Saturday, November 30, 2013

If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch


 If You Are Reading This, It's Too Late

By Pseudonymous Bosch

Blurb: Beware!


Dangerous secrets lie between the pages of this book.


OK, I warned you. But if you think I'll give anything away, or tell you that this is the sequel to my first literary endeavor, The Name of This Book is Secret, you're wrong.


I'm not going to remind you of how we last left our heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest, as they awaited intiation into the mysterious Terces Society, or the ongoing fight against the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. I certainly won't be telling you about how the kids stumble upon the Museum of Magic, where they finally meet the amazing Pietro!


Oh, blast! I've done it again. Well, at least I didn't tell you about the missing Sound Prism, the nefarious Lord Pharaoh, or the mysterious creature born in a bottle over 500 years ago, the key to the biggest secret of all.


I really can't help myself, now can I? Let's face it---if you're reading this, it's too late.

Genre(s):  Juvenile, Humor, Adventure, Mystery

Published: October 1, 2008

Series: Secrets (Book 2)

My Rating: 4 stars

This book features a surly, centuries-old  man who was made in poop who is also a connoisseur of wines.

 That sentence alone will probably tell you if the book is for you or not, but here is a real review juuuust in case. 

I loved this book. After reading The Name of This Book Is Secret, I knew I wanted to continue the series, but I never did. This book, in my opinion, wasn't as....different....as the first, but in my opinion, it was just as good.

What I liked most about this book was the homunculus, a.k.a. Cabbage Face. What a character! Possibly one of my favorite characters. His personality was awesome. He's grouchy, but loyal, and his grouchiness is pretty funny, not the annoying kind. His backstory....it was so sad. Did I mention his name is CABBAGE FACE?

We also have one character I didn't like that much. Yo-Yoji. Honestly, the book would have been fine without him. He seemed pretty pointless. I'm sure I'll grow to like him, but in this book, he was really just kind of distracting. 

The plot, like the first one, is slightly quirky and very awesome. More of the Terces Society, more Midnight Sun, more humor, and more insanely original storylines. I finished it in two or three hours because I didn't want to stop reading it.

Now onto the next one!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

Cinder and Ella

By Melissa Lemon

Blurb: After her father's disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn't long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself. What Ella finds there starts a quest that will change her life and the entire kingdom. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other, and one you'll never forget.

Genres: Young Adult, Retellings, Fantasy, Romance

Published: October 27, 2011

Series: N/A

My Rating: 1.5 stars

Well. 

I had some higher hopes for this book; it promised to be a retelling completely new and original, an old story made new. Or at least, that's pretty much how I interpreted the blurb. And, it gave me...well, I mean I guess it kind of gave me that. But the thing was, I would NOT have guessed this was a Cinderella retelling unless I knew beforehand. Really, the only thing that gives that away in the book is that the two main characters are Cinder and Ella. That's honestly it. 

Okay, I thought. Well, it's definitely not the retelling I was hoping for, but maybe, if I don't think of it as a retelling, I shall not be disappointed. But the thing is it was still boring. It was snail-paced.

A book doesn't have to have action to be good, that's true. But I didn't feel that the book had outstanding character development, unexpected twists, or wonderful prose. (It wasn't so bad, but it seemed to be written in the same way that so many other retellings are) 

There were a couple original ideas in this one, though, like the whole tree thing. Those originalities are what kept me reading, I think.

So, one and a half stars for this one. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't particularly enjoy it. I felt like the story would be better if a few more aspects of the original tale were used.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Once Upon a Tag by Anna Adams


Once Upon a Tag

By Anna Adams

Blurb: When David, a young French painter, unexpectedly meets Rita, an infamous Parisian street artist, his convictions are shaken to the core during a night he is unlikely to ever forget.

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Published: April 23, 2013

Series: N/A

My Rating: 4 stars



I bumped my rating up from three stars (my gut feeling about this book) to four stars (what I realized is the quality of this book after googling 'what makes a good short story?')

I follow a couple book blogs, and a couple months ago I noticed that two of them had written reviews about Once Upon A Tag; both were very favorable, and I thought I should try it out. So when I found out it was free, I grabbed it!

First; the writing is very good  wonderful. It's...wow. It's the kind of writing you can usually only dream of reading.

Secondly, it wasn't rushed. Short stories always seem to be rushing to get all their ducks in a row and end it perfectly, but in the process the story loses believability. This story was perfectly paced.

Considering we didn't have very long to get to know David and Rita, I found them to be very well thought out characters. They had great personalities. In fact, the characters were interesting; even the homeless guy who only shows up for about two pages.

The ending...I have no idea how I feel about this ending. The fact that the story was over so soon took me by surprise; I wanted to read more about David and Rita. But then I thought about it; even in famous short stories such as The Birds, the endings are open rather than being set in stone. So, is it really that surprising that the author chose to end this story like she did?

To summarize, Once Upon A Tag is a superb short story. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I liked it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you guys have a great day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Son of A Mermaid By Katie O'Sullivan

 


Son of A Mermaid

 By Katie O'Sullivan

Blurb: Shea MacNamara's life just got complicated. After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he's trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment... and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore. Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King's regent, and rumors of the Princess's bastard child. Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

Genres:  Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Published: May 15, 2013

Series: N/A

My Rating: 3 stars

A free copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was fun; not too different than any other mermaid stories, but when you're a person who likes mermaid books, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Oh, it was rather predictable; and really, there were only small things that distinguished it from other similar books, but I still liked it.

Like I said, the plot was not hugely original, but enjoyable nonetheless. I admit I'm a sucker for mermaid tales; I have been ever since I cracked open Emily Windsnap, and this was kind of like the YA version of Emily Windsnap. So, of course I liked it.

The story made me want to visit Nantucket, so that's a plus! And I liked how the author started out each chapter with a list of what Shea had picked up on the beach that day. All in all, I thought the writing was pretty good.

It was a quick story that held my interest. I'm not sure how memorable it will be for me, but it kept me entertained while I was reading it!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection

By Kiera Cass

 Blurb:  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.

Genres: Romance, Dystopian, Young Adult

Published: April 24, 2012

Series: The Selection (book 1)

My Rating; 4 stars

This book was so good. I told myself I'd never read it--I had tried it before and didn't like it that much--but I finally gave in and got it from the library again. And...then I finished it in a day. (And not one of those lazy-ish days where all you do is read...nope, it was a very BUSY day! I just read this book every spare moment I had.)

The plot is so good. It's really light on the dystopian, but that ended up not being a bad thing for me. Because I loved the OTHER aspect of the plot more; the Selection.

It was so addicting to read about it. And even though I knew that America had basically a 100% chance of making it to the Elite round (It's a trilogy and the next book is called 'Elite' for crying out loud) I was still on the edge of my seat, wanting to know which girls would be going home this time, praying that Celeste would finally leave, that Marlee would stay...basically it was like reality television. Which was what the author was going for, so good job!

America, if I'm being completely honest, annoyed me. Seriously, girl. It is okay if people think you're PRETTY. That is what we call a 'compliment.' But, Maxon made up for it. I know for a fact that I am Team Maxon. I absolutely loved him! I didn't like Aspen that much and while I thought he was sweet at the beginning, he started to get on my nerves later.

All I can say after finishing this is, "I need Elite!" I've been checking my library's website every day to see if I moved up in the holds. (Guess what; at least 31 other people liked this book so much that they checked out Elite too!) I wouldn't say this book is for everyone, but if it sounds like something you would enjoy, I would recommend checking it out!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan




A Long, Long Sleep

By Anna Sheehan

Blurb:  It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone -- and her future full of peril.

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose -- hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire -- is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes -- or be left without any future at all.

Genres: Young Adult,  Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance, Retellings

Published: August 19, 2011

Series: Rosalinda Fitzroy (Book 1) 

My Rating: 5 Stars!

LOVED IT! I figured I would like it....but I didn't know I would like it this much.

This book immediately made my favorites list, because everything in it was flawless. I simply can't complain about it. Oh, wait, I actually can about one thing: THE SEQUEL DOESN'T COME OUT UNTIL 2014 OR LATER!? I might be the most impatient person in the world; I definitely CANNOT wait that long. I think it might drive me insane. I think I can feel myself becoming crazy as I type this! (Okay, I may be over-reacting, but it really will be hard for me.)

Anyway. One thing I loved about the book was characters. Rose's character growth is stunning. She may seem 'weak' at first, but there's a reason...and I felt like crying when I found out about it. I don't cry easily people, but I swear there was a pretty big lump in my throat! She may be one of my favorite characters this year. I loved her; the author made her seem so real.

Otto was...umm...okay, so you know how pretty much every single guy character in YA now is so 'hawt?' And they come with a six pact and smouldering eyes and perfect hair and all that. Well, Otto isn't like that. He is more than a good looking face; he's a totally new kind of character, and I loved that. Otto is described in the book as looking...different would probably be the best way to describe it; I refuse to spoil ANYTHING, no matter how small it is for this book. But he makes up for it by being one of the sweetest guys ever. He and Rose's friendship was refreshing.

We also have Bren. Now, Bren is described as attractive in the book, but his role is not simply love interest. It may seem like that at first...but when reading this book, you should keep in mind that your first impressions might be completely wrong. (Mine were, at least.) Bren was not my favorite character in the book; however, I liked him.

The plot itself was original, entertaining, and really, really, good, plain and simple. I didn't want to stop reading. The whole 'stass' thing was really interesting to read about, and I loved Rose's flashbacks. The author put them in just the right places; slowly, I learned about Rose's strange childhood, and I never felt like they were interrupting the real story like I sometimes do; I actually got excited when I got to read one!

I want more from this author. I want to read about what happens to Rose next. I want to know how the somewhat minor cliffhangers that were found in the end turn out. Basically? I really, really, really, really, really want the sequel!

Blog Tour Review: Heirloom by S. Smith


     
Welcome to my stop on the Heirloom (Seed Savers #3) Blog Tour!

Seed Savers: Heirloom

By S. Smith

Blurb: In a futuristic U.S.A. where gardening is illegal, siblings Clare and Dante have escaped to Canada and are living with a host family enjoying farm life and learning to grow their own food. Attending Garden Guardian class, they meet other refugees and unearth the history of how they lost their choices about food.

Their friend Lily continues the quest to find her father, a former leader in the Seed Savers movement who was arrested and jailed before she was born. Along the way she meets a host of interesting characters and more surprisingly, herself.



Genres: Middle Grade, Dystopia

Published: November 12, 2013

Series: Seed Savers (Book #3) 

My Rating: 3 stars



I was really happy when I was asked to join this book tour, because I read the first two Seed Savers books, and I liked them.  The first book, Treasure, and the second book, Lily, are very different from each other, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started Heirloom. What I got was a mix between the first two.

The book is a multiple POV; there’s Lily’s in first person, and then there’s Clare and Dante’s in third person.  I ended up enjoying Clare and Dante’s POV more than Lily’s, which was a bit surprising for me. I was expecting to have it reversed, but I think that it mostly had to do with the fact that I was more interested in finding out what exactly became of Clare and her brother.

We get to meet some new characters, too; the one I was most drawn to was Jason. I have some theories about him, but I won’t go into them because they’d be spoiler-filled. And trust me, you don’t want me to spoil Heirloom for you. We also meet Abner, who may be my favorite character so far. He’s not a really big character; I just found him funny!

There were some things that I didn’t love. One was that sometimes the kids just sound so much older than they are. Not all the time; it comes and goes throughout the story, but it was enough to bug me a bit.

My favorite part of the book was probably the end.  Don’t take that the way it sounds; it’s just that there was a rather touching scene at the end that I enjoyed!
This book is like the first two in that I recommend it to people looking for a light dystopia.

Want to see more tour stops? Look here!

About This Author: 


S.  Smith S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. Though she lives in the city now, her love of growing vegetables and flowers endures. Her first published series, Seed Savers, was born from this desire to plant each spring.

A licensed ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world.

She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest.

Seed Savers: Treasure is available as a paperback and e-book at Amazon.

Book 2, Lily, is also available.




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Get the First Two Books as Well!