Archive | March 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

Hardcover
418 pages
Published  September 27th 2011
by Little, Brown & Company

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This Book Contains:  Violence, War, Death, Romance, and Sex.

THE PLOT:

You have a young girl who has no memory of anything other than growing up with monsters.  To her these monsters are family.   She is raised to retrieve teeth from the human world and give them to the monsters.  Not sure why these teeth are needed, but she does knows that there is some type of magic involved.  She loves the monsters and will do anything to keep them safe.  Until one day she meets a young man who will turn her world up side down and drag her into a war that she didn’t even know that was going on.

THE CHARACTERS:

Karou has blue hair and tattoos on her hands that have been there for as long as she can remember.   She can speak several different languages and she uses wishes to get what she wants.  You have Akiva who is haunted by the death of a loved one.  Then he meets Karou who he soon finds himself drawn to and he can’t stop thinking about her.   He finds himself going to her window just to watch her sleep.

MY THOUGHTS:

I enjoyed this book a lot.  I thought it was going to be a lot different from the story that it turned out to be.  I was very pleasantly surprised that this was a book that I couldn’t compare to anything that I have ever read before.  It is extremely different style of writing and story line.  Laini is a master world builder and an epic story-teller.  One of my favorite parts in this book is when Karou meets Akiva  and she starts to heat up and can’t figure out why.  I just can’t wait to read the next installment and see where this story is going to go.

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Love and Leftovers

Hardcover
451 pages
Published  December 27th 2011
by Katherine Tegen Books
“Love and Leftovers” is a powerfully written debut novel that chronicles one teen’s journey navigating family, friends, and love.

This Book Contains:  Divorce, Teen Pregnancy, Homosexuality, Depression, and Break-Ups.

The Plot:

Marcie is dealing with a lot.  Her parents are getting divorced because her father is dating another man.  Her mom  basically kidnaps her and takes her back to where she grew up.  Now away for all her friends and home she has to deal with her mother who won’t get out of bed.  Marcie has to do everything and to top it all off she misses her boyfriend like crazy.

The Characters:

There is Marcie who life is in a tailspin and she is just trying to figure out how to juggle everything.  You have Katie the understanding best friend.  Linus the boyfriend that she had to leave behind.  Her parents who have really messed up her life and theirs.  The you have the new boy J.D that helps Marcie deal with feeling alone and unloved.

My Thoughts:

I could not put this book down.  I have read books in verse before but none of have them have ever been this good.  I found this book extremely well written, which is alway a concern of mine when I go to read a book like this.  I found the book to be very engaging.   I know this will be on my list of favorites for the year.  The author took so many issues dealing with teens and gave them to this one girl and her family.    Then she piled more on top of that and the book still worked.  I was amazed that she was able to hit so many issues and still make the book believable.  I love the way she got into the minds of teenagers and brought it out in Marcie.  Marcie is confused about her parents and a little in denial.  She never saw this coming or at least she didn’t at the time.  She feels torn by wanting to take care of her mother, missing her friends, missing her dad while being mad at him and then having met J.D the beautiful new boy while still dating Linus.   All of this would be too much to handle but, Marcie does and it is such a moving story.  Sarah Tregay just hit this out of the park.  Authors like this make me want to read more contemporary and I have never been a big fan of this genre.   Although with books like this out there I may have to rethink my thoughts on that.  Everythingin this book works so flawlessly that I just couldn’t put it down until the very end.  I cant help but tell everyone about how great I think this book is.  I know that I will be looking forward to reading more by this author.

 

Reckoning (Strange Angels #5) by Lili St. Crow

Reckoning (Strange Angels, #5)

Paperback
307 pages
Published  November 1st 2011
by Razorbill
   The electric finale in New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow’s Strange Angels series!
Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She’s battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha – rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires – the worst is yet to come.
Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she’s ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?DRU ANDERSON’S NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK. BUT SHE SHOULD BE.
This Book Contains:  Violence, Romance, Death, Wolves, and Vampires
This is the fifth and final book in the Strange Angel series.  I am not going to describe the plot because if you haven’t read the previous book it would probably contain spoilers and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.    As far as the characters go you basically have Dru who is a kick ass heroine and has a lot of people counting on her.  She really isn’t as brave as she pretends to be but she will do what ever it takes to protect the ones she cares about.   Graves is one of those people who she will do anything to keep safe. Graves believes in Dru and will do anything he can to help support her.  Then you have Christophe who is one of my favorite characters and he is willing to die for Dru.  The love and devotion that he shows for Dru is just awe-inspiring.
Ok I will say that I was afraid to read this book because of all the people who were mad about the way this book ended.  Some of the reviews were just so awful and I am very glad that I didn’t pay attention to this them.  This last book had a lot of people upset because they wanted Dru to make a choice but I won’t tell you what that choice is because it is  a spoiler.  All I will say is that the book ends on a note that leaves it open for a spinoff.  I feel it ended well and that you are let to imagine what possibilities are out there for these characters.  That to me is better than the author falling to pressure and writing an ending to please some of the fans or a publisher.  This ending just opened the door to future books and possible more from these amazing character that have now have a permanent place in my heart.

All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)Hardcover

354 pages
Published  September 6th 2011
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight–at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I’ve Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and the fantastic.

This Book Contains:  Crime, Violence, Death, Romance, and Gangsters.

CHARACTERS:

Anya Balanchine I liked a lot she is tough and focused on taking care of her family at all cost.  Win is a little too  sweet at times and I think that he didn’t alway express his feelings because of his fear that Anya would push him away.  Scarlet is a great best friend, very loyal and determined to help Anya with anything she can.  Scarlet does find herself following a relationship that may cause problems for her but so has many other girls.  You have the “Family” which may or may not have Anya’s family best interest at heart.  I love Leo he is mentally disabled but he has so much pride and love for his family that it just makes his character that much more endearing. 

MY THOUGHTS:

I had put off reading this book because the cover and synopsis didn’t draw me in.  I found it on audio at the library and thought I would try listening to it.   Wow, was I impressed with this book!  It is labeled dystopian but it didn’t have the war-torn dystopian feel that most have.  It just start off with things been rationed and things being banned such as chocolate.  You never got and explanation to why things were the way they were, but it never felt that you really needed to know.  The story was just so strong that you didn’t miss those details.  Which I find exceptional because a lot of books would lack in a believable storyline without adding those details. I never once found this story to be lacking in anything.   The author focused her energy and time on the actual characters so, that is where your focus is drawn. I was sucked into this book from the first chapter and couldn’t stop until I was finished with it.

Anya reminds me of Kat Bishop from “Heist Society” , who happens to be one of my top ten favorite female protagonist.  They are both strong females with criminal family ties and they both want to keep their family safe while doing what is right in their minds.   I have a feeling that as I continue with this series Anya will end up rising to my top ten.  She is flawed, tough and is full of love for her family and that is what makes a character great to me.  I connected with Anya and could visualize what she was going through.  Very seldom can you connect to a character so much so, that you can feel the emotions that they are felt as the author describes them.  I think that is why I am hooked on this book and will be waiting anxiously for the next installment.

 

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

Legend

Hardcover
305 pages
Published November 29th 2011 
by Putnam Juvenile 
 What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’ death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.     

This Book Contains:  Dystopian society, Death, Violence, Romance, lots of Action and Alternating view points.

THE PLOT:

This is your basic dystopian book, California is under the control of the Republic.   They seem to want to hide the truth about the way the government used to be ran so, that they can keep the people under their complete control.  You have a boy who is fighting against the Republic because he feels they are treating people is wrong.  Then you have a girl who  has been raised to believe in the government with her whole heart.  After she meets the boy she start to think that her beliefs might be misplaced..

THE CHARACTERS:

You have June who is a die-hard solider with a good heart.  She is the Republics shining star with a perfect score of 1500 during her trial which, has never been achieved before.  She has extraordinary tracking skills, a mind that can work out any problem, skilled in physical combat and is the best  at the academy.  You have Day who was not accepted in to the academy because he failed his trail.  He is now a rebel fighting against the Republic and the injustices that they inflict on the people. 

MY THOUGHTS:

I find myself liking dystopian book more and more.  The way that these authors are able to suck you into the stories and have you holding you breath waiting to see if the characters are going to make it out of whatever bad situation that they find themselves in just amazes me.  First off let me say that I found this book to be extremely entertaining,    While I was reading this book I felt that if I put it down that I would miss something important.  I know that sounds strange but that is how involved I got with these characters.  This book is full of action so much so that my heart would actually start  to race.  I found myself even out of breath at times.  This book was an amazing book and I think for me the only draw back to this book is its cover.  I feel that the cover could have been a lot better but I am glad that I overlooked the cover and read this book because it was extremely good! 

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1) by Nancy Holder, Debbie Viguié

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)

Hardcover
382 pages
Published November 22nd 2011
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.
Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

This Book Contains: Werewolves, Romance, Violence, Death and Mystery.

THE PLOT:

Katelyn McBride has to move to Arkansas with her grandfather after the death of her mother.  There she is faced with various struggles such as two very different boys that make her heart race, A new friend with a lot of secrets, and to top it off she can’t be in the woods after dark.

CHARACTERS:

There are a lot of characters in this book but my favorites are Trick and Katelyn.  Katelyn is the main character she is extremely flawed and that is probably why I like her so much.  She isn’t afraid to cry and she does it often throughout the book.  Trick is the kind of guy that follows his own path and doesn’t try to fit in with the cool kids.  He is very attracted to Katelyn and he seems to be sincere about his feelings.

MY THOUGHTS:

My question is when these author get together do they realise that everything they write will be a major hit?  I know that I have loved everything they have written together so far.  Unleashed of course is no exception.   Unleashed it has every thing that I love in a book and more.    It has a lot of action, suspense, some romance, scary monsters, and even family drama.   I love the feeling that you are on a nonstop rollercoaster ride and you definitely get that with this book.  If you are a fan of paranormal romance like I am I now that this book will be a favorite to read over and over.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Hardcover
256 pages
Published January 2nd 2012
by Poppy/Little Brown
   Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.      

This Book Contains:  Romance, Divorce, A Wedding and A funeral.

THE PLOT:

Hadley is on her way to her fathers wedding when she misses her flight and has to take a later one.   She ends up meeting Oliver who is on this later flight and they have a growing attraction as they fly together to London.  There is a lot of family drama due to the fact that Hadley has never gotten over her parents divorce and the fact that she has never met her fathers bride to be.

THE CHARACTERS:  

Hadley is a girl with unresolved issues due to her parents sudden divorce and fathers up coming wedding.  Olive is a boy Hadley meets in the airport who is on his way back to London for a family obligation.   Hadley’s father who is now getting married and a little clueless on how to deal with his daughters issues due to her parents divorce.     

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I wasn’t a big fan of this book.  I like the romance between Oliver and Hadley but I felt that the rest of the book lacked character interaction.  You got to spend a lot of time in Hadley’s head but not a lot of time with the other characters.  The writing was good and I enjoyed the flashbacks but it just didn’t have enough of the things that I enjoy reading in a book.  I am also not a huge fan of contemporary reads so when I do read one I want it to have more romance or just more character interaction.   I do know that a lot of people enjoyed this book a lot but I am just not as  sold on it as everyone else.   I will say that if you are a fan of contemporary reads then this is definitely a book for you!