Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

The Lost Saint
By: Bree Despain
Source: Bought E-book
Released: December 28, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns. Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with he werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger -- in more ways than one. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her -- not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung." (Summary from goodreads.com

Bree Despain's The Lost Saint is the thrilling sequel to The Dark Divine. Picking up a few months later, Grace's family is left shattered after her brother Jude ran away and Grace is left trying to pick up the pieces. In her desperate and dangerous search for her brother, Grace receives help from the mysterious Talbot. Grace is also working on gaining control of her new powers to prevent the wolf from taking her over, while her boyfriend Daniel readjusts to a normal life. Grace and Daniel soon find themselves growing apart as secrets come between them and their lives begin to bring them down separate paths.

Despain creates a supernatural world with realistic characters who are greatly developed throughout the story. The reader learns a bit more about Daniel as he tries to adjust to his new life. Grace is becoming stronger and more independent, but she is still a bit naive and has much more growing up to do. Although Grace and Daniel's relationship survived much in The Dark Divine, their relationship still faces many obstacles.

The Lost Saint takes The Dark Divine series to an all new dark and exciting place. Just when the reader thinks they know what will happen next in this action-packed plot, there is another twist awaiting. The cliffhanger ending will leave you anxious to find out what will happen next to these characters.

My Rating:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF
By: Kody Keplinger
Source: Bought E-book
Released: September 7, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone." (Summary from kodykeplinger.com)

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), by Kody Keplinger, is the refreshing and edgy story of Bianca Piper who finds herself falling for the womanizing Wesley. Bianca is given the nickname "Duffy" by Wesley, because when compared to her two best friends, she does not feel all that pretty. Bianca is also dealing with some trouble at home and all she is looking for is an escape, which just so happens to be Wesley. She begins a no strings attached sexual relationship with Wesley and Bianca soon finds her life spinning even more out of control.

A great aspect of The DUFF is the relationships between Bianca and her two best friends, Casey and Jessica. Although Bianca does not feel that she is pretty enough when with them, Casey and Jessica think of themselves as "The Duff." Each of the three girls is distinctly different, but balance one another equally.

The DUFF takes an honest and realistic look at high school, touching on issues such as sex, gossip, and alcohol abuse. The character of Bianca is a hilariously cynical realist who doesn't believe in finding love in high school. Bianca has many insecurities and learns overtime that she isn't the only teenage girl who feels that way. The DUFF was a great book that I found nearly impossible to put down once I started.

My Rating:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ascend by Amanda Hocking

Ascend
By: Amanda Hocking
Source: Bought E-book
Released: January 12, 2011
Purchase the Book: Amazon


"With a war looming on the horizon, Wendy’s fate seems sealed. But everything she sacrificed might be in vain if she can’t save the ones she loves. Her whole life has been leading up to this, and it’s all coming to an end." (Summary from amandahocking.blogspot.com)

Amanda Hocking's Ascend is the surprising finale to the Trylle Trilogy and picks up right where the previous book, Torn, left off. Wendy is preparing to take over as Queen for her ailing mother, which means that she will eventually be preparing for a war with her own father, King of the Vittra. She also has to worry about her arranged marriage to Tove, who she is not in love with.

I loved this whole original series, especially Ascend, which has become my favorite book in this trilogy. The plot picks up from the very beginning and flows right to the last page. Wendy has developed greatly over the course of these books and she has now become a selfless heroine. She is no longer running away, but facing her problems head on. I was thrilled to see the return of Loki because I especially enjoy the witty and funny banter between him and Wendy.

There is a great balance of action, romance, and drama. The ending was not what I expected at all, but that is what made me love it even more. All of the loose ends were tied up and I couldn't have thought of any better way for it to end. I am so happy that I accidently came across this series during the summer. I will definitely be rereading this entire trilogy again very soon. I highly recommend Ascend as well as the rest of the Trylle trilogy, it does not disappoint!

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel
By: Cassandra Clare
Source: Bought E-book
Released: August 31, 2010
Purchase teh Book: Amazon

"When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own. Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all." (Summary from goodreads.com)

Cassandra Clare's "Clockwork Angel" is the exciting prequel to The Mortal Instruments series that is set in London during the Victorian Era. The protagonist, Tessa, finds herself kidnapped by the evil Dark Sisters when she travels to London to find her brother. While with the Dark Sisters she learns that she may not be as human as she thought and that a powerful figure known as the Magister will stop at nothing to get her. Tessa eventually escapes and finds refuge in the London Institute with a group of shadowhunters who swear to help her find her brother. While at the Institute she meets arrogant Will and mysterious Jem, and Tessa finds herself falling deeper into the world of shadowhunters.

I loved "Clockwork Angel" just as much as I loved The Mortal Instruments series, and I was thrilled to see warlock Magnus Bane make an appearance. The plot is filled with action and keeps the reader guessing until the very last page. The banter between Will and Tessa, although similar to Clary and Jace, provides endless humor throughout the book. I particularly enjoyed the London setting because it provided a fresh and different take on the shadowhunter world. I recommend "Clockwork Angel" to any fan of The Mortal Instruments series, and if you haven't read either yet then what are you waiting for? I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the Infernal Devices series, especially after the cliffhanger ending.

My Rating:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
By: Lauren Oliver
Source: Bought E-book
Released: March 2, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing." (summary from laurenoliverbooks.com)

 Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall is the chilling story of Sam who must relive the day she died seven times. The flawed character of Sam is the epitome of the popular mean girl who is dating the most popular boy in her high school. As Sam relives her favorite day, Cupid Day, she finds herself racing to fix her past mistakes. Sam begins to learn that there may be more to life than just popularity.

Before I Fall is a brutally honest and heartbreaking book that takes on high school bullying. The character of Sam grows with each day and comes to acknowledge others and gains a brand new perspective on life. Sam learns the consequences of her actions and more importantly her words. Oliver's writing is extraordinary and provides an honest depiction of high school as well as an important life lesson
. This book was addicting and once I started reading I couldn't put it down.

My Rating:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement
By: Brenna Yovanoff
Source: Bought E-book
Released: September 21, 2010
Purchase the Book:Amazon

"Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement—left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl named Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs."  (summary from brennayovanoff.com)

The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff, is the dark story of changeling Mackie, who is actually from a deadly underground world. The small town of Gentry has many secrets and the citizens don't acknowledge what is truly happening involving the changelings. Mackie is trying to live a normal life and get the attention of his crush who is the most popular girl at school. Mackie, however, stands out amongst the other teenagers in Gentry, because he is slowly dying as a result of being in the human world for so long. When the little sister of a girl at school goes missing, Mackie decides that it may just be time to do something about this mysterious world.

I enjoyed The Replacement and found it nearly impossible to put down once I started. I was immediately drawn to this book because of the creepy cover art. I found that one of my favorite parts of the story was the relationship between Mackie and his sister Emma. Although not biologically related, both siblings would do anything for one another. Emma feels responsible for Mackie and makes many sacrifices to ensure his happiness over her own. My favorite character from this story is definitely Tate, who is a tough and feisty girl who spoke her mind. Overall I enjoyed The Replacement, it was dark and mysterious, but also humorous at just the right moments.

My Rating:


Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four
By: Pittacus Lore
Source: Bought
Released: August 3, 2010
Purchase the Book: Amazon

"In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next." (Summary from goodreads.com)

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore is the action-packed story of Number Four who escapes from his home planet, Lorien, with eight others who are all hiding on Earth. The aliens, who can only be killed in numerical order, are attempting to blend in as ordinary teenagers because they are being hunted down by the Mogadorians, who are the alien race that destroyed their planet. The main protagonist is Number Four who takes on the identity of John Smith when he moves to hide in Paradise, Ohio after learning that he will be next. He soon develops his legacies, or unique secret powers that each alien will develop over time, and is protected and guided by Henri, who also escaped Lorien. While hiding in the small town, John finds himself becoming attached to the idea of a normal life when he becomes friends with an alien obsessed outcast and begins to fall in love with Sara. John eventually grows tired of running after learning more about the destruction of his home.

I have never been much of a fan for anything alien related, but I loved I Am Number Four because it is such a creative, thrilling, and visual book. There is much action which helps move the plot along and the planet of Lorien is described in extraordinary detail. The protagonist John, or Number Four, is the ideal hero who not only fights aliens but high school bullies as well. Each character is unique in their own way and I particularly loved the characters of Sam and Sara. I Am Number Four ends with many questions still lingering however, and left me eagerly awaiting for the next installment.
My Rating: