Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Evermore


Book: Evermore
Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance (YA)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 306 (Paperback)
Favorite character: Ever, I guess. None of them really stuck out to me.

Plot: (From Goodreads)
After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school-but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head-wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea who he really is-or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.

Review:
I wasn't sure going into the book, because it sounded like so many other YA books out there. And while it does kind of feel like that at the beginning, I loved how it changed from the normal pace of things. And for some reason I had this preconceived notion that this book was about vampires, but it's not. (I don't know why I thought this, but I was so relieved it wasn't.) Anyway, I enjoyed the pacing and the plot and the way the aura's of people are described.

Also, anything with past lives is something that makes me interested in what could come of it because there are so much stuff. I'm not going to spoil anything by going about that further, but I'd recommend this book to a lot of people. It's not a fun and fluff book, though, she's not a very happy person for most of the book with the sensing auras and hearing thoughts and other things. But, overall, I really did enjoy this book and I really didn't think I would.

If you've read this book: tell me what you thought of it. And if you haven't, what's one of the favorite book you've read this year? (Or just recently if it's too hard to choose, I know I have problems choosing.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Darker Still


Book: Darker Still
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: YA Romance/SiFi
Rating: A+

Plot Summary:
The picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. New York City, 1882. Seventeen year old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of a handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like daze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that the details in the painting keep changing...

Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the guilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

( From Goodreads )


Review:

Yes before you say anything I realize Casey has already reviewed this book but 1. this book was too amazing not to review and 2. I haven't really finished any books since i last posted... but that is besides the point. This book was just entrancing, it was impossible to put down. This book kept you on the edge the whole way through with the Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde element of the plot. Then there is the fact that the heroine, Natalie, is unable to speak so the story is told through a diary she keeps.
Now how do I start to explain Lord Denbury, he is handsome, a gentleman, everything a girl would want in a man. So obviously I fell in love with him alone with Natalie. I have always loved Victorian novels but Leanna's Darker Still is now number one on my list to recommend to people. The characters are believable and I found myself really caring for Natalie. The mystery part of the novel was amazing, I loved how the clues and results unraveled with Denbury's possessed body.
Where YA novels are now all about vampires and werewolves Leanna Renee Hieber brought in something new and exciting. I am a fan of her other novels and this story did not disappoint. The end of this book was not a cliffhanger but it gave enough information for me to really want to read the sequel. Have you read Darker Still yet? If you have leave a comment! And if you have not... well what are you waiting for??

-- Haley <3

p.s. YES. I realize this post is late yet again. I kind of suck at these schedule things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler


Book: Future of Us
Authors: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Genre: YA Romance/Time Travel?
Rating: B+

Plot Summary:

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They have been best friends almost as long -at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By Refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcomes of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they are forced to confront what they are doing right - and wrong - in the present.
( from Goodreads )

Review:
What i loved about this book was that it was so unique, no one had though of it which just intrigued me. It also left me with a lot of questions, some could not be answered but they are still floating through my mind. How did they REALLY stumble upon Facebook? What happens to them in the end? Does Emma end up happy? This book was beautifully written, the two writers' chapter's flowed together perfectly.
The Story is amazing. It is a story of friendship, love dreams, fears and so much more. The characters were so easy to relate to, as I am also a teenager.
What I love is they never actually travel to the future they just are watching it from status updates and pictures posted to a website. Emma just wants a perfect life where she is happy and will go to all costs to have it. Also knowing by every little decision we make (yes even like spilling water onto our carpet) can change our future completely. It is really an eye opener.
Parts of this did feel like just a regular boy-next-door kind of story with a science fiction twist. That is really the only reason why it got a B+ instead of an A. If we learned more about how they were connected to Facebook i feel like I would have been more interested. I found that I found Emma slightly annoying at times, but then again what teenage girl isn't annoying sometimes?

Overall thought I this story a cute and quirky quick read. The story was well thought out and the characters were most of the time likable. I never really found the chemistry between Emma and Josh so the romance between them was not as believable. I feel as if I just had too high of hopes for this novel. It was good just not as amazing as I wanted it to be.

-- Haley <3

p.s. sorry this is a day late. I had a CRAZY day yesterday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: Soulless


Book: Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate: Book 1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Romance (Paranormal Romance, Alternate History, Steampunk)
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 384 (Mass Market Paperback)
Favorite Character: Don't tell Conall but it's his Beta, Professor Lyall. He continues to be one of my favorite characters. (Besides Alexia and Conall who I love).

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.


Review:
This idea of Alexia having no soul and with a touch turns the Supernaturals mortal, just for the time she touches them, is amazing to me. I don't know why, but I really enjoyed reading about it and how this book progressed. Also, I'm a bit of a werewolf fan and I love anything set in London is this era, in any era really, but this time period in particular.

The characters are relatable and hilarious to read about at times. And the romance that is brewing can be seen and, personally, watching it form was hilarious. My favorite character is this book isn't Alexia, though she's second, it's the pack's Beta: Professor Lyall. I'm not sure why, but his dialogue throughout the book is just perfect.

This isn't a Young Adult book, though, so if you're going to read it, just keep that in mind.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: Young Adult (Psychological Thriller)
Rating: A

Plot from Goodreads:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
Review:
That little plot summary makes it seem a lot more like a romance novel than it really is. There is a relationship and it is one of the focal points but i found myself more interested in Mara's thought process and how she reacted to things. When you first meet Mara she had just moved to a new state to start over. After her best friends dying, and her not remembering it, she was having a difficult time. She would have hallucinations, she would see her dead friends. These hallucinations were beautifully written and I could really feel how she felt.

Next thing she know she is starting a new school, a preppy private school. She made a fool of herself on the first day because of her hallucinations and already made enemies. She then met a boy named Jamie, who's funny and quirky personality really helped with relief and made me smile. I was sad to see Jamie's character leave from the story but it was because the story got darker and there was no longer a place for Jamie's humor. Then there is Noah Shaw. How do i start to talk about Noah. I hated him. In the beginning at least, I did grow to love him when he started to reveal his little secrets. And of course he was attractive and English which just made him even more gorgeous.

Michelle Hodkin's writing was fast paced and it was believable. The way she made the novel a mystery until the end and still some questions hanging was amazing. In the beginning of the book the main character explained in a letter that she was using the name Mara Dyer as a pseudonym. I went through the whole book wondering what Mara's name really was because the name Mara just seemed to fit the main character.

I wish I could say more but everything else i could say could give away the amazing plot twist at the end. You learn so much in a short amount of pages that I had to re-read them. And let me say I was surprised and I was not even made it ended in a sort of cliffhanger. My only comment is go to your local bookstore and pick this book up. This book was unbelievable and a must-read for anyone. This book was a great mixture of things, and I think any age or gender would enjoy it.

Until Next Time!

-- Haley <3

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Review: Darker Still


Book: Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1)
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: Young Adult (Romance/SciFi)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 317 (Paperback)
Favorite Character: Denbury (He's Denburylicious. :D)

Plot: (from Goodreads)


New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart's latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing...

Jonathan Denbury's soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.


Review:


This was a book that as soon as I put it down, I wanted to pick it back up and read it again. It's a perfect mix between Pride and Prejudice, Picture of Dorian Gray, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (I saw that description and it just struck me how it was exactly that). There is just everything that you could want in this book, mystery and romance. I'm a big fan of Leanna's writing in general, but this book was even better then what I had expected of it.

The characters were likable and relatable and interesting. And there was a good plot and a good momentum. And I was truly surprised, in a good way, by some of the things that occurred. It's also written in a kind of diary entry by the main character, Natalie Stewart, and I normally don't read that kind of thing, but it was written with good details, which I love. It's not what I expected when I realized it was in diary entries, because normally you just have a character telling you what happens, but Natalie shows you with details and what the others had said, quoting them.

I'd suggest, definitely, reading this one. It may not be exactly a short book, but it was quick read, I didn't want to put it down. (Also, that cover is gorgeous. I want that dress! And the model looks like Anne Hathaway, which I thought was kind of cool/funny).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door


Book: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction
Rating: A+

Plot:
(taken from Goodreads page)
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


Review:
My favorite part about this book was that it felt real. The characters were dynamic and were very believable. Lola was a person I would love to be friends with. Cricket was a person that any girl could fall in love with. Lola's two dads were great comic relief and were for sure my favorite characters.
This novel throws you right into the life of a teenage girl living in San Francisco. She is dating an older guy in a band and she thinks her life is perfect the way it is. This is until the Bell twins move back in to the house next door.
Through the whole novel for some odd reason I felt bad for Max. I knew I should not because he was more or less a jerk, but for some reason I still did. The love story was believable and you could feel the connection between the characters.
I love how in this novel Anna and Etienne were not just briefly mentioned but they were main characters coming in and out and actually affecting the story. If you are looking for a cute quick read then Stephanie Perkins' Lola and the Boy next Door is the exact book you need. I read this book in about a day because I just needed to know how it would end.
If I could just have all of Lola's outfits i would be truly happy. I am not a big fan of Contemporary YA but Stephanie Perkins makes me wish all books were like her's. This is a refreshing read and i can not wait until the next companion novel, Isla and the Happily ever after.

- Haley :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Review: Untraceable


Book: Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1)
Author: S.R Johannes
Genre: Young Adult (Thriller/Adventure/Romance
Rating: A
Page Count: 315 (Paperback)
Favorite character: Well, uh... Huh. Tommy, I'm going with Tommy, he's safe. (I can't pick one of the two boys, because I liked them both differently)

Plot: (From Goodreads)
Everyone leaves a mark. What if your could be erased?
Untraceable is a new teen wilderness thriller with a missing father, a kickbutt heroine, and of course - two hot boys.

Review:
I really enjoyed the writing and the little tips at the beginning of each chapter, I love little things like that. I really enjoyed how this book flowed, though, it was really good, loved it. The main character is relatable even if, like me, you don't know how to track people through the woods. It's very interesting to read about her doing such. And it kept me guessing, which I wasn't expecting at all.

I also enjoyed all the twist and turns you take during this book. You take as many emotional ups and down as the main character. Nothing is really for certain in this small town, and it's shocking to learn about what's really happening behind the scenes, per say.

I'd suggest checking this one out, for sure. It wasn't what I was expecting at all and was a good read.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday?

Oh uh hello there? Yes i realize i have not posted in forever and so that is why i am here now. I have given up on NaNoWriMo and school is slowing down a bit so i decided to come back to this old thing here. I have not read much lately because of NaNoWriMo but in the past two days i have read three books so reviews by me should hopefully be coming soon. I know Casey has some kind of schedule going on but to be honest i forget what it is. :P I decided today instead of writing a review for you all i would do a weekly meme called "Top Ten Tuesday" which was created by The Broke and the Bookish . This weeks list is:

Top Ten Books on my To be Read list this Winter:

1. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle: I have been meaning to read this book for forever. I have just been waiting for snow so i can curl up and read it like it was meant to be read.

2. Goliath by Scott Westerfeld: The last book in the Leviathan trilogy has been on my mind since i finished Behemoth but i just have no had time to start it. I love this series though so i am super excited to see how Westerfeld ties everything up.

3. Gone by Micheal Grant: This is series i have been meaning to read since i first saw it in the bookstores. I have heard many amazing things about the books yet for some reason i still have not picked it up and started reading it.

4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: I have been hearing about this book since BEA last year and every since then i have wanted to read it. The plot entrances me yet i still have not picked it up off my bookshelf for some reason.

5. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: I think the only reason why i have no picked up this book to read yet is because the size of it intimadates me and the words are so tiny. The plot sounds so intriguing yet it just looks so long and scary :P

6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: I remember the first time Casey picked this up in the bookstore because she thought the cover was pretty. She keeps telling me that i need to read it i just have WAY too many books to read so hopefully i will get to this one this month

7. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: This is a book i am so excited to get this winter. Cassandra Clare is just an amazing story teller and her books always tend to surprise me.

8. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: Every other english class last year got to read this book except mine. My teacher did not like the book so we did not get to read it. I have always wanted to read this book though i just have no had the courage to dive into it yet.

9. Elixir by Hilary Duff: This book i picked up just because it was written by Hilary Duff and she was pretty much my hero when i was younger and i am just really curious if she is actually a good writer.

and lastly,

10. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler: This plot just sounds brilliant and i need this book and my hands right now. I have heard only amazing things about this book and i can not wait to read it.

Okay so there you happy? You got a long post from me finally after like months and months of me being pretty much dead to the world. I promise i will try and post more here and hopefully i will be going book shopping soon to get more books to read and review for you! :)

-- Haley <3

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood


Book: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendra Blake
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Romance (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 316 (Hardcover)
Favorite Character: Anna.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.


Review:
I really liked this book. I thought it was just going to be normal ghost-hunter thing, but it was really so much more then that. The characters had depth and there was an amazing plot. And the writing in this book just took my breathe away at times, it was amazing how this story was written, I think. I loved the way things were explained and how the people were written.

I really enjoyed Kendare Blake's writing style, nothing particularly stuck out to me, but it also didn't get in the way of the story. I just enjoyed the way that some thing were described or said. Really, I just loved this book.

I'd suggest checking this one out if it sounds like something you might you like. (And that cover is gorgeous, on the hardcover copy, the letters are raised in the title and it's like they have a halo of blood. It's amazing)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: Coraline


Book: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Horror, Adventure, SciFi/Fantasy (Middle-Grade)
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 162 (Paperback)
Favorite character: the cat. I have no idea why, I just loved that stupid cat.

Plot: (from Goodreads)

Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.


Review:
I loved this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was amazing. I had only seen like clip of the movie and I was glad, I feel like that would of made the book's impact less, I'm not sure why. I really loved Coraline, the main character, and her parents. Her normal parents, that is. And the neighbors, really, I just really liked all of the characters.

This was my first Neil Gaiman book and I really loved his writing style and the way he described the way things were happening and the surrounding was just so very good. There are also some creepy drawing in this book that I really loved, they also added to the book a lot more then I thought.

Overall, I'd defiantly recommend it to anyone who likes a good creepy book.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker


Book: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 322 (Mass Market Paperback)
Favorite Character: Alexi. Oh, definitely Alexi.

Plot: (From Goodreads)
What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent- and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death.

Review:
I picked this book up because Leanna was having a signing with a friend of mine, and I read it on the way back home. I didn't finish it on the ride, it just wasn't long enough, but I just couldn't put it down. And even when I had to, I'd pick it back up quickly and continue reading. This was an amazing read, it's not something I would of picked up, if I'd seen it in a store, just because the cover doesn't really look like something I'd normally read, but I loved it.

However, I couldn't tell you exactly why I loved this book so much, I just did. I loved the characters, the plot, the mythology, the setting. Victorian England is a favorite place of mine and I love reading about it, especially in this book. Leanna just captures it so well.

So I'd suggest that you pick this one up and give it a try. And it's sequel and maybe the prequel.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

Okay, so I've been thinking about doing an In My Mailbox type thing. I don't get books to review, I normally just review what I'm reading and/or what came out that week. However, I do buy too many books and I want to show them to you. I'm not going to put a synposis about them because that would make the post monstrous. And if you want to check it out, there will be a link to Barnes and Novel, just click on the title for that book.

Books I bought this week. From Barnes and Nobel:
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Envy by Gregg Olsen
The Wizard Heir(Book #2) by Cinda Williams Chima
The Warrior Heir(Book #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Blue Moon(Book #2 in The Immortals) by Alyson Noel
The Secret Circle (The Initiation and The Captive Part 1) By L.J. Smith
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

From The Book Depository:
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievater
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren
Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber

All these books look so good, I can't wait to read them. I think the first I'll be reading is Darker Still, I'm going to squeeze it in even though I shouldn't. And I'm hoping to have a review up the day it releases, I just have so much school work, too, and books to read for that. Also, I bought a couple books in a series, that I just haven't had time to read the previous books yet, but that's, apparently, how I do things. Also, the first book in The Immortals series hasn't come in the mail yet, so I can't start it.

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren, you should check out her blog. Now, I'm off to read, I'll be back with a review on Tuesday! Have a good week, everyone. Also, have you read any of these books yet? Did you enjoy them? No spoilers!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I'm sorry and update!

I'm so sorry I didn't post today, Haley slept over, we woke up ridiculously early and went to the Renaissance Faire and then the bookstore. Also, I love this Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule, especially because it's making me read when I wasn't reading before(but probably should of been).

However, for the month of November I'm only going to post once a week. It's all I can do. I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month, a month in which people embark to write 50,000 words in a month. I'm challenging myself a little this year and I'm sorry to say I jus can't read during the month, so I'm just going to get the posts written ahead of time and try to be sane enough to post them.

However, until November, the 9 days until, I'll be posting regularly, I'm sorry to say that today was just a completely crazy day. And I think I might post on Sunday of a quick "In My Mailbox" kind of thing, but without the video making.

Sorry again! I'll post an In My Mailbox tomorrow to make up for it. Hope you had an awesome day and a book filled weekend.

~ Casey

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review: Camille


Book: Camille
Author: Tess Oliver
Genre: Paranormal Romance (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 252
Favorite character: I think either Camille herself or Nathaniel

Plot: (from Goodreads)

At a time when society conforms to the strictest rules and most proper etiquette, sixteen-year-old Camille Kennecott and her guardian, Dr. Bennett, live a most unconventional life. They hunt werewolves.

When unwitting victim, Nathaniel Strider, wanders into one of their full moon pursuits, Camille and Dr. Bennett believe they have found a specimen for their study. Finding a scientific key to unlocking the mystery of lycanthropy would end their late night excursions. Yet beneath the irresistible exterior, Nathaniel is transforming into a flesh-tearing monster, and as each experiment fails, Camille's loses another inch of her soul to him. She knows that in a month's time she must face the prospect of destroying the boy who has stolen her heart.

Camille is a young adult, paranormal romance set in Victorian England.

Review:
I loved this book. The characters were believable and human and the mythology that is created is just so interesting. The book is full of twists and turns and even surprised me a couple times, which I wasn't expecting at all. I don't want to say too much, to give too much away, but I really enjoyed the backstory of Camille and her sister.

It's a really good, cute, short read and if you like werewolfs and some romance all set in Victorian England, I'd definitely recommend that you give this one a try. It's indie-pubbed so I don't know how easy it will be to find in physical form, but you can get it in eBook form.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Book: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Genre: SciFi, Fantasy(Paranormal, Histoical Fiction (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 352 (Hardcover)
Favorite Character: I really couldn't pick one, so I'm just going to go with Jacob.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.


Review:
This book wasn't at all what I was expecting of it, but I really enjoyed it. I liked how the pictures were worked into the story and how they compared to what I had been visualizing was always interesting.

The characters in this book are amazing. I'm not going to say too much about them since I don't want to give too much away, but they are definitely a main reason to check this book out. And Ransom Rigg's writing is another, I found myself really enjoying it.

I'm not going to say anything else so I don't risk giving anything away, because it's really fun to read not really knowing anything about it. (Also, I love the cover and title, they're just amazing!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Wither


Book: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Dystopian (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 358 (Hardcover)
Favorite character: Gabriel, just... Gabriel. I really loved Jenna, though, too.

Plot: (From Goodreads)
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?(

Review: 


I don't know why I loved this book so much, it was just so different then other books that I'd read. I still haven't really read anything like it. I'd read dystopian before,but the fact that these girls were going to die so young was just so different. And all three of these main girls were amazing and I adored them.

I, also, really enjoyed Lauren DeStefano's writing and how she described this world, because it may still be earth in places we know, but so much has changed between now and this fictional dystopian future. I think that's why I liked it so much, was because it didn't take much description for one to know what was being spoken of.

Anyway, to sum it up, I really loved the writing, plot, and characters. If you like dystopian then this is a good one, but if you don't really like said genre, then, this might not be the best book for you. If you've never read dystopian, then, maybe now is the time to try it out, it's a pretty fantastic genre, I love it.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: The Time Machine


Book: The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 118 (Paperback, pubbed by Signet classics)
Favorite character: The Time Traveler, as he really is the one that you're with for most of the book.


Plot: (From Goodreads)
“I’ve had a most amazing time....”   So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth.  There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.  Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.


Review:

This book was amazing, I don't know what I expected but it wasn't what I got. And I was definitely thankful for that. My favorite part of this book was the world building. I'd suggest anyone to read it. I found myself really enjoying Wells' writing. And I really liked the characters, the young man, the time traveler, the other ones, too, even though none of them had names it was still interesting to read about.

I don't want to give anything away for this book, so this is going to be a very, very short review. You should go give this one a go, though, it's a classic for a reason.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: The Goddess Test


Book: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Genre: Fantasy(Mythology, Romance (YA)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 293
Favorite Character: I think Kate's mom, which is kind of random, but I really liked her. And Henry, of course.

Plot: (from Goodreads)

EVERY GIRL WHO HAS TAKEN THE TEST HAS DIED.

NOW IT'S KATE'S TURN.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she suceeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.

IF SHE FAILS...


Review:

At first it was a little hard to get through, not because it was bad by any standards, but it was just different. I really enjoyed this book as a whole, though. I love Greek Mythology, any mythology really, and all of these retellings are just amazing. And I like that this one isn't really a retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth. I mean, it is, but it's a whole different story.

I really liked all the characters and, while there is a list of who is who, I had a bit too much fun trying to figure out which one was which. Henry was very dark and tortured, but he wasn't really that dark, just dark to kind of hold people at arm's length really.

On the whole, this was a really good book. The characters were interesting and real, the retelling aspect was done well, and the writing was enjoyable. So if you like Greek Mythology, or even if you don't, I'd suggest giving this one a try.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Review: The Son of Neptune


Book: The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus Book 2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Childrens
Rating: 5/5
Page Count:
Favorite Character:

Plot:
Percy doesn't remember any of his life before he woke up in the she-wolfs company, except the name of someone: Annabeth.
Frank is a klutz, but his grandmother said he's descended from heroes. He hopes his father will claim him soon, he hopes it's Apollo. He feels like an ox, because of how bulky he is, but he is allowed to share his deepest secret with his closest friend, Hazel.
Hazel should be dead, she died. But her brother thought she deserved a second chance. However, she doesn't think anyone will like her at all when they find out about her "gift."
Together can they finish the quest and try to save the camp?


Review:

This book blew me away. There might be spoilers for the first book in this series, The Lost Hero, so if you haven't read that you might not want to read this, but go read The Lost Hero. Go. Now. It's amazing. Anyway, I read this in pretty much one sitting, in one day. I was trying not to, trying to slow it down so I could savor it.

The characters in this book, I loved. Obviously, Percy I had already read about and was already extremely attached to, so it was surprisingly nice to, well, see him again. Even if he had no idea who he was at first. The other characters, though, the new ones I really enjoyed learning and getting to know them.

The writing in this book is as good as ever. I really enjoy Rick Riordan's writing style so I wasn't surprised that I liked it. So if you read the Percy Jackson series and read the first book in this series but you're unsure about this one for whatever reason: read it. It's amazing and good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: The Iron King


Book: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 363
Favorite Character: Robbie/Puck is my favorite. I love Ash, but he isn't my favorite, I'm sure that will change in later books as everyone seems to adore him.

Plot: (From Goodreads)


Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


Review:

First off, I love faeries so I knew I was going to really enjoy this book, and I did. The writing was good, not the best, but I did enjoy it. And Meghan, the main character, is fun and interesting to read about, I enjoyed watching her devlop and grow in this book.

The faerie lore in this book was fun to learn about and the adventure that ensues as Meghan tries to find and rescue her brother is a really a lot of fun to read about. It's very faerie heavy, though, so if you don't like that particular creature, then this might not be for you. But, overall, it's a good book.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: The Lost Hero


Book: The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy(Mythology), Adventure (Middle-Grade)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 557
Favorite Character: Difficult. Very difficult. Our of the new characters, I think Piper might of been my favorite. Maybe Jason.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.


Review:

I loved this book. A separate series in the same world as the Percy Jackson one with even some of those characters mixed in? Count me in. Now, you probably shouldn't read this review or this book if you haven't read the Percy Jackson series, which you really should read, because they're really good.

The new character are Jason, Piper, and Leo and are all really awesome. I can't think of another way to describe them. This book takes you on a journey that is thrilling and fun and you won't want to put this book down. I didn't want to, at least. So much happens and at the end of it, you're just left wanting more. The writing is as good as ever, I really enjoy Rick Riordan's writing and this book is no exception. I also love the way that all the mythology is explained and weaved into the story.

If you like Greek Mythology, you should really read the Percy Jackson series and this one, The Heroes of Olympus. And even if you're not, they're both really amazing series.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review: The Near Witch


Book: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 282
Favorite Character: Lexi, the main character, is probably my favorite. I really did like pretty much all of them, though.

Plot: (From Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.

Review:
I loved this book. Especially because it was almost like the retelling of a fairy tale, but it was one the author had made up. Very good book, I read it in one sitting. It's also timeless, because they don't give a year. It could be happening right now, or it could of happened 100 years ago.

The characters were also just so well developed. It's not an extremely long book, but I feel like you got an amazing feel of all of these characters in this time.  I also loved the romance in this book, there wasn't a ton of it, but it was there and adorable.

I loved the writing, the characters, the story. This book was really beautiful, I think, is the best way to describe it. Everything just flows so well together and I loved it. I'd recommend this book to pretty much everyone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Name of the Star


Books: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 372
Favorite Character: Rory, definitely.

Plot:
(From Goodreads)


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London, it's the start of a new life at a boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Review:

So Maureen is possibly one of my favorite people in the world, not just authors. And it's definitely in part because of this amazing sense of humor she has. And it passes over into her books, you can just tell. That is probably one of the main reasons I liked this book so much.

The other, aside from it being about Jack the Ripper, was that it was just so good. Ghosts, Jack the Ripper, it was like this book was made for me. I tried to read this book slower, but it was just so good I devoured it.  And I love the characters in the book. They're developed and they're wonderful and fun. I'm a big character person, I like being able to understand what a character is about.

Some of the humor in this book, as I said before, had me laughing hysterically. However, I'd suggest that you read this book. You should just read it, no matter what.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: Goliath


Book: Goliath (Leviathan #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: SciFi, Alternate History (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 543
Favorite Character: This is difficult, I love all of these characters so much. Probably Deryn, though.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy.


Review:

This was a perfect conclusion to this series. First off, I just want to compliment the art in this book, I wish more novels were illustrated. Steampunk ones specially. Keith Thompson did an amazing job at it and it adds just that extra element to the story.

If you've never read this series, then you should read it. It's one of my favorites, and possibly my favorite Steampunk. They were among the first Steampunk books I read. So if you haven't read this books then what have you been doing? Go pick up the first one!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review: The Red Pyramid


Book: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology (Middle Grade)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 516
Favorite Character: Maybe Bass. Carter and Sadie I love, too.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.


Review:

Rick Riordan is one of my favorite writers, became of the Percy Jackson series. Anyway, though, Carter and Sadie are really amazing characters and I loved all the Egyptian mythology that is in this book. I, also, love how it's written. As if he wrote it from tapes that Carter and Sadie recorded and sometimes there are little comments from them, which I love.

I'd suggest this book for, really, anyone. It's entertaining and Carter and Sadie and the rest of the characters are likable, lovable even, and diverse and interesting.  Especially if you have any interest in Egyptian mythology.

Also, something that made me giggle, especially being a fan of Percy Jackson:
Amos's brow furrowed as he looked across at the Empire State Building.
"Manhattan has other problems. Other gods. It's best we stay separate.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: Blue Noon


Book: Blue Noon (Midnighters #3)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 
Favorite character: Still Dess. She's just so nerdy and bad-ass.

Plot: (From Goodreads)


The darklings will hunt once again.

The secret hour when time freezes arrives every night at midnight in Bixby, Oklahoma. It's a dangerous time, when five teenagers are the only humans awake and dark creatures crawl out of the shadows, but at least the midnight hour is regular and predictable.

Until suddenly, the blue time comes . . . in the middle of the day.

The noise of school stops. Cheerleaders are frozen in midair, teachers brought to a standstill. Everything is the haunted blue color of the midnight hour.

The Midnighters can't understand what's happening, but as they scramble for answers, they discover that the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling. Soon the dark creatures will have a chance to feed after centuries of waiting, unless these five teenagers can find a way to stop them.

A desperate race against time, a mind-blowing mystery of paranormal logic, a tale of ancient evil and spine-chilling sacrifice: blue noon is the exhilarating third volume in the Midnighters series by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.


Review:

First of all, there are possible spoilers for the first two books in this review, I try to avoid them, sometimes it's impossible, though. So if you haven't read the first two, maybe you shouldn't read this review.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it was a really good ending to this series, I really enjoyed it. I mean, I had some problems with it, but I've resigned myself to just accepting it. As I'm sure you saw, Dess remains my favorite character. I did like that Jessica's younger sister, Beth, played a bigger part in this.

The whole series, overall, I really enjoyed. The characters are real, not all lovable. I'd definitely suggest this series, it's not perfect, but it is really good. And Scott Westerfeld's writing is really good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: The Power of Six


Book: The Power of Six
Author: Pitacus Lore
Genre: SciFi/Fantasy (YA)
Rating: 3/5
Page count: 406
Favorite character: I really couldn't pick one. Maybe Sam. But probably Marina

Plot: (From Goodreads)

I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.


Review:

I loved the plot, but the reason the rating is so low on this book is because I felt like all of the characters just were off, they weren't acting like themselves. And I feel like that was to fulfill the plot requirements.

The reason that the rating isn't lower is because I did enjoy the book, still, even if I felt like the characters had all had a personality change on me.I, obviously, didn't outright hate this book, I just didn't enjoy it as much as the first. I still really enjoy Pittacus Lore's writing style just because it's so weird, there's no other way to describe it.  If you enjoyed I Am Number Four, I'd suggest giving this one a shot.

I think the main reason, besides the plot, that I liked this book enough that I gave  it 3/5 stars is the new character that's introduce, Marina. She's number seven and I really enjoyed reading about her story. She's such an interesting character and I really don't have anything bad to say about the parts of the book with her in it, she might be the reason I read the next one. And just to figure out how it ends. (Also, I hate the thought of leaving a series unfinished)

Did you like this one more then I did if you've read it? What're your thoughts on it?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Book Review: Touching Darkness


Book: Touching Darkness (Midnighters #2)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Page count: 439
Favorite Character: Still Dess.

Plot: (From Goodreads)
The Midnighters are unprepared for a new threat that stalks them in the daylight. This time, Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in danger in this second volume of Westerfeld's mesmerizing trilogy.

Review:

There are possible spoilers her for the first book so if you haven't read that one, you might not want to read this. I didn't love this book as much as the first one, if you asked me why I couldn't tell you exactly why. I did really like it and it made me love and respect Dess even more.

This book is a little darker then the first but just as intriguing to read. The relationships of the characters were so intricate and I think that the reason I still really liked this book is because of the characters and being able to look further into each other their "special powers" that they possess.

If you're still wondering about this series and if you should read it, I'd say give it a shot!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon


Book: Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Genre: Fantasy YA
Rating: A

Plot:

Azalea and her eleven sisters are mourning the loss of their mother but all they want to do is dance. Every night, the sisters step through a secret enchanted passage to dance in The Keeper's garden. The Keeper is trapped within this secret passage, and he wants to get out. And as his name suggests he likes to keep things that do not belong to him.



SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS



Review:

This story is a retelling of the old fairy tale called, "The Twelve dancing princesses" but with a few new twists. This book captivates you from the start when you are introduced to all the princesses. Each princess has such a distinct character trait that you can tell who is who by just the conversation or description.

This story also has an amazing back story that could take up a whole book itself and I do not think anyone would mind learning more about how the magic got into the castle. The setting of the story is also very believable and you get to know the layout of the castle and the gardens very quickly.

This book is quite large ( around 500 pages ) but I never felt like there were boring parts, there was always something going on or you were introduced to a new important sub-plot. I was engaged through the whole book and I did not want to put it down.

When i read the passages where they were dancing in the secret passage I always got goosebumps because I knew eventually The Keeper would tell them that they must pay him back. When he danced with Azalea I could feel the tension between them. Keeper was written perfectly because it gave the book that little bit of suspense that it needed. He he was my favorite character without a doubt because he has such a creepy vibe to him and you just wanted to know more as the story went on.

The biggest message brought across in this book is that family is important. There was romance, yes, but family was what tied everything together in the end. If the sisters did not have each other then they would not have made it through. Also the King at the end pulled through and showed the princesses that yes, he really did love them and that he would risk his life for them. This was really touching to me because he was so cold to them after their mother passed.

I would for sure recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales and retellings because it kept the perfect amount of the original story but also had the twists and turns in the plot that really made it amazing.

-- Haley <3

Full Dark, No Stars


Book: Full Dark, No Stars
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Rating: 5/5
Page count: 386 (Paperback)
Favorite character: Out of all four, it might of been Darcy. Or Harry.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

1922
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.

Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.


Review(s):

1922 was quite, well, gross. It was a really good story, but it really reminded me of Dolores Claiborne, another of his books. I loved that book, but, for some reason, I found myself thinking about that one a lot while reading this one even though they don't really have that much in common.

Big Driver was well written and creepy as hell, but in a good way. It was such a weird book to read and she didn't react in some ways how I thought she would. Tess is a very, very strong women and it shows through her actions in this novella.

Fair Extension was very good. I love it. Deals with various evil creatures are always, not quite fun, interesting to read about. It's always interesting to see how they must pay. This book was really good, it was, if I ordered them, my second favorite out of the four.

A Good Marriage. It was good. It was even great. I liked the way it happened, and that the wife is the last to know. Isn't she always, though? It was an interesting plot, I was intrigued to figure out what was going on. Darcy is a very strong character and I don't know how she keeps it together for so long. This is definitely my favorite novella in this collection.

This collection, as a whole, is definitely not for the faint hearted, but if you're not that and like horror or Stephen Kings book, then I'd suggest picking this one up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: The Secret Hour



Book: The Secret Hour (Midnights #1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Urban Fantasy/SciFi (YA)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 297
Favorite Character: Dess

Plot: (From Goodreads)

Nobody is safe in the secret hour.

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.

Time freezes.

Nobody moves.

For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time.

These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.

Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.

A story of courage, shadowy perils, and unexpected destiny, the secret hour is the first volume of the mesmerizing Midnighters trilogy by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.




Review:
Such a good introduction to an amazing series. I really did love this book and the characters. I liked that it changed perspective so that we could see what everyone was doing and how everyone sees each other and their actions, my favorite part of multi-POV books.

I was so intrigued with the concept of this book, I hoped I wasn't getting my hopes on how this one would turn out too high and I didn't. I really did live up to what I expected and a little bit more, the way that some of this is described was enthralling to read about. Scott Westerfeld's writing is amazing.

If you haven't read this book then what are you waiting for? The characters are believable and human, there's some romance, and some Fantasy/SciFi mixed in.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Book: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Rating: B

Plot:

This story starts off in the small city of Wall. Tristan Thorn lived in wall all his life. One night Tristan and the women he fancied, Veronica were taking a stroll when a star fell from the sky. Veronica said that if Tristan received the exact star that she would give him anything his heart desired. Thought to get this star he would have to cross over the wall that stands between his normal suburban life and the land of Faerie. On this journey, he is not the only person searching for the star, which leads to many problems.

SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS SPOILERS

Review:

I did see the movie first and then read the book so my review might be slightly biased.

When Neil Gaiman wrote this book it was obvious he was trying to make a fantasy fairy tale for adults and show them anyone can enjoy fantasy. Because he did this I found this book shifting between adult and children. For one you have the cute little tale of the boy, Tristan, going to win the affection of his true love then you have very disturbing images like when the Witch cut apart the unicorn. There are also a few sex scenes, which in a fairy tale you just don't expect to be reading about how the main character was conceived.

While some parts of the story I found obvious there was also the quick and surprising action scenes that I really did enjoy. Like when the Star ends up at the inn with Primus. I also really enjoyed the character development between the Star and Tristan. Their constant banter gave the book the humor relief it needed.

The land of Faerie was describing beautifully and for a minute you really do believe a land like this could exist somewhere. The way the market was described and how they went into detail about the things being sold there really just made me want to go. I wouldn't mind owning a glass flower or a bottle of dreams. A coat of night would also be pretty cool.

The one thing that really changed this rating from an A to a B was the characters. You will find this out very quickly but when I read a book I need to be attached to a character. I need to care about where they are and what happens to them. In this book i didn't feel that for any of the characters. Tristan slightly annoyed me at times and the Star never really stood up for herself and what she wanted. She also doesn't really have a name until almost the end of the book.

Overall, I really would suggest this for a teen audience (as long as you don't mind sex scenes) and for anyone that loves fantasy and learning about a new land. Also you must like adventure a lot of this book is Tristan traveling, but traveling also means new people. So there are a lot of characters to go around. Stardust is magical and intriguing, a really great read.

-- Haley
p.s. I never really introduced myself. My name is Haley and I am the other blogger here. Nice to meet you! :) Also this is my first review ever. So be nice! :P

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just a Hello.

So this is a blog made for book reviews. Hello, I'm Casey, I'll be posting book-like THINGS here. Containing book recommendations and possibly giveaways when we get to a certain number of followers, or something. Also, we might be vlogging about said books. Sometimes there might be a lack of blogs, if we have finals or we're away, but on other times there might be more then 1 post a day. It's going to be very laid back, especially at first. Maybe later we'll have a schedule.

And by 'we're,' I mean, there is going to be more then just me. You see, I am boring. But I do like books. And so does my friend Haley who will be joining me in this book blogging and possibly vlogging fun. We shall see how this goes.

Here are some links to find us:

Casey:
www.twitter.com/werewolfluvr119
werewolfluvr119.tumblr.com
youtube.com/user/werewolfluvr119


Haley:
www.twitter.com/shopaholic3100
shopaholic.tumblr.com
youtube.com/user/shopaholic3100

And there is a YouTube channel connected to this, that we aren't sure what we'll do with yet, but here:
www.youtube.com/user/storynotions

And if you go "I wonder if Casey/Haley is on *insert random social media*" Probably. Just search the username.