Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tell Me the Truth (Nancy Drew: On Campus #4) by Carolyn Keene


Tell Me the Truth (Nancy Drew: On Campus #4)
by: Carolyn Keene

Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 1st 1995 by Simon Pulse        
 
Tell Me the Truth (Nancy Drew: On Campus, #4)
Rating:




Synopsis:

Nancy's full of questions. Her budding romance with Peter Goodwin may shrivel if he doesn't tell the truth about his past. And someone has stolen a bio exam. If Nancy doesn't find out who, it could be Bess who faces failure. Nancy has her work cut out for her, but she's not about to fail the test.





I continue to read Nancy Drew: On Campus as a guilty pleasure. I do not go into the novels with high expectations. They are really just books I pick up because:

  1. Nancy Drew was a big part of my adolescence. 
  2. Therefore I still enjoy reading about Nancy solving a grand mystery.
  3. These books are so corny that I can't help but keep on reading them
  4. They are really short, quick reads. 
The original Nancy Drew series is so much better than this one, which was written in the 90s, but the corniness still appeals to me, so what can I say?

Tell Me the Truth was actually the first mystery in this series so far that I was unable to solve on my own, so way to go there! Usually I have the culprit figured out way before Nancy does with these books and I left wondering if college is actually making Nancy less intuititive, and quite frankly, stupid. But this story gave me a glimpse at the Nancy that I know and love, though she was still kind of annoying.

This particular mystery revolved around a cheating scandal that somehow affected every one of the main characters, even if they were not in the class in which the cheating occurred. For instance, Bess was in the Biology class that the cheating took place in, yet of course, Nancy somehow gets involved with the case. George was not a part of the scandal, but tension occurs between her and her boyfriend Will because of Nancy announcing her suspicions that Will's roommate Andy could be the top suspect. 

These books were made to appeal to older readers, college aged. But even though I am in college, I still find it hard to connect with them. For one thing, there is way too much drama, but then again, with so many characters, that is unavoidable. Another thing is, it was written in the 90s. Which isn't a problem really, I love the 90s, but reading about how they were writing a manual for how to use the internet for students that "was easy to understand because they are still intimated by computers", was a bit comical to read when nowadays, we not only have computers but laptops, tablets, cellphones, ipods, and so on. 

Overall, this book, and the series itself, are still enjoyable. But if you're looking for the Nancy Drew you grew up on and don't want to get disappointed, then maybe you should skip by these books. College Nancy has boy issues...and it is painful to read...


Friday, September 26, 2014

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare


Measure for Measure

Mass Market Paperback336 pages
Published July 1st 2005  
Rating:





Synopsis:
Shakespeare's Measure for Measure centers around the fate of Claudio, who is arrested by Lord Angelo, the temporary leader of Vienna. Angelo is left in charge by the Duke, who pretends to leave town but instead dresses as a friar to observe the goings-on in his absence. Angelo is strict, moralistic, and unwavering in his decision-making; he decides that there is too much freedom in Vienna and takes it upon himself to rid the city of brothels and unlawful sexual activity. Laws against these behaviors and institutions already exist, and Angelo simply decides to enforce them more strictly. Claudio is arrested for impregnating Juliet, his lover, before they were married. Although they were engaged and their sexual intercourse was consensual, Claudio is sentenced to death in order to serve as an example to the other Viennese citizens.


(I cut the summary short due to the fact that it spoils the entire play)


I am going to first start off by saying that I have never really been a fan of Shakespeare. People sometimes find that odd, like it is somehow a requirement for one who is studying English Literature to automatically worship the man and his works. Perhaps my indifference stems from my first experience with Shakespeare being in a high school English class. No one ever really likes required reading, but I feel as though it is just as simple as his writing not being in my taste.

That all being said, I have to say I was somewhat surprised by Measure For Measure. It was entertaining, yet completely bizarre. The Duke of Vienna pretends he has gone travelling the world but in truth disguises himself as a monk. He does this so he can see how his cousin Angelo behaves as leader and supreme judge of his subjects. Will Angelo be a just and fair leader? Or controlling and unreasonable? Angelo is thought of to be a virtuous man. He is anxious about the Duke leaving him in charge, feeling as though he is not ready for the task; to have such power. He wants a test to make he is ready. However, the Duke "leaves" and no such test is given. 

Most of the story revolves around Claudio, a man who is condemned to death for getting his betrothed pregnant before they were married. Claudio's sister, who is entering the nunnery, tries to reason with Angelo and begs for mercy for her brother. At first, he outright refuses saying the law is the law. However, he soon falls "in love" with Isabella and makes a not-so-virtuous offer in exchange for her brother's life. 

The story was amusing but I found that my amusement only lasted for so long, and my interest in these characters rapidly diminished. I felt as though there was a lot of unresolved questions, and that the story itself was not something that held my interest. Though I liked this play a lot more than I have liked many of his others. 

Measure For Measure was required reading for my Shakespeare university course. I went into the play, and all others we have read, keeping my bias and past disappointment with Shakespeare out of my mind while I read. However, I find that my opinion still has not changed. Maybe someday soon I will read a Shakespeare play that knocks my socks off and completely changes my view. But as for now, 3 stars for being somewhat entertaining. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)


Hardcover339 pages
Published August 14th 2014 







Synopsis:
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last? 

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.


“There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.”

Stephanie Perkins has a way of capturing the everyday miracles and magic in life on the page. Her writing gives off an amazing energy. Powerful and lovely. In this novel, she nails how it feels to have a crush perfectly. Not just any crush either, but one that builds and simmers and just explodes. It left me breathless. This story felt so magical, but also so real. Strong characters are those that display insecurities, patience, pain and love; things evident in human nature, things that we the readers also feel. Reading Isla and the Happily Ever After, or in fact, any of Perkins books, I feel as though I know the characters and can connect to them. They go through experiences that are relatable for the average human, not just a teen with a crush.

Isla and Josh are complete opposites. Where she is soft spoken, shy and rather predictable he is careless and outspoken. She lives in a black and white world but he brings color into it, inspiring her to take risks. Isla has been in love with Josh basically since she first met him. She doesn't really talk to him all the often, or really, at all. They have one "meaningful" encounter a year, which is actually more or less awkward and embarrassing. But she has it bad for this boy. Cyber-stalking bad. While that may sound a tad creepy, what teenage girl in modern times can honestly say they've never looked up their crush via any social media site at least once? The fact that Josh's father is a senator who is running for re-election in the states makes it all the easier for her to find stuff about him online. A few times I got angry with Isla, because she allowed her insecurities to get the best of her and she had quite the freak out that made me want to strangle her. But then, while I was mad, I could understand her reaction and could honestly kind of relate to how she felt.


As the book progresses, Isla and Josh's story made my heart melt, do flips, and drop. Doesn't sound healthy right? But it's a story that sends your emotions on a roller coaster. It's sweet, heart-warming, heart-breaking, etc. And to be perfectly honest, I normally try to avoid gushy books like this some would deem as "girly"; not because I do not love a good love story, but the stories always seem so perfect and fake, like the authors dream up scenarios that really could not happen in real life. However, Perkins, as I said before, is an exception as her stories are also perfect, but in a different way.


I was hooked on this book. I devoured it in one sitting. Three hours was all I needed to learn Isla and Josh's story. Three seconds to fall in love with it. It was also nice to see characters from the previous novels and how their lives are going. Books get so over-hyped, but I feel as though this is a book that actually deserves the hype. It is not always easy to find a series, or book, that one can connect with. Too many books have characters that honestly, readers do not give a crap about: they are annoying, irritating, WHINY, all traits that could be overlooked if the character grows and changes. Oftentimes though, the character does not change, therefore, neither do the feelings of dislike or indifference towards them. Isla went from a insecure, cyberstalking, no-risk-taker, to someone you can admire and love. Character development. 


This book made me all bubbly and warm, which is embarrassing to admit, but true. It goes by fast; one minute you are 10 pages in, the next, you are ten pages from the end. And when it ends, you want more. I highly recommend this book, in case that was not obvious. ♥


Friday, September 19, 2014

Introducing 'Bookish Findings' + An Update



Hey everyone!

So I decided to come up with a new weekly meme. This meme is called Bookish Findings. Basically, each week, I will use this as an opportunity to share with you anything I found interesting in the world of books. It could be an article, a quote, a picture, a random thought I had, book news, etc. 

I have yet to choose a day for this meme, it is something I am still figuring out, but look for it sometime next week, along with a new Waiting on Wednesday. I apologize for the lack of activity on the blog lately. With college starting back up and personal issues, I just haven't had the time. But I am working on reviving Ramblings of a Book-A-Holic, and a new weekly meme is only one small part of the revival.

I am also preparing several reviews for books that I have read in my absence as I type this. Most are novels I read for school, but there are a few books in there that I read for pleasure (Isla and the Happily Ever After being one of them!). So expect to see some reviews coming up in the next week. 

Thank you all for sticking around and being patient with me. Happy reading! ♥

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer


Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Hardcover550 pages
Published February 4th 2014 
Rating:



Synopsis:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


“You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary.” She lifted her chin, holding his gaze. “So I’m going to Luna, and I’m going to start a revolution.” 
When I first began The Lunar Chronicles, I was sort of late jumping on the bandwagon. I had heard so many good things about Cinder, and the book was always jumping out in front of me at the library, begging to be read. For a long time, I ignored the book, thinking that all this hype was just that: hype. Looking back now, I remember I keep picking up the book thinking that there was no way it could live up to all the hype it was getting, and I did not want to be let down by another book that was supposed to be amazing.

However, when I finally read it, I fell in love. Scarlet was great as well, but not as amazing. Now I have made it to the third book and have to say, it was pretty amazing. Would not have given it five stars if I thought otherwise now would I?

The novel begins with Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, and Iko on a mission to rescue Cress from her satellite. Naturally, things go horribly wrong, causing them to separate. This was a huge plus to me because it was a way for the reader to get to know each individual character in a more intimate manner. I will not go in to much detail about who gets separated with who and where they all go, you will have to read to find that out. 

Cinder struggles with decisions that she had made on the satellite; decisions that ultimately led to unfortunate outcomes for both Scarlet and Wolf. She begins to doubt herself. Can she really lead people and start a rebellion? Should she just keep hiding from Levana, and give up completely? She tends to second guess herself a lot throughout the novel, weighing the consequences of her options and choices, and how they will affect others.

Cress was a strong third installment to this series. So much craziness was going on! Readers will never face a dull moment with this book. I am left both amazed and impressed with Cress. This series gets better and better with each book. Plus, the whole incorporation of fairy tales is wonderful. Meyer takes a delightful twist on everyone's favorite fairy tales. I suggest this book to everyone who loves a good retelling, or sci-fi. novel 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (#20)


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...


The Jewel (The Lone City #1)


The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


This book, to be honest, sounds just like the YA books I have been trying to steer myself away from, but clearly, that is not working. 

It caught my attention, however, I have seen mixed reviews from readers who received ARC copies of the book and some are pretty harsh. Of course, I will put aside all other opinions when I actually read the book, but needless to say, I won't be going into it with very high expectations. 

Also...I know I should not judge the book this way, but the cover...it is amazing... xD

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (#19)


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...


Winterspell


Hardcover464 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.


Inspired by The Nutcracker...that line alone had me sold on this book. It sounds unique, something that I have not seen done before, though I am sure it has been. As a fan of the ballet and story of The Nutcracker, and I admit I was a huge fan of the Barbie movie as a child, I cannot help but be drawn in to this book and hope to read it when it comes out, though I would save a story like this for around Christmas time. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Family Vacation!

Hey followers!

I just wanted to let you all know ahead of time that I am going on a family road trip, starting today, so I may not be able to post for awhile. I am going to visit relatives who live in a very isolated little farmhouse with no wi-fi and poor cell phone reception so posting just may not be possible for me. However, I have a couple posts scheduled to post while I am away, so there will be some activity going, and if I get the chance, I will try to write up a few things. I have a few reviews I have been working on; including one for Cassandra Clare's City of Heavenly Fire. I will try to get that up sometime soon but if I cannot, I promise to have it up in two weeks when I get back.

Thanks everyone, and happy reading!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (#18)


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...


Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3)


Hardcover368 pages
Expected publication: August 14th 2014
A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.


I fell in love with the first novel of The Cahill Witch Chronicles when I first read it a few years ago. I have yet to read the second novel, Starcrossed, but I plan to soon! I actually checked it out a few weeks ago but decided I needed a refresher in order to remember what was going on. So, once this book comes out, I will probably read the series all the way through. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wings (Black City #3) by Elizabeth Richards


Wings (Black City #3)

Hardcover400 pages
Published June 12th 2014

Rating:





Synopsis:
Following the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. But she can only think of Ash. She hasn't heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she vows to find him.

Ash, meanwhile is back in Black City; it's the perfect place to hide from the Sentry government. But not for long. He won't give up on Natalie or bringing an end to the terrible reign of Purian Rose.

A pulse-racing end to an exciting series.

I do not feel as though I fully connected with Wings because I read the first two books (Black City & Phoenix) last year or so and considering the amount of books I have read in between those books and this one, and being cursed with a terrible memory, I do not believe I was able to fully appreciate this finale. This pains me since I was really looking forward to reading it. However, as I read, my memory did come back to me, in bits and pieces.

Purian Rose is still the head bad guy; there never seems to be an end to his plans to eliminate those he does not deem "pure". However, readers get bombarded with twists at every corner. Most of the twists were well placed and fueled my desire to keep reading. Part of the many twists is the introduction of quite a few new characters, and more information learned about previously mentioned but not really seen characters. 

The most important new character is Edmund. I will not go into much detail about him because that would be giving away  too much. When first introduced to Edmund, I thought he was going to be an unnecessary addition to the story; just filler. I was proved wrong though. 

There is LOTS of tense moments. Especially at the end. My God, I almost had a heart attack near the end. I was shocked at myself because I had not reacted in such a way to a book in quite some time. That is how you know the author is doing something right: when they are able to bring such strong emotions out in you. However, I could have lived without being scared to death haha.

Wings was a perfect final installment to the Black City trilogy. It answered, I believe, all my questions. The only reason it may not be getting a higher rating is because of what I said at the start of this review: my memory being a been cloudy and fuzzy when it came to the details of the first books. Also. there was one other thing that kind of irked me throughout reading this novel. The use of exclamation points!!! I felt as though there were a lot of places where exclamation points were used when they were not really necessary. Of course, this is just my opinion. But it really bothered me for who knows what reason. I felt like there where lines when the character was getting too excited over nothing.

Anyway, Black City is a pretty good series. I did not love it, but the books always held my attention and interest, which is what really matters in the end. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Word Crimes



I have never personally been a fan of Weird Al, or Robin Thicke, but Weird Al took an awful song and turned it into something I actually really liked. 

Weird Al recently came out with a parody of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, and it spoke to me. Word Crimes should be shown to everyone. It pokes fun at how people butcher writing in the English language. It brings  up things that I see people do all the time that just irk me to no end.

 I loved it, and thought it was literary enough for me to share with you guys.

Enjoy!



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (#17)



Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

The book whose release I am most excited for this week is...

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1)

Kindle Edition384 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...


Honestly, this sounds very much like the Young Adult books I am trying to shift away from, but something about it just draws me in. Also, a lot of my GoodReads friends have suggested this to me, so they are all hyped up about it. It sounds interesting, we shall see if I actually get around to it when it is released. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Being Audrey Hepburn: A Novel by Mitchell Kriegman


Being Audrey Hepburn: A Novel

Hardcover336 pages
Expected publication: September 16th 2014

Rating:




Synopsis:
In Being Audrey Hepburn, Clarissa Explains It All-creator, Mitchell Kriegman, tells the story of a 19-year-old girl from Jersey who finds herself thrust into the world of socialites after being seen in Audrey Hepburn’s dress from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Lisbeth comes from a broken home in the land of tube tops, heavy eyeliner, frosted lip-gloss, juiceheads, hoop earrings and “the shore.” She has a circle of friends who have dedicated their teenage lives to relieve the world of all its alcohol one drink at a time.

Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth is transformed when she secretly tries on Audrey’s iconic Givenchy. She becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she’s not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite. Soon she’s faced with choices that she would never imagine making – between who she’s become and who she once was.

In the tradition of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, this is a coming of age story that all begins with that little black dress…

Review:

Lisbeth has always had a thing for Audrey Hepburn, and I can relate to her. While my love of Audrey is not nearly as obsessive, I do have an Audrey poster that was given to me as a gift hanging on my wall, and can watch her movies over and over again. Lisbeth's drug is Breakfast At Tiffany's. It is the go-to movie for her whenever life has got her down.

Who knew trying on a dress can change your life? Lisbeth definitely did not expect to go on such a zany adventure after trying on Audrey's Givenchy dress, but that is what happened. Lisbeth becomes immersed in the life of the rich and famous while she is neither. She tries to balance her real life as a waitress at a local dive, with the life of Lisbeth Dulac a fashion blogger whose fashion sense catches the attention of thousands of followers. With the help of her best friend Jess, who reworks Lisbeth's grandmother's old vintage gowns, Lisbeth becomes accepted as part of the "in" crowd. She creates her amazing fashion sense as the work of Designer X (Jess) and becomes good friends with the Princess of Pop. Naturally, the party can only last for so long. 

In all honesty, this is not the kind of book I would normally pick up. However, I am so glad I got the chance to read it because it was so much fun to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a light, fun and quirky read that is full of adventure. 

You do not have to be an Audrey fan to enjoy this novel, though it would help with understanding some of the references made to her movies. This book could actually turn readers into Audrey fans; you never know. If that is the case, I encourage you to indulge yourself with Breakfast At Tiffany's, or Funny Face, my personal favorite which I actually watched right before writing this review. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feuds by Avery Hastings


Feuds

Hardcover272 pages
Expected publication: September 2nd 2014

Rating:




Synopsis:
In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at deadly a cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.

Review:

Received a free ebook copy, courtesy of NetGalley.
Feuds is a great start to what is sure to be a wonderful series. I was hooked right away by the idea of a dystopian world were people were classified as "Priors", who are genetically modified humans, and "Imps", those who were not modified. It was such an outrageous and slightly terrifying concept, that people are modified genes this way, but it caught my interest immediately. 

Davis and Cole are the protagonists of this novel. Davis, is a Prior, and Cole, an Imp. Obviously, this is a set up already for a forbidden romance. And alas, it was love at first sight for these two. This is pretty much the only part of the story that bothered me. I am all for a good romance; I am definitely a romantic. However, I am not a huge fan of "insta-love". It is one thing to see someone and feel a sort of attraction for them, but another to see someone and fall hopelessly in love with them in just one second. Basically what we have here is a dystopian Romeo & Juliet, which is a problem since I am not a big fan of that story either...


There is character development, especially in Davis. Priors do not normally pay much mind to anything around them it seems. In my opinion, they seem vain and full of themselves. Davis, though she kind of starts off seeming that way, drifts away from that idea. She starts noticing things that other Priors do not. She also begins to question what has been so familiar to her her entire life. It was nice to see Davis grow, if she had stayed like all the other Priors, I do not believe I would have enjoyed this novel and probably would have hated her. 

This novel has a great story-line, romance and action as well. The FEUDS sounded horrifying, but were also an integral part of the story. To briefly explain the FEUDS, it is basically two guys in a cage beating each other to a pulp for money. 


I am looking forward to more from this series and Avery Hastings. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith


The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2)

by 


Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling. When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before... A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Review:

The Silkworm is the second book in Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike series, The mysterious author of The Cuckoo's Calling is no longer a mystery. Most everyone now is aware that Robert Galbraith is really a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the beloved author of the Harry Potter series; a series that introduced many to the magic that reading can bring and create, including myself.

The Cuckoo's Calling was a good book, I preferred it over Rowling's Casual Vacancy. The Silkworm, however, was fantastic. How could it not be, considering it was written by the ever-reigning queen of writing, Rowling herself? Now, I know I might be sounding a bit bias, so I will tone it down just a tad. I did not just enjoy this novel because Rowling wrote it and I told myself I have to love everything she writes no matter what. No, that is not the case. If I had been living under a rock my whole life, and had never heard of J.K. Rowling, never read a book by her, and I read this one, I would still love it. 

The Silkworm begins months after Strike, the main character, solves the case of Lula Landry's death. I will not go into details about that particular case because if you had not read the first book, it will spoil it. Strike rides on the fame of solving that case for a few months, but eventually receives only cases dealing with unfaithful spouses wanting to catch their lover in the act, or divorcees. Then Strike meets the wife of the author Owen Quine who asks Strike to find her husband, for he has been missing for quite awhile and does not want to involve the police. Soon though the case becomes darker than he ever imagined as Strike and his secretary, Robin, are drawn deep into the scandals of the indie publishing world. 

There are several characters introduced throughout this novel. Most of which are deemed as a suspect to the crime committed to Owen Quine. Since there are so many characters, it was really hard for me to pin down the actual criminal, which is a good thing, in my eyes. An author writing a detective/mystery novel would want their readers to have trouble figuring out who is guilty. They would want readers to jump back and forth between characters: "This person did it!" "No wait, she is definitely responsible." "Or maybe it is him..." Robert Galbraith/Rowling had me guessing and pointing fingers throughout the entire novel, something I applaud.

The writing in this novel was strong. The characters were just as strong. There are many authors out there who have stellar writing abilities and can compose brilliant plots with twists and turns galore. However, some of these same authors lack the ability to create character development. Characters need to grow as a story goes on; they need to feel like real people, someone readers can relate to. A character who never grows or changes, is a dull character, and not very much loved. In The Silkworm, Strike and Robin both grow as characters and develop. They overcome hardships, change and adapt to their situations in life. 

I look forward to reading more about Strike and his cases. Also, anything else Rowling decides to cook up. I recommend this series to mystery lovers, and just about anybody else as well. There is some gore involved, just as a warning. It is also an adult series so readers may come across language and such that they would never find in Rowling's Harry Potter series. 

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