Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 7, 09 Ironside by Holly Black

I haven't blogged in a while, sorry about that! That changes NOW.

Ironside by Holly Black is the sequel to Tithe. Ironside is about a faerie named Kaye who is in love with the new Unseelie king named Roiben. She shows her love by asking for a quest, but Roiben, knowing how horrible quests are, gives her an impossible one. She is told to find a faerie who can lie. While this is going on, there are also extreme faerie politics going on, and it's up to Kaye to help Roiben.



This book was my favorite in the three in this series: Tithe, Valiant and Ironside. I loved how clever and quick thinking Kaye was, and I really liked the Corny and Luis romance. Black's writing is amazingly descriptive, and the courts she create are dark, terrifying and intriguing. I also adored how Kaye finished her quest. The book felt like it went really fast though, and that's my one complaint. Four and a half out of five.

Emma

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 6, 09 Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait! has a really awesome cover. I got this one from one of my big library hauls and enjoyed it.

Audrey, Wait! is about a girl named Audrey whose boyfriend Evan is in a local band. When Audrey breaks up with Evan, he writes a song about her and it becomes an international hit. Audrey's life instantly changes. She is followed by the paparazzi. Everyone wants to her friend, multiple bands want her as a muse and her relationships are start to break apart. Can Audrey get her life back?



Audrey, Wait! was witty and fun from the beginning. It was pretty amusing at times, although the cleverness would get hidden by all the omgawds and totallys once in a while. The side characters besides Audrey and her best friend, were pretty bland. But Audrey made up for them. I really like the idea of this book, and I thought it was executed pretty well. I did think the ending seemed half assed, like Benway realized she needed something to tie it all together. In the end, four out of five. If you're looking for a fun read, go for this book.

Emma

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 5, 09 Quaking by Kathryn Erskine

I'm guessing you probably haven't heard of Quaking. Also, side note: I think greetings on every blog post might get annoying. What do you think?

Ahem, anyways, Quaking is about a goth 14 year old named Matt who had a physically abusive father and her mother died because of him. She's being relocated for the millionth time to a Quaker family. There are also issues with pranks against religious groups that are for peace in the area. Could Matt, after slowly growing to love this new family lose them forever?


Quaking was not a favorite of mine. The writing was bland, and Matt's gothness just seemed like a way to make possible readers more intrigued with the book. The peace issues were interesting. There was really no plot and the writing and characters didn't make up for it. I would label this book as children, not YA. Overall, I didn't enjoy it very much. Two and a half stars.

Emma

June 4, 09 I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

So, I'm sure most of you who read YA know who Markus Zusak is. The Book Thief is his more popular novel, if you need a refresher.

I Am the Messenger is about a nineteen year old underage cab driver named Ed. After he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when he starts getting aces in the mail and becomes the messenger. He starts meeting people and helping them, sometimes through hurting them. But who is behind Ed's messages?



I Am the Messenger was awesome. It exceeded my expectations, because while The Book Thief was well written, I didn't like it very much. I really enjoyed this one. The writing was very good, the characters and messages were interesting, and I was really pleased with the ending. I'd recommend that people read this book first instead of The Book Thief, but that's only because he wrote this one first. They are two completely different books with the same beautiful writing. Zusak is in my top twenty favorite authors for this book. Not that I have my twenty favorite authors list arranged. So many awesome books, so little time. I can't decide. Four and a half out of five overall.

Emma

June 3, 09 What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

My Readers That I Love,

What I Saw and How I Lied is really good.

What I Saw and How I Lied is about a girl named Evie living after World War II. After Evie's stepfather Joe comes home from the war, Evie, her mother and Joe go to Florida for a vacation. In Florida Evie meets Peter, an old war friend of Joe's. But there are secrets between Peter and Joe, and Evie must lie to conceal them. But can she?



Despite the fact that I didn't like any other characters besides Evie, I really enjoyed this book. I wish I had gotten more of a sense of who Evie was. I didn't think I was going to give this book a high rating, but once the plot kicked in near the ending, WHAM. It was full of suspense and the writing was excellent. If you like mystery, go for this book. Four out of five.


Emma

June 2, 09 Women in Aikido by Amie Segel

My Amaztastic Readers,

Now, I know this book looks strange. I know you're probably thinking, "what the hell is aikido?" I will answer this question. Aikido is a marital art I'm involved in that is non-violent. Although... I can kick your ass. Watch out. We're nice and DEADLY. The best kind of martial artists.



Anyways, Women in Aikido is a series of interviews with black belt women in aikido. Aikido is a male dominated martial art, like most others, so it was empowering to read about these women who got far ahead in aikido. I'd recommend this book to any women who want to know about aikido or women and men who are already in it. Some of the interviews were better than others and there were a few parellels between a few of the women. Four and a half stars out of five.

Emma

June 1, 09 The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Hey My Lovely and Amaztastic Readers!

I want another butter tart. Other then that I'm going to review The Fortunes of Indigo Skye.

The Fortunes of Indigo Skye is well...about a girl named Indigo Skye. She has a pretty awesome life, an AMAZTASTIC boyfriend, a cool waitressing job, and a decent family life. But then a mysterious man leaves her a 2. 5 million dollar tip and everything is turned upside down. And turned inside out.



I liked Fortunes a lot. I really love Deb Caletti's writing style and I liked the characters within the book. Indigo was okay, but I didn't like her as much as I liked Jade from another one of Caletti's books, The Nature of Jade. Although I have to say I liked this book better then Nature of Jade. I felt like Caletti didn't know where to go near the end, though. Like she just randomly added the trip at the end because Caletti needed something to tie it up. Despite that, the ending was excellent and so was the moral. I'll be reading Caletti's other stuff. I'm thinking I'll read Wild Roses next. That looks like a good one. Four out of five, overall.

Emma

May 31, 09 A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Hi Readers,

I am now going to write now that my stomach is full of hummus. Om. Anyways, I read this amaztastic book called A Northern Light the last day of May.

A Northern Light (ANL) is about a sixteen year old girl named Mattie Gokey who lives in 1908 in a small town. She is a farmer girl whose mother died and being the oldest daughter of four, takes on the responsibilities that a farmer's wife would have. Mattie longs to go to college in New York and become a writer. Mattie starts to work at a hotel in the summer to help her Pa with money. The hotel is where a young woman named Grace Brown gives her letters and asks her to burn them. But when Grace is found dead and drowned, Mattie starts to read the letters and discover a terrible truth.


This. Book. Is. Amazing.

Now, my description might misguide you, because the description on the book misguided me. While Mattie does read Grace Brown's letters, the majority of the novel is more about her life, and the big mystery behind the letters is evident from the beginning. Despite being mislead, I adored this book. I haven't loved a character so deep in my gut since Gemma Doyle. Unlike Gemma, who finally won me over at the end of AGATB, Mattie got me from the very beginning. Her love of books, words and freedom are glorious and written about articulately. I related to her very well. Unlike me, Mattie is immensely selfless, and typically this would have annoyed me. I like my characters to have a healthy sense of selfishness. But somehow, it didn't. I ended up loving all the characters in Mattie's life, and I understood why she was so willing to sacrifice herself for the ones she loved. The characters weren't all good or bad, they were like real people with interesting quirks and disappointing faults. I understood Mattie. While I did not understand her attraction to Royal Loomis, a beautiful farmer boy, I understood the feelings she got around him. I understood why she had to think so much about the promises she made to both her mother and Grace. Although I was typically one or two steps ahead of Mattie, there were a few things that surprised me. I thought the conclusion fit the book and Mattie sacrificed a lot.

There is no doubt that this book is flawed, the description is misleading, the lack of plot, mystery and historical accuracy in a few areas, could be unforgivable to some people. But the characters and writing made up for it for me at the end. There was something about Mattie, a character who in some respects was completely unlike myself, that got to me in ways that even Gemma couldn't. I am pleased I've found a new book love that is equal but different to my love of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. 5 out of 5.

Emma

Sunday, June 7, 2009

May 26, 09 Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Hey Readers!

I just realized that I read a book the day after I finished the Spiderwick series, so instead of being two books behind for this weeks reading, I'm one book behind! Phew, that makes me feel a little bit better.

Nobody's Princess is about Helen of Troy, as I'm sure you all know about. But instead of just being a pretty face that started a war, she's heiress of Sparta, warrior in the making. She seeks adventure.



The book was okay, not a favorite. The writing wasn't anything special but I enjoyed the historical information. I didn't really relate to Helen or any of the characters. This book felt more like an introduction than anything else. I was sort of disappointed that a book that seemed so much about plot and adventure didn't have a lot of either. I'm looking forward to Nobody's Prize, though. I hope it is better than the first book. Three and a half stars. You know, I'm thinking about changing the rating system. Stars are so average. Maybe I'll change it to sunflowers. I forget if I mentioned that I adore sunflowers in the introduction post. They make me happy. It's funny since I hate the colour yellow. Leave suggestions for a different rating system in the comments! I'd love to hear what you all think.

Emma

May 25, 09 Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DeTerrilizzi

Hey Readers!

I am still working on my hello. I don't want to start with the same one. That would be too repetitive, I believe.

Okay, so, on Monday, where I had a lot of time, I read the entire five books of the Spiderwick series that my mother got me about three years ago in one day. They were a hundred pages each and I could finish one in an hour, okay? I am sort of ashamed of how much free time I have. Um...

BESIDES THAT, the Spiderwick Chronicles are about three kids, Mallory, the older sister, and Jared and Simon, two twins. They move into an old house with their mother and discover faeries and a field guide that explains all the creatures of this new magical world that is opened up to them.



I thought this was a pretty good book. The writing was pretty good and full of suspense. The illustrations were great. It felt like all of the five books could've easily been one, though. They were really quick reads. Solid children books. I prefer Holly Black's YA stuff, though. Three and a half stars. It would've probably been two if it wasn't for the second book, which I thought was the best.

Emma

May 24, 09 Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Hello My Lovely Followers!

I'm sure most of you have heard of Coraline, but I'll explain it anyway. Coraline is about...well...a girl named Coraline. She moves to a new house divided into flats, and behind a door that doesn't seem to lead to anything, she discovers an alternate reality with another mother and another father.



I liked the character of Coraline. She was very adventurous. There's really not a lot to say about this book. Apparently some adults define this book as horror, but I just didn't find it all that scary. Yanno, besides the buttons for eyes. *shivers* I have issues with sharp things near eyes. I begin to scream. I guess I just felt this sort of detachment from the book. Good with the plot, though. It was a quick read. A solid children's book. Three out of five.

I'm sorry I have so little to say about it, but it was so quick. Onto SPIDERWICK review.

Emma

May 23, 09 Valiant by Holly Black

Hello Two Followers! You are made of awesome. This is not just because you follow me. You really are MADE OF AWESOME. Korianne and Max, you get hugs.

I know I know, I haven't posted in a while. But this is because damn blogger WOULDN'T LET ME. *makes strangling motion* I'm very behind in blogging. And two books behind in reading but I'll tell you about that when I get up to date.

Ahem.

Anyways, I'm reviewing this book called Valiant, which is the sequel to Tithe by Holly Black. But it's one of those sequels that are about the same world but different main characters.

Valiant is about a girl named Val aka Badass of Badassia. (I loved that nickname from the book). When she catches her mom with her boyfriend (I'm really not giving anything away here) she leaves New Jersey and goes to New York, where she makes friends with some homeless teenagers that are involved in faerie magic. Strange things begin to happen and there is a not ugly troll. This is all I'm giving away.



Valiant was okay. I prefered Tithe. While I did like Val, I didn't feel like I knew her very well. All the other characters were unlikeable and under developed. I love Holly Black's writing and descriptions, but the lack of character development really bothered me. So did the lack of plot. I like it when the plot kicks in at about a hundred pages, after I know the characters pretty well. The plot seemed non-existent until the last hundred pages and I STILL didn't know what the characters were really like. I was slightly annoyed because the descriptions were to die for. There was so much potential in this book. I hope the real sequel to Tithe, Ironside, is better than Valiant. Kaye was awesome in Tithe. What I love about Holly Black is that her female characters are always bad asses. This is a major compliment from me. Even Mallory from the Spiderwick series is a badass. I approve of this. Overall, three and a half stars for Valiant. Three for writing, half for the awesome cover!

Emma