Bringing 2017 To A Close – My Top Ten Reads of the Year

My bookworms, my loves!

First of all, I hope you have a wonderful New Year. May it be lively and fun and renewing. Secondly, I was looking back on the year and I have compiled a list of the top ten books out of the many that I’ve read this year. The ones that I’ve loved the most and had the greatest adventures with. It was no easy feat because I enjoyed more than just ten.

It’s been a crazy year, but I wanted to take the time to share them with you. They each left an imprint on me in their own way and I’m sure you know what that feels like after reading a FANTASTIC book.

Starting at number 10…

10.
The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger

FullSizeRender

Blurb: Labeled a DUFF, Bianca Piper is determined to prove she’s anything but. In the midst of parental drama and friend drama, she finds a strange comfort in the arms of the boy who started calling her a DUFF, Wesley Rush.

This was such a fun book. Certainly a little more than PG-13, but still. Having seen the movie first, I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. It feels like the movie and book feel like their two completely stories, but they occur in the same universe. They’re both two situations that are rather relatable.

Review here

9.
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future
Author: A.S. King

History of the Future-Goodreads

Blurb: Glory O’Brien can see her future and it’s not bright. It’s filled with war and tragedy and she doesn’t know what else to do except write all down in hopes that it will be useful for what will come to pass.

Though the story was slow building, I was so intrigued with seeing how Glory O’Brien was seeing the future and how destructive it was. A.S. King is wild and has boundaries when it comes to writing crazy and making you believe it in a strange way. This book was so imaginative and brilliant and really had me looking at some serious issues from a new angle.

Review here

8.
The Poison Eaters
Author: Holly Black

Poison Eaters

Blurb: This collection of short stories ranges across a wide variety of supernatural beings and creatures with their own tales. Maenads, vampires, and the devil. Oh my!

I don’t read short stories very often, but these were so much fun. They were filled with faerie mischief and supernatural hardships. All of the things I enjoy and even some new things that really piqued my curiosity. Very coming-of-age and delightful.

Review here

7.
 Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

Blurb: It’s such a wonderful and beautiful classic that follows the affair of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky as it spirals in a whirlwind of lust and jealousy. And then there’s Levin who is very deeply in love with Kitty, and she’d holding her heart out for Vronsky. Like many journeys for true love there is strife, tragedy, and passion.

I haven’t written up a review for this one yet. I began reading it last year and finished around the beginning of this year, so I’m counting it as one of my favorite books this year. It filled me with such intensity that I found myself audibly sighing at some parts and gasping at others. What can I say? Russian Literature does that to me. Such a magnificent classic.

6.
Unbreakable
Author: Kami Garcia

unbreakable

This one snuck up on me. Thrilling and reeking of Supernautral-esque style, I was sucked into the world of ghosts, poltergeists, voodoo, and demons just like the main character, Kennedy Waters, was after a ghost killed her mother. Rescued by twins, Jared and Lukas, she quickly learns about the Legion and how she may be a part of this demon fighting group.  I didn’t expect this to be as good as it was and I’m currently waiting on the third installment! It was riveting and gut clenching for me.

I also recommend the second book as well: Unmarked.

Review here

5.
Love & Misadventure
Author: Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure - SR

This book of poetry was my utmost favorite this year. It explored the way love opens a person up and how much of a roller coaster it is with its ups and downs, making you dizzy and ill. Its bright lights will blind you and make you feel like you’re flying. The book is so beautiful that it makes my heart swell and ache with a longing of sorts and I’m usually closed off in affairs of the heart because of how shy I am. It really had me spinning.

Review here

4.
Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the End of the Lane

Blurb: A man returns home to attend the funeral of a family member and is suddenly drawn to the pond out behind his neighbor’s home. There, on the bench at the edge, he begins to remember his encounter with Lettie Hempstock and her mom and grandmother, each who claim that this pond is actually an ocean. Mostly he remembers how a man committed suicide in a stolen car and that these three ladies helped him defeat the cruel, frightening and utterly monstrous Ursula Monkton when he was a young kid.

I can still remember the anticipation I had when I started this book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I jumped into it head first because Neil Gaiman has a way of sweeping me away into a completely magical world filled with all kinds of unimaginable wonders. I’ve never read anything like this. It’s utterly perfect and phenomenal.

Review here

3.
LUX (1-2)(3-4) (5)(1.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux-Consequences - entangled in romanc

Blurb: Katy Swartz moves to a new town so that she and her mother can get a fresh start. What she didn’t expect was to be saved from an oncoming truck by the boy next door, Daemon Black. That isn’t what shocks her, though. It’s that he stopped times down to the raindrops falling out of the sky. Daemon is an alien. The alien next door and by saving her he’s put in more danger than she realizes. They know they should stay away from each other, but they’re like magnets. Drawn to each other.

This is the first book series I reviewed on my blog. The book was a constant rush of adrenaline for me, keeping me on my toes with a tension that could glued me to my seat. If it wasn’t the angst between the two main characters it was the game of denial they played with each other. Then there’s the deadly situations they get themselves into because of this denial. It’s the common case of ‘I’m addicted to you, but I don’t like you because you’re going to get me killed’. We’ve all been there, right? I found that this Sci-Fi was very interesting for me because of the added elements of romance and danger that they found themselves in. Certainly on my reread list.

Review here: (1-2)(3-4)(5)(1.5)

2.
Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole

Poison Princess

Blurb: Evie Greene was living the life. Cheerleader, amazing boyfriend, great school. But, there’s that word. Was. All of the great things in her life started to slip and then were completely ripped from her fingertips after the Flash obliterated the planet, leaving it a desert wasteland. To make her life more difficult are the voices in her head, telling her strange things. To figure out what they mean, she’ll need help, which is where the devilishly handsome and dangerous Jackson Deveaux comes in. The boy from the bayou promises to help her, protect her, but for a price. Will she pay it?

This book. THIS. BOOK. I was swept away and completely drawn down, like an anchor to the bottom of the ocean. This series had been suggested to me by my boss. She’d been telling me how great Kresley Cole was, and I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance. This is a jaw dropping series of crazy, eye-popping magic, and that kind of love that will tear you in two, and the page to page action that will make forget to breathe. I haven’t finished the series yet. I’m waiting (rather impatiently) for the third and fourth book to arrive so that I can continue. I can’t get enough. I’m quite addicted.

Review here

1.
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman

AG - bustle

Blurb: Shadow Moon gets released from prison early due to the death of his wife. On the way home, he’s hired by Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious man, to help him as he visits people across the U.S. Little by little, Shadow begins to see that not everything is as it seems. Wednesday is actually gathering allies in a coming war of new gods versus old gods and Shadow is caught the middle. Not far behind these two gentleman is Shadow’s dead wife, seeking him out in hopes of finding him and seeking forgiveness before her rotting body completely falls apart.

Is there any reason this shouldn’t be numero uno? I’d heard about the TV show coming out in the spring and it sounded fascinating, so I went ahead and got the book so I could get the lowdown on the story before the show aired. Normally, I don’t care about that kind of thing. This book took me two and a half days to finish; I was so engulfed. The imagination and sheer detail put into this book is a work of art. I have this book up in my nook beside my bed, where all of my favorite books go. I recommend this to anyone and everyone who loves the fantasy and/or supernatural genre. Even those interested in mythology should read this. You’ll get sucked in so quick that when the end comes you’ll be left in a pleasant haze of fascination. Neil can do that. Even my mom says so, and moms are usually right.

Review here

There it is. My top ten. I haven’t read as much as I wanted to, but a brand New Year is about to begin. And as my personal book resolution for 2018, I want to read from at least 25 authors that I’ve never read from before. I feel like that is a solid goal and a great opportunity to try new books, (of course it’d be within range because mysteries, if you remember, make me sleepy). I also have a resolution to get more sleep, but I’m already breaking that one before the New Year. LOL.

In addition to a resolution, I’ll be working on my layout some more. I know that most blogs, if not all, have an end of the month round-up of what they’ve read. I haven’t done one because I never thought it necessary, but beginning next month I will start posting one. That way, in case you miss a post, I will be able to catch you up.

What’s your resolution for 2018? Tell me in the comments below!

And just remember to stay safe and have fun on New Year’s, loves.

HAPPY 2018!!

2018

-K.

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It’s Alive!! Now Beat It With a Stick. (Frankenstein – A Book Review)

Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley
Published: 1818

F-D-JH

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Victor Frankenstein is a man of great intelligence and seeks the greatest mysteries in life as a scientist: eternal life. He goes one step further; he seeks out a way to bring life from death. When he succeeds, he isn’t excited about the revolutionary accomplishment, but utterly horrified. Under terrific duress, he tries to escape his disfigured and horrifying creature, only for more horrors to follow him wherever he goes, resulting in ultimate dread, loss and insanity.

The Gothic horror tale of Frankenstein is the first in my three story mass market.

 

Warning: There is a chance that this review is spoiler-y, though with the novel being well in-depth, maybe not that spoiler-y.

Having seen many different renditions and portrayals of the great Victor Frankenstein and his creature, I was glad to finally get to read the book. I was surprised by many things. One being that the great Dr. Frankenstein wasn’t a maniac as portrayed…

Frankenstein - imgur

NOPE.

 

It’s rather the opposite. Key word is misery. And death. There was a lot of death in this fantastic horror. And yes, there were many similarities by the great Gene Wilder and others, but still. NOPE.

I really enjoyed how this story was told. The POV was from Victor Frankenstein, but not in a present tense. You begin with letters from a man, Walton, to his sister while he’s on a ship voyage and then stumble upon Victor Frankenstein who then relays his tale to the man. You’re reminded that he’s telling you this with speckles from him such as, “Let me regain my breath” and “Let make sure I recount this correctly”. I loved that the most, I think.

Something that pickled me, and yes, I said pickled, was Igor. Igor, always known in films to be Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant in his experiment actually doesn’t exist. Henry Clerval is the closest character to compare to the disfigured and seemingly dumb character, though he isn’t those things in the book. My mom even tossed in her thoughts when I discussed it, saying, “I guess the movie producers/creators thought the great doctor was inept and gave him an assistant.”. LOL.

Frankenstein

NOPE.

The strongest element that really pulled me in was the themes. While this is an element carried in most books, it’s not one that usually captures my attention like fireworks. Fireworks were had here with the themes. As you know, I discuss what draws me the most to the books I’ve reviewed here. In some cases it’s the characters or the setting because of how detailed it is and how beautiful of a visual it can be. Other times it’s how the book made me feel and how I related to these emotions. It’s all the usual. Frankenstein was special.

One of the themes that stuck out was in how people treated the creature. I refuse to call him a monster, because he didn’t truly become a monster until forced, and even still, he is just struggling to survive and figure out the world, like all of us. Though, I believe we call it adulting these days. So if he is a monster then aren’t we all?

More so, he was deemed a monster mostly because of what he looked like, adding (to this theme of being a monster) that he was judged based on what he looks like-something people everywhere has dealt with before at one time. After all, there’s one of those golden rules: Thou shalt not judge a book by thy cover.

And that leads me to the second theme. For those who have read this tale, you know that Victor Frankenstein’s creature comes to find the doctor after his creation/birth. He tells him the tale of his journey and how he came to learn how to talk and live off the land which shows, in my opinion, an off-handed, coming of age theme. The creature is full-grown when brought out of death and to life, but he goes through the motions of figuring out who and what he is all by himself with nobody to guide him, except those he watches from afar.

A longing for love and acceptance followed this one because the creature’s yearning that came from his tale of self-exploration and abandonment. In one way or another, finding a partner in life, one of equality and that shares in your living of it, is one of our greatest goals. It could go from having a best friend to a pet to having a soulmate in life. To see the creature express this need was fascinating and intriguing. It’s all he wanted. I was ultimately sad when it was refused.

Frankenstein

While the book did have its repetitive moments, the pacing was quick, yet steady without hiccups. More so, I was consumed by the places Victor Frankenstein traveled to and how his creature sought to be like other people and be accepted by them. The novel is truly tragic for both parties. For those who enjoy horror, take a moment to read this classic. You won’t get scared out of your pants. That’s not what this kind of horror is. It’s that you are understanding another person’s horror.

 

Quotables:

“It was a strong effort of the spirit  of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.” (Victor, 39)

“Do not despair. To be friendless is indeed to be unfortunate, but the hearts of men, when unprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love and charity. Rely, therefore, on your hopes; and if these friends are good and amiable, do not despair.” (De Lacey to creature, p. 133)

“You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” (creature to Victor, p. 167)

“…For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires. They were forever ardent and craving; still I desired love and fellowship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I thought to be the only criminal, when all humankind sinned against me?…” (Creature, p. 221)

 

On a separate note, I received something UBER awesome today and just had to share how grateful I am. I am a very big fan of Rachel Caine’s work (Morganville Vampires) and have been meaning to get my hands on The Great Library series. Well, today I received a mysterious package and the first three novels of the series were inside.

excitedBeing Becky is pretty damn accurate.

They have been added to my immediate queue line aka the back of my couch so I imagine I will be getting to them in the Spring. I’m very excited and grateful to whoever sent them and look forward to talking about them with you all, my hapless bookworms!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers.

 

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It’s A Pond, No, It’s An Ocean (The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – A Book Review)

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2013

Ocean at the End of the Lane

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Attending a funeral, a man comes back to the remnants of his childhood home and then is drawn to the house at the end of the lane where he sits at the edge of a pond. This pond is special. It isn’t a pond at all, but a a sea…an ocean. That’s what Lettie Hempstock called it and she was right. She, her mother and her grandmother, women who were mysterious and mystical had more than once told him how they came there across this ocean. That there was a world there beyond his wildest dreams and worst nightmares past it.

As the narrator sits there, he begins to remember when he nearly choked in his sleep from a coin being lodged in his throat, and an Opal miner turned up dead, and how his friend, Lettie, who promised to protect him, had to defeat a supernatural creature that came in the form of Ursula Monkton, the new housekeeper/babysitter that came from another world and was taking over his home. There was something magical and frightening in that memory, down at the end the end of the lane. As he recall every minute detail he relives a world that shouldn’t have made any sense, but it did. And as quickly as he remembered, he forgot.

I do not know how to express how much I’ve come to love Neil Gaiman and his magic. Having read American Gods, I was ready to read his other works wherever I could find it. Down at the bottom of a dusty box, in the stockroom of the bookstore, Ocean At The End Of The Lane stared up at me like a beacon and I was so excited. I can still recall jumping up and down faster than the speed of light and getting to set it on the back counter so that I could buy it on payday.

Excited

Gaiman’s riveting detail still surprises me to no end. It’s so beautiful and frightening in a single breath. The storytelling comes from a unique standpoint as well.

As I read, I became enchanted and amazed by the world that was created just between two houses. This story didn’t take place across a large setting like a country or a town. There was no road trip. More so, the world seemed so much larger than just these two places, in the memory of one man. I can’t pinpoint it precisely, except to say that I was deeply reminded of The Spiderwick Chronicles and the harrowing adventures in the small series. This was like the grown-up, more intense version.

Ocean at the end of the Lane - Spiderwick

 

One of the most important elements (to me anyway) that I’ve come to notice in Gaiman’s books, the ones that I’ve read so far, is the great detail he gives to the moon. It is such a magical and fantastical being, though it’s so far away and, maybe it’s just me, but we can’t help but want to reach out and touch or let it swallow us whole in its beautiful, pale light or even just talk to it because it’s such a great listener. I’m taken over by a bout of warmth and fuzziness with how Gaiman writes about the moon and that it’s more than just a rock in the sky. It gives light in the dark, shining a way home.

Moon

While I was deeply enveloped in the magic of the book and I do believe it was all magic, there is a question to be posed. Was this memory all in the narrator’s imagination? Was this how he coped with serious events that rocked his life, like for example, the man’s death that he and his father discovered? After all, this book takes place in the narrator’s memory and people remember things differently from other people.

 

This book was phenomenal. If only I had enough words to describe how extraordinary Gaiman’s storytelling is. All I can say is, you have to read it for yourself.

 

Quotables:

“Can’t drink the water from the sea, can you? Too salty. Like drinking life’s blood.” (Grandma Hempstock, p. 7)

“Small children believe themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and then can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing.” (narrator, p. 51)

“Adult stories never made sense, and they were so slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood.” (narrator, p. 53)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Runaway by Thriving Ivory. 
Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J. 

Totally Witching (Summer on East End: Triple Moon – A Book Review)

Hey my loving bookworms!

I’m getting this review in here before I head out of town to the Supernatural Convention down in Pittsburgh. I’m super excited. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’ll be getting some much needed quality time with my mom.

So to the review!

 

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published: 2015

Triple Moon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

“Beware the storm of retribution” (p. 143)

Young witches, Mardi and Molly Overbrook (and twins to boot) are sent to stay with their Aunt Ingrid on East End after a terrible accident that could expose their magic and send them back to the days of burning witches at the pyre. Problem is, they can’t remember what happened so they, along with their Aunt Ingrid and Aunt Freya need to figure out what happened before it’s too late. That means they’ll have to come together and that’s not easy since they can barely stand each other. One thing is for certain, there was somebody else with them during the accident. While in East End, the girls will need to keep cool with their magic and embrace the human life. Their lives depend on it.

Meeting cute boys, however, is a side perk to being stuck in the small, oblivious town too. The twins meet the Gardner brothers and sparks certainly start flying both metaphorically and literally. Can they handle getting caught up on in love dram and stay out of witch drama, or will this be the end of them?

Triple Moon

If you’ve followed the witches of East End then you’re already familiar with the characters. I followed them through the TV show on Lifetime so I know a little-tid-bit. It was delightful and made me quite reminiscent of Charmed. Plus, it’d been a while since I read a book with witches, so I was ready for this book.

Both old magic with potions and broomsticks meet the modern world of fancy parties and ritzy fashion. I wasn’t sure about the combination when I started, but it blended very well, much like salty and sweet. You think being so opposite of one another that they wouldn’t work, but they are tasty! I personally love Reeses Snack Mix (and I’ve realized I make food comparisons. Not sure if that’s just because I’m hungry or not. I love food.).

Myth and lore of magic is always important to me. One small tidbit can ruin a whole book for me. That kind of happened with Twilight. Loved the storyline and the characters, but didn’t love the vision of mythology of ‘vampires’ and ‘werewolves’. And while I don’t mind debates, this review isn’t about Twilight. To each their own. But I loved how this book stayed attached to magic in a way that while it was one of a kind, it was also still connected to the history of witchcraft.

Triple Moon

The blend of Nordic gods and witchcraft was such an amazing twist, even though I already caught a gist of it from the Lifetime TV show. There was more depth added to it here in the book. I was swimming in an endless pool of magic.

Triple Moon

The twins were fantastic characters because of how they made me feel. There was frustration and excitement and longing for them to find closure in certain aspects of their life, like their absent mother. There was a great amount of detail to them, right down to what made them so different and what their styles were. If I had to pick one I can relate to the most it would have to be Mardi. While she’s bold and relaxed, she’s shy and caring while her sister is sensitive and high-end. However, I’m not brave enough to try Mardi’s skimpy and flashy clothing style.

 

I’d read this book again because while I wasn’t surprised by some of the plot twists, I found the story to be a beautiful, magical, mess. The detail sucked me in and really put me right in the middle of a different world. I couldn’t find a problem, not even when I got frustrated with the characters, because they weren’t written terribly, they were just stubborn and making me go grrr sometimes just like people do in real life. I look forward to reading the sequel.

 

Quotables:

“The rush of gratitude she felt toward the universe was intense.” (Mardi, p. 36)

“Something about him felt like home. A home she had never had.” (Mardi about Trent, p. 61)

“…Take for instance, the very runner beans. They look pretty misshapen, and they have a few brown spots. Their color isn’t uniform. If you were looking for perfection in a gleaming supermarket, you might turn up your nose at these particular beans. But these particular beans are actually fantastic, bursting with flavor. All of their color and beauty is on the inside. So you have to know them in order to love them…” (Marshall about Molly, p. 103)

A fantastic analogy by the way. This book was littered with beautiful language and it was delightful.

“You always want to a fresh situation with a boy on a high note, with a lingering sense of possibility.” (Mardi, p. 240)

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song today? Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus.

Possession is Fundamental, Not. (Unmarked – A Book Review)

Unmarked (The Legion Book 2)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2014

Unmarked

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

                                                He is here…And he could be anyone.                

 The demon, Andras is set free thanks to Kennedy and the Legion. (Confused? Read Unbreakable, the first book in this series or take a peek at my spoiler free review: The Family Business?)

Now, Kennedy is off at boarding school. Girls have been going missing left and right. With no idea about where her friends are, Kennedy keeps track of the strange occurrences happening across the country, not that she has a choice with her photographic memory. Then the gorgeous Jared Lockhart shows up, the one who promised to find her, and while she is unbelievably happy to see him, she is immediately reminded of what they did. But when his life is threatened, Kennedy is determined to find a way to save him, regardless of the world falling apart around her.

Kennedy and the Legion are forced to accept help from the most unlikely of people, the organization that has been enemies with the Legion for years, the Illuminati. Kennedy isn’t sure how much more she can take, but when secrets are revealed that change how she views her mother, they could break the Legion apart forever.

Unmarked - Supernatural Wikia

 

The secrets & revelations just keep coming. I was rather surprised with the plot that kept twisting and twisting! My gut was in a couple knots by the end. Kami Garcia really knows how to stun you. I want to say it’s like running into an invisible brick wall. You don’t see it coming or at least I didn’t, which is an upgrade from the first book, Unbreakable. The unpredictability was definitely kicked up a notch.

The new characters were fantastic. Gave the story that good push forward. Sometimes sequels and other books within in a series lean too heavily on the book that started it all, but this was not the case here. While there were flashbacks (well placed by the way) there were massive pushes forward into the series with the introduction of new characters and obstacles. These characters weren’t just here for a few scenes and then gone and I loved it.

 

Revisiting subjects that were only briefly mentioned in the first book and realizing that they held so much more importance that before was made me salivate. It was literally a case of—I remember that! Followed by—wow, intense, because there’s so much I didn’t know and it wasn’t relevant then, but now…now it is and Kami really knows what she’s doing, mind-bending me. For example, the illuminati, briefly mentioned as a group of baddies in Unbreakable, has a much bigger role to and so does Kennedy’s mom.

Unmarked

 

Still moving at like a high-speed semi-truck. The time jump from the first book to the second is only a few days. This series is non-stop action and drama, a force to be reckoned with. There certainly wasn’t a dull moment, though I can’t deny that I rolled my eyes a couple times during those super gushy moments. What can I say, I’m awkward around people with feelings.

 

I’ve read a couple comments on Goodreads about a third book and quite a few people feel like it’s never coming, but never fear! I actually sent a message to the author and her lovely people because I was curious about it myself. I got a reply the next day. There will be a third book. Kami just has a couple other books that she’s been working on such as X-Files: Origins. I hope it really keeps up the momentum of the series and with it leaving me hanging the way it did, I can’t wait for the third book to be released.

 

Quotables:

“Real life doesn’t work that way. There are some fights you can’t win.” (Kennedy to Maggie, p. 18)

“Sometimes when I look at you, I can hardly breathe.” (Jared to Kennedy, p. 172)

“Friends who don’t trust you…and a boy who doesn’t love you” (Kennedy, p. 279)

“This was a war we couldn’t win. Or one we’d already lost.” (Kennedy, p. 331)

“Sometimes moving forward changes what’s behind you.” (Kennedy to Priest, p. 371)

“But you still fight. You still hope. Because there’s a chance you might win. And even if you don’t—you fight for the people you love, especially when they can’t fight for themselves.” (Kennedy to Jared, p. 379)

Unmarked

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song Today? Cry Little Sister by Aiden.

The Family Business? (Unbreakable – A Book Review)

Hey everybody! I love you, my dear bookworms! I hope you are doing well. While I do have a new book review for you here, I am also messing around with a new way to format it. Not any major changes. Just ways to highlight new paragraphs and separate subjects to help with transitioning.

Also, enjoy the solar eclipse today! Just be safe and don’t go blind. Please.

 

Unbreakable (The Legion Book 1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2013

unbreakable

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Protect yourself. What you can’t see can hurt you.

From the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series comes a book about the forces of darkness.

Kennedy Waters is your average teenager with the exception of having a photographic memory. After discovering her mother dead, she’s nearly killed by the same force, a deadly spirit when twins, Jared and Lukas Lockhart, break in and save her. Kennedy’s quickly swept into a world of fighting and protecting the world from vengeance spirits and demons.  Jared, Lukas and the rest of the misfit group known as The Legion believe that Kennedy is the missing member of their group. She isn’t so sure.

Only after receiving a special mark will she be one of them and the more she tries the more it seems unlikely. Everyone is sure she’s the missing member, especially Jared. Unlike the others, there’s nothing special about her, and this fight is turning into more and more of a nightmare.

Unbreakable

She joins them on the hunt for a special artifact that could help avenge her mother’s death as well as the death of others. It may also confirm her position in The Legion.

 

Where to start…

My heart raced like Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” as I became quickly enthralled with this book. All of the dark and twisty surprises were enticing and. I haven’t had a book do this to me in a good little while. Couldn’t put it down. I live for the supernatural world. I found myself holding breath a couple times.

 

I really enjoyed this book. That’s a good place to start as any. I think one of the big reasons behind why I enjoyed it so much was because of how close it was to Supernatural. Yep, the TV show. Now, it wasn’t a replica. Not what I’m saying, though there are similarities since mom dies in the show and the book. But the usage of lore is what connects the two. The use of devil’s traps and what affects a spirit is impressive. I will say that this book goes into great detail about this. More so than Supernatural, I believe. You get the basic gist from the show, but in this book you get a really feel as for why these traps work and how.

Unbreakable trap

I do feel like the Winchesters of Supernatural and The Legion live in the same universe.

 

The pacing of the book is fast. Don’t trip or you’ll miss something. You basically his the ground running after the prologue-ish beginning. Just like Kennedy, you’re swept away and while I feel like there were moments that we should’ve slowed down, it still worked. Kennedy did well in contemplating why they moved so quickly. She took the opportunity to question everything and not all main characters do that. It made up for the pacing.

The images that emphasized certain symbols that Kennedy saw were a beautiful addition. Not a lot of books add imagery to their story, but this book did just that for the readers and I loved it! Not because I wouldn’t have been able to picture it for myself, but because it pulled me into the story even more as if I was there standing in from of them and seeing them with my own eyeballs. I find that adding certain artwork or images to a story can really amplify it.

There was a peeve. Oh man, I wish there wasn’t. But there is. The Jared and Kennedy love connection. I’m not against love forming in the face of danger. In fact it gives me a thrill because who has time for that!? You may die any minute, any second, and you’ve discovered you might be having feelings? Alright! But—a nasty word, I know—it happened to fast for me. It was like getting smacked with a fish. Completely random. I couldn’t find the connection that would’ve sparked this. Maybe it was just plain, old attraction. I’m not sure. I just wish it would’ve been more solid.

Unbreakable huh

 

Do I recommend this book? I do. It’s fun with twists and turns and while they seem predictable at times, they’re still a hell of a lot of fun.

Unbreakable yes

 

Did I overload this post with too many Supernatural gifs? Hell no. No such thing.

 

Quotabes:

“The full moon glowed above the rooftops. It reminded me of my mom. She used to say that a moon like this was full of wishes and that if one of those wishes belonged to you it might come true…” (Kennedy, p. 129)

“How much pain could I withstand before I finally broke?” (Kennedy, p. 181)

“I was never destined to save the world. I was the one who destroyed it.” (Kennedy, p. 305)

 

P.S. Song today? Come As You Are by Nirvana.

From Mystic Falls to Night World (Night World No. 1 – A Book Review)

Night World No. 1
Author: L.J. Smith
Published: 2008 (for the version I read)

Night World

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

This book includes the first three books of the series: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, and Spellbinder.

“None of the Night People could fall in love with a human. The sentence for breaking the law was death.” (James, p. 33)

From the author of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle, comes a series about the laws of the Supernatural: The Night World. It is forbidden for Night People to fall in love with a human, unthinkable, but when it’s your soulmate, you don’t have a choice. Follow James, Ash, and Thea was they are drawn to their soulmates like magnets. With trouble lurking in the dark, they go to extreme measures to protect, even breaking the most sacred of laws—telling humans about Night World.

Secret Vampire: Terminally ill, Poppy discovers her closest friend, James is in love with and more than that, he’s a vampire. He’ll go to extreme lengths to make her well, even break the laws of Night World.

Daughters of Darkness: Three new girls come to town to live with their grandmother, but when she ends up dead and Mary-Lynnette and her brother Mark discover they’re vampires. To make matter more complicated, their brother, Ash, shows up and instantly falls in love with Mary-Lynnette.

Spellbinder: Thea and Blaise, sisters, witches, have a crush on the same guy, Eric. Blaise is dangerous and her history with boys ends with stalkerish obsession because of the spells she uses on them. Feeling such a strong connection to Eric, Thea threatens to use her own magic on him to protect him from her. She didn’t expect to fall in love with him though. Who will win in this game of magic?

Night World

This series was originally published 1996-1998 with the final installment coming out back in 2012. This isn’t the first series to be re-released but L.J. Smith. The Vampire Diaries had also been re-released with additional books added on to the series.

The first installment of the Night World series is tender and gives a strong sense of life or death in every detail, showing how important it is that Night World remains in secret. This was a very easy read. The characters carry themselves with such distinct individuality, and I really enjoyed reading from each character’s POV. The level of emotion and drama was taken up to an eleven, making it seem like some of the reactions by the characters are over-done.

There are some points that seem vague, but I could easily fill those parts in with my own imagination. Plus, all of these short novels come together as a connected storyline.

This is definitely a series I recommend for those who are looking for their supernatural and romance fix. L.J. Smith does a lovely job of keeping up with the originality of the supernatural as well as bringing in some new details to it. The idea of a whole world completely unknown is a chilling, haunting dream brought to life and I want to be a part of it. I will certainly be looking for the remaining books to the series.

On a side note, I have to wonder if Night World will eventually make its TV debut like Secret Circle and The Vampire Diaries. I’m curious about who’d make up the cast. Thoughts?

Damon Salvatore

 

Quotables:

“You don’t love a girl because of beauty. You love her because she sings a song only you can understand…With the thought came a strong feeling of protectiveness.” (James, p. 68)

“When you’re soulmates, it hits you like lightning, and you know that’s the one person in the world you were meant to be with. You don’t think you’re soulmates; you just know it’s you destiny whether you like it or not.” (Kestrel, p. 362)

“Even when we’re apart, we’ll be looking at the same sky!” (Ash to Mary-Lynnette, p. 485)

“Maybe the old powers were waking and new times were coming. Maybe the world was about to change. Only one thing was sure. There were infinite possibilities.” (Thea, p. 729)

D+S

And I’ll leave this last adorable gif of the Salvatore brothers from The Vampire Diaries; books written by L.J. Smith.

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Dangerous Type by Letters to Cleo.