Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review - The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa

"And sometimes, hope is the only thing that gets us through the day."
Here's my review of, The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa . . .    


Insight into the book from Goodreads:
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

  Need I say, that Kagawa has done it again?  Another fabulously complex, and highly addictive story.Photobucket

 I'm naturally wary of vampire books, being that I've never read a satisfying one, until now.  
 The Immortals begins with introducing us to a human, Allison.  She's been living on the fringe of the vampire city, fending for her life and others from vampires and rabids.  Loyalties are tested within the first few chapters, as is the fight for humanity.  When Alli finds herself in a fight with rabids that she can't win, a vampire comes to her and offers a choice.  Become a vampire, or die.  She chooses to become the one thing she fears the most, knowing that given the option, she'll never choose death.
 I instantly connected with Alli.  She's a leader and a fighter, two things that are quite substantial in YA characters.  Also, she didn’t overshadow any of the secondary characters, allowing me to connect and become engaged with basically everyone introduced.  Besides Allie, of course, I found myself really intrigued by Jeb, Zeke, Jackal, Kanin, and Ruth.  Each of them had something distinctly different about them, making them remarkable.  I was always in awe by how fierce Jeb, Ruth, and Zeke were.  Being humans, they’ve always feared and hated vampires, never straying to the possibility they have any humanity in them.  Zeke soon learned, however, that not all vampires are evil, but Jeb and Ruth remained indifferent.  Somehow, their belief for one thing was frantically annoying at times, but also interesting.  Kanin - ohh my gosh he’s amazing.  I enjoyed his attitude, never sugar-coating anything.  It made the book more frightening, but also more believable.  I’ve got many mixed feelings for Jackal, on the other hand.  He’s part badass, part jerk.  Interested to see what kind of havoc he’ll bring in book two.  Zeke and Allie’s forbidden romance is one of my favorite things about this book, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them in The Eternity Cure.    

 The Immortal Rules is a high-paced vampire read that will leave you wanting more.  I’m incredibly pleased with how this series has started out, and can’t wait to finish The Eternity Cure.  Big s/o to my best friend for buying my Forever Song!  Marathoning series is one of the great pleasures of reading.  :)

 If you haven’t read anything by Kagawa, go to the bookstore now and pick up one of her books!     

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review - City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare

  My review of the breathtaking, City of Heavenly Fire . . . 
8755785 Insight into the book from Goodreads:
In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.
Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.
The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?  When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

  Talk about starting the New Year right!  I'm thrilled to have spent the last few hours on this cold Arizona night, finishing the final installment of The Mortal Instruments.  City of Heavenly Fire couldn't have possibly been executed any more excellently.  To be quite honest, I'm coming to a loss of words of how to review this stunning book.

  City of Heavenly Fire features some of the bravest, and strongest characters in the YA genre.  Clary, Izzy, Jace, Alec, Simon, and Magnus.  Not to mention, two lovely characters from The Infernal Devices, Tessa and Jem, who are also featured in this story.  
  The Shadowhunter world is under attack, from Sebastian Morgenstern.  A smart, and cunning boy that has found a way to turn Shadowhunter's into thoughtless monsters.  He uses this advantage, causing Downworlder's to question their alliance with the Shadowhunters, and begins one of the greatest battles in Nephilim history. 

  It was quite enjoyable to connect with some of the old characters.  Especially because I read City of Lost Souls two years ago, and to my surprise, it wasn't difficult to get back into the series.  Many new characters were also introduced, and they were very easy to connect with.  I off the charts love the romance in this series.  Even though there's been a love-triangle, it's never bothered me the way most love triangles do.  Clary and Jace's relationship is so strong, and their love for each other is simply infinite.  Simon and Izzy - I've been wanting them to get together for so long.  Their conflicting attitudes, and their differences didn't matter, because they loved each other and it was seriously the cutest book relationship.  As for Alec and Magnus, I think both of them need each other, and they're sincerely great for one another.

  This gif was me an hour ago, as I thought back on all of the heart-wrenching twists, the romance, and the suspense City of Heavenly Fire had.  

As you can see, I've had a difficult time coming up with words to summarize the fantastic, final installment in The Mortal Instruments.  All you need to know, is that this series will leave you with your jaw-dropped, and a smile on your face.  Because The Mortal Instruments, and The Infernal Devices, is an overpoweringly, satisfying series.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Releases I'm Excited for!

Happy New Year!
It's officially the first day of 2015, a new year with an endless amount of chances, opportunities, and memories!

Shutter - Courtney Alameda Shutter is a fast-paced, horror / teen paranormal story, coming out on February 3rd.  Many people have gotten ARC's of this, and the reviews are fantastic.  As of now, it's my most highly anticipated book of 2015!
Ghosts of Heaven - Marcus Sedgwick  Ghosts of Heaven is a chronicle featured in the Paleolithic era, with witch-hunts and futuristic twists.  I'm honestly intrigued to get my hands on this, especially because it comes out in 5 days (January 6th).  
Rogue - Julie Kagawa  I LOVE JULIE KAGAWA!  Her writing is absolutely stunning, and she's one of my reading idols.  Rogue is the second book in the Talon series, which I'm dying to get my hands on!  It comes out on April 28th.
The Wicked Will Rise - Danielle Paige  The Wicked Will Rise is book two in the Dorothy Must Die series.  I thoroughly enjoyed Dorothy Must Die, with only a few minor complaints.  Really excited to see how the series unfolds, on March 31st.

What are you looking forward to in 2015?  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  I'm so blessed and thankful for my wonderful family and friends that made this holiday so special.  Looking forward for my vacation to California tomorrow, and to the New Year.  2014 has been the greatest year yet, full of adventures and laughter, and I certainly can't wait to make new unforgettable memories in 2014.  Not to mention, all of the great books I hope to get my hands on next year (already pre-ordered two books).  Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2014

DISCUSSION POST - How Reading has Impacted My Life

How has reading impacted your life?  That's what I'm going to be discussing, today.

  Before I could read, I'd wrap my tiny fingers around the first book that caught my eye, and create my own story.  Flipping the pages, I allowed my mind to wander as I imagined a story, and then presented it to my family, all the while pretending to be reading the pages.  Years later, when I was the age of My Magic Tree house, The Box Car Children, and Nancy Drew, I truly fell in love with reading.  Once I got a little older, I yearned for something different.  A Dog's Life, and The Island of Blue Dolphins were the beginning of my adventure into contemporary.  I absolutely loved and cried over both of those phenomenal books, and ever since then, I've curiously widened my horizon, always experiencing different genres and stepping out of my comfort zone.  How has reading impacted my life?  Well, that's simple.  I've never looked at anything the same way ever since I opened my first book.  In the simplest terms, everything I see has a new-founded meaning, a story.  Not to mention, the world feels full of opportunities I wouldn't have known without reading.  Without reading, I wouldn't experience the feeling of escaping into another world, absolutely separate from my own.  I wouldn't stay up past midnight, gripping the precious pages of another story, knowing that I cannot go to bed without knowing what happens at the end of the chapter.  Additionally, I wouldn't have this blog where I can connect with other readers around the world, and fan-girl / discuss my favorite book, or rave about an unsatisfying story.

  I'm tagging lots of people to share their own stories about how reading has impacted YOUR life.  If I didn't tag you, I would still love to hear your input on this topic!  Be sure to link your post in the comments so I don't miss it!

Friday, December 19, 2014

What I'm Loving + Favorite Reads of 2014

  Hey lovely readers!  I've been absent lately due to my crazy finals schedule, but thankfully, it's over and I'm on break!  In case you didn't know (you probably do), Christmas is only 5 days away! 

Billy Joel -  I've always been obsessed with older songs, never really having an interest in the newer pop / rap music.  Recently, I've been listening to Piano Man and New York State of Mind by Billy Joel, my two favorite songs by him.  
The Breakfast Club -   I was scrolling through Netflix a few Saturday's ago, and came across The Breakfast Club.  Little did I know that it would end up being my new favorite movie - if you haven't seen it watch it, you won't regret it!
Art -   My mom was an exceptional artist when she was a teenager, and that's always inspired me to draw.  Sadly, I'm not too great at it, but I've really been enjoying spending an hour or longer sitting outside with hot chocolate, music, and drawing.
Fuiji Camera -  I'm so excited to be getting a Fuiji Camera for Christmas this year.  It's such an adorable novelty - another reason to be beyond excited for Christmas!

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus is a gorgeous, magnificent story written about two magicians, Celia and Marco.  Truly an unforgettable read, I'm so glad I decided to read it this year.
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  And Then There Were None is an exciting, exhilarating page-turner about ten strangers, each with a dark secret, stranded on an island, as they mysteriously begin to be killed off, one by one.
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell  Eleanor and Park features two misfits, both very different from one another, that end up falling in love.  The ending broke my heart, but I absolutely love this book.
It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini  It's Kind of a Funny Story is about Craig Gilner, a sixteen year old that landed himself in a mental hospital after attempting suicide.  One of the most inspiring stories I've read, a true sensation.  
The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak  The Book Thief is placed in Nazi Germany, 1939.  It's a heart-breaking, extraordinarily terrific story about overcoming fear and loss.  
The Dead - Charlie Higson  My favorite genre of books are apocalyptic ones, where either it's natural disasters threatening the world, a disease, or a different "species."  The Dead is the second installment in the Enemy series, and I remember absoutley adoring it.  Whether it was the constant action, the excellent characters, or the fantastic world-build, I was hooked the whole time.

What are your favorite reads of 2014?  If you have a post about it, be sure to leave a link in the comments!  I would love to check it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review - Talon, Julie Kagawa

My review for Talon, by Julie Kagawa

Insight into the book from Goodreads:


Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. 

  Talon is a fantastic, complex story about dragon twins, Ember and Dante Hill.  Ember and Dante have lived their lives, until now, under the surveillance of Talon.  They've just been granted the Summer in Crescent Beach, to enjoy freedom before beginning whatever career Talon has deemed fitting.  Ember and Date shift into human form, and easily fit right into the human community.  It is there that Ember becomes acquaintances with an incredibly handsome rogue dragon, and a human with more secrets than she imagined.  Riley, the rogue, has left Talon, and hopes to persuade Ember to do the same.  Garret, the human, stirs a passion inside that she didn't know existed, but it will come with a cost.
  Upon choosing to read this book, I didn't know a thing about the story-line.  All I knew, is that Julie Kagawa has come out with a new book and I wanted it!  Whenever I see Julie's name I think . . . 
  Because I seriously love her writing.  I've only read some of her books, but such a brilliant writing style like hers really stands out.  As for the story itself, it was good.  Not great, just good.  After the excitement of Ember being a rebel with Riley and falling for Garret wore off, the book was boring.  However, normally that irritates me, but in this case, some of the slower parts were necessary for character build.  In addition, the complexity of the plot and how terrifically Julie pulled it off, was awesome.
  Usually, I'm let down with the romance in teen books.  Either it's insta-love, or an annoying love-traingle.  I didn't expect to be let down with the romance in Talon, and I wasn't!  It was really enjoyable and I still can't chose who I like more, Riley or Garret.  With every character I saw lots of development, and that was also really enjoyable.

  I recommend this book and every book by Julie Kagawa to anyone who wants to read a fast-paced fantasy story!

  Hope everyone has a great week!