Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You


By Ally Carter


My rating: C+


Goodreads synopsis: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance.

My thoughts: I had such high hopes for this. First of all, the author is an OK native and went to my alma mater. Second, it's a novel with teen girl spies. How can it be bad?

It wasn't bad. It just didn't hold up to the level of great I was hoping for. I'm a little bummed by that. The characters had such potential to be amazing, but they fell sort of flat. The plot was okay, too, but again, didn't bring the level of awesome I hoped for.

I will be reading the next in the series, I'm sure. I just don't see myself pre-ordering any of these or jumping in line to get them. Maybe you'd like them better, though. Has anyone read her Heist Society stuff?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Demonglass

Demonglass


by Rachel Hawkins


My rating: A+


Goodreads synopsis: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

My thoughts: I've said it before: Rachel Hawkins and I totally need to be BFFs. She just doesn't know it.

I loved Hex Hall like Whoa and I really wasn't sure if Demonglass could measure up to it. Not only did it measure up, but it even went beyond. I'm just now posting this, but I assure you that the second the beautiful Amazon.com box arrived on my doorstep, this was in my anxious little hands and I was flying through it. I'm just a posting procrastinator.

Without spoiling too much and making this review ridiculously long and unreadable, I'll keep it to a few points. Bullets, shall we?

  • Sophie is once again filled with awesome. She's witty. She's snarky. She has a rad, yet comfortable fashion sense. Go her.

  • Archer. Be still my heart, you rogue demon hunter. If I was a fictitious teen girl, I'd totally be swooning over him. Oh crap, I am anyhow and I'm neither a teen nor fictitious. Whatev.

  • Jenna? Still so funny and so loyal, yet she has a few major things of her own going on here.

  • The action is ramped up BIG TIME in this. It doesn't end up all rainbows and unicorns, either.


Rachel, you nailed it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Like Me

Like Me


by Chely Wright


My rating: B


Goodreads synopsis: From her childhood in Wellsville, Kansas, high school homecoming queen, determining at a young age to become a country music star, being cast in Country Music USA Opryland, making a pact with God—to keep her "sinning" to a minimum if he'd get her to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry—and her dream coming true at eighteen . . .

She writes about the record contracts and bus tours; the concerts and TV videos; the critical acclaim and industry awards; the #1 hits on the Billboard charts; the fans; the friendships and the working collaborations with Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, and others. . .

We see the vortex of success taking its toll on her life, and then her finding a new voice in her music, with music flowing naturally from her that never came so easily.

Like Me is a book of revelation: honest, inspiring and true.

My thoughts: Admittedly, I'm not the biggest country music fan. I like it okay, but I probably wouldn't have picked this up if it weren't for a couple of my friends. B & T had this sitting on their shelf and were talking one night about the Oprah episode where Chely came out. I hadn't seen the episode, so they offered this to me.

Her writing style is very raw and very real. It's easy to read, and it's obvious that she wrote this to portray her feelings and not to become an acclaimed novelist. I wasn't a fan of how she wrote sometimes, because she tended to go on and on about some points but be very choppy with others. The great thing about this story was just that: the story. It's a story of overcoming obstacles and finding yourself. I think we can all benefit from that. Wright has done a ton to further music education and take a stand for teens who are being bullied. I salute her for that.

Overall, this was a quick, enlightening read. Check it out if you're in the market for a non-preachy inspirational biography.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures


By Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


My rating: B+

Goodreads synopsis:

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

My thoughts: I really liked Lena and Ethan. They were such eccentric characters and a really interesting take on the average paranormal couple. They both had flaws and both had really interesting back stories aside from one another. I really appreciated that.

One great thing about this book: It's a male POV. That seems so rare in YA these days and I love that Stohl and Garcia did a great job of it. Kudos to them!

The story itself was a little bizarre at times. It was well written and easy to read, but I found myself losing interest for a chunk of the book. The book weighed in at around 563 pages and I felt like the story could've been accomplished in less. I hope that this won't be the case for the next two books in the Caster Chronicles.

If you like paranormal YA (no vampire-werewolf love triangle this time!), this would be great to check out.

Also, I'll be meeting these two at the LA Times Festival of Books. Watch out!

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