Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…
Count Vronsky, from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…
Count Vronsky, from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
I’m a sucker for novels with young love. First love is incomparable to anything else, which is why I love reading YA novels because it means I get to feel it over and over again. It’s a girl thing, I think. I’ve recently stumbled upon a couple of great series by Jennifer Armentrout, The Lux Series and The Covenant Series. I’ll save the summaries for later. What I’ll tell the potential readers now is that both series are so easy to get wrapped in, I don’t think you could ask for anything more. The characters are fun and easy to identify with and the love story…ah, it’s good!
On to the summaries-
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her.
When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon— and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude— or killing her.
When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.
The cover art isn’t the best and I’ve also met better characters, but the read is fun and enjoyable and who doesn’t want that, especially for Summer?
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date 04/24/2012
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
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
How exciting! The synopsis for The Golden Lily, the 2nd book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, has officially posted!
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?