Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arabelle's Shadows Review

Arabelle's Shadows
Arabelle's Shadows
By Fleur Gaskin
Published November 25th, 2012 by Createspace Independent Pulblishing Platform
268 pages

4 stars - Great Read!

*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Everything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

So I recently received this book from the author and after reading the blurb from the back of the book I was intrigued. Arabelle's Shadows did not disappoint and really got me thinking about the struggles in our lives and the things that we expect to make us happy. The author, Fleur Gaskin, had a purpose in writing this novel. It was to show that while we yearn for wealth, beauty, thinness and many more material things they aren't what brings us happiness. I like this lesson and I think Gaskin achieved her purpose. 

So while I did find Arabelle's Shadows intriguing and would recommend it I also want to comment on the material in the book. I'm not sure what age groups view my reviews but I just want to mention that some of the material in this book might be a little mature for some younger readers. Other than that it was a great book and gave me many things to think about. 

Arabelle's Shadows is based on a true story and really does take the reader on a journey through Arabelle's life. And while we learn of the struggles of a young woman trying to make it as a model we also learn of the struggles of a young woman growing up. It was interesting to read about what models have to go through and the difficulties of making it in that industry. I liked the idea of Gaskin describing the depression and dark thoughts as Shadows that creep into your mind and make you feel less than you are. It was also great to see Arabelle grow and realize that wealth and beauty and all that doesn't bring you true happiness. You can tell because the book is written in a diary like format. We are reading Arabelle's diary entries and watching as she learns to deal with the Shadows that have always consumed her. 

Arabelle's Shadows was a good book and it was really thought provoking and interesting. Once again I feel that Gaskin did a great job at showing us the life of a model and a young woman growing up and learning to face her Shadows. And once again keep in mind that, while some of this material is something that a lot of us will have to go through in life, it may also be for mature readers.So anyways check it out and see what you think.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clockwork Princess Review

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
By Cassandra Clare
Published March 19th, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
568 pages

5 stars - AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

Oh My Gosh!!!! I finished Clockwork Princess just around 3 in the morning  today and I can't believe that this beautiful series had ended. As much as I'm going to miss reading more about my favorite characters I have to say that Clockwork Princess ended things wonderfully. I can't tell you how much I cried during this book and they were tears of sadness and tears of joy. This last book was breathtaking and fantastic. It gives you action and romance and times of sadness and heartbreak but it also gives you joy and if you've fallen in love with this series like I have, it gives you peace. 

I don't want to say too much because I really don't want to spoil anything. Clockwork Princess ended in a way I didn't expect but enjoyed. There were so many times that I thought I knew what was going to happen and then Cassandra surprised me (good surprises). All I have to say is that all the characters grew in this book and there were many loose ends tied. You can even see some things that come through in the Mortal Instruments if you have read those books before these. Tessa grew so much during this book and I am even more convinced that she is a strong female character. She realized who she was and what that would mean for her future. Will grew as well and you could see how great of a male character he was becoming and just how great of a man he would become. Jem goes through so much as well and just like the other characters changes and grows. The three characters all together go through so much apart and with each other. They are all so close with each other and there is just a lot that transpires between them. Oh and the relationships between Tessa and Will and Tessa and Jem were wonderful. I can't say too much but just know that you could be surprised by the turn of events. Will and Jem's relationship is just as great as the love triangle and though it's not  a romantic relationship it is something just as great. I just loved watching the bond between Will and Jem, not just through this book but the others as well, and seeing them grow together and have to make tough decisions together and apart was fantastic. It was also heartbreaking at points.

Besides the three main characters many more were brought back and I loved reading their stories. We had Gideon and Sophie and Gabriel and Cecily and Charlotte and Henry. These characters grew as well, especially Gabriel I feel. So much happens in Clockwork Princess but its not overwhelming. It's interesting and suspenseful and in the end its fulfilling. Like I said earlier, I laughed and I cried, I really did cry like a baby though, and I just loved this book. Oh and with the collectors first edition the cover is really a family tree. Just don't look at it before you finish reading unless you wan't to be spoiled. I loved the family tree and it was amazing to see where some of the characters fit into it. Clockwork Princess was beautiful book with a riveting ending. The epilogue was just...well you should read it for yourself. I feel like I have no words to describe to you how amazing this book was. Cassandra Clare has done it again and has made this series an even more favorite of mine. All I can say is that I recommend you read this book if you haven't yet because you really don't want to miss this ending to a wonderful series.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Clockwork Prince Review

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
By Cassandra Clare
Published December 6th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
502 pages

5 stars - Pure Awesomeness! 

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Ok now I'm finally able to write my review for the second book in The Infernal Devices Series, Clockwork Prince. I didn't think it was possible, and I should have known, but Clockwork Prince was even better than the first book. It was just amazing. It had me laughing and crying at the same time. It was a thrilling book that honestly broke my heart at times. And so here is where I have a problem, I don't know how to even begin explaining how much I enjoyed this book. I know that there are people out there, just like with every book, that don't like it or didn't enjoy it but like I always say, make  your own decsion. Even though I'm telling you that you should read this awesome book decide for yourself if you think it sounds interesting. And you never know if you never try. :)
But back to the review, Tessa, Will and Jem are back along with their Shadowhunter family and Magnus :). The book brings even more trials for the characters but they get through it. Reading this I was even more convinced at how strong Tessa is as a female character and how loving and just plain awesome she is. She figures out so many secrets in this book and is well on her way to figuring out who she is as well. Of course the love triangle intensifies in this book and usually I know exactly who the people should end up with but with this one I have no idea. I love both Will and Jem the same because they both bring different things to the story. Jem is, like I said before, strong and just kind and devoted. You get to see not only his and Tessa's relationship grow but his and Will's as well. He is just a great friend and he really deserves happiness as  you will find out when you read more about his story. And with the same intensity of love that I have for Jem, I have the same for Will. I know that not that many people think Will is a great character what with his attitude and him pushing everyone away all the time but when you figure out why Will does these things it really helps you see him. I don't want to spoil anything so I'm not going to say much more on that subject but when you read you'll find out why Will acts the way he does and if your like me that'll make you love him even more. 
That's probably another thing I loved about this book. We get to read about the characters backgrounds and we find out more about them. It's just intriguing and made me care about them even more. The other characters like Sophie and Gideon and Gabriel and Charlotte and the list goes on were once again amazing as well. The book doesn't just focus on a few main characters, you get to feel love for the others as well. 
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Clockwork Prince was pretty great. And even though it made me cry I loved reading it. Cassandra Clare did it once again and right now I really can't wait to find out the ending to a fantastic series. Clockwork Princess comes out in just a very few days and I am super excited. So if you haven't read this book yet, read it now! You won't be disappointed at least I hope you wont, I know I wasn't. 

Clockwork Angel Review

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
By Cassandra Clare
Published August 31st, 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
476 pages

5 stars- Amazing Book!!!

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Ok I'm finally writing my review for Clockwork Angel! I figured since Clockwork Princess is coming out Tuesday I'd better put up the reviews for the other 2 books first. Like the Mortal Instrument Series I fell in love with the Infernal Devices Series. I really absolutely love Clockwork Angel. It's interesting, riveting, amazing, romantic, action packed and pretty funny all in one. 

Clockwork Angel is set in a Victorian England era and really makes you feel like you are there. The characters are wonderful and it was easy for me to care about them. I loved Tessa and I also loved the fact that she loved to read, haha. She was a great female character and it was interesting to see how she acted because of the time period she was in. She is also a Downworlder and not a Shadowhunter which I liked because we got to see how it is to be a Downworlder. She learned so many things about who she is and she did it all without any family members around her. The other two characters that I fell in love with were Will and Jem. I loved Jem's sweetness and strength. He was a great friend to both Will and Tessa and he wasn't bitter despite what he was going through. Will was definitely witty and funny and at times he made sure to keep everybody at arms length but there was more to him than he let everyone see. Plus he also loved to read :). 

There were of course more characters and all brilliant in their own ways but I don't want to spoil anything. I actually don't really know what to say because I fear that if I get going I'll spoil something. All I can say is that Cassandra Clare did it again with this book and series. I read Mortal Instruments first and while waiting for other books to come out I started on this series. You don't have to read one or the other first because they make sense on their own. The book was just plain awesome, it was intriguing. I was able to learn more about the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Just like the cover it was magical. So I suggest you pick this book up and the others as well and see for yourself what I'm raving about. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Matched Book Review

Matched (Matched, #1)
Matched (Matched #1)
By Ally Condie
Published November 30th, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
369 pages

4 stars - Another great read!

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I have been wanting to read Matched for awhile and I was so excited when I was finally able to get my hands on it. I was just hoping that it wouldn't disappoint me and thankfully it didn't. Matched is another dystopian story but even though it made me think of Divergent or even Delirium, it was different and in a good way.

We get to see things from Cassia's point of view and naturally she has grown up in a society that is way different from our own. Actually the Society makes most of the people's decisions for them, right down to whom they marry or are matched to. I thought that the Matching ceremony and the whole process was definitely interesting because it's the whole idea of finding your perfect match right down to the T. But anyways Cassia and the rest of her friends are already at the age where this big decision has to be made and when she finds out that her match is Xander, her best friend, she couldn't be any more happier. Until the screen shows another picture of another guy. Ky Markham, Cassia knows him too but what she doesn't know is why his face flashed on the screen along with Xander's. Now Cassia is all confused because the more she learns about Ky the more she starts to fall for him. And now she has a choice to make, choose Xander and a normal life or choose Ky and a life that is hers alone with no one to control it.

I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to find out what happens to our beloved characters in the next one . Cassia definitely grew in this book from a person who just went with the society told her to thinking for herself. I think that this is what I really like about this book and a lot of the other ones, its the whole thinking for yourself idea. It always makes me wonder where we would be if none of us really thought for ourselves and just makes me feel grateful that we can make are own decisions. Anyways I really enjoyed Cassia and I loved Ky even more, he knew things that the Society didn't want him to and he's had a tough life or at least childhood. Ky is interesting and even though I liked Xander as well I can't help but find Ky a little more appealing. Of course that's not to say that Xander was a bad character because we find that he isn't quite who he seems either but he is a good friend for Cassia. The ending is really a cliffhanger and leaves us to wonder what the Society's true motives are and what that will leave for the characters. If you haven't checked this book out yet don't wait any longer.


Unearthly Book Review

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)
Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
By Cynthia Hand
Published January 4th, 2011 by Harper Teen
435 pages

4 stars - Great Read!

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Unearthly was another quite interesting read and I found that I actually enjoyed it. I know that this seems like just another book about angels and whatnot adding to all the other books about angels out there, well it is. But it's also different than the few angel books that I have read.

First of all Clara is actually part of a family of angels, aside from her dad, who are put on the earth for a purpose. Like she actually has a purpose or goal that she needs to accomplish but most of the time they aren't easy to figure out. Clara's purpose has her and her family moving to a new town where she will find the boy from her dreams and quite possibly save him. It's a good thing that Clara has a mother who knows a lot and is able to help but sometimes it seems like Clara's mother knows a little more than she's letting on. So as long as Clara keeps focused and makes sure everything goes right with her purpose everything should go right. There's just one problem, there is a distraction and his name is Tucker. Now Clara has to make choices that she hasn't had to make before, ones that could be life threatening to not just her but everyone around her. She just has to decide if she wants to follow the rules or her heart.

Unearthly was an interesting story about angels because it was different. First of all Clara isn't a full angel but I'll let you figure out why on your own. Then not all the characters are what they seem and I found that I was able to get surprised along the way which is a plus for me. I'm still not even sure if I know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. The characters were great and I found myself really liking Tucker, haha. Clara was a good main character and I didn't mind seeing things from her point of view. And of course she had some pretty touch decisions to make. But aside from all that the book was pretty good for another angel story and a first book in the series. I waiting to get the second one so I can find out what happens. So yes I would recommend this and no I don't have too much to say without revealing any spoilers. But you can try this out on your own and see for yourself. :)


Monday, March 4, 2013

Ember Book Review

Ember (Death Collectors, #1)
Ember (Death Collectors #1)
By Jessica Sorensen
Published August 29th, 2012 by Borrowed Hearts Publishing
330 pages

4.5 stars - Amazing!!

What if you knew when someone was going to die?

For seventeen-year-old Ember, life is death. With a simple touch, she knows when someone will die. It’s her curse and the reason she secludes herself from the world. The only person who knows her secret is her best friend Raven. 

Then she meets Asher Morgan. He’s gorgeous, mysterious, and is the only person Ember can't sense death from. So when he pushes into her life, she doesn’t mind.

But when unexplained deaths start to haunt her town, Ember starts questioning why she can’t sense Asher's death and what he may be hiding.

Jessica Sorensen has done it again! At least she has in my opinion. So far the books that I have read from Sorensen have been amazing and quite interesting. Ember doesn't disappoint and is an intoxicating start to what seems to be a great new series.

I don't want to give too much away because the less you know the more interesting the story is. There were so many times that I thought I knew where the story was going and who the bad guy was but just ended up being surprised, it a fantastic way. The whole book is suspenseful and the ending is even better, there is not one dull moment. Reading the synopsis I wasn't really sure what Ember would be about and whatever I was thinking, this book was even better. I loved Ember and especially Asher :). I felt so bad for Ember at times and even Raven because they each had difficulties in their lives.

 Ember can see when someone is going to die and how they will die whenever she touches them. But then she meets Asher and she finds that he is the one person who's death she can't see. So what can this mean? Then everyone starts disappearing or dying and the police are looking at Ember as a suspect but if it's not her killing people then who is? Who can Ember trust in a town where frightening things are going on?

Once again I felt that Ember was a riveting book, it really was. I read it in a day and couldn't stop until I finished it. Ember was different from what I've been reading and I enjoyed that. Though of course it might be a little on the darker side what with everything that goes on. But if that kind of stuff doesn't bother you then Ember shouldn't bother you at all either. I really can't wait for the second book to come out because I want to know what will become of all the characters. Ember isn't just a book about a girl being able to see someone's death, there is definitely more going on to the story than the synopsis says. And once again I don't want to share too much because I feel like the book will be more enjoyable if you find the secrets out on your own. I guess all I can say is that I recommend this book if you have loved any of Jessica's other books or series. It is definitely worth buying. Check it out for yourself!