Monday, December 23, 2013

"Touch of Power" by Maria V. Snyder

Series:  Healer #1
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback; 390 pages
Publication: December 12, 2011 by Mira
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! Touch of Power was not my first venture into MVS' writing, though. I was introduced to her books by reading her Study series, which was amazing. I really enjoyed reading them, so when my lovely and amazing GReep friend Jen went to one of MVS book signings I hopped on the band wagon and asked her to snag me a signed copy of TOP. ...And I'm so glad I did. While I really liked the Study series, for me, TOP is by far the best and is now sitting pretty on my "favorites shelf".

You remember back in middle school you always had those few creepy kids that wanted to learn all about the Black Plague in History? They would ask the teacher endless questions and keep everyone late after class because they were such morbid nerds? Well, that was totally me. Something about such an epic pandemic killing off two thirds of the population is pretty engrossing to me. Especially when we learn how people acted during and after such disasters. This is what really drew me in to TOP. In Avery's world, a plague has just killed off more than half of the population. As a healer (someone with the magical ability to take in another's illness or wounds), she should have been able to help cure the disease, but for some unknown reason the healers were unable to cure the Plague without dying themselves. Because of this, the realm began to blame the healers for the plague, and eventually started to hunt them down one by one.

As far as Avery knows, she maybe the last one left of her kind. Constantly on the run and hiding from a society that would punish her for her gift, she trusts no one. Until she meets a band of misfit warriors sent to rescue her in the hopes of her curing their Prince.

Besides the amazingly entertaining plot, I also really loved the chemistry between all of the characters. I felt like I was actually on the run with Avery, Kerrick, Flea, Belen, and the monkeys, and even though they were in a completely different world, I could completely connect with each of them.

Overall, Touch of Power is just a fantastic and well written fantasy that I will definitely be recommending to all of my friends!

My Rating:

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Monday, December 2, 2013

"Flowers in the Attic" Read/ Re-read!

In case some of you didn't know, Flowers in the Attic was my very first favorite "adult" book love when I read it in middle school. Which led me to be a complete fangirl for the original V.C. Andrews and all things uber creepy and taboo. When I finally got my hands on the 80's movie, I was thrilled... only to end up throwing my shoe at my television in bitter disappointment. We all know it was god awful and did nothing for the book. So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out LIFETIME was re-creating it for TV to be aired in January!

Doesn't it look amazing?! I can't wait to watch it! But in the meantime, author Stacy Kade (The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy and Project Paper Doll) has arranged a Flowers in the Attic read (or re-read) group! We started yesterday, but it's not too late to join! For all the info on the fun, check out Stacy's post here. If you're on Twitter, you can keep up with the conversation by using hashtag #FIAread.

Hope to "see" you there!

"Looking for Alaska" by John Green

Genre: YA
Format: Paperback; 221 pages
Publication: December 28, 2006 by Speak
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same

My Thoughts: I think it's safe to say, if you're reading a John Green novel it's going to be amazing. Looking for Alaska is my second JG read and now I don't know which one I love more- this one or The Fault in Our Stars. They're both exceedingly different stories, but they still have that coming of age theme going on.

For me, this story was just so, so fantastic. I live in the city it takes place in, and at first that made me weary to read it. Being southern, I know there are a A LOT of misconceptions about Alabama, and it's a real pet peeve of mine. For instance, we're all suppose to have that southern drawl and be a bunch of rednecks. The first thing that stuck out to me abut this book, is that John Green didn't really mention ANY southern accents... except for one that I can remember. Which I loved, because WE DON'T ALL HAVE THAT SOUTHERN HICK DRAWL. Sorry to burst that bubble, but it's true. Also, the city that I live in is pretty rad, and has a lot going on that has nothing to do with sister lovin' or country concerts lol.

Sorry, back to the book. I found LFA to be so insanely relateable, it was almost scary. Even though I am a girl, I found myself laughing along with Pudge's journey through his young adolescent years, saying "Oh yeah, I remember how that was such a big deal" or "Yep. I felt that way too." The older I get, the more I realize that the passion I carried as a teenager is fading away from me. I just don't get those huge overwhelming feelings about certain things anymore. Which is sad, but something I can be grateful for at the same time (I mean, honestly being a teenager is the best/worst). However, when I read a novel like this one, it all comes flooding back. It makes me sad and nostalgic and brings that "being alive and reckless" feeling back. Looking for Alaska, though, really hit home for me. It was the first time I had ever read a book where I related more to the guy than I did the girl. In school, I felt like the dorky, socially challenged Pudge, and my best-friend Jerm was more like Alaska- eccentric, philosophical trouble-maker, slightly relying too much on booze and cigarettes to get by, with an excellent taste in books and music. It was a hard book for me to read. Especially because the ending was so very similar to my own friendship.

But that is what makes John Green such an amazing author. He tugs at our heartstrings and makes us remember what it was like (or if you are a teenager, he makes you feel like you're not alone in all the crap that's going on in your world). If this book had fallen flat, I wouldn't have been up crying in the middle night, taking a stroll down memory lane. I loved, loved, this book, even though it was painful for me to read. Because if a story can make me cry, well then, it's worth it.

My Rating:
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"Ruined" by Tracy Wolff

Series: Ethan Frost #1
Genre: New Adult
Format: Kindle
Publication: January 7, 2014 by Loveswept
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: He’s the last man Chloe Girard should love . . . but the first she ever could.

Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we we share will only tear us apart.

My Thoughts: Despite Ethan and Chloe's very silly meeting over a smoothie and a blender, I found that I really did enjoy their story. It had some twists and turns mixed in with a heavy dose of romance to make a yummy guilty pleasure read. Ethan is the wealthy CEO of Frost Industries who falls in almost insta-love with our young intern heroine, Chloe. From there, we get some drama overlapped in a huge secret and a major cliff-hanger ending.

Overall, if you're looking for a good, fast, steamy, sugary guilty pleasure read, then this is your book. It doesn't really contain anything that I would go fangirling about, but that's only because I'm not a huge fan of the wealthy guy gets the shy girl. It's become a little too popular lately. However, Chloe's personal story is pretty original, and is mainly what kept me interested in it and what will get me to read the next installment.

My Rating:

"The Sky is Everywhere" by Jandy Nelson

Genre: YA
Format: Paperback; 277 pages
Publication: March 1, 2010 by Speak
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book and Lennie! It was so beautiful and touching, I couldn't put it down once I started. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with Joe. I found TSIE to be refreshingly honest and real. Lennie is such a fantastic heroine because she isn't your typical shy, dorky YA main character. She's outspoken and funny. She talks about boners and being obsessed with kissing, she makes mistakes and she owns up to them as she tries to make her way through the jungle of grief after the death of her sister.

Then you have the chemistry between the characters which is just... wow. So amazing. Between Lennie and Joe/ Lennie and Toby / Lennie and her Grandma and Uncle Big... they all interact so well together, that the story becomes more than Lennie's, it becomes all of theirs.

I truly loved this book and Jandy Nelson's writing. Each sentence was just overflowing with beauty and power and I highly recommend it!

My Rating:
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