Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

My name finally came up on the library hold list for this book.  It had been so long since I reserved it I couldn't remember who recommended it, or where I may have found it or why I wanted to read it, or what it might even be about.  I've been in a fantasy rut lately and I was getting a bit bored with it so when I saw the cover art and read the first line introducing Violet Ambrose I shuddered a little bit.  I was not ready for another fairy book.  But do not fear it's not fantasy at all, but it's not normal either.  So I guess then it's considered paranormal - but she doesn't move items with her mind or fly or anything psycho, so I am categorizing it YA Fiction, boring enough?

First Line: Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her.

"Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself."

Two late{ish} nights and I had it finished.  But the suspense, mystery, and scare factor combined with my crazy pregnancy hormones made for some really interesting/disturbing dreams last night.  Good thing I can't remember them anymore. I loved the back and forth plot between discovering she loves Jay (vice-versa) and the murder mystery.  Just when the suspense is maxed, it switches back to Jay and Vi and you can breath for a minute and forget their danger - then when their making out gets too blech/annoying it switches back to the hunt for a murderer, or his hunt for them.  Brilliant!  I found the ending satisfying, and was surprised to see this was Derting's first novel.  Good stuff!  

But of course my last (only) bit of critique you had to see coming... 

I don't like swearing: not in books, not in joking, not in anger, not even by drunken sailors.
(among other things I was fortunate enough to be shielded from in high school)
BUT especially NOT in YA reads, seriously peeps...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

What a rush! 
There were so many twists and turns in this book, I didn't know who to trust, or what to believe!
Definitely unnerving to be so unsettled and yet - WHAT AN ADRENALINE BOOST!
oh yeah, and the mother of all love triangles!


First Line: "You've got  to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.

"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.
Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.
But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...."

City of Bones offered it all, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, Mermaids, Demons, Shadow Hunters, basically any and all things fanatical.  
The 'Muggles' of Harry Potter are referred to as 'Mundanes' by Clare, but just the same they are surrounded by things they cannot see through the glamour or even imagine in their wildest dreams.  My husband flipped through the book and said "hey I'm in here!"  No, not as a demon or vampire but as the VILLAIN - Valentine!  He asked if that's why I liked this book so much and maybe it is.  There was a lot to like about this book and what little there was to NOT like (such as my biggest pet peeve - swearing) it wasn't so much an issue because I borrowed the book from a friend who had "edited" it.  Ahhhh! so much better.  
Best part: it's the first of a series!!! WAHOOO - I LOVE books in a series, yeah baby :)

I do have a question to those who have read it though...
How do YOU pronounce Jace?  
...And do you think I could convince hubs to name baby girl Jocelyn instead of Jolee?

The Mortal Instruments
Book One: City of Bones March 27, 2007
Book Two: City of Ashes March 25, 2008
Book Three: City of Glass March 24, 2009
Book Four: City of Fallen Angels expected April 5, 2011
Book Five: City of Lost Souls expected May 2012
Book Six: City of Heavenly Fire expected September 2013

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

First Line: Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.

Meghan begins her sixteenth birthday wanting what any other teen girl wants: her drivers license, to be noticed by the cutest boy in school and respect from her parents (oh, and a cell phone).  Her life focuses very quickly on what is important when she gets home from school that day with her mom lying in a pool of blood and her four year old brother kidnapped by creatures from the nevernever.  She acts fast following her "not as he appears" best friend Robbie into another world and an adventure that will leave her permanently changed.  

I struggled getting into this book, it was just too 'Alice in Wonderland' for me.  I never really 'got' or liked Alice in Wonderland, not sure why. 
ANYWAY...  Things really pick up and when 'Alice in Wonderland' collides into 'Transformers' meets 'World of Warcraft' - it became a bit more my mythical style - lol.

The imagination of Julie Kagawa is insane - in the best way possible.  Her attention to detail, the explanation of the surroundings both familiar and extreme, Her description of both the characters and the land made me think that this would make an awesome movie.  I could see the landscape sprawling out before me as Maghan was discovering it for the first time herself.  Stinkin cool!

There where sporatic swear words tossed in that I HATED.  Really I have issues with swearing - especially in Young Adult books.  It wasn't super extreme, but I really could have done without it.

Overall I did end up loving the book, I am excited to read the next one and if you are a fantasy lover I definitely recommend it.
Iron Fey Series
Book 1: The Iron King, released February 1, 2010
Book 1.5: Winter's Passage, released June 1, 2010
Book 2: The Iron Daughter, released August 1, 2010
Book 3: The Iron Queen, to be released February 1, 2011

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

First Line: Han Alister squatted next to the steaming mud spring, praying that the thermal crust would hold his weight.
Han (Cuffs) Alister is trying to recover from a life on the streets.  Having turned around his criminal life as Street Lord of the Raggers, he now has to work extra hard for his meager yet honest earnings doing whatever he can to survive.  Life just gets an extra boost of crazy when he runs into some underage wizards and takes their curious and magical amulet to save his friends life.  The story line crosses between his tale and that of the young Princess Raisa, until inevitably, their paths cross.
This medieval story is filled with heroism, danger, deception, survival, romance, hope, tradition, magic, good and evil.  
I loved it from the very beginning and can't wait for the sequel!

Seven Realms Series
The Demon King released October 13, 2009
The Exiled Queen to be released September 28, 2010
The Gray Wolfe Throne expected release October 2011

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

I pretty much loved this book.  
Kind of a guilty pleasure filled with silly high school romance and danger, 
so what's not to love?!?!
I am a sucker for Young Adult romances and for books in a series and this hits both.

First Line: Grace! You have got to see the new guy.

Grace Divine is the pastors daughter, and the so called 'new guy' isn't that new.  He's Daniel, the boy next door, Grace's first love, and now he's back.  The curious and stressful circumstances under which he left the first time have only concentrated and grew during his 3 year absence.  Jude, Grace's older brother and Daniel's former best friend is as cold and uninviting as ever with unbelievable accusations about Daniel, but they aren't without warrant.  There is something dark and wrong about Daniel, but he's not the only one with a secret.

I really don't get the cover...
Sure she goes to the prom with a purple sash covering her white dress and purple toe nail polish to match, but is it an important enough detail to make it the cover?  And what happened to the dress?

The Dark Divine Series
The Dark Divine released Dec 22, 2009
The Lost Saint expected release Dec 28, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Not really my favorite style of book.  It took a bit for me to get into, but it ended well.  Kind of a fun teenage version of Ocean 11 meets the DaVinci code.   Really clean and adventuresome, a book I could recommend to my pre-teen niece.

Dust jacket summary
"When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history–or at least her family’s (very crooked) history."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

When it comes to giving advice on divorce issues and impounded pets, 13-year-old Theodore Boone is first choice with his teachers and classmates. Theo knows more about the law than most lawyers.

But he also knows he has no business getting involved in his home town's first murder trial in years.

That is, until a witness tells Theo he saw things the day of the murder that could bust the case wide open. The only problem is, he's too scared to talk – Theo is the only person he'll trust.

With the trial about to be lost for lack of evidence, and a witness who won't take the stand, suddenly Theo finds himself caught in the middle of his – and the town's – biggest case ever . . .

What a cute little read. I loved it. I needed something light and fast. Perfect. The writing kept me reading too!

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