Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Published November 15th 2011 by Harper/HarperCollins

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.               

Rating: 4/5
Let me just start off by saying that this book is undoubtedly well written! Well written to the point that it's practically a form of art in text form! 

But at the same time... the book kind of didn't meet my expectations. This book is incredibly hard for me to review because I have such conflicted feelings about this book! Don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy it. A lot, in fact. It's just that some aspects of this book just kind of got on my nerves.

Let's start with the GOOD:
  • The language! Good God, the language! Why oh why can't I be all artsy and think in the beautiful way that Tahereh Mafi did in this book?! There's something just so beautiful in the metaphors she uses that has a certain je ne sais quoi, but believe me, this writing will blow your mind.
  • the brilliant idea to take away something so necessary in human life, the ability to touch, and write a book about it
  • The Boys. OK WAIT. I promise this is not because I am book-boy-obsessed. At least, not completely... The three main boys that I really like in this book are Adam, Kenji, and Warner. The three of them are so different that you can't really compare them together because Mafi did such a great job making them so unique! Adam is the...God, I want to say "generic" hero, but I feel like that sounds bad! Simply put, he is the ideal/classic "hero" and while some people may find that clich├ęd, but hey, I like his romantic side! Then there's Kenji....oh Kenji, I absolutely loved his character! He is practically the opposite of Adam, but I loved him anyway. He is funny as heck, and there's definitely more than meets the eye about him. Then, there's Warner. The bad guy. Yes, he is the villain, but... it's just so darn hard to hate him! There's something vulnerable about him and I think that you can tell that he's had a harsh upbringing that's made him who he is. Plus the whole villain thing just kind of makes him cooler. AND he's a complex character, and I love those! 
Then we have the Bad(-ish)
  • Juliette. Oh God, that sounds really bad doesn't it? The fact that I don't really like the main character? But really, it's not that I don't like her, it's just that sometimes, she has these moments that annoys the heck out of me! I completely understand that she's had a super harsh life that's emotionally injured her---and believe me, I LOVED the kindness and goodness she still retained despite all that--and I get why she she starts the novel as a weak girl... but I personally didn't really feel like she ever really overcame that and emerged a stronger person. The entire book, she's either blushing or crying or feeling weak in the knees or trembling.... and it all just got to be too much you know? Like, enough is enough! Toughen up girl! Another thing about her that really just rubbed me the wrong way was how hypocritical she could be at times. Throughout the book, she would emphasize over and over again how she DOES NOT want to hurt anyone, but at the same time, every time she sees Warner, she's fantasizing about punching his face or breaking his bones! I mean, what the heck!?
  • Aside from the above, the other things that I didn't really like were just technicalities: The concept of the book, the fact that Juliette can't touch anyone, I at first thought was absolutely brilliant! Then... I started to notice the X-men-esque influence... which made the whole idea... just not that fresh anymore. Shatter Me and X-men are by no means the same, but I just couldn't help noticing the similarities. Aside from that, while I previously stated that I LOVED the language of this book, I would like to say that there were just way too many metaphors. Literally, there's probably at least one metaphor on every. Single. Page. This stylistic tendency definitely helped the overall artistic angle of the book and many of them will blow your mind with their beauty, but goodness gracious, there's just a little overkill here...

Oh gosh, it probably sounds like I hate this book, BUT I REALLY DON'T. Honestly, I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends because the way it's written is just so original and breathtakingly beautiful! Will I be reading the sequel. YES. (But please, just please let Juliet get a little tougher!)

Some examples of beautiful writing...
“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”  

The world is flat.
I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I've been trying to hold on for seventeen years. I've been trying to climb back up for seventeen years but it's nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.

“I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder how they're always falling down, tripping over their feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.” 

“You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.”  

“Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.”

Soul Screamers Reading Challenge!

So, I discovered this series quite a while ago and let's just say that I got rather... obsessed.

Not. Kidding.

I totally devoured these books! So when I found this challenge, I thought it was perfect since I've been meaning to rave about this series. Plus, it gives me extra incentive to finally,finally read If I Die (which I bought forever ago but never got around to reading).

To find out more about this challenge/sign up, go to HERE.

Just btdubbs.... I HIGHLY recommend this series!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word

Don't Breathe a Word
by Holly Cupala
Published January 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen

Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

-goodreads blurb

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Wow. I like a good fluffy chick-lit as much as the next girl, but from time to time, I love reading a book like this: absolutely raw and emotional (I admit, I got a little emotional towards the end) and addresses some major contemporary problems. You don't normally see a book like this very often and as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I was going to like it--but boy, I did not expect to like it this much!

This book tackles so many contemporary issues--like, really tough and intense issues--and does it so well that I don't even know where to begin!

Joy has a seemingly great life complete with a rich, popular boyfriend, but looks can be deceiving because the guy, Asher, is a total creep! At the end of the book I seriously wanted to smack him! Their relationship was unhealthy (practically poisonous!) from the start and only spirals downward, but Joy was quite amazing in how strong she was. Normally, when you think of a girl in an abusive relationship, you don't really picture her as being uber strong, but I thought she really was. She put up with his mind games and practically sacrificed herself to protect her family. But when it was finally too much to take, she left, choosing a solution that would not endanger her family. For that, I applaud her. Because really, I certainly wouldn't have had the courage to just give everything up and start living on the streets!

Then, enter Creed, Santos, and May. These guys eventually become a new family for Joy, reborn Triste. I loved every single one of them! Even May. Though it did take some time for me to warm up to her...but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her, especially when I realized how self-sacrificing she was. Santos was lovable to no end and I thought he was so sweet to teach Joy/Triste survival skills on the streets. And, of course, we can't forget about Creed! Loved him! He's the protector of the group who's always looking out for all three of them. His dream is to be a musician and like Joy, he didn't grow up on the streets. He ran away from something bad too and, honestly guys, the two of them are like kindred spirits!

It was so fascinating to read about how people on the streets survive---dumpster-diving, shoplifting, sleeping in abandoned houses or under a bridge (really), and making alliances on the streets, etc.--  and it really opened my eyes. In my opinion, there should definitely be more books like these!

Some people might think that the ending wraps itself up very nicely--a little too nicely. But I'm just going to come right out and say that I, for one, thought it was great. OK, yes, the happy ending isn't exactly reflective of most real-life scenarios, but I like my happy endings goshdarnit!

(but I wouldn't recommend this to young kids due to risky topics such as theft, drug abuse, prostitution, and violence)

"When the worst happens and you still survive, it sets you free from fear."

He had reduced me to ashes.
And now I would rise."

“Maybe that's why he watched over all of us--because of the ones he couldn't protect, he took care of the ones he could.”  

“At home, they'd clipped my wings and then caged me so I couldn't fall. Here, they bandaged one another's broken wings, helped each other fly.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Graves

My Book Boyfriend is a (super duper fun) meme hosted by Missie over at the Unread Reader. Basically, you just give the stats of your current literary crush along with some swoonworthy quotes. If you want, go check out her introductory post here

This week, the book boy I am in love with is Graves from the Strange Angels series. I recently just got the last book in the series and am so super psyched because literally, the love triangle in this series is so freaking unpredictable! I would think Dru would end up with one guy but then BAM! There's a Moment with another guy. Personally, I'm a total Graves fan, not that Christophe doesn't have his swoonworthy moments, but Graves...
  • is super sweet to Dru--he never abandoned her even when she got him into some dangerous situations
  •  has had a hard life. Really. The boy was living in the mall when Dru first meets him
  • is half asian--with piercing green eyes
  • is a loup-garou
  • starts off kind of "wimpy" at the beginning, but you get to see him grow stronger with each book
  • always wears his signature black duster
  • is pretty funny, in my opinion
  • is, to put it simply, a super dependable rock :)
“Graves scooched a little closer to me, and I didn't even think about it. I put my arms around him and hugged. I didn't care if it hurt my arm and my ribs and my neck and pretty much every other part of me, my heart most of all. When you're wrecked, that's the only thing to do, right? Hold onto whatever you can. Hold on hard.” 

Dru: "Thanks."
Graves: "No problem. First one’s free."

Dru: You should wear some gloves.
Graves: Ruins the image.
Dru: You’ll goddamn well freeze to death.
Graves: Hey, we’ve got to suffer for beauty. Chicks don’t go for guys in gloves.

“You've got a better chance with me, Dru. Don't do something stupid again. If something happens, it's you and me against the world. Got it?”

“The only one," he murmured. His chin dipped a little bit. "You know that, Dru? You're the only person who's ever believed in me. You know what that'll do to a guy?"
"It makes him want to live up to it.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
by Cassandra Clare
Published December 6th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Rating: 5/5

Wow. Just plain wow. You ever come across one of those books where once you've read the last page, you're just like Wait, what? It's over already?! Yeah, this is definitely one of those books. I. Want. More. NOW.

Kudos, props, cheers, and many bravos to Cassandra Clare for writing such an ineffably amazing book! Believe me, I liked Clockwork Angel, but honestly? It's got nothing on Clockwork Prince! This book was absolutely magnificent. The whole Victorian London was impeccably described and extremely vivid! I'm normally not a huge fan of historical fiction. I'm rather finicky, but this rendering of London totally fascinated me!

And the characters! Oh, the characters! Oh, my goodness, all the characters in this book were wonderful. They all had such great personalities and depth and I loved every single one of them, major or minor, good or bad. Tessa was great! Courageous, loving, humble, and book nerd! Really, it doesn't get better than that! Then, there's Will, the object of much of my affection. Goodness gracious, I want to meet a real life Will Herondale! You get so much more insight into Will in this book, and I swear, if you are Team Will, you will undoubtedly fall even more in love with him! And then there's Jem. Oh Jem, he is just so gosh darn kind and and heart-breakingly sweet! 

UNFORTUNATELY, Jem, you made me so freaking frustrated in this book! Literally, there was a Moment (if you've read this, you know what this Moment is) when you had me out of my seat screaming "NO!" at the book and stomping my feet. If you were Team Jem, then maybe you were screaming yes, but me personally? I was devastated. Gosh darn this heart-wrenching love triangle! I like both guys and I want them both to have a happy ending, but I just can't help feeling that one of them will get hurt in the end...

Also, the humor in this book is just fabulous! I am a huge fan of Clare's dry and witty humor! The things that some of the characters said had me quietly guffawing (quietly or else people next to me will think I'm crazy...) And can I just say, that the very fact that Cassandra Clare got me to fall in love with a book written in 3rd person is an achievement in and of itself? Normally, I stay the heck away from those types of books because I just have a hard time connecting with the characters and just...don't really like it. But this book! Oh my, the different changes in character POV made it absolutely perfect! I had no trouble connecting with every character--believe me, you will get emotionally invested in the story.

I seriously cannot think of enough good things to say about this book! And because I'm running out of good adjectives, I will end the review here. BUT SERIOUSLY. GO READ THIS!

SOME of my favorite quotes...
“I feel myself dissolving, vanishing into nothingness, for if there is no one in the world who cares for you, do you really exist at all?”

“Did you just kiss me?" Will inquired.
Magnus made a slip-second decision. "No."
"I thought-"
"On occasion the aftereffects of the painkilling spells can result in hallucinations of the most bizarre sort."
"Oh," Will said. "How peculiar.” 

“His beauty did not blaze like Will's did in fierce colors and repressed fire, but it had its own muted perfection, the loveliness of snow falling against a silver gray sky.”

“We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

Demon pox, oh, demon pox,
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh, demon pox I had it all along—
No, not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!”

“Will!” Charlotte shouted over the noise. “Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET!”

“She had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each one of them from the other.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Hunter Allen

My Book Boyfriend is hosted by Missie at the Unread Reader. Read all about it here.

This week I find myself swooning (again) for Hunter Allen from Jennifer Echols's Love Story
Sigh. YOU GUYS, I cannot say enough how much I absolutely adore the concept of this book:

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

Oh, my goodness, I don't know how she does it but Jennifer Echols just does such a fantastic job at creating these complex and thoroughly addicting-to-read-about relationships!
But enough about the book---let me tell you about Hunter!

He is...
  • originally from New York but only has a faint accent when saying words like coffee
  • worked as a stableboy at Erin's grandmother's horse farm
  • blonde-haired and intensely blue-eyed---"My God--Hunter's body. Are those muscles from being a stable boy?"
  • really smart--"like a fox"--likes to test people and be in control
  • good at hiding his emotions
  • really protective of Erin
argh! You ever feel like no matter what you say, you're not really doing somebody/something justice? That's exactly how I feel describing Hunter! Hopefully, these quotes will convince you just how amazing he is :)

“Hit him."
"Don't make her do that," Hunter told Tommy. "She'll break her hand.”

"I don't want to hear it," Hunter interrupted him. "Mrs. Blackwell wanted to see her and I didn't know how else to get her on the airplane. Around here I could have slung her over my shoulder, but they frown on that in New York."

"We were already in school by then. Your friends had made fun of me. I was twelve. My higher brain functions weren't fully developed. I was so in love with you."

“I love you.”
I stared stupidly at him. Was he joking again, reciting another line from my story? I didn’t remember writing this.
He leaned in and kissed me. I didn’t respond for a few seconds. My mind lagged behind what my body was feeling.
“Say it,” he whispered against my lips. “I know this is hard for you. Tell me.”
“I love you.” Hearing my own words, I gasped at the rush of emotion.
He put his hands on either side of my jaw and took my mouth with his. 

Friday, January 13, 2012


Ok, you guys know that the picks for the Hunger Games cast is not exactly my favorite, to say the least.
...Mostly because Josh Hutcherson is not my ideal Peeta.

BUT! All hope is not lost, for I just heard a rumor that, quite possibly, Finnick Odair (aka my second favorite Hunger Games guy) is going to be played by Benjamin Stone! British cutie extraordinaire! :D

Some of you might know him as Alek from Nine Lives of Chloe King and ohmygoodness can I just say his cocky demeanor on the show is exactly how I imagined Finnick would be?!

So, fingers crossed that Ben will be chosen for the Hunger Games!

meanwhile, feel free to enjoy some pictures of his attractiveness :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Crossed

Crossed (Matched #2)
by Ally Condie
Published November 1st 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.


Rating: 3.... maybe 3.5 out of 5
Meh. That's how I would sum up my entire reaction to the book. Meh. I mean, it's not that the book was bad or anything... when I first found out about the sequel, I was SO excited for it, especially to read from Ky's POV. I felt like the first book was good/okay, a kind of step-stool to launch the next books.... but unfortunately this sequel fell short of my expectations. 

I don't know about others people who've read this book, but it seemed as if, all of a sudden, Condie introduced this new unknown enemy entity called "The Enemy." I mean, what the heck?! I thought the two sides were the Resistance and the Society, but out of nowhere, Condie adds this third player who apparently bombs the outer provinces and is anti-Society. But they're not with the Resistance either??? I was beyond confused, and Condie didn't really give any explanation whatsoever.

As for the characters, I enjoyed the new people introduced, but I feel like I lost some of my love for Cassia. She was an okay character, but let's face it, the main character should not be just okay. Personally, I much preferred reading Ky's chapters. Ky was definitely the sustaining aspect of the novel for me. I really enjoyed getting to know more about his past, the experiences that made him who he is, and more depth to his character that I never knew in the first book.

Also, I found the chemistry between Cassia and Ky somewhat.... lacking. Maybe it was because it had been such a long time since I read the first book and I simply forgot, or whatever, but the point is: here was Cassia risking everything to find Ky in the Outer Provinces, and here was Ky rushing back into the dangerous capital to be with Cassia, and the whole time I'm wondering, what on earth warranted such extreme actions? I mean, I know they were in love, but I just didn't seem to remember that their connection was that strong, that it was worth doing all the super risky stuff they were doing. It was all Romeo-and-Juliet-esque in a way.....

Condie's writing is undoubtedly beautiful---poetic in a way. There are numerable quotable phrases (as you will see below).... but....I don't really know how to explain it, but I feel like all the flowery language took away from me really connecting to the characters... like it was too flowery and poetic all the time. 

Despite how this review sounds, I'm pretty sure I will be reading the next book. Mainly because I want to find out what happens...and also because I absolutely hate leaving a series unfinished. It's really not that the book is bad--in fact, one of my friends thinks highly of it--it's just that it wasn't that good, in my opinion. 

 “In the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.”

I love.
The most reckless thing of all.” 

“Love has different shades. Like the way I loved Cassia when I thought she'd never love me. The way I loved her on the Hill. The way I love her now that she came into the canyon for me. It's different. Deeper. I thought I loved her and wanted her before, but as we walk through the canyon together I realize this could be more than a new shade. A whole new color.”
(this is my favorite quotes!) 

“Cassia and I sit as near to each other as we can. She leans into me and I keep my arms around her. I don't fool myself that I hold her together- she does that on her own- but holding her keeps me from flying apart.”  

“No one knows anything," Vick says. "Except Ky. He thinks he's found the truth in a girl.”  


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Will Herondale

If you guys want to read more about the My Book Boyfriend meme, started by the Unread Reader, click here!

The new book I've currently been obsessed with is The Clockwork Prince from Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy and...


Thank you, Cassandra Clare, SO MUCH, for creating a character as fabulous as Will! I can honestly say that I like him even more than Jace! Whyyyyyyy can't he be real??????????
Will is...
  • is very attractive--black-haired and tantalizingly blue-eyed-- and boy does he know it!
  • muscular and strong--from all that shadowhunter training (incredibly adept with throwing knives...and hand-to-hand combat)
  • super witty and sarcastic (I am a total sucker for guys like that!)
  • comes across as cocky and arrogant, sometimes rude
  • BUT is super self-sacrificing and really cares about the people he loves
  • loves reading... and quoting books... (is that a deal-breaker or what?)
But, let me let the quotes speak for themselves....
"'There was a time I thought I was a ferret," Will said, "but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn't."

"Are you implying that shreds of my reputation remain intact?" Will demanded with mock horror. "Clearly I have been doing something wrong. Or not something wrong, as the case may be."
He banged on the side of the carriage. "Thomas! We must away at once to the nearest brothel. I seek scandal and low companionship." 

“Demon pox, oh demon pox
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all along—
Not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!"
"Will!" Charlotte shouted over the noise, "Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET!

"They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
Will blinked at her. “What?”
“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
“I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
“Mauve,” said Will."  

“For Tessa Gray, on the occasion of being given a copy of Vathek to read:
Caliph Vathek and his dark horde
Are bound for Hell, you won’t be bored!
Your faith in me will be restored—
Unless this token you find untoward
And my poor gift you have ignored.

“I feel myself dissolving, vanishing into nothingness, for if there is no one in the world who cares for you, do you really exist at all?” 

"I thought him a pretty bit of poison to start with, but I have come around. There is a soul under all that bravado. And he is really alive, one of the most alive people I have ever met. When he feels something, it is as bright and sharp as lightning."
-Magnus talking about Will

Quote of the Day

After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer's breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer - perhaps more.
-Jasper Fforde
from the Well of Lost Plots

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: The Iron Knight

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4)
by Julie Kagawa
Published October 26th 2011 by Harlequin TEEN

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing. 
Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

~goodreads blurb

Rating: 5++/5
MIND-BLOWING. Oh, my goodness gracious. YOU GUYS, this book was absolutely freaking mind-blowingly fantsastic! Honestly, I have nothing negative to say about this novel. 

I started the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa last year and fell in love with it! In my mind, Kagawa can do no wrong. Once again, she has worked her literary magic on me; This fourth, concluding novel of the series was my first read of 2012 and boy, I can't think of a better novel to start off the new year. 

This book was from Ash's (*dreamy smile*) POV, which, admittedly, I was a little wary about; normally, I love reading books from a girl's perspective and I had grown to really love Megan's character and narration, so reading another book of the same series, in which she wasn't actually present very much, had me a little worried. But of course, all that worry was completely irrational because, believe me, Kagawa did not disappoint. I got to know the guarded winter prince on a much deeper level, and my literary crush on him grew immensely. 

There's so much to his past that, as a reader, I knew about, but never fully knew... does that make sense? In this book, I got to know more about his history/experiences rather extensively and I understood how he became the cold prince of Winter he was at the beginning of the book. At the same time, I also got to see him change from that emotionally guarded prince into...well, a human

And the cast! Oh, my gosh, I already loved every single one of  Kagawa's characters, and the new ones (namely one in particular) was no exception. I loved the people (loosely used term) Ash went on his quest with! Even the one that was BIG and BAD. Each character is just crafted so SO well that you can really connect and love every single one of them. 

The dynamic between Ash and Puck was one of my favorite parts. I adored reading more about their "friendship" and knowing just what Ash thought of the summer prankster. I especially loved how Kagawa resolved their age-old feud.

The plot is mainly about Ash and Co.'s journey... or rather, quest. I originally thought that a simple quest couldn't possibly fill up an entire book.... BUT IT DID! Holy guacamole, there was SO much action and plot twists and turns and developments that I was practically devouring the book, page by page. There was not a single boring moment!

After the tragic ending of The Iron Queen, I was so glad that Kagawa decided to write another book and give it a happy ending. Honestly, the way this book ended was a perfect conclusion to the series. Sigh ohmygoshIamsoinlovewiththisseries! 
Subliminal message: READ THIS BOOK. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO...

“Geez, you guys. I know I'm popular and all, but seriously, you're a bit too co-dependent for me. I'm going to need you to step away from my personal bubble." A wispy vine-woman curled ivy tendrils around his arm, and he sliced through them with his dagger. "No! Bad Wraith! No touchie!” 


“You realize you've been duped by a fish," I said, watching the catfish grin at me before slipping into the dark waters, lost from view. Puck shrugged.
"Hey, it was going to name one of its grandfish after me," he said, tossing the line into the water again. "That's one of my rules, you know. I refuse to eat anything that names its kid after me.”

-Ash and Puck

"I was in love. With a human.
I smiled bitterly at the thought. The old Ash, if faced with such a suggestion, would've either laughed scornfully or removed the offender's head from his neck.” 

“My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl.” 

My challenges of 2012

(subject to increase if I find any more super fun challenges...)

The 100 Books in a Year  Challenge
info here

The 2012 Romance Reading Challenge
info here

The 2012 Fairy Tale Challenge
info here 

(PS: sorry if my buttons don't take you to the exact page of the challenge--there's probably a problem with how I formatted the code)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cover Love!

Oh, my gosh, I am just so absolutely in love with the artwork on these covers! They're just so simple yet whimsical and adorable! These covers have now motivated me to go out and read them...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Book Boyfriend: Ash

To find out more about this super fun event, created by the Unread Reader, click here

My literary crush this week is none other than..... *drumroll*... Prince Ash from the The Iron Fey series!
*Sigh* I just finished the fabulous 4th (and last) book, The Iron Knight, and I must say, Julie Kagawa had me totally swooning for him all over again! 

  • True name: Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn
  • Winter prince---third son of Mab
  • black hair, silver eyes, all-around gorgeousness...
  • great hunter and fighter
  • kinda broody (in an attractive way of course!)
  • friends/immortal enemies with Robin Goodfellow (also quite crushworthy....)
  • a very loyal and devoted Knight   
 But let's let the quotes speak for themselves shall we?

"His forehead bumped softly against mine, his brilliant silver gaze searing into me. “I plan to keep you, from everyone, for as long as I’m alive. That includes Puck, the false king, and anyone else who would take you away.” One corner of his mouth quirked, as I struggled to catch my breath under his powerful scrutiny. “I guess I should’ve warned you that I have a slight possessive streak." 
-Ash to Megan 

"But ... but what if I hit you?”
A snort. “You’re not going to hit me.”
“How do you know?” I bristled at his amused tone. “I could hit you. Even master swordsmen make mistakes. I could get a lucky shot, or you might not see me coming. I don’t want to hurt you.”
He favored me with another patient look. “And how much experience do you have with swords and weapons in general?”
“Um.” I glanced down at the saber in my hand. “Thirty seconds?”
He smiled, that calm, irritatingly confident smirk. “You’re not going to hit me."

-Ash and Megan

“My name is Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn, third son of the Unseelie Court.” Though his voice was soft, it never wavered, and I felt breathless at hearing his full name. His True Name. “Let it be known—from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on…” His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. “I am yours."

“My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl.”  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Quote of the Day

Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.

 -Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  from Don Quixote
...I have a feeling that that will be me in the future...


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