Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Title: Chopsticks

Author: Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As readers flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, they see a girl on the precipice of disaster.

Review: I am not a romance-book person. At all. But it only took me about twenty-five minutes to read; it tells the story using pictures and little notes the characters sent to each other. The book starts with a  few pages about how Glory has disappeared, then is a flashback to right before Francisco moves in and continues to the point when Glory goes missing. Glory's father has pushed her to be amazing, which she is, playing sold-out shows and going on tours. Then, for some reason, she can play nothing except for "Chopsticks." This was a cute book, and something you might want to flip through if you ever find yourself with it and some free time. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Gathering Storm

Title: The Gathering Storm

Author: Robin Bridges

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

Review: I find the story of Princess Anastasia fascinating, and was excited to pick up a book about Russian royalty. When the subject of vampires first came up, I was all "meh." But then there were zombies, sorceresses, werewolves, and necromancers. I was all "exciting!" At the beginning Katerina snubs the romance books where the girl ends up falling for what she calls the "surly boy," but she falls for one herself. "Meh" again. But she also wants to be a doctor, and go to medical school, and she's necromancer. "Yay!" Oh, and that thing about "who will she give her heart to?" I'd worry about which side I'm going to fight for in a possible undead war before I went out looking for a husband.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Title: Skinned

Author: Robin Wasserman

Rating: 3   1/2 stars

Summary: The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn't supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.

And it wasn't supposed to ruin her life.

Lia knows she should be grateful she didn't die in the accident. The Download saved her--but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents' eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can't deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She's not the same person she used to be.

Maybe she's not even a person at all.

Review: Awesome story, but there was something missing. What could it be? Oh, yeah! Action. 

I thought that this would be a little bit like in Uglies, where Tally doesn't get the operation and runs away from civilization to the secret group of other people who didn't get the operation. Yes, Lia meets a group of other skinners, or mechs, as they prefer to be called, but all she does is complain about how her life is ruined. I hated Lia's sister, Zoie, because it seemed like she purposely killed Lia so she could take over her life. Then Lia kind of forgives her when Zoie tells her that she "deals with the guilt every day!!!!" That's still not an excuse to steal her life, though! I'm going to read the next book because I really want to see Lia actually do something for once.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Review: Mrs. Schubert dared me to read this book and not cry. I felt sure in my ability to not cry because only one book had made me cry, a book I read back when I was eight.

I failed. I cried, I laughed, I thought, I smiled, and I sat in a corner wondering about death and the afterlife. I grew to love Hazel much more than I did Augustus, because while Augustus was smart, funny, and apparently very handsome, Hazel was intelligent, hilarious, snarky, thoughtful, and questioned how eggs became associated with mornings. This is the reason why I read so many books. Because every so often, a book comes along with a story and characters that make you truly feel. And when you finish that book, you will simply sit there for a moment, awed. Or possibly cry a little bit because it was just so sadly sweet. The Fault in Our Stars is that book. 

Friday, February 24, 2012


Title: Variant

Author: Robison Wells

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.

Review: I finished this book and felt... nothing, except for a maybe a slight annoyance at the cliffhanger ending. But a good annoyance, which I can't really define but it totally exists. Probably. This book reminded me a bit of Maze Runner, in the sense that it's a prison where there are no adults, the kids have no idea what they're there for (but it turns out to be testing), and some super-secret organization is watching them. In the book there are several twists that yield intriguing results, but they seem to have been put in at random. Benson was the same as all other main characters in this type of novel, though he had no choice. I always wondered why the people in whatever "prison" the book takes place in never rebelled before the main character arrives, but I have discovered that it's because it takes a person who just won't stop pushing, won't give up. In Variant, that person is, of course, Benson. Will I be reading the second book? Thanks to that ending, I have no choice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Soul Thief

Title: Soul Thief

Author: Jana Oliver

Rating: 2 stars

Riley Blackthorne is beginning to learn that there are worse things than death by demon. And love is just one of them…
Seventeen-year-old Riley has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. As if that’s not enough, there's Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad.  With all the hassles, Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.
But as Atlanta’s demon count increases, the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, and pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever…

Review: Guess what? SPOILER ALERT.

This book should really be called "Riley Makes Lots of Really Stupid Decisions" because believe me, there are quite a few:

*Dates a paranoid jerk
*Pushes Beck to his breaking point
*Sleeps with a Fallen Angel who wants her soul
*Puts her best friend in danger multiple times
*Makes a deal with Heaven to save the paranoid jerk's life
*Makes a deal with Lucifer so that demons won't kill her
*Gets Beck in trouble with the demon hunters
*Angers the most powerful necormancer
*Pulls life-threatening stunts that cause other people to put their lives in danger to save her.
*Trusts a smooth-talking Fallen Angel who wants her soul
*Is a jerk to Beck, then runs crying to him when her bad decisions come back to bite her

Those are neither in order nor the entire list, but you get the picture. Riley has a pretty messed up love life, and there's several older guys hitting on her throughout the book. Ew. Then there's the conterfiet Holy Water scandal. It's mentioned and Riley and Peter follow one of the collection trucks, but aside from that's it. Sigh. And I was so hoping that this book would turn out better than the first.

Guest Review: The Demon King

One my best friends, Madeline, is in love with the Demon King Series and wrote a review for The Demon King. Here it is!

Title: The Demon King

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: 10 stars (out of 5)

Summary:  When 16-year-old Han
Alister and his Clan friend Dancer encounter three underage wizards
setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, he has no idea that
this event will precipitate a cascade of disasters that will threaten
everything he cares about. Han takes an amulet from one of the wizards, Micah Bayar, to prevent
him from using it against them. Only later does he learn that it has
an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who
nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. And the Bayars will stop
at nothing to get it back. Han’s life is complicated enough. He’s the former streetlord of the
Raggers—a street gang in the city of Fellsmarch. His street name,
Cuffs, comes from the mysterious silver bracelets he’s worn all his
life—cuffs that are impossible to take off. Now Han’s working odd jobs, helping to support his family, and doing his best to leave his old life behind. Events conspire against him,
however. When members of a rival gang start dying, Han naturally gets
the blame. Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battles to fight.
As heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, she’s just spent three
years of relative freedom with her father’s family at Demonai
Camp—riding, hunting, and working the famous Clan markets. Now court
life in Fellsmarch pinches like a pair of too-small shoes. Wars are raging to the south, and threaten to spread into the high country. After a long period of quiet, the power of the Wizard Council
is once again growing. The people of the Fells are starving and close
to rebellion. Now more than ever, there’s a need for a strong queen.
But Raisa’s mother Queen Marianna is weak and distracted by the
handsome Gavan Bayar, High Wizard of the Fells. Raisa feels like a
cage is closing around her—and an arranged marriage and eroded
inheritance is the least of it. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She
aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the
Demon King and saved the world. With the help of her friend, the cadet
Amon Byrne, she navigates the treacherous Gray Wolf Court, hoping she
can unravel the conspiracy coalescing around her before it’s too late.

Review: I like almost everything about this book. One maddening thing,
though, is the fact that your two main characters do not meet in this
book. They meet in the middle of the next book. Other than that, I
LOVE it. Normally you read books that have the main character be
magical and magic is good, but can be used for evil. This books veers
from the norm in the fact that it has the wizards being "evil" (it's
really much more murky than that). Another thing that I love is Cinda
Chima's style of writing. Somehow she manages to be descriptive and
very concise at the same time. I will warn the future reader, the
first few pages are not that exciting. It's like the Hunger Games in
that way. The first few pages are slightly less exciting, but turn one
more and THAT'S where the action really starts. If you're looking for
a good "bad guy" to hate, you will DESPISE this one. I hated him. Just
thinking about it makes me angry. I think that both of the main
characters are easy to connect to, but sometimes I definitely wanted
to scream at them (and other times I did. Man, the looks I got were
hilarious). To sum up, this book is a satisfying read that has a
twist. You can probably guess the twist before the end, but it doesn't
make it any less surprising.  I would DEFINITELY recommend this book
to fantasy lovers, even though there are no vampires or werewolves.

Things I like:

Things that I dislike:
I already listed them in my paragraph, are you really THAT lazy?

If you love this series like I do, be excited. The fourth book comes
out in the fall. I AM SO EXCITED!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This is what I do in my spare time

 My weekends consist of reading, blogging about books, doing homework, and making stuff for my favorite books. In this case, it's posters with quotes from three books that I love: The Name of the Star, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and Going Bovine. While I don't have a review for the last one, I do have a star rating for it, which is 4. All the posters have multiple quotes, except for The Name of the Star which has one quote that looks like two.

Review Links: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The Name of the Star

Monday, February 20, 2012

Deadly Cool

Title: Deadly Cool

Author: Gemma Halliday

Rating: 3   1/2 stars

Summary: Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.

Review: This book was astonishingly similar to Clarity, where Clare's cheating ex-boyfriend asks her to solve the mystery of a mudered girl, though each book has its own twist on the shared storyline. I found it hilarious that Josh, Hartley's now ex-boyfriend, cheated on her with the president of the Chastity Club because Hartley refused to put out. The best way to finish this review would be with a pro/con list, so here it is:

Things I liked
  • Sam is a good friend who stood by Hartley no matter what. (You would be surprised at the number of characters who would abandon her.)
  • Hartley wasn't immediately attracted to Chase.
  • It was a humorous Nancy Drew-esque murder mystery novel.
  • The most unexpected person ends up being the killer.

Things I didn't like

  • Hartley ends up crushing on the resident Bad Boy. *Eye-roll/annoyed sigh combo*
  • Hartley agreed to risk life and limb to clear her cheating ex-boyfriend's name.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Demon Trapper's Daughter

Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter

Author: Jana Oliver

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: Demon Trapper Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what Lucifer is counting on…

It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.

Review: I'm a big fan of demon books, but Oliver's book just barely missed the mark. I liked the premise and the beginning, after that, though, it was semi-okay. There was a conspiracy theory, cute boys, and a female main character trying to make her way in a man's Guild. I'm all for the last one: Riley wants to be a demon trapper, and she won't let anyone tell her "no". The conspiracy theory is good too; you can mess up the dates on holy water bottle as much as you want. It's just the middle one that has me annoyed. The summary on the back of my book ends with who can Riley trust with her heart... and her life? If my life was in danger, I'd worry about not dying first, and dating second. Actually, dating would be way down on the bottom of the list and at the top would be how will I become a journeyman? how will I pay the rent? etc. The having to watch over her dad's grave until the full moon or else a necromancer will reanimate him was pretty cool. I also liked all the demon fighting scenes. I hope the second book isn't a total letdown. Demon-trapping is awesome.


Title: Unleashed

Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: 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.

Review: For the first chapter or two, I thought this was going to be one of those vampire versus werewolves kind of books. There was this guy at the beginning who had to be invited into the house (turns out he's not a vampire but I thought he was) and guess what his name was. It was Vladimir. The most common guy vampire name ever. This book ended up being just about werewolves, but there was this thing at the beginning about how her father was murdered and the killer was never found. I thought that there was going to be something where Katelyn hunts down her father's murderer and also finds out that someone purposely set the fire that killed her mother, since the fact that both her parents had died was repeated nearly every page. (The fire truly was an accident, though. That was just me trying to insert a conspiracy theory.) Katelyn has this dream of being in Cirque du Soliel and she goes on and on about how now her dreams are ruined. Except for when her grandfather buys her Cirque du Soliel, Katelyn's need for regular gymnastics and ballet practice is forgotten after the first few chapters. It's not that she accepted that she wasn't going to be able to go to a proper gym to practice anymore and then got over it, she just stopped mentioning it. There was a cliffhanger ending, and if I had liked this book, I would have gone straight to the second one looking for answers. Thank goodness this book only got two stars so I don't have to suffer through the whatever is next in the series. Also, the cover? Please. It makes it totally look like a vampire book, and it's just plain stupid-looking.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Texas Gothic

Title: Texas Gothic

Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Review: Of course there's a hot neighbor cowboy. Of course there is. But if you ignore the oh-so-predictable romance, this is an awesome book. It's Nancy Drew with a paranormal/magic twist. That Amy is the only person in a family of magical people who doesn't have a power reminds me of Once a Witch, though it has a different kind of magic. I have to give this book points for taking place in Texas, for mentioning the city of Austin several times, and for mentioning on of my favorite television shows; Bones. There was mystery, there was a conspiracy, and there was the main character almost becoming collateral damage to the bad guys, along with some funny lines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Game of Triumphs

Title: The Game of Triumphs

Author: Laura Powell

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: At an exclusive Soho party one rainy night, Cat stumbles into an ancient and dangerous game of fortune. A mysterious quartet of game masters deal out challenges—moves that unfold in the Arcanum, a dream-scape version of our world. Success can earn players fame, fortune, inspiration. Failure can be deadly.

At first Cat is skeptical, but undeniably curious. And when a journey into the Arcanum reveals a shocking glimpse of her family's past, Cat begins to understand what drives people to play. Sometimes it's greed or longing—other times desperation. She must know more.

Right now, the game masters hold all the cards. But Cat finds others like herself on the fringes of the game. And together an unlikely group of chancers hope to change the rules in their favor.

In the Game of Triumphs, the risks are high, but the rewards may just be worth dying for. . .

Review: There's a typical story-line: main character discovers a secret magic world, finds other people like her to help her out, and they have to gather several objects to defeat the evil kings and queens. I kept envisioning the book taking place in the medieval era, while it really was in present-day. Cat's aunt, Bel, is very similar to a type of character I've encountered in several books: older female relative in charge of caring for the main character, bounces from man to man, has a carefree it-will-all-work-out-in-the-end personality, and is drunk in a few scenes. I never liked those characters. After revealing the secret about Cat's parents, Powell doesn't mention it at all, unless you count Cat saying that she was going to get justice for them. The idea of the Game is really cool, but if it truly existed I would be too scared to get mixed up in it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Goddess Test

Title: The Goddess Test

Author: Aimee Carter

Rating: 0 stars

Summary:  It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

Review: Spoiler Alert, not that it matters because you won't want to read this book anyways.

 I'm wondering if Carter knows anything about the Greek gods other than their names and domains. She paints them as moral and civil individuals who are part of a democratic counsel. Number one, Zeus is the king of the gods; he is in charge, so there was none of that voting stuff. These are the Greek gods; they could care less about the seven deadly sins, especially lust. They married their siblings and slept with their relatives and random mortals. Hades was not a sweet and sensitive guy: he forced his niece into marrying him and most definitely did not go around bringing people back to life. Why must the author insist on renaming the gods and goddess? I understand if it's for the purpose of hiding their identities from the main character, but why call Hades 'Henry' when Kate already knew who he was? Not only is Hades/Henry Kate's uncle, but he used to be married to and is still in love with her sister, Persephone. Calliope was the one killing all the girls, but she was Hera, queen of the gods. She hunted down all of Zeus' other wives, random affairs, and the kids with the intent of killing them, which she sometimes succeeded with. The other gods and goddess wouldn't care about punishing her. If Kate wanted to stay all year, why didn't she just eat another six seeds? Also, why did Cerberus appear as a regular dog? I could get if he was normal size at the Eden Manor and then his regular size (huge) in the Underworld, but he's supposed to have three heads. That's what makes him Cerberus. Oh, and if my mom turned out to be a goddess, I'd be way more freaked out.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Space Between

Title: The Space Between

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

Review: Meh. The cover? Awesome. The actual book? Not so much. I kept trying to figure out whether Charlie was Truman's step dad or his brother; it wasn't very clear. Every chapter or so switched from Daphne's point of view to third person with a focus on Truman. The end was a confusing blur. Truman dies, but he's in heaven with some weird Daphne doppelganger, and then real Daphne somehow finds him and takes him from heaven and Not-Daphne shatters or dies or something. Then they go to Earth and work at hospitals and go to an aquarium and Daphne's all like "We're real!" All the run-on sentences are proof of my annoyance with this book.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

Review:  This is probably the best Cinderella story I have ever read. Adri, Cinder's stepmother, is one of those characters that you hate so much that you want to go into the book and slap them. Peony was the nice stepsister who ends up dying, but the author seems to forget about Pearl, who fades into the background. The big reveal near the end? I figured it out around the middle of the book. This is the first book in a series, and a new book will come out each year until 2015. That is both good and bad; good because it means there will be books in this series for the next three years and bad because it means I'll have to wait a year in between each book. 


Title: Everneath

Author: Brodi Ashton

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Review: I thought the concept was awesome. Kind of this cross between the Hades/Persephone and the Orpheus/Eurydice myths. But some things just didn't click for me. Like how Nikki could disappear for a year and when she came back no one made a big deal about it, not even her dad. His daughter was gone for a year, and when she comes back he's just "Oh. You're back." Also, when Nikki told Jack that she left because she thought he had cheated on her, he was all "You didn't let me explain" But he never explained! Spoiler:  So, Jack (almost definitely) cheated on Nikki with his ex-girlfriend, yet he was willing to essentially kill himself and throw himself into the Tunnels to save her? Does Not Compute. Why did Nikki want to go back to him for her Return? I would go with Cole and then when Jack died I could be all "You have angered the Queen. Prepare to suffer!" So I'd send him to the Tunnels. But that's just me.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Article 5

Title: Article 5

Author: Kristen Simmons

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Review: Many dystopian books books depict a future where while there might be some underlying evil, on the surface everything seems amazing. Not this one. In Article 5, there is no more Bill of Rights, heartless soldiers instead of police officers, and automatic imprisonment that usually leads to execution if you fail to abide by the Moral Statutes. Ember was a strong character at the beginning; she stays below the radar, protects her mom from abusive boyfriends, and just manages to survive. When her mother is arrested and Ember is sent to a rehabilitation center, she loses some of that strength. She's also very wishy-washy about Chase; first she wants him, then she doesn't want him near her, then she's wondering why he's so distant. It takes her a while, but she regains her fighting spirit and Chase.     

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax

Title: The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax

Author: Trinity Faegen

Rating: 3  1/2 stars

Summary:  Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger--she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx's biggest threat.
A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant--God's promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he's finally found the girl he's been searching for: Sasha.
With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

Review: I know I'm always going off about how I can't stand romance, but that's really just me being annoyed that what seems like every book has some romance. When it's in a well-written book, I can take it, and when romance is all the book's about, it better be extremely well-written. I've read other stories about fallen angels and creatures of Hell, but the idea of the Mephisto is something I've never heard of before. I found it hilarious that Jax and his brothers' signature outfit was a black trench coat. Apparently when they go hunting lost souls, they all go in matching outfits, which include the trench coat. If I had seen them, I would have laughed out loud. :) I liked how Sasha wasn't constantly throwing herself at Jax, as so many female characters do to the romantic interest. Also, she develops super-strength and is able to defend herself without having to rely on a guy. I thought Melanie was just a little too psychotic to be a believable character. If I ever find the second book (when it comes out) I'll probably pick it up.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The FitzOsbornes in Exile

Title: The FitzOsbornes in Exile

Author: Michelle Cooper

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Germans attacked, and now find themselves in the lap of luxury. Sophie's journal fills us in on the social whirl of London's 1937 season, but even a princess in lovely new gowns finds it hard to fit in. Is there no other debutante who reads?!

And while the balls and house parties go on, newspaper headlines scream of war in Spain and threats from Germany. No one wants a second world war. Especially not the Montmaravians—with all Europe under attack, who will care about the fate of their tiny island kingdom?

Will the FitzOsbornes ever be able to go home again? Could Montmaray be lost forever?

Review: The FitzOsbornes in Exile picks up right where A Brief History of Montmaray left off, and documents the events from Sophie's point of view for the next two years. Aunt Charlotte is determined to get Veronica and Sophie married off, sending them to every party possible for two Seasons, yet the two remain single. Sophie complains of her fellow debutantes, who are superficial back-stabbers, and asks where all the quiet book-loving girls are. *Waving my hand in the air wildly* We're right her! The Germans have taken over Montmaray and claim that it has been sold to them. With World War II about to begin, Sophie must rescue her kingdom before it becomes an insignificant problem no one will notice. 

I liked this one better than the first (as you can tell); there was more going on. Romance is tolerable when administered in such minuscule doses, but if there's a third book, there will most likely be more.