Friday, September 30, 2011

Cover Crazy (29)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  This week it's Cicada by Belle Whittington! There's just something awesome about this simplistic cover with this girl with her head thrown back, seemingly floating.  And the title Cicada.  I don't know.  Just the combination works wonderfully well.  Really excited for this. Looks really good. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Name of the Star

Synopsis: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

My Review: What first drew me to this story was Jack the Ripper.  I have to admit, I'm a bit of a Ripper freak.  Well, not really, but I think the whole legendary quality of Jack and the murders is really cool.  Partially because a character in another book totally had a Jack the Ripper aurora about him and I kind of fell in love with the whole thing. 

What really made this story so cool for me was the fact that it took place in London.  Just having been to London this past summer it was really kinda neat going "I've been there!" and being able to actually visualize where all these places were.  You really just can't imagine London without having been on its streets.  This being said, I still think Maureen did an excellent job of creating an atmosphere for the story.  That rainy/drizzle without it actually being raining? Ya, dead on.  Tripping on the cobble stones? Check.  How British people just seem so much more mature? Check again.  It was just really cool being able to actually know what the author was talking about. 

I really loved Rory as well.  Also having been to New Orleans, plus my obsession with True Blood, she was high on my cool-o-meter.  She had a great sense of witty humor that just cracked me up throughout the entire novel.  Just the way the story was written really had it's laugh out loud moments.  She was quirky and down to earth and was extremely loyal to her friends.  Her stories about her weird ass family and town were so entertaining.  She's like one of those people that always has a funnier story than you, and the kicker is they're always true. 

I loved the whole atmosphere of the story as well.  The Ripper is truly one of the most feared figures in history.  His name alone makes you start looking over your shoulder or flinching at innocent noises.  When women are once again being butchered on the streets on the exact same day and in the exact same manner as in 1888, London gets crazy.  The whole world is making it a free for all carnival occasion, complete with t-shirts.  It's really sickening how the news loves to put horrible things into the media and make it all one big party.  As the final days approach for Jack's killing spree, Rory grows more and more on edge.  When she actually see's whom she believes is the killer, she herself becomes a target. 

During the course of the Ripper mania, Rory keeps seeing people that no one else can see.  What she eventually discovers is that she can see ghosts, and that there is a whole team of people in London with the same ability, and their watching her.  The Shades of London, as they're called, were super cool in my opinion.  I really loved every single one of them.  Boo was just plain hysterical.  I have a feeling we'd get along well.  She is beyond quirky.  I loved how she said "yeah" almost every sentence.  You don't really get to meet Callum all that much.  He's really barely there, but he seemed like a nice guy.  I really loved Stephen though.  He's quiet and serious, and barely older than Rory.  He has a tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, and he handles it all calmly.  I can't really explain why I liked him so much. He was just kind of that nice guy that everyone likes.  Plus apparently he can drive like a bad ass.  That gained him definite points.  I really quite loved one of the ghosts too.  Alistair (MAD EYE!) was super cool.  The first time you meet him in the story, he's sitting on the floor in the library singing Panic by the Smiths.  I might have fallen in love.  I have a strange passion for 80's music.  Lol.  He was moody, but he also knew every single book in the library.  Yep, definitely in love.  Haha. 

The ending was such a shock for me.  It was a definite cliff hanger, yet somehow it worked well.  My eyes were just kind of wide and like "Daaaamn!" I absolutely cannot wait for the next one! It'll be interesting to see if Maureen intends on keeping that really creepy, dark element to the story.  I really wonder how it'll go without the whole Jack the Ripper thing. I'm definitely intrigued. Loved the characters, the story, everything.  The only thing I am going to bitch about is the cover.  Uhm, excuse me? Rory has almost black hair...why is there a red head on the cover? Bothersome? I think so.  It really kind of bugged the crap out of me. Besides that, fantastic.  Really loved it. 

Review: Legend

Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

My Review: I've been excited to read this every since I stumbled across it on Goodreads.  Another dystopian novel? Who'd a thunk? I'm a bit addicted. Legend is another incredible read amongst the flood of other dystopian novels of late.  It really stood out with amazing characters, a twisted plot, and some downright badass antics.

The former United States is split.  Instead of North and South in the Civil War it is now the East and West.  The Republic is the shining beacon of a perfect civilization in the western half of the country, fighting the evil Colonies and the radical group the Patriots.  As far as anyone knows in the Republic, The United States of America never existed.  Plagues ravage the population and only the rich can afford a cure.  The fate of every individual is determined by the Trial.  Your score determines where you go for the rest of your life.  If you get a high score, you have a cushioned life, and if you have a low one you scrape by.  These two worlds collide when June, a military prodigy with the only perfect score in the Republic, and Day, the Republics most wanted criminal are thrown together.

Both Day and June were amazingly strong characters.  I absolutely adored both of them. June was quick witted, amazingly keen on details, and can hold her own in a fight.  Actually, she kinda decimates anyone in a fight.  When her brother dies, she is thrown on the hunt for his killer, Day.  She's determined to avenger her brother, who was her only family left.  Yet when she finally finds Day, he is the last thing she ever suspects.  The young man she grows to know, is nothing like the supposed murderer the Republic claims he is. 

Day was just as amazing.  You know in Prince of Persia, how Jake's jumping all over the place; from roof tops, and doing flips, and scaling buildings.  THAT'S Day.  Except for cooler in my mind.  His antics were amazing to say the least.  Despite being a petty criminal, he annoys the Republic enough that he's the countries most wanted man.  Throughout his years of criminal escapades, he has not once been caught or seen.  He lives in anonymity and is free from the Republics wrath as long as he is not finger printed. All of his crimes however have been committed to keep his family safe.  He has been thought dead for five years, and only his brother knows he is alive.  He gives food, supplies, and money to his family to help support them, and even poor communities.  Think of him as a modern day Robin Hood.  He was just such an amazingly sweet guy with a kind heart, and a killer sense of mischief.

The eventual big plot reveal to Legend was a big surprise for me.  Obviously the Republic isn't as good as they say they are, but what they're truly doing to their own people is sickening.  It was a very surprising twist and throughout the entire novel your sucked in from beginning to end.  I think I read 5/6 of the book in one night. I could literally not put it down.  That good. Overall it was an amazing read, and I cannot wait for the sequel!  This was amazing on so many levels, I highly recommend it. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Eve

Synopsis:Where do you go when nowhere is safe? Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her. Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life. In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

My Review: Eve was a pleasant surprise for me.  I have to admit I really wasn't expecting much, but I ended up getting more than I bargained for.

Eve is your classic good girl.  Always does what she's told, and never questions anything.  She is the shining star at her School and is said to be the brightest young lady to have ever gone through.  She has every reason to believe that she has a good life and that her future awaits her once she graduates.  All that changes however when she catches another girl breaking out.  What Arden says, shocks Eve to her core.  It  challenges everything she's ever been taught.  Yet a part of her has to know if what Arden says is true.  What she finds is enough to convince her that she has to escape too.  Leaving the safety of the school to face the outside world filled with wild dogs, gangs, and men, Eve is quickly lost.

The setting to Eve is a pretty typical dystopia world. Eve's world has been decimated by plague that has wiped out most of the countries population.  The only form of civilization is the capitol, a supposed shining beacon of hope for humanity and the continuance of the human race.  However, the capitol holds dark secrets and is not the haven it is made out to be.

On her journey Eve reunites with Arden and they encounter a boy named Caleb.  I didn't really like Arden at first, but by the end of the story she really grew on me.  She's tough as nails and doesn't take shit from anyone.  I really liked Caleb.  Took me a while to get over the dread locks, but he was a really great guy.  He stays by Eve's side till the end, even though he knows they won't be able to be together.  I really liked Eve as an MC as well.  She's really sweet and though a bit innocent, she's not naive.

Though I really enjoyed this book, it didn't quite do it for me.  I've been reading so many amazing dystopian novels lately that I can't help but compare.  Eve was really good and it was a captivating read, but it wasn't quite at the levels of amazing-ness as others of the same genre.  I look forward to future books and to see where Eve ultimately ends up.  A great start to a new series.

Review: Perfect

Synopsis:Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. 

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

My Review: When I first heard that Hopkins was writing a companion to Impulse I was thrilled.  Impulse is probably one of my top two favorites of her books.  It's been a very long while since I've read Impulse so it took me a bit to realize that Cara was Connor's sister.  It says as much on the back of the book but it just didn't click.  I loved the fact that Hopkins really looked at the people that Connor left behind.  It was a wonderful companion in a long line of wonderful books.

I really liked Cara.  I don't know how she deals with her parents.  I wouldn't be able to do it.  Her mother is just a complete psycho bitch. Cara's always been the perfect child.  The one who is smart, pretty, does extra curricula's, has the perfect boyfriend, and is going to Standford.  Yet, Cara is tired of playing the charade. When she meets another young woman, whom she connects to more than anyone else in her life, she realizes that she's been living a lie.  She's been playing the part for her parents, but she will no longer be the fake person she was before.  Her self discovery and her love for her girlfriend transforms her.

Kendra was a very complicated individual.  I just felt awful that Kendra couldn't see how beautiful she really was.  She constantly critiques herself.  She's too fat, her nose is too big, she could up a few cup sizes, etc.  She can never see the beauty within, and I hate that.  What's so horrible about it, is that so many girls do this.  Society has warped young girl's mind to their standards of beauty.  Despite her inability to love herself, she was a very admirable person.  She's strong willed and determined to the point of insane stubbornness. As much as she fights with her younger sister, she truly loves her and sticks up for her.  Her family situation is really messed up, but she deals with it all with a strong front.

Sean was just that one character who I couldn't really like.  It's not that he was a bad person, because he wasn't.  He just made some really, really stupid choices.  He's had this master plan laid out for his college career for ages.  He needs to get a scholarship to Standford to play baseball and then he'd have Cara with him as well. However, all of his dreams start spiraling out of control when he starts taking heavy steroids and Cara starts pulling away from him.  He does some very messed up stuff in response.  His actions just kinda ruined his character for me.

I LOVED Andre.  He was definitely the character I wanted more of.  Andre comes from a very wealthy black family who expect him to do something major with his career.  Yet, all Andre wants to do is dance.  He's been taking lessons secretly, and has a real passion for it.  I felt that his story kind of got sucked into the black hole that was Kendra's younger sister. He completely falls for her, even though she's completely self destructive.  You can't help who you love though, and Andre sticks with her till the end.  I don't know what it was about him, but I just loved him.  He's so kind hearted and passionate that he quickly became my favorite character.

Overall, Perfect was another great success from Hopkins.  I don't think I'll ever not like one of her books.  I loved the little cameo appearance from Tony and Vanessa.  I still just heart Tony like none other.  Hehe. He really gives it to 'em too.  XD The ending was so sad.  Those last few lines just kind of broke my heart all over again.  I'm eagerly awaiting future books from Ms. Hopkins.

Cover Crazy (28)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about.  This week is Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder!  I am so thrilled for this! One, because I adore Maria V. Snyder and two because the cover is gorgeous!  I'm actually going to post the UK version too because it is just as pretty.  Personally I think I actually prefer the UK version.  Anway, their both pretty!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cover Crazy (27)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. This week is Insurgent by Veronica Roth!  I really liked Divergent and I love this cover ten times more than the first one! The tree is just so friggin cool! The swirl looks like a vortex or something.  Just cool! I'm so excited! *jumps up and down*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Awake at Dawn

Synopsis:Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities. But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold. To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away. When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...

My Review: When I first read Born at Midnight I was rather on the fence about the novel.  I'm happy to say that after reading Awake at Dawn I've officially moved into the "like" category.  Now that Kylie has accepted who she is (even thoughs he still doesn't know what she is) she's a lot more likeable.  Her spunk and constant refereeing between Miranda and Della is still entertaining as hell. She still tends to over react about things.  Okay, more like a lot, but hey that's just her personality. 

I even wasn't too bothered with her reservations with Derek. I actually really like Derek.  Kylie's being cautious because of what happened with Trey, and with Lucas running off with Fredericka.  She's scared of getting her heart broken, and still not sure if Derek is manipulating her emotions.  This is all pretty understandable.  All in all though, she choses Derek and what does Derek do? "Come back when you're sure your not hung up on Lucas." Granted, he was justified in saying that because Kylie does have unresolved feelings towards him, but the way he treated her afterwards was not okay.  Blatantly ignoring and avoiding her? Not cool. 

Throughout the book Kylie keeps discovering new powers.  And throughout the book Holiday continues to try and guess what species she is.  "Well I'm just speculating here, but you could be a vampire." Or a werewolf, or a shape shifter, or a faery.  Pretty much the only species she's not similar to are the witches.  It was like supernatural musical chairs.  Though I have to admit when she got a growth spurt (hair, height, and bust) it was pretty funny.  Throughout all of this she's dealing with her issues with her dad and her mother.  Not to mention the ever present freaky ghost who wakes her up at dawn every day.  With the ghost's ominous message every morning of "Someone you love will die." Kylie's freaking out just a bit.

I have to say that the climax, yet again, was a let down.  I just couldn't help but feel it was shoved off till the last minute and it was kinda lame.  It wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't so rushed though.  Instead of it being twenty pages, make it a good chunk of the novel.  Alas, the bad guys got away, again.  So we'll be seeing more of them in the next one.  Which I'm really looking forward to.  I really want to know what the frick she is. 

And to wind things down. Three things I just need to add.  Perry and Miranda just need to shut up and suck face.  (love the two to death, but this is ridiculous) And Socks being turned into a skunk is the single most hilarious and adorable thing to happen in the entire novel.  Especially when he sprayed Fredericka right in the face.  Go Socks! I now want a pet skunk.  ^.^ And finally, another odd coincidence between Kyleigh and Kylie! She finds out her grandfather's name is Kent.  My dad's name is Kent! WEIRD! Seriously feel like there are camera's following me.  *cue Twilight zone music*

So yes, I know this review was really sort of random, but I'm having an odd morning.  :P Can't wait for the next one!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cover Crazy (26)

Cover Crazy is a meme created by Tawni @ The Bookworms to share book covers that you are thrilled about. Okay, so you know the Princess and the Frog? LOVE that movie! Well anyway, this is like the book version, with it's own added twist. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis sounds sooo amazing! With a cover to match!  I love the flowers and how the frog looks like he's whispering in her ear.  It's just sweet and adorable and absolutely gorgeous.  Can't wait to read this!