Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in series.
Summary:(from book jacket) Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brother's lives. But that didn't stop him from taking risks- whether he's scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut. Luis can't stop looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules- boys lie to get their way, don't trust a boy who says"I love you", and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor's daughter, she has more in common with her north side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meet Luis at Alex's wedding, and suddenly, she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to take a chance on a south sider is Luis's biggest challenge. Until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, the new head of the Latino Blood. When Chuy reveals a disturbing secret about Luis's family, the youngest Fuentes finds himself questioning everything he's ever believed to be true. Will his feelings for Nikki be enough to stop Luis from entering a dark and violent world and permanently living on the edge?
Review: I was excited to read this book because I enjoyed the first two in this series, which followed the stories of Luis's two older brothers. I liked this one as well, but there were a few things I didn't like. I thought things were little slow moving in the middle of the book. The beginning was my favorite part and the ending really made the slow parts worth getting through. I loved the banter between these two characters which was funny and entertaining. Another thing I liked was the appearance of the characters from the previous two books. That really connected the series as a whole and I think this series fits together nicely. There were few things in this book that I wished had been explained more thouroghly and I think would have made the story mpre complete. I also have to say the epilogue was so awesome and funny. I really liked Luis as a character. I could appreciate his struggle and was rooting for him the entire time. Nikki, on the other hand, I thought was kind of annoying. I could understand why she had trust issues at first but after a while it was just annoying and frusturating that she couldn't let go of the past, not matter what the cost. overall, this book was good and I think anyone who wants some exciting romance stories shouls start with this series.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary: (from back of book) Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can actually see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won't let her go- especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil- and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
Review: This is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series and I really liked it. There was a lot happening that kept the story moving quickly and there were a few surprising plot twists that were exciting. The cliffhanger ending made me anxious to get my hands on the next book in this series as soon as I can. The Shadowhunter world is very well written and developed and I really enjoy the dynamics of how this world runs.  Clary and Jace are both awesome characters I loved getting to know them better in this book and the ways that they got to know each other better as well. I also have a small soft spot for Alec, he is so sweet and strong. This book introduces some new characters and places within this world, which just added so much to the story. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bite Club by Rachel Caine

This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series.
Summary:(from book jacket) After learning that vampires populate Morganville-and surviving a number of adventures with her new night dwelling friends- college student Claire Danvers has come to realize that for the most part, the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble. There's a new extreme sport being broadcast over the Internet: bare knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against one another- or worse against humans. Tracking the out of town signal leads Claire- accompanied by a group of friends and frenimies- to discover that what began as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville. And if they want to survive, they'll have to do a lot more than fight.
Review: I've lost count of what number this is in the series now, but I enjoyed it all the same. It was action packed and suspenseful and despite the fact that this sereis almost seems to be the same thing repeated under slightly different circumstacnes I still love this series. The action and mystery keep the plot going and kept reading until I was finished. I also really like the characters. One of the things I like about a long series like this one is that oyu get to spend a lot of time with these characters and really see how they develop over time. Claire and her friends are awesome and funny, but not without their fair share of problems. Myrnin is another quirky character that I really like. Overall, anyone who likes vampire stories should start with this series.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Summary: (from back of book). Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest if the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she's ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams. Theia doesn't understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels toward is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure whether she wants to resist him- even if the cost is her soul.
Review: I didn't have any expectations of this book going in to it but it was actually pretty good. Although. some parts of the book definitely fit the typical paranormal romance mold. It also had some unique aspects to it that kept me interested. I think the last half of the book was when things really got going and I was rooting for the characters to find a way to work things out the entire time. I really liked Haden and Theia. They were well written and complicated characters that I enjoyed getting to know. Theia's cast of crazy friends was also awesome and funny. There were a few parts toward the end that I thought were kind of annoying although, i did like where some of these plot points ended up.  I hope that the next book in the series can keep up the unique element. Based on how it ended, I think I will definetely keep reading.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Breathless by Jessica Warman

Summary:(from Goodreads) When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water.
Review: I thought this book was pretty good. I liked the fact that story took place over such a long period of time, which allowed for a lot of character growth and development. This is definitely a character driven book and I was pulled into this story pretty quickly. I really liked Katie as a character and enjoyed seeing her change and grow over time. Mostly though I enjoyed exploring Katie's relationship's with the people around her. From her parents, Will, Mazzie, Drew, Lindsey and Estella. Everything was so complex and at some points difficult. Getting to explore all these relationships was my favorite part of this book. Jessica Warman has created well rounded and realistic characters that are easy to relate to. This is the first book of her's I have ever read but after this I am excited to explore some of her other books.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

Summary:(from book jacket). Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out. Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B), have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow( the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism- and her way of life- can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?
Review: I kind of have mixed feeling about this book. I liked the premise of the story but I felt like not much really happened in the way of plot until the second half of the book. Despite that, I was never bored and Amber and her cast of quirky friends kept me interested in the story. This book is definitely character driven for the most part.  I thought Amber and her friends were really funny and awesome and during some parts of the story were the main motivation to keep reading. However, I also thought that some of the things Amber did and said were an act and not who she really was. She did things that were kind of annoying at times and The way she told the story, while it definitely portrayed her personality was just a little bit odd. So overall, this book falls somewhere in the middle fore me. There were elements that I liked and didn't like, but This a fairly good read about character growth and strength.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Summary:(from book jacket) Chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is increasingly scarce, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen year old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine- going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant DA's son, and avoiding her loser ex boyfriend. That is until someone in her inner circle ends up poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight- at school, in the news, and, most important, within her mafia family.
Review: This book was pretty good. It was more toned down than most dystopian stories are, which at first kind of annoyed me but as the story went on I liked it better. Since this is the first in a series, large part of the book was buildup and introduction but I enjoyed seeing the small ways that this society differed from our own. I liked the crime family dynamic more than I thought I would, it kept things interesting and the feeling of no one being entirely trustworthy added to the plot. All the characters were really well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them all. Anya was a strong character and even though she occasionally did things without thinking them through, I was rooting for her the entire time. I thought Win, Natty and Leo were also very well written and over all really great characters. I am really excited and interested to see where this story goes next.