Category Archives: Book Reviews

Such a Lovely Story: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings Sue Monk Kidd Adult Historical Fiction Rating : 5

I’m going to preface this with: This has been my favorite “meaningful” read this year.  I adore this book. I checked it out from the library, but at some point I would love to own my own copy…It’s that awesome. Sue Monk Kidd wrote The Secret Life of Bees which was amazing, however I was less impressed with The Mermaid Chair. In my opinion, this story blew both of them out of the water (but I’m slightly biased because I’m a sucker for a moving historical fiction about the abolition of slavery/women’s rights).

The Invention of Wings, tells the story from two different character’s perspectives as they grow from children into the women they are meant to be. Hettie, a slave girl also called Handful, for all of the mischief she causes and Sarah, the girl who is given Hettie as a “present” (although Sarah, as you’ll learn, despises slavery very much to her privileged family’s disapproval).  These characters work wonderfully together throughout the story. They are vastly different, in circumstance and personality, and even though they are an odd combination and not quite “friends,” they compliment each other in so many ways.

The story follows the girls through both of their difficult lives, one being a slave and the other supporting the abolition of slavery in a very pro-slavery nation. The girls develop into women, but Kidd does a wonderful job of showing the reader real life difficulties and personal conflicts still relevant today through these transformations.

All in all, I LOVE this book……..

Maze Runner…Questions and More Questions

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

The Maze Runner James Dashner Book1 Rating 4

 

I’ve been reading the Maze Runner series by James Dashner lately. I saw a preview for the movie when I went to Divergent (which was A-Mazing!) and knew I had to read the series before I’d allow myself to even think about going to the theatre. (The kid from Game of Thrones is in it, so it must be good, right?)

I finished Maze Runner in a day/night. I couldn’t stop reading it. Why were these kids stuck in a place with no conceivable way out except through a dangerous maze? Why didn’t they have their memories? Why was there now a girl in a previously all boys place? Basically I kept reading to find answers to all the questions, which honestly just lead to more questions….but I liked it.

Thomas, our main character, is a hero. He’s super smart, strong, and a born leader with a bit of a reckless streak. I do enjoy the other prominent characters in the series too, they all have very unique personalities. (I won’t go into details though because I don’t want to spoil Maze Runner for anyone.)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

The Scorch Trials Maze Runner Book 2 James Dashner Rating: 3.5

So here’s the gist of Maze Runner:

This group of kids is stuck in a maze where if they leave the center of it, the Glade, and don’t get back before the walls close them in at night, bad “things,” called Grievers, will kill them. Otherwise, if they stay in the Glade they get weekly supplies and have a system set up where different people work different parts of the Glade. Pretty nice right? This is all great until the girl shows up and their normal routine goes down the tube. Oh yeah, and everyone in the Glade has had their memory wiped…

We see everything from Thomas’s view and Thomas is full of questions. Fueled along by Thomas’s curiosity, this story flew by for me….and ended with more questions. So I hurried and got the second book in the series, The Scorch Trials, which also ended with more…yes, you got it, questions. However, I’m hooked and I desperately need the third book!

 

 

Book Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

Unhinged (Splintered #2) A.G. Howard YA Fantasy Rating 5

Unhinged…was pretty great. There were so many emotions for me during this one, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster though, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! Howard has some awesome twists and turns I’m never able to see coming. Having to put this book down to do homework felt like I had to rip it off my hands…it was sooo hard to do.

There’s more boy drama and family issues and I do feel for our dear semi-crazy Alyssa. (However, I’m totally team Morpheus if we’re picking sides…which of course we are, right?) There is a race to save Wonderland and a struggle between who Alyssa’s human side and her fae one. All the while there are those plotting against her and those she loves. Plus a pretty big twist I’m gushing to talk to someone about!!!

My only wish is that we could have gone down the rabbit hole in this book, but it was pretty mad despite being in the human realm.

A.G. Howard, are you really gonna make us wait a YEAR after that ending?!? I can’t handle it…Give me more! Nowish please 🙂

Cress Success!

Cress. I loved it. So full of action and wonderful people (umm…characters…) that I cannot get enough of the Lunar chronicles series. I totally wish I was on board that epic, dangerous mission to overthrow Queen Levana with them just so I could hang out and chat with Wolf, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Kai, and of course Thorne.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Cress Lunar Chronicles #3 Marissa Meyer Young Adult Fantasy Rating 5

This book introduces some new characters, but retains all of the lovable favorites. Cinder’s powers are growing and she struggles with an internal battle; do her powers define her? Can she still be a good person if she manipulates people with her powers even if it’s not for the same reason Levana does? And can she resist the power’s sometimes darker temptations?

Scarlet’s story was pretty intriguing too, though we don’t see much of her and I’m guessing she will play a larger part in the next book…however I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to give anything away J

And Cress. Her storyline was wonderful. I loved it and could totally relate to her (and I think a lot of book lovers can to some extent). Being isolated in a satellite she created fantasies about meeting the man of her dreams…which never quite play out the way she anticipates…

All in all it was awesome…and I canNOT wait for Winter to come out!!

P.S. I just pre-ordered a SIGNED copy of Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire from Books of Wonder Shop!!! It was a bit spendy but I feel totally worth it (:

Swept Away by Splintered

Splintered (Splintered, #1)

Splintered #1
A.G. Howard
YA Fantasy/Fiction
Rating: 5

Splintered was incredibly unique, a bit bizarre, but overall the result was amazing. I’m in love with re-tellings of fairy tales right now and this story took Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and gave it a completely new twist in the modern day.  Wonderland is darker and more twisted with the plot line involving a curse, a love triangle, talking bugs, and the need to save a mother from cruel treatments at a mental institution.

Alyssa, our lovely heroine, is the descendant of the Alice Liddell from Alice in Wonderland, however, this comes with a price; a family curse which has led past descendants to mental institutions, but Alyssa knows her relatives aren’t crazy. When she is told that her mother will start shock treatments, Alyssa decides to take it upon herself to break the family curse and head down the rabbit hole.

Wonderland and the characters within Splintered are amazingly described and vividly come to life. The romance in the story is maddeningly good too. There is the perfect guy or the dark mysterious one…decisions, decisions. Plus, it’s filled with twists and turns I never saw coming (which I suppose is right since it’s Wonderland…).

Overall, I loved it. About halfway through the book I ordered the second one and I would be reading it now if Cress by Marissa Meyer hadn’t arrived….

Back for a Book Blitz!

Finally done with my first semester of library school and while it was super interesting it was also super time consuming. However, I did manage to read a couple books…in three months! It was quite a change from my typical two books a week consumption.

However, The House of Hades by Riordan simply could not wait. It was epic and I rewarded myself with a couple chapters a night (which may have turned into read until 4 in the morning, but who cares…it is soo good!)

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)I also read Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and while it wasn’t as spectacular as I thought it would be (bit of a slow start), it still got me hooked on the storyline.

WonderAnd there was Wonder R.J Palacio. Now if there was one book I could force all kids in school to read; it would be this one. It makes everyone, not just kids, stop and think about how they are treating people and why. Is it because they look different than you? Speak different? Dress different? Fantastic book…Go read it!

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)I also recently finished Allegiant by Roth…and I was disappointed. It may have had to do with my finals state of mind, but…it wasn’t my kind of series ending. Kudos to Roth though for writing what she wants no matter what others will think…I do admire her and I know many people are probably very happy with this final book.

How Mrs. Claus Saved ChristmasNow, I’ve been on break (school and work!!!) for a couple days and I finished a cute sequel How Mrs. Clause Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn and just started the Clockwork series by Cassandra Clare.  I’m hoping to get enough books read and reviews written ahead of time to last me through next semester so I can sit back and enjoy all of your lovely blogs while cramming library stuff in my brain…. 🙂

Got any reading suggestions? I have until January 21st until school starts!!

Epic Addition: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)

The House of Hades
Lost Heroes of Olympus #4
Rick Riordan
Junior Fiction
Rating 5

Yes, I am alive and no, I am not abandoning the blogosphere…I’ve just been a bit (ok, extremely) busy with school.  Gross, right? Well I have read some amazing books lately though to keep myself sane including; Wonder by R.J. Palacio, House of Hades by Rick Riordan, and Bone Season by Samantha Shannon along with having some pretty great library programs (Harry Potter Halloween Party? I think so!).  But, for this post I will stick to a review of the House of Hades by Riordan…because it was epic!

I believe I would feel empty if I had not discovered the Percy Jackson/Lost Heroes books or if Riordan had decided not to write them. They are so packed full of adventure, wit, and information about mythology that I don’t even realize I’ve retained multiple facts about different myths (until I blurt them out over dinner a month later trying to make small talk and end up looking like a huge nerd, but that’s another story…).

The book before House of Hades in the Lost Heroes series, Mark of Athena, ends with a terrible cliffhanger (and I mean so bad I told people not to read it until this book came out) and thankfully we pick up right where we left off, no waiting around involved. The action doesn’t let up in this book…at all, and I had a very hard time getting my homework done on time.  In this story Annabeth and Percy are off on their own looking for a way out of Tartarus running into old enemies and making unlikely friends. I enjoyed getting the chance to see how their relationship has grown and how differently they interact with each other now.

While Annabeth and Percy are off on their seemingly hopeless adventure, the rest of the Lost Heroes crew is working to get to the House of Hades to open the door from Tartarus so if Annabeth and Percy find the way out, they will be able to come out on friendly territory in the land of the living.  However, of course, Gaea doesn’t make it easy for the crew to reach the House of Hades.  We get a good look at every hero in this story as they are each forced to prove themselves to their godly parents.

Of course once you finish this book, you will be begging for the next in the series….

I guess The Sea of Monsters DVD will have to suffice until then. Do any of you know if it is any good?

Fabulous Ending to a Fabulous Dystopian Series: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Requiem (Delirium #3)
Lauren Oliver
YA Dystopian Fiction
Rating 5

Wow, school is a bit overwhelming along with working and getting sick…however, I did manage to sneak in Requiem, the last book in the Delirium trilogy recently and…I LOVED it! I was a bit scared because of all the mixed reviews I’d seen.

Requiem was fast paced and well written just like the others, but got back a bit more of the depth Delirium had.  The love triangle continues, but the emotions are still raw and vivid for the reader. Placed in Lena’s situation, I would be a total wreck, however, her ability to cope provides a great strong female role model. This story flipped back and forth between Lena and Hana, which at first I absolutely detested…but then really really loved the added element of having the voice of a “cured” along with one of the “resistance”.

I feel like many people probably had a problem with the ending as it does provide some closure, but also a lot of room for reader interpretation and creativity. Typically I despise endings like these, but with this series I appreciated the opportunity to imagine the closure of my choosing.

Now on to homework and then book club planning so I can start reading The Lonely Tree by Yael Politis sent to me by the publisher 🙂 (maybe I’ll sneak in dinner at some point…who knows….)

And the Awesomeness Continues: Pandemonium #2 by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Lauren Oliver
YA Dystopian Fiction
Rating 4.5

There was a reason for putting this book off so long…Oliver’s writing sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.  I lost my whole weekend (time I had planned on doing homework and cleaning) to finishing this book and starting the last book in this amazing trilogy.  Not that I’m complaining.  It’s a sign of a great book if you can’t put it down, but be prepared to lose your reading self-control and ignore the real world for a while once you pick up these books.

So in this second installment, Lena continues on her journey, this time in the Wilds…and dealing with what happened at the end of the Delirium.

Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up.  There is nothing to do but let go.

Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure.  Let yourself go deeper.  There is nothing but bottom.  There is nothing but the taste of metal, and th echoes of old things, and days that look like darkness.

This story flips back and forth between a not so distance past and the “now” all in Lena’s perspective.  We get to meet a whole crew of new characters who I found to be marvelous.  New dangers and, dare I say, possible boy are thrown Lena’s way which she handles in a very believable way. 

The writing style is still amazing and the messages are still super important.                                                        

That is what hatred is. It will feed you and at the same time turn you to rot.

It is hard and deep and angular, a system of blockades. It is everything and total.

Hatred it a high tower.

A well done dystopian!….But again, beware the ending!!! Yikes, have the 3rd one on hand…

 

5/5! Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone #1
Leigh Bardugo
YA Fiction
Rating 5

Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, you were amazing, you made me lose sleep, and cry, and make noises while I read so that people looked at me funny. I love you.  Thank you to everyone who has ever suggested I read these books! I feel ashamed it took me so long (although now I wish I would have waited until the third one was out…).

These are amazing YA fantasy reads! They have adventure, romance, a cool world, weird evil creatures, awesome Grisha (kinda like magic) abilities, and absolutely fabulous characters.  There are few stories where I fall madly in love with each and every character (usually some are just so not believable or I plain don’t like them) but I thoroughly enjoyed every character in this book.

 The main character, Alina, is a stubborn, sassy, independent female character (yes, I know, you may think “typical”, but she’s not! I promise….) who discovers she is anything but the ordinary peasant girl she thought she was. Then there is her childhood crush Mal who is super attractive and frustratingly such a … guy if ya know what I mean.  There is also the mysterious yet also handsome Darkling (I love this character!). I also love the beautiful Genya, the conniving Noya, and once you get to S&S, Sturmhond (omgosh…Sturmhond swoon).
The banter between the characters throughout these books is so wonderful. It makes me want to be friends with the author and exchange some sarcastic humor with her.Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

As for the plot…well I really don’t want to tell you. It’s a save-the-word thing, but I think you’re better off going into this story without knowing too much about what’s going to happen just that it’s going to be an amazing ride : )

Now that ending to Siege and Storm…how could you leave us hanging like that Leigh Bardugo??

Talk to me!

%d bloggers like this: