Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 5 Books: April Edition

Of all the books I've read this month, these are my favorites:

  1. Shadow and Bone
  2. The Immortal Rules
  3. Bewitching
  4. Tiger's Curse
  5. The Way We Fall

Here's a graph to show how good the books were this month. I couldn't list them all seperately, so I divided the books into groups of three.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shadow and Bone

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 5 stars of pure awesomeness!

Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Review: I want to live in this book so badly because I'm just completely in love with it. The Grisha an the world-building is absolutely amazing! Bardugo kept me on my toes with all her twists and suspense. Alina started off scared and pretty weak. She is content with being a mapmaker in the army, and doesn't believe she is anything special. Over the course of the story, Alina becomes stronger and more sure of herself and her abilities. She even gets these super cool fingerless gloves with mirrors that let her reflect her magic light so she can blind her opponents and distract cats. Yes. Yes yes yes! At the beginning, I thought that Mel was a jerk. He was off galavanting with random girls when Alina totally liked him and he was all angry with her because she was a super special Grisha. Duo to my low tolerance for annoying romantic interests, there would usually be no recovery from these grevious errors. Except for Mel. When it came time, he proved that he really was a good guy. After I finished this book, my first thought was: "When does the second book come out?" Guess when? I don't know because it isn't even on Goodreads yet!!!!

Not only that, but I'm reading an ARC (advanced reader's copy) of this book; it doesn't come out until June of 2012. So think about what that means for the publication date of the second book!!!! :(

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Immortal Rules

Title: The Immortal Rules

Author: Julie Kagawa

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

Review: A dystopian book where the world has been dominated by vampires? Tell me more.

These  are the real vampires. They are blood-thirsty monsters to be feared. Thank you, Julie Kagawa, for bringing us back. Vampires are one of he most overused YA subjects, and I couldn't think of anything more that could be written about them. And then The Immortal Rules came along. So much win!!  One vampire, however, is a bit more human than the others. Allison has qualms about feeding off of humans, but if she doesn't at some point the Hunger will take over and she will kill someone. The opening scene in the gallows shows you what life is like for Allison, and just how powerful the vampires are. Not only are there vampires, but zombie-like creatures called rabids. Allison has lived in the Fringe and is completely capable of taking care of herself. But when she's Turned into  a vampire and given training, she turns into a rabid-chopping, katana-wielding bad ass. The fight scenes were brutal and bloody, and people died. Lots of them. The Immortal Rules is definitely one of my new favorites for the year; I can't wait until the second one comes out!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Throne of Glass

 Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Mass

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Review: I have never encountered an assassin character quite like Celaena. While she is obviously skilled, there is only one real fight scene. She also seems accustomed to being pampered and at the beginning I was worried that Celaena would turn out to be some vain weak girl who was only called an assassin for the romanticism of it. Thankfully, she really is awesome. Even better, there is also magic and a competition to become the king's champion. Awesomeness all around!

Throne of Glass will be published in August of 2012.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daughter of the Flames

Title: Daughter of the Flames

Author: Zoe Marriott

Rating: 3  1/2 stars

Summary: What if your deadliest enemy were the only one who could save you?

Inside an ancient temple in the mountains, fifteen-year-old Zira trains in the martial arts to become a warrior priestess who can defend the faith of the Ruan people. Bearing a scar on her face from the fire that killed her parents, the orphaned Zira is taught to distrust the occupying Sedornes. Terror strikes when the forces of the tyrannical Sedorne king destroy the only home she knows. To survive, Zira must unravel the secrets of her identity, decide her people’s fate — and accept her growing feelings for a man who should be her enemy.

Review: Ninja warrior girl who's been raised in seclusion and finds out that she's a princess but must save her kingdom from a tyrant? Count me in. Thankfully, the romance is a small part of the book and stems more from Zira's need to save her people. The book started off with some awesome fight scenes, then Zira stopped being able to defend herself and became a pawn in someone else's game. Just when I was about to lose hope of our dear heroine's story getting a good rating, the fighting started up again. Ninja warrior Zira had returned! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tiger's Voyage

Title: Tiger's Voyage

Author: Colleen Houck

Rating: 3  1/2 stars

Summary: With the head-to-head battle against the villainous Lokesh behind her, Kelsey confronts a new heartbreak: in the wake of his traumatic experience, her beloved Ren no longer remembers who she is. As the trio continues their quest by challenging five cunning and duplicitous dragons, Ren and Kishan once more vie for her affections--leaving Kelsey more confused than ever.

Review: This series has started to turn the focus toward romance and away from breaking the cures. but I realized this in the second book and have accepted it. The adventure is still there, though, and it's importance has not been majorly diminished. By the middle of this book I was all "meh" but then I read the end and I was all "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Guess when the fourth book comes out? September. I don't know if I can wait five months!  Also, dragons. One word: yes. Kishan stills needs to get lost. I get Kelsey's decision, but I'm still all NO!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tiger's Quest

Title: Tiger's Quest

Author: Colleen Houck

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

Review: I have been coming to terms with the fact that there is romance in pretty much every book, but I still don't like a lot of it. Except for this book, even though the whole first half is romance. I have become... brace yourselves... a Tiger Saga fangirl. The romance is balanced out with an equal amount of ancient-deity-curse-breaking adventure. Kelsey has realized that she is not a radish (thank goodness) but when I finished the book I was all "AAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!" A quirk of mine is not wanting to read a book series all in a row, but I seriously have to find out what happens next! Also, Kishan still needs to go away. Immediately. For cereral, y'all.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Author Interview: Megan Crewe

Megan Crewe is the author of The Way We Fall, Give Up the Ghost, and several short stories. (You can read my review of The Way We Fall here)

Me: Where did you get the idea for The Way We Fall?
Megan Crewe: I had a dream after reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which features zombies. Zombies are often created by a virus, and I realized that a was really scared of viruses so I decided to write a book about a virus.

Me: Did you want to be a writer growing up?
MC: Yes. It started as a hobby, and in junior high I realized that people really enjoyed the stories I was writing, so I turned it into a career.

Me: How long did it take you to write The Way We Fall?
MC: I planned for about a year, and then it took me five months to write the first few drafts.

Me: Did you plan before you started writing?
MC: Kind of.  I figured out the beginning, some of the middle, and the end, then filled in the gaps.

Me: How did you develop the virus for the book?
MC: I did lots of research, then ,made a list of the scariest symptoms. I chose the ones that worked best with the story.

Me: If you were in the book, would you be helping people at the hospital, or stealing all the food and killing infected people?
MC: I would look after my family and close friends, making sure they were safe and had enough food, but that's it.

Me: Did you base any of the characters off of yourself?
MC: Kaelyn and I share some characteristics. As a teenager, I was a bit awkward and I loved animals, like Kaelyn.

Me: How much of an impact did your editor have on your book?
MC: My Editor changed some of the subplots and added the bit of romance.

Me: What will the third book in the Fallen Trilogy be about?
MC: There were originally only going to be two books, but I was writing the second one and realized that I still had more story to tell. The third book will mainly be a continuation of the second.

Author Interview: Inara Scott

Inara Scott is the author of The Candidates and The Marked, books one and two in the Delcroix Academy series. (The Candidates review here)

Me: Where did you get the idea for The Candidates?
Inara Scott: I wanted to write a book where you couldn't tell who the good guys or the bad guys were.

Me: Did you want to be a writer growing up?
IS: Yes. but I didn't realize it was a profession so I thought about being a lawyer.

Me: How long did it take you to write The Candidates
IS:  About 4 to 6 months for the first draft.

Me: Did you plan before you started writing?
IS: Yes! I had very detailed outlines and color-coordinated story boards. I used different colored post it notes to symbolize whether there it was an action scene, romance scene, etc.

Me: Why did you turn the focus of the book to romance?
IS: I wanted the book to be about choices, and one of the choices was whether Dancia would choose Jack or Cam.

Me: How much of an impact did your editor have on your book?
IS: There was a very big difference between my first draft and the published book. My editor had me change the school into a boarding school, and added the character Catherine. I originally had the book end a few scenes earlier then the finished version, but my editor had me add several things.

Me: If The Candidates was turned into a movie, who would you want to play Dancia?
IS: Emma Watson.

Author Interview: Robin Mellom

Robin Mellom is the author of Ditched. (Click here for my review) She has also written The Classroom, which come out in June, and Busted, which she is still working on.

Me: Where did you get the idea for Ditched?
Robin Mellom: I wanted to write a humorous teen book. Some of it is based off of personal experience, and I got some disastrous prom stories from other people.

Me: Did you want to be a writer growing up?
RM: Yes. I wanted to be the next Judy Bloom

Me: How long did it take you to write Ditched?
RM: 6 months

Me: Did you plan before you started writing?
RM: No, I just came up with the idea and started writing.

Me: Did you base any of the characters off of yourself?
RM: Justina has a similar personality to me; she worries a lot about what other people think.

Me: How much of an impact did your editor have on your book?
RM: My editor helped me with the romance and figuring out what Ian and Justina meant to each other.

Me: If Ditched was turned into a movie, who would you want to play Justina?
RM: Victoria Justice, because she looks similar to Justina.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Restoring Harmony

Title: Restoring Harmony

Author: Joelle Anthony

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse, one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they're financially ruined and practically starving. What should have been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn't, Molly's only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there's a handsome stranger who's willing to help.

Review: No trip goes without a hitch, especially not in books. The state of the world was entirely plausible for only thirty years in the future, except for the Organization's guns. They were one of the very few technological advances, and they seemed too advanced to be real. I know that's an odd statement to make about a fiction book, but unless it's fantasy fiction or set in the incomprehensibly distant future, it has to be plausible on some level. The return trip was well done, but when they got to Canada all the problems were solved. Molly had started out with all theses problems, had more problems loaded on, then she got rid of those extra problems and by that time the original problems had already been dealt with.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Title: Starters

Author: Lissa Price

Rating: 3 stars


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

Review: The concept of the Spore Wars was pretty cool, but I have lots of questions. Are Enders people over sixty years old, or over 100? Are Starters people under nineteen years old, or everybody who got the vaccine? Why was there a war in the first place? What kind of spores were in the missile? Why would Callie leave her little brother with a stranger? Why would she get herself beat up when any imperfections can be fixed? The world was believable, but several things just didn't make sense. Also, why name the super-villain the "Old Man"? It's not a title to inspire fear, that's for sure.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Calling

Title: The Calling

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Rating: 3  1/2 stars

Summary: Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

Review: I didn't realize it while reading the first book, but the Darkness Rising trilogy is very similar to Virals by Kathy Reich. They both take place in Canada, have main characters who can shape-shift, takes place on an island that is run by a company and everybody works at the labs, both main characters are really good with animals. I miss the Darkest Powers books; those were amazing. Apparently Maya will meet up with Chloe and Derek in the next Darkness Rising book. (This is just here-say, mind you) If it's true... !!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I've seen some Team Daniel/Team Rafe things, which annoys me to no end. You can only have teams for romantic interests if the point of the book is which guy the girl is going to choose. (Thank goodness that wasn't the case here) Also, there is no competition between Rafe and Daniel. Maya is in love with Rafe, and Daniel is just her best friend. Just because the main character is close to two guys doesn't mean she's interested in both of them!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Title: Virtuosity

Author: Jessica Martinez

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better? Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall...

Review: I thought that the book was going to be about Carmen becoming addicted to the Inderal (anti-anxiety meds). It's not a big deal that it wasn't, but the misleading summaries need to go away. The sole focus of Carmen's life is violin, and in the book particularly the Guarneri competition. But she isn't in control of her own life. That job has been taken over by Carmen's mother, who makes Carmen take the Inderal (and is the one who decided that she needed it), scheduling what she does before big performances, and what she does in her free time. The book was really about Carmen taking control of her own life, and the choices she has to make to be free. I was rooting for her all through the book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Title: Bewitching

Author: Alex Flinn

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

Review: I've read all of Alex Flinn's fairytale retellings, and this is by far the best. I could barely put it down, and I was actually surprised by the ending. That almost never happens because many books are really predictable, even the good ones.  I didn't figure out who was Cinderella until around the middle of the book, and the ending took a twist I could never have seen coming. Flinn set it up so that everyone thought it would end like it does in so many other books, but then it was BAM! And to put in perspective how astonishing this was, picture those things where you put a coin in this side ramp and it goes down and spins around until dropping into the hole in the center. Imagine that you are the coin. You think that you're going to be dropped straight down the hole, but instead you go to Swirly Land. I wished it was more about Kendra, though. That's what the summary makes it seem like, but in reality it starts off with talking about Kendra's past, then becomes Emma's narrative interspersed with notes from Kendra. Moving on to Lisette: I hate extremely evil characters that were designed to make the reader hate them, because they do all this horrible stuff and I just want to go into the book and slap them. But all I can do is read about their evil deeds and get angrier and angrier with them. Back to the awesomeness of the book: There's going to be a whole series! YES!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Candidates

Title: The Candidates (also published as The Talents)

Author: Inara Scott

Rating: 2 stars

Summary: Dancia Lewis has a secret: whenever she sees a person threaten someone she cares about, things "happen." Dancia does all she can to stay under the radar, but when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy offer her a scholarship, she reluctantly accepts.

Review: It started off awesome. Dancia has these awesome powers and is selected to attend a prestigious boarding school. (We all know it's a special school that's going to train her) I was all for that. Surprisingly, no one knows about the magic-ness of the school so when one kids figures out about it, it's this big conspiracy thing. I was really excited because hello, magic school conspiracies are awesome! But instead of making the book about that, which the author should have, she instead focused on whether Dancia should be with Jack or Cam. Seriously? I had to fight the urge to throw this book against the wall when the school conspiracy concept was pretty much abandoned in favor of the stupid romance. I gave it two stars instead of one because I really liked the beginning.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tiger's Curse

Title: Tiger's Curse

Author: Collen Houck

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince when she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.

Review: This book was recommended to me by my friend Brynne, who was all "It's super amazing" so I was all "Okay, I'll read it." Guess what? It's amazing. The reason I gave it four stars and not five is because there was a bit too much romance for my taste. It was supposed to be about breaking the curse, and while it was at the beginning, that kind of got pushed aside by the romance. Also, Kelsey kept talking about his handsome face. The specific word "handsome" was used way too many times. What I loved, though, was how Kelsey was very straight-forward. When she was mad, she said, "I'm mad and this is why. Let's talk it out so it can be resolved." It was such a refreshing change! But she had no confidence. Kelsey went on about how Ren was super hot and she was just a radish and she should leave before she got her heart broken.

*Tiger Facepalm*
Even the tiger knows that Kelsey should stay with the hot guy who's totally into her.

Tiger photo courtesy of MaryEllenCG (

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Demon Catchers of Milan

Title: The Demon Catchers of Milan

Author: Kat Beyer

Rating: 1/2  star

Summary: Mia's ordinary life is disrupted in the most horrifying way possible when she is possessed by a hungry and powerful demon- and only saved by the arrival of relatives from Italy, the country her grandfather fled many decades ago. Now Her cousins Emilio and Giuliano say the only way to keep her safe is for her to come back with  htem to Milan, to live, to learn Italian, to fall in and out of love, and to master the family trade: fighting all demons with the lore of the bell, book, and candle. Milan is not what Mia expected, but it will change her forever.

Review: I had medium-high hopes for this book, but it failed. There's this little excerpt on the back cover where at the ends with "After Milan, I know." This makes me think that  the book will be about Mia hunting demons, with flashes back to her first trip to Milan. It wasn't, of course. And now for a list.

All The Things I Didn't Like About This Book
  • Mia was never actually trained
  • They fought the demons with bells. Bells.
  • She had a crush on her cousin
  • Beyer sent Lucifero away to the hospital, then never mentioned him again
  • The fight scene was really stupid. Mia said that there were a lot of boring parts to demon fighting, but I don't want to read about her standing there ringing a bell. (Seriously, that's all she did.)
  • In their version of demon fighting, every part is boring. They fight with bells and candles.
I think that's what I hated the most: the stupid fight scene. All Mia did was ring a little bell whenever she was told to, and she was all "I feel so powerful!" Are you kidding me? Get a magic sword and slice the demon's head off. Then we'll talk.

The Demon Catchers of Milan will be published in August 2012.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Last Princess

Title: The Last Princess

Author: Galaxy Craze

Rating: 2 star


Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.

When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.

Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope—and to love—once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become... The Last Princess.

Review:  The triumph seemed far too easy, the ending was kind of stupid, and the book just went way too fast. It was like: They went to the ball, their dad was killed, Mary and Jamie are kidnapped, Eliza joins the Tudor army, she escapes, she creates a resistance, and she saves her siblings. It went by too quickly to seem plausible, even in Everything's Possible Book World.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Grave Mercy

Title: Grave Mercy

Author: Robin LaFevers

Rating: 1 star

Summary: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? 

Review: I got through exactly half of this book before I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to like this book, I really did. I mean, assassins and a god of death? Awesome! But instead of being awesome, all that happens is Ismae struggles with her crush on Duval. Will they be together? Will they not be together? Who cares; I want less romance and more ninja assassin action. Not only that, but the author made i very clear that pretty much all the girls at the convent hate men, yet the focus of the book is on the romance between Ismae and Duval. Also, not nearly enough time was spent at the convent, which was very disappointing. Focus, on the convent full of assassin nuns, not the annoying romance. Another thing is why didn't the nuns rescue Ismae sooner? They had girls as young as five years old at the convent, so why would they wait until she was married to bring her to be trained? Two other things are that the beginning was rushed; in ten pages she was married, rescued, and had arrived at the convent. The second thing is that when the book starts, Ismae is thirteen, and through the rest of the book she is seventeen. The problem with this is that she seems like an adult throughout the whole book, even the beginning. Why won't anyone write good, romance-free YA assassin books anymore?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Way We Fall

Title: The Way We Fall

Author: Megan Crewe

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: It starts with an itch you just can’t shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you’ll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you’re dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn’t?

Review: The Way We Fall is a very accurate title for this book; when the virus comes, some people will do anything to survive, even condemning others to death or directly killing them. This book is different from others that have recently come out in how it takes place in the present time and tell of the epidemic's beginning, rather than in the distant future where a virus has been running rampant for years. Of course even with everyone she's ever known dropping like flies, Kaelyn still finds the time to get a boyfriend. But even love can't save someone form the virus. (That's not a spoiler) The book is Kaelyn's journal, in which she documented the events following the outbreak. She address the entries to Leo, her best friend who moved to New York and she hasn't spoken to in years.  The Way We Fall makes you wonder what you would do if you were ever trapped in a quarantine area as a mysterious virus killed everyone around you. Would you be at the hospital, helping people? Or would you steal all the food being brought in and kill anyone with the virus that you came across?