Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bookshelf Tour!



These are the books that are currently in my room. I have not read all of them. The books are organized by author's last name and date of original publication.
Thank you for watching! See you guys in February!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong

This is the third and final installment in the Darkest Powers series, this review will contain spoilers for both the Summoning and The Awakening, the first two books in this series.

My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.

But normal is one thing I'm not.

For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother-who just happens to be a sorcerer- but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.

Not normal.

My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us-permanently.

Definitely not normal.

And finally, I'm a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.

As far away from normal as it gets.


The first few chapters of The Reckoning were slow, especially after the fast-paced energy that ended the last novel. Thankfully it did get better and I was able to maintain interest in the characters as they, once again, run from the Edison Group.

The plot was ok, it felt like the plot was going in circles with the whole running-from-the-Edison Group thing. I understand that they are the main problem in the story and that is who Chloe and friends are running from, but I feel like there should have been another obstacle. It just would have made the book a little more interesting. There is also more drama going on and the love triangle between Simon, Chloe and Derek is still going on. I don't think that the love triangle messes up the story, and it's not a huge part of the main plot. It's just something extra. I also don't think that the love triangle was needed, but I'm a sucker for love triangles and it was nice to be able to escape from the whole Edison Group drama into the drama that surrounds Chloe with Derek and Simon. For those of you who hate love triangles, this one wasn't obnoxious, and I don't think you'll mind it.

One of the problems that I had with this book was that some of the key players in this novel were introduced in the previous novels and then they kind of dropped off the face of the earth for a while and then they came back and I couldn't remember who they were and what they did. I feel like this trillogy could have just been combined into one big book and I'd be happy with it.

I was not a fan of the ending. If you can even call it that? I mean the book did end, but I didn't really get closure from it. There were just too many questions left unanswered for me to be satisfied by the ending of this trillogy. I've heard that Kelley Armstrong will be continuing this series with a spin-off, however, Simon, Chloe, Tori and Derek aren't included in it. I will definitely be picking up the next few books, which include The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) and The Calling (Darkness Rising #2), and I believe they will be published in April, 2012.
This book gets a 4.5/5 from me and the series also gets a 4.5/5. If you like supernatural conspiracy books, then this series is the one for you. :)

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong

This is the second book in Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series. It will contain spoilers for her first installment, 
The Summoning

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

I thought that the first part of this trilogy was ok, and I saw room for improvement and there was definitely improvement. Chloe and her friends have run away from the terrors of the Lyle house, and are living anywhere they can in order to survive while battling numerous feelings for each other.

Now, I'm not one for love triangles, but in this series I really don't see one. I like Chloe and Derek's relationship and, to be honest, Simon annoys me. I'm not a big fan of Simon, or Tori for that matter. I think that they're both annoying, however, they're important to the plot, so, they stay.

I felt like the pace was much better in this book than in the last, however, it was still somewhat confusing at times and the lack of detail continued to annoy me. I usually don't like much detail, but some detail about something other than a living dead thing is needed in order for me to pay attention and not skip the little detail that there is and go straight to the dialogue.

Over all, I felt that this book was a better-than-ok read. So, I'm rating it a a4/5.

My review of the next, and final, installment of the Darkest Powers series will be posted on 1/24/12.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare

The review for this book contains spoilers for the first three books in this series: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. 
[Click the title of each book to read my reviews]



 


The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.
 
I was extremely cautious when picking up this book, for a few different reasons the main one being that I wasn't sure if I'd like the direction that Cassandra Clare would go with the fourth book in her Immortal Instruments series. So, I did what any cautious reader would do, and I stalked YouTubers and GoodReaders to figure out whether or not I should actually read this book or not. I ended up reading it, and absolutely loving it. I shall explain:
1. More. Simon.
Simon was one of the characters that I felt that Cassie Clare could have expanded on. Throughout the first three books, he was just kind of there. There was no real depth to his character, besides him following Clary around like a lost and somewhat broken puppy. I love puppies, therefore, I love Simon. The thing that I didn't really like about Simon in this book, though, was the whole Mark of Caine thing. I knew that it would affect him, but the effects of the Mark weren't really shown. They were touched on, sure, but Cassie could have definitely expanded on the whole hurt-me-and-I'll-hurt-you-seven-times-worse thing. Also, in CoFA, you see more of a teenaged guy type to Simon. When you first start this book, you may be very surprised at Simon's relationship status. He is currently dating two people at the same time. Any guesses as to who these "mystery women" are? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway, because it's really obvious and it's not spoiling anything. Isabelle and Mia. Yep. Because that's not a train wreck waiting to happen. I mean COME ON SIMON, you know better than that. You'd think that after the whole Jace-Clary thing that Simon would be a little more sensative to other people's feelings, but whatever, I'm not going to rant about this. All you really need to know is that Simon becomes a key player in this book, which is a VERY good thing.
2. Cassie Clare's words.
If you've read this far into the series, you know what I'm talking about. Her cliffhangers are fantasticly torturous. ESPECIALLY at the end of this book. Words can't describe how much I want to read her next installment - City of Lost Souls. AND there's ANOTHOTHER HUGE cliffhanger at the end of the book. One day, I will ask Cassie Clare how she's mastered this astounding ability to create moments that both confuse and amaze readers.

The only thing that started to annoy me in this book was, dare I say it, Jace. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Jace, but in this book he does some really stupid things. Not pick a fight with a bar filled with werewolves kind of stupid, but the more self destructive kind of stupid. Jace and Clary's relationship is still strained, and it just doesn't really do anything for the series at this point. I mean, though out the beginning of the series their relationship was a big deal, especially because of the whole incest thing, but it's starting to get tiresome. As I've previously stated: Jace = Awesome, (with a capital 'A') but he needs to be a bit less self loathing. Which is one of the things that I like about him, but the whole I-hate-my-life thing needs to be toned down a little bit.

Overall, I'd give this book a 4/5.
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong


After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…


I first picked this book up because I kept seeing one of my friends reading it, where ever I went, so I asked her what it was about and she told me that it was about paranormal things. I was hooked, immediately. Besides, I think that the cover is great. I especially love the amulet. 

At first, this book started out...well, extremely creepy. I mean, zombie janitors that try and kill students? Who would have ever thought of that? Then, when Chloe is put into the Lyle house by her aunt, Dr. Lauren Fellows things start to slow down a bit. You get a feel for the routine of the Lyle house for "problem children" and you're introduced to amazing new characters who are quite unique. 

Simon Bae: He is also fifteen-years-old. His father, a scientist named Christopher "Kit" Bae, weventually adopting Simon's foster brother, Derek, with whom he shares a close bond with. Simon is the opposite of 
Derek, and is diabetic. Something unique that isn't touched on in much YA, which I find interesting.

Derek Souza: is a sixteen-year-old, who is described as extremely tall, having black hair, green eyes, and having acne problems. He often frightens Chloe because he is so quiet, he is diagnosed as antisocial at Lyle House, but there's also something extremely intriguing about him. 

Rachelle "Rae" Rogers: is another fifteen-year-old who develops a close friendship with Chloe, being the first she confides in since coming to the mysterious Lyle house.

Elizabeth "Liz" Delaney: is a sixteen-year-old, Chloe's roommate, and is best friends with Tori. She is extremely talkative.

Victoria "Tori" Enright: is a sixteen-year-old who is best friends with Liz, she doesn't get along with many people at the Lyle house and is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

Chloe and her new found room mates seem to have a touch of bad luck throughout her stay at the Lyle house, and they end up in a lot of trouble at times. Well, more times than they're not in trouble. Throughout their little adventures, they uncover the secrets that they didn't even know they had, and, worst of all, the secrets of the Lyle house.

 Over all, I would give this book a 4/5 because, while the plot is good, I don't feel like things were spaced out right. I found it easy to put this book down, however, there is an awesome plot twist at the end that makes you want to know more. 

Check out my review of the next installment in Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series The Awakening on 1/21/12. 


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

City of Glass - Cassandra Clare


Warning, this synopsis contains spoilers from City of Bones and City of Ashes.

[Click each title to read my reviews.]




To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Timesbestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

[Taken from Goodreads]

Once again, I must gush over three things: the cover, Cassandra Clare and Jace. Well, mostly Cassandra Clare. I absolutely love this cover, and I think it just fits with the story so well. I also love the color brown, so, that carries some weight. City of Bones was phenomenal, I absolutely loved it and I couldn't put it down for two days. Which is why it only took me two days to finish it. It was just THAT GOOD. Which brings me to my third subject: Jace. He's even more tortured in this book, which makes him more attractive. Oh, and the character development is great, too.

This book starts where City of Ashes left off, and it's as action filled as CoA, which is awesome. The character development really picks up in CoG. I loved reading about the different characters and seeing how they react to different things. These characters are definitely the type that you keep close to your heart. Alec and Mangus are in this book, more than they ever were before, and I loved watching their relationship grow. Simon is still Simon, and his family is having trouble with the fact that he's a vampire. So, he becomes tortured and angry and just so un-Simon. He also steps up in this book, which I liked. Clary is still Clary, and I think that she becomes less annoying in this book. Also, the parents make an appearance, and you get to see what the relationship with the kids and the parents is like, which is...interesting, to say the least. And, a new character is introduced--Sebastian--and he is definitely a key aspect in this book. I both loved and hated him at times, and I felt bad for him at others. 

This book, like every other one of Cassie Clare's books, had some MAJOR cliffhangers in it, and each one made me want to tear my hear out from the roots. Cassie's words definitely make you want to cry forever at times, which I almost did, (I'm pretty sure I ran out of tears.) The ending of the book was even more action packed than the beginning--something that I didn't think was even possible. I both loved and hated the ending. While I won't tell you why I hated the ending because that contains some MAJOR spoilers, the ending definitely wrapped up the series in a way that left room for a next book, or a spin-off series, which was fantastic because I couldn't wait to get my hands on City of Fallen Angels (which originally wasn't supposed to even exist) and that review will be up on January 18, 2012. 

If you would like to hear me rant about the one thing that I didn't like about the ending, watch this video which I will link here. This video contains serious spoilers. You have been warned.

It's safe to say that I give this book an overall 5/5.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

So... There may be a little problem.

I am extremely sorry to announce that my laptop isn't working, again. Well, my laptop is working, it's just my power supply that decided to be crappy. You see, I was attempting to log on to blogger so that I could keep scheduling and reviewing reviews and such, when I heard a pop and saw some very awesome but scary sparks fly from my power supply. When I tried to fix the problem I only caused more sparks and my power supply is now cut in half.
I am really sorry about this, and I will try to keep the blog as updated as possible. As of right now, the review schedule is:

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) - Cassandra Clare 1/11/12

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) - Kelley Armstrong 1/14/12

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4) - Cassandra Clare 1/18/12

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) - Kelley Armstrong 1/21/12

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) -Cassandra Clare TBA

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers #3) - Kelley Armstrong TBA

I am exremely sorry for this, and I will get back to posting regularly as soon as possible.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In My Mailbox: Holiday Edition


This is my first In My Mailbox: Holiday Edition. So, there are going to be more books here than are in my usual In My Mailbox videos/blogs. Also, In this post I am going to post a video, along with a written section which will both explain the books. So, here I go.

[I am sorry that I don't have images to go with the descriptions of the books, Blogger isn't cooperating with me. The video will show the covers of the images]





Title: The Reckoning
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Edition: Third installment in the Darkest Powers series
Description:


In the end there's always a reckoning. 

Chloe Saunders's life is not what you would call normal. First of all, she can't figure out how she feels about a certain anti-social werewolf or his charming brother--who just happens to be a sorcerer. Then there's the fact that she's running for her life from an evil corporation that's trying to kill her and her supernatural friends. And finally, she's a genetically altered necromancer who can raise the dead, rotting
corpses and all, without even trying.

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Description:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Edition: Second installment in the Infernal Devices series.
Description:


In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Title: Foundling
Author: D.M. Cornish
Edition: First installment in the Factorium series
Description:


Meet Rossam√ľnd—a foundling, a boy with a girl’s name who is about to begin
a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor of the Half-Continent. What
starts as a simple journey becomes a dangerous and complicated set of
battles and decisions. Humans, monsters, unearthly creatures . . . who
among these can Rossam√ľnd trust? D. M. Cornish has created an entirely
original world, grounded in his own deft, classically influenced
illustrations. Foundling is a magic-laced, Dickensian adventure that will
transport the reader.



Title: Nevermore
Author: Kelly Creagh
Edition: First installment in the Nevermore series
Description:

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. 

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. 

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares. 

Title: Anastasia's Secret
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Description:

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia's last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family's future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death? 
Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap's new novel is a haunting vision of the life-and love story-of Russia's last princess.

Title: Unnatural
Author: Michael Griffo
Edition: First installment in the Archangel Academy series.
Description:


In the town of Eden in northwestern England stands the exclusive boarding school known as Archangel Academy. Ancient and imposing, it’s a place filled with secrets. Just like its students… 

For Michael Howard, being plucked from his Nebraska hometown and sent thousands of miles away is as close as he’s ever come to a miracle. In Weeping Water, he felt trapped, alone. At Archangel Academy, Michael belongs. And in Ciaran, Penry, and especially Ciaran’s enigmatic half-brother Ronan, Michael finds friendship deeper than he’s ever known. 

But Michael’s only beginning to understand what makes the Academy so special. Ronan is a vampire—part of a hybrid clan who are outcasts even among other vampires. Within the Academy’s confines exists a ruthless world of deadly rivalries and shifting alliances, of clandestine love and forbidden temptations. And soon Michael will confront the destiny that brought him here—and a danger more powerful than he can imagine…

Title: A Game of Thrones [Boxed Set]
Author: George R.R. Martin
Edition: Books one through four in the A Song of Ice and Fire series
Description:

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective wall. To the south, the King's powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens. The first volume in George Martin's series.


Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Edition: First in the Divergent series
Description:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her. 
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