Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review-In The Shadow of Blackbirds

Thanks to my sudden addiction to NA (New Adult) novels it took me quite some time to finish this book, but now that I have I'm really pleased I got to meet the author and read it early.  Having never read a fiction teen book with real pictures in it before (I know, I know, I need to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) I was slightly fascinated by the idea, but also a little confused as to how well it would work.  Having just read the last word of the last chapter of this book I can honestly say that I was not at all confused when it came to the pictures that were scattered throughout the book.  I will say that in the end I wanted to see MORE pictures, at least one at the very end of the book.  Not being one of those people who believes in spirits (don't get me wrong, I do enjoy reading about them, and watching Supernatural) it's interesting to see pictures, despite possibly being doctored in some way, of spirits.  The fact that the novel was rooted in history, WWI, and included the Spanish Flu also piqued my interest, because I love a good plague story.  There was also female power in this book!  If you've taken the basic high school US history class you know that when WWI rolled around and all the eligible men were shipped off to go fight so women got jobs they didn't usually have, and they were important in the economy for one of the first times, so seeing that included in the novel was just great.  Mary Shelly Black (yes, like the author) was a great main character and I I really connected to her, because despite it being 2013 women who want to know things, who want to LEARN things, and who are smart are still thought of as odd, even here in the US to some extent.  This book deals with ghosts, which are in a way monsters, but I think the real idea is that the monsters are right here, that WE, humans, are the monsters.  But that sometimes all it takes for the monsters to be held at bay, for them to disappear, at least for a little while, is for someone to stand up to them, for someone to do right.  I'm thoroughly pleased with Cat's debut novel, and I can't wait to see what she writes next, because despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of history, she makes it fun, and she teaches not only history, but humanity.

Out April 2, 2013

*Thanks to Amulet Books for providing me with an ARC of this book (via ALA Midwinter) in return for an honest review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review-Clockwork Princess

Three years ago I read Clockwork Angel because, let's face it, I'll read anything by Cassie Clare, and now that the series is at an end I'm somewhat at a loss for words.  When you come to the end of a favorite series (or pretty much any book by Cassie Clare) you're struck by a sense of loss, but along with that you have a sense of wonder and of amazement.  In last books there's a 90% chance that someone will die (unless it's a contemporary book), and when that happens you can't help but feel your heart break.  Throughout this book (which I will admit, made me cry) I came to a few conclusions.  One, despite LOVING the agony of her fans (she could collect our tears and sell the to witches or something) Cassie somehow manages to add humor to even the darkest places in her novels.  To me this shows that even in the darkest moments there is hope to be had.  Two, I am always amazed at how she manages to weave a story that will catch almost anyone off guard, and plays with small little pieces of the plot from the companion series that ties it all together.  And three, this book has made me realize that when it comes to characters in books (and maybe even to people in real life) it's not the death of a beloved character (or person) that hurts the most, it's the goodbye.  Or at least it is in Cassie's world.  Filled with her classic wit, charm, and amazing romance Cassie brings together an amazing story that will leave you with tears in your eyes but hope in your heart.  I can't wait to see what happens with Jace and Clary and the rest of the gang in the Mortal Instruments series.  Although I'm sad to see the characters go it was a fitting ending for them all, and maybe we will see Tessa and all of the descendants of the characters we love from this novel in the next installment of the shadowhunter world.  And it's always nice to know that Tessa and the boys will be there for me if I ever want to go back and experience the magic of their London.

5/5 dust spirits

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review-Things I Can't Forget

Having read Miranda's first two novels I was really excited to dive into her third novel, and especially excited to revisit...whatever it is that Miranda sets her novels.  First I have to say that despite having read the back of the book it didn't really prepare me for what was actually INSIDE the book.  I mean, yeah, it gave the basic details, but it left out a HUGE part of the story.  Granted, I'm not sure if, had I known that a huge part of this book deals with religion in a way, that I would have read it, but it might have been nice to not have that initial shock.  If any of you know me, and most of you don't, I'm not all that religious.  I'm fine with other people believing whatever they way (if you say there's a giant fluffy bunny in the sky that grants wishes if you dance around in a tutu under the full moon, so be it) but I do get a little irritated when others push their beliefs in my face.  This book didn't do that, but the main character is Christian (I'm not sure what kind, but she's one of the no sex before marriage and no abortions variety) and she refers to it A LOT.  Although this is PART of her, and part of the story, so you can't just ignore it.  So despite getting a little frustrated with Kate because she is so judgmental I kept reading and ended up very happy with where it ended.  Also, Matt? SO HOT! (I mean really. Can I find someone like him? Please? Or better yet can I just have him?)  With all of this being said I will warn you that religion is discussed in this novel, it's an enormous part of the novel, and if you have a problem with that you might not want to pick this book up, but if you like Miranda's books or you want something honest I would suggest you give this one a shot.  Personally I didn't love it with a burning passion, but I did really like it, and I applaud Miranda for writing this story and for putting it out there because I have no doubt she will get criticism for it, but it really does have a point, and it speaks to more than just a cute little love story, it goes deeper than that.

4/5 dust spirits

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I've come to realize that dystopian is really the new vampire, which is totally okay, but sometimes you just get so tired of reading one dystopian after the other because they all end up blending together, but Taken is not like that.  When I started it I knew that it had been pitched as a sort of sci-fi story, and I saw the element in it, but I wasn't sure WHAT it was.  Basically I wasn't sure if it was aliens or something else that gave it a science-fiction-y edge.  Most of the time there's a huge part of the book that's devoted to romance, and the main character is usually a girl, but Erin changes things up.  She ONLY uses a male POV, and only one at that, and while there is romance it's not at the heart of the book.  Throughout the whole book I was trying to figure out things before they were revealed to the main character, Gray, and to be honest I didn't get all of them.  Personally I feel like Erin has taken (haha, get it?) parts of other novels/movies/ect. and put them into her novel.  Now, this isn't a bad thing, because she mixes them up in a big pot and turns them into something completely different.  There are big plot twists and I think that this is one of those books that will apply to both the male and the female population out there.  I love how it was broken up into four sections, and maybe I've been taking LA classes too long, but I think I see some symbolism in a few of the parts of the book.  The book goes from a very old-time rustic setting to a very sleek and modern setting in a short amount of time, and I was very amused with descriptions of every day things like cars and guns seen through the eyes of Gray.  Taking components of Shatter Me, The Lost Code, a little bit of The X Files, and The Giver I was pleased with the outcome of this novel.  I can't wait for the next installment of this series, because I'm sure it will bring about more surprises and twists.

Out April 16, 2013

5/5 dust spirits

*Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review of the book.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Last year I read Jill's debut novel, Slide, and I was very pleased with it.  The idea was fresh and the characters were likeable.  There was also the twist that I didn't see coming and some killing (you know how much I love killing.  Don't worry, there was kissing too. I like kissing.)  When I saw that there was going to be a sequel I was excited, because I felt like there were things that could be expanded upon.  Impostor picks up a few months after Slide and we get into the action pretty much right away.  Again Jill implemented her original idea of sliding, and she kept true to the mystery part of her first novel.  All of the characters we love (and even those we don't love so much) are back, which is nice, because when you bring in smaller characters from the previous book and expand on them it's always interesting to see where the author takes them.  Again Jill managed to blindside me with the true killer in the novel, and with another "slider" in this book the stakes were that much higher.  There was also the budding romance between Vee and another boy, who I liked much more than the first one.  Jill manages to plant little ideas into her readers heads that take you off course of the real wrongdoer in the book.  This pleases me because YA novels can be so predictable sometimes, but Jill manages to mix things up.  If you read and enjoyed Slide I would suggest you pick this book up when it comes out later this month, and if you haven't read Slide and are looking for something Body Finder-esque you should check it out because it's now in paperback, and it's not nearly as talked about as it should be.  Well done Jill, and I look forward to reading whatever book you end up writing next.

Out March 26, 2013

4.5/5 dust spirits

*Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review-17 & Gone

A few years ago I won an ARC of Nova's first YA novel, Imaginary Girls, and I was just blown away.  I looked at it and thought "if I ever write a book I want it to be like this", so when I saw she had a new book coming out I was frantic to read it.  When I found out it was about missing girls I wanted to read it even more.  Having just finished it I'm not entirely sure what went on the back really spoke to what was inside the book, so I felt like I was going in expecting one thing, and ending up with something different.  That something different isn't a bad something different per say, but it was SO different than I though it would be I was thrown for a major loop at the end.  Now, if you've never read Nova's first YA novel you won't know what I'm talking about, but if you have you'll know what I mean when I say she weaves words in such a way where even the impossible seems possible.  After reading Imaginary Girls I knew what happened in the book could never really happen, but it was written in such a way that I would have believed it if I had seen it, no questions asked.  All of that being said there has got to be something magical about Nova and her writing, because I felt what Lauren felt, and when the end came it was a huge slap in the face.  I can relate to Lauren in some ways, and there were parts of this book that really hit me with the emotion and meaning in them, which can be a very hard thing to do, regardless of what genre you write.  I applaud Nova for her unique style and for venturing into a place not many people dare to go, and although I am not like Lauren in many ways, I felt what she felt when she was feeling it, and I think I understand just a little more.  If I had to put Nova's writing in a category it would have it's own, which I would call "magical realism" because there is really no other way to phrase it that comes close to what she does in this book and her last one.  That was terribly vague, but I don't want to give anything away, so all I can say is this; if you've read Nova's first YA novel check this one out for sure, if you want something different, check out this book AND Nova's first YA novel, and if you were already going to check this book out remember that not everything is what it seems.

Out March 21, 2013

4.5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Crystal Perkins for letting me borrow her ARC.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

In Which I Share My Senior Project With You

In order to graduate from high school (and let me tell you I can't WAIT until that happens) I needed to do a project where I learned something new, so I decided to take a new rout with my jewelry and I chose to make chain maille bracelets.  That was my "learn", my "do" was to actually make them, and my "share" was going to be sharing them on etsy, but you need to give them your bank account and social security number and all that, which I wasn't so sure about, so I decided, why not share it here on the blog?  It's not exactly book related, but you guys will give me a break just this one so I can pass my senior year, right?  Right.

I decided to try my hand at two different styles of chain maille bracelets.  Style 1, which I tried first.  And style 2, which I worked on later.

Style 1

I started with a whole bunch of jump rings

Then I connected the links according to the pattern in the directions I was following.
I ended up with these

Style 2

Again, I started with jump rings, although this time they were different sizes, and the colors mattered, so I separated them accordingly.

It This one was harder to get the hang of, and honestly it was a little hard to put together.
I mean look at this!  It was like crazy magic trying to get them together on the first try.

After all of this, I ended up with these

Tah-dah!!! And thus concludes the "share" portion of my senior project.  If you could comment and leave some feedback I would love that, just a quick little comment, and on the off chance you want to buy a bracelet made by me you can shoot me an email at and I will get back to you ASAP.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review-Let the Sky Fall

After reading Shannon's debut novel, Keeper of the Lost Cities, I was even more determined to get my hands on her first YA novel.  But ALA came up and I was busy, and there was school and the book just kept getting pushed aside, so when I saw it was coming out in a few days (it's out now, so I'm a little behind the eight-ball) I knew I had to read it.  Sometimes you have those moments when you read a book and you go "stupid, stupid me, why didn't I get to this book sooner!?"  Do you know those books? This is one of those books.  There are also those books where you read them and you go "why didn't I think of this!?"  This is also one of those books.  We know from the inside flap of the book that this book deal with sylphs (air elements) which is something I've only seen once in YA, and it was only for a brief chapter [see the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White] so to have a whole book about them was pretty darn awesome.  Next was the fact that it was narrated from both a male and female point of view.  I love this.  Because when it's just one narrator I always want to see inside the other character's head, and this way I can!  The characters were also so strong.  They were real and had substance to them, and both had some snark in them, which I adore, because, let's face it, I am made of snark.  Also, having now finished this book I dub Shannon the master of sexual tension, because let me tell you, this book was like "oh, here have ALL THE SEXUAL TENSION!"  And I was like "yay" but also like "JUST KISS ALREADY DAMMIT!!!"  So what I'm trying to say is that I was blown away (get it, cause it's about people who control the wind. okay, sorry) by this YA debut, Shannon is am amazing talent in the world of adolescent literature and now I'll have TWO more series to keep up with thanks to her (seriously, Keeper of the Lost Cities, it's going to be the next Harry Potter, trust me).  I can't wait to see what Shannon has in store for Vane and Audra next, but I'll pretty much follow her stories anywhere she takes them.

5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I received an ARC of this book last year, but I never got around to it, and then when I saw Dan was coming here for the Dark Days tour I decided I would read at least one book from all of the authors.  Having never read Dan's first novel, and seeing that the synopsis for this book was a little vague I wasn't quite sure what I would find within, but I was pleased with the result.  Despite having a female main character this is one of those books that could very well appeal to either sexes, which can be a little hard to do with the romance that can cover the pages of YA these days.  There were a few things I loved about this book.  One, THE PLAGUE!!!! Okay, so you all know how much I love a good plague, but what I loved even more about THIS one was that some people were IMMUNE!  This NEVER happens! FINALLY someone has done it right.  Second, the idea.  I am not aware of any YA novel that's exactly like this book, which can be hard to do in a world where it seems like there are no new ideas, (just to make this clear I'm not saying there are no new ideas, just that it seems that way sometimes) so when you come across a fresh one it's refreshing.  Three, yes there is romance, but no it doesn't take over.  This makes the book appealing to both genders, and the male humor in the book was fun.  There were some parts of the book that may have shocked/surprised some, and although that didn't happen with me I was still pleased with the twists the plot took, and even how it was wrapped up in the end.  I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series, as well as meeting Dan in person.  Fans of dystopian and sci-fi will eat this story up, and the action will be enough to entertain both males and females.

4.5/5 dust spirits