Sky Without Stars Review

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope.

Comic-Con 2018

NY Comic-Con



Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Vicious Deep Review

384 pages

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave. He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth. His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods. Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

This was a pretty good mermaid novel. I liked the fact that it was told from the perspective of a merman instead of the typical mermaid view. Tristan Hart is an interesting main character who acts like a typical teenage boy yet discovers that he is so much more than that. I loved Tristan's sense of humor in this novel and the entertaining way in which he got used to being a merman. There is a little bit of action in this novel but it goes well with the story and keeping you hooked to Tristan's story. Of course there are some love interests, but being told from a male perspective its less sappy and more funny. I think this novel was a light and enjoyable read and I can't wait to see where Tristan's journey takes him in the next novel. I definitely recommend this to those who like mermaid fantasy novels.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Black Dawn Review

310 pages

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Once again an excellent addition to The Morganville Vampire series. For some reason I'm not tired of these books and this is the twelfth! Claire is as usual, the resourceful and spunky heroine we've gotten to know throughout the series. I've noticed that the author has also been giving us a bit of a view from other character's eyes as well lately and I actually appreciate that since it opens up a lot more of what's going on. This book has a lot of action and danger especially from the draug and there are also a lot of harrowing moments with some of our favorite characters. I really enjoyed the fact that this novel was a completely different storyline but just as entertaining as I've come to expect this series to be. I definitely recommend this to fans of The Morganville Vampires or just those who like vampire stories in general. If you haven't already, go out and read the first 11 books in the series!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Enchanted Blog Tour: Interview with Alethea Kontis

As part of her blog tour for Enchanted, Alethea Kontis has graciously agreed to an interview with our blog!

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself…

I'm really just a little kid. When I was seven and saw Peter Pan on stage, the "I Won't Grow Up" lyrics really spoke to me. The outside of me keeps getting older, and I have all those responsibilities that grown ups have, but don't be fooled. My favorite things are bubbles and rainbows and my teddy bear named Charlie. I like drawing on myself and waving to strangers. And telling stories, of course.

What inspired you to write Enchanted?

The idea for ENCHANTED began as a contest challenge in my writers group (Codex Writers). Our stories had to be inspired by at least one of four "seeds": "Fundevogel," "The Princess and the Pea," the Irish legend of Cú Chulainn, and the nursery rhyme "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe." I couldn't choose between them, so I chose them well as all every other fairy tale and nursery rhyme that was suggested. I liked the idea that every fairy tale we know (and some we don't) originated from only one family (The Woodcutters) a very long time ago.

How has being published changed or affected your life?

It's interesting -- the first AlphaOops picture book came out in 2006. It didn't affect my life all that much, other than being able to dress up and read to Kindergarten classes and at Library functions without being looked at funny. Having a novel published is a totally different monster. There are book tours and blog tours and awards you can win and book clubs who want to discuss you...and with those bring a host of other difficulties, the most important of which is "How do I balance this Fabulous Celebrity Life and My Family and Writing...all at the same time?" (I'm still working on that one.)

What are you reading right now that you would recommend that others read as well?

I recommend Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber and Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal. I also loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor--I listened to that one on audio and it was fantastic. I encourage everyone to listen to Enchanted on audiobook as well--my favorite reader of all time (Katherine Kellgren) performs it, and she is PHENOMENAL. She does all the voices, just like Jim Dale did for the Harry Potter series. I'm listening to it again while I'm on the road for book tour. It's incredibly inspiring.

If you could be any goddess (besides yourself) which one would you be?

Athena was always my favorite goddess. Wisdom and owls and an old soul, sprung fully-formed from her father's head--I feel that ways most days. I had the honor of being present for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron signing at the Parthenon in Nashville, at the foot of the giant statue of Athena. It was almost a religious experience.

If you could be any character from a Disney movie who would you be and why?

Belle, hands down. Brunette bibliophile martyr with an irrational love for her family and a penchant for beasts who used to be bad boys. Now she's a princess. Story of my life!

How many books do you typically read in a week?

Once upon a time, I read books like a chain smoker goes through cigarettes. Unfortunately, once I started writing, reading was the first thing to take a back seat. I took the job as book reviewer for Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show in order to force myself to read 2-3 books a month. But it's difficult. I miss it.

Will you be writing anymore fairytale inspired books?

Indeed! I have been asked to write the next two books in the Woodcutter Sisters series--Saturday's and Friday's novels. You might ask yourself why I am going "backwards" through the week...would you expect any less from the author of two books called AlphaOops?

Thank you so much for the interview Alethea! You can learn more about Alethea Kontis and her books via her website You can also see the review we did for Enchanted by clicking on the link!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tempest Unleashed Review

352 pages
Release date: June 5th, 2012

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Review (ARC):
This book was great. Frustrated me at the end but it was still amazing. I love the fact that Tempest knows her own mind but I hate that she isn't certain when it comes to the love triangle she is stuck in. It would seem that Tempest is living an amazing life under water but she still has ties and longing for her land life. There are things about living under water that don't make it a fantasy world and Tempest has to struggle with some of that from day to day. I have to admit that Mark is not my favorite corner of the love triangle, I mean can you get any better than Kona the selkie prince? However, there is a pull about both of them that seems to affect Tempest equally in most of the book. There is a lot of discoveries and adventure for most of the novel but the real action doesn't happen until closer to the end of the book. Definitely an enjoyable read, I recommend this book to those who like mermaid fantasy novel but make sure you read Tempest Rising first.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Insurgent Review

525 pages

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 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.

This book was exceptionally better than the first novel and even more amazing I thought it would be! Just when you think you've figured things out, the story throws you for another loop that completely blows your mind. Tris is back as the incredibly brave and intelligent heroine of this novel after surviving the attack on her faction. Even though Tris embodies strength she still has a lot to work through after losing most of her family and friends. In this novel we see Tris working through her problems while trying to save the city from the control of the Erudite. I loved the direction that Tobias and Tris' relationship took in this story. I also love that their relationship doesn't overshadow the action and danger of the story. A lot of characters return from the first novel and it is interesting to see new sides to them emerge. There is a lot of fighting and harrowing scenes that suck you into the story and don't let you out until it is over. I definitely recommend this novel if you love dystopian fiction and have also read the first novel, Divergent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Enchanted Blog Tour: Review of Enchanted

320 pages
It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

Review (Blog Tour):
I am a huge fan of fairytale retellings and I haven't been able to find a new one in a while. That being said I was happy to receive this one and I absolutely loved it! We see tales like The Frog Prince, Cinderella, and Jack and the Beanstalk, and others included in this singular story. The combination of fairytales in this novel is creative and refreshing. Sunday is the main character and although she doesn't have all of the same characteristics of a normal heroine she is still a wonderful and enjoyable character. Rumbold is the romantic prince who isn't what you may first expect. I absolutely enjoyed the romance between Sunday and Rumbold since it was just as magical as you would expect a fairytale to be but it also had some real world problems to it as well. Sunday has six other sisters, all named after the days of the week. Its interesting to see the differing characteristics Sunday's sisters have based on their names and the classic fairytales that they each play a part in. This novel is beautifully written and the kind of story that you just don't want to put down. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves fairytales, magic, and an adventurous tale.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Classic Monday: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brother's Grimm

880 pages

With the words “Once upon a time,” the Brothers Grimm transport readers to a timeless realm where witches, giants, princesses, kings, fairies, goblins, and wizards fall in love, try to get rich, quarrel with their neighbors, and have magical adventures of all kinds—and in the process reveal essential truths about human nature.

You think you know fairytales? Well unless you have read The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales you really have no idea. The original fairytales are a bit darker than their Disney counterparts but the morals and lessons taught are just the same if not greater. This book is such an important piece of literature to me that I have both a hard copy on my bookshelf and an ebook copy on my Nook Color. I think that this is a definite must when it comes to classic books that should be read and enjoyed for a long time to come.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In My Vault: To Read

On my Nook Color.... Most important books to read

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
The Six by K. B. Hoyle
The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover
Hook & Jill by Andrea Jones
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Glimpse by Claire Merle
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Sending by Isobelle Carmody
Above by Leah Bobet
X-Isle by Steve Augarde

Friday, May 18, 2012

Deadlocked Review

327 pages

With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank. Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

I usually love the Sookie Stackhouse novels but this one fell completely flat with me. This was probably the least interesting one that I have read thus far and that says a lot. It seemed like in this novel there wasn't much of a story. Mostly it concentrated on Sookie's day to day life. The action picked up at the end of the novel but not quickly enough to save me from reading the practically endless boring parts. It seemed like most of the characters I had grown to love didn't have much to contribute. Now what I did enjoy was the twist created in this novel especially since it came out of practically nowhere. Other than that I can only hope that if there is a next novel in this series it goes back to the original Sookie Stackhouse that I've grown to love. I can't really recommend this as an enjoyable read but if you read the series and want to see what else is going on in Sookie's life then it passes the time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Serpent's Shadow Review

406 pages

He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow... or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld...

And once again Rick Riordan has created an awesome ending to a great series. This series has only improved since the first book and came to a strong ending. I love ancient Egyptian mythology and I think that this novel does an excellent job of incorporating that into a real world adventure. Carter and Sadie are their usual amusing selves and narrate this novel in an entertaining and fun way. Finally their battle with Apophis comes to a head and both Carter and Sadie have to make decisions that will change the lives of both them and all their friends. I loved the different unexpected twists that pop up in this story. There is a lot of action and adventure that will keep you immersed in the world of the Kanes. I can definitely see a crossover series in the future between Percy Jackson and the Kanes (please? lol). I definitely recommend this novel and series if you're a fan of mythology, magic, and other works from Rick Riordan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Revived Review

336 pages

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life. A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

I have to say this really wasn't the best book I've read lately. Honestly it was pretty sad and depressing to me. Daisy is a character that doesn't bring much to the table when it comes to being an interesting character. She likes to stay below the radar, which is fine, but she also seems to have a lot of insecurities which are annoying. This book mostly focuses on Daisy and Matt's relationship and the death of someone close to Daisy. It was really hard for me to get through this novel because I felt like it was just sucking the joy out of my life. I liked the idea behind the novel and the drug Revive, but I wish more focus and action had been put on that than the whole death thing. I can't recommend it since this book just wasn't for me but other people might enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Immortal Rules Review

485 pages

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters. Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad. Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike. But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

If you think this is just another vampire novel you are completely wrong! I couldn't ask for a better story with a kickass heroine! Allie is strong, but sometimes a bit too strong when it comes to her emotions. All Allie wants is to have enough food to survive the winter. She finds a treasure trove but ends up being turned into a vampire. This completely changes Allie's life and gives her new perspective on people in general. There is a lot of action in this book, between the vampires and the rabids who live outside the cities the adventure never stops. There is a bit of romance in this book but it doesn't overshadow the danger and action in this novel. Allie really impressed me with her ability to fight for those she cares about and to get things done. I think the world building in this novel is awesome. You really get a sense about what life must be like for Allie and the others who live in this world. There were a lot of surprises and twists in this story that keep you reading and interested in the story. I absolutely recommend this novel to anyone who loves a vampire dystopian novel that is so much more. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Classic Monday: Of Mice and Men by John Steinback

107 pages

The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.

A quick and easy read, pretty sad, but also heartwarming. And that's all I have to say about that. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova
Revived by Cat Patrick

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Open Minds Review

326 pages

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

I have to say, the world created here is pretty cool. A world where reading minds is actually considered normal but having no powers at all makes you an outcast. And then even more terrifying to the mind readers are the ones that control minds, the mindjackers. Kira at first thinks she's a Zero who has no powers at all then she finds out that she actually does have powers but can't reveal them to anyone. This eventually sets off a chain of events that opens Kira to a whole new world of mindjacking and mindjackers alike. The only time Kira frustrated me was with her dependence on and unhealthy relationship with the person who introduces her to mindjacking. Other than that Kira goes from a frightened and low profile character to a pretty impressive heroine. This novel quickly goes from low to high action scenarios which keeps this story moving and fresh. I really enjoyed this novel and I can't wait to see what the next novel brings in Kira's life. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good paranormal dystopian novel.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The False Prince Review

342 pages

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Even though I was absolutely certain the way this book was heading from the beginning I was even more excited reading it happen in the story! This novel couldn't have been any better from an action and adventure standpoint. Sage isn't necessarily the most heroic main character but his bravery and determination more than make up for that. At first I wasn't sure if I would like Conner but as the novel goes on it becomes clear that he is a character I wouldn't mind seeing disappear. I loved seeing Sage go through his discoveries and growth within himself. The other characters have sides to them that make them interesting to know and they actually surprise me when it comes to where their loyalties lie. This novel has a lot of danger and so many lies that it leaves you wondering what could possibly happen next. Even though this novel is set to become part of a trilogy, this one ends in a satisfying conclusion that doesn't leave you wondering about what will happen to Sage next. I absolutely recommend this novel especially if you're a fan of exciting novels with action, adventure, and danger at all turns.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crimson Rising Review

408 pages
Release date: September 8th, 2012

After the events that transpired in Seattle, the faculty at Skyship Academy have kept Jesse a prisoner in his own home, fearful of his ability to break Pearls. Cassius has escaped to the Polar Cities of Canada, fleeing the Unified Party — the very organization he’d once counted himself a part of. But when Jesse manages to smuggle onboard the Academy a mysterious red Pearl, he sets forth a destructive chain of events that leads him back to the Fringes and to a reunion with Cassius. It's there that the brothers meet Madame’s newest protégé, a troubled youth with a dangerous secret waiting to be unlocked. But a larger threat looms in the stars. Together, Jesse and Cassius must race against the clock, and those they thought they could trust, to prevent extermination at the hands of their ultimate enemy — an enemy hatched from crimson and ready to strike.

Review (ARC):
I really love the Skyship Academy series as it has given me a fresh look on science fiction books at a whole. The concept is just so fresh and unique that you can't help but to enjoy it. This novel had a lot of action and and just entertaining scenes as a whole. Once again the story is told from the different perspectives of Jesse and Cassius. Even though they are brothers they are completely different characters, yet there's something about each of them that just draws you in. There are quite a few familiar characters in this novel and also a few new ones. The new characters that you're introduced to have more to them than meets the eye but it becomes revealed as the novel goes on. The story here is just as exciting if not more than the first book in the series. This novel answered a lot of questions for me but still left me wanting to know more. I can't wait for the next novel to see what happens next in Jesse and Cassius' lives. I definitely recommend that you read this book but you should read the first book in the series The Pearl Wars, before you read this one.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Classic Monday: The Odyssey by Homer

750 BC
560 pages

The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life. It recounts the story of Odysseus' return to Ithaca from the Trojan war and tells how, championed by Athene and hounded by the wrathful sea-god Poseidon, Odysseus encounters the ferocious Cyclops, escapes Scylla and Charybdis and yields temporarily to the lures of Circe and Calypso before he overcomes the trials awaiting him on Ithaca. Only then is he reunited with his faithful wife Penelope, his wanderings at an end.

This is one of those great classics that has survived throughout time. Homer definitely created a bloody, gory account of Odysseus' journey but it also makes for a great tale. This is a beautifully written, epic tale that contains an insight into an older time when greek mythology was a major influence on people's lives.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Upcoming Reviews

Crimson Rising by Nick James

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

From Author/Publisher:
Hippocampus by Tom Tancin
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Friday, May 4, 2012

Skylark Review

344 pages
Release date: October 1st, 2012

Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky. Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped. Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret – but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

Review (ARC):
This is one of those books that you just can't put down. The world building is amazing and different from most dystopian novels. The mesh between magic and a dystopian world is exceptional to the point where it doesn't make this novel too much like a typical fantasy novel. Lark is the main character and I have to admit she was a bit hard to take at times with her whole no violence and no meat thing going on. However, I loved the fact that Lark wasn't originally what you thought she was and that she grows a bit more by the end of the book. Lark has to go through a lot when its discovered that she is a Renewable and this leads her on an adventure beyond her imagining. As Lark journeys she meets other people who also have more to them than meets the eye and that will either turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing. There was a lot about the world that made it both beautiful and terrifying at the same time, but this all just made for a good read. I definitely recommend this to those who are fans of dystopian and magic based novels alike.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thumped Review

304 pages

It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day! Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances. To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants. The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous: Tell the truth.

This is a great sequel to the first and innovative novel Bumped. The dystopian world created in this series is one in which teenage girls are encouraged to get pregnant often since they become infertile after turning 18. Of course being pregnant is made to seem to be the "cool" thing to do and that creates a lot of interesting changes in the society in which Melody and Harmony live in. Melody lives in more of a sexual exploited society and Harmony lives in a religiously strict one. It's interesting to continue seeing Melody and Harmony's different points of view when it comes to their beliefs about relationships and pregnancy. This book is pretty entertaining despite the serious message about teen pregnancy and marriage behind it. There are a lot of things at the end that turn out to be surprising but the message behind this book is a good one. I really enjoyed reading this even though I'm not sure at what age this would be appropriate for young adult readers. I would recommend it to those looking to read a dystopian novel that deals with serious matters in an entertaining yet relevant way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Selection Review

327 pages

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.

This book was definitely different from most dystopian novels, more of a romantic dystopian. If you don't like books that focus mostly on romance then this might not be for you. With that being said, I LOVED this novel! I like that this novel takes place in the future yet the world has returned to some of the older ways. Everyone is separated into different castes from 1-8 which determine their jobs and success in life. America is a strong heroine who is doing the best she can to help support her family who is in caste 5. She eventually ends up joining The Selection in an effort to help her family out. Aspen and Prince Maxon are two completely different characters that both love America. Aspen is America's childhood love and I have to admit, not my favorite character. Prince Maxon on the other hand, is more than America imagined him to be and definitely my choice for the man that deserves America's love. The Selection competition is basically a reality television dating competition to marry the prince. Of course there is a lot of competition between the ladies entering the competition and that adds to the interest in the book. I think America's connection with Aspen is the only thing that annoyed me in this novel partially because I didn't like him and also because it bordered on obsessive. This book ends on quite a cliffhanger that will leave you anxious to read the next one to find out what happens. I definitely recommend this novel if you like romantic novels with a dystopian feel to is.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Middle Ground Review

336 pages
Release date: November 20th, 2012
In the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie is in LA, is trying to stay out of trouble. But she can't quell the fire that rages within her against the digital life, and one night, a seemingly small act of rebellion lands Maddie in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, under the guise of rehabilitation, patients are reprogramed to accept the digital life. When Maddie discovers what goes on here, her fight shifts. She's no longer just fighting against the digital life. She's fighting for her mind, her soul, and her life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of what the future holds if we're not careful.

Review (ARC):
Once again Katie Kacvinsky shows the dangerous possibilities of technology addiction in this novel. Maddie's story continues from where it left off with her still fighting Digital School and other forms of addiction to being online all the time. At times Maddie irritated me in the novel because she seemed to make a lot of stupid decisions. However, as the story went on I accepted that as being part of her personality. The romance between Maddie and Justin really hooked me especially because Justin is such a closed off character. Justin definitely opened up a lot in this novel. I appreciate the message behind this novel because I can actually see society getting to the point where they're closed off from one another and locked in to digital worlds. This novel had a fair amount of action and adventure besides romance that keeps you reading. I definitely recommend it but I recommend that you read the first book, Awaken before you read this one.