Saturday, February 23, 2013

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

So, there's this thing I do. It's mostly unintentional. I am ALWAYS behind on the book hype. I only got to enjoy the agony of waiting for the last two or three Harry Potter books because by the time I started reading them, the others had already been published( not my fault though, I had a hesitant mother). Same thing with Twilight. It actually took me watching the movie and thinking, okay, not a terrible movie, I bet the book is better! I either know nothing about the book, or all of the hype and fangirling scares me away. Since I've had my Goodreads account, this has begun to change, but I am still playing catchup with some great books!
Enter Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series. I actually found out about these because I fell in love with her Infernal Devices series, which is essentially about the same "set" of people, just set in a different time period. Okay, let's be outright honest here. These two series are set in different time periods and they have different main characters, but they are very, very similar. Beautiful young girl meets sexy shadowhunter boy through some dangerous occurrence. She is sucked into the shadowhunter world, and learns amazing things about who she is. Throw in a love triangle and some cool plot twists and there you have it! Now, I'm not saying this to deter you. I am telling you this because while they are wildly similar(and most would knock Clare's inability to be original here. While they have a point, I like the stories, so I'm not going to) there are things about each that are different. I also began reading City of Bones with the knowledge that it was going to be similar to the Infernal Devices series, so I was able to enjoy it instead of being held back by that.
Okay, onto the goods.

Clarissa Fray's life is pretty normal. She has a beautiful, artistic mother and a great best friend, Simon, who she has known most of her life. When she hits a New York night club with Simon, all she wants to do is enjoy the night. But when she notices figures in black pursuing a boy, she has the inexplicable feeling that something is very wrong. When she witnesses a murder, she is horrified by these young people who seem so relaxed, even elated, about just having killed a young boy. Or was that what he really was? But without a body, Clary is forced to act as though she has seen nothing. She hopes that she can forget what she saw, but she quickly realizes that not only is there more to what she has seen, but these brutal people are the only ones who can help her when her mother goes missing and Clary is attacked herself.

What can I say about this book? I love the world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. I wish that I had read this series first because it does a better job of explaining all of the little things that are a part of their realm. 
Clary. I actually liked Clary. I know a lot of people don't. I really felt for her because she was put in a lot of tough spots that weren't her fault and I can't blame her for reacting the way she did.
Jace. Ohh I fall for this character every time. I can't help but look past his flaws and see the wounded side. 
As for Simon, it's not that I dislike him, I just like Jace more.

I don't have a lot to say about the plot except the twist at the end. Now, I beg of you...

Clary and Jace are brother and sister..... WHAT!!!???

My brain rejects this. And from what I have accidentally read online, I am pretty sure that Clary and Jace end up together, which means that Clary is right, Valentine is a big, fat liar. Because when it comes down to it,  Valentine's story is full of holes.

Right now I have several other books that I have to read before the end of February for some book club challenges, but as soon as those are out of the way I will be pouncing on City of Ashes. It is currently sitting on my shelf, taunting me.

Until next time!

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PS, I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

PS, I Love You is Cecelia Ahern's debut novel, first published in 2003. It is a beautiful story about loss, letting go, and finding ourselves, even in impossible situations. Many of you have probably seen the movie starring the extremely handsome Gerard Butler

I unknowingly broke my own sacred rule and watched the movie first! Somehow the fact that this book existed completely escaped me. I only got around to watching the movie last year, so when I saw Cecelia Ahern's name in the credits I smacked myself on the head. OF COURSE that plot came from it book, it's so wonderful. It took me forever to find a copy and even longer to get around to reading it, but now that I have, I am mostly pleased. 

This is actually the third book by Ahern that I have read, and I really do enjoy her writing. The magical elements in her stories are captivating, and while there is a touch of that here, you can really see how this book was a launching pad for her compared to her other books.

Daft as I am, when I started reading, I didn't know that it was her first novel, but it didn't take me long to come to that conclusion. The writing is good, but having read her other things first, there is a remarkable maturation that she has achieved in her writing since this book. So if this is the only Ahern you've read and you're thinking' eh, that was alright but the writing was a bit spotty', take my word for it, it only gets better!


Gerry and Holly Kennedy have a beautiful relationship. They love each other wholeheartedly, imperfections and all. They are not only husband and wife, but best friends. When Gerry is diagnosed with a brain tumor after having severe headaches, they draw even closer to each other, cherishing every last moment together.
We are left with a deeply grieving Holly, who is struggling to get out of bed each morning as she tries to make sense of the life that she finds herself in. Her mother has been calling her repeatedly, reminding her about a mysterious package that has been left with her for Holly.
When Holly finally gets around to opening it, she is shocked and elated to find messages from her Gerry, an envelope per month through the end of the year. Through these messages, Holly feels that Gerry is with her again, and with each letter, Holly is sent on another adventure on her road to self-healing.

There were moments when I had tears in my eyes, and just as many moments when I was rolling around on my couch, laughing like a maniac(my husband is pretty sure that I am, har har) 
I gave the book three stars because of some editing and continuity issues that I couldn't get past, but I loved the story and I can't wait to read more Ahern in the future.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Torment by Lauren Kate

After reading Lauren Kate's series title Fallen last year, I was somewhat looking forward to reading Torment. But the longer I waited to read it the more my interest waned. I had been eyeing it sitting on my shelf for a few days, and finally gave in because I left my other current read in my car and it was cold, rainy, and dark.

Luce has barely had time to process what took place in the Sword & Cross cemetery. It has left her with many questions, but before she can begin to even form them in her mind, she is carried off by Daniel, her eternal love and protector, to Shoreline on the California coast, where he hopes that she will remain safe. But Luce can't shake the feeling that she is missing something huge. As she unravels her past, will she unknowingly unravel her future?

I feel like I need to make a spoiler button so I can stop typing it every time...

My biggest complaint about the book is the truce. Not the fact that there is one, but rather that I explicitly knew about it the entire time. It made me feel so frustrated with Luce because of how idiotic and irresponsible she acted because she had no idea what was going on but I did. And it also seemed like maybe Lauren Kate thought her readers 'wouldn't like' or 'couldn't handle'(purely my speculation) not knowing exactly what was happening every moment.
All of that brings me to Luce. Oh, Lucinda. What I like about her is that she isn't afraid to be angry with Daniel and tell him off. But she is so reckless and naive, most of the time I was frustrated with her.
Which brings us to Daniel. Overprotective is the tip of the iceberg, until you realize that he is kind of right. Now, is he moody and a tad self-centered? Yes, but then so is Luce.  A LOT of people have hated on Daniel for being a prick, but I felt that Luce was right up there with him. But I still found a way to somewhat like them. What annoyed me endlessly was how neither of them could manage to say what was really on their minds and it always lead them to some ridiculous fight.
When I realized that there was going to be a love triangle, I literally rolled my eyes. I thought that we had already dogged that bullet with Cam, but as likable as Miles is, I hold more value in Luce and Daniel's love. In this aspect, this is Twilight with angels and demons. We all know who she ends up with, why even go there? But, it looks like Miles will be here to stay, for a while anyway.
There are so many things left unanswered at the end of this book. Another reader said that this book was more about setting up the last two, and I would definitely agree with that. Going off what we are left with, I don't think that Luce is human. The way Daniel acted when she was prepared to take a starshot for him confirmed that. The last part of the book was such a jumble it was hard to tell where anyone stood, but there is something(s) major that Daniel has yet to explain to Luce, and I doubt that it will all come to light until the last book. 

This book was just okay for me. I gave it two stars, which is a very low rating for me. I don't like going under three. But I have read so many other sensational YA novels that it doesn't seem right to rank this one with them. I have a tiny hope for the last two, but since there are two and not just one left, I have a feeling that it will get worse before it gets better. I won't be running out tomorrow to get the next one, but it will be on my list for the next trip to the used bookstore. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Can't Wait-2013

Hello Everyone!

I've been wasting time perusing Goodreads for the past half hour and getting really excited about some books that are coming out this year! So, I wanted to share my 'I Can't Wait' list for 2013. Here it goes!

#1- Awaken by Meg Cabot

"Death has her in his clutches"

This is the third and final book in her Abandon  trilogy, and I simply love them! There has been roughly a year wait between each book and it is killing me! There is just something about her writing that I love. Okay, I'll stop fangirling now! I am a long-time fan of Cabot's and I am thrilled to see how she will end this series. And what a gorgeous cover!!! I was so pleased with it!  According to Meg Cabot's website, the book can be expected to be released in July of this year. Let my agonizing wait continue!
More on Awaken here.

#2- Divergent #3- Untitled by Veronica Roth
Okay, so this one is currently lacking a cover and title, but don't leave yet. This is the third book in the Divergent series
This is an excellent series, and I am stoked for the third. There has been quite a buzz online concerning the cover and title, which is why I think it has yet to be released. You KNOW they know what both are. They are taunting us! o_0  This book is expected to be released October 2013.
More on Divergent #3 here.

#3-Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
I don't have a cover for this one either, but I really love this series. It is the 8th installment in Gabaldon's Outlander series

This is a great historical romance series, but there is so much more to them as well. This book is expected to be published in Fall 2013.
More on Written in My Own Heart's Blood here.

#4- Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

First of all, how beautiful is this cover!? This is the third and final book in Clare's Infernal Devices series and is highly anticipated. I know that I am waiting impatiently for it! There are so many questions that have to be answered.  It is expected to be published on March 19, 2013, making it a PERFECT birthday myself. My birthday is a few days after that, but I won't be waiting until then! :D
More on Clockwork Princess here.

Well, that is all I have for now. I am bubbling over with anticipation for these books! I hope you check them out!

Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

I finished The Host last night, and I really liked it! Before you ask, yes I am a fan of Stephanie Meyer's work. I really love the Twilight series, and The Host did not disappoint.
I always seem to be behind about reading all the "good" stuff. This book came out in 2008, and I remember passing it in the stores, picking it up to read the cover more than once, and it never peaked my interest enough for me to pick it up and take it home(also, I was a broke college kid then). But a book club I'm a part of on Goodreads read it last month and for whatever reason, this time I was ready to read it.


First of all, let me just say, this story is not Twilight made over. People will argue the aspect of the love triangle. But that is in most Dystopian YA fiction out there, so, next argument please! And besides, it's more of a... love.. square? Yeah, anyway.

"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away"- Her body has been taken captive by a soul, Wanderer. Wanderer has lived many lives, and has heard stories about how difficult life can be with a human host. But she is certain that she will be able to adjust to her new body, with it's fragile existence as well as the violent, gripping memories that it comes with.  But Melanie has other plans. Melanie begins to show Wanderer snippets of her old life, a life filled with such raw emotion that Wanderer cannot help but yearn for it. Melanie shows Wanderer Jared, the man Melanie loves, desperately hoping that Wanderer will find some way to help her get back to him. What Melanie doesn't count on is the way that Wanderer is consumed with love for Jared herself.
Trapped inside the same physical body, these two enemies form an unwilling bond in order to save the man that they both love, but have no way of knowing just what lies ahead of them.

What moved me the most about this story is the way it depicts humanity. The souls have come to Earth because of how violent humans are, and they believe that they can run the world better. That humans do not deserve this beautiful planet. But what the souls fail to understand, and what Wanderer comes to realize, is that Earth isn't Earth without humans. Humans are vastly imperfect, but it's their imperfections that give them potential for better things.

“Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.” 

What is light without the darkness? 

Another thing is the way humans have the ability to love, even if convention tells them that they are wrong. Ian's love for Wanda was something that I had to work to get my head around. I really wanted to believe in it wholeheartedly, but it took me a while to really accept it. Especially considering how Ian started out.

In the end, I knew what had to happen with Melanie and Jared, but the uncertainty for Wanderer had tears rolling down my face. I just couldn't bear it. Although I won't spell it out here, needless to say that I was pleased.

“I held you in my hands, Wanderer, and you were beautiful.” 

And as luck would have it, the movie version of The Host comes out one day after my birthday! I know what I'll be doing! :D