The Clockwork Scarab

17084242The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

What happens when a genius, a vampire hunter, and a time traveler walk into a museum?

I don’t even know where to begin with The Clockwork Scarab. This book is probably the craziest mismatched hodgepodge of different elements I have ever read…and yet I enjoyed it immensely!

The novel introduces Alvermina Holmes and Evaline Stoker, niece of Sherlock and sister of Bram, a detective and vampire hunter tag-team duo called to investigate missing persons and a murder. It really is such a shame that they hate each other and refuse to work as a unit–or maybe not, since their antics are hilarious! Enter a time-traveling teen and the cult of an Egyptian goddess in a steampunk Victorian London, et voilà! A masterpiece of strangeness. Continue reading

The Kiss of Deception

16429619The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

You know that feeling you get when a book takes you completely by surprise? The Kiss of Deception takes that feeling and multiplies it to a million, then throws in a little extra for good measure.

THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY!

I don’t even know how to put into words how much I loved this! I love Lia, I love the assassin/prince stuff, I love the world, I love the plot, I love EVERYTHING. And yet all over goodreads people are dishing out one-stars like candy?????????

Does.

Not.

Compute. Continue reading

Unrivaled

26116460Unrivaled by Alyson Noël

The degree to which I was dreading reading this book just proves how moronic I must be.

You see, I read the first two books of Noël’s The Immortals series and had to stop. There was something about the writing, I thought, that I just wasn’t fond of so when I finished book two and seriously disliked it I thought it best to steer clear of her books since they must just not be for me. Then Unrivaled came along with it’s pretty gold-dripping strawberry cover and featured position on that fateful Costco table and suddenly I found myself walking out of the store, book in hand, despite the fact that a) it’s by an author I don’t like, b) the synopsis is not a book I’d typically enjoy, and c) reviewers compared it to the PLL books which I gave up after #1 because I didn’t like them. Basically I only bought it because it looked pretty so when a BookTubeAThon challenge was to read a book you got for the cover, I knew this was it. And I whined about the prospect of having to get through it.

That was a spectacular misjudgement on my part because oh my stars Unrivaled is. so. good! Continue reading

The Wrath and the Dawn

18798983The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

All it took was opening the cover for The Wrath and the Dawn to DESTROY ME.

You know how sometimes they print an excerpt on the first page of a book, before the title and the copyright and the actual story start?

THAT. That is all I read. And I just…dissolved.

THIS BOOK IS FANTASTIC! BEYOND FANTASTIC! SO FANTASTIC I’M AT SUCH A LOSS FOR WORDS I JUST KEEP SAYING ‘FANTASTIC’!

The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of (more so inspired by) the old Middle Eastern story One Thousand and One Nights or The Arabian Nights. In the original story, the basis is that the caliph takes a new wife every night only to kill her by morning until he marries Shaharzad who each night captivates him with a story. By leaving each tale unfinished every night she manages to keep the caliph so intrigued for 1001 nights that he doesn’t kill her. This is the part that Ahdieh takes into The Wrath and the Dawn, as well as her own versions of the traditional tales, but the rest is an entirely new world and an altogether mesmerizing new creation. And it is–wait for it!–FANTASTIC! Continue reading

Lady Midnight

25494343

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Unpopular opinion time: I didn’t absolutely love Lady Midnight.

Here’s the thing: I wanted to love Lady Midnight. Very badly. And I don’t NOT like it–it’s still amazing!–but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

First issue I had is that it takes a reeeeaally long time before seriously getting started. There’s a lot of introducing characters and solidifying relationships but even through the whole mysterious murders thing starts in the very first chapter, it’s not until a good 400 pages in that the Emma and her crew put some actual effort in to figure it out. It’s the first book of the series–I don’t care that it’s Cassie Clare and most people are going to be reading it just because of her and of Clary and Jace and Tessa and Will and Jem, it needs to grab and sustain our attention from the beginning. 400 pages of set-up, no matter how interesting the world is, is frustrating to read. Continue reading

Scarlet

13206760Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet is the second installment in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder series–you know, those books that basically the entire world except me has finished? Yeah…those… Anyway, Scarlet switches setting and story to 18-year-old Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood) who’s dead-set on finding her beloved grandma’s kidnappers and is joined by street fighting bestial hot boy, Wolf, who aids in her quest.

I absolutely adore Scarlet. She’s forward, determined, and won’t take shit from anyone. She’s also an inherently good person and vehemently defends Cinder to everyone despite that she’s a lunar and even though they’ve never met. Just because it’s right. She’s got a lot of spunk–more, I’d argue, than even Cinder in the first–and even when things start to go sour she never once seriously considers bailing. There’s no ‘either save my grandma or nothing at all’ because the nothing isn’t an option–there is only saving her grandmother. Continue reading

Dancer Daughter Traitor Spy

17262751.jpgDancer Daughter Traitor Spy by Elizabeth Kiem

Slow. That’s the first word I would use for this book. With only 264 pages, the first 100-150 were purely set-up, which I’m sure you all know quickly becomes obnoxious. This is supposed to be a spy thriller! Where are the spies? The thrill?? The ANYTHING INTERESTING WHATSOEVER????????? Honestly. On average I read 100 pages in roughly an hour and yet Dancer Daughter Traitor Spy took me forever and there were multiple times in which I considered just giving in and not finishing it at all (which I pretty much NEVER do).

I genuinely wanted to enjoy this. I love espionage, Russia is fascinating (I actually took a course last year on intelligence in the Soviet Union so I learned a lot about the KGB, especially their dealings in and with the USA), and the spy war of the Cold War was so ridiculously intense and often cruel that if properly reflected in the book it would have made a pretty kick-ass novel. Continue reading

Changeling

12988106.jpgChangeling by Philippa Gregory

I must admit (quite shamefully) that upon finishing this I realized it’s been on my TBR bookshelf for six years.

SIX YEARS.

I AM HORRIBLE.

Anyway, sometime in those six years I realized the well-known tidbit that Gregory is the author of not only The Other Boleyn Girl, but a whole plethora of adult historical fiction, mostly on bad-ass Tudor and Plantagenet women (for the non-history majors out there, those are two hugely important royal families in English history). From all you history fans in the back, can I get a “Hell yeah!”?

HELL YEAH!!! Continue reading

Dance of Shadows

12788061Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Much about this novel makes it a prime example of why not to judge a book by its cover. The cover, as you can see, is gorgeous! The book itself, on the other hand… well, it doesn’t quite live up to it.

Dance of Shadows is about Vanessa, a freshman at the prestigious NYBA (New York Ballet Academy). This also happens to be the very same school from which her sister Margaret disappeared a few years prior. She spends the novel (well, she’s supposed to) trying to figure out what really happened to Margaret and in the process uncovers some more sinister, supernatural happenings at the academy.

Let’s begin. It has been a very long time since I read a novel where my biggest issue was with the main character. That being said, the following is written with a heavy heart: Vanessa drove me crazy. First of all, she’s a bit moronic: she does everything she shouldn’t do, trusts everyone she shouldn’t trust, and ignores ignores every warning she should heed. Continue reading

Until the End

9918053Until the End by Christopher Pike

Until the End is not one book; it is a compilation of the Final Friends trilogy written by Christopher Pike in the late 80s. In the first book, The Party, a group of friends host a get-to-know-each-other party and someone dies. The death is ruled a suicide but one of the dead person’s friends doesn’t believe it. The second, The Dance, is the friend trying to figure out what actually happened. In The Graduation, the final book, the mystery is solved. The end.

My opinion: meh.

I was expecting this book to be full of suspense and intrigue; something I wouldn’t want to put down until the final page was turned. Unrealistic expectations, I know, but I wanted something exciting and I honestly thought a murder mystery would be it. I was wrong. Continue reading