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review 2014-02-10 02:03
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
The Vespertine - Saundra Mitchell

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I picked this book up at NetGalley, not thinking too much of it. When I began reading, I fell in love. First of all, I love historical settings. I love the refinement of the period. The way people spoke then just makes for better writing, as far as I’m concerned. Mitchell also leans toward the lyrical side in her writing style, which is fitting for this novel.


I was enamored with Amelia and Nathaniel. Their relationship is an interesting one from the start, and I loved watching it develop from playful games into something real. They’re both great characters, with plenty of depth. Zora, Amelia’s friend, was also one of my favorite characters. She had a lot of life and I hated to see so many sad things happen in her life. Every character, even those the reader doesn’t know as well, was written perfectly into the story.


I was taken away by this story. I really got into it and saw all the scenes, as if I were watching a movie. It also made me soar through different emotions: happiness, excitement, intrigue, horror. I thought she crafted the plot twists well. I never saw them coming. It is obvious from the beginning of the book that things will take a horrible turn, but it’s how they come about that is so genius to me. And I wasn’t quite prepared for the ending, but I loved it. I recommend picking this one up in March. Don’t worry. I’ll remind you. I know I’ll be going to buy my own finished copy.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/the-vespertine
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review 2014-02-04 05:22
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson

I decided after reading Wintergirls and Speak that I wanted to read all of Laurie Halse Anderson’s books. So I’ve been making my way through them. I plan to pick up Catalyst when I go back to the library. I was a little nervous about reading this one. I thought I might not be as interested in it since it’s a suject matter I wouldn’t normally read about. However, I found it absolutely captivating. I just couldn’t stop listening. I also learned a lot. I’ll go ahead and be honest. I didn’t know anything about the yellow fever epidemic before I read this. This book has dynamic characters, an enthralling plot, and a lot of historical information. It’s official. Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the best young adult novelists of our time.


Watching Mattie develop throughout this book was a wonderful experience. In the beginning, we meet this stubborn, rather selfish girl with big dreams. By the end of the book she has transformed into a strong woman who knows how to make those dreams a reality and take care of those in need. I was so thrilled to watch her grow with each experience she faced during the epidemic. The plot was gripping and pretty fast-paced. There was a new learning experience for Mattie around each corner, it seemed. But her trials make her a stronger person. It’s a truly amazing book with a really great message.


Anderson includes some appendices about the epidemic and the history of it. She points out some of the factual things that occur in the story. It’s very interesting, so if you read this, don’t skip that part. Emily Bergl was the perfect Mattie. She was very convincing and engaging. That’s all I ask of my audio books!

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/fever-1793
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review 2014-02-04 03:19
Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, & Maureen Johnson
Let it Snow - Lauren Myracle,John Green,Maureen Johnson

Ok, this book is precious. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Christmas book before. I know I’ve read books that I associate with winter, but never one that really focused on Christmas. I picked this one up because I love John Green. I’m so glad because it was the perfect little book to get me in the Christmas spirit.


I was impressed by Maureen Johnson’s story. It was probably my favorite of the three. I thought she had a great sense of humor and I liked her characters. Jubilee was just awesome. I may have to check out some of her books now. John Green didn’t disappoint. His characters were hilarious, of course. I love the way he deals with romance. It’s so much more realistic than many authors. He just knows what he’s doing when it comes to writing teen characters. His story was definitely the funniest of the three. Lauren Myracle wrote a cute story, but I didn’t get into it the way I did the other two. I thought she had a good message, but it was a tad too cheesy for me at the end. I also just couldn’t get into Addie. I don’t really feel compelled to read anything else by Myracle.


If you want some cute and funny stories to get you into the Christmas spirit, you should pick this book up. It’s a fun read.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/let-it-snow
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review 2014-02-02 18:55
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Sky Is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson

It’s amazing how tragedy always makes for a good book. I guess those of us who spend half our lives with our nose in a book want to feel something when we read. I spent a long time reading nothing but paranormal fiction, usually of the teen variety. This year has been one of discovery for me, as far as books go. I’ve really discovered my favorite genre, my favorite writing style, and my favorite kind of characters. I’m beginning to understand why my mother won’t read a book if she doesn’t grab her right from the start. There’s nothing like that feeling of knowing you’ve found something really great before you’ve even finished the first chapter. This is one of those books for me. I want to read it all over again.


Lennie is another one of those characters I can relate to. It’s actually kind of freaky this time. Here’s a list of things we have in common: our favorite book is Wuthering Heights, we both played clarinet in high school (though it sounds like she’s a lot better than I was), we’re both introverts who have trouble realizing our potential, we’re both pros at screwing things up. I don’t think I’ve related to character this much… well, ever. She feels so real to me it’s freaky. Toby was the same way, very real and melancholy. I can understand how their combined pain caused them to do the things they did. Joe felt a little more like a dream, but maybe it’s because he felt like a dream to her. It didn’t make me love his character any less, and I did find some realistic tendencies in him toward the end. He can be very stubborn. He and Lennie will make you want to fall in love, for the first time or all over again.


When I’m reading a book I love with character I love, I feel very unsettled when things are going wrong. Though I’m incredibly uncomfortable with the events in the book, I take the feeling as a good sign. It means I care. The author has written characters I can care about. I want the best for them and I squirm with every mistake they make. I may spend a good chunk of the book worrying, but it’s that much better if or when things are resolved.


Nelson is great. She has a quirky sense of humor that I ate up. I loved Gram and Big. They were hilarious, but not simple. It’s just good character writing when someone can write two quirky comic relief character, but still give them just as much depth as all the others. She gives this book the perfect pace and never overwhelms the reader with the shifts from sad to happy or vice versa. I also really enjoyed Julia Whelan’s narration. She was very expressive. I really believed I was listening to Lennie speaking, not someone reading a book. It’s an excellent audio book.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/the-sky-is-everywhere
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review 2014-02-02 18:44
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Nightshade: Book 1 - Andrea Cremer

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I enjoyed it and I’m eager for the next one. That being said, it took me a while to get into it. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish it. I didn’t get truly interested until the eight or ninth disc (of ten). Until then, I was just trying to finish what I started. I’m so glad it got interesting at the end.


I didn’t like Calla at first. There wasn’t anything in particular that bothered me, she just wasn’t anything special. At this point in my reading, I need something or someone to grab me. Calla was the typical “girl in paranormal teen fiction” character. Quite frankly, I’m sick of the pattern. I just don’t like reading about the same girl in every book. What fun is that? And let’s face it, they’re all pretty similar. Thank God for Shay and Ren. I wouldn’t have made it through this book without them. Shay was the first to grab my attention with his fascination with Hobbes and “The War of All Against All.” That was the first thing to grab my attention. I really love when authors refer to previous philosophical texts in their books. This is the first time I’ve come across Thomas Hobbes in this way, and I have to confess I haven’t read any Hobbes. Still, it makes a book a little more engaging when there’s something deeper to it. Ren didn’t gain my favor until the end of the book. We learn about Ren slowly. It takes a while before we get below the surface and see something real in him. I would love to learn a little more about him in the next book.


The plot was a little predictable. I guessed a few things before they happened. I like being surprised so that’s not really a good thing. I did get interested in what’s going on with Keepers and the Searchers. I’ll definitely read the next one because I find that part of the story fascinating. I enjoyed the book, but I’m hoping I’ll like the series a little better  when I begin to get more invested in it. I’ll try not to be so hard on Calla next time. I thought Rebecca Lowman did a terrific job with the narration. If you like audiobooks, this is a good one.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/nightshade
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