Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Picks for the Week

…or year.

There are so many books on my floor that I’m trying to read before I return them to the library, it’s insane.

Add to that my smaller pile of books I own and haven’t yet read, and it becomes COMPLETELY insane.

However, because of my obsessive THATBOOKLOOKSGOOD disorder when I go to the library every Monday, I got three more to read!!

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade” — a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square. For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate. Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Steel by Carrie Vaughn
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
 The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
I'm marooned.
 Left to rot in boarding school . . .
 Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world.
 There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.
 Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.
 But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.

I’ve already started Steel, and so far it’s really good!!

So I just thought you guys deserve a list of all the books I’m technically “currently reading”:
Tiger’s Quest by Colleen Houck
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Steel by Carrie Vaughn
A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

What are you reading?
What did you get/receive lately?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Starcrossed

Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: 2011 by HarperTeen
Obtained: Library
How do you defy destiny?
 Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
 As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
First Sentence:”’But if you bought me a car now, it would be yours when I go away to school in two years.’”
Starcrossed was like the better version of Twilight (or really any paranormal romance). While Twilight left my favor quickly, after a spurt of fandom, due to the horrible writing and completely aggravating characters (and the vampires), Starcrossed will not be so quick to die by the hands of critical readers.

First the writing is quite lovely. There were no glaring mistakes (like Twilight!), the plot was well-crafted, and the mythology behind the whole story was believable and intricate. She had a great premise in my opinion (I’ll read anything related to Greek mythology), and she created a great mythology-based adventure. It’s funny, but when I read something like the Percy Jackson books, I get used to demigods being a certain way, having certain attributes. Then I read other books dealing with the same stuff, and I have to get used to the new set-up. It’s strange.

Ms. Josephine knows how to create relatable and likeable characters. I loved all of Lucas’ family, Helen’s dad, and the kids at school. Even the “bad guys” were complex and interesting.

I’m sorry I can’t help but compare this to Twilight. Both share similar elements. For example: the first meeting of the two almost results in death, they “just can’t” be together, she spends a lot of time with his family, his sister can read the future (to a certain extent), her dad is a single parent and clueless to his daughter’s second life, and the family spends time watching the girls house for intruders with entails the guy to have to sleep so close to the girl (le gasp). Why is this “protect the girl’s family from the unknown bad guys by hanging outside her house at night” thing becoming so prominent? At the same time as it makes sense to the plot, I feel like it’s some cheap romance trick to get the guy in close perimeters to the girl at night.

I realize that I’m probably taking my angst for Twilight-like novels out on Starcrossed (which is the first truly similar one I’ve read. I know there are a lot more ones like Twilight out there, I’m just avoiding them). But I couldn’t help noticing the similarities. It really is a great book, worth reading. I will be reading the sequel when it comes out.

Oh hey! I’m getting really sick of first books in series ending in “oh goodness we’re in love but I just found out from the EVIL PERSON that we’re related” when it’s so obviously a lie (at least I find it obvious). Also, they have proof that it’s not true, they just aren’t thinking!! It’s probably just some way to make the first book end more devastatingly.
------------------------------------------END OF THE SLIGHTLY SPOILING PLOT SECTION!!!!

The end result of this review is that I liked Starcrossed. I really did. But I felt the way I felt watching the first few episodes of Legend of the Seeker. WHY DOES THIS REMIND ME SO MUCH OF SOMETHING ELSE?!?!? (It reminds me of Eragon, by the way) Now, I realize that with most books the second author isn’t copying, but similarities are obvious enough that when you’ve read/seen one, it’s annoying to read/see the other.

So basically, if you haven’t read Twilight (good for you!), you’ll totally love this book. If you have read Twilight you’ll see all the similarities, but appreciate the better talent/story.

Rating: Capture878

Content Warning: Honestly, I don’t remember much. There was probably some language and I know there was kissing.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Picks for the Week! (8/22/11)

Picked up some new books from the library today!!!

So these, plus the ones I didn’t finish from last week, are the ones I’ll try to read this week.

Cloaked by Alex Flinn

I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.
 It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.
 There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.
 Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.
 Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
 But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
 Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

Starcrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

In a glamorous castle full of Llyvraneth's elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.
And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents, and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn't really a lady-in-waiting; she's not even really Celyn Contrare. She's Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the king's Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she's discovered, it will mean her certain death.
But life as a lady-in-waiting isn't safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he's blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers-about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista -- could signal civil war in Llyvraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.
Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.
Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.
Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.
This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.
Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.

I’ve already finished Wrapped. :)

Once again, I apologize for being so far behind in reviews!! Trust me, I hate it as much as you do. I’m realizing (really obviously and stupidly late) that writing the review RIGHT after I finish it is best (or at least the next day). So I spent my evening writing my Wrapped review, which I don’t want to post it until I have the rest caught up (I like them posted in the exact order I read them in), instead of writing an older review. So I’ll continue to write the reviews for new books I read, as I write the reviews for the books I finished a while ago.

Anyways! Have a fantastic week!

Also, if you’ve read any of these, or plan to, share your thoughts in the comments!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball

Title: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author: Jessica Day George
Published: 2009 by Bloomsbury
Obtained: Library
Princess Rose is the eldest of twelve sisters condemned to dance each night for the wicked King Under Stone in his palace deep within the earth. It is a curse that has haunted the girls since their birth – and only death will set them free.
Then Rose meets Galen, a young soldier-turned-gardener with an eye for adventure and a resolve that matches her own, and freedom suddenly begins to seem a little less impossible. To defeat the king and his dark court, they will need one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all – true love.

First Sentence:
"Because he had once been human, the King Under Stone sometimes found himself plagued by human emotions."

I am a big fan of fairy tale adaptions. I don’t care if it’s the five millionth (*cough*Cinderella*cough*) or the third. I’ll probably love it. This was no exception.

Although I was never well acquainted with the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses, I picked up on the basics right away and fell in love with this adaption.

No real need to get into a lengthy plot summary. It’s just the 12 Dancing Princesses with the twist of the King Under Stone who forces them to dance because of a deal their mother made with him.

The characters were probably the element that made this book amazing. Princess Rose was such a cool character. She was the eldest sibling, trying to be a mother and a friend/sister all at once. Not only that, but she had to deal with the continued stress of dancing every night and not being able to tell anyone about it. Obviously this makes her super stressed, so it was nice to see her and Galen start a little romance. All the other sisters (all of their names were flower names, so it got a bit confusing as to who was who) were into different things, so their personalities were very unique/different. I loved the “sister support” they gave each other. That’s a lot of sisters to have, but they all loved and cared about each other enough to avoid most problems.

Galen was a pretty cool guy. A bit flat maybe as the main male character, but I thought he and Rose were really good together. His transition from soldier to gardener to investigator was realistic. Overall he was a nice guy. I mean, a man who knits in his spare time? How useful is that!!

Jessica Day George is obviously very talented at writing in general, and adaption fairy tales. I’m definitely planning on reading her other fairy tale adaption Princess of Glass.

Rating: Capture878

Content Warning: Nothing.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: 2010 by Penguin Group
Obtained: Library
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long awaited French kiss?

First Sentence:”Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge.”

So I’m feeling torn about this book. While it pleasantly surprised me, there were some aspects I disliked.

Anna is very unhappy about going to France for senior year (which I get, but at the same time. . . IT’S FRANCE). Her dad is trying to exercise his wealth, and this includes using it to send her to a fancy boarding school. When she arrives she’s completely lost. However, she does establish friendships with four of the kids there. One of those four is Etienne, or St. Clair as everyone calls him. He’s completely cute and funny and amazing. BUT. He’s got a girlfriend. So as Anna tries to navigate France, a new school, her new friendships, and her own feelings, she learns a lot about herself.

This may sound like just another YA realistic fiction teen cutesy book. It’s not. I’ll give it that. This book is very “serious”, bringing in emotionally abusive parents, cancer, divorce, drinking and much more. This is a very emotional story. Anna goes through a lot in France, and even more at home.

Our protagonist Anna is a bit of a worrier. She gets nervous about everything. She over-analyzes things and doesn’t like trying new things. She’s very content with where things are in Atlanta. But when she comes back for Christmas vacation, she realizes that not only has she changed, but not everything was the same as when she left. Over all I liked her as the main character. She stood out from all the other boring similar first-person narrators in YA fiction.

Anna and Etienne have a very tight friendship (although she likes him the whole time) and they talk all the time about everything. Christmas holiday causes them to talk constantly for support during their various messed-up vacations. Ms. Perkins gives us this idea of “home” being a person, not a house/place. Anna only really feels home when she’s with Etienne. I think that should be true for friends/married or engaged couples/boyfriends and girlfriends. Home isn’t necessarily just a building you live in. It’s the people there (or not there).

All the “tourist-y” moments out and about in Paris were lovely. It made me desperately want to travel there (not that I didn’t before).

I can’t really explain why I didn’t “love” this book. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, I guess.

Rating: Capture878

Content Warnings: Kissing, “awkward” moments, and LOTS of language.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Published: 2008 by Disney – Hyperion
Obtained: Library
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.
This is the story of how she got that way.

First Sentence:”Though not, in hindsight, so startling as the misdeeds she would perpetrate when she returned to boarding school as a sophomore, what happened to Frankie Landau-Banks the summer after her freshman year was a shock.”
This is the first book I’ve read by E. Lockhart, and I LOVED it!! I love her writing style, her characters, her genius plot, and her sense of humor.

Frankie is starting her sophomore year at her boarding school, and she’s looking and feeling better then ever before. This year she doesn’t have her older sister to rely on for social status, so she has to gain high status. Then she starts dating Matthew, who is a senior (!), and she eventually senses something’s up with him. Since he continuously lies to her about where he’s off to, she follows him. From there she decides to take his club into her own hands since they think girls are inferior and she has so many great ideas for it.

I loved all the characters so much. Her level-headed roommate Trish, Trish’s boyfriend, Zada (Frankie’s older sister), Matthew, Alpha, and, obviously, Frankie were all fantastic no matter how long or short they were present in the story. Frankie’s interactions with her older sister made me wish I had an older sister. Alpha was a really complex character. He was the most interesting to watch. And of course, Frankie herself was pretty awesome. She still had some insecurities with being popular (she knew the fickleness of “fame”), but she was aware of her new good looks. This is awesome because most books have the main girl character disliking her physical attributes, which gets annoying after a while. So it was refreshing to have a female main character with a healthy dose of self-esteem. Also, I loved that Frankie would learn things in her various classes and then apply them to her life. Makes school work seem all the more important, as long as you listen well.

I have to say, the ending left me feeling like more was owed me. It was a good ending in a sense, but in another sense it was kind of sad and open-ended. I feel like there needs to be a sequel. But since this came out in 2008, I’m pretty sure Lockhart meant this to be a stand-alone novel.

I read this while working at my church’s summer camp, so I would definitely say this is a lovely summer read (although sadly we’re at the end of this summer!). It’s just so fun, upbeat, hilarious, and still a “thinker”.

Rating: Capture878

Content Warnings: Kissing, mild language (I think).

Blog Sig.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
Taylor balanced herself on the bottom beams of the catapult like MacArthur in South Pacific. ‘Beauty is pain. And in this case, it’s someone else’s pain.’
- pg. 127, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray


Blog Sig.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Picks for the Week!

So I just ran by the library to pick up three books that I had put on hold, when, lo and behold, three more pretty books which I had been wanting to read were sitting on the shelves. I assume they were waiting for me. :)

Anyways, here are the ones I just got and plan to read in the next few weeks.

(Also, I’m really sorry about not being up-to-date with my reviews, I’ve been really busy. I'm planning on writing them soon. However, school starts on Wednesday, so it will be even harder to keep up.)

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:
 lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),
 lost her best friend (Kim),
 lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),
 did something suspicious with a boy (#10),
 did something advanced with a boy (#15),
 had an argument with a boy (#14),
 drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),
 got caught by her mom (ag!),
 had a panic attack (scary),
 lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),
 failed a math test (she’ll make it up),
 hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),
 became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)
 and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).
But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.


The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?
As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type.
 On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up.
Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)
 Six weeks of parent-free freedom.
BOY freedom.
Freedom of expression...
cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, theatre!!

I am VERY excited to read this batch of books!

Have you read any of these? If so, how were they??
Are you planning on reading any of these?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Series: Dustlands #1
Published: 2011 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Obtained: Bought
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives bearing four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
First Sentence: “Lugh got born first.”

Holy cow. This is one of my new favorite books (good thing I already bought it!). I just love everything about it. Shall I make a list?
  1. Jack
  2. Saba
  3. It’s Dystopian
  4. the cover
  5. the western feel
  6. Emmi
  7. The Free Hawks

This book is seriously amazing. From the western slang writing to the extensive and well-thought-out fight arena concept to the genius evil worm thingys.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! I’m having a little fan moment over here just remembering all the fantastic scenes this novel packed in.

Okay. I’ll calm down and try to explain a little better.

The time is long after our civilization and most of the area is sand and mountains. There are droughts and junk heaps, basically the place is a mess. Saba’s family is out in the plains with less rain than usual, a recent-ish death (the mother), a maybe a little crazy dad, and not much food. Then these raiders come and take Lugh, her slightly-older brother, away. Now, to Saba, Lugh is the sun and moon. She adores him. She wants to be just like him. So obviously she has to go after him. But his capture wasn’t just ordinary kidnapping, it was a long time plan of The Sun King, the sort-of drug ruler. This makes her life even MORE complicated and so the book rushes on with a million different awesome moments and more amazing characters. Along the way Saba realizes that, yeah Lugh is great, but I’m also pretty smart and I need to stop thinking I’m second-rate.

One of the issues many people have with this book is the simple writing style. This is a result of western slang, Saba’s simple thought process due to lack of education, and the nonexistent quotation marks. I know. If you’ve read Girl in the Arena, you know how frustrating it is when author’s change basic grammar rules. However, in Blood Red Road, it works. It’s not that confusing if you just read it like a narrative. For me, who likes to skim past long narrative bits and get to the “good stuff” AKA dialogue, this kind of writing actually makes me read more of the novel, and not get so caught up in the quotation marks. So I didn’t mind too badly, instead, I enjoyed the different style.

Oh. Jack? He rocks.

I pretty much NEED a sequel. Right. Now.

Probably going to reread this as soon as I have time. I miss it already.

Rating: Capture878 Yeah.

Content Warnings: Saba curses a lot. I mean, A LOT. Aside from bad language, there’s kissing (and not too much, that I remember).


Review: Tiger’s Curse

Title: Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Published: 2011 by Sterling Publishing
Obtained: Library
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

First Sentence:”The prisoner stood with his hands tied in front of him, tired, beaten, and filthy but with a proud back befitting his royal Indian heritage.”

So this book was rather fantastic.

Let me tell the ways. First we have the classic cursed-prince-is-now-an-animal story element. Throw this into the modern day. Add a circus as a starting setting. Then move the story to India. Oh and the prince is a superhot guy. Voila! Pretty much amazing!
So Ren, or whatever his Indian name is, was “cursed” or something and now has to spend the majority of his day as a tiger. He gets a few hours (I can’t remember specifics) to be human, and when those are up he changes back to the tiger despite his attempts to stay human. Oh and he’s immortal pretty much. Ren and Kelsey meet up at her summer job, a circus, where Ren is the tiger exhibit (He’s been in zoos and circuses for YEARS because of the curse). She develops a bond with this strangely calm tiger, and soon travels to India to “help care for Ren on the journey” AKA “help him break the curse.” She soon discovers that “OH MY GOODNESS, the tiger’s a man!” From here we have jungle adventures, temples coming to life and then caving in, magic Indian tattoos, the arrival of a mysterious brother (also tiger-cursed), and a fancy house. Regular Indiana Jones stuff.

Even though most people would have hated the ending of this book, I actually liked it because it left so much more for the rest of the series. I also liked it because it made sense. I understand why Kelsey would do something like that (trying not to spoil anything). So I felt it was more realistic to end this way. I respected Kelsey a lot more than I respect other heroines in YA fiction. She was hesitant to get into a relationship and didn’t just go “omgiloveyoumarryme?” Instead it took awhile for Ren to get through to her and for her to open up to him. Although, by then I was ready to shake her for not kissing him sooner.

My major problem with this book series is the love triangle I see developing. I don’t mind love triangles. While they aren’t that realistic, they let readers split and debate about the romance of the story, where in a book with an obvious ending couple there’s nothing to question. HOWEVER. I think that having the love triangle involve a girl (Kelsey), a guy (Ren), and HIS BROTHER (Kishan) is just kind of strange. I’m getting mad at the very thought of this happening (and I have started the second book, and can pretty much say that I think it’s happening. For realz. I dislike this).

So aside from the whole triangle thing, a slow beginning, and the weird parts where Kelsey thinks “but I love you as a TIGER, not as a MAN,” it’s a very enjoyable book. I will definitely continue reading the second book even though I’ll be hitting my head against the wall as I do it.

Rating: Capture878 Yeah, I’ll give it 4… It was quite fantastic.

Content Warnings: Kissing


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...