Posts Categorized: Review

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

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Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1)
Tessa Gratton
First published May 24th, 2011

For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything. 


Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.


Blood Magic is about witches: Finally something other than Vampires and Werewolves! I liked it, I thought it was fun and fresh, but it wasn’t enough to really compel me to say “you know, this is a very good book”. It was missing something though I cant quite put my finger on it. Regardless, I still almost gave it a 4 star.

The plot is part magical lore, part mystery. Silla’s parents died tragically, and although everyone is convinced it was a murder suicide, Silla is not. After receiving a spell book from Deacon, whoever that is – and to her amazement they’re actually working- she’s even more convinced that someone was involved in her parent’s death.

The mystery part is what intrigued me the most. Everyone is made a suspect and even if I wanted to guess there were too many choices to even bother, so I just enjoyed it and kept reading. It was intriguing, and I was excited to see how it would all play out. A bit more than half way through though it was made obvious (to me anyways) who it was. I still enjoyed how it ended, the climax was fun and there were a few other little unforeseeable twists in there.

The narration went back and forth between the two protagonists, Silla and Nicholas, which is always fun. We get deeper into the characters’ development that way. The romance between them was much better than I expected and played a big part in the story. They had a lot of chemistry and the “romantic” scenes were pretty intense. It was a nice change from the “we want to but we can’t” themes we often see nowadays. As for the supporting characters, I didn’t really care for them much. They weren’t boring, but they didn’t stand out either. Except for Lillith – what happened there, anyways? She was this mysterious character who I thought was going to be part of the twist or at least have some role in it, but then the author seemed to just forget about her; we never got any explanation about what part she was really playing in all of this – it can’t be nothing. So I don’t know? Maybe she has plans for her in the following books? Or maybe she’s really just a mundane step mom (boring)? There was no hint of anything. It seems like a waste to not give her a cool twist. A reason to be. Anything. I guess I will read and see.

In addition to the two narrators, there were flashbacks of an old witch writing a journal of her life after learning about the magic. Those were really interesting until the very end where it got confusing. Maybe I just don’t retain information well, but I wasn’t completely following it all. I still got the twist and what happened to Silla’s parents, I just wasn’t sure about who the Deacon was. Maybe we didn’t even find out yet? Either way it didn’t feel very important so I didn’t bother going back to reread it.

So it’s nothing especially special (yes I said it!). If you want a change from the many vampire and werewolf (and lately – angel) books coming out, this is a nice change of pace. It’s not perfect but it’s still a good and refreshing story.


3/5 hot espressos


Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Posted by on 09/20/2011 • 11 Comments

Thirteen Reasons WhyJay AsheyFirst published October 18th, 2007

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

I absolutely loved this book. What an eye opener. In Thirteen Reasons Why we listen to audio tapes that was sent to 13 people by Hannah who committed suicide, to explain her reasons why.

First I want to mention that to all the reviewers who say that her reasons weren’t “good…

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by on 09/20/2011 • 15 Comments

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Tahereh MafiRelease date: November 15th, 2011

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette…

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Posted by on 09/19/2011 • 4 Comments

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenRansom RiggsFirst published June 7th, 2011

A mysterious island.An abandoned orphanage.A strange collection of very curious photographs.It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy…

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Posted by on 09/19/2011 • 5 Comments

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)Holly BlackFirst published January 1st, 2010

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something….

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Posted by on 09/18/2011 • 2 Comments

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)Kristin Cashore First published October 1st, 2008

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven…

Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon

Posted by on 09/15/2011 • 1 Comment

ThylaKate GordonFirst published April 1st, 2011

My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain.

I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory – not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember.

The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush.

I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat’s story, I might discover my own – and stop it happening again.

After seeing…

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by on 09/14/2011 • 2 Comments

Anna and the French KissStephanie PerkinsFirst published December 2nd, 2010

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

Awwwww *le sigh*. What an adorably romantic…