Sunday, October 30, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
(from Goodreads)

This book was nothing like I expected. It was one of those book where you don't really know what to expect, but what happens is nothing that you expected. First of all, I didn't expect angels in it. And, despite my username, I'm not the biggest angel fan out there. In fact, I'm far from it. But this book had a creative, original twist that made up for the angels.

The romance, I thought, was a bit too quick. They meet and about a week later, they're saying 'I love you' to each other. Once I finished the book, it made more sense, but still.

The book was told in two different perspectives: one from Karou's and one from Akiva's POV. I'm not really an expert on male POV or anything, but it started to get really repetitive when he kept describing her 'aqua' or 'gemstone' or 'lapis' hair. Plus, I kinda doubt guys really think like that.

The ending was horrible. That last line was seriously " be continued." A little cliffhanger it okay, but this one wasn't little. Plus, it ended on a note that made Akiva look really bad. I want to know what Karou does to him. *evil grin* The next book'd better come out soon.

Other than that, this book was really good. My favorite character, I think, was Zuzana. She was really funny and added some spice to the story.

Highly recommended. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shut Out

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention 

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling... (from Goodreads)

This was a fast-paced, light, easy read, a welcome change from the dark paranormal that makes up most of YA today. It was pretty good, mostly what I'd expect in chick lit: the plot wasn't all that original, but the characters made up for that.

Lissa was a good narrator. I liked how she was focused and didn't let anything get in her way. At some points she took things a bit too seriously, but this was balanced out once she saw the error of her ways and fixed it. I also thought her obsession with time was funny; it was a quirk that balanced her out as a character. The only thing I didn't like about her was at the end of the book, she does something totally out-of-character. I understand the event was necessary for the plot, but it was really out of character, like she went from being on the heads side of a coin to the tails side. I felt the transition should have been a little smoother.

As I said before, the plot was pretty standard for a general fiction/romance book like this one. Nothing bad happened, but then nothing really surprising happened, except for the already-mentioned event with Lissa's character. Who Lissa ended up with was, of course, no surprise at all. 

Shut Out was pretty good, if a little standard.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Name of the Star

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. (from Goodreads)

I have to say, I really liked this book. Rory was sarcastic and funny, but it was the perfect blend and complemented the story well. The idea was really original, and I have to say I now have an obsession with finding Jack the Ripper facts. :)

The writing style was really good, as well. It fit very well with the story. The characters did, too. The only one I had a problem with was Jerome. He just seemed a bit flat to me. It seemed all he did was make out with Rory and tell her all about Jack the Ripper. Plus, I was also a little biased because I'd rather Rory be with Stephen. 

One thing this book had that most YA doesn't see today is the simple fact that Rory' s powers (at least in this book) weren't extraordinary. She wasn't 'the chosen one' or the one who was destined for greatness/pull down the government/end the battle once and for all. 

The only thing besides Jerome that bothered me were the reasons the new Ripper set up the whole plan. It seemed a bit much to me, and I would have preferred something that had been hinted at in the story.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

One of the best books I've read all year. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Rose Among Thorns

An Inkpop Review

Author: S.A. Lucian
Type: Book
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Historical fiction
Current Ranking: 14
When I first saw this book, I thought, based on the title and the cover, that this was a fairytale retelling. It isn't, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

The plot was certainly original, and every twist kept me surprised. It was one that was unique, and I had never heard of certain parts, but it was well-explained.

Like the plot, none of the characters were cliche.  Katie, a cheerleader, was dating a math nerd, John, and she stuck up for her boyfriend when the mean b**** made fun of him and their relationship. The romantic interest was not a vampire or a werewolf, and for that I was extremely grateful. As I said before, everything about this book was original and kept me guessing until the end.

A great read with a well-deserved spot in inkpop's rankings.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset

I read this book with mixed emotions. On one hand, I really liked some of the secondary characters, but I hate to say the two main characters and some of the setting really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm going to start with the bad stuff, then move into the good.

There was just something about Finley that annoyed me. First off - and this wasn't even the author's fault - I kept picturing her as having brown hair because of the cover, when, in fact, she has blonde hair. That aside, I felt that the members of Griffin's household - save Sam - treated her too nicely. Griffin himself was really overprotective, and he hadn't even truly gotten to know her yet. All he knew of her was the she was a suspected murder, and he didn't even bat an eye, he was so sure of her innocence.

I also wish we could have seen a bit more of Finley's dark side. To me, that was the more interesting part of her, and it would have fleshed out her character more.

Plotwise, there was too much going on. There was the Machinist and his automatons, the Aether - a sort of spirit-plane - and the Organites. It all sort of fit together at the end, but there was too much made up stuff going on that really detracted from the original plot.

Finally, there's the matter of the romantic plot. The two main female characters, Finley and Emily, each had their own little love triangle-type thing going on. I'm not a big fan of love triangles, especially when it's obvious who the girl's going to end up with. But two? Let's just say I was seriously irked.

However, there were parts of this book I liked. Sam was the only character of Griffin's gang who stood up against Finley, and I really admired him for it. It made me like the book a bit more, especially because I agreed with him. Emily, the girl he liked, I also thought was one of the best of the bunch. She was someone who felt tied down by restrictions in society, and that made her really relatable.

Overall, I give this book an 8/10. It was decent.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So I read this book because it had an awesome trailer. Sounds crazy, but that's why. Plus, it was on the New York Times bestseller list, and I was interested to see how well a popstar turned author could write with the help of a ghostwriter, of course.

Not very well, was my answer. Not very well at all.

There were numerous problems with this book, and I'm not even going to start on the actual writing. This might contain minor spoilers. 

Clea was your stereotypical rich/snotty girl who all the guys adore. When she decided that she wanted to go gallivanting around the world looking for her father, her friend Rayna decided she wanted to come along, too. But no. Clea said that Rayna couldn't go 'because she had school,' yet Clea herself was of age where she had to go to school, too. It was things like these that, on their own, wouldn't have mattered much. But put all together, they formed one really unlikeable, unrelatable, and totally cardboard character.

Sage was the romantic interest in the story. He, like Clea, was as flat personality-wise as a pancake. Clea sees him in her photographs she takes. Then she starts to dream about him. When she actually meets him, they wait a few days before having sex in the car. And this all happened in the span of one week. Seriously, Clea. First you're convinced this guy is stalking you and then you're doing it with him in a car just a few short days afterward. Some of it, of course, was Rayna's fault. She told Clea to just 'go with it, don't stop to think.' And so Clea, like a puppet, just went with it and didn't stop to think.

The plot was a mush of cliches that I'm not even going to get into; you've seen how much I dislike this book. I rate it a 2/10.

If I decide to read the sequel, it will only be for a lesson: how not to write a book.

Hilary, please stick to singing and save the New York Times bestseller list for books that really deserve it.


I haven't blogged in over a month. School and other stuff got in the way. Come November, I probably won't be on as much either; I'm doing NaNoWriMo. Here are some updates on my projects:

✿ The Magic in the Tapestry made September 2011's Top Five. I would like everyone who picked, commented on, or just generally supported it. Special thanks go to Bri and angel so much for their support. I really could not have done it without them. I should be getting a review from HC by the end of the month. No plans have been made to expand it; however, I do have some possible ideas.

✿ Like Simple Clockwork is going great. I've written around 18k, further than I've ever gotten on a novel. The outline is already up on inkpop. It's got a website with some wonderful character drawings made by possiblythere.

✿ War of Roses is my current NaNo idea. Stay tuned for a cover and pitches later.

That's all for now, folks! Next up, a review of Hilary Duff's Elixir.