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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Everwild by Kayla Jo

This is one of those books that you read after having read a bunch of books with the same plot and you just think "so books CAN be different!". That didn't happen to me but I imagine it could happen to someone... :D So anyway down to business.

I got this book on Amazon on a whim and I'm glad I did. From the first page, it absorbed me. This book is about witches and all that fantasy stuff but it puts a new spin on it. It's also very real. the main character, Willow Rose (I LOVE her name by the way!), is an immature 16 year-old but she has her bright moments. she's lived a sheltered life so it was nice to see that the author kept it real by making her act that way. She doesn't know a lot about the world or at the most just knows a bunch of facts with no experiences to go with them which is to be expected for her situation and age.

This is a 4 star book to me for two reasons. One, I'm sure you've heard me say before - it just isn't a true fangirl book for me. I won't obsess over the characters or imagine what it would be like if Willow ended up with someone else or how she will defeat Hekate or anything like that. Yes, I have an extreme urge to get the next one but it wasn't great.

The second reason, I haven' said about many books but I feel like I have to say it about this one. The love story between Willow Rose and Declan was extremely predictable. Declan gets pushed into the portal, they go on a long and dangerous journey alone, they fall in love, and have relationship problems along the way. Of course that isn't entirely true but if I say why, it will be a spoiler and I've been trying so hard lately to have spoiler free reviews so that's that.

So four stars for a really good reality but lacking in the relationship originality department.

Oh and P.S. I LOVE the cover - beautiful!!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

This whole series made me cry. Just reading what each character had to live through (or not live) was well... heartbreaking.

This is a five star series to me for many reasons but I'll just share one with you - the most important one (well to me it's important). This series was realistic. Well as realistic as you can get with werewolves.

Example 1) Sam and Grace's relationship. I love how it's mostly focused on the emotional and not so much on the physical. Granted, there's more physical stuff mentioned in this book than the other ones but there was still that balance. Also, at times, they found it hard to say things to each other. In some other books, the character can say anything to 'the one' but to me that seems a tad unrealistic.

Example 2) The plot antagonist/main problem. There is no world ending, no apocalypse, no extreme circumstances. While that's great and all, it's nice to know that some places in the world are still experiencing the basic problems of trying to keep a pack of wolves/humans alive. It's just a more manageable problem that everyday people can handle (well some people, I can't speak for everyone...)

So five stars!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Amethyst by Heather Bowhay

This book reminds me a lot of Touched but somehow stays separate in my mind which is something some books I read have trouble with. Their respective authors just can't separate their inspiration from their own writing.

I loved everything about this book - the plot, the characters, everything! I can't wait to read the next one! The author left it off at such a perfect place! I won't have a book hangover but I'll still be in suspense therefore making me want to read the next one.

I rated it 4 stars for one reason and one reason alone - everything just seemed like it was being skimmed over. At first glance (read) it looks complete enough but it just wasn't deep enough for me to become truly invested. As I've said countless times, I'm an emotional reader and truly appreciate deep books that carry me with them. This won't be a book I fangirl about or dream about being in that world. Nonetheless, it's an amazing book and it earned it's four stars!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Yeah. Ok. So it took me a while to figure out my feelings for this book. The first time I read it, I absolutely loved it and I couldn't get past my own feelings to actually accurately rate the plot, characters and just the overall writing. So I read it again. And again. And again. This time, I think I know what to say.

After finishing this series in it's entirety, I felt so incredibly sad because I wouldn't get to see all the different relationships in the book progress. The plot of this book was focused differently than other dystopian's I've read. The others focus on the rebellions and the overall movements of the people. This book focused on Juliette's personal journey from scared little girl to a strong and independent woman. I actually really liked that however I think I would have liked an epilogue just to see if they win the overall rebellion and what happens after that. But the way it ended (the last sentence - OMG) was amazing too.

I love 3 main things about Tahereh Mafi's writing. 1) Her characters are so fluid. Just like real people. She doesn't have to force them to become real, they just are because she writes them that way. It's like she isn't even aware that their fictional characters because they are real in her mind. 2) She is the QUEEN of metaphors. I didn't think so many things could be comparable but the way she writes her metaphors just paint beautiful pictures in my mind. 3) Just her writing style. She doesn't worry about fragments or run-on sentences. For example, when Juliette is frantic and panicking, her sentences are run-on's showing Juliette's train of thought that doesn't stop. Or when she's in shock or speechless, all the sentences are short. It's in this way that the book is perfectly paced so you feel like you're in Juliette's head and seeing everything truly from her eyes.

Oh, and I LOVE the cover's for all 5 books!! So gorgeous!

This book is truly a work of art, full of mind-blowing metaphors, beyond real characters, riveting plot, and phenomenal pacing. I absolutely loved it and wouldn't take it any other way. 5 perfect stars!

Now for some quotes I adored:

“I can do anything I want. 
Be with anyone I want. 
And it'll be my choice.”

“Why do you call her 'love'?" James asks. "I've heard you say that before, too. A lot. Are you in love with her? I think Adam's in love with her. Kenji's not in love with her, though. I already asked him." 
Warner blinks at him. 
"Well?" James asks. 
"Well what?" 
"Are you in love with her?" 
"Are you in love with her?" 
"What?" James blushes. "No. She's like a million years older than me." 
"Would anyone else like to take over this conversation?" Warner asks, looking around the group.”

“I’m not sure. But there’s something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There’s a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we’d never say in the light.”

“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

“And we are quotation marks, inverted and upside down, clinging to one another at the end of this life sentence. Trapped by lives we did not choose.” 

“Water that never moves." I say to him. "Its fine for a little while. You can drink from it and it'll sustain you. But if it sits too long it goes bad. It grows stale. It becomes toxic." I shake my head. "I need waves. I need waterfalls. I want rushing currents.” 

“I promise myself then, in that moment, that I will hold him forever, just like this, until all the pain and torture and suffering is gone, until he's given a chance to live the kind of life where no one can wound him this deeply ever again.” 

“He looks up, so slowly, gold lashes lifting to reveal more sadness and beauty that I've ever seen in the same moment. I didn't know a person could convey so much with just one look. There's extraordinary pain in him. Extraordinary passion.”

“I'm not falling for Warner," I say quietly.
"Sure you aren't."
"I'm not," I insist. "I'm just-- I don't know." I sigh. "I don't know what's happening to me."
"They're called hormones.”

“Damn,” Kenji says after a moment. “Damn damn damn. This shit is bananas” 

“Hanging out with you has made me weird, J. All I do is sit around thinking about my feelings these days. Thanks for that.” 

“But I'm also strong enough to break through just about anything," I tell them, "and without even injuring myself. Concrete. Brick. Glass-"
"The earth," Kenji adds.” 

“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

You just gotta love Jessica Darling. She believes she sees through everything when really, she sees next to nothing. Her whole world revolves around high school whether she means it to or not. But what I really liked about this book was that she realized that in the end and started making her own choices. Somewhat. I don't have much to say other than that. I mean, I'm mostly reading this series for something light when my day was anything but. This series has been a successful distraction thus far and hopefully, that trend will continue.

Heart to Heart by Lurlene McDaniel

I'm actually giving this one a 3.5 for one reason in particular - it didn't really have... substance. Yes, it was so touching and made me cry and was a beautiful story about love and loss and redemption and healing but it just didn't have any luster. I have to say, I love reading Lurlene McDaniel's writing but I don't know, this one just didn't click right with me. By all means read it! It's a good book and will get you thinking about the important things in your life. I just didn't find it that outstanding.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

This whole series is just blowing my mind. SO MANY FEELS! The ending is... well I can't think of any way to describe it. It's sad, hopeful, resigned, determined, and bittersweet. It's a good thing I have the next one on hand from the library! I really don't know what to say that won't give anything away... I guess I'll just mention why I gave it 4 stars. Yes, it evoked emotions out of me but it didn't have that deeper level of thinking that I love to have in a 5 star book. Also, because I really need to start taking the rating system seriously and stop rating every book I cried while reading a 5 star review! I have to crack down no matter how much I want to give this 5 stars! I don't know how to explain it, maybe it just didn't strike the right chord for me... it was an amazing book, but for me, something kept it from being truly amazing. That's all I got.

4 stars, following my unconscious 6th sense I guess...

Light by Karla Corona

So many thank yous to the author, Karla Corona, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!

I can honestly say I loved this book. This book is by a younger author and she did extremely well for her first book. It made me cry! That is some feels right there! I'll admit, I was slightly apprehensive when I started this book just because I've read so many fantasy books about fairies and such that I was worried it would just be a copycat book. It was quite the opposite. The plot was so far off the beaten path (at least that I've read) which I thoroughly enjoyed.

So the characters. As I read the book, I definitely saw growth in Alyna's character (Lucy). She's 16 and definitely acts exactly as one would. The only thing I have to say is that sometimes, the writing (especially the dialogue) was a little stiff and formal and not really in a conversational tone. Other than that, I absolutely loved all the characters! Especially Ray *blushes*.

As I already mentioned, the plot was so different than any other fantasy book I've read which was such a nice change. Ms. Corona wrote a fairytale that we all dreamed of as children but gave up on as adults. But no fairytale is all happiness and she perfectly integrated the elements of evil (namely faymons) into the story. Some things were left out, and then explained (or half-explained) later which sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Also, there were a crazy amount of plot twists that had me going on an emotional roller coaster. I won't say anything or I'll ruin the surprise so I'll just tell you that it definitely keeps you guessing! The ending was fabulous. There's an ongoing theme/message throughout the book but it becomes clear at the end in case you missed it. Ms. Corona perfectly gathered up loose ends and sewed together the seams of the story, allowing the message to make it's way to the reader.

4 stars for this book! I love love loved it but there were a few things that took away from it's overall awesomeness. Ms. Corona has so much potential and I dearly hope she writes another book - you can be sure I'll read it!
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