Emblebee

Reflected in You

Reflected in You - Sylvia Day Is it really bad that one of the main reasons why I like this book so much was that there was an obscure reference to one of my favourite romance authors of all time and that the book was dedicated to her? ...lol - Day doesn't quite pull off the endearment "Ace" like the original ;)

My Life Next Door

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick I'd probably give this one a 4 1/2 stars but oh man, this definitely was a win for me. I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend this book to people who liked Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door. And while not quite on par with Melina Marchetta, I would also suggest it to people who enjoyed Saving Francesca. More review to come! :)

If I Stay

If I Stay - Gayle Forman Holy moly....

Have you ever read a book were you were like, "I thought I was the only one that was like that?!" Where the character resonates so strongly with you, your personality and your values that you just want to hug the book and be like, "Thank you!!"

This did that for me.

Gayle Forman was able to magically create a book that made me simultaneously really happy and also unbearably sad.

I knew I would like this book right off the bat after this passage:

"'I'm in,' I say. It isn't the lure of BookBarn, or the fact that Adam is on tour, or that my best friend, Kim, is busy doing yearbook stuff. It isn't even that my cello is at school or that I could stay home and watch TV or sleep. I'd actually rather go off with my family. This is another thing you don't advertise about yourself, but Adam gets that, too."

For me family is my centre. And that is what this book is all about. Family. That, and love.

What happened to Mia and her family makes you (the reader) think about the important role your parents (and siblings) play in the shaping of your life. Too many times I find myself reading a YA novel that shrugs off the parents as if they're unimportant, stressing the 'importance of being independent' and getting away from the overprotectedness of one's parents. Well I disagree. I'm a very independent person, but my family are the rocks of my life. They're the ones I go to first when I have problems or just need an ear.

I really loved how in the book Forman does an excellent job of foreshadowing the fact that Mia has the possibility of creating her own family - through tragedy Mia can still pick up the pieces and still have that familial connection with her grandparents, aunts & uncles, Kim and most especially, Adam, all because of the way Mia's parents raised her . This was just so awesomely done.

This was a very beautiful book. It was sad but it left me feeling really optimistic about life and family :D. A definite MUST READ!!

Bitterblue

Bitterblue - Ian Schoenherr, Kristin Cashore Let me preface by saving that I love Kristin Cashore and I really liked Gracelingand loved loved Fire. But sadly I wasn't as in love with Bitterblue. Something major was missing for me. I'd probably give this book a 3 1/2 starred review because I enjoyed the book, except we can't do half stars *shakes fist* and I didn't like this book enough to bump it to 4...

Annnnyways, another reviewer Tatiana said that the book was lacking in plot, and while I agree, I would argue that it wasn't the plot so much as the characters. Upon finishing Bitterblue I found I was dissatisfied­­­ with pretty much all the characters, but most especially Bitterblue's. Compared to writers like Melina Marchettaand Megan Whalen Turner (who put the "I" in "Intricate") Cashore doesn't compare with regards to plot, but I think this is especially true with regards to her characterization (especially when you compare Quintana and Bitterblue!) I would have liked to have seen Bittlerblue have a stronger personality instead of one that was so small...and dare I say needy? Also I would have thought Cashore would flex her writing muscles a bit more in terms of the....psychology (right word?) of Bitterblue more - I expected Bitterblue to have more traumatic experiences. I found it hard to believe that EVERYONE but Bitterblue survived the madness of Leck. I understand that her mother protected her, but (especially after the allusions in Graceling) I expected some type of horror to have happened to Bitterblue like with Quintana in Froi of the Exiles . Unfortunately I feel that Cashore was trying to make an 'epic' fantasy and she didn't flesh out her characters enough to hold up all her ideas. In Graceling I felt there was real potential. She started out really well with Bitterblue's character IMO. Bitterblue was a very perseptive person. And in Bitterblue she's not.

And finally, last by not least, the Romance?! I have never been so confused!! A lot of people have had problems with how Cashore has written her female characters and the romances in the past, and this is not the case for me. But what the heck!? What was this?! I WAS SO CONFUSED!!! There's Giddon and there's Saf. First it's heavy on Saf and then it heavy on Giddon. I can understand that shaking up the stereotypes in YA fic is good. But for goodness sake, PICK ONE! And also, don't just make her have a one-night stand and have him poof! disappear!

This on top of everything else at the end of the novel left me very dissatisfied with the book overall. However, this all said, I did enjoy myself. I liked the potential of the book, even though it didn't fulfill my expectations.

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor - Lucy Christopher Now this is a creepy book. I can't remember the last time a book simultaneously made me want to hurl the book away from me but have me so enthralled with the story that I'm compelled to keep reading....
This book is a mind-bender: it explores the ideas of Stockholm syndrome and in my opinion Lucy Christopher does an AMAZING job at making the reader experience the conflicted emotions Gemma has about Ty. I have never been so fascinated and repulsed by a male lead character. It was just....wow...really great/creepy book. Don't read it in an airport, you might stab the next person who offers you a cup of coffee....

The Witness

The Witness - Nora Roberts This wasn't a winner for me....but she's still one of my favourite romance authors hands down :)

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James Not gonna lie, I had to sit on the back of the bus as i was reading this series.... ;)

I can honestly say that I haven't read a BDSM book that really explored the psychology of the dominate male. So this made the series more interesting and I think that it allowed the readers to enjoy the characters and become invested with them while at the same time also enjoy the great sex scenes ;P.

On the downside, (I know that these books were self-published) there is a lot of repetitious phrasing throughout the series (lots of stuff about Ana's inner goddess) and it is rife with cliches - but it was fun! and I read them all with a grin on my face :D
Definitely a fun read!

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices)

Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare Holy moly.....Talk about cliff hanger....I don't think I can write this review without massive spoilers so....ye have been warned!
I think I have a love/hate relationship with Clare. I loved her first three books in the Immortal Instruments series, and then she decided to pile on the angst (and those series were already angsty enough!) by adding two more books to which I thought, "Don't change a good thing honey...". Annnnyways, when I found out she was delving into the world of 19th England I was skeptical. I wasn't in love with Tessa at first but then she started to grow on me. And in terms of steampunk I was surprised by how much I liked it. The second book, IMO, really grows from the first and, in my mind, solidifies the series from just "Good" to "Really Good". I also love love love the ending and especially the part where Tessa finds out Will loves her and her reaction. This was memorable to me because I thought Clare did an excellent job dramatizing Tessa's reaction to but also kept her actions subtle enough that they were very believable of a 19th century woman/girl. Also really really wanted Sophie to be with James!! Maaaannnnn! That would've made things so neat and....tidy....damnit
Anywho, thumbs up to this book! I'm definitely going to be reading the next one as soon as it's out!

Mastiff

Mastiff - Tamora Pierce Let me just preface this review by saying that I love Tamora Pierce (which is why I gave this book two stars instead of one). I have read all her Tortall series and was (and arguably still is) a rabid fan of the Song of the Lioness quartet and Wild Magic quartet. If you haven't read them, you should. They're amazing.

Okay. So with that, I'll review....

Did. Not. Like. This. Book. AT ALL.. By one third of the way into the book I was confused. What happened to all the favourite characters? Where was Rosto? And the two girls/roomates (of which I can't remember their names off the top of my head)? Where did they go? All the neat characters,settings (like the Dancing Dove), etc, were completely dropped. (you could say that Pierce often does this: moves her characters to different countries, etc, but in this case I felt that all the good subplots, characters, etc were left behind and left dangling). What happened?!?! ANNNNNDDDD what the heck happened with Tunstall? Like DUDE! I'm so LOST!! wtf!? It was so not in character!! Waaaay out of the blue!! I'm still spluttering mad about this STUPID plot development!

This book was just totally out of left field for me. Like way outta the ball park. To me it felt like every possible connection with the previous two books were completely severed. I mean who the heck is Farmer?! I mean, I like him and everything, but what about Rosto?! Was it just me or wasn't something suppose to happen there? I dunno, maybe my radar was off but I could've SWORN that in the first two books there was every indication that something was brewing. No? I dunno. Maybe I'm nuts. It's likely actually haha, but I'm just....mad. And the ending didn't help my mood either. It was very Harry Potteresque what with the weird epilogue and all...*sigh* Okay, I'm going to stop now. Before I get too wound up lol.

Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles - Melina Marchetta This is book that needs to be read twice almost...It's been almost over a week and I'm still stewing about this book...review to come haha

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor oh man oh man oh man!! This book was so absolutely amazing to me. I'm kind of cursing myself for not writing this review sooner when it was all fresh in my head, but I needed to stew on it and then (as per usual) I got sidetracked...Annnnyways. This book was AMAZING. The thing about Laini Taylor's writing that's just so great is she has an innate ability to make a scene so vivid you can almost taste it. I absolutely love Taylor's imagination when it comes to creating her monster characters. In Lips Touch: Three Times you see what she's capable of and then in this book she totally blew me out of the water with her crazy, realistic characters/monsters (hands down Brimstone is my favourite :P).

Also, the concept that magic can't come from nothing--that it comes from pain--impressed me and, for me, it gave the story that much more depth (I think it gave Akiva more character depth Fallen

In this instance however I felt this was definitely not the case. It wasn't a cop-out. It was a major plot development that completely drives the novel (in a good way). It creates angst - but justifiably so, not just in a "how could this happen to us" sort of way, but in a "because of this and that, THIS happened which results, ultimately, in this big BFD..."....I'm not explaining myself very well, but long and short is that this reincarnation biz is a good thing in the book haha.

Read it!! :D

The False Princess

The False Princess - Eilis O'Neal I wasn't in love with this book. I can't put my finger on it either, which is frustrating; however, there was nothing that really jumped out at me that made me dislike it...it just never grabbed me.
That said, if you're into YA Fantasy, you liked Ella Enchanted, you'll probably like this book.

*NOTE* Upon reflection, I think the reason why I didn't like this book very much was because I didn't like the protagonist's voice. It didn't resonate with me or make me like her. That's not to say it wasn't well written or anything, but I couldn't identify myself with her at all...

Archangel's Blade

Archangel's Blade - Nalini Singh okay, well definitely two thumbs up if you want a good relaxing smexy read ;). There are definite problems, but that's not terribly surprising considering the genre...but! that said I enjoyed myself - so you should definitely give it a chance if you're into PNR :D

I have a thing for Singh's Archangel series. I really really like them hahaha. So when I found out that she'd be doing book on Dmitri, Raphael's right-hand man (his 'Blade'), I was like, "Woohoo!".

So. My likes and dislikes:

1)I've said before (in another review) that I really like how Singh writes immortal men. I have a hard time reading and believing most writers when they talk about immortality and being alive for centuries, and yet their leading men act like indecisive, emotional, yo-yoing drama queens...
Anywho, I'm pleased to say that this was not (quite) the case, in this instance. The reason I say 'quite' is because I think it's pretty impossible to get a non-human to fall in love - a very human emotion. When your a couple millenia years old it gets kinda hard to remain 'human'. This is why I'd venture to say I find Dmitri falling in love more plausible than Raphael, because at least Dmitri was once human and had the experience of falling in love before, so it's not so far-fetched that he'd do it again. Raphael never was/did. He was always a big bad angel with no emotional attachments.
Anyways, despite all this I do love my tough, sexy immortal men haha.
While not completely believable (and I think it's pretty impossible to be completely believable), for me, Singh gets pretty close :)

2) On the negative side, I didn't like how Singh kept repeating herself in this book. She kept going on about fields of wildflowers where Dmitri was from 'way back to forgotten civilizations', or the fact that he fought in hundreds of wars throughout time...rivers of blood...etc....the first couple times I get. After the 15th or 18th, I'm like, "Okay, he's old. I get it."

The last thing I had problems with was the reincarnation bit. What's wrong with falling in love with someone, having something happen to them, and then falling in love again? This is life. It doesn't mean you never loved the first person. Reincarnation (in this instance) seems a bit of a cop out, no? I mean, as much as I loved the story and think it's great that Dmitri finds love etc, etc, but still, the only reason he fell in love again is because fate intervened...which, to me, seems a bit of a cop out.

That all being said, great Romance!! you should read ;)

Immortal Beloved

Immortal Beloved - Cate Tiernan I couldn't get into it...maybe I'll try again later...

Dragon Bound

Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison hmmmm...as PRN goes I thought this was a great, fun read - definite brain candy. I'm waffling on whether to give it a 4 out of 5 stars, but there were issues in the book that irked me, so 3 it is.

First of all, if you like Nalini Singh you'll likely enjoy Harrison's books. Personally, I prefer Singh, but....Anyways, the premise of Dragon Bound is great. Powerful guy who's smart, sexy and has been alive since the beginning of time. However this leads to my first problem: immortality. IMO immortality is extremely hard, if not impossible, to wrap a reader's brain around. Being alive for a couple thousand millennia inevitably changes your outlook on life...you would likely be unfettered with the mundane trivialities of the human existance...and yet I find though authors will mention this they rarely make their leading men act accordingly. The only time I've come close to finding a realistic immortal guy is in Nalini Singh's Archangel's Kiss - Rafael was ruthless, and at first, quite willing to consider killing the leading lady if she became more trouble than she was worth. Which makes sense! If you're that old you become emotionally detached, you become omniscient.
I do understand there's a flaw in my logic: in order to have a romance you need the guy to become susceptible to the human emotions of love....so, my point you ask? I'm not sure I have one, just that I get frustrated by the way authors portray immortal men in PNRs.

Finally, my last little bit of beef with this book is that Harrison tried to make Pia a kick ass, smart-ass heroine and yet she was a wimp! Seriously! She's either a DID (damsel in distress) or not. Pick one! Don`t make her seem all tough and then have her wimp out on me!

Other than those things, I found Dragon Bound enjoyable!! Fast, fun and smexy :)

The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss Okay, be prepared for some gushing...

I am in LOVE with this series. I haven`t been this into a book/series since....I dunno, a really long time haha. First off, I love Kvothe's name. So cool. I've a thing for well thought-up names. They have to be easy(ish) to pronounce but still have that unique factor. Kvothe definitely fits the bill.

This book hits all levels of nerdiness but manages to pull off the 'cool' factor. It's every fantasy lover's wish fulfillment in a book. Kvothe is alluded to as being handsome (or at least good-looking), brilliant, and a smart-ass. Three things guaranteed to tickle most readers' fancy/interest. He grew up as an Edema Ruh, the equivalent of a Gypsy, and because of circumstances and his brilliance, ends up orphaned, left to fend for himself in a crime-ridden city and then manages to become the youngest person to ever get accepted to The University. Cool beginning, yes?

I think the most brilliant aspect of this book is how Rothfuss manages to make Kvothe both super-brilliant in learning but not necessarily in life - while Kvothe manages to to wow and impress everyone with his academic talents and powerful mind, he is still a flawed person: his cockiness frequently gets him into trouble, making you cheer and groan at the same time and also making him relatable to all readers.

I really really liked the narrating/storytelling tone in the novel. For me it is one of Rothfuss' strengths. I have read some people as saying they disliked that aspect of the POV, saying that it made the novel seems as if it had no direction; however, I loved it. I love the drawn out aspect of storytelling - there's not just one climax, this is someone's life. There are many ups and downs and you are not racing to a finish line. **Just in case you don't know, the book starts out in present time 3rd person narration, introducing the character Kvothe, and then switching to past tense and 1st person POV with Kvothe's own voice telling his life's story.**

Rothfuss manages to create an interesting (and IMO, good) balance between keeping and discarding cliches. For me it works. However, I can see what people are saying when they say they see Rothfuss become a little cliched during the 'intermissions' when the story switches back to 3rd person, present POV. Kvothe is constantly saying (and I'm paraphrasing...), "this isn't like a story or fairytale. There is no happy ending. We all know how this is going to end.". As a reader I hope not!! Hahaha these are big friggin' books! Each one is roughly 400,000 words. If it ends badly I will personally hunt down Rothfuss and stab him with his pen! :) Anyways, point is, I can see how this would be a little clichey...but I like how it creates anticipation and angst :).

Anyways, the moral of this review is READ THIS BOOK! :)

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