Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
My rating: 3 of 5 genies
Published: September 1, 2010 by HarperTeen
Pages: 355
Source: Library Loan
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, 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 still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

What I liked 

Evie is a likeable protagonist, and extremely easy to follow – a little naive perhaps and at times juvenile – but it is made evident the reason for why this is so. Perhaps the author stressed her locker fetish a bit much and made her childlike almost to a fault, but she is okay by me. Okay enough that I will look into the next book in the series, however not to buy because the ratings for that are floundering at the moment and I am not impressed enough to spend my dollar on something so iffy. It was all so decent. The story was decent, the romance - surprisingly - decent (and kind of cute) also.

You would think that because the protagonist is so new to normalcy things like her first kiss or even holding hands with the guy she likes (Lend is awesome!) would be heavily exaggerated. Luckily though, there is Easton Heights, a very clever invention on White's part to ease much of the differences between Evie and the typical YA protagonist mainly due to her very different background. This fictional high school drama was the perfect educational guide to the world of: Let's Kiss Everything/Everyone/Everywhere, Um, Teenagers.

That helped so much and actually a lot of things in Paranormalcy were innovative. Say, the complete un-attractiveness of other paranormals - vampires in particular - and Evie's ability to see through glamour. Brilliant!! The only thing I kept wishing for was that Edward could kind of superimpose himself into a page but only long enough for her to actually see the pedophilic man lurking underneath! I see you...

Side-note:(And Black people are not the only pedophiles guys, so any trolls trying to bring that up with regards to my gif better get the sitting down! I am black also, and somewhere there is a Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian or even Indian agreeing with me that pedophiles are of all race/color. Need I bring to mind once again Edward? He was white, y'all.)

Speaking of shady characters, Reth was a peculiar one. Reth, Reth just wanted to dance!

And totally creepy-like, but hey! It's all good... I think.

Bottom line though, Reth was evile. EVILE, I say!!! And I loved him. Let me explain: What I mean to say is, Viv wasn't much of a villain, I just ended up feeling bad for her the majority of the time so that completely fell through for me, but Reth was right there to make me hate him without thinking too much about it. Good Old, Reth! As the creepy/over-protective/psychotic/hot-faerie-ex he was the perfect target for my fury.

Raquel was good too, however I'm left unsure how to think of her at this point. Either as a mother-figure to Evie but conflicted by her duties to IPCA? Or A platonic, responsible woman handling best the responsibilities thrust upon her? The unsurity from the protagonist, Evie, only seeped through to me and I suppose only time (and the next book) will tell where things between those two lie.

What Needed Work

With the constant switch between juvenile and then kind of mature, the overall mood of the story was extremely hard to pin-point. Evie's wide-eyed exuberance and kind of clueless behavior was not a selling point for me. I mean: "OOH, A REAL-LIFE LOCKER ANYONE?!"

Yeah, no thanks.

There was a point in my reading when I was like, 'I could be reading something way more exciting,' and this came about because I set my standards way too high. I was expecting WOW and got, IT'S DECENT. So that was a disappointment. I'm dealing with it.

I did love the story and Lend, though. Those things will keep me coming back for the second book! Do not set your expectations too high (it isn't as bad as that sounds) and try it if you're looking for some mild entertainment/an easy read.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
My rating: 2.5 of 5 genies
Published: September 27, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 390
Source: Library Loan
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary
On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

My Initial Thoughts

This cover is gorgeous! Man it's so pretty with the shiny words and girl at the front pulling a whole Rose in Titanic pose! All she really needs is a Jack, but in this case, Sky does not get 1 admirer - not just 2 either - but 3 guys who want her. How do I know this from only reading approximately 44.5 pages into the book? Well that's just the problem, A Beautiful Dark is painfully predictable. Most of you may not know, but I put off marking this as "unfinishable" because I was dreading the review, I couldn't do it.

And while some people think that ripping a book apart is fun, that there's some enjoyment in burning it to flames, page by page there isn't. Truth be told, someone worked very hard on this and since Jocelyn Davis has never once offended me in any way shape or form, I think it only fair that I deliver a respectful review. Kind of one of those "get in, get out deals." Hit it!!


The main problem with this book seems to be that it is very literally a regurgitation of very YA novel to date with aspects taken moderately from each. There was nothing to expect because quite honestly I already knew.

For example, Skye has 2 best friends, I will get to them later, but they like to throw her a 'surprise' party every year even though she doesn't like the gatherings. AT. ALL. That point was made so evidently aware to me that I almost shook the friends and slapped them upside the head with salmon for continuing with the 'tradition' when poor Skye looked like she just dreaded the whole ordeal and only went along with it to please them. What kind of friends are these? Beats me how she fakes liking the parties every year! The friends come off as heavily inconsiderate for persisting despite her refusal.

It should be sweet that they do it for her, really it's a nice gesture, but ONLY WHEN THE PERSON BENEFITS FROM IT. This girl hated the parties, end of story and it didn't help sell the whole "best friends since forever" angle that Cassie and Dan didn't see it. Plus, the parties are probably doing more harm than good since every year they serve as a somewhat permanent reminder of the parents she doesn't have. [Maybe they were too strung up in their own little world? If the question most of you are contemplating now is "they like each other" I'm going to have to say yes, yes they do, and I got this much from reading almost 45 pages. And like with Skye's ritual birthday parties, there really were no more surprises to be had. (hide spoiler)]

Secondly, the love triangle or whatever contraption it was intended to be, I'm still trying to work out in my mind what shape would work but...Oy Vey.

All those guys for one girl?? What is she supposed to do, shoot candy out her boobs like Katy Perry?! It was unbelievable and tired. When I first met Ian my impression of him was of the sweet guy next door, but since the book's blurb points out that 2 other guys are supposed to compete for Skye's momentary affection I knew something had to be wrong. And then it hit me:

Ian is a plot device. He doesn't really have any purpose as a character other than better exemplifying just how lovely our dear protagonist supposedly is, because if 3 hot men want her she must be something special. Instead it left me feeling fidgety and bored because it was pretty apparent who in that twisted relationship would be hurt in the end: Ian, and I liked him. This wouldn't have been a problem if the other guys - Asher and Devin - were anything to write home about. Fair enough I didn't get that far, but the foundation was laid pretty bare and like I said, been there, done that was my response.

Asher and Devin reminded me a little of Damon and Stefan Salvatore in angel-angsty-bad boy form:

- Long brooding looks at female? Check.
- Creepy sense of female having known both guys before? Check. By the way this sets the stage for very creepy explanations as to why. I hear some Edward-Cullen level stalking occurred?? Yeah, enough said.
- The general appeal of both guys makes it impossible for the leading lady to get either from her mind? Check!!
- She will consequently have to choose between them. *Gasp* Who will it be!?! Dun, dun, dun, dun!!!

It was all done before! Everything has happened somewhere else and while I went in with high hopes and great expectations blazing, I was disappointed. I could have given up at 10 or so pages in, but instead kept at it as best I could until a good friend of mine pointed out, there is no point in reading something you know you aren't going to like. As soon as the stale disposition of this novel and its characters registered I knew this wasn't the type of book that I'd rave over.

As a protagonist, Skye is standard. And brooding. And just far too uneventful to make me want to come back. She lives in a ski town that didn't really offer much and by the time I stopped it was just before she meets the boys at her high school. Honestly, I am beginning to think that school isn't such a safe place anymore! All the paedophiles wind up there. And yes these boys are paedophiles, they are immortal and therefore by far older than Skye. I'm serious, the more I read YA fiction the more I consider home-school for my children.

awkward gif photo: Awkward awkward.gif

You're right, finely dressed man! They'll probably turn out awkward.

In Conclusion

*Sigh* I have nothing else to say. I went as far as I could go with this one and hopefully this review is at least helpful. 2.5 genies out of 5! Like I said, it would have received a higher rating if it were original, but it isn't. Or at least not to me, feel free to form your own opinions.

This novel had its perks, I wouldn't read it again, but it was an okay read.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: May 8, 2012 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 299
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary
Starting over sucks.When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.And then he opened his mouth.Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Thoughts

I have no explanations to offer, and certainly little excuse as to why it took me so long to read Obsidian. I should have jumped on the bandwagon months ago. What is important is that I am on it now, and have no plans of ever getting off. Jennifer Armentrout is a beautiful, beautiful woman for what she has given me, thank you for Daemon!


Oh, baby!

Excuse me while I make some [lame] jokes about his hotness right now:

(1) "Is it hot in here, or did Daemon just walk in?"

(2) "I could swear the heat is turned up all the way. Nope, just Daemon."

(3) "Daemon lets the sun have a break now and again, because his hotness is enough for the world."

Whoo! Hey, I told you they were bad; you were warned. Take it from me, I was warned! Over and over again friends kept saying how much I would love Obsidian, how great of an author Ms. Armentrout was, and how Katy would make me feel like she wasn't even in the book but sitting next to me. I should have listened, but then again, I am glad that I didn't take these praises to heart because by the time the book was through my eyes were wide as saucers.



I can't really say anything more than, this was a very, very, very enjoyable read. I loved everything!

Characters: 5/5

Plot: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Writing: 5/5

H.M. (honourable mention):
Goes - surprisingly - to Katy. She is so like me, everything she did I totes would have done too. Her having a blog is pretty much icing on the cake, genius on Ms. Armentrout's part as not only is this girl more relateable because of her actual hobby, she feels human.

There are no points of concern, I only wish that I had more Daemon! The banter is witty and so very entertaining, and the chemistry? Do not get me started.

If only I knew where to begin. Everything worked, it was all a melting pot of genius. Take it from me, it is two days later and my mouth still hangs at the mention of Daemon, Katy or the book in general. I need to get me a Street Team and fast! Onyx cannot release fast enough, I already placed a pre-order like a day into reading this book. So yes, it is that good. *Sigh* The thing is, he was far from perfect, I mean he looks incredible, but Daemon's attitude leaves much to be desired.

At first I was giving him just about as many middle fingers as Katy did, but let it be known that this boy grew on me. What else should I have expected? He's an alien, completely out of this world. And...I am through gushing, this is getting embarrassing! But yes, I was impressed and cannot wait to read more books by this author. Give Obsidian a try, it will not disappoint.

5/5 genies

Favourite Quote:
"Holy Hawt Chemistry, Batman!"


Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Published: January 4, 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 435
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . . Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil.
When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

My Thoughts

Tucker Avery made this book for me. I liked Clara too, and to be honest she did grind on my nerves a little - so did Jeffrey actually - but they weren't unforgiveable. Tucker however, had me right at the get-go. I was swooning, I mean really? a studly cowboy who happens to be oh-so charming? Hello!

H.M. (honorable mention) goes right to him, no question. I liked Clara's mom for a while, she was cool, but then she got all secretive and by the end, Hand didn't have me feeling the whole "she's doing it for her daughter's benefit" vibe. I was offended, as I suppose Clara was as well. Meg loved her children but didn't let them in on everything that I think they should have known.

Trust is huge for me. God forbid my mom started keeping secrets like that, we'd never speak again, it's that bad! What I meant at the begining about Clara's whining is that she can be a little a lot self-obsessed. At certain parts it was all about her and her "purpose" and Christian! I was mad at her because she treated several people in my opinion, very poorly.

She sucked at choosing friends and did not appreciate Wendy for the sweet farm cutie she was; ditching her to hang with the very suspicious Angela instead! The girl gave me the creeps and was shifty like she was constantly hiding things, which she was. I remain unconvinced that the fellow she meets in Rome isn't a black wing. Why else did she not mention him? Girl reeks untrustworthiness. But Wendy - the sweet loyal one - is the girl repetitively looked over, and I hated it. Maybe there was the whole, "We're angels! Let's be angels together!" thing that Clara shared with Angela which she and Wendy didn't have, but still, friends should not be treated that way.

Also Christian was too perfect. Like really too perfect, I was annoyed with him. He took "Golden Boy" to the next level and I never really felt like he was a character. Was he sweet? Yes, but he could have been more realistic. That said Christian did have his moments, and was always there to save her. He was a good prince charming, just not mine.

And as far as baby brothers go? Jeffrey kind of sucked. He was more selfish than Clara and that is saying a lot. I get the age he's at and know that the world seems to depend on the very air you breathe, but would it kill him to be more caring? I'm thinking of Danny from Nevermore when I make this plea because he is literally the best fictional brother ever. Be more like him and give a hoot about more than just your life and popularity. Sheesh!

The Plot was amazing though, I have to hand it to her, Hand knows how to spin 'em! She was busting out twists and loops that I never saw coming. In that regard she has my respect, this book was certainly far from predictable. Also the Setting was kind of cool. Jackson Hole I want to visit, for the gorgeous scenery and fabulous men. I'm booking my ticket!

P.A. (problem areas) were few for me and I don't think I can complain about much except for most of the character's absorption in themselves, but even that is kind of realistic because people don't always hold hands, and hardly they remember to consider those around them. I grabbed Unearthly because there was major hype surrounding it. Everyone was buzzing about it and I can't say that any of those people are wrong; I enjoyed the book for its smooth storytelling and want the next one ASAP, so this one is a definite 4 genies and favorite.

Is Clara a heroine with spunk? Yes. She was tough and I respect her for the way she handled the whole Carrot Hair thing, not to mention Bozo, I would have died. So the two of us will meet again January of next year and I can hardly wait, I miss my Tucker already.

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Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Published: January 17th, 2012 by HarperTeen
Pages: 403
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

My Thoughts

This book is a solid 4 genies out of 5. Initially I gave it a 5/5, but upon further reflection it lowered slightly, I had to be honest about this review and there were things which bothered me.

This is weird, and I find myself dividing Hallowed into little segments because the book was hot and cold in varying degree. The beginning was great – I loved it – the middle slow, and the ending ultimately heartbreaking. I remember being at the middle of being done and thinking, ‘things are moving pretty slowly, because they were. There was so much drama regarding Clara’s purpose and who she would choose, I wanted to slap her a couple times when she got typically self-absorbed, oblivious to any problem not hers. But somehow, it turned out well in the end.

Hand returns to the Unearthly Series with a Vengeance. She is back in the game and better than ever. It isn’t really even a question: Hallowed trumps Unearthly on the scale of existence.


Sorry about that, pal.

Writing: 4 

Plot: 4.5 genies

Characters: 3.5 genies

Setting: 4 genies

H.M. (honourable mention):
This award is going to Jeffrey because regardless of how I felt about him in the beginning, Hand won me over. His character was jaded, brooding and sometimes just plain unattractive, but now I see that great pain hides behind the majority of his negativity. Jeffrey’s reasons for being sick of ‘purposes’ are totally valid, and if I were him, I’d be done with them too. That is, if Clara Gardner was my sister.

P.O.C. (points of concern): I hated the love triangle. Understand this, I loved it too, but really I did hate the fact that there didn’t seem to be a definitive light at the end of the tunnel, or an inclination as to which boy Clara would end up with. Tucker Avery stole my heart the first book; I remember thinking that Christian was too perfect to be real, or believable as a person, but that changed drastically. Readers are let into Christian’s past, his struggles as well as desires and it is as if he morphs into so much more than the pretty boy meant to be Clara’s purpose, he becomes more than that. By the way, I am using ‘morph’ a lot lately, aren’t I? I must be reminiscing…

again rangers Pictures, Images and Photos

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers!!

And speaking of good times, what happened to Tucker’s?? I disliked how feeble Tucker almost seemed in comparison to Christian; he is still gorgeous, but human and frailer than the kind of person Clara needed him to be. He almost seems like a phase now, you know the kind when kids talk back/drink/become demons hell bent on rebellion that they take up whatever happens to be contrary to go against the mold? Personally, I like to apply this logic:



This applies only to the kids, of course to the children and anyone not me because you know I’m still going to speak my mind regardless!

But yeah, Tucker’s beautiful and a fabulous piece of work, but there were times in the book where he felt more like a passing phase. I really wish that had been done differently. He was so strong in Unearthly and at times he looked even stronger than Clara then; somehow this is lost, or maybe it was intentionally done by Hand to highlight Christian in a better light, make him more appealing and such? Still, where has the boy I fell in love with gone?

Christian assumes the role of ‘Mr. Everything You Will Ever Need’ for Clara rather effortlessly. Really, the girl should just go along with her purpose – go with Christian – because there is not a darn thing wrong with him. He completes her in a way that feels necessary. Even when she’s fighting the connection trying to make her own choices, he is still there.[Yay, Stanford! (hide spoiler)]

I think someone should step in and just make the choice for her. Not in a crappy Calla/Ren/Shay way, but tastefully in the way that I suspect only Cynthia Hand is capable. Remember the last time Clara exercised free will, folks? Things did not end well:

forest fire Pictures, Images and Photos

burn, baby burn!

My Tucker woes aside, the whole plot was knit well and I really have to hand it to Hand, the majority of this novel flowed marvellously. The character’s relationships were intense, greatly complicated, and I kept biting my fingers, muttering to myself as I read:



“JEFFREY, stop being a prick.”

*Drool* “Tucker…”

*Double Drool* “Hello, Christian...”

By the way, I believe there was a drool or two in there for Michael too. And okay, so maybe my ‘muttering’ was more like yelling, Bite Me. Goodreads has it right for once with the rating system; Four out of Five means that I really liked it and I did. It is a favorite, and somehow – when I went in with expectations so very low – I left the book feeling satisfied.

There a loops and little disasters thrown in for good measure, this author never disappoints. That little doozy about someone dying? You are going to cry, because I just about bawled my eyes out; it is inevitable, you will cry at some point in this book. And you will love it, because we are all little masochists on the inside. Some more frequently than most, but hey!

Which brings me to the matter at hand, who exactly wins out in this twisted little love triangle? Neither, I think it hurts a little too much to pick between them and I can’t. I am neither “Team Christian” or “Team Tucker” because I am both.


Yes, I am a “double-dipper,” I “play both teams.” Suck it, they're both amazing. And I feel ready to accept the outcome - whatever it may be - come book three, because I love Tucker and Christian equally, maybe Christian a little more, but seriously though, read this. Don’t go in with any expectations other than yours; I find it a particularly brilliant pleasure when those demands are not only met, but blown straight through the roof. Hand is good at that, and this book is amazing!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: May 21, 2011 by Feral Dream
Pages: 255
Source: Purchased
Format: Kindle
Purchase At:

Goodreads Summary

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

My Thoughts

So this is what withdrawal feels like. I thought I knew, because I've read few books before and had some reaction close to this but nothing so profound. This book blew me away, and with three days until New Years I can safely say that this is the best book of 2011. I'm crying right now and I'm so sleepy because it's almost 4am where I am, but the only thing that matters and that I care about is that the book is finished.

And I'm in withdrawal.

No aspirin can fix this...

Full review to come in the morning.

The following day/days, UPDATE!

I don’t like rumors. In this case, someone was spreading a particularly vicious one that there existed a phenomenal book floating around - of which the online reading community was raving flying penguins about - an ebook, with stellar and amazingly well fleshed characters and chilling setting to boot; but wait for it… this book was supposedly .99cents

Only .99 cents; a meagrely almost-dollar.

Now what load of bull is that?? No way could something estimated as so incredibly good by a great majority of my Goodreads friends, and others, actually be so cheap. I couldn’t believe it, and because I happen to have a darling kindle as present from my 18th – say hi to my kindle, Tookie everyone *Tookie waves* – I needed to be sure that these rumours were not true. Also I had no ebooks to speak of and Angelfall seemed an excellent place to start. At least it was something.

I was determined to find out the truth. This had to be a joke, right?

Oh, who am I kidding?!


That was awesome!!

I love rumors – the good kind – and especially when they lead me to something truly ground-breaking and awe-inspiring as this! I did not stop reading for a moment, I took this to the treadmill with me and while Raffe and Penryn were treading the forests, I was beating it on that machine!

There was no way in any world – crazy post-apocalyptic or now – that I was leaving this book behind just to sweat. Sweating could wait, but you know when you get used to ordinary and then you experience something so startlingly new and so far from the norm that you really need to pinch yourself – or in my case almost fall off the treadmill – just to believe the marvelous thing in your hands/world astounding at the moment truly exists? Yes, well I can’t imagine a better example of that than my experience with Angelfall.

But first, let me speak to you of withdrawal. The condition, as some of you may know, involves aversive reaction to the removal of something otherwise deemed essential to sustenance. So basically, at the end of my journey that night/very early morning, I experienced withdrawal.

This, this is what I went through:

And get this, I finished at just a little after 3AM because the last few hours of my reading consisted of me dozing off – I’d been reading that whole day and at 1AM, I was exhausted – and then darting immediately back to Angelfall. It was like everything in me knew the importance of finishing, my subconscious went right back to it, like a drug. And when I was done, it hit me like the worst case of hangover ever; I cried and clutched Tookie to myself, promising that the world was not this way – not yet – and I would never leave her behind to suffer so cruel a fate. I…I think she smiled a little at me at that… and I think we shared something?

*Cough, creepy! So creepy* And moving on…

Simply said, I could not go without at least checking this book out; and hearing about Angelfall the way I did is really the best example of why I so love this community. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was raving about this. There were discussions upon discussions about how flipping amazin’ Susan Ee was; I needed to see what all the hoopla was about. Best. Decision. Ever.


For once, there will be no spoilers, nothing to ruin a single moment for anyone who hasn’t gotten their hands on this yet. Go buy the novel, it’ll rock your world and it’s priced at what, barely a dollar. Some online fiction is 3 times that amount and not nearly as good, what on earth are you waiting for?

Characters: Part of why I love Angelfall so much is because of its kick-butt characters. You’ve heard of Penryn? No? Well then you should have! She is the embodiment of perfection. Like really, this girl has it together where it counts and so strong…I couldn’t imagine being that way and in her position. Favorite and strongest female lead of the year. Not to mention, her mom is probably the most frightening person in non-existence. And somehow Penryn copes in a world where there is no medicine for her mother’s madness, she does not abandon her.

The praises keep coming as this girl also deals with the disappearance of her sister, Paige and the horror at the end when she discovers her once again. Like I promised, no spoilers, but how freaky was that for those of you who’ve read it? I have chills just thinking about that scene in general.

As rare as this is to have happen, the Angels were actually characters too – masterful and researched in detail – but they are portrayed so differently from what is standard. There are politics involved, scary deals made between individuals of unbelievable power, these beings long made out to be just good. They care most of all about hierarchy and who is in power, there are some willing to kill for that.

Truthfully it was hard to digest. I imagine no one else could have made me believe in any of what I read but this author. Long was it common assumption that Angels be just beautiful, cordial and well, kind; but all of that prior knowledge was subject to thorough distortion. Safe to say, it was the best experience I have by far had of something so ingrained and familiar being altered. My religion is still the same and I hold fast to it, but what Ee offered was a break from what was expected, a look into what the end of the world is supposed to look like, and through her eyes. The woman is a genius.

If not for anything else, read Angelfall for its new concepts, get it for that alone. So many of the characters still tug on my heart, most of all Penryn and Raffe.

Ah, Raffe.

And where exactly would a leading lady be without her suitable counterpart? In this case certainly nowhere. To anything that Raffe said, I was pretty much like:

Because he was a hot Angel and he was boss. Seriously, why can’t I get a guy like that, why?!? Does it really take the world endingoh no, no wayfor me to find a decent guy! The standards the majority of males today adhere to are much too low and must be lifted, because Ee is in town and with her around, well the normal men will be competing with Angels.


BAM, now how do you like them apples?!

The setting of this book was dead on fantabulous, and the plot has actually inspired me to do better myself with how brilliant it was and every single thing about this book is special. I don’t know if all the comparisons of Angelfall to the Hunger Games is much to go on, but I’m willing to try Hunger Games just to find out.

I need more of this, or something very close to it, I have been reading at too low a standard for much too long. The release of the next book needs to happen now. I need Raffe and I need Penryn; to be honest, I think I needed them much before ever reading about either. This whole experience was so worthwhile, there would have to be something wrong with me if I didn’t encourage everyone to get their hands on this.

5 genies: WOWZA. Yes, this is that book, the book you've been looking for! You need this novel in your life, take it from me.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Published: October 1, 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 472
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.     When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

My Thoughts

Laugh if you must, but I realize now that I should have taken notes while reading this. The reason being, Graceling is so much more than a "good book," there is no real way to describe it without pulling some fancy smancy words from the dictionary. So I did; from the dictionary of my mind, that is! Some words that I think aptly describe this book are:

stupendous, magnificent, mind-blowing, oh and, so freaking worth it!

I feel obligated to write something in-depth enough to make each and every one of you decide to buy - if not borrow - a copy, but since I'm not hear to coerce you, I'll make this as short and honest as possible. Keep in mind, it is the kind of book which leaves a reader - in this case me - still thinking about it a month following its completion.


I don't know what to say exactly, to make you believe that this book and its complexities were worth the read and more; I can only urge everyone to read this, take it from me, there will be no regrets.

Writing: 5 genies
Characters: 5 genies
Plot: 5 genies
Setting: 4.5 genies

H.M. (honourable mention): Prince Po and Katsa carried this book for me, they are incredible. Oh, and I loved Bitterblue too because she's so intelligent! Cows a'floatin, that girl is SMART!
P.O.C. (points of criticism): I don't have much to say here, only that there are intimate encounters and mature subject at instances, so do keep that in mind. Parts of this book can border on being more "mature YA" fiction, but not quite Mature in detail, still there are those moments.

A Novel that from Start to Finish never Lets Go...

I love fantasy, particularly the elements of fantasy that feel like you aren't reading but experiencing. This book easily absorbs, transporting to the time of Katsa and Po. Katsa doesn't have it easy being her Uncle's thug and Po is the wandering Prince who makes life so much better. His warmth is palpable, this boy was just so kind that it broke my heart at times! Katsa is a layered character and under each peal there would be something new to add to my understanding of her, which is the way it should be, she isn't easy to forget.

Their journey was incredible and exciting, I never wanted to stop reading any of it and when they fell for each other...swoon it felt blessedly perfect. All I have to say is, yes please, more of this perfection! Hah, it was believable and this couple's chemistry truly is unique. Po is a doctor of sorts, he sees the need in Katsa and he not only fulfils it, he helps her become better, she is that much better because of him and I think the same could be said of Po too. I appreciated the romance because I'm just that kind of girl, however what had me really impressed had to be Cashore's sense of balance in writing. The romance was important, but so was Katsa's badassary. This girl is badass! Cashore made it so that you could tell the relationship between Katsa and Po mattered but not more than the future of the Kingdom's, which was kind of at stake.

Speaking of which, the different Kingdoms are intriguing, and engaging with this world was never a decision I made, it just happened. Leck chilled me to the bone and Bitterblue, along with Raffin, are warm in my memory; their roles transcend so much farther than merely being secondary characters. I am so glad that I read this, Cashore is a brilliant author and I'm a fan.

Book two, Fire here I come!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 genies
Published: May 3, 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 487
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts

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Well now that's out of the way and I have relatively explored the inner Saleswoman in me...Moving On.

Overall: 3.5 genies

Characters: 3/5

Plot: 4/5

Setting: 2.5/5

Writing: 4/5

H.M. (honourable mention:( Both Beatrice's mom and dad.

P.A. (problem areas:( The general un-likeability of the characters at times. There was just too much bad about them and not enough good, kind of depressing, actually.

What I Liked:
I liked a lot about this book. It is my first ever dystopian novel and I am very pleased that it was, I mean it was a good read. There was action and danger and intrigue which I greatly enjoyed, also Roth's story-telling abilities are kind of amazing. She weaved this world where people are literally divided into factions based on personal belief and are made to follow the motto, Faction before blood, pretty intense when you think about it.

I applaud the creativity necessary to come up with such a concept and all my problems with certain aspects of this universe aside, I think Roth is a good author. I will read the next book, Insurgent? Because I need to see how these problems are resolved; needless to say, that last chapter left behind a lot of cliff-hangers. [Also I have a snaking feeling that Will is alive, I mean Beatrice never actually saw the bullet hit him, he just stopped chasing, and I have a tiny crush on will so fingers crossed! (hide spoiler)]

When it came down to it, Beatrice was tough when she needed to be and I liked that she kind of evolved. Like Superman.

Or SuperKitty. I like him better.

What I Struggled With:
Generally just Beatrice's Harshness, the girl was a bitch the majority of the time and until she metWhat's his face Tobias she was cruel. I get necessity in harsh times and the need to toughen yourself, but also understand meanness, she went about things like some army recruit ready for war. Would being factionless really be that bad? Of course it would, because Tris is just to good for that! I should never have felt that way about the protagonist but I did; not to say I never sympathized with her, I stopped liking Al because of just how much I felt bad in her defence so there, I care.

Grinch Heart Grow Pictures, Images and Photos

She was just so robotic and kind of hard to relate with. Oh and her friends kind of sucked. And between me and Christina there were major issues; the way she was depicted as petty and envious rubbed me the wrong way, I hated it. Did she always have to be jealous of Tris? From what I hear, the robotic little pipsqueak doesn't have much going for her other than Tobias and that relationship in itself is a little far-fetched. I'm still trying to buy it.

Side-note: The guy did not have nice hands, they were dry and icky from what I hear and he should really consider giving me a call.

Ahem, remember what I said about there being more bad than good? Da, da, dada! Perfect examples: Peter, Molly, Drew, Al, Max, Eric, The high-officials from both Erudite and Dauntless, Marcus and whaleJeaniene. These people were all baddies, I mean all of them. Can I take it to mean that Roth has some serious villain-creating-tendencies or just that she wanted as many as possible? I'm going with the latter.

All through the book I kept gritting my teeth because of how much I hated Peter, all along I kept wishing he would just die. Partly because Tris wished that a lot of people did that, she was like a trigger-happy toddler sometimes! Can you say, 'Kill 'em all'?

Trigger Happy Pictures, Images and Photos

It got old fast, and the overall violence was a little much for me. The way the world sounds is as though a good 3/4 has been wiped out. What could they possibly need to train for/protect? Why would no one consider that?

Overall: I would buy this book. Why? Because it is so unique and different, plus interesting enough to keep a reader flipping close to 500 pages ahead and ladies and gentlemen that takes skill. From now until the release of Insurgent I will send up multiple prayers that the second book is somehow more personal and human because I found this to be a little robotic. I want to experience Beatrice and Tobias's love beyond rules and constraints because the way they kept it the majority of the time hush-hush was not romantic nor ideal.


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New Beginnings (Bare with Me)


So, if you happen to be here, then you're kind of awesome. Thank you so much for visiting, you have no idea how much your dropping by means to me! Believe me when I say that I am not a tech-savvy person. Honestly, everything is so new to me, the codes/layout/everything, but this blog is something that I've wanted forever! Right now I am in the process of organizing - my shelf/actually buying one big enough to hold most of my books, as well as getting in order my thoughts.

Let me elaborate: usually when I review through Goodreads I tend to be a spoiler kind of gal, and like to leave spoilers (although well-hidden from those of you who haven't read the books in question yet.) The problem comes when the reviews are transferred here...the spoiler coding/encryption simply does not carry, and I'm not sure exactly how to do it on here. If any of you have an idea please let me know, I would be very grateful! Until then I guess I'll have to review without them and that means a real change in format. While I'm working through that, updating some older reviews - without spoilers - is a priority and something I'm planning on doing as often as possible.

Again thank-you for visiting, and please leave any suggestions/thoughts in the comments below. Will talk to you soon!

Lots of Booky-Love,

Judith :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Genre: YA, Urban Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Published: December 23, 2008 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 360
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: The or

Goodreads Summary

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart. 

 My Thoughts

Rarely, when it comes to YA novels lately, am I truly and wholly blown away. I've read more "blah" books than I can count on one hand and have used just as much--if not more--as kindling.

Why, you ask? Because they suck. Because there is no spark within anything and because I am just egging myself (barely) to finish. The whole process is most definitely forced AND I hate that.

BUT I didn't feel that way in the slightest throughout my reading of Perfect Chemistry. Ms. Elkeles could save the whole YA world with her awesome characterization and banging plot! I mean the chemistry between Alex and Brittany?? INSANE. I haven't seen romance like this in forever which is way too long. She had everything down to a T and the fact that there was spanish lingo in there? Made it even more perfect. I loved that it seemed so authentic, like I was hearing the conversations and seeing spicy Alex go at it.

That is why her book is now my favourite and why I'm willing to invest myself into the rest of the series, I feel hopeful, and ecstatic to delve into this complex world of gangs/steamy romance. I'm in love and can't wait for what else lies in store. The way she ended things off was just magnifico and his brother's stories are calling to me even now.


What do you think of the review, have you read Perfect Chemistry? How did it work for you? I'd love to know in the comments below :)



The Truth And Nothing BUT...

Going by FTC guidelines, allow me to point out that all the novels reviewed on this blog were either bought by me, or given by an author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Those books received from Authors and Publishers will be stated clearly as such, as will the ones purchased by myself. There is no shady business going on; no coercion, bribery or compensation has or will ever be received in exchange for any reviews. These thoughts are mine, wacky as they may be, and my honest opinion is all you can truly expect. Still reading? You should be off checking out those awesome reviews ;)