Monday, December 31, 2012

The Power of Six

The first day of my winter break I read I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. Well, I just polished off the sequel The Power of Six. I think the length of time between this and my last post should speak for my opinion of it. But more on that soon.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Number Four, going by John Smith has now teamed up with Number Six and his best friend, a human named Sam. Together they evade the evil Mogadorians and...well yeah. There's some tension between the three because both guys like Six. Meanwhile Number Seven aka Marina is trapped in a convent in Santa Teresa with her depressed guardian Adelina who's converted to Christianity and doesn't believe in the path of Lorien anymore. Marina is trying to survive and train herself while being incredibly bored.

While still an awesome premise, I was disappointed with the lack of character development. None of the characters changed. And to be honest, for all the action scenes and fighting and hundreds of Mogs being killed, I didn't feel like a lot happened. I was seriously intrigued by the idea of Adelina's conversion but it was never evolved past the first two chapters. Because I like the premise I'll read the next one but I'm sad it took me five days to read this book when I normally breeze through them.

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever

Happy holidays to the blogosphere! I have spent this Christmas Day like many before it - reading. My family has a tradition of giving each other books since we're all addicted to reading, and we each finish a book in a day. This used to leave me exhausted, but now it's become common place.
Retrieved from Goodreads

Today's pick was The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams. Seraphina Ames has been alive for over six hundred years, ever since her boyfriend Cyrus unraveled the secrets of alchemy that allow her to body hop with her soul. But she's finally come to terms with death, and refuses to take another body, because for her soul to occupy a body, the original soul must die. So she runs away from Cyrus. But while trying to save the victim of a car accident Sera accidentally takes over the girl's body. Then something happens that she hadn't counted on - falling in love with Kailey Morgan's life, and the boy next door.

It was the concept of this book I loved. It reminded me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I absolutely loved that book. So I had high hopes for The Alchemy of Forever. It fell kinda short. I never felt like the concept was delved into quite enough. I looked at some reviews on goodreads and the word that kept coming up was "brief." And I totally agree. While many of my reviews lately have said the books could have been shortened, I wish this one had been longer. Longer to develop Sera before she has to be Kailey. Longer to understand what it's like to live 600 years. Longer. I will be reading the sequel but I was sorta sad at the potential this book had.

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Sunday, December 23, 2012

City of Fallen Angels

Sorry for the radio silence, guys. I was on vacation out of state and only had access to a computer when I was so tired I only had the energy to watch some Frasier before falling asleep to the sound of a faulty hotel fan. But I'm back with a review of the fourth book in Casandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, which has been described as a second trilogy.
Retrieved from Goodreads

The Mortal War is over. Simon is a Daylighter vampire with the Mark of Cain which makes it impossible for him to be attacked without the attacker turning to salt. Alec is abroad with Magnus (he wears lederhosen, it's pretty funny), and Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend (you know, since they discovered they weren't related after all). But things have hardly died down. Someone is trying to create more demon children, and people keep trying to attack and recruit Simon. And Jace is having dreams of hurting Clary which are slowly driving him crazy.

This book was light reading and definitely could have been shortened. I shouldn't have been able to put it down during the big climactic scene but I did several times. The ending, of course, was great and I'll be picking up City of Lost Souls as soon as it comes out in paperback. There were the witty one-liners you expect and enjoy in Clare's work, and some steamy stuff between Clary and Jace. Overall though I just felt things moved really slowly, even considering the book takes place over a couple weeks. Not my favorite of Clare's books, but still filling.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shatter Me

Silly me, I thought I would last till Christmas with only three books. Those three books are now read cover to cover, and I had to go back to my dorm and pick up other ones. Today's candidate - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Retrieved from Goodreads
It has been 264 days since Juliette was locked in an asylum for having a lethal touch. Then she gets removed from the asylum by the Reestablishment so they can use her as a torture device. Her only friend is Adam, who she knew as a child and is now a solider for the Reestablishment. Juliette must try to resist being used so she can keep her sanity, and at the same time is getting closer and closer to Adam, who for some reason is the only person she can touch without killing.

Things I loved about this book: The psychological opening. The terror Juliette feels about this power she can't control and the ramifications of being hated for her power and also being incapable of being touched. Ever. Scary thought, right? Also, Warner, the head of a sector of the Reestablishment. He was soooo twisted, I wanted to see more of him. And the last half of the book. Loved it.

Things that I didn't really love: Parts of the writing style. While I have grown to have an appreciation for poetry, I think this book relied very heavily on metaphor and it clogged up the story line. And some of them didn't even make sense to me. That was a biggy with me. Also, lack of explanations. While the last half of the book totally redeemed itself in my eyes, I was a little angry that there was no speculation about HOW Juliette had a lethal touch. There was tons of "Why" but no "How."

Would sorta recommend, because of the premise and the last half. And the steamy romance. Adam is fiiiine.

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


School breaks are exhausting, simply because I don't know what to do with myself. During the summers I work. During short breaks I generally travel. During long medium breaks? No idea what to do. So today I laid around, watched movies, and read Firelight by Sophie Jordan.

Retrieved from Goodreads
At first I wasn't sure I'd like this book. The first few pages started out sort of immaturely. I can't think of another way of putting it. Something that would be cool in a movie but just didn't fly well with me. But as the book went on I came to like it.

Jacinda is a fire-breathing Draki, a human who can change into a type of dragon when stressed or threatened. And she's the first fire-breather in her pride in several generations. When her recklessness sends her and her family fleeing from the pride, she fears she'll be doomed to stop manifesting and become a human permanently. It's certainly what her mother and sister hope for. They enroll in high school and try to be normal. But Jacinda doesn't want to be normal. And the Draki inside her stirs when she's around Will, a hunter of her kind who doesn't realize what she is.

The idea of Draki is awesome, and I loved how many threads there were in this relatively short book. Jacinda clearly loves her family and is always struggling between wanting to be a Draki and letting her family be normal. I wasn't a fan of how often Jacinda changed her mind. Every other page, it seemed like. I felt like it stalled the conclusion. But I will definitely be picking up the sequel, Vanish.

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Am Number Four

So this summer I picked up what I thought was a copy of I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. What it actually was, was The Lost Files, a companion book. Woops. Well I finally bought a copy of the real I Am Number Four, and I finished it off today.

It was really good.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Four is from Lorien, planet much like earth, except the people are like the ones humans idolize in superhero films. And their planet is dead now, destroyed by the Mogadorians. Now 9 Loriens are on Earth, each with a protector, a Cepan, hiding from the Mogadorians. Three have been killed, and Four is next. He and his Cepan Henri hide out in Paradise, Ohio, waiting for Four (aka John) to develop his powers. In the meantime he hides his identity from his friends, the first friends he's ever had. Sam Goode, who's obsessed with conspiracy theories, and Sarah Hart, the most beautiful, kind girl in school and ex-girlfriend of Mark, who hates John. All of them are about to be swept into an extraterrestrial war, and most of them don't even know it.

I started this book yesterday. My classes are over and already I was finding myself at loose ends. So I read, and greatly enjoyed, I Am Number Four. It has some pretty cool powers and a good pace. A few things were less of a shock since I'd accidentally read The Lost Files. But I would definitely recommend this book.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Eyre Affair

Okay, so I know I said I was taking a break from blogging because I've been so busy, but I just finished a great book and wanted to tell you all about it! The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is amazing. But we'll get to that.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Thursday Next lives in a time where the line between fiction and reality is warped. Literature is of the greatest importance, with riots over too modern interpretations of Shakespeare and the like. Thursday is in her thirties with a rather stodgy career as a LiteraTec in the Special-Operations 27th department. She finds criminals trying to pass off fakes of important manuscripts. Until she is pulled into the theft of the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit by the third most evil man in the world: Acheron Hades. Soon Thursday is running through time trying to capture and kill Hades before he ruins great works of literature. Because, you see, if you make a change in an original manuscript, it changes them all, and Hades isn't afraid to kill fictional characters.

It took me several weeks to work through this book. It was recommended by a friend, and he lent me his signed copy. Well I was so tired of working that I sat down and polished off the last 150 pages today. The writing in this book is quirky. It jokes with itself. A character whose identity is constantly being changed is named Felix Tabularasa. There is a constant debate about who actually wrote Shakespeare's plays. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes classic literature and alternate history with sci-fi slants. I'll be picking up the next in the series after finals.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Friday, December 7, 2012

Taking it Slow

Sorry about the radio silence, guys. This quarter is slowly grinding to a close, and I think it's running me over in the process. Not only have I been writing and rewriting papers, I've also been studying for finals because, surprise surprise, they are all on the first day of Finals Week. Which is, to put it mildly, terrifying.

I've said goodbye to some amazing professors this week. In one lecture we even applauded as he said farewell. If I hadn't been exhausted out of my skull I might have cried.

In light of the fact that I've been so busy, I haven't had any time to write. At all. Or edit.

So I'm taking a break for now. I will return, but I don't know how often I'll be blogging this month. I'm so tired, I need some time to sleep and recharge after a very tiring quarter.

See you later!