Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Destined (House of Night #9) P.C. and Kristin Cast

Disclaimer: This review will contain spoilers for the first 8 books in the House of Night series.

Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet. "Very good," she said in her emotionless voice. "Let us leave this place before the authorities descend."

Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley.

Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.

"What is it?" She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.

"I do not know. I feel--"

She laughed. "You don't feel at all. You're obviously overthinking this."

"Yes, Priestess." Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him.I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon.

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . .

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to read this book or not. I really think that this series should end soon, not because the characters are horrible or anything, I just think that it's time. There are currently nine books in this series, and its hard to keep up with the plot. We know that Zoe and friends don't like Neferet because she's evil and all. But, I'm starting to find it hard to remember exactly why Neferet is so evil. I know that she's power hungry and that she wants to take over the "government," but this whole Neferet-is-trying-to-take-over-the-world thing is really getting on my nerves. The plot is just so...boring--for lack of a better word. Yeah, I know that there are more things going on in this series, but that is the main thing. It's just really tiresome after a while. There will be a tenth book in the House of Night series, Hidden although, I'm not sure when it is coming out, or if I'm even going to read it.

That being said, I really didn't find much entertainment in this book. The plot was bland and old characters are brought back but weren't explained. I really don't know what else to say about it. Except that I'd give it a 2/5. I'm really not sure if I'm going to read the next installment, Hidden. I believe that this series has reached it's end


Monday, February 27, 2012

It's on my wish list... [2]

Wildefire - Karsten Knight
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California's redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn't go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school--being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger--Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood...and she's one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she's got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time... And when warm and cold fronts collide, there's guaranteed to be a storm.

Only the Good Spy Young - Ally Carter

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn't know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that's exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her. 
Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie "The Chameleon" can't hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers--or even her own heart.
In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie's future may lie deep in the past


Friday, February 24, 2012

Freaky Fridays

I've figured out what I'm going to do with the blog on Fridays, so (drum roll please) I've decided that I am going to make Friday a random day. Sometimes I'm going to write topics, sometimes I'm going to do book to movie thoughts, and sometimes I'm going to talk about technology. Most of the things that I'm going to post about are book related or have something to do with books in them. I know that this sounds like a  Leah-Can't-Make-Up-Her-Mind-So-She's-Going-to-Combine-Everything idea and that, yes, reader, you are correct, but it's also something that I really look forward to doing. 
Thank you for your cooperation with my indecisiveness. :)


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gone - Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else..

I absolutely loved Gone, so much that I think that this review is going to be hard to write. I finished this book about three years ago, and I still remember what happened. The world that Grant has created is just so immaculate that you just can't forget it. It's almost impossible. The characters are completely astounding, Sam is such a strong character, I think he's the type of person that most of us strive to be: strong, confident, a leader. This story was just so unique and so vivid that I can't find the words to describe how much I enjoyed reading it.  There is a profound sense of mystery as you read, and that mystery definitely kept me interested. Also, there is a lot of social drama, which just shows that even though these kids are trying to become adults, they are still kids and they still have kid problems.
I give this book a 5/5 and I cannot wait to start reading the second book in this series, Hunger.


Monday, February 20, 2012

It's on my wish list... [1]

Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

A Touch Mortal - Leah Clifford

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I know that many people love this trilogy, but I am not one of them. I just couldn't finish this book. I got about half way through, and then I just stopped. When I first began reading The Iron King, I was sucked in by this overly detailed world about a changeling, and then I just got incredibly bored with the amount of detail. There was just way too much detail about every little thing and the over use of detail drew away from what would have been a great story. Because of the detail, the pace of this story just slowed down so much that I found myself skipping entire pages of detail just to get to two to three sentences of dialogue.

Maybe I'll pick up The Iron King again, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Something new?

I've re-re-organized my posts again. Now, there won't be a different book review every three days (I can't keep up with reading and school at the same time). So, Mondays I'm going to talk about the books that I want to read--the books "On My Wish List." On Wednesday, there will be a book review, and on Friday...Well, I'm not sure what I'm going to do for Friday yet. I'm thinking about posting the books that are going to be released in the next week, but I've also been thinking about Fairy Tale Fridays. It has come to my attention that not many people know about the non-Disney fairy tales, so I'd like to talk about them, and what happens in them. I have this big book of Grimm's complete fairy tales at my house and nothing to do with it. So, that's another option.
Which one would you guys prefer me do?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

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.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

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.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

While I'm not going to shove my views of suicide down your throat, I do want to say that suicude is the center of this novel, and while I do not mean to offend anyone in any way, shape or form, if I do offend you I am deeply sorry. I just want to review this book, because I feel that everyone in their life, should read it, even if it's only once.

When I first picked up this book, I was extremely tepid. I didn't want to start reading this book and  think about horrible things, and I didn't want to hear some complete nonsense about how suicide is "cowardly." I was pleased, in a way, to know that this book did not offend me at all. I loved the way it was written, and I liked the fact that someone *cough cough Jay Asher cough cough* was able to be respectable in writing about suicide while explaining how the actions of one person have a snowball effect and can, indeed, hurt someone in the worst way possible. Something that I think should be expressed more in today's society. Especially in high school.

I don't want to go into specifics in this review, because I don't really know how to review this book without giving anything away. I will say that I believe that everyone should read this book, at least once. If you don't like it, that's fine, you don't have to read it again, but after one time of reading this novel, you will think about the snowball effect, and maybe you can help someone that's going through a hard time.

This book is definitely a 5/5.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare

Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

First, I want to start off by saying that I make many, many references to the Mortal Instruments in this review, and someone who hasn't read the Mortal Instruments series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels) wouldn't understand the references.

I don't know why it took me SO long to finish this book because it was a really good book. (I mean, hello, Cassandra Clare wrote it. Of course it's going to be good!) It feels like it took me forever to finish this book, and I blame my hectic life. Which is why, I don't feel like this review will be that good, or accuate for that matter. So, feel free to call me out on any errors that I've made in this post.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's get on with the review.

I was nervous when I first picked up this book, because I didn't know if the Infernal Devices series would live up the the Mortal Instruments series. I didn't know if Cassandra Clare could keep my interest this time, or if she would make this series too much like the Mortal Instruments series and just basically have the same plot with different characters.

I was partially right. Cassandra Clare kept my interest, but the basic plot is the same. Someone goes missing, the main character has to go find that person, then, the main character bumps into some shadow hunters, they all stumble into some big problem with some really bad evil dude, and there's drama within the group. I felt, while reading this, that there were certain things that Cassandra Clare repeated in this series that she first came up with in the Mortal Instruments sereis. Even through those similarities were still there, I loved the book and the dramatical issues within the group were vastly different than those that were in the Mortal Instruments.

The characters, for one, are not all that different than in the Mortal Instruments. Tessa is not at all like Clary, while Will and Jace seem alike, I can see subtle differences between the two, however, I can't tell you because I don't want to ruin the plot. Jem and Simon are also completely different characters, but somewhat similar in the way that they react to situations within the seperate books. I don't know what it is that makes me want to link them together (Maybe it's because Cassandra Clare wrote all of these books) but they just seem so similar.

I would give this book a 4.5/5, just because it seems unorigional at times, and the characters intertwine with Clare's first Shadowhunter series, The Mortal Instruments. Even though this parallel is there, the detail of the plot is immensly different than TMI, which sets the two series apart. I look forward to reading the next book in the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Far From You - Lisa Schroeder

Lost and alone...down the rabbit hole.

Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife.

But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful.

Perhaps she's not so alone after all....

This book is written in verse--which is something that initially drew me to it. I love verse, that may be the fault of Ellen Hopkins, but I thank her for it.
Throughout this novel I wanted to scream at Alice and tell her to grow up. She was my main issue with Far From You.

This book doesn't really get interesting until the middle of the book, when all of the action happens. Although I think that the action in this book was extremely random, it kind of seperated itself from the rest of the novel.

Another thing that bothered me was that, there's this one part in Far From You when a love interest is introduced--briefly--and then he isn't brought back at all. I didn't understand why the author would introduce a character who could potentially be a main part of this book, and then just drop him.

Oh, well. The overall message that is given to the reader makes up for some of the weird-ness of the plot, and I loved the incorporation of Alice in Wonderland that Lisa Schroeder added into this novel.

Overall I'd give Far From You a 3.5/5 because, overall the book was good, it was just weird at times for me. Feel free to pick it up and make your own decision. Maybe you'll like it more than I did.


Friday, February 3, 2012

February's Schedule

These are the books that I plan to read and review in February.

To Read (In no particular order):
  1.  Destined (House of Night #9) P.C. and Kristin Cast
  2. Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo #1) D.M. Cornish
  3. Anastasia's Secret Susanne Dunlap
  4. Divergent (Divergent #1) Veronica Roth

  1. Far From You Lisa Schroeder 2/6/12
  2. Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare 2/9/12


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