Archive for May 2011
Tegan was in the backseat when her two best friends were gunned down in front of her. Was it an argument over drugs? An ongoing feud? Or something more random? Tegan says she didn’t see who did it. Or know why. Nobody will believe her. Not the police; not her friends; not the families of the victims; and not even Kelly, her own sister. Is she afraid that the killer will come back? Or does she know more than she is saying? Shunned at school and feeling alone, Tegan must sort through her memories and try to decide what is real and what is imagined. And in the end she must decide whether she has the strength to stand up and do the right thing. (From Amazon)
The way this story is represented is rather interesting. When it’s Kelly’s point of view, it’s written as if it’s a screenplay. With Tegan, it’s just through her perspective and her narration. It’s different although it took a bit to get used to Kelly’s style.
I felt for Tegan, although she got a little tiresome at times. I thought the way she was treated at school was horrible, and Kelly wasn’t really much help either. You can certainly feel the isolation and the feeling of being ostracized when Tegan is around. Although she’s not innocent, and the way she egged on Martin made you want to slap her silly, the things she had to do to prove her point was absolutely shocking and horrible. Near the ending, I wanted the rest of the characters to just shut up. What they did to Tegan was horrible and in that I think it’s absolutely unforgivable.
I found I did not like most of the characters in this book. Of all of them, I had to say Tegan was the one I liked most, but even then she wasn’t the greatest character either. Kelly really annoyed me. She tended to be over dramatic, selfish and had a horrible attitude problem. It wasn’t until much later she improved a little, but not enough to get any sort of reaction from me.
The plot was all right, it did keep you guessing until right at the end who was behind the shooting. The overall pace is pretty quick and it’s a thin book so it can be read all in one sitting. It’s a decent read, and with an interesting layout on how the story is displayed I’d say give a try. It wouldn’t hurt.
Note: I got this book from Early Reviewers/LibraryThing. Thanks!
I give it a 7 out of 10.
An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-
Who will prevail?
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents’ deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets. Lia and Alice don’t know whom they can trust. They just know they can’t trust each other. (From Goodreads).
I have to say, I literally read this book from cover to cover in one sitting. It was that interesting. I loved the eerie creepy sensations you got while reading as Lia discovers more behind Alice’s malicious actions, and the paranormal aspects of the book really enhanced the dark creepy theme that dominates throughout the storyline.
Despite the usual cliche of sister vs sister (with twins to add) I thought the main idea behind the storyline was really good and it does differ somewhat from the usual battle of the sisters plots. What’s also nice to see is the addition of a historical fiction setting – which I personally like as it’s one of my favorite genres to read.
Lia and Alice are great characters and perfect opposites. Alice is just filled with evil that you can’t help but just hate her for her action and behavior. When things come to a climax towards the end of the novel (involving the twins’ brother Henry) I almost wanted to jump in and intercept Alice. I hated her for what she did. She’s just awful overall!
Although Lia might seem like the weaker one of the two, I can only hope she’ll get stronger later in the trilogy as it progresses. She’s got so much on her plate right now I’m hoping she doesn’t crack and become all emotional (like most main characters do in a series) later in the second or third book.
Despite a wonderful story, great characters, and an even paced plot, I can’t help but think there’s some similarities between this book and the Gemma Doyle series (by Libba Bray), but it’s not completely the same. If you’ve read both, then you just can’t help comparing the two. I can’t say yet which one I like better as I just started with this series.
However! if you liked the Gemma Doyle series, do pick this one up. It is worth the read and is a great book. The dark creepy theme and plot, a nicely developed cast of characters, and Alice becoming villain of the year gives the book a lot of substance to go through and will keep you interested until the end (which will make you want to get out and get the second book).
I give it 9.5 out of 10
Today’s question is: “What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked? Which have you disliked?”
Answer: The Harry Potter ones were pretty good! although a few of them sort of left out the good parts of the book (you can’t all be perfect). The worst book to movie for me was The Other Boleyn Girl. Seriously..that was so bad I was so happy I read the book first.
What about your answers?
If you’re from the Hop, hi! here have some apricot butterscotch scones!
It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.
In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.
These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history. (From Goodreads)
Okay. Word to the wise; there is sci fi elements, but you won’t be spending too much time in the future world. The book is mostly set in 14th century Italy. That being said, this might disappoint some readers who are looking forward to reading about a post-dystopian world. I didn’t mind as historical fiction was always something I liked to read. Mixing historical fiction with science fiction elements also provides an interesting story. The sci-fi element does make a significant impact on the story (with Pan) but it doesn’t overpower it. Which is nice, as there’s lots of historical setting descriptions to provide a good accurate setting that is easy to picture.
I thought it was interesting the author decides to make this book a post-dystopian society/setting. With all the dystopian fiction out there, this is an interesting and refreshing twist. Although not all the answers on how the setting came to be is revealed. It would have been nice to provide that bit of background information, alas it’s not necessary.
The main general plot was really good. It gets even better towards the end with a good action climax and the ending leaves you wanting to know what happens next (there is a bit of a sneak preview of the second book at the back). As mentioned before, I liked the description of the historical setting. Not only was it concise and in detail but it was enforced and repeated throughout the novel. I can only think this is because it makes the characters (and the reader included) realize how much everything is taken for granted. The constant reminder of people’s rotting teeth was rather gross, but it really does enhance the setting, and lets you count your blessings for being born in a different time period.
The three characters were nicely written and well done. I would have preferred to see more of Lincoln in this story (he is a smart aleck and has a funny quote or two). Yet the story focuses a lot more on Hansum and a little on Shamira. Lincoln does disappear for some time during the last half of the book however I am hoping he would come back with a bigger role in the second book. I’d have to say I liked how all three developed in their own way. Lincoln ends up maturing a lot as he used to be the real mouthy and rebellious one of the three. I liked Hansum, he was the steadier and unspoken leader of the three plus the love story with Guilietta provides a good part of the romance in the book – I thought they were rather cute together. Although besides Lincoln, I liked Pan a lot too. He helped the three through their adventures, but also provided a means of making their living situations improve (however it does have consequences). I’d like to know more in detail what consequence this may have in the future, but for now you do see a change in Pan’s appearance (which is comical).
With such a unique idea of the History camps and an interesting blend of science fiction and historical fiction, this book was a real fun read. It had a bit of everything in one well written book. Readers might also notice it’s also an interesting history lesson on 14th century Italy (well, at least on how people lived back then). I would definitely recommend this to other readers (I think it’s most suited for those that like YA). It’s certainly a different read and lets readers take a break from the massive amounts of dystopian fiction out there.
I give it a 7.5 out of 10
Today’s Question is: “If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?”
- This one is a hard one. I have several options.
1. Harry Potter’s world. YES I WANT TO GO TO A SCHOOL LIKE THAT! IT WOULD BE AWESOME!
2. Krynn (Dragonlance). I want to hang out with Tasslehoff Burrfoot. Even though that might get me into trouble.
3.Faerun (Forgotten Realms). Maybe hang out with Drizzt for a while….
4. Sitia (Poison/Magic Study). VALEK IS HERE!
That’s all I can think of right now. I’d be travelling to quite a few places
so what did you come up with!? share your answers (or provide a link) and in the meantime, here! have some lemon tarts!
Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she’s more of a cause célèbre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all,Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she’s been free. Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a détente of sorts—Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen’s trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action. Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil? (From Goodreads)
This is a VAST improvement from the second book. It had the same amount of suspense and thrills like Heartsick and it went up one more notch. It felt a little strange though, since Archie was out of the picture for a while, until he’s forced back in.
The process in forcing him back was insanely creepy. The phone calls, the text messages, even the staff and inmates where Archie was staying at for treatment made a hair raising experience. You just couldn’t trust anyone and any new character introduced into the scene, you had to wonder if they were under Gretchen’s influence or not. I really loved the text messaging and phone calling moments. Those really creeped me out. I thought this part of the story was very well written and gave you enough chills yet not so much that it’s overdone and cheesy. The mind games played between Gretchen and Archie are really good and that also keeps you reading through the book.
The underlying main plot of the book was good and only makes sense that a possibility of a copycat killer would come into the picture. The outcome of this mystery is really good and was also pretty thrilling as well. The pace of the plot was also well done and the sudden revelations with the twists and turns are also really good. Gretchen is still, an evil manipulating witch that you can’t ignore.
There are still unanswered questions to Gretchen, and I’m wondering how long this is going to be. You can only stretch this storyline with Gretchen so far without making it look silly. That being said though, I’ve picked up Night Season already and am hoping it’s just as good.
Thrilling, with a “can’t put down” feeling, fans of Archie and Gretchen will definitely be satisfied with this one. Those that are new to this should read this series in order. Be advised, there is quite a bit of gore in the book those that aren’t into that should stay away.
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Side Note: I already picked up, and read The Night Season. I’ll have to post that review soon!!!
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo and only Theo who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. Sneaking behind her fathers back, Theo uses old, nearly forgotten Egyptian magic to remove the curses and protect her father and the rest of the museum employees from the ancient, sinister forces that lurk in the museums dark hallways. (From Chapters.ca)
Think of a combination of Nancy Drew and a little bit of Indiana Jones and you have Theo. I really did enjoy reading this book. It had a perfect blend of mystery, adventure, and paranormal characteristics that made the book enjoyable for all ages.
Not only was Theo not a typical girl but she was curious, outspoken, and an adventure seeker who was not afraid of getting into danger. Her unique gift of finding the ancient curses and dispelling them is fun and different and I enjoyed her process of removing these curses from these items despite how oblivious her parents are. She does get a little lippy towards people older than her, but I like this part of her personality. It adds more to her stubborn character and adds more to her personality which makes the book all the more fun to read.
The plot was really good. As usual, there is an underlying main plot underneath a few mini story arcs. I like it, although it’s nothing really new or different from other novels like this one but it provides the adventure to the story and when Theo does eventually get involved it adds more adventure and quickens the plot pace. My favorite bit was when Theo impresses a crowd with her removal of a particular curse. It gave me a triumphant feeling and I cheered her on as so many adults just seem to push her away just because she’s just a child. However, Theo does have flaws, and sometimes her ability to remove the curse does backfire (and it has somewhat comedic consequences). The ending provides for much of the action, which gives the story a great climax and makes way for the second book.
What’s also great about this story is the pace is steady and you’re not slowed down at any time of the point. At each scene, you’re there for a good time before moving onto the next one and there’s no redundancy or over-repetitiveness. This book had a wonderful plot, an outstanding main character who’s fun to read, and I think this is going to be a very exciting fun filled series! I most definitely recommend this book for people of all ages.
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Nannerl Mozart’s early days seem to be the stuff of fairy tales–traveling far and wide, performing piano concerts with her younger brother, Wolfgang, before the crowned heads of Europe. But behind the glamour lurk dark difficulties–the hardship of travel, agonizing bouts of illness, and the constant concern over money. Their father, Leopold, is driven by a desire to bring his son’s genius to the attention of the world. But what about Nannerl? Is she not just as talented? In a world where women’s choices are limited, what hope does she have of ever realizing her own dreams? (From Amazon.ca)
You could really see the extreme differences on how each gender was treated in this book. It’s so blatantly different and the gap is so wide especially when Wolfgang and his father go on tour while Nannerl and her mother stay at home. It just did not seem fair as Nannerl is just as talented and gifted with music as Wolfgang but because she’s female she’s expected to give those talents up to get married, and have children. It’s these kinds of injustices that made me angry in the book. It felt that such wonderful talent was wasted and I could not help but get even more angry at her father for pushing her aside, and at her mother for not doing anything at all. However, it was like that back then, so it’s hard to get used to such gender disparity.
I have to admit I hated her father at first. He was the type of parent that lived through their kids and profited from it. However I reserved most of my anger towards Wolfgang. Oh my. What a spoiled piece of…well you get the idea. His ego was as big as the moon (his father helped a lot with that) and he treated the rest of his family like dirt. Once he got even more famous, he suddenly became ‘too good’ to be with his family to visit. What a horrid little creature he was in this book! Towards the ending of the novel he just got worse. Their father on the other hand, I started taking a liking to him. It seemed he finally realized Wolfgang was a jerk after all and treated Nannerl much better.
The writing was excellent throughout the novel, although the plot was a bit slow paced. Nannerl’s faith is admirable yet you wonder if it’s possible for her to just keep relying on her faith for the answer, what if she had decided to take matters into her own hands? perhaps the plot would have a huge change but it might have made it a little more interesting. I really did like the characters in this book despite Wolfgang being a twit. Everyone was exceptionally well written and were well developed throughout the story.
This was a well written historically accurate novel seeing a famous composer through a different set of eyes; namely his sister. It’s a different point of view and despite the slow moving plot, the characters are well written and you’ll find yourself engrossed in this book. It’s well worth the read.
I give it a 6.5 out of 10.
I am trying to figure out what in the world the hype was all about for this book. I heard so many good reviews from it and gave it a try hoping it was good as everyone said it was. I fail to see what’s so great about it.
The beginning chapters of the book did manage to get my attention to keep reading. It was interesting and I wanted to read more. The moments with Cassia and her grandfather were touching and did hit a soft spot for me. I enjoyed reading Cassia and Xander. They were literally, perfect together. Then Ky comes in.
It came to the point where I really started to hate Ky. It wasn’t just Ky I started to hate. Cassia really got on my nerves. All the chapters were about Ky. Ky this. Ky that. What would Ky do? oh, I bet Ky would like that. Oh, Ky would have done something else. Ky is the light of my world. I want to kiss Ky but not yet. Ky looked so beautiful looking at the sun. Ky Ky Ky Ky Ky yeah..you get my point? I understand she’s fallen in love, and fallen hard but it’s almost a very unhealthy borderline obsession and it just about made me stop reading. I didn’t know how I put up with reading endless pages about Ky. I don’t care about Ky. I want to know more about the dystopian society the characters were living in. I wanted some action and I wanted the plot to move. It got even more frustrating because then she adds Xander to this mix. Then it became: I love Ky, but I love Xander too. Xander and I are meant to be. Yet I want Ky. Egads Cassia, what in the world do you want? you want your cake and you want to eat it too?? At this point in the book I wanted to get in there and punch her to let her come to her senses.
The descriptions on the world were slow to come out. They were given in fragments and it felt as if you had to pull teeth to find out more about this dystopian society. It certainly had interesting concepts and the usual characteristics of a dystopian fiction and I did like the ‘three pills’ idea. however I just don’t get why the delay in explaining how the world was like? Why give bits and fragments here and there for the reader? It just made the book drag.
The plot was interesting at first, but it was slow moving and nothing really happened. Don’t expect any action until the very end, and by that time, I didn’t really care anymore and thought I wasted my time with this book.
If you just want a book with romance as the main central theme take this. If you’re expecting a dystopian fiction with romance on the side, but with a good exciting plot I suggest you try Hunger Games instead.
On a gloomy New Year’s Eve, recently bereft of wife and partner, down-and-out New York City PI John Justin Mallory is hired by Mürgenstürm, a little green elf who wants Mallory to track down a stolen unicorn. After gradually accepting that his client is not an alcohol-fueled hallucination, Mallory deftly takes on a shadow city of demons, leprechauns and gnomes even as he learns that his own future hinges on the unicorn’s recovery. The crisp dialogue and imaginative setting will have many fantasy readers wanting to revisit Manhattan’s magical side. (From Amazon.ca)
If you’ve read the Dresden series, this might sound familiar. However it’s different in so many ways. Unlike the Dresden Files, Stalking the Unicorn is much lighter and the element of a dark comedy is much more prevalent throughout the story. It was a fun enjoyable read, and John Justin Mallory does make a good protagonist to follow.
The worlds created in this book are interesting. There’s ‘normal’ Manhattan and the other Manhattan inhabited with fantastical creatures. John Justin Mallory gets sucked into the other Manhattan with a case that seems out of this world, and with an unlikely character behind it (a little elf). Now while that seems entirely unbelievable, Mallory actually takes the case because, well he’s really got nothing else to lose. He takes everything in stride, but his sense of humor is dark and he does have a comment here and there to get a chuckle out of the reader every once in a while. He has an unlikely cast of friends who help him (either out of just being nice or for their own entertainment) Felina and Eohippus are in their own right, fun to read and provide extra laughs. Mallory’s run in with the military also provide a hysterical read.
The plot was good, but yet there is little character development mentioned. It would have been nice to see Mallory develop more – he does somewhat but not as much as I had thought. The ending makes way for the other books in this series and I have no doubt they will be as fun as this one (at least, I hope so!). I’d say the only criticism I have of this book is perhaps it should have had more character development. Without much development, characters tend to be like ‘cardboard’ and although they were fun to read in this book, it just seemed as if they were lacking a soul.
Stalking the Unicorn provides a perfect blend of mystery and fantasy, adding dark comedy into the mix and the result is a fun light read. Mallory’s decision in the end opens up for more books to come. I’ll be looking forward to them and hoping they were just as fun to read as this one.
I give it a 7 out of 10.