Sunday, September 30, 2012

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

I was super excited when I received Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch from Netgalley. It had a really interesting premise and it sounded like something I would like.
Glenn Morgan wants to get away. She wants to get on the next flight to Planet 813 and live out the rest of her days as a top scientist, studying the environment and life there. She would have to leave her genius father (from whom she inherited her own genius) behind, but that’s exactly what she wants; for years he has been totally engrossed in his mysterious “Project,” which he claims is the key to rescuing her mother from the Magisterium, the land beyond the border that most say is a wasteland, but some believe is full of magic beings. When Glenn goes to the authorities about her father’s project, they want to steal it; they know what is actually beyond the border and they want to destroy it. As they try to escape, her father is arrested and she is left stranded in the Magisterium with her sort-of-friend Kevin and the giant half-human-half-cat man Aamon. Will she find her mother and restore her to her former self? Or will the government destroy the Magisterium and all that Glenn holds dear?

            Glenn, our main character, was slightly boring. She was smart and sensible, but she lacked fire in the beginning of the book. Once she was in the Magisterium for a while, she began to get a little spark, but she wasn’t exactly a raging fire. However, she was portrayed accurately in that she was greatly shaped by her mother’s “death.” Hirsch definitely rendered her well in that aspect. I liked her well enough, I just wasn’t totally enthralled by her. Considering this book was written by a man, he portrayed this girl really well, so he gets definite props for that. Kevin was much more fun. He had a good sense of humor and he took everything lightly, which I could appreciate. Overall, he had an awesome personality and a Mohawk. All of the other characters were well put together, as well, but Kevin was by far my favorite.

            The story line was intriguing. The whole idea that there is a whole other world in which magic can operate, but electronics cannot, is really creative. I thought it was really cool that Aamon turned into a cat when he was in the Colloquium (Glenn’s “side” of the world), but he was slightly human on the Magisterium side. He was like a were-cat or something. This story captivated me and drew me in almost right away and it kept my attention the whole time. The ending of this book was extremely powerful. I was tremendously sad at the end and I felt like I was punched in the stomach. Overall, a pretty good read.

This book was extremely captivating, but the main character lacked some spark. I still really liked it, though! 4 Smileys!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

When I first heard about The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, I was so excited. It sounded amazing and I couldn't wait to read it! I am SO GLAD I got this book because it was SPECTACULAR!

          Blue Sargent was always told by her psychic family that, if she kissed her true love, he would die. When Blue sees a spirit of one who will die within the next year, she is quite surprised; normally she, the only non-psychic member of her family, could not see any of the spirits. Her aunt tells her that she can see him because he is either her true love or she is destined to kill him. When she discovers that this boy is Gansey, a rich, overprivileged boy that attends Aglionby, the local all-boys private school, Blue can't imagine falling in love with him. She's much more attracted to his quiet, scholarship friend, Adam. Even his strange friend, Noah, would be better! But it's Ronan, Gansey's other friend, that she absolutely can't stand. Gansey may seem superficial and petty on the outside, but he's looking for something that could change the world and forever change the life of the one that finds it. As Blue grows ever more attached to their quest, their lives intertwine more and more. Will Blue kill Gansey? Or will it be just the opposite?

      Blue, who I consider to be one of the best main characters, is awesome. She cracks me up! There was one particular scene involving Blue, Gansey, and the subject of prostitution that I found completely hilarious. She was also very sensible and she led by her mind, not her heart or hormones, which was refreshing to see in a YA book. Gansey was largely misunderstood and could insult anyone without even trying, which got him into some very bad situations, but also some very funny situations. It was nice that he wasn't perfect (at all) and he seemed really real. Actually all of the characters were really convincing and real. Anyway, Adam was adorable, like a puppy. I wanted to take him home with me; I felt so bad for him (for reasons that you will see when, not if, you read this)! Noah, though he had a kind of small part in this book, was cool, too, especially around Blue. Even Ronan, as harsh and sometimes just-plain-mean as he could be, rubbed off on me by the end. Overall, all of the characters were AMAZING!

     At first, The Raven Boys was really confusing. I didn't really know what was going on, but I just kept going; not knowing the details didn't really bother me too much, but eventually, it made a lot more sense and it was really good. The reactions between Blue and the boys were priceless; the story was AMAZING and HILARIOUS when they were all together. I'm really looking forward to the next book because they will be friends for the entire book and the WHOLE THING will be FREAKING AWESOME. I seriously loved this book. I COULDN'T STOP READING IT EVER. I wanted it to go on and on forever (I am extremely sad that it didn't)! It was full of suspense and the plot was really interesting. I found the whole idea for the book (looking for a lost king that may or may not come back to life when they find him and grant the finder a wish) incredibly intriguing. 

      Overall, this book had awesome characters, an awesome plot, and awesome writing. But my favorite part was definitely the characters! I fell in love with every single one of them by the end!

If you choose one book to read this fall, read this one! It was AWESOMETASTIC! 5 Smileys!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Halflings by Heather Burch

*Do not be deterred by the weird cover! I read the Kindle version, so this is the first time I'm seeing it, and I have to admit that it is a bit strange and not something I would normally read, but still read it!

It’s been a long time since I got so caught up in a book that I stayed up to some ungodly hour of a school night to read a book for fun. But Halflings by Heather Burch forced me to.

            Nikki wasn’t like other girls. She rode a motorcycle, had a black belt in karate, had a deep love for art, and didn’t wear the best clothes. But when she’s inexplicably targeted by the evil powers that be, she needs protection, which comes in the form of three strange boys: Mace, Raven, and Vine. They are Halflings and there is only one thing that they are forbidden to do: fall in love with a human. So one or more (I’m not gonna give it away, geez) of the boys must battle his/their foe(s), as well as the battle raging inside of him/them. Will Nikki be crushed before they find the reason why the bad guys want her? Or will she defeat the barrage of evils coming her way and survive through it all?

            All right, it’s been a while since I did a review, so forgive me if I’m a bit rusty. Overall, I liked Nikki. I thought that she was pretty strong and tough most of the time. I mean, no one can be strong all the time, right? She actually had substance so there was a real personality for the boy(s) to love, so that actually made sense. Let me just say now that I loved all three of the boys right away. They were awesome. Mace was the sweet one, Raven was the… dark?... one, and Vine was the baby one. Seriously, he was adorable, like a little kid. They all had definite and different personalities, which I really enjoyed. Each one was unique.

Now for the writing/story line part! She used a lot of similes and metaphors and such in her writing and I really liked them. Some were really clever, and I love me some poetry, so that was enjoyable. And the story line was AMAZING. Something about it made me want to devour the whole story all in one sitting. I got pulled into the book almost instantaneously and stayed sucked in (Unfortunately, in the middle of reading this I had to do a project for school and stop reading- I was so upset).

This book was definitely a fun read and I am so excited to read the next one. Which I get to do ahead of time because I am part of Heather Burch’s book tour for the next book, Guardian, which comes out on October 9, 2012! So look forward to yet another book tour, which should probably be happening sometime in the next two or three weeks! Ta-ta for now!

Definitely read this book! It was totally captivating! 5 Smileys!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MORE by T.M. Franklin

I thought that MORE by T.M. Franklin was very entertaining. The story line was great!

Growing up, Ava Michaels always thought she was special. But once she was old enough, she accepted the fact that she was just like everyone else, but for one thing: the nightmares of the large man with two different colored eyes. Now in college, Ava is content with her life, except for physics; she’s nearly failing. When she is set up with a tutor, Caleb Foster, all she expects is a good grade in physics, but he introduces her to a whole new world; one that she may be a larger part of than anyone expects. There are people after Ava and she doesn’t even know why, but Caleb may know more than he lets on. Will she learn to flourish in her new surroundings, or will she drown? Or will she be killed before she even has a chance?

            Ava, the main character, was completely sensible, not like some other YA heroines I can think of. And she was normal; she was attending college on a scholarship and working, unlike the rich characters in most of the current YA literature. She wasn’t stupid and was pretty good at figuring things out herself; she didn’t need someone to tell her everything that was going on. Also, she wasn’t a wimp. She killed a guy. That is no activity for the wimpy, I’ll tell you that much. Oh, and she didn’t automatically trust the “love interest,” nor did she fall in love with him right away. Speaking of the “love interest,”(I shall not name him so you won’t know who he is!) he was even better than Ava. He knew and understood his responsibilities and he didn’t let his feelings get in the way of his life. He was also hilarious, and that goes a long way with me. The secondary characters were likable, as well, I thought.

            The plot went at a pretty standard rate, not too fast, not too slow, and I got caught up in it nearly right away. I wanted to keep reading it all day, but school got in the way (how dare you, school?!?). But the thing that I did not like about this book was its lack of artistic writing. I don’t think there was any figurative language in there at all; it was kind of like, “she did this,” and, “he did that.” I don’t normally notice these things in books, but I really noticed that in this book. The writing was all sort of… bland. Also, there was one instance where it said on one page that it was Friday night, then the on the next page it said it was Saturday night (and I know that it was supposed to say Friday night the second time- it didn’t actually change days). However, the plot makes this book definitely worth the read because I really wanted to know what would happen next and most of the time, I had no clue what that would be!

Overall, I really liked this book! 4 Smileys!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Everyone loves a good pirate story, right? Well, The Assassin’s Curse was one of the best.

            Ananna of the Tanarau has only ever wanted one thing: her own ship. But when her parents try to marry her off to the beautiful Tarrin of the Hariri, she knows that she must get away. Escaping into the city of Lassiri, she knows that the Hariri will send an assassin after her. Assassins practice a rare type of magic, blood magic, and are supposedly impossible to defeat or escape from. When Ananna ends up saving Naji’s (the assassin) life, a terrible curse binds them together: Naji must protect Ananna from physical harm. When she goes too far away from him, he gets a headache and when she gets injured, he feels her pain, too. However, Ananna and Naji are being chased by more than just the Hariris; the Mists, the people of the Otherworld, are also chasing them. Will they defeat the Mists? Will Ananna and Naji be able to cure his curse, or will he be stuck serving her forever? Read to find out!

            Ananna, the main character, was amazing. From the first few pages of the book, I knew that I would grow fond of her. She didn’t just do what she was told; she took her life into her own hands and dealt with the consequences without complaining. Ananna was a pirate, so she spoke like a pirate. I thought that the dialect that Clarke used for Ananna was very convincing; it really added to the story and helped me get into it more. Another thing I liked about her was that she was sneaky and smart; she could steal anything and not be caught. Lastly, Ananna doesn’t just let the men fight for her; she fights for herself, but she also admits when she needs help, so she’s not stupidly tough.

            Naji, the assassin, was also amazing. I liked him instantly. He was serious, with an undertone of humor. He never smiled with his mouth, but he always smiled with his eyes. He was brave and thoughtful and smart. Right after the curse was put on him, he gave Ananna his protective necklace and left himself without protection; he risked his life for her because the next moment they fought someone from the Mists. Another thing about Naji: he can turn into a shadow. He uses blood magic, which is awesome by itself, but he can actually turn into a shadow. THAT IS SO COOL.

            Now for the plot/writing: I got caught up in the story right away. It pulled me in immediately and I liked Ananna right away. It always kept me guessing and the anticipation was killing me. It didn’t help that the end of the book was AMAZING and now I really need the next one right now.  But anyway, there was a lot of really funny sarcasm in this book and I love me some good sarcasm! I actually laughed out loud at some parts and I found myself smiling throughout the entire book. As I said before, Clarke did a great job with keeping Ananna’s dialect as rugged as she did because Ananna was a pirate, who never had any type of education. I thought that there was something amazing about Ananna and Naji’s reactions; they seemed real and I could imagine them in my head. There was something really true about the way they acted towards each other. Another good thing about this book: NO INSTA-LOVE. There was absolutely no insta-love whatsoever, which was FANTASTIC. As a matter of fact, Ananna punches Naji in the face about ¾ through the book.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. It was simply amazing.

I fell totally and completely in love with this book. 5 Smileys!