Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

*TOP 10 OF 2012*

Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.”

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)

RATING 4 STARS

I read Legend right after reading The Grey Wolf Throne.  The two books complimented each other.  It was really interesting, because I really like Han in the other series.  Day is a similar character. He’s poor with a tormented past.  He’s on his own and will do anything to survive.  One difference is that Han seems to be a bit of an egoist while Day is still trying to act within his own moral code.  Day hasn’t killed anyone.

And that’s what spurs this book.  Although he’s caused the Republic lots of problems, he hasn’t killed anyone.  Then one night things go horribly wrong and he’s accused of killing June’s brother.  The story unfolds beautifully, not too fast, not too slow.  We learn what happened to June’s family and the clues her brother left for her.  June hunts Day with the intention of killing him.  She’s the Republic’s golden child.  She’s smart, cunning, and merciless.  She’s the youngest solider and the smartest.

I LOVED this book.  It was dark and intense, with reasons that resonated with the reader.  You were routing for June and then hoping she’d fail, because you are routing for Day, too. Their two worlds collide and the story is just awesome!  I can’t say enough about this book.  It wasn’t on my short list of books because I hate the cover.  Yeah, I’m a girl and it’s an ugly cover.  Anyway, Legend is in my top 10 books read in 2012.  So why’d I give it 4 stars?

Lemme explain.  There is only one reason why I didn’t give it 5 fricken fab stars – the formatting.  Printing things in bold, weird colors was a gimmick that this book did NOT need.  Instead of lending to the book, these issues made Legend difficult to read from major headaches and eyestrain.  Publisher of Legend, I have one thing to say to you: I hope you print the next book normal so I can read it.  I completely hated the publisher’s guts while I was reading this book.  Doing anything that makes it more difficult for a reader to read a book is STUPID.  You might as well be shooting Chinese stars out of the pages at my eyeballs.  Majorly annoyed about that.

To the author: Your book was so good, I endured the migraines to finish it.

4 star book review

If you liked DIVERGENT, SHATTER ME, or 7 REALMS SERIES then you’ll like this.  Weird cross over on that last one, but I stand by it.  Han and Day are both awesome.  <3 <3 <3

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Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION: “Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.”

Paperback: 320 pages
Recommended Age: Older Teen
Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)

RATING 4 STARS 

I almost walked away from this one a few times… But, I kept picking it up anyway and, eventually, it was worth it.

Anna Dressed in Blood has a great premise – and that’s what kept me from giving up on it. It’s not vampires, love triangles, and teenage angst (at least not entirely.) It’s a ghost story. A really creepy ghost story at times.

The problem, at least for me, was how slow it was to take full advantage of the premise. I was almost half-way through the book before the plot itself was gripping enough to keep me turning the pages. In and of itself, that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. But, during that down time there wasn’t anything to balance out the lack of excitement. Every time it felt like it was about to kick into gear, it still managed to meander of pretty quickly.

I would really have liked to see more character depth from the beginning. More relationships. More conflict. More to keep me reading, and building the suspense, while waiting for the “ghosty” parts. Heck, I really wouldn’t have been upset to see any of the characters suffer a horrible death for the better part of half the book. That’s a problem.

As the story goes on, I never really fell for the protagonist, Cas, but there was still enough there to keep me hooked. Maybe that was the problem – the bulk of the beginning was supposed to be introducing Cas… and I just never really grew to like him during that time. At times I actually disliked him. If nothing else, how do you have a “ghost hunter” who seems so weak at times.

I normally would have rated this around three stars. But, my rule is that if I’ll pick up the next book in the series it’s worth 4. And, I just may grab the next one. Maybe. This book actually ended on a note that strongly reminded me of Demon Kissed – and that’s a great series.

***Although YA, my twelve year old will have to wait for this one… Otherwise I foresee a lot of nightmares in the near future. Just an FYI – maybe your kid is made of stronger stuff. But, I was creeped out at times, and I’m old enough to know the bogeyman isn’t under the bed.

4 star book review

Recommended for people who read YA Horror, Ghost Stories, and like a good creep-out.  Need a spooky read for Halloween?  This is it.  Anna Dressed in Blood is followed by Girl of Nightmares (release date Aug 7, 2012).

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Book Review: On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

On Silver Wings by Evan C. Currie

Mike’s Review

DESCRIPTION “In the future, mankind has colonized other worlds, mined asteroid belts, and sent ships so far into the blackness of space that light from their drives won’t reach Earth for centuries. Through it all, life has been found in almost every system we visited and yet we’ve never encountered another intelligent species.

Until now. When the Colony on the planet known as Hayden’s World stops transmitting on their CASIMIR FTL system, a Solari Fleet Task Force is sent to investigate. When they arrive there are enough oddities in the situation that they in turn send in a special operations unit to contact the colonists and determine what happened. Only one of those operators survives to make planet fall. Sergeant Sorilla Aida finds herself against an alien force of unknown power and capability. Her only assets?

A depleted suit of power armor, her rifle, basic kit, and a few hundred Hayden born civilians looking to take back their home. Just what she was trained for.”

RATING 4 STARS

I picked this up after reading Currie’s “Into the Black: Odyssey One.” That was a great read, and I was anxious to see what else he’d done. I wasn’t disappointed.

As opposed to a lot of science fiction, here we’re given a great female protagonist. And instead of a utopian future and amazing tech, you’ll find a universe that you can easily relate to. Humanity is still the same. And so, when the protagonist is dropped into truly alien experiences, you’re along for a great ride.

The pace is quick. But character development and relationships aren’t sacrificed for plot. I wish my daughter read more action/adventure and sci-fi, because there are so few great female characters out there. Here’s one where the fact that the story centers on a female marine is simply taken for granted. It’s a non-issue, there’s no pandering, and the story tears along dragging the reader with it.

Since this isn’t a space epic, the scale is much more local – and it works. That alone would be a nice change of pace, but the fullness of the story and the great characters make it a 5-star book.

4 star book review

Recommended for Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes a solid cheap kindle book.

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Book Review: The Selection by Keria Cass

The Selection by Keira Cass

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 24, 2012)

RATING 5 STARS OF AWESOMENESS!

AWE-SOME! It’s not even just some part awesome, it’s all awesome!!! 😀

♥♥♥ed it!!! America Singer is the main character int his book and is-may I say?-AMAZING! The other main character is Prince Maxon, whom America meets when she ends up in the Selected 35 girls that the Prince will meet and converse with to see which one he will marry.

I had covered my mouth to keep from yelling, “I knew it!” when she ended up a Selected. The main conflict in this book is something like this: America thought what she wanted, but now she’s having second thought. I know it’s not a question, but that’s the main conflict, at least how I see it.

The book was a fun mix of competition, questions, and excitement! I love excitement!!! The book is not dystopian, of course, unless you count attacks (I don’t count that.). The book had lots of laughs that I loved and parts that made me go, “Oh no she didn’t!”. The moment I read about Aspen and America together, I loved it. I wanted them together. But then I met Prince Maxon and I knew they would be together a lot. When Aspen did what he did, I called him a jerk.I officially don’t like Aspen. Hmph.

The end of the book was very good (I want mooooore!!!). I. Can’t believe how long I have to wait for the next book!!!

5 stars, books are better, book reviews, best in YA books, best YA novels

Recommended for readers who enjoyed Matched, Shiver, YA, Paranormal, and lighter dystopian books. Related posts: MATCHED SHIVER reviews.

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Book Review: SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

shatter me book review, dystopia book reviewsSHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

Marie’s Review

DESCRIPTION:

“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

Reading level: Ages 14 & up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)

REVIEW: 4 STARS- YOU GOTTA READ THIS!

I absolutely LOVED the beginning.  It was the most crazy-ass awesome thing I’ve seen in a long time in a YA book!  What’d she do that was so cool?  Well, SHATTER ME was written in first person present tense.  The main character Juliette sounds a little crazy, and the sentence structures and the overall writing style lent to the story line beautifully.  Yes, all those cross outs are supposed to be there. I think it made the read feel fast and panicked, like the character. I was totally enthralled with this book until the 70% mark where it changed.  The frantic feeling form early on faded, which is a huge part of what I liked and thought was unique to this book.  The ending of SHATTER ME reminded me of the HUNGER GAMES.  If you liked that trilogy, and want something dystopian and different – try this one.

Overall – awesomeness. Seriously, most of the book had me clicking next on a my kindle like a crazy person to read faster. Can’t wait for the next book in this series!

shatter me book review

Recommended for people looking for something different, teens, and folks who want a bad guy they can love.

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