29 May 2013

The Diviners

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Libba Bray
Format: Paperback
Pages: 578
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (Bless Goodreads): Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

My Thoughts: This novel definitely gave me the heeby-geebies like it tried too. I have this little problem of reading at night and I'm sure that didn't help me in this case. I enjoyed the thought behind this story. I'm all for magic and people having strange gifts/talents so this book was totally my thing. I'm so glad that I kept on reading; I almost put it back on the shelf to read later. Anyway, creep factor was an eight. That's pretty good. The author has a great way of describing things to the reader. I also loved the point of view, it added to the story so much because even though most chapters followed a certain character and their thoughts, you also got the other characters thoughts. The end of some chapters shot around to give updates on minor characters or strangers to the story. I didn't understand them at first but I realized that they give us more background to the world and to how other people are seeing what was happening. It was very useful. 

I also need to give this author massive props for doing all the research necessary for this novel. It takes place in the twenties so not only did the author have to research landmarks from this time period but also how people acted, dressed, and spoke. I cannot even imagine the work that needed to be done for that. She mentions it all in the Author's Notes and Acknowledgements (always read these in books! They are often very funny and lend extra insight to the story. You get a feel for the author and can find out their thoughts on the subject. I love knowing the background to the story and how it came about. You always forget how much work goes into the books you're reading.). Plus, the author clearly has a thesaurus on hand. She uses excellent vocabulary with the except of the pos-i-tutly's and stuff that Evie sometimes says. That drive me nuts! Thought, in the end she says it less and you can see how she has grown.

The characters were solid and all very different but there were just too many of them. They don't all get the same time as the focus and, in the beginning, they are hard to keep straight. It doesn't help that soon they are all interacting. It's that fun six degrees of separation thing but it was rough until I figured out all the connections. Lots of characters die too. Keeping all those deaths is difficult too. They repeat thing enough to be able to figure it all out before the reader goes crazy or gives up. Try to hang in there. 

When I first chose the book I kept thinking how big it was but it went quickly once I got into the story. It wasn't so long as to get bored but it also needed to be that long to explain everything clearly. There were some parts of the book that I felt were just for fun, as in they could have been taken out, yet they made everything relate-able and showed time passing so I take that back. A warning: this book is, I believe, the beginning of a series so if you aren't looking for a series then steer away from this book, unless you don't need a solid ending. The ending of this story leads into something more.

So: I really enjoyed this book. I would read it again. I loved the idea behind the story and I think that the author has a brilliant way of writing (I've read her in the past). This book involves many different genres from action to love with spooky stuff thrown in the middle. Beware that it's the start of series but it's really good.

Fun Quotes (I love sassy writing but it's not as funny without context!):
- "Charity begins at home." "So does mental illness!"
- "What's wrong with Anna Karenina?" "Everything from A to enina." (I agree with this one completely)
- "I salute your spunk, but I question your sanity."

Basically...read the darn book!

24 May 2013

The Lost Heir

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Andi O'Connor
Format: Paperback - The author sent me this book and requested an honest review
Pages: 392
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (I'm not sure when we started adding .5's but they stand)

Summary (She's a Goodreads author!): Always a meticulous planner, Darrak Hunter leads a dull life until his dreams become plagued with visions of a peculiar and distant world. Waking up to a brilliant purple sun looming ominously in the sky, Darrak is met by a mysterious violet-eyed sorcerer who whisks him away from the struggling Earth.

Thrown into the clutches of a foreign world where magic is reality and not all is as it seems, Darrak embarks on a journey where he is forced to come to terms with his past and do what he can to shape the future. Accompanied by a talented swordswoman, a prince, and a beautiful young sorceress, he must overcome cunning plots of treachery and betrayal to discover the strength to stand against a destructive black magic and an enemy who is a master at deception.

Thoughts: Sooooooo, I'm having a hard time coming up with a good opening sentence for this review; let's just jump in. I love contractions. I'm a big fan of the vernacular. I like when I am able to connect with how the characters are talking. When they are very proper I have a hard time connecting. Of course, when they are supposed to be that way, it's different. In this case however, Darrak grew up on earth. He should talk like every other college student on earth. He distracted me. Also, the dialogue seemed rather forced at times. The dialogue was mostly in large paragraphs. There was lots of explaining. It was necessary but seemed off. The vocabulary, however, was awesome! I say that as mine is terrible, go figure!

The characters were all unique. I love the unique names and personalities. There were a lot of them though and at times it as hard to remember who was who. The only character that I had a problem with was Mionee. She started out true to who she was but as the story progressed I felt that she gave in to the pressure placed on her. Either that or she changed who she was too quickly. It was like character whiplash.

I think that since this was a series the beginning could have moved slower. Time could have been taken to make it seem more realitic. The extra time could have been used for Darrak to believe. He did believe but it was too quickly to be real. The ending made the book seem more like serial than a series. I feel like the next one is more to be continued than one after another. The books in this series will be very connected to one another. This is definitely not a stand alone novel if you begin to care for the characters like I did. 

I love that this took place somewhere not earth. I also love the magic aspect and the language because that shows real dedication to the story and world. This world is worth the read and it was easy and quick so it isn't real a waste of time. It's a fairly simple story to follow though it may turn out to be long.

In Conclusion: This is a quick and easy read. It was fun and I love great other worlds that I can get lost in. Characters in this story are their own people and are each special. I care about a lot of them now. Yay love for fictional characters!

Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily a love story so don't expect one (though there is some).

21 May 2013

Fragments (Partials Sequence #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Dan Wells
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 564
Rating: 9 out of 10

**Spoiler Alert: Check out Partials First**

Summary (Goodreads version): Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.

Thoughts: Firstly, I love (and hate/freak out about) the idea behind this story because, as I mentioned in the Partials review, it could really happen. I may have read the this book and really the whole series too fast. I will be reading them again before I read the third in the series.

One of the highlights of this book is that it can go from not a lot of action to the characters running for their lives or to something huge happening to them because they are in a dangerous, unknown place and there is a war going on. Something is always around the next corner. There is always another battle to fight or person to defeat. It makes for a very interesting story that always keeps your attention. 

I was also glad that the reader saw what was happening to more than just Kira, not that her part of the story isn't great. I like knowing what is happening in every part of the story. I like knowing what the other characters are doing when they are not with the main character. I'm just nosy like that.

Also, the science behind RM and the partials is great. It add so much to the story to believe it. Plus, who doesn't love a good conspiracy with all the creators adding secret back-up plans that foil everything. It remind me a bit of the television show Revolution. There are a bunch of secret plots and plans. There is always something new to learn about the story line. The story does however run the risk of becoming too complicated if the author isn't careful but so far Dan Wells hasn't gone overboard. He just keeps you thinking and trying to figure out the solution to the problems that exist. I want to fight just as hard as Kira does. Her strength and courage are amazing throughout the story. I love strong female roles!

Oh my god, the cliff hanger! I hate it so much. Talk about being left hanging...and not just from one point of view but from all of them. Every single part, Kira's, Marcus', and the friends/adoptive sisters' points of view, has a cliff hanger that makes you want to throw the book out the window! I believe that this is fitting:

Final: I really loved this novel! I read it right after the first one before realizing that the third in the series is not yet out. I almost cried when I found that out because now I have to wait to find out how it ends. It's going to kill me. I cannot wait until the third book comes out and I can find out what's happening to the characters. I think that if you like books like The Hunger Games or other dystopian novels, you should take a look at this series.

Dan Wells...Put out the next one!!!

20 May 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsReviewer: Kristen
Author: John Green
Pages: 313
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary (Okay. Okay, Goodreads): Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Thoughts: I admit, I went into reading The Fault in our Stars with a bit of a bias. Anyone who knows me knows I have an unfounded loathing of Looking for Alaska. I will spare you that rant, because that is one horse that has been beaten past recognition. I am angry at myself - you heard it right, angry - that I didn't just get over my Looking for Alaska bias, and pick this book up. There's a reason it's a New York Times best seller. The story is so hauntingly beautiful that I can only wish to write as effectively as John Green does. John Green does this story justice, and I doubt any other author achieve even a sliver of what John Green has. His pen (or computer, or type writer, or what have you) is the weapon that stabbed me in the heart, repeatedly. John Green wrote this story with such conviction, and he was so unflinchingly honest with the story, that I found myself in tears more than once. Both Hazel and Augustus are people that everyone, and I mean everyone, should strive to be more like them. They have their faults (hahahah get it?), but it just makes them feel real. Both Augustus and Hazel are characters that you feel like you know, that you feel as though you have spent time with them. I loved the constant underlying worry, almost, of what comes next. I loved that it was real. There was no sugar coating, the story was at times, brutally honest, which just made me want to push forward. I, admittingly, had to to put this down more than once because I didn't want to blubber like a child, but again, that's just a testament to what John Green has clearly accomplished. I'm so glad that I've finally moved it from my To Be Read pile, because it had been sitting there collecting dust for a while. This is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of my new favourite novels, and I look forward to reading it many times in the future. Seriously. Buy this. But beware, have some tissues (and by some I mean at least 3 boxes) beside you at all times. 

Final Thoughts: A beautiful portrayal of a harsh reality with the just the right amount of hope.

Reviewer: Kelsey
Rating: 10 out of 10

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel. I fell in love with the characters right away. This book made me feel every emotion from joy to sorrow and it even had me crying more than once. Also, the story tells the truth. People, and kids, go through this. They suffer. John Green didn't coat it or try and downplay it at all. He simply told the truth. I totally agree with everything that Kristen said above. I'm so glad that she forced me to read this book. I would definitely read this one again. You should check it out! 

18 May 2013

Walking Disaster

Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2)Reviewer: Kristen 
Author: Jamie McGuire 
Pages: 433
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 out of 10

Sequel to Beautiful Disaster

Summary (you da best, Goodreads): Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes

My Thoughts: Okay, okay. I know. When you rate a book 5, it always looks bad. But, give me a moment to collect my thoughts and I will do my best to justify it. This book was, in all honesty, just okay. I didn't not like it, but I didn't really enjoy it either. Once I hit the last few pages, it felt like I was reading just to get it done, which is always disappointing with characters you love. And I do love them, but I think that love comes from Beautiful Disaster. I realize that Walking Disaster is a companion novel, but I thought there would be a lot more differences from the first book, because there was honestly so much more we could have learned about Travis. I don't know about you, but this novel kind of made me dislike Travis. And it kind of made Abby seem bi-polar. The attraction wasn't spelt out to you like it was in BD. At the risk of sounding like a nutcase, there was even one point in the book where Abby was saying something, and all the sudden it just felt like... words? The magic of the character was suddenly gone, and it felt like I was just reading singular words strung together in a way with little meaning. Suffice to say, that has never happened before, and I don't want it to happen again. My advice to you before picking this up is to read the BD, way in advance. I don't think I would have even finished it if I had read these back to back. Again, I know companion and blah blah blah. But it is literally the same story, with a few tweaks. The way things are described are even worded the same in each book. It was okay, but unsatisfyingly the same. Yet not entirely the same, because there were some events I thought crucial, that were just glazed over in WD! I don't get it, I really don't. I wish Jamie McGuire would have re-introduced us to characters again. She dived back into complicated story lines that the reader only would have understood had they read the first, and I did read the first; just a lonnnnnnnng time ago. I mean, for Pete's sake, I forgot who Shepley was. On more of a positive note, it was written really well. I loved how things were worded, and I honestly forgot that a male himself didn't write this book. It felt male, not like a female trying to idealize the inner workings of the male mind. Another positive, the cover is hot. Literally no other way to describe it.  

Final Thoughts: It was okay. Just okay. 

17 May 2013

Follow Friday

Gain New Blog FollowersQ: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?

Summer reading means any kind of reading for me! After all that studying (and by all that, I mean, I kind of sort of studied) I will read all the books that magically accumulated in my TBR pile while I was doing the supposed studying. My list right now, however, consists of titles like The Book Thief (which I love and only recently realized have never reviewed), Obsidian, Hopeless, The Fault in Our Stars (how far behind am I - seriously?!). What about you guys? Any of you have your automatic go to summer books?

- Kristen 

I don't have a certain book that I read every summer. I try to avoid buying new books and read the ones that I have sitting around waiting for me. I have a lot of classics or more difficult reads that I can't focus on during school. I read those books though so far I haven't been reading too much. I need to get into the swing of summer still.

- Kelsey

Seriously...I'm Kidding

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Ellen Degeneres
Format: Paperback
Pages: 241
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (Thanks Goodreads): "Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing." Ellen Degeneres' winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

What I Think: Let's get right to it. The first few chapters were the best. They made me laugh the most and I had to keep telling my mom what I was reading. I felt that she had to laugh with me. Mostly,  she just judged me for talking to her while reading but she had read it before me so I know that she enjoyed it too. I thought that as the book went on, I lost interest in it. I wasn't really that it wasn't funny, I was sick while reading it and it lost my attention. It really wasn't my sort of book. I think that in the future I'll just stick to her television show. If you are a real fan though, I think that you would enjoy this book a lot. I have to say that it wasn't what I expected. I thought that it would be more about her life but I think I assumed it was more of an auto-biography but it wasn't. It was more of a goofing around book. It wasn't even really a story. It was definitely just meant for a few good laughs. That's what it gives you so I guess it worked out in the end.

To Wrap Up: If you enjoy watching her television show than you should look into this book for sure. I liked it but think it's a one time read for me, you may think differently! 

15 May 2013

Between the Lines

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 358
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (from Goodreads): New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult and her teenage daughter present their first-ever novel for teens, filled with romance, adventure, and humor.What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

     Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

     And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

     Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Thoughts: A friend of mine recommended this book to me but in the beginning I wasn't too sure if I would like it. I read all the forward stuff, acknowledgments and such, and got the whole background of how this book came to be. I love the story behind the story, that's for sure. I agree with them, this was a great idea for novel! I enjoyed it.

The characters fit the story. They were both stereotypical and not at the same time. Of course the girl that reads wouldn't fit in at school and would dream of a much bigger world. I thought that same about the prince. Let's give a character everything but nothing all at the same time and show how hard he has to fight to get out of his world and into a bigger one. These are types that are used a lot but still work. I think this was one of the few places that this story was lacking. However, as I said, it does work for this book. I did think Oliver was pretty awesome though. He didn't want to fit into his story. Instead, Oliver fights for what he wants and he fights through the disappointment that he somethings has to face. He was a trooper.

The biggest problem that I had with this novel was the solution to the problem. All of these things they tried didn't work. I can't understand where the solution came from or how it could work when nothing else did. I just didn't believe the ending. I just didn't feel it. I think that a bit more thought could have gone into the solution or more time could have gone into explaining why it did work so well. Maybe with a bit more work on that, I could have believed and accepted the ending. 

Another thing to notice is the change in perspective. The story is told from Oliver's and Delilah's points of view but it also has full pages from Oliver's storybook. I enjoyed the points of view but not the storybook pages. It was a great idea but the reader is already given quite a bit of information about what Oliver goes though in the story, I didn't think that we needed to read from the story on top of that. Plus, I had a very hard time connecting why we were being given certain parts of the fairy tale during the story. I didn't really see the connections there. Maybe I needed to look a little bit harder.

Conclusion: I enjoyed this novel and I think that its worth a read. It's fast and easy to read, it doesn't involve a lot of thought or attention. Definitely something to read on a rainy afternoon.

14 May 2013

Infinity's Touch

Infinity's Touch (Infinity's Touch #1)Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Katherine Petersdorf 

Pages: 186
Format: ARC paperback sent by author.
My Rating: 6.9 out of 10

---------------------- This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for a fair review. ---------------------- 

Summary (thank ya Goodreads): Grantland Gordon was a vampire who knew full well the extent of his presence, a presence that was predicated upon by the testosterone that was dripping off of him. All he wanted was to find the chosen one and take revenge the Supreme Being who had destroyed his life and stole his innocence with an immortal bite. After over a hundred years of searching, he had finally found her, the chosen one, Kelly Roberts. Only Grant had never thought that his lifeline would be a chipper, I.M. speaking college girl. Now, he would have to put up with her so that could extract the very revenge he seeks, as well as save the world. Only he never thought that he would fall in love with her. Touch, Embrace, Caress, and give in to Infinity…

My Thoughts: I know, I know. Weird numerical rating, but for good reason. I was stuck between giving this a 6 and a 7 for one sole purpose... I don't think it's the kind of book I would read again. So, yeah, that's my clarification. Anyways... on to the actual review. 

This was a decent read, especially if you're into vampires (and really, who isn't?!). It was quick, there was a neverending stream of action, and you're thrown right into the world that Katherine Petersdorf creates. I enjoyed the core of the plot, I loved the idea, and I loved the background story that was brought forth, because I definitely think it was original. There were a few things, however, that I didn't like, and the pessimist in me insists I start with those. I really disliked Kelly. I think it was her whole, "Well, If I'm smart people aren't going to like me." attitude. In a way, she kind of reminded me of Bella from Twilight (who was mentioned by the way, I'll get to that!). I didn't like the abbreviations. What I did like was that the author gave each character a quirk and something that screamed their character, I just didn't happen to like what Kelly's was. My last complaint about this book was the time frame - which ties directly into the whole novella thing. I think that this is a story that demands to be continued, and demands more almost. It felt incomplete, and I felt like the author could have written a lot more back story/ current thoughts/ real-timey events. I understand that with novellas, you have a word limit, but I really just wished that there was more time to love and understand the characters. It happened in the span of days, and - maybe it's just the pessimist in me, again - I feel that it takes more than just a few hours to really fall, head-over-heels, I'll die for you, kind of love (even if you are a vampire!) There were a few other inconsistencies, and spelling/grammar errors, but that's to be expected in an ARC! 

What I really did love about this novel was that the author doesn't bash you over the head with the fact that we're dealing with vampires. I think that's why I'm generally put off by the idea of a vampire novel. It feels like whenever I'm reading one, I'm constantly reminded by the "burn in the throat" the desperate "I need blood and I need it now!" train of thought. You knew that Grant was a vampire, he was sexy, he didn't shy away from the fact. I also really liked that the author tied in real-world, present day examples of all sorts of books, and television shows, and I think there may have even been a movie or two. Kelly is obsessed with Vampires, so mention is made of things like Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, which just gives it an added touch of realism, that most paranormal novels lack. It made me feel like the story was happening as I was reading it, which is high praise. If an author can make me forget that there is a world functioning while I'm sitting here reading this book, they've done their job and they've done it well. I liked the explanations for things that I've never gotten before in regards to vampires (yes, I decided to pick the most awkward example... but the author briefly covers why man-vamps can still turn it on, if you're catching my drift). It, again, added a realism that most paranormal vampire romance novels lack. Overall, I truly did enjoy this novella. It was quick, it was fun, it was sexy, and it has the makings to be a successful series!

Final Thoughts: Good read, quick. I recommend this especially if you're itchin for some sexy vampire love! 

Huge thank you goes out to Katherine Petersdorf. Thank you for sending me your novella and giving me the chance to review it !

12 May 2013

Lullaby (Watersong #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Amanda Hocking
Format: Hardcover (mine is signed!)
Pages: 290
Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (via goodreads): Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sister—and who's immune to the girls' dark powers. 

While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life.  Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world.  It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs.  Just as she's drifting far away from her old life,  Harper and Daniel find her...but no one can deny how much she's changed.  All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirely—and will they still love her once they learn the truth?

My Thoughts: In some ways, I think that this was better than the first novel in the series. I enjoyed the character development, especially since I already liked the characters. I especially loved that Harper worked in the library. So many good jokes came around because of it. She is also very snappy, I found. Of course, Pen and Lexi made me super angry. Daniel is the best. I want one! Thea also impressed me because Gemma really needed someone to help her get through this and Thea stepped up to the plate. She was a big help and changed what I thought about her. It's good to know that not all of the girls were crazy murders!

Content wise, I thought it was a bit darker and a bit more disgusting than the former. I really couldn't take her "feelings" seriously. I could not understand how Gemma was feeling or how she was thinking during some parts of the story. I mean, yes, I understand that she is not totally human any longer but I expected to be able to understand what was happening inside her at least a little bit. For my, however, it was a bit far fetched (Yes, sirens in themselves are a bit crazy...). 

The biggest issue I had with this story was how anti-climactic it was. I expected more of the ending. I thought that maybe the build up and how the characters interacted would lead up to a very large fight or something but nothing really came of it. There was scheming and threats but not big fight only a small fight  and I saw most of what happened coming before it did. It was kind of a waste, it could have been incredible. 

This book seems predictable enough to guess how it will end but I think that after the first couple books, you have to keep going with it. I still need to know. I want to see how much Gemma can grow and I want to read all the sassy comments that Harper has coming for us in the future. I look forward to the next book.

In Closing: I really enjoy the characters in this story and how they interact; however, I thought that it could have been so much more. I'll still be buying the next book in the series. I need to know how it's going to end.

9 May 2013

Where She Went

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Gayle Foreman
Pages: 264
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7½ out of 10

Sequel to If I Stay

Summary (holla Goodreads): It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Thoughts: I really, really liked this book! Seriously. I (for lack of a better word) hardcore debated picking this novel up. Basically, because I read the first one so long ago, I didn't know if it would make sense to me, or if it would be worth it. Definitely not the case, and definitely worth it. It's a quick read, and worth every second of your time. I personally think it's better than the first, but in the hope for full disclosure, that may just be because I read If I Stay so long ago. This story picks up a couple of years after If I Stay, and this time it is in Adam's perspective. Normally, I don't usually enjoy the male perspective because it feels to forced (?) almost. Ya get me? It's probably because I'm constantly wondering if this is truly what males think about and all that bullhockey. Both Mia and Adam have found success, and I really enjoyed how Gayle Foreman showed how broken, especially Adam, still was. It was extremely well written, and I thank the stars that I decided to just go and pick it up (because seriously, I put it down twice in the same outing before just biting the bullet). P.S, I really seem to have a thing for famous guys lately, who woulda thunk it!?

Final Thoughts: Good read. Better than the first. Definitely consider re-reading this one again!

8 May 2013

Reached (Matched #3)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Ally Condie
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 512
Rating: 7 out of 10

**Spoiler Alert: See Match First**

Summary (from Goodreads): After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

My Take: I was very excited to finish this series. It wasn't that I wanted it to be over, I needed to know how it would end. Though it may not be my favourite novel or series, I could see myself rereading these books. 

The characters stayed true to who they had been and the plot stayed on course. I didn't get lost in any of the science either (there was more than one would think).

Conclusion: It was long but worth it. The book didn't take too long to read either. I'm so happy that everything was tied up in the end and that the author didn't gloss everything over by letting all the characters live; that's not how the world works. 

Short but I finished the series so that definitely says something about the writing technique and story line. I cared enough to stick with it. This book is a lot like others that I've read but is still unique enough to remember. 

I'd recommend this book if you liked Divergent. 

Have at it!

3 May 2013

The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership for the Self: A Parable and 5-Step Action Plan to Transform Workplace Performance

May I just say that that title is the longest title ever!

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Vince Poscente
Format: Paperback
Pages: 115
Rating: 8 out of 10 for learning, 6 out of 10 for fun

Summary (Thanks Goodreads): A renowned speaker, business consultant, record-setting speed skier and Olympian, Vince Poscente believes in the enormous potential of the unconscious mind. Poscente likens the dynamic between the conscious and subconscious minds to an ant and an elephant: "Our minds are separated into two distinct functions the conscious and subconscious elements. Our ant is the intentional part of the brain, but our elephant is the instinctual, impulsive part of the brain that houses emotions and memories and even guides the body to perform vital functions. While we tend to know our conscious minds our ants rather well, we often overlook the power of our elephantine subconscious minds. When we do, unfortunately, we squander a wellspring of human potential." Having seen too many books focused on what a problem or solution is and too few focused on how to solve the problem, Poscente, with his trademark wit, wisdom and steely resolve, created The Ant and the Elephant Leadership for the Self: A Parable and Five-Step Action Plan to Transform Workplace Performance.

My Thoughts:  I thoughts that this story was pretty good. The idea behind it was great and the parable was cute. I felt that sometimes the author left the parable pretext behind in favour of teaching the lessons but, I guess that since it is a self-help kind of a books, this should be expected. I liked that the author gave useful tips for changing as a person and that he didn't gloss over how hard it would be to change. The ant had a very hard time changing just like any normal person would. The owl really tells him what's what. 

So: I would recommend this book to people who have a hard time reaching their goals or to people who want to do better in life. Anyone who wants to change a bad habit could also benefit. This book has some very practical tips all in the form of a cute story about a melodramatic ant. Did I mention that the foot notes are hilarious? 

2 May 2013

Cryer's Cross

Cryer's CrossReviewer: Kristen
Author: Lisa McMann
Pages: 233
Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5½ out of 10

Summary (thank you Goodreads): Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer's Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she's not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world's sweetest boyfriend, behind.

But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to... the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.

Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search--and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried...

My Thoughts: I've read a lot of Lisa McMann's books, and I've never really been blown away by them. They're good, I just probably wouldn't re-read them again. Or, at least, in the near future. And well this isn't screaming to be read anytime soon, it is definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, going to claim my thoughts again. It's one of those stories where I honestly had no idea where Lisa McMann would take it. It had so many potential avenues to go down, but the one she choose was absolutely stellar. I didn't see it coming, maybe I should have, but I didn't. The characters had the right amount of quirks, and some were creepy enough to have me second guessing. It was interesting to see how Kendall developed, however I don't think she was affected enough by the disappearance of Nico... I mean, he was her best friend/boyfriend. The ending was creepy. There is literally no other way to describe it besides saying it was creepy. It was weird and unexpected and somehow totally perfect. This was a really good read. The characters weren't developed nearly enough, in my opinion, and I wish it was a little bit longer. 

Final Thoughts: Decent, kind of creepy read. Probably wouldn't re-read it again, but I don't mind that I bought it for four dollars either kind of read. 
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