Tuesday, April 28, 2015
So, I haven't been as vigilant in reading lately. I think I had a book hangover. Combine that with being busy and exhausted. But I read this book and I read it fast!
YA Fantasy is a new genre for me. I wasn't until this last year that I even realized it was a genre I loved. Going through my Goodreads list, I can see that it started with Marie Lu's The Young Elites and Sara Raasch's Snow Like Ashes.
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows is like other books I have read. I learned that fantasy books don't always start out with fast paced reading. It's all about setting up the scene. The authors seem to want you to completely understand what is going on in the fantasy world. What it was like, what made it change, how it changed the people of the land, and what is being threatened for the future. Once a reader understand that, they can really get into the book. It is my experience that unlike thrillers, mysteries, or dystopians, fantasy books don't start out with lots of action.
The Orphan Queen is about a fallen princess. Her former kingdom fell and her parents were murdered in front of her by another kingdom. She now lives like a poor orphan child, disguising her real name and who she is from most and pretty much being a criminal so that she can gather the tools and people to one day take back her crown and kingdom. I REALLY want to discuss this book in detail. I finished it around 1am last night and had dreams about it! I won't be giving away any details and hints thought. There are so many little secrets that fill this book I don't want to spoil it for any of you! If you have read it and want to discuss email me or message me on Goodreads!
The book ended in a HUGE cliffhanger. Normally that would really bother me, but for some reason the "ending" to this was very fitting. The only downfall to this book is that I now have to wait an entire year for the second book to come out. The author did leave us some novellas to tide us over until the next book release. So look for those over on Amazon also!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Nova Ren Suma's "The Walls Around Us" , in short, was confusing. A 3 star read for me. I have not read any of her books prior to this one so I cannot compare this to her other novels. This book is a YA paranormal thriller told from the perspectives of 3 teen girls- two living and one dead. This book had been on my to-read list for a few months now.
The writing style is catchy and at times breathtaking. The author has a real way with words. I just wish she spent as much time planning the plot because this book is a jumbled mess. At times the story just seems to ramble and left me confused, wondering what had just happened and what was to come. The plot twists did leave me wanting to read more, but for all the wrong reasons. I was dying to try and make sense of it all. The characters were believable, yet not relatable. Perhaps that is the main reason I just couldn't fully engulf myself in this book.
The overall theme is about friendships. Dark pasts, secrets, and lies can mold a friendship or tear it apart. Jealousy and envy can result in making bad decisions and snap judgments that turn into maddening rage, resulting in scenarios that turn a person's life upside down. The ending was interesting and unexpected but very confusing and unsatisfying in my eyes. A very dramatic book, but not entirely fascinating. The author gives you just enough mystery and thrill to keep you reading but it never comes to the satisfying climax you were hoping for.
I will keep this review short, without much detail, because I do feel that this book is interesting enough to recommend, though not very engrossing as a whole. The less other readers know, the more they can enjoy it. I do think I have some reader friends that will love this book. In the hands of the right reader this book could be a 5 star book. I didn't love it, but I did like it. A very unique YA book.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
This book... where to begin with this book...
To start out, I received this via Netgalley in return for an honest review. I give this book a solid 3 stars. It was perhaps the hardest book I have read this year. So many mixed feelings because while I did like it, I really disliked it. The plot is basically this: 18 year old Jesse is an orphan living with his aunt, and is caught committing a crime. He is sentenced to spend his time in a correctional-like facility for teens. It is a ranch in the Arizona desert. He learns that it was no accident he is there. Higher powers have destined him to be the protector of ancient relics from Jerusalem. Of course, there wouldn't be a story without evil peoples after the very same relics that Jesse is to protect.
I do love YA novels and this book sounded so promising for a great read. The biggest issue I had was that the writing was so elementary. So basic. So boring. So corny. Jesse, although 18 years old acts like a pissed off 13 year old for most of the time. I had a hard time figuring out why he was so immature and angry. The reading for the first 40% of the book was extremely slow and I just had a hard time getting into it. The character dialog was just bad.
The overall story though was interesting to me. Ancient relics, evil & good. There is a bit of a love story worked into it, but it was so painfully awkward to read.
The ending felt rushed and just illogical. Things just didn't make sense to me.
Perhaps this will be a great book for middle schoolers to read. For me it just didn't quite do it. I am not sure if I would continue on with the series. But if it sounds like something you would like then you can get it here on Amazon.
Monday, April 6, 2015
In the book world of psychological thrillers, it's a bit hard to stand out. "The Lie" by C.L. Taylor (being released April 23, 2015) is a bright orange flame against a starless night sky! It is like reading two books in one. There is a mysterious past full of broken friendships, secrets, and death. The present is full of new relationships and a full, happy life, yet the intense, growing menace of having that current happiness be ripped away at any second. Taylor's extremely phenomenal character development mixed with story telling skills makes this a gripping read. Twist and turns will have you second guessing what you think will happen and have you scrambling to turn the page for more!
This book explores the theme of "does your past define your future". Something I think everyone has thought about at one time or another. It has you thinking about your past and present friendships, and the labels we put on people, even those who are our friends. It also explores the mystery (even to me) of female friendships- emotions and displays of competitiveness, jealousy, resentment and anger mixed with shows of love, kindness, sympathy and support. The small, close knit group of women who you "trust with your life" may turn out to be the people you can't trust at all...
Friday, April 3, 2015
It's not the usual type of book I read. I love thrillers, mystery, sci-fi, and dystopian books. I need action and some sort of problem or dilemma to keep me interested... usually. But A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Taylor was a book I loved.
It is a book about everyday life. About a family, like any other family really. They are ordinary. They have wonderful family moments together. They have times when they argue and fight and dislike one another. The family in this book are The Whitshanks. There is nothing extraordinary about this family. I think that's why I fell in love with them. They could be anyone's family. Even mine. Red and Abby actually reminded me of my great grandparents at times.
This book reads like a collection of stories both past and present. Ordinary, everyday life stories. The simplicity of this book is calming, yet makes me smile. It's actually hard for m to explain why I liked it so much.
I was a bit worried before I started the book. I had read a few comments about how boring it was. About how nothing actually happens in the book. After finishing it I beg to differ. LIFE happens in this book. A family is just trying to get through life the best thy know how and later reflecting back on decisions made and how differently things could have been. I wouldn't label this book a "page-turner" but it kept me interested. Lies, skeletons, secrets, and black sheep of the family keep this story interesting. The characters are so real. I found myself being sucked in and experiencing the triumphs and turmoil like I was a part of the family.
If you are looking for an easy going book to read on a spring day than this is the book for you. It was my first Anne Taylor novel, but I am definitely adding her other novels to my never ending "to-read" list. Happy Reading!
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Have you heard of the Dorothy Must Die book series by Danielle Paige? I came across it last year while browsing a book store. I wanted to sit down in the isle and start reading it then and there. Who doesn't love The Wizard of Oz!? The series takes place AFTER the story we all know and love. In this series, Dorothy is evil. She is ruler of OZ and is destroying everything we love about it. An Oz where Good Witches can't be trusted, Bad Witches are the good guys, and the yellow brick road is crumbling. I finished Book 1 in a couple days. If I remember correctly, it was a bit of a slow start, but so good once it got going!
I have also read No Place Like Oz and The Witch Must Burn- both are novellas (short stories) that go along and add a bit of back story or other juicy info relevant to the main books. The Wizard Returns is also a novella.
I have never had to force myself to continue to read such a short story. The Wizard Returns a mere 12 chapters, but it seemed to drag on forever. Maybe it was because The Wizard has never been one of my favorite characters. This story was very slow going and I had a hard time getting into it. While it was interesting to see how The Wizard changed and became who he was in Dorothy Must Die, I didn't feel this little book added anything significant to the main story.
Despite this novella, book 2- The Wicked Will Rise just was released yesterday and I am sooooo excited to read it! I highly recommend this series. Very imaginative and not what you expected. Spoiler alert: there is no singing and dancing about rainbows and blue birds flying in these books. Dorothy isn't a cute, shy girl from Kansas just trying to get home.