Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: December 2010

Published :December 7, 2010 by Penguin Group (USA)
Hardback, 610 pages
Series: Vampire Academy Book 6

Summary from Goodreads:  Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.

She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you

My Review (Contains Spoilers):

Seriously, stop reading, right now if you don't want anything spoiled

Okay, I've given you enough warning, if you read any farther, it is your own fault.

DIMITRI AND ROSE END UP TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, so maybe that wasn't that much of a spoiler, as I 'm sure many of you already figured they would end up together. It was just meant to be, and wouldn't  have made sense if it ended any other way, right? Okay, enough of my randomness.

Rose Hathaway has been locked away, accused of murdering Queen Tatiana. She's frustrated beyond all belief about being caged like an animal, but she has faith that her friends will be able to find evidence that proves her innocence. Unfortunately, her trial date get moves closer. They only have 2 weeks. Which gives them absolutely NO time. It's hopeless, there's no way they'll be able to save her.... * Cue dramatic music*

Okay, you didn't REALLY believe that last part, did you? I hope not. If you did, I'm disappointed, because you should know her friends better than that. They're not going to let her sit in a cell, when the odds are stacked against her like that. They all band together to break her out. How? Well, it involves explosives, but that's all I'm going to tell you. Christian, Lissa, Adrian, Mikhail, Sydney, Rose's mom, Abe, Eddie, even Dimitri. They're all involved in some way. It could get them all in MAJOR trouble if anyone found out, but no one cares. Rose is innocent, so they'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

They ( and I won't say who goes with her) whisk her to a small town where--hopefully--no one will think to look. The intention being to lay low, while the others figure out a way to clear her name. Yeah, right. Rose doesn't like this idea at all. she feels like she should be out there helping. Doing something, anything, to help. She is used to protecting people, NOT having people protect her. She HATES having the shoe on the other foot. So at first, of course she puts up resistance (She wouldn't be Rose if she didn't). Then she realizes that there IS a way to help. She can find Lissa's half-sibling. Of course she has to convince her travel buddies first...

Victor makes an appearance as well, claiming that he can help, but Rose is hesitant, and understandably so. Because after all, Victor has never proven himself to be a trustworthy person.

The book took many twists and turns, some I expected, some I did not. For example, Tatiana's real murderer took me completely by surprise. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out who the bad guy is, but nope. Not this time. So I have to say good job to Richelle Mead, who picked the least likely suspect to use as the baddie.

I liked the fact that, despite the seriousness of Rose's situation, there were still moments that were absolutely hilarious. If you read the book already you know what I'm talking about.

Over all, I'm very very happy with the way it all ended. The only exception being how it was left with Adrian. I was rooting for him just as much as I was rooting for Dimitri. I wanted so bad for them BOTH to get a happy ending, so seeing it ended between Adrian and Rose that way was just completely heartbreaking.

With the spinoff series coming out, and from what I've heard about it, we'll definitely be seeing more of Adrian, so that means he can still get his happy ending!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Defiance by Lili St. Crow

My Rating: 5 stars
Date Read: April 2011

Published: April 19, 2011 by Penguin/Razorbill
Paperback, 259 pages
Series: Strange Angels book 4

Summary from Goodreads:
The heart-stopping fourth novel in New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series.

Now that sixteen-year-old Dru's worst fears have come true and Sergej has kidnapped her best friend Graves, she'll have to go on a suicidal rescue mission to bring him back in one piece. That is, if she can put all of Christophe's training to good use, defeat her mother's traitor, Anna, once and for all, and manage to survive another day . . .

My review: (May contain some spoilers)

Dru has been lied to and betrayed over and over again, and now she's sick of it. She feels like she's a pawn in a jacked-up game, and to make it worse, she doesn't know who she can trust anymore. Well, except  for Graves and Ash. She trusts and believes in them completely, beyond a shadow of a doubt. But everyone else--even Cristophe-- well they're all big question marks. So now Dru is done being a good girl. She is doing things her way now, and is determined to take back control of her life.

Dru is one of my favorie heroines, right up there with Katniss, Rose Hathaway, Katsa, Fire, and  quite a few others. You won't find her playing a Damsel in Distress. She can take care of herself, and won't wait on anyone to save her, and even if she can't, well... that's not going to stop her from trying. And the more you tell her she can't do something, the more likely she is to do it anyways, especially if it involves helping someone she cares about.

You know, I understand that Cristophe is jealous of Graves, but I onestly don't see him as any kind of bad guy. And I'm still really torn as to which one I want Dru ending up with.

Is it weird that I'm kind of in love with Ash? I mean, Graves and Cristophe are completely and totally awesome, but there's just something about Ash..... OKAY, you can stop thinking I'm crazy now.

Well, to finish up my review, I just want to say that this series just keep getting better and better, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: December 2010

Published: December 2, 2010 by Dutton
Hardback, 372 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped   off to a boarding school in Paris -- until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna--and readers--have long awaited? 

My Review:

First of all, don't let the title of the book throw you off.

Three words that perfectly describe how I felt about this book: I. LOVED. IT. (With about a bajillion   
exclamation points)
Anna Oliphant (I love that name, by the way) is spending her senior year of high school at a fancy boarding school in Paris. You think that'd be a dream come true, right? Wrong. She hates that she has to leave her mom, her little brother, her friends, her almost boyfriend Toph, everything. But once she gets there, she decides to give it a chance, and things really start to look up for her when she meets  the charming Etienne St. Clair. Too bad he already has a girlfriend... 
To be honest, I didn't think that I would like this book when I first got it. I thought it was going to be about a bunch of rich kids whining and boo-hooing. ( I find myself very annoyed when I read books with characters like that). But I was WRONG WRONG WRONG. And let me tell you that was a definite relief. I loved Anna, she wears jeans and t-shirts, is kind of a neat freak, and has a gap in her teeth. She was a very likeable  character and I found that I could relate to her easily.

And Etienne, wow. He's sweet, funny, charming, not to mention sexy, and he has a swoon-worthy accent. What girl wouldn't fall in love with him?

After reading this book, I want to go spend the rest of my  senior year at S.O.A.P. Who wants to come with me?

I loved the story, it didn't have any slow or boring parts, and my thoughts didn't start to wander to other things while I was reading.

Anna and the French Kiss was just a completely amazing book, it blew me away. Definitely one of the best books I've read in 2010.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitpatrick

My Rating: 5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:  Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but atleast she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperatly searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

My Review:
WOW. That pretty much sums up the entire book with just one word don't you think? I just can't believe I have to wait so long for the next installment, because the ending killed me. Stupid cliffhanger ending. They get me worked up every single time, which, I guess, is the point.

At times, I was pretty frustrated with Patch, just like Nora was. But he does what he does to keep her safe, because he really does love her. And then Scott is thrown into the mix. Gosh, I wanted to slap him a few times. Okay, more than a few, But something kept nagging at the back of my mind saying he wasn't all bad, and he did end up being a not-so-bad bad guy. I get the feeling that there might possibly be a love triangle in the next book. Maybe. Hopefully. *wink-wink*

So now I will try to wait very very patiently for the next book. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Original Sin

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine,that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my pick is...

Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers (Sequel to Personal Demons)
Expected publication: July 5, 2011

Summary from GoodReads:
Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.
Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.
Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp. And not everyone will get out of it alive.

Why I can't wait:Well, there is Babe, Ahem, Gabe, who I'm guessing gets a bigger role in this book. And then there's the dangerous but sexy Luc. That's pretty much all it takes. ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Review: The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Date Read: June 6, 2010
My Rating:4 Stars

Summary (Taken from GoodReads)
Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

My Review: I wasn't sure about this book at first. I mean, I already knew who Bree was. She was one of the newborns who was made to kill Bella, right? Wrong. There's actually so much more to her character, and I actually ended up liking her. She's able to control her bloodlust, which is one of the reasons she made it as far as she did. She managed to make friends  (one of which probably would have turned into more than just friendship had they survived.) and together they figured out that they were being lied to. I'm not going to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I do suggest you read this. Especially if you've read the rest of Meyer's books.

(I'm actually interested to see what became of Fred. If you've already read the book, you'll know who I'm talking about. I wonder if Stephenie Meyer would consider writing another short story from his POV)

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: Dec 2, 2010 to Dec 4, 2010

Summary (Taken from GoodReads):

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Review: Anybody remember The Stepford Wives?? Well that's kind of what Matched reminds me of... Not 100% but close.

Cassia lives in a world where basically everything is decided for you. When you marry, who you marry, where you work, what you eat, when you die, etc.

On the night of Cassia's Match banquet, she gets matched to her best friend Xander, and she couldn't be happier. It's everything she could have hoped for. But, right before the screen fades to black, she sees another face. Her neighbor Ky. But that's not possible because, as The Society has informed her, it was just a glitch, a mistake. And even though Cassia has always, without a doubt, believed what The Society has told her, she can't stop thinking about Ky. She is drawn to him the same way he is drawn to her. And, against all odds, they begin to fall in love, which is against the "rules". What makes it even more dangerous, is the fact that they both have secrets that could get them in alot of trouble should anyone find out.

So what happens? do Ky and Cassia get their happily ever after? Well, I'm OBVIOUSLY not going to tell you that. read the book and find out for yourself. But I will say this: I have a feeling that this series is going to get reeeeally popular.

Edited to add:
Wow, look at the cover for Crossed! If this cover is anything to go by, it looks like Cassia is finally breaking free of that bubble that the Society has her in. You go girl! I can't wait until this book comes out so I can see what else happens to Cassia, Ky and Xander.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon

My rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: March 31 to April 2

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads)

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.
My review:
Magic, mystery, romance, what more could I ask for?
I am a sucker for Fairytales/Fairytales re-told. If you sit a book like that in front of me, I'm not goingto be able to resist it. I'm particularly fond of Beauty and the Beast and The Twelve Dancing Princesses, so when I found out about this book last year, I knew I had to read it. So, did it live up to my expectations? Oh,yeah. It was all that and a bag of chips. :)
Teddie, Fairweller, and Bradford, oh my!
Three oh-so-charming male characters that I couldn't help but love. All equally, might I add. Okay, so it might have helped that only one of them had a thing for Azalea. (Despite a slight case of mistaken identity)
As always, I loved the relationship between Azalea and her sisters. She is the oldest and therefore the mother figure to her little sisters. I don't remember in any of the other versions of The Twelve Dancing Princesses where their father came off as so... mean. But, I liked that particular twist to the story. It made things more interesting, and I liked watching them come together as a family with a stronger relationship at the end.
Heather Dixon has done an amazing job with this book, and I can't wait to see what she decides to write next.