate is even better. Of course, I won't say any more because of spoilers. Okay, I'll indulge. Simon will become a Shadowhunter.

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pawn by Aimee Carter Review

I receive a copy from Harlequin.


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand."

Is anyone else sick of dystopian books? There is a scary, familiar pattern going over and over in all those types of books. There is always an organization to fight against. There is always a "Katniss Everdeen." There is always a hero. There is always a villain. And there is always politics. And there is always a game.

Not to mention annoying, I must add. Everything about this genre is growing old, just like vampires and everything in between. Dystopian worlds. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Pawn is certainly unfortunate. It has nothing to do with chess, although it is more like a political game between the queen and the pawn, who is Kitty Doe. It is a shame chess wasn't played at all. It would be interesting though. Hopefully, the next book will have chess games. However, I won't be reading the next book, which is called Captive. Dystopian books shall be the bane of my existence. I'm sick of them. If there is chess in the sequel, then someone message me about it. Actually, don't message me at all. I want nothing to do with dystopian books/genre ever again. They are so old.

Kitty Doe is certainly one interesting character. Unlike other characters, she remains true to her boyfriend, despite the fact that he dumped her. She is very intelligent and is quick to realize when there is a situation. A political situation, I mean.

The organization/society is utterly nonsense. I mean, a caste system? Seriously, that is getting old. What other books are there with caste systems? Umm...The Selection by Kiera Cass, and some other ones. I simply can't remember right now. Anyway, caste systems are getting boring and old. I can name Gattaca, but that is a movie. That wouldn't work. I need a book example, not a movie example.

The cover, on the other hand, is awesome. I love the colors and shades of grey. The blue contrasts nicely with the other colors and plays on silver. The eye and the number is a very nice touch, which points to a significant fact of this book.

Overall, I think Aimee Carter's try at Pawn is good, but it doesn't stick out enough. I'm not exactly a fan of this series and never intend to read anything after this book. Originality? Terrible. It is like the Prince and Pauper all over again. The plot? Prince and the Pauper? Oh, wait. I gave a lot of spoilers away. Oops. Don't care. Even though there is a lot of juicy stuff in the plot and storyline, there isn't enough to keep me interested. I never got into the story, as much as I wanted to be. It is a shame. Pawn really seemed like a book I would like despite the constant trend of dystopian books coming out this year.

Rating: Two out of Five

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wake by Lisa McMann Review

"For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant."

Wake is certainly an interesting book. It is told is a form that somewhat resembles a diary. And it tells of the dreams Janie slips into to whenever she is near a sleeping person. She sees much and can immediately see the secrets, fears, and desires of a person. Occasionally, she can also see memories. It is all very interesting.

In the beginning, it all starts with a bunch of dreams. The first one was when Janie slip into a businessman's dream of being naked in the boardroom or meeting or something like that. She soon saw him passing by after she slipped out of his dream. That was when Janie first realized she had something special. She had a special gift. Wasn't that interesting? Well, I'll tell you something. It gets old when Janie keeps on seeing/visiting dreams of people (characters; 2D characters) we don't care about. I don't really care about her lesbian friend. I don't care about that monster. I don't care. The beginning was way too long for my taste. 

The plot starts picking up around the time she met Cabe. I mean, the second time. Not the first time, but the second time. He is around nineteen years old (actually, he said so himself). Then he finds out about her gift and gets freaked out. Of course, it isn't that surprising considering the fact that no one is psyche unless she is (as Petunia Dursley nee Evans from Harry Potter) a "freak." So the entire plot basically revolves around Cabe and Janie. What does this remind me of? An only-two-character show. That's Twilight without the abuse.

Janie is one cautious and careful character. She makes sure no one knows about her gift until Cabe happened. She is mostly passive. Not once has she spoken against her mother's drinking habits or little money. She simply accepts the way she is and tries to make the best of the situation. She goes to work for money. She watches out for her mother, but I think she is trying to not pay attention to her mother and instead focus on Cabe or her friends. It takes a long time before trust is given by her unless your name is Cabe.

The amount of secrets is stunning. From Carrie's secrets to Cabe's truths, Janie knows most of them as long as they appear in a dream. She soon realizes there are some dreams that are only imagination and not memories.

Overall, I think Wake is a good book with a few rotten bumps in the row. I won't explain the rotten bumps in great detail (they will spoil the book), but I will say a few words. Like this: slow beginning, little character development (for some characters), and incorrect facts (especially Cabe's part).

Rating: Three out of Five

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

"It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself."

Okay, this series has regretfully been turning me down. Sentinel may be here, but it doesn't deliver as strongly as the second or third books. From the fourth, it goes downwards, but it is so subtle that you barely notice it until the final installment, Sentinel. 

First of all, I hate the classic "Don't ask questions" crap authors pull on their readers. The ending is entirely questionable. I highly doubt someone like Seth with that much ego would bow down to forces who want to enslave him for eternity, but oh, well. I guess that is the course of the story, right? No crap plot pushes from the author, right?

Nope. Yep. Whatever. There are a few disappointingly weird plot devices used by the author. Seth, in the end, served only to give a "Happily Ever After" to Aiden and Alex while he just rots in Hell. Not literally, of course. But some might think servitude is rotting in Hell. Dang it. I already revealed too much already. Great. Now I'm being repetitive. You see how much this book is affecting me? I want to kill it. This book, I mean. Gosh, I'm really disappointed in Sentinel. It is just that some parts of the plot is awfully convenient. The ending, especially, is what I consider a very, very, very loose end.

Anyway, in the beginning of Sentinel, Alex is thought to be pregnant. Actually, I don't think that is even the beginning. It was more like the middle. Anyway, this is one lesson in disguise: Kids must practice safe sex or abstinence unless... Huh. I don't really have a good comeback line right now. Unless... I can't really think of anything. Ending with 'they want to be pregnant' isn't going to go so well.

On the other hand, we have great character growth on Alex, Aiden, and Seth (even though his character growth is somewhat questionable; I will still include him). Alex gets more mature for her age. And yes, she weirdly gets her "Happily Ever After" even though she dies in the end... Yeah, I just revealed another spoiler to you. Sorry, guys. Aiden's softer side is revealed. Plus, we get more insight on his insecurities. that I'm thinking about it, Aiden's character growth doesn't sound like character growth. Never mind, it is just insight. And Seth? Well, I already told you. He made a lot of sacrifices for Alex, who is the girl he will never have but will always love. Isn't that so tragic? Well, I'm not really into him. So I don't think it is. I'm not trying to break any feelings here, but Seth was always a jerk to me. A very smug, arrogant, and overconfident jerk. That is some of the insult among a bookful of insult.

Overall, I think Sentinel could had been better. It had the potential to be better, but it ended on a terribly sour note.

Rating: Two out of Five

Monday, May 26, 2014

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

"Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself."

Wow. Apollyon is certainly sick, or at least in the beginning of the book. It goes all wrong, because Alex was way too into Seth. She keeps on calling him "my Seth" and all those other mushy, gooey words. This is the exact reason why I will never be on Team Seth. Heck, there was never a Team Seth in the first place. It was always Aiden from the beginning to the end. Always, always, always Aiden.

Anyway, Apollyon gets very interesting. We see other gods and goddesses. And we finally get to met the villain. For one, I will tell you that it isn't Lucien despite what he has done to Alex or Seth. It is a god. And it is the most obvious god of all. It was simply too predictable. Heck, if I tell you the name of the villain, it wouldn't even be a spoiler. It is just that obvious. And who is the villain? Ares, the god of war.

Alex and Aiden go even further. That is all I need to say and will say. Their relationship deepens even more, especially at the beginning of Apollyon. Needless to say, it is terribly sweet and adorable. This time it isn't Dimitri who is bad. It is Rose. (That is a reference to Vampire Academy, guys).

And Alex matures even more. I have a small feeling that Alex is almost ready for her role in the battle against Seth and Lucien and everyone else. Whatever her fate is, I can easily predict that her future road is going to be fun.

Throughout Apollyon, I never let go of my interest for one second. I was always entertained while reading the entire book. Even the "my Seth" parts weren't enough to get be disgusted enough to abandon Apollyon. (Plus, we get to see how arrogant and self-absorbed Seth is in those small moments). Even through the lows of Apollyon, I kept reading. And yes, there were a few low parts of Apollyon. It obviously wasn't Hermes, the messenger god. It was Ares. Even Apollo couldn't see that. I'm pretty sure Athena, the goddess of wisdom, could tell Ares' work on the mortal world. She hates him with a passion, remember? Greek mythology, in some ways, is the loosest threads of this series.

Overall, I think Apollyon is definitely worth reading. Try to read Half-Blood first. I never liked reading out of order. I definitely had done that before.

Rating: Three Point Five out of Five (Ares is so obvious; he isn't the god of wisdom).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

""History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time. "

Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. 

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. 

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. 

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate..."

Apparently, the Greek Gods do exist. At least in that world. We first see the introduction of Apollo, who happens to be as annoying as Apollo from Percy Jackson. Oh, and there is also his sister. And Lord Death is hanging around, too. And Poseidon. Oh, it is a full party. Some of the Olympians aren't in Deity, but they are certainly there and they do exist in Half-Blood world. Some of the gods yet to make an appearance includes Ares, Athena, Zeus, Hera (that cow lady), the drunk, and a few others.

Deity takes off with a good swing. First of all, we have a bunch of crazy people going around. Plus, we have Seth going possibly insane with his lust for power. And yes, his lust for power grows and grows greater with each second he spends with Alex. It is actually pretty terrible to see him go that way. (And yes! I was right. There was something off about Seth, and now his evil side is all out and in the open). Whoops! Spoiler alert is a bit late.

Alex matures even more. It is nice to see other parts of her. She eventually sees the ugly, yet also seeing the good in bad people (which is probably a dumb idea). She strangely (and yet also unsurprisingly) continues to believe in hope. Also, it appears that Aiden and Alex's relationship is in the clear by the end of Deity. I'm not going to say anything else, but I will tell you that they don't have to be in secret and hiding anymore.

Aiden is awesomer. (Is awesomer even a word?) You have to admit that he might be a little protective (okay, pretty protective) and undeniably hilarious. While I read Deity, I could swear all my smiles are because of him and his words. They are simply funny (to me) and a bit romantic (That I'll admit).

The end of Deity ends with an annoying cliffhanger. Grrr...I hate cliffhangers. That would be why I started the next book without thinking. Then again, in Wisconsin, I'm rarely thinking. I'm only doing and breathing and reading.

Let's talk about Seth. Actually, it begins and ends with insane. There is practically nothing else to be said.

The plot goes wild, as I mentioned before. Actually, I didn't mention it before. It all goes up and up and up until that cliffhanger. Gosh, why am I repeating myself? Ugh. That is terrible of me. Oh, I know why. It is because of the night owl I'm pulling.

Rating: Four out of Five

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

"There is need. And then there is Fate. Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's other half is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon--and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude--or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone."

Yep, I was right. Things are totally escalating quickly. Everything is going insane and crazy and utterly awesome.

First of all, we have to talk about Seth. Now, Seth is the other possible love interest, although we all know that isn't true. He is somewhat suspicious and pretty much has little romance with Alex. I don't care what Alex says, but I know that he has no romance with her. It was always Aiden. In the beginning, it was Aiden. In the end, it will always be Aiden. That is perhaps the most obvious parts of the book.

But it gets wilder. Aiden sort of starts moving away from Alex in emotions. You get that feeling that he is very conflicted between the rules of his society and the feelings of his heart. I know that sounds pretty cheesy, but that is the truth. I really like all of that forbidden stuff. I guess that is why Romeo and Juliet got together despite their houses being so angry at each other. Love and lust and chemistry. Just like a typical teenage couple. Isn't that right?

Pure is very exciting. It was interesting seeing which direction Jennifer L. Armentrout was going to take the Greek myths. We had Percy Jackson. And then we had a bunch of other authors copying Percy Jackson, because of its popularity. But who cares? Greek is the new popular genre of this decade and the previous decade. I won't tell you which direction, because I already told you guys last time. I'm not repeating myself.

The greatest part of Pure was Caleb's death. Now, that wasn't a surprise. Caleb, Alex's best friend, was always predicted to die young by the oracle. Now that he is dead, he tore Alex's world apart while he spends his time and eternity in the Underworld.

Alex changes to be more mature. Caleb's death was the slap of reality. She is the Apollyon, and she has a job to do instead of being angry at everyone. It was a nice change now. Instead of being a young, angry lady, she is a more determine and frightening vengeful Apollyon. It gives us one question to ask: Will Aiden's love will be enough to bring her back from the darker side of her coin? Well, that is probably going to be legendary.

Overall, I think Pure is awesome. Even though Percy Jackson will always be the star of Greek myths, it is always fun to see other Greek-myths-based book.

Rating: Four out of Five

Friday, May 23, 2014

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

"The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck."

Remember Percy Jackson? Well, Half-Blood is rather similar to those books. The difference is that Half-Blood is willing to go wrong. I mean, racy. (Ahh! I'm so reminded of Ruin and Rising. I just can't wait for it!) Half-Blood is definitely recommended to older teens, because there are a few curses among other things. Nevertheless, Half-Blood remains fun. It stays Greek, but it goes off in its own path.

Ahh! I love politics in books (never in the real world; they are just way too much for my brain). Every time they argue, I always love to laugh. Their problems make everything seems so silly, yet so true. (In some ways, of course).

Okay, Alexandria is a Half-Blood. Her rank is of lower caste than Pure-Blood. (Oh, doesn't this sound like Harry Potter? First, Percy Jackson. Now Harry Potter). But it gets even weirder. Daimons remind us all of one creature and one creature only. Vampires. And it gets even crazier. Aiden, her love interest, is her instructor. Now, doesn't that sound suspiciously similar to another book we know? And what book is that? The Vampire Academy with Rose Hathway and Dimitri something. It appears as if the author pulled bits of stuff from book here and there. It may be a coincidence. It may be not. But someone might be shouting plagiarism here. I'm not. I would say it is an interesting combination of Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and the Vampire Academy. Isn't that a nicer way of saying copying?

But I haven't explained Alex's character yet. She is a bit wild. And yes, she is just like Rose Hathway from The Vampire Academy. A bit wild. A bit saucy, and everything in a wonderful package. Oh, and I suspect she has severe PMS. Her mood swings are wilder than any girl I know. She loves getting into fights. She is so violent and is certainly disrespectful towards rules (ex: Aiden's a Pure-Blood and can't date a Half-Blood yet Alex does so anyway, because she really likes him and possibly more).

Aiden reminds me of Aiden from Revenge. I was always thinking that he might die by the end of book, but it is a good thing he didn't!

Half-Blood is an amazing rollercoaster with a bunch of oracles and new discoveries. It gets crazy, yes. But I have only a small feeling that it is about to explode into craziness. Everything will be going...crazy. The result will probably be...biblical. Actually, 'biblical' doesn't work here. Half-Blood is Greek. Mythical? Does that work?

Anyway, I think the best part of Half-Blood is the calling/relationship between Aidan and Alex. Their resistance against their chemistry is amazing. I have to rolling my eyes by now. I'm pretty sure Armentrout is only drawing out the romance for a later plot twist.

Rating: Four out of Five

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas Review

""A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for."

Crown of Midnight is even better than Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass, for me, was sort of terrible. I hated how Celaena was at that time. I hated the writing. I hated the plot. I hated nearly everything except for the prince. You see, I must had been in a terrible mood. I don't know or remember the recent events at that time. I had no intentional of reading the Crown of Midnight, until I found myself in Wisconsin...and without a book (I mean, good YA/very interesting recommendation on hand) to read. So reluctantly, I got my Kindle and read Crown of Midnight. And I love it.

Crown of Midnight is way better than Throne of Glass. I suspect my initial hatred of Throne of Glass was caused by the palpable lack of answers and information. Crown of Midnight sends a ton (bucketful) of information over the reader's head. There is so many reveals that I just kind of gotten used to anything surprising. I wouldn't be surprised if...say Celaena ends up with some douchebag on the street. That is how many surprises there were in this book. So many twists. So many turns. It is just like politics. And I love it.

Did you really think it was Dorian vs. Choal? Well, that wasn't the way I saw it. I was always a supporter of neither groups, because I didn't really liked either of them. I mean, Dorian seemed a little spoiled while Choal is so grumpy. Because Crown of Midnight is told from three POVs (Celaena, Dorian, and Choal), we get to see into a bit of everyone's head. The POV I love the most is Choal. He is probably the most insightful out of the three of them. Celaena comes pretty close. Dorian is the last of the three.

Celaena grows closer to one of those guys (I'm not saying who). While those lovebirds come together, the third watches closely and lets go of Celanea. Hopefully, he will feel like that for the rest of his life. Otherwise, it would be a long life for him, and I hate to see that character suffer. Gosh, I'm just talking in this odd way. I swear I'm only trying to block spoilers from coming through by referring Dorian and Choal as "that guy."

The ending of Crown of Midnight is where everything goes down. Terribly and greatly. It is where everyone's secrets come out. From Dorian's secret to Choal's secret to Celaena's secret. Gosh, there is so many secrets all around. Does it remind me of anything? Politics. That is what this always reminds me of. Politics. It is always politics. Secrets everywhere and insecurities to exploit like crazy.

Anyway, I just can't wait for Heir of Fire. With a bunch of reveals and revelations, it is certainly going to step up Sarah J. Maas' game. We have to see how awesome the rest of the series will be. One thing for sure is that nothing will ever be the same.

Rating: Four out of Five (Some moments of brief hatred)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reborn by C.C. Hunter Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Return to the beloved world of Shadow Falls, a camp that teaches supernatural teens to harness their powers—and where a vampire named Della will discover who she’s meant to be.

For Della Tsang, Shadow Falls isn't just a camp: it's home. As a vampire who's never fit in with her human family, it's the one place she can truly be herself. But when a mysterious new guy arrives at camp, Della’s whole world is thrown into turmoil. Chase is a vampire with secrets, who knows more than he’s telling. But the more time she spends with him, the more she begins to trust this attractive stranger—and feel drawn to him. But romance is the last thing she wants—as she keeps telling Steve, the hunky shapeshifter who won’t stop trying to win her heart. And if Della isn't careful, he just might succeed.  When a new case puts everyone she cares about in danger, Della’s determined to do everything she can to save them . . . even if it means teaming up with Steve and Chase, who leave her more confused than ever. With their lives on the line, will Della and her friends survive—with their hearts intact?"

This is a book about vampires, fairies, witches, shapeshifters, and everything in between. Heck, there might even be slayers in this world (Reborn's world, I mean. Not our world. That would be insane). Throw in a couple vampire love interest and a shapeshifter love interest, then you will have Reborn. Along with the previous series, what that is about.

I'll come clean. I never read the previous books, that series or whatever. What is it called? Chosen at Nightfall? I don't know or remember. I don't expect myself to remember. The only books I remember are books I read before. Chosen at Nightfall (or whatever that name is) is not among my read list. However, it would be useful if I had read that book. That way, I wouldn't be so confused in Reborn. The author clearly assumed that I had read the previous book/series, which I hadn't. All the terminology or weapons used by the author were lost in translation. I had only logic and my wits to understand Reborn. Of course, there were a few things I were unclear of, because I never read the previous books.

Second, I must not how similar the cover is to P.C. Cast's series of what's-that-terribly-long-series-which-should-had-been-over-by-now. The darkness and the girl are awfully (not to mention, suspiciously) similar to P.C. Cast's book's cover. Anyway, I just wanted to point that out (and not the possible chances of copycatting). 

Third (yes, there is more), I have to talk about the plot, the writing, and the characters. I'm not going to talk about the characters until later. The plot? Well, I'll say that it goes by quickly, but it was not fast enough. Actually, i was in a bit of a hurry, so that might be just my fault. I'm in Wisconsin right now, but I was trying to finish Reborn before my flight started boarding. (I hate reading on a plane; I always feel so woozy). Anyway, C.C. Hunter's writing style is simple enough to understand, but not enough to admire. I didn't see much elegance, because I was more focused on typos (I have an ARC). My copy of Reborn would be much different than the published copy.

And now, it is the characters' turn to be analyzed. 

An half-Asian girl named Della stars in Reborn. Even though she claims to be looking more white than Asian, she is really Asian in the inside. I mean, it is obvious she hides all of her weaknesses and shows little emotion on the outside. She is smart and intelligent. Doesn't that sound Asian? Right, guys?

Overall, I think Reborn is a good book. Of course, it can be better (it needs to be). There are tons of plot twists and exciting matters. I think most teens might actually enjoy reading Reborn. I would say (mention, really) one area that totally needs improvement. Chemistry. I won't say any more. That would be spoilers.

Rating: Three out of Five

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Love Irresistibly by Julie James Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.


A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.


A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love . . ."

Warning! Warning! This book is most definitely not recommended to anyone under fourteen years old and anyone immature (my mother would probably recommend it to any girl of teenage years, because she thinks learning about romance and love is a good thing). This book contains some X-Rated scenes and is inappropriate to any immature guys. There is a reason why this book is under fiction and specifically, Woman's Fiction. It all about Love and War, guys...and girls.

Love Irresistibly (standalone book) is a chemistry-filled romance book, which stars two main character. There is Cade Morgan with daddy issues. Then there is Brooke Parker with only issues of her career. She has a better mental health than Cade, obviously. Okay, that is probably a little too rude, right? Let me break those two lovebirds down.

Cade Morgan is a prosecutor, who was once a QB of a college football team before a shoulder injury took him out of the game for good. Needless to say, he hates his father with a passion. His father was never his father. He saw him once and watched him (rather, witnessed him) breaking his one promise to his only son (at that time). So you can say that he is sort of a sour egg with a bit of father issues. It changes a lot when he meets his teenage half-brother, Zach (whose father is a much better man and also the man who fathered Cade).

Brooke Parker is Brooke Parker. She is like any other woman. Except for the fact that she is a single businesswoman in a previously dominated male field. Still, it proves she has more gut than most people. Not to mention smarts. The first meeting with Cade Morgan was undeniably humorous to most readers. Gosh, I wish I can quote it, but I don't have the copy of Love Irresistibly with me.

The humor in Love Irresistibly is most definitely entertaining. Other than that big chemistry thing (some people are probably not going to be interested in it, but that isn't likely), there is a lot of humor written in. Like I said before, the first meeting between Brooke Parker and Cade Morgan was...flying sparks (though, in both a good and bad way). Then there were some other small roles like Agent Pallas (or whatever his name is) threatening to kill anyone who merely touches (or harms) his pregnant wife. The small talk about Agent Pallas' status between Morgan and another agent was undeniably hilarious. Like what the other agent said, seriousness is "toast." There is something called humor in this book.

The chemistry between Brooke and Cade was strong. You can practically feel it off of their words and body language. But that isn't the main reason I started this paragraph. I notice some similarities between this and the tv show Suits. To change Suits into this book, you similar have to change all the ugly characters (Louis Litt...who is the only ugly character in Suits) into supermodels. Add the FBI and change Pearson Spector (or whatever they are calling themselves these days) into the US Attorney's Office. Then you have to put them all into a relationship except for one and of course, the enemies. You can't put the enemies into the new Suits unless they are ugly. There you have it! That is the new Suits, which looks stunningly similar to Love Irresistibly. I'm not calling anyone a copycat! I'm just pointing out how easy it is to change Suits into Love Irresistibly.

Rating: Three out of Five (Frowning on X-rated scenes plus other things)

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe Review

"For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?"

The Sound of Letting Go is full of poems and poetic verses. It is like music. Narrating this book is Daisy, who is a musician and plays the trumpet. She has to make everything so...musically and pleasing to the ears. It isn't surprising, of course. A piano player, like me, enjoys playing the songs that have a regular old beat, even if it isn't that obvious. The Sound of Letting Go may be told in free verse, but there is a beauty of letting go of regular old (traditional, I will add) poetry rules poets used long ago (shall I name a few? Nah! Too boring). 

Daisy is the one to learn how to let go of things. You see, she has many problems (though not as many as me; yeah, I have too much problems yet I write review everyday and read tons of books in a month. I just can't let reading and reviewing go. They are just too much fun). Her problems? Well, she has an autistic brother (me, too; although he isn't as critical as her brother). Two, she has a crush she is forced to ignore (I willing choose to ignore any advances from boys; they are simply too much trouble. Besides, there is my brother). Three, she has her parents (I'm not even going to start on mine). Anymore problems? Yeah. She is simply too sick of all of it. That is the moment when she finally snapped and choose to let it go.

When she lets it go (Let it go! Let it go! Frozen is always stuck in my head), all the fun begins. It is like all the angels fall out of the skies or something. She simply becomes free of her anchors. And thankfully, she stops comparing herself to a slave. That is something that really bothers me, yet I so understand her. That is another beautiful thing about The Sound of Letting Go. No matter how different her or my situations are, we are always connected. I could understand her. She can (probably) understand me. That is perhaps the reason why I cried in the end. It is simply perfect and sorrowful. To be sort of metaphorically saying this, I would tell you that reading the stunning conclusion and conflicts is like angels crying in sorrow.

I would totally recommend this to anyone who is a sibling of someone autistic. It would totally open their minds and give a small insight to a horrifying other life. Anyone could read this, but any young child would probably not understand the relationship between Daisy and Dave. Or Daisy and that Irish dude.

Overall, I think the best parts of this book is the free verse. Although I am reluctant to ask this question, I will ask it anyway. Would it be considered cheesy if Daisy narrated the beginning of the story in a more controlled way before she let it all go? Then when she lets it go, it will be solely and completely in free verse. Would it be cheesy?

Any downfalls? None. Other than my rudeness and some lies about my life. (I sugarcoat my life; I loathe to sugarcoat books).

Rating; Five out of Five

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson Review

"The champion must not waver.
The champion must not fear.
The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy's kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.

But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.

Even of those who hate her most."

The Bitter Kingdom represents the end of this trilogy. It began with The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Then it gets crazy, not to mention insane, by the time we are in The Crown of Embers. We had a kidnapped book boyfriend (What? Hector is kind of hot). Then we had the issue of a possible takeover by some trigger happy (probably not; there is not a single gun in Elisa's world) group of people. Oh! And I forgot about the magic-happy people, who is after revenge on Elisa's kingdom and her sister's kingdom. Isn't that wonderful?

It gets crazier.

The Bitter Kingdom starts off with a bang. Not literally, of course. We see Elisa and her group traveling by foot. They are running towards Hector, to save him from his captors. Then we switch over to Hector's POV and see him trying to escape. He is a bit of a seemingly perfect prisoner while he was with his captors. Of course, he is planning and scheming his way out of their ropes, which are tightly bound on his hands.

If you can't tell the number of POVs in the book, I will tell you. There is only two POVs. Elisa tells the first chapter. Then somewhere later, Hector is telling the story. HIs name will be typed right under the number of the chapter. Whose POV is my favorite? Well, I really like Hector, but I will always enjoy Elisa's thoughts and quick wit. Hmm...I like Elisa more. I can connect to her better on most levels. Hector is too...old? Or mature? Or too manly? 

Hector is the second most interesting male character. In my opinion, he has the personality of a brick wall. BTW, most male characters in this book have the personality of a rock. Storm is perhaps the most interesting character. Even though his mind isn't explored, he is perhaps the most interesting. He has ties to his father and ties to Elisa. His struggle between them are obvious. In the end, he chooses Elisa. That is what friendship is for!

The greatest part of The Bitter Kingdom is when Elisa realizes her greatest strength/greatest power. It isn't the power of the Godstone. It is her wit. The journey to self-realization is a powerful scene (although some readers might not see it). Anyway, it is great to see how wonder and flawed her character is, from beginning to end.

The book ends strongly. Of course, I'm not going to say anything. That would be so rude of me if I ruined the book for you.

Overall, I think this trilogy is a great read. It is definitely worth it, even after some small bumps in the road.

Rating: Three Point Five out of Five (rounded to four)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke Review

"The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels. 

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she's been told she's destined for great things. Zoë's the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she's sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind."

Flying Blind is a dragon book. Zoe (without the two dots over the e; I can't remember what they are called) is a shifter who can change into dragon form. The interesting part is that she is the only girl dragon among all shifters. Isn't that interesting? Well, that certainly gives Zoe the special treatment. Girl among men. Only girl among men.

Flying Blind is certainly a good book, but it isn't good enough to keep me interested in the second. Zoe isn't a great character to listen to. Then again, for most of the book, she was under a personality spell, so she was basically an...jerk. Specially, a jealousy spell. She was head over heels on a boy named Nick. It is a pity. I really wanted to see her and Jared in action. I don't mind Adrian and her either, even Adrian is... Oh, spoiler alert right there. He is the true enemy/villain behind all of this.

Zoe's voice is annoying annoying. Yes, repetition. That is how annoying it is. She talks over and over and over again about her love for Nick. I mean, puppy love for Nick. It sort of funny how things turn out in the end. Nick is Romeo (not from Romeo and Juliet, but in a starcrossed sense of way), but Zoe isn't Juliet. They weren't meant to be, yet Adrian (the evil douche) pushes them together until the end. She reminds me of an emotionally weak character (especially since her inability to shift backs up that theory). She has been powerless for so long and continues to be so until she finally finds the strength in the love for her father and her species. Isn't that nice? At least it is better than Jared's love. That would be...too quick.

The concept of dragons and shifting is absurd. Well, the way Flying Blind portray it is odd. I'm honestly too confused about everything. For one, how does Zoe have three forms to take. And don't give me that "she's a female shifter" crap. That isn't the right answer. And BTW, she can't be the only female dragon despite what the book says. There has to be a lot more dragons out there than a mere party of ten. Plus, we have other shifters, which isn't that weird when you think about it. But it gets weirder. Mages, basically witches and wizards, exist too. Oh, and there were slayers until they all died. I'm pretty sure there are more things, but I feel that Zoe's world is way too crowded. I can't keep track of all the magical creatures out there. The next thing we know, there is a phoenix hanging around the Empire State Building.

Now, I'm moving on to Jared. In case you haven't pick up my hints and clues (rather obvious ones), Jared is Zoe's love interest. For this book, there are three. However, Nick is interested in this other chick, so he doesn't count anymore. That's two. Then there is the backstabbing idiot (or clever douchebag, depending on the way you look at it), Adrian. So truly, there is only one and only one. However, Zoe seems to think there is three. Anyway, Jared is a hot and cold character. Just cue up the Katy Perry song, and you'll have an over-the-top-not-to-mention-cheesy background music.

Rating: Three out of Five

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein Review

"He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.
        In this reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting.  Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia's happiness is shattered. Ultimately, she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret.
        Lisa Klein's Ophelia tells the story of a young woman falling in love, searching for her place in the world, and finding the strength to survive.  Sharp and literary, dark and romantic, this dramatic story holds readers in its grip until the final, heartrending scene."

Now, I truly wish that Ophelia remains dead and dead. Not some stupid Juliet twist or whatever. Dead is dead. No sleeping beauty thing. I hate that stuff. Ophelia should had remain dead, dead, and dead. Horatio should had been the only character who survived the play. Everyone else? Dead. Hamlet dies. His mother dies. His father dies. His uncle dies. Ophelia's brother dies. Ophelia's father dies. So many other people die. Death is everywhere.

I'll admit that I never read Hamlet, and never intend to after reading this book. This is like Romeo and Juliet all over again. I will kill myself, without my Romeo. Heh. Not funny. Anyway, Ophelia gives me the same feelings all over again. Death, irritation, annoyance, disappointment, and anger. I can list many more emotions (death is not an emotion; it is a joke), but I'm afraid I will bore you to death (not joke).

The ending is completely unsatisfying. (Oh, look, I'm doing the reverse, from ending to beginning). It left me confused and horrified. I really liked Hamlet and Ophelia thing forever (like Romeo and Juliet is forever). Now, apparently, Ophelia has the hots for Horatio, Hamlet's best friend. Um? No, thanks. I rather her dead. But I think Prince Hamlet Junior was a nice touch. Apparently, he even looks like Prince Hamlet. He is the heir in hiding, unfortunately.

The writing of Lisa M. Klein is enchanting. I rather enjoyed reading and listening the voice of Ophelia. She is an enchanting girl, with difficulties and hardship in her life. Political plays and forces drive her forward and backward. Eventually, she plays 'mad' so she can avoid everything that is hard on her. Klein describes Ophelia as an intelligent, sharp-witted, young woman, with hidden desires, family ties, and anger issues. It is all in a nice package. A fair package, I will add. Beautiful, I mean. Hamlet describes her as beautiful/fair.

The part I hated: The plot. It was rushed. Suddenly, Ophelia and Hamlet were married in secret. Hamlet's father died by poison. Then the ghost appears. Madness/insanity became so common that you can see it in the air. It slows down towards the end of the book.

Then there is the beginning. In the beginning, there is only a girl and a boy. The girl's name is Ophelia. The boy's name is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ophelia is the girl with the crush. Hamlet is the boy who doesn't see her until he grew older.

Rating: Two out of Five