Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: Raven Cycle (Book 1)
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Paranormal
Date of Publication: September 18, 2012 


Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.



I could not put The Raven Boys down. The concept of the novel is so intriguing. There are multiple points of view, but they are presented through Third Person, which I greatly appreciated. It created a smooth transition between the characters.

I have not read Stiefvater's Shiver series, but I will have to pick it up because I am blown away by her writing style. Stiefvater is an amazing story teller. The Raven Boys is a complex, multi-level story that combines mythology with the supernatural and adds a dash of teenage angst.

The characters are amazing. I can hear the accents in the text and the linguistic nuances that are unique to each individual voice. Each character has a back story that adds such depth and meaning to the events that push the story forward. Ronan and Adam tugged my heartstrings in a serious way. I was fully prepared to hate Gansey just like Blue, but I loved him. I opened the book fully expecting Gansey and Blue to fall into an infatuation that quickly led to his death. Well, I'm still waiting on it because who would have thought that she would get the butterflies for Adam. And realistically, their personalities match. It was perfection!

I haven't read reviews for the next two books, so I don't know whether Gansey and Blue will get together, but I have to admit that if they do I'll feel a little hurt. Betrayed. Because Blue and Adam are so stinking cute that I can't even handle it.

Other than that, I just really enjoyed everything about this book. It is hard to surprise me, but there were a few good ones in there. I have to put the warning out there, there is some bad language. The F-bomb is used about 4 or 5 times that I noticed. Just a disclaimer. Can't say that I didn't warn you.

The Raven Boys is an absolute must-read. Go buy it and read it. NOW!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Owls


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book 1)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fairy Tale | Sci-Fi
Date of Publication: January 3, 2012

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl...
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious pass, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.


Holy cow, this book is good!

And when I say good I mean that it has been years since I've read a book that I liked as much as Cinder. For a debut novel, I am thoroughly impressed by Marissa Meyer and I can only hope that when I finally publish my first book my story will be as complex and developed as hers. Marissa has created a world with multiple layers of pain, suspicion, intrigue, and romance. I don't know much about the mechanical and medical side, but it seems like Marissa did her research. I've never been a sci-fi fan, but I've always loved fairy tales and this one is a superb retelling of the classic Cinderella.

I am so glad I finally read Cinder. I'm glad I only just discovered it because there are two other books out, so I won't have to wait to continue the story. I hope to have Scarlet by the end of the week. Kudos to Marissa Meyer for a fantastic story. Her writing style flows between perspectives without any confusion--mainly because she uses third person, which I greatly appreciate. Her story-telling is top notch. I was definitely reminded of Sailor Moon in terms of the matriarchy and the nature of the villains, but the development of the lunar characters is strictly Marissa's.

There is character development, plot twists, and great mythology. It is very predictable, but the story is so good I easily looked past it. I can continue to gush, but that would be redundant. Cinder is an absolute must read. Go get it now!

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

The Lunar Chronicles Series:

Cinder (January 2012)
Scarlet (February 2013)
Cress (February 2014)
Fairest: Levana's Story (February 2015)
Winter (Coming November 2015)


Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection (Book 1)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Dystopian | Teen Romance
Date of Publication: April 24, 2012

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


I picked this book up because of the cover. It's gorgeous! I'm a sucker for a great cover, and this one takes the cake. In fact, every cover in this series is beautiful. It was also the super pretty, super girly cover that made me put it back on the shelf. I have learned over the years that you can usually judge a book by it's cover. This one made me hesitate. Some time later, I came back to this book because of my friend. She highly recommended it, and, being the trusting friend that I am, I read it.

And liked it.

I will be the first to say that I hate The Bachelor TV show with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I hate The Bachelorette even more. So, I was surprised by how much I liked this book. Maybe it was the fact that it was no secret that these girls wanted Maxon for money, power, and social status. And don't forget the food. I loved the jealous back biting and the vindictive character of some of the girls. I was charmed at how some of the girls became very close friends.

I felt bad for the handsome prince who was so overwhelmed by suddenly having so many beautiful girls all vying for his affection (did you catch my sarcasm?) when he had never been around women before. I was happy when America suggested that they be friends. What a mature decision! How about marry a friend that you will like for life, and not some fake plastic Barbie with horns and a pitchfork? I loved it. I knew, of course, that they would fall in love. Maxon makes it obvious. He became so endearing with how he sought America out and made sure that she knew where he stood in regards to her.

The only down side--which I knew based on the summary there would be one--is the love triangle. I guess I've just gotten bored with them. Why can't we just have two people who fall in love, and the speed bumps that try to separate them aren't other lovers? Wishful thinking.

This series has great potential, so I'm giving it a 4 out of 5. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5 owls

Book Trailer:

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