Sunday, November 3, 2013

October Wrap-Up

I've begun to realize something, I tend to read way more books than I actually review. I've decided that at the end of each month, I'd do a short review or excerpt from my actual review for all the books I've read that month! That doesn't mean I'll slack off on other reviews, but now you'll get to read those, plus summaries of others that may be reviewed at a later date. Without further ado, the first book!

The Liberator by Victoria Scott
The book was fun, and the romance was amped up after book one. The story starts off slow, where Dante's trying to liberate the soul of a girl named Aspen. About halfway through the story, things pick up and then don't slow down from there. Dante can be a real idiot at points, but he often makes up for it later. Not quite as fun as the first book, but definitely interesting. In this book we get to know Charlie more, which just makes me love her more. Aspen is . . . an acquired taste. She starts the story much how Dante did in book one-a party girl who didn't care about much except when she could get to the next one. As the reader finds out more about her past and home life, Aspen's actions start to make more sense and she also starts to get better. The book is fun and flirty and I give it four stars!

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
If you've seen my review of the Perfect Chemistry series, you'll know that I hail Simone Elkeles as a magic-fairy-goddess. While the book falls a bit below the Perfect Chemistry series, my opinion hasn't changed. The characters were fun and interesting, yet at the same time, they really were like real life. I couldn't get enough of the main character Ashton. She was determined and would not stop until she reached her goal-playing college football. Derrick is the male protagonist, and although I find him pretty whiny, he gets better as the story goes on. Fun fact, Ashton is allergic to the color purple. It comes up in the story more than once. The side characters were fun and the betrayals cut deep. This book gets five stars!

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Some of you may wonder, why does Isabel have so few bad reviews? Well, it's usually because when I don't like a book, I don't finish it. The amount of books I return to the library every week because I can't get into them is phenomenal. As of the last couple books, Rick Riordan has severely disappointed me. I literally only made it to page 120. I honestly don't care about anyone besides Percy, Annabeth, and Nico. Everyone else in the book can be killed off for all I care. By this point in the series, we have chapters from every character's POV. Annabeth and Percy's are fast-moving and I can't get enough, then we get Leo or Frank (I really dislike both of them) and it goes down to a snail's pace, possibly a dead snail. I think so far, there's been maybe three Hazel chapters and that's it. We haven't even gotten to Jason or Piper yet. Percy and Jason are both powerful, leaders, and have a lot of friends. The difference between them is that Percy has friends he can rely on, where Jason has to rely on his friends to get anything done. I've heard the book gets better later on, and I while I look forward to finishing and will read the last book, I doubt I'll enjoy it much more than I have at this point. As of now, it gets three stars (most of those due to Percy and Annabeth).

Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
If you look back in the archive, you'll find my review of the first book in the series, Alice in Zombieland. I gave the first book five stars and book two doesn't disappoint! It was fun, spunky, full of tension-romantic and otherwise-action packed, and all around awesomesauce! Heck, it might even have been better than book one. I might need to reread book one to be sure though... Anyway, this book does NOT fall under SBS. Don't know what that is? Check out this tweet! View the whole review here!





Endless by Jessica Shirvington
I can't even put my love for this book into words. While the first three (?) books were good, this one was a million times better. The romance was amped up times a million, drama was everywhere (but little angst to my relief), the action was near-constant, and the characters go through huge developments. Add in the cliffhanger in the end, and I'm really tempted to order the book from Australia (where it's published this month) instead of America where it doesn't come out until May. The main character is Violet. She's fun, spunky, and different. She makes tough choices that others don't agree with, but that tend to work out in the end. The male protagonist is Lincoln. While he's nice and sweet to Violet, I just don't like him. I honestly like Phoenix, who is evil for most of the series, more than Lincoln. And at the end of the book, my feelings are justified. So much happens in this book, you simply can't turn it away. I give it a full five stars!!!!!

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Wow. This book began right where Poison Princess left off. It didn't skip a beat. The beginning has a bit of a rocky start, but from that point on, nothing can stop it. Just . . . just . . . it was so good, I can't even describe it! The characters evolve and there's always more than what meets the eye. The story-telling was superb, Kresley Cole couldn't have done this better!

The main character is Evie. She is the Poison Princess AKA Empress of the Tarot Deck. Evie is one of the major Arcana, and has the powers to prove it. Evie can control plants, make them grow with her blood (which is very useful after the Apocalypse), release toxic spores, and more! Evie really comes into her abilities in this book, and doesn't take anything from anyone. She stands up for what she believes in, embraces the impossible, and bears the unbearable. If I had been in Evie's position, I would have been long dead. See the rest of the review here!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This book was so good! And definitely not what I was expecting. I went into it expecting some high fantasy/alien adventure that I was only reading to make it stop bugging me online. Yes, it seems that once I read a book, it doesn't appear EVERYWHERE anymore. The main character is Karou. She has the awesomest name EVER! Events occur in the book that hint at something, and, if the reader is perceptive enough, shows the reader events to come. The male protagonist has some weird name that I can't remember at this point in time. Anyway, he's done something so idiotic I can't even . . . And Karou agrees with me. All characters make mistakes from time to time, but that makes him the king of mistakes. The plot was interesting and fast, and it kept me interested from page one. More please! I give it four stars!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
This book was a big disappointment. So much so that I couldn't finish it. Days of Blood and Starlight is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It starts out okay, but quickly goes into a downward spiral. Characters are introduced that have nothing to do with the plot, and things get so muddled that I had no idea what was going on. There's been maybe one or two chapters with Karou so far. So much of it is random stories that are occurring at the same time as the important stuff that I don't get what's going on. And since I don't know what's going on, I got bored really fast. I started reading these books because I saw the cover of the final book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, and thought it looked interesting. And while the Karou chapters are more interesting than the others, even those are a disappointment. The flair from book one is gone. What was once an inferno has gone out to a simple spark. I see hope at the very least, and might dig this out of the library shelves at some later point, once I have less pressing things on my reading plate. I give what I've read so far two stars.

Made of Stars by Kelley York
Oh dear god, this book made me cry. I ended up reading this book because I thought it would only end up being so-so and I'd have to skim it (plus, I might have put it off). That was not the case. After the first couple chapters, this book had sucked me in. I was invested in the characters and could not put it down. I seriously read all 250 pages in one afternoon. It. Was. That. Good. The writing style was different and yet like many others at the same time, which gave it an interesting blend. Their were issues that were eventually addressed in the book that I realized at the beginning, way before the characters did. Read the rest of the review here!



The Offering by Kimberly Derting
I actually got this book as an ARC from YASH. The Offering is the final book in The Pledge trilogy and it comes out in January. This book was AMAZING!!!!!! I just . . . AHHH! A spectacular end to a spectacular series! Charlie goes through so many changes in the book, it's amazing that she managed it. Events occur that cause characters to do things, well, out of character. Everyone's plans are so close, and even they don't know intertwined and close they are to each other. Imagine that you're trying to find someone and just. Keep. Missing. Them. It's incredibly annoying (in a good way) but it kept me rapt until the final page. The amazingness just keeps going, and there were very few tears (which was very useful after finishing Allegiant). The ending is sweet and touching, and I believe all readers will love it. Expect a full review soon, but for now, I give it a full, fat five stars!!!!!!

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
I tried to read Blue Bloods a while back. The plot has always seemed interesting to me, but I just couldn't get into it. I finally picked it up a while back when I heard that her other book series was being adapted to a TV show (I'm planning on reading those too). The idea is nothing like other vampire stories I've read, to say the least. The mythology is different, but still interesting. The book does start off a little slow, so you have to be somewhat persistent, but it's worth it in the end. There are a lot of the books in the series, so it's somewhat daunting, but so far, there haven't been cliffhangers that make me say "I need the next book this instant!"-I'm looking at you Just One Day-but it does give something to build on. So if a week or two go by before you can read the second, no sweat. I'm reading the sequel Masquerade now and, although I'm only 8 pages in, I'm already liking it. I give Blue Bloods four stars!

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
This woman is amazing. Her books are funny, full of action, and romance that is not make-out scenes on every other scene. I wanted to scream at Kami and Jared in this book. My math class can attest that I was screaming "Kiss and make up already" in the middle of class (sorry about that). You see what you do to me Sarah Rees Brennan? *glares**but not really* Kami is spunky, and even though she's only human, she manages to do more than most of the sorcerers in the book. One chapter towards the end is called 'Kami's Sacrifice'.

I took one look at it, went to twitter, and did this.


 Untold pg. 302: chapter 25- Kami's Sacrifice. Explain yourself @sarahreesbrenna!
And then when I finished, I posted this.
*Shakes head* Why must you torture us like this Sarah? Anyways! Untold gets a full four stars!

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier
*From the review of the entire series, not just the book
Ms. Gier definitely has the confusing aspect down. Time travel, like many subjects in science, makes very little sense. We don't know much about it, and so the questions are limitless. Multiple times, I've tried to think about the logistics of Gwen and Gideon's time traveling adventures, and all I get out of it is a massive headache. Seriously, time travel hurts, whether you actually travel or not. Though the time travel itself, while having it's own twist, matched facts as well. I found the story accurate and fun. It's like a cross between Doctor Who and the Hourglass trilogy and fans of either would enjoy it. So pick up the books today and I'd love to here what you think! Read the entire review here!

Soul Taken and Soul Possessed by Katlyn Duncan
The main character is named Maggie. As of the beginning of the books, she has been dead for over 100 years. She works as a Soul Collector. Much like a grim reaper, she takes the souls of the living and passes them on to the afterlife. Because she's a Soul Collector, she has no memory of her life before dying nor her death itself. Within humanity, there are the Prognatum. A race descended from angel-like creatures which are revered in the afterlife. When the soul a teen Prognatum, Allie, who has not yet come into powers goes missing, Maggie is called in to find. The best part, if she succeeds, she might just get the upgrade to Guard that she has been dying for. Maggie takes the pros and cons of the job in stride, until she accidentally gets sucked into Allie's body, things get weird. Although doing her best, Maggie starts to see visions from her past. Things she really hopes aren't true. Yet as scared as she is, Maggie faces the dangers head on. She doesn't give up until her job is achieved and she has gotten what she wanted. By the end of the book, fear still rules her, but by the end of book two, Maggie is ready to face these fears and accept her destiny. Read the full review here!

The Wicked Within by Kelly Keaton
What a spectacular end to a spectacular series! This will definitely have a full review later! I was a little lost at the beginning, because it had been over a year since I'd read book two, but I caught on quickly. There are a lot of characters, all with complicated backstories, that cause the book to get confusing at points. Some of them seem unnecessary, but maybe they were more important than I thought. The plot is swift, and I had loads of fun reading it. If you didn't know, I'm a big fan of retellings, whether that be fairy tales or mythology. This is an awesome twist on the Medusa legend, and is one that will stick with me for a long time. The main character, Ari, is determined and funny. Much like Kami from Untold, excerpt her curse is worse. The characters manage to preserver, despite the worst of circumstances, and even the worst of bad guys may have a little good inside them. My one big complaint is the end. Most of the stories are resolved when the last chapter comes. And while the last two characters stories are resolved, I wish that it had happened earlier in the story. Overall, I give this book five stars!

Everlast and Evanescent by Andria Buchanan
The plot of the books was interesting and different. It didn't twist and turn as much as some others, but it still left me wanting more. Let's just say, book three won't be waiting very long to be read. I feel like the characters besides the Allie are fairly weak. The author manages to make me feel attached to them, I would cry if her best friend Mercedes or Winston were to die, but the reader simply doesn't know enough about their backstory. The characters are slowly built upon, but it could be more so. The writing is also well done. Nothing is explained too much nor too little. I always understood what was going on, even when coming back from a long period of not reading. The books were fun and interesting, but with a couple faults. I give them a solid four star review! Read the full review here!

Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
*Sigh* The first book in this series was so good. I really wanted to enjoy this book. The plot was slow and not much happened with the characters, sadly. It definitely falls under a case of SBS. In the end I couldn't finish it and I really don't have much to say. Pick up book one. Tell me if you like it. And I'd love to know your thoughts on this one too. Do you agree with me that it need more do you like it as it is? A disappointment, so it only gets three stars as of now.

Last, but not least . . .



Allegiant by Veronica Roth
*Sobs**Continues sobbing**Can't stop sobbing* The short version, the book was really good, up until the last fifty pages, where all hell broke loose, the dams broke, and the sobbing began. Really, anything except that. And I get what Veronica says, I really do. The ending was right for the book. I just hated it, along with all the other readers out there. I give it four stars, even though it deserves five. No go away and let me cry in peace! *Sobs some more*





Re-Reads:

I re-read parts of three books this month. You can probably find their original reviews somewhere on the blog. Anyway, I re-read Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins for probably the millionth time, Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast, and Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter! They're all awesome! Angels, demons, vampires, zombies, and magic! What could go wrong? :)

Final Notes:

That's all for this month! Now on to my TBR pile, which is already shortening from the books I've read in November! What do you think of these books? Did you like them or hate them? Have you read them or do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

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