Category Archives: 4.5 Stars


ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 18, 2013

I have been in love with Maggie Stiefvater’s work for a long, long time. Not since the beginning, mind you, but since she published SHIVER. I’m lucky enough to have a casual acquaintance with her, I have a picture of her and my rabbit, and I have some doodles in my signed books from her especially to me.

Although this is true, I am not biased. To date, I have not met a book she has written that I haven’t liked. A lot. Her writing style is just so dry-humored and smooth like dark chocolate.

Okay. So back to the review at hand. THE DREAM THIEVES is a wonderful sequel to THE RAVEN BOYS. This book mostly focuses on Ronan with a good dose of Blue and little Adam, and Gansey. There’s an assassin in town that’s looking for a valuable thing that Gansey may or may not possess and will stop at nothing to get it. Plus, Cabeswater has disappeared into thin air and with it, any chance Gansey has to find the king he’s been looking his entire life for.

Maggie’s prose is lyrical, witty, sad, and rings with the truth of consciousness for every one of her characters. She breathes life into the pages seamlessly and grabs you along for the ride until the words run out. I was so, so pleased to get to read this second installment in The Raven Cycle a month early and I will definitely be buying the hardcover when it comes out!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley and did not receive any other recompense for this review.


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REVIEW: Never Fade

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 17, 2013

So I was super surprised at how much I loved this book. I was also mildly surprised that this was the second in a series, mostly because I never felt lost with the character’s back stories I should have known before reading this. Which really goes to show how amazingly Bracken seamlessly wove her first and second installments together.

Ruby’s transformation from fearing her ability to being forced to use it to survive was a very palpable struggle. This book really sucked me in, but didn’t have such a hold on me that I couldn’t relax and enjoy it. Ruby’s new responsibilities and coming to love those under her in the League against her will was poignant and just so real.

There was so much action and so many twists, most of which I never saw coming. The book never lulled and never lost its constant momentum which I was only too happy to be swept away by. I loved it so much I’m going to be reading the first book of the series and buying this book when it comes out!

The only real problem I had with it is that one of the new character curses like a sailor literally every bit of dialogue. It was good character building, until it was just too much and I got tired of the f bomb being dropped like it was a space filler. I think I would have liked this book better had there been a bit more discretion with that character. However, overall I really did enjoy myself and devoured this book!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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June 18, 2013 · 9:09 PM

Review: CINDER

Stars: 4.5/5

 Format: Hardback

 Read: March 17, 2012

Cinder was what I expected and what I wasn’t expecting. I expected a parallel to the Cinderella tale (which, obviously, is what the book is built upon) but I wasn’t expecting such liberties to be taken with the story. They were well plotted liberties, even if the main basis of the story was so dreadfully predictable. The whole “The princess has been missing” bit brought to Cinder’s attention about twenty-five pages in was just screaming “THIS IS WHAT THIS PLOT IS ABOUT. PLEASE TAKE NOTE.” However, I found I didn’t overly mind the predictability part simply because of the inventive spices added to a common fairy tale.

Enter the existence of cyborgs, mutant humans living on the moon, and a very strange plague. Being a pre-med student with a focus in diseases, I naturally found many flaws in this sickness. For it to be the basis of unrest it needed to be a little less mysterious than it was. The science mentioned was mediocre at best, but this is a work of fantasy and not exclusively a science fiction novel. Meyer wasn’t so ignorant as to build weak plot threads, so this wasn’t much of an issue. I personally appreciated the mechanics of the cyborg people, which was a little more solid than the plague itself.

I literally tore through this book in a day. I do not recommend doing that, as this book mimics the “middle book of a trilogy” syndrome. Simply put, you get a lot of information but nothing substantial to feel like you were granted anything in the story. Yes, it was good with fairly solid characters (most of them tolerable to possibly engaging) but in the end you really get nothing. Nothing from the main points of the story line was accomplished. I kind of felt cheated because I read through four hundred or so pages and wasn’t even tossed a bone for my efforts. If the book had ended in a better cliff hanger, one where I could enjoy what had just happened and reflect on it until the next book up heaves my satisfaction, I think I would have felt better about it. It was almost like Meyer wanted to give us more story and sacrificed a good place to “end” the first installment. It was like drinking watery tea versus a shot of caffeine; yes the tea will last you longer but the caffeine will give you the immediate satisfaction.

I did think the book had a well rounded build, hence the five stars, but I just felt like I was lead asunder. I will read the next book, but I doubt I will keep this series in the long run unless I can glean more satisfaction from the characters or the plot. I’d pick it up at the library first to make sure you like what you read before you fork over money for the hardback.

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 Stars: 4.5/5

Format: ARC from Random Buzzers

Read: February 20, 2012

First off, I hate the cover. Hate it. It has nothing to do with the actual content of the book and though it does catch your attention, it has no meaning. Second, I received this book through Random Buzzers to promote and review. I am not being paid except for the free copy I received.

I really liked this book. It’s 4.5 stars for me, but rounded down to four simply because I didn’t find it as amazing as some of my “most favorite read again and again” books. An average of one book out of every seven I await publication actually are as good as I think they will be. This book was delightfully so. I received it on Friday and tore through it. I would have read it in one sitting, but I had things I had to do over the weekend.

A lot of reviews are going around saying that they liked the idea but hated the execution and so on. I like to read a book at face value. I never expect anything to happen and let myself enjoy the ride. I think this contributed very highly to my perception of the story itself. There were good twists, a thrilling mystery, and enough action for me to have a hard time finding a stopping place to pause reading.

Callie was highly likable. I didn’t adore her, but then do you adore every person you meet? She had pros and cons with more of an emphasis on the pros. Thinking back on my initial impression at the very beginning of the book (street rat, starving, wanting to protect her brother) to her becoming a “donor” she’s very different. There’s a bit of a void in the character development, but I think that is fairly consistent with the aspects of “donating” your body. Unfortunately, aside from the fellow “renters” Callie interacts with, little character development happens with the initial street rat possible love boy who takes care of her little brother alongside her. I do understand why her little brother and Michael would be lesser characters, but they felt a bit like a block of granite with half a face chiseled out. I hope they’ll play a bigger role in the next book, ENDERS, whenever that comes out.

The execution of the plot idea was, in my opinion, handled very well. It was plausible (I hate those dystopians that are very vague about what happened to the population on Earth and why because the foundation crumbles under scrutiny) and was actually a piece of the story itself, not as a result of or in addition to. There were many roads this book could have traveled with many plot threads left hanging, but I felt a sense of satisfaction when I came to the end of the book that only comes from that creative balance of closure and no closure. Am I dying to get a hold of the next book right this moment? No, not really. But I do anticipate its publication and will read it when it comes out.

If you enjoy dystopians that aren’t bogged down with too much emotional distraughtness or complicated jargon that flow fairly consistently, I think you ought to take this book for a spin. You might not be disappointed.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, advanced reader copy, Review


 Stars: 4/5

 Format: Hardback 

 Read: December 15, 2011

So this book started fairly slowly, and continued at a fairly slow pace. The world description, character description, and plot threads were beautifully done, but I felt like I was being dragged by my shirt slowly down dusty alleyways that had no foreseeable ending. There’s Kaoru’s world that slowly becomes not-Kaoru’s world and then the story leaves you as confused as Kaoru. Most of the time, I felt like I was sitting there in a math class that has no patterns to even try and follow and it was highly frustrating.

Now those who love epic fantasy books that have a lot of world building and confusion up until the end, some satisfaction, and then way more confusion will love this book. I have to admit, I liked the characters enough that the pace wasn’t an issue for me (most of the time), and I liked Akiva the more I got to know him.

I have mixed feelings about this book, and right now I’m a little emotionally wrung out to figure out exactly why I liked this book, I’ll try to go with stating facts.

1. Angel and chimera lore was very well researched. I felt that there was no inconsistencies and we were given enough information just to wonder and marvel at these different races.

2. Wishes were involved. The fact and fiction of magic was fascinating and logical if not a little sad.

3. The humanity of the non-humans. This was interesting to me, because I always like to explore what defines humans as humans versus other creatures. I think that what we’ve termed as “humanity” is not exclusive to humans at all, but more of a universal rightness that exists in all creatures. This book is a fabulous example of that.

I hope that is more descriptive than the rambling words my brain produced.


 Stars: 4.5/5

 Format: Hardback 

 Read: December 18, 2011

This middle-grade read was given to me by my mom as a senior in college gift. The writing is geared towards middle grade, so no lavish descriptions or large words, but it is just as lyrical as some young adult books. Throughout this book, I was reminded of The Thief Lord with the whimsical characters and action.

This book is more of a suspense book. Nothing huge, but each chapter alternates between the three main characters and the chapters more often than not end in cliffhangers. I had to resist the impulse to flip ahead and see what happened. It was sweet and innocent, with some violence and a little technical jargon with the clockwork pieces, but it was also mysterious and fascinating. The hotel, for example, holds many secrets with boarded up rooms and odd guests. I love exploring old houses, so I was very excited when I came upon the old hotel. However, since it is geared toward middle-grade readers, there were plot strings that were never resolved. It felt a little like there was only one purpose of this book, and the plot threads that were on the side were largely ignored once they had played their parts. This didn’t detract from the book, but just indicated it was not like a young adult book I’m used to reading.

Light-hearted and fun, it was long for a lower level book but definitely an easy read for a day or so. I would recommend it as a breath of fresh air for your brain. It was a very nice break from dismal and gritty novels I’ve been reading.

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Stars: 4.5/5

Format: Hardback Library Book

Read: August 10, 2011

Very beautiful and poignant, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is unlike any angel story I’ve read. The protagonist is flawed, but in a relatable sort of way and even though she does good things, by no means does that mean she’s some saint that doesn’t curse or have pre-marital sex, etc. But that doesn’t detract. It doesn’t attract either, because it made me comfortable being in her story. Like I could be her friend. Usually a protagonist either makes me hate them or love them, but never just accept them without being infatuated, if that makes any sense.

Young does a fantastic job with the mythology and the way Charlotte’s “Need” works. I was fascinated. I’ve always loved the shows like Touched by an Angel were you get to learn about who the person was before they so desperately needed help, and that’s exactly what you get in this book.

More satisfying than I imagined it would be, I was taken through Charlotte’s world, her life, and the fact that everyone may slowly forget her. With an ending that promises another book (which is already listed on goodreads), I was very happy with the book. I even shed a few tears, but not enough to send me into a full blown cry fest.

Pick it up. It really is beautiful, even if Charlotte hates that word. It’ll give you hope without forcing religion on you.

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