Friday, August 31, 2012

City of Lost Souls (Cassandra Clare)

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 534 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Book five of the Mortal Instruments series: Sebastian kidnaps Jace and threatens world destruction. Clary goes undercover, and Simon/Magnus/Isabelle/Alec provide back-up.

Jace is smoking on this cover.

In short: started like, eh? Ended with AHHH! And there were a few WTFs in the middle. Not the best yet, but definitely worth the read, because as readers, we ultimately need to know what happens!

I think my main problem was the time lapse between when this book came out, and when I had read the other books. I was confused for a large portion of the first half, trying to remember all of the characters and their convoluted relationships with each other. Not to mention piecing together where the Clockwork characters come in (I do NOT like what you’re implying Cassandra!). So fair warning, reread the other books in the series first.

And while it was also a little confusing how the narrative jumped time/space/place/narrator throughout the book without warning, I did like that this kept things interesting. Things certainly are heating up romance-wise with all these characters! One final thought: Cassandra, I love that in your novels, adults just seem to get in the way. Way to give your young characters some freedom- I love this about YA. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fallen (Lauren Kate)

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte
Length: 464 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Luce has been sent to Sword & Cross boarding school, a place for screw-ups, after an incident she can’t quite remember that left her last boyfriend dead. The one bright spot at her new school is the mysteriously handsome Daniel Grigori. But he’s avoiding Luce like it’s his job, while Cam, another mysterious boy, won’t leave her alone. Literally overshadowing Luce's attraction to these boys is the dark shadows that have always followed Luce around, and which seem to becoming more prominent.

Let's review this Pro/Con style:
Pro: Star-crossed lovers, and a dark, handsome boy who is both hot and cold.
Con: The dark, handsome Daniel seems to be hot and cold for no reason. What’s with the mood swings, buddy?

Pro: I liked Luce’s female friends at Sword & Cross. They were all pretty hardcore.
Con: Luce herself was waaaay too passive. (“These boys like me so I’m just gonna do whatever they say.” Terrible idea, Luce, terrible idea.)

Pro: Quick read with more books in the series to follow. Definitely worth a read to find out more about Daniel and Luce’s shared past.
Con: This book raised a lot of questions (presumably to be answered in the following books).

I can only hope Luce grows a backbone and Daniel is explained in the upcoming books, which yes, I will probably read. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

FFFT: Sexy Birthday Burn

Today is (YA)Y! books' first birthday!!

Here's a Hunger Games cake to celebrate my very first post:

(borrowed from the amazing Cake Wrecks website, sadly not eaten by me)

And because it's Friday, and Fridays are for sharing, I present Sexy Young Adult Books That Need to be Made into Movies ASAP. I've reviewed some of these on the blog- check out my reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and City of Bones (apparently I like my sexy books to be filled with bones?)

And now for a Lauren Conrad MURDER and a Lemony Snicket BURN. Buzzfeed managed to salvage the evidence of the crime in this video and don't miss the best literary burn since Shakespeare (I'm not biased because I love Lemony Snicket like a below the video. 

And finally, my birthday present to you: a Ryan Gosling coloring book. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Midsummer’s Nightmare (Kody Keplinger)

Title: A Midsummer’s Nightmare
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Length: 304 pages
Rating: 4/5

Whitley is really excited for the summer spent with her divorced father before she starts college. But turns out her father had moved towns and gotten engaged to a woman with a perfect country club family. And the best part is that her future step-brother is the guy Whitley slept with on graduation night.

Kody Keplinger has yet to let me down. She’s created another great novel with a troubled girl narrator that you can’t help but love even though she’s a mess. This page-turner’s got family drama, partying, and romance. It’s like my life, minus all of the above…except maybe family drama- we’ve all got that.

But really, how could you not love a novel with that hilarious hook? It should be noted (in case it’s not obvious from the hook) that this book is PG-13 and geared toward an older audience. I don’t think younger me would have liked it quite as much. But both versions of me would have appreciated that Whitley has to learn to trust other people and herself before she goes off to college.

And finally, while the step-brother/step-sister relationship thing gave me slight reservations, I got over it in this movie, so we’re all good:

Friday, August 10, 2012

FFFT: World's Best Treehouse

I know what you're thinking, "Finally! Food For Thought Friday is back!"


This, according to the Daily Mail, is the treehouse J.K.Rowling is planning to build for her children in their backyard. Note the Hogwarts-like towers. Basically, heaven.

And some great lists for you:

NPR this week came out with a list of the Top 100 Teen Books. While I think the list might be slightly biased as to what happens to be popular right now, I also have to happily concede that it's a golden age for Young Adult literature, so no wonder those books are so popular. And then Flavorwire took the series on the list, and created What Your Favorite YA Series Says About You. Pretty funny stuff.

While the NPR list reminded me of some of the best books I've read and need to read recently, this list of the 19 All-American Coming of Age Books That Made Us Who We Are reminded me of my childhood (or teenhood perhaps). I remember some of these books are being rather depressing...yet all of them definitely taught me a lot.

And finally, here is Publisher's Weekly's rather lengthy list of all the Children's/YA books coming out in 2013. (What?! I still think it's 2011 half the time!) But actually, I'm really excited for a lot of these books.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The False Prince (Jennifer A. Nielsen)

Title: The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic
Length: 342 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Four orphans are taken off the streets, but only one can be made into the long-lost prince to fool a country and stop a civil war. One of the orphans, Sage, knows the plan is treason, and wants no part of it. But the only other option is death.

I kept my book summery short this time around, because sometimes, you only want a teaser, not the whole plot! Plus, the actual flap copy (inside cover description) from the book made me angry because it gave everything away! If you want to enjoy this book, just start reading.

Fortunately, there was still some mystery within the book, but I thought the reader might have benefited from a different viewpoint. With Sage as our narrator, we’re a little biased toward which orphan should be chosen to be the prince. But Sage doesn’t want to be the prince, and the reader is left with a bit of a dilemma, especially since Sage’s motives are unclear. Why doesn’t he want to be the prince? Why is he always sneaking around but doesn’t run away? I suppose this is part of the mystery though.

While this book could easily stand alone, of course it’s part of a trilogy (what isn’t in YA these days?). I would be willing to give the next book a shot, but I probably won’t be reading any more flap copy!