Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture by Lauren Kate


Pages: 448
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Rating: 2/5

Warning! Rambing and Possible Minor Spoilers That Don't Really Matter!

So, we have the conclusion of Lauren Kate's Fallen series.

I have to say: as much as I trash this series, it does hold a place in my heart. It's like that annoying sibling you love, but want to punch so damn bad.

I stared out LOVING this series so much, I shoved it onto my friends (sorry guys). They didn't like it as much as I did, and all I had to say was "Whaaaat?"

The second book, I still liked, but not as much as I remember loving the first. It took me a couple tries to get into.

Third is where I started to see why so many people hated this series. It was between Torment and Passion where I started to get into the mythology of angels and demons, and saw the terrible flaw in Kate's mythology.

I have to say, though, Rapture was a teeny bit better than Passion!

Okay, so now that Luce and Daniel are back in the present, they have to stop Lucifer from once again falling from Heaven and sending time back to before the fall. In order to do this, the team must split up into three groups to find the three ancient relics. In doing so, they will find the site of the Fall and will be able to stop Lucifer.

Short summary, but that is the main point of the final novel. Pretty interesting, no?

Well, unfortunately that brings our main problem. Remember those three groups? Well, it turns out that Daniel and Luce are in a group of their own (shocker). You know what that means~!

Boring, sappy romantic time!!! Woo!

Oh, wait, that's bad.

Luce and Daniel make the most insipid couple ever! They are so boring together, I felt myself wanting to just outright skip most of the scenes (I didn't, though).

They are alone together for about a third of the book. Ugh.

My second complaint: Cameron. Cam is not a bad character, not at all. Cam is the best piece of work Kate has come up with. It's the LACK of him I have a problem with! He wasn't really even there until the last third, and even then, he rarely spoke.

It's like Kate realized that most of the people reading this series are doing so, so we can see Cam, therefore took him out of most of the series. Makes no sense considering he was a crucial part of the first book.

I'm pretty sure that was my ultimate downfall with the series--when I realized Cam was barely in it.

Now, the mythology still bugged me, a lot, but I will not go into detail on it. I did enough of that in my review of Passion and I don't want to get too repetitive.

What I will say is that her change of the people in the archangels really, really bothered me. *twitch*

It seemed that Kate tried to make Luce "tough" in this novel...It didn't work.

There was one scene where Cam was in trouble. They made it seem like she was the one to save him, when all she did was, well...get up and nearly got hit with a starshot. It was Roland and Cam who really solved all this.

Yes, Cam saved HIMSELF before Luce could do anything.

"You're so brave."~The single most stupid thing I have EVER heard Cam say...

And one other thing...when did Cam and Luce become BFFs? She HATED him through the first three books, and all of a sudden she couldn't stand to lose him?

Girl has issues.

The "big reveal" was also pretty dumb. I won't spoil it for you (surprising, right), but I will say that it made me scratch my head and roll my eyes.

Oh, and God is female in this book. Right. So THAT'S why us women bleed through our woman areas ever month and go through painful childbirth. Because God is a WOMAN!

Spiteful, I tell you.

The ending was sweet, though. Like, the very ending. By the ending, I mean the last two chapters and the epilogue.

Just one question...WHERE'S CAM?!

Honestly, the way the ending was left, I could see a spin-off for Cam. I hope that happens.

Then again, he may end up like...*shudder*...Daniel.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Coffeehouse Angel 

Pages: 276
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: July 12, 2009
Rating: 5/5

Coffeehouse Angel wasn't groundbreaking; it didn't bring anything fresh to the book community. This doesn't change the fact that it was quite adorable and is officially my all-time favorite "angel" book and will probably be a Summer read for years to come.Katrina works in her grandmother's coffe shop. Unfortunately, the old norwegian-style coffe shop isn't bringing in money like it used to because the new coffeehouse, Java Heaven is more hip and therefore stole all the costumers.One day before school, Katrina notices a homeless boy in the alley next the the shop. After calling her best friend, Vincent (and him telling her to keep away), she leaves him coffee, old pastries, and chocolate covered coffee beans.Turns out this boy is actually an angel, and now he is determined to pay Katrina back for her selfless deed. But, will he cause more problems than he can solve?I think what I love most was that a lot of people, especially myself, could relate to Katrina. She doesn't quite know where she fits in the world. She is an average student, doesn't do extracurricular activities, and she hasn't found something she is passionate about (besides the coffee shop, of course). Another thing about her is that she didn't fall for Malcolm (our angel) right away. Actually, she kind of resented him following her around. Not that I blame her, after pretty much the whole student body thinking she has slept with him.Malcolm's character was amazing, as well. His ignorance of the human world, despite him being there so often, is adorable.Then there are Katrina's best friends, Elizabeth and Vincent. Elizabeth is the spoiled rich friend who hasn't worked a day in her life. Quite the opposite of Katrina, she knows what she wants in life and strives for it. Vincent is her closest friend. They've been inseperable since the fouth grade.Like Elizabeth, he also knows what he wants. Unlike her, he and Katrina hit some rough patches throughout the book. Their confrontations were a bit heart-wrenching to think about because of some things were said.The main antagonist, Mr. Darling, is an ass. He pretty much harasses Grandma Anna in every scene he's in. I wanted to go through the book and rip his head off. He was so mean!Like I said, this book was really good. Adorably so. If you are looking for a light read, pick this up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) 
Pages: 418
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Rating: 3/5
Some Spoilers Containning Plot Are Revealed In Review
Daughter of Smoke and Bone stars Karou, and seventeen year old with a pretty normal life. She goes to an art school in Prague, has a best friend named Zuzana, and goes to France on errands. Wait...France?!

Okay, so maybe Karou isn't so normal, after all. Actually, as apart from her seemingly normal life, she lives in an alternate dimension with her chimera family: Brimstone, Issa, Kishmish, Triga, and Yasri. She has no recollection of ever having a normal family and is clueless as to why she lives with these chimera, as well as why she collects teeth for Brimstone. Or what's beyond the door that she is forbidden to enter.

This premise is very promising, right. I will admit, I was hooked right from the start. The writing was beautiful and witty; the setting was gorgeously described. Best of all, Karou was such a strong heroin. She always stood her ground. Well, until a certain someone came into play.

Karous met Akira while she was getting teeth from an old friend (really, he is quite old). It is here that Akira tried to kill her. Of course she was spared because, well, what's a story without the main character?

I didn't like Akira. Actually, he was the only character I didn't like in the story. Like most love interest in YA these days, he's a creep. He's boardering on Edward Cullen's level.

He even watched Karou sleep. Yeah, it was that bad.

I have heard from several people that this wasn't insta-love because
he loved her before she died, in which I cry: bullcrap!

Warning! Spoilers below!
For those who have read the book, you know that Karou is, in fact, Madrigal. This is the supposed reason that it isn't insta-love, because Akira loved Madrigal. But, wasn't that insta-love as well? They knew each other for five minutes before claiming they, at least, had feelings for each other.

Afterward, they didn't see each other for two years, only to meet and, well, have sex and plan how they are going to bring peace to their two worlds.

It's insta-love.

Okay. Spoilers Are Finished
I just didn't feel they had chemistry with each other.

Moving on!

My favorite thing about the book were the side characters, mainly Zuzana, Kaz, Issa, and Yasri. They each brought their own flavor of humor into the story. Unfortunately, you don't see much of them. :(

This book was one I have been wanting to read for a long time, and I was deepy disappointed. What was a great plot and lovely set of characters was watered down by an awkward love story

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) 
Pages: 414
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Rating: 4/5
Pandemonium is the sequel to Lauren Oliver's Delirium which I loved so much.

This book picks up where Delirium left off, with Lena escaping into the wilds. She finds a group of invalids and joins them, learning to live the way they do.

What's different about this book is, until about three-fourths of the way, its chapters are divided up between the "before" time, and "now". I found the "now" chapters to be a lot more exciting and enjoyable, but the "before" chapters were also good.

Lena is very different than she was in Delirium. She has learned to shield her emotions quite a bit, which is reasonable for her situation. It didn't make her any less of an enjoyable protagonist.

The side characters were also very enjoyable. They had real personality that fit their prediciments. My favorite had to have been Raven. Even if she pissed me off from time to time, she was a good friend and mentor to Lena.

Now here's where I come to a crossroad: Julian. On one note, I liked his character and what he represented. Unfortunately, I did not like that he was used as a way to, in a way, replace Alex. It would have been fine if
Alex had not come back, but since that DID happen, it made Julian seem like a filler.

The ending in this book was killer, and makes me absolutely hate that the final book doesn't come out until next year. Next. Year. That is insanity! I just hope it goes in the way I want it to go. Haha.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 Cinder by Marissa Meyer
 Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Pages: 387
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Rating: 5/5

This is probably going to be a short review, because it is terribly hard to write a good review.xD

Cinder is a futuristic retelling of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. In this story, however, Cinder is a cyborg--half human, half robot. Even better, she is a mechanic in the market place.

A plague is spreading through the kingdom, and one of the other merchants in the market place caught it and was taken away. This was on the same day Prince Kai paid a visit to her stand. His bot has broken down and he needs her to fix it. He claims it urgent.

Later on, her younger sister was taken away by scientists when she showed signs of having the plague. Her stepmother blamed Cinder for bringing in the disease and sent her away to get experimented on in hopes of finding a cure.

Except, cyborgs never make it out alive.

I have got to say, this book had me hooked from the first sentence. It was such a good retelling of such a great fairy tale. Though, what I liked about this book is that it could stand on its own without the Cinderella portions.

This book had so many twists and turns. Some of them more obvious than others, but like I've stated before: I'd rather a twist that is predictable than a twist that makes no sense.

The step-mother in this was even more diabolical than in the original fairy tale. She did more than just make her clean and lock her in her room. She tried to send her away to a place she KNEW Cinder may not--probably will not--make it through. That is just heartless...

Though, like in the original, Cinder had both a terribly bitchy step-sister, and a moderately decent step-sister. Pearl, of course, being like the sister who would call Ella of the original Cinderwench. The younger one (who's name I forget. >->) being the one who gives Ella the name of, of course, Cinderella.

Instead, of course, Pearl was more like: "I don't want you to go to the ball!" and the younger was like "Teehee!Isn't my dress pretty? Cinder, come to the ball!"

Big contrast, eh?

I liked Cinder. She was smart. Of course, she does have a bunch of wires running through her. I would hope she is intelligent. But, I like that she wasn't easily swayed by her adoration of the prince. She stood her ground.

What I really liked about this book was that it was scientific, but it was nothing that I couldn't follow. Some authors use all these scientific terms and analogies, and I'm just sitting here like: "...Wha...?" No me gusta eso.

I hope that made sense. I can't really run it past my mother at the moment. xD

I hope Scarlet still focuses on Cinder's story. I am going to have a fit if I don't know what happens...
When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
When the Sea is Rising Red 
Pages: 296
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Rating: 4/5

When the Sea is Rising Red is a book I won't soon forget. I went into it thinking it was one thing, only to find it was something else entirely.

Felicita's best friend, Ilven, has just taken the leap after finding out she has to marry. With her friend gone and her brother insisting that she marry, Felicita follows suit. Except, she doesn't actually kill herself; she stages her death and runs to the poor side of town, where the non-magic users live.

While out, Felicita meets the charming Dash (more charming when drunk, though) and his gang of...misfits? She also gets involved with the Vampire Queen's son, Jannik, who wants nothing more than to be free of his binds to his people.

This was a beautifully-written story that was very character-driven, to say the least. Our main protagonist, Felicita, does seem to go threw some HUGE character development throughtout the course of the story. Where at the beginning, she is nothing but a bratty little rich girl, but by the end learns that the other people of the town, namely the "bats"/vampires, are just as bit as human as she is.

I wasn't too very fond of Jannik, though. He was a bit creepy, to say the least. It must be a vampire-thing, to be absolute creepers.

Dash, on the other hand, was in my opinion, very dimensional. In the beginning, he was nothing but a huge flirt with a somewhat far-fetched agenda, but we do see him with a more sensitive side (as well as a down-right psychotic side. Yum!).

Then there were the side characters, Nala, Lils, Esta, and Verrel. They all had distict personaities without being steriotypical. Nala and Verrel were probably my favorite.

My one and only problem was that I was intially confused on what was going on at the end. After reading through it a couple times, I got what it was about, but I wish it were a bit clearer.

This was probably one of my favorites of the year so far. I wish I could find a book like it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

 The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The Replacement
Pages: 352
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: Se[tember 21, 2010
Rating: 3/5

The Replacement is Yovanoff's debut novel, and after reading The Space Between, I was dying to read this. Sad to say that, despite all the great reviews and loving her other book, I was quite disappointed in this one.

Mackie lives in the eerie town of Gentry, where infants are sacrificed to the demons below the surface once every seven (I believe. Correct me if I'm wrong) years. Mackie is one of the changlings that replaced the child of his human parents. Despite this, his parents treat him as their own child and do their best to help him hide his secret.

It's hard, though, as Mackie is allergic to iron and blood. If he stays near too long, he will become sick.

Tate, the quiet loner in him school, confronts him after her sister died. She believes it wasn't really her sister, but a changling. She also believes Mackie to be one, which is why she went to him.

At first, he blows her off and tells her she is crazy, but as his feelings for her grow, he becomes a little more willing to help.

First of all, the main reason I don't like this book is because of Tate. She is a complete and utter bitch! She's nice to Mackie until he doesn't do exactly what she wants. She is constantly questioning his motives. I just didn't see the appeal for her, and their relationship seemed very forced.

It took me a while to get into this book. The beginning was very tedious and just flat-out boring. I never did quite get into the characters.

This book, all-in-all was just okay. Nothing spectacular. As creative as it was, the execution was just alright.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel


Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1) 
Pages: 470
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Raing: 4/5
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel is a neo-Victorian, or Steampunk novel about, well, zombies.

Nora Dearly is living with her aunt after both her mother and father passed away. Where the novel starts, she and her best friend, Pamela, are coming home from their school.

On her way home, Nora encounters this myterious man with white eyes. He tells her that she is in danger and should leave with him. Like the good little girl she is, she tells him he is nuts and calls for help.

A few days later, a horde of zombies invade her house. To her rescue comes the mysterious men and his army of...zombies. They defeat the evil zombies and take her to their military base. It is here that Senor Miserioso reveals himself as Abraham "Bram" Griswold.

To Nora, he is gorgeous, perfect. Well, save for the fact that he's dead (Oh, but who pays attention to detail?)!

First and formost, the most irritating thing about this book is that is has five points-of-view. Five! That's a whole hand's worth! Out of these five, only two, maybe three, were needed.

The three that make sense being Nora, Bram, and (maybe) Pamela. The only reason I say Pamela was because I liked seeing what was going on in town. It was the only parts of the story I remember that it is a steampunk novel, as I quickly forget it is a Victorian era while reading about Nora and Bram with their guns.

The other two would be spoiler-y if I were to say.

Now, somewhere along the lines, zombies became sexy. Well, one did, anyway. In the story, Bram was the only zombie who wasn't torn or broken. He looked human (as was described). I felt this to be a little hard to believe, especially since he is in the army. A GENERAL in the army, no less. He could at least be missing an ear or something.

I really liked the main character, Nora. Unlike most of today's heroins, her tough persona is believable. The stands up for herself, and doesn't take shit from anyone (not even a zombie!).

The writing was incredible. There was one typo I found towards the end, but other than that, it was just beautiful.

This was my first steampunk novel, and it SO wasn't a let down. I can't wait until I can get my hands on the second!