Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2) by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2) by Kimberly Derting
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperTeen
Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger. – Goodreads
My Opinion: This was a good continuation. Violet and Jay are together but are a little rocky and that surprised me because in the first book they were all lovey-dovy in the end of the book.  My favorite characters in this one though was Rafe. He was just quiet and observant and I think there will be a love triangle happening in the next book between Rafe, Violet and Jay.
The plot was pretty cool too, although it sort of reminded me a little too much of the first because of the scenes not to be spoilorish was that Violet feels like someone is watching her in the woods while she is running. I also thought that Megan was a little similar to someone else in the previous book.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jane by April Lindner

Jane by April Lindner
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published October 11th 2010 by Poppy(first published September 23rd 2010)
Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer, and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there’s a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane’s much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers. – Goodreads
My Opinion: I have never read Jane Eyre but, this book is making it so that it is moving up on my To-be-read list. I liked Jane, even though she was really old fashioned. I thought that even with all of her experiences with her family, she would at least listen to some type of modern music and not classical as she does, or at least not only classical.
I also really enjoyed the setting. I liked the idea of Thornfield Park. I even liked Bibi and all her craziness. My favorite character is Brenda though. Just because she is so mysterious and you don’t really find out who she is until the end.
I also enjoyed the complexity of Nico. He seemed like an interesting character.
Some of the plot did not make sense like how she agree to marry him after technically being “in a relationship” with him. It just surprised me because, it wasn’t realistic, and it just didn’t seem to fit the character of who Jane was. It fit Nico perfectly because that was how his marriage to Bibi was, but with Jane it was after one night. It was just surprising. I also really love the cover. Its just the simplicity of it is amazing.
After reading this, I can’t wait to read Jane Eyre and go see the movie.
Overall: 4 out of 5

Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Courtney Allison Moulton
Hardcover, 453 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers – monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell – she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul. A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie’s powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her – an assassin who has already killed her once.
While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie’s soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian’s most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives – including truths that may be too frightening to remember. – Goodreads
My Opinion: This was interesting. I don’t think that it was as interesting as it was made to seem. However, I enjoyed the plot and the characters were interesting. Will was interesting but I wanted him to answer all her questions. I think it would have made the bok shorter but the reactions that it would have casued, I think might have made the book more interesting.
Ellie was fun. I loved that even though she was having all these weird things happening to her and all the crazy stuff she has to deal with, she still tried to maintain her normal life to some extent. It sort of reminded of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, except with angels. It was interesting if anything and added to the story. I also really liked the idea of the reapers and how they look. It just sounds like a great monster.
I also really liked that it was fast-paced and that made it easy to read.
Overall: 4 out of 5

Maze Runner

Grade 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in "the glade" for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum. The epilogue, which would be deliciously creepy coming immediately after the plot resolves, fails to pack a punch as a result. That said, The Maze Runner has a great hook, and fans of dystopian literature, particularly older fans of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember (Random, 2003), will likely enjoy this title and ask for the inevitable sequel.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH END

I loved this book. It does have a pattern of Survival, Crazy Scientists and the End of the World like The Carbon Diaries, Maximum Ride, City of Ember or the series Gone.  It has crazy machine monsters that they have to battle with the confusion of a always changing maze with memory loss. They have slang that subs for swearwords. It's quite funny actually. There are no swear words... at all. It was all boys and a newbie or "Greenbean" would arrive every month. Then all these strange things start happening when a girl with a message in a coma arrives. The "doors" that close every night to protect them from the monsters or "Grievers" don't close. The Grievers take a boy every night now. Thomas and Teresa or the comatose girl have gifts. They find out things that they really didn't want to know.

READ THIS BOOK! I give it 5 stars and I can't wait to read the next one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Washington Square Press(first published 1603)
“Hamlet” is the story of the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet’s father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet’s widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father’s murder. – Goodreads
My Opinion: I have to say that out of all the Shakespeare plays that I have read, I enjoyed this one the most. This is only the second Shakespeare play that I have read by the way, Macbeth, being the first. I liked Hamlet, I don’t like the way he acted, but I did like sort of what he stood for. He wants honesty and honor. I think that that’s something that everyone should stand for. I didn’t like his method of revenge though, and some of the methods that Shakespeare used in the writing of the play sort of bugged. I like details and the way that Hamlet died, was not very detaily, at least correctly detailed. Hamlet is hit with the poison first and lives longer, yet Leartes, who is hit second dies, faster… that just doesn’t make sense to me. But whatever… I get that Shakespeare was making this a tragedy about Hamlet and not Leartes, but details like that bug me. I think its just me though.
Anyways, I liked the setting, there were some interesting themes that were portrayed in the play. Revenge, Betrayal, Love, the whole internal life vs. the external life in the castle. My favorite character had to be Young Fortinbras. He is just cool. I enjoyed reading the last lines of the play and I think that the end worked really well, so cudos to Shakespeare. My second character has to be Horatio. He sort of reminds me of me. I am not afraid to say that I tend to be a little naive around people because I like to believe in the good of people, Horatio was a little more naive than little, I think, but he was a powerful character that shows the difference in the people that live in the castle and those that don’t.
Overall: 4.25 out of 5
If you want to watch the movie version of the book, watch this version. It follows the script of the play to the word however the only difference is that it takes a more modern setting.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1) by Kelly Armstrong

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1) by Kelly Armstrong
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Harper (HarperCollins), New York
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.Until now. Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya’s biological parents and it’s easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet. – Goodreads
My Opinion: Hmm this is a difficult review to write because, technically and literally nothing happened in the book other than in the last 30 or so pages. That just bugged me, I kept reading the book because I was expecting something to actually happen and nothing kept happening. The whole book was pretty much Maya learning about herself and what/who she is. There was nothing else for 320 pages and I was just summarizing this story for a friend and I told her main part of the story in 5 sentences. It was just a lot of words.
Now for the setting. The setting was interesting. I mean Kelly Armstrong could have done a little more with it. Especially with some of the theories that Maya and Daniel were coming up with about the stories that Reporter would be willing to write. A medical research town owned by a medical engineering company has many possibilities. I HOPE that Armstrong uses that more in the continuing of the series.
Characters were overly developed and under developed. We know a lot about Maya. A lot. But almost nothing on Rafe, Annie, Daniel, Sam, and Nicole. It would have been so much better if we didn’t only get a dose of Maya. I would also love to learn more about Serena. My favorite character was Annie, she was warm and nice and not afraid to say what she wanted to say.
Overall: 3 out of 5

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Teeth: Vampire Tales by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Teeth: Vampire Tales by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by HarperCollins
Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. The vampires in these stories range from romantic to chilling to gleeful—and touch on nearly every emotion in between. The one thing they have in common? Their desire for blood…. – Goodreads
My Opinion: Some of these stories were amazing and it was great to see the take of some authors  have on vampires especially some well known authors like Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Garth Nix and more. Some of the stories were fun and interesting.
I really enjoyed the poem by Neil Gaiman. There were some stories that weren’t as great as the others but they still rocked.

Plus the cover is gorgeous.

Overall: 3.75 out 5

Vesper (Deviants #1) by Jeff Sampson

Vesper (Deviants #1) by Jeff Sampson
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.
The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?
As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want? – Goodreads
My Opinion: This was interesting. I don’t think that I have read a werewolf book similar to this in a long time so that’s a plus and it was interesting how Sampson portrayed them. I also love the title of the series, Deviants, it definitely fits sort of the image that the author is trying to create. I was sort of disappointed by the ending because it was such a big leap from how Emily’s account of the events that happened and the last report done by the Vesper company. It was weird and then also with what Amy can do. But hey that just leaves room for the next book, doesn’t it? Anyways it was an interesting read and it was entertaining some of the things that Emily would do during the night.

Emily was also an interesting character because it was fun going through her transformation with her. It was an fun watching her go from timid to wild and then back to timid and her freaking out about it and the theory that she comes up with it interesting if nothing else. It would have been interesting if that was what actually happened.

Overall: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Abandon (Abandon, #1) by Meg Cabot

Abandon (Abandon, #1) by Meg Cabot
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld. – Goodreads
My Opinion: Meg Cabot is one of my all time favorite authors and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. the Persephone/Hades myth has been one that I have been interesting in since my Language Arts class in 8th grade did a unit on Greek myths. I liked the way that Cabot wrote the story with the plot that it had with the flashbacks of the “incidents” that have happened since Pierce death.

Pierce and John seemed like very interesting characters. Pierce seems to be a character that has hardened since her experience with death and everything that has happened since then, but she has also retained what made her unique and what attracted her to John in the first place. John seems to be equally interesting because of who he is and what he is willing to do to protect her. However, my favorite character was the cemetery sexton. He just seemed like a very nice person that was trying to look out for Pierce and John.

The plot I think might be close to genius. I loved the idea of the Isla Huesos and what it represents to the Underworld and its history with John is pretty interesting. I can’t wait to read the next in the series. If you are looking for a good and fast read (I read this in about 3 hours) this is definitely a book that you should pick up because you will not want to put it down, especially if you a Meg Cabot fan.

Overall: 4.25 out of 5

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2) by Holly Black

Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2) by Holly Black
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else. That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.
When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone—least of all, himself?
Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose. – Goodreads
My Opinion: Why is it that sequels are almost never as exciting as the first in a series? This is  the sequel to White Cat and it seemed as though Cassel was was sort of whiny he loved Lila so much but that she didn’t because she was just cursed to love him. It sort of got  a little tedious and repetitive of him saying or implying it. I get that he was trying to do the right thing but it felt like a filler for when there wasn’t anything important to say.
In this novel, Cassel is more worried about figure out who he killed and how to cover it up so that the FBI don’t find out that he did as well as he has to figure out who killed his brother. I have to say that Holly Black did a good job disguising the murdered, I never even thought that the murderer would even be that person that it was possible.
I feel as though some of the characters were a little more complicated in this book. But it was only some of them, like Daneca and Sam.
But overall, it was a good mystery and it was less of a conning/mob thing than the first.
Overall: 4.25 out of 5

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods and Monsters, #1) by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods and Monsters, #1) by Kelly Keaton
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Simon Pulse
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 just one 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. – Goodreads
My Opinion: I have to say that I am really enjoying the Greek Myth theme happening in books. I love the Greek myths especially the one that this story consists of. Kelly Keaton definitely put a very interesting story in a modern setting.
The book kept my attention the whole time and it was hard to put it down. You are always finding out something new. It kept me guessing the whole entire time who/what was trying to kill her and what she was. I didn’t figure it out until she did. That’s amazing. What I didn’t really like about it is how trusting Ari was and how quickly she started calling the house in New 2 home. That was surprising and unrealistic.
My favorite character had to Sebastian though. He was just someone that had the power to do something and he new how to control it. Another of my favorite characters is Violet. She is so cute and I understand her fascination her Ari. She is most likely some sort of reptilian shifter, because of her relationship with Pascal.
I also really enjoyed the setting. New Orleans has a lot of history and I love how it was incorporated into the novel. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series is set to come out in 2012. Can’t wait!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5