Review: Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

January 31, 2011

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Hardcover
336 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by HarperTeen 

Rating:


Summary
Tennyson:
Don't get me started on the Bruiser. He was voted "Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty" by the entire school. He's the kid no one knows, no one talks to, and everyone hears disturbing rumors about. So why is my sister, BrontË, dating him? One of these days she's going to take in the wrong stray dog, and it's not going to end well.

Bronte:
My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way—no right to threaten him. There's a reason why Brewster can't have friends—why he can't care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can't be explained. I know, because they're happening to me.
(Goodreads)
 

My Thoughts 

I've read some of Shusterman's other books and they was absolutely amazing (Unwind gave me chills). Bruiser was no exception. It was a super easy that I finished in a mere three hours. 

Told from different points of view, we get the whole story on out Brewster, a strange boy who doesn't have many friends for a very good reason. Unlike Unwind, it was told in a more present day setting and very relate able for regular high schoolers. They go to a normal school and know normal people with the exception of the one boy. 


Bronte and Tennyson, a set of twin who, more often than not fight, similar to your average siblings. Although, they share more than genetics. Brewster, Bronte's social experiment turned boyfriend is also one of Tennyson's best friends. The character dynamics are strong and really interesting to read about. They're serious and amusing all at the same time.


What I loved was the fact that everything that happened in the booked seemed like it would've really turned out that way if it happened in real life. It's was overly predictable or complete off, but just right. The chapter title were also something I definitely looked forward too. Because Bronte and Tennyson are the children of English professors, each chapter is named about a word that is used in it. Needless to say, my vocabulary grew.


Eventually, when you get enough into the book really feel sympathy for these characters. Brewster has to deal with so much and his POVs show this. When ever you read his poem-like chapters it really hits your chords and allows you to see what kind of chaos he has to live in. His struggles trying to balance his dooming friendships, his uncle, his little brother Cody (who, by the way, has amazing chapters as well), and his girlfriend.


All in all, there really wasn't much I didn't like about this book. It was kind of short and I would've loved to read more, but  what's there now tells the story very well. So believe me when I say that this book totally worth the read.


Cover/Title
Once again, initially it was the cover that drew me to this book. It was modern, chic, and really appealing. I really liked it. :)

Review: Blood Price by Tanya Huff

January 22, 2011

Blood Price by Tanya Huff
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Orbit (first published 1991)
Paperback (Amazon

Rating:


Summary

It began with blood and death amid the streets of late-night Toronto. Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto's homicide detail, now a private investigator, witnessed the first attack by the force of dark magic that would soon wreak its reign of terror on the unsuspecting city. And as death followed unspeakable death, Vicki became more and more deeply enmeshed in an investigation which would see her renewing her stormy relationship with her former police partner, Mike Celluci, even as she teamed up with writer Henry Fitzroy, in a desperate attempt to track down the source of the seemingly unstoppable attacks. For Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, had knowledge of realms beyond the mortal acquired over the centuries during which he'd mastered his own insatiable needs - the life-from-death cravings of a vampire.
Henry Fitzroy had long since learned to survive without killing, learned the skills needed to blend in with the human race. But unless he, Vicki, and Mike could find the key to conquering the magic-raised menace stalking the streets of Toronto, Fitzroy's true identity might soon be exposed and his life might prove forfeit to the uncontrollable fears of humankind. And without Henry Fitzroy, mere mortals like Vicki and Mike would not long survive against the ancient force of chaos that had been loosed on their world. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts 


I'm probably going to be the first to say that I'm a rabid fan girl of anything vampire or werewolf. If you say it's in there, I'll most likely read it. (Pathetic, right? :P ) So, when I found this little book on the ground at my library I just couldn't resist. I read the synopsis and I instantly got it. I mean a vampire and a private investigator?! I was amazed that something this awesome could exist. Although, in retrospect, it doesn't seem all that unusual anymore, but it definitely holds its own.


The book started well enough, and before long I couldn't put it down, despite sometimes knowing what'll happen next. Now, I'll admit, it's not the most beautifully written book, nor does it have an amazing plot. The characters, at most were a step above mediocre and the story was sometimes pretty predictable. What's worst, is that, more often than not, their problems were way to easily solved.


One problem I had was the way Vikki handled the fact that Henry was a vampire. I mean, calm and collected is can be entertaining but hardly believable. And the "thing" between Vikki wand Celluci? What was that about? And Henry?! I didn't know that there was suppose to be a growing relationship between her and the vampire until the very end of the novel (maybe it's because I'm thick, but I seriously didn't see something like that coming). And the side character Tony who exists seemingly to give some vampire blood is just okay with it? Where's the screaming? Where's the shock?


Another thing was the fact that many of the other characters were really somewhat annoying and stupidly ignorant with the whole situation. And Norman? Gah...


I know I'm totally ranting but I need to put that out there. But, despite all this, I loved the book. It was entertaining, clever, and definitely worth my time. It wasn't until I was finished with it that I learned there was how based on it, so obviously I'll be watching that soon. Anyways, excuse me while I go out and check the next few in the series. :D


Cover/Title
Taking into consideration that this cover is a lot better than the one that it was published with in the 90s I'd have to say that it's definitely not as bad as it could be *coughthiscough* .

Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

January 18, 2011

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Paperback, 
285 pages
Published January 5th 2009 by Chicken House
Paperback $9.99
Rating:

Summary
Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number - something terrible is going to happen. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts


When our two main characters Jem and Spider begin running from the law after a terrible tragedy they didn't commit, the two begin a journey that will change both of their lives.


The entire novel is based on a premise I've hardly seen in YA lit which was pretty refreshing. I've been so used to reading about cliches or mythical creatures that seeing a normal girl in these strange and unusual circumstances was really nice. The originality of this plot mixed with the hard and gritty depiction of London life gives you an eerie story of what life would be like if you had the power to fore tell other's date of death.

With this mismatched couple of friends you see them develop into something more, all the while trying desperately to avoid Spider's inevitable death date.


In truth, it was at all what I imagined it would be like when I first picked it up. The writing is wonderful and the story is sweet and haunting. The best part was that it was so current and felt so real. It was something that could possibly happen as we speak. Oh, and did someone else catch the Skins reference? :D


Who I didn't like were a lot of the minor characters other then our Jem and Spider. They sometimes seemed undeveloped or got on my nerves.


But one thing's for sure, with an ending like the one in this book, you'll be dying to know that happens next. 


Chaos by Rachel Ward, the second in the series is out now. 



Cover/Title
With such an unusual cover it was pretty hard to resist when I saw it on the shelf at my library. I'm in love with the art and definetly one of my all time favorite covers.

Review: Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #7)

January 15, 2011

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Published April 28th 2009 by NAL Hardcover
527 pages
Hardcover $16.30 (Amazon.com)
Rating:




Summary
J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a "different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing" (All About Romance)world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male's loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested-and his dangerous mixed blood revealed...

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It's also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he's approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.
(Goodreads)
My Thoughts


Overall, it was a pretty interesting book. There were a few times when I wished the story would hurry and get to a point when everything just "moved". It took me quite a long time to finish book actually because of that. I couldn't read long enough to find where I felt like I had to read more. Just like all of her other books, the chapters alternate character's POVs which in some cases is awesome and in others just frustrated me. You're so wrapped up in these two specific characters and suddenly you finish the chapter and have to wait a couple more chapters before you could get back to them again. But, one thing's for sure, Ward really loves all of her characters.


What I would have liked to see more of, were the lessers. I mean, each chapter dedicated to them were extremely short compared to the other characters - not that I'm complaining - I just thought it was sort of weird. It seemed to me that they had taken a back seat in this novel, making way for the numerous couples and sympaths. 


The love story between Rehv and Ehlena, although not my favorite (that title belongs to Butch and Marissa!), was touching and definitely in my top five. The obstacles the two had to overcome were gritty and just plain angsty, and probably why they were so awesome. I can't wait to read more of them in the future. 


As well as our main couple, I got to see more of Beth and Wrath in this book as well, which was a nice surprise. There's also the developing relationship between Xhex and John Matthews which starts off rough for obvious reasons. 


Lover Avenged was a great read and chapter to the Brotherhood series. J.R. Ward's done it again,drawing you in with yet another one of her mindblowingly amazing books. Don't skip out on this one.


Cover/Title: Not a huge fan of it, but this was the first one in the series that I had the nerve to take out in public without covering it up.

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

January 8, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Published December 2nd 2010 by Dutton
372 pages
$10.19 ( Amazon.com )
Rating


Summary
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
(Goodreads

My Thoughts

I honestly can't tell you how much I love this book. Just read it. Read it right now.
I finished it in a matter of hours and reread it at school for days after I finished it, only to get it stolen from my friends who want to borrow it.


Let me begin by saying the heroine in our story is completely realistic and relatable. Her dad's the new "Nicholas Sparks" of the world who sends her to a high school in Paris for Americans where she meets her new friends and the perfect guy: Étienne St. Claire, a French American who has a dreamy British accent. He sounds great, right! But there's a hitch, he has a girlfriend.


Anna and St. Claire have fights and have  actually problems in their relationship that have nothing to do with mythical creatures trying to kill them. It's real. You watch the characters grow and see how they hand situations differently. It's really awesome.


Throughout the entire story you're reminded of high school an drama that occurs when there are relationship involves. We get to live through Anna and fall in love with St. Claire just as she does. At first, they're just friends. Then best friends. And then, finally, something more. It's really nice to see a YA romance that has a relationship that up from something that we've had the chance to read about, unlike other novels that just go straight into the relationship, deeming it all "love-at-first-sight".


It's heartfelt genius, witty fun, and a wonderfully quirky, yet amazingly touching, romance.


Cover/Title : Anna on the cover looks nothing like what she's described as in the book, but I still have to say it's really nice. The bench in front of the Eiffel Tower? How cute is that?!



Trailer: Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2)

January 7, 2011

I'm so excited for this book! I absolutely adored the first one in the series, Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder and can't wait to get my hands on this next one. Desires of the Dead is a definite must read.


Summary
When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well.

Review - The Reaper by Rachel Vincent

January 6, 2011

The Reaper by Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Soul Screamers
ebook, 64 pages
Rating


Summary

Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....
An ebook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella. (Goodreads) 

My Thoughts:

I read the first book in the Soul Screamers Series a couple months ago so when I saw this on the Nook website for free I needed to get it. Overall, I thought it was pretty good for such a short novella. We've read about Nash and Kaylee and now it's time to read about Tod, Nash's dead brother turned Reaper.

At first I wasn't sure what to think and had no idea what to expect. Would I really be satisfied with such a short story? 
Well, yeah, I was. :)
The beginning was casual following a little preluded but soon filled us in on the character's situations and their personalities before the first novel in the series. I automatically loved Tod because he was just one of those characters who seem witty and really fun to read about. It got darker as it progressed and eventually you discover what really happened surrounding Tod's death.
What really moved me was the scene with Nash and his Mother completely oblivious to Tod's presence after the funeral and their move.  I mean, it was super depressing! 

The only thing about the novella that made me uncomfortable was the ending. I'm happy that he was able to fix things with his mom and everything but I was even more looking forward to his confrontation with Nash. That would've made for some awesome drama.... x)

All in all, it was pretty awesome. The story was great, the characters were real (we got to meet Levi again!), and the writing as amazing.

Cover/ Title
Eh, it's alright. 
Maybe a 3 out of 5.




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