Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sidekick Showcase Wk 6

*Sorry I haven't been posting this week! It's the week after Spring Break, and the week after any break (at least for me lol) is always so hectic! I'll be back on in April!:) *

This book meme is hosted by the fabulous Jaclyn over at JC's Book Haven! :)
My theme this week: Green covers! :D

Sidekick of the week: Morpheus from the Splintered series!
(Technically this is the cover for Unhinged, but the guy on front is Morpheus! *swoon*)

Here's the Splintered cover:
Aren't they both gorgeous?!?!?

I haven't had a chance to read Unhinged yet ( :( ), but from the first book, I'm def. Team Morpheus! He's cunning, witty, and surprisingly caring at times.  And I'm always a sucker for those romances where the characters have known each other since they were little kids. ;) 

 This is one of the few books where I actually love the love triangle. I don't want to spend too much time describing the virtues of Jeb as well (wouldn't want people to switch sides ;)), but he and Jeb are so... human.  They aren't perfect nor are they just cardboards with make-up, but they have an actual personality (it's amazing that this requirement is hardly ever seen in YA), and they have so much depth and complexity to them.  Plus both Jeb and Morpheus don't fit the mold of the usual bad boy/good boy love triangle!!  They are both bad, both good, and both heroic (maybe Morpheus is a little more bad, and Jeb is a little more good, but I stand with my first assertion) , and I can't tell who Alyssa's going to pick in the end! (Hopefully Morpheus, but ya know, I don't really have a big aversion to Jeb either tbh...)

BUT ultimately, I prefer Morpheus over Jeb because Morpheus speaks so poetically. (*swoon*)  It may be a dark type of poetry, but it's haunting.  I also do love that he is a bit of a (dark) drama-queen fashionista (it's very subtle, and it may just be me, but I do think it's there) xD. 
So who are your picks this week?


Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Naturals

13597723Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher Disney-Hyperion 
Genre(s): YA Mystery/ Crime
Pages: 308
~Spoiler Free!~

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

First thoughts: As a mega-fan of DBSK, I admit the first thing I thought of when I saw "Cassie" was, "OMG I'm a Cassie too" xD. (K-pop fandom joke;))

But the book overall reminded me a lot of A Girl Named Digit.


I wasn't really into this book. I didn’t hate it nor did I like it. It was one of those books I picked up just to fill my time until I find that one book that tears apart my soul. ;) The premise reminded me of A Girl Named Digit, esp. since it involved the FBI and people who had special abilities. 

This book wasn't intense; it may be a murder mystery, but it wasn't at all heart-racing or gripping.  I think the reason had a lot to do with how the events were just dragged on and on.  For the most part, I felt the pacing was slow; there was a lot of filler stuff that I felt really bogged down the plot.

 There was also a love triangle in this book.   I didn't hate the love triangle nor did I really like it.  There wasn’t insta-love- so that was an instant plus!- and the relationships between both guys were built up (more with Dean than Micheal I thought); also, the ending leaves the relationships open for more development in future books.  But even without the future books, I can tell pretty much tell who she’s going to pick.  And the way this love triangle is going, I feel like future books will be consumed by this- a pattern I’ve picked up over the years from reading the carbon copy books in different covers again and again- so it’s up in the air right now of whether I plan on reading said future books.   In this book, however, the love triangle didn’t really swallow the book; it was there, but more prominent was the actual plot-even if it did drag on. So, little things like that I appreciated.   :)

The characters and chemistry were meh.  I was expecting a strong family-type bond between all of them- which sadly didn't happen- and the chemistry between all of them was weak.  Both Lia and Sloane were very one-dimensional; they were like robots who  had one personality and one personality only; they had no depth or complexity and therefore didn’t really seem like real humans. Cassie was okay; she was a little different from most YA in her ability and the type of book she was in, but she was pretty generic.  Her voice and overall personality was your standard strong, kick-butt kinda girl with a touch of sarcasm. I did like how it was mentioned that she didn't really fit in with her dad's family because it gave her some depth. I just wished that aspect had been explored a little bit more.  I get the sense that she was suppose to have found her true "family" with the people in the Naturals program, but I couldn't really see it- mainly because of the whole robot complex.  

And the boys?  They’re your standard bad boy/ good boy combo.    Cardboard? Yea, just about, but not quite.  They had a few interesting quirks about them that made them a little more alive than cardboard.  I would say they too were more like robots (which I consider an improvement from cardboard xD).

There were a few good bits, like the plot twists and unique premise.  I really didn’t expect those twists; the book actually does a pretty good job of throwing you off the trial (I half attribute it to the draggy plot) while subtly dropping hints about who the killer is.  It was also interesting to see how everything connected at the end.   

I had my suspicions about the premise because it was similar to A Girl Named Digit.   The only thing I can recall that was similar were the abilities (Digit's ability was her  natural aptitude for math, numbers, and the like) and the FBI concept.  It's been a while since I've read AGND, but I do remember thinking that it was a fluffy book- and this was most definitely was not.

Final thoughts? I do think this book would have been better if the plot didn’t drag on, and the pacing had been picked up.   Oh, and if the characters suddenly became more than number/lie spouting machines. ;)

I would just recommend this as a filler book, like a book in-between books, but not for book hangovers.  The plot does drag, so that might just drive people in book-hangovers (esp. for those recovering from books with snappy plots and dynamic characters) crazy. Trust me, I’ve been there. ;)

Thanks for reading!

Rating: 2 out of 5 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quote Me Thursday Wk 6

daily mayo quote me thursday link up
This meme is hosted by the awesome Brenda over at the Daily Mayo!
My quote for the week:
"Green grass breaks through snow.
Artemis pleads for my help.
I am so cool."

-Rick Riordan (Titan's Curse)

Oh Apollo. You and your poems. ;)

So what's your quote this week? 

Commenting Haywire resolved!!

Hi guys!! I can now comment on all Blogger blogs!! Yay!!

I miss interacting with all of you guys and can't wait to go on a mad commenting spree ;)
Happy Thursday everyone!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sidekick Showcase Wk 5

Sidekick Showcase is a book meme hosted by the fantastic Jaclyn over at JC's Book Haven 

So having been inspired by my fabulous friend Robyn over at Robgirlbooks, I've decided to go with the theme of Best/Worst Dressed this week.

My pick for best dressed:
Elizabeth Cole from the Felicity Merriman's American Girl series!
I actually would have chosen both Felicity and Elizabeth if I could because all their clothes are so pretty! I still own this particular American girl series (and a few others), and I go back through the books sometimes just for the pretty pictures.  xD 

So a little about Elizabeth: 

She's shyer than Felicity- almost the complete opposite- but she has a quiet strength about her. Despite Elizabeth's Loyalist ties, she and Felicity don't let anything get in the way of their friendship- esp. when it comes to teasing ol' Bananabelle! :)

My pick for worst dressed:
Lindy from the Charmed Life series!

So I know I've always used this series for the Sidekick Showcase, and I've tried to move on, but alas, I can't resist! (I promise this is the last one! ;))

13182638Lindy is a total tomboy. Her fashion sense is non-existant, and in the first book, she enlists fashionista Bella for help in becoming more feminine. Bella does her magic, but it's no match for Lindy's tomboyish nature. ;) Lindy's calmer nature- calmer compared to Bella, that is- makes her a perfect sidekick to Bella and the craziness Bella brings with her "spiritual gift" of nosiness. ;)

So who are your picks this week? :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday Wk 7

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Jill over at Breaking the Spine
What I'm waiting on this week:

She reminds me of Merida from Brave...

Plot blurb:
Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it's her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father's favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle—it's easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she's determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court's deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father's friends and enemies close—but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.

0.0 She even sounds like her! And her name starts with an M... hmmm...

But nonetheless, I'm so excited for this to come out! I absolutely love all of Esther Friesner's books, esp. the ones set in ancient Egypt. :)

This book comes out on April 22, 2014 (YAY!! Only a month left!!)

So what are you guys waiting on this week?

It's a God Thing

18126599Author: Don Jacobson
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher Thomas Nelson Publishers
Genre(s): Christian Non Fiction
Pages:  214

Summary (Goodreads):
Some things in life have no earthly explanation. It's just a God thing.

Miracles are not reserved for the characters in the Old and New Testaments; they happen to everyday people. Series creator Don Jacobson ("When God Makes Lemonade") and K-LOVE Radio Network (12 million listeners) have joined together to produce one of the most remarkable collections of modern day miracles ever compiled.

From a hunter who survived a horrific accident to a mother woken up to escape an attacker, from a soldier guided to safety through unspeakable horrors to a young backpacker who walked free from a terrorist attack, "It's A God Thing "presents some of the most amazing stories of God's hand on our lives.

*Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson for sending me this book through Book Look!*

I don't usually review books that are nonfiction or outside the YA genre.  But looking through the listed books on the Book Look page, I saw the bright cover and the summary and thought to myself, “Why not?” I wanted some hopeful and uplifting stories- and that's what I got with this book.

This book is very similar to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (which I absolutely adore!).  It's made up of individual stories about everyday people who experience miracles.  I don't have a particular story that I consider a favorite;  I really did like all of them! :) And even though some of them dealt with darker subjects, I still felt that all were encouraging and uplifting. 

What I loved the most about this book is that all the stories shine with the love of God.  It shows that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, God loves you, and I think that’s a message that everyone needs to hear.  What better way to relay that message than through testimonies? :-)

Final thoughts? It's a great book to read in moments of doubt or hardship, and it stays true to the loving message of Christ.  

Rating: 4 out of 5

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cover Buzz: Catherine by April Lindner

Hi guys! Kyendwarrior here:)

I'm super excited to help spread the word for the new paperback cover of Catherine by April Lindner which will come out this August!  Both covers are pretty sweet! The one on the left is the hardback edition and the one on the right is the paperback one. :)

 I'm actually really taking a liking to the paperback edition one.  It's very sweet, and I think couple covers are really cute. :) ( Judging from the summary, however, I don't think this is a cutesy book. lol)  BUT I still do think the first one is pretty great because of that unstoppable confidence the girl radiates and that fog xD.  It's fun to really stare at a cover with fog in the background and find little bits of clues to the book on them. :)

I'm also super thrilled to welcome April Lindner to the blog with a post discussing them both!:) 
Plus, there's a giveaway for an Amazon eGift card! Just scroll to the bottom of this post for details and to enter. :) 

I haven't read this book yet, but it's been on my to-read list since forever! I'm trying to crack down on the amount of books I add to my tbr list, but judging from the 1000 something (and counting) amount of books, I haven't exactly been successful LOL. 

So which one's your favorite ;)?

Info about the book:
Author: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Release date: January 1, 2013 | August 19, 2014 (paperback)
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook


Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad's famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years -- a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn't die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her -- starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine delivers a fresh retelling of the Emily Brontë classic Wuthering Heights, interweaving a timeless forbidden romance with a captivating modern mystery.

About the Author

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

The Guest Post:

Promises, Promises: Judging a Book by Its Cover
By April Lindner

We’ve all been told that you can’t judge a book by its cover. And yet some of us book lovers can’t help ourselves; there’s nothing like a gorgeous cover to lure us in. More often than not, an enticing cover is the main thing that moves me to pick up a book I’ve never heard of, to start paging through it, giving the first few paragraphs a chance to seal the deal—or not.

So for me the most exciting moment in the whole bookmaking occurs when a book’s future cover appears in my inbox. I click on the thumbnail, and wait breathlessly as the image blooms onto my computer screen. Only then can I imagine my manuscript as a book—on a shelf, or, better still, in the hands of a reader. I know the cover will set the book’s tone. And it will make promises—hopefully the right ones.

All of this explains why I’m so thrilled by the new cover of Catherine’s paperback edition, due out in August. Don’t get me wrong: I love the original Catherine cover. Lush and dramatic, it makes certain promises—ones I believe the book keeps. The elegant model in her kickass stance promises a strong female protagonist. (Actually, the book has two alternating strong female narrators—Catherine and her daughter Chelsea.) And the background, with the iconic Flatiron Building rising up through the mist, promises the book’s Lower Manhattan setting will be as important as its characters. The title typeface—bold and purple—promises a confident, free-spirited heroine—exactly how I see Catherine herself.

But the new paperback cover—already available to readers who download the Ebook-- makes a different set of promises. On it, a boy and a girl hold each other in the shadows of a graffiti-covered underpass. They gaze at each other in rapt wonder, their shoulders, neck and heads echoing the shape of a heart. Secret romance, this cover says. It promises love against the odds. The scene is gritty—less glamorous than the cityscape on the original—but this grittiness befits the book’s main setting, a post punk night club on the Bowery. The title’s typeface is still bold, but its peachy color underscores the sweet and optimistic innocence of this couple’s embrace.

Inspired by the classic romance Wuthering Heights, Catherine is a story of star-crossed love interwoven with mystery. Its soundtrack is the post-punk music played by Catherine’s boyfriend, Hence. And the new paperback cover captures that complex mood exactly, I think. In fact, when it popped up on my computer screen for the first time, I almost swooned. There it was, in front of me: almost exactly the picture I saw in my imagination as I wrote the book.
An author can hope for nothing more than that.

The Giveaway

A $15 Amazon eGift Card to ONE winner.
Ends March 25th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Thank you so much to Rock Star Book Tours and April Lindner for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Cover Buzz!:)*

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Second Star

Second StarAuthor: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher:  MacMillan Teen Books
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
Pages:  256
~Spoilers are hidden! Highlight the page to see them!~

Summary (Goodreads): 
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.


*THANK YOU SO MUCH TO MacMillan Teen Books for sending me this book through Netgalley!*

Oh, it was twisty alright.  This book was all over the place.  I understand it's an arc and all, but wow. >.<

I went into this book expecting a bittersweet summer romance (I should have noticed that "instant attraction" bit- ARGH),  a lot of Peter Pan elements, and an emotional search for lost brothers.  What I got was insta-love (and insta-family),only names from Peter Pan, and little searching. (To be fair, it did say radical reinvention, but still.  It's hardly worth noting its connection to Peter Pan if all it borrowed from the original book were the names and maybe one teeny strand of the plot.)

Where to begin with this book?  *throws a dart at my Wheel of Review Starters* Ah. Characters. Wonderful.

Wendy was a mess.  Pete was a mess.  Jas was a mess.  They all were messes.  Wendy didn't have a personality; she was so bland.   She didn't really seem like a character in this book, but almost a detached narrator.  There were a few parts where I kind of did feel for her (when it came to her bond with her brothers), but even that wasn't very emotional for me.  Those bits were written prettily, and I can see the feeling the author wanted to invoke in us, but if I can see it, then I'm not lost in it.  Any semblance of a personality- she was a character after all- was buried under the lack of common sense. (That scene with that drug.  Enough said.)

Pete and Jas were cardboards with make up (my new of describing pretty boys with no personality xD).  I felt the author was trying to help us connect with them emotionally, but they behaved really erratically, and needless to say, the no personality thing was a huge turn off.  Plus, insta-love with both guys (love triangle. Bleh) was not doing this book any favors.  

And the plot? It was... weird.  Not as in strange weird, but as in it-goes-all-over-the-place weird. (( In a convoluted nutshell: She's suppose to be looking for her missing brothers, so she goes to hang out with Pete and his gang; every once in a while, she remembers them. Eventually they find out that she's just there to find her brothers (why she never told them is beyond me), they get mad (why?), she goes to Jas (big mistake if you ask me), then something happens along the way (still not sure what that "something" is), Jas and Pete are friends again (um????), and then Jas, Pete, and Bella kinda disappear but not really. )) The book went off on tangents, and the whole book wasn't really focused on her finding her brothers; it was mostly just her hanging with people who surf. So, I guess you might be thinking, "Oh, then she and her 'gang' probably have awesome chemistry and a sweet family bond right?" Nope! Is there such thing as an insta-family? xD  It was really random how they were total strangers one minute and then literally a family the next. Plus, that ending was so... weird. (LOL.  I'm having a hard time describing this book in any other term but that.)  I felt it was super random and abrupt.

The one positive thing about this book was the writing.  Weird, huh? (Sorry! Last use xD) You would think the writing would be really awkward and choppy, given the plot and the characters.  But actually, the writing was really pretty, and it flowed  nicely.  The writing gave this book a sort of fairy-tale feeling to it, which I liked... And that's about all I liked. :)

Final thoughts? The second star to the right DOES NOT shine in the night for this one. ;(
(And I was pretty optimistic about this book too! I love Peter Pan!)

Rating: 1.5 out of 5  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ebook vs Print: Kyendwarrior's Take

This is also posted over at the LOHS Book Club blog :)

So I guess I'm up first to bat eh? ;)

My choice: PRINT books

There are pros and cons of both, but nothing beats the smell of ink and paper and the feel of that solid book in your hands.  And is it just me or does that world inside your head when you're reading feel different when you read an e-book?  The world seems more... techno (LOL) regardless of the type of fiction it is.

Might just be a "me" thing though xD.

E-books may be instant, but not everything that's instant is good for you (instant ramen, anyone?).  I think it's totally worth the wait for the book to come in the mail or hand pick it directly from the library or the book store.  There's something about that first meeting where you know from the feel of the book (soft, bumpy, shiny, thick) that it's just going to click with you.  Reading on a Kindle or a Nook... eh not so much.  It's also harder to gauge how much the longer there is to the book until it ends (esp when you're really into the book  and don't want to take that loooong second to tap the screen).  I like knowing how many pages I have till it ends because it tells me a lot about the direction the book's going to take.   A girl likes to have some warning (even if it's just a vague feeling!) before a Rickhanger cliffhanger wrenches your heart and stomps on it with high heels. ;)

So there you have it! Not exactly a "fight to the death" argument because I am guilty of reading e-books myself. xD  But in the grand scheme of things, nothing replaces good ole' paperbacks!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature and Follow # 4

Increase Blog Followers
Hi guys!
Kyendwarrior here!:)
Feature and Follow is hosted by the fabulous Parajunkee   and the awesome Alison Can Read

This week's question:
Recommend some of your favorite back-list books-books that are at least a few years old (I'm thinking 5-10 years rather than classics)

Oooo!! I love this topic! Here are my picks!:)

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.: (DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK. IN FACT JUST DON'T WATCH THE MOVIE AT ALL.  OMG IT WAS LIKE FORESHADOWING TO THE ERA OF THE PERCY JACKSON MOVIES. JUST DON'T! )  This book is one of my all time favs! I just love fairy-tale retellings! :)

2. Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser:  So this one is 16 years old, but it's not a classic, so I guess it counts ^_^  It was a real eye opener to OCD, and it really encouraged me to think before I spoke.

3.Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn:  It was one of the first books that got me hooked onto high fantasy.  It's been a while since I've read this, but I remember it being somewhat soft and a bit nostalgic.

4. Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath: To be honest, I actually hated this book when I first read it because I was forced to read it for AR points (remember those??).   Since then, I have come to love this book (and am missing those AR tests! Now that I look back on them, they were just like book quizzes I do for fun on Goodreads!) and also have read it several times.  It's very heartwarming and sweet, and I do love those recipes! :)

5.  Midnight Rider by Joan Hiatt Harlow: I love this book to pieces! (Literally- my own copy is falling apart!;) ) I picked this up during my American Girl and Dear America phase, and I've been hooked onto this author's books (and historical fiction) every since!

So what are your picks this week?
Thank you so much for stopping by!!:)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sidekick Showcase Wk 5

Sidekick Showcase is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome Jaclyn over at JC's Book Haven.
*Uncovered spoilers for the Percy Jackson series! Proceed at own risk! I tried to avoid 'em, but I don't think it's possible to not (ahh double negatives) have spoilers when talking about Rachel. xD*

My sidekick for the week:
Rachel Elizabeth Dare from the Percy Jackson series

Not exactly how I pictured her. I imagined her with a TON of freckles sprinkled across her nose and her hair being much wilder.  As I'm writing this now, I'm thinking of Merida (from Brave) with more freckles and sharper features: sharper nose, sharper chin, sharper eyes, sharper mouth.  If you've read the books, you know why xD.

Aren't they beautiful? ;)

Two words: Red-headed spunk. (I think that's two words? LOL)
I was going to say red-headed menace (which I think would have made more sense grammatically lol), but she isn't a menace. Not really.  Maybe to Annabeth (xD), but she's pretty cool for an Oracle.  I'm actually super glad  that Rachel is the new oracle.   For one thing, Rachel's alive. (LOL)  I'm pretty sure that spirit doll prophecy thing isn't. *shudders* Also, I was hoping to see more of her in Heroes of Olympus.  She wasn't in there a whole lot, but I'll take what I get.  :)

So my favorite thing about her?  She's got spunk (duh! xD).  She's loud, she's a little obnoxious, and she's bold.  Her sass level isn't quite up to par with Percy, but she's still pretty funny.  xD She's passionate for the things she loves (Save the whales! Save the art department! Save Percy!), and like all passions of all Percy Jackson characters, it's infectious.  (Annabeth and her architecture.  Need I say more? ;) )

But Rachel isn't only this bright spunky girl.  She has her issues too (her family and her clear sight), and the responsibility she takes on as the Oracle cannot be undermined.   When things need to get serious, she gets serious.

And best of all, she's as tough as nails.  I mean, she hit the Titan Lord Kronos in the eye with a blue hairbrush.
(So maybe she is a menace after all. xD)

So what sidekicks did you pick this week?

Monday, March 3, 2014

(sorta) Series Review: The Ruby Red trilogy (Books 1-2)

17254055Author: Kerstin Gier
PublisherHenry Holt
Genre(s): YA Fantasy/ Historical Fiction
*Books 1-2 of series*

*That cover! It's so pretty!*

The Ruby Red trilogy is about a girl who finds out she can time travel, and she goes on adventures to unlock the secret of the Circle. 

*I wasn’t going to make this a series review because I felt that reading 2 out of the 3 wasn’t enough, but as I was writing the reviews for both books, I found that they were pretty similar, so I just combined them.*

I found about this series browsing through the Lost in Translation section, so I guess Ms. Christie indirectly recommended it to me lol.  Thank you! ^_^

So I started off liking Ruby Red (and the series in general), and then two things happened: it ended, and it went into the occult. (Not in that order, of course)

I did like a part of the world-building and the whole set up of time traveling. A lot of questions about the world were answered in the first book, and Gwen was pretty funny. She was snarky and sarcastic- not overly so- and she was really smart.  She caught onto things fairly quickly.  The book flowed so smoothly, I often forgot that this was actually a translation. All fine there.

And then the book ended.

It wasn’t a cliffhanger; the entire book was just building and building and building, and just when things were beginning to pick up and something was going to happen, the book ended.  I also felt like the book went off on tangents.  Even though everything was supposedly leading up to the revealing of the big secret, the adventures (which were few and small) the characters had didn't really relate to revealing that secret.   Also, the building of the plot and the small adventures seemed like filler to me. I assume it'll all come together at the end, but I'm still a bit confused as to how everything that happened in the book (besides the world building) was important.

But to get back to the building (for the plot that is):  all that building did make me curious, so against my better judgment, I picked up the second book.   In Sapphire Blue, we found out a little more about the world, and there were a few complications thrown in, but I still felt like we were building and climbing up that hill (or at least struggling up the hill) for the grand finale. So, while the overall story was interesting, nothing major happened (again, it seemed like filler), and the important questions (not the little details about the world) still weren't answered. 

And the romance?  It was a mess! (Okay hyperbole, but it was still pretty messy.)   To sum it up: there was sort of an insta-love on both parties, they kissed, he got mad, he acted like everything was normal, she got mad, and he does a fake out.  Yea, not fun, but I wasn't really invested into this romance.  Besides the fact that there was insta-love, Gwen sounded/acted really young (oh maybe 10-13 years old; it varied)- not in a bad way, just her mannerisms and way of speaking was much younger than I expected for someone of her age.  So, whenever she mentioned anything that had to do with romance, I always cringed before remembering that she was actually 16 and a half.  (Yep, she said that).  But then again, this was a translation, and I have a sneaky feeling that that was the main reason for her sounding so young.  That doesn't mean the translation wasn't awesome though.  It was; if no one had told me, then I would have never known this was originally written in German.  

The other thing that made me not like the series was that it went into the occult (Freemason/Knights Templar). I didn’t initially know, but it came up fairly quickly.   I don't usually read books that have anything to do with the occult (like the real stuff, not the fantasy stuff)- I actually avoid them like the plague-but I felt I could handle it (lol nope) this time around, so I read on.  As far as I've read, the series doesn't go too deep into it, but it went in far enough.   I also DID NOT like how they advocated Freemasonry as a "cool thing" (it's NOT cool at all).  This is definitely something to be wary about, and I felt they were just going to go deeper into this stuff in the third book ( I've only read the synopsis, so I can't make any solid judgment calls here, but based on what's happened so far, I think it's safe to assume), so I've  decided to stop here.   

Final thoughts?  I won’t keep climbing this hill for that finale; I'm moving onto shorter (and safer!) hills.

Thanks for reading!