Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Monster Calls

Book: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth. -Goodreads

Review: Devastatingly perfect. 

Several goodreads friends rated this book a 5 and I requested it from the library without even reading the synopsis. When I picked it up the other day, I flipped through and immediately noticed it was more of a short story than a novel and it was illustrated. I thought to myself, great, a book targeted toward middle schoolers. Oh, how wrong I was. This book was beautiful, sad, heart wrenching and I loved every word. Fantastic. 

Grade: 5/5

The Queen of All that Lives

Book: The Queen of All that Lives
Series: The Fallen World #3
Author: Laura Thalassa

She’s a martyr.
A myth.
A ghost.
A legend.
She’s my soulmate and my captive, my conscience and my wrath. I love her too much to let her die; I fear her too much to wake her from her slumber.
She’s mine.
And now she’s gone.

He’s unnatural.
He’s the keeper of lies and lost souls. Mine slipped through his clutches.
I am his wife, his queen, the love of his very long life.
And soon, I will be his executioner.-Goodreads

Review: Thalassa is a talented writer. There is nothing new in this book-there is little character development or growth for Serenity compared to book 2. Montes came across as a shell of his former self-he was more of a jealous/protective husband than a formidable leader of half the world. Their relationship status was basically the same as book 2. The evil people were so over the top evil...but I still found myself burning through this in almost one sitting! This series is just so fun, I'm so happy to have read it. Can't wait to read more of Thalassa's books. 

Grade: 3.5/5

City of Heavenly Fire

Book: City of Heavenly Fire
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Author: Cassandra Clare

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...-Goodreads

Review: It's been awhile since I read the other Mortal Instruments/Clockwork Angel books and I'm glad I took a break from the series before reading the final installment. I am happy to report I wasn't annoyed with Clary throughout the book-amazing! Overall, this was fast paced and fun. There was a of teenager drama regarding relationships (I find it hard to believe that Magnus's love for Alec is really that earth shattering and unique considering how long he's been alive) and it was a very "tied in a red bow" type of ending, but I did enjoy this. 

Grade: 3/5

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Book: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?-Goodreads

Review: The first 2 books in this series were super fun and I keep recommending them to almost everyone I know. I was fully expecting to love this as well...unfortunately, this book was my least favorite of the series. I feel like a 2.5 star rating is extremely generous (sorry friends, I know all of you loved this one). I enjoyed the Karou/Akiva sections but this book introduced a new main character, Eliza, and for the life of me, I was not interested in her narrative. I also found the entire last section of the novel involving Scarab too rushed-there was enough there for a separate book. 

Overall-this was my least favorite of the series but overall, I'm thrilled to find this author and plan to read more of her work. I still enjoyed the series. 

Grade: 2.5/5

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Book: Murder in the Mystery Suite
Series: Book Retreat Mysteries #1
Author: Ellery Adams


Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…-Goodreads

Review: I've heard great things about this author and I was super excited to read this. A resort that caters to book lovers (does someplace like this actually exist? Because if so, I'm booking a trip!), a murder mystery weekend (I love mysteries) where an actual murder takes place. Hello-this sounds like a perfect novel for me. I think my expectations were too high because I found myself bored with the story. I'll avoid spoilers, but once Jane found out about her family 'secret' the book jumped the shark. I can deal with a certain level of ridiculousness but I just couldn't stop shaking my head. I also couldn't reconcile the resort having financial trouble with the fancy cars, food, etc. 

Overall-not my favorite book and it was a struggle to finish. I love the idea of the book though. 

Grade: 1/5

Days of Blood and Starlight

Book: Days of Blood and Starlight
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Author: Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? -Goodreads

Review: I started this book....and couldn't put it down. I was drawn into the plot and loved Karou and Akiva's adventures. I was especially interested in Akiva's story and loved the relationship with his siblings. Can't wait for the final book!

Grade: 4/5

Sweet Filthy Boy

Book: Sweet Filthy Boy
Series: Wild Seasons #1
Author: Christina Lauren

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away. -Goodreads

Review: Sweet Filthy Boy is the perfect beach read: fun, light and sexy. While Mia was a tad boring, I loved Ansel and overall enjoyed their love story. It was also great seeing Harlow again. 

Grade: 3/5