Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Where She Went

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 264
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Library
Other Books in Series: If I Stay Amazon / The Book Depository
Challenge: The Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge Book 11
Synopsis: It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. 

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. 

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Buy the Book (Amazon)
Buy the Book (The Book Depository)

Were She Went= Sob Fest. I cried so much, a few chapters in, and then about every other chapter for the most part. I will admit that I'm not one of those people who never cry. Some stories just hit me hard and this was one of them.

I'm glad I read this book. It's not just for entertainment. It's written in a way to make the reader understand what Adam is going through. He's been through a lot and he feels alone. He has pushed everyone away and is on the verge of a breakdown. Then he sees Mia again for one night that will change his life.

In If I Stay, Mia was in a hard place but at the end she made a choice and broke through. In Where She Went, Adam has the same possibility of making that choice. Watching Adam go through all his emotions was powerful. At some parts I hated Mia for what she did, but I couldn't hate her for living her life. There was so much raw emotion pouring out through Adam, the prose, the lyrics to the songs (which I loved, btw) that I was overwhelmed.

I love Adam even more than Mia. There is so much to him and I loved his perspective. He's no saint but he is a genuinely good person. A man. His love for Mia is consuming. The kind of love that can last forever if pruned, the kind of love that can save or take a life.

There were several revelations Adam had but the one I loved the most was the idea of closure. I'm bad at goodbyes. They can be painful for me when I don't think about them, and I always end up upset on the last few days of vacation or when a good thing is happening because I'm scared of letting go. The way the idea of closure was presented here really resonated with me in a beneficial way. I thought closure was being over that pain, that sadness but what it really is is excepting the pain and eventually letting it go.

I'm not going to go more in depth than that. Where She Went made me feel strongly, which is exactly why I love it. In most books you see other people, experience others' lives. Where She Went was a personal read, and exactly what I needed. 5 stars,


Monday, August 29, 2011

Cover Wars : Above vs. Still Waters

Cover Wars is a pretty regular feature at Tantalizing Illusions all about covers! It's my way of appreciating them. Basically what happens is every week two covers face off. The Defendant and the Challenger. One cover wins (based on YOUR votes!) and goes to defend it's title the next week against a brand new cover. 

Last week, Above won against Fever. This week, Above is against Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne. The covers are so different! One is gold-ish and the other one is blue-ish. They both are beautiful and attention drawing though! See for yourself and, though it's hard, vote for your favourite on the poll to the right. 

AbovevsStill Waters

Gorgeous eh? Have fun voting on the poll to the right! 

In My Mailbox (15)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren all about sharing the wonderful titles you've received this week.

For Review:

Far From The War (Volume 1)
 Far From The War
Thank you to Roche Harbor books! I'm really excited to read this one.

A reminder that all pictures link to Amazon and links hereon go to The Book Depository's lowest price. The items may or may not be available.

From the Library:
Dead RulesThe Amanda Project: Book 1: invisible IBreath of Angel: A Novel (The Angelaeon Circle)Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 3)Clean
Dead Rules, Invisible I, Breath of Angel, Circle of Fire, Clean

Cloaked in RedThe Eternal SeaFairy Bad DayFamous
Cloaked in Red,  The Eternal SeaFairy Bad DayFamous

I'm so excited! I already read Dead Rules and I really liked it. I'm curious about everything else. Some of them are awesome paranormal-ish like Circle of Fire and other interesting contemporaries like Famous and Clean. Others area fairy tale-ish. Many are new series though so I'm ready to cram as many books as possible in before school!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

Author: Jenny Han
Pages: 276
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Library
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge book 10
Synopsis: Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Buy the Book (Amazon)
Buy the Book (The Book Depository)

I finally read The Summer I Turned Pretty and I really liked it. It was a fun, nice read and definitely felt like summer. I was deeply immersed in the world and I love the characters.

Belly is awesome. She's not vain, she doesn't spend hours on her looks but she does whatever she wants and feels comfortable with it. She knows what she wants and tries to get it. Everything she felt made sense, and I can see why she acted the way she did. I love that she actually gets upset and acknowledges acting immaturely. She has flaws and I love her for them.

I love the characters in this book, especially Susannah. Eccentric, indulgent, what's not to love? Conrad and Jeremiah are both swoon worthy guys. I seriously love both of them, and usually I prefer one brother or one guy in a story but I think I may love them both. All I know is that Belly's relationship with them is real and funny, and serious.

Belly encountered many firsts (and seconds). She's about my age (tiny bit older) and I loved that she felt like a friend. I loved her reactions to events like dates, parties and kisses. At first glance this book may seem like a light, summer read but there's more to it then that. It deals with hard issues teens face in a real way.

One last comment: I cried. I think the last book to have done that to me was If I Stay or Darkest Mercy. I love how emotionally involved this book made me be. I'm totally rooting for the characters.

Sarah Dessen said it best in her blurb, this book has everything you want in a summer. It makes me extra excited for summer. I can't wait to read the sequel. 4 stars,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Huntress


I'd like to quickly explain that I haven't been posting much since I moved and getting Internet connected was an awful experience. (On the phone for an hour everyday for two weeks and still they manage to mess up our order!) But all that matters is I'm back and I've got some interesting reviews and books to review. :) I did manage to catch up on my reading though.


Author: Malinda Lo
Pages: 384
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge
Synopsis: Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.

The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

Huntress was a good romantic story full of fairies, love, and life. There were many unique aspects to it that I enjoyed. I do feel the need to stress the "fantasy" part of the story though. I'm not too into fantasy/quest stories but Huntress was a good one.

The story was told in the alternating perspectives of Taisin and Kaede. Don't worry, all names in Huntress were written in the pronunciation guide! Anyway, these two girls both go to the Academy of Sages. Taisin is gifted, but Kaede... Not so much. They're summoned though to go on a quest to the Fairy Queen with three guards and Prince Con. As characters, their (Kaede and Taisin's) romance didn't make too much sense to me, but I could accept it. Both girls were different and they found in each they traits they lacked and admired. They complimented each other. That being said, I never thought of their love as the "forever" kind (which I'm glad! Imagine finding your soulmate at 17?!) Their story wrapped up well.

There were lots of good stuff in Huntress. Con was as sweet as sunshine; the Fey were described with justice. They were beautiful, mesmerizing, and inhuman like they should be. The myths and folklore used was also very fun to read of.

I did expect some of the twists in the end, but the ending was satisfying nonetheless. There was good pacing and something was always happening. The one thing I didn't like, and that's a personal preference, was the amount of description. I love action and stuff happening so I'd get impatient and lose interest with the descriptions, though they were written beautifully.

My favourite thing about Huntress was the struggles the characters faced. The internal ones. They felt lifelike. It's too often that a protagonist throws everything away for love as it's also too often that murder is done without a thought or concern in books. I appreciated the way Malindo Lo changed that.

Overall, Huntress was an enchanting prequel with a compelling blend of magic, action, and romance. An original story filled with positive details. 3.5 stars,

*** &1/2 *

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (14)

IMM is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's all about the incredible books we've recently gotten through the library, for review, won in a contest, bought, any way we got the books. I'm a bit late posting mine this week but better late than never, eh?

*All links go to Amazon

See What I SeeTrial by Fire: A Raised by Wolves NovelBad Taste in BoysDead EndDreamland Social Club
See What I SeeTrial by FireBad Taste in BoysDead EndDreamland Social Club

ForgivenThe Ivy: SecretsVicious Little DarlingsWhat Would My Cell Phone Do?The A Circuit
ForgivenThe Ivy: SecretsVicious Little DarlingsWhat Would My Cell Phone Do?The A Circuit

I really like the books I got this week. See What I See, Bad Taste in Boys, and Trial by Fire are all so awesome. You can expect reviews for those three. The others I'm still reading. I like the variety here and I think I'm going go have a great reading week. How about you? What did you get in your mailbox?
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