Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Pure
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 5 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

There is need. And then there is Fate—
Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her.
When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon— and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude— or killing her.
When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Lemme just begin with, I need to go out and buy this book. NOW. Secondly, this is one of those books where you (or at least I) put it down mid-page, stare into space for like, 5 seconds (open-mouthed, at that) and go "I need to go die now." Because it is so awesome. Mmmhmm. Yeah, that's got awesomesauce smeared all over it. Lastly, all you need to know is that Alex is by far one of my favorite heroines. Ever. Let's begin.

The heroine-
Alex is pure awesome. She is hilarious, with her fits of "irrationality" or "ridiculousness", and insanely cool. When I say cool, I mean she can kick your booty (and leave a bruise) and simultaneously eat a hamburger. (She likes her hamburgers) Now, if that hasn't convinced you yet as to her awesomeness, then you must trust me when I say she is relate-able. She has the average (ish) girl's fears and issues and she is someone you would love to be BFFs with. Well, the times she wouldn't get you in trouble. She is a great read and so, so fun. The best parts about her?
1. she can break a bitch's nose with an apple 2. she's real fun when she's high on the equivalent of Olympian roofies 3. she has an obsession with stabbing and knives 4. her thoughts are INSANE! In her words, her attention span is close to an ant on Redbull. 5. she likes tater tots 6. LOTS of other things.

I found her hilarious here:

"We talked about how I'd almost beaten him in practice yesterday, and how he was considering buying a motorcycle. Which I was strongly behind, because really, what could make Aiden hotter than he already was?
A motorcycle.
"What kind of bike are you looking at?"
He got this dreamy, far-off look on his face - almost like the kind of look I got when I saw chocolate... or him." pg 84

The guys-
*dreamy sigh* Okay, let's start out with this: shout-out to all of Jennifer L. Armentrout's boys:

Yes. I just went there.
You wanna know why?

Golden boy Seth, you are soooooo yummay! So, you've got these golden eyes... golden skin... LUSCIOUS (gasp!) golden locks... Yep I'm down with that. Real down with that.
Plus... Plus you have this amazing sense of humor.

"My shoulders slumped. "I have to practice with you all day?"
Seth spun around in front of me, the perpetual, cocksure grin on his face. "You have to spend all day with me. Every day. For as long as we are here."
I stared at him.
He clapped his hands, letting out a rather high-pitched squeal before grabbing my hand. "Oh, we are going to have so much fun! Aren't we? Fun, Alex - we will have fun." pg 182

Okay, so that's not the best example of his humor, but that had me busting out laughing. The squeal part, mostly. Ahh joy. He and Alex are great in their banter, especially their cuddle-oriented banter! Also- not only is Seth hilarious, but he's also super duper protective. In his own little way.

Let's just say if Seth is yummay, Aiden is mouth-wateringly, out-of-this-world, scrump-dilly-illy-umptious. Black (LUSCIOUS) waves cascading down into his eyes, gray-I-can-tell-what-you're-thinking eyes, and this smile with DIMPLES that you get only when you make him super duper happy. If you think that is nice, get this- he's amazingly caring and sweet. And although you may think he's.... er, questionable... for doing what he does, just get your hands on the Aiden POV Mrs. Armentrout released for this year's YA Crush Tourney. He will blow your freaking mind.

The BFF-
Caleb in Pure is his usual self- loyal, fun, and great. He's a cool best friend and insanely heroic. Gah, I wish I could say more but it'd be spoilericious.

The adventure/world-
Okay, so I usually have a problem with these kinds of books. The kind of book where you read, and you read, and you wonder, "Why do I care about this drama? I thought I was getting action-packed fantasy!" This is where I would usually fantasize about throwing the book in the fire, BUT, no fears, Pure is a book where I had fun reading about the drama. So much fun so that I want to run out and buy this book. 
But really.... the huge action at the end of Half-Blood and Pure covers up the mediocre/good/entertaining action in the middle of the book. I don't know how to describe this, but it's good. If you want a book where the heroine does this and then five pages later jumps off a building and blahblahblah, this is not for you. But if you want a hilarious, great, you-must-buy-this-now book, I highly recommend you try this out :)
Also, the world is kind of down-to-earth (in a good way) and kind of out-of-this-world. It has the right balance so that you can immediately catch on yet also maintain a surreal feeling to it.

Overall? I really need this book. And I also really need Deity (which is coming out in freaking October!!) Oh, the torture.

Soon coming is an interview with the one and only Jennifer L. Armentrout, so check back in soon! Also, comment and subscribe!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her over-protective mom, by Matt Quinn, the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, the voices are demons—and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Literally.
Terrified to tell her friends or family about this new power, Bridget confides in San Francisco’s senior exorcist, Monsignor Renault. The monsignor enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession, but just as she is starting to come to terms with her freakish new role, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. And when one of her oldest friends is killed, Bridget realizes she’s in deeper than she ever thought possible. Now she must unlock the secret to the demons’ plan before someone else close to her winds up dead—or worse, the human vessel for a demon king.

So I cracked open this book and I see this verse before the book starts-
"My name is Legion," he replied.
"For we are many."
                                             -Mark 5:9
If you don't know the story behind that, CRACK OPEN THE BIBLE! Or, if you're like me, ask someone you know who knows the Bible well, namely my dad. Anyways, it's a really interesting, "whoa" worthy story. And it sets very high standards for the book, because you think "Oh wow! This Gretchen McNeil really knows her Bible and possession shit!" Unfortunately, however, her story does not meet this Bible verse's standards.

The heroine-
Let me tell you, the first issue I think I had with the book was Bridget. Not really her attitude but her GENETICS. She is half-Irish and half-Chinese. Somehow, she has curly brown hair, freckles, and bright blue almond-shaped eyes. I know that half-Asians can have curly brown hair and freckles, but blue eyes? No. It is genetically impossible 99.99% of the time. Also- red curly hair + black Asian hair does not get brown curly hair. My brother, who studied this shit, said that black cancels out red automatically. I'm sure if her mom had BLONDE curly hair than it'd be fine, but... there are so many problems with her 'half-Asian' genetics and actual appearance. And I can judge because I AM one and practically all my cousins are half so I know a lot of diversity of half-Asian looks.

Then there's her attitude. The writing confused me, because usually the story was written like "she slammed the door" but then there were bits like "I am weird." Also, her personality was so messed up! She had this tough-girl vibe going, but really it's just a shell. So during one of her personality switches, I literally slapped the book down and wondered aloud as if speaking to Bridget, "What ARE you?!"

Funny Bridget:
"The familiar tingling ignited in the pit of her stomach. It spread faster this time, swamping her mind with its electricity, its power. It felt exactly like...
Bridget rolled off Matt and scrambled to her feet. She felt like she was going to be sick. [...] She turned her back and pretended to straighten her shirt so he couldn't see her panic.
She heard him sit up and clear his throat. 'Bridge, are you sure you're okay? I hope you're not-"
"I'm fine." She turned to him with a faint smile. "Really." Yeah, perfectly fine except apparently banishing demons and making out with you give me the same sick thrill. PERFECTLY FINE, MATT, THANK YOU! "  pg 287 (you have to read it to find it hilarious)

Revelation that Bridget is a hipster:
"The truck slowed as Matt pulled into her driveway.
"Are you going to Winter Formal?"
His question caught her so off guard, she burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"I don't do dances."
"Why not?"
"Well, the lameness factor for starters."
"You ever been?"
"Hell, no." " pg 74-75 (combat boots and social pariah, too)

I think that she's a total beyotch on the outside but inside, she's a real softie. But sometimes her sudden personality changes would just throw me and so she was only an okay POV to read from, despite how funny she could be. Did I mention she has a hilarious phobia of dolls?

The guy-
Matt is Mr. Dreamy Eyes as a sandy-blonde with yummy hazel eyes. And that horribly perfect, always-winning smile. I thought he was boring and the basic "I will protect you!" boyfriend. However, I think he and Bridget go very well together. EXCEPT- why the heck do I want to read a love confession between a 15-year-old (almost 16) and a probably-17-year-old??? Wrong answer- I don't. Highschool relationships don't last, even IF there's supernatural crap going on. And especially so if the girl is freaking 15.

The BFF-
So... Hector's gay. And funny. And a little chubby. But a good best friend, usually.

The adventure/world-
So, they live in San Francisco but usually we see their Catholic school and random exorcism-related places. It was decent.

Basically it was a decent book that would have deserved a 2.5 for it's mediocre-ness but got 3 because of some hilarious moments.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Title: Illuminate
Author: Aimee Agresti
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she is awarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous strangers: the powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

When I first set out to read this book, I expected soul trade and dangerously gorgeous people. Maybe an angel here or there. I'm sad to say my expectations were not met.

The heroine-
Haven (I immediately thought it looked like "Heaven") is... very "ugh" worthy. She's not really a fun read. No, I take that back. She's not a fun read at all. Uh-uh. She's way good and pure and amazingly annoying. I hate it when weak heroines who don't have that badass mindset are set out to save the world or whatever. It plain old irks me. This is the case with Haven. She's got caramel skin, deep amber eyes, and dark honey hair. I myself would think that's gorgeous, but nooooooo. Haven has this insecurity issue (like so many stab-worthy protagonists, le sigh) and she kind of goes from this stuttering, "cutely" awkward girl to this elegant, highly regarded, confidant young woman. And she wields a knife. Is she worthy of wielding a knife, in my opinion? NO. HELL NO. Girls like her should NOT have knives. They are not deliciously dangerous. They are not even as dangerous as a costumed dog. A drugged, costumed dog.
Basically I can usually understand Haven's thinking... I just don't like it. It's totally handle-able. I just don't like her being projected as this strong heroine who's "capable" when really she's just a braver-than-average nerd. (NOTHING wrong with that) Who happens to be absurdly.... um... let's call it "special."

The guys-
Okay so this is not a love triangle. It's a "I like HIM but I also unconsciously am falling for HIM". 

Lucian- I like his personality. I like the bad boys. I do. But somehow... (I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE THIS!) Lucian is a bad boy who hopes to be better. But not in that totally swoon-worthy case. It's more of like a... "I take innocent, unsuspecting girls' souls... but now I've met pure Haven! Ah dear me, save my soul! I wish to be with you, Haven, and have a cleansed soul!" (except way less lame) So... I mean he's attractive and he's bad-boy. He just totally lacks game. I mean, come on! I really hope when he comes back (HE BETTER) he has learned some new, extremely sexy moves.

Lance- Okay, I'm SORRY! But he totally had the Andrew Garfield from The Amazing Spiderman feel to him! 

And that is extremely delicious. So, here's what you need to know: he kisses amazingly. He is absurdly cute and nerdy. He slouches. He's adorable and... yeah. I think he could have a lot more depth to him but he ended up turning out kind of boring. An adorable boring but boring nonetheless.

Best friend-
I love gay guys. They are so funny and amazing. Dante (awesome name) is amazing. He's funny, bubbly, and cute! When he lends her his belt it's so funny/cute. However, for 1/2 the book he wasn't really there or nice so I didn't really like him for 1/2 the book.

The adventure/world-
Okay so the hotel they're staying at? TOTALLY WICKED. I mean it. It's beautiful and described purrrr-fectly (yeah I just did that [no there are no cats, unfortunately]) and it's full of lots of intrigue and secrets. Lots and lots of them.

But. (the big butt) The adventure/action was kind of confusing. So, Haven just blindly trusts some random book she finds in her room? (I swear I have lots more issues with minor/major details I just have sleep-deprivation and can't remember them.) Also, the action was kind of slow... maybe from 250 pages on? I just got tired of all this nonsense sensory details and I just wanted to cut to the chase. 

Sorry if this is obvious that I'm like, a zombie, but hope you enjoyed!
Don't forget to comment and subscribe! Off to get my beauty sleep ;)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Elemental
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 5 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn't have much power. That's okay-she knows what happens to kids who do.
Like Michael Merrick. He's an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy, dangerous, and completely off limits. At least according to Emily's family.
But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily's family doesn't just want her to stay away from him.
They want him dead.

Since this is a novella it is very short and doesn't have much of a beginning middle or end. But let me tell you this, it does not disappoint. Seriously, I had to put it down several times just to legitimately squeal and go "AW!!" It's way cute. It's way awesome. And it's way worth your time.

The girl-
Emily is the secret family rebel. She needs the job that's in jeopardy (because of Michael Merrick) to save up money to move out. She doesn't want to live with all of this hate her family has for the Merricks. In fact, she just wants a fresh start. She's heard all the stories about Michael and is scared witless when he comes to her new job. Yet she can't help being drawn to him... At first she is the girl who believes her family's lies about Michael. Soon, she becomes the not-so-secret rebel. I like her :) A funny thought of hers? -->

Don't be stupid. Even serial killers can be hot."

The guy-
Okay so in Storm, I couldn't understand or really like Michael. But dang, reverse the clock seven years and Michael is SO CUTE!!! I can die in peace now, thinking about a sexy, sexy boy who is extremely dangerous... yet extremely gentle?!? Booyah! He is so, so lovable.

"She looked ridiculous and adorable and he tried not to laugh."

The story-
It's cute. Tragic, from what we know in Storm. Completely relatable and totally explains the mystery of what happened (mostly). Can't wait for more!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Storm
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3.5 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys--all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.
Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water--just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.
And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
The storm is coming...

The heroine-
Becca is pretty much an outcast in her school because of a bad choice 5 weeks ago at a party. Her ex-boyfriend spread rumors about her and all the school thinks she has slept with all of the soccer team and half of the lacrosse team- if not more.
Her personality is... complicated, in my opinion. Most of the time she's a decently interesting POV to read from and then there are a few moments of awesome! Like, when she punches someone who guys don't even punch. (that gave it the extra .5 glass slippers!) But then there are moments when I just want to slap her and be like, "SPEAK UP WOMAN!" and others where I want to slap her and say "Shut your rude trap HUNNY." (mmhmm that's how I spell hunny)

The guyS!-
So we have our love triangle. Plus three more? Oh yeah, Brigid Kemmerer did the unthinkable- she put in FIVE sexy men! 
Chris- perfect, in my opinion, for Becca. Dear god, he had a to-DIE-for little epiphany about Becca. And he's hot and dangerous (some of his violent thoughts had me laughing) but he cares
"Now he couldn't make himself forget a single thing about her. Seeing her tears on the field had almost been his undoing. He'd wanted to hold her. No, he'd wanted to kill Drew and anyone else who'd laid a hand on her." pg 253, 254

Hunter- sweet and yummy. I don't care why he's nice I just know he's real nice. And hot in a bad boy way. If you like your boy with blonde hair green eyes and a few piercings he's your man.
" "Easy, Becca," he whispered against her lips.
She froze.
"Easy," he said again. He kissed her cheek, her mouth, her eyes. "There's plenty of time."
He kept her so off balance. "For what?"
"For you to trust me." He caught her hands, kissed her fingertips. "I'm not going anywhere." "
pg 234

Michael- a kid who's desperately trying to be an adult for the greater good. He's troubled, confused, and lonely. He dresses like he doesn't care and has long hair. Perhaps you like that.

Nick- gorgeous and smart, he pushes girls away from him. (trust me, they throw themselves at him) He's really sweet and does well with fiery Gabriel.

Gabriel- I cannot wait for Spark to come out! UGH. That one is in Gabriel's POV (instead of Chris's and Becca's) and dear me I want to figure this tough cookie out! He's WAY troubled, guilty, brooding in a not-so-obvious way, sassy, pugnacious, and kind of mean. But you know what? That just makes me like him more. And he's SEXAY. He's funny and he is the opposite of his twin Nick- he chases the girls in mass. In fact...
You can chase me Gabriel ;)

The best friend-
Man, Quinn bugged the crap out of me half the time. The other time I was laughing at her rudely funny comments. She's kind of a whore, too. But a story-behind-the-whore whore.
"He had a drink in one hand, and Monica had her entire body up against his. He didn't exactly look like he was fighting her off.
"Is it me, or is she humping his leg?" said Quinn." pg 267

The adventure/world-
Interesting concept of humans having an inclination towards one of five elements. A decent amount of adventure but I couldn't remember what had happened for a good many pages so... it wasn't super memorable.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Reviewed by: Rafia AND Cassie
Rating: five glass slippers!

Summary (from BN.com)

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Cassie here:
Let me start out with this- I really didn't want to keep reading this book. No, not as in "OMG LET ME BURN THIS!!" I mean, "This is too beautiful... I don't want to end the book!" Yes, the story is absolutely beautiful. Stunning. Dreamy. It's about Love as a disease and that one life-altering moment when someone finds love for the first time. Even though I just came back from vacation, I must review Delirium!

The girl-
Lena, which is a nickname for Magdalena, is a very normal girl. She's not this or that; she's in between in everything, she says. She looks forward to the cure because of all the hurt and pain she's seen and experienced from the disease. It's wicked and horrible. She counts down the days. She sticks to the rules and I can totally see her character. Whether or not we readers want to admit it, Lena is a very relate-able character. A lot of us don't want to take chances that could mean death, just for the sake of a scorned, disgusting 'something'. But Lena starts to change when she meets Alex. Beautiful and bright, he is just the thing to make her veer off course. Suddenly, she's questioning all of the rules and 'truths' her well-contained community has told her. She's really afraid yet exhilarated to do the unthinkable; fall in love. Her character really develops as the story goes on- she goes from "uptight, no-spirit girl" to "fighting, living, loving girl." And I must say, it was nice. I haven't seen a good turn-around recently.

The boy-
Alex. Let me just put this out there- if you are real and alive, CASSIE LOVES YOU BABY.

Okay I don't know how to do him justice. He is... the perfect first love. Sweet, compassionate, attractive, cute, thoughtful, wild (ha, if you read it, you'll understand), troubled, and rebellious. He sees Lena as someone really, really special. He just saw her one day and was drawn to her true self. He saw her as a beautiful girl, not just a normal girl. He watched the stars with her. He had picnics with her. He went swimming with her. He snuck out for her. He did a LOT for her. And he was uber cute, too. Like this. (AH ANDREW GARFIELD!!)
So... he's got hair the color of autumn leaves when they're turning. I thought of that as a like... sort of brown. With some nice fire to it. He has bright, intense eyes that are light, molten brown like liquid honey. His skin is tan. Now that is a nice lookin' guy. BUT HE IS SO SWEET YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH HIS PERSONALITY!! Oh... how I love him.

The best friend-
Hana. Tall, blonde, beautiful. Rebellious. She, really, is who began the new Lena. She freaked her out and helped her along. For that, she is awesome. She also helps Lena with issues. For that, she is awesome. She is all talk, no walk. For that, she is not awesome. I don't like people like that, even though I understand why she was like that.

The world-
Pretty cool, kind of very dystopian cliche though. But the Wilds was a very nice touch! The rules and lifestyles were an interesting read. Also, it was really creative to think of a world (scratch that, nation) that scorned Love! To think of it as a disease!

The adventure-
I don't know if you can tell, but this isn't an adventure kind of book. It's about falling in love despite everything being set against it. It's about escape from the life being lived. It's not about rebelling against the government or joining rebel forces. While I did get a Matched series sort of feel, like the matches etc., there was a unique look to this story. And the end adventure is well-written and so, so amazing. Beautiful, sad, and full of hope.

Go read it and love Alex with me. Go.

Rafia here:
Delirium. This book just blew me away! I read it while I was reading Matched (Ally Condie) and Divergent (Veronica Roth), so it had some tough competition. And yet, it still blew me away! Like Cassie put it, it was dreamy and just plain beautiful.

The romance:
I died...no seriously, I died! Now days, it is so hard to find a real romance, not any of that predestined attraction crap, because personally, that just shows how an author is lazy. Lena and Alex...it was just so beautiful! I melted...that is how amazing their romance is! They went on a picnic...read poems...watched stars...and just rivaled The Notebook! Yes I went there...

The characters: 
I didn't like Lena very much in the beginning of the book, but later on, as she kinda changed, she kinda grew on me. I have to tell you though, in the sequel, Pandemonium, Lena is definitely a better character. It was nice to see her develop as a character through both books. And now we shall come to Alex.

“Everyone is asleep. They've all been asleep for years. You seemed ... awake.' Alex is whispering now. He closes his eyes, opens them again.'I'm tired of sleeping.”

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you permission to fall in love with Alex. He's so sweet and gorgeously hot (!!), I love him! His hair is always described as a crown of autumn leaves, burning brightly. But really, its how he acts towards Lena that makes you love him. Just go back up and read the romance part. Ohmysweetgoodness, does it get better than that?? Yes, Alex is rivaling Ryan Gosling ;). 

The world:
Yes, as Cassie said, the dystopian worlds are kinda getting old, but it was really the concept of love being a disease that blew me away. They have a book dedicated to why love is bad! And a medicine to stop you from falling in love! Really interesting stuff. 

So there you go...enough reasons to read Delirium.And, the sequel Pandemonium is out! So go read it!! And comment and tell us what you think. Me and Cassie have a little treat for you in a bit, but until then, here is a picture of Andrew Garfield. ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Title: Gilt
Author: Katherine Longshore
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 1.5 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--
and love comes at the highest price of all.
When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Usually, I really enjoy historical YA fiction. I like the mystery, the gowns, and parties thrown. Somehow, Gilt has incorporated all of these things and made me want to throw it in the fire and laugh. I don't know if that's skill or pure stubbornness but I have to say, that's something.

Oh another Will! He's got sandy brown hair, freckles all over his face and arms, and gray-blue eyes. He finds Kitty beautiful. He really cares for her. Even though she uses another man to make him jealous, he still has thoughts for only her. HOW SWEET IS THAT? He also basically says he wants to marry her but she doesn't pick up and she doesn't... she doesn't deserve him!

Shallow stuff-
I must admit I still enjoyed the gowns and parties. They were all very nice.

Little nature scenes-
Those were nice.

Kitty (the main character)-
SHE HAS NO BACKBONE! NONE!!!! I HATE THAT. Why can't you be like this hippo?

And I'm not just talking about men. I'm talking about standing up for herself! Even though Cat was a cold bitch to her, she took it and curtsied and basically I wanted to stab her.
Men with Kitty- I don't know if she's actually not beautiful, but no man would look at her twice except for William and Edmund. William because he actually cared about her. Edmund because he wanted to get in her pants. She didn't believe in herself and thus I think slouched and looked dismal and sad. She's extremely tall, got great green eyes, and is very willowy. She could have held herself and been very elegant but NOOOO she's got to be Cat's shadow. That's how she likes it. AND she can't see true affection for what it really is! She's so drawn into her own life and Cat's life she can't see that William wanted to love her.
She infuriated me. She was weak, stupidly loyal, and boring. BORING. Maybe you find women who have no voice or backbone or spark interesting and maybe you think, oh pshhhh women were supposed to be like that. Well I'm telling you right now, I DON'T CARE. Seriously.

Cat- (the "BFF")
Cat was so annoying. She was controlling, spoiled, bitchy, crazy, and manipulative. She made all the attention go to her, even if she didn't earn it. She planned and plotted so much that I wanted to do something very violent to her. She weasled her way into getting boys into the maidens' room. She weasled her way into Henry VIII's court. She weasled her way into his heart. And then she weasled her way into a shit-will-go-down situation that would affect all of her "BFF"s and lovers and accomplices. Words cannot describe how much I would have hated a girl like her. Shallow, vain, and very self-absorbed. She was crazy! Seriously. Once she got something and it turned out to not benefit her or turned out the way she wanted, she goes "Oh I never wanted it! Why must it be me!"

I didn't like him. Oh, so he had a flowing mane of golden hair "to die-for"? Hmm... I care. Actually, no I don't. I don't like guys with blonde hair, unless the author makes him especially yummy. And Edmund was anything but yummy. He was lustful, annoying, controlling, and everything else not-nice. Okay, so he made Kitty feel wanted. Ever think it wasn't because he actually liked her? Oh, wait, I forgot! Silly me, Kitty doesn't think. At least not like that. Needless to say, I wouldn't mind stabbing him. A lot.

The plot-
I'm sorry, but I found court life extremely sloooooooooooow. Boring. Nothing big happening until the end. Maybe you like scandal and gossipy crap but honestly? I was forcing myself to not throw down the book and stomp away. I know life was like this, and it was a very accurate portrayal, but I didn't sign up for basically all history. I expected the parties (there's only one Kitty gets to go to) to be extravagant and fun and flirty. I expected flirtatious men coming up to Kitty and all that stuff! NOPE! Nuh-uh. Cat gets all the limelight and everybody just loves her. No one except Edmund actually pays attention to Kitty. And all he wants to do is distract her and get in her pants. Big letdown.

The ending-
I hated it. No special appearance of the true lover and no... nothing. Kitty is just there. No, "Oh let's do this!" or "Let's kill some people... teehee" No, just "Oh. Life. Wonderful."

I didn't get mindblown. I didn't really like this book. I didn't even like it. I didn't like it. No, I almost really didn't like this. It was a waste of my time and I really wish I had never read it.

Side note? If Kitty had had a cat, (no seriously, I have a thing for cats) I think it would have been wayyyyy cooler. I mean, at least at the end she could have been like "Oh, the world... and my cat!"

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers

Summary (from BN.com)

Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

First off, the cover is a stunner. Really, it is. Second, the concept of it is AMAZING- what YA book have you read recently- no, ever- that has been a spin-off of the much-esteemed Edgar Allan Poe? It is very, very unique. Lastly, the summary had me at "club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup, and tantalizing ways to forget it all." I thought that meant some nice interaction (wink, wink) between some nice lads. I was very interestingly proved wrong.

The girl-
Araby Worth, daughter of the scientist. The one who saved humanity. She's lives a rich life but deep down is very seriously troubled. And when I say troubled, I mean troubled. She is a deep character. She is really interesting to read about. But I don't agree with her beliefs. She went for years blaming herself, thinking guilty thoughts. She made a vow never to be happy or do things her twin brother wouldn't be able to experience. She's sleeping through life, with little sparks of light here and there. Honestly, I was sort of sick with her attitude. She was all like, Oh poor Finn, he'll never be able to do this... I really mus'nt. At first I was like, WOO! Chastitified girl in an awesome dress kicking bad-guy-butt here we come! And then I petted my cat and was let down. She did not kick bad-guy-butt. No. She injected herself with unidentified drugs for sweet oblivion. I just wanted to be like...

Ah, but that's at first. Then she goes on and tries to help humanity. Spoiler alert? She gets trapped in a lurrrrrve triangle while at it. She has a generous heart and is pretty brave. She just doesn't have the spark I like. BUT- she is interesting. Just not in the regular heroine way. She's a troubled, fake-smiles kind of girl who has to take a drug to stop herself from screaming her throat raw from nightmares. 
Nice little teaser?
He shuts the door behind us. Doors in this club are well oiled and make no sound when they close. So thick that you can't hear what happens behind them.
"What do you want?" he asks in an amused voice. [...]
"Oblivion." It is what I am always looking for.
"What's a pretty girl like you trying to forget?"
A pretty girl like me, with my clean fingernails and my unblemished bill of health.
He doesn't know anything about me.

The guys-
When I was originally sucked into the story, I thought I was getting just two guys. But no, I am technically getting 3. Maybe 3.5. I don't know. I say this because these two guys are extremely complicated. Elliott, April's brother, more so.
He has blonde hair that falls just past the top of his forehead and blue eyes. He looks noble and he is shorter than Will. He has scars on his back from whippings and he has seen a lot more than a regular rich boy should. A lot more. He has a dark past, and because of that, I had myself wondering if he was crazy. Legitimately crazy. He has carelessly romanced countless girls, and he was good at it. He plans with Araby under the guise that he is in love with her (for her the sake of onlookers), but somewhere along the way he might just be falling for her. He's exciting, naughty, smart, good, and slightly scary.

" "And I'm falling in love with you," he whispers. "But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me." "
That scene there is an intense, edge-of-your-seat part. I was equally "wow that's kind of hot.." and "Elliott you are a psychopath." He is intriguing in every which way possible.

I have a thing for Wills. I am just putting that out there. So, when I read that this Will was mysterious and attractive and had a secret side to him none of the other girls saw (see, this is where the .5 is added to the number of guys) I had a crazy moment. Sort of like... this.

He has dark, tousled (TOUSLED! <3) hair that is almost shaggy in its length. He has dark eyes, probably dark blue *fans self* and he's pretty tall. And he has tattoos. I don't want to give up too much about him, though, so I will just say he made me sigh in a good way.
I love him! What he does in the end is inexcusable in Araby's POV. In mine, I think it was totally aww worthy and awesome. It shows he really cares about what's top priority to him.

Random teaser times! There were some great scenes I just have to share with you! You won't know who's who ;)

"His voice is soft. "Make yourself beautiful." He stops in the doorway. "More beautiful," he amends, and then he's gone." pg 255

"He presses up against me, hard, with his hands gripping tight to the basket on either side. It should be difficult for me to turn, but I do it effortlessly. He wraps his arms around me and somehow my hands are twined into his hair, and his lips are against mine. We're kissing like it's the only thing keeping us alive."  pg 268

The best friend-
April. I didn't really like her. She's reckless and rich and spoiled. She cares for Araby but... eh. No wittiness or sweetness. Just money and shallow things. She has some great planning skills, I guess?

The world-
Well, I have to say it is hauntingly beautiful. Was it during old times, like the 19th century? Or was it in a dystopian world? Or perhaps a mix of present and past.
The sky is usually gray and it rains a lot, it seemed like to me. The world is a shell of what it used to be and there are vandalisms every day. There are bombings and a lot of buildings are lit on fire. People who can afford it wear masks that protect them from the plague. That was interesting.
However - it was not easy to pick up on. After I finished this book (in one sitting) I sat there thinking about it... and came up really confused. While it is easy to read, once you try to focus on the details and plot, it all sort of... blurs. And you don't know what the heck just happened to your thoughts.
But this world is mind-blowing.

The adventure-
I dunno... I think too much happened in too little time. I mean... wow? There was a lot. BAM it just hits you! Lots of death, lots of secrecy, and lots of... stuff. Whew, left my mind whirling! But perhaps you have a sharper mind than I do, and you will be mind-blown by the adventure.

So I liked it, but I couldn't really like it. The two reasons it got less glass slippers?
 1. Araby's 'tude. She was far too glum and suicidal for my taste. 
  2. As I said before, the action was pretty confusing and hard to pick up on.
  3. ACTUALLY, there's three! The cliffhanger was a joke. I wanted to just stab someone. I seriously said out-loud, "THIS IS NOT AN ENDING! WHAT THE HELL" 
It just leaves you staring at the page blankly, wondering where the last 50 pages are supposed to be. It just ends when the action is getting reeeeal good. Don't you just hate that?

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