Friday, July 18, 2014

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Genre: paranormal romance
Series and Book #: Hereafter Trilogy #3
Pages: 404

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no memories of her past life, she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. But everything changes when she tries to rescue a boy from drowning in the river. Because even though she can’t do anything to help, Amelia somehow wills him to survive. And when he wakes up, Joshua can see her.

Together, Joshua and Amelia begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death, and the secrets of the dark river that has held her captive. But even as they grow ever closer, there are those in both worlds—the living and the dead—determined to tear them apart….


Despite the great potential this book had, the writing ruined it. The villain was lame, the romance was so gooey it gave me cavities, and some of the decisions the characters made were skeptical. The villain (Eli) was so typical. He was constantly cocky and smirky and smug and love sick over Amelia. The whole "we were fated to be together" and "I chose you Amelia" was so tired. Amelia and Joshua's relationship was okay at first, but it got to the point where they'd known each other for three days and they already acted as if they'd been together three years. I get that they made a lasting impression on one another, being that she saved his life and she was a ghost. But that didn't warrant the whole star-crossed lovers spiel so common among teen paranormal romances. Their love made me giggle with how sincere they were. I found myself saying, "Take a step back and realize you're eighteen years old." Finally, their decisions were terrible. Amelia had a hero complex and Joshua was always "I love you Amelia I must keep you safe" blah blah blah. Amelia went charging into terrible situations all the time which is cute on the right character. Also, her witty banter with the enemy was too forced. She wasn't a funny character to begin with so I don't understand why Hudson felt the need to make her one. I'm just very tired of these young adult novels giving the main characters little depth other than their relationships with one another. Amelia never made a choice without consulting Joshua or without thinking about him. She'd known him for three days. You know, sometimes selfishness is a good thing. Joshua's apparent Seer heritage was unnecessary. Ruth, his grandmother and Seer extraordinaire, had it out for Amelia. It was just an unnecessary element, especially the hostility Ruth directed at Amelia. I have no idea how Hudson plans on continuing that particular plotline. I won't be reading the sequels anytime soon but I'm not cancelling them off my reading list.

The Cover: I love the colors and the apparition and the lettering. It's a very beautiful cover.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Genre: adult fiction & mystery
Series and Book #: Millennium Trilogy #1
Pages: 658

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.


The exposition in this novel was painful. I didn't understand the plot of the novel until nearly part two as none of the Vanger characters nor the real mystery appeared until then. Although Lisbeth Salander was introduced early on, her real purpose in Mikael's investigation into the Vanger household wasn't apparent until much later. The Wennerstrom case was rather random. It's only purpose seemed to be to reel the characters into the real plot of the novel. It misled from the actual purpose of the book (Harriet Vanger's murder) and caused me to think that the novel would be focused on a corporate scandal. Once Mikael began work for the Vagers, the novel considerably picked up speed. It was something I couldn't stand to put down as each new development into the Harriet Vanger case was more intriguing than the last. The ultimate resolution was unbelievable. The mystery was so complex, as were the unique cast of characters Larsson portrayed. I can't wait to see how he continued with the series. 

The Cover: I love the cover. The subtle dragon winding through the lettering is eye-catching and very cool

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Genre: science fiction
Series and Book #: unknown
Pages: 237

Two sisters. Bound by impossible choices. Are determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

James’s frozen face melts into a smile. “Do you want to know the trick to getting in trouble under the watchful eye of a psychic?”

I think of the nailed-shut windows. I think of Clarice. I think of the two, the two, the two who are now zero. Tap tap. “Yes, I absolutely do.”

“Don’t plan it. Don’t even think about it. The second you get an inkling of what you could do, do it then. Never plan anything ahead of time. Always go on pure instinct.”

I smile. “I think I can do that."


This has to be one of my favorite books. They way the book was structured, the characters, and the plot were all amazing. I could read Mind Games again and again and never get bored.

Fia was a perfectly broken character. She's been hurt and she deals with it by internalizing the pain. Her defiant nature keeps everyone away from her, granting her privacy in a place where nothing is private. Not thoughts, feelings, or the future. She was clever, funny, and continuously loyal to her sister. Despite everything she'd been through, she never cared so long as Annie was safe. Fia was soft and rough and her character was just impeccably well written. 

Annie, like her sister, deals with the pain. But she remains optimistic and hopeful where her sister has come to terms with their entrapment. Annie was very naive to their situation throughout the entire book. It was only until she actually heard that Keane didn't really care for her that she started to realize Fia was right all those times she'd said the Keane Foundation was wrong. But I suppose when you're blind, its hard to distrust everyone you meet. Annie was a perfect contrast to Fia. 

I loved it. Hands down. It is confusing at first. Kiersten doesn't provide any background information whatsoever. Even the summary is vague. Though I didn't have any information on the backgrounds of the characters, it was a brilliant novel. Kiersten slowly reveals the details of how Fia and Annie managed to become intertwined with the Keane Foundation. She flips back and forth between the present and the past. Its was a wonderful way to write this book. I'm looking forward to more. 

The Cover: I like the varying images over the girl's face. Reminds me of Annie's visions and Fia's face. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Endlessly by Kiersten White

Genre: paranormal
Series and Book #: Paranormalcy Trilogy #3
Pages: 385

Evie’s paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.
The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie’s hands.
So much for normal.

Evie is back, witty banter, pink Taser, and all! Putting aside Supernaturally, a definite low point for the trilogy, Endlessly was a wonderful return to the Evie we've come to know from Paranormalcy.

The writing in Endlessly was sporadic. One minute we're at Lend's, then we're in the Faerie Realms, on to IPCA headquarters, back to Lend's, IPCA, Faerie was breathtaking, and not in a good way. There were also some plot holes. For instance, Evie seemed really into planning the Winter Formal for school, but its only relevant at the beginning of the novel. More consistency would have made this book easier to keep pace with.

Kiersten White's creativity is amazing! I loved her idea of the Empty Ones and the gate closing off Earth from the true world of the paranormals. This makes the trilogy set apart from other paranormal reads out there.

This was a great conclusion to a funny, unique trilogy. Its such a peaceful ending, I don't know what to say! Thankfully Evie gets her happily ever after with Lend, in a world blessedly less-full of paranormals. I'm glad she gets serenity after all.

The Cover: All the Paranormalcy covers are beautiful, this one included. I like that the model looks tranquil and happy, like she knows the end is near and everything is going to be okay.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Genre: sci-fi, dystopian
Series and Book #: Legend Trilogy #2
Pages: 371

After escaping from the Republic’s stronghold of Los Angeles, June and day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the pair joins a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and who offer them passage to the Colonies. The Patriots have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s the chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silence for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is mothering like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood? What if the Patriots are wrong?

The sequel to Legend was a thrilling, action-packed novel! The true villains are revealed, Day and June's relationship is pushed to the brink, and the ending is not what I was expecting at all.

June is used to not revealing her true feelings because she's be trained to keep her emotions in check. But she's so compassionate, loving, and loyal. She loves Day, even though he doesn't realize just how much she does. His ring meant so much to her and she didn't have the capacity to show him that what he'd made out of paper clips was something more special than all the diamonds in the Republic. She's so smart. She always thinks before she acts which is why I think Day should have trusted her more when she said the Elector was someone they could trust. Day was blinded by his hatred for the Republic. I wish he would have trusted June more. It was so hard not to hit him over the head when he claimed he and June could never work because of her status vs. his. Honestly, if June didn't feel the same way as Day, she wouldn't have pushed so hard to keep them together. 


I need the third book. Do June and Day stay together? Does Razor get away? How does the Republic react to Anden? Will the Colonies come back with a vengeance? Is Tess good or bad? Will Day live or die? WHAT WILL HAPPEN???!!!! I have high expectations for the finale of this trilogy.

The Cover: I like how its spray-painted on a wall. It makes it look like someone purposefully put it there as a sign of rebellion against the Republic.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Genre: social issues, romantic drama
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 292

Why can’t you choose what you forget and what you remember?
There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.
But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon and strangely full of Doug.

Just like Jennifer's first book Going Too Far, Forget You was a wonderful teen romance. Doug and Zoey were such a great pairing even if it was bittersweet.

Zoey's dad was such a jerk! How dare he make her feel terrible about herself? It was frustrating to see Zoey fall into this trap with her father over and over again. Him yelling at her about keeping her mother's attempted suicide a secret and then his complaining that she had gotten into a car accident and lost her memory just to ruin his vacation? Right, because anyone in their right mind would do something that horrible to sabotage a Hawaiian getaway for the heck of it. WTF? Jennifer making the connection Doug had called her a spoiled brat, and then Zoey mentioning it to Doug later on, was great. Their relationship was already tempestuous. Zoey didn't remember the night her and Doug hooked up even though he did. Doug already had this developed relationship with Zoey. Zoey tried so hard to deny that anything happened while at the same time falling in love with was a great way to write a love story.

Zoey should have known her relationship with Brandon wasn't really a relationship at all. She spent all summer with him, watching him bounce from one girl to the other. I don't understand why she would think she was any different. I hated how everything was sex with Zoey, too. She thought that if she had sex with Brandon it would restore whatever broken relationship they had in the first place. Then she wanted to redo the night with Doug. She couldn't do that without the love making?

Another excellent summer romance, this one with some drama! The characters were all well-developed. I loved loved loved Zoey and Doug together!

The Cover: I like that Zoey looks a little confused, possibly even tormented by her attraction for Doug while she's "with" Brandon whereas Doug seems happy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

Genre: comedy, social issues
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 462

Kylie: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger??
Max: It started with Kylie’s laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics, and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we’re stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.
Will: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border—but there’s no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.
Lily: This CANNOT be happening. It’s like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes, and when I reopen them, they’re still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I’m giving him up without a fight, she’s dead wrong.

The events of this book snowballed: first its Kylie and Max at the café, then they're chasing after the guy who stole Kylie's laptop, then they're following the U-Haul truck, sneaking in, and being shipped past the Mexican border, stealing the U-Haul and driving to Ensenada...and that's just the beginning! It was a fast, funny ride!

Max and Kylie are very sincere characters; however, the way they talked took away from any emotional scenes between the two of them. Sure, teenagers will mumble and use way too many "likes" and "you knows" but that doesn't mean its the entirety of their vocabulary. The conversations they had made them sound vapid which contradicted their thoughts.

The biggest character development happened to Kylie. I loved that she learned to let go while she was with Max. An uptight main character is difficult, at least for me. I always just want to them to try something, to go through with the stupid idea, etc. I totally understand her anger toward Max when he denies anything happens between the two of them, but I don't think she should have let him go so easily. Max was made to seem like the dumb jock, but then Stacy and Valerie made him extremely literate...and that's where it stopped. Sure, he was the responsible one in Mexico, but once he was back with Lily he regressed to his beginning dumb-jock self. I wish there would have been a more significant change in his personality. If I was supposed to feel sympathy for Lily, I didn't. Her complaining about how she lost the family fortune wasn't all that terrible; people have it worse. She didn't need the fancy clothes, cars, and houses. Her materialistic attitude didn't change at all. Will was a great character who served his purpose but I don't know how much he needed to change vs. how he was needed to give us perspective on the events happening in the book. Same with Jake.

Wow...that was a lot. The plotline of From What I Remember... was great but the writing left something to be desired. A great summer read.

The Cover: I like how each character is portrayed and all with different expressions. Will (boy, far left) looks as if he could care less. Kylie's frustrated. Max is trying to explain to Lily, who isn't taking his crap.