YA

Obsessing Over The Disenchantments

There is something about reading a novel and deciding it’s a favorite before you’ve even finished it. I love that feeling and it’s certainly something rare that comes about which is why I feel so compelled to share it in a blog post with you guys!

The book I’m obsessing over is The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour.

The prose in The Disenchantments is just amazing. It’s so simplistic and pure, it’s borderline poetic throughout most of the novel. I rave about it constantly so I had to rave about it here (and soon again in my review)!

But now I want to know, what book have you read recently that has made it to your favorites?

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The Selection by Kiera Cass: A Review

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date 04/24/2012

Source: ARC

 

 

Synopsis

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.-Goodreads

Review

Part dystopian and part reality show-like(think The Bachelor) Kiera Cass comes out of nowhere and creates an almost equal blend of dystopian and romance elements. America Singer is such a strong-willed heroine and a true beauty…you can’t help but to latch on to that first page and keep reading through the wee hours of the morning.

America’s character isn’t whiny (thank god) and yet isn’t too strong either. In dystopian novels, I get a bit leary of the heroine because a character that rarely shows any other emotion other that survival,etc. becomes too unrelatable and static. America is definitely strong-willed but she also lets some emotion seep through her seemingly tough skin. That’s what dystopian novels need and America is a good example of that.

I’m a sucker for a good love story and The Selection certainly has one…or two. The love triangle that ensues between America, Aspen, and Prince Maxon is quite typical for a little while but eventually goes off course into something a bit different, which I found to be totally unexpected and definitely a must. Aside from the love story aspect, the post WWIII take with the caste system adds a nice touch to an otherwise princess tale. The dystopian elements are there, but the princess/fairytale elements is the heavier of the two.

*A T.V. drama based on this trilogy is currently in the works. (Yeah, I’m probably going to watch it)

Overall: Readers who enjoy a good love story will cling to this one while those that are hoping for a more pure dystopian novel will be disappointed as it is an unequal blend of the two…at least for the first book in the trilogy.

My Rating: 3/5 for the book and 5/5 for the cover because it’s amazing!

YA Lit Must Reads

I thought I would give a few mini reviews in one post to basically say that yes-if you tend to like what I review and read here then you should read these too! =]

Embrace by Jessiva Shirvington

Published by Sourcebooks Fire

Out March 6, 2012

Yes, it’s another YA novel about angels and I love it! In this one, Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday because it is also the anniversary of her mother’s death. Suddenly she has a mysterious tattoo going up her arms, awful dreams, and the one person she can count on is keeping secrets from her-like he’s half human and so is she! Oh, and you can bet there is another guy that comes into the picture with sketchy motives too. A battle between fallen angels and those fighting for humanity ensues, but don’t worry, Violet is a strong heroine and never quits fighting. Shirvington’s debut novel is fun and takes a few liberties with the whole fallen angel theme and does a good job doing so.

Anyone who is a fan of lit dealing with angels will like this one a lot!

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Published by Harper Teen

Out February 28, 2012

I picked up Delirium by Lauren Oliver awhile ago and started it but never finished it, so when I got the ARC of Pandemonium I thought that I should give it a whirl again and I’m glad I did. This one picks up right where Delirium left off and you are right there with Lena through all the pain she’s endured. Lena tries to push the old Lena out of her life completely and strives to become an active part of the Resistance. In doing so, she finds herself trying to save Julian (a pivotal character) and possibly falling in love with him along the way.

It’s rare that I like the 2nd book in a trilogy (or series), I’m not exactly sure why but it seems to be a trend with me, however; the ending of this one literally made my jaw drop. If the 2nd book in the series can do that then it’s definitely a good one!

Anyone who has read Delirium or other dystopian novels will surely love these! Give ’em a go!

Nightshade Trilogy (Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Bloodrose) by Andrea Cremer

Published by Penguin Group

Wow. I normally don’t like reading about wolves. Actually, shapeshifting in general is not something I typically go out of my way to read about, but this trilogy is actually quite good! There is Calla and Ren, both alphas of different packs but soon to join and lead their packs together.  Then there is Shay, the boy that Calla saves… As you can imagine, there is a love triangle, but is anything as good without one? Throughout the trilogy, Calla just gets stronger and stronger and the choice between Ren and Shay gets harder and harder. There’s a lot to pay attention to with the Guardians (werewolves) the humans (searchers) and the witches (Keepers), all of which is very intricate and well done.

<Sigh> It’s a good trilogy and I read it pretty quickly because I needed to know what happened next. What’s great about reading this trilogy now is that all the books have already been published, so no waiting between novels is needed! =]

Cheers and happy reading!

Everneath by Brodi Ashton: A Spectacular Review

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Out January 24, 2012

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

Ashton Brodi creates a story in a modern day world with a mythological one hidden beneath it’s permeable walls. Brodi’s debut makes one want to revist mythology and step inside it’s ancient bubble and stay awhile.

Hades and Persephone-I forgot how much I liked that myth. The parallels between Cole and Nikki and Hades and Persephone is obvious to those that are familiar with the myth off hand, although it does get explained throughout the novel. Speaking of things getting explained, the novel jumps around a bit, for instance, so many months before the Everneath and then so many months before Nikki descends into the Everneath again. In some novels it seems unnecessary to do the back and forth technique, but in this novel I feel it’s definitely important. Without the jump, the novel would not be enthralling enough on it’s own; it enfolds in a convient way and readers alike will enjoy that.

From all the back and forth, you learn different things about Jack and Nikki’s relationship at interesting times. For instance, when Jack and Nikki’s relationship potentially falls apart, Cole appears at the opprotune moment and lifts Nikki up to a less mopey mood. Readers get to see how Nikki and Cole come to be and it’s certainly fun to watch. Cole plays the typical badguy-esque role here, but I think those that have read this one would agree,Cole forces nothing,he practically has Nikki beg for it. What’s she begging for? Well I’ll let you find that out yourself! =]

Overall: I liked this one quite a bit. Readers of any YA paranormal romance or those currently reading trendy series will devour this one quickly and will enjoy doing it. Check it out!

Darkness Becomes Her: A Review

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Published by Simon Pulse

Out February 22, 2011

 

 

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

A place filled with different creatures that are all afraid of a girl that is a bit different herself sounds pretty awesome. In New 2, Ari discovers that there are many freaks of nature, as she often describes herself, roaming around like: vampires, witches, half vampire/half witches, shapeshifters and…Athena. That’s right, the Athena many of us are familiar with from Greek Myths. You might be thinking to yourself that it looks like Kelly Keaton took on a lot for her first novel in this series and I would say you are exactly right.

Keaton creates a world where many different creatures exist without the fear of becoming a lab experiment, due to the Novem-the nine families that perserve their city. With all the preternaturals in the story, at times things can get a bit conviluted and frankly, some of it could have been cut out.

Ari goes to New 2 to learn about her mother and father. Pretty early on in Ari and Sebastian’s (half vampire/half witch) relationship, Ari tell’s Sebastian about her mother, almost without hesitating. Realistically, something that traumatic happening to Ari and with barely knowing Sebastian, there would at least be some hesitation or maybe withholding of information. Little things like this continunally occur throughout the novel making both the characters and the dialogue unbelievable.

The novel wasn’t entirely bad as it did have some decent parts. For instance, Ari’s interal dialogue can be humorous at times and what Sebastian’s character will possibly become is intriguing.

Overall: Unsatisfying. There are decent ideas here but it was poorly executed. Perhaps the future books in the series can pull it all together. A caution to young readers or those sensitive to cursing: there is a lot of it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: A Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Published by Little, Brown & Company

Out January 2, 2012

 

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

We all think about it sometimes- the idea that fate brings us together with certain people, places us in certain situations and overall makes us wonder, what if? Indeed, fate doesn’t always bring the good with it, but in Jennifer E. Smith’s novel, it does. What better way to explore the idea of fate than with love at first sight?

The plot in Smith’s novel appears pretty routine at a brief glance. Girl meets boy, they spend time together and bond, they go their separate ways and then reunite for a happy ending. What Smith brings to the book is a bit different,however; she discuss family-from divorce to death- by displaying the similarities using Hadley and Oliver’s characters. While one character (eventually) celebrates a wedding filled with laughing, dancing, and new beginnings-another character mourns the loss of a parent and the end of life. What’s comforting about the whole situation is that fate brings both Hadley and Oliver together to help each other cope with life’s events. The question is then, can fate bring two people together, like it does in Smith’s novel? The answer to that question is yes, it can.

Speaking of Hadley and Oliver…they are fun characters! Hadley has little quirks about her that Oliver adores (of course) and Oliver is a Brit, so he is definitely awesome (I can’t help it, I like the Brits). Both Hadley and Oliver compliment each other very well making the chemistry between the two obvious, but in a good way. At the core of the story it is easy to identify with each character because their feelings are so real and honest-no one acts out of the ordinary and creates an unbelievable moment.

It’s simple to see why so many of us like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight- it’s smart, lush, and ultimately the perfect novel of love at first sight.

Overall: Definitely a good read, one that can easily be read in one night. Those who are looking for a good love story will naturally pick this one up just by the title alone and will be rewarded at the end. Queue this one!

The Bloodlines Series: The Golden Lily

How exciting! The synopsis for The Golden Lily, the 2nd book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, has officially posted!

Here’s part of the synopsis…

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die.

For more ( you know you want the rest!) check out Richelle Mead’s blog here.

The Golden Lily is due out June 19, 2012-who else can’t wait?