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Satisfyingly Fun: Sisters’ Fate by Jessica Spotswood

Hiya!

Moving Sale

Our first yard/moving sale earlier this month.

So, things are getting pretty chaotic around my house! We make our big trans-Atlantic move in less than three weeks and the house is a mess of boxes, not to mention all the stuff we’re selling! Selling most of your things is strange in two ways. First getting rid of it all has mad me understand that yes, it is all just stuff that can be replaced. However, I have also seen myself go all “Gollum” about certain objects! For example, I have these two naked New Kids on the Block dolls (Joe and Donnie for those of you interested) from childhood and Husband gently tried to get me to throw them away. I responded in a very “precious my precious” kind of way and now, needless to say, they are safely inside a box that has been taped up and is going on our shipping pallet.

Somewhere in the midst of all the chaos and NKOTB doll hoarding, however, I managed to find time to read the concluding book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Sisters’ Fate! I had been looking forward to this final installment in the series for so long and I’m glad it was able to be my relaxing read in the midst of the transition and change!

Sisters' Fate by Jessica SpotswoodOverview

A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.

My Thoughts

I am not specifically drawn to witches when reading but definitely to any storyline where characters have special magical abilities. I can’t help it! I just am a little obsessed with fantasy! Spotswood’s alternate history series mixed with fantasy is one of my favorite because its just a fun read and a good conclusion to the series. Honestly, sometimes I am let down by the concluding book in a series (ahem… we shall not name some of those infamous let downs here), but none of that happened with Sisters’ Fate. This installment picks right up where book two left off—I would have freaked if it hadn’t—which means that there is pretty much a ton of things happening at all times! We have secret meetings, memory erasing, romance, fighting, angry mobs, prison breaks, fires, pestilence…and did I mention romance?! *winky winky*

Interestingly enough Sisters’ Fate doesn’t read like your average final installment. There wasn’t this sense of things being closed down throughout like in most final books in a series. In fact I found myself wondering just how Spotswood would end everything because there was so much going on! I even checked Goodreads to double check that it was, in fact, the last book. This a unique quality for the end of a series because it shows that Spotswood didn’t check out of the storyline early — she instead continued to bring the same action that we found in the first two books and doesn’t begin tying things up until the last quarter of the story. In the end, some relationships were healed and some weren’t. Some loose ends were tied and some were not and I enjoyed that it wasn’t all tied up in a pretty package!

To be fair however, sometimes I did get annoyed with the back and forth bickering between Maura and Cate…and even sometimes Tess. Maybe this is normal for sisters? I don’t know because I don’t have any. It did seem as though a spat between Cate and Maura punctuated every cool action the storyline had for us and at times I felt like some of the arguing could have been reduced, but it does all play a roll wrapping the story up so I guess I really shouldn’t complain. Either way, the sisterly arguments, while maybe annoying at times, didn’t seriously interfere with my enjoyment of seeing the Cahill sisters’ stories come to conclusion.

Don’t read Sisters’ Fate unless you have read the first two books in the Cahill Witch Chronicles, or else you’ll be utterly and totally confused. But, if you did read and enjoy Born Wicked and Star Cursed than I definitely think you’ll find this to be a satisfying end to a fun trilogy!

Want to win this book? Check back tomorrow morning for my interview with author Jessica Spotswood and a giveaway of Sisters’ Fate!

Details

Author: Jessica Spotswood

Publisher:G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (August 14, 2014)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 368 pages

Series: Third/Final book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles

YA/MG: YA/MG

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A Sometimes Predictable Page Turner: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Grumpy Cat Dislikes Valentine's DayAwww…I hope you aren’t left alone with Grumpy Cat today!

In college I devoured Philippa Gregory’s shocking Wideacre trilogy (I totally don’t recommend that series…just trust me) and The Other Boleyn Girl pretty quickly. I love historical fiction, especially when it involves some romance thrown in there for good measure. So, when I heard Gregory had written a Young Adult novel, I was intrigued. Well, this YA novel, Changeling, was at my Fall Book Fair so I knew I had to buy myself a copy…to help the kids of course! :)

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger Changeling by Philippa Gregoryin its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.

Philippa Gregory’s books, simply put, are fun travels through time, nothing more and I’m pretty sure I read Changeling in a manner of days. I was hooked from the beginning when you meet Luca in his medieval prison cell.  We quickly learn of The Order of the Dragon, a real religious order specially selected and tasked with defending Christianity from it’s enemies, which of course was a big deal in medieval Europe. Luca is so ready to be rid of his charge of heresy that he accepts the “call” to this order without really knowing anything about it. So, he is sent off to travel Europe to learn about the things Christians fear.

Enter Isolde, her mysterious ladies’ maid and the nunnery she is forced into.  Enter romance (wink wink)! Also, enter the mystery.  The nuns are having strange visions, there is talk of werewolves, witches and other heretical occurrences. What the reader gets is a historcial mystery that is so engrossing you really can’t stop turning the pages! I had to know what was really going on in this nunnery!

The burgeoning romance between Isolde and Luca is interesting because it’s forbidden. Both have committed to the monastic life, although each was forced into it in different ways. Romantic love is not a possibility for them, even though it’s staring them in the face. Gah! The tension and frustration was fun, but also incredibly predictable. There is another romance brewing however, that is a little more interesting and less predictable.

Okay, so Changeling wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was entertaining and intriguing. It’s kind of like a YA Davinci Code, a page turner you can’t help but enjoy and I’m definitely down for continuing the series.

Author: Philippa Gregory

Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 24, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 256 pages

Series: First book in The Order of Darkness series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Changeling (Order of Darkness 1) by Gregory. Philippa ( 2013 ) Paperback

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The Troll Toll: The Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking

Well hello there BookTasty Fans!

*props to whoever gets the tv show reference in the title…*

I’m back! I know I haven’t posted a review in a little while (because the end of the school year is always jam-packed with events that take up my time) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I promise!

Recently I read (listened to) the entire Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking….see I was reading!

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers heSwitched by Amanda Hockingr mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become. (summary from book one, Switched)

I was at my public library searching for an audiobook to listen to. It seems that they can’t keep up with my listening habits because there wasn’t anything that a. I hadn’t already read or b. was actually interested in. So there I was scouring the small audiobook section, when I came across Switched, Torn, and Ascend all sitting there like they were waiting for me to choose them. So I did.

I’m kind of lazy, so this post will be about the whole series, rather than reviewing each book independently.

When I started Switched, I was surprised by how much I was actually enjoying it! From the start I saw Wendy as an interesting character. She is flawed, hurt and knew that she never quite seemed to fit in. I love the whole idea of WTorn by Amanda Hockingendy’s mother trying to kill her because she believed her to be evil…I mean that whole scene described was pretty intense! No wonder Wendy is so messed up! I even liked the potential romance that was heating up between Wendy and Finn. The whole premise behind Wendy’s feelings of not fitting in is pretty cool and makes a lot of sense once you’ve realized what actually happened when Wendy was born. And she really does mature in some ways by the end of book three.  So, book one…I’m cool with you!

Then I got to book two, Torn. And this is where I realized that I wasn’t loving the series as much as I had while reading Switched. Don’t get me wrong, so much more happens in book two, and so much more is explained, but it’s also where the love triangle is introduced….DUN DUN DUUUUN!! I don’t normally have major issues with love triangles, but this one was super frustrating to me. Wendy pretty much gets tossed back and forth between Finn and Loki and can’t seem to get her own emotions straight.

And then we get to Ascend where the love triangle becomes…WAIT FOR IT…a love QUADrangle! That’s right…three guys and one Wendy! What’s a girl to do?! Kiss them all and marry one (whom she doesn’t love) so she can pretend she doesn’t need the others.  Oh Wendy…I can see right through you! Stop it! Be a strong young woman and just pick one of these guys instead of running into their arms one after the other. uurrrggghhh

Ascend by Amanda HockingOkay, so what was pretty frustrating for me while reading the Trylle trilogy is the way in which the love tri…quadrangle overshadows the rest of the plot. There was some really potentially cool stuff happening between the Trylle and Vittra tribes involving war, secret powers and birthrights, but all that is treated like small potatoes compared to the romance, which is such a shame.

So, all this aside. Was the Trylle Trilogy entertaining? Yes.

Did I enjoy these book? Sure.

Did I love them? No.

Did they have major flaws? Heck yes!

I have students who completely love and highly recommend The Trylle Trilogybooks, but in my mind these books are categorized as superficial fun romances with a little supernatural/fantasy thrown in. Not the first books I’d recommend to readers, but if this is what you’re in the mood for, like I was, then go for it.

Author: Amanda Hocking

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (Switched 2010, Torn 2010, Ascend 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: Switched (8 hrs, 48 mins), Torn (9 hrs, 2 mins), Ascend (7 hrs, 59 mins)

Series: The Trylle Trilogy

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Switched (Trylle)
Torn (Trylle Trilogy Book 2)
Ascend: A Trylle Novel

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Pleasantly Suprised: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Hiya!

For a few years I watched Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garica circulate through my Media Center frequently, by teachers and students alike. I thought to myself, “I should read that.” But I always held back. Then I heard it was being turned into a movie and I thought, “Ok I need to read that.” So I did. Only I listened to it.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohland a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So I finally read/listened to this! I figured it was time to know what all the fuss was about. And I was honestly, pleasantly surprised!
The main thing I think I enjoyed the most was the male main character and narrator. It is rare in Young Adult fiction to have a male be the narrator. Ethan Wate is a refreshing taste of YA supernatural romance through the eyes of a guy. He was a funny, flawed and incredibly loyal character and I enjoyed hearing the story as it unraveled from his point of view.

The story itself wasn’t most well written or most unique tale I’ve ever read, but it was fun. And this surprised me! I think after I recently read another supernatural YA novel (that shall not be named) I kind of had low expectations for Beautiful Creatures. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself being majorly entertained while listening and really wanting to find out what would happen next    Particularly, as one who majored in history in college, I enjoyed the Civil War references throughout the plot. It was interesting to imagine what Sherman’s March to the Sea (where he burned much of the South in his wake) was like and the effect it may have had on the people who lived there.

One of my favorite minor characters was Marian the Librarian. It’s so nice to see a librarian portrayed in a positive way (again I will not mention that other book ehhhmmm). And I completely hated Ms. Jackson, who reminded me so much of Hilly Holbrook from The Help that I wanted to smack her! But this all makes sense to me now!

The audiobook and narrator were fine.  There were some sound effects that were added in, which didn’t bother me too much, but the song…the SONG! It was SOOO hilariously bad I laughed every time it played. My husband heard it once and even looked at me with disgust on his face! It wasn’t the lyrics that Garcia and Stohl wrote that were awful, it was the audiobook’s take on how it should sound that was bad. We started singing it around the house to be funny and that it was!  I was also pretty distracted towards the end when the narration suddenly shifts to Lena and the audiobook narrator for her just had no inflection to her voice and was pretty boring.

So, other than a few minor issues, I found myself really enjoying Beautiful Creatures. I think I’ll definitely check out the rest of the Caster Chronicles in the future (most likely on audio because they’re just so darn big!) to see what happens in the end. Fans of supernatural YA fiction will most likely find this one a fun and interesting read, so I recommend it to older middle school readers and up.

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (December 1, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 17 hours and 38 minutes

Narrator(s): Kevin T. Collins,

Series: First in the Caster Chronicles series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Beautiful Creatures

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A Unique Take: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Hi there!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was a book I’d heard everyone online gushing about for months before I got the chance to read it.

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvatermother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I enjoyed Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and completely fell for The Scorpio Races, but wasn’t super excited about the summary for The Raven Boys. But I randomly came across the audiobook at my local public library and decided it was meant to be.

I wasn’t so sure about the narrator at first. I tend to like female narrators for female characters…call me crazy! I have no idea why they didn’t use two narrators (one male and one female) for the Blue and the boys (probably because it’s more expensive…). Anyway, the narrator totally threw me for a loop at first. Not just because he’s male speaking for a girl, but because his accent was so annoying! He had this whistle to his ‘S’s and it drove me craaaaazy! But eventually I got so into the story, that I started to get used to his voice.  I wouldn’t say I liked his narration, but I got used to it.

Stiefvater is such a unique author. No one is as creative as she is. She takes the supernatural genre and twists it around into something all her own. Supernatural doesn’t just mean vampires, ghosts or fallen angels guys! It can also mean psychic powers and ancient energies! I was like “Woah! this is interesting!” Actually psychic stuff freaks me out WAY more than vampires ever could so I really, really liked this take on things.

I will say that I feel like Stiefvater put more energy into building the actual characters of The Raven Boys themselves, over Blue’s character. Blue, who could have been much more interesting, fell a little flat at times. I just feel like we didn’t get into her head as much as we did with the boys. I felt like I really saw a multifaceted Adam, Gansey and even Ronan, but didn’t get the same depth from Blue. With this said, I would still love to hear more about their adventures!

Stiefvater’s strong point (in all of her books) is her poetic descriptions of nature. This author doesn’t simply tell you the woods are dark and foreboding yet beautiful, she draws you into these woods so you can imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of them with the characters. Seriously. This ability puts Stiefvater in a league of her own.

I don’t think I enjoyed The Raven Boys as much as I did The Scorpio Races (see my review), but it was still an incredibly intriguing story! I really do look forward to the second book, which is scheduled to release sometime in 2013 (closer to 2014 I imagine). All in all, if you’re searching for a new take on the supernatural YA genre, I’d definitely give The Raven Boys a try!

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (Sept. 18, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 11 hours and 8 mins

Narrator(s): Will Patton

Series: First in The Raven Cycle series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle)

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Madness Underneath

Hello there!

For those of you new to BookTasty, Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme (hosted by Breaking the Spine) that I participate in.  Each week I highlight an upcoming new release that I’m particularly excited for.

This week I’m showcasing The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson!  The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.

I just finished The Name of the Star, the first Shades of London book, in December and I was completely obsessed with it for the entire week I listened to the audiobook! It was just so creepy and intriguing! Also, I had just come home from my vacation to London so reading about all the locations I’d seen made it that much more awesome, so I cannot wait for The Madness Underneath! Actually, I have the ARC from NetGalley  (THANK YOU Putnam Juvenile!) so I don’t have to wait until February 26 to read it! YAAAAY!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Archived

Hi there!

Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) is a weekly meme where I  get to share an upcoming title that I’m waiting on to be released. This week I’m interested in The Archived by Victoria Schwab.The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous – it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

This book has been incredibly popular on book blogs for a while now. It seems everyone is eagerly anticipating it! I’m really fond of the idea of librarians having special powers or abilities that no one else does. I think its pretty close to reality and it sounds like Victoria Schwab is a fan of librarians!

The Archived is scheduled to be released next week January 22 so we don’t have long to wait.

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Majorly Creepy In a Fun Way: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Hi there!

Sometimes there are books that intrigue you so much you push past your fear of it being super creepy and read it anyway.  Well, that’s how I felt about Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star, but I read it anyway and in the end I LOVED IT!

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThe day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London 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.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Like I said earlier, I really, really loved this book despite being hesitant to read it. Honestly I was totally surprised at how much I was enjoying it while I was reading it.  Yes, it was majorly creepy at times; in fact there was one scene in particular that had me closing my blinds earlier than usual!

Part of the reason I liked The Name of the Star as much as I did, was because  my husband and I had just gotten back from a trip to London (first time ever!).  I was especially excited to listen to the descriptions of a city I had literally just visited a few weeks before. Johnson’s description of the London Underground was spot on and had me replaying descriptions for my husband as well! And as always, a boarding school book never lets me down. I don’t know what it is but stories where the main character is away at boarding school are always so much more fun than regular school!

I really connected with Rory, the main character.  She was witty and eccentric and sincerely kind – the type of person I’d like to be friends with. Plus she is from the south and living in Florida I totally understood her story about the alligator moving towards her!

Historical fiction is a genre I really like and Johnson’s mix of the paranormal plus historical fiction was wonderful. The myth surrounding Jack the Ripper, such a mysterious and fascinating character, is not something I knew a lot about before reading The Name of the Star. The book prompted me to look up more information online, which was equally fun and terrifying!

I listened to The Name of the Star on audiobook and strongly recommend it to those of you on the hunt for a good one. The narrator Nicola Barber was one of the best I’ve heard in a while, so I plan to look for others read by her. All in all, go ahead and read this one, it is a mysterious and creepy young adult thriller, but in a fun way!

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (September 29, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins

Narrator(s): Nicola Barber

Series: First in The Shades of London series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Name of the Star (The Shades of London)

11

Too Many Chances: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Hi!

I try to give every book I read a fair chance even if it’s just not doing it for me. Sometimes, you give a book so many chances that you end up reading the whole Fallen by Lauren Katething even though every minute is painful. Unfortunately that’s what happened with Fallen by Lauren Kate. So, this review will be short because I just don’t have much to say.

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Fallen has been out for a while, and I kept hearing incredibly mixed reviews on it. After passing it up a few times at my library, I finally decided it was time to give it a try for myself. I usually like to read the book myself and decide if I liked it or not.

I really wanted to like this one, but throughout the whole book I kept telling myself things like “Maybe it gets better” and “It must get better” “Surely it’ll get better!”.

Nope.  It didn’t.
The story itself had potential to be interesting. It really did…if only the poor writing wasn’t so distracting! Seriously, there were times were I found myself laughing out loud at some of the clichés!  I wish I had written some of them down… but that’s really besides the point.

My main complaint deals with how things are done.  When I read a book I want to be shown how the characters are feeling, not told how they feel.  There is a difference and it’s hard to explain but I know it when I read it. Throughout Fallen I kept being told that Luce feels a specific way, but her actions and words illustrated something completely different.

The audiobook narrator wasn’t horrible.  She did a decent job for what she was given.  Oh well, you can’t win them all.

Just because I didn’t like this book doesn’t mean others wont enjoy it. I have a group of 8th grade girls at school who are love this series and are made that I actually only have one copy of each book in my media center! So, the moral of the story is don’t take someone’s word for it. It is okay to try it for yourself.  The problem comes when you know it’s just not for you but you’re so afraid to DNF that you end up reading the whole thing hating it as you do.

Author: Lauren Kate

Publisher: Delacorte Press (Dec. 8, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins

Narrator(s): Justine Eyre

Series: First in the Fallen series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Fallen

2

All I Felt was “Like”: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Turner

Hello!

After a long time of making up my mind, I recently read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Turner.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Like I mentioned before, it took me a while to make up my mind about reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. For months I’d heard nothing bad (literally I don’t think I’ve ever seen a negative review) about this book! Eventually I realized that since everyone else loved this story so much I needed to give it a try. So I did.

So there I was listening to the audiobook, really enjoying the characters and the story. I really liked Karou and I was intrigued by the characters, especially Brimstone, Twiga and Yasri. I was getting really excited about the connection between Karou and Akiva too! I was diggin’ this book (yes diggin’).

Then about halfway through, I hit the plot twist and unfortunately that’s when the story lost it for me. I can’t tell you exactly why, because it has a lot to do with the plot itself, and I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who hadn’t read it.  I just lost interest. This whole second half of the story isn’t bad. In fact I do think it is super creative.  It just wasn’t my thing.

I really, really wanted to LOVE this book and in the end all that I felt was “like”. I know that tons of others people love Daughter of Smoke and Bone so please don’t cross it off your list if you’ve been thinking about reading it, because it may actually be something you really enjoy!

Author: Lani Taylor

Publisher: Hachette Audio (Sept. 27, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins

Narrator(s): Khristine Hvam

Series: First in a series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)