Book of the Week-Between the Lines

Yay for the book of the week! This week’s book is chosen because…its the only book that I’ve finished in weeks since finishing These Broken Stars.

I know, diagnosis I know, information pills I’m going to get back in the groove of reading soon, I promise :)

Until then, enjoy this review!

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

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GoodReads / Barnes and Noble Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Part of a Series?:

No, standalone novel

You May Like if You Liked:

Fairy tale Re-tellings

Age Recommendation:

10+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

Delilah, a loner hates school as much as she loves books— one book in particular. In fact if anyone knew how many times she has read and reread the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially her cooler than cool classmates, she’d be sent to social Siberia forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there’s a handsome (well, okay, incredibly handsome) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there’s something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is not just a one-dimensional character in a book. He’s real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they’re from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?

My Review: 

I’m going to start off by saying this: this book is definitely not YA. Well, at least in my opinion. I think this book is more rooted in a middle grade sort of style, and the story is much on the level of a middle grade book. That being said, I want you to keep that in mind as I review the book.

The book was extremely sweet. The story was simple, with little to no complicated conflict. Delilah is obsessed with a fairy tale book, and like most readers (you know what I mean), she has fallen head over heels for the main character, Oliver. So she’s surprised as hell when she opens the book one day and Oliver says hello, from the pages. They embark on an adventure to try and get Oliver out of the book and into the real world, where hopefully they can be together.

The plot is basic, simple and sweet. There isn’t a lot of depth, and the conflict is very minimal: basically, find a way to get Oliver out of the book. I felt like I saw a lot of negative reviews for this book on GoodReads and I attribute it to the fact that I think people are expecting the depth of a YA novel, but its definitely a smaller, lighter story more suited to a middle grade novel. It also has a sort of easy narrative, not a lot of struggles and not a lot of…not a lot of depth. Really, both Delilah and Oliver were sort of flat characters, and the minor characters lacked real depth as well. I busted through the book because it was SUCH an easy read. I felt like I didn’t have to think *too* much while reading it.

That being said, I did like the book. If you look at it for what it is, it is really good. Its a sweet story, honestly, and its basically every fangirl’s dream, that her fictional crush would magically come to life off the pages and fall madly in love with her for exactly who she is, when everyone else thinks she’s just plain weird. I wanted Oliver to get out of the book as much as Delilah did, and I enjoyed the back and forth narrative. You were able to get into both of the main characters’ heads and see what was motivating them. You could say why Delilah wanted to escape the real world for the kingdom in the fairy tale and you saw why Oliver wanted out of the book and into the real world.

I also really enjoyed the fairy tale that the authors wove in between the stories. While Oliver and Delilah have their story, we get to see the actual fairy tale, the one that causes Delilah to become so attached. I like when boos include that kind of thing. It takes a little more effort. Its like when Rainbow Rowell includes the selections from the fictional Simon Snow series; it just shows that much more effort, and it really adds to the story. You can see why Delilah is drawn to the story, and I really enjoyed that.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

Depends. If you’re looking for a light read, more geared toward younger teens, maybe tweens, then this is the book for you. If you’re expecting a deeper story, a more complicated plot line, or a bigger romance, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s review :) Check back soon for more posts!

Book of the Week-Unbreakable

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia 

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

GoodReads / Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

Genre:

Young Adult, about it Paranormal, viagra buy Romance

Part of a Series?:

Yes, viagra the first novel of The Legion Series

You May Like if You Liked:

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, The Mediator Stories by Meg Cabot

Age Recommendation:

14+

Plot Summary:

From GoodReads:

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.

My Review: 

When people told me that it was the book version of Supernatural, I thought they were joking. Turns out, they weren’t. This literally is Supernatural in book form. But that’s a good thing.

First off, the characters. I really liked Kennedy right off the bat, and I think thats partly because I’ve always loved the name Kennedy both as a first name and as a last name. Its just an awesome name. But I also like that she seems to one of very few characters that are thrust into this brand new world and don’t just conform to it naturally. I actually really liked that about Kennedy. She’s very unsure and she messes up a lot and its clear that they think she’s a liability, even if they do care about her as well. I like that Kami was able to create a character that is going to have to work to fit into this world. She just doesn’t step over the threshold and take hold of it firmly. Its going to take some time for Kennedy to get used to this.

The other characters are great as well. We have twin brothers, Jared and Lukas, both love interests of Kennedy but not in a love triangle, thank god. Lukas is the sweeter, more open brother but that isn’t the sort of book boyfriend that I go for. I liked Jared a lot, a lot but its hard to get past his name. Jared is just used WAY too much in YA lit. So as much as I liked him, I couldn’t get past his name. The other two main characters, Priest and Alara were great, especially Priest. He’s a great character, full of humor and I would definitely want him on my supernatural busting team.

The story itself was really great at building up for what is going to happen in the future. It started off kind of weird to me and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going. I liked the characters well enough though that I kept reading. The supernatural stuff also appealed to my middle school self when I was obsessed with that kind of stuff, and wanted to be a practicing Wiccan. No lie. Anyway, the story builds up the world a lot and leaves off with a major cliffhanger, which is really what made the book for me. They really were working at something, with the impression of one thing and their impressions change a lot and it really creates a lot of mayhem. I couldn’t figure out the problem until I realized how much trouble they were in, and it made for an exciting story.

I think my favorite part of it was how  historical and accurate it got with the myths and legends and the ways to get rid of certain spirits and such. Kami obviously did her homework to make sure she got all of it right and you can tell. That’s why it felt so much like an episode of Supernatural. She made it feel real and legit, and there were times where I was like, “yeah! I remember that from SPN!” I think a lot of authors deserve credit for doing all that research work because I notice that, and it makes the story that much better.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?:

Yes! I loved this book. It was a little slow to start, and it hints at a love triangle for a bit (you know how I feel about those) but it takes off in a race to stop an evil demon and its exciting and sexy and dark and awesome. I definitely can’t wait for book two!

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week. Stay tuned for more next week!

December Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Did I Reach My Goal: Yes!

How Many Total Books Read: 203

Total Books For December: 20

Remember to click on the book title for the review. If there is no link, buy information pills there is no review. I got really lazy in reviewing toward the end of the month haha.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Re-Read)

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

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The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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My Life Next Door by Huntley FItzpatrick

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

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Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

This totally counts. My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas, pills because I’m obsessed with penguins and we’re in love, pharm duh! And he also got me this behind-the-scenes experience with penguins, so it all makes sense. And it counts

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson 

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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

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So that was 2013 folks! Stick with me in the new year, as I delve into even more books!

How did you do on your own GoodReads challenge? Share in the comments!

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan Review

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, viagra sale Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

My Review:

This review will not contain spoilers for the book Untold. However, there will be spoilers from the first novel, Unspoken. To read the review of that novel, please click here

I loved the first novel so much that I didn’t think it was possible in the slightest for me to like the sequel just as much, if not a bit a more.

The struggle with a first novel, and then writing a sequel, is that you have to worry about living up to what you produced in the first novel, and making it that much better. Sarah took the story she had built up so well in the first one, and really circled it around to where she wanted to be in the second novel. She took the cliffhanger she gave us in Unspoken, and left us panting through Untold as we tried to figure out what happened.

And she left us with more cliffhangers, more loose ends, and that’s a mark of a good middle book. She builds up this story in the first book, leads us down a dark and winding and confusing path of the second book, just to leave us feeling absolutely thrown off and we have to wait an entire year for the third book? How horribly delightful that is, and the mark of a good trilogy. The bad guys have to win a bit in the second novel, to make it seem like all is lost, there is no hope for a solution, for the good guys to win. She manages to do that in this novel, but in a way that you never expected. I was in shock at the end of the book, and I was also quite afraid for some particular characters because she leaves their fate hanging in the balance at the end of the novel.

This book is so much darker than the previous one, probably because it is the middle book, where things have to be at their worst. Rob Lynburn is building up his own army, in order to perform a sacrifice, and take control of Sorry-of-the-Vale. Lilian and Ash, and Jared, and Kami, and Angela and Holly are all determined to take him down, but they can’t work together. Lilian Lynburn refuses to work with anyone that she doesn’t see as having a point, anyone without magic, and Kami, Holly, and Angela are all without magic, especially Kami without her connection to Jared. Of course, that doesn’t stop Kami Glass, that determined firecracker, and she gets all the young ones, including Ash and Jared. But the two groups working separately can only make things worse, and can only end in explosion, which it kind of does.

But there is still that humor, and adventure element to the novel. You aren’t spending the entire thing, in a world of despair and hopelessness and wondering if things will EVER get better. Kami is the light in the novel, the one who can make a joke, a sarcastic remark or brighten up the hope in the room when everyone else is feeling down, or like they’re going to give up. Pair her with Jared or Angela, and you get a banter of wit and humor and you find yourself smiling even though Sorry-of-the-Vale is in a whole mess of trouble.

As an addition too, Sarah also succeeds in making me, and probably the rest of you readers, fall even more in love with Jared Lynburn that you were previously in Unspoken. I still didn’t think it was possible to adore a fictional character as make as Jace Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series but Jared is quickly catching up.

And can I just say that the cliffhanger of THIS novel left me incredibly upset, in that wonderful way that a book can upset you? The decisions that were made by Ash and Jared and Kami and all of them, and the place that they are left in at the end were not what I expected and left me feeling hopeless and upset with all of them. I wanted to cry, no lie, because I have so much hope that things will work out the way I want them too, in the third book, but I have to wait, feeling these awful feelings for these characters that I’ve grown to love. Every time I think of them, I will think of all I left them, and it just makes me feel sad all over the again.

So I’m ready that the third novel, Sarah! And I wouldn’t say no to an advanced copy ;)

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Book Review

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

 

LeviathanYou Can Find the Book At:

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

Goodreads Summary:

Prince Aleksander, ambulance would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, about it is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, decease disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Review:

Leviathan is book one in a trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. I really enjoyed this book. Westerfeld is definitely one of the more creative authors that I’ve come across. His ability to paint a picture of a world where machines and animals (Clankers and Darwinists) co-exist during wartime? I mean, WHO thinks of that?! Westerfeld, that’s who. And he’s brilliant at it.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that this is not meant to be a fast-paced story. It builds and is very detail-oriented. Westefeld and Keith Thompson, who illustrated the novel, had to work together to bring us visuals that depicted Scott’s mind child that is the Leviathan. I guarantee you, that without these illustrations, you wouldn’t have been able to picture these machines and the animal fabrications. The story was woven together beautifully with pictures and plot that showed how two very different characters come together. And how their lives overlap.

We are introduced to Alek, a teenage royal boy. His upbringing was very affluent, but he’s a victim of his circumstances. His family encounters a tragic end, forcing Alek to run. To avoid being killed-by the enemy and by his own people. His parents left him in quite the sticky situation, but luckily he is kept in check by two close family advisers, Klopp and Volger. Alek discovers a life-altering secret about himself that sends his life on a whirlwind. As the story progresses, we learn how important he really is to the war.

At first, I’m not too sure about Volger. He was quite upsetting to me, mainly because I didn’t understand his motives for why he treated Alek the way that he did. We, of course, later find out why and then it begins to make sense, but it still left a bitter taste in my mouth for a bit. Klopp was a pretty likable guy from the beginning, definitely an immediate ally of Alek, when I wasn’t sure about Volger.

Then there’s Deryn, a young British airman, whose biological makeup (she’s actually a girl) should actually prevent her from being able to join the military. She was born to fly and it’s been a lifelong passion of hers. So because of that passion, she decides to disguise herself as a boy (with the help of her brother, Jaspert). Her adventure in the military begins, but she MUST protect her secret at all costs.

I really like that Westefeld alternated between perspectives every couple of chapters. It gave a broader understanding of the plot, as well as to how the society functioned. While we are on both Alek’s and Deryn’s journeys as youngsters during wartime, there is also the subplot of two systems existing together, but not really working together (i.e. Clankers vs. Darwinists).

Deryn is a Darwinist, while Alek is a Clanker. Their understandings of how the world works are very different from each other, so when they first meet, there’s a bit of tension. Between being attacked by Germans (their common enemy), hunger, injury, etc., they learn how to work together and combine their knowledge and resources.

One of the supporting characters, Dr. Barlow, was introduced into the story through Deryn’s storyline and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of her. Only that she was an important diplomat that needed to be transported by the military. But by the end of the book, it becomes a bit clearer who Dr. Barlow is and what her role is in all of the chaos.

The book ends on a very satisfactory note that allows proper closure (at least for this book, not necessarily the whole story), but it also left me with tons of questions. Is Alek going to inherit the throne? Who is Dr. Barlow and why is she so important? Will Deryn secret stay a secret? Can Volger truly be trusted? Who knows? I have to read the rest of the trilogy.

Leviathan is a very detailed, very interesting book. It introduced me to a world that I NEVER could have dreamed up on my own. Not in a million years. This was my first steam punk novel and I think I like.

Book two is called Behemoth and it is out now! I already have it and I’m ready to read!

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Sweet Venom Book Review

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

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You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, more about but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

My Review:

You may have noticed that I’ve had a *slight* Greek mythology thing lately. I’m not really sure, but I think maybe it has to do with the fact that The House of Hades just released yesterday (expect a review tomorrow, as long as I finish it as quickly as I think I’m going to), and I just have always loved Greek myths.

But moving on, the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of YA that is focusing on Greek mythology means I’m more aware of it, and more likely to be critical of it. That being said, I was thoroughly impressed with the first book in Tera Lynn Child’s trilogy.

Like I said, the stories been retold and rewritten a million times. When the myths written as long ago as they were, of course this is going to happen. So its incredibly hard for you to rewrite something that has already most likely been rewritten. I’ve read Josephine Angelini’s trilogy, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s series, and both Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series. I’ve seen my fair share of YA Greek myths. So that’s why I really think that Tera did a great job with this.

We don’t see much of Medusa used in these books, as anything other than a villain, like in The Lightning Thief. Tera herself said at an event a few weeks ago in Vegas that it was hard research for her, because there isn’t much on her. By taking the myth of Medusa, twisting it so she was actually framed, and that her descendants have a destiny. I like the idea of twisting a myth and surprising the reader. That is definitely what was accomplished in this novel. The gods AREN’T good, they neglect and they run rampant on the world, and are so arrogant and emotional, and everything they do effects the human race. I love the idea that Athena was jealous of Medusa, and that things sort of boiled down from there because it seems VERY likely that this would happen. Goddess pride.

I’m not going to lie, I like the idea of the triplets thing, long lost, coming together to work together, to fight together and to protect each other. I had this…obsession when I was younger with twins, born from the height of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s careers, and the reboot of The Parent Trap. I was convinced that I had a twin somewhere, and that my parents had hid her away, and I was constantly begging them to tell me where she was. I was a weird child. But the idea of twins, and triplets, in a book seriously make me interested right off the bat. And sure the fact that Gretchen, Greer and Grace are so obviously different and come from vastly different backgrounds doesn’t bother me, even though its so obvious. I think its going to work well, as the story continues and they have to work together to fight the mythical creatures that keep seeping in our world.

Plus, San Francisco as the setting? Such a win. San Francisco is a bursting place anyway, so full of culture and people and places and its just 100% awesome. Its a perfect setting for all of this to be taking place. I can’t wait to pick up the next book.

It was awesome being able to meet Tera at her signing in Vegas a couple weeks ago! I’m so glad I picked up her book and read it! 

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars