Thursday, 31 May 2012

THE MARK OF ATHENA BOOK COVER!!!

HIAWOHGUNW#U*@URHTBGEAJIO:!!!!!!!


....AWGAHWU!!! WHO THE HECK - WHY THE HECK - ARE THOSE PEOPLE WHO I THINK THEY ARE?! PLEASE LET MY EYES BE DECEIVING ME.

IT COMES OUT OCTOBER 2ND... THAT'S TOO FAR AWAY. WHATTHEHECK, RICK RIORDAN. WHATTHEHECK.

AND YES, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT CAN ONLY BE DONE IN CAPS.

ITLOOKSSOEPIC.

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?
The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery...
With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan. 

ITALSOSOUNDSSOEPIC.

I CANNOT WAIT, I CANNOT WAIT, ICANNOTWAIT.

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS DOWN BELOW.

Ascend to a Better Review!

Ascend
   by Amanda Hocking

Wide Eyed - 4/5

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice. The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself. If she doesn’t surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe. But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind…even if it’s the only way to save them? 
The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn’t the only thing she stands to lose. After falling for both Finn and Loki, she’s about to make the ultimate choice…who to love forever. One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life—and now all their lives might be coming to an end. 
Everything has been leading to this moment. The future of her entire world rests in her hands—if she’s ready to fight for it."
The finale book in the Trylle trilogy was ten times more intense then  the first two! I definitely liked this one A LOT more than the other ones.


Wendy finally took control of her life, she was a formidable Queen who wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty if it meant keeping them safe, and she just KICKED ASS in the last book. 


And might I add, Team Loki! Yay! I've been on his side ever since I finished the short story about him in book one. ;)


So. There was also a war in this book. And yes, there were casualties. But these casualties didn't make me sad in anyway. All of the people who were lost due to the war were either better off dead, or weren't even given a name. For me, the war felt too clean that way. This is the only thing that's holding me back from giving Ascend a Starry Eyed review.


If you haven't read the finale to the series yet - I can tell you right now that it's totally worth it. I loved watching Wendy kick-ass in this book along with watching her relationships develop with the other characters. I felt like in this book we finally got to see who everyone really was. A great finish to a pretty great series. :)


Short Story: Ever After
In this twenty-pages short story, we get to see how everyone's doing after the Vittra-Trylle war about a year after it's occurrence. And while things may not be perfect, you can easily see how much more happy everyone is to not having to look over there shoulder ever other minute. I was a sweet way to end the series, a nice closing so that we're not all left wondering what had happened to everyone.


TBR Count: 43

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Lost Prince


OH.... MY.... GOD!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?!?! BETTER YET! DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?!


ETHAN! MEGHAN'S LITTLE BROTHER ETHAN! ....But he's not so little anymore.... *drools*

...Okay, that was kind of gross. Sorry about that. But I am actually SO freakin' happy to hear about this book, you have NO idea.

I love how Kagawa's using a younger character grown older for a spin-off story instead of using all the old characters... Well, since the never age I guess some of them will have re-appearances... But there better well be new characters!

* squeals* GRIMALKIN!!! I swear, if that cat isn't in this book, I will send it through the paper shredder! Okay, maybe that's a bit much. But I will be SERIOUSLY disappointed if he doesn't make an appearance in this book!

...I wonder who Ethan will end up falling for? For a minute I thought, "Please let it be Meghan and Ash's daughter..." But then I took a moment to actually think about that statement and just... *shudders* gross.

I am without a doubt buying this little nugget as SOON as it hits shelves.

The anticipation is killing me! I will try and fill in the gap by reading as many books as possible!

What are you guys thoughts on the new book? Yay or nay?

Not As Good As I Was Hoping...

Eyes Like Stars
    by Lisa Mantchev


Dull Eyes - 2/5


First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"All her world’s a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book — an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family — and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.
Open Curtain"
I would like to start off by saying that I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. How awesome would it have been to be able to give Eyes Like Stars a starry eyed review?


I picked this book up on the discount table at Chapters, and if it hadn't been there to begin with I can tell you that I wouldn't have picked up this book at all. It's kind of beat up from being there for a while, and it smells funny and is oddly creaky... Which I kind of liked about the book.


But enough about  the appearance, let's get into the book. Before you start the story, there's a cute little cast list at the front of the book that I couldn't help but love. However, once I started reading the story, I often found myself confused by the theatre terms and often felt like I was missing out on many play references.


It wasn't until around page 200 when things became less confusing and I finally got the hang of the book... Or more likely it just became more understandable. I can honestly say that I liked reading the book once I hit the 200 page mark, but the time before that was very choppy and confusing. And the mystery wasn't even that interesting. I could have easily put this book down at anytime and forgotten about it... But I have issues where if I start a book I have to finish it no matter how bad it is. Not saying that this book was horrible... It just okay.


All in all, Eyes Like Stars is not something I would recommend to anybody unless they had a background in theatre.


TBR Count: 44

Mirage by Kristi Cook Book Trailer

Trailer Spotted!


Released yesterday on YouTube for everyone to see is Kristi Cook's second book in the Winterhaven series is the trailer of her latest out-coming book, Mirage!


Unfortunately, I haven't read the first book and therefore can't say much about the second book... But I do really want to read the first one, and from the looks of the trailer the second book is going to be really intense! Although... The kissing looked kind of awkward, lol.


Anyways! Here's the trailer, hope you enjoy!:


Do any of you guys plan on picking up her second novel?
Let me know what you thought of the trailer as well. :)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Buy 3 Get the 4th One Free!

Hey guys! 


Chapters is having there annual.. Or maybe bi-annual? Buy 3 book and get the 4th one free sale! Unfortunately, I'm trying to keep myself from buying books since I have an alarmingly large TBR pile of 46 books. And! To top it all off! I bought six books from Chapters just yesterday before the sale had started... Which I guess is typical for my luck, haha. 


So if you're a Canadian resident and are dying for a few more new books, now is the perfect time to go out and buy them! 


Happy Reading!

Amazing Characters

Rules of Attration
    by Simone Elkeles

Wide Eyes - 4/5

** This may contain spoilers for the first book, Perfect Chemistry**

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now."
The Fuentes brothers are back! And boy, did I miss them. While I found Carlos and Alex to be questionably similar in character, Carlos still managed to have his own voice for me. You do have to realize that they're brothers, and that Carlos was really hoping that he could become more like his older brother before he started dating that "gringa.


I absolutely LOVED the character development in this book. It was awesome watching Carlos finally allowing himself to be... Himself. His love for Kiara was evident even when he couldn't see it himself and I absolutely adored how he interacted with Kiara's little brother Brandon, who I also absolutely adored.


Brandon included, I was completely and emotionally invested in all of the characters involved in this story. I laughed with them, and I even teared up over the Westford family's fierce determination to protect each other. I especially idolized Kiara's dad, Professor Westford, for his dedication in insuring that Carlos was able to turn his life around, even though he had no ties to Carlos whatsoever.


I found what made this books emotions all the more believable, was the fact that Alex and Brittany's relationship wasn't a complete fairy-tail after the end of Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry. It wasn't exactly in shambles, but it did have a few bumps in this book, and I love Elkeles even more for doing that.


Therefore! While I didn't find the plot in Elkeles' Rules of Attraction as gripping as her first book Perfect Chemistry, it still managed to tug at my emotions in an almost demanding way. Rules of Attraction is an amazing companion novel to Perfect Chemistry and I would whole-heartily recommend to anyone. I know for sure that I can say with full confidence that I'm looking forward to hearing the epic love-story of the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis.




**Ps; I'm going to start doing a TBR count down here in hopes that it'll motivate me to get it down to zero! Wish me luck!


TBR Count: 45

I Can't Quite Put My Finger On It...

Torn
  by Amanda Hocking

3/5 Clear Eyes

**This may contain spoilers if you haven't read the first book**

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story… 
She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction. 
Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds."


Torn is Hocking's second book in her Trylle series, right after Switched. Just as I found of the first one, Torn was a light and fun read with not much beyond that. 


While we did see some awesome character development with Elora, and I even got my dose of Loki (Yay!), I found that the feelings between the characters was missing a believable element. While it was evident that Wendy loved Finn and Matt really wants to protect Wendy at all costs, it just never seems... Believable to me, unfortunately and I can't quite put my finger on it as to why.


While we did see some exciting plot twists in the newest book, I managed to predict the royal Wendy became engaged to from book one. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, it kind of made me happy that I could predict it. Like I was some all-knowing-book-predictor or something like that... Anyways. The other twists that I couldn't predict didn't really seem to make any sense to me once they were made. There was no real hint at them earlier in the book, nothing that really made me think "How could I have been so blind?!" but it was more like "...What just happened?"


All in all, Torn is an easy, fun read when your brain is in need of a break and I can easily say that I liked reading this book. 




One Day: Three Ways
This is a twenty-paged story living out the day of the engagement party through Tove, Finn and Loki's eyes. It was refreshing to have a break from Wendy's POV and switch into the other characters, especially Tove. I don't know what it is with me, but I have an obsession over aura's and colours and I absolutely LOVE Tove for having the ability to see others aura's... And his need to do what's right for his soon-to-be Kingdom, of course.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Light & Fun Read

Switched
   by Amanda Hocking

3/5 Clear Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes. 
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home. 
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…"


Wendy is an awesome main-character to see the land of Trylle through. She's a no-nonsense kind of girl with a very strong-willed personality, and even though Wendy never seems to be able to make perfect sense of a situation - more due to a lack of knowledge than anything - she always handles herself in what she believes is the most proper and justified manner, and I whole-heartily agree with her.


I also love both Wendy's brother and aunt in this book. There love and affection for Wendy is genuine and real. Her relationship with Rhys and Finn were kind of weird, though. She said she couldn't keep Finn out of her head yet Wendy always seemed to be leading Rhys on! Poor Rhys.


There was also a scene between Finn and Wendy during chapter fourteen that reminded me of a scene from the Lion King, haha. It was highly entertaining. Just like this read.


With all that said, I can easily say that I had a fun time reading this book. It was quick, fun and entertaining, something that I had been needing and I can't wait to get started on the next one!




Short Story: The Vittra Attacks


From this twenty-paged bonus short story, all that I can say is that I really want to see more of Loki! ..... And I really hope that the Vittra don't get a hold of Wendy....

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Iron Knight Now Has An Iron Soul

The Iron Knight
    by Julie Kagawa

5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:

"Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing. 
Unless he can earn a soul. 
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
 
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side. 
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale. 
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice."


First, I'd like to start off this review with a possible spoiler. BUT IT WILL ONLY BE IN THIS PARAGRAPH.... SOMETHING DRASTIC HAS HAPPENED IN THIS FINAL IRON FEY NOVEL... GRIMALKIN WAS WRONG. WHAT?! MIND. BLOWN.


Erm. Anyways. After that embarrassing fan-girl moment,  in all seriousness, this book was absolutely AMAZING. I will admit, however, that in the beginning I wasn't nearly as enthralled as I was during the third part of the book. But once I began reading the third part of this book, I was on an emotional roller-coaster that refused to stop until it came to a soft and fitting stop and the end of the book. I cried at so many parts during this book, I'm having a hard time myself believing it really happened.


When I first started reading The Iron Knight, I was a little weary that we would just get another POV from Meghan... But we would be following Ash instead. But that wasn't the case AT ALL. Kagawa was very successful at giving Ash his own voice in this series, and I was amazed and enchanted by the change that occurred throughout the novel. Starting off as a cold, detached and flippant voice that we all know and love, Ashes voice evolved into a much more lovable and reachable character, all while still being himself. If that makes any sense.


All in all, I really loved this book, probably more so than the Iron Queen and I if you're sitting there, reading this and debating if you should bother to go out and buy the book... Do it for Grim. Because their is nothing better than a cat. 


Ps; I loved the ending Kagawa gave Grim. Makes him all the more awesome in my eyes!

Shiver


 Shiver
    by Maggie Stiefvater
4/5 Wide Eyes 

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon."
Okay, so you are probably thinking no more werewolves! I know how you feel; I was there. But then I read Shiver. This book delivers a refreshing new take on the werewolf scene as well as a beautiful and tragic account of a love that transcends species. All I could think about was how perfect Sam and Grace were together, and how heartbreaking it was that one or the other couldn't change their species. This book made me laugh, cry and hope for a miracle for the characters. It may sound corny but Shiver, did give me shivers!

Nearly as Perfect as the First!

The Son of Neptune
    by Rick Riordan

5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
 
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven."
Ops, that wasn't as quick as I thought it would be... But it's Percy Jackson! Who cares?!

In The Son of Neptune, we are great-fully welcomed through the eyes of Percy as he treks his way towards Camp Jupiter, the camp that Jason belongs to. There, we meet the other two main characters, Hazel and Frank. Both with incredibly intoxicating pasts. Together, these three must set off to help set free Death himself.

As far as team work goes, these three work great together. However, I can't say that they seemed to mesh together as well as Jason Piper and Leo did. I felt as if Percy was a little bit disconnected from the other two. Someone they kind of idolized on there quest, only somewhat befriending him. I also found Percy's character to be slightly off from the original Percy Jackson series. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but he just seemed.... Different to me. Probably because he's more grown-up.

Camp Jupiter is nothing like what the Greeks have at Camp Half-Blood, let me tell you. Divided up into Legions and Cohorts, it didn't make any sense to me at first, being used to Camp Half-Bloods rules and regulations. But after walking through its campus with Percy, I found myself grasping its concept and it's set up easily. The map at the front of the book definitely helped.

One thing that really please me was a character that popped up from the Percy Jackson series! One that I was not expecting to see at all. It definately made me smile. :)

Overall, a great follow up, but I found The Lost Hero to be slightly more entertaining then this book. I found the ending was slightly rushed, but I would definitely recommend this to ALL Rick Riodan fans! I loved it and I know you all will too. :)

Perfect in Every Way!

The Lost Hero
    by Rick Riordan

5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. 
 
Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out. 
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god."
It's been a year since Percy Jackson and his friends defeated Kronos from rising. If you thought our heroes were about to get a break - boy were you wrong. A new prophecy has been given out. Jason and his two friends Piper and Leo must go out and save Hera from the very earth's clutches. But there is a small problem - Jason can't recall anything from his past.

The Lost Hero opens with an extremely intense and fast-paced scene that easily had me devouring page after page of Riordan's novel. The Lost Hero had the perfect pacing, prefect amount of mystery, and three amazing main characters that fit together like puzzle pieces.

I really enjoyed how Riordan managed to blend the myths so easily into the present day era. It seemed almost natural, and not for the first time, it had me wishing that I was a demigod myself!

Unlike Riordan's first series, which you could tell were childish at times, I never found a moment where this book belonged in the kids section. His beautiful first novel in the Heroes of Olympus series definitely deserves a spot in the teen section of the book store.

Overall, I loved this book just as much as the first time I read it (which means that this is a re-read, lol), and I can't wait to dive into the second novel, Son of Neptune!

Weeks Strikes Again!

The Black Prism*
       by Brent Weeks

5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:

"Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.

But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart."
The Black Prism is based around a fifteen-year-old, tubby Kip. After watching his home town burned to the ground by a supposed "King Garadul" (sadface), Kip was the next on this Kings list - until the Prism saves him. Not only is the Prism Kips new hero, but he is also his biological father, and in saving Kip, Gavin - the Prism - has invited a war between Garadul and himself.

This book had amazing flow between past and present. I was never bombarded with too much or too little information at any time. Weeks always knew the perfect amount to give without confusing the reader.

And the twists! The incredible plot twist! They were so amazing. I never saw any of them coming, and when they did my jaw was literally hanging open.

I really loved Kip in this book. Although he may have seemed like a bit of a cry baby, I really admired his ability to pull through all of his tough times, his ability to adapt and his ability to persevere. I also quite enjoyed his sense of humour. :)

Gavin was also a great character, always worried that he'd mess up one thing or another, giving him a tight chest, which made him an extremely believable and relate-able character. But I can't believe the ending! And I can't wait till the next book comes out!

If you loved the Night Angel trilogy, you are sure to love Weeks' new Lightbringer trilogy as well. :) Funnier than his first series, I'm sure it's a novel everyone will enjoy.


*This amazing book just so happens to be an adult novel. :)

Weird.

Red Riding Hood
     by Sarah Blakely-Cartwright


3/5 Clear Eyes


First, a quick summary from Goodreads:

"The blacksmith would marry her. 
The woodcutter would run away with her.  
The werewolf would turn her into one of its own. 
Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.
After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the Wolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But now no one is safe. When an expert Wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them--it could be anyone in town."

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of the creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the blood moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.


In this re-telling of the classic fairy tale Red Riding Hood, the city of Daggorhorn is a small, well-knit community with one looming problem: The Wolf. Every full moon, the families of Daggorhorn must take turns in presenting a sacrifice for the Wolf during the full-moon to keep his murderous claws away from their beloved children.

However, what seems to have kept the Wolf at bay all these years has failed the people of Daggorhorn after the beloved Lucie, Valerie's sister, is found mutilated in the farm fields.

And from here, the story finally takes off into a jumpy, choppy writing of the tale of Red Riding Hood. For me, this book was just all around... Weird. After reading the introduction, I found out that this story was never meant to be a book, but rather just a movie. However, Cathrine Hardwicke, the director of Twilight and of Red Riding Hood, found that the characters involved in the movie were too indepth for her to capture it on screen. As a result, she asked her friend Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, who had just graduated with a creative writers degree, to write the movie's screen-play into a book. Weird, right?

To make things even weirder, the final chapter of the book wasn't located in the back of the book like you would think it should be, but rather ONLINE. Whaaaaaat. The only explination I can think of for this is that the final chapter either wasn't originally meant to be put in, or that it wasn't written on time to be reviewed and published for the book.

Anyways, I felt like the writing for this book was sloppily thrown together, and everything felt very jumbled. If I hadn't watched the movie first, I can tell you right now that I would have been confused at many points in the novel. It seemed as if she had just taken the screen-write and added in narration where necessary. But I can say that I really did have fun reading this interesting re-tell of the classic Red Riding Hood, despite all of my negativity.

Keeping in mind that this was Cartwright's first novel - the idea of it which wasn't even hers - and that it was thrust upon her quite suddenly did help me to enjoy the book more than I thought I would.

Unfortunately, with this in mind, cutting her some slack won't make the read any better. So when you do decide to read this book, I recommend you read it with low expectations so that you're not too disappointed.

Over all, Red Riding Hood was a fun read and I congratulate Cartwright on a first job well done. :)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Reason Why



Thirteen Reasons Why
           by Jay Asher


5/5 Starry Eyes


First, a summary from Goodreads:
"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."
Let me first start off by saying that the point of this book isn't to be an amazingly fantastic read, but it's meant to pull you in and then hopefully spit you out as a better person.

Hannah's reasons even sounded a bit . . . not nessecarily dumb, but not as earth shaking as I thought they would be, at least to me they did. However, as mentioned through her tapes, it's not the act of the individual reasons, it's the effect they had on her all together. It's like telling someone to lift up 5 pounds. Easy, right? But what happens when you add five more? And then five more after that? And then add on another five . . . Well, you get my point. The weight gets to a point where you can't hold it anymore and give up, letting it all collapse around you, just like Hannah did. 

And that's my reason why I give this book five red maple leaves out of five. Not nessecarily for the content of the book, but for it's message. Although I am shamed to admit it, I have been in situations where people aren't too happy and I've just ducked my head and pretended not to notice. Why did I do it? Because I was afraid to get involved, what if they suddenly turned on me and now my life was a mess? I just didn't want that; so I kept walking.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a book that I would read with an open mind. If you're just looking for a good read, I wouldn't suggest this book, because that's not what the focus is about. (Being an exciting read to make money) No, this book is about standing up for others and treating them with the respect they diserve. It's about getting out a message that even if all you did was stand there while kids were making fun of someone else, you may not be apart of the problem, but you sure as hell weren't apart of the solution either.

I'm sitting here, and it's 2AM (when I had finished reading it, lol) and I probably won't get to sleep for another hour because this book has gotten my mind so stirred up I'll be lucky if I can even calm it down in that amount of time. This book is definately thought-provoking and I really do believe that the school board should use it in the school curriculum because I have no doubt that - while it may not change everyone - a lot of kids will walk away from it changed. Not to the point where they all become saints, but instead in a way that will help them realize how much of an impact simply leaving them to fend for themselves can have. 

My First Blog!

Hey guys! (If you're out there)

Please bare with me as I try to create and learn how to use this wonderful blogging site to my full potential. :) If you have any advice for me, I would definitely appreciate it... At the moment, I'm trying to get some more window-type things (I don't know what they're called) under my "About Me" section. If anyone could help me out with that, that would be absolutely wonderful. :) Thanks in advance!

Lex.

A Brilliant Finale

The Iron Queen
       by Julie Kagawa

5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
"My name is Meghan Chase. 
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. 
This time, there will be no turning back."
Before you go saying that there's another book in the series - yes, I am aware that there is. But technically, the Iron Knight is in addition to her Iron Fey Trilogy, which means it wasn't meant to be there in the first place! Hence the feeling of a conclusion in the ending of this book. :)

Now, I can successfully report that Meghan DEFINITELY did her share of growing up in this book. So proud of you, Meghan! :') I am very proud and very, VERY happy with her character development throughout Kagawa's books. Meghan bloomed from a small, meek, weak - and rather pathetic - character, and developed into someone that people draw strength from, as apposed to her needing to draw strength from others.

As you all know, Grimalkin is my absolute FAVORITE character in this entire series... And I literally let out a fan-girl squeal when I read the last line in this epic book. Is it possible to fan-girl over a cat? Is that a normal thing to do? Through EVERY book in this series, I would always be anxiously awaiting the arrival of Grimalkin, and my heart would always pick up in pace with the excitement of having him back in the story. There is nothing better than the Cait Sith. Why? Because he's a cat... Duh.

I would also like to mention that I never got tired of reading Kagawa's series straight through from beginning to end. Not once did I ever think "God, I could really go for something non-fey right now." In fact, after finishing this amazing book, I am currently staring at my copy of The Iron Knight and nearly dying with excitement to read it. This is by far the best book in the Iron Fey series and I am so glad that I took the the time to re-read this series. :)
me to re-read this lovely piece of work.

The Iron Daughter

The Iron Daughter
     by Julie Kagawa

3/5 Clear Eyes

First, a summary from Goodreads:
"Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart."

Okay. So, at the beginning of this novel, I have to admit that Meghan was really getting on my nerves... I mean, really, Meghan? Really? Ash TOLD YOU he was going to be stealy towards you at the end of the first book. So why was it SUCH A SURPRISE that that's the way he acted? -.- Anyways.

Just as in the first book, the action scenes that Kagawa writes are AWESOME! Truely amazing, heart-pounding scenes that I can picture perfectly in my head as characters battle it out among each other. :)

While reading the book for a second time, I did find out that Kagawa really likes the use of coiling muscles and pounding hearts... :P Not that it's a bad thing, but it's something that she uses quite often.

I really liked the addition of Leanansidhe. Quite often I found her reminding me of the story of Alice in Wonderland with her mannerisms among other things.

Meghan, however, still has quite a bit of growing up to do... Even with the problem she had I couldn't get over how useless she was than not. And when things seemed to be important to her and like they needed to be done STRAIGHT AWAY, she would take her time to have small conversations... Also! I couldn't believe that she was nervous to go back to school, considering everything she went through and the fact that she wasn't bothered by the old cheerleaders in the end of the first book.

With all that said, I did like the book and although rather annoying at first it did start to pick up during part three of the book. Needless to say, I hope Meghan grows up a lot more in the next one and that Julie Kagawa has an amazing writing style. :)

Round Two!


The Iron King     by Julie Kagawa

3/5 Clear Eyes

First, a quick summary provided by Goodreads:

"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 would like to start off by saying that this is my second time reading The Iron King, the reason being in preparation of The Iron Knight! (Yes, I plan on re-reading the wholes series for a book that I don't even really need to re-read it for, lol.)

Anyways! Let me start off by saying that Grimalkin is my absolute FAVORITE character in this WHOLE ENTIRE FREAKING SERIES. Why? He's a cat, duh. No, but seriously! He's just so... so... AWESOME! I love how he always has an answer when everyone is still pondering over the question and is almost insulted when he realizes that he's the only one with a brain. And his disappearing and re-appearing acts! LOVE!

But on to the story! Upon reading The Iron Fey series a second time, I was dumb-struck by how many Meghan Chases I'd seen in other books. That is to say, that although she's an awesome main character and everything, I feel like I've seen her many times before... She kind of reminds me of Percy Jackson, to be honest, lol. How both of them have their loyalty as their.. Ugh, that what's-it-called.... A hero's fatal flaw, I think... I feel like there's a fancier name for it... Anyways! I also found that while still a very good read (I loved Kagawa's descriptions! I felt dazed right a long with Mehgan!), it wasn't as good as it was the first time. This is probably because I already know everything that's going to happen, but I would still highly recommend this to anyone who is just starting off to read! Or slipping back into reading! It's an awesome series to get started with and I still believe that's it's an amazing read... As long as you haven't read the book already, lol. :)

I Don't Even Know...

40 Thing I Want To Tell You
      by Alice Kuipers




5/5 Starry Eyes

First, a quick summary provided by Goodreads:
"Amy (a.k.a. Bird) seems to have the perfect life: loving parents, a hot boyfriend, the best friend ever. She even writes an online advice column, full of Top Tips, to help other teens take control of their lives. But after a new guy shows up at school, Bird can’t seem to follow her own wisdom. 
Pete is the consummate bad boy. He’s everything Bird is not: wild, unambitious and more than a little dangerous. Although she knows he’s trouble, Bird can’t stay away. And the more drawn she is to Pete, the more cracks are revealed in her relationship with Griffin, her doting boyfriend. Meanwhile, her parents’ marriage is also fracturing, possibly for good. 
Bird is way out of her comfort zone. All it takes is one mistake, one momentary loss of control, for her entire future to be blown away . . "
I don't even know how I feel about this book.... Other than the fact that I absolutely loved it!! So much, in fact, that I managed to finish it within SEVEN HOURS. That must be some new record for me, haha.

40 Thing I Want To Tell You is about a girl named Amy, called Bird by her friends and family, who has her whole life's plan worked out for her. Just when she's about to finishing thing up in her final year at high school, things start falling apart for Bird. Her parents are fighting more than not, things between her and her boyfriend who seems perfect for her aren't going so perfectly, and when the new boy arrives in town, everything begins crumbling down with one stupid mistake.

First things first, I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book! I can't tell you how amazing it is in looks, as well as how perfectly it matches the story it contains.

I absolutely love the voice of Bird on her online advice column. Her "Top Tips" were absolutely wonderful and struck very true, and I still can't believe that she managed to give all of those people such sound advice with everything that was going on in her life. The voice of Bird was so powerful that I even felt a tad depressed from reading her story - but in a good way - in a way that leave the readers head spinning long after they've finished Kuipers final chapter.

40 Things I Want To Tell You flowed very easily from page to page in such a way that I couldn't put it down once I had picked it up. You can really feel the wedge between Griffin and Bird right from the start, but just like Bird, I was unable to identify what had put that wedge there.

If anything, this book has taught me that not everything is set in stone, even if it may seem that way. One unexpected moment can change your whole life's plan, whether it be for the better or for the worse. The best thing you can do is hang on for the bumpy ride. :)

My one and only concern for this book was the price of it... I mean, $15 for a paperback? Sheeeesh. I'm not made of money, you know. However, did that price stop me from purchasing this truely amazing book? Clearly not, and it was so obviously worth it.