Fire {book review}

This book in 6 words : can’t believe waited to read this

I put off reading Fire by Kristin Cashore. I LOVED Graceling and believe I was hesitant out of fear that it wouldn’t live up to the first book and would cause Graceling to lose some of its magic. I was wrong. It only made me love the world Cashore created even more. If I had to pick a favorite between the two I’m not sure that I could. I will say that although others have said that you could read these out of order, I believe it’s best to read Graceling first and then Fire.

With wild, irresistable appearance and hair like the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.  – inside book cover

Fire is set in the same world as Graceling but across the mountains in a kingdom called the Dells and years earlier. The Dells doesn’t have native Gracelings, however they do have monsters. Beautiful, colorful, mind-stealing monsters of all kinds. Fire is the last human monster. The kingdom around her is in the middle of an internal battle and Fire must find her place in the war.

This book is much more adult than Graceling. There is plenty of action, but most of the conflict is emotional. It is also darker and more complex. There are more characters, but I never felt confused. I will say that I cried more than I expected. I think I realized how talented Cashore really is when I came across a twist in the story that was kind of obvious, but I had completely overlooked it because I was so entranced by the story.

THANK YOU to everyone who voted for this and got me to finally read it!! I highly recommend this to everyone, but again I must insist that you read Graceling first. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Bitterblue, to come out! I’m now suffering from severe PABD 😦 — Wait, you don’t know what PABD is? Well then head over here and see if you have it and how to live with it.

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Beautiful Creatures {Book Review}

This book in 6 words : Haunting Southern mystery with impossible love.

I’d like to start with saying how I’m going to slam my head into a wall if I finish one more book only to discover that it is the first in a series. PLEASE put “Book 1” or “X Series” on the books!!!!

I received Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl from Kelly at Stacked Books for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap! I really did like it and I will be reading the next in the series.

Ethan Wate is struggling to hide his apathy for his high school “in” crowd in small town Gatlin, South Carolina, until he meets the determinedly “out” Lena Duchannes, the girl of his dreams (literally–she has been in his nightmares for months). What follows is a smart, modern fantasy–a tale of star-crossed lovers and a dark, dangerous secret. Beautiful Creatures is a delicious southern Gothic that charms you from the first page, drawing you into a dark world of magic and mystery until you emerge gasping and blinking, wondering what happened to the last few hours (and how many more you’re willing to give up). To tell too much of the plot would spoil the thrill of discovery, and believe me, you will want to uncover the secrets of this richly imagined dark fantasy on your own. —Daphne Durham (via Amazon)

I’m not one to shy away from big books. I was, however, surprised to find out that this 600 page turning mystery is only the first in a series. I didn’t feel like the book was too long, however, I did catch myself skimming near the end when I was dying to find out how it ended. To be honest, I almost put the book down after the first chapter because I wasn’t really getting into it, but I kept going and after a few more chapters I was hooked. The suspense is so intense that I finished this within two days.

Ethan and Lena are beautifully written. I found myself laughing and crying with them. The story is complex without being confusing. You will find yourself thinking about it long after you put the book down. I will be passing this along to my friends and recommending it to anyone who loves YA fiction/fantasies.

* This goes towards my 101 Books Challenge and my A-Z Book Challenge

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The Vampire Diaries – Awakening (1st Attempt)

I tried starting The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith last night and couldn’t get more than a few pages in. I LOVE the TV series based on the series and could not believe how different the main characters were in the book. I know this is to be expected and to be honest if I had read the book first it might not have bothered me. However, I like what they have done with TV characters’ personalities. Elena in the book seemed so shallow (granted I only read the first chapter…). I plan on waiting to try to read it again after this season is over on the WB.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Graceling by Kristin Cashore {Review}

graceling table

This book in 6 words: Made me want to have heterochromia.

graceling I wasn’t planning on reading this yet. There were other books higher up on my TBR pile. However, I couldn’t help but start it last night at 2:00am and then I could not put it down. I finished it early this morning and should probably sleep before writing this review…. oh well…

I LOVED Graceling by Kristen Cashore!! I literally couldn’t put it down. Now I do have a tendency to do this on occasion, but I usually don’t want to slow down so that the book won’t end. The story was absolutely captivating. It was complex without being confusing. There were so many twists and turns and tense moments that were well balanced with the right touch of relationships and romance.

We follow 18-year-old  Katsa, a Grace — meaning she was born with an extreme skill… killing. She is controlled by her uncle, King Randa, and expected to do his dirty work. This is starting to wear on her and she feels less comfortable with the tasks she is sent to perform.

Then she meets Po, a Graced fighter. She is struck by how relaxed him seems around her and how she always feels him staring. She doesn’t plan on befriending him or how drastically it will change her life. She soon learns a secret that could ruin all the kingdoms of her land.

I loved the characters. They were so well-written that I laughed and even teared up at times. The only small thing that kinda bothered me was that Katsa is yet another girl who refuses to marry… I will, however, consent that this is very different since it is set in a medieval-like period and marrying would make her the property of someone else. All in all, it was a minor factor in the overall story. I also having read Hunger Games recently, kept wanting to call Katsa – Katniss and Po – Peta 🙂

I will buy this book and reread it (although I think the magic of all the surprises will change the story). I’m also picking up Fire and anxiously awaiting Bitterblue. I think it goes without saying that I highly recommend this book, although I think more so for those who like Fantasy and YA.

* This book counts towards my 101 Books Challenge and my A-Z Books Challenge

{Book Review} Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Intertwined table

intertwined I told myself no more starting series that haven’t been finished. I HATE not knowing how a story ends… I didn’t realize that Intertwined by Gena Showalter was the beginning of a series. That’s what I get for not doing my research prior to picking up a book…

Aden Stone may seem like your normal schizophrenic trouble maker, however, the voices in his head are much more than figments of his imagination. Aden shares his body with four spirits that each bring something strange to the table. One sees the future – often the death of those around him. One raises the dead. One allows Aden to posses others. One can take Aden to past versions of himself often altering the future as he knows it. As terrible as sharing your head may sound, Aden has come to love these spirits and wants to help them find their own lives. He hasn’t known anything different. That is until he meets Mary Anne. She somehow quiets the voices, allowing him the peace he only dreamed of. That peace doesn’t last long, however, somehow him meeting Mary Anne is bringing the paranormal world out of hiding to find him.

I started this book at 7am the morning of the Read-a-Thon. I am not by any means a morning person so that may very well account for why it was so hard for me to get into the story. I felt like it was slow to start, but once it got going I couldn’t put it down. The added paranormal world definitely grabbed my attention. The characters became more well rounded and the more I learned about them the more I wanted to know. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was how rushed the end felt.  Overall, I liked the book and I will be reading the next one when it comes out. I’d recommend borrowing or checking this book out… I’m not sure if I can say “go out and buy it!”… maybe after the next one…

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I heard about this book from Blogs with Bite. So here are my answers to their discussion questions: May contain minor spoilers!!

#1  Do you feel the ending was cut short and needed more to be resolved before the book ended? I felt that it was rushed, but not necessarily that there needed to be more resolved. I felt almost like too much was resolved too quickly… if that makes sense…

#2 Regarding Question #1, what are your thoughts on series books? I love series books! I hate waiting to find out what happens next… but with series you get to know the characters and their world much better.

#3 Which “trapped” soul was your favorite and do you see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three? My favorite was probably Elijah. Although all the souls cared about Aden, he seemed the closest to him. I think Caleb will have the most interesting back story… but you never know 🙂 I’m really looking forward to seeing how they find out who the souls are and how they grant their dying wishes.

#4  When a larger-than-life character such as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula is used as a side-plot character do you believe it gives the story a more factual base, or makes it less real? I think it makes it more “real” or connects it with stories you may have read in the past. A character like Dracula in particular, that was based on a real man, helps bring the story into our world.

#5 What did you think of the side plot involving Tucker and Penny?  Do you think the issues from that plot were adequately resolved? I think it helped build Mary Anne’s character. We get to see how she deals with betrayal and she loses those that were close to her. I’m interested to see what happens with Penny and the child. Will it be a demon? Will Mary Anne tell her?

#6 What is your best guess as to what Aden Stone’s superpower is – the power he possess without his souls? I honestly have no idea. He seems to draw magical energy to him. I’m sure the fact that him and Mary Anne were born in the same place at the same time will play a big role in finding out what their powers are.

* read during 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

* counted towards 101 Books Challenge

* “I” book for A-Z Books Challenge

The Eyre Affair

Originally posted June 2, 2009

Rating ***

I picked up The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde on my monthly trip to the library in May. I had never heard of the book prior to reading Chère’s review of the book and was instantly intrigued. Fforde tells a story about a literary detective named Thursday Next in an alternate 1980’s England. The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

Filled with CLEVER wordplay LITERARY allusion and BIBLIOWIT, The Eyre Affair combines elements of MONTY PYTHON, HARRY POTTER, STEPHEN HAWKING and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. But its quirky charm is all its own.

I thought it was very clever and quirky! Although I love British humor, I still feel like I was missing some of the laughs. If you are going to read this book without having read Jane Eyre I highly recommend you read a summary at the very least. It vastly helped in my understanding of what was happening.

I completely agree with Chère in that you have to suspend your disbelief and step into Fforde’s world. I didn’t have much of a problem with this (I’ve been blessed with an overactive imagination), but I can see how this could be difficult. The story contains time travel, vast historical changes, a seemingly all-powerful bad guy, jumping into and out of books… to name a few. The story contains aspects of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, satire, romance, and thriller all rolled into one.

The Eyre Affair is the first in a Thursday Next series. Although I’m not impatiently waiting to get my hands on the next book, I will pick it up when I have the chance. Overall, I would recommend giving this book a try if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.