Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling


Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (book #1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (book #2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book #3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book #4)

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (book #5)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (book #6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book #7)

Series: The Harry Potter series

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

Genre: Children, fiction, YA fiction, science fiction, fantasy

Age Range: 12+


Summary


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter—the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry's history to him: When he was a baby, the Dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, attacked and killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry; but the only mark on Harry was a mysterious lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Now he has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the headmaster is the great wizard Albus Dumbledore. Harry visits Diagon Alley to get his school supplies, especially his very own wand. To get to school, he takes the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station. On the train, he meets two fellow students who will become his closest friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Harry is assigned to Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, and soon becomes the youngest-ever Seeker on the House Quidditch team. He also studies Potions with Professor Severus Snape, who displays a deep and abiding dislike for Harry, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell; he and his friends defeat a mountain troll, help Hagrid raise a dragon, and explore the wonderful, fascinating world of Hogwarts.

But all events lead irrevocably toward a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who seeks an object of legend known as the Sorcerer's Stone...

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.
But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself!

When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts ... he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

During his third year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter must confront the devious and dangerous wizard responsible for his parents' deaths.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

You have in your hands the pivotal fourth novel in the seven part tale of Harry Potter's training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at the Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened in a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen year old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.

Fourteen-year-old Harry Potter joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup, then enters his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy where he is mysteriously entered in an unusual contest that challenges his wizarding skills, friendships and character, amid signs that an old enemy is growing stronger.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As Harry enters his fifth year at wizard school, it seems the bonds "of friendship and trust" have never been more sorely tested. Lord Voldemort's rise has opened a rift in the wizarding world between those who believe the truth about his return, and those who prefer to believe it's all madness and lies -- just more trouble from Harry Potter.
Add this to a host of other worries for Harry...
  • A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
  • A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
  • Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
  • And of course, what every student dreads: end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams
...and you'd know what Harry faces during the day. But at night it's even worse, because then he dreams of a single door in a silent corridor. And this door is somehow more terrifying than every other nightmare combined.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

 The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. 

And yet...

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  
You'll have to read it to find out!


Review


The Harry Potter series is definitely a series everyone should read, so if you haven't, go get them! It's a fun and magical read about family, friends, freedom, and a continuous battle between good and evil. 

J.K. Rowling did a fantastic job with this series! Really bringing it to life and sending a good message to young readers, and even adults. The writing is good, not too detailed though because it is a children's series (though enjoyable for all-ages). The plot throughout the series is well thought out. There are some parts in each book where it gets a little long and dull, but if you push through it it'll go back to being exciting.

I thought that the fifth book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) was dragged out to the point that is was dull, but all the other books will keep you sucked in until the last page. My favorites out of the series are Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There are a few swear words throughout the series but nothing too bad and not that many, they show up very rarely (mostly in the beginning books of the series).

You really connect with all of the characters, and there are so many that you can relate with one if not more. The creatures in this series are also really cool, dragons, centaurs, mermaids, giants, and more. This series really lets your imagination go wild.


If you've seen the movies, you'll love the books even more.





Friday, February 14, 2014

Lullaby by Amanda Hocking


Title: Lullaby

Series: Watersong series #2

Author: Amanda Hocking

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Date Published: November 27, 2012

Pages: 304 (hardback)

Genre: YA fiction, fantasy

Age Range: 11+



Summary


Gemma Fisher has fallen under an ancient curse—and inherited all the strange new powers that came along with it.  Now she’s more beautiful and powerful than ever, but she’s also plagued by unspeakable hungers…and she’s not sure how much longer she can resist.  A danger to everyone she loves, she has no choice but to leave her old life behind and enter a strange new world filled with breathtaking beauty…and dark secrets.

Harper won’t give up on finding her sister Gemma, vowing to bring her home no matter what the cost.  The search draws her closer to too-gorgeous-for-his-own-good Daniel, and tests her fiercely-guarded independence like never before.  She’s always been the strong one who everyone else depends on…can she let herself depend on Daniel?

As Gemma and Harper plunge deeper into a magical world they barely understand, it becomes painfully clear that Gemma’s old life may be lost forever…unless her friends can save her.


 Review 


There were a lot of elements about this book that surprised me (in a good way). Amanda Hocking has taken the dangerous sirens that we know, and made them even more dangerous and frightening, but also intriguing. You get to know the characters really well in this sequel, you understand why the characters do certain things, and you understand the two main characters (Harper and Gemma) connection. You connect with the characters pretty well, and the plot starts to pick up in this second book.

The guys in the book (Danielle and Alex) are good looking, sweet, and brave. You might even find yourself falling for Harper and Gemma's boyfriends.







Wake by Amanda Hocking


Title: Wake

Series: Watersong series #1

Author: Amanda Hocking

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Date Published: August 7, 2013

Pages: 320 (hardback)

Genre: YA fiction, fantasy

Age Range: 11+



Summary


Gemma Fisher seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now she’s falling harder for him every day.  But Gemma doesn’t know that her ordinary life is about to change forever.

Penn, Lexi and Thea are strangers in town for the summer—and they’ve been watching her.  Three sisters with mysterious powers, they invite Gemma to join their exclusive circle, and it changes her in ways she never imagined.  Suddenly she’s stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.


 Review 


The Watersong series isn't as great as Amanda Hocking's Trylle series, but it's still enjoyable and quirky. Amanda Hocking does write some unique novels, her first series being about vampires, her second about trolls, and now, she's taken to writing about sirens.

Though this book isn't as good as Switched it is still enjoyable. The mystery as to why teen boys have gone missing keeps you interested throughout the book, and also Gemma's crush on her best friend, and next door neighbor, Alex. Gemma is a fun girl with a hyper personality, while her sister, Harper, is cautious and worrisome over her father and younger sister. Harper had to slip on her big-girl shoes after their mother died and has taken care of the family ever since. 

As Gemma goes on a journey to find out what is happening to her, Harper is dragged into the world that her sister is now unwillingly apart of. She won't stop until she has her sister back safe and sound. 

The writing for this book is good, there is a few descriptive part where Harper comes across a few dead bodies but other than that the writing isn't detailed. It's a quick and simple read. And though it might not keep you on the edge of your seat like Switched did, it is still a fun book. The characters are great; Gemma and Alex are my favorites. And I love how connected Gemma and her sister seem to be. The plot is also good, going through twists and turns until the end.




Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


Title: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Bronte

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Date Published: December, 1847

Pages: 448 (paperback)

Genre: Classic, gothic romance

Age Range: 14+ (for reading difficulty)






Summary


I cannot live without my life!


I cannot live without my soul!

When Catherine and Heathcliff's childhood friendship grows into something so much more, what ensues is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even as fate conspires against them and passion consumes them, nothing can keep Catherine and Heathcliff apart. Not even death . . . for their forbidden love is unlike any other.

Emily Brontë's masterpiece remains as compelling and thrilling as ever. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

In early nineteenth-century Yorkshire, the passionate attachment between a headstrong young girl and a foundling boy brought up by her father causes disaster for them and many others, even in the next generation.


 Review


This book was hard to get into in the beginning because it was....well boring.

About the first hundred pages is hard to get through, but once Ms. Dean starts telling the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, it gets much more bearable. The book begins to catch your attention, intrigue you with unexpected events, and characters, but also creep you out slightly by the things that certain characters do.

I didn't like reading this book because it was boring to me, but as I read the last....200 pages or so I liked it much more. It's just a hard book to get through. But I had to read it for school so I got through it and I'm finished and I probably won't have to read it again. I would definitely say that this is a high school reading level kind of book. But it's a good gothic romance novel.




Thursday, February 13, 2014

Switched by Amanda Hocking


Title: Switched

Series: Trylle Trilogy #1

Author: Amanda Hocking

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Date Published: June 5, 2013

Pages: 336 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, fantasy, romance

Age Range: 12+



Summary


When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.  She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit.  But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.   

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…


 Review


The Trylle series is one of my favorite series ever! I recommend this book to everyone. It's amazing. The writing is great, Amanda Hocking's writing style is simple though at the same time, descriptive. The plot is great, though it might seem a little cheesy. The characters are amazing and unique. I just love all their personalities. And the way the characters interact with each other is also great.

The connection between Wendy and Finn is a buzz. And the love Wendy has for her brother is sweet, though she has a great disdain for her mother, who turns out not to be her biological mother. Wendy isn't related to her brother or her mother at all, so she has to go on a journey to discover who she really is and where she came from. 

But then she realizes that where she comes from doesn't matter, she won't change, but maybe she can change the way things are run in the world she belongs to.

A definite recommend!




Crash by Nicole Williams


Title: Crash

Series: Crash series #1

Author: Nicole Willams

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Date Published: December 18, 2012

Pages: 384 (paperback)

Genre: NA fiction, romance

Age Range: 17+



Summary


A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won't let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.
He's got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that's been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude's a cancer, the kind of guy who's fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.
But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy's not listening to Jude's warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings?


 Review


The connection between the 2 main characters, Lucy and Jude, is heated enough to make you wonder when their relationship explode next.

Jude's past is sad and rough, but he's strong and managed to get through it, though not without developing an attitude and an uncontrollable temper. Though he does have a sweet, passionate side that he keeps buried, at least until he meets Lucy.

Lucy's past isn't filled with so much physical pain as emotional. 5 years ago, tragedy struck her family, changing their lives forever. Healing is difficult, though it gets easier once she meets Jude Ryder, a known bad boy with a rap sheet--at least it seems to get better, for a while.

When these 2 characters collide it rattles the cage that is their lives. Even more so when they find out one detail about each other that will connect them for life.

The writing is good, not great, but good. The plot is pretty well thought through, and the characters are interesting and mysterious in their own ways, there are also sexual references. And tho their romance is sweet and rough, it wasn't really for me.





Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson


Title: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Series: Maximum Ride series #1

Author: James Patterson

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date Published: April 1, 2007

Pages: 464 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, suspense, action

Age Range: 10+



Summary


Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum: six kids who are 98% human and 2% bird. They grew up in cages, living like rats, but now they're free. When the bloodthirsty Erasers -- half men, half wolves genetically engineered by sick and sinister scientists -- kidnap little Angel, the Flock embarks on a rescue mission full of nonstop action, adventure, and soul-seeking -- not to mention a little bit of saving the world on the side.

After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose. 


Review 


The Maximum Ride series is meant for all ages, but there are scientific remarks that reach out. The characters are lovable, the storyline is adventurous and keeps you reading! James Patterson's easy reading makes you read more than you realize.

Max and Fang are my favorite characters. Max for her attitude and snarky remarks. Fang for his cool, reserved demeanor and amazing fighting skills. Though the whole gang has amazing fighting skills, Fang and Max are the protectors and everything they do and say is interesting.
 
I love the way how the whole flock acts like a family, how much they love each other and how far they're willing to go for each other. Writing is simple, easy to read, the plot is good, the characters are great and funny.




Breathe by Abbi Glines


Title: Breathe

Series: Sea Breeze series #1

Author: Abbi Glines

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date Published: June 4, 2013

Pages: 352 (hardback)

Genre: NA fiction, romance

Age Range: 17+



Summary


Sadie White’s summer job is at the beach, but she won’t be working as a lifeguard. Since her mom is pregnant and refuses to work, Sadie will be taking over as a domestic servant for a wealthy family on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie were normal—if she hadn’t spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house—maybe she’d be excited about working for a rock star. But she’s not.

Even though Sadie isn’t impressed by Jax’s fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax, but he fights his attraction: Relationships never work in his world, and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. Yet as the summer stretches on, Jax’s passion leaves him breathless—and Sadie feels like the only source of oxygen.

Can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? One breath at a time, they’re going to find out…


Review 


Kinda corny with the whole rock-star romance thing, but it was okay. Has a good bit of sexual content (which iBooks failed to say in their info section about the book). The writing was okay, could have been better, more exciting. The characters aren't exactly lovable, Jax is cute, Sadie's hardheaded, and the author pretty much made you hate her mom. Marcus was the only character I really liked, and I was disappointed that Sadie didn't pick him because that would have been a good twist.

I don't think I'd recommend this book to anyone, it wasn't interesting.





Just Listen by Sarah Dessen


Title: Just Listen

Author: Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

Date Published: February 28, 2008

Pages: 400 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction

Age Range: 12+





Summary


When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend—the popular and exciting Sophie—she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. but then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with owen’s help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?


Review


This book is different from anything else I've read. Different as in . . . the writing wasn't really for me, but this is the first Sarah Dessen novel I've read and so far...im not a fan.

The story was a little off too. There didn't seem to be a plot until the very end when the main character, Annabel, listens to a CD Owen made for her with the words, Just Listen, on the front. You couldn't really connect with the guy character, Owen, either. His personality doesn't really fit somehow with the kind of book she was trying to create. He's a little strange, but obviously the person Annabel needed to get through the crisis she had last Spring.

I didn't really like the writing in this book, it was almost as if a inexperienced teen wrote it, so it wasn't really for me because I like to read books that have more detail in them, and my writing style is in detail.

This book was quick and easy to read, it only took me four days to finish it and its a 400 page novel, so it's one of those quick-read kind of books that you can fly through in no time so you can get on to the next book you want to read......pretty much all I have to say about this book. I just wouldn't recommend it.





City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare


Title: City of Fallen Angels

Series: The Mortal Instruments #4

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Date Published: October 2, 2012

Pages: 448 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, suspense, thriller, romance, action

Age Range: 15+



Summary


The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


Review 


First off, this is the darkest book in The Mortal Instruments series. My blood ran cold in some parts. It made you want to cringe. The fighting is more intense and the plot is . . . gruesome and creepy.

Warning: SPOILERS (but a need-to-know if you're concerned about the plot).

There's a cult of demon-worshipers that sacrifice babies for 'the cause.' Cassandra doesn't go into too-much detail, but it's enough to have goosebumps on your arms. The babies are deformed, with razor sharp laws, and grey skin. The way they became this way is because a Greater Demon, Lilith, wants to make an army of demons (theory in the book, never confirmed) the same way Valentine did to Sebastian (A.K.A Johnathon). There is blood in this book (drunk by vampires, like the other novels).

Ok, if you don't want to spoil the book you can read now :)

Like I said, very dark stuff. I didn't really like this one, the plot was genius but very dark and gruesome, and I do not like to read dark books like this, partly because I HATE reading books with demons in them.

Other than that, the book was...good. It is told by multiple people (Simon, Mungas Bane, Isabelle, Jace, Alec, and a few others I think). The ending is gripping and sad in a way because (SPOILER) Jace is possessed again, this time by Sebastian. (OK, GOOD NOW). The book, plot (twisted), characters, writing is all good.

Kind of turned off with the series right now so I'm going to read something else and come back to it.





City of Glass by Cassandra Clare


Title: City of Glass

Series: The Mortal Instruments #3

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Date Published: August 3, 2010

Pages: 576 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, action, suspense, thriller, romance

Age Range: 13+



Summary


To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?


 Review 


Cassandra Clare continues to surprise me in the 3rd book of the Mortal Instruments series. More plot twists, amazing writing, intense moments, war, love, family. The war against Valentine is coming, and it's more intense and gripping than ever.

Warning: SPOILERS

Valentine is a Shadowhunter, a Shadowhunter that is using demons in the war against the Clave and every Shadowhunter in Idris. Many lives are lost, including Max Lightwood's and Hodge's. Angels are summoned, and released from misery. And Jace and Clary finally find out the truth about their relations.

Ok, if you don't want to spoil the book you can read now :)

Anyway, the book is really good. I hope the rest of the series is just as good as the first three books. Cassandra Clare is doing a fabulous job so far, let's hope she can keep it up!

The plot is amazing, as it has been, and the writing is good! Pretty much nothing has changed -- it's still amazing -- except the plot has a little more twists and turns.




City of Ashes by Casandra Clare


Title: City of Ashes

Series: The Mortal Instruments #2

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Date Published: March 24, 2009

Pages: 496 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, action, suspense, thriller, romance

Age Range: 13+



Summary


Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?


Review 


Sometimes as a series drags on the writing gets bad and the story gets less interesting, or this can happen in just the second (or third) book. A good bit of writer's have this problem, but it was obvious that City of Ashes isn't one of those books. Cassandra Clare's writing was just as wonderful as the second, and the story was just as gripping. I was very pleased!

Cassandra Clare's imagination must have been running wild as she wrote this series 'cause it is amazing, gripping, compelling, and heart pounding.

This quote from the publisher, "A gorgeous fantasty that's so good, it's dangerous." - (Holly Black) is dead-on! This book is so amazing it's dangerous! I haven't been this excited about a series in a long time.

Like I said in the book review for the first book (City of Bones by Cassandra Clare) I am so excited about the movie that comes out August 23rd! I have been posting trailers when they come out, stills (pictures), and posters for the movie! Totally excited, I hope they do well with the movie.

Jace is getting more intense and open with his emotions and actions as he struggles to fight them. Simon is just as adorable as a vampire as he was when he was a mundane. Clary is starting to discover her abilities and realize how strong she is. The main character's are just getting better and better as they come closer together.





if i stay by Gayle Forman


Title: if i stay

Series: if i stay series #1

Author: Gayle Forman

 Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

Date Published: April 6, 2010

 Pages: 320 (paperback)

Genre: YA fiction, romance, realistic fiction

Age Range: 12+



 Summary


In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.


 Review


What can I say about this novel....this is one of my absolute favorite books. It's been a long time since I've read it but I have read it more than once. It's amazing. Breathtaking. The writing is fantastic, jumping back and forth between the present and past.

Mia is a strong willed girl who has the make the most heart-wrentching decision. To live, or die. She and her family get in a car accident, and tragedy strikes, leaving Mia to re-live her life and to watch those she loves cry over her crippled body in the present as her soul stands outside herself.

It's an amazing novel that will surely bring you to tears. I would recommend this book to anyone. Though this is a work of fiction, it has more truth than you can comprehend, making the story more gripping. The plot is fantastic as well as the writing, and you really connect with the characters.

A must read.





Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


Title: Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Bronte

Publisher: Smith, Elder, and Company

Date Published: October 16, 1847

Pages: 571 (paperback)

Genre: Classic, gothic fiction, mystery, romance

Age Range: 13+ (for reading difficulty)





Summary 


Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.


Review


This is one of my FAVORITE books of all time. I love the intense, crippling, and gothic romance between Mr. Rochester and Jane. This is one book that I can promise you I will read more than once. This is a wonderful classic with fantastic writing that will keep you at the edge of your seat at all times, from the intense romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester to the strange and hold-your-breath moments between Jane and Mr. Rochester's insane wife, and to the normal days that Jane goes through at Thornfield.




The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze


Title: The Last Princess

Series: The Last Princess #1

Author: Galaxy Craze

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date Published: May 1, 2013

Pages: 304 (hardback)

Genre: YA fiction, suspense

Age Range: 11+



Summary


Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.

When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more.

Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become . . .

The Last Princess.


Review 


The book instantly grabs you in just the prologue. The story is also gripping, keeping you interested throughout the whole book. The writing is good, simple and right to the point. There is fighting, displays suffering, hunger, and describes some deaths--such as the death of Eliza's mother, father, animals, and soldiers. But if you've read Suzanne Collins', The Hunger Games, this is nothing.

The book is set in the future, after what they call the Seventeen Days. The Seventeen Days is where the world they knew was destroyed. Trees and plants don't grow, most animals are instinct, and food and water is hard to come by, unless if you're part of the royal family, that is.

Galaxy Craze's writing is simple and easy to read, so the deaths don't make you cringe. I'd recommend this book to the ten-year-olds in my neighborhood. It's good, gripping, simple, and, at times, intense. 









Always You by Kirsty Moseley


Title: Always You

Author: Kirsty Moseley

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (self-published)

Date Published: November 1, 2012

Pages: 330 (paperback)

Genre: New adult fiction, romance

Age Range: 17+




Summary


Riley Tanner has a best friend, the best friend a girl could ask for. He's supportive, loyal, honest, trustworthy, kind, and thoughtful. He's also the biggest player in school.

Their relationship has always been easy and affectionate, but after Riley's month long vacation, things become a little strange. She starts to look at him in ways that go way beyond the 'friend zone'. Add in her best friend's rival, and things become a whole lot more complicated.


 Review


This book will have your heart pounding in excitement one second, completely calm and wondering what will happen next, then you'll find yourself holding your breath and wishing you could read faster. This book is definitely for older teens though. Cussing, sexual content (though not too graphic, still there), sexual comments, and occasional slapping.

The writing is good as far as the writer getting you to feel every emotion the main character, Riley, feels. But there are a lot of grammatical mistakes. You can understand it, but while I was reading I was able to pick out a lot of mistakes. Though, what I did like about the writing was that the views of the story changed as it went along. Most of the book is told by Riley's point-of-view, but Clay's side is told.

The love between Riley and Clay is sweet. Clay's love for Riley has been present since they were children, only growing stronger as the years go on, until Riley finally realizes that she has the same feelings for Clay as he does toward her. He's willing to do anything for her, and protect her against anything, including Blake.

I bought this book when it was iBooks Book of the week, so it was free and easy to get ahold of, not knowing of its content (it seemed innocent enough), just goes to show you how easy it is to get ahold of a New Adult novel (thinking of a younger audience).




Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender


Title: Bad Girls Don't Die

Series: Bad Girls Don't Die #1

Author: Katie Alender

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Date Published: April 21, 2009

Pages: 352 (hardback)

Genre: YA fiction, thriller, mystery

Age Range: 12+




Summary

When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks she is just being her usual weird self. Things get weirder, though, when their house starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner blasts cold air. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green, she starts using old-fashioned language, and she forgets chunks of time. Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

 Review

I like creepy, weird books every now and then and this book did the trick. It's not really a horror novel, it's more of a thriller/mystery. It's not creepy it's more of a on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery. The writing is good, witty and funny. Alexis' thoughts can be funny in moments that are supposed to be intense or serious, a lot of authors can't pull off to be funny in a serious moment, but Katie Alender totally did.

I definitely recommend this book. It's an easy read so you can get through it pretty fast, and it's also a good summer read.

Alexis' knows something's wrong. Doors are closing by themselves and weird things are happening. She knows what happened inside the house, but she doesn't know how. She just knows the whole story of Sarah's death, but she doesn't know what she wants with her sister, Kasey. It doesn't take long for her to figure out that her sister's possessed and that the spirit that is controlling her has a hit list.

So like I said it's more of a thriller/mystery kind of book. I don't remember it having any swearing, but if there was it mustn't have been bad because I would have paid more attention. The plot was good, exciting, and the rest of the books in the series seem to be just as interesting as this one. The characters are interesting and easily lovable.


 You can watch the book trailer for Bad Girls Don't Die if you click on Book Trailers above.