03/20/12



Book Review

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Release Date: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Covet
Pages: 400
Format: Galley
Source: Publisher
Interest: Author
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night by a frantic mother and then being thrust into a secret passage in your bedroom wall…. with the instructions to find an address. That’s what happens to Helen.

Not only does she loose her parents and everything she know, she is thrust into this world that she never knew she belonged to. And if you are anything like me, you won’t be able to flip the pages fast enough to discover this world (and the boys in it!) along with her.

Michelle Zink continues to leave me spellbound! A Temptation of Angels the perfect blend of historical fiction & romance with a supernatural twist! I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved it all!

Michelle Zink is such a talented writer. I remember when I started reading A Temptation of Angels and being reminded of that talent! Wondering how I could forget something like that. Michelle is one of those writers that can easily transport you to a different world or a different time. It doesn’t feel forceful as it can in some novels.

I was intrigued by the first chapter. Who is this girl and who is trying to kill her?! I know you will be flipping the pages just as fast as I was.

Helen is a strong female protagonist. She’s stubborn, smart, fearless & fearful at the same time. Everything that I as a reader enjoy in a character and more. It’s not only Helen who makes such a lasting impression. All the characters in A Temptation of Angels are realistically portrayed. No matter if we were only introduced to them for a short time.

There is also a bit of a love triangle, as you know I’m a sucker for those! I am still undecided whom is the better choice for Helen. As I feel most readers will be too!

An absolutely beautiful story! I only hope there is more to come! There is more, right?

 

10/21/11



Book Review

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Acquire
Pages: 240
Format: E-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Interest: Author
Challenge: None

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren–the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn’t seen since childhood–a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

This was such a FUN book to read! When I had to put it down I was so excited to step back into the world and visit with these characters.

I first became of fan of Dolamore in her debut novel Magic Under Glass, and I have to admit that Between the Sea and Sky has moved right past Magic Under Glass and into the number one position.

I’ve always been fascinated with mermaid mythology. I really wanted to be one when I was younger. I blame it most specifically on Splash with Tom Hanks. I am absolutely loving all the mermaid books that seem to be hitting the shelves in the YA section and I even more impressive was how Dolamore interprets and represents the siren myth.

The story had a fairy tale feel to fit, it was very whimsical and had beautifully detailed worlds! I was fascinated not only by the world of the mermaids that Dolamore created but also the world of winged people and how she seamlessly intertwined the two!

The romance was so sweet! I could see it coming, but it was still fun watching these to figure out their feelings for one another

This would be a great novel for younger YA readers too!

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04/29/11



Book Review

Exile by Anne Osterlund

Exile by Anne Osterlund

Release Date: April 28, 2011
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Interest: Series
Other Titles in the Series: Aurelia
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Crown Princess Aurelia stands in the face of exile. Behind her are the sister who tried to kill her and the father who ignored it. In front of her are the entire kingdom and Robert–the friend she can’t help but fall in love with. Aurelia may finally be living her dream . . . but danger is not far behind. When Aurelia and Robert are betrayed by the very guards assigned to protect them, their expedition becomes a fight for survival that carries them from frontier to desert sands. Even with a hunter on their tail, the risks–to their lives, the throne, their hearts–only fuels Aurelia’s determination to see her kingdom. And when their perilous journey is finally complete, she will discover just how much her people need her, and just how much of a risk loving Robert can be.

I thought Aurelia was fantastic….. but I LOVED Exile! I was immediately hooked from the first page! If you thought Aurelia was a whirlwind, just wait until you dive into Exile!

Exile is a companion novel to Aurelia. It could be considered a sequel, but you don’t necessarily need to read Aurelia…. though I’d recommend you do to have a better overall understanding of the characters and the story line. We pick off right where Aurelia left off, but I won’t really mention much more than that as to keep this review un-spoilery.

I loved visiting all the different places in Aurelia’s kingdom and I was glad that her and Robert were my guides! Just when I thought I had these two figured out, just when I thought they might catch a break… the tides change and the waves knock me off my feet! It was so fun to read! I honestly never knew what was going happen next.

Osterlund has done it again! With unforgettable characters and an epic story, Aurelia is sure to win your heart and her stories a place on your shelf!

And how about that ending?! I truly hope that there is more of this story so be told!

04/29/11



Book Review

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Release Date: April 17, 2008
Publisher: Puffin/Speak
Age Group: Young Adult/Middle Grade
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Interest: Story
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her dead.

Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king’s former royal spy and one of Aurelia’s oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line—her life, her kingdom, her heart—Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

What a fantastic book! I can’t believe I waited so long to read this one! I had such a great time reading it and I absolutely adored the character Aurelia! She’s the type of girl I always imagined a Princess would be. Not as stuck up snob, but someone that actually cares about the people around her.

The mystery in this novel was enthralling! I had multiple guesses as to who the killer may be and in the end I was terribly wrong! If you enjoy reading a good mystery, I definitely suggest Aurelia to you! There was mention of romance in the summary as well, and while I could see the hints and slight mentions, I wouldn’t go as far as saying there is a love story present. I was sort of disappointed in that aspect, but I am hoping that perhaps there will be more resolution in that department in the companion novel, Exile.

The story was beautifully written as well. I felt like I was right at court with Aurelia and Robert! Osterlund has such a great talent when it comes to story telling, I loved her novel Academy 7, that came out a year after Aurelia, and I never thought to go back and read her earlier novel…. I’m glad I finally did!

Great characters, an enthralling mystery and a perfect setting, Aurelia is a wonderful read!

03/23/11



Book Review

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Philomel
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: ARC from Publisher
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: YA Historical Fiction Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

I’ll admit it. I was sort of afraid to read this book. Well…. not really afraid, but just watching the video about the book had me bawling, and I was afraid to be in that set of mind again. I don’t know about you, but books can tend to evoke strong emotions with me that will last for days… weeks, months even.

I wish I hadn’t waited for so long. Unfortunately I don’t think my review will do this novel justice.

I don’t want to say that this book wasn’t heartbreaking or that watching the disturbing journey that these people had to endure was not upsetting, I’ll admit it, it was hard to read. Yet I could NOT put it down.

I think the most disturbing thing of all, was that I never knew that this happened. And I know that I’m not alone in that. Read this book, be aware of a untold milestone in history, learn about the strength and compassion humans can possess in the face of extreme adversity. Lina was the perfect narrator for this story. I loved how she captured their journey in her art and despite her situation she always treasured hope, no matter how small it may be.

Sepetys is an absolutely amazing writer. To evoke such emotion not just because of what is happening, but because of how involved you become as a reader to this story and to these characters, it’s not an easy feat. The research and time that Sepetys invested in this novel is apparent in every page.

Between Shades of Gray is a must read.



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