Tag Archives: book reviews

Book Review: The Moon and More

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Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA

Summary: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Review: Dessen has a magical way of writing a true teenage girl. Every. Single. Time. And they’re always different. Emaline, the heroine of this novel, is just as authentic.

I loved the way Dessen built Emaline’s love of her small town. As a “small town girl in the middle of nowhere”, it has taken a few years and lots of nostalgia to appreciate and even love living in a small town. Seeing Emaline defend her hometown to the big “city clickers” was refreshing.

Dessen also does a great job setting up this view between the vacationers and the townies of “us” and “them”. Emaline has to decide which part of “us” and which part of “them” she wants to be part of. I also loved the tension that Dessen created between Emaline and her father. 

Recommendation: READ!! Read NOW!

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Cheers! 

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Book Review: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)

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Author: Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy/Crime

Summary: Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

Review: Butcher has an amazing way with description. This is an action packed novel, but he doesn’t rush anything. Instead, each page is brought to life through description. Whether that be physical descriptions or description through Dresden’s many observations. It works!

Dresden is a witty, sarcastic, badass (to say the least) private investigator slash wizard. Butcher has done a great job creating a well-liked character who is also very authentic. His faults and sarcasm bring him to a human (though he’s a wizard) level. 

Recommendation: READ!!

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Cheers!

 

Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)

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Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA

Summary: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Review: I love love love this book. Maggie is a genius writer. She crafts every paragraph and every sentence with a science. (Really, she does. She even talks about it on her blog).

This is a great second book of a series. Sometimes books can lag in the middle, but this one did not. Readers got to see more into Ronan’s life than in the first book. Maggie also kicks up the tension of the love story (near the end, thank goodness). 

This book is all action and suspense. And creepy magic things. 

Recommendation: GO. READ. NOW

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Cheers! 

Book Review: Forever…

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Author: Judy Blume

Genre: YA

Summary: Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

“Forever” is written for an older age group than Judy Blume’s other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content. 

It was a book ahead of its time – and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America’s No. 1 children’s author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues – family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement – with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published.

Review: Now, I’ve got to say, I think I missed the Judy Blume phase. I can read this book and, as a writer, tell you that it’s great! It’s absolutely wonderful…for a certain age.

This is the type of book that began the YA genre and what also made the majority of society think that YA was for 13 year girls getting their period and wanting to sleep around with boys.

While the writer in me can see how well crafted this book is, the book reviewer in me can only say that it’s good for a certain age. It is definitely not a cross-over book. 

Recommendation: Buy for the right person, and it is wonderful! Read as a writer, and it is wonderful!

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Cheers!

Book Review: Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3)

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Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: SF/F

Summary (goodreads): Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

Review: I loved this book, even more than the first two. You can tell that Gail hit her stride in this book. There’s more steampunk elements and somehow she has become more pithy. And it’s wonderful. I must say, I was sad that it ended the way it did. I know there are more books in this series, but come on, such a cliffhanger! I’m not a fan of spoilers so that’s all I’m going to say!

Gail has created a wonderfully strong, humorous female character in Alexia. I have read some of her blog posts about writing and she mentioned going to extremes when mapping out a world and the characters. It’s very evident that she took her time fleshing everything out. This is some amazing world-building, and it’s set in the past! Great accomplishment!

Recommendation: Obviously, I’d like you to read the first two in the series first. After that, definitely pick this one up!

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Cheers!

Book Review: Lament: The Faerie Queen”s Deception (Books of Faerie #1)

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Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA

Summary (goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren’t so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn’t exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey

Review: Well, if you’ve been here before you may have heard me mentioned that I absolutely love Maggie Stiefvater. I had been meaning to read this book for a while and finally have (first on my Nook, as well). I strongly believe that writers (every single one of us) gets better with every story. And she is not an exception to this rule.

Though I enjoyed the story, I seem differences in her writing from this book to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy to The Scorpio Races and finally to The Raven Boys. Boy has she really developed an amazing talent to create such real worlds.

Lament was wonderful, I enjoyed the story. But the things that popped out at me were how underdeveloped certain aspects of her writing (the ones that I adore and admire) were. Which both bothered me and gave me hope that I will eventually be able to write better stories.

Anyway, to the review!

I liked the ending. I was very happy to see that her first published book had the same quality of ending, in that she doesn’t allow her characters to get away unscathed. No one ever lives 100% “happily ever after”. There may be silver linings laying around, however. She also had a very strong female character (which I expected and was given). The emotion built throughout the book and by the end I cared about the main character, which (as I’ve said before) is the whole point.

I disliked that there were so many “musical sessions”. i understand that the main character is awesome with the harp, but I had no idea how to imagine the songs she was playing. That being said, this aspect didn’t completely take me out of the story. I was still about to come up with something to imagine. This is due to the great description Maggie wrote. 

Recommendation: If you’re a Maggie fan, read it! If not, but you love faeries or harps, read it! If neither, maybe borrow it and see how the first few chapters treat you.

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Cheers!