Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Book #: Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: May 2014, by Hot Key Books
Author’s Website and Twitter
This review contains NO spoilers for any of the books in the series. Read away! 😉
As much as I’d like to just write a fangirl-y review of this book, I also want to keep a more serious approach in this review, since this series has influenced me and thousand others all around the world. So if you want to read a fangirl-y review of the Harry Potter series, just skip this post.
Title: World After
Author: Susan Ee
Book #: 2 in the “Penryn and the End of Days” series
Publication: November 2013, by Hoddor and Stoughton
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world.
When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“You’re naming your collector’s-item, kick-ass sword that’s made to maim and kill, specifically designed to bring your ginormous enemies to their knees and hear the lamentation of their women – Pooky Bear?”
“Yeah, you like it?”
I freaking love this series! Seriously! It’s now definitely on my favorites list. It has everything, from a fast pace, to an interesting storyline, to an amazing love interest and all of it written in an extremely fascinating and capturing way. I could not put this second book down.
But first things first. World After starts exactly at that moment where Angelfall ended. Exactly at that moment. Like 2 minutes after Angelfall’s ending. That threw me a bit off in the beginning, as I had finished Angelfall a few months ago and didn’t 100% remember exactly at what point of the story we were left. I got over it a few pages later, though, and after that had no problem orienting myself and getting back into the story. The positive side of that was that we were thrown back into the middle of action again.
If you thought the first book was fast paced and action packed, you have seen nothing yet. The second has much more fighting scenes, terrifying creatures and anguishing moments. It also has a lot of gore. Like, really a lot of it. Those creatures that I mentioned? They are described in every detail, as is every fight scene and knife-cutting-through-flesh moment. If you are not really into that, then I wouldn’t recommend reading this book. I, however, had no problem with it. Okay, maybe it wasn’t my favorite part of the book, reading how exactly a person looked with parts of his/her body missing, but it definitely added to the story. I can’t imagine reading this exact story without all those gory details, it would be too different.
I really liked where the story went and by the end of the book I could start seeing some mysteries getting unfolded, though not yet completely. I also liked seeing more of Penryn’s sister, Paige, as she was completely absent in the first book. We can now get to know her a little better, or rather get to know the new Paige after the whole cutting and stitching and monster-izing procedure happened to her. She’s quite different now, but still the dynamics between her, Penryn and their mother are very strong. Speaking of which, I loved that we had a few moments with the girls’ mom. I always thought she added a creepy, yet fantastic edge to the whole story. Definitely looking forward to reading more scenes that involve her!
The one thing I was a bit disappointed about, was that there was not a lot of Raffe! The witty little dialogs between him and Penryn had been my favorite part of the first book and we didn’t get enough of them in the second. I’m also very excited to finally start seeing some romantic action between those two! I ship them so much! I do like that the relationship is going slowly, because it actually makes sense if you think about the whole “forbidden” thing and all, but I can’t help but want to see those two together as soon as possible! That being said I have to admit that I didn’t REALLY mind him not being there, just because there were a million other things happening to keep me busy. So that’s a huge thumbs up for the writer for making me love the story even without Raffe in it (who is actually my favorite part of the book).
But, we do get at least some smartass dialog towards the end of the book that honestly made me laugh out loud. I was seriously sitting on my sofa, reading the book and laughing all by myself. Thank you so much dear Susan Ee for making this book so funny and pleasurable and un-put-downable and awesome-tastic! I cannot wait for the third book to come out! I seriously cannot wait!
Everyone thinks I’m dead.
A perfect sequel to the first book
Love where the story is going and how some mysteries are getting unfolded.
Would have loved to have some more Raffe scenes!
Recommend it for…
- a fast paced, action packed read
- people who don’t mind gore
Author: Jodi Meadows
Book #: 1 in the “Newsoul” trilogy
Publication: January 2012, by Katherine Tegen Books
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.”
The first thing that caught my attention in this book was of course the cover. I really love the colors of this cover and then I also heard a few people mention it and saying that it’s really good, so that’s why I decided to read it. Having read the book I can now say that the story is even more beautiful than the cover (What?). Yes! It was absolutely fantastic
The world of Incarnate is really original. I have read a lot of dystopians in the past month, but nothing quite like this. The world building is so amazing. I didn’t have any questions from the beginning. Maybe because the world was also new to Ana, we would always have the same thoughts and she asked the same questions as I would if I were in this situation. Thanks to Jodi Meadows I had a blast discovering this new world with Ana.
I really liked Ana. The first thing that made me think “Oh my God, yes! Finally!”, was the fact that she is 18 years old in the beginning of the book, instead of the YA-typical age of 16. I’m just kind of tired of reading about 16-year-olds. If I can mention one little thing that was a bit off for me, it was that I felt like I missed a couple of things from the evolution of her character. In the beginning she was so scared of everything and felt like she couldn’t trust anybody. She would get scared and just automatically assume that everything everyone did was either to harm her, or to just get something out of her. Then she slowly started trusting Sam (the love interest) and suddenly she was more open to everyone. I guess it can be normal that when you open yourself up to one person it then becomes easier to do the same with others, but still. I kind of feel like I missed a few things.
Nevertheless, I really loved her character and I think it’s the kind of character that everyone can relate to. Everyone feels like they’re different in one way or the other and I know I have felt like no one really understand me at times (especially when I was a teenager!).
Another thing I loved was the lack of any teen angst! Finally! A book about a mature young girl that doesn’t involve her being all about guys or having any friends that are all about guys etc. Not that I don’t like those books, but this was such a refreshing break from all that drama. I wish there were more young adult books like this one out there!
Sam is the cutest thing ever. It’s actually been a long time since I last read a book where the love interest is just a genuinely nice guy. Because I think that is exactly what describes Sam best. He was a really good guy that cared about Ana and was not being a jerk, was not a “bad boy” and was not always making witty, snarky comments.
I also loved the relationship between Ana and Sam and especially the passion they shared for music. It was just incredible to read about how much Ana loved music, it was like she was breathing it. Which made me feel like I was listening to a song and the pictures I created in my head while reading this book were all full of music and dancing and colors! It was just incredible.
Another little thing I loved about this book was the butterfly theme. It’s on the actual cover of the book, on the cover of the hardback version, in the beginning of every chapter, at some points inside the book and it also plays a role in the story. It was just an extra something that made me love the book even more!
Thank you to Jodi Meadows for creating this amazing story! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
I wasn’t reborn.
An amazing story!
I fell in love with Sam, he was sooo cute!
Ana is such a sweet and relatable character.
You should definitely read this book!
Recommend it for…
- Everyone wanting to read an original dystopian book
- Everyone who wants to read a different young adult book
You can also check out my video review of the book!
Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Book #: 1 in the “Hex Hall” series
Publication: June 2012, by Tantor Media
Length: 7 Hours and 7 minutes
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“Let’s just say you may regret that second piece of cake.’
Oh my God. Regret cake? Whatever was about to happen must be truly evil.”
This book was so much fun! That is just my general impression of it. It was really enjoyable and I was at no point bored or felt that it was uninteresting. I had a great time
reading it listening to it.
The protagonist of this book is Sophie, a young girl who discovered she was a witch a few years ago and is now forced to go to a supernatural boarding school because of something she did. A supernatural boarding school! I mean, really! What could be more awesome than that? Sophie’s character was actually one of my favorite parts of the book. She was sassy, smart, sarcastic and caring. I just loved all her funny and sarcastic inner thoughts and reading (or listening) from her point of view was a pleasure!
The love interest is a guy named Archer. In the beginning I really liked him, because A) he was hot and B) he was also being sarcastic , which led to many witty dialogs between him and Sophie. At some point, though, I felt that this aspect of his character kind of faded and he was only left with his handsomeness, which, I’m sorry, but that’s not enough for me!
The storyline was quite good. As I said I wasn’t bored at any time, but it was also not really amazing. Things were going a little bit too slow; I feel like there could be a few more things going on. Also it was a bit predictable towards the end and I got kind of frustrated with Sophie for not figuring out what was going on earlier. On the other hand the ending did have a couple of plot twists, so I can forgive the minor predictability. As you would probably expect from a boarding school book, there was some teen angst going on, but it was at a level that I could handle and so it didn’t really bother me.
As for my thoughts about the audiobook version of the book, I have nothing negative to say about it. I really liked the voice of the narrator. I also didn’t drift off almost at all, which was really good, because this tends to happen to me with audiobooks. All in all, I don’t think I missed anything by listening to the audiobook version instead of actually reading the book.
Generally, I really, really liked this book. The best thing about it was that it was really funny! I’m glad I gave it a try, as this is the first witch-y book I’ve read and now I really want more!
Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom.
A very enjoyable, funny book.
The protagonist was sarcastic and witty.
The storyline was in general pretty good.
A quick and easy read.
Recommend it for…
- Fans of Witches
- A fun read
Title: Flowers in the Attic
Author: Virginia Andrews
Publication: September 2011, by Harper
The haunting young adult gothic romance classic that launched Virginia Andrews’ incredible best-selling career.
Up in the attic, four secrets are hidden. Four blonde, beautiful, innocent little secrets, struggling to stay alive…
Chris, Cathy, Cory and Carrie have perfect lives – until a tragic accident changes everything. Now they must wait, hidden from view in their grandparents’ attic, as their mother tries to figure out what to do next. But as days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the siblings endure unspeakable horrors and face the terrifying realisation that they might not be let out of the attic after all.
Virginia Andrews is a publishing phenomenon, with over 100 million books in print. Still as terrifying now as it was when it first appeared, Flowers in the Attic is a gripping story of a family’s greed, betrayal and heartbreak.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“There is no hate such as that born out of love betrayed- and my brain screamed out for revenge.”
While reading this book I was constantly thinking: “This is different from what I expected”. When I finished it I thought: “This is turning into some kind of a soap opera”. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!
By reading the synopsis of this book I was expecting to read a horrific story of children locked up in a small, dark attic, being constantly molested and/or abused, getting little or no food and just trying to escape. Well this was not exactly what this book was about. I mean, yeah, there were some of these things going on, but to a much smaller degree than what I had thought.
Maybe even because what I thought was going to happen never happened, I was constantly on edge reading this book. I kept thinking to myself “something terrible is going to happen now” or “something big will happen and change the whole thing”. But nothing really “big” happened. At least in my opinion. I have heard people saying that they were really shocked by the things that were happening in this book, so I guess it’s just a matter of perception. But I was in no way shocked. As a matter of fact I was kind of laughing at the things that were happening, because after a point they started resembling more and more things that would happen in a soap opera!
So, as you’ve probably understood by now, I found the storyline a bit ridiculous, but also monotonous and slow-paced. There were a lot of things that were revealed in the end of the book. And by “the end” I literally mean “the end”. Like the last 20 pages or so. But also in the last 70 pages there were some major things happening and a kind of twist to the story.
Moving on to the characters, I found Cathy, the main character and narrator, quite ok. I had no problems with her and I found that she reacted in a normal way most of the times. I enjoyed her impulsiveness, but other than that it was a kind of “plain Jane” character. The one that bugged me a little was the oldest brother, Chris. He was the perfect optimist and those kind of characters often get on my nerves. Also he kept believing things would happen, even when all evidence clearly showed that they were never going to happen. Yes… he was pretty annoying!
So you might be wondering why I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars since there were so many things I found problematic. The answer is that I didn’t mind those things. I still found the book absolutely amusing and couldn’t put it down. I think its biggest asset was the writing style. Everything was described in such a great way that made me believe that everything was really happening and kept me on edge all the time.
My dilemma now is, whether I will continue reading this series or not. There is a total of 5 books in this series, but to be honest I think they will only get worse and worse. I threw a look on the synopses (synopsises?) and they definitely get more and more like a soap opera (soap-opera-y?). So what is your opinion? Should I continue with this series?
Truly, when I was very young, way back in the ‘fifties, I believed all of life would be like one long and perfect summer day.
Completely different from what I expected.
I found the story a bit laughable.
Some characters were overdone.
I still LOVED the book.
That’s how weird I am at times…
Recommend it for…
- people who don’t feel like they would enjoy a real classic, but might want to try something semi-classic
- a light read that will still keep you on edge
- fans of soap operas
Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Book #: 1 in the “Heist Society” series
Publication: February 2010, by Hyperion Book CH
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“I’m the guy who happened to be home the night Kat came to steal a Monet.”
To begin with, I would like to say that I wasn’t too excited to read this book. The reason I picked it up is that I was searching in the library and nothing else seemed to click at that moment, so I thought I might as well take this one. I’ve heard quite a few good things about it after all, so it should be worth something.
After having read the book I am really not sure what I think about it (!) There were moments when I really liked reading it and was very absorbed in it and other moments when I was contemplating giving up on it. The first moments were certainly more, though, so I would say that in general I did like this book!
The story started off interesting, but I had a couple of problems with it along the way. Not that it became boring, but it kind of lost me at some points. We had to do with thieves and they were constantly talking about great thefts and using a specific “thief-slang” or code words, that had me feeling a little bit lost. I also felt sometimes, that I couldn’t keep up with the story. They would all figure something out, but it often took me more time to understand it. I mean, I don’t like always being faster than the main characters, but being left behind is also not very nice. I kept reading though, because the story was quite interesting and original, even though I was apparently missing some points.
I found the characters of the book very well created and described. I had a clear picture in my heads of who was who, and knew all of their characters and how they would possibly react in certain situations. I also loved the interaction between them all! Because they were all different from each other, they made up the perfect team. We have realistic, witty, sarcastic, funny and bitchy characters, and to have them all interacting together was really lots of fun!
As far as main characters (Kat and the love interest, Hale) I also think they were quite interesting, but nothing extremely special. Kat’s point of view was comfortable to read from, but I did liked Hale’s character more. He kind of had more spunk, while Kat was more quiet and forgettable. Something that I found weird about all characters was that the were around 15 years old, but I kept forgetting that. The way they were all described seemed to fit more for 20-somethings than for 15-year-olds. I don’t really think Kat’s thoughts or the actions of all of them were that of teenagers, so I basically think their age should have simply been switched to a few years older.
So, in general, I cannot say I was blown away by this book in any aspect. It was mostly fun and comfortable to read, but not something I will remember about in a couple of years.
No one knew for certain when the trouble started at the Colgan School.
Mini ReviewSomewhat confusing at times – I felt sort of lost.
Characters were quite good, but still nothing that will blow you away!
All in all good, but forgettable.
Recommend it for…
- Fans of mystery
- People looking for something easy to read
Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Book #: 2 in the “Bloodlines” series
Publication: June 2012, by Razorbill
The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
Synopsis from Goodreads.com
“You need me? You yell. You want to leave? We go. I’ll get you out of here, no matter what.”
I was really excited to pick up this book seeing as I loved the first one, which I read not so long ago! P.S. I rarely read the sequels back to back and usually don’t pick them up for quite some time after I’ve read the first book. I don’t why, it’s just what I do. But with this book I felt the need to immediately read more about the characters and get back to this world.
I generally like action packed books, don’t get me wrong, but I also really like books with a slower pacing that just narrate daily problems and don’t have end-of-the-world catastrophes happening all the time. The problem with these books is that they tend to get boring, and if the characters and the writing is not good enough for me, I get tired of them pretty easily. That’s the thing I love most about the bloodlines series. It has this kind of comfortable pace and it sort of feels like strolling around in the streets on an autumn morning, if that makes any sense at all. It just felt really nice being in this world and hanging out with these characters.
The characters are so perfectly described that I feel like I know each and every one of them. Like I would recognise them on the street and go catch up with them or something. No, seriously, Richelle Mead has done an excellent job creating those characters and making them seem like they’re real. Or well, as real Moroi, Dhampirs, Alchemists and so on can be.
As far as the story goes, well, as I said it doesn’t have a very quick rhythm, but for me it was the perfect pace. The only thing I have a slight problem with is the relationship between Sydney and Adrian. If you’ve read the first book (spoiler alert if you haven’t!), you know that practically nothing happens between them in the first book. Sydney doesn’t even realize that she likes him and there’s almost not a single “moment” between them. This sort of thing also continues in the second book with a little bit of progress of course, but not really much. Can’t say I expected anything more. It was clear from the first book that things were going to be slow, but I wish they were going a little bit faster. I’m so looking forward to seeing some “Sydrian” romance and kissing and whatnot!
So, to sum up, I’m starting to become a huge fan of this series and hope I can get my hands on that third book really soon!
Most people would find being led into an underground bunker on a stormy night scary.
Recommend it for…
- People who have read and liked the Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead