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Fun and Bright: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Hi there everyone!

For years my students and other book bloggers told me that I need to read Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy. And for years I planned on it but kept getting distracted. Well, that is no longer the case. I have finally read Paranormalcy and now I’m trying to get my hands on the second book Supernaturally!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteEvie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

I now know why everyone wanted me to read this book! It was so much fun! White has written an easy-going and bright paranormal mystery, which is so refreshing! So often supernatural fiction can have a dark and heavy feel, but Paranormalcy is the complete opposite!

Evie, the main character, is likable and relatively normal…for a girl who “bags and tags” vampires and other supernatural creatures! She is insecure, boy crazy, lonely and longing for more, and is obsessed with her favorite teen TV drama….she is a lot like I was in my early high school years! I really felt like I could connect with Evie because I’ve been “that girl” (minus the vampires…). So, yeah I enjoyed Evie as a main character even though she sometimes (okay most of the time!) made really dumb thoughtless decisions, but I guess when I think back on it I did a bit of that as a teenager too!

I was really a fan of all the different supernatural and mythological creatures. Vampires and werewolves yes, but also mermaids, fairies, elemental spirits, shapeshifters and even hags. Seeing bits and pieces of these creatures and their lore was incredibly refreshing. It makes sense that if there are some supernaturals in the world that there would be others as well! These supporting characters are all interesting! Lend, the mysterious guy who breaks in to The Center had me intrigued from the beginning. And Lish, the mermaid, was so cute I’d like to meet more of her kind in the sequels.

The little hints of Evie’s history left me wanting more. Why can she see beneath the supernaturals’ glamours? Who is she exactly? White gives us small pieces of Evie’s mysterious beginnings, but I’m sure that we’ll learn more as the series continues. Which is why I really, really can’t wait to get my hands on Supernaturally!

And…there is a very sweet romance. So cute!

If you’re one of those readers who is looking for a fun and bright read because you’re tired of the under dark paranormal reads then you should definitely check out Paranormalcy! I highly recommend it as a good summer poolside read to middle school aged readers and older.

Author: Kiersten White

Publisher: Harper Teen (August 31, 2010)

Format: Paperback

Length: 335 pages

Series: First in the Paranormalcy trilogy

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book: Paranormalcy

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The Continuing Story: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Well hello there!

I’ve been reading and enjoying summer so much, that I can’t believe it’s already August! Although I still have a few weeks, so I’m trying hard not to think about the upcoming school year.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareRecently I finished reading Cassandra Clare’s City of Lost Souls, the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series.

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

The Clave’s magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can’t stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s magic has wrought – Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.  Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can’t help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

One thing I hate about reading unfinished series is that I have to wait so long for the other books to be released! But I just adore Clare’s books.  It’s always about a year between each new release and I forget how much I love the characters until I’m reading the newest book! I seriously love these characters so much.

I don’t think this was my favorite of the series because the pacing for the first half of the book was pretty slow, and Clary is so frustrating at times, but I still really enjoyed continuing to see what happens next with these characters.  I’ve increasingly enjoyed watching Simon and Isabelle come into their own as more than just side characters.

I was actually a big fan of the Jace-Sebastian plot line in this installment. The whole thing was a tricky twist that kept me wondering how Clare could possibly resolve it!

Also, let me say that as much as I love The Mortal Instruments books, I am a bigger fan of Clare’s  Infernal Devices series. There is SO MUCH in City of Lost Souls that points to The Infernal Devices books! So many clues and connections that leave me excited for answers in Clockwork Princess (which doesn’t come out until 2013!). 

The audiobook is, like the others in the series, narrated by Molly Quinn (from Castle!) and although she’s not the best narrator I’ve listened to, she does a pretty good job and is consistent with her voices.

So, all in all, if you’re a high schooler or above who has already read the other Mortal Instruments books, then you’ll most likely enjoy City of Lost Souls as well.

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (May 8, 2012)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 16 hours, 59 minutes

Narrator(s): Molly C. Quinn

Series: Fifth in The Mortal Instruments series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments)

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Waiting On Wendesday: Clockwork Princess

Hi there!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted Breaking the Spine where book lovers get to pour some love on their highly anticipated upcoming titles!

So yesterday was the big Clockwork Princess, book three in Cassandra’s Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, cover release day and I (along with millions of others) got to be a part of it! Every tweet made yesterday afternoon with the #clockworkpricess tag revealed a pixel of the book cover image. It was fun to be a part of a big thing like that with everyone. It made the reveal that much more exciting!

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareThis is why I chose to highlight Clockwork Princess as the book I’m waiting on this week. I’m sure I won’t be alone in my pick this week because please…just look at that cover. It is so pretty! I want to steal that gown and wear it around town (that rhymes!)!! Also don’t the colors look so good with my blog theme!?

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Oh I love, love, LOVE this series so much I can’t even describe it! As much as I like Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, I ADORE this trilogy that much more! So, the cover has been released and I still have until March 2013 until Clockwork Princess is actually released! I have no idea how I can wait that long, but I guess there are plenty of other books to fill my time until this one comes along. Just know that the books in this series are always highly anticipated by me!

Okay, if you haven’t read any of Clare’s books in either Mortal Insturments, or Infernal Devices series you have about nine months to get through them all before Clockwork Princess releases in March! What are you waiting for?!

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Waiting On Wednesday: City of Lost Souls

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Ciao! Today is an exciting day for two reasons!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareOne, my Battle of the Books Team is competing in the county’s annual Battle of the Books Competition. This is a trivia competition based on the fifteen middle grades Florida Sunshine State Books and my team of five students are going up against 30 other middle schools in our district! So, please think of us this afternoon and evening as we dominate those other schools with our bookish awesomeness! I’ll keep you updated on the results. :)

Two, Cassandra Clare’s fifth installment of The Mortal Instrument series, City of Lost Souls comes out in about a week on May 8! I, like tons of others, am a huge fan of Clare’s urban fantasy novels and this newest book is one I’ve been waiting on for a little over a year now.

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Oh I just can’t wait! If you haven’t read any of Clare’s books yet- get to reading! The Mortal Instruments series is a fabulous place to start.

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Nephilim, Fallen Angels and Everything In Between: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora Grey is your typical teenage good girl.  She gets pretty good grades, is honest enough to not throw a huge party while her mom is out of town, is still dealing with her father’s murder and is a loyal best friend who’s just not that into any of the boys at her school.

Then one day Patch comes along.  Patch is tall, dark, and gorgeous and he’s Nora’s new science partner. Right off the bat Nora knows two things to be true: first, Patch is both dangerous and mysterious ; second she can’t help but be drawn to him against her better judgement.

When Nora is faced with multiple frightening situations she’s not sure if she’s going crazy or really in danger. Plus, it seems that Patch keeps showing up everywhere Nora is.  It also seems like he knows things about her that even her closest friend, Vee, don’t know.  Nora can’t decide if she should trust Patch or stay far away from him.  But Nora is determined to find some answers and ends up getting closer and closer to something that is way more dangerous than Patch as she herself in the middle of an struggle so ancient it may just consume her.

Lets start this review off with a little bit of honesty.  I avoided Hush, Hush for a long time assuming it was just another  supernatural romance title; just one of a thousand.  It wasn’t until I watched the book trailer that I decided I needed to give it a chance (it is a pretty cool trailer).  So now that I’ve gone all confessional on you, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Hush, Hush.  The more I listened to Nora and Patch’s story, the more I was drawn in; like Nora to Patch? Maybe. Although I didn’t feel threatened by the book…

Anyway, I really liked all the Nephilim stuff.  I’ve always been intrigued by the Nephilim ever since reading Genesis 6:4 in a college Bible Study.  I remember being like, “Whoa!  What the heck are Nephilim?!”  This is the second YA book I’ve read that incorporates the Nephilim into the plot; the first being Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. I do prefer Clare’s theories on Nephilim, but enjoy the differing opinion in Hush, Hush.

Yes there are Nephilim, but Hush, Hush revolves mostly around fallen angels, or the Fallen.  I kind of like this YA fiction path rather than vampires.  Don’t get me wrong vampires are fun and all, but its nice to see some other supernatural creatures getting some “literary play” once in a while. I’m all about equal supernatural opportunity.

Also, I really enjoy Nora as a character.  She has interests! She has real friends!  She enjoys things and laughs!  Yeah, I am comparing her to someone in a totally different series, as is just what naturally happens when one reads supernatural YA books now.  Nora isn’t super strong, but she isn’t completely helpless either.  She is a good mix of the two.  She’s smart and independent but also makes some questionable choices. She is a regular girl.

My only complaints (and they’re small) center around Patch.  First of all… Patch…really?  Patch?  He’s supposed to be all gorgeous and sexy. He is, but his name is Patch.  It makes me giggle when I’m supposed to be caught in his seductive bad boy-ness.  Second, there were a few times when I felt like Nora kept telling us how bad and dangerous Patch (hehe) was instead of the story actually showing us how bad and dangerous he is.  There were points where I thought, “Okay.  He’s kind of dark.  He’s a bad boy. I get it.”

Those are my only two complaints, and they’re seriously so minor. They didn’t detract much in the way of my enjoying this book.  The story is full of romance, mystery, romance and supernatural happenings.  I liked it so much I’m currently listening to the audiobook of book two, Crescendo (which so far I may be enjoying a little more!).

Lovers of Young Adult supernatural romances will really enjoy this one.  It is, in my opinion, better suited for older teens and up.

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio; October 13, 2009

Format: Audiobook; unabridged

Narrator: Caitlin Greer

Length: 8 hrs. and 55 mins

Series: First in a series