Monday, December 15, 2014

Review for Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

7199667Princess of Glass (Princess #2)
By Jessica Day George
Published May 25th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Ebook from Library
266 pages

"Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances--and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale--until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way." ~ Goodreads


In a reading slump? Want a book you can pick up and finish in two sittings? One that leaves you feeling uplifted and content? Princess of Glass is the match for you.

I enjoyed this one much more than the first. Probably due to the fact that I loved the main character-Poppy's fiestiness and sass made things entertaining. The royal family she was staying with were sublime. The tender relationship between Poppy and her mother's cousin's daughter (mouthful there) was so sweet. They paired together really well and had each other's back. The visiting prince may not have been the one for me, but he had some very redeemable qualities. He was witty, courageous, and very caring towards Poppy. Plus, he was different from Galen (first book), which I quite liked. The villian didn't have me shaking in my boots, but I was very uncomfortable. As for the person who was the equivilent of Cinderella, she annoyed me at first. As time went on, that changed slightly, but I never came to fully appreciate her character.

Jessica Day George is a master of fairytale spin-offs. She incorporates characteristics from the original, yet twists them to suit her own needs. It's so effortless and smooth. Based around the tale of Cinderella, Princess of Glass may not be what you expect. The originality of it all was fascinating! The ending didn't make a whole lot of sense to me as I felt it was rushed, but I accepted it. As for the pacing, well let's just say I couldn't put it down! There was always something happening.

I highly recommend Princess of Glass to readers who enjoy original fairytale retellings, Jessica Day George ('nuff said there), sweet romance, twists, and simply a smooth, easy read. It makes me so happy to know there is a third book in this series!


"We are equals," she said, "though I am not my father's heir. Why don't you just call me Poppy." She had always thought that "Princess Poppy" sounded too much like a name for a small dog.
"And you must call me Christian," he said, giving her an even warmer smile. Yes, he was terribly handsome.
"Oh, pooh!" Marianne said as she came down the stairs. "I've taken to long and now you're dear friends and I shall be left out."
"That will teach you to spend all day primping," Poppy said, winking at Christian and taking his arm. "Five more minutes, and we would have eloped." 
"I wouldn't put it past you," Marianne said, with a pretend pout. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review for Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

8665876Awaken (Awaken #1)
By Katie Kacvinsky 
Published May 23rd 2011 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Ebook from Local Library
309 pages

"Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her. Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking." ~ Goodreads


Awaken exposes us to a world that may not be so far away and reveals the consequences that come with it.

I loved Maddie in the first half of the book because even though she was experiencing (in her mind) radicial things she took it in stride with an open mind. Better yet, she allowed her desires and human inclinations to grow. In the second half of the book, this resilient Maddie was still present but completely love sick. She became that girl that can't live without the love of her life. She lost major points with me on that front. It was the same with Justin. In the first half, I loved him to bits - he was mysterious, caring, super cool (he had a wicked car), and had so much passion for what he did it was contagious. But then, he started pushing Maddie away - only to be reeled in again. I know he had good reasons, but still. That whole you-shouldn't-want-me-Maddie-I'm-no-good-for-you stick got old really fast. On one hand I really liked their relationship, but on the other hand it was annoying.

There is no doubt that Katie Kacvinsky knows how to write. At times it was deep and insightful, wonderful. (Certain phrases did repeat themselves quite often though.) I believe she did a great job with the world building and the whole backstory on how DS came into effect was solid. It was thought out. The theme she incorporated is an important one and I know everyone will take something away after reading Awaken. If it wasn't for the push-and-pull (pushing done by boy, pulling done by girl)  kind of romance, I would have enjoyed the ending more. The pace was steady and it wraps up in a decent way. There is definitely room for a sequel/second book.

I recommend Awaken to readers who enjoy dystopias, adventure, books that make you think, and well, who don't mind a romance that at times may be frustrating. The first half was incredible - read it just for that!


"So, why are you really here?" I whispered. "You're not paying any attention to this."
Justin looked at me as if the answer was obvious. "To be around people. It's one of the only ways I can."
I creased my eyebrows at him and had to make an effort to whisper. "What? Are you nuts?"
He leaned closer. "I think people are nuts to shut themselves inside all day long. We're cutting ourselves off from each other and it's only going to get worse."
I felt goose bumps rise up on my arms. I grinned at him.
"And you think going to study groups and doodling in your notebook is going to change things?"
Justin smiled back, a plotting smile that held uncountable meanings.
"I have a plan," he said.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Liar Society (The Liar Society #1) by Lisa and Laura Roecker

9182417The Liar Society (The Liar Society #1) 
By Lisa and Laura Roecker
Published March 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
Ebook from Library
368 pages

"Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)
I'm here...
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you. 
Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder..." ~ Goodreads


The Liar Society featured a smart, high spirited heroine, a spine tingling setting, and one heck of a secret.

Kate Lowry makes an excellent detective because she never gives up even in the face of danger and knows when to accept help. She has the guts to dig deep and uncover the truth. That determination was admirable, but I didn't like how she treated her neighbour Seth. He was like a mistreated puppy who didn't even realize how mistreated he was. It rubbed me the wrong way, but I'm glad that by the end of the book she was showing him more consideration. It was awesome when they teamed up and then a third partner came into the mix too. The trio was great! They all added something different to the mix. Kate's love interest (yes, there is a dash of romance) was cute and I loved their interactions. The Liar Society had a lot of characters and each of them had significant roles to play (seriously, read it and it will amaze you that almost every. single. character. is involved somehow). 

Having the whole mystery unfold at an elite private school instantly shot the coolness factor up ten notches. The setting was perfect as it held almost an ancient vibe. Hidden tunnels, secret crests, so called legends and Latin sayings? Yes, yes, yes and yes. The mystery itself wasn't very pressing until about half way through the book. It was then that I began to feel a sense of urgency. Pieces began clicking together and excitement actually took root. The chapters would randomly alternate between the past and present (past being before, during, and after Grace's death). Those flashbacks so to speak provided insight on the relationship between the girls and the events surrounding the "accident". The ending does tie things up well, but there is no doubt this is a series. It was crazy how everything came together!

I recommend this to readers who enjoy a good mystery, a determined sleuther, and just a touch of romance. It was fun and intriguing and I will be searching for the next in the series!


"Geez, Kate, are you trying to give me a heart attack?" he yelled.
"Get out of there now!" He stared at me blankly, so I tried to speak a language he'd understand. "Code Red! Code Red! Abort! Abort!"
Seth dove up into the backseat, clutching a sheet of paper to his skinny chest, and slid out of the unzipped plastic window. He shoved the paper at me, which I pushed down my uniform shirt, and we both scrambled to re-zip the window. We were casually leaning against Liam's Jeep when he walked to his car looking more confused than ever.
"Um...hi?" He looked from me to Seth and back.
Seth nodded his head, and I said a quick prayer that he'd let me do the talking. No. Such. Luck.
"Oh, hey, there, Liam. Kate was just showing me your sweet set of wheels here."
Seth banged on the side of the car. "What type of gas mileage does this beauty get?"
Oh,  my God. He sounded like a geriatric car enthusiast.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Stacking the Shelves and Weekly Recap (Dec 6)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews (all credit goes to Tynga for this meme). It offers a chance to showcases the books we got over the past week. The recap includes a list of reviews and other posts published during the week.

A Week of Books

Books From Local Library

(click on links for Goodreads synopsis')


I'm finally getting around to books that everyone else has read - yay! The reviews for Legend and My Life Next Door promise that these two books are going to be wickedly awesome. However, I will keep an open mind and not pile my expectations a mile high. As for Birthmarked and The Eye of Minds they sound like potentially good reads. I hadn't heard of Birthmarked before, so I'm not sure what to expect. Overall, I'm happy with my trip to the library. 

A Week of Posts

What did you lovelies get? Leave links to your post and I'll visit. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review for Pivot Point by Kasie West

11988046Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
By Kasie West
Published February 12th 2013 by HarperTeen
Ebook from Library
352 pages

"Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without." ~


Pivot Point is a winning combination of colorful characters, a well executed and intriguing plot, sweet romance, and a touch of the not-so-ordinary.

It's been a long time since I have met a protagonist I love as much as Addie. It felt like I was the main character - her mouthiness and bookworminess fit like a comfy sweater. I became immersed in her life/lives and could completely get behind her. The comments and decisions she made never caused me to roll my eyes or bang my head against a wall. As for the rest of the cast, well, they practically walked off the page. Each individual was equipped with their own personality and somehow in a group setting it all worked like magic. The relationship between Addie and her best friend Laila was perfection. Their witty conversations had me smiling from ear to ear. And get this, parents are present and actually play a part! No joke. 

Now, romance. The unique approach (chapters that alternated between her two options) snuffed out any love triangle business, but still allowed us to see the best of both worlds. To be honest both guys didn't seem that special at first. But it soon became apparent which one I was going to root for - Trevor. Their relationship was wonderful because at first Addie was just looking for a friend - a best friend actually. Trevor fit the bill. They got along really well a friendship resulted. Only after did it grow into more. I like 'em slow budding romances. As for Duke, he was charming and kind to Addie, but he had nothing on Trevor in my opinion.

It all felt so realistic (except for the "mind abilities" of course) because the conversations and situations were natural. The plot was dynamic and never slow. Despite having no trouble putting it down (gasp), my interest was still there. Weird conundrum. I will be one to admit that the world building could have used some work; however, I didn't see this as a bad thing. Instead of information dumps, we got subtle slips. Soon a bigger picture was formed from all those hints. I loved the gradual submersion into the Compound world. Regarding the alternating "options" - do not be scared. It switches smoothly and will not leave you in a cloud of confusion. Amazing, but true. Even when the two seem to intertwine slightly. I am relieved to have the second book standing by - that ending left me wanting more. How heartbreaking her decision turned out to be, but it proved just how well grounded Addie was. She does not shy away from sacrifices.

I highly recommend Pivot Point to everyone - readers who enjoy relatable characters, "super hero powers" (read it and you'll see the inside joke), romance, and exciting plot. Seriously, give it a go - you will not be sorry! 


"I'm an aide in the library during sixth period."
"Nice." That would be my dream class.
"Wait, so you're telling me this is like a prison sentence for you?"
"More like a torture chamber."
 I gasp. "I'm deeply offended."
"It's just this place is so quiet and these books all start to look the same after a while."
"Charles Dickens is turning over in his grave right now," I tell him.
He forces a serious expression, straightens up, and nods. "Noted. I will not criticize your personal friends when you are within hearing range." He shifts the books in his hands then looks at one of the spines. "Well, I'd better get back to work. The librarian" - he checks over his shoulder - "is a Nazi."
My eyes go wide. "She is?"
He lowers his brow. "Not literally."
"Oh. Right."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (34): Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My Pick This Week Is...

Last Year's Mistake
By Gina Ciocca 
Expected publication: June 9th 2015 by Simon Pulse
 320 pages

"Before: Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...
After: Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to."  ~ Goodreads


This just sounds like a sweet romance. Not terribly original, but it has potential. I will be looking out for it next year!

What are YOU waiting for this Wednesday? Leave links and I'll visit!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Review for The Elite by Kiera Cass

16248068The Elite (The Selection #2)
By Kiera Cass
Published April 23rd 2013 by HarperTeen
Borrowed from Local Library
336 pages

"The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away." ~ Goodreads


Sadly a mouth drooling cover can be misleading. The Elite has a firm footing in its plot, but the characterization of the main characters was insufferable.

Many have loved this book to pieces, others want to shred it to pieces. I'm in the middle. America as well as her two love interests had me doing serious eye rolling. No joke, I think I sprained my eyes. America was so indecisive and immature it was sickening at times. As soon as one guy did something wrong or wasn't showing her enough affection, she ran to the other and was all like: okay, I'm going to be with this one. Then, her feelings would shift again. Gah! Both Maxon and Aspen are pining away, letting her walk all over their hearts. Poor fellows. They both deserve a girl who can be loyal to them. America does have redeeming qualities which made my feelings towards her so conflicted. One minute I couldn't stand her and the next minute I was cheering her on. Her compassion towards others was endearing and I'll be the first to say she has guts. I liked the complicated nature that surrounds the other girls. Their characterization was done extremely well. 

The plot itself was solid. Without the political situations popping up in between I would have become bored, though. So appreciative of those scenes as well as the projects the girls had to do. That was entertaining. The history of the world America lives in was explored, which I really enjoyed. It added substance to all those wishy-washy thoughts America had. The pace was good, it picked up during the rebel attacks - I was flipping pages faster. It seemed like America had made a decision on what she wanted to do at the end of the book. For that I was grateful.

I would recommend this book to readers who don't mind indecisive characters, enjoy romance, and appreciate beautiful covers. Even though I can't stand America most of the time, I do want to see what comes out of all of this!


"Do you know when the last time was that I really looked at the stars?" he asked.
I settled closer to him on our blanket, trying to keep warm in the cool Angeles night. "No idea."
"A tutor had me studying astronomy a few years ago. If you look closely, you can tell that the stars are actually different colors."
"Wait, the last time you looked at the stars was to study them? What about for fun?"
He chuckled. "Fun. I'll have to pencil in some between the budget consultations and infrastructure committee meetings. Oh, and war strategizing, which, by the way, I am terrible at."
"What else are you terrible at?" I asked. 
"Why would you want to know that?" he asked in mock irritation.
"Because I still know so little about you. And you seem perfect all the time. It's nice to have proof you're not."
He propped himself up on an elbow, focusing on my face. "You know I'm not."