Book Review: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy#1) by Richelle Mead

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Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy#1) by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: April 16, 2007

Pages: 332 (Ebook)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy#1)

 

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

(My Opinion)

If you asked me what Vampire Academy is about, I’m not sure I could give you a straight answer. Most of the book is really rushed, and then BAM! We’re almost at the end of it when everything slows down and gets good. But those 300 pages before it? Not a clue. This could  possibly be the reason why I’m giving the book such an average rating or maybe it’s because of the lack of information on Rose and her life. Either way, Vampire Academy is an average read.

Rose is our protagonist who does whatever the hell she wants to do. Which is awesome! But a little too mysterious for me. Countless times, it’s mentioned very vaguely things she’s done with boys, but not what made her stop, or what made her start, or what made her the way she is. Because of this, it made it hard for me to sympathize her as much as I wanted to when she’s called a “Blood whore”, or slut, etc. Also, to the ending of the book, Rose changes and sort of becomes this lovesick puppy who is a bit annoying.

What I did enjoy about this is that most of the characters are well-developed and the novel itself is just beautifully written in a fun, sarcastic-like way. I also like the fresh take on vampires with the good ones being called “Moroi” and the bad ones being called “Strigoi” and also the fact that the good vampires need guardians which are called, “Dhampir”. Vampires are always portrayed as these strong, dangerous, independent creatures who sometimes protect weaker creatures, not the ones who need the protecting! Overall, Vampire Academy, it’s a fun and a really fast read that anyone who loves vampires will like. I can’t wait to find out what will happen between Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer#1) by Michelle Hodkin

8591107The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer#1) by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Pages: 452 (Paperback)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

(My Opinion)

Oh, the potential this book had. Stating the obvious, there is a romance in this novel. And this romance caused this novel to tumble and fall to its knees. Even with an awesome plot, it still couldn’t help the book as much as I had hoped. Throughout the novel, there is close to no character building and most of the characters feel like ink on paper.

A lot of creepy things happen to Mara once she moves to Miami. Things happen to the people around Mara as well. These odd happenings should have been a lot more dominant in the story but aren’t because they are far and few between. Which makes them seem quite random instead of building up to something more.  I wish Michelle Hodkin put more of these odd things into the book to help it be consistent. Now, onto the romance. But, don’t get me wrong, I liked it, the actual romance is funny and sweet but there is just too much of it. Once these two characters are apart it seems that it is short lived because the other character pops up out of nowhere so that they can be together for another fifteen chapters. It’s ridiculous and readers will get irritated and annoyed very quickly no matter how cute Noah’s accent may or may not be.

A big thing for me and books is the writing. I either like it or I don’t and fortunately for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I really, really, really, liked the writing. It’s like butter, so rich and smooth and dreamy. Everything flowed very nicely that, this almost 500 paged book felt like a 200 or 300 paged book. I also loved the ending even with how predictable it is. It’s very intense and scary, a crazy cliffhanger that forces you to need to read the second book.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is no doubt a book that many readers will love. But it’s also a book that a lot of readers will dislike because of the romance. But I did enjoy this and recommend it to anyone who loves books where the romance takes over and killer cliffhangers. Fingers crossed the second book has a lot less romance in it!

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

10429045Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Dystopia and young adult

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Pages: 338 (Paperback)
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

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.

(My Opinion)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi seems to be a hit or miss novel for most people. And I can understand why with the overuse of similes and metaphors that makes this novel quite different from other dystopian novels (in both a good and bad way). Another thing about the novel is there’s a lot of strike out text. I’ve never read a book with strike out text before and I think that’s why I had such a hard time trying to get comfortable with it. But, during the second half of the book, the strike out text is a lot less prominent than it is in the first part which helps make the novel a lot more bearable. Although this book does have some problems (that can sometimes be overlooked) I really liked this. Tahereh Mafi took a very mainstream, very overused idea and added a very cool twist to it.

The beginning is odd, there’s too much use of similes and metaphors. Even simple sentences have been changed into more complex and ‘poetic’ sentences. It reminds me of that episode on friends where Joey finds out how to use a thesaurus. (Season ten episode five: The One Where Rachel’s Sister Baby-Sits.) Because of this, the writing is really clipped and straight to the point instead of smooth and kind of casual (for the lack of a better word). I also don’t like the romance much because the book focuses almost always on the romance instead of the actual plot.

With all that being said, I still liked most if not all of the characters. They’re all different and pretty well-developed with strong personalities especially James who is a very realistic ten-year old. I love how Juliette is explained to us, although she’s had her powers for a long time now, she’s still learning about them and how to control them. We’re showed this with a few examples of just how killer her touch is with not only children, but against adults as well. It’s pretty amazing.

The idea to bring in superpowers into a dystopian series is pretty creative. It helps make the story stand out in a genre that is all the same (for the most part). Shatter Me is a thrilling read that is both intense and exciting. I recommend this to anyone who likes dystopian novels as well as people who like a lot of romance and a kick ass protagonist.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book click here.

Book Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

15742858Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Publisher: Harlequin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2)

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…

…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Harlequin  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

It’s usually a hard thing for a sequel to beat the début. But, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is definitely better than Confessions of an Angry Girl on just about every level. In the first book we met Rose and figured out the problems that have changed her but haven’t changed her to be necessarily angry like the title has promised us.But in the sequel as I first began reading, I was expecting some of the same stuff. I was expecting Rose to whine a lot and for her to say things that the characters thought were really mean and bad but actually aren’t. But don’t get me wrong, all of this is still in Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend but there’s also more. There’s more anger, more fights, more pain, more heartache. I was really shocked upon finishing this to realize that I liked this. A freaking lot.

Unfortunately, most of the book revolves around Jamie Forta who is, one of my least favourite characters. Albeit he’s a caring character who puts the people he cares about before himself, I hate how the author has built him up as a ‘tragic hero’ with a huge flaw that is meant to be overlooked because all of the characters need him. I found this bit really annoying for me and I just could not bring myself to like him. Another thing I don’t like is how much Rose whines throughout the story. It’s one thing for her to start whining in her head for only us, the readers to know but she complains to Jamie about everything–him talking to Regina and what it was all about, how all of her friends are prettier than her, and how jealous she is of the Deladdo family. It’s just annoying.

As usual I love the writing. Louise Rozett has a lot of talent making even the simplest things seem complex and important. The second part of the novel is when everything starts to get good with everything coming at Rose all at once rather than one at a time. And she explodes! I especially love Christmas Eve because this is when her bitchy side comes out of nowhere. She reacts to everything on impulse rather than planing out what she wants to say which is the reason why I love it so much. Most of the characters are a lot more developed, we get to know bits and pieces of why Regina and the rest of the Deladdo family are so cruel towards Rose and other people which helps readers sympathize with them a lot more than I did in the first  book. And the ending. What an ending! Even though I had a sense that it was going to happen I was not expecting it to affect me as much as it did with the fighting and the heartbreak. This series is really moving their way up in my books!

All in all, I really liked this book. It’s funny, has a bunch of action, and it has suspense, something that a lot of YA books are missing nowadays. The first half of the book is quite annoying which forced me to bring the rating down but the second half is so unexpected and exciting, I couldn’t help but want Rose to pull on top and get what she wants. I recommend this to everyone who has read the first book and to anyone who’s looking for a new series to read. If you get through the first book, I promise hope that you’ll like the second one much better.

3.5 Cool Clouds
3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click, here.

2013 Book Challenges: May Edition

Still have nothing for the sophomore challenge….Everything else seems to be going alright.

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 7

Total:44

La Route De Chlifa by  Michèle Marineau

School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden#1) by Julia Kagawa

Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

Double Crossed (Novella crossover of Heist society and Gallagher Girls) by Ally Carter

September Girls by Bennett Madison

The Program (The Program#1) by Suzanne Young

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 0

Total: 5

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:1

Total: 11

The Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 1

Total: 5

September Girls by Bennett Madison

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 0

Total: 0

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!

2013 Book Challenges: April Edition

My bad! I completely forgot that I didn’t post the April edition of this. But it’s here now 🙂

2013 Reading Challenge

Goal: 100

Read: 4

Total:36

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

Let The Sky Fall (Let The Sky Fall#1) by Shannon Messenger

The Game by Shane Scollins

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society#3) by Ally Carter

2013 Debut Author Challenge

Goal: 13

Read: 0

Total: 5

2013 TBR Pile

Goal: 50

Read:1

Total: 10

Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge

Goal: 30

Read: 1

Total: 4

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

2013 Sophomore Challenge

Goal: 20

Read: 0

Total: 0

How are your challenges going? Send me links so I can check them out!

Book Review: Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1) by J. R. Johansson

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Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1) by J. R. Johansson

Publisher: Flux

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: June 8, 2013

Pages: 360 (hard cover)
Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1)

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Flux  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

Insomnia is a creative story that most people wished were true. Hell, I wish I could be a Night Walker and know what some people dream about! That sounds pretty cool, right? Right? Anyway, the story follows Parker, who has been dealing with this gift/curse for four years now without sleeping a wink until he meets Mia who changes his life forever. The story starts out with a little too much information before most of the characters or past events are introduced. And speaking of the characters, only the main and strong secondary ones really stand out for me. The rest of them are very stiff and choppy, like unfinished thoughts. This makes if hard to give the book a better rating. Still, not a bad start to a series or a bad début either. Nice job, J. R. Johansson.

While reading this, a few things become apparent to readers. First, there are not very many clues to keep us reading. It’s as if the author is relying mostly only on the dark, crazy actions of what Parker does to keep the book interesting and mysterious. Second, the novel moves pretty quickly with the more important details and events being rushed or skimmed. I get irritated every time this happens because the important parts happen too quick while the less important fillers are played a lot more slowly. Third, it’s apparent that there are a lot of unanswered questions by the end of this. How did Parker become a Night Walker? How come his mom doesn’t know/isn’t one too? Can anyone become a Night Walker? Although we get some information regarding these questions, I think that there should have been more to keep readers a little more satisfied.

Parker is a crazy, sleep deprived character who I really enjoyed reading about. His creepy, stalker-like tactics to see Mia are wacky and very frightening. Especially when his inner demons take hold and show just how desperate he can be to get what he needs and wants. He’s a realistic and unpredictable, I felt like a stalker just reading this! The idea for this is refreshing and new, I love it!  Even though the ending is pretty transparent, I wasn’t exactly expecting that person to be that person. It’s a nice twist to a great book that I recommend to readers who are looking for books that involve dreams and stalker with funny, sarcastic characters you just can’t get enough of.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click, here.