What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, March 30, 2012

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Who doesn't like the story of Robin Hood? I know I love it, and was definitely excited to find this new re-telling of the familiar story!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

What I Liked: 1) The idea of a girl being a part of Robin Hood's band of Merry Men. I thought the girl of the story was always just Maid Marian. But Miz Gaughen has added the character of Will Scarlet, who of course is a girl they call Scarlet. She's small and agile, but she never really commits to the band. She always says how she can leave whenever she wants, yet she never seems to want to go. Throughout most of the book, Scarlet is mostly a mystery. She very rarely lets any details about herself slip. This bothered me for a while, but then once I read the ending and figured a few things out, it all made sense in the end. 2) Robin! Who doesn't love Robin Hood? I know I do. But because Scarlet was the more secretive of the characters, it almost made Robin look like an open book. And he was such a sweet guy. He has a very protective response to Scarlet, despite her constant insistence that she didn't need his help or protection. I would have had a hard time rebuffing his advances!! 3) The twist. I was thoroughly surprised by the twist of events at the end. Once we find out some more details about Scarlet, things become (surprisingly!) clear. I LOVE it when books do this to me, basically flip me on my head when I'm reading. 4) Plot. The plot was my favorite part of this story. It moved with a consistent flow, allowing the reader to stay deep in the (forest around Nottinham!) story. There are also many elements that I love, action, a budding romance, and some mystery! Something for everyone!

What I Didn't Like: This is a personal problem, but I had a hard time connecting with Scarlet and the way she spoke. My brain is hardwired to need to correct what it perceives as grammatical errors (seriously, I even use full words, capitalization and grammar in text messaging). So for me, this was a big distraction. It actually ends up being a pretty significant part of Scarlet's personality though, so I can't fault Miz Gaughen for her choice. But be warned that if things like that trip you up while reading, that will probably bother you.

Overall Thoughts: For those of you who love retellings of classics, I'd definitely take some time to check out A.C. Gaughen's Scarlet. She's taken an old favorite and created an entirely new and rich story while still maintaining the essence of the story (ya know, rob from the rich to feed the poor). Robin is a dreamy, strong character and Scarlet is one MC whose back story will keep you wondering until you reach the end. I had a little trouble with stumbling over Scarlet's interesting vernacular, but all in all it is a great plot with interesting characters. If you like retellings, make sure you add this debut to your TBR list!

My Rating: 3.5 shots

This book was read as a part of the Debut Author Challenge 2012! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zombie Love: The Outbreak by Eric J. Sobolik

This ebook was sent to me from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I'm fairly new to the zombie subgenre, but I thought I'd give this one a go (after loving Carrie Harris's Bad Taste in Boys and Jonathon Maberry's Rot and Ruin).
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Zombie Love is the story of a widespread virus, in a way that has never been done before. As people lose loved ones, some decide that sometimes the people you love are the only ones worth fighting for. As factions form, and the world crumbles, people must choose sides. Help or destroy. When a virus is developed as the ultimate cure all by reversing death itself, the world is plunged into a crisis of faith, dedication, and love. In book one we meet Summer Strom, a normal high school teenager who is thrown cruelly into a set of circumstances that nobody should have to deal with. She has to fight back against everybody she knows as she battles for the only thing worth fighting for. Love.
What I Liked: 1) I liked the plot - Summer, while being terrified for her life and her family from these Zombies, is still fighting to save the boy she loves. It's really very sweet, though the way she goes about it isn't really very smart. 2) Summer - she has a sword and is kind of a badass. I mean, she doesn't seem like it at first, but then she pulls out this sword and it's like, geez. Almost a Clark Kent/Superman shift. (Yeah, I pulled out a comic book reference!) 2) If you are into the gruesome side of zombies, this book is for you. There's tons of action in this book and it makes the book move very fast. 3) This book ends on a cliffhanger, because it is only the first book in the series. You'll definitely be curious as to what Summer is going to do once you reach the end.

What I Didn't Like: 1) So much of this book was...dark and sad. And scary. Because it was only the first book in a series, I know that a lot of the bad stuff was happening up front, but poor Summer. I don't even know how she was still standing at the end of it. She was put through the ringer. It didn't seem like anything ever went her way. 2) I thought the characters were a little flat. We got a lot of back story, but I always like to get to know characters from their actions, versus just being told how they are. Show, don't tell, I guess would be a good rule to go by.

Overall thoughts: Zombie Love: The Outbreak is a good start to what I expect will be a very interesting and action-packed series. I'd suggest that any Zombie fan take some time to check out this book and run around with Summer as she tries to save herself and her love from the virus overtaking her community and creating zombies!

My rating: 3.5 shots

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (31)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights the books we are most anxiously awaiting!


This week, my WoW is.........


Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Release Date: September 4th, 2012

I read Sweet Venom, the first book in the Medusa Girls series just a few weeks ago and loved it. I've loved every book I've read by Tera Lynn Childs. Her books are fun and light reads that I always get into. Since I liked Sweet Venom so well, I'm anxious to find out that's next for Gretchen, Greer and Grace!

What are you waiting on this lovely Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Marie Lu's Legend is a dystopian novel that somehow escaped my attention at first. But as Breathless Reads came closer, I knew I wanted to get a chance to read it. Well, I kinda failed at that, I was about halfway through it when I went to Breathless Reads. But I finished it up not too long after. It was a hard book to put down!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

What I Liked: 1) Both June and Day are incredibly well-developed characters. As Marie Lu's writing goes, she created very deep and realistic characters with full developed back stories that just make them leap off the page. 2) Additionally, I felt like you got to know these two MCs equally, because the perspective changed with alternating chapters. Something extra that I enjoyed was that when we were reading Day's perspective, the font was gold (an easily readable gold) and June's was in black. This made it easy to differentiate between each voice. I also took note from these colors, and what they said about the character they represented. 3) This book keeps you guessing from beginning to end. There are things going on that you as a reader know but the characters don't. And there are things that they know that the reader doesn't. But despite these differences, there really wasn't ever any disconnect. 4) The ending. The final big sacrifice at the end just broke my heart. It was a complete surprise to me that it turned out that way, and I know that readers will all be wondering what's going to happen next!

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. I want more!

Overall Thoughts: Marie Lu's Legend is a dystopian novel that will appeal to many YA fiction fans. Day's Robin Hood-esque personality versus June's by the book rigidity creates an interesting and dissonant environment for readers to travel through. Jumping from Day's perspective to June's perspective gives you a glimpse into both characters' minds and gives the reader a chance to really get to know these two. Legend was an action-packed and fascinating read that many will enjoy!

My rating: 5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's A Little Haywire by Elle Strauss

I read Elle Strauss's Clockwise a few months ago, and really enjoyed her writing style, so when she approached me about reviewing her new MG book, I thought it sounded like fun, even though MG isn't a genre I read a lot of.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.

Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?

And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?

What I Liked: 1) Owen. I always seem to like books with male MCs. And Owen is a sweet kid realizing new things in the world as he grows up. I really loved how he started seeing things with new eyes, because he was getting older and starting to think about things in new ways and realize what is important. 2) Owen's first taste of a little crush. Awe, this was cute. He starts having these feelings about Mikala and he doesn't understand them. And then of course since he is staying with his Gramps for the summer, Gramps is the one who has to explain, or try to explain it. 3) Loved the chapter headings. Each chapter was titled Owen the ....... fill in the blank. Forgotten, Exciled, Philosopher...those were are really cute. I'm not one who pays much attention to chapter headings (most of the time if chapters have titles I don't notice) but I took notice of these, and found myself checking to see what they were. That was very clever. 4) The overall theme of the story. I don't want to give anything away, but this was a very uplifting story about a young boy learning about the important of selflessness in life, and really growing up.

What I Didn't Like: One thing that struck me a little was that Owen's speech pattern and vocabulary was more mature than I would have expected from someone his age. Maybe I am not around people around that age enough, so I'm not really sure how mature they are in their speech.

Overall thoughts: I would recommend It's A Little Haywire to anyone who enjoys MG books, and to all kids in the appropriate age range. The characters are well developed, and the story sends a great message about caring for other people, appreciating the things you have, and sharing with others.

My rating: 4 shots

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games, a Movie Review


Who went to see The Hunger Games at midnight? My sister and I went along with some friends, and sat in the theater for 4 hours waiting to see the premiere of this highly anticipated movie.

So if you've seen it now, what did you think? Here are some of my SPOILER-FREE thoughts!

First off, I thought the book-to-script adaptation was WONDERFUL! We all know there they can't put every piece of a book on film, otherwise movies would start running 4 hours at a minimum. I know that those of us who read books before they are turned into movies, we tend to feel personally affronted when there are pieces missing. I know I am guilty of that. But I bet if a movie studio made a movie from a book and put every single tiny thing from the book in it, we'd have complaints about that too! But I was pleased with how closely this movie did come to the book, and I think we could live without the things that were missing.

The Cast - I could just go on and on about how well this movie was cast. Jennifer Lawrence captured Katniss perfectly, and Josh Hutcherson managed to pull off Peeta's soft but strong essence. And then there is Liam Hemsworth as Gale. I honestly was surprised when I didn't hear that Australian accent. I don't know why. I know Gale isn't Australian. Though what a twist that would have been. Elizabeth Banks was perfect as Effie. She was the comic relief that I was expecting Haymitch to be. And ah, Haymitch. Woody Harrelson played Haymitch differently that I would have expected, but it was still great. This ensemble is really what made the movie for me. I don't think that any other ensemble would have played it quite as well.

I cried a few times in this movie. I don't think anyone whose read it is surprised, the book is an emotional wreck! But those scenes were done so well that I don't think there was a dry eye in my theater. My sis was sitting next to me sniffling.

Probably one of my favorite aspects of the movie was that we were able to learn so much more about what going on during the Games. Instead of being in the Arena the whole time, we got a chance to see the reactions of the crowd, the reactions of the Capital, and even some of how the arena was controlled.

For anyone who hasn't read the book, this isn't one of those feel-good movies. There is a lot of tough stuff going on, a lot of violence (though thankfully not that gory) and it's very emotional. My parents asked me about the movie yesterday before we went, because obviously I was excited and had been talking about it a lot. I'd already told my Mom about the book, so she knew a little about it, but if you had seen my Dad's face when I was describing the plot. It was almost comical how in disbelief he was that myself or anyone would enjoy a movie or book for that matter about kids killing kids. Which I know that's not really what it's all about, but once someone hears that, it seems like that's all they hear. Anyone else had that reaction?

Overall, I thought that The Hunger Games movie was one of the best book to movie adaptations I've seen in a very long time. It was pretty EPIC, and I can't wait til I have the chance to see it again! If you haven't seen it, I hope you try and get to the theater to see it. I'm sure you'll ultimately enjoy it. For those of you who have seen it, (or read this, then see it and come back!) I'd love to know what you thought!

Cheers and Happy Hunger Games!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Look at that cover? Doesn't it just pull you into the story of Born Wicked?
Here is the summary from Goodreads: Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

What I Liked: 1) I adored Finn Belastra. He was kind of like, the strong silent type, the one who people don't notice at first, but then he comes in and wins your heart. 2) I also really enjoyed the setting. It was the late nineteenth century, in an alternate reality where the rule of law was the Brotherhood, a group of men in leadership who rule by a strict moral code. 3) Cate's loyalty and strength for her sisters. Don't be fooled by Cate's outward demeanor. She's fierce and strong when it comes to protecting her younger sisters. I always like seeing that in books, family protectiveness. Her sisters may think she overdoes it a bit, but I really loved how strong she was for them. 4) The cover! I just love how well the cover fits with the book. A lot of covers these days are pretty girls in fancy dresses (not that I'm opposed to those) but this cover in the garden with the vividly colored flowers just really captures a key idea of the book. 5) There was a twist near the end of the book that in looking back, I thought I should have seen coming, but I just didn't see it at all. So, I liked that it was able to throw me for a loop. If you've read it, you'll know what I'm talking about. I thought it was pretty surprising, particularly for the time period. 6) The way it ended. Okay, I loved/hated the way it ended. I hated it for the characters, because you know how I get emotionally attached to some characters, but I also loved the new ideas that it's going to open up for the subsequent books.

What I Didn't Like: As an audiobook, this one didn't move quite fast enough for me. While the narrator was good and seemed to capture Cate's demeanor well, there is passion in the writing that wasn't quite as well portrayed through the audiobook form. I also had the opportunity to read the hardcover, and thought that was a better medium for the story! The beginning is still a little slow, but it picks up nicely.

Overall thoughts: Born Wicked is Jessica Spotswood's stunning debut with charming and unique characters, and a plotline driving readers forward with it's twists and turns. The altworld historical setting made for a vivid and rich atmosphere with surprising evils and allies. The ending will only leave readers wanting more from the book, and I know that I'm curious to find out what's coming up next for Cate and her sisters.

My rating: 4 shots

This book was read as a part of my Debut Author Challenge 2012!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (30)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!


This week my WoW is.............


The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (Shades of London #2)
Release Date: January 2nd, 2013

I loved The Name of the Star. Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite authors, she is able to bring her awesome sense of humor into everything she writes, so I'm definitely excited to read The Madness Underneath when it finally comes out next year! Make sure you add this one to your TBR lists!!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

I know I wasn't the only one who was excited about Fever! Did it live up to your expectations? It's been interesting talking to some other readers and bloggers about Fever, because it's definitely having mixed reviews. SPOILERS IN THE SUMMARY IF YOU HAVEN'T READ WITHER!!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

What I Liked: 1) Fever picked up right where Wither left off, so there was no guessing as to what may or may not have been happening in the interim. I always like that when an author picks up characters lives immediately. 2) Rhine's continued search for her brother. I'd almost forgotten about this aspect of the story, since it had been so long since I'd read Wither. But we are quickly reminded of it early on in Fever. 3) There are a lot of new places to explore in this book, as Rhine and Gabriel are on the run. They get into some scary places, that made this book darker than the first (I wasn't sure that was possible). 4) I liked how Rhine finally came to terms with the changes that had happened in the world during the year that she was at the Manor. As it says in the summary, the world really does mirror the feelings that Rhine is experiencing as she and Gabriel try to stay one step ahead of Vaughn.

What I Didn't Like: I didn't connect with this book the way I did in the first one. I think it was all a matter of timing. Wither moved with a consistent pace, and new things were happening around every turn. In Fever, I felt like there was a lot of stop and start.

Overall thoughts: Fever was a nice continuation of Wither. There were a few pacing issues that I thought made the storyline a bit hard to follow, but overall, Fever was well-written and took the story arc in a new and surprising direction. I'll be looking forward for the next part of Rhine and Gabriel story, particularly with the surprising end of Fever.

My Rating: 4 shots

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gone To My Happy Place - Be Back Later

It's tax season, my friends. Guess what that means for myself and the rest of my accountant buddies? That's right, long hours, longer nights, broken calculators, and frazzled nerves. Over the past couple of weeks I've had more than my fair share of frustrated days, which have more than once wound up with me in tears. I'm an easy crier though, so take from that what you will.

Every time I start to get really frustrated, I have to stop and go to my happy place for a few minutes. Maybe it sounds cliche, but it always seems to help me. I have several happy places, the first of which is right here:
I'm kind of a Walt Disney World fanatic, and like to go whenever I can. Which isn't often.

But some of my other "happy places" are fictional. Places that I visited while reading a book, and then every once in a while take the time to revisit, even if I'm not reading that book. One of these places is the White Island, from Krissi Dallas's Phantom Island series. The imagery created in these books has really brought the Island alive for me, and so every once in a while I just shut my eyes and imagine myself splashing and playing around with the Hydradorians, or maybe at a big feast with the Geos.

Another one of my happy places is the breathtaking world of Erin Morgenstern's Le Cirque des RĂªves, from The Night Circus. My imagination is a frenzy of black, white and red as I think about the magic and mystery that surrounds The Night Circus. You step into a whole new world when you enter the front gate.

Last, but definitely not least, I like to travel down south to the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina and hang with some of my favorite pals, Ethan, Link and Ridley. Lena's never invited, because I like having Ethan all to myself (it's MY HAPPY PLACE!!). A lot of Gatlin is about the characters for me, but at the same time I'm fascinated by the place itself, it's history and how it became this epicenter for Caster activity. I definitely have to thank Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl for creating that wonderful place to escape to in their Caster Chronicles books!

So, what about y'all? Do you have a happy place that you escape to when the world is getting ya down? Is it real, or fictional? Is there some place in a book that you've always dreamed of escaping to? Let me know in the comments section, I love to discuss!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Congratulations!

Sorry it took me so long to get this done, but we have a winner of the Breathless Reads giveaway!!

Congratulations to Chrissy of Every Free Chance Book Reviews, who has won the signed copies of Legend and Born Wicked!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Stick around, because I have another exciting giveaway coming up soon!

Cheers and Happy Reading!
Courtney

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Another Pan is the companion novel to Daniel and Dina Nayeri's (brother/sister team) first Marlowe School series novel, Another Faust. I read Another Faust after seeing it on a bookstore shelf, and far before I started blogging for books. I read it, enjoyed it, and have read it several times since then. Then a few months ago, I read a review of Another Pan on another blog and realized that these two had written a companion novel. I got really excited, so I went out and got it.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe.

The Marlowe books are retellings of well-known stories, Another Pan being a retelling of Peter Pan. I love Peter Pan, and this was my first re-telling of that classic, so I was excited to get into it.

What I Liked: 1) Peter Pan. It's Peter Pan! Who doesn't love Peter Pan? 2) Instead of following the pattern of Peter Pan as we know it, the authors tied it together with a Greek myth, which is how they brought the Marlowe School into it. This whole story is very unique and will keep you guessing until the very surprising ending. 3) The appearance of some old friends from Another Faust. I wasn't sure that we'd see that, but I was glad too. It was very interesting to incorporate him into this world, because it seemed that since the end of Another Faust, the Marlowe School had reinvented itself. 4) Wendy and John Darling. I especially liked John. Poor kid, he's going through this phase where he just wants to reinvent himself, and nothing seems to work. I really felt for him, and could completely understand that awkward phase he was in. 5) Happy thoughts. This is one of the biggest parts of the Peter Pan tale, and I really loved how it was translated into this story.

What I Didn't Like: Some of the characterizations were a little weak. It was hard to get to know some of them because they were a little too flat for my taste. Which, if anyone is wondering, is not what I found in Another Faust, so it isn't typical of these authors. I think maybe the plot was just so involved this time that after Wendy, Peter and John, everyone else was secondary. Even their relationships weren't very strong. Wendy was very protective of John, but everyone else just kind of revolved around each other without really touching. Wendy supposedly develops this thing for Peter, but that's just...not even insta-love. It never quite made it.

Overall thoughts: Daniel and Dina Nayeri's Another Pan was a creative and interesting re-telling of an old classic, Peter Pan. The plot drives the story forward, and readers will be surprised by the inclusion of an Egyptian myth to make the story fresh and new. The characterizations leave a little to be desired, but you know what they say. Just Think Happy Thoughts.

My rating: 3 shots

Cheers and happy reading!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cover Reveal: Reached by Ally Condie

Ally Condie's Matched series is one of my all time favorite series out there right now. Loved Matched, Loved Crossed, and just a few minutes ago, Ally posted on Twitter a link to an EW.com interview in which she revealed both title and cover of the third and final installment of the series! So without further adieu, here it is ladies and gents, the final piece of Cassia, Xander, and Ky's story!


I cannot wait until November 13th, 2012, when this book will hit the shelves. Here is the link to the EW.com interview where we not only got our first glimpse of that awesome cover, but Ally answers some questions we've all been dying to ask!

Check it out, and don't forget to add this one to your Goodreads list!

Cheers and Happy Reading!
Courtney

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking's Trylle series was originally a self-published series that became very popular. It's now been republished by St. Martin's Griffin. Now, I didn't read it before it was republished, but I've now had the opportunity to give it a read.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

What I Liked: 1) I love the cover, first of all. Something about it makes me think of the Wizard of Oz. It's probably the field of flowers leading up to the large castle. Fun stuff. 2) Wendy. I liked Wendy. She was one of those forces of nature, especially when she is with her Aunt and her brother Matt. That gets tamped down a little bit when she is in Trylle, but I think that's out of fear. 3) Trylle. Trylle is a magical realm that I would have loved to spend some more time in. I think I probably made another Oz connection here (the story in no way resembles The Wizard of Oz, so I don't know where that keeps coming from.), because it was the kind of place I would like to explore. 3) Finn and Rhys. I think that all boys named Finn are just made to fall in love with. I'm not even kidding. Except for Finn on Glee. Nothing against Cory Monteith, but he's not really my type. And Rhys, he's the best friend that you turn around and realize you've fallen for him before it happens. Although, towards the end of the book you learn something about Rhys that is going to change his and Wendy's relationship, but I'm not sure how. 4) Her mother tried to kill her. Okay, it's not something that I like, but it's definitely one of the most intriguing parts of the story. I think that was one of the parts of the summary that caught my interest.

What I Didn't Like: The story has its twists, but it's overall a predictable storyline. This doesn't mean bad, it just means that I could tell where the story was headed. Either predictable or really good foreshadowing. The writing was also a little simple. Simple sentence structure, simple language.

Overall thoughts: I think a lot of people will find themselves easily caught up in the land of Trylle and Wendy's story. Miz Hocking's created a fun story and some characters that readers will enjoy getting to know. She's woven a great tale, and I'll be interested to see what we get next as she continues to grow as an author.

My rating: 3.5 shots

Cheers and happy reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Wrap-Up

Even with an extra day, February is still the shortest month of all! Here's a recap of all the goingson here at Fuzzy.Coffee.Books!

5 Shots
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Tempest by Julie Cross

4 Shots
The Egyptian by Layton Green
Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Fallen in Love by Lauran Kate
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

3 Shots
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (3.5)
The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle (3.5)
Destined by PC and Kristin Cast
Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

2 Shots
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I kinda went review crazy this month. I was trying to make up for posting so few reviews in January!

Here's what I read in February but haven't reviewed (yet):
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Legend by Marie Lu
The Veil by Corey Putman Oakes
Pretty Little Secrets by Sara Shepard
The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones

Whew! What a reading schedule! Honestly though, I'll admit here and now that I've been reading some really awesome stuff, so I freely choose reading over sleep! Now March has arrived, and I can't wait to see what great books I've got coming up on the schedule!

Cheers and happy reading!
Courtney