Monday, April 30, 2012

A Bunch of Books

I haven't posted a review in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. In fact, I think I've been reading more since I haven't been blogging about it. Having an ereader makes me read more/faster too, for some reason.
Anyway, in this post I'm going to do mini reviews of the books I've read recently.

The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin has been occupying most of my time lately. I've read through #4, and I know that after I finish A Dance with Dragons that there will be a huge hole in my heart until the next book comes out. These books aren't YA, but they're SO GOOD. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver was a great sequel to Delirium. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but it definitely surpassed Delirium. So much stuff goes down in this book that you'll tear through it in a day and then be angry at yourself because book 3 is a year away. At least that's what happened to me.

This Is Not A Test buy Courtney Summers is a contemp disguised as a zombie book. That's a great thing. You'll come for the zombies, and you'll get them (some of those scenes are so tense you guys), but you also get FEELINGS. I was completely engrossed by this book and am going to be shoving it into people's hands when it comes out in June. If you like zombies and horror, you'll like this book. If you like contemporary books with issues and complex characters, you'll like this book.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman is so unique in a YA landscape of vampires and werewolves and high school. I've never read The Da Vinci Code, but this is what I imagine it's like, only BETTER. There are a bunch of threads throughout the story, and it's fun seeing them all come together in the end. If you're burned out on the paranormal YA scene, definitely give this one a try. You won't regret it. 

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin was a mixed bag for me. The premise sounded great, and when it started I really liked it. But as the novel went on, I kept finding things that turned me off from the book. I wasn't very invested in the characters, and I felt that some of the aspects of the story could have been pulled off better. That said, I did think that the writing style was very good. Talking with some other people, I've found that I'm definitely in the minority on this one, so if you're into dystopian and steampunk this might be something you'll like. 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo was ah-mah-zing. I was completely captivated from the beginning. The world building is fantastic, and I'd kinda describe the plot as a mix between Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Hunger Games. Kind of. Actually, forget I said that because this is in a class by itself. The story and language are so deep and captivating that I predict that this will be on many "best of" lists this year. 

Finally, Purity by Jackson Pearce. Purity is different from her other novels, but just as good. I don't read a lot of contemp, but this was a great read. The characters felt real, and while the subject matter may be a little much for some people (or so I've seen), I thought that it was handled very well and with a lot of heart and humor. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Black Heart by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy. 

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

Okay. I'm just gonna put this out there. The Curseworker trilogy is one of the best YA series you're going to find. Period. It's combination of mobsters, magic, and con artists sounds fantastic, and it's even better than your expectations. So if you haven't read White Cat, do it. I'll wait.
If you have read the first two in the series, book three isn't a disappointment. There is so much going on in this book, that you won't be able to put it down. The ending was just right, not just for the book, but for the series. I'm sad it's over, but it's been an amazing ride.


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