Friday, November 1, 2013

Quick Review: The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison

  The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison (September 2013)

Gadzooks! It's another term at Dother Hall for Tallulah and her mates. But can they keep their minds on the arts with all those boys about...After the thing-that-will-never-be-mentioned last term, Tallulah is keen to put all thoughts of Cain behind her. But that seems like that the last thing he wants. Their performing arts college may have been saved by Honey's mystery benefactor, but for how long is anyone's guess. So will Tallulah finally get to wear those golden slippers of applause or will Dr Lightowler swoop down on her glory days? And with Seth and Flossie forever snogging, Vaisey and Jack loved-up and Phil and Jo fondly biffing each other can Tallulah resist the call of her wild boy? Don your craziest tights and Irish dance your way to some surprising and hilariously unexpected answers...

 I love this series. It's always good for a quick read and lots of laughs. I've got to say that I enjoyed the second one the most, but the third and final book in this series wasn't a disappointment!

Right from the start Tallulah is up to her usual craziness. I think the best thing about these books is that our heroine doesn't seem able to help herself from being crazy. No matter where she goes or what she does, something hilarious and embarrassing has to happen. It's what makes this series so great and unique.

In this final installment, Lullah gets her first proper boyfriend, picked from her pool of three: Alex the Good, the Dark Black Crow of Heckmondwhite (Cain), and Charlie. No spoilers here, though! Though if you've read the books, it probably won't be too big of a surprise. Dother Hall continues to break down, the Tree Sisters continue to be violent and boy-crazy, and the Dobbinson's take foraging to beyond-extreme. The owlets aren't as big of a feature in this one as they've "flown the nest".

I loved this book. It's light and funny and filled with amusing Irish words that I have to look up in the back of the book. If you haven't read the first book, I recommend you do so right away! You can't be disappointed with such genuine and strange characters.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Books To Watch For

I was just cruising around Goodreads the other day and realized that there are quite a few amazing sounding books coming out soon! Soon as in 2014 D: Yes, it is pretty far away, but I'll wait for a long time for these books. Hopefully they live up to their summaries! And covers :D

Defy by Sara Larson (January 7, 2014)
Goodreads Summary:
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

 jonah hill excited

 How awesome does this sound?! Is it just me, or should we all just buy this the day it comes out?! Usually I don't buy books from debut authors straight up unless I have lots of faith them, and how can you not with that blurb!

A Mad,Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller (January 23, 2014)
Goodreads Summary:
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

This sounds like an absolutely amazing historical fiction novel! A girl trying to prove that women are more than homemakers in the 1900's who is also into someone out of her class? Sign me up!

After the End by Amy Plum (May 6, 2014)
Goodreads Summary:
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

I've kind of fallen off my dystopia-crazed, post-Hunger-Games, apocalyptic fiction obsession. But now and again there comes a book that sounds like it has potential to break through the dystopia genre and be completely original and unique. This one sounds like it could do that, and I'm very excited to give it a try!

Those are my top 3, but here are others to know about!
180617911618163015835877Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quick Review: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

(clicking on the cover takes you to its Goodreads page :)

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
 (June 2012)

Goodreads Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors--or suitors of any kind--in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There's only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . . This witty take on the classic Regency--Patrice Kindl's first novel in a decade--is like literary champagne!

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would call it "adorable."It was just the light-hearted, humorous book I was looking for. It was very Jane Austen-esqe, in the vein of Pride and Prejudice. The characters, the setting, and the events were all very unique and wholly entertaining.

I loved Althea's character! She spoke out of turn and very bluntly as often as possible. Mr. Fredericks was also an enjoyable character. Their banter was hilarious to read! I would adore a sequel to this book, it would be awesome to see how things work out for them!

As for Crawley Castle... I found it so funny how the house was constantly falling apart and Althea, our narrator, is all, "Oh, there goes that chair!" and just her casual comments on the state of the place in general. However, the castle itself doesn't get a very happy ending. :(

This is a short read that most could probably read in just a sitting or two, and definitely worth the time! I'll be keeping a lookout for more from this author also, this book was a treat to read!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

(clicking on the cover takes you to its Goodreads page :)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
(September 2011)

Goodreads Summary:
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

My Thoughts:
I know! I am way behind on reading this series. Sometimes--not often-- but every once in a while I like to wait a couple years to read a series. This way, when I finish the first book, I am not in agony waiting for the next one. However... I wouldn't be in agony waiting for the second one in this series either way. It wasn't horrible or anything like that. It just wasn't what I was looking for.

The Characters:
Elisa was a pretty likable character! She grew a lot over the course of the story into an excellent heroine. One of the things I especially liked is that she wasn't super thin. In fact, she was the opposite. It was a point of the book that she was larger in size and that it was sometimes a struggle and an inconvenience. I also think it sends a message to girls out there that you don't have to be a size 0 for guys to like you!
As for the love interests (the most important part of any story :D), I found Alejandro lacking in pretty much every aspect. I didn't care for him at all. He was distant and removed from things, and as was noted a few times in the book, a rather weak king. I guess he didn't have too much page time to really get to know his character. And then there's Humberto. He was kinda awesome at times, but... I don't know. He seemed kinda boring. 
However... Lord Hector was the best person in this book. Come on, who isn't rooting for him?! (Alright, SPOILER here!, so we don't really have a choice anymore since this book got all realistic and killed off the aforementioned flames... but who cares?! I was Team Hector before all that stuff went down haha!) I think he does come more front and center in future books-- or at least I hope so.

The Plot/Setting:
 This book could be slow at times, but when the action was there, it was there! I enjoyed reading about Elisa's adventures in the desert, her experiences in the castle, battle strategies... that's the stuff that's entertaining. The plot did drag on sometimes, but the action that is there makes it worth a read.

Though this book is set in a fictional world, all the names and titles of things were either French or Spanish sounding. I have nothing against either, it's just that I like fantasy worlds to not reflect the real world too closely. It seems as if this entire book could have taken place in Spain or somewhere and all you gotta do is slap some French names on stuff, and bam! Fictional world! I would also have appreciated more explanation into what the animagus are, but maybe that appears in the next book...? 

If you have problems with religion in your escapes, be warned! This book is loaded. I mean, she got the stone that's in her belly directly from God, so... you know. A lot of religion!

I was looking for a great fantasy, with some fictional creatures peppered throughout, and I got this. It could have been about a princess in the fourteenth century. I guess what categorizes this book as fantasy is the light use of magic; I was just expecting more. But, since it kept my attention enough to read it all in just a few days, I'm granting it 3/5 and thinking I'll give Elisa another chance in the next book, The Crown of Embers.