Sunday, 16 October 2011

Vanish by Sophie Jordan (Review)

Genre: Paranormal
Number of Pages: 323
For ages 13+
***CAUTION: This review may have spoilers for the first book. so if you plan on reading Firelight, then don't read this review!***
"To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever." -Goodreads

I thought Firelight was fantastic, so I was super excited to get VANISH. And I was lucky enough to get it the day after I finished Firelight! Also, not only was I sick LAST week, this week I had an eye infection, so I couldn't go to school. More reading time!

As if Jacinda hadn't gone through enough in the first book, she has to leave Will and take the risk of him completely forgetting why she left. She also has to deal with the grief with having to take her mom and sister away from their finally normal life. All on top of that, her twin sister has FINALLY manifested into a shader, an extremely rare draki. She's been through QUITE a lot, if I say so myself.

Was there romance in this book? Uhhh YOU BET THERE WAS. I hope Sophie wanted some of the readers to swoon over Cassian, because I totally did. At first, I was set on Will. I really was, but the moment Cassian turned on the romance between him and Jacinda, I was team Cassian. And... then I was team Will... and then team Cassian again. I was seriously going insannneeee. So, by the end I was team Will/Cassian. IT'S ALLOWED, OKAY?!

There wasn't one boring part in this book. I was always waiting to see what was next. Sophie did an amazing job with the relationships between all of the characters. And even though I wasn't too fond of Jacinda's mother in the first book, I really grew to like her in this book. You could see she really did care for her daughters. She didn't fight coming back into the pride that she tried to get AWAY from. I also felt bad for her mom. She was so depressed with staying in the pride, and her daughters being unhappy, that she became numb. She'd go to work, come home, and go straight to her room. I really came to appreciate her.

This book was fantastic, and didn't have a case of the sequel-in-a-trilogy-blues. Thank goodness! It was a refreshing read that had the same characters you came to know and love in Firelight! Definitely recommend it! 5 out of 5 diva crowns! :)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Review)

Genre: Paranormal
Number of Pages: 323
For ages 13+

"A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide." -Goodreads

I had gotten this book quite a while ago, and until recently, I forgot I had it. (I'm always losing books. I need a bookcase.) I needed something to read after reading LOLA in four hours, and I found this one on a stack of books! We have about four stacks piling. They're mostly my mom's. We're a family of avid readers. ;)
I think I read this book in about 3 days. I would have probably read it in about one or two days if I didn't have play practice until 5:30 every day. But you know, pickers can't be choosers!

This book was a divine read that I couldn't put down. I literally had to tear myself from the book before my teacher yelled at me to stop reading. Jacinda was someone that you could sympathize with from the very start. I was wanting her to make decisions that I wouldn't have ever been able to make in reality. She had to be ripped away from all she ever knew, and she had to give up part of personality. I felt for Jacinda throughout the whole book. At times, I was furious with her mother to believe Jacinda would be fine with letting her draki self die off. I really connected with Jacinda.

I loved the "forbidden love" aspect in this book. Call me crazy, but there's something more appealing to it, and that's probably why a lot of romances in books are like that. Will and Jacinda were perfect for each other, even if their two "societies" didn't believe so. Jacinda had to do a lot of fighting with herself in this book. She kept going back and forth with her feelings for Will. Which kind of annoyed me, because I wanted to shake that girl and say, "GET A GRIP! BE TOGETHER." But that's just my bold personality coming out. ;) You're probably wondering,"Jewelz, did Will meet the swoon worthy requirements?!?!" I'm sure you really aren't too worried about that, but I like to think you are. To answer your question, though, yes, he definitely, DEFINITELY did meet those requirements. I'm kind of testing how many names I can put on my list before it becomes ridiculous and I' have to think of something else creative to show all of my favorite male characters.

At times, I did get a little frustrated with Jacinda's mother and sister. I was frustrated with the point that they thought Jacinda would be completely dandy with losing half of herself. They thought she'd just be normal afterwards, nothing would happen. When in reality, she probably would never have been the same. I know I don't usually talk about my problems with characters attitudes in books, but this really irritated me.

I was thinking about it when I was looking around in the book store today, and I realized that reading so many amazing complex books that are paranormal, or dystopian, or fantasy, that I'm kind of a complex book snob. (The first step is admitting it.) But really it's true. I just can't read contemporary as much as I used to. I love me some paranormal romance. And it's books like this one, that make me love paranormal so much.

This book was fantastic, and I loved it completely. I found no flaws whatsoever. The characters were completely believable, the plot was fantastic, and the romance was refreshing. I give it 5 out of 5 diva crowns!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Review)

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: 338
For ages 14+ for some strong language

"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door." -Goodreads

*CAUTION: This may be a lengthy review just because I stinkin' loved this book.*

OH MY STINKING GOODNESS! So when I first got this package, I was at school. I pre-ordered it to get it the day it came out and I was just counting the hours until play practice was over to come home and GET MY PACKAGE! So, when I see my mother has laid it on the steps in all it's brown cardboard beauty I literally squealed. Unfortunately, Amazon likes to make things difficult for me, so it was quite a process to open it. I refused to use anything but my hands, so this process took me about 5 minutes. You should know, though, that I have the strength of an elementary school child. (And not even a STRONG elementary school child!) When I finally got it open I squealed in even more excitement, which my older brother did not appreciate.

Maybe now I should actually REVIEW this book. I'm sure you all would enjoy that. Wouldn't you?

I find it ABSOLUTELY amazing that an author like Stephanie can make you automatically connect with a character in the first five pages. I'm not even joking. I literally fell in love with Lola's personality in a matter of minutes. She's got a personality that sticks to you like glue. You can't help but thinking like her when you're reading. I read this whole book in about four hours. And yes, it was a weekday. But no, I was not at school. Unfortunately, I'm sick. The fortunate part of being sick? LOTS of reading time. I barely stopped reading this book. So, I was thinking like Lola almost those whole four hours. I probably was thinking a little bit like her OUTSIDE of reading this book.

Another thing of the many things I liked about this book, was the similarities between Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Sometimes, similarities can be a bad thing. But other times, they can be quite refreshing. It was amazing to see that all of the things you loved in ANNA were coming back in different ways in LOLA. I mean, these reasons are the reason that Anna and the French Kiss is my favorite book. So to have these similarities, in the same style, by the same author, it just makes another divine book.

Can I just take a moment here to SWOON? I really hope none of you are getting tired of this. Cricket. He's definitely a BIG competitor against Etienne. Etienne who? JUST JOKING! I WOULD NEVER DO THAT, ETIENNE! ...I mean, what? *crickets chirp* CRICKET?! WHERE?! But yeah... he's.... he's pretty cool... I'm pretty sure Stephanie is in my head and knows how to make me swoon because she's done it to me two books in a row. Look at that column over there ----> See a specific name under a specific list? Just wonderin'...

Something I would just like to say here is, I never liked Matt, I never will. There may have been some people who kind of liked him in the beginning, and I'm okay with that. I mean, he was alright, I guess, *SPOILER ALERT!* but after they broke up he was beyond a complete jerk(I would totally be adding a bad word here to describe him if I used that kind of language.), and I definitely did not like him after that. HE vexed the heck out of me. (See what reading does to my vocabulary? Reading, kids. It's what makes you smart.) *You may now return to my marvelous review!*

I was super excited to find that Stephanie had incorporated Anna and St. Clair multiple times into the story. Lola works at the same movie theater that Anna did in Anna and the French Kiss. Let me tell you, St. Clair? Still swoon worthy as ever. I was ecstatic to see that Anna and St. Clair's relationship was still in full swing. Anna was still her awesome self, and hadn't lost any of her personality from ANNA.

Now the question is, which book will reign as my favorite now? DON'T ASK ME THAT! ...I need to wrap my ill head around this. Maybe I can choose when I don't have a body temperature that's rising to another fever. Until then, it will be ANNA, just because I'm not losing my obsession for Paris, France ANY time soon.

You probably should have known how many diva crowns this book was gonna get by the second paragraph. If you didn't then you need to get better inferring skills. JUST JOKING, I LOVE YOU! ...I need to stop before this gets out of hand. This book gets 5 out of 5 diva crowns. As if there was any question!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Banished by Sophie Littlefield (Review)

Genre: Paranormal
Number of Pages: 304
For ages 13+

"There isn’t much worth living for in Gypsum, Missouri—or Trashtown, as the rich kids call the run-down neighborhood where sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell lives. Hailey figures she’ll never belong—not with the popular kids at school, not with the rejects, not even with her cruel, sickly grandmother, who deals drugs out of their basement. Hailey never knew her dead mother, and she has no idea who her father was, but at least she has her four-year-old foster brother, Chub. Once she turns eighteen, Hailey plans to take Chub far from Gypsum and start a new life where no one can find them.

But when a classmate is injured in gym class, Hailey discovers a gift for healing that she never knew she possessed—and that she cannot ignore. Not only can she heal, she can bring the dying back to life. Confused by her powers, Hailey searches for answers but finds only more questions, until a mysterious visitor shows up at Gram’s house, claiming to be Hailey’s aunt Prairie.
There are people who will stop at nothing to keep Hailey in Trashtown, living out a legacy of despair and suffering. But when Prairie saves both Hailey and Chub from armed attackers who invade Gram’s house in the middle of the night, Hailey must decide where to place her trust. Will Prairie’s past, and the long-buried secret that caused her to leave Gypsum years earlier, ruin them all? Because as Hailey will soon find out, their power to heal is just the beginning."-Goodreads

My mom's friend brought over this book while I was at school, and told my mom that I should read it, and boy am I glad she did!

I probably had this for about a week and a half, and I did have a little trouble getting into it. This book also reminded me of Beautiful Creatures. The girl lived in a small town, had an evil family member, had special powers, sounds all the same. Thankfully, that was all the similarities these books had.

I really liked Hailey, the main character. She went through a lot of pain and suffering. The only way she knew how to love was because of Chub, the little boy her grandmother "adopted." Hailey had much more responsibility than a teenager needed. Her grandmother was always having clients over to sell drugs, and she had to take care of Chub all on her own. She also had a power that she couldn't understand. All she knew was that she was drawn to heal people when they were hurt.

There was no romance in this book. Which I wasn't too happy about when I first started, but I found to like this book, anyways. Although, I did get a feeling that there was maybe a spark between Kaz and Hailey. Who knows? Maybe there will be some romance in the second book. But if I like a book that has no romance in it, that means that it was PRETTY DARN GOOD!

I loved Hailey's aunt, Prarie. She had never met Hailey,yet she loved her from the very start. I liked the special bond that Hailey and Prarie made along the way. They got closer and closer on their journey. Another thing I liked about Prarie was how she didn't even second guess loving Chub. Prarie also had to deal with the terribleness of Hailey's grandmother, who was Prarie's mother. (So, when I wrote that word "terribleness" I didn't actually think it was a word, but there isn't a red squiggly line, so I guess it is! You can learn new things every time you read my reviews.) She ran away from home, and then had to deal with the grief of her sister's death.

Over all, this book was pretty stinkin' awesome. I wish I could have gotten into it easier, but we can't always get what we want (OH my word, Yo Gabba Gabba is filling my head with poison.) Even with no romance, though, it was amazing, so I definitely recommend this to Beautiful Creatures lovers or lovers of paranormal books! 4 diva crowns!