Friday, May 31, 2013

Heartstrings and Loopholes

Goddess by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Songs for this read: More Than I Should by Hunter Hayes, Angel with a Shotgun by The Cab, Birds of a Feather by The Civil Wars

I'm so sad right now. But it's a good kind of sad... if that makes any sense. I'm devastated our journey with Helen and those beautiful Delos boys is over. But I'm so happy that I'm sad about it. You see, it seems recently ending Trilogies and series have left me more upset, angry and down right frustrated with the final chapter. So to get to be sad, and yet content with the ending is the best feeling. Reading the end of this story only made me want to read them all over again.

Its the end of a trilogy so there is not much summarizing or explaining I can do without revealing everything, so enough to say that this book was just about as close to a perfect ending as you could hope for. I loved everything about it, despite the losses throughout, everything turned out for the best, for the most part. And I for one and going to dare to dream about the tempting little loose ends left dangling at the end there. I would appear to me Angelini left the door open for the legacy to continue if she so chose.
Fingers Crossed!!

In closing I just want to give a shout out to Hector Delos. Lucas is amazing and perfect for Helen, but Hector will always be my favorite Delos boy  man.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Number the Stars

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Songs for this read: Stars by Switchfoot, Broken by Lifehouse, Prince of Nothing Charming by Tyler Hilton

Goodreads Summary:
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

10 million beautiful stars to this beautiful book. There are no words. I think this book just broke me. I have been shredded by this story and don't think I will ever be the same. I laughed. I cried. I sobbed. I hurt. I smiled. This book is a work of art-- no wonder it has one of the highest ratings I've ever seen. Anyone who hasn't read this book is missing out on a miracle. Seriously, this book was so powerful I almost couldn't take it at times. I've never experience anything like it. I wish I could express all of my emotions in words to let you understand what this book is, but I can't. All I can do is tell you to read it and hope you understand when I say this book is like nothing else you could ever experience.

Dean Holder fan girl for life.

Excuse me, but now I need to cruel up and cry for a few forevers and thank god that Colleen Hoover wrote this book.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Running from The Past

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Songs for this read: Jump into The Fog by The Wombats, Did It Really Even Matter by The Rescues, Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

Shadowands is the perfect blend of “two” of my favorite authors, Kieran Scott and her infamous pen name Kate Brian. The story, to me, was a mix of the mystery and suspense of The Private series (Brian) with the drama and elite setting of the newer series She’s So Dead to Us (Scott). Little did I know the extra element added in at the end that made this book very, very different.
Shadowlands is the story of Rory Miller, a highschooler who is attacked by her math teacher in the woods one day and miraculously escapes with her life. She soon discovers this man is a serial killer who the FBI have been tracking for over 10 years. And he is not done with Rory. When her safety at home is threatened a second time they are forced to take evasive measures and Rory with her father and sister Darcy, are thrust into the witness protection program.
The Miller family soon arrives at Juniper Landing, a quaint little vacation island, under the new name of the Thayer family. Rory and Darcy are quickly adopted by the carefree and beautiful group of kids on the island. And they all seem to have a special interest in Rory, which causes tension between the sisters. But Rory is standoffish and not ready to trust anyone. Her PTSD is back and she doesn’t know if she can trust her own eyes and ears anymore; that and she keeps have horrible flashbacks to that very vivid nightmare where her math teacher tracks her down and kills her and her family in the woods. All Rory does know is that the more she finds out about her new town, the less things make sense. It’s only when her sister goes missing that Rory gets any answers from her new friends. And even then they are not the ones she ever would have expected.

I love anything Kate Brian and Shadowlands is definitely up towards the top of that list. I have recently discovered I love psychological thrillers and the total mystery that comes from having an unreliable narrator. This revelation was thanks to the amazing Mara Dyer series (which if you haven’t read you simply must, must, MUST) which I really see a lot of in Shadowlands. I like to post-it my books and on more than one occasion I stuck a sticky in reading something like “omg! Like in Mara when…” or “gosh Rory is being just like Mara”. I’m sure to people who have read both you can see how the characters relate, especially with their PTSD. – To those who haven’t read Mara, I think Shadowland is a great kind of training wheels book so to speak, where if you like Shadowlands and can handle the mystery, creep-factor and frustration of it all then you are ready for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
But enough about Mara. Shadowlands is an amazing set up to this series. To me that was all it really was, a set up. Even about 200 pages in I was looking at how much I had left to read and remember thinking, I have way too many questions and relatively no answers and nearly enough pages to get anything done. So while this was just a very detailed prologue to me, I am very excited to see where Brian takes it. With the ended her gave us, the possibilities are endless. This is a great read, a new story line for Brian and ultimately unique to YA fiction. Brian is on to something, and it looks like she’s ahead of the curve.

4 ½ stars and a round of applause for Shadowlands

Now I think I need to sit back and process what just happened...

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Balancing Act

The Essence
The Essence by Kimberly Derting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Songs for this Read: Northern Lights by The Dangerous Summer, and Warrior by Paradise Fears

To recap, Charlie, a vendor girl, has just defeated the evil queen Sabara and been pronounced queen herself. But she has a secret, the queen’s essence did not die with Sabara’s body, it is deep within her. Charlie has tried to keep her at bay but every day it gets a little bit harder. Now with a rebellion on her hands and an assassin out for her life she must flee her palace and set out for “the Summit” early. As Charlie and her friends head for queen Neva’s palace up north for the meeting of many queedoms, known as the summit, they realize the assassin is one of their own. And while Charlie is missing Max terribly, she meets an ambassador who makes her dizzy and conflicted about what to feel. As they make the long journey north, Charlie struggles to keep a grip on Sabara when she no longer can tell her own thoughts from the queens and must fight to see right from wrong. All Charlie really knows is that she needs Max and she would do anything to protect her family—Anything.

I love anything Kimberly Derting puts on the shelf at B&N. She is one of my favorites. The Pledge books never cease to amaze me because they are so unlike anything else out there. I could try to describe them by telling you they are something like a Shannon Hale book meets classic dystopian, but that really doesn't do them justice. These books are in a genre all of their own filled with Queendoms and revolutionaries and magic and so much more that really you just have to read to understand how well it all meshes together.
As everyone knows, sequels always cause me anxiety. It’s the middle book where, now that the story has been set up in the first, everything must go wrong in the second to be cleaned up in the third. And so I started this book with both excitement (because I love them) and trepidation (because I knew this was not going to be all rainbows and butterflies). I think one of the reasons I like I love Kimberly Derting’s writing so much is that unlike some other authors out there (i.e. Cassandra Clare) Derting doesn't torture her readers with every plot twist, there is a balance to her stories. Even when in one sense it seems all is lost, the next chapter will relight that flame of hope that there is still good in the world. That is probably the main reason why this is one of the best sequels I have ever read—ever.
And now for the character shout outs: To Charlie, she such a perfect heroine- she is strong but only human and her weak spots make her a beautifully dynamic character to read. Her best quality is that she is smart; I am never cursing her for stupid decisions. Next is Aron and Brook, these two really grew in this book and all I can really say is that they are some of the best friends a girl can have and that I love them. Thirdly, a quick round of applause for all of those crazy queens at the Summit, I loved all their eccentric queenliness, so fun. And then there is Zafir, who I would love to learn more about, he is quite the man of mystery. And finally, a shout out to my boy Max--> I think I'm in love with you. You wouldn't have to ask twice to be my king ;)

5 stars to Essence, one of the few sequels I have given 5 stars to. I would make it 10 stars if I could.

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