January 28, 2012

Review of "Unearthly"


by Cynthia Hand
My Rating:
Pub. Date: January 4th, 2011
Pages: 435
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Purchased
Edition: E-book

Synopsis: When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. . . . When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
I'm not sure why I didn't pick "Unearthly" up last year.  It has fantastic reviews and is right up my ally.  I think I was just so disappointed with the last few angel books I've read that I just needed a break.  Also, I am not a huge fan of the cover.  I'm not sure I would have read this book if it hadn't been for the $.99 price tag on BN.com.  Seriously, best $.99 ever spent!  I just could not put the book down.  
Clara is a great female character.  She was strong, but didn't always have the answers making her a realistic teenager.  Who doesn't love an athletic girl who can hang with the boys and still look hot at a formal?  I love the fact that typical gender roles were reversed in "Unearthly".  It wasn't the female that needed saving, but the male.  The love triangle in "Unearthly" worked well because it wasn't as generic as in most teen books.  It wasn't just a girl confused between a bad boy and a golden boy, Clara's purpose took it to another level.
The love story and Clara's arcane purpose would have been enough to keep me interested, but Cynthia Hand's angels were very intriguing.  They are very mysterious leaving plenty to learn in the upcoming books.  I am dying to know where Clara and Christian's relationship is headed in "Hallowed".  Although, I think I am on team Tucker... but in a pinch I wouldn't mind curling up with Christian.  Let's be serious, both guys are totally swoon worthy.
I would definitely recommend this book to fans of "Twilight", "Shiver", and all those other wonderful paranormal books, especially if you are into angels.

January 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays January 10th 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Any one can participate! Just

1-Grab your current read.
2-Let the book fall open to a random page.
3-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
4- Please share the title and author of the book to allow people to find the book if they like the teaser you’ve given!
***Please avoid spoilers!***


Ally Condie

"It's a song, I tell myself, same as I always do  The bass sounds of the heavy shots, the soprano of the screams and the tenor of my own fear." (Page 17)

I am so excited I finally have this book!  I have been waiting on the wait list at my library since it came out.  It feels like forever, but I guess it has only been two months.  Now it is time to read it... yay!

Feel free to share your teaser sentences by adding a comments.

January 9, 2012

Review of "Daughter of Smoke and Bone"

 "Daughter of Smoke and Bone"
by Laini Taylor
My Rating:
 Pub. Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 432
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Source: Borrowed From Library
Edition: Hardcover
Synopsis: 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?

In case you didn't see all the hearts, I LOVED "Daughter of Smoke and Bone".  Laini Taylor is a beautiful storyteller; she was able to combine the beauty of Prague with paranormal romance to create an epic fantasy novel.

The characters are one of a kind.  Brimstone is a monster that sells wishes for teeth.  Yes, you read it correctly, TEETH!  At the same time, he is part of the only family that Karou has ever known.  Karou herself is wonderfully mysterious.  She has tattoos and "naturally" blue hair, is extremely artistic, runs dangerous errands, was raised by monsters, and has no idea who she is.  Karou is a strong female character searching for her identity, but nothing can prepare her for the truth.

The way Laini Taylor described Prague transported me back to this beautiful, historic city.  Prague is a fantastic city and is the perfect setting for this book.  It is so romantic with great old-world charm that I could totally picture there being secret doors that lead beyond our world.

On top of characters, plot, and beautiful storytelling, there is this huge war that has taken over two civilizations for hundreds of years and Karou is getting sucked in.  I know this probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but you will just have to read the book to find out how all these pieces fit together.

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is filled with so many mysteries that it hooks you from the first page until the last.  And let me just say that the last page will blow your mind hole!  How can Karou be family with monsters?  Why does Brimstone collect Teeth?  Who is Karou?  Honestly, just go buy "The Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  It is awesome and one of the best books that was released in 2011.

January 3, 2012

Review of "Entwined"

by Heather Dixon
My Rating:
Pub. Date: March 29, 2011
Pages: 480
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Borrowed From Library
Edition: e-book

Synopsis: Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.
I LOVE the cover of "Entwined".  It fit the romantic aspects that I was sure would be a part of a book that highlighted dancing and magic.  I think I loved the cover a bit too much because the book did not live up to it.  I really liked the retelling of the 12 dancing princesses  fairy tale.  It was great to understand why the King was so harsh.  He became a character with depth instead of just a horrible father trying keep his children from having any enjoyment out of life.  I liked how the daughters struggled to  live with their father.  Their difficult relationship felt true and grounded the story in a way that made it seem more realistic.  For the most part, I liked how the girls didn't adhere to social norms.  They had spirit and I enjoyed that.  
There were a few problems with "Entwined".  First, the daughters were kind of dense about the danger they were in.  I understand their naivety at first, but out of 12 girls only the oldest started to worry... it was very unrealistic to me.  Especially since these girls are strong minded and educated.  Second, the book was kind of slow.  I think it was just a bit too long because there were times when not a lot was happening.  I am a fan of dancing, but some of it could have been cut out.  It was just a bit too much.  I guess the problem was that I didn't love Heather Dixon's writing style.  It just wasn't my favorite.
Overall, I liked the book.  It didn't take me a long time to read, I just wish there had been more editing.  I am glad I read it because I did enjoy the plot.  I have a feeling that there will be readers out there who love this book, but I am just not one of them.  

January 1, 2012

2012 Goals, Challenges, and lists!

I know I failed last year, but I am going to do the Debut Author Challenge again and this year I am going to crush it!  
Here are a list of some of the books I plan on reading for the challenge:

by Julie Cross

Born Wicked
by Jessica Spotswood

Article 5
by Kristen Simmons

Innocent Darkness
by Suzanne Lazear

by Kim Purcell

by Megan Miranda

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

by Meredith Zeitlin

I know that is only 7 books, but I don't do well when I plan on reading certain books.
2012 Reading Challenge
This year I plan to read at least 100 books!  I did it two years ago and I know I can do it again!  I would join the challenge, but I am seeing that the blogger running it doesn't count audio books.  This is a problem because I often read a book at home and listen to it in the car or at the gym so that I can read as much as possible.  If anyone knows of a 100+ Reading Challenge that includes audio books, please let me know.   At any rate, I am challenging myself!

Books I Plan to Read in 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
By Laini Taylor

By Ally Condie

by Lauren Oliver

Spell Bound
by Rachel Hawkins

Matched Book 3
by Ally Condie

by Kristin Cashore

A Million Suns
by Beth Revis

The Soul
by Stephenie Meyer

by Andrea Cremer

by Julie Cross

The Last Echo
by Kimberly Derting

by Marissa Meyer

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Innocent Darkness
by Suzanne Lazear

The Pledge
by Kimberly Derting

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Steifvater

by Marie Lu

Future of Us
by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Shatter Me
Tahereh Mafi

Feel free to post a link in the comments with your list of challenges or books you plan on reading this year.  :)  Happy Reading to all in 2012!