Monday, October 20, 2014

City of Bones--Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry, 2007
Pages: 485 p.
Source: Library
Compensation: None



A couple of months ago I was sent The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare to review. The Bane Chronicles is a companion to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series and I had not read ANY of them. In order to do a proper review I felt like I had to go and read at least one if not both of the series, so I started with the first book in The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones.

Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray goes to a nightclub with her best guy friend Simon expecting a night of dancing, but stumbles on a murder in progress. Three strange teenagers covered in tattoos have taken a boy into a back room of the club and are torturing him with the intent to kill. Clary is shocked but even more so when the boy's dead body vanishes into thin air. Thus is her introduction to the world of Shadowhunters, Demons, and Downworlders. Demons exist to plague mankind and take over our world and Shadowhunters (part Angel) live to defeat them. Downworlders are half-demon but they've come to a tenuous truce with the Shadowhunters. As a mundane (normal human) Clary shouldn't be able to see any of them, but she soon learns no one is what they seem.

When Clary's mom is kidnapped and Clary has to fight a demon, she seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters from the nightclub, including gorgeous, sarcastic, but brooding Jace Wayland. Clary learns about this weird world of demons and angels from Jace and his foster siblings Alec and Isabelle. They all must work together to try to save Clary's mom and battle the Big Bad--rogue Shadowhunter Valentine who led a failed revolt years ago in an attempt to destroy all Downworlders.

I've seen the negative reviews of this series and it seems like people fall into two camps--those that love the books and those that hate them. Although I fully recognize the problems with the series, I did love this book. Clare knows her audience. "Ordinary" girl who turns out to be super-special, demons, slayers, hot tortured boys, forbidden love, this book/series has everything teenagers (and those who have yet to accept they are not teenagers) want. I gobbled this book up and read the entire series in just one month (which is super duper awesome when you consider I have 4 kids and also trained for a half marathon in the same month!)

Fans of Buffy (as I am) will love this series. This first book was also made into a movie which should appeal to teens as well.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares--Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf, 2010.
Pages: 272 p.
Source: Library eBook
Compensation: none


I'm a fan of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's collaborations (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List) so when this book was available as an eBook though my library I scooped it up. 

It's Christmas time in New York City and Lily and Dash find themselves alone. Lily is supposed to be watched by her older brother home from college, but he's a bit too absorbed with his boyfriend and not very interested in entertaining his kid sister. Dash has manipulated his divorced parents into thinking he is staying with one of them when he is actually not spending the holiday with either of them. Lily's older brother decides to help her find a boyfriend by encouraging her to leave a moleskin notebook with bizarre clues in their favorite bookstore. Dash finds the notebook, responds to the clues and leaves his own. They embark on a scavenger hunt courtship taking them all over NYC. 

I enjoyed this book just as much as the authors' other two books. Written together like the other books, Cohn and Levithan have worked hard to make a unified writing style. It should be credited to Cohn-Levithan as a single author, rather than two separate people. The story is interesting and the characters are fun (they do suffer a bit from Dawson's Creek syndrome, but who's to say there aren't really well read teens out there who wouldn't be so intellectual. To say that it's not realistic is somewhat insulting to teenagers.). Fans of their other two books will not be disappointed. 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shades of Earth--Beth Revis

Title: Shades of Earth
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill, 2013
Pages: 384 p.
Source: Library ebook
Compensation: None


Amy and Elder have discovered all of the ship's secrets and decided to take the risks and land on Centauri-Earth. Finally able to feel earth under her feet and wake up her frozen parents, Amy should be happy and satisfied. But she and Elder soon learn that there are more secrets and nothing is as it truly seems. Amy loses nearly everything trying to make this new Earth into a home.

This was a great ending to the trilogy and just as good as the first two books, Across the Universe and A Million Suns. Revis has created an exciting world that will appeal to fans of both science fiction and dystopian literature. I was completely satisfied with the ending.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

A Million Suns--Beth Revis

Title: A Million Suns
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill, 2012
Pages: 400 p
Source: Library Ebook
Compensation: None


I read Across the Universe over a year ago and was satisfied with the ending, but when the sequel was available as an ebook through my library I decided to read it. I am so glad I did. If you haven't read the first book, you'll want to do that before you read this.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged and "accidentally" woken up from cryostasis. She's trying to adjust to life on Godspeed without her parents but it's difficult with Elder being so busy running the ship. The people have been taken off phydus which gives them more freedom but makes them harder to control. Elder has his hands full just trying to keep everybody alive and fed when he and Amy discover there are even more secrets aboard the ship.

A Million Suns is just as exciting as Across the Universe. A good blend of science fiction and mystery, A Million Suns is a must read for fans of dystopian literature.

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