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review 2017-04-26 02:44
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple


Natalie Whipple

Paperback, 360 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062120182 (ISBN13: 9780062120182)
also on Kindle and AudioCD


Natalie Whipple is an author that I would definitely read again. House of Ivy and Sorrow's characters are well developed, even the minor characters. I was in a slump when I starting reading this YA novel; but once I sat down with the book, I couldn't put it down. Friendship and family are integral to the plot; coming of age, trusting, which friends are more like family, and family secrets keep the plotline moving at a good pace.

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review 2016-03-16 13:00
Some Thoughts: Transparent
Transparent - Natalie Whipple

Transparent -- Natalie Whipple

Book 1 of Transparent



I'm almost certain one of the few reasons why I'm not rating this book any lower is because of how readily and easily readable it is. While not the best book in the world, there was so much awkward and wrong with a lot of things that I found myself aggressively rolling my eyes or just blinking at some points. But seeing as how I managed to roll through the entire story so quickly, I have to give it credit for serviceable writing and being fairly entertaining.

Transparent had a lot of up and down moments enjoyability-wise, and there were just a lot of things that didn't really sit well with me, even if this book is based around a mafia family... or something like that. Which is quite disappointing considering how much potential an alternate reality world like this could have had in the long run--a present-day era wherein science has caused extreme mutations in the population and now they just walk around, in every day life like it's a normal thing... cause it is.

As the tagline presents it as an X-men meets The Godfather.

The main character Fiona came off quite over-dramatic and bitchy a lot of the time. I had a hard time relating to her--not that anyone could relate to an invisible girl, but whatevs. And not that any of the characters were easily related to either because they all had their strange behaviors and actions that kind of had a hand in making this book kind of comical.

It's not to say that this book was all bad or anything. I'd just give it a slight 'meh' and move on with my life.

Ten points for a great premise with lots of potential, though I'm afraid that doesn't make up for the stuff that didn't work for me.

An invisible girl being used by her mafia boss father in unspeakable crimes tries to escape the criminal world only to be chased down by said father and his henchmen, including her older brother. Meanwhile, she spends time trying to blend into a small town under a false name even though everyone knows exactly who she is because, how many invisible girls are in existence on a regular basis anyway?

The logic fail was pretty obvious considering the fact that her father is a mafia boss and has resources and followers everywhere. If an entire high school knows who she is, I'm a bit skeptical that her father didn't manage to locate her within the first day or two she was in public. Just sayin'. When you're on the run (not that I've ever been on the run before, but books are vast pits of knowledgeable information), the key is to remain obscure and invisible (no pun intended) and make sure that NO ONE around you KNOWS who you are.

A final quibble I had was with Fiona and how things were NOT resolved between her and her psycho murderous brother. Because I don't care that said psycho murderous brother had all the good intentions in the world, you do not easily forgive someone for flying you thousands of feet in the air and then dangling you by the wrists and threatening to drop you if you don't comply with his demands. With brothers like that, who needs enemies or mafia boss fathers? I'm not understanding why everyone could still be telling Fiona that she should be able to trust Graham even after he almost choked her to death for the sole purpose of threatening her into doing what he wanted, EVEN IF all he wanted her to do was follow his instructions so that he could keep her safe.

I might be wrong, but those are contradictory actions.

And with that, the star rating is close to dropping another half a star.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Reading Assignment Challenge




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/03/some-thoughts-transparent.html
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text 2014-12-15 11:45
Holiday Bingo Wrap up
Dead Beautiful - Yvonne Woon
The One - Kiera Cass
The Elite - Kiera Cass
The Stand - Stephen King
If I Should Die - Amy Plum
Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple
Sea of Shadows - Kelley Armstrong
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black
Something Strange and Deadly - Susan Dennard

This weekend I completed the Holiday Bingo card. I did find this one a lot easier to do than the Summer Card. I sort lost enthusiasm for the last one half way through but this one I knew almost immediately what I wanted to read for each square. While my initial plans changed, I did manage to read something for every square (though two squares were books I DNFed).


Red Cover - The Elite Kiera Cass  - Review

Witches - House of Ivy and Sorrow - Natalie Whipple - Review

Black Cover - Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter - Review

Green Cover - Dead Beautiful - Yvonne Woon - Review

Romance - The One - Kiera Cass - Review

Set at Christmas Time - Rocky Mountain Miracle - Christine Feehan - Review

Reread - The Stand, Stephen King - read not reviewed

Set in Space - Blood Crown - Ali Cross - Review

Set on Halloween - Dark Harvest- Norman Partridge - Review

Serial Killers - Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay – Review

Snow Ice or Frost in Title – Crown of Ice – Vicki L Weavil – Review

Set in New Orleans – Black Dust Mambo – Adrian Phoenix – Review

Birds on Cover – The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater – Review

Snow on Cover – Winterkill – Kate A Boorman – Review

Fall or Winter Release – Talon – Julie Kagawa – Review

Mystery – Fiendish – Brenna Yovanoff – Review

Orange Cover – If I Should Die – Amy Plum - Review

Set During Autumn – The Shining- Stephen King – read not reviewed. (Bulk of this story takes place between the end of September and first few days of December and that was all I could come up with for this square)

Book That Was a Gift – The Fall – Bethany Griffin – Review

Steam Punk – Something Strange and Deadly – Susan Dennard – Read not reviewed

Historical – Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose) Fiona Paul – Review

Native American MC – Echo Alyson Noel - Review

Freebie Star – The 100 – Kass Morgan - Review

Horror – Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black – Read not reviewed

Creature on Cover- Sea of Shadows – Kelley Armstrong – Read not reviewed


I created a Goodreads shelf which can be seen here – each book should link to the dates read.


Favourite books of the card this time round – Dead Beautiful, House of Ivy and Sorrow, The Shining, The Stand, If I Should Die, Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

Worst books – Crown of Ice and Talon both DNFed.

Honourable mentions to The Elite and The One which were pretty awful but in spite of the stupidity of the characters I did kind of love them.

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text 2014-10-31 11:28
October Wrap Up
The Art of Lainey - Paula Stokes
Rain - Amanda Sun
Heir of Fire - Sarah J. Maas
City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy, #1) - Marie Rutkoski
The Elite - Kiera Cass
The One - Kiera Cass
Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter
The Iron Trial - Cassandra Clare,Holly Black
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple

October was a good month bookwise for me :) I got a little burned out on challenges and books the last few months, but with the start of Holiday Bingo I kicked back into reading gear. My main aim this  month was to finish some of the books I'd had on the go for a while, read some Netgalley books, and get started on Holiday Bingo.


I managed 14 books this month


The Art of Lainey - Paula Stokes - read not reviewed 3.5 stars

Rain (Paper Gods #2)  - Amanda Sun- read not reviewed 4 stars

The Winner's Curse  - Marie Rutkoski read not reviewed - 3 stars

City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments 6) - read not reviewed - not enough stars in the world for how awesome this was. 5 stars

Siege and Storm (The Grisha 2) Leigh Bardugo- read not Reviewed.5 stars

Heir of Fire - Sarah J Maas - Read not reviewed 5 stars


For Netgalley Books I read

Trial by Fire – Josephine Angelini - reviewed

Something A Little Different – Sandy Hall - Reviewed 

The Iron Trial – Cassandra Clare & Holly Black  - Reviewed


For Holiday Bingo I read

Dead Beautiful - -Yvonne Woon - Reviewed

House of Ivy and Sorrow - Natalie Whipple- Reviewed

The Elite – Kiera Cass - Reviewed

The One Kiera Cass - Reviewed

Alice in Zombieland – Gina Showalter - Reviewed 


Books Purchased

Kindle Books -  Talon Julie Kagawa , Magnolia - Kristie Cook, Eventide - Christine Allen-Riley, Jackaby - William Ritter, Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch, Very Bad Things - Susan McBride, Even in Paradise - Chelsea Philpot, Asylum - Madeline Roux, Get Even (Don't Get Mad) Gretchen McNeil, Lies We Tell Ourselves - Robin Talley, Misty Falls - Joss Stirling 

Paperback and Hardbacks Books - My True Love Gave to Me holiday collection, Blue Lilly Lilly Blue Maggie Steifvater, She is Not Invisible, Marcus Sedgwick, Shipwrecked Siobhan Curham, The Glass Demon Helen Grant , The Iron Trial (hardback) Holly Back + Cassandra Clare, Winterkill - Kate A Boorman, Arcadia Awakens - Kai Meyer, Queen of Zombie Hearts - Gina Showalter.  

Gifts –

(My dad was in the US this month so I asked if he could make a stop in Barns & Nobles for me) The Fall (Hardback) Bethany Griffin ,Through the Zombie Glass (paperback) – Gina Showalter , Mortal Gods (Hardback) Kendare Blake


So all in all a great month book wise. No one or two star books and no DNFs. 


My plan for November is focus on Holiday Bingo books and finish off some more Netgalley books. I don't have the discipline to do NaNoWriMo (I start but never get past the first week if that) so good luck to anyone who is :). 

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review 2014-10-27 11:27
Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple

It was the title that really caught my attention on this one. I must admit this was one I had rather low expectations for after skimming through some of the reviews. That being said, once I started, I couldn't put it down. I loved it. 


I loved the unique way witchcraft was written, while it was as natural as breathing to our heroine, Jo, there was also a rather unpleasant and painful sounding aspect to it as well. Self sacrifice as payment for making the powers work for you. Hair, nails, teeth, blood and other icky sounding stuff that she could do without batting an eyelid at the pain. 


At the same time, she could squee with her friends like any teen over the cutest boy in school (who was really nice and sweet) and do regular teen things. Whilst trying to keep the magic life separate (which of course was never going to work).


Jo's friends, Grace and Kat, where exceptional characters who came through when needed rather than just being background characters. Even the love interest, Winn, turned out to have a surprising role to play. Everything worked really well. I was surprised at how well it worked mixing the dark side of the magic with the teenagers just being themselves and trying to have a normal life.


And when things took a turn for the worst I loved how they all the characters came together to defeat the villain. 


A really great YA witch book.


So crosses off the Witches square for Holiday Bingo 

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