Nobody But Us By Kristin Halbrook A Review

Nobody But Us By Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us

Author: Kristin Halbrook

Publication Date: January 29, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: ARC from the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Tour

Challenges: 2013 Debut Author Challenge

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Summary

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger….

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love…and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Review

This review contains spoilers please read at your own risk.

This is a really difficult review for me to write because I wanted to love Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook but I just could not. There are quite a few reasons why and they start with Will. From the beginning, he rubbed me the wrong way. His dialogue is difficult to read (the frequent use of the word aint is grating to me), he is controlling and violent, and he reacts the wrong way in just about every situation. Later in the book when we learn more about the terrible tragedies that have filled Will’s life, his behavior is more understandable but it takes a long time to get to that point and it still did not excuse his over-the-top behavior. In a book billed as a love story where 90% of the book centers around two characters, disliking one can make for a difficult read. Had I not received this book as part of the Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour, I would have put it down knowing it just was not for me.

I do not know if I am just not the target audience for Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook but it really left me cold. I did not believe the love story. Will and Zoe seem like two small children who are making huge mistakes. It is difficult to understand why Zoe could so easily make excuses for Will and his violent outbursts. Yes, Will had a horrific time growing up and it is tragic, but he overreacts violently in most situations. I think most 15 year olds would find this kind of behavior frightening, not loveable. I know that Zoe growing up with constant abuse probably has a different definition of normal behavior than most, but she seems to be able to have normal relationships with some people (her best friend Lindsay and a librarian that takes a special interest in her) that I found this perplexing.

The second half of the book did pick-up. It gets much more exciting and believable. The insights into Will’s life, meeting the women who his mother abandoned him with and learning more of his story is helpful. It gives us a better picture of how Will got to where he is. The complete lack of stability makes it understandable that he is unable to react normally to any situation. I love when Zoe starts to think for herself and make her own choices. She is by far the smartest of the two and a lot less annoying. She, I actually felt sorry for. Living with an abusive father who killed her mother in a small town where everyone knows, but no one does anything to help her, is completely tragic. At 15, that is more than anyone should have to deal with. Zoe proves herself to be smart but her age belies common sense and I kept yelling at her to get away from Will because being with him is a terrible mistake.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook does bring up interesting issues such as the effects of living in foster care can have on a child. How some, especially those who are not yet adults, could see that running away would be a better solution to being in a foster home. That small choices can lead to catastrophic conclusions. It may be my age but connecting with Will and Zoe was difficult for me. I do think that Kristin Halbrook is a talented writer whose next book I would read.

 Cover image and summary from goodreads.

 

 

 

 

Everneath By Brodi Ashton A Review

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

 

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath (Everneath #1) by Brodi Ashton

Author: Brodi Ashton

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Source: Purchased

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Summary

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned–to her old life, her family, her boyfriend–before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance–and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

Review

I have to start this off by saying Everneath is amazing. The love story between Jack and Nikki is beautiful and sweet. It is impossible not to root for them. Jack never gives up hope for Nikki even when she literally disappears off the face of the earth and they have loved each other since childhood.

Everneath is an unusual take on the Persephone myth with creatures that live forever but are forced to suck the life out of people to do so. We get glimpses of the origin story but there is so much more to learn. I love the idea of a spin on a mythological story (hence my slight obsession with Percy Jackson books but that is for another time and place.) The way the story unfolds with Nikki and Jack learning more about the Everneath is exciting. Cole, the pseudo big bad, being almost likeable at times is fun. He is the ultimate bad boy who is always tempting Nikki to choose the easy way out.

Everneath is told in a slow burn. Jumping back and forth between the present, with a countdown of how much time is left, and the past lets both stories be told in a way that is constantly moving forward. It put me on the edge of my seat wanting to know everything that happened that lead to Nikki going with Cole to the Everneath. Needing to know what happened between Jack and Nikki that could be so awful to maker her choose the unthinkable. Using the present and past device, lets the reader get to know Nikki and her story in glimpses. 

Everneath really has it all great romance, interesting story, and characters that are complex and surprising. It is impossible to put down. I highly recommend Everneath by Brodi Ashton and cannot wait to read book two, Everbound.

 

What you will find here

  • Romance
  • Unique and interesting story
  • Great pacing
  • Excitement
  • Dealing with dark emotions
  • A big bad that is kind of sexy

Summary and cover image from goodreads

Review: Altered By Jennifer Rush

Review of Altered by Jennifer Rush

 

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Title: Altered (Altered #1)

Author: Jennifer Rush

Publication Date: January 2, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.

Source: ARC from the 2013 Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour

GoodreadsAuthor BlogTwitter 

Summary

 

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Review

Altered starts off with Anna helping her father study the four boys who are in cages in their basement lab. (Insert many Fifty Shades jokes about hot boys and cages.) Anna is home-schooled and lives a pretty solitary life. She has built relationships with each of the boys and interacts with each in different ways. I enjoyed how different each was, it made it easier to relate to boys who spent five years in a basement lab. Her mother died when she was very young and Anna stays connected to her through an old journal.

Suddenly The Branch, her father’s employer who is in charge of the experiment, decides to take the boys. Sam, the love interest, figures out a way to escape and Anna gets swept up in it. She hits the road with the boys who are bent on figuring out who they were and what The Branch wants with them 

I really loved Altered. It is action packed, with lots of fight and escape scenes. No one is who they seem and you will not know who you can trust. There is a love story between Sam and Anna that proves to be complicated but very sweet. Anna demonstrates that she is no slouch in the self-defense department and holds her own on the run with her super-sexy boys. I love a female protagonist that is strong and smart. Anna is both of these in spades.

The ending is solid. It gives the reader closure while still leaving enough mystery for further installments in the series. There is so much to unpack when you have medical experiments and a top secret company that has every reason to hide what they are doing.

I highly recommend Altered by Jennifer Rush and plan on picking up the future installments in this series.

 

What You Will Find

  • Hot Guys
  • Kick-Ass Heroine
  • Twists and Turns
  • Mystery
  • Sweet Love Story
  • Running from the Man

 

Weekly Book Haul (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren where you can share the books you received during the week. Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you added to your shelves.

 

In My Mailbox

Stacking-the-Shelves

Gifted

The Panem Companion by V. Arrow

The Panem Companion by V. Arrow

-What does Panem look like?

-How does Panem define race?

-How do Panem’s districts reflect the major themes of the trilogy?

-What allusions to our world are found in Panem names like Finnick, Johanna, Beetee, Cinna, Everdeen, and Mellark?

Go deeper into the home of the Hunger Games with the creator of the best-known fan map of Panem.

The Panem Companion gives fresh insight into Suzanne Collins’ trilogy by looking at the world of the Hunger Games and the forces that kept its citizens divided since the Dark Days. With a blend of academic insight and the true passion of a fan, V. Arrow explores how Panem could have evolved from the America we know today and uses textual clues to piece together Panem’s beliefs about class, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, and more. Includes an extensive name lexicon and color-illustrated unofficial map of Panem.

Given to me by my lovely husband who would love to read the Hunger Games but being in law school has no time to read anything.

I received two ARC’s from the Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour. I am so glad I signed up for this challenge, besides there being so many amazing debuts in 2013, having the opportunity to read an ARC that there is no chance this little blog could get is very cool.

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered by Jennifer Rush

I just finished this one and the review will be up shortly. I will say that it is very good.

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger….

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love…and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

I cannot wait to Nobody But Us!

I may have gone a little crazy with the massive reduction in price of many eBooks. I do admit to being a pretty easy sale, if I am remotely interested and it’s priced $1.99 or lower, I am clicking on buy.

Kindle

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone (Gone#1) by Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents–unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers–that grow stronger by the day.

It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art.

Their children called it mischief.

Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist’s work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents’ madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents’ strange world.

When the lives they’ve built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance–their magnum opus–whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what’s ultimately more important: their family or their art.

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened — something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay — demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy’s daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy’s daughter died covered in someone else’s blood.

A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty– they’ve grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other’s lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it’s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. They’ve been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There’s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father’s cabinet– a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining fertility, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing The Limits (Pushing The Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

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

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene’s death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rule (Blood Of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire 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 is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

Told you I was a sucker for $1.99 eBooks!

What books did you get this week?

All cover images and summaries taken from goodreads.

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why

Author: Jay Asher

Publisher: Razorbill

Publishing Date: October 18, 2007

Source: Library

Goodreads

Summary

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a powerful book that deals with teen suicide. We begin the journey with Clay, who listens to the tapes Hannah made. From the beginning, we know that Hannah is dead which is such an interesting device because there will be no saving her. With each tape, you feel that you are with Clay,waiting to find out what he did to help propel Hannah to kill herself. Clay seems like a nice guy and talks about how much he cared for Hannah. He has regret because if he had only known how serious it was, he may have done everything differently.

The book is inventive in having a character who has died as a narrator. The writing style of switching back and forth between Hannah on the tapes and Clay in the present, helps propel the story forward. Hannah is with Clay as he gets through all of the tapes. Clay’s heart breaks as he learns about the betrayal and horrific situations Hannah faced. Hannah shows us how each choice we make can influence those around us.

Thirteen Reasons Why deserves all of the praise it receives. It is a beautiful book that can broach the difficult subject of teen suicide while being entertaining and in the end, hopeful.

If you are the parent of or are a teen, has a book ever helped you discuss a difficult topic?

Summary and cover image taken from goodreads.

 

 

Waiting On Wednesday (7)

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights new releases that you are eagerly anticipating. This week I am waiting on Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.

 

Throught The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Title: Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2)

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publishing Date: January 8th, 2013

Goodreads

 

Summary 

It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don’t take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe’s precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

I just finished Under The Never Sky (like today) and it may be one of my favorite books of the year. That being said, I need book two like I need oxygen. The cover of Through The Ever Night does not disappoint. It will look awesome on my shelf and I will probably need to preorder it to read on the day it comes out. 

 

What are you waiting on?

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

City Of Ashes By Cassandra Clare Review

Title: City Of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Book Two)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publishing Date: March 25th, 2008

Goodreads

 

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father. To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

I am way behind the curve with this series but I just love it! City Of Ashes does a good job picking up where City Of Bones left off. Clary and Jace are brother and sister, Simon loves Clary, and the big bad Valentine is as big and bad as ever.

I love that Simon becomes less mundane as the book progresses because he is my favorite character and needed to toughen up. The relationship that he has with Clary is sweet but I am glad they both realize it can never be more than friends. I think most teenage girls have a guy friend like Simon who is always there for you but you really don’t need to date. (I think this is still true but it has been quite awhile since I was an actual teenager.)

I like that in City Of Ashes the plot was exciting as a stand alone story while still moving the series arc forward. Second books can be tricky but City Of Ashes never feels like filler. Cassandra Clare obviously has a clear idea of where the series is going.

I have hope that this is rectified in future books (no spoilers please) but I still have a hard time stomaching the Jace and Clary situation. I get it, they didn’t know, but as someone with a brother, it kind of turns my stomach. It almost makes me uncomfortable that I want to root for them because they love each other but I cannot get on the incest train.

City Of Ashes is exciting throughout and introduces new characters that will undoubtedly be important in the series (looking at you Lightwood parents.) It beats the sophomore slump by dropping breadcrumbs that hint of things to come while keeping the reader guessing. 

 

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

The Future Of Us A Review

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future Of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Authors: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Razorbill

Publishing Date: November 21st, 2011

Goodreads

Summary

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present.

Review

I may be the perfect age for this book, having been a sophomore in High School in 1996. I remember the newness of the internet as a teenager and all those free AOL CD’s. The other cultural references like Green Day’s Dookie and bootleg albums, really brought me back.

The Future Of Us is written with both Emma and Josh narrating their own chapters. The switching of the narrator from Josh to Emma in each chapter allows the reader to get to know and become emotionally invested in each character. Getting to hear in each characters own words how what they see of the future effects the way they react to the present, is really interesting. It also brings up so many questions, do you play it safe or go for what you really want? Is it ever too late to change? I am not generally a fan of books written by two authors but Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler do an excellent job. Emma and Josh felt very real and I rooted for them throughout the book.

I had a hard time putting this book down and loved every minute of it. If you are looking for a creative story that makes you feel nostalgic for your teenage years, pick-up The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

 

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

 

The Last Dragonslayer By Jasper Fforde Review

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Summary 

In the good old days, magic was indispensable – it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians – but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam – and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as…Big Magic.

Review

Dragons, magic, and a strong female protagonist? What’s not to like.

Jennifer Strange is smart as a whip and older than her 15 years let on. She is swept up in the machinations of large corporations and an ancient prophecy while running an employment agency for magicians. 

Jasper Fforde creates a world that melds magic with the mundane. It is fun and light, very similar in tone to the Percy Jackson And The Olympians series. Like Percy Jackson, The Last Dragonslayer is a story that moves quickly while slowly building up the back story. It will keep you wanting to know more about Jennifer and the quirky world built by Fforde.

I enjoyed The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde immensely and am looking forward to reading book two, The Song Of The Quarkbeast.

 

I did win this book through goodreads but all opinions are my own.

All images and the summary are taken from goodreads.