Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review #176: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Until I Die is the second book in the Revenants Trilogy by Amy Plum. Goodreads says:

I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever.

It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. And if I pretend, I can almost believe that my life is normal and everyone I care about is safe.

But as long as I’m with Vincent, normal doesn’t exist. Gorgeous, charming, and witty, he’s everything you could ask for in a boyfriend—but his destiny is so much more.

Even more terrifying than his destiny are his dangerous enemies, enemies who will kill for immortality. How are Vincent and I supposed to be together forever if we’re always in danger?

I know I’ll do whatever it takes—even if it means lying to the people I love—to fight against a fate that is trying to tear us apart.

For my review of Die for Me, click here

Goddammit Ms. Plum!! You know not what you do!!! This book is an EXCELLENT follow-up to Die for Me, and on its own is just a brilliant, brilliant book. Words can not properly express how much I love this book. I was thinking about it hours and days after finishing it. You know a book is good if you're still thinking about the ending long after you are done reading. Man, this book was just so good! The story was excellent, blending slice of life with an underlying, more urgent storyline that interwove with the slice of life. Everything tied together so well, and that ending! Holy shit that ending had my eyes almost popping out of the sockets. I mean it, it shocked me to my core. How could that happen?!?!?!? How could Amy Plum do that?!?!?!?!?!?? But oh man oh man it was soo soo soooo good. Plain and simple the story is amazing.

Kate got some excellent development. She grew as a person, doing all she can to stay with Vincent but learning important lessons along the way. I loved how much stronger she became. I loved how she was trying to find things out on her own, and didn't disappear into her relationship with Vincent. Speaking of that handsome devil, whew! Is it me or did he get even hotter in this book? He is still sweet, smart and amazing. Can I please have a Vincent for myself? XD The rest of the crew, such as Georgia, Jules, Gaspard etc were all still great characters with backstory and development of their own. I'm glad Jules's transparent feelings for Kate did not turn into a love triangle, but I still feel for him because it was like Charlotte's tragic love. I am so glad Charlotte was still in the novel in some way :) New characters Violette and Arthur were great and interesting new additions to the story. I have such strong feelings toward them that I can not express them fully without giving away major spoilers. Let's just say they are very interesting.

Damn Ms. Plum, why must you torture your readers? Whyyyy??? I want to thank you and yell at you at the same time. Holy crap, does this woman know how to write. She builds the world of the Revenants up so well, expanding it while keeping it the same simultaneously. She is made of pure talent, knowing just how to suck you in, then ripping the rug from right out under you. Damn, I can not wait for the final book to see what Ms. Plum comes up with.

I'll next be reviewing I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Bad Book Round-Up

*Le sigh* Why does this always seem to happen? I so so so wanted to love these books so much. It's a shame none of them were very good for me to read. I tried, I really, truly did. *Sigh* So here we go:

Dark Eyes by William Richter:
This book has been touted as "The Millenium Trilogy for the YA audience with a heroine on par with Lisbeth Salander," to paraphrase. All I saw was a girl who got lucky and couldn't handle it. The writing style did not hold my attention, and the story was just not interesting enough to me. Sucks, because I loved the Millenium Trilogy and wanted this to be something like it.

Starters by Lissa Price:
I'm not including Portrait of a Starter because it was actually decent, albeit extremely short at less than 15 pages (on a side note, I'm kinda pissed that POAS cost me $1.99 for less than 15 pages. Seriously? X_X). Starters, unfortunately, was not as good. I couldn't get into the story, and none of the characters were really likeable or interesting. They all seemed lackluster and dull.

I'm adding the book that came after the book that will be getting a glowing review because it is easier to round them all up in this one post, so here it is:

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris:
Another book I was very interested in reading. It started out ok, but as I kept reading, I could not keep going on because the writing just got worse and worse, with Janelle becoming more and more unlikeable. X_X

Luckily, the next post will be a glowing review of a book :) 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review #175: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Hey everyone! Happy midweek to everyone :) Here's today's review, hope y'all enjoy :)

Struck is the first in the Struck series by Jennifer Bosworth. Goodreads says:

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

  Holy crap, this book is amazing! I can't believe how good it is. I mean I fell in love when I first saw the premise, but oh my god, this book is fantastical in the highest degree! Pure action and romance and just oh my... This story was just so freaking good I can't even. To be honest though, the religion aspect played a bigger role than I expected, but it worked, and it didn't really bother me too much. I loved this story, Mia's journey from the beginning to end had me hooked instantly. I loved the idea of people with Spark, the two warring groups fascinated me, especially the Seekers. Mia's dramas fueled the story and kept me interested. Also there was a twist that I guessed about, but I was still shocked with it nonetheless. I mean this book is GOOD. If you are bothered by lots of religion mentions, this book might not be for you.

Mia was an EXCELLENT character. I could feel how damaged she was, how broken she was. I felt so much for her. I just wanted her to be happy, and cheered for her and Jeremy. Her character, with the lightning addiction and her family issues, all culminated into excellent development. Plus she had some excellent lines :) Now about Jeremy. A good chunk of the time he bothered me with his stalker behavior, but in the end he won me over with how much he cared about Mia, and his sweetness once the stalkerness melted away. I felt for him as well, his pain and his issues. They made him flawed and sexy. I also liked Katrina, despite all of her flaws. She was interesting and funny, also determined and kickass. Others like Mr. Kale, Mia's brother, and every side character had something interesting about them, a hidden history discovered while reading. But the villain, Prophet, scared the shit out of me. I mean holy crap, he literally sent chills down my spine, that's how scary he is. O.O

Kudos to Ms. Bosworth, she wrote an amazing book. Her writing style kept me hooked and yelling on this wild ride. She build up her world so well, created such interesting characters with great dialogue. I can't even describe how fantastic she is. Ms. Bosworth, you have my respect :) Can't wait for book two :)

I'll next be reviewing Dark Eyes by William Richter. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review 174: Immortal City by Scott Speer

Greetings everyone! I hope all is well in your universes right now. Have this here book review for y'all, enjoy :)

Immortal City is the first in a series by debut author Scott Speer. Goodreads says: 

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect - everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamor, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.

This book turned out amazing, especially for a book written by a music video director. I mean holy crap it was fantastical. If you've seen my goodreads updates then you know how much this book captured my attention I loved the riff on celebrityism, how people obsess over said celebrities and how the celebrities live. That analogy plus a great mystery and a swoon-worthy romance made this book one of the best I've read this year. The story was excellent, and kept me sucked in the entire time. It came to the point where I was compulsively reading, using any opportunity I could to read more pages. I mean holy shit, this book is so freaking good. The pacing was excellent, and the story itself moved perfectly. Each moment made me smile or shocked or swoon. And holy crap those twists shocked the hell out of me. At one point I was in a car with my parents and a friend when I read a huge plot twist. My gasp of shock was so loud my friend and my mom asked me if I was ok. Yes, I was that shocked. Although when I went back in my mind to various parts of the book prior to said twist, it all made such sense. This book is so good I am ITCHING for the next one.

Maddy was an excellent heroine. She was so awesome, I can't find any other word for her. She is just so strong and resilient, although a bit broody sometimes. I was rooting for her the entire time, as well as for her and Jackson to be together. Speaking of Jackson, oh man is he sexy. He is smoking hot and also a great character. Both he and Maddy got excellent development, and I admired him so much sometimes. Although I did get angry at him for caring so much what people thought sometimes. I mean honestly. But he was an excellent hero, and I was also rooting for him to stick it to his stepfather and the Council. I also loved Gwen and Kevin and all of the side characters, even the villains. Everyone was interesting in some capacity, making the book even better. I especially adored Maddy's relationship with her Uncle Kevin. There was so much love between them, it made me smile.

Like I said, for a music video director/media person, Scott Speer delivered an excellent debut. His writing style was excellent and fast paced. He knows his way around a character arc and created such a rich alternate world that I wanted to swim in it for a while. I can not wait to see what he comes up with next. And I can not wait for the sequel, because the way Mr. Speer ended the novel, he has set up something amazing.

I'll next be reviewing Struck by Jennifer Bosworth.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review #173: Fever by Lauren DeStephano

Fever is the second book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStephano. Goodreads says:

Rhine and Gabriel may have escaped the beautiful prison of Wither’s mansion, but they are far from escaping danger. First they’re chased for stealing a getaway boat, and then the fleeing pair ends up in the eerie den of Madame, an old woman who collects girls and sells them to the highest bidders. Worst of all, Vaughn, Rhine’s sinister father-in-law, seems to be on her trail every step of the way. Rhine remains determined to get to her brother in Manhattan—but the road they are on is long and perilous. Now that Rhine has finally regained her freedom, what lengths will she need to go to in order to keep it?

For my review of the first book, Wither, click here 

This book was excellent. Excellent. Admittedly I did not like it at first, but it got better and better as I kept reading. By the end, my eyes were ga-lued to my Nook, and I could not believe that it ended, or how it ended for that matter. I did NOT expect the book I got, but that by no means is a bad thing. Every moment held suspense, and there were so many heart-pounding moments that I thought my heart would just rip itself out of my chest. Just, oh my god, this is a heartbreaking book. I could not believe what Ms. DeStephano was putting her characters through. But I will say it all made sense, and I can NOT wait for the final book. We went from a sadistic carnival to the streets of Manhattan and all these new places. I loved this ride even though it damn near broke my heart. Everything was so well written and just plain good.

Rhine is still an amazing heroine. I admire her strength so much, having to go through all that she did. My heart broke for her, and all I wanted was for her to be happy with Gabriel and to find her brother. Her development was excellent, and she grew so much in the short span of this book. Speaking of Gabriel, he also got great development. I also still love him very much, and I loved how he adapted to everything around him, his love for Rhine never fading. Speaking of, their relationship is still one of my favorites. They grew with each other, fighting but always loving each other. Their banter still makes me smile, and I also nearly weep every time they show affection. The new characters like Maddie and the various other were so rich with character that I fell in love with them. Madame scared the hell out of me, as well as making me so freaking angry. And of course there was till Vaughn, who still chills me to the bone every time he's mentioned or around. I mean holy eff, he is a SCARY dude. 

Ms. DeStephano has improved so much. I loved the expanded world, however sketchy it was. She showed a bleak world trying to get by, ravaged by disease. She has a fabulous writing style and knows her way around a story. I can not wait for the final book, and anything else she writes.

I'll next be reviewing Immortal City by Scott Speer.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Bad Book Round-Up

I'm going to do something a little unconventional. I'm going to take two books from the list out of order and make them into a BBR-U, because honestly neither book warrant separate reviews. So here we go

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver:
After the fantastic first book, this one was incredibly disappointing. While I had no problem following the new format of this book, I did not like Ms. Oliver's writing style in this one. I thought it was too well, formal or flat. I also did not like any of the new characters, they didn't feel real or likeable in any way.

Partials by  Dan Wells:

I wanted so much to like this book, so damn much. I mean it's an interesting as hell plot, which takes place on the island that I live, mostly in a town I've been to. But the writing was just so terrible, and the characters so flat and lifeless. It got harder to read with each passing page.

I'll next be reviewing Fever by Lauren DeStephano.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #172: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Why hello there everyone! I hope you are all well :) Have a few things for y'all today, and I hope you enjoy :)

Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. Goodreads says:

 Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

For my review of the first book, Divergent, click here.

This book, holy shit batman. This book just blew the water into the air and up into the heavens. I mean holy effing effness. This book was AMAZING. Even better than Divergent, in every way. I literally read the thing in two days, I refused to be torn away from it. This is another book where all I want to say is "so good so good soo good sooooo fucking gooooooooooddddd." But now that would not be a good review now would it? So I'll say that this book surpasses Divergent in every way. The story was fantastic. We get to see more of the world Ms. Roth created, going from Amity to Candor, etc. The characters had great development, and everything was just so much better. The story of political upheaval coupled with the romance, just everything fell into place and made for such heart pounding action and sweet romance. I loved every single moment, and that ending, I mean holy crap. I was just so damn shocked it felt like my face almost fell off or my mouth would stay on the floor from shock. And I could not be more shocked with the twists. Nothing was predictable, just the way I like it.

Tris just blew me away with her strength in this book. She got amazing character development. I still think that she and I would get along great. I just wanted to comfort her and make sure she was ok. A book reviewer I love and respect named CassJayTuck (She is fantastic, look her up!) who said something about Tris that really resonated with me: The reason people in the book think Tris is cold and cruel is the fact that they don't feel like a normal human being. That the idea of being Divergent is nothing special in real life, but it is in this world because of the way Tris' society has functioned, with each faction being about one single virtue. So while Tris is actually a normal human who feels everything, those who aren't Divergent are not, so they think she is cruel and cold. That is really true and after I finished the book I thought about that hard. Because you read the book from Tris' perspective, you know how she's really feeling, and that she is being torn apart by grief, her actions, everything. Her arc is one of the best I've ever read. Four was also even better. He had his own development which rivaled Tris'. I could not believe the twists his character took, shocking and I loved every minute. With every time he was around I fell in love with him even more. They're relationship really made me swoon. I also loved that they had fights like other couples, they had their issues and worked them out. I also adored Susan, Christina, and the other fabulous side characters that came to life on the page.

Damn, Ms. Roth just keeps getting better. She has built a world that gets richer and richer. Like I said, as you keep reading, you see more of this world. I loved how Ms. Roth created Amity and the other factions, building the tension that I could cut with a knife. Everything came together so well and the writing style was excellent. I will seriously read everything that Ms. Roth will write. She is a freaking genius :).

Wait for my next post :)

Until next time, viva la literature!