Sneak Peek: Crimson Crown (7 Realms Series) by Cinda Chima

OMG.  I cannot wait for this book!  <3 Han!

The chapter 1 sneak peek went up yesterday.  Click here to read.

Eeep!  Can’t wait!!!!

 

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).

Grab Anna Dressed in Blood on Amazon now. It was only $2.99 when I grabbed it!

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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: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (September 20, 2011)

RATING – 3 STARS – I ENJOYED THIS BOOK

This book was a good one. It’s dystopian and I still liked it. I don’t usually like dystopian books….at all.  (If you are looking for dystopian reads, check out Marie’s reviews.  She <3s that kinda thing).

Matched takes place in a province that part of something bigger. The Society. Cassia, Ky, and Xander are all main characters in this book, but the main main one is Cassia, a 16-year-old girl.

The main conflict in this book is something like this: Should Cassia trust the Society? Was it really a glitch was happened when she saw Ky’s face flash across the screen for a moment?(Yes, I know that’s two questions, but they’re to give you an idea of what the book is driven by.)

This book is relationship driven and it’s not fully dystopian. It’s like a dystopian/romance. Never read one of those before. The book was good enough for me to keep reading it. The ending was something of a cliffhanger. Not a real one, but it made you want more.

The book itself was good. Good job Ally! I liked Ky, I think he’s my favorite character in this book. I thought that at some parts is slow, but Ally made up for that. At the end there was some action brewing and I love action (I mostly read plot/action driven books.). However, I’m not sure it’s good enough for me to buy the next book. I bought this book because of the cover, which is AMAZING btw, but it’s still not exactly my type of book.

The last book I read was also a romance, but not fully dystopian. It’s called The Selection. I think the two books are very similar, but The Selection is more exciting and fun because of it’s main character, America (Not the country. The main character is actually called America.). In Matched there wasn’t a lot of laughs….Barely any. That made me sad. 🙁 It had some action, which was okay with me! The Selection had similar action-not exactly the same, but similar-but more of it.

pirate princess book reviews 3 stars

Recommended for dystopian fans of books like HUNGER GAMES, MAZE RUNNER, and DIVERGENT.  MATCHED is the first book in the trilogy, followed by CROSSED, and then REACHED.

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Related posts: DIVERGENT & THE SELECTION Reviews

Book Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jessica #2, middle grade vampire storiesJessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica #2) by Beth Fantaskey

A Pirate Princess Review

DESCRIPTION:

“The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?”

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books; 1 edition (January 10, 2012)

REVIEW: 5 STARS–NOT TO BE MISSED!

In this book Jessica and Lucius are married and living in his family’s castle.  Then stuff goes wrong.  Lucius is accused of murdering one of his uncles, and is put on trial for his life.  Jessica has to figure out things fast, including who to trust, so she can save him.

In Jessica Rules the Dark Side, I liked that she became more powerful and took her place as princess.  When the crisis had arisen, Jessica took charge. I loved the conflict with her and her family.

Go Antanasia!! Or Jessica!! Whatever her name is, go her!!!

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

This book is proceeded by Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side.  You can read my review of that book over here.

I recommend this book to middle school readers, to people who like vampire stories, love stories, and fans of the first book!

Grab Jessica Rules the Dark Side now!  The hardcover is half price, too!  Bonus!

Book Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating the Dark Side By Beth Fantaskey

jessica's guide to dating on the dark side book review, vampire book reviewJESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey

A Pirate Princess Review

Description: “The undead can really screw up your senior year…

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.”

Reading level: Ages 14 & up
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2009)

REVIEW: 5 STARS NOT TO BE MISSED!

Omg, three words. Crazy. Vampire. Love.  You can tell this will be a good review if it starts off like this, LoL!

This book this about a girl named Jessica who’s world was changed completely when a vampire named Lucius shows up on her doorstep claiming she’s a vampire princess, and his bride.

I liked the character’s personalities and how they acted. It was like I was watching. Like I could walk up and slap them and they’d reply.  At one point Jessica slapped Lucius across the face when he pissed her off. I loved that! LoL! Jessica got pissed and instead of storming off, she slapped a vampire prince across the face, go Jess!  Honestly, at the beginning, I thought that it was slow and I wouldn’t like it, but it sped up and I started LOVING it.  Give it time to get going if you like fast pace books.

If you like the VAMPIRE DIARIES, you’ll like this series. It has similar components, like the love triangle, but forms a different story.   Jake loves Jessica, Lucius loves Jessica, and Jessica is torn.  It adds an interesting romance to the story…..and some comedy.

This book is the first in a series that I have now finished ((*bows to the crowd*)) and I honestly can’t decide which was better. First or second? How to choose? Flip a coin? Nah, I’ll just say why they tied. JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE was fun and it tied because of the comedy and that I couldn’t put it down((Seriously, I only put it down when I REALLY had too)). The second book, JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE (review to appear shortly), tied with the first because it was awesome and had good plot like the first one. The first book takes place in a small town in Pennsylvania.  Jess is a bit of a farm girl, which makes the scenes with her and Lucius funny. Farm tools are good weapons, btw. 😉

I would and will recommend for teen readers and people who like vampires.  Lucius is the showstopper in this book.  Grab it.  Read it.  You’ll like it!

Get JESSICA’S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE on Amazon now!

PS – the Kindle edition is on sale for only $5.39!  Bargain!