Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dark Divine (Bree Despain)


Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont USA
Length: 372 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Daniel Kalbi is back in town, and the pastor’s daughter, Grace Divine, is told to stay away from the boy who was once like a brother to her. But Grace is determined to find out what caused Daniel’s disappearance, and to make it right for her brother who was scared by the mysterious incident. But her growing attraction to Daniel estranges her from her brother, and her love for both of them may not be enough to save them from Daniel’s deadly secret.

This cover is beautiful…but I have no idea what it has to do with the book.

Grace is the pastor’s daughter. Could be boring and perfect, but we like her. She’s a good person and has a lot to live up to with the name Grace Divine. But she’s also bossy, spunky, and she learns to be more rebellious through the novel. Yes, there are a lot of biblical undertones- think story of the prodigal son- and there are mythological undertones as well. The biblical parts were woven in much more neatly than the author-created mythology, which was just a little too convenient for the story.

Daniel is a bad boy. We like bad boys, especially ones who have a soft side and a history with our heroine. Grace tries to make Daniel a hero, but history has a way of coming back and biting characters, and as it resurfaces through flashbacks, we learn that things are more complicated than Grace realizes. It’s quite the twisted road. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chime (Franny Billingsley)

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Length: 361 pages
Rating: 2/5

Briony knows she is a witch. She knows she’s a witch because her stepmother told her so. How else could she be able to communicate with the other-worldly creatures who live in the swamp around her home; and how else could she have injured her twin sister, her step mother, and herself, all in separate, uncontrolled episodes of her witchly rage? But then the lionly handome Eldric comes to town and refuses to see anything dark or witchy about Briony, even though she’s the only one who knows how to stop the swamp cough from killing any more villagers. But if Briony tells what she knows, she’ll be hung, for that’s the only cure for girls who know they’re witches.



This book is all about perception of self: how you see yourself in relation to how everyone else sees you. Briony is filled with self-loathing because of the things she’s done. Which I’ll be honest, made me loath the book for the first 250 pages. (Another factor was the writing style, which, while beautiful, was often like plowing through a swamp murkier than the one in the book.) Briony’s constant self hate made me hate myself and I almost didn’t finish the book. But after all the loathing, I needed a happy ending, and I was determined that there was more to Briony than she herself believed, and so I kept reading to see if she and the book could be redeemed.

Eldric was another reason I kept reading. He was the bundle of light to Briony’s imposed darkness, and I loved him for it. Another thing I enjoyed about the book were how mythic creatures from the swamp just existed in Briony’s world. They weren’t painfully explained, they were just there.

Was Eldric enough to ultimately redeem the book in my eyes? Ehhhh.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

World Book Night/Ender's Game

Happy World Book Night everyone!!

As part of the thousands of people across the country (nay, the world!) giving out books to spread the love of reading, this girl and I are giving out 40 copies of Ender's Game tonight.


I recently reread Ender's Game to prepare myself, but refused to review it for you, because well, it's just too good, and sometimes a reader needs to treat themselves. Instead of a review (just go read it), I present the blog from THE MOVIE! That's right, they're finally making a movie!

Because we all love Ryan Gosling:


And I give you this video. It's Ryan Gosling, reading some favorites from the meme. 

Do you see me?

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Mephisto Covenant (Trinity Faegen)

Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Publisher: Egmont USA
Length: 464 pages
Rating: 1/5

“Jax, a son of Hell, and Sasha, a descendent of Eve, unexpectedly find love, but Sasha must sacrifice the purity of her soul to save him while he struggles to keep her safe from his brother, Eryx, whose mission is to take over Hell and abolish humanity’s free will.”



I wanted to like this book. The cover is beautiful and the premise is fun: forbidden love tangled in mythology. But I couldn’t even finish it. (I couldn’t even bring myself to write the summary so I stole if off the book!) I tried, for the sake of this review, but my head began to hurt from wincing so much. I mean no offense to the author, but everything seemed so unrealistic and over the top, especially the characters and their dialogue. It felt like a romance novelist trying to write YA, but failing because all she had to go off of were bad clich├ęs. And that's not what YA is about for me.

I’m sure this book is for some people, but not for this blogger!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

VOTE!


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Then, reward yourself and watch this awesome online version of Pride and Prejudice:


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hex Hall (Rachel Hawkins)

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Length: 323 pages
Rating: 3.5/5

Sophie recently discovered she’s a witch. Unfortunately, her spells never go right, and after one goes particularly wrong, she’s sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for naughty magical creatures. There, she becomes roommates with a hated vampire, pisses off three popular, pretty witches, and almost gets eaten by a werewolf, only to be saved by the (unavailable) hottest guy in school. Then people start getting attacked on school property, and Sophie learns that it might have something to do with her murky magical past. Surviving high school has nothing on surviving Hex Hall.

(what does this cute cover have to do with anything?)
The typical new school, crush on the hot boy who is dating the mean, popular girl, story but with Magical Twists (I capitalize these because I’m hungry and it would make a great name for a pretzel). So I’d heard parts of this story before. I still couldn’t put this book down. Who is attacking students? Will Sophie’s futile crush on the hottie ever amount to anything? Who is good and who is evil? Nothing is black and white as Sophie tries to keep an ancient society from destroying the magical world. Naturally, there are more books in the series to come. I will read on, with pretzels.