Posts Tagged: YA

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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City of Bones
(The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Cassandra Clare
Released March 27th, 2007
by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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….

I first read this series because I was under the impression that people who were fans of HP would love this series. So I automatically was very intrigued by it.

In general I really enjoyed it – it wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but the dialogue usually made me smile. The world has a nice dark edge to it, while still being definitely a teen book. I was lost in the story within a couple of chapters; I enjoy fast paced books that don’t leave you waiting to find out where the plot is hiding or when something is going to happen. There’s one plot point (which I won’t mention to not give away spoilers) that I found a bit weird. I sort of guessed it mid-book but kept hoping the author wouldn’t go that route. I was told though that it all turns out ok so I’ll let it slide.

Since it was the second time reading the book, I didn’t get taken back by the twists in the story, and I don’t remember if they caught me off guard the first time so I can’t say how predictable they are. But from a re-read, it was interesting to see the subtle hints at the beginning of the book. Very small and particular details that maybe a first reader wouldn’t have thought anything of.

I really liked Clare’s writing style; She has a more mature way of writing than most YA authors. Her descriptions and dialogues are richer, more elegant. She gives us a lot of action and a fast pace that lures you into the story, which is not just full of fluff, but has depth and real emotions. It’s refreshing. The characters are also great, three dimensional and easily likable. The main character was just a bit naive for some of her reactions and for not figuring out Simon was in love with her. I knew it on page 2! My 12 month old son knew it!! I still liked her nonetheless. She has potential to eventually kick butt on her own in the near future.

4 Hot Espressos

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Posted by on 10/05/2011 • 16 Comments

A Certain Slant of Light(A Certain Slant of Light, #1)Laura WhitcombReleased September 21st, 2005by Graphia

Helen is a disembodied spirit who “attaches” herself to humans in order to possess their bodies. Unable to remember the circumstances of her death, and with no idea why she’s in this precarious state of limbo, she knows this much: she’s been haunting the living world for 130 years. But when Helen inhabits the body of a high school teacher, everything changes. For though he remains quite unaware of her presence, a certain boy in his class is clearly able to see Helen. This realization, and Helen’s subsequent introduction to him, rocks her world.

Uncomfortable with the boundaries of her existence, Helen continues to test them and takes hair-raising risks — often for…

Review: Touch by Jus Accardo

Posted by on 10/04/2011 • 16 Comments

Touch Jus Accardo Release date: November 1st, 2011 by Entangled PublishingFormat: Paperback/Ebook

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids…

Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Posted by on 10/03/2011 • 11 Comments

Raw Blue Kirsty Eagar Published June 29th, 2009 by Penguin Books Australia

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

Well apparently I’m the only one in the world who didn’t absolutely love this book. It’s not bad by any…

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Posted by on 10/02/2011 • 20 Comments

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor Published September 27th, 2011 by Little, Brown & Company

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that…

Review: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 10/01/2011 • 13 Comments

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)Kelley ArmstrongFirst published April 12th, 2011by HarperCollins

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn’t know much about her background – the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip – but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town – from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend’s hidden talent for “feeling” out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that…

Remembrance by Michelle Madow: Review, Interview & Giveaway

Posted by on 09/30/2011 • 55 Comments

I’m very happy to have author Michelle Madow stop by Xpresso Reads to talk about her debut novel, Remembrance – which you must definitely check out if you haven’t already. To add fun to the mix, Michelle has offered up an ecopy of her book to one of YOU! That’s right! *Throws confetti*

Interview with Michelle Madow

Q.What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always loved writing, but decided to write for the goal of publication about two years ago when I turned the first chapter in for homework in my Intro to Creative Writing class. I was surprised when my classmates and teacher loved it and wanted to read more! Their enthusiasm made me believe I could succeed in finishing a novel if I put my mind…

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Posted by on 09/29/2011 • 18 Comments

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)Cynthia HandFirst published January 4th, 2011 HarperCollins

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at…