Tag Archives: Fast-paced

*Review* Pushing the Limits – Katie McGarry

 Pushing the Limits

Katie McGarry

384 pages

ISBN: 9780373210497

Read 7-31-12

Format: Adobe Digital Editions

Source: NetGalley

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So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

What can I say about this book?  It is beyond fantastic!  This book is so amazing and riveting and powerful and emotional and….I could go on for a while.  Point is, this one is a must read.  The story is wonderful and beautiful. Continue reading

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Filed under 5 Stars, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Michelle Hodkin

452 Pages

ISBN:  9781442421769

Read 10-31-11

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a thrilling book to read.  It follows Mara as she tries to cope and live a normal life after a terrible accident that claimed three of her friends, but left her unharmed.  Life proves tough for her to cope with, though due to very strange things that keep happening to her, and she constantly questions her mental state (I would, too, if it were me).  This is really all I can say without giving things away.  There are so many twists and turns and what is going ons, that I really would not want to ruin it for anyone.
I liked Mara a lot.  She is a very sharp character, and strong considering everything she has to go through.  She takes everything as it comes, and in my opinion is quite mature, though some decisions are questionable, but I can understand why she would want to make them.  (You’ll see.)  I liked Noah mostly ok, but there were a couple things about him that bothered me, like the rumors, and the not quite rumors about him.  He was a pretty strong character as well; I just wasn’t as into his character as much as Mara.
As for the story, wow!  I loved it and was absolutely riveted the entire time.  The book is so fast-paced, I didn’t want to put it down.  I actually had to force myself to set it aside at bedtime, otherwise, I could have stayed up for hours reading it.  So many books lately have been so different from other books I have read, and this one proves no different.  This story was very unique and exciting, and I absolutely can’t wait for the next in the series.
The cover is very mysterious and it draws you in with its darker colors and awesome font.  It gives me the feeling of being lost afloat, yet somehow trapped at the same time.  Love it.  The writing style is great, too, and the author is very witty in her words.  I was very anxious through much of the book because of all the craziness that was going on, and there were even heartbreaking moments.  All in all, this was an absolutely fantastic read!

Fast-paced, twisted, complex, mysterious, captivating.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult

*Review* Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

316 pages

ISBN: 9780765328656

Read 10-3-11

     Anna Dressed in Blood follows Thesius Cassio, known to everyone as Cas, a teenage ghost hunter, as he hunts down on of the most dangerous ghosts he has ever encountered.  Her name is Anna, and she is strong and angry, a very powerful and deadly combination.  Cas knows before he even meets her that she is different from any other ghost he has come across.  Anyone who steps into Anna’s house doesn’t come back out; except for Cas…
     This book is awesome!  I think of all the reviews I read, I never came across a single one that didn’t think this was a great book, and now I know why!  I loved this book.  It was a lot of fun to read and creepy in all the right places (especially the end of chapter 20).  I could feel my heart thumping from the scene I was reading!
     I really liked all the characters.  They were all so strong and real, easily visible in my mind.  Anna had such different sides of herself, and she was definitely one of the strongest characters.  Thomas I really liked a lot because he was one of those characters who are unexpectedly impressive.  Carmel is also a fun character and isn’t always what she seems.
     The plot of this book is not like any other of the books I’ve read and I really enjoyed this different take on a ghost hunter.  It’s not candy coated or fluffed up; it’s gruesome when the scenes call for it, an awesome horror read.  Even the words on the page were perfect for the book (you’ll see what I mean).  There were great descriptions and everything was so vivid.  I can’t wait until the sequel!

Awesome story, great detail, gruesome & creepy, loved it!    4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Triangles – Ellen Hopkins

 

Triangles

Ellen Hopkins

544 pages

ISBN: 9781451626339

Read 9-23-11

Release 10-18-11

     Ellen Hopkins is the bestselling author of incredibly popular young adult novels, such as Crank and Glass, that are enjoyed both by teens and adults.  Triangles is her first adult novel, which is written in verse instead of the common prose of most novels.  This novel is definitely meant for mature readers, and in my opinion, if you are easily offended, you may not like it because of some of the issues and content that comes up during the story.  That being said, I thought it was a very wonderful book.  It is very artistic in its structure, words, and story. 
     This book follows three women, Marissa, Holly, and Andrea, through some very tough times they are having with family, love lives, and careers.  There are many emotional and personal changes that happen for these women, and the author’s words do an amazing job of transporting you along on their journey.
     The book being written in verse gives a whole different feel to the novel.  It has a different flow and emotions are emphasized in a different way.  When grammar and punctuation are not something you have to pay strict attention to and rules can be bent, other things happen with a story, and the beauty of it can be accentuated even further.  Hopkins’s verses are geniusly written and absolutely exquisite.  
     The personalities of the characters really come through in this work, and I feel as if I know them well.  Their true selves shine through in each verse, raw and real.  The writing of this work is very honest and how-it-is, all reality, making it very believable; it matches the drama of real life.  The pages of poetry are full of lovely descriptions and meaning, both obvious and hidden.
     The only bad thing I could possibly say about this book is that it has a tendency to be confusing at first when it switches from the view points of the three women.  I think that was a me thing, though, and has nothing to do with the author’s style, since I am not very used to reading books with more than two view points.  So many of the author’s words are powerful, but I think the most powerful was the last poem.  Wonderful!

Magnificent, artistic, real, honest, descriptive.         4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Adult, Fiction, Verse

*Review* Liesl & Po – Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po

Lauren Oliver

320 pages

ISBN: 9780062014511

 

     I received Liesl & Po as an ARC copy shortly after I saw a few others’ reviews on it.  I found the cover very interesting and couldn’t wait to read it.  Readers a little younger than teen are able to read this story and the voice of it is that of a rich fairytale.  The story follows Liesl, a young girl who just lost her father and has been locked away in the attic by her awful stepmother.  A pair of ghosts, Po and Bundle, appear to her and she becomes friends with them, they help her to escape the attic so she can take the ashes of her father to a resting place.  What Liesl doesn’t know is that there has been a big mix up and the road to where she needs to go will be a very rocky one.
     This tale is a bit of a grim one, it deals with death, evil people, and cruelty, but the sun does come back out and it is a very good healing story.  The characters are full of life and personality, even the little animal ghost, Bundle, has a wonderful personality.  I especially liked the ending of the book; it was very beautiful and full of hope.  The illustrations in the book provide a wonderful accompaniment to the words.
     At the very beginning, the author has a note where she says she wrote this story because of the sudden death of a friend of hers and never wrote it for the purpose of being published.  I can say I am glad it was published and that she decided to share a story with us that started off just for her healing.

Very enjoyable, quick read, hopeful ending, heart warming.  4 stars.

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Filed under 4 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Eve – Anna Carey

 

Eve

Anna Carey

322 pages

ISBN: 9780062048509

Read 9-1-11

Release 10-4-11

    Eve is a wonderful dystopian novel about a girl by the same name as the title who lives in a fearful world full of lies and a tiny bit of truth.  The world that Eve knew when she was little is far different than the one she has grown up in for most of her life.  Now 17, she is about to graduate from a special school that has been her shelter since the plague that broke out and reduced the population to a tiny fraction of what it once was.  The night before the big day, she sneaks away to discover the truth of what really happens to the graduates.  Fear and betrayal lead her to escape the school into the wild world outside the safety of the school’s walls.  Having been told for years that men were bad and should never be trusted, she doesn’t know what to do when a boy saves her from one of the many dangers of the wild.
     I can say I was very pleased by this book and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it!  Eve is a strong character who evolves from a sheltered innocent to a teen whose eyes are more open to the truth and more willing to have a hard life in order to do what is right.  She starts out as a pristine student and ends up living in the wild, learning the ways of a much harsher place.
     None of the characters to me seemed flat; I felt that all the main characters grew.  Their relationships with one another felt natural, and I really liked the romantic relationship she developed.  The idea for the book was very interesting and serious, and could even be considered a terrifying concept with the situation for the graduates.
     The imagery is fantastic and it feels so real and emotional in all the right places.  I quickly became attached to all the characters and I can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy.  The only bad thing I really have to say is it left me hungry for more.  A remarkable and riveting novel that is a can’t miss read!  Be on the lookout for this book when it is released; highly recommended for those who like dystopians and strong, fast-paced stories.

Fast-paced, memorable, heart-warming romance, heart-breaking situations, loved every minute!

4.5 stars!!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Hourglass – Myra McEntire

 

Hourglass

Myra McEntire

397 pages

ISBN: 9781606841440

Read (8-28-11)

     In Hourglass, Emerson Cole has had a very rough life; she lost her parents and now lives with her brother, went to a boarding school, and had even been placed into a mental health ward.  The reason for the commitment into a mental health facility?  She sees people who aren’t really there.  They are people who looked like they have walked straight off the set of Gone with the Wind, soldiers, and a horse drawn carriage.  Her brother restores older building, and since Emerson lives with her brother in one of these restores places and goes to functions for the restorations, seeing these apparitions has become more and more frequent.  Trying to find yet another form of help, Emerson’s brother hires a man from a group called the Hourglass.  Finding information on the group proves difficult for Emerson and she wonders if this new guy really can help her and if she should trust him.
     Honestly, I did not enjoy the first half of this book as much as the second half.  I felt like the main character was a bit too freaked out by the phantoms she saw, and in my opinion, if you have been seeing apparitions for 4 years, you’d be pretty desensitized to them and not still majorly freaking out.  This was the only reason I wasn’t very crazy about Emerson at first, because she over reacted about things so often (this made her seem kind of immature), but aside from that I liked Emerson.
     I liked the book enough to want to read the next installment, but I think it had more potential than what it held.  The whole concept was very interesting and I liked the twists that the author threw in towards the end. 
     As for the romance part of it, once again I liked the second half, but not the first half.  There was no real build up of a relationship, her love interest automatically liked her and acted like he had known her for a long time, so I felt no real development between the two of them, however, I did like their closeness in the second half of the book after they had time to know one another.
     All in all, it was enjoyable and I look forward to the next installment.  It turned into a different story than I originally thought it was going to be, and it’s good to see something different.  People who enjoy young adult science fiction may enjoy this, just look out for a semi-rough start.

Interesting, good plot, rough beginning, good ending.   3.5 stars.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Brother / Sister – Sean Olin

 

Brother/Sister

Sean Olin

272 Pages

ISBN: 9781595143860

Read 8-18-11

     Brother/Sister is a very unusual book told from the switching perspective of Will and Asheley who are siblings.  They have something go quite wrong in their life and everything becomes a huge mess.  The novel is told from the siblings’ points of view as they tell their sides of the story.  The writing style is used in a way that makes it sound like the siblings are actually speaking, as if they are talking during an interrogation and you hear only their sides. 
     The book keeps you continuously reading to find out what is going to happen next, but all in all, it was not as exciting as I was hoping it was going to be.  There was a slight twist at the end, but I figured the twist was going to happen, and there wasn’t much action.  I thought the author did a good job at portraying the emotions of the characters, including the buildup of anxiety over what happened and how they were going to deal with it.
     The story itself is a very warped tale and situation, but it just didn’t fully suck me in.  It was a pretty quick read, though and I liked the way the book ended.  People who like mild thrillers may enjoy this book (I say mild because I wasn’t very nervous through it).

Quick read, not much action, twisted, good emotional dynamics.    3.5 stars.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

*Review* Babe in Boyland – Jody Gehrman

 Babe in Boyland

Jody Gehrman

292 pages

ISBN: 9780803732742

Natalie is a high school student who gives advice from her relationship column as Dr. Aphrodite.  The problem?  She’s never been in a relationship!  This realization is made aware to her in rude comments from guys on her blog telling her she tell girls only what they want to hear and have no idea what guys think.  Seeing the truth behind this, Natalie decides she needs to do something about this, and determines the way to do this is by disguising herself as a guy and enrolling in an all boys school!  Now she has to hide her girlish ways, which proves difficult with her hunky roommate Emilio around.  Will she really be able to accomplish this gender-bending undercover story?

This was an absolutely, fantasically fun read!  Natalie and her friends are so quirky and entertaining, not to mention the plot is so playful.  From beginning to end this book was a blast to read and I even fought sleep to be able to keep reading.  The characters are very relatable and realistic and there is a character for so many aspects of high school life; the jocks, the nerds, the quiet ones, the narcissists.

The book makes me think of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, but surprisingly out of all the Shakespeare mentions in the whole book, this one never came up.  Twelfth Night has a major plot of mistaken identity and a woman who dresses as a man, but the only comparison made in the book to one of the plays is when the girls are talking about Portia’s cross-dressing scene in The Merchant of Venice.

The style of writing for this book was straight and to the point, so it was written clearly and reads very quickly.  Not only was this book amusing, but it also had a good life-story for young adults after Natalie’s cross-dressing escapade.  This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it for those looking for a super fun read, no matter what age.

Enthralling, delightful, humorous, thoroughly marvelous!!  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Graveminder – Melissa Marr

 Graveminder

Melissa Marr

324 pages

ISBN: 9780061826870

Read 8-8-11

     Graveminder is a fantastic novel of the walking dead, not your typical zombie-like story.  Unlike the popular zombies that you see in movies, these walking dead are aware of things going on.  Rebekkah is the granddaughter of Maylene, who is the graveminder, and when she is murdered, Rebekkah must return to Claysville.  On top of her grandmother’s murder, many other issues are thrown onto her, including a past relationship she has been running from, a difficult inheritance, and something that is running around hurting the townspeople.

Melissa Marr is known for her Wicked Lovely series in which she shows us the world of fairies.  She has a superb way of creating worlds and being able to put the reader into them.   Graveminder is her first adult novel, and I was just as sucked into this story as I was with the  Wicked Lovely series, which is for young adults.  Her style of writing and description make it hard to put the book down and bring yourself back into the real world.

With this style of story, the author has stepped outside of the box for what is normally seen as the walking dead, giving this novel a freshness that others of the same subject do not have.  Strong characters, strong relationships between them, and a strong story, I recommend this to those who are already a Melissa Marr fan and to those who want something outside the norm.

Fast-paced, hard to put down, intricate, extremely well-written.  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Adult, Fiction, Supernatural