Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Series: None
Published: 1818
Publisher: Almost Any Now-A-Days
Number of Pages: 210

'I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.' A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination -- fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life -- conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, "Frankenstein." Written in 1816 when she was only 19, Mary Shelley's novel of 'The Modern Prometheus' chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, "Frankenstein" remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.
What I’ve learned from Reading Frankenstein:

1) The big green monster isn’t Frankenstein
2) The doctor is, and it’s his last name (first name Victor)
3) The big green monster isn’t actually green...

4) Doctor Frankenstein doesn’t have an sexy assistant (or any assistant at all)
5) Monster can actually talk (at least, he learns)
6) Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller aren’t real characters in the story

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
Series: Song of Ice and Fire, #2
Published:  May 28, 2002
Publisher: Bantam Books
Number of Pages: 926
A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel... and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

WARNING: I felt obliged to tell the story of how my reading process with this book went. Long story short, it took my 6 months. If you want the long story, feel free to read. Otherwise, review is below.

Northanger Alibi by Jenni James

 
Northanger Alibi by Jenni James
Series: The Jane Austen Diaries, #2
Publisher: Walnut Springs/Inkberry Press
Published: January 15, 2012
Number of Pages: 254
Sometimes a guy is even better than you imagined...The Russo family and Seattle, Washington, are no match for Claire Hart and her savvy knowledge of all things vampire-related. Thanks to her obsession with the Twilight series, if there is anyone who would know a vampire when she saw one, it's Claire. And she's positive totally hot Tony Russo is a vampire - she just has to prove it! In this modern retelling of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, follow Claire's hilarious journey on her first summer adventure away from home, where she learns everything isn't what is seems, and that in some instances, reality is way better than anything she'd ever find in a book.







See this book? My new guilty pleasure. Really. It’s bad.

First, thank you to the lovely folks over at the YA Sisterhood for sending me a copy of this book. You guys rock.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer Trilogy, #2
Published: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Number of Pages: 544
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?





Well, that was an emotional roller coaster. I had no idea I was getting on that ride, I can tell you that. My poor friends. I through fits during lunch, slammed the book shut during class, melted down in between classes…

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer Trilogy, #1
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Number of Pages: 452
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

 It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.



Michelle Hodkin is a brilliant author who know’s how to be a brilliant author.
Yeah, I went there.
Let me explain. 
Now a days, a simple way to assure that your book garners some attention is to appeal to the blogging community. Yet, it’s amazing how many authors do not understand that we don’t kiss and tell. 
You see, just because you befriend a blogger, does not mean they will read your book. Nor does it mean that they will like it. Neither do free giveaways, or exclusive teasers. There are, however, two, maybe three, things that will guaranteed our attention and interest.

  1. The Cover/Title

It’s pathetic, but true. The only reason I picked up Clockwork Angel however many years ago, was because the cover caught my eye. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer made me jump up and down when I first looked at it because it’s just that pretty. And then I saw the title. And I start thinking, how does someone “Unbecome?” What is this book about that someone “Unbecomes?” And while the author may have very little control over the cover aspect, and I can’t blame them if it’s not eye catching, they do fully control what happens after we pick up/see that beautiful cover.

     2.  The Description

There’s a reason I included the synopsis at the beginning of this. If I think it helps describe the book, and is well written, put it at the beginning of the review. If it’s rotten, full of spoilers, and turns readers away from what is actually a good book, do not put it at the beginning of the review. Quite simple. And this is the best synopsis in the history of synopsis’s. It just gives me chills, even after I’ve read the book and know what happens. My favorite part about it? It does not give away, let alone hint at, any spoilers. That is a rare and beautiful thing, readers. Treasure it. After you’ve read the description, some people may or may not do this, depending if they are online or in the store, but it’s an important factor anyway.

     3.  The First Sentence/Chapter

Go to the bookstore and read the rest of this intro yourself, but the first sentence is this:
My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something.
Okay, I lied, this book is super special, so there are FOUR things.

    4.  The Trailer

Yeah, yeah, again, what can author do about this, but I will say, if Hodkin in anyway recommended the music for this trailer, then she did her job. Because it is awesome. And I NEVER say that about a book trailer. I generally despise most of them. This is the only one that made me want to actually read the book. So here ya go:
Now, I want you to be completely honest with me. Have I written anything like a review yet? No. Do you still want to read this book? If you are honest with yourself, and like YA, then I think we both know the answer to that question.
Don’t we know it, Michael.
Now, this is a very hard book to talk about without spoiling anything. But I will try.
Mara is an unreliable narrator. I repeat: Mara is an unreliable narrator. I won’t say why, and this isn’t a spoiler because it’s one of the first things thrown out. Her being an unreliable narrator is what serves to progress the plot.
There is a boy, and you will love him.
There are siblings, and you will want to cuddle/hit them.
There is a friend, and you will want to steal him.
Finally, Hodkin’s does not screw with us:
Benedict and his screwy rainbow *sigh*
She’ll say no more than needs to be said. She’ll make you question everything. She’ll write the most quotable quote for which I found the most perfect matching GIF.
“Asscrown,” I muttered under my breath as I headed to my next class. I wasn’t proud of swearing at a complete stranger, no. but he started it.
Noah matched my pace. “Don’t you mean ‘assclown’?” He looked amused.
“No,” I said, louder this time. “I mean asscrown. The crown on top of the asshat that covers the asshole of the assclown. The very zenith in the hierarchy of asses.”
And on that note, run off and enjoy reading this book.
NOTE: I read this book originally a year ago, and recently reread before reading the second book. This review was written after the second reading *it never gets old*

Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman


Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Series: None
Published: October 28, 1998
Publisher: DC Comics
Pages:248

Catch a fallen star...
Tristan Thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester - and stumbles into the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of master storyteller Neil Gaiman's most beloved tales, and the inspiration for the hit movie.



I’m very tempted to give this five stars, mind you. But I’m afraid that’s my heart swaying towards my great love for whimsical fantasy novels, and not the objective part - which tells me, Makayla, you didn’t take any notes on this book. ANY AT ALL. 

Review: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

 
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Series: None
Published: 1899
Publisher: Lots...
Pages: 166
Heart of Darkness, a novel by Joseph Conrad, was originally a three-part series in Blackwood's Magazine in 1899. It is a story within a story, following a character named Charlie Marlow, who recounts his adventure to a group of men onboard an anchored ship. The story told is of his early life as a ferry boat captain. Although his job was to transport ivory downriver, Charlie develops an interest in investing an ivory procurement agent, Kurtz, who is employed by the government.

Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.

The 2.5 stars are for the plot and the topic this book addresses. The writing is also well done, but I was bother by the…style it was used in.

Review: the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Series: None
Published: February 1, 1999
Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Pages: 216

Standing on the fringes of life… offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky’s haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, and grown into a cult sensation with over one million copies in print.
It is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Through Charlie, Chbosky has created a deeply affecting novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


 
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles, #1
Published: December 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 563
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Things I liked about this book:

The length 
The POV 
The writing

It’s not often these days you get a nice, hefty book with real content. My paperback version clocks in with 563 pages. It makes me happy that there are still authors that can write thick books.

Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Series: None
Published: 1932
Publisher: London: Chatto & Windus
Pages: 306
"One of the few science fiction novels of the 1930s that was considered a major work by the critics, this is a bitterly dystopian novel of 632 A.F. (After Ford). Funnier than the totally grim 1984, it stresses cloning, test tube babies, and genetic, hypnopedic, and drug control of the population, by a benevolent ruling class...Deeply thought-provoking and exceptionally well written, this is a seminal novel for modern SF." (Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 104)


This is a very interesting and thought provoking book. Kudos to Huxley for asking the tough questions. It is also a fast book. I finished this back in January, and I had no trouble getting through it. Some might complain of the heavy science that Huxley built his world on, but understanding of it beyond a surface understanding, is not necessary to understand the story. There is no need to get caught up in the fact that you might have no idea what he is going on about at some points. 

That said, the fact that Huxley can be heavy science, but one needn't pay attention to it...does take away from the text. It becomes unnecessary, detrimental in its construction.

As for the story itself: there are not many redeeming qualities. At first, one thinks there might be, in the form on John. All the people of the day and age are powerless simpletons. They live a very easy life, a choice free life, and they love it. The government is so regulated and these people so conditioned that they question nothing. It's a very interesting concept. If people have to chose between choosing and not choosing, will they chose to not chose because it is easier? This line of questioning is what kept me engaged for most of the novel, despite the fact that nearly everyone seemed content with not choosing. Bernard was the worse of them all because he did not question the government, but questioned how the government effected him.

Then along comes a character who had never been conditioned to except his surroundings without question, who was used to "rebelling." He's thrust into this strange society, and it's truly interesting to see what happens. It's what ultimately ends up happening to him, though, that threw me from the story. I'm not going to say what, and whether it was good, bad, or mediocre. But it differed from what I would expect with life. Hint, I'm a dreamer. I very much agree with the sentiment of making art to better reality. And perhaps the ending of this book does in its own way. But not the way I would have preferred. 

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Series: None
Published: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 318
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Beautiful, Bold, Irreverent, and Raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I don’t like spoilers. I hate them. Part of reading a book is finding out what happens, and how it happens, and why it happens, but if someone tells you that…well, then part of the reading experience was completely spoiled! I’m told the author has similar feelings on this subject.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The YA Issue

Yes, I’ve been absent recently. Yes, I have been reading. That’s part of the problem. Maybe it’s been the plethora of good books and movies, but whatever the reason, I’ve recently noticed the current lack of quality in YA. Part of the reason is because of the stereotype that comes with that name. People go out to write a YA novel, and put certain things in it that they think are expected in YA. Warning: Toxic.

Pride and Prejudice: Battle of Movies


vs.

This following article is my take on the adaptions of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice.
Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books. Out of all the books she wrote, it is my favorite. So my love for this book is great, and I could go off on many tangents about many different topics in the book (not limited to my love for Mr. Collins). But I’m going to talk about my follow-up question.

Harry Potter vs. Twlight

vs.

So I’m now coming through, and writing that ‘Harry Potter vs. Twilight’ article. From here on out, everything will be objective factors. I will support each statement made with facts about the books. If you think I’m not justified in saying something, please, let me know; everyone else is entitled to their own opinion. I do not wish to bring down the wrath of fandoms on me, but I realize it’s entirely probable. So, without further ado,

Long Live the King


Beware: *spoilers* 
Things I have learned in conclusion to reading Hamlet: It’s nothing like The Lion KingThe Lion King is not sexist, and it only has two villains, Scar and the hyenas. 2) I have been quoting it all my life without realizing it. And 3)

I Am Man, Hear Me Roar

An analysis of Raskolnikov’s character in Crime and Punishment. *Beware, contains spoilers*
One of the most interesting things I found about this novel was the idea of the “extraordinary man” and how the idea led a man to murder, and another man to a life of impropriety. No longer are people created in equality, but rather, we have the “ordinary” people that stay within societies boundaries, and the “extraordinary” people that

Review: Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Series: None
Published: 1861
Publisher: Lots...
Pages: 233

"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man," the irascible voice of a nameless narrator cries out. And so, from underground, emerge the passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul; the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of alienated individual who has become one of the greatest antiheroes in all literature. Notes From Underground, published in 1864, marks a tuming point in Dostoevsky's writing: it announces the moral political, and social ideas he will treat on a monumental scale in Crime And PunishmentThe Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. And it remains to this day one of the most searingly honest and universal testaments to human despair ever penned.
“The political cataclysms and cultural revolutions of our century…confirm the status of Notes from Underground as one of the most sheerly astonishing and subversive creations of European fiction.”–from the Introduction by Donald Fanger
I am definitely a Dostoyevsky fan. I adored Crime and Punishment, and I enjoyed this.

I think what one begins to look forward to (or at least I) in Dostoyevsky's work is the hope laced underneath the pessimistic tone. He writes of mad people, and drives them into the ground. The thing is, we also makes us question our own sanity. The mad man is logical, and sometimes, maybe even right. That's not to say the Underground Man is someone we should strive to be. No, he's mad! But even though he's mad, I know at least I found myself thinking once or twice, "he's got a point, there."

For one, the idea that we always put ourselves first gave me pause to think. Whatever one's belief system, aren't we all trying to benefit ourselves? If we get drunk at a party, it's because we think it is best for the moment, even if we know we'll dread it later. If we are kind to a person, maybe it is because it gratifies our pride or pleases our God. The individual is always comparing the long-run or short-run, they are always weighing the costs and benefits of actions. Now, I'm not sure I entirely buy into the UM thinking because an individual takes on the costs with the benefits, and I do think there can be occasions where we chose what's detrimental to ourselves, but its arguments like this that kept me invested.

Part I mostly consists of these kind of arguments, stream of conscience first person insanity. Part II is, despite being in the real world, a little more nonsensical. It's one thing to listen to this guy rave while he's in a hole all by himself, but in the real world? Honestly, I was quite weirded out. But it's also in this that Dostoyevsky says, "See what happens when you suffer from excessive conscious? Stay away."

It's hard to say whether there is any potential redemption in the UM. I think there was, and that Dostoyevsky showed us when that point could've been. He also shows us the UM turn away from it. The consequence being, "I've just denied love, so I'm going to live in a shack/hole/thing all by myself forever." It's all quite interesting, though sometimes slow. And rather simple to me, but enjoyable none the less.

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It, #1 (<--I do not comprehend)
Published: October 15, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 204

Virginity.
Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

First, let me say that I picked this book up after a day of reading Beowulf and The Confessions. Both two good books, but so heavy, So, I wanted something light. And I’d read the first chapter of this book online, and thought, hey, this looks cute. And in case it’s still not clear, I went into this book with very low expectations—or just the expectation to be mildly entertained. The premise looked interesting (it is), but the rest was "meh."

Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Chime by Franny Billingsley
Series: None
Published: March 17, 2011
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 361
Briony has a secret. 

It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister's mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change...
Chime is a haunting, brilliantly written novel that will stay with you--its magic, its romance, its world like none other.

I've been steadily working my way through a pile of books, and when I got to this, I definitely did not stay up past that time that is neither today nor tomorrow, into the wee hours of the night. Nope, definitely not ^_^

Franny's voice took me back in time, to times when I read Austen and Dickens, to the works of Shakespeare, to that beautiful epic poem, The Lady of Shallot. Imagine my surprise at the interview in the back, conducted by none other than Libba Bray, the very lady who introduced me to many things, including that epic poem. No squealing was present in the reading of that interview. Especially not when Jane and Rochester were mentioned.

You see, I loved Jane Eyre, and by all means, I shouldn't have loved it. Normally, I enjoy strong, independent characters, such as those of Tamora Pierce. Yet, here comes Rochester, trademarking everything I despise. And I did despise him. Until the end of course; because if there is one quality I love more than strong characters, it is redeemed characters. Which certainly explains my love for Snape.

Yet, I do not find Briony [MC] and Rochester similar. Quite the contrary; I found Rochester weak for embracing his emotions without temperance. Briony did not love herself. She hated herself. Naturally, she is a passionate person, and I saw the hate as a sort of temperance. For she did not feel, she thought. She knew of the idea of happiness, not the feeling. And while I may view self-hatred as despising and, well, hateful, I believe it takes strength. And because Briony had so much hatred for herself, I found that I really couldn't add my own hatred to that burden. She is not a hateful character. All I can do, is urge frustrated readers to keep on reading, even when they might be incredibly annoyed of the mystery of it all!

This book has wonderful influences, but is also set apart from those influences. Anyone could pick this up and understand. And, in my opinion, this story is one of the more redeeming types out there - I don't just mean that a character loses grace and finds it again, I mean that the entire story will throw you for a lope, but end with closure. It's an amazing feeling and experience that I encourage everyone to try.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader edited by Cassandra Clare


Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader by Holly Black, Kendra Blake, Gwenda Bond, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Sarah Cross, Kami Garcia, Michelle Hodkin, Kelly Link, Kate Milford, Diana Peterfeund, Sarah Ryan, Scott Tracey, and Robin Wasserman
Series: The Mortal Instruments (companion)
Published: January 29, 2013
Publisher: SmartPop
Pages: 198

Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly BlackRachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world. 
Inside you’ll read:• 
  • A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)• 
  • The unexpected benefits of the incest taboo
  • What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
  • The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion• 
  • And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting

Now, before you look at that 5 star rating and say, “oh, it’s just another of Cassies cray cray obsessive followers…” hear me out.

An Open Letter to Ms. Clare: On the Subject of Books and a Girl

EDIT: I submitted this article to Hypable and they so kindly published it. You can view it here. It’s copied word-for-word below also.
Dear Ms. Clare,
I do not know if you’ll actually ever happen upon this (here’s for trying), but whatever the case, let this be a letter for all those who have read The Infernal Devices, and love the series as I do.

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments
Published: March 27, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 442
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
So, unless you want to be spoiled, I suggest not reading the highlighted parts above. This is why I try to avoid summaries as much as possible - because while establishing the premise of the world for this book, that summary also gives away the big twist of the first chapters. -_-

I thought about giving this 5 stars, simply because it doesn’t compare to my love for TID - but I’ve also accepted that my love for that series is somewhat uncanny. But I do love this series too, it’s just a different kind of love.

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass


The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #1
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327

I am going to write my own silly summary here because the summary on the book is so horrifically spoil-filled that I can't bear to subject you lot to it.
So the Selection is set in a unrealistic future where rational State actors made very irrational decisions that resulted in a dystopian society. But no matter! Because every n number of years, there is a super special ball that satisfies the people's need for fulfillment. 
And I can't say anything else about it without giving away blindingly obvious spoilers.
That right there is Makayla sass. But really.

The Selection is a lottery. A lottery of girls, sent of to the palace to contend for the hand of the Prince, Maxon. It may not be Hunger Games brutal, but never underestimate the power of hormonal girls in large groups.

Review: Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns, #2
Published: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 410

The second book in Rae Carson's award-winning The Girl of Fire and Thorns fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Kristin Cashore. Tamora Pierce called the first book, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, "A unique and engrossing read!" A seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny.In The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa won the war. She saved her kingdom. But no one prepared her for how hard it is to recover from a battle, or to rule a people who still don't trust her. She's still fighting—against assassination attempts and more—and her enemies lie both outside her court and within it. So Elisa will cross the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. With her go a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume to Rae Carson's ambitious trilogy.
*Beware spoilers for Girl of Fire and Thorns!*
I must say, this series is quickly becoming a high fantasy favorite for me. I adored the first book. I felt as if Carson had so much courage for tackling a book with A) A heroine who is not only plain, but obese. B) Writing a high fantasy book with God (not ‘a’ God, not ‘Gods,’ but God. and C) sacrificing characters for the development (not shock factor) of a story.

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy, #1
Published: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 373
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
I’m sitting attempting to formulate a plan for reviewing this book.  I’ve been sitting for weeks attempting to think of how to review this book. My task is made more difficult by the fact that I’ve met Sarah,
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PROOF (Yes, I be holding SIGNED copies of the Demon Lexicon’s Trilogy)
and I’ve first hand seen the brilliance (and crazy) that she emits. This lady has a wonderful mind, everyone, and dissecting the book that it has produced will be hard, but by golly, I’m going to do it!