Fairest. Marissa Meyer.

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Fairest
by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

I am so conflicted by Fairest. I loved diving back into this world, even if it was just a small snippet. And I liked seeing Levana’s story. But truly, this was just a novella.

(Er….warning, some spoilers ahead! But only a little – I think I’m a bit vague, but if you don’t like spoilers, avoid this altogether!)

In truth, I would have loved to see this story in more depth with even more detail. But at the same time, I liked this story the way it is.

This was Levana before we see her in Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter.

My very first impression when I finished the 220 page novella was that….that’s it?! No more?!

I won’t say that my first impression was that I loved it. Because I didn’t. I didn’t like that several years had passed (around a decade or so) in the space of 220 pages. It was too much of a skim than something more. And I think, if what I read in Fairest was any indication, then Levana probably could have had a full novel to herself. In some ways, I felt like comparing her to Darth Vader lol, only more of a ….sociopath.

Of late, I really love my villain stories. And I really want well crafted villain. All through the Main Lunar Chronicles series, I had my doubts about Levana, because she seemed so…two-dimensional. And yet, she also had the hints of a deeper backstory, of the why she became the opposition.

Fairest is Levana’s backstory. It’s the lead up to what made her tick. Truthfully, I would have loved to see this story woven into the main series. But it’s nice she got her own book.

What I love about this novella and this villain story, is of course, the making. The making of villain, to me, is more important than anything. And in fact they should probably be even more emphatic than the protagonist. Everyone knows the protag is going to be the good guy, the morally straight compass, the one who wants to save everyone (or at least, inadvertently saves everyone), whereas the villain and the antihero are usually doomed to lose.

Which is why I was excited to read Fairest. (And now, am seriously considering rereading Winter soon – maybe even rereading the whole series again.)


SO THE T H O U G H T S

[1] Story: Meyer weaves the story of Levana’s history from when she was a child to early adult hood thereabouts. The only major climax is Levana’s realisation that her husband doesn’t love her, and that her own thoughts had become so twisted to believe that she deserved everything she had. What I did love about the story was seeing how Levana meander into the depths of well…evilness. I don’t like using the word evil. Twisted is better. Yes. This story tells the tale of how Levana became so twisted. And it isn’t pleasant. Levana begins as an innocent, naive, somewhat neglected little girl living in the shadow of her older sister. However, she slowly descends into a twisted reality after what her sister did to her – tricking her into burning herself. the scars that mar her, haunt Levana, eating away at her confidence in herself until by the end of the novella, it becomes abundantly clear that Levana is too far gone. She has already convinced herself that she deserves it all, and that she would do anything to get it. Most importantly, Fairest highlights the people in her life that influenced the person she became.

[2] Character: Levana – I would like to say that she is a pitiful creature, but I can’t really bring myself to believe it. I feel for her. But I think the biggest impression that was left with me when I finished this novella was the hopeless feeling that this was a woman too far gone. Her mental state, and of course, Meyer’s brilliant writing, left me feeling haunted. Perhaps even frightened of this woman that Levana became. And I think, this was something that didn’t really translate in the main Lunar Chronicles (there, she seemed less fleshed out, and more shallow). But here, I saw it vividly. How unhealthy her thoughts became after what her sister did to her. And then afterwards, just because she took a kind gesture too deeply, events unfolded into a twisted reality for Levana. Twisted to everyone but herself. To Levana who only wanted to be loved, found what she couldn’t have, and rather than leaving as it was, she took it. Made the man her husband. Even though this man…didn’t love her at all, and though he resisted, Levana made him. I think, for the majority of this story, I was frustrated with Evret for the way things unfolded. He made several errors – some which he could not be blamed for, but ultimately to which lead to the events after.

As I’m writing this, I can still remember the way Levana acted, and it’s kind of frightening. A girl with immense glamour abilities who can manipulate the way you think, who is scarred by her past, physically and psychologically, always lonely, undoubtedly might mistake his actions. It’s kind of scary. Especially when Evret was just being nice. He didn’t know how psychologically messed up Levana was. And Levana, to ease any guilt she felt about what she did and was doing told herself excuses that eventually she believed. The same way her sister had excused what had happened to her.

So I guess I need to hand it to Meyer for doing this with Levana.

[3] Romance: It’s not really romance, but to Levana it is! To everyone else, it’s clear that Evret doesn’t love her the way she thinks she loves him. It’s kind of sad really. I actually really did somewhat feel sorry for Levana, well after I got over the twisted nature of her thoughts, and worked my way through the feeling of I-need-to-get-out-of-this-poisonous-mind. But in many ways, I wish Evret had done something earlier. Except, how could he do that when Levana is the way she is? And this was the problem. I think I really liked Evret, but in the end, he was like the guy with all the bad luck in some horror film who managed to make it through the movie while dealing with the crazy one.

Other T H I N G S

This doesn’t have to be read before Winter, but you could and it might enlighten you a little.

I would DEFINITELY have loved to read a novel sized version of Levana’s story and did felt like the novella didn’t fully do enough justice to the story. Like with Star Wars: Lost Stars, the way this story was told and the feeling I got, just made me feel like it was just a ‘filler’ and not really a story in its own right. And in many way it is a filler, but still, this is Levana’s story.

Is it just me, or did it feel like there was something perhaps…missing? Maybe the thing I feel that’s missing might be related to the above paragraph, but still, there is something that just nags at me!

O V E R A L L

An interesting insight to the mind of Levana. Can’t wait to read Stars Above.

P.s. Apologies for any typos present!

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Quicksilver. R.J.Anderson.


13149420Quicksilver
by R.J. Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was freaking unbelievable. Even more amazing than the first. And omg! Review to come!

Firstly, R.J.Anderson should be named, “R.J. Awesome”. Because really, she does an amazing job creating her characters and her world.

The Plot
Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual… talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.

There are no plot holes. If there were, then I was too engaged with the story to see them.

As for the plot,well, it’s a continuation and conclusion of Ultravioletand all those unanswered questions from Ultraviolet, definitely got answered in this. Especialllllyyy the dilemma between Alison and Faraday.

I love that we get to see and hear from old favourites from Ultraviolet and I love that we find out what happens to Faraday and Alison, who, we know, left us wanting them to just get together finally. In this,while it wasn’t a clear cut happy ending, I feel Faraday and Alison had a wonderful reunion. A little cheesy and dramatic, but electric as always.

The Characters
You know, Tori Beaugrand could have been a very annoying character. But there was sympathy in her voice as well as a guarded determination. Being on the run and under an assumed name will take it’s toll on her. She’s harsh on Milo even though he’s been nothing but perfectly nice to her, and a total bitch to Faraday. But when she thinks everything through properly near the end, she wins so much bonus points from me. And well,I like her a whole lot more!

Milo Hwang. Oh man, so I’m always for a good Asian male as the love interest in American novels, being Asian myself, I have a complex about male love interests.I mean I’m always for Asian main female protags, but Asian love interests? They usually turn out cheesy or something…Like I didn’t like it in North of Beautiful. I don’t know, I guess there’s always something a bit off. But Milo, Milo is like a great example of a realistic Asian male love interest. I feel like he was totally hot in this novel and I did drool for him. Because Anderson created his character just that well!

But, he’s too nice :P.

Faraday and Alison. Oh Alison and Faraday,I’m so glad you guys got a bit of page time. But the amount of pages that they were on together at the same time, well, that was pretty minimal. But for those minimal few pages, that old chemistry between them sparks wildly, and it’s great. While the way that it ended between them in Quicksilver is not the most ideal in terms of happy romance novels, it’s a pretty great one. And I liked it.

Writing
Good, great, personality-filled, well written.

Overall
I seriously drooled when this was over. There were so many up moments and down moments. There was Tori being Tori, not giving a damn about others and only worrying about herself. Okay so I make her sound more selfish than she really is, it’s just that she’s spent so much time trying hard to make others like her and friend her, that she’s used to manipulating them so that she doesn’t feel “alien“. But then the action kicks in with a combination of Faraday’s return and Milo’s accidental discovery of half of Tori’s secret. And well, from there, you know that stone that’s started rolling down the hill? Yeah, it’s rolling, and it’s rolling fast. I can guarantee, if you loved Ultraviolet, then you sure as hell will love Quicksilver! Because there’s no way one can’t get sucked in. It’s just unbelievable. Loved this way too much! I was so happy when I read this, it had exceeded my expectations!

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United We Spy. Ally Carter


13580951United We Spy
by Ally Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay so this was more surprising than I thought. ALl I can say is, this was a great ending. Review to come.

Here it is. The Review.

What can I say? You know there are so many series I’m discovering that are actually an improvement from the first book in the series. Let’s see, I Am Number Four is definitely one where I didn’t like the first book much because it was too focussed on the boring stuff. But all the other books following…I loved.

Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series is a little like that. I thought book one was fine, book two introduced a hotter love interest, but still, it was just fine in my books. Book three, the same, and so on, until well, book five: Out of Sight, Out of Time. Now THAT was much darker than I’d anticipated. It was definitely surprising, and well, I have to say I really liked it.

But this one, United We Spy, this was definitely the best conclusion for this series. Well, Catherine Goode was a little unconvincing at the end with her talk about her reasons behind her actions. She just seemed crazy and I can’t remember her being that crazy in the other novels.

You see, that’s the problem with leaving a book to so long to read. Particularly if you’ve been waiting so long that you forgot most of the details of book five, so I forgot that Cammie and Zach had gotten together in that one, same as the relationship between Aunt Abby and Agent Townsend.

But it also gave me the chance to read this story from fresh lol! And yeah, I loved the conclusion.

HOWEVER. I have one major issue. I swear what’s the deal with how quick the discovery of Zach’s father? It was revealed, mulled over and then, became the least of everyone’s worries. Sure they had a heart to heart talk probably, but I don’t feel any other connection – whether strained or on a mutual level – between Zach and said father. So I found the ending a little surprising. Particularly since they seemed on such good terms.

FINALLY. I really liked Cammie’s growth in this. I think she has the most growth in book 5 and book 6. I love that she develops. Without that development, I’d think that United We Spy could have been as great as it was. So I’m glad she grew in this! I’m really glad.

As for spy novels, this is just one series of many. If you’re interested in girl/female spy novels,this isn’t so bad because it’s all there, plus there’s a bit of cheese, but mostly, there’s the mission.

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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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Clockwork Princess. Cassandra Clare.


6131164Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has GOT to be one of the longest novels I’ve read in a long time. I’m surprised, I’ve been getting annoyed at Cassandra Clare’s many works…and Clary and Jace from her other series, but I always did say the Infernal Devices were better than the Mortal Instruments. Still, I was surprised by this one. I didn’t expect to like, nor did I expect it to drag on for so long at the end. But still, I liked it. I liked Will to begin with, because he is and always will be the dashing, smart mouth, brooding love interest. But I liked Jem too…to be honest I thought he would lose out to Will like Simon lost to Jace, but he didn’t. And I liked how it ended…but it really must suck to be Tessa.  You know, she knows she will lose Jem again, because she’ll live for a lot longer, but she still wants him. And it was so sad seeing her life flash forward, and seeing Will die, I can’t believe I’d feel anything for him, despite his dashing charm.

My one annoyance with this entire book was the last two or three chapters. Everything before that was bam, bam, bam. But then, the climax was reached, Mortmain was defeated, and I felt it should have ended there. Except. It didn’t. And then I spent another seventy pages reading about what happened which was great and all, but it felt so final. WHICH is ALSO great, but I can’t believe I’m actually complaining how final it sounded…since I was so annoyed that the Mortal Instruments became a series of six books instead of three. But I’m glad this ended like it did. You know, I wasn’t going to read the proposed trilogy that’s set after the Mortal Instruments, but after Clockwork Princess, I think I might!

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The Fall of Five. Pittacus Lore.


15861491The Fall of Five
by Pittacus Lore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Huh no way, I thought there would only be 3 books. Well I’d totally read this because I really liked The Power of Six, though I do have to read The Rise of Nine still. I wonder how many books will be in this series?

You know, when you can’t believe what you just read, you can’t believe you feel almost teary, then it must be good. I’m a little stunned by the ending. I had already guessed the traitor, he was pretty damn shifty, but you kind of overlook it because he’s a self-proclaimed, socially awkward person. The next thing. I was relieved when certain prophecies were avoided in the previous book. But then in this one, you realise, there are some that just can’t be avoided in the end. And pairings. My heart is with Marina at the end there. She and Eight are so cute together.

The Plot
The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.

There aren’t many plot twists in this one, but there is a major plot twist at the end which I had never expected. Gosh, it made me teary.

The Characters

They have all grown on me. Even Nine. He’s more likeable in this one I think, in comparison to the one before. I like that the author gives us different perspectives. Though the font for Sam’s voice and Marina’s are nearly the same, so I had a bit of a hard time distinguishing sometimes, especially if their sections were one after another. But it’s funny, we have really only seen from Four/John’s perspective, Seven/Marina, Six/Maren, I think? I wonder what’s it like inside Nine’s head. He seems like a bag of fun lol.

The Setting
Chicago. They are in Chicago in Nine’s wicked awesome apartment.

Overall
A great sequel. This just gets better with every sequel I read. There’s everything. There’s emotion, action, love, conflicts, fights, wars, battles, friendship, family, happy moments, sad moments, and expectation. I have expectations for the next one, and it better blow my mind! Gosh, I hardly even know what to say about this one. It’s just awesome.

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Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore. A Suggestive Read.

The Excitement.

I cannot wait to read this! While Fire was both on my hate list and love list, I really liked Graceling! So I cannot wait for Bitterblue.

The Status Updates.

05/25/2012       “I actually can’t believe I finally have my hands on this. Omg, can’t wait! it’ll be absolutely amazing or absolutely disappointing…”
05/26/2012     50.0% “I loved how this began! I really like the way Cashore depicted this confused little queen…I wonder how it will end? why do I get the sense that Bitterblue is not going to end with Saf? Asides from the obvious fact that they’re on different levels of society?”
05/26/2012     51.0% “Omg lol, just hit the part where Saf and Bitterblue just…oh god, I really feel for Bitterblue. It’s really not her fault for who she is and I think Saf is being an ass about it, which I also think is really well written!”
05/27/2012     68.0% “The only thing that annoys me about Bitterblue is her constant questioning, otherwise, I really like her voice. I like that she tries to care. Cashore’s writing makes her seem slightly naive, but I think it suits Bitterblue’s character. I mean I didn’t like Fire much, but I’m thinking I like Bitterblue quite a bit, kind of like how much I liked Graceling.”

The Book.

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

The long-awaited companion to New York Times bestsellers Gracelingand Fire

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace. 

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck’s death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck’s reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea’s past has become shrouded in mystery, and it’s only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle – curious, disguised and alone – to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past. 

Whatever that past holds. 

Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart . . . 

Praise for Kristin Cashore 

‘This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible’ School Journal 

‘A WOW of a book. I HAD to know how it ended’ Tamora Pierce 

‘Fresh, hopeful, tragic and glorious’ Kirkus

The Review (by that I mean something that looks like My Review).

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think Graceling and Fire were both pedestals to the creation of this unbelievable book. It’s ridiculous that I didn’t like Fire as much as Graceling, and that I found the love between Katsa and Po, while hot, it seemed too inevitably, too contrived. But Bitterblue and Saf, oh my, I loved them. I sorry to hear how it ended, but I liked that. I really liked this book.

I think what I liked best about this book was Bitterblue’s voice; her story and how she deals with the remains of her father’s kingdom. I loved the way Cashore tied everything together neatly, no plotholes, and the way she focussed on Bitterblue. I really cannot say how well this entire novel is so perfectly perfect. Okay well I might be exaggerating a bit, but in the common thread, yes this is a well plotted, well written, and definitely entertaining read.

The writing, I think, while good, it would be the one aspect of Cashore books I would get annoyed at if I reread this, Fire and Graceling again. I mean it’s good writing, but it makes the characters seem less mature than they are. Except in this, asides from all of Bitterblue’s annoying questions, which in turn I find, well justified, the writing fully brings to light Bitterblue’s character.

Just loved this…stayed up to finish it. Can’t believe this is the last book. Sigh. Thanks Cashore. Can’t say how much I love this novel. I loved it like Graceling, and well Fire, I guess I have to read you again don’t I?

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Requiem. Lauren Oliver.


9593913Requiem
by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what to think of this, actually, part of me liked it and the other part kind of hated it and thought it was a waste of time. Hana’s perspective was interesting, but spending two books in Lena’s perspective, makes it hard for me to adjust to her. Actually half the time I was thinking, was it really necessary for me to know about Hana? But then again, I guess I’ll just have to think about it a bit more. I just felt compared to the first in the series, Requiem just doesn’t quite match up to it the way Reached and Mockingjay did for Matched and the Hunger Games, respectively.

 

Sooo that was my review on Goodreads.   Reading over it, it’s not very positive, yet, I feel it’s definitely how I felt: extremely disappointed.  It was incredibly anti-climatic and it was long so it was a little tedious.  Sure, I didn’t mind reading it for the sake of finding out how the series ended, I just felt there was a lot of nothing and at the same time, a lot of something.  I didn’t really get an explosive ending that I was kind of expecting, as you would probably expect with dystopian novels (as can be seen with the Hunger Games, Matched and even Wither – I have yet to read Allegiant for Divergent, so that’s undecided on my part for the moment).  Now I have nothing against open endings, because there are many instances where open endings are the perfect way to end the trilogy/series.  But for this, this just …I guess I can only say it again…disappointed me.  I was annoyed and left a little stunned (in a bad way) by the way this ended, which totally sucks!  I was hoping for more…hoping for more…hoping for more.  And yeah, got nothing.  Now there’s a series that ends well with an open ending: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.  Now, I liked how the third book ended.  Even if it was open, it felt right.  Not like this one.  Or maybe I just expected too much.

 

I was scrolling through some reviews written by some of my favourite reviewers on Goodreads and one said:

“If you haven’t started this trilogy, should you read it? Maybe. Book 1 was exciting. Book 2 was alright. Book 3 was not necessarily boring…it just all comes down to being anti-climactic for me. Maybe you won’t feel the same. I have friends who enjoyed the entire trilogy. This isn’t the worst dystopia I’ve read; that’s for sure. “

Whiiicchhhh I totally agree.  If you want to read the rest of that review (which seriously, like all her other reviews, are terribly – in a good way of course – funny) click HERE.

 

EVEN SO, by any means, read this if you want to read good writing that’s simple but emotively effective.  I’ve always loved Oliver’s writing, it’s never let me down.  Plus, Before I Fall and Delirium the best of all her books.

PLUS, the book covers are pretty, well, actually the funny thing is all three of the trilogy that I own have covers from different editions.  I was trying so hard to get them all the same, but …

Delirium is this edition:

My Pandemonium came from this edition:

And my Requiem is this one:

 

I actually really like the Requiem cover, and that particular series of covers.  Don’t really like the Pandemonium one because generally when it comes to covers like these, I wonder: Why do I have to focus so much on her face?  And the Delirium…I don’t think that became a series of covers?  Either way, I like the last cover series the best, I think it’s really pretty (I tried to find an image with all three books of the trilogy but I couldn’t…).

 

ANYWAY, how did others feel about Requiem?
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Fire With Fire. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


10662420Fire with Fire
by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say? This sequel…well there are no words for it. But the more I read it, there more creepier it sounds. The more I read it, the more I like the supernatural side to it. The more I read it, anything I thought about the first book is wiped from my mind and replaced with new thoughts. The first one was the baby, it was an introduction, getting to know the characters and laying the foundation. This book, well, this one was about what happens after the foundation is laid and the introduction is made. This is the build up to the climax (even though it’s filled with build ups and a climax of its own). And then there’s the cliffhanger. Boy oh boy, I did not want to see that cliffhanger. BECAUSE IT JUST MEANS I HAVE TO WAIT HOW MANY MONTHS UNTIL THE FINAL SEQUEL COMES OUT. And seriously, I absolutely cannot wait.

The Plot
Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

The Characters
Okay, so again the characters are great. They have their own personalities, head strong and their doing their thing the way they do their thing.
Lillia actually seems a whole lot more bitchier in this one compared to Burn for Burn. And while Kat has attitude problems as always, she’s the much kinder one in this. Then there’s Mary. Oh Mary, I totally accept all your feelings in this because (and I really didn’t expect this in the first one – it was totally not noticeable! Actually, it was much more obvious in this one, because there were clues here and there, yet in the first one she seemed much more normal and not as much the loner since I remember people commenting on the “new girl”)(view spoiler) it fits the character. Reeve on the other hand, well I liked that we get to know more about him. But still! I want to know about him and Mary! Alex – oh poor Alex. I wonder what will happen to him in the end! Rennie (view spoiler) gets more and more pitiful in this one. I wonder what will become of her.

The Setting
Jar Island. Some lonely island.

Writing
I always did like Han’s writing. So no complaints. It’s very contemporary and also very YA, with plenty of personality and voice.

Overall
I have my faves and my not so faves. Ultimately I want Mary to settle her issues, I want Lillia and Reeve to be together (now I do! Even though in Burn for Burn I was so for Lillia and Alex) and I want Kat to fulfil her dream of going to Oberlin. You know while I was reading this I had actually watched the original Carrie movie by chance. And I compared it a little. Mary is so like a Carrie. There’s even a scene, the scene where she tells her Aunt that she can do things that’s so like how Carrie told her mother that she could do things without touching them. Even Kat makes an allusion to Carrie. Soooo if this is anything like Carrie then, I wonder what will happen at the end. I freaking want to know now, seriously, there’s so much to keep one hanging onto every word written. There’s so much revenge and hate, and also there’s so much pain. There’s also so much mystery around Mary and Reeve, as characters, not necessarily them together.

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Asunder. Jodi Meadows.


13043180Asunder
by Jodi Meadows

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to read this because there were so many other things going o n but I honestly loved every mome nt and as soon as I get the chance I’m going to review this properly. In all honesty I actually think this was even BETTER than the first lol

The Plot
DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

I found the plot absolutely flawless – generally this is my opinion – but there was nothing I could fault it for. Nothing I could get overly aggravated about. I simply, just loved it.

The Characters
You know there are annoying characters with pet peeves and a sobby past that should be a character that I feel sympathy for and yet for some reason I don’t. But Ana, Ana is not one of those. Ana is anything but that. Sure, she has some pet peeves about her that had the potential to piss me off, but didn’t. Sure she has a sob story, which felt real and allowed me to feel empathetic to her rather than eye rolling. But Ana is different. All her feelings felt honest, not wishy washy or thrown out there to garner sympathy. I really felt close to her. And I liked her for it. Which makes me like Jodi Meadows even more for creating such a character!
Sam is the same. You know, I hate clingy, broody guys, but I don’t hate Sam. Nor is Sam the kind of clingy, broody guy that can be found in such books as Twilight and the City of Bones. Sam is passionate – I feel that’s a word that suits him well. He’s caring and he often over thinks things that annoy Ana, yet when they talk, they do talk about it. Plus for a guy who takes up a lot of space in the book and in Ana’s current life, I don’t actually feel like he’s there for no reason. I gave extra stars for that! Lol.
And others…the supporting characters are all interesting. I was a bit surprised about Cris, not really about Stef, and the birthing of newsouls, I liked how the image of ‘mother’ changed the perceptions of the new mother to her child. It’s interesting.

Setting
Heart, a fictional place in a fantasy setting. You know I could almost swear this was a dystopian, yet I know it’s not! Right?!?

Writing
I enjoy Meadows’s writing, there’s a very honest feel to it, especially more important, since it is written in first person. I think the feelings conveyed are beautifully written and I am submerged once I’m engaged. It’s startling, a little frightening that I can be that consumed by the writing and by the plot. Guess, it goes to show that this is a pretty wicked read!

Overall
I was definitely not disappointed by this sequel unlike some other sequel, looking at you Insurgent. I would definitely recommend this to all those who read the first one, and I would also recommend this to all those who want to read the first one and who have to absolutely get onto it straight away so that they can read this one! And then read the third one when that comes out!

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Anna and the French Kiss. Stephanie Perkins.


6936382Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna and the French Kiss is funny, and light and most definitely entertaining. A great summer read that’s fluffy in all the write places.

Anna is sent to France for boarding school by a father she couldn’t care less about, and away from her best friend, mum and brother, and, oh yeah the great job that she had and the great guy who she was actually about to get somewhere with.

But when Anna gets to France, things take a turn, and maybe not for the better.

Okay so yes, this book is light and fluffy. It’s set in Paris and it is romantic. It has its ups and its downs. It’s funny and sad.

It’s everything. So yes pick it up and give it a try.

That’s the good part. The bad part is…

IT is freaking stuffed with clichés! Every page there is at least one. NOT that that is a really bad thing. It can be bad because its repetitive, but good too because, well, it makes the dialog familiar.

If I liked a boy who was willing to cheat on his girlfriend – sort of – then who’s to say he wouldn’t do it again?

Kissing in public when the guy already has a girlfriend – over romanticised? Or just plain stupid?

And my biggest pet peeve about this novel is that Anna keeps on crapping on about how ‘beautiful’ Etienne is. God. Twilight much? Oh yeah the scene where they sleep in the same bed without doing anything…reminds me of twilight, but I think the innocence of the scene makes it less nauseous for me.

HOWEVER that does not mean you shouldn’t read this book. You should def’s read it because a) who knows when you need some overly dramatic, highly clichéd, fluffy read? and b) It’s pretty good.

And it reminds me of something Meg Cabot might write – minus the over the top clichés (The Mediator Series) or Jenny Han (The summer I turned Pretty) or Isabelle Merlin (Three Wishes) or Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction) or Jennifer Echols (Going Too Far) or Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You). I’ve just picked some authors and books that are similar – mind not the same – that anyone has read and liked, would like this one. I would have put Sarah Dessen down, but this novel seemed more romanc-y than teen angst – as in dealing with the more serious issues that Dessen’s books do deal with asides from the love angle of course.

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Sea. Heidi R. Kling


6482981Sea
by Heidi R. Kling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sooo Sienna is still having nightmares from when her mother died three years ago. It makes her afraid of the Sea and flying. But when her father surprises her with a ticket to Indonesia to help out with an orphanage looking after children from the tsunami, she isn’t so sure until she realises she could be helping others even though she can’t quite yet help herself.

In Indonesia though she meets a boy named Deni who has his own sufferings. Can she help him?

So hesitation…hesitation…hesitation. I did not want to pick up this book in the first place. I might read romances but they have been worse of late, particularly YA. So I was hesitant. But then it was a choice of reading this book or another one which sounded the same…more promising premise…possibly very disappointing lusty finish. Whatever I thought. Since neither seemed great.

Several hours later
This was not what I expected! Okay so I kinda want to cut the cover into tiny pieces because it is sooo deceiving. But I can’t because it’s the library’s book.

Heidi R. Kling writes a beautiful novel about the tragedy of the 2005 Tsunami in Indonesia. Her character, Sienna though a little wimpy to begin with grows as she experiences more and more of the extent of the tragedy.

I loved how the focus was not entirely on the ‘couple’ but on the disaster.

It is beautifully written.

(view spoiler)

I think this is a great book that mixes fiction with fact. Kling sets the scene well and as a reader, you actually feel as though you were there.

Three stars because according to goodreads it means ‘I liked it’ which I did. It could have been four stars on another scale because it was well written, had an interesting protag, well developed plot, and I did not feel as though her time (the protag’s) was rushed when she was with Deni in Aceh.

As for other books similar to this, I would have to say that once I finished this one, North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley was the first to come into my mind. Although they couldn’t be anymore different. I think the gradual unfolding of events that lead the development of the protagonist was what put me in mind of that book particularly.

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