On Saturday, September 28th, Ally Carter came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for her United We Spy tour. I live about five hours away from Philadelphia but I convinced my parents to take me to the event. It was the first book signing I had ever gone to and it was perfect! I got there about four hours earlier and got a front row seat. I was the first person there for the event. During her Q & A session, she answered one of my questions and since I was in the front row, she asked me to open her bottle of Fiji water because she could not open it with one hand. I had worn an OSU, Oklahoma State University t-shirt and she instantly picked it out since she went to school there. She had asked me if I knew the score to the game, sadly I did not, but my Dad did. When it came time for her to sign the books, I was sixth in line. I got all the YA books she has ever written signed, both Gallagher and Heist Society series. I also got her to sign the sleeve of my OSU t-shirt so that t-shirt will always have a special meaning to me. Here are some of the pictures of Ally Carter and I:
Ally Carter ended up being hysterical, down to Earth, and super sweet. I am so glad to have fallen in love with her series. As well as I am thrilled that she came to Philadelphia and I had the chance to meet her, especially since the Gallagher Girls series has now come to a close.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Summary:It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Published: April 5th, 2011
Review:The initial reaction I got from reading the beginning of the book was depressing. Seeing Adam struggle to keep his head above the surface of his emotions. To anyone else not looking from his point of view would have assumed Adam as your typical rock star. Those of us who read If I Stay knew that was not like Adam.
When the novel first opens up we are aware that Adam and Mia are no longer together. The reason they are not together is unknown to both Adam and the reader. As the story progresses, we find out that Mia just stopped calling Adam altogether and she was really angry at him for making her stay. He is unaware that she understood he made a promise to her while she was in a coma.
Anyone could have read this book without having read If I Stay but I believe it would be better to read If I Stay first, to have more background on the characters and their stories.
Speaking of stories, during Where She Went Adam had several different flashbacks on different dates and that Mia and Adam went on. Or just different memories that came back that related to what was currently happening. I liked the flashbacks but sometimes they were just random and did not have to do with the current situation, but they were still nice to have a better understanding of their relationship through Adam's perspective.
I am not necessarily one for happy endings. To me it all depends on the characters, I want characters that work hard and have been through a hard life and prevailed to have a happy ending than a rich, snobby character that gets handed everything. With that logic in mind, I am thrilled that both Adam and Mia got their happy ending, it was truly deserved. I hope that Kat, Danny, and Ted are smiling as they are watching over Mia and Adam.
Overall, Where She Went was tear-jerking, an emotional rollercoaster, heart-felt, the start of a new beginning, and cute. I hope that everything worked out for all the characters in the end and that they all got their happily ever after!
Summary:It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.
She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. (Via Goodreads.com)
Release Date: February 12th 2013
Review:I have been a big fan of Ruta Sepetys writing since her first novel, Between Shades of Gray. Her novels got me into the historical fiction genre.
I felt like I could really relate to Josie and Patrick, with their book reading habits and just their overall love for reading. Like Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices once said, "We live and breathe words."
I thought it was interesting that Josie's attachment to Mr. Hearne was because she imagined him as her father. Even though Cokie was like a father to her, hence the reason why she ended up changing her last name. I still believe that Cincinnati is Josie's father, after what he said to her mother about how Josie is so much like him. I never understood why Josie could not let her mother go, her mother never cared for her, plus she stole all her possessions. Willie was the closest person to be her mother and Josie did not seem to realize that until after Willie's death.
Charles' death was rather depressing since Charles was the one to take in Josie and the first to be a father figure to her. It was interesting to find out that one of the reasons that they think Charles was so messed up was because Cincinnati beat Charles near death when he came to rob Charles and Patrick's home. The incident was indirectly Josie's fault because Josie had told her mother some of the nice items they owned.
I was rather shocked when I discovered Patrick was gay. I knew right away when he told Josie he liked someone else, but Josie assumed it was Kitty, James's girlfriend. I knew right away that Patrick was in love with James. I liked Patrick but I kind of hated him when it was revealed that he had only kissed and kind of dated Josie to get over James. Josie deserved better than that after everything she had been through. But, I still want Patrick to be happy.
I am proud that even though Josie was rejected to attend Smith she is still going to try. I thought it was cute Josie and Jesse were using Cokie's map to get to Smith!
I am happy that even though Patrick did not work out with Josie, Jesse did. In the beginning and middle of the book I thought Patrick and Josie had more in common, but once I finished the book, Jesse and Josie actually have more in common. I think it was funny that both Josie and Jesse are named after people their parents hoped they would take after and neither of them will.
I really wish Louise, Josie's mother, and Cincinnati would have been arrested for killing Mr. Hearne because he seemed like such a good man and he deserved justice. I wonder where Louise and Cincinnati will end up since they are still kind of being hunted by the mob.
Overall, Out of the Easy was mysterious, bold, compelling, edgy, suspenseful, and emotional. I thought Out of the Easy was great but if I had to chose my favorite Ruta Sepetys novel, it would have to be Between Shades of Gray.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever. (Via Goodread.com)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Review:It is hard to explain in words how much I love the Gallagher Girls series . United We Spy ended the series and it was the perfect book to do so. There were a couple minor things that I wish would have been put in, like Mr. Solomon and Cammie's Mom's wedding, but it leaves your brain with some room for imagination.
I think to myself sometimes, Why do I have favorite authors? Most of my favorite authors are so different that I wonder what I see in each of them. Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors and this book showed why I love her as an author. Her writing is witty, fun, filled with action, sprinkled with a little romance, dramatic, intelligent, includes lists and charts, and is family orientated. Plus, when I read her books I notice a variety of quotes that I find inspiring, funny, and are full of meaning.
I broke down a bit when the girls were graduating. It kind of felt like my best friends were graduating and leaving me behind. But the scene that really got me was Liz's speech about what a Gallagher Girl truly is. As well as when she was saying what the Academy was made of, that they did not draw power from the building, but the opposite.
When the Academy burnt down, I felt an array of emotions. Everything was tied to the building, yet everyone stood fine without it. I know that sounds confusing but it is true. Like Liz said, they were the ones who made the Academy not the reverse. I do wonder when they rebuild the Academy how it will be. Will it have it's old ancient touches like the old one? Or will it be more modern and technologically forward? That will probably be the question that will always go unanswered.
All of the girls seem to be headed in opposite directions, even though they will always work for the same side. Knowing the sisterhood they will never be too far apart for too long. I learned from this series that the girls will always be there for one another. I have good friendships with my friends but nothing compares to their four relationships, they truly are sisters.
Of all major disasters the circle could have created, it never even crossed my mind that they would attempt to start a Third World War. A Third World War that was indirectly started up by Liz. It was a question on one of the hundred tests Liz had to take to get into the Gallagher Academy.
Zach's father was revealed during the book. I highly doubted it was Mr. Solomon, which but I I hoped it was. After everything Zach has been through I wanted him to have a father that he was close to and could connect with. His father turned out to be Agent Townsend. Of everyone that Zach's father could have been, I never expected Agent Town. It did not cross my mind that he could possibly be Zach's father. It seemed too far fetched to me. But, I never even thought of Agent Townsend as a possibility.
One of my favorite moments in the whole book was when the Blackthorn boys came to the rescue when the gang was trying to get Preston out of the Alaskan jail. Immediately, when Zach said they could trust the guy flying the helicopter I knew instantly it was Grant and Jonas. It was great getting to see both of them after not seeing them for a couple books. I wonder what those boys are up to now.
The most disappointing thing about the book to me, was that it did not feature Mr. Solomon and Cammie's Mom's wedding. I thought it was so cute that they ended up together! Even though I first liked Mr. Solomon and Abby together, but Abby and Agent Townsend make a great couple as well.
The deaths in United We Spy consisted of, Ambassador Winter, Dr. Steve, Catherine, King Najeeb, Agent Edward, and other circle members.
Both Bex and Cammie had a brush of death after getting shot different times throughout the book.
When Amy was first introduced into the book, I was not sure what role she was going to play because all of Ally Carter's characters have a purpose. Then it was revealed that she was really Princess Amirah, the Princess of Caspia.
Overall, the entire Gallagher Girls series is action-packed, witty, fun, adventurous, suspenseful, mysterious, and family valued. I am super excited for next Saturday because I will be meeting Ally Carter during her tour when it comes to Philadelphia. The Gallagher Girls series was not the first series I ever read, but it was the first one I have loved. I would like to thank Ally Carter and all the Gallagher Girls for getting me into reading. Like I said before, this was the first series I had fallen in love with and it opened my eyes to other fantastic books and series. I would not say before discovering this series that I hated books, but I read because I had to. This series opened me up to these different worlds and I will forever be thankful because of that. Reading is who I am and without this series, I would not be who I am now. This series is now coming to a close but I will never forget it, it created who I am. To me, the Gallagher Girls will live on forever even if the series is over.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Summary:The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.
Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.
Captivated. Lured. Loved.
Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.
Release Date: February 21st 2012
Pages: e-book, 179
It was interesting to see Bethany "normal" because all that we have seen of her is after she was taken. Also seeing Bethany and Dawson's relationship through their eyes instead of Katy or Daemon's
Some things were foreshadowed like, Bethany's Mom talking about teen pregnancy. Since we found out in Origin that Bethany is pregnant. Also, Daemon said that he never wants to fall in love, as well as that he would NEVER fall in love with a human, sorry to burst your bubble Daemon but both happen.
We meet Bethany's family during Shadows and the most intriguing family member to me was her Uncle Will. He happens to be the same Will that tries to kill Katy in Opal, date Katy's Mom to get to Katy, and kidnapped Katy before, real nice guy. I actually had no idea that Will was Bethany's Uncle, I do not remember anything being mentioned of him being related to her, only that her Uncle "supposedly" turned in Bethany and Dawson. I really want to reread the first couple books in the series to see if their is talk about Will being Bethany's Uncle. It was interesting to see him when he was sick though.
We got to see Daemon and Ash's relationship through Dawson and Daemon's points of view. It was sweet to see Dawson talking about how Daemon deserved better than Ash. As well Dawson though Dee did too with her relationship with Adam.
I now understand why Daemon's hatred was so strong toward Katy and all humans. He wanted to protect Dee. He also viewed every single human as untrustworthy following the loss of Dawson because of Bethany.
The ending was so emotional with both Daemon and Dee breaking down because we experience it firsthand in Shadows unlike the rest of the series where it is just mentioned. It would have been more emotional for me though if I did not know that Dawson was actually still alive. But it was also emotional to me knowing that because it broke my heart that they had thought Dawson was, in fact, dead.
Overall, Shadows was funny, cute, heart-breaking, and a quick read. I enjoyed the multiple point of views and the fact that some of Daemon motivations in Obsidian were clearer then they were when I started Shadows.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.
After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.
But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all. (Via Goodreads)
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Review:First off I would like to thank www.girlslife.com for the ARC of this book!
During the entire book, Kerrian's theme song was Taylor Swift's I knew you were trouble. I heard that song in my head every time that Karrian was mentioned.
The whole book was fueled by the love Kerrian and Annwyl share. Love makes you blind is a summary for this book.
Ethan and Kenzie have a rocky relationship. It has its flat and smooth moments as well as jagged and rough ones. Ethan kept pestering Kenzie about how she should stay out of Nevernever and not to join them on all their insane quests. Most male leads tend to do that and it is usually annoying but I had to agree with Ethan on this one. Kenzie had been hospitalized with a mysterious disease that she most likely got from Nevernever and her cancer may have returned; so, it was way to risky for her to return to Nevernever. But Kenzie is a character that can take care of herself. She has already managed to prove that a couple of times throughout the series.
I think it is fascinating that Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin and some other characters from The Iron Fey series make reappearances in this series.
Julie Kagawa is a great author and I was glad that she made Ethan the narrator because I unlike in the The Iron Fey series where she used Meghan as the narrator. I could only read one and a half books from the Iron Fey series because of this. The Iron Fey series is great and well written but I just could not get past Meghan. I also liked the author's choice of narrator for the Blood of Eden series.
Overall, The Iron Traitor was action-packed, heart-shattering, dramatic and as usual has a cool and creative cover design. I loved that an exerpt from The Forever Song, the next book in the Blood of Eden series, was included. I am highly anticipating the next book in The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten release after the cliffhanger ending in this book.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Summary:Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? (Via Goodreads)
Release Date: November 6th 2012
Review:Days of Blood & Starlight starts off with Zuzana and Mik watching Kaz, Karou's ex-boyfriend, having a live interview with a Television newscaster and Zuzana wants to drop a balloon full of pee on Kaz. He ends up getting hit with a perfume-paste but it was hysterical. Zuzana and Mik are an adorable couple, with the fairy tale tasks, the marriage talk, and Zuzana saying she will have to tell her Grandchildren about the time she turned invisible, then having to turn invisible so she is not thought of as crazy. During the beginning portion of the book, Zuzana writes e-mails that are exceptionally hysterical to Karou, being that Karou disappeared off the edge of the Earth. When she and Mik go to the kasbah to find Karou it is daring, and also happens to be one of the fairy tale tasks, but Zuzana is exactly what Karou needs, her friends.
The reason Zuzana was able to know that Karou was still on Earth instead of in Eretz was because Karou was stealing teeth from different animals exhibits in various museums all over the world. The reason she needed the teeth was because she took over Brimstone's job as the chimaera's resurrections and was creating more bodies for the chimaera's army against the seraphim's.
Days of Blood & Starlight is written in various point of views. Being in other characters point of view gave me a better understanding of them and viewed most of them differently than I did before. With the various point of views, there was an increasing number of new characters, as well as a a high level of character development. For example, Liraz is not just a killing machine that I had previously viewed her as. After Hazael's death, Liraz shows vulnerability and a mix of other emotions, unlike her usually stone wall face where nothing would discourage her. Like I stated above, Hazeal died and it was rather sad because he had developed as a character and I had grown fond and attached to him.
For the first several chapters, twelve to be exact, there is no sign of Karou anywhere. During those chapters, the point of view switched between Akiva and Zuzana. They were both concerned that Karou was dead. Akiva was almost positive when he found a vessel with Karou's name on it in the Kirin Cave. The soul in the vessel actually turned out to be Issa. Akiva and Zuzana's concern regarding Karou's whereabouts made me antsy to know whether she was or was not. Thankfully, she was still alive and well, at-least as well as you could possibly be for being stuck with Thiago.
I despised Thiago in Daughter of Smoke & Bone and the feeling increased and intensified over the course of Days of Blood & Starlight. Thiago is a liar, cold-blooded killer, rapist, power-hungry, arrogant, and self-absorbed. I was proud of Karou for killing Thiago when he tried to rape her, but when Thiago came waltzing in a couple chapters later, I was confused and frustrated that Karou killed Thiago and then resurrected him back to life. The Thiago that came waltzing in turned out to be Ziri because Karou resurrected Ziri's soul into Thiago's body. Not only did she place Ziri's soul in Thiago, Karou put Haxaya's soul into Ten's body, who died from a fight with Issa. I thought that was a brilliant plan on the authors part, I never in a million years would have expected that to happen.
It broke my heart when Akiva came to Karou with dead Hazael and a distraught Liraz. They hoped that Karou could resurrect Hazael but instead saw a tender moment between Karou and Thiago, who was Ziri at the time. I wish Karou would tell Akiva that Thiago is actually Ziri because I want Akiva and Karou together in the end. Akiva is heart-broken and believes Karou does not love him anymore. I also want Ziri to be happy because he deserves to be happy after everything he has been through, but Ziri also has a crush on Karou so I hope Ziri finds someone else to love.
I wish Karou would have gotten over what Akiva had done sooner. If it was reversed, I believe Karou would have done what Akiva did to the chimeras. Anyway, it is in the past, and it turns out that there are a thousand souls of chimeras in the Cathedral so not as many souls are lost as expected.
Akiva's powers are beyond amazing, for example, when he blew up the tower it was astonishing! I wonder what he is capable of? Hopefully in the next book his powers are explained more in depth.
When the angels started to invade Earth, I knew right then that the humans were on the way to being extinct unless the chimaera and the Misbegotten armies got together and led their armies together, which they did.
Overall, Days of Blood & Starlight was action-packed, thrilling, heart-racing, brilliantly written, and includes a beautiful cover. After finishing, I can not wait for the release of the last book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Dreams of Gods & Monsters which is expected to be released on April, 1st of 2014.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?
John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.
But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.
The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.
And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.
The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.
Lorien will rise again. (Via www.goodreads.com.)
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Review:The Fall of Five starts off during the Mogadorian and Loric battle at the Mogadorian's Dulce base but in Sam's point of view. Knowing Sam was alive and unharmed caused me to sigh in relief because he has not been in any of the books for at least one book and I was afraid the author forgot about him or that Sam was going to be killed off. Sam is rescued by his Father, Malcolm, and Adam, a rouge Mogadorian with legacies at the Dulce base.When the Garde goes to get Five so does Sam and Malcolm. Sam is reunited with the John, Sarah, and the rest of the Garde.
During the entire book, Ella has these visions of Setrákus Ra, that are not quite what the same type of visions as John and Nine had of him before. The visions are super freaky when John gets sucked into them when he touched Ella, and the readers experience the visions as well. It was a dystopian version of Chicago when all the Garde is dead and the Mogadorian's take over, but Ella is still alive and is ruling with Setrákus Ra because she is the Heir. It was so confusing because Ella is Lorian not Mogadorian. Even with that on the table I am predicting that Setrákus Ra is Ella's father and I going to go out on a limb here and say Pittacus Lore is actually Setrákus Ra.
During the book, romantic relationships are defined and questioned; Marina and Eight have not told each other how they feel but its obvious they do. They flirt, protect one another, etc. and some of the other Garde members have picked up on it, at least Ella and John have. Marina and Eight are my favorite couple, even if they are not necessarily a couple. Ella and Nine's relationship is also brought up several times. Ella has a crush on Nine. I kind of like them together it is just that Nine is about sixteen or seventeen years old, while Ella is about eleven. I am not saying I do not approve of their relationship, I would prefer that Ella was older. But it is unknown if Nine feels the same way about Ella. About half way through the book, Sam steps up and tells Six about how he feels and Six tells him that they could possibly have a relationship when things are less chaotic. I know Sam and Six were going to kiss but then Eight just had to come rushing in. I have wanted Sam and Six together since the beginning and I am happy they at least discussed having a possible relationship in the future.
Speaking of romance, Ella is quite the match maker. It was so adorable when she was telling Marina how she hoped Five was going to be a guy so Six had someone like Marina & Eight, she & Nine, and John & Sarah do. It was just so funny because she is eleven years old and she is match making, plus Nine is about five years older than she!
Non-romantic relationships were also included, such as Marina and Ella, since The Power of Six they have had a sisterly relationship. Sam and Malcolm's relationship is also shown and this is the first book with both of them in it. We knew how much Sam missed him in the previous books but we never saw their relationship in action. In additions, John and Sam's brotherly relationship was also reunited.
Five is introduced in this book, hence the title, and he seemed a little odd but with what happened to each of the Garde members I did not question it. Maybe I should have. Looking back, I can see that Five is a traitor because of some of his actions and words. Not only was I heart broken by Eight's death because I want Marian and him together so bad, I also loved Eight as a character. At first, when the mark came on all the Garde's legs when Eight was stabbed, I thought it was a misunderstanding. I thought Five actually got stabbed instead of Eight, but sadly that was not the case. The only good thing that came out of that scene was that Marina developed a new legacy where she can create ice.
At the end, John healed Malcolm instead of going after Ella. I was very torn because John saw the vision that Ella had and the vision was starting to come true when Eight died, but John ignored the fact! Although I was glad that John healed Malcolm, I did not want Sam to be mourning over his Dad's death. Saving Malcolm helps the Garde because he has information that can help the Garde.
Overall, The Fall of Five was action-packed, heart-breaking, attention-grabbing, and like all the other books in the Lorien Legacies, the reader has more questions than before starting the book!