Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review #34: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Hello my lovely literary comrades! Happy thursday! Hope all is well. I have a lot to talk about so lets get started :)

Starcrossed is by Josephine Angelini. I stumbled across this book when I joined Goodreads in February. I was looking through the giveaway section and saw this book. I fell in love with the description and added it as to read and entered the giveaway. I did not win :( but I was still ok with waiting until May 31 to get it on my Nook. The day it came out I instantly purchased it, squealing the whole time. It mostly centers on Helen Hamilton, a 16 year old girl entering her senior year of high school. Helen knows she is extraordinary but tries to be ordinary in order not to stand out and garner attention. She lives with her loving father and has great friends like Claire and Matt. When the mysterious Delos family moves to Nantucket, her live, and fate, change. 

I LOVE this book, I can't even explain how much. All I will say is it has made my top 10 all time favorites and top 5 favorite this year debuts. My god is this book amazing. I'm putting it on par with Divergent, and that's saying something! I love the mix of Greek mythology and a Romeo and Juliet style romance, with a bit of action peppered in. There were quite a few times when I literally said out loud "WHAT?!?! NOOO!!!! NO!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!," which ranks high as a factor that makes a book great. The suspense and the plot twists kept you going. The ending is a bit gratuitous but it is still fun to read, as well as page turning addictive. I literally had to tear myself away from my Nook so I could sleep and do other activities that reading halted me from doing. I had to put my Nook in airplane mode last night so I could finish it. Following Helen, the Delos family, it was incredible. I don't want to give anything away because that would spoil the surprises. I will say this one kissing scene was fantastic. Finding out you're a demigod (or scions as the book calls them) was so interesting and fun to read. Especially since I'm a Greek Mythos nerd. :)

Helen was fantastic. I loved her normality. She was a scion, but never knew it and always tried to be ordinary so she wouldn't stand out and garner attention (a rehash from earlier I know, but still true). I loved how vulnerable she was and yet, had a strength she never knew she had. She loved her friends and family, especially Lucas ^^. She fought for them and herself. I also loved how she did not back down when need be. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her discover her powers, strengthen them, make new friends and fall in love. Which brings me to Lucas. Oh Lucas, so sexy you are. He's sweet, caring, a bit overprotective, and a total badass. He is a perfect leading male. I fell in love with his along with Helen. If this were real life and they weren't destined for each other I would fight her for him ;). Now to the rest of Lucas' family. I loved Ariadne. She felt a little bit like Alice from Twilight, but that's good since Alice was one of my favorites. She's funny, fierce and fantastic. Loyal to those she cares for and would be a great best friend in real life. I also loved Cassandra, who has a special ability. She was so fantastic you'll have to see for yourself. The whole clan were interesting and fun to read about in all. I loved Claire, Helen's human best friend. She was hilarious, and I feel like borrowing some of her quips. She's loyal, accepting, and fabulous. I want a best friend like her. The villains, such as Creon, were truly scary and creeptacular. I felt ice chilling my veins every time I read about him. That is scary, as is he. 

I utterly adore Ms. Angelini's writing style. It was in 3rd person slightly omniscient, mostly focusing on Helen. I loved how she created a slightly different form of Greek Mythology, and made it her own. It was magic in the purest form. She described things beautifully, without delving into purple prose, which was nice. She developed her characters well, and made the setting, and story unforgettable. She is truly talented.

If you like Greek Mythology, read this. Scratch that, EVERYONE read this! Stat! You will not regret it I promise.

I'll next be reviewing In the Belly of Jonah by Sandra Brannen (sp?).

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Review #33: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Hello my awesome literary comrades! Happy Monday! Got a great review for y'all so lets go

13 Little Blue Envelopes is by Maureen Johnson. I first heard about her through John Green on his and his brother Hank's youtube page (DFTBA!). I have wanted to read a book of hers for a while. Then at least a few months ago, this book was offered as the Free Friday book on my Nook. I knew it was kismet, so I instantly bought it. It centers on a 17 year old girl named Ginny Blackstone. After finding out her free spirited Aunt Peg died, she later receives a package from her. It contains 13 little blue envelopes (yay title of the book/plot device! ^^ Thank god it's not a macguffin). Ginny is instructed to go on a European adventure, with no guidebooks, no technology, and only able to follow what the letters say. Her adventures give her an incredible journey, while also learning more about her beloved aunt.

I really love this book. It has a P.S I Love You vibe with the post mortem package that sends the receiver on a life changing journey. I liked the plot and the path it took. It was pure bliss. I like realistic novels that have a bit of surrealism added. Reading about the different countries Ginny visited and the hi-jinks that ensued. Point blank it was wonderful. I turned every page in great anticipation to find out what happened next. 

I really liked Ginny as the protagonist (do I use really a lot? I feel like I do. I try to find other words but really just works). She works well with the surprise journey she embarks. She is sassy enough that it's not obnoxious. I liked that she was trying so hard to hold on to her aunt and the memory of her. I loved the closeness between the two and how the bond did not break despite death. I loved Ginny's reactions as she read each letter and found out things she didn't know about her aunt, while also learning about herself. I also thought of an interesting theme for her character: that she wrapped her identity at first around her aunt a bit. In the book Ginny talks a couple of times about how she wasn't interesting, except for when she was around Peg. How she normally wasn't loud or very free spirited and didn't do anything too out of the box. And because of that theme I thought of I loved watching Ginny forge a more cohesive identity/persona outside of her aunt's shadow. It was also interesting how she essentially retraced her aunt's journey while also making it her own (if you think this is over-analyzing you should discuss Beverly Hills Cop with me). Thinking of this made the book a lot more interesting. Now on to Peg. Even though she was gone, her character permeated the book, and you felt her presence throughout Ginny's journey, while also reading Peg's journey. I laughed while reading the letters, and cried at the end during one of the last letters. I wanted to be Peg. She was such a free spirit and genuinely her own person, and also had a delicacy and a vulnerability to her. She dealt with life in a way that wasn't always savory, but she owned up to it and I loved how brave she was. Now to Keith. Oh man do I have a massive crush on Keith. He is one sexy actor. I so wish he were real, so he and I could kiss like he and Ginny do in that once scene. I love his sense of humor and his relationship with Ginny, how it wasn't insta-love at first sight. He was a genuine person with flaws and wasn't into himself like a good chunk of YA male leads. Also Richard was fantastic. For some reason I picture Stephen Merchant as him if this book was made into a movie. I don't know I just picture him as Richard. He was reliable and loving and caring and a really good developed character. He's that guy you can rely on no matter what, and I love his ending in the book (won't spoil it but lets just say I wish it happened to me in real life). I also loved the array of people Ginny met during the trip.

I adore Maureen's writing style. It was light and breezy but when need be she got serious and dramatic. Plus it must have taken quite a bit of research while writing this novel. I mean all the places Ginny visited were described so well you felt like you were there with her. I loved the twist she did at the end. It didn't seem that far fetched but for the character it was and that was what made it so good/shocking! Plus Maureen is just talented, period. 

If you want a light fun read pick this up. You won't regret it.

I'll next be reviewing Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. 

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review #32: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Hello my lovely literary comrades! Hope your weekends were fantastic :). Anyway lets get started!

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent is the first in the Soul Screamers series. It stars Kaylee Cavanaugh. She is a junior (I think) in high school. She has this ability to predict people's deaths, by sensing it if near the person and emitting their soul song. To humans, it just sounds like she is screaming bloody murder, which is not the case. She is a bean sidhe, aka a banshee. When young girls start dropping like flies, she and her crush Nash Hudson start investigating, and falling in love. 

I'll be honest, I almost gave up on this book. I didn't think it was interesting enough, but I'm glad I didn't listen to myself. This is a pretty good book. I love the plot that combines Irish mythology and a mystery, coupled with a bit of family drama and romance. It's not the greatest but it a good story and I loved the twists, especially the ones that came out of nowhere, which I like. 

Kaylee is a decent character. I admired her strength, well in some aspects. I did not like how quickly she gave into Nash. I feel like their romance happened too quickly. Granted, the story only takes place over the course of a week, but still, develop more of a connection will ya? As I said, Kaylee is a decent enough heroine. She's no Tris Prior, Katniss Everdeen, or Sabina Kane, but for this she was perfectly suited. Now onto Nash. Oh Nash. You weren't really that great of a love interest. I thought you were a bit flat as a character, although I loved your banter with Tod. I liked his backstory and how it was fleshed out, but I just didn't really like him. Granted, maybe I'll like him in the next book, but for now my opinion of him is shaky. Now Tod, THERE is a good male character. Man was he awesome. I loved his sarcasm and snark, but also that he could be sensitive and sweet. Again, I loved his verbal sparring with Nash, it was brilliant. I remember when a novella based on him was a Free Friday book on my Nook once. I got it not really knowing how much I would like him. Now that I've read My Soul to Take, I can't wait to read that novella. Emma was alright, you don't see her too much, the story mostly focuses on Kaylee and Nash and Kaylee's drama, but she comes back with a bit of importance in the end. I thought Aunt Val and Sophie were so shallow they would not even make a puddle. I just wanted to smack the sh-t out of them at first. But by the end I had some respect for Val and a sympathy for Sophie. I am glad for the bit of turnaround Vincent gave me, because if not I would have reached through the book and slapped them for being so shallow vain and self centered.

Ms. Vincent's style was alright. It's not the best prose but it works for this book. I loved her use of banshees and that mythology. I haven't read much about them and loved getting more knowledge about them. Plus she knows how to craft a twist and some good ole fashioned family drama. 

If you've got nothing to read and want something quick to read, pick this up. 

I'll be reviewing 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson next.

Until next time comrades. 

Viva la literature! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review #31: Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Hello my awesometastic literary comrades! Hope the weekend is going well for everyone. :) Saw Bad Teacher tonight, it was alright. More funny due to the gags, but it was nice to laugh the whole movie. Anyway I digress, lets get back to books :)

Red Headed Stepchild is by Jaye Wells. It's the first in the Sabina Kane series. It's about Sabina Kane, a half mage, half vampire raised by her vampiric maternal grandmother. She is an assassin, the only real job outcasts like her (due to her taboo lineage) can take, and she's good at it. Sent on a reconnaissance mission in enemy territory. There, her believes and everything she knows is challenged and changed. 

I really really REALLY love this book. I would shout it from the rooftops if able to (although my neighbors wouldn't like that lol). It's a brilliant take on vampire and supernatural mythology, plus I love the plot period. It has fantastic twists and turns, and you can't see anything coming. I love love love the idea of a half vampire half assassin going deep into an enemy organization and having her whole world shaken. I don't want to talk to much about the plot but it was fantastic and you should read it! I almost cried near the end because of a twist that happens, that is amazing, and shows how good this book is.

How can I say how much I love the character of Sabina? She is a kickass assassin, but also vulnerable, especially because of her heritage, which is looked down upon by mostly everyone, therefore she is never truly accepted, even by her grandmother. She is snarky and funny, but again also vulnerable and capable of deep thought. Because the book is in her POV, you get a lot of her inner monologue.  She doesn't take sh-t from anyone and I like that. She's also headstrong and strong willed (are those the same thing? I never know) which is fun to read about. I loved her grandmother as a character. She is chilling and a bit scary, which is good because I like feeling that from a villain. You hate her in such a strong way you want to jump into the book and smack her repeatedly (was that just me? xD). But she was a perfect villain. Clovis was downright creepsters mgcee, really and truly. It scared me how calm he was, and the way he treated Sabina (you'll see if you read the book). Gighul (I think that's how you spell it) Was awesome. A funny, fantastic character. I love love loved him and his funny comments and his relationship with Sabina. Same goes for Adam. He was fantastic, and I loved his and Sabina's banter. In essence all of the characters rocked in varying forms. 

I love Jaye Wells' writing style. From the opening line to the last line, I fell hard for this book. It is so well written, she has become one of my favorite authors. When this book first came out it was Ms. Wells' debut, and it's a good one at that. I hope she has a long and illustrious career. I absolutely adore the mythology she created in this book. It's unlike any other supernatural/paranormal book I've ever read, and I can see it making total sense. I love when a mythology is either completely new or a fresh amazing spin on the old mythologies. 

I HIGHLY suggest you pick this book up if you can. It is utterly fantastic and bloody (no pun intended) brilliant. Y'all need to read this book stat. I'm serious.

My next review will be on My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent.

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The James Patterson Reviewing Saga Pt III: Review #30: 1st to Die

Hello my awesome comrades! Happy Friday! Hope your weekends will go well. Lets get to the review :)

1st to Die is the first in the Women's Murder Club series. It goes to different points of view but mostly centers on Inspector Linday Boxer, who is starting on a series of murders nicknamed The Bride and Groom Killings. Early into the investigation she brings 3 friends in, who are all in work related to crime, to start solving crimes on their own. 

I have loved this book ever since I read it ages ago. It just has a magic to it you can't explain. You just want to keep reading and never stop, you're so intrigued and sucked into the character's lives. I love the way Patterson set up the crimes, and how he made the plot move, all of the twists and turns included. 

Linday Boxer is one of my favorite literary heroines ever. She is a badass Inspector for the SFPD and yet can be very vulnerable and reliant on your friends. You get sucked in immediately and root for her the whole time. Cindy was also one of my favorites, she is hilarious, but you love reading about how determined she is. Claire is that mother figure everyone wants. She's caring, sweet, but also a badass ME. Chris Raliegh had me swooning like nothing else. So sexy, but he was also a well written and fleshed out character. 

I always love how easily Patterson slips into character when he is writing. Be it a woman, man, child, etc he can create such a believable character and his writing style is just fantastic. (Can you tell I'm a Patterson fangirl? XD)

If you love mystery/crime novels with kickass characters and a good plot, read this.

My next review will be on Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells. Can't wait for it :)

And that concludes TJPRS. Hope y'all enjoyed it ^^.

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The James Patterson Reviewing Saga Pt II: Review #29: Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Hello my comrades! Happy Fathers Day to all! Hope it was amazing. Mine was pretty good. Father dearest seemed happy enough, which is all I can ask for lol. But anyway this is PT. II of TJPRS. Lets get on with the gushfest!

Sundays at Tiffanys is about a woman named Jane Margeaux. She is a sweet funny and intelligent woman who gets shat on by almost everyone around her, since she was a little girl. Her mother treats her like a child on top of being her boss, her boyfriend is a total self centered asshat, and she is never appreciated or given any kindness. She also struggles with weight, like most of the female population. Every day since she was 9, she has thought about her old imaginary friend Michael, the only person she thinks truly loved her. Then one day, she meets him again (shocker!) and they fall in love (seriously that is NOT a spoiler. It's in the plot description). But neither one knows why they have been reunited. The book alternates between Jane and Michael's POV, so it's nice to get both sides of the story.

I am in love with this book. Seriously I am in love. It has been a favorite of mine every since it came out years ago. It's so original call it, well original. I have never seen a book like it, which is good. I love the idea of a woman falling in love with her childhood imaginary friend. It is so sweet, it's practically candy. But again that is good.Every bit about the story is amazing. I can not stop gushing about it, even after all these years (which I know is only approximately 3 years, but still). The story flows really well, which is lovely, and doesn't have any kinks in it. It is truly perfect.

I love the character of Jane. I think she is a perfect heroine for this story. She is basically an everywoman. She struggles with her weight (what woman hasn't? Myself included), she gets almost no recognition, and she works for her almost verbally abusive mother and has a d-bag for a boyfriend. She has had relative success with the single play she has written. Point being I love how relatable she is. I feel for her, I want to verbally abuse everyone that has hurt her and smack them. I wish she was my sister or something. I love watching her fall in love with Michael, and laugh as she questions her sanity, as Michael was her imaginary friend when she was a little girl. But she goes through it well, which I love. Now about Michael. Oh Michael. Is it bad that I fall in love with almost every literary male I talk about here? I know I've said that a few times but it's true. What is it about literary men that make them so incredibly hot? Michael is amazing. He's sexy, sweet, and is just the perfect man. I love reading his chapters so I could see how he felt about everything that was going on. His journey was as incredible as Jane's. The side characters were good as well. I love it when a character, main or otherwise, makes you feel something. I wanted to yell at Vivienne, and smack Hugh and Owen. Seriously. You know a book is good when all of the characters impact you in some way.

I love how this book is written. Again, it alternates between Michael and Jane's POV, and I love that. You don't just get one side to the whole thing, and you get inside both character's heads. I love the language. It can be eloquent and lovely, and just fun. But then again James Patterson is a master of prose, at least in my opinion. :)

There is a TV movie, but if you are a fan of this book, you'll be a little disappointed in it. If not, you'll enjoy it well.

If you love sweet romances read this. If you're looking for a fun read, pick this up.

My next review and the final part of TJPRS will be 1st to Die. 

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The James Patterson Reviewing Saga Pt I: Review #28: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

Hello my literary comrades! Happy Saturday! Hope everything is good. What did y'all do? Saw Mr. Popper's Penguins tonight and it was amazing, very good and very funny. Well Jim Carrey was in it so yeah it was funny :). Anyway I've decided to start an impromptu thing I like to call The James Patterson Reviewing Saga, or TJPRS for short. What it entails is that I will be reviewing 3 James Patterson books in a row. Hope you all enjoy it and lets get started :)

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (long title I know lol) is by the great James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. It stars Daniel X, a 15 year old boy who witnessed the murder of his alien hunter parents when he was 3 years old. From then on he dedicates his life to finishing the job his parents started. In this book, Daniel goes after Ergent Seth, number 6 on the List. 

I have to say this was not my first time reading this book. You might say that my review will be biased because of that, but that's ok. Anyway I haven't read it in a while so the story was fresh to me, which was good. I still love this book, and love the idea of a 15 year old kid with the ability to create things with his mind having to be a badass alien hunter. I loved every minute and each twist and turn the story took, like a driving a bumpy road during a drive. 

Daniel is the bomb. If he were real and a couple years older, I would totally go for him. He is absolutely swoon-worthy, for a 15 year old literary character. But I loved watching him kick alien ass and figure things out and make mistakes and triumph over his obstacles. I also loved his four best friends, who he created at will. I so wish they all were real so we could all go to a mall or something and hang out. They were just great characters, period.I just love all of the characters, because Patterson and Ledwidge flesh them out so well, and make all of them likeable, even the villain, which takes talent in my opinion.

I will tell you now, I am a Patterson fangirl. But I am putting that aside and saying his prose is fantastic. I love how easily and so well he gets inside a characters head and writes so easily as them. Plus he uses good and appropriate language which is nice. 

If you love James Patterson, read this. If you love alien crime fighting, read this. 

My next review and Part II of TJPRS will be Sunday's at Tiffany's by Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet. 

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review #27: To Kill a Warlock by H.P Mallory

Hello my literary comrades! I hope you're outside on this lovely day instead of sitting and reading this. But hopefully you'll read it when you get back. :) Anyway lets get started :)

To Kill a Warlock is the first book in the Dulcie O'Neill series by H.P. Mallory. I got it for 0.99 cents on my Nook, which is a pretty sweet deal. I finally got to read it a few days ago. It centers on Dulcie O'Neill, a fairy working as a Regulator, or law enforcer, for the Netherworld in the human world. One day a warlock is murdered, and Dulcie becomes a suspect, threatened with deportation to the Netherworld if convicted. A man from the Netherworld government, Knight Vander, comes and tells her they will work together to solve the case. Meanwhile the two grow attracted to each other.

I must say I loved this book. It's an interesting foray into the paranormal genre, mixed with a murder mystery. Now hold on, it's not like the Sookie Stackhouse novels or Anita Blake or any of those types. I mean yes it deals with fairies and elves and witches and wizards and murder, but this is a different spin. It's a sub section in the mythology. I loved how you follow the case but you also follow Dulcie's life and all the wonderful complications that come with it all. I also find the names of the California towns and such hilarious, because they're all food related. I could not stop laughing at that. There was also at one point an in joke about paranormal books which I had to highlight on my Nook :)

Now my favorite part. Dulcie is a kick ass heroine. She doesn't take crap from anyone and doesn't back down. She won't let others tear her down, but she's also vulnerable because of her past, which is painful. in essence she's multi-faceted, and I love that. She's touted as the best regulator in the city, and you see why. She's a good Regulator, which makes her an even better character, because you see she has a passion. I loved Knight, even though I felt like I wanted to smack him at times. He is that smoldering love interest who you can't help feel attracted to (I'm one of those people who are attracted.). Show of hands, who would love if all of the hot literary characters somehow became real? *raises hand* Yup, thought so. Knight is one of those guys. Quillan was also a very sexy guy that I loved, more than Knight actually. I was sad at his fate in the end, because I loved him so much. Sam was the perfect best friend to Dulcie, and I wish she were real so we could be friends. 

I loved Mallory's writing. She has a great talent for writing that makes her books enjoyable. She can make you feel the right emotions in the right places, which is brilliant for an author to do.

Pick this book up if you want a good book that has supernatural and crime as well. You'll love it in an instant. 

My next review will be on Fear and Laundry by Elizabeth Myles.

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kickass Links You Should Check Out

Hello my lovely literary comrades! How are ya? Good? Lovely! Anyway I decided to do something different today. I saw on a friend's blog a post showing awesome links to different book related sites. So I decided to use the idea knowing he wouldn't mind (you don't mind do you? I hope not) because it's a good one. :)

So here are some great literature-related links that are very helpful and fun:

1.Goodreads: If you love reading as much as I do, this is the site for ya. You can create personal shelves, make friends, join a group or two of like minded people, etc. Basically it's Facebook for books. Plus you can friend and interact with various authors on there and win books. How awesome it that? Damn awesome I think :). So for all sorts of literature related fun, go to this site.

2. Inkmesh:If you have an eReader, like me, then you will love this site. It's basically a search engine for strictly books. Free books, cheap books, any ebook really. Plus if you like them of Facebook you'll get updates on what's new and what was added. Case in point, you'll love this if you have an eReader.

3. Raising eBook Awareness: This is another awesome thing run by a friend of mine, but it's also a good page to check out. She, and other members of the page, post various books that are cheap or free for any eReader, which is nice. Plus it's very personal and warm. Check it out, you won't regret it. 

4. Literature Map: Found out about this site from my friend who inspired this post. It's a fantastic site, it really is. If you're looking for new books and authors to read and love, type in an author you already read, and it'll create a map based on that person with names of other authors who are similar and you might like. Seriously, it's kick ass. Check it out.

5. The Bookshelf: This is the person who inspired me to make this post. He says I inspired him to make his blog, which is extremely flattering. I'm normally no one's inspiration, so it truly means a lot for someone to make a blog because they loved mine so much. Anyway he has good reviews and is funny and great with them.  Much love to ya my friend! :)

6. Rhodes Review: Yet another one of my friends with a great site. I know it seems like I did this just to promote my friends, but honest to Patterson, they have great sites that they run and are fantastic reviewers and such. They deserve every bit of recognition they get. I digress. Rhodes Review is a great sire for reviews, interviews, etc. You'll enjoy it well :)

7. The Crooked Bookshelf: I found this person while Googling Divergent book reviews (can you tell I'm obsessed? XD) Her reviews are funny and refreshing and just plain good) I've followed her reviews ever since. So should you, she's a great reviewer. 

Well, that's all I've got for now. Still reading To Kill a Warlock. It is damned good so far. Will talk more about it in my later review. 

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review #26: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl by Barry Lyga

Hello again my comrades! Two reviews in one sitting is starting to become a more regular occurrence, but that's not a bad thing luckily. Anyway lets get on with the review. :)

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl (whew long title!) is by Barry Lyga. It centers on Donnie, aka Fanboy, who is a massive comic/graphic novel geek. He lives with his pregnant and divorced mother and his stepfather. He is constantly bullied at school and his best and only friend can't be seen with him at school. Then one day he meets Kyra, aka Gothgirl. She brings things out in Fanboy that he did not know were there. From there everything leads up to one event. 

I really liked this book. I liked how fresh it was and how different from the norm it was. It's not the conventional novel, hell it's unconventional even for realistic YA novels. And that's what's so great about it. I loved this idea that could seem so generic and bland and Mr. Lyga made it utterly fantabulous. I loved the plot. I'll just say that straight out, I loved it. It was great and interesting and fabulous. 

I love Fanboy. I would feel a bit odd being attracted to him if he existed in real life because he's 15 and I'm 19. But if he were a bit older I would totally go for him. He takes the conventional bullied geek and turns him on his head. I love his journey throughout the novel and his relationship with Kyra, and how both him and their relationship develop (no love, and that's not a spoiler so shh). He becomes a better person and I love it when characters develop, especially in interesting ways. I felt for him when he realized he how his relationship with Cal was changing. That happens a lot in real life and it's definitely happened to me, so I could relate. Speaking of Kyra, I loved her. She had great dialogue and was just a kick ass character. I wish she were real so we could hang out. She had a reason she acted the way she did, and I heard it was more explored in the sequel Goth Girl Rising (which I have and can't wait to read). I loved her snarkiness but I could also see she truly cared for Fanboy. He was the only person who understood her and talked/cared for her. She felt betrayed at times and I could understand that. But she also had huge walls up that were hard to break. Also Cal was that kid who was the jock, yet also a secret nerd and hid that from everyone, and in doing so hid his friendship with Fanboy. That's a shame that it happened, and I welled up with tears when I read his scenes with Fanboy at times.

Barry Lyga is talented. Period. He really gets inside the teenage mind, and can also write a fantastic story to boot. I loved his style and the way he structured the book. Plus I loved how he wrote Fanboy and Gothgirl's banter/dialogue. It was just pure awesome. I loved it, I do. I wish he were more well known because he is bloody amazing and deserves more recognition for it.

If you love kick ass YA fiction that is not the norm pick this up. Although anyone can love this really. 

I'll next be reviewing To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory

Until next time Comrades.

Viva la literature!

Review #25: Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

Hey my lovely and amazing literary comrades! Hope the weekend was fantastic for everyone. Saw Jumping the Broom last night and it was fantastic! So funny with a good story to go along with it. Anyway lets talk books :)

Postmortem is the first in the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. It centers on chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, while she follows/works on a series of slayings thought to be the work of a serial killer. Meanwhile she is given hell from superiors, her genius niece with a potty mouth is staying with her, has issues at her office, etc. 

I think this is the second book I've reviewed here that I really didn't like. I mean I can see it being enjoyable for other people, otherwise I don't think the series would continue for as long as it has. But I just couldn't get into it. I felt the plot was generic, already used numerous times by other authors that I could not enjoy it like I should have. Maybe I'm just burnt out with procedural books and Law and Order and all that. Who knows, but I do know I felt myself dragging to finish this book. It's, in my opinion at least, a generic plot with generic characters and everything generic. The twists at who committed everything surprised me, and I liked only one character, but that was it. Which saddens me, because I try to like every book I read.

Kay, oh Kay (no pun intended xD) I wanted to like her, I really did. Hell maybe I did a little bit. She was the generic feisty independent woman who worked in crime/death.I liked her best when she was with her niece Lucy and talking about/to her family. I just couldn't like her otherwise. I feel like the only character I truly liked was her niece Lucy. She was interesting, a genius who is deeply neglected by everyone in her life but Kay. She lashes out when she feels hurt or threatened, and is innocent despite her intellect. She had a foul mouth, and that sadly was never explained. 

I feel like Ms. Cornwell tried too hard to make the perfect story. Her dialogue is ok at best, and there is, in my opinion too much description and medical jargon. 

If you like crime novels you might like this. I tried so hard but just could not make myself enjoy this. 

I have a review as soon as I am done with this for The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Gothgirl. 

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature!   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Review #24: Torn by Amanda Hocking

Hello my lovely literary comrades! Happy Friday to you all! I hope y'all enjoy the weekend and have fun :). Anyway lets get on with the review!

Torn is the second book in the amazing Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking. Picking up right where Switched left off, it shows Wendy's journey to realizing who she is and what she needs to do to finally be that person. Plus there's that effervescent thing called love.

I absolutely adore this trilogy, and will be sad when I finally read the last book. This is a perfect continuation from Switched. It literally picks up where the last book left off, which is nice. Sometimes I'm really annoyed when there's a huge time skip going from the first book to the second. I loved how Ms. Hocking explored the mythology she created even more in this book. You learn more about the Vittra, the enemies of the Trylle. You also learn more about Wendy's past and how it all affects her future. All of your favorite characters come back as well plus some new ones which is nice. The pace was great and took it slow which I enjoyed.

Wendy is still great in this book. I loved watching her slowly realize who she really is and what she must do in order to live her life. Her journey from who she was to who she became was incredible. I also loved hearing about her past and how she reacted to it. The same for Finn. He was much more fleshed out in this one. I feel he was too formal, but he felt he needed to be. Elora evolved in this book, which made me respect her so much more. She was was fleshed out as a character and not just some cold and heartless woman. She had her reasons for everything she did and said. Also Tove was still just as lovely. I love Tove, I wish he were real so bad. I would just take him home with me. Rhys wasn't in the book as much, which made me sad, but I am glad Matt had a bigger part. So did Willa. I loved the new character Duncan. He was sweet and tried to do what was right, and very loyal to Wendy. He was so fun to read, and his reactions were priceless. The Vittra King, while only in one scene, scared the gourd out of my. He was just utterly chilling, and I couldn't wait until his part was over. Loki on the other had, was delicious to read. I loved reading his character and his banter with Wendy. He was one of those characters that you had to look beyond the surface and unearth the real him.

I feel Ms. Hocking got better with this book. Her writing improved, which was great to see. Plus her prose was great as always. She knows how to craft a really good story, and that is brilliant. I can see her going very far in this business. 

If you love Amanda Hocking, and love her Trylle Trilogy, you'll love this. 

I'll next be reviewing Postmortem, book 1 in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review #23: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Hello my literary comrades! I hope everything is going well. School, work, and such :). Anyway, I'm itching to start so lets go!

A Discovery of Witches is by Deborah Harkness. It mostly follows Diana Bishop, a young scientific historian who starts out doing research at Oxford's Bodelian Library for an upcoming presentation. She is also the last in a long line of distinguished witches, and happens to shun magic from her life. She accidentally calls up a thought to be lost and extremely sought after alchemical manuscript that all of the supernatural creatures are looking to find. From there, the book goes into hyperspeed, and the story truly begins.

O.O O.O O.O O.O I just finished this book only 20 minutes ago, and I am still reeling from it. I absolutely LOVED this book. It's officially made it's way up to the #2 spot on my list of 2011 favorites. I can't believe how good it was. I heard mixed reviews from my friends leaning towards positive. Now I know why. 

This story is OVER EXTREMELY good. Plus it's a nice spin on witches/vampires/daemons. This book hits you in the gut so many times it makes your head spin (yay for body part references! xD). This book is so original and fresh (I know I've used that word in my last few reviews but it's the truth and I'll be damned if I'm wrong) that it could be in the produce isle in your local supermarket. I loved every minute while reading. It starts off slow, with a barrage of information (although you're given an EXTREMELY large amount of info throughout the whole book.). But it's all integral to the later parts of the book. I feel like it could have been in multiple acts, because of all the settings and separate yet connected events. Basically this book rules. I loved the love story (not a spoiler so don't get your tomatoes out just yet). It was a bit reminiscent of Twilight in how quick they fell in love, but still good.

Now onto characters. I really really really liked Diana. She is a strong character that you fall in with immediately. You can connect to her wanting to push out what she thought was something that was toxic and trying to be something you're not. That's a universal idea and so relatable. She was also likable in general. Quick and bright and funny and witty, with a healthy dose of intelligence (she couldn't be a doctor historian of science if she wasn't smart, DUH). I loved following her journey to rediscovering her powers and finding out the shocking twists through her eyes. She didn't back down when she was going for what she wanted or fighting for her right to do whatever or who she loved. Matthew. Oh Matthew. He's a bit Edward Cullen-esque (think "I have to protect you all the time, I can't live without you, watching you sleep (although that wasn't stalkerish since he didn't follow her to her house to do it) and such). But there are good reasons for parts of the Twilightish parts which is nice. But I digress. Matthew is a good strong and solid character. He is a doctor of many things such as philosophy, genetics, etc. He has lived a very long time and because of that, has seen much in his lifetime. He is hard to get to know at first, but the chapters in his POV help you out, plus they are just good chapters (hint back to when I said the book was mostly in Diana's POV.) The are also an array of side characters, all of which are well developed. There are at least two main villains, Peter Knox being one of them. Frankly, he is scary, and I mean SCARY. When he was in a scene, he chilled my bones and made goosebumps on my skin. But that's good he made such a strong impression. Not all characters have to be good to stay with you, they can be bad as well. I also loved Diana's aunts, and Matthew's friend Hamish, son Marcus, mother Ysabeau and assistant Miriam. That's another good thing, you know the books is good when the side characters are well developed and fleshed out. 

I LOVE Ms. Harkness' writing style. Her prose is fresh and fun and to the point. In essence, she is talented as hell. I also loved the well thought out and finely detailed mythology she created for this book. She packs all of the information in, but that is good because when you read one of the book's many twists, you can go back and realize the path to it was there all along. That's another thing, this book has a lot of twists, which you can tell Ms. Harkness can clearly craft. They punched you in the face so fast your head spins around like an owl's. Basically, her prose and writing rocks my socks. 

I suggest you pick up this book wherever/however you can. Anyone can like it. Yes it is a big book for most and it starts out slow, but once you stick with it it gets good. 

My next review will be on Torn by Amanda Hocking. 

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Random Musing: The Hard Fall/Dumbing Down of MTV

Hello again comrades! This subject has been on my mind tonight, and I felt like I had to get it out somehow, so I thought I'd share it with you lovely folks :). 

So I was driving home with my friend from Dinner tonight, and we were discussing an array of subjects, as we normally do. I forget how we got into it, but MTV came up. And I couldn't help it, I literally ranted all the way home. Of course my lovely friend chimed in when he could, but when I'm in a ranting moon, ain't nothing gonna stop me. 

I mean honestly, what the hell MTV? Your name is Music TeleVision, Music TeleVision!! I mean really? REALLY? You see your name, and yet you keep putting out crap shows like Jersey Shore, and keep giving them more and more seasons? And you also only dedicate a bit under 2 HOURS to what made you a household name - music videos! Which is also the very reason you were created!!

This might seem like I'm being fanatical, but I mean if you're called MTV, at least showcase more music videos and music in general than at 6 in the morning. Why not change your channel's name then? It makes sense. Why not The Reality Channel? Or TRC? It would be a much better description of what MTV has become. All it really is anymore is Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, and Teen Mom. People who do not deserve the nation's attention. 

I'm sorry, I know teen pregnancy is a growing issue these days, but these girls do not need to be glorified and put on a pedestal like they are now. And they do not need to have the gossip rags detailing their every move. Just because they're an "anomaly" does not mean they have to be followed like puppy dogs and see the drama they go through. It should all be private! X_X. 

The same goes for the Jersey Shore morons. All they do is drink and fight and have sex and curse and just do stupid stupid crap. And what happens? They're loved for it! Hell The Situation (ugh what a stupid name to go by and be known as) was on fricking Dancing with the Stars! He's not even a real celebrity/star! You know who is? Kirstie Alley. Yes she's a shadow (and yes physically as well) of what she used to be, but at least she deserves to be a star, she had a great career! So have Cloris Leachman, Donnie and Marie Osmond, and the other countless actual stars who have been on that show (except Bristol Palin, who is a combination of politician's kid and teen mom, and therefore a semi celebrity, but still didn't deserve to be on the show). 

My friend was sort of quick to point out that Jaime Lynn Spears is a teen mom and she made huge headline and was a celebrity for it. But of course that is a HUGE error. I can't really fault my friend for thinking that, he is really not up to date on pop culture, considering all of his favorite music comes from the 50's to the 80's. So I had to explain the difference. See, Jaime Lynn Spears is/was not a celebrity because she got pregnant while still a teenager. She is the younger sister of Britney Spears, who is a music legend (I use the term legend loosely). Then she got into acting, and became a celebrity in her own right with Zoey 101. THAT my comrades is what made her a celebrity, not having a baby inside of her. She became infamous because she got pregnant at 16. That's the difference between her and the attention whores on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. UGH. 

On a side note: I do feel like because those two shows about teen moms are becoming so popular, girls are getting pregnant in order to get on the shows, and that's disturbing and wrong. Ok digression over.

What happened MTV? What happened that made you go from innovative and leader in Music centric television to having trash lite be all you have as programming. 

The one thing I do like that is reality/documentary style is the True Life series. I find a good chunk of them incredibly interesting and raw and brilliant and good. If that was the only one on that channel, I'd be ok with it. But no, we have fake Italian American stereotypes and kids who get pregnant as the norm. 

See this is why I like Fuse. Fuse has officially taken over as the leading music based channel today. Yes it started out as an American version of the Canadian MuchMusic, but it has become so much more. I love Fuse. It is possibly my favorite channel on tv. I love the wide eclectic range of music they present, as well as the music based shows like On The Record With Fuse and Hoppus On Music. I have been introduced to so many bands and artists that are now near and dear to my heart because of Fuse. I can not sing this channel's praises enough. They even have whole days dedicated to one artist, called Takeovers. Like Lady Gaga Takeover or Nicki Minaj Takeover (now if only they had Green Day Takeover I'd truly be in Nirvana ^^). They also have a top 20 Countdown, and other various music related shows, which is the POINT!!! While I love Fuse dearly, it makes me sad that MTV has downgraded to the point where another channel has to step in. I'm sorry, but if MTV got their sh*t together, Fuse would not be as popular, and I would be fine with that. 

Lets be honest, MTV is a shell of what it used to be. All it is now is a collection of trashy reality television shows and horrible "entertainment." They really don't care about music anymore. And if they do, they just throw it by the wayside for crap like Jersey Shore. And that's a real shame, because that's the channel that really launched Michael Jackson into being The King of Pop, and helped bring music to people in such a great way, and a more mass market way. It's a true tragedy, and I weep for the channel that it once was. 

So here's my open letter to MTV:

Dear MTV,
     I have seen your programming and honestly, I am so saddened by it. You used to be a titan of the music industry, bringing great music and great artists to the masses and launched the careers of many of the classic artists. It makes me sad because you are a shadow of what you used to be. I vote you bring back the old model of your channels and bring yourself up from the slump of reality television, in order to make yourselves great again. Although keeping True Life would be great. 

A deep music fan.

Ok, I am done ranting for the night. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you believe in and what you stand for. I just hope you can at least see my side of the whole issue. 

Until next time comrades

Viva la literature (and music)!

Review #22: Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Hello my lovely literary comrades! Hope everyone is doing well and that the weekend rocked your socks! Quick show of hands who saw X Men: First Class recently? I see those who did, and wasn't it awesome? I saw it last night and it was utterly brilliant! It was just so damned good. :) Anyway, pulling back from my digression, lets talk about books! :)

Avalon High is by the fantastic Meg Cabot. It takes place in Annapolis, Maryland. It follows Ellie Harrison, who just moved there with her Arthurian scholar professor parents (ain't that a mouthful? xD) while they're on sabbatical. She goes to Avalon High, where she meets a colorful cast of kids, including Will at the head. She slowly find out that her newfound friends are reincarnations of people from the Arthurian Legend. (that's not a spoiler so please don't correct me). She must find a way to prevent the original events from repeating themselves before it's too late. 

I must say, this is an original story, which gives it extra points in my eyes. To take a refreshing spin on the Arthurian Legend, especially putting it in modern times, was amazing. I loved that. I loved every bloody minute of it. It had a fast pace when needed, and a slower one when needed as well. It definitely was a first class page turner. 

Ellie is one of my many literary heroes now. She is just freaking awesome. I loved watching her adjust to her new town, and school. I also loved following how she discovered everything that was going on, and how she was reacting to everything. Some books have the heroines take everything with a startling normalcy. But no offense to authors who do that, I find that a bit disturbing. I love the way Ellie reacts because it's completely normal. And yet she strangely went along with the exact events subconsciously. Will was of course extremely sexy, as I had a feeling he would be. He was so kind and sweet, and strong and steely when he needed to be. Why can't all of these guys be real?? Now onto Marco. He was positively frightening. I could feel his evil creeping up on me like vines. It was so palpable I could taste it in my mouth. And who said a book couldn't do that to you? And yet he was deliciously evil at the same time. I loved having those vines creep up, feeling his evil. It meant that this book is truly great. 

Of course Meg's writing was fantastic, it always is. I loved the wit and humor she added, and the danger was truly dangerous when need be. 

If you're a Meg fan, read this. If you love King Arthur and the Arthurian Legend, read this. If you love romance read this. Basically anyone can read this. 

I'll next be reading A Discovery of Witches, so I probably won't be here for a while. 

Until next time my comrades

Viva la literature!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review #21: The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Hello my literary comrades! Hope all is going swimmingly :) Anyway lets get to the review!

I couldn't wait to read this, especially since it was the basis for one of my favorite shows, Rizzoli and Isles. So I had some lofty expectations even though someone else wrote the series based off the books. I'll say I wasn't disappointed. 

The Surgeon, by Tess Gerritsen, is about Thomas Moore, and more importantly Jane Rizzoli (who is one half of the series title) attempting to catch a serial killer nicknamed The Surgeon (hint hint xD). It mostly focuses on Thomas Moore, one of Rizzoli's fellow cops, as he pursues the case with Rizzoli, and simultaneously falls in love with the lone survivor of The Surgeon, Catherine Cordell.

I loved this book. It was just brilliant. I loved every suspenseful minute. The criminal novel with chasing a serial killer isn't new, granted, but then again most stories today aren't original. But it's the spin you put on it that makes it interesting, and boy is this book interesting. I loved the hunt to find The Surgeon, and the love story that coincided with it. 

Concerning the characters, I loved Rizzoli. She was tough and badass and strong, with a temper you didn't want to cross. She wasn't one of those female cops who you felt could flip flop at any moment. She was so real it was like she stood over my head. She had a round personality, which I greatly appreciated. I also loved Catherine Cordell. She was a victim, and yet her journey was incredible to watch. As was Thomas Moore's. If he was real and I was older, I would love to have been his girlfriend. But sadly he's fictional, as are most of the men I find attractive xD. 

I loved Gerritsen's writing style. It was crisp and clean, though it did have too much medical terminology for my taste. But that was expected though. 

If you love crime books with some romance on the side, check this out. :)

Until next time comrades. :)

Viva la literature!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review #20: The Fallen by Celia Thomson

Hello again  my literary comrades! I know, two reviews in one day again. But that's because I finished both books really quick. So lets start!

The Fallen is the first book in The Nine Lives of Chloe King series. It's about a sixteen year old girl named Chloe King. She falls off a high tower and dies, but then wakes up and realizes she's still alive. That starts a whole chain of events that Chloe is not prepared for.

I'll say that I found out about the tv show adaptation first, then from a friend saw that it was based on a series of books by Liz Braswell, and that started a curious adventure (gotta love pen names ^^). From there I got the book and I'm glad I did. :)

I love this story. I loved the ride it took me on, whether it was slow or fast, or even medium. The plot was fun to read about, and went by so fast I barely noticed I was done. 

Characters: I like Chloe, but she's not necessarily the best heroine. I'm sorry, I understand that when your two best friends are dating, you feel left out. But Chloe just whined and whined, and then whined some more. Then she goes out and gets mixed up with two, I'm sorry, three guys. I do love the way she handles her new found abilities though. She's freaked out, then intrigued and wants to hone them. That was really all I liked about her. I did love Paul though. He was sweet and sensitive and kind, and cared about Chloe even though he was dating Amy. He realized he was wrong and tried to patch the trio back up. Concerning Amy, eh. I mean the only times she's really nice during the novel are the beginning and the end, with bits and pieces in the middle. She's a self absorbed b*tch most of the time too concerned with her new boyfriend to see what's happening to Chloe. She wasn't all that endearing, until the end when, as I said, she was back to being Chloe's friend again. I feel like she was Bella blind to ignoring Chloe. I also liked Brian, who is interesting and cool. Aleyc, not so much, even though he does have potential. 

I do adore how this book was written, Braswell/Thomson really knows how to write teenage girl. Kudos! I did have an issue with the excessive cursing. I'm no prude by any means, but seriously? Almost all of the teenage characters cursed at least once a page. That's just totally unnecessary! Again, I'm no prude, and curse fairly regularly, but I did not need to see in every page of a bloody book. I'm sorry, but that's how I feel. Ok digression over. I like this concept of a girl discovering she's got catlike abilities. It's fresh and interesting, which is definitely good. 

Is this book good? Yes, mostly. Will I read the next one? Yeah, especially because of the cliffhanger ending. Should you read this? If you want to sure, if not go watch the show when it comes out.

Until next time comrades.

Viva la literature!

Review #19: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Hello my literary comrades! I hope everything is going well for ya! I guess I should get started, so lets go!

Switched is by Amanda Hocking. It's the first in the extremely popular Trylle Trilogy. At it's center is Wendy Everly, a seventeen year old girl who has never fit in, and has a traumatic past. When she was six, her mother tried to kill her, shouting "You're not my child! You're a monster!" (I think I'm paraphrasing a bit, but ya get the point.) She finds out from hunky Finn that she is a changeling, switched at birth with another child. Also, that she is a Trylle, aka a beautiful troll (I know, it's weird but a cool concept). From there, Wendy's life is never the same. 

This is a special kind of hype book. Not only does it get crazy hype from the fans, but this book and the ones that follow, have helped make Amanda Hocking a freaking millionaire! And she self published her books! That's amazing, seriously! On top of that, but this book was .99! So of course you have to check it out. Mini rant over, now onto the review!

I LOVE this book.No seriously, I LOVE this book. It's amazing, fast paced, and just pure epicausity. I love the idea of taking the mythology of trolls, and turning it on its head. I loved how addictive the story was. I loved entering the world of the Trylle, because it was so interesting and rich with a cornucopia of ideology and a tapestry of history. I'll put it this way, the story was so good I didn't even notice that the sun was rising and that I was almost done with the book.

Now onto one of my favorite parts, characters. I thought Wendy was a fantastic protagonist. She's wily, sarcastic, fierce and fiercely loyal, and won't change for anyone. I love the journey she goes on throughout the book. She goes from a girl who fits in nowhere to a girl who semi fits in somewhere, and who knows what she wants and is willing to fight for it. She is one of those kick ass protagonists that you love to follow in books. Now onto Finn. *Sigh* Oh Finn. I could say that I would find a way to stop being attracted to fictional men, but I would be lying. Finn is utterly swoon-worthy. He's sexy, loyal, and incredibly amazing. He loves Wendy, and is willing to do anything for her, even things I shall not reveal here (hint hint, that's an incentive to get this book (; ). He's that mix of tall, dark and handsome that no girl can resist. Concerning the side characters, I loved Rhys. He was just so funny and sweet and caring and awesome, I just wanted to hug him. He cared about Wendy from the instant, and they share a bond that no one understands or can break. Now onto Elora. I have a love-hate relationship with Elora. She was a total witch with a capital B most of the time. She never cut Wendy slack, never showed real affection towards her, and was so cold I felt like she was encased in ice. But then, you see she really and truly cares for Wendy, and that all of the ice is just a front. But then she goes back to being icily distant, so as a result my love hate relationship with her.

I love how Hocking wrote this book. She really got inside Wendy's head. She had a way with words, not on the Maggie Stiefvater level, but still well done. She created such a rich and interesting world with the Trylle, I keep wanting to find out more and more. 

I HIGHLY recommend this book, and if you haven't read it, shame on you! ;) Just kidding, but seriously read this book stat!

Until next time my lovely comrades

Viva la literature!