The Young Elites. Marie Lu.

nullThe Young Elites by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the space of a few hours, perhaps not even a few of which belonged to a portion of the long and difficult to endure car trip, I flew right through this. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve really been engaged in a world. I’m glad I finally decided to start reading this. The Young Elites does have its flaws, but on the whole I enjoyed it. There wasn’t really a moment, action or event that did not have a motivation. Although I don’t love Adelina’s character in all I did and could sympathise with her. My favourite character might just be Raffaele. Also there are scenes in this book that are really dark. At one stage I was reminded of Poison Study. Although there is something that nags me (I will say that the switching perspectives in TYE at least was not as pointless as those in Kimberley Derting’s The Pledge) is the switching perspectives. Adelina is written in first person while the others in third. I didn’t hate it but, well.

Overall, good. I want the next one!

**P.s.**  Sorry it’s so short, I wrote it while on my phone in the car as mentioned above lol

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Throne of Glass. Sarah J. Maas.

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to begin?

When I started reading this, I was hit by the style of writing. That was the first thing that struck out at me prominently. The second thing was Celaena’s obsession with how beautiful the Crown Prince was and also, the fact that Chaol Westfall already looked like a really interesting love interest. And the third, well, it’s really hard to overlook an arrogance like Celaena Sardothien’s.

The Plot

So….let’s begin with the plot. The Premise:

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness. In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I won’t lie, I thought part of it, no most of it was predictable. Even when Maas attempted to divert my attention and look at someone else. I just couldn’t help but think at that moment, was that really necessary? It seemed highly farfetched to me, what Celaena thought when she let worked herself into a paranoia about her friend. I sadly, did not believe it or her in that moment. And yet. Without it, Celaena would have seem too ‘Mary Sue’. But coming back to Celaena in a moment, let’s talk about plot. Asides from being somewhat predictable (to the extent where I was looking in between the lines for something more, another plot twist thrown my way and found nothing) that doesn’t mean it’ll be boring to read. In fact, I rarely place a lot of emphasis on plot twists and predictability because surprise surprise, but I actually believe that in order for a piece of writing to be good and enjoyable read, it requires a strong voice, good characters – likeable or not – and presence. The plot was predictable, but it was written well, and it was engaging. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I also let myself flow into the story, and let Maas tell me in her own time what happens. Love Triangles. Yes, I shall bring your attention to the one thing that is seen much too often in YA. Love triangles. I have plenty of issues with these because most of the time, my eyes do somersaults the more I have to read about the love of two men for one girl. Over the years of reading, I have somewhat come to like them because of some more interesting and actually quite affecting love triangles which actually feel decent and real. The one in this book though…fell short of that and this isn’t spoiling much since the back of the book, as well as the first few pages pretty much promote a love triangle. Or at least, it hints at love between Celaena and two different characters. In saying that though, I didn’t like it all, the love triangle, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love the characters. I loved them. I truly did. I love how each character was, but I hated (well mostly) how the triangle developed. Each character was perfect on their own, and I felt it was completely unnecessary to throw them into one. On one side, the relationship between Dorian and Celaena was great at times – I liked how it was – and then at other times it felt forced and unnecessary. The other side of the triangle though, Celaena and Chaol, well, nothing really happened yet plenty did. And to which there is evidence of a great love coming – a great love with layers. Of course, it’s clear I’m all for Chaol, and since I’ve only read Throne of Glass, who knows what will happen between the three in the other books?

The Characters

Celaena Sardothien has a name that sometimes I wish I could strangle her for. It’s a mouthful that I always forget how to spell. But undoubtedly, it has a ring to it. Suitable for Ardalan’s Assassin. She’s kickass. She’s arrogant. She loves pretty things. She has pride. She’s beautiful – well used to be before she was sent to the salt mines in Endovier. She’s pretty much it. The pride of all female assassins. I loved her. Some other reviewers felt that she was hard to connect to. As a reader, I agreed. But when you think about it, think about Celaena’s story, even speculate on her past (which was only briefly revealed in this novel) then you’d wonder, why is she so hard to connect to? Why is she so arrogant? Why is she so prideful of her work? She’s an assassin. For the first book, I did not need her history, not yet, I needed an engaging character and story that will entice me to continue the series. And Maas gives me that. She gives me Celaena Sardothien with her cold ways. Whether she likes killing or not, she’s been trained since she was 8 to kill for her pay. This is the world she has come to know, and the fact that she’s so prideful about being Ardalan’s Assassin and essentially, being the best makes her, in my opinion, a very interesting character. And so I want to know more about her. Just like I wanted to know more about Saba in Blood Red Road. Of course, Celaena is nothing like Saba, like she is nothing like Katsa from Graceling. And yet both Saba and Katsa were strong heroines, and both sort of fell a little in my eyes at certain moments. Celaena though…the lowest point for me was her relationship with Dorian. I couldn’t help but think….really????? I think because they had ‘something’ it ended up clouding my opinion of Dorian’s character – and which, I hope to see more of in the second book, because he seems really interesting….when he’s not thinking about Celaena.

Which brings me to Prince Dorian whose last name escapes me, and scanning through many reviews, somehow…his last name escapes everyone, which makes me question if I was actually told it in the first place? I probably had read it, but with my mind all over the place, I’ve forgotten. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Prince Dorian is the prince of this fairytale retelling – you know I learnt from a friend that this was first written in an online writing site, so I went and did a bit of research, and found my eyebrows shooting to the sky when I learnt this was a fairytale retelling of ‘Cinderella’. In comparison to Cinderella, I do love this a whole lot more. Kickass Cinders, hell yess! And the Prince, despite his almost insta-love for Celaena proved, or at the very least intrigued me throughout the course of the book. When he was not ogling and thinking of Celaena, and actually was doing other things – not often by the way – then I was really interested in him. I was intrigued by his character, and I really want to know more about him. Just not with Celaena. I really don’t have to repeat it do I? I find Dorian I whole heck load full more interesting as a sole, individual, developing character. I want to know more about him. And if he must love Celaena, I want and feel that he can possess more than the shallow seeming feelings I saw of him in Throne of Glass. Is that harsh? I guess. But in Prince Dorian, I can already see a man who is someone a whole lot more interesting than the ‘Prince Charming’ in the old classic fairytale. And that, looks very interesting to me!

But interesting…in terms of love interest is Chaol Westfall, the dashing, grumpy bums Captain of the Guard. Pretty much seems like Celaena’s equal upon his introduction – the whole, I was appointed young kind of thing, just like I became the best assassin when I was young etc. At first, Chaol clearly hates Celaena and what she stands for. He’s a good person, he has morals, everything that an assassin shouldn’ have. And he’s also darkly dashing, not like the flippant seeming Prince either. No, Chaol is he kind of love interest I love dreaming about, but do not always love. Because a lot of the time, the dark, dashingness of a man gets taken away by the sappy love stuff. Well with the exception of Valek in Poison Study and probably a few others who I can’t name because they don’t stand out. But yes, Chaol doesn’t come off as cheesy. No. His interaction with Celaena has the basis for a great love story, but the thing is, like Celaena and Dorian, it’s kind of a little forced. I won’t lie though, I loved it. Every moment they interacted, I just wanted more. Because the relationship that Celaena and Chaol have is slow, a building kind of love. In saying that too, I want to point out my earlier point about the love triangle that this book would have been fine without. I might like Chaol and Celaena together, but Chaol as a character, was wonderful on his own. He is so…I feel like with Dorian, I want to know more about Chaol. I want to see more of him, explore his history, get to know him. Just like how I also want to see more of Celaena’s history, and Dorian’s. I want to see them grow. Normally I would like character development in the books I read, but in TOG, it’s more, you see what needs to be developed, and in the books to come, it’s what I’ll expect kind of thing. I have so much high expectations now for these three main characters, I’m dying to read the sequels just because I want to see these three characters develop. Because each of them I know, has PLENTY of developing space.

Lastly, characters-wise, I want to briefly talk about the others. Lady Kaltain Rompier has rarely been brought up in others’ reviews. Not surprising, since she’s not the main character. Not only that, she’s quite, well, ambitious throughout TOG. And she seemed weak. BUT. I feel that she’s a character that I would really, really, really, like to know more about. Side characters always fascinate me. Even though they are only side characters, like the main characters, I feel like their stories are very important to the overall whole. With Main Characters, you know that they’re going to do something great, or they’re part of some great story, something will happen with them. But with side characters, sometimes they’re important, sometimes they’re not, the ones who are given an important place, who have stories to add to the bigger story and not just hovering in the background, used as fillers by the author, fascinate and intrigue me. Lady Kaltain Rompier was one of those. Nehemia too, though for her, though I sense her role in the story will be as big as Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian, as of yet, I can’t comment on her. For a character, I don’t want to. Mostly because I have yet to formulate a feeling about her and intend to reserve my judgment for later, since while she’s cool and all, I feel like she was barely touched on in this novel. Lady Kaltain though, after what happened with her, I was fascinated, I felt for her, even though she had been overly ambitious, I felt for her, and wanted to know what happens to her next. The King and Perrington surprised me, though I had guessed, I hadn’t guessed that much. But like with Nehemia, I’m waiting for the next sequel (of which I have yet to get my hands on) to make my judgment on them.

Overall, there is a colourful cast of strong characters. Each character, even the King and Perrington (hopefully) have many layers for me to peel back. Because that’s one of the other things I look forward to when I read a book, to see how complex a character can be.

Writing

So remember at the start how I comment on the writing being a shocker? Well, when I read the first page, I was shocked. The writing style was so familiar to how I usually see people rping in the rp groups on Goodreads (the more detailed ones). Particularly when Celaena was thinking about how beautiful Dorian was when she first saw him at the very beginning of the book. The familiarity struck me so badly, I was well a little stunned. I had been expecting heavier, denser writing. Or at least writing that was different. I have read quite alot of fantasies, quite a large number of them are high fantasies, with lots of intense world building, or intense characters and political affiliations. Take Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book of that trilogy, and leading on to a sequel trilogy. I will not hesitate to say just how much I loved her books. I loved her story, I loved the way it was told. Sure the whole first book focussed on FitzChivalry’s life from the very beginning, it would seem slow going for others, but to me, I loved the way in which she built up FitzChivalry’s character. Every moment was important, and it wasn’t just the events, it was her way of telling the events. No one can possibly replicate what she did there, and she is perhaps the one of few authors I believe who can weave a story in such a way. That is until I read Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Creature Court Trilogy beginning with Power and Majesty. Gawd, I nearly died with how epic that was. But you see here, both these books are shelved as Fantasy, Adult. So much more complicated, and with a writing style that completely takes your breath away with story. Let’s see, in YA, Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Maria V Snyder’s Poison Study are two books that can be compared to TOG. Both have assassins, though in Poison Study it was the love interest that was the assassin and not the main protagonist. But yes, these boks ae comparable. And while writing is not particularly spectacular in a hardcore epic literature kind of way, they do capture my attention, and also capture the emotions of the characters in their stories. Sarah J Maas though, is different. Her writing style is very casual, not explicitly ‘epic’ but not bad either. It takes a while getting used to the separate thoughts that come out of Celaena’s head, specially the ones in italics usually admiring the Prince’s beauty. I didn’t love her style of writing excessively, but there is potential there, and I’m interested to see how her writing develops over the next few sequels. Because by no means do I have any plans of not finishing this series. I love epic fantasies, and even if I have some negative thoughts about this series, overall, the positives outweight them!

Overall

I can list plenty of fantasies that might be better than this one. Assassin ones too. I mean my favourite all time assassin book is Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows and also Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice. They was just *drool!* but unfortunately a male protagonist (which is not my favourite perspective to read from but hey, but the end of the series, I couldn’t not love it). And in comparison to that, it’s hard for me to compare others. Which is why I don’t. As of this moment, after reading and spending several hours to type out my thoughts here in this Suggestive Read (because I don’t call them reviews on my blog! Check it out : Words That Flow Like Water ) I realised, I want, now more than ever, to read the next one, and the following, because there’s so much more to explore in this world. So much more of Celaena to get to know, and see. Arrogant and dislikeable (though I loved her personally) she’s pretty awesome. And then there are the hints of plots, subplots going on which need to be explored! So, I have no plans of stopping here. But I do realise that not everyone loves a protagonist like Celaena. The thing is, she’s more than she seems. Aren’t all great character the kind that make you hate or love them? Clearly they’ve communicated their personality. Unlike…Bella. For other similar books, I suppose check out the ones mentioned in this Suggetive Read. Assassin books (look for Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, Kristin Cashore, Maria V Snyder) and for Epic Fantasy Reads (Robin Hobb, Tansy Rayner Roberts, etc). Hopefully, you will enjoy reading Throne of Glass, and learning to love Celaena’s complicated like I did too. But then, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea!

[Note]  How does it work out that I own Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire but not Crown of Midnight the second book of the series?

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Endless Knight. Kresley Cole.


16175040Endless Knight
by Kresley Cole

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I totally don’t love this cover much. Yes I like the colour. Yes I like the girl (Evie) in white, and Death, so obviously in black. But I dunno, I feel like the eyebrows on the guy don’t do him justice. My favourite part of the cover is the back of the novel. The guy on the back is totally my impression of Jack. Much better than the one on Poison Princess! See:

And now….to the review.

Endless Knight begins right where it left off in Poison Princess where Jack is gaping at Evie in belief right after she annihilated the Alchemist.

Of course Jack is obviously repulsed, and for a good fifty pages or so, he avoids her. But yet, after it turns out that he stole the Alchemist’s recording of her story, that he realises all that she’s been through. Okay so yeah, Evie’s privacy has been invaded again – I always did think it was a little creepy that Jack stole things that belonged to her so that he could find out more. BUT, it totally makes sense a little later on in the story, and not as creepy as it seems when Evie discovers that Jack’s obsession and apparent insta-love for Evie was actually stemmed from something else.

Which brings me to the fact that, one of the reasons I had disliked Poison Princess (one of the few, I should add), was because there were too many coincidental events, like Evie’s mum dies in time for them to leave, and so on. So I had my eyebrow rising on the bs meter a little. But yet, when you read from a well seasoned writer, you find that your questions are answered as you read. In Endless Knight, the me who was a little unconvinced about bits and pieces of book 1, was convinced in this one. And then the questionable me, discovered that there were even more questions than anwers rising in this installment. Which, I’ll bet, will be revealed in Dead of Winter.

As for the plot. It’s riveting as Poison Princess. And it also is lulling. You lull a lot of the time, which is a little different to Poison Princess where you were on your feet avoiding baggers most of the time. But in this one, there’s a massive lull period, because where else has Evie landed herself, except at Death’s house?

We all knew as readers that there was something between Death and Empress. It wasn’t as evident in Poison Princess, but it was very clear in Endless Knight. As the title of the story reflects, this is Death’s story. Poison Princess is about Evie, her powers and her past. But Endless Knight is about the Empress’s past with Death, and Death himself. It was all very touching, smoking and smexy, and when plot twists are revealed about Jack, there’s a whole lot more Death and Evie time than there is Jack and Evie.

But before I get to the part about romances, I want to talk about the world. The world in the novel is apocalyptic with baggers (zombies), cannibals, and a raging, brutal army. I’m not going to judge the world on plausibility, because helloooo~ I haven’t even lived through an apocalypse yet, so who am I to judge? So this world is more of a fantasy for me. I already mentioned how cool I thought the idea of a story based around Arcana was. They even play Tarocchi in the book – you know Tarot cards weren’t always specifically for fortune telling, right? They were also used as a trick card game. Anyway. So I love the world Cole has built. I love the whole Arcana cards idea, and I think it’s cool. I think she’s done a great job building the world and telling the reader bits and pieces about what has happened and why. I also like the game. There’s a really strong foundation for the story to be told. Which adds to the excitement, fear and thrill of both book 1 and 2. Sure, I still have a ton of questions, but I’ll wait for them to be answered.

The romances. Hm, I don’t like love triangles. Most of the time in YA they’re completely unnecessary and totally flimsy. What I like about the love triangle in Endless Knight kind of reminds me of the love triangle – however sudden it was – in Eona: The Last Dragoneye. It’s the type where there’s the guy around the same age as the protagonist who’s been with them for most of the story, and then there’s the other guy who’s slightly older, and has a history with the protagonist from a previous incarnation(s). So, essentially, both have really strong ties to the protagonist. And therefore, I don’t hate this love triangle much. Most likely because Evie still loves Jack by the end of Endless Knight, even though she does admit, she feels some love for Death.

But the problem I had was, once Evie has the dream about that final betrayal against Death, the dream is very cold and collecting. It makes everything afterward seem a little awkward for me, because Evie is guilty over the fact that she betrayed him, but I couldn’t help but think: it wasn’t that much of a betrayal when your past life did it, and you haven’t yet. But I’ll give Cole tops for creating an incredibly constant and empathetic character in Evie. Which is also probably why Evie is more susceptible to Death as she learns about him. Becuase unlike her previous reincarnations, she has learnt about the tarot or the game since she was a child.

Death is a really fascinating character. And though he is supposed to be evil, he to me did not seem evil at all. Just calculating. He was self-preserving, making decisions based on what would save his life. He is cold and he is a little heartless, but he is lonely. In many ways I do kind of like him more than Jack, because Jack is a big asshole to Evie a lot. Particularly in book 1. But of course, he would always try to save her and protect her, becuase he does truly love her in spite of everything, secrets and all. But Death, Death is suspicious and obsessed with Evie – the Empress – he loves her and hates her at the same time, mainly because she is the only person he can touch, when he can touch no one else. They spend a lot of time together during the second half of the novel, and there’s plenty of time for Evie to get to reknow Death. And she does bit by bit. During the day, there’s so much sexual tension between them, mainly on Death’s part, but also on Evie’s. But during the night, and this is where I got a little confused, because I got the idea that Death and the Empress didn’t get to have sexual relations, yet. During the night, Evie dreams of her past with Death, dreams that were given to her by Matthew, she dreams about sexual things related to death, though now that I think about it, it never did go past kissing – just really intense, hot kisses.

The romance bits with Jack though, happen at the start of the novel before she’s a captive of Death. Once he gets over his shock at Evie’s transformation, they talk things over, and well eventually sleep together. Yep, it’s actualy sex in a YA novel. Not explicitly graphical like in an erotica, but definitely enough details that it can’t really be called vague either. But then we don’t see Jack and the rest of Evie’s crew for the rest of the story once she’s in Death’s lair.

Overall I am babbling on too much about nothing, hopefully this review in some way makes sense and makes the book appealing, because in my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth reading. It’s enjoyable. It has a decent plot. The love triangle is smexy. Relationships are in depth not just thrown in and allied lol. It’s intriguing and I can’t wait to read the next installment!

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The Elite. Kiera Cass.


16248068The Elite
by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off this is a future that’s not really believable, it’s even partly laughable, yet it’s a fantasy that can be believed. Second, I wasn’t really excited by the first book (except for the cover, loved that cover!), nor did I hate it very much. Mainly I guess because it was a less catastrophic and dire novel compared to other novels that feature a reality tv show i.e. The Hunger Games. This series is definitely moreabout the romance and I’d almost say it’s lighter and fluffier. But while The Selection was nothing too special, The Elite ramps up the romance between Maxon and America. Even poor Aspen (though not so poor after what he did at the beginning of the The Selection to America) is thrown into the plot much more often and actually has a roke in being a rival. Though really, as I’ve mentioned in my status updates, I reckon the final coupling will be Maxon and America.

Aspen is like that mannish kind of guy – that’s the feeling I got when I read about him in the first book and this one, and I figured that he had a chance with America, and I didn’t really like Maxon much in The Selection because he seemed a little whimpy and whatnot. But in this book, Maxon looks as though he’s grown some balls (scuse my language), in the sense that he feels much more manlier in this book, and feels more personable, and even though I roll my eyes at the whole Bachelor tv show thing, I can’t help but cheer him on a little when he leaves America alone for a while. I know she needs time to figure it out, but she was so undecisive that of course Maxon would lose his patience eventually. And then there’s the whole “I can’t be a princess” thing where she messes up a lot of things on the show because she has no confidence. I like that I got to see her develop as a character, but I hated her whining and reluctance. But then without it, it wouldn’t be good character development lol!

Lastly, the plot about the rebels…I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on with that, but I guess I’m looking forward to the entire story wound up in The One. I think that’ll be very intersting! Plus, out of all the covers, The Selection and The One’s covers are my favourites!

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Wildefire. Karsten Knight.


9758765Wildefire
by Karsten Knight

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I had mixed feelings about this, there are many cons that nearly, they didn’t outweigh the pros. And then the pros knock ’em down hard. I don’t know what to say. Review to Come.

I’ll forewarn that this review (a first for me in a long time)will contain a tonne of spoilers because I don’t know if I can write it without spoiling.

I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE HER. Ashline has a personality the size and power of her personality. It’s explosive, hot fiery and snarky. She’s has something for everything to say and for this book, I found it amusing. Granted, it was witty. Granted, her flirtations with Colt were tense and flirtatious. BUT they were also TOTALLY cheesy, and not in a sweet, cute kind of way, it could, sometimes be, just downright corny and almost lame. BUT, the other side of me liked Ash because she had this big snarky personality. I also liked that she dated guys (however wrong they were for her) and dumped them when they pushed too hard or were just assholes. It was cool seeing a kickass chick in this fashion. And it makes me want to see her finally fall in love. Like true, deep, forever immortal love. I feel like she deserves it after all.

ABOUT THE GODS AND GODDESSES THING…well I think this idea is pretty cool. I like the whole mythology behind it and what’s more I love how everyone is a god/goddess not just from Polynesia, but from around the world as well. And I liked how they’re reincarnated again and again rather than living forever.

AND SINCE this is the first book of a series, there are loose ties which I’m looking forward to being tied. One of which is what is the past between Ash and Eve (asides from what was reveal in the book), Ash and Colt, and between all the other gods and goddesses.

I Guess I also liked that we don’t actually find out Ash’s goddess status until just after midway. And when she finds out, the flow of the story isn’t interrupted or it’s popped up at some dramatic moment. It’s built up, the moment builds and it gains momentum until Ash goes and finds out for herself what her heritage is.

BUT REALLY Eve was nuts. I can’t decide if her character was formed well, or formed terribly because half the time she was convincing, the other half, unconvincing, or maybe she felt extremely real? I can’t make up my mind.

IT’S JUST TOO HARD. So many pros and so many cons. AND YET I am just dying to read the next book so it must’ve been good! (hide spoiler)]

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Book Spine Poetry #3

Got bored with my last stack of to-reads from the library and was staring at their spines.  Can’t remember the last time I did book Spine Poetry, but sure as hell, felt like doing it again!  (My previous two attempts: Here and Here)  It was a helluva fun.

2013-12-27 18.07.19

Book Spine Poetry #3

The Lady in the Tower,

Past Perfect.

The Girl in the Mask,

Quicksilver.

United We Spy.

Books that lent me their cooperation:  The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen, Past Perfect by Laila Sales, The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen, Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson, and United We Spy by Ally Carter

2013 End of Year Book Survey!

So I saw this on Little Onion Writes‘s blog and I thought it would be a good idea to do it too!

This is gonna be one of the hardest surveys I’ve done, since I’ve never been able to singularly say, I like this the best or that.  I usually have half a dozen favourites.  But that’s because they’re all so goooooddd!!!

1. Best book you read in 2013?

So tough as question.  There are so many good books.  But the best books I read this year are:

The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

Reached  Ally Condie

Sever – Lauren DeStefano

Shades of the Earth – Beth Revis

Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire – Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare (This made the best book list because it was serious one of the best final sequel books I’ve ever read)

Quicksilver – R.J.Anderson

Boundless – Cynthia Hand

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Number one on this list is Lauren Oliver’s Requiem.  I loved Delirium and I was pretty partial to Pandemonium, but Requiem just didn’t cut it for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Hm, the most surprising book?  Oh that’s easy!  Ally Condie’s Reached.  I had no expectations for it since Matched was okay and Crossed was a bit annoying, even though both were written beautifully.  But Reached… was completely surprising and what I like to call brilliant!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I definitely recommend Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Mind.   This was my favourite and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s into YA novels and Dystopias – and particularly if they liked George Orwell’s 1984.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Best series?  Let’s see the Burn for Burn trilogy is my favourite 2013 discovered series.  But mostly I didn’t discover any newer series that I hadn’t actually started reading the year before.

As for manga, Horimiya by Hero is my favourite 2013 discovered series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Hmmm Marie-Louise Jensen.  Writer of historicals with great flair, she’s probably my favourite new author for 2013.  I would have said Alexandra Bracken, but I read her other book a few years ago so not exactly discovered.  Same as Ally Condie, Lauren Destefano, Lauren Oliver, Jenny Han, Jim Butcher and more.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Harlequin manga.  The manga version of those harlequin romances.  Completely new genre for me!  And a bit roll your eyes kind of stories, but there were a few that I really liked!  For a list check this out:  Here

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Omg this has to be The Darkest Minds!  But also Reached.  The Ruins by Scott Smith was a surprise read but it was pretty thrilling, particularly when it got down to the horror bits.  Any of the Dresden File books by Jim Butcher that I read in 2013 were also a must read in one sitting kind of book.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

So I actually re-read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder in 2013, and I’ll most likely read it again this year!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I had two favourite covers for 2013.  One was Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.

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And the other one was Kiera Cass’s The Selection.  I really loved this cover!  The pose, the dress, everything.  I like it even better than the sequel cover.

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I guess I really like big dresses and pretty covers!

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

I have a tonne of memorable characters.  Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu from The Darkest Minds.  Sydney Sage and Adrian Ishvakov from the Bloodlines series obviously.  Tris and Four from the Divergent trilogy.  And Ana and Sam from Jodi Meadow’s Incarnate trilogy.

As for manga, I have too many memorable characters.  Some of which are Mizuho from Piece by Hinako Ashihara, Hori and Miyamura from Horimiya by Hero, Futaba from Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka, and Shiho from P.A. by Michiyo Akaishi.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Requiem by Lauren Oliver.  Anything written by Oliver is bound to be beautifully written.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Marie-Louise Jensen’s The Lady in the Tower had a pretty big impact, I guess.   I really fell into the story and I was sucked in completely.  Past Perfect by Leila Sales also had a great impact.  I loved the story and I really liked how the protagonist eventually dealt with her problems.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to read?

So I can’t believe I keep repeating myself.  Sure I could have read this when it came out but I put it off until 2013.  The book I couldn’t believe I waited until 2013 to read was Reached by Ally Condie – see I repeated myself again! Lol.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

Technically I have three favourite passages, all of them from Jim Butcher’s Dead Beat.  I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I just did eeny-meeny-miny-mo and this is the passage I picked:

“Kumori held up a hand. ‘This is no deception, Dresden. The world is changing. The Council’s end is near, and those who wish to survive it must act now. Before it is too late.’

I took a deep breath. ‘Normally I’m the first one to suggest we t.p. the Council’s house,’ I said. ‘But you’re talking about necromancy. Black magic. You aren’t going to convince me that the Council and the Wardens have suddenly gotten a yen to trot down the left-hand path. They won’t touch the stuff.’

‘Ideally,’ Cowl said. ‘You are young, Dresden. And you have much to learn.’

‘You know what young me has learned? Not to spend too much time listening to the advice of people who want to get something out of me,’ I said. ‘Which includes car salesmen, political candidates, and weirdos in black capes who mug me on the street in the middle of the night.'”

One of favourite passages because it shows just how witty Butcher’s writing is!

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2013?

Longest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

And Shortest…any manga volume that I’ve read.  Novel though, it might be: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson.  I cannot believe what happened in the end.  She’s so daring!!

And The Ruins there’s this one scene, I just had to talk to my friend about because it was so gruesome.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013?

This is so hard!!

Friendship: The girls from Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series.  They have the best friendship!  The strawhat pirates in One Piece have this unbreakable bond.  And strangely, the main characters in The Ruins.

Romance: Adrian and Sydney in Bloodlines; Ruby and Liam in The Darkest Minds; Hori and Miyamura in Horimiya; Eleanor and Stanton in The Lady in the Tower; Ana and Sam in Incarnate; and Sarasa and Shuri in Basara

  19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously?

Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and Quicksilver by R.J.Anderson top the list of favourite books that I’ve read previously.

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

White Knight by Jim Butcher and the other eight Dresden Files novels that I read previously, all based solely on the recommendation of a friend. He told me that up to about book eight, I’ll start saying, omg this is the best series I’ve ever read.  And now, I can’t say I don’t agree with him, because he’s totally right.

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013?

Manga topped the list, but romance and dystopia/fantasy came a close second.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

On top of all the other crushes including Liam from The Darkest Minds, Adrian from Bloodlines, I guess I have to pick Stanton from The Lady in the Tower, Dan from Past Perfect and Nine from The Fall of Five.  Out of all these book crushes though, Nine is the only one who is not in love with someone. Sohe’s totally up there on book crushes.  Plus, I like his character more and more every time I read the next instalment of the series.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I have a feeling, I have not actually read any novels that debutted in 2013… I didn’t even realise! haha.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I suppose any of the dystopias I ‘ve read (most of which I’ve previously mentioned) had pretty strong imagery.  Any of the Dresden Files novels were great too.  

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

Man I didn’t read it in 2013 but My Unfair Godmother was pretty fun!  In 2013 though,  the most fun book that I’dread would have to be Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

The Darkest Minds.  I think I nearly cried.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Hm, I have no idea.  This ones a toughie.  Guess I’ll have to think about it.