Tales For the Fae Inclined (The Poison Eaters – A Book Review)

The Poison Eaters And Other Stories
Author: Holly Black
Published: 2010

Poison Eaters

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Holly Black, the queen of fae, and probably best known for her Modern Faerie Tales trilogy, brings forth a collection of twelve short stories ranging from a prom gone wild because of the Latin club invoking Bacchus (also known as Dionysus) to a tale about a group of girls with poisonous kisses of deadly proportions. Magic comes in all shapes and sizes and variations in this book.

Poison Eaters

Whether this is the first book you’ve read by Holly Black or just one of the many, you’re in for a treat. All of the stories were magnificently written. They range from many different settings—a trailer park, medieval castle, to a fae café. And I really loved the specific details so subtly added to the characters.  Each story was beautifully constructed with the right amount of imagery and struck me with wonder.

While one or two of the stories can be connected back to Modern Faerie Tales, all of them can stand alone so you don’t need to worry about whether you’ll be missing important parts from her other novels or not.

For me, the most interesting stories were In Vodka Veritas, Paper Cut Scissors, and The Land of Heart’s Desire.

In Vodka Veritas followed a kid shipped off to boarding school. He’s discovers that not everything is as it seems and he’ll have to decide whether he wants to save his best friend from the effects of a wild prom turned Bacchanalia (crazy, violent, orgy; season two of True Blood anyone?).

The lore of Dionysus and Maenads have always been fascinating and to come across a story dedicated to that was an utter joy. I may have squeed. Holly Black didn’t have to get extremely vulgar and revealing to get across what kind of parties the god liked to throw. I loved the odd anti-hero coming to the rescue. Really showed the great debate of a teenager knowing what kind of person they really are. It’s a debate that follows a person for the rest of their life.

Poison Eaters

 

Paper Cut Scissors is unlike anything I’ve ever read when it comes to complete originality. My bookworm nerdiness and love for libraries really came to the surface. Imagine being able to change an entire book by putting something in it. Imagine being able to put yourself into any book. What about an epic party with characters from books all over? As I read this, it was like a dream come true. I wanted to be in this story. From Dr. Watson to Anne of Green Gables to Wolverine, this is a party I would definitely attend.

Poison Eaters

 

The Land of Heart’s Desire. I was instantly taken back to a place I know well and that I was more than happy to return to. Back to Modern Faerie Tales (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside). In a fae run café, Moon in a Cup, which is also populated by fae patrons among the good ol’ fashioned human ones, Corny puts out a little advertising to get some business. And he gets just that albeit not in the way he expected. Roiben, the faerie king, is put work with the overflow of customers. The two have an unexpected conversation.

If I’m honest, Valiant is my favorite out of the trilogy and I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people who are fans of it. I loved Val and Luis and Ravus. To see Val and Luis again and the other characters of Ironside made me all giddy. My eyes did a little bugging out.  This story really gave a great overview of how far each of them had come since the trilogy. There was heartache, struggle, and a bit of funny.

 

This book was a delightful read. It definitely left me wanting to read more. Not one story was similar to another. Something different for every occasion. That little book for when you want magic and by now you should know that I love magic.

I could see a Netflix show taking this book on like The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, shows that have new stories every episode. It would be invigorating to see a new POV of the fae world. Faeries aren’t all light and sweet.  They can get nasty if you aren’t careful and I love that Holly Black shows this while making it fun. It would be interesting to see on the screen.

 

Quotables:

“I’m a collector. I have to have the whole set—complete. All souls. They’re going to look spectacular all lined up.” (A Reversal of Fortune-The Devil to Nikki, p. 41)

“A crow doesn’t rip out the eyes of another crow. Nice.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 113)

“The Latin Club is totally evil.” (In Vodka Veritas, p. 118)

“He was just a read and readers can’t do anything to make the story stop—except close the book.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin, p. 152)

“I don’t think people usually have terrible secrets the way characters do, but people often aren’t amazing, either. We’re watered down.” (Paper Cut Scissors-Justin to Sarah, p. 164)

“I envy what I fear and hate what I envy.” (The Land of Heart’s Desire-Corny to Roiben, p. 178)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls.

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Even in Graphic Novels They Sparkle (Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1 – A Book Review)

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol. 1

Author: Young Kim

Published: 2010

Twilight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

“It’s twilight…”

Coming to life in a unique way is Stephanie Meyer’s novel, Twilight. The graphic novel, beautifully illustrated by the way, has a whole new POV of how the characters act to how they look. In Volume I, discover how Bella meets Edward and discovers what he is as she falls in love with him and possibly discover a whole new way to imagine the world of vampires.

 

Now, I’m not going to do comparisons here. If a comparison is what you seek then I suggest picking up the Twilight saga guide which will give you the in-depth look and comparison of the series.

Twilight

 

When I read Volume 1 I was really drawn to the artwork. It’s certainly different from the novels and the movie saga. Forks, Washington is still dismal and rainy with that mist that makes it magical, but the characters are very different. They aren’t anything like what I imagined them. There’s a perfection to every little bit, down to the very facial expression of each character. The Sepia coloring was rich and gorgeous. All of it is one-of-a-kind.

Twilight graphic novel

Something that steered me away from this book though, was that only the good lines we all know and love from the saga are featured in the book. From there I had to gauge from the actions of the characters what was happening. For major fans, that’s not an issue, but I like to have more. I’m a greedy reader. I wanted more to keep me engaged.

While I found bits that I enjoyed and bits that I didn’t, the book isn’t half bad. It really sits in the middle with me and maybe if I get bored I may pick it up and give it a reread.

 

Quotables:

“First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him—and I didn’t know how potent that part might be—that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” (Bella)

“As I looked into his eyes, I abruptly grasped that this was every bit as now to him as it was to me.” (Bella)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? When It Rains by Paramore.

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.

Stalker Much? (I Know What You Did Last Summer – A Book Review)

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1973

last summer - amazon

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Four teenagers make a pact after a devastating car accident, promising to never talk about that night. A night when their lives changed forever. A year later the teenagers start receiving letters that remind them of what they did and worse, what they didn’t do. Being haunted and stalked, they try to figure out who is behind it all and what to do before one of them or all of them end up dead.

I know

First things first, this book is nothing like the 1997 film, which was a horror and went off of the urban legend of the man with a hook for a hand. There are so many differences between the book and movie from what the characters look like to what actually happened that made them form a pact of silence. Also, the body count was much lower in the book. However, both cover the theme of revenge and guilt very well.

This book is quite accessible as it read on a 7th-8th grade level. And I realize it took me two months to read, but in my defense, it sits right beside my pillow as my bedside reader. It wasn’t heart attack inducing or anything of the sort. Nonetheless, I found the story to be quite enjoyable.

Books like these are rare these days. The build-up and curiosity reeled me in. These kids had ordinary lives and now what should be the best time of their lives—going to college, getting an amazing job—is actually riddled with anxiety and dread. But I think what really surprised me was that it was both predictable and unpredictable. I discovered who the antagonist was. It was easy, but I certainly didn’t expect the plot twists and in depth explorations behind the accident. Lois explored each angle, detailing each family and showing how each of them struggled. It really opened my eyes about the varying relationships between parent and child.

I know

One of my favorite things about this is the consistent tone of the story and the way the language magnified the time period when pot and alcohol was revered as major gateways to a low life. That you wouldn’t go anywhere in life if you partook in these things. You were breaking all kinds of rules if you were out partying all night. The vocabulary itself showed just how much language changes over time. We certainly don’t talk like the way they do in the book anymore. It’s so light and simple compared to the complexities of today’s ever-growing language. These days we’ve even added emojis to our language base.

This book is an instant classic and it’s one worth reading again. One certainly gets a feeling for what it’s like to harbor terrible secrets. Definitely earned five bolts from me.

I know

 

Quotables:

“It’s like something out of a move. You think of things like this happening in New York and Chicago and places like that, not in peaceful towns with normal people.” (Elsa, p. 108)

“Something bad is going to happen and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.” (Julie’s mom, p. 268)

“The heavy blackness was all around her. And she knew at last what it was like to be alone in the night.” (Julie, p. 195)

 

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Song today? Eighteen by Creed.

Party Goes Murder (The Cabin – A Book Review)

The Cabin
Author: Natasha Preston
Published: 2016

Cabin - pintrest

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

They think they’re invincible…

Mackenzie joins her friends on a weekend escape to a cabin in the middle of nowhere so that they can have fun before everyone heads off to university in the fall. Sparks fly and alcohol is flowing and in the morning two people are dead with the only possible suspects being the ones in the house.

Mackenzie, determined to get herself and her friends off the list of suspects, investigates, going to great lengths, but what she discovers shocks her to the core. Everybody she thought she knew is hiding secrets and she isn’t so sure that her friends are really innocent anymore. Could the people that she trusts so wholeheartedly be capable of such a heinous act? Everybody tosses blame, increasing suspicions and fears. And when the killer is revealed, Mackenzie fears that the worst has yet to come.

 

When I read the back cover of the book I was intrigued. This is about a killer tracking a group of kids and knocking them off one by one. But it’s not. I was thrown back by this. I felt like the description was completely different from what the book was truly about. I didn’t expect a murder mystery. I was intrigued though. Like peeling back petals of a flower, you slowly discover that none of these characters, even Mackenzie, are who they seem.

What is happening

 

The repetition really got under my skin. I was losing it. There were certain points that Mackenzie kept repeating throughout the whole book. As the reader, I didn’t need her to tell about the things her dead friends would never get to do again. I understood that the first time she thought about it. I understood that when their bodies were discovered. I also couldn’t stand how she kept saying that she couldn’t be falling for Blake, the brother of one of her dead friends. Instead of thinking it all the time, I would’ve liked to see her deflect these feelings more if it bothered her so much. I just felt like she was whining too  much.

Would I read this book again? Probably not. I was thrown off balance too much with it. Between Mackenzie and Blake’s back and forth Will I? or Wont’t? I was dizzying. All of the characters had such short fuses and their emotions ran so red hot that I couldn’t take it seriously. The idea of this story is so good. It truly is, but I feel like it needed more work to get me invested.

 

Quotables:

“His gaze was intense like he saw everything. I didn’t want him to see anything about me.” (Mackenzie about Blake, p. 5)

“The secrets you hide from yourself are always the most dangerous.” (Blake to Mackenzie, p. 21)

“My stomach turned over in fear. The killer could want more blood.” (Mackenzie, p. 194)

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.