Dark Companion Book Review

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Dark Companion

Marta Acosta

368 pages

Published July 3, 2012

Synopsis: Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….

ImageI rated this book 4 out of 5 stars..

I received the ARC of this book from a friend. The tag on the front says “Recommended reading for teen/gothic vampire fiction fans as well as for Jane Eyre fans of any age.” I do love vampires and I do love Jane Eyre. When I started reading this book though some of that did not apply but it is still a very interesting read.

Jane is a poor, foster kid who has lost her best friend and getting by the best that she can in the hood. She is watching her other friend fall deep into drugs and prostitution and the only way out for Jane is her education. She gets accepted to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. Suddenly all of her dreams are coming true. She has money, a nice home, and wonderful new friends. Seems too good to be true.

Jane finds herself drawn to the headmistress gorgeous son Lucian, but wonders why the other son, Jack, wants nothing to do with her. I smell a love triangle here. Jane discovers that things are not always what they seem. After witnessing a shocking scene, Jane runs back to the hood to find nothing waiting for her. Her only hope is to go back to Birch Grove and finish her education.

I have never read any book by Marta Acosta and I enjoyed this one very much. The characters are wonderfully written with just enough information but not too much. I absolutely love Mary Violet. We have all had loud and fabulous friends like her. I laughed out loud at some of her poems. There may be more room for another book about Jane. I hope so.

 

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Looking for Alaska Book Review

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Looking for Alaska

John Green

256 pages

Synopsis:  Miles “Pudge” Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules.  Pudge falls impossibly in love.  When tragedy strikes the close knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.

ImageI gave this book 5 out of 5 stars because it is fantabolous!

 

I will admit that I only picked up this book because it was small and not too many pages.  I have heard John Green praised sung upon high and I thought, yeah right.  I read the synopsis and it did not impress me.  How can this story be interesting?  I am about to eat my words.

This book is wonderful and magical.  We all know a Pudge or maybe some of us were Pudge in high school.  Pudge comes to bording school with no friends just looking for something, anything.  He quickly makes friends with his roommate, the Colonel,  who introduces him to the brillant  and destructive Alaska Young. 

Pudge is obsessed with peoples last words that sometimes he forgets what is going on around him.  This book is sometimes awkard and somethimes painful to read.  The angst of teenage sexuality and how to handle the loss of people you love. 

I only wish that I read this book a little slower the first time.  I was in such a hurry to see what happened.  This is a skinny book but in no way a light read.  Slow down and savor the journey that John Green takes you on.  I will now have to get all of his books since he has lived up to his hype. 

 

 

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Clockwork Angel Book Review

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I am so far behind on my book reviews.  I have read a lot of good books but just finding the time to blog about them is rough.

I read this over vacation and I am sure that everyone has heard of it:

Clockwork Angel: Book One The Infernal Devices

Cassandra Clare

Published by Simon & Schuster

Synopsis:

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Image I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars

Okay..I have to admit that I only picked up this book because I heard you have to read it before starting The Mortal Instruments Series.  I usually don’t like books set in the past.  This story takes place in 1878.  I am not interested in that era. With that being said, I really liked this book. 

After the death of her aunt, Tessa goes to London in search of her beloved brother.  Instead she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters who groom her and force her to transfer herself for the mysterious Magister.  She is rescued by the ever so annoying Will and goes to live with the Shadowhunters at the London Institute.  There she meets Will, the wild bad boy, and James (Jem), who is just as beautiful but holds a dark secret of his own.  I love a good love triangle and I am sure this one will not be disappointing.  Who will Tessa choose?  That is the question.

I enjoyed the writing.  I would put the book down and then pick it back up because I wanted to know how it ended.  The characters were well written with just enough information but no to much.  There are still some good story lines to look forward to in the next book.  The identity of the Magister caught me by surprise.  All through the book you think you know who he is but the revealing at the end shocked me, just a little bit.

I gave it 4 stars.  I enjoyed it very much and I am looking forward to reading more Cassandra Clare books.

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Pushing the Limits Book Review

 

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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Publicaton Date: July 31, 2012

 

Synopsis:

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking -hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

ImageI rated this book 5 out of 5 stars

 

I would just like to say that I absolutely LOVED this book.  I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy.  I started reading it and finished in a day.  I could not put it down, yet, I did not want it to end either.

Echo Emerson is the beautiful, former popular, screwed up main character of this book.  She is meeting with a counselor to help her remember the lost night where her life changed forever.  She is no longer happy being the popular girl with the right clothes, the right friends and the right boyfriend.  She is living with her emotionally absent father and his new pregnant wife, which is her former babysitter.  She can no longer have any contact with her bipolar mother and her beloved brother was killed in the war.  Throughout this book she finds out who her real friends are and what is most important in her life.  Echo’s life is turned upside down when she falls in love with the bad boy hottie Noah Hutchinson.

Noah Hutchinson is equally screwed up.  His perfect life is tuned upside down when his parents die in a house fire leaving behind him and his two little brothers.  He is separated from them in foster care due to his anger issues.  The only thing he cares about is turning eighteen and getting custody of his brothers.  During his counseling session, he meets Echo Emerson, the girl who agrees to tutor him.  The last thing he wants to do is fall in love with her.

Katie McGarry really hit a home run with this book.  I really enjoyed reading it.  The writing style was awesome and believable.  The sexual tension between this two characters was WOW!  There was nothing that I did not like about this book.  The only bad thing is having to wait for the next Katie McGarry book to come out.  Please keep them coming.

 

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Even on vacation..

Yes, even on vacation, I can find some awesome books to read.  I was so happy to get to go to Half Price Books.  We don’t have a store close to where I live and I could spend all day there.  This is what I got:

  1. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis (hardcover)

And Books A Million was having a great sale:

  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  2. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  3. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  4. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  5. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  6. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  7. Fallen by Lauren Kate
  8. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover)
  9. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover)

The above books were only $3.00 each…AND…Last but no least I also got

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  3. Wake by Lisa McMann

 

I have more than enough to keep me reading and reviewing for a long time.

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IMM Saturday

How exciting!  My very first In My Mailbox post.  I received three books today that I am sure most of you have probably already read.

  1. The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn – I know this is an older dystopian book but I have just started reading YA books again and this looks very interesting.  Can’t wait to read it.
  2. Gone by Michael Grant – This is another book I have heard a lot of good things about. 
  3. Cleaning Nabokov’s House by Leslie Daniels – This is not a YA book but it has been on my wish-list for a long time.  I am not to sure about it now, not a lot of good reviews posted.  The chapters are short, which I like.  I don’t know when I will get around to reading it.

There you have it, my first mailbox post.  Virtually painless.   Comment to let me know what you guys are reading..

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The Eleventh Plague Review

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The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Sometimes the only way to survive is to keep moving.  America is a vast, desolate landscape left ravaged after a brutal war.  Two-thirds of the population are dead from a vicious strain of Influenza.  People called the sickness The Eleventh Plague.

Fifteen year old Stephen Quinn was born after the war and only knows the life of a salvage.  His family was among the few who survived and took to roaming the country in search of matrtial to trade.  But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident,  Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too food to be true.  There Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are.  When they play a prand that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing and their lives forever.

Image I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars

The first reason that I picked this book up was because of the cool cover.  The ferris wheel looks like it came out of Chernobyl.  The other reason was because it was indorsed by Suzanne Collins, you cant go wrong with that, right?

I wanted to love this book but it was just an okay read.  It started off great with Stephen and his dad scavaging for supplies to trade but they quickly run into trouble.  Stephen being born after the plague never knew what the world was like before.  He finds himself in a life and death situation and has to trust strangers.  Something he has never had to do before, since his grandfather trusted no one before his death.

He slowly settles into life at Settler’s Landing and even finds a love interest in Jenny Tan, who like Stephen, does not know her place in this dystopian world either.  A prank goes terribly wrong and they must decide to stay and fight for a home they don’t fit in or run and risk the lives of the people who care about them.

The book just drags on from here.  By the end I didn’t care what happened, I just wanted it to end.  The fighting scenes dragged on and on.  I am giving it 3 stars because it was well written.  The main characters were great and I liked them. 

 

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Vampire Academy Thursday

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Synopsis:  After two years on the run, best friends Rose, half-human/half-vampire, and Lissa, a mortal vampire princess, are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy. Up until then, Rose had kept Lissa safe from her enemies; school, however, brings both girls additional challenges and responsibilities. How they handle peer pressure, nasty gossip, new relationships, and anonymous threats may mean life or death. Likable narrator Rose hides doubts about her friend behind a tough exterior; orphan Lissa, while coping with difficult emotional issues such as depression and survivor’s guilt, uses her emerging gifts for good. Mead’s absorbing, debut YA novel, the first in a new series, blends intricately detailed fantasy with a contemporary setting, teen-relevant issues, and a diverse, if sometimes stereotyped, cast of supporting characters.

My Review:  I will admit, I have had this book for a long time.  I didn’t want to really read it since I am so loyal to the Twilight books.  With that being said, I wish that I had read it sooner.  It is amazing.  The characters are great, the writing style is wonderful.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series to see what Rose does next.

Read them all!

 

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EBook Giveaway

This brand-new novel was only just released on July 1st

“Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally.  Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is  the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his  side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark  ocean.
Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who  weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in  trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between  the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two  brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the  monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the  day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she  belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and  her very soul.”

Go to http://theriaka-ebooks.blogspot.ca/2012/07/ebook-giveaway-florence-by-ciye-cho.html right NOW and enter!

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Library Haul

The girls and I went to the library today to check out some audio books for when we go on vacation next week.
Very excited with the selections we got.

  1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – I am reading Clockwork Angel at the moment so I am excited to listen to this one as well
  2. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen – I have a love/hate relationship with Sarah Dessen but my oldest daughter loves her books.  We will see how this one goes.
  3. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – What a classic.  One of my favorite all time books.  Can’t wait to listen to it.
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I started reading this and I think I am the only person who did not like it.  I am going to give it a second try on audio.

Until next time…

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