Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court.  But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection.  Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.
Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks.  But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.
Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.
A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

YES! I haven't read an honest to goodness fantasy in awhile, I'm talking knights, princesses, magic castles, the works. So reading The False Princess was a real treat.

I really loved the plot of this book. We've all read the story of a girl suddenly discovering that she's a princess but the girl discovering shes NOT a princess is a whole new take. O'Neal did an excellent job of capturing the emotion Sinda must have felt. I loved that she really incorporated Sindas personality into her emotions, most people would be angry at being shipped off and I loved how she intertwined the sadness and the duty to her country. I loved the friendship between Kiernan and Sinda, they were very realistic friends and watching them realize that they were in love was very enjoyable.

I think that one of the things that made this book so great was the supporting characters, don't get me wrong, I loved Sinda, but without the other characters for her to banter with the novel really would have fallen flat.

A great 2011 Debut! I will definitely be looking for more of O'Neal's books in the future.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The release date is........

November 8th! YAY!!!! At this point I'm sure you're all very confused so I'll explain. The fourth book in the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr) now has an official release date. The book will be titled "Inheritance" (which I found surprising because I had heard a rumor that it was going to be titled Empire) will officially be released on November 8th, 2011. Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover?

I really wanted to love this book, but I just didn't. The plot of it reminded me a lot of She's the Man which is one of my favorite movies, so I expected to really enjoy it, but I just didn't.

I liked some aspects of Natalie, her voice was funny and I loved the fact that she was a writer and an actress, however I thought it was kind of silly how after asking three guys their opinion on something she decided to go to a boys school. I also liked Emilio a lot, I wish we had gotten more of a look at him and his past, it would have been interesting to have this book from dual perspectives, Natalie's and Emilio's.

This is a quick read good for laughs and a fun love story. Worth picking up but not the most original story I've read.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. (From the Hardcover edition.)

Yay Dash and Lily! I loved these two, I loved them apart and I loved them together. Dash, I loved Dash, he's so sad but in such a sarcastic way. You just want to cuddle him and tell him everything is going to be alright. I also loved Lily, although she was the complete opposite of Dash. Lily is the type of girl that we all know, but never actually know, her story about her worst Christmas almost made me cry. All of the supporting characters were great as well, I felt like I was in Dash and Lily's world, and I loved every second of it.

One of the things that I loved about this book was how witty it was. The conversations and thoughts definitely didn't just pertain to teens, this book would appeal to many audiences. There were parts of the book where I was literally laughing out loud (unfortunate since I was reading in public, and I got some weird looks).

This book left me with a longing to visit The Strand and to have an adventure with a sad, sarcastic hipster. I loved loved loved Dash and Lily's Book of Dares.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

Friday, March 11, 2011

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end

I literally just finished this book and have been sitting here yelling about the ending for about fifteen minutes. REALLY CASSANDRA CLARE? I mean just throw us this news that we didn't even see coming and crush our hopes! ( I don't want to give the reason I'm freaking out just in case any of you haven't read the book yet, those of you who have probably know what I'm talking about.) I mean jeez! I love a good plot twist, but this?!

Ok. No more ranting, onto the review!

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Oh my goodness it was fantastic. I loved all of the characters especially Clary Jace and Simon ( I know three of the main characters, kind of obvious but they were great). Simon's constant sarcasm was hilarious and I loved his and Clary's entire dynamic. I also loved how Clary held her own in the tough new world she was shoved into, that girl was not going to take crap from anybody!

All of the action sequences in this book were awesome. They kept me on my toes, that's for sure. As for the whole half-human half angels part of the Nephilims history, I think that's really going to come back strong in the other books. Something tells me Clary's instincts to draw Jace with wings weren't a coincidence.

I really have nothing bad to say about this book except for of course the thing I was ranting about in the beginning, and even THAT was an awesome twist. So glad I finally got around to reading this book, if you haven't read it yet, don't hesitate to go pick it up.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

I wanted to love this book. But I didn't, I really liked some parts of it, but other parts...

Ren where we definitely saw the butt kicking side of her but sometimes I thought she was too timid, however I do think that she made the right choice in the end, although I thought that it was very sad.One thing that really shocked me was that I found myself being team Ren. He's usually the kind of character I hate, overpowering stupid guy, but he was so much more! You could see that he genuinely cared about Calla, and I kind of loved his cockiness. One thing you could say about the love triangle in this book is that it was SEXY, really, the book was dripping with sexual tension.

I really liked how we got the background of the Werewolfs history in this book. I love when you get historys of the societys, it just puts the book up a notch.I also liked the dirtyness that we see in Calla's world, there are so many obvious flaws and injustices that just make you want to shake the werewolfs and say  "Really? Your working for THESE people?".

I guess my apprehension to love this book comes from the fact that it could so easily turn into one of those whiny YA romances where the main character just sits in the back like a sad puppy dog and lets herself center her world around boys. I really hope that Cremer doesn't let this happen, because this novel has the makings of a truly awesome series.

Cover: 5/5 (is the cover sparkly? The cover I had was covered in plastic so I couldn't really tell).
Ending: 4//5 (ok the ending made me angry, I don't want to give it away, but really?!)
Plot: 4/5

Sorry for all the little comments on the ratings, I guess this book just gave me a lot to say. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly MeMe hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers share the books that they can't wait to read.

This week I'm waiting on Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (book two in the heist society series). I love Ally Carter's writing and the last book left us on a cliffhanger, so frustrating.

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly MeMe hosted by The Story Siren where  bloggers share what they've gotten this week for reading.

From the Library:

I've heard really good things about this book, the description reminds me of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac which I really enjoyed.

Another series that I've put off reading, hopefully I enjoy it.

I'm really excited to read this one, the plot sounds really interesting. Also a 2011 debut.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still Sucks To Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Caution If you haven't read the first book in the Mina Hamilton series Sucks To Be Me and you are planning to you might not want to read this review, as it might spoil the story.

With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn’t any less complicated!

In this eagerly awaited sequel to the popular Sucks to Be Me, Kimberly Pauley addresses many of her fans’ most pressing questions (Will Serena become a vampire? What happened to Raven? What’s next for Mina and George?) with signature humor and breezy bloodsucking style.

I really enjoyed Sucks to be me and was very excited when I heard there was a sequel, and after reading this one I really hope there will be a third!

The best part of this book is, of course, Mina herself. I love her sarcastic attitude and her over-all teenageness, even the undead can be immature! I also really enjoyed the new characters that we met, Cameron was *sigh* my favorite. I wish we could get even more insight into Cameron, I feel like we got a taste but not a full explanation and background (third book? third book.). And ohh the love triangle, I do love a good love triangle even if they are rather torturous at times.

I'm not sure if I found the plot of this book as satisfying as the first one. While I did really enjoy the whole history aspect of it, it didn't draw me in like the plot of the first book. The characters are more of what drove me to finish this one. The ending of this book definitely leaves it open for another book (yes i'm mentioning a third book again)and I would definitely be picking it up if one did emerge.

On a side note how cute are the little pictures above each chapter? So adorable! I wonder if the author drew them herself?

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Ending: 4/5

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell

“Ive got my entire life planned out for the next ten years including my PhD and Pulitzer Prize,” claims 16-year-old overachiever Vassar Spore, daughter of overachiever parents, who in true overachiever fashion named her after an elite womens college. Vassar expects her sophomore summer to include AP and AAP (Advanced Advanced Placement) classes. Surprise! Enter a world-traveling relative who sends her plans into a tailspin when she blackmails Vassars parents into forcing their only child to backpack with her through Southeast Asia.

On a journey from Malaysia to Cambodia to the remote jungles of Laos, Vassar sweats, falls in love, hones her outdoor survival skillsand uncovers a family secret that turns her whole world upside-down. Vassar Spore can plan on one thing: shell never be the same again

I'm so glad I picked this book up! From the cover I kind of expected this book to be more on the serious side however I was pleasantly surprised to find some laugh out loud parts.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book. Vassar was the epitome of a perfect high-school student and seeing her being forced into compromising situations (most of which i totally agreed we're completely ridiculous) was both frustrating and thought-provoking. The banter between Hanks the Asian cowboy and Vassar were some of my favorite parts of the novel. I also really enjoyed Vassar's grandmother, mostly because she was nothing like my grandmothers and she completely clashed with Vassar's personality.

One thing that I wish had been changed however was the epilogue of the book, we we're left with a quote rather than an actual what the characters are doing now epilogue. Other than the ending though I really enjoyed the plot of this book, at sometimes it was a little unrealistic but hey, It's fiction, not everything has to be real! Definitely a book that deserves to be more widely circulated.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Ending: 2/5
Cover: 3/5