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All posts for the month February, 2014

4 stars to Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Published February 24, 2014 by katheryn13

Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run. Hunted and haunted, but together at last, they can’t outrun Alina’s past or her destiny forever. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. There are others who would like to use Alina’s gift too. And as her power grows, somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love – or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

review:

Wow, and I thought Shadow and Bone was intense. The Darkling is as dark and deep as ever and Alina and Mal are on the run this time. They thought they could escape forever, though. They can’t.

It’s weird. I both like and hate the Darkling. His past is really vague and it’s like he’s evil just for the sake of it, but still, he’s a really intriguing character. He honestly thinks Alina is meant to be with him. But personally, I prefer Mal. Things get a bit rocky for their relationship but I can see things from her point of view. She thinks she’s going crazy, and to tell someone she loves is beyond frightening. She feels like if she says it out loud, it’ll be true.

I thought this book delved deeper in to the story line and I completely loved the new additions: Sturmhond. Holy crap, I love this dude! I mean, he turns out to be way more than first impressions show and in a way he is far more complex than anything I’d have imagined. I instantly liked him.

And there are others, like Tolya and Tamar, who become Alina’s guards. They’re fun and fresh, but also you can tell they have secrets.

There were so many twists and turns I couldn’t put this book down and I am bouncing with excitement for Ruin and Rising. It comes out later this year as far as I know. :)

Kat

5 stars to Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Published February 19, 2014 by katheryn13

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew – about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam – was wrong.

There may be spoilers, so beware.

Review:

You’re all expecting some deep and profound review, I bet.

But all I want to do is cry and sob and heave and cry and stamp my feet and cry. Because this series is over and  I honestly feel so lost.  I reread all the books prior to reading this, because I wanted to put it off as long as possible. Unfortunately, unless I stopped reading it altogether, it was bound to happen. And when it did, I felt shattered into tiny pieces. I really don’t know how I’m going to cope knowing there’s no more Juliette, no more Warner, no more Kenji, and even…no more Adam or James. Despite how irritating I found him in Ignite Me.

What can I say? Tahereh Mafi shoots and she scores. I can’t find a fault. Okay, so If I’m really picky? The ending… If you call that “closure” I think you need a dictionary. That was by far the most open ended ending to a series since Requiem. I’M NOT KIDDING!

I felt like there could have been at least another 100 pages or so, just to tighten it up, to give some hint as to what happens next. No epilogue needed, just some guidance. Now I feel like there needs to be a spin-off series. Hint Hint double Hint triple HINT!

Anyway, *breathes* My love for Warner. Will it ever stop growing? I don’t think I can contain it all in one tiny heart. I liked him in Shatter Me, Loved him in Unravel Me and my god…

Kenji, man, you rule! I felt so bad for him, but also he really brings life to this story. I realise he was trying hard to keep spirits lifted because what happened to Omega Point not only destroyed him, it almost killed Castle, who he considers a father. Or  near enough.

Juliette, she really grew in this. She changed from a shy, unimpressive, scared girl to someone who can become proud of herself, take charge of her powers and not have to answer to anyone. I really, truly wish I had her guts. I found at times her attitude was so inspiring, I was nearly in tears with jealousy. Adam constantly telling her she had changed for the worse, and basically calling her stupid for it, was wrong, and for that I just got so annoyed with him. Yes, so what, she broke up with him, but that doesn’t mean you go around being a dick over it and insulting her. She broke up with him for HIS OWN GOOD, and the fact he couldn’t appreciate that, rather than shoving it in her face, was just beyond a joke. Warner was always going to be the better choice, because as much as he was callous and cruel, he believed in her, he loved her, and he wanted her to become herself,  the truth inside of her. Wow that sounds cheesy, but you know what I mean? He didn’t underestimate her.

For the other characters, Sara and Sonya, Lily, Alia, Brendan, Winston, even Ian, I  mean these people…they made the book. They each brought their own quarter and stopped it from being entirely ‘the Adam and Juliette soap drama’ because that’s what it would have been.

As for Anderson, have fun in hell, you bastard!

There are a couple of…rather steamy chapters that I will not spoil, but just be warned. Oh my. Near the 50’s. Just saying. *winks* and these are beyond anything I ever imagined. Tahereh, you kinky sod! :P Love ya.

I am so so so SO deeply sorry to see this series end, and it has by far been one of the best, if not THE best ever in my life and I just can’t deal with the parting. It hurts. I’ve invested so much time and emotion into these beautiful characters, I can only imagine how painful it is for Tahereh to stop, to leave them. Unless there is a spin off in which case….*throws tiny hearts your way*

Good bye my loves, I’ll miss you. *sobs*

Kat

4 stars to The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Published February 10, 2014 by katheryn13

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

Review:

Such a complex, magical story. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, which I’m still trying to decide that’s a good or bad thing. I love Gansey. He has all the attitude of an old man, but deep down he’s just lonely and missing something to his life, despite having lots of money. People think rich people have it all, and most do, but there are some times where money can’t buy love.

Blue is a weird and wonderful character. Growing up with psychics has made her open to anything. When she is told her true love will die if she kisses him, well, it’s almost like a dare. She’s determined to make sure he doesn’t die, especially when she discovers the boy is Gansey.

Adam, Ronan and mysterious Noah are Gansey’s ‘gang’ and go with him wherever. But they each have their own problems and that adds so much more. Although, those problems are severely tragic in their own way.

I liked the bond between Gansey and his friends. He seemed to care more for them than people give him credit for, and it’s almost sad how Ronan and Adam don’t seem to appreciate how much he helps them, whether it be school or home. Despite his front, Gansey really is insecure, which is sad, because…well, it is. I think that’s why I liked him so much, because like calls to like. >_<

I have to admit, I thought there would be some romance in this, given that the tag line is “if you kiss your true love, he will die”. I mean, I wasn’t expecting lots, because of the obvious, but I did think there would be undying love and torment because they couldn’t kiss, or whatever. I also got thrown sideways when Adam turned out to be more central than Gansey in terms of Blue. I was like “what? But I thought…wait, WHAT?” so yeah. I’m hoping Dream Thieves will prove a bit more understandable.

Blue’s family cracked me up, especially Persephone and Calla. They were both creepy but witty, and they livened up the house, when things got intense.

There was plenty of suspense, and several moments that had me biting my nails (although I do that anyway…) and I can’t wait to continue with book 2!

Kat

4.5 stars to Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Published February 6, 2014 by katheryn13

Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena’s emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever…

Review:

Why WHY WHY did I wait so long to read this? WHY did I let other peoples ridiculous complaints about the ending put me off for a YEAR? I’m stupid. Really damned stupid.

If I’m brutally honest, I loved this more than the first two books. Now, doesn’t it just SUCK when that happens? Not that I didn’t enjoy the first two. I mean, I would have given up if I didn’t. Y’know?

Sadly, everyone who read Requiem did nothing but complain about the ending. How bad it was, blablabla. I don’t know what book they were reading, but i thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish.

The problem is, essentially, that because it wasn’t a neat and tidy, everyone lives happily ever after, lovey dovey ending, people seemed to think the author deserved hate, or that it was a damned awful ending. Eh…what now?

I personally don’t mind endings that don’t wrap up nicely. Some books call for that, right. Some do, and if they’re not, we’re left thinking…what the hell? But dystopians in particular, they have a different kind of…sound, I suppose, about them, and it’s all about the wonder of the future. This left me feeling wistful and thoughtful. It’s definitely philosophical in its tie up.

Okay so the plot: Lena is well and truly deep in the wilds, and guess who’s back? Yeah, Alex. We thought he’d died. So did Lena. But now she’s got Julian, who I didn’t like at first in Pandemonium, but he grew on me and now I’m tied. Alex has changed, a lot. He’s angry at Lena. Apparently she was supposed to, what? Not care about anyone else? Go rescue him? He’s the one that told her to run in the first place! Jeez.

There are a couple of points that irritate me with Lena, she does nothing but believe people, especially those she loves. If Alex says he doesn’t love her anymore, she believes it, right off the hat. She’s all “No, he told me face to face. He doesn’t love me. So it must be true.” bla bla bla. Dude! Boys lie. Even people we love. Everyone lies at some stage, especially if it’s to protect our own feelings.

Poor Julian, though. He’s in love with Lena. And this reminds me a lot of the whole Peeta/Gale/ Katniss problem in yknow, Hunger Games. Both guys love her but she’s too confused, too torn and okay so Katniss had other reasons to be troubled. I’m digressing.

Now there’s a revolution on the horizon, and as the group move from settlement to settlement, they are being hunted by the regulators. The people of Portland (Maine, not Oregon. It took me a while and a search on google maps to figure this out >_<) are on the rampage. They want rid of every Invalid, every uncured who has the disease called L.O.V.E. I mean, it’s beyond ridiculous.

Requiem is split into two POV’s, Lena and Hana. They both share their own experiences, inside the city and outside in the wild. There’s deaths, action, bombs, romance, not much humour, but still…there’s Lena’s sarcasm which I love. It’s rare, but it’s there. It’s interesting to get a view of how Hana lives now because we didn’t see her in book 2. She’s cured, and snobbish like the others, but she’s also paired with Fred Hargrove’s, up and coming Mayor, to replace his father who was killed. He’s a…how do I put this? … a complete bastard. Cruel, manipulative and two faced, and he expects everyone to obey him. Hana starts to crack through the facade of being Cured. Things change, she dreams, and new discoveries make her question her loyalty to Fred.

There was definitely conflict between Julian and Alex, and plenty of other characters that added something. Raven especially was one I liked. Strong and a leader, she inspired. As they gained forces with other groups, there was a sense of unity. Lena meets a familiar face from her past, and struggles to regain a relationship with her.

A weird comment, but I noticed there’s a lot more swearing in this than usual. Which is fine, it shows they’re growing up a lot faster. I just thought I’d point that out. :P

I’m really sad this is over now, because to be honest I felt like the story was just getting started. Sure, I’d have liked to know what happened to Lena after…stuff, (trying to remain spoiler free. ugh) but obviously the author thought it wasn’t necessary, and we need to respect that. As it is, I thought it ended on a sweet note. It lets you use your imagination. Create your own scenario.

Great work Lauren Oliver. :)

Kat

3.5 stars to Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Published February 6, 2014 by katheryn13

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.

They assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think.

Review:

For years I’d wanted to read this series after a friend recommended it to me. I managed to actually find the first book in store, as before I’d only ever seen the later books. It took me a while, but eventually I did read it and enjoyed it. It reminds me of Gossip Girl, with high socialites and elegant parties. Just with vampires.

Blue Bloods tells the story of Schuyler Van Alen, a 15 yr old who isn’t interested in fashion or being cool. She has her best friend Oliver and Dylan who is a mysterious, eluding and brooding young man with enough alluring charm to bring all the girls to his yard. Speaking of Charm, Jack Force. Holy…mother of hotness. Can I? Pretty please? lol

There are three pov’s throughout this book, including Bliss, the best friend of Mimi. She’s probably one of my favourite characters.

Jack and Mimi Force are twins not to be reckoned with. Being Blue Bloods themselves, they have a higher power over the Red Bloods, aka humans. The older generations – the parents, the grandparents, etc – are much older than they seem, although they don’t age in the sense we do. The vampires come to a time where they fall into a sleep and are reawakened as a new person ,so to speak, although still in the same body. Confusing? Yeah, so was I.

Blue Bloods can’t die, they are immortal, and indestructible beings. But there are murders happening and they’re all…yep, you guessed it. Blue Bloods. The basis of the story is Schuyler and Oliver, who turns out to be some sort of slave in a past life, aim to discover who is killing and put a stop to it. But when the monster is practically hidden in plain sight, things could get troublesome. Especially if it’s someone they know.

A not-particularly-fast-paced but full of drama book, with twists of romance and mystery, that will both have your head spinning and curiosity peaked for hours. The whole vampire set up is fascinating to me, and I can’t wait to read the second book. I know I’m many years behind in reading these, so I have lots of catching up to do. :)

-Kat