"I spent my life folded between the pages of books." -Tahereh Mafi

Some of my reviews are normal non-spoilery reviews. But some of reviews contain lots and lots of spoilers to help you (and me!) remember what happened when the next book in the series finally comes out. Both review types are clearly marked.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

This review is spoiler free!!

Ever since I finished the Shiver trilogy ages ago, I wanted more Cole and more Isabel. I never thought it would actually happen!! Cole is so delightfully crazy/quirky/neurotic. And Isabel is just so perfectly bitchy. 

I love Cole, but I loooove Isabel! Seriously, she's so awesome:

I didn't want to feel like I was the only person in the world who hated people.

Sofia began to cry which was exactly why I generally tried to avoid being a human. 

"Chop-chop," Isabel suggested, her voice so cool that a nearby semitropical plant dropped dead.

Okay, I guess this is the part where I admit that I love her so much because I can totally identify - I tend to be a tad unemotional and people are generally annoying. Anyway, Isabel is the best! 

It is not necessary to know or remember much from the Shiver trilogy. Some things are referenced, but not many specific events. Sam and Grace make brief phone appearances. I think you could read this book without even having read the trilogy.  

While this book is technically paranormal (since Cole is a werewolf), it reads much more like a ya contemporary. Which is exactly what I've been in the mood for lately. It's less about werewolves, and a lot more about how damaged both Cole and Isabel are and whether or not they're too damaged to be together. Cole loves Isabel but he's struggling with his sobriety. Isabel loves Cole, but she's not convinced that love ever lasts. The book is told in alternating POVs, which is done very well - there's no way you'll get confused as to who is narrating a chapter. And it's lovely to see inside both their heads. 

(note: quotes were taken from an arc and may have changed in the final printing)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King

This review is spoiler free!!

This is definitely not my type of book. I decided to read it because Joe Abercrombie is one of my husband's favorite authors and I thought I'd prefer his ya to his adult series. That being said, I actually enjoyed this. I wish the names were easier to pronounce (I know it's silly, but that's one of my major problems with fantasy) and it's a little grittier than I prefer.

But the characters are likable and funny. Even the villains are enjoyable. And there's a lot of character growth, some for the better and some for the worse. And the growth isn't reserved just for the mc - most of the characters are well-developed and grow throughout the book. 

There's a lot of action. Seriously, so much stuff is packed into this book. It's never boring. And it's not predictable. Since I mostly read ya dystopian (which has become incredibly predictable), this was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday

This review is spoiler free!!

Everyone else seems to have loved this book. I thought it was okay. The writing was exceptionally good - I really felt what the characters were feeling. 

But I just didn't care for the characters too much. Ridge just wasn't swoon-worthy. It was hard for me to fall in love with him, because he was so torn between Maggie and Sydney. I just couldn't get into him. And Sydney was okay but I couldn't really identify with her either, mostly because she's just so unlike me. It's just hard to get into a book when you don't like either main character. 

The writing was excellent though, so I think I'll give one of her other books a try soon.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

This review is spoiler free!!

This book really resonated with me. I live in Missouri and have heard my share of tornado sirens. We usually just ignore them because it's usually not that serious. A tree fell on my house during a storm once but it was a small tree so not that big of a deal. But a twist of fate and this could happen to anyone in the Midwest. So sad to think that your life could change so drastically so quickly.

This book is about loss and how to try to move on when you've lost so much. It's about what makes someone family. Jersey's mom and sister both die in a massive tornado that also destroys her home. Jersey's unharmed, but now has to find a home while also trying to cope with such a huge loss. Jersey is a likable character who is easy to identify with. She's dealing with a lot and I think she handles it in a believable way.