Book Review: Fake ID by Lamar Giles

12787708Fake ID by Lamar Giles

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 21, 2014

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

good good

Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.

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

opinion

Fake ID kind of just swept me off of my feet and blew me away. I was expecting a darker story and for it to be a lot slower but I got something a bit different. Lamar Giles has written a story about family, romance, and above all, trust. Which has earned him a respected place among my favourite authors.

I had a hard time connecting with some characters since their  back stories and histories are told too late in the story for me to actually care about them. I wished that more of a reaction was shown when people found out about Nick and his family instead of what I got. Everyone seems too calm about it, even Reya who I was expecting to go bat shit crazy didn’t satisfy me.

Giles jumps right into the action and never stopped entertaining me. There’s a lot of it and a romance but I loved how it takes the backseat throughout the whole novel. A really big part of the story is the witness protection program that Nick’s family is in and I thought that it’s very well done. It’s woven into he story form the beginning to the end of it.

Overall, this is a great story that I really enjoyed. I loved how race doesn’t add in a lot of the typical stereotypes. I recommend Fake ID to everyone, especially people who like mystery stories with quite a bit of action in them.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

Book Review: United We Spy (Gallagher Girl#6) by Ally Carter

13580951United We Spy (Gallagher Girl#6) by Ally Carter

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 296 (Hardcover)

good good

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

opinion

After seven years (that’s right, I started this series when it first came out!) and six books I can say that I am a Gallagher Girl through and through. I have cried with them, fought with them, loved them, and most of all, became them. This has been such a fun ride and most of the characters have grown up and I will miss them all. Even though I was a bit disappointed with this one because of the outcome, I still loved it. Hell, I freaking love this series and it sucks that it’s over but I’ll forever remember my sisters.

A problem that this book has has to be repetition. I got it, they are all spies who go to kick ass school that teaches them how to kill people and steal and pretend and blah blah blah. I got it, I would have appreciated it if this fact wasn’t shoved down my throat every other page.

Ally Carter never fails to reel me in with her amazing writing skills! I swear, I could read her novels all day. The characters, especially the four girls, Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macy have grown up so much and have changed into very close friends and great spies. There’s a ton of action scenes and suspense throughout the book so I never felt bored while reading and the romance between Cammie and Zach is still very strong and sweet but it has always taken the backseat and in United We Spy it’s no different.

United We Spy is the final book. That’s it. And even though I’m still unsure about how I felt about the ending, this is by far one of the best series I’ve ever been fortunate to read. Like any great series, it seems that you have to stumble upon them rather than look for them. I recommend this series to anyone who loves spy novels and are looking for a wild trip that will make you believe that you can be a spy yourself.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: My Date from Hell (Blooming Goddess Trilogy#2) by Tellulah Darling

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My Date from Hell (Blooming Goddess Trilogy#2) by Tellulah Darling

Publisher: Tu Da Media

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: October 31, 2013

Pages: 288 (Paperback)

good

Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.

Yeah, right.

With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?

The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.

Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

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

opinion

Now that I’m getting into more mythology, I know for a fact that this series, The Blooming Goddess Series is definitely one of my favourite ones! It’s just so fun with just enough seriousness that I get that life isn’t just fun and games. Tellulah Darling really outdoes herself and adds in more fun and a lot more action with Gods and Goddesses that I wasn’t necessarily expecting to make an appearance in this. Although it has it’s faults, this is a really solid story that had me hooked from the beginning all the way to the end! I can;t wait for the final novel now.

Something that I wanted to happen in the novel was for the friendship between Hannah and Sophie to be tested a lot more that it is and for them to face many obstacles, emotionally and not just physically. Their relationship in the first one is believable but in this one, it just seems a bit forced without much of the jealousy and pain that I would think Hannah would encounter upon following her friends on such a crazy ride.

Sophie is better than before! Her dark humour and anger are back with such intensity that I found myself re-reading a passage just to laugh again. And again. And again. I also loved that there aren’t any new love interests in this novel. With most second novels, there’s usually another love interest that’s added to the bunch but I enjoyed that the new characters have no interest in Sophie or Kai but instead in the other secondary characters. Finally, Hannah gets to experience some loving! The relationship between Kai and Sophie is complex and steamy at best. And I. Love. All. Of. It. Seriously, I was either laughing really hard or seriously jealous of Sophie because of the way kai treats her like the Goddess that she is.

My Date from Hell is spicy and sweet with just the right amount of action. I recommend this novel to anyone who has read the first one and recommend this series to anyone looking for something about Greek mythology that’s fun, has loads of action, and all the Gods and Goddesses are in young adult form! (For most, anyway.)

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles#2) by Gena Showalter

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Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles#2) by Gena Showalter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: September 24, 2013

Pages: 480 (Hardcover)

good good

After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind as well. A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things. The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more—including her boyfriend, Cole—than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all.

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

opinion

I’ve always been skeptical of sequels because they rarely ever beat the original but, with this novel, I can tell that Gena Showalter put a lot of time making these characters realistic and trustworthy in a way that every single person, not only teenagers want in their lives. This time around, everything seems to matter far more than they did in the first one and I loved how complex yet simple the writing is. Everything has a second meaning and I was excited to return to the world of ghost zombies and the young slayers that kill them.

Many authors have trouble balancing out a creative plot with a nicely executed romance and while I do love Cole and Ali’s relationship because it’s so up and down and bitter-sweet, I found it to be a bit too much at times. Instead of focusing on her painful past and/or the zombies, most pages are full of her romance with Cole and how much he cares for her and is trying not to. I also don’t like the ending solely because it’s a little too nicely done and gives off the impression that everyone will turn out happy no matter what. I was hoping for one sad thing to happen to the slayers rather than what I received.

Ali Bell is quickly becoming a fun protagonist that I don’t think I will ever mind reading about. She’s tough, determined, and quite the caring person. I especially love the new twist that’s added here and how she has to literally face her inner demon and fight for everyone she loves. There’s so much action that I never felt bored, especially with the rest of the characters, they held my attention with their quirky remarks and realism that can only come from teens living a rough life.

What a fun ride it has been with Ali and her friends! It’s so intense and heart-warming with many parts full of some serious zombie slaying as well as lovely chapter titles that give a zombie feel to classic sayings! Through the Zombie Glass is a novel that I recommend to readers who either love zombie books or love tons of action, a steamy romance, and some badass attitude from the protagonist! Now, I’m just dying to find out what the title for the third book will be!

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 1, 2009

Pages: 239 (Hardcover)

good good

Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He’s also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn’t remember how he got there. He’s not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive – well, what’s up with that?

opinion

Zach’s story is quite interesting, it hooked me in from the very first page and I couldn’t look away. All of his struggles and pains and monsters are quite complex and unique and are really relatable.

I hate it when authors use certain words or phrases to start a paragraph or to end one. With Last Night I Sang to the Monster, most, if not all paragraphs start with, “Look”, “I get it,” or “Fine”. And then end with “okay”. All the time, every single time and I found it to be really annoying. I also didn’t like the ending because I found it to be a little to tied up far too nicely for it to be really realistic.

All of the characters are realistic and interesting. I loved reading about all the crap that Zach has been through and his journey to remembering what happened all the months ago, it’s heartbreaking and exciting and beautiful. There isn’t a romance in this novel which actually is a good thing, adding a romance to a novel that is focused on recovering would have been far too much and would have taken away from it but I did like all of the friendships that are shown throughout. Especially between Raphael and Zach because it’s so intense and loving and they’re both very broken bt somehow help each other out in a tremendous way.

Last Night I Sang to the Monster has many messages throughout the book but one of them I really like is: Change isn’t for everyone and some people don’t want it. And you have to be okay with that. I recommend this novel to everyone because it’s the type of story that I think will open up everyone’s mind about why people do drugs and act the way that they do.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Fluffy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Stormdancer (Lotus War#1) by Jay Kristoff

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Stormdancer (Lotus War#1) by Jay Kristoff 

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: September 18, 2012

Pages: 313 (Hardcover)

good good

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A HIDDEN GIFT
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

opinion

Wow. I’m utterly blown away with this novel and the rich text that Jay Kristoff has written it in. Buruu is one character that, at many times, holds my attention and puts a smile on my face. This is such a lovely novel that t first, is tough to get into but hard to leave when it’s over.

Stormdancer is written with rich writing and a beautifully done world that I love being in. Unfortunately, the problem with many rich worlds with bounteous description is that the descriptions become irritatingly annoying and I find myself missing simple writing a lot while reading. I’ve never read a novel about Japanese mythology so I find it hard and annoying to have to constantly check out the glossary for every word that I don’t understand (there are many).

Nonetheless, the world building is beautiful, the mythical and majestic Buruu feels more than realistic. Yukiko has an awesome gift that’s different from all the other characters in other books I’ve ever read and although not many people have her gift, I like that she’s not the only one who has it in the story. I also love the relationship between Buruu and Yukiko because it’s well done but I feel like it could have been better since some parts move a little too quickly with their friendship. There’s a lot of action and obstacles that help keep the story interesting and fun.

All in all, this is a great start to a series that I’ll probably read until the very end. And even though most of the characters feel a bit stiff at times, I recommend this to anyone who loves mythology, strong friendships, and a killer heroine.

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

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Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: March 5, 2013 (Original date: June 1, 1996)

Pages: 224 (Paperback)

Rats Saw God

For Steve York, life was good. He had a 4.0 GPA, friends he could trust, and a girl he loved. Now he spends his days smoked out, not so much living as simply existing.

But his herbal endeavors — and personal demons — have led to a severe lack of motivation. Steve’s flunking out, but if he writes a one-hundred-page paper, he can graduate.

Steve realizes he must write what he knows. And through telling the story of how he got to where he is, he discovers exactly where he wants to be….

opinion

A beautiful story about love and how messed up it can make us. Told from the perspective of Steve York, a teen going in a downwards spiral from really great to not-so-great. The beginning is fast paced and funny but somewhere during the second part it slows down a lot.  The characters are original and very likeable I fell in love with Doug, Steve, and Sarah right away. Overall,this is a great read.

There is only a few flaws that kept Rats Saw God from being a five-star read for me. One of those things is that it’s really disorganized with the past and present stories. Instead of taking readers to the past for an explanation for something that affects Steve in the present, Rob Thomas takes readers to the past of something that doesn’t have any real connection to anything in the chapter. Another reason it didn’t make my favourite shelf is because during the second half, things slow down by a great deal to an almost snail-like pace which made the story seem boring even though it shouldn’t have been. And even though I love Steve, he’s a great character, during the second half of the story, Steve becomes this lovesick puppy that is not as funny as he was during the first half.

Stories with a male protagonist, I expect there to be tons of humour and sarcastic content. I don’t know why, I just do. Rats Saw God delivers and surpasses my expectations with very funny, realistic characters and a relaxed, sarcastic writing style. Steve, as a character really grows and learns a lot throughout the novel that it’s hard not to feel empathetic for him. The relationship between Doug and Steve is strong too, with their love for nothing (a.k.a. Dadaism) and video games, it’s a lot of fun to read about them.

Rats Saw God is quite a moving novel about love, life, and growing up. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun read with a serious undertone. And really, this novel is a story within a story, which is a bonus.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.