Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Currently Reading and TBR

 Right now I am reading Every Last Promise, a dark contemporary dealing with abuse, by Kristin Halbrook. However, I'm really enjoying what I'm reading. This is my first novel of hers and I haven't heard that much about it. The plot focuses on former popular girl Kayla and her return to school after a fateful spring night.  It's mystery-esque because as a reader, you don't know what happened to Kayla that made her leave town for the summer. It's told in two point of views: Spring and Fall. I'm really looking forward to how the story is going to progress and when the two timelines make sense in how they're related. So far, I am really enjoying this book and would not be surprised if this made it onto my 2015 favorites shelf. Halbrook has also written two other novels, Nobody But Us and Surfacing. If the story continues on as it is, I will definitely be recommending this and checking out her other books. Relatively short with 288 pages, I'm sure I will fly through this!

As for what books I'll be reading the next couple days, I'm planning on both A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Both are installments in a fantasy series, but that is where the similarities end. Known as ACOTAR, A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in the new fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas. Fairest is the fourth book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, which is ending later this year with Winter. I'm really looking foward to both. I am very much looking foward to these books due to all the hype surrounding them! Both of these novels have more than a 4.0 rating on Goodreads, so I'm really excited.  Hopefully they won't disappoint! After these two, I don't really know what to read next. I have The Replaced by Kimberly Derting, The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski, and Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins. That's what I'm planning on reading for the next week! What are you planning on reading? Comment down below and thanks for viewing! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel is the first book of The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, which is a companion series to The Mortal Instruments, a six book series. I read Clare's books by publication, so this is my first in the trilogy and the fourth book of hers I have read. I don't really know have to summarize my feelings for Clockwork Angel. The novel was good, I'll give it that. However, I just couldn't care for the characters and I haven't connected to them at all yet. Hopefully that will change with the next two books in the trilogy, and I have heard that it does get better.

The novel starts off with our protagonist, Tessa, being held captive by the Dark Sisters, and soon enough, Tessa is thrown into the Shadowhunter World. I can't really say that I liked Tessa as a character. I love that she is a reader and is also intuitive. For some reason though, I cannot connect to her and don't really care for her that much. For me, she was too self-pitying for me to read about. The only three characters I do like are Charlotte, Will, and Jem. Charlotte is such a great character. She's the epitome of a strong women. She does and speaks what she wants and is in a leadership position. Charlotte also kicks ass, so there's that. Will and Jem are the two love interests for Tess, and I've heard that the love triangle will tear me to pieces inside and then put them back together. I love how Jem and Will are such good friends and it reminds me very much of Jace and Alec's friendship in the Mortal Instruments. Both men are so charismatic in their own way and I am looking forward to seeing how the love triangle progresses.

My main gripe to this book is that I didn't relate to any of the characters or parts of the plot. Jessamine grated on my last nerves; Tessa complained too much; and I really didn't care for the whole "Who is the Magister?" part of the story. That said, I did enjoy the fight scenes and the automaton prospect. Even with not being able to attach to some of the characters, I read the book fairly quickly (three days, I think) for being as long as it is. I like this book just as much as I did City of Ashes, the second Mortal Instruments book.

Clockwork Angel isn't close to being one of my favorites of the year, but it is a solid read and I am most definitely continuing with both series by Cassandra Clare.

With that, I give this book

3.8 out of 5 Stars!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Currently Reading: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Set in Victorian London, 1878, Clockwork angel is the first in The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. The trilogy is a companion series to her other series, The Mortal Instruments. The way I read Clare's books is by publication date. So, as of now, I have read the first three books of The Mortal Instruments and just started The Infernal Devices.

The plot is intricate to say the least. Set in a world that is intertwined with our own, we follow our protagonist, Tessa Gray. A seemingly normal girl, we realize that there is much more underneath the surface when she is held hostage by the Dark Sisters, Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Grey. If you have read a Mortal Instruments book before, you'll be able to see who these Dark Sisters really are: Downworlders. Tessa and the reader are then thrown into the fantastical world that Clare has conceived.

So far, I am happy with my decision to read by publication because if not, I would have been completely lost and confused right now. Be wary reading this book; it does have a slow start but picks up about a quarter through. I am very much enjoying the story so far and I'm just about 60% done. I imagine I'll finish the book this weekend. As of comparing Clockwork Angel to the first three Mortal Instrument books, I like it better than City of Bones, but not as much as City of Glass. I would have to say that I currently like it about the same as City of Ashes. After this book, I'll be continuing with both series and I'm excited to see how the world builds with the next books.

On the top left is the original cover, which I am reading from as a hardback, and the bottom right shows the newly released cover. Which one do you like better? Personally, I like the originals better for both Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Princess, but I really like Clockwork Prince's new cover.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Between the  Lines is my first ever book by Jodi Picoult and it was such an adventure! The book itself is published in such a nice format I could not help but read it right away when I got if from the library. There are beautiful illustrations and each point of view is not only in a different color, but a different font. The drawings in this book were one of a kind and helped me visualize the characters much better. Not only are there full page color drawings, there are also small black and white ones interspersed throughout the pages. This formatting made the book even more enjoyable and I knew just by flipping through the pages that I was going to have an excellent time reading this novel by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer. 

The novel's main plot is that there is a boy, Oliver, that lives inside a children's fairy tale book with all the other characters from it. When the book is opened, they reenact it as if it were a play, and then go back to their normal lives once it is closed. Oliver, however, is never truly happy, and his dream is to leave the book and go into the "Otherworld", which is the world us readers live in. Delilah, an avid reader of this fairy tale, finally sees Oliver as he is and decides to help him try to get out. 

The book opens with a beautiful illustration of  Oliver, the male protagonist, scaling a cliff with a dagger in his mouth. Not  only did this image draw me in, I immediately wanted to know more about the world. I mean, Oliver isn't that hard to look at, if I do say so myself. The first ten pages are of the fairy tale that Delilah, the main character, is obsessed with. We soon discover that this fairy tale is one of a kind. In fact, there is only one copy in existence. 

The plot is like nothing I've ever read from the young adult genre, and can only be truly compared to a fairy tale. While simple, the plot drew me in and I could not stop reading. Though juvenile at times, Delilah was such a pleasure to read. She wasn't the stereotypical female protagonist that's beautiful without knowing and has a plethora of guys fawning after her while she remains oblivious to it all. In fact, she's your average fifteen year old shy girl with one true friend to speak of and has only one parent in her life. This made her all the more real to me. While it's not plausible to have one of the characters from my books start talking to me (though I wouldn't be complaining), it is still so easy to relate to Delilah. Oliver, our other main character, is in fact, very princely. While not a prince in his real life, he proves to be a loyal, brave, and a romantic character that I couldn't help but root for as he tried getting out into the real world.

The only main problem I have with this book is a small one. Delilah seemed dependent on Oliver for her happiness, and I see that as a big issue. I want to see characters who don't need someone else to make them happy, and could be fine on their own. It's great to see Delilah and Oliver together, but I wish she was less dependent so I knew that she can achieve happiness on her own. While she only fifteen, I don't think it's healthy to be so reliant on someone (Oliver) or something (the fairy tale) to feel truly happy. 

And with that, I give this book 

4.4 out of 5 Stars!