I’ve been hearing praises and I’ve noticed the hype about this book and because of my tendency to read what seems like awesome books much, much later, I kept myself on reins and didn’t read this immediately upon finding a copy of it.
Boy did I regret my decision. I couldn’t believe I let myself not read this imaginative, beautiful story.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the story of the blue-haired, orphan Karou who draws monsters and strange creatures in her sketchbooks — beings who, contrary to what her friends believed, are real. A group of otherworldly people have raised her and from them, Karou gets her job of running errands and getting teeth — yes, teeth! — from collectors all over the world. Karou uses these portals that lead her to different parts of the world, from Paris to tropical countries. One day, a black handprint burned into the door of these portals started showing up and in one of her errands in Marrakesh, Karou gets attacked by the angel Akiva. From there, secrets start to unveil and Karou faces the reality of a war that she didn’t know she’s been a part of for a very long time.
Whoa. I don’t even know where to start. This is one of the books where my attempts at guessing the real deal came up futile. I was shocked and amazed to know the actual use for the teeth — which is one of the biggest mysteries as far as Karou is concerned. I was mesmerized with the star-crossed relationship that defined Karou and Akiva. I was shocked with Akiva’s secrets and even though I already had some inkling as to what it was, I kept myself in denial. I just felt a lot of emotions with this book. I was so engrossed.
The characters were awesome. They’re interesting and dynamic and diverse. Some of them were spiteful, adorable, loving, frightening, unmoving, among others.
Akiva and Karou’s relationship? It’s complicated and heartbreaking and difficult. But it’s also majestic and wonderful and inspiring. I’m hoping for the best in the upcoming books. Of course, hopeless romantic that I am, I’d want them to have their happily ever after because they’ve been denied of it.
I would definitely read the next book. And I would recommend this to everybody who’s looking for a break from reality.
There’s a lot to love about Legend. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop, didn’t even notice that I was almost to the end, and was sort of devastated that it ended. I wanted to read more about June and Day’s world. It’s just that engrossing and entertaining.
Legend follows the story of June Iparis and Daniel Altan “Day” Wing. Told in their alternating POVS, we get to see June’s life as the prodigy groomed to become a military figure in the Republic. She got perfect scores during the Trial and has incredible talents. Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal, notorious for his anti-Republic stunts.
Their paths crossed when Day infiltrated a hospital in search of the cure for his brother who has been stricken with the Plague. He got into a confrontation with June’s brother, Captain Metias and escaped after throwing a knife at Metias’ shoulder. When Metias ended up dead - stabbed in the heart - and Day became the prime suspect, June went on a mission of capturing and exacting revenge on Day - the criminal no one has ever seen.
First of all, the characters. I love the characters in Legend. I love reading both of June and Day’s POVs. June is a prodigy. She’s honest. She felt real to me. Her disgust at first and her negative feelings about the slums was realistic. Day is simply amazing. A kick-ass hero that made me cheer for him and made me also giddy upon reading his mushy and soft moments.
The antagonists in the book proved to be effective also. The Republic, as a whole, appeared to be so cold and deceptive.
The action scenes. I love them! They’re quick-paced and exhilarating. You’ll see the characters jumping from buildings, traveling from roof to roof, street fighting and evading bullets. The scenes just felt so active and alive to me. There wasn’t any dull moment.
The romance. Oh god. The romance between June and Day was just, gah. Ugh. Despite all the hellish trials and predicaments they were facing, it was so sweet and so inspiring to see them develop and form such a star-crossed relationship. To see them falling in love and getting conflicted about it was tragically beautiful.
If there’s one thing that I didn’t quite like about the novel was the length. It felt too short for me. Oh, well. I guess that’s natural for a reader who really got into the characters world. I didn’t want to the story to end. Thank the heavens there’s a sequel. And the book having a sequel is justifiable because there are still a lot of questions to be answered, a lot of antagonistic asses to be kicked.
I do really recommend reading Legend. And I’m looking forward to reading Prodigy.
Since I’ve found this book on the fave list of someone, I’ve been looking forward to reading The Stillburrow Crush. I wasn’t disappointed because in the end, I totally loved this book. Of course, it’s not perfect but all the flaws in this book were covered up by all the wonderful points.
The Stillburrow Crush starts off with Carrie Paxton, the editor of the school paper, interviewing Lucas “Luke” Paxton, the quarterback, after a victorious football game. Carrie’s distinctively honest and straight-forward and at the beginning, she has this tendency to become rude whenever she speaks. When she talked to Luke, as he is such a lovable boy with your typical irresistible looks, she was drawn to him but ended up jumping into conclusions and insinuating things about Luke. The interview placed the both of them in heated grounds.
Then, to her bewilderment, Luke started to get close to her and she never thought that the town’s poster boy would be interested with her.
I love this book not just because of the fluff and the romance. There’s also pain and suffering in here that made my heart ache and made me cry.
So, they’re living in Stillburrow - a town that seemed stuck in a time capsule. All the old-world traditions and practices are still there like how people scorn the relationship between a privileged girl and a poor boy. It’s a small town where gossip always hang in the air.
Marty, Carrie’s older brother, was dating Abby Eggrow, the daughter of the school principal. Carrie was well aware of the fact that their relationship couldn’t end well. Abby was well-off while Marty was just the son of a mechanic. It wasn’t that Carrie was ashamed of their economic status. She’s very proud of her father’s work but she didn’t think that other people would see things the way she does. She knew that people would not approve of her brother’s relationship and that Abby would somehow leave her brother hanging alone. She didn’t want that for her brother because she could see that it was something serious for him and she didn’t want to see him hurt.
Carrie was right. Marty’s relationship with Abby ended in tragedy. I pitied him because of the pain that he went through. He loved so much and lost so much. It really moved me to read about a male character who’s so capable of being so in love. Marty’s words — his dreams for his and Abby’s future — were painfully sweet. Too bad it didn’t end well.
This kind of tragic love that was introduced in the book made me like the book more. It didn’t show love as just some kind of rainbow-unicorn-everything-is-good thing. It didn’t possess ignorance. It didn’t make us believe that everything pertaining to love would end up happily.
Now, regarding Carrie and Luke.
Both characters grew and turned into better ones as the story progressed. If at the beginning, Carrie was so ready to think the worst of Luke, she was able to learn to put a brake to her thoughts and actually see the good in him. I like Carrie for her strength and her honesty. Even though she somehow made things between her and Luke complicated, she was able to fix it along the way and open up her heart to Luke.
Luke was an absolute sweetheart. And one good thing about him was that he’s not perfect. He actually did some mistakes and I guess that made him real. He admitted that he was embarrassed at the thought of being interested with Carrie since she’s not a cheerleader but when he really got to know Carrie, he didn’t care anymore of those things. He liked Carrie. He loved her.
One thing that made the relationship real was their arguments. They fought but those arguments made them authentic. I sort of pitied Luke for having to deal with Carrie’s attacks at the beginning but was amused later on at his appreciation of Carrie’s sarcasm and remarks. And oh! The things he did to protect and defend her! :D
The reaction of Luke’s parents towards Carrie was also a good thing and a surprise. It actually proved some of Carrie’s thoughts wrong. The fact that they welcomed her proved that whatever status she had didn’t matter. She deserved Luke. Luke deserved her.
Lily Sanderson has had a crush on Brody Bennett ever since she went to Seaview High. It had been her plan to reveal her feelings for him and tell him who she really was. But, her identity wasn’t a simple matter for Lily’s actually a half-human, half-mermaid princess of the underwater kingdom of Thalassinia. Her plan: confess to Brody and be mated with him for the rest of her life. She felt that everything would be okay and they’d live happily and that they belong together since Brody, a swimmer, appreciates the beauty of water. Then came her neighbor Quince Fletcher and things she never thought in her wildest dreams happened.
So, after reading Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs, I kind of warmed up to her. When I found an ebook of this story, I was immediately enticed because I like mermaid stories and when I realized that it’s written by Childs, I immediately read it.
I liked it and I enjoyed reading Forgive my Fins because it was entertaining and I found lovable characters. To add, the plot and the turn of events reeled me in and kept me engrossed in the story.
The unexpected moment that caused Quince, the annoying neighbor, to be a key player in Lily’s life made me happy. I always knew that she’d end up with Quince because I didn’t see what was so amazing with Brody. And I hated the name Brody and wouldn’t like to think of him ending up with Lily. Quince, on the other hand, has such an intriguing personality (a beautiful name!) and he’s not boring.
Lily at times irritated me. Like a lot of heroines out there, she’s so delusional and everything that Quince had said about her not being able to see beyond the surface of people was definitely true. There are times when she’s shallow. At the beginning, she couldn’t understand and realize what the deal really was. Despite Quince’s attempts of making her understand some things, she’s just so close-minded.
And her incapability to truly know her feelings! God, was it annoying. It frustrated me to read about her insisting that whatever feelings she was having for Quince was just a result of the bond, nothing more.
I’m just really happy when she was able to overcome that flaw of hers. It would have been a bummer if she didn’t realize that she didn’t really love Brody. It was also good when she finally came up with a decision in the end.
Swoon. Quince Fletcher! I am in love with him. I’m such a sucker for boys who get their hearts broken. It was obvious that he had feelings for Lily and you kind of had to sympathize with the guy after all that he went through because of Lily. I mean, he was constantly being judged and rejected.
One of my favorite scenes was when they were in the island for three days — when Quince admitted about knowing what love is, discerning reality from fantasy.
Overall, I was satisfied with how the book progressed. Childs was able to deliver characters that would make you continue reading.
Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve got to say that the Zsadist and Bella team-up is my second favorite after Wrath and Beth.
If you want to talk about bad-ass, cruel, challenging and cold, Zsadist is the man. After being kidnapped and made into a blood slave, Zsadist’s past had stolen his soul. The yellow of his eyes was replaced with a black emptiness that seems to suck at your strength when you stare at them. He’s ruthless and bold. But despite everything, readers will find out a tender, sweet, innocent, scared and vulnerable heart.
I like Zsadist so much because his story showed just how much love can transform you and get you out of your miseries and nightmares. When Bella, a vampire that he’d only met twice, was kidnapped by the Lessers, he had continually searched for her and didn’t stop trying to find her. It was perhaps attraction that made him do so. Whatever it was, you could see that Zsadist is a determined character that would stop at nothing to attain his goals.
Bella is a woman that has a lot of guts. I have to admire her for daring to approach Zsadist and talk to him and stuff and showing openly that she’s attracted to him. Of course, Zsadist got very confused and didn’t believe that Bella knew what she truly wanted when she’d expressed that she liked him. Zsadist usually thinks the worst of himself and at first, wouldn’t dare accept the fact that Bella liked him.
The times they spent together at the brotherhood compound both humored and touched me. Zsadist’s fear with intimacy made me pity him. Who wouldn’t when he endured such horrible things done to him by his former mistress! Bella made it a point to reach out to him. That’s another thing that I liked about Bella. She hardly gives up on Zsadist. She didn’t back down. I was glad that she stood up for what she felt because if she didn’t then, they wouldn’t get a happy ending.
Zsadist turned out to be very sweet. I especially liked the ending at the library when Bella visited him and he was practicing how to write. He was so, so, so sweet. His love for Bella was palpably there and his and her feelings for each other was so perfect that it aches. And yeah! I really laughed when he fainted after Bella’s news. It may seem so uncharacteristic for such a tough guy to faint like that but if you think about it, you’d understand why he’d gave in to his emotions.
I wasn’t really expecting anything great about So Over You that’s why it took me so long to read this. But when one of my closest friends read this and gushed all about it on Twitter, I was motivated to start on this.
So Over You is the story of Layney Logan. She’s co-chief editor of the school paper with Jimmy Foster, one who she’d continuously dubbed as the devil and Satan. I actually chuckled whenever Layney spouts demonic references when talking to and about Jimmy.
What the paper needed was a fundraiser so they’ve come up with the idea of calendars. Each month would feature a boy representing a club from the campus. Layney was tasked to go on 12 blind dates with these boys and talk to them for an hour in order to get to know them.
I enjoyed reading about the 12 boys presented in the story. Each one of them had different personalities and perks. You got to also learn more about Layney after each date.
Layney and Jimmy’s relationship was the greatest factor that made me like this book so much. I love them. I love stories wherein ex-couples get back together. It just makes you realize — and hope — that second chances are truly feasible.
The twist in the story also made a huge impact on me. It’s a reality that is so prevalent in our society today. The book lets us see what happens to those people who suffer through such things — how self-loathing and self-disgust would lead these people to become emotionally unavailable.
Jimmy was a lovable character. I love how he’s so funny and so clearly protective of Layney. I was able to immediately understand the whole checking the phone stuff. And that moment when he reminisced about that Wednesday! Gah. I spasmed. :)) That was too much. That was just too sweet. How he couldn’t get Layney out of his system for ten years. How he wrote her name over and over again on the paper. O.o
I would have loved for the ending to be extended. I loved it because it was significant and memorable but I just wish Hayes could have written more. :D
Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2) by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The second book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. This time around, it’s Rhage’s story. At the first book, we’ve already got an inkling more or less of what Rhage can do — of the monster inside him.
I already liked him even in the first book. He’s funny and he’s fearless. Given that he’s the best fighter in the brotherhood, there’s nothing to be afraid of, right? Wrong. Rhage is actually pretty scared of hurting those he cares for. He’s scared that the beast inside him would hurt those he loves.
Rhage meets Mary for the first time at the brotherhood’s compound. Mary, a human female who had suffered her own hell and torture, is there as a translator for John, a vampire who hasn’t transitioned yet. Rhage instantly gets pulled by the sound of her voice.
Their team-up’s another thing that I love about the series. I think Rhage and Mary is perfect for each other. For such a tough warrior, Rhage is pretty much so tender and loving when it comes to Mary. He’s clearly so smitten by her. I ached for him and I hurt for him when he declared his love for Mary and had to go through a rollercoaster of feelings.
Rhage’s need to protect those he loves is so sweet. This is one of the reasons why he deems it wrong to actually let Mary be with her. But eventually, his love for her overpowered every obstacle in their path. I love how he finally was able to get in terms with his inner beast and accept that it’s a part of him. And that sacrifice that he made? Brilliant. He truly loved Mary to be able to do that.
Mary, meanwhile, is an admirable heroine. Despite her frailty, she’s actually very strong and courageous. At first, I disliked her for what she said and did to Rhage but eventually warmed up to her. And it was very great that she was able to “tame” the beast inside Rhage. The idea that the beast also wanted her added to the sexual feel of the book.
Basically, this is another good work of J.R. Ward. Sensual and sweet and totally engrossing. :)
I love this book because I appreciated the touches of originality in the plot. Amy Plum also developed a lot of adorable characters that you can’t help but love.
Kate, after the accident that killed her parents, moved with her sister Georgia to Paris. She’s spent her days wallowing, reading and thinking that her live would never be normal again. I guess she’s right because at one time, when she went to a cafe, she met the gorgeous, mysterious and charming Vincent.
Then, she found out that Vincent was anything but normal. He’s actually a Revenant — someone who had died in the place of another, who had died saving someone else’s life and who had returned back to life — whose purpose is to save human lives again and again. Dying instead of others was like a compulsion. Of course, there are bad revenants. These bad revenants, instead of living to save others, live to destroy/kill others.
The story’s very intersting actually and there are a lot of curious details. I was so eager to read through the story and I was actually sad when it ended because I wanted more of the relationship between Kate and Vincent.
Okay. Stephanie Perkins totally rock. I couldn’t point out the times I kept on smiling because of this book. And I always reread a lot of scenes because they’re incredibly awesome. I read Anna and the French Kiss last year and it was just recently when I found out about this book. When I did, I couldn’t wait to read it.
Dolores “Lola” Nolan is a costume designer. She’s sort of like Lady Gaga. :) I admire her courage to come out and be different than the rest, her courage to work on her talents and not be afraid to see people the results of her work. Lola reminds me of someone I know and that I guess, makes her real for me. Someone could absolutely relate to her. She has this boyfriend Max, a rock star with tattoos and is five years older than her.
I instantly didn’t like Max. I don’t have anything against people with tattoos and stuff but it just felt so wrong for her to be with him. He doesn’t sound like a boy you’d want to spend the rest of your lives with. He also proved himself to be a jerk for being so rude to Lola when they broke up. I mean, to say those mean things to her was way beyond the line!
Okay. So, one thing I’ve loved about the book is the appearance of Anna and Etienne St. Clair and how Perkins told us details about the progress of their relationship. And yep, they are still so cute! I totally agree with Lola’s observation about their relationship. It was so perfect. They were clearly made for each other. God. I know this book is Lola and Cricket’s story so I’m gonna stop gushing about them now.:)
Now. About Cricket Graham Bell. He’s so .. uh. I couldn’t even find the right word to describe him. I mean, to go through what he did. To watch someone you’ve loved and have been pining for so long date someone else would really suck. Too bad he wasn’t able to speak his thoughts before. And then, when he changed that certain aspect of his character, when he was able to express his feelings, it just so happened that Lola already has a boyfriend. My heart totally went out for him when he talked to Lola at the Amoeba Records.
I love Goldberg machines! I appreciate the whole concept of doing something so complicated to make a simple task happen. It’s just plain brilliant and that’s another point for Cricket. Also, Cricket seems really real too. I guess you somehow get this feeling that perhaps you will meet someone like him someday. You kind of get the feeling that somehow, maybe someone like him exists. He’s not overly gorgeous. He’s not really like St. Clair (St. Clair’s the ultimate dream with his English accent and hotness!) but he has his own flair and personality that you couldn’t help but love too.
Everything that Cricket said, when he said he was trying so hard to make it okay between him and Lola, everything he did just made me love him more.
It was actually very palpable - the romantic (and sexual) tension between him and Lola. It was obvious that they were so into each other. I have to appreciate their efforts at staying friends despite the awkwardness of everything. It would be a bummer to lose someone who has been a part of your life for so long. And the way they understand and support each other was also very sweet.
When Max and Lola finally broke up, I was super ecstatic and happy. It was of course the chance for Lola and Cricket to be finally together.
Hmm. I really love the fact that through-out the whole book, you can see that Cricket’s pretty consistent. He said he liked Lola and through-out the book, you’d know it’s true. You’d never doubt about his feelings for her. All those tortured and pained reactions, all those smiles when Lola’s near, all those moves to be with her, it makes you realize that when you love someone, you shouldn’t give up easily on them. Despite your loved one being in the arms of someone else, you’ll realize that you can’t really just “unlove” them.
I could go on and on about this book but I guess I’ll just stop before I talk too much. All in all, this book goes to my fave list as well. :)