Category Archives: Zelda

Unbound

I didn’t think I could fall in love with this author or this series any more…I was wrong.

Victoria Schwab has created a world I am desperate to live in. I can’t get enough of this series! I want to shout from the rooftops to everyone in range to read these books.

If you have read any of my reviews you have quickly come to realize that I break one “important” rule and I judge my books by their covers.

I originally picked up The Archived when checking in a cart of brand new YA books and thought it was GORGEOUS!

I read the explanation and knew that I had to read it. The cover for The Unbound is equally fabulous.

I also have to say if there isn’t a book 3, I don’t know how I will deal with that. I NEED a book 3. This is beyond a want. I can just immerse myself in this world and not even think of anything else. I have to immerse myself in it. I’m not ready to let go.

The new characters were a lot of fun in this book. I was quite pleased that the introduction of Cash didn’t cause a full on brawl between him and Wesley (Guyliner), because I would have been pretty disappointed. There was some hinting toward a love triangle, but it never went beyond slight flirtation really, and I loved that. You could tell both boys had some interest and there was a slight tension during interactions between both boys and Mackenzie. It felt real and even I felt conflicted and a little unsure what would happen…even though we all know that Guyliner is the way to go.

Mackenzie. I adore her. She is so strong and feels real to me. I want to be her best friend…or just be her. She is so beautifully flawed and so great. Even though she was being “independent” it really translated to “Stop being so dumb and talk to Wesley! Ack!” in my head, but you can’t help but understand how she feels. I love that she doesn’t depend solely on him to solve her problems and wants that independence and doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone but herself and what her grandfather taught her. Like I said, I want to be her. I think at the end of the day she is a stronger person than I am.

 I am a grandpa’s girl. I didn’t really have a father growing up, I had my grandpa. He is someone I look up to and what he says/does/thinks matters. I relate to Mackenzie’s strong feelings for that relationship she holds on to.

Enough babbling. Just do yourself a favor and read these books. Grab a cup pot of coffee and stay up all night getting lost in this wonderful world.

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Raven Boys: a taste of psychics, birds, and the kiss of death

Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve read a book that wasn’t part way through a series. I would say that Raven Boys was a good way to start again.

Like all good places to begin, let’s start with that cover. I mean, look at it. I wanted to read this just because of that cover. I don’t like the cover for Dream Thieves quite as much, but my expectations were clearly high after book 1. Now, onto what is actually between the covers.

Blue, our main character, is funny and independent. I liked that the kiss prophecy reminded me a bit of fairy tales. “Kiss your true love and he dies” a bit backwards from the kiss that solves all the world’s problems, but more realistic. Relationships are messy and dating sucks. Anyone that tells you dating is great lies. Run the other way now. I liked that there wasn’t this ridiculous love at first sight passion, but there were so many feelings! You could imagine the kinds of kissing that could go on if people weren’t going to literally die from it. I’m sure Ronan knows all about that since he is totally a loose cannon.

I sort of got this weird Donna Tart Secret History group feeling while I read this book. I couldn’t quite figure it out until I sat down to write this review, but I think that may be why I loved this so much. A group of weird kids, someone new tossed in the mix, murder, plots, magic. I can dig it.

Gansey. Yes. I loved him. I loved everyone in this book. Adam is wonderful. I simultaneously feel bad for him, want to punch him, then hug him, and Noah is great. Even Ronan that totally freaked me out and I worried he was going to go flying off the handle and kill everyone. In fact, maybe that is why I liked Ronan. YA books are usually straight forward and I take what they say at face value, so if they can trick me I instantly love them for it. This could have been that kind of book.

Like all good things the end of the book came and it left me feeling a bit dejected. Not because the ending wasn’t good, but because there wasn’t enough ending! I want the whole story and I want it now!! Ok, fine, I will just wait and read the other books. I look forward to it and I hope I love book 2 just as much.

The Different Girl

I was excited for this one. It has a really great cover and an interesting premise. I just felt like this was going no where. You spend time with your four main girls that are identical except for their hair color. We have Veronika, Isobel, Caroline and Eleanor. Enter May, our “different” girl, survivor of a ship wreck. Nothing really happened. The book isn’t very long, only 240 pages, but nothing actually happened. The four identical girls wander around the island with Irene, the lady that teaches them things and then we have Robbert that created them and keeps them in working order.

The girls wander and look for things. Then they get in a group and talk about what they looked at. Irene poses questions to them to get them to do different things and then we start all over again. Then May shows up and we continue this trend but every once in a while we have to realize that May is in a new world and needs to go sulk.

Commence the wandering! What’s this? We have stumbled upon a secret on the island? It was never explained WHY the girls were built. Why do you they live on this island? What is the point of any of it? Sure, people don’t want cyborgs and that is the why for living on the island but not why they exist in general. How did the four girls come Irene and Robbert? What is the purpose of May? Irene was already trying to get the girls to think beyond what they “know” and Caroline is the only one that dreams but why does it matter? I just needed more information in general.

This could have been really cool and instead I was just left feeling empty toward the book and the characters. I also got the impression that Irene and Robbert were kind of creepy but then that went no where. Which was a little disappointing, no diabolical plans or anything?

I gave this 1/5 stars.

The Theory of Everything

I saw this book while shelving and was drawn to it because of the blue cover and the trees in the letters of the title. I flipped to the back and without reading the premise of the book, I knew I had to check out. On the back cover is a chart. A CHART! Listing percentages of things in the book. I was sold. 5% possum? Done. I had to see where the possum fits in. It already seemed like my kind of humor and it was a chart!

The premise of the book sounds like a sad one. Our main character, Sarah, lost her friend in a tragic accident and is still not over it. Her family, friends and boyfriend aren’t sure how to help her and are frankly getting a little upset with her seeming lack of ability to move on. Add to this a Christmas tree farm, some snarky behavior, and a main character that felt like she could be my best friend, and I was so excited to read this. I was not let down.

Sarah is awesome. I loved that while she was being a bit snarky and bitchy, even she was getting fed up with her own behavior. She wanted to change but couldn’t figure out how and I can relate to feeling unsure of how to change yourself. I loved that she would say something and instantly in her head, “Why can’t you just be normal?! Why are you like this?” I couldn’t put this down because I had to see what happened in her life.

I was a little bummed out by the ending and after reading many other reviews, I was not alone. I won’t give away any information, but I felt like one aspect seemed a bit out of character and there could have been more resolution. I wanted this to have the bow tie ending where everything was in its final place and that was that.

I need to request the other book by this author and see if I love it just as much. I will be on the lookout for future books as well!

5/5 stars! I loved this one.

Pretty Girl-13

Hmm….I really expected to like this more. I know that may sound….weird (for lack of a better word) when thinking about the subject of the book but it could have been written so well. I know that this book is out there to educate kidnappings/sexual abuse that in the end come to happier conclusions (Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard, etc.) but there were no surprises here. I found myself thinking, “was that supposed to be a surprise?” “Really? That’s the “twist”?” and I guess I’m not sure what I fully expected from this book. It did it’s job in introducing the world to a character that you could almost relate to. I thought some of the plot lines were a little weird. I really loved the idea of exploring Disassociative Identity Disorder and the reality of being in a situation you are beyond dealing with and your body basically taking over. But, and this is a big one, this could have been MUCH better. I applaud the author for taking a really hard subject and giving it a voice. Not often in literature for teens do certain sort of taboo subjects come up.

Angie, our main character, goes camping and the suddenly finds herself back on the street she lives on. She goes home and her parents are elated to see her. She doesn’t understand that three years have passed because she doesn’t remember them. Her alternate personalities are basically shielding her from what has occurred so the last thing she remembers is leaving to go camping and then winds up home instead.

I found I couldn’t relate to Angie as a person. The story felt like a story and not a world that I could try to understand and join. It lacked some sort of emotion for me that would have made it seem more realistic or at least made the characters more realistic. I also had a hard time accepting her “alters” as real characters. The interactions with them were strange and kind of detracted from the story a bit for me.

I wouldn’t say I don’t recommend that you read this, just that it really wasn’t for me. 

Original Skin

I haven’t reviewed a mystery in a while and this one is worth talking about! I really loved The Dark Winter by David Mark when I read it last year. It was totally different and the main character was really fantastic. The premise is basically a killer going around murdering people the way they would have died, which is always totally horrific. I couldn’t WAIT for the library to purchase this book! Then they did and I thought DS Aector McAvoy was great and I wanted to know more about him. Then comes Original Skin.

This plot on it’s own would have drawn me in but already knowing the characters was nice. Aector is still his lovable self and I couldn’t have been happier about that. There are a few different plot lines being drawn together and they are woven together so nicely. I never felt as though the changes in the book were jarring, mostly they just cutaway right before the good stuff to keep you reading! I also only felt like I was missing out on one plot point that seemed less developed. I won’t give anything away but I will say the way the book opens, it doesn’t really go back to that often and let you explore where that could have gone.

This one gives more insight to the main character and his life with his wife. I loved that this takes a different spin on the detective’s life than many of the other murder mysteries I have read recently. There seems to be a lack of family life or a really tragic back story regarding their family. I enjoyed reading about a happy and stable relationship for a change.

I’m actually really impressed that The Dark Winter was this authors first novel. He is definitely gifted with mystery writing and tells a really addicting tale. Add to all this the fact that before writing these novels David Mark was a crime reporter for fifteen years? His experience definitely shows and it makes the novels that much more alive. I read a lot of really dark murder books but these two definitely need some recognition.

Overall, I would say definitely pick this one up if you need a new mystery! It would make sense without reading the first one but it was so good you should read both of them!

I received an ARC copy of this from NetGalley the week after this was published (May of 2013). Keep an eye out for book 3!

An Apple a Day

I’ve noticed a certain trend in my non-fiction…I mostly read about eating disorders and animals. I will read some memoirs but they have to be pretty good or I get bored quickly. I love a book that will make me laugh so the new book by Jim Gaffigan (my favorite comedian) was an obvious choice as well as BossyPants by Tina Fey. I also like the occasional random non-fiction thrown in there but I usually ready about murder or anything YA. I can’t help it.

Best line of the book. “Remember when Kate Moss said, ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’? She’s wrong: chocolate does.” This is said as Emma Woolf walks down the street unwrapping a kitkat, the first chocolate she has eaten in over 10 years. 

I thought this book was great. I loved how honest the author was in her struggle and she just seemed so real. I will say she also has some pretty strong views on things and isn’t shy to let you know them. I didn’t like her view on suicide because it seemed skewed and actually a bit juvenile. Her thoughts were that suicide is selfish and I used to think that growing up but as I got older I realized it isn’t that way for those who suffer severe depression or suicidal thoughts. I have a very close relationship with a couple people with suicidal tendencies and I definitely have a different view, including my own bout of depression while growing up. Senior year in high school was really hard for me because of depression so I am not one to judge others on their demons.

Back to the eating disorder part. Emma Woolf brings up some good points. Doctors and even family members have the main goal of trying to get the sufferer to their “goal” weight that is healthy for them but there isn’t always a lot of therapy for the mental side of the problem. Once your at a higher weight it can seem like everyone is thinking, “Oh well you’re fine now. No big deal just eat.” Well it’s not that easy.

I thought it was brave of the author to write a column while she was struggling with overcoming anorexia and letting her audience kind of follow her progress. That is also a scary decision and for the less brave might have even set them back quite a bit in their recovery.

I think the most heart-wrenching part was reading her struggle to stop over controlling her food and body so that she could have a baby. For some reason when people can’t have children or get pregnant and have miscarriages it makes ME emotional, as though I am suffering right along with them. I don’t have children nor do I want them right now. I do not have a stable enough life for kids, my cat is plenty yet these aspects of stories really get me. It might be because I would love to have children someday or because I know people who struggle but it goes right for the heart.

If you like to read about eating disorders for whatever reason, you should definitely pick this one up. It might just give you a different view on things. I give this one 4 stars.