Posts Tagged: YA

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Wayward by Ashley Girardi

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Wayward (The Witch Wars Saga, #1)

Ashley Girardi
First published March 27th, 2011

Born without magic, seventeen-year-old Helena “Hex” Wayward is an embarrassment to her power-hungry relatives.

As the weakest member of the world’s most deadly magical family, Hex learns early how to avoid confrontation. There’s no defending herself against an errant curse or the pit-demon that her cousins like to summon during family reunions.

When the dark magic inside of her — magic that she never dreamt even existed — erupts in a violent display, it kills a member of a rival family. Now, Hex’s family hopes to use her magic for their own sinister purposes and their enemies just want her dead. Abandoning her magic will leave Hex defenseless but she’s seen how quickly power corrupts even the best intentions.

She has to make a choice:

Save her life or save her soul.

Ah man, up until at least three quarters through I was really enjoying this. But there are too many flaws in this book for me to justify giving more than 2 stars. I say three quarters through because I thought maybe those flaws would be explained or fixed during the story, but they weren’t. It just wasn’t all that exciting.

In of itself, the story is interesting. It’s about witches, the most powerful witch – Wayward – to be exact, who doesn’t agree to use her powers at all, never mind for evil. However, she’s being forced into it by a deal she can’t refuse. I love witches, them and necromancers are probably my favourite supernatural beings, but I found this one fell a bit flat and had a lot of inconsistencies.

For starters, I didn’t understand why Wayward refused to use her powers, especially when it came to defending herself in a fight. Would someone know if she used them? Then why would she use magic to make a girl choke just cause she didn’t like her? I didn’t understand. Then there was her family – her siblings. Why was she so afraid of them? What was Marco planning to do to Sam? She was saying “eat her”… was that literal? Is he a witch or a vampire? Huh!!? o_O

The most prominent factor that I’ll call a flaw, is that the villain wasn’t very villainy. I wasn’t afraid of him – or understood why Wayward was either. We’re told he runs the Blooded – powerful beings that kill witches who tell humans about the magic – but we’re never really made to be afraid of the Blooded, so why am I supposed to be afraid of Valentine again? I thought he was fairly sweet at the beginning. It also wasn’t made clear if she hated him or secretly loved him.

Those were the biggest issues I had with the book. I did like the protagonist, Wayward, and the romance in the story. Wayward is a really likeable character. She wasn’t full of herself or dumb. She knew what was going on and she didn’t let anyone walk all over her. For the romance, I liked how it was realistic. It wasn’t love at first sight or perfect from the get-go. It was normal, awkward high school romance; cute and sweet.

It wasn’t horrible, it just never really captivated me. I was also let down by the ending and lack of deep plot development. If you really enjoy witches, you may still want to give it a try. You never know. 

2/5 hot espressos

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Posted by on 09/24/2011 • 10 Comments

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1) Susan Ee First published May 21st, 2011

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold…

Review: The Willows: Haven by Hope Collier

Posted by on 09/23/2011 • 4 Comments

The Willows: Haven (The Willows, #1) Hope Collier First published September 13th, 2011

When tragedy strikes, seventeen year-old Ashton Blake sets out on a cross-country road trip, leaving the comforts of Malibu for the mountains of Kentucky. Along the way, she encounters Gabe Willoughby—the mysterious drifter with eyes like the sea and a knowing smile. Getting to know Gabe raises questions about her past. But no secret can be buried forever, and Ashton soon finders herself in a world where water is air and myth becomes reality.

Just as Ashton comes to accept her newfound heritage, she’s summoned to fulfill a treaty laid down centuries before — a treaty that will divide her love and test her loyalty. In the end, her future isn’t her biggest concern, her humanity is….

Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Posted by on 09/22/2011 • 7 Comments

Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1)Tessa GrattonFirst 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…

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Posted by on 09/21/2011 • 13 Comments

LegendMarie LuRelease date: November 29th, 2011

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death….

Freebie!

Posted by on 09/21/2011 • 2 Comments

Anathema by K.A. Tucker is currently free on Smashword.

Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone. When Evangeline meets Sofie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash. With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities . . . like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s…

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…