If you have not read City of Bones, then I suggest that you do not read the following synopsis. It will sort of ruin the biggest surprise in the first book just to let you know.
As readers of series starter City of Bones already know, teenager Clary Fray is a Shadowhunter, a demon slayer who has the gift of spotting Downworlder werewolves, vampires, and faeries. She is also an adolescent in an abnormally dysfunctional family: Her mom is in a magically induced coma and her father is probably insane and undoubtedly evil. All of which places Clary in situations that would challenge even the most talented average American girl.
First Sentence: The formidable glass-and-steel structure rose its position on Front Street like a glittering needle threading the sky.
As you know from my City of Bonesreview, I am a fan of this particular series, and being the procrastinating fan I am, I waiting six months to read the second installment after I read the first one. DON'T. DO. THAT. You forget stuff, and believe me, there was a lot to regret.
This book started off with an, well, interesting prologue. I was sort of off track with the author until the last sentence (if you have read this book, then you know by now what I'm talking about). This book maintains and maybe even goes past the action-packed thrill ride of the first one that I loved so dearly. You still hate Valentine with a passion, yet you want to read the scenes with him. Even though I hate him, I love to read his language. The author took such an effort to make Valentine an intelligent, interesting character, and she succeeded because he is one heck of an interesting character.
My feelings for Clary's love interest has not changed: I'm rooting for Simon. He's such a lovable character that you want to squeeze him. I love the scenes with him, and some of the times I found myself skimming just to get to the parts where he was. Wow. I'm obsessed.
Even though Simon is a favorite of mine, I still love all the of the characters that I loved before: Isabelle, Alec, Luke (LUKE!), Clary, Jace, and, of course, Magnus.
The plot. Yes. The plot. It gets aggravating. You think one thing's going to happen, then all of a sudden Clare makes you take a U-turn and forget everything you thought was going to happen. Well, excuse me! Yes. I love plot twists, but no. I hate it when I'm wrong. The plot thickens from its nurtured first-book conflict into an all-too-serious fact in this one. I loved the first book, but I really, really, REALLY loved this one. Just as awesome as the first one!
All review in three words: READ THIS SERIES.
Yes, I'm biased. I loved the book so therefore, I love the cover, but I love this cover for different reasons. The model for the cover is simply PERFECT as Clary, and she has red hair (just like me!). It's also blue, and when you hold it in the light, it glimmers very softly, but it still has traces of glimmers!
~ Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: Love made you a liar.
~ "There were only ever two kinds of people in the world for Valentine. Those who were for the circle and those who were against it. The latter were the enemies, and the former were weapons in his arsenal. I saw him try to turn each of his friends, even his own wife, into a weapon for the Cause -- and you want me to believe he wouldn't have done the same with his own son?" She shook her head. "I knew him better than that." For the first time, Maryse looked at him with more sadness than anger. "You are an arrow shot directly into the heart of the Clave, Jace. You are Valentine's arrow. Whether you know it or not."
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
First Sentence: "You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.
Oh my goodness. What a masterpiece I have encountered.
It was just a I'm-bored-and-there's-nothing-to-read-and-this-book-is-cheap-so-I'm-going-to-buy-it-and-read-it kind of book, but as I read on, I lost track of time and realized that my first judgement of this book had been wrong. Yes, this book had rave reviews, but so did Hush, Hush, and so did Fallen, and so did Twilight, but I didn't really like them at all, so I just expected this to fall shorter than my already low expectation.
I need to have better judgement. Seriously.
This book blends all the elements I adore and gobble up: supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, faeries done right, a red-head (like me) looking for answers in the world, a nerdy best friend that resembles one of my friends to a perfect T (I don't think I used that expression right, but you get my point, right?), and the trio of bad-butt (he he~) Shadowhunters.
The main character, Clary, is thrown into the world of the Shadowhunters - a group of half-angel, half-human hunters that keep the order between all the supernatural creatures she thought never existed. She reacted the same way I would react to all of the situations, so that instantly makes me like her, but I have a confession to make. For all you people rooting for TEAM JACE AND CLARY, all I have to say is. . . ew. You'll find out in the book. (; I'm all for Simon. I eat up his character. He's too adorable to hate. Another character I love is Luke. Werewolf blended in with the instinct of a protective guardian: everything I love.
All in all, if you're looking for a book packed with action, mystery, adventure, and little romance that doesn't block the action (thank God), then stick your nose into this book. You'll be guaranteed the ride of your life.
But, ew, Jace is on the cover. . . just kidding. Even though I prefer Simon over Jace, you have to admit that the cover is beautiful, but you can't really admire it if you don't have it in your hands. It's more pretty when you can see the glow the cover emits. I love it.
Since it's the holidays, everyone of us book lovers ask for books, and that's exactly what I did.
Here are the things that I have received over the course of Christmas and my birthday.
RECEIVED: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (from sister) *City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (from Kirston) City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (from my sister) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (from my cousin) Daughter of Darkness by V.C. Andrews (from sister)
BOUGHT: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa ** The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
BORROWING: Heist Society by Ally Carter Blood Promise by Richelle Mead Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
LIBRARY: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith *The Unidentified by Rae Mariz *Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins Raven Speak by Diane Lee Wilson
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection ofher past life - or her actual death - she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existense. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowing in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow evern closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world...forever.
I have always been wanting to read a good ghost story where a human is involved. You don't really get much of that lately. You also get to that romance element into it even though, you know, it's a ghost and a human. (Charlie St. Cloud, much?) But I love, love, LOVE the cover, and I love the synopsis so much.
You all have been waiting for me to announce the winners, and I know that it was annoying when I kept putting it off, but that's no more! I am going to announce the winners now!
WINNER OF CHOSEN AND UNTAMED:
WINNER OF BLUE MOON AND SHADOWLAND:
WINNER OF $20 AND UNDER GIVEAWAY:
Mari Kacerosky! She asked for the first book of the Vampire Academy Series. Easy enough, don't you think?
THANK YOU ALL WHO ENTERED! I will e-mail the winners, and if you don't respond within 48 hours, then I will announce the new winner and e-mail them.
There will be a new contest announced, so be on the lookout!
Summary: (from Goodreads) Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
First Sentence: Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom.
Oh. My. Goodness. Out of all the rave and awesome reviews and ratings this book was getting, I just had to pick it up at the library. I'm so glad that I picked this book up because I read all of it in half a day. A quick read but filled to the brim with details, twists, and turns, Hex Hall is definitely a must-read!
You start with the Prologue. As most prologues of the books go, you get to meet the character and blah blah blah blah. Most of the books I have picked up that began with a prologue had the most boring prologue. This is no such book. With the first sentence, Hawkins has you captivated and transported into the world of her novel. I can easily get myself trapped into the mesmerizing realm of Hawkin's writing. It's clean, organized, and easy to follow as you go along with the main character's adventure.
Now off to ramble about the characters. Bare with me, please. Sophie, the main character, is new to Hex Hall - the place she found out her father sent her - and, of course, she's scared. She meets paranormal creatures (well, the Prodigium which are the faeries, witches, and shapeshifters) that she has never come in contact before, and to her luck, she's almost attacked before she even starts the school. This is where you meet Archer - the "hottie" warlock that rescues her from a deranged shapeshifting student. Normally, I hate the shallow attempt for an author to relate to the teenage population by just sticking a "hot" guy and expecting fangirls to drool with ever mention of his name. Luckily, Hawkins made Archer have more depth than the normal stereotypical book hunk.
Sophie is very likable. Being a smart, funny, and very powerful heroine is typical, but just the way I can relate to her not fitting in and having most people turn their backs on her clicks with me. Archer, as I said earlier, isn't just a plain character stuck into the novel to attract little girls or whatnot. He is an actual person (or warlock, whichever you prefer) that catches the heart of the reader. . . butyougetmadathimattheendbecauseyouthinkhe'sguiltyofSOMETHING.
The ending was a HUGE twist. It did not end up how I thought it was, and I can usually predict the ending by reading the first few chapters. Not with the book whatsoever. I'm not going to tell you anything about the ending because I refuse to use spoilers, but all I can guarantee is that you will be blown away by what the author reveals. It made me slightly mad, but I enjoyed the ending VERY much. You will too!
Might look kind of boring, but after you read the whole entire book, you'll find out that the cover reveals symbols from the novel.
Freak.That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.
First I have to bring your attention to the beautiful cover. The picture part is so simple, but the feeling I get when I see this makes me feel, well, helpless, like this picture captures what I believe is the main character - Donna Underwood - clutching something I will have to find out when I read the book!
Another thing that I can't wait to experience is the impact of what promises to be an amazing story! The summary speaks it all: a main character who lives in our realm and suffers society's punishment for being different. The way Donna's different is that she is branded by iron tattoos as the result of surviving the fey attack that killed her father.
For some reason, I have noticed that I favor the books that have the topic where society finds them unpleasing, therefore, they shun them by taunting them into insanity. It's a very touchy topic for most teenagers (a.k.a: the nerds that like to read) because we've all been there (well, most of us), and we hate the way it feels for others to judge and turn away.
This novel promises to be an action-packed debut that I will happily read for my 2011 Debut Author challenge! (:
A wonderful new follower to this blog, Shannon the Bookstalker (a.k.a: an awesome book reviewer!), commented on one of the giveaways we are hosting, and he gave me some pretty awesome information!
There is this event that we will be participating in called "Busting the Newbie Blues!", (hosted by the wonderful Small Review) and it's basically dedicated to all the newbie book bloggers who have under 100 followers (like us at the moment), and this was made to help us get advice and establish a very successful book blog. Since we are under that category, we find it fit that we participate and help other bookies alike shine together! (Wow. That sounded way less cheesier in my head. . . )
Small Review has provided a simple questionnaire that I will now attempt to fill out. . .
When did you start your blog?
I started this blog July, and after about a week where nobodyfollowed, I gave up until near the end of November. I decided to give the blog ONE MORE TRY. I'm so glad I did.
Why did you start your blog?
I started this blog because I share the same passion as others who start book blogs have: an "affair" with reading. I have loved reading since as long as I can remember. Kirston went right on board because she was just like me, so we do this together. I'm so glad I have her.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Getting followers. You're just in the middle of BlogSpot, wishing for someone to follow you. It doesn't really happen that way. . .
What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Not getting the amount of followers you want right away. Being probably one of the most impatient people in the world, it is very discouraging when I used to go on here and see no change whatsoever.
What do you find most encouraging?
That the ones that do follow you are the most awesome people ever! I love all you guys~ And you also get to meet awesome bookies who have very interesting things on their blog and share the same tastes of books as I do.
What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
We try our own style so we don't feel like we're cheating by stealing everything from someone else's blogs, but the memes/features that a lot of book bloggers participate in (ex: Waiting on Wednesday, IMM, etc.) we do because they're fun! Some things (like the organization of a review) influence our blog very greatly. Thank you bloggers for having awesome things~
What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
. . . I can't really think of anything I disliked about the other blogs I've read. All of them are awesome!
Any advice for other new bloggers?
Host giveaways and advertise them. That'll give you a huge following. Well, sometimes. (JOKES ASIDE:) Stay true to your blog, and you have to maintain your love for literature. Otherwise, why bother hosting a book blog? Enjoy every second of it!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
I like to say that I've met AWESOME people along the way. Shannon the Bookstalker has helped me by being, well, "helpful" and showing me this. You have to have good people to help you pave the road to this, and if you don't, well, you might get stuck at a dead end. That almost happened to me. Thank God it didn't! Also, though it can be frustrating, book blogging is really fun! You can see from others what you should read next, and that's one of the main reasons we started one: to share our books that others may pick them up and enjoy!
Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?
As I've already said, we participate in some AWESOME features like Cover Crazy, Waiting on Wednesday, Teaser Tuesday (I don't really think anyone else does that. . .), Future Favorites, etc. We stay true to our love for reading and stay true when we give our reviews, so if you want the cold, hard truth for books, you can be sure that it will be provided in our reviews.
So take part in this WONDERFUL, HELPFUL event that's going on. Link in the sidebar, but I'll also provide you with a link right below.
Summary: (from Goodreads) Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.
When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn't have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.
First Sentence: If reality TV cameras were installed in my high school, they would be focused directly on the Pit.
Review: I have to admit: I did not even think that I would like any dystopian, futuristic, si-fi-ey novels like this one, but I also have another thing to admit: I was actually pretty astonished with this book. It was a good first dystopian book that hopefully will launch me into a mad craving for those types of books. (I still need to read The Hunger Games trilogy because I'm so far behind.)
Let's see. OH YES! The characters. We have the main character: Katey, but you should call her Kid. She's the socially awkward teenager that feels sort of out of place, (even if you're not shy, admit it, you have one of those locked up inside of you SOMEWHERE) and she attends The Game: a "school" (I use that term very loosely.) that teenagers those days attend where instead of sitting down for ninety minutes for four periods roam around the place (that once was an abandoned mall) to play games relevant to the core subjects. Yes, at first glance, you would love to attend a school like that.
But think again. (I can't really give much away without explaining how the book ended, so you'll have to read it yourself (; )
Overall, this book was a very enjoyable read. The only elements that I didn't particularly like was the fact that the author basically told you who was in the exclusive, rebellious group The Unidentified and didn't attempt to make it a mystery. It was basically like this logic: "Oh. He looks suspicious, and he's associating with this girl for a few seconds, so he must be a member of that rebel organization that wants to kill The Game. Okie dokie. Now let's play Buy, Sell, and Destroy." (<< That's an actual game in the book. Sounds fun.) Another is that the author sort of lacks detail in some areas where I thought detail would be a very important aspect to create the scene.
Other than that, this book is filled with a strong (well, she develops within the book) main character, hateable (Yes, I made up a word. Deal with it.) characters that you want to punch in the face, and all the ingredients that are used to create an action-packed sci-fi story.
Cover: B+ Yes, it's not the prettiest cover, and most sci-fi, futuristic books aren't really suppose to have attractive covers, but hey! I like it. It has a bar code thingy (which represents basically the technological background of Kid's school and main theme of the story) which I really like. The rest is up to you to decipher!
I have read Chosen and Blue Moon. Each I have not liked, and for some reason, I have bought the next books in each series. Instead of letting them collect dust on my bookshelf, I thought I might add this giveaway to the other one! Enter to win copies of Chosen, Untamed, Blue Moon, and the hardcover copy of Shadowland! All of the books are in very good condition (FYI), and there will be two winners selected: one to win Chosen and Untamed and another to win Blue Moon and Shadowland.
In exchange for the books, I would like you to post reviews of the books so I can see your point of view on them.
The deadline is 12/28! Return to the blog where I will post the winners of these books on here!
YES! Enter to win any book of your choice under $20!
All you have to do is fill out the forum below. Only one entry per person. Spreading the word, adding #bestbookaffair (I couldn't get the whole name to fit. . .) on twitter, and adding BestFriendsBookAffair to GoodReads will win you extra entries!
So go on! Enter!
The ending date is December 28! Stay tuned that day. I'll announce the winners.
((Ignore where it says "ends February 27th". I made an oopsie!))
I have been eyeing this book and it's sequel, The Golden Spiral, for almost a year now. I have just gotten around to going online and taking a better look at it. On Shelfari, there is an awesome feature that lets you read the prologue (if there is one) and the first chapter of a book so you can make a better decision on your possible purchases.
And since I saw this book, I decided I wanted to see this book's opening pages. I read the prologue and chapter one, and I have to say that this is one book I so terribly want to get!
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
[SPOILERS AHEAD! BEWARE! MWHAHAHA!]
Catching Fire is the second book of the The Hunger Games Trilogy. From the moment I picked up the book, I loved it!! Just like the first book, it was FILLED with constant suspense as well as TONS of surprises. Every single moment I was on the edge of my seat wanting to read more. I couldn't stop!!! Actually, to tell the truth, I read this book in one day. From noon to 2 a.m. Yes, this book is that good!
Well, Catching Fire starts where The Hunger Games leaves off. Katniss is out of the Games and she finally lives in one of the Victor's houses right next door to Haymitch, her mentor and Peeta, her new "lover". Even though her and Peeta never talk, Katniss has enjoyed her life back at the Seam. She gets to hunt again without the worry of others trying to kill her, and she doesn't have to worry about the cameras... Or so she thought. After a visit from the one and only President Snow, things on the Victor's Tour get a little tense. With her family's lives on the line, she has to continue acting like she is in love with Peeta to convince all of Panem. But things don't turn out that way.
It's been a year since the Games, but this year's Games are special. It's the 75th anniversary and the year of the Quarter Quell-- where every 25 years, the Capitol adds a twist to them. Katniss was pretty sure that she was done with the worries of being entered again, and that she only had to deal with being a mentor. But she was wrong. The Quarter Quell twist was that the tributes were to be picked from previous victors. And for Katniss, this meant it was back into the Games once again. But, what happens is a mystery, because I'm not going to tell you that part!! It's the best~ (and I've already said too much)
So anyway, once again, the book is constant suspense and a constant thriller! Just like the first book! If you liked the first one, you will absolutely LOVE Catching Fire. So... enjoy!
This is a wonderful book. It's filled with imagery, emotional connections, a bunch of surprises, and you will be interested every second you are reading.
Last Words/ Recommend?
Oh yes! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves action, suspense, thrills, and even a little bit of love conflicts.
Okay, so the cover is dull and a little boring. And yes, it looks just about the same as The Hunger Games cover. But once again, it is FILLED with symbolism. Once you read all of the books and maybe (if you're bored enough..) study the cover, you will understand why I give it the rating I do.