Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cordovan Vault - J Monkeys

Quinn and Kayla never liked each other in school, always pulling pranks on each other. Things get worst when Quinn's guardian Lorelei, his sister, falls in love with Kayla's guardian Jim, her brother, and they end up under the same roof together! Then, Jim and Lorelei marry! What is worst than that, Jim and Lorelei ditch their wedding reception for no apparent reason ultimately leaving Quinn and Kayla alone...together.

Quinn and Kayla are able to put away their differences as they try to figure out why their siblings left so abruptly for no apparent reason. Hoping for explanation at home, after the reception, all they find is a note saying they went to Philly instead of Hawaii for their honeymoon and an old letter from Kayla's mother that Jim wants her to solve. This leads to a purple key, a diary, a static phone call at 3am in the morning, hidden room in their pantry with a CD saying "PLAY ME" and a explanation on it saying "We are not who you think we are", and then their house exploding! All in one night!

Their findings lead them to Philly with the purpose of finding who they really are, where their siblings are, and who is trying to hurt them!

This books reminds me a lot of Da Vinci Code meets National Treasure meets a Rick Rhordian novel. This book even mentions one of Rick Rhordian novels, which I thought was funny. The beginning is very fast pace from the get go with one thing happening after another with action and adventure. But, as soon as they get to the Last Tain things start to slow down to a crawl as they are trying to figure out how to find their brother and sister and make money so they could continue on their quest.

Their are some things that confused me a bit, like for two kids trying to stay hidden, they were sure exposing themselves with easy access as they promoted the coffee bar and Quinn's music. Another thing that confused me was at one point Kayla is doing a search about Blue Hydrangea flowers and the page she finds has nothing to do whatsoever about the flowers but suspiciously about who might be following them, I didn't get how the two connected.

Thought the historical references were pretty cool especially the reference to door colors, but when I googled that to learn more I couldn't find any info about it and actually found out Red doors have a different meaning than said in the book. But their is lots of historical reference that were interesting to read about. I love learning bits of history in novels, putting truth in fiction is my favorite. I am not sure exactly if this book does that or not with my findings of door colors but it was still interesting!

The paranormal parts of the book are a little vague, and I am hoping the next book gets more into what they exactly are, are they witches, aliens, something else? There is still a lot happening after the book ends so their is lot to look forward to in the next book!

I really enjoyed this book, there are very subtle clues at the book progresses and if you catch on to them you might figure out the clue before the characters in the book do! Very fun to read and I look forward to the next one!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles) - Julia Crane

Keegan lives like a human being, but she is really an elf. She has the main elf power of invisibility and the inner eye. And she is very excited to meet her life mate when she comes to age. In elf society a life mate is chosen for you but you can not see your life mate until you are the age of 18. Life mates are cloaked from each other till the youngest turns 18 and they know nothing about each other not even there name. But Keegan's situation is special, her brother Thaddeus, a seer, has told Keegan her life mates name: Rourk. Now she constantly thinks of Rourk's name.

Every time Keegan thinks of Rourk's name, he gets a mental picture of where Keegan is. At first it was easy for him to ignore it but now every time she thinks of his name he must go and find her and see what she is doing. He knows what she looks like, but he doesn't know her name. And she doesn't know what he looks like all she knows is his name.

Everything seems simple and everyday for Keegan until her and her friends go to a new age fair and Keegan encounters a dark elf. When she tells her parents what happens, her parents get all panic stricken and inform Keegan that things have been happening that she hadn't known about, and now it is time for her to know!

The story for me feels a bit off, disjointed. There are paragraphs just placed in places that don't go along with the previous paragraph just so that specific thing can be referenced later on. Things happen too quickly and things that don't need to be described are, when big events are not described enough. The concept is interesting and different but it doesn't fully flow well in my opinion.

****May be spoilers below****

There are many things that bothered me in this novel to make me give it three stars. When Keegan tells her parents about the dark elf she sees at the new age fair they get all scared. They inform her about the war that has been going on since the beginning of time shielded from human eyes and her father is the chosen one. And now the time is growing near and her family must prepare all because she saw a dark elf at a fair. No other back story other than that. No reason why the father is the chosen one. Also, the parents get all mad that she went to the new age fair because that is where you run into dark fairies. Well...later on it is known that there are creatures everywhere. So, why couldn't she had seen a dark fairy at starbucks?

Thaddeus, Keegan's brother, is this big important seer/warrior. And he is not allowed to interfere with fate. So he doesn't tell his sister about something bad that happens but it is okay for him to interfere and tell Keegan Rourks name so he could help her in a time of need? It is also told he is the prophecy child, but there is no backstory to that. How did he become the prophecy child what is the prophecy?

Thing don't go together well, don't seem to mesh well. There is a point where she just learns about the war that is happening, her father is the chosen one, and she goes up to her room to read text messages and swoon over guys. Or Keegan can walk briskly to her favorite starbucks or think about walking to a party with her friends from her house. But at the same time she lives on a 70 acre lot with farmland everywhere and a long windy driveway.

There are conversations not needed, for instant she talks to a friend about helping with english later and then that is all it isn't talked about again, just that bit of conversation for no reason. Then there are paragraphs that are just placed there that don't go with the rest of the page. There is a brief paragraph where Donald is talking to Keegan but she was too busy thinking of Ireland and he bolts...the only reason that is there is to set up a scene later on where he is in Ireland helping with the fight. But the paragraph just seems to float there disjointed from the rest of the story.

The romance is rushed and annoying. Before they even say hi or one word to each other they are lip locked and everyone is cheering and clapping. They don't even know each other, they have barely met before and just because they are chosen for each other it is okay to kiss right away? And everyone cheering? Why would they care? There is so much emphasis put on Keegan like she is a Queen or something but no reason why. Everyone is dying but everything still goes on, but when it happens to her the world stops and no one can move except her loved ones. Or no on talks until she wakes up. How is she any different than anyone else?

Things conflict as well. It is mentioned many times that partners are cloaked from each other till 18 but Keegan's mother tells a story about how Keegan's mother and father met before they were 18 and destined to be together.

Small things that bother me: Rourk kills a human just because he is foddling Keegan after she was crowd surfing. The battle scenes are very rushed and there is this sentence where Keegan decides to check out the battle for the first time, sees a friend get hurt, runs to rescue him, and "kills a couple men before she made it" like no biggie it is an everyday thing. Or Keegan wants know know why they don't telport and her mom says "your father likes to get frequent flyer points" well that doesn't make sense because you only need frequent flyer points to get free mileage...which you don't need if you are telporting it is a weak answer that doesn't really answer the question.

This book just needed to be thought out better, more details where needed to help the story line and plot. Places felt rushed and disjointed. Didn't run together smoothly. But, it was a very interesting concept. I enjoyed the connection between Rourk and Keegan how she thought of his name and he could see her that was neat.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beastly - Alex Finn

I, like probably many others, decided to read this book because of the movie that just came out. Although, I have not watched the movie yet but I have finished this book. I really enjoyed it! I haven't watched Beauty and the Beast (The Disney movie) for a very long time, and have forgotten a lot that happens in the movie, but as I read this book I began to remember bits and pieces of Beauty and the Beast and it was fun to remember the childhood memories from the movie by reading this book.

Beastly starts off with Kyle, the most handsome 9th grader at Tuttle, a private school for most rich kids. He has just been elected prince for Spring Dance Court, and pretty much knows he has it in the bag. Kyle comes across very snobby, rich and arrogant. He is a true friend to no one and doesn't care about anyone but his self and doesn't mind putting someone down for the benefit of a laugh. The author does a great job making him unlikeable to the reader.

He plays a joke on an ugly girl at school, but instead of crying and running away like he thought she just shrugs it off and seems pleased that he did exactly what she thought he would. And by playing the joke it gave her the opportunity to put a spell on him...a spell to make him as ugly as he is in the inside out, a beast. And he can only break the spell if someone is to love him and kisses him with true love before 2 years are up...but that is kind of hard when he is an ugly beast.

It is a very great story told in the view of the beast. How he coops with the curse that was put upon him. How he goes to every surgeon his father can buy and no one can help. And soon his father can't even stand to be around the beast and sends him off with the maid to live alone. The story does a really good job showing how Kyles personality changes, it changes so much that he ends up changing his name to go with his new personality.

The story is punctuated between parts of the book with a Forum chat lead by Mr. Anderson. A chat where humans that have been turned into creatures can go to discuss how it has changed there life. The screen names in the chat are: Froggie, Grizzlyguy, and BeastNYC all from fairy tales where princes are turned into creatures. There is also SlientMaid who is thinking about getting a transformation to be with the sailor she rescued.

This a really fun and entertaining twist of beauty and the beast. There are a bunch of funny quotes in the book like "Of course, maybe I'd end up like one of those crazy old people with, like, sixty cats. And one day, the neighbors would complain about the smell, and it would turn out I'd died and the cats had eaten me"

This book has made me want to read more of this authors fairy tale books with a twist I really like how she portrays an old story and makes it fun and different!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girl vs Ghost - Kate McMurry & Marie August

Isabel and Tripp have been friends since 4th grade. Despite Tripp's the constant stream of new and different hobbies Isabel has stuck through them all with Tripp and even enjoyed a few. But, when Tripp begins to dapple in witchcraft and summoning Isabel has decided this isn't one that she would want to partake in, especially when she keeps having an eerie feeling that someone is watching them as Tripp does her seances. But, Isabel sticks it out and holds her candle throughout the rituals to pacify Tripp.

Not really expecting anything to happen during Tripp's seances, Isabel is stunned when a guy falls from the sky and into there salt circle. She is even more stunned when Tripp cannot see or hear this strange guy in her room and then proclaims he must be a ghost! Not only is Isabel the only that can see and hear this ghost, but she is also tethered to him. Literally tethered by a glowing orange rope no longer than 5ft. And, not only that but the ghost has no memory of who is he, or when he died.

All Isabel wants is to unleash herself from this ghost, before it ruins her life! But Tripp doesn't think it is all the bad and wants to figure out who this ghost is and help him out. So, in order for Isabel to be freed of him she must go on a quest to find out what happened to him and why he is tethered to her!

The beginning starts a little slow for me, and it is a bit confusing. But over half way through the book the pieces began to fall together and make more sense. Also the story began to pick up the pace and I really started to enjoy the book. Things aren't the way the seemed as the story continues on.

I think Tripp and Isabel are supposed to be 17? But, they come across much younger in my opinion. For instance, when they are in the thick of things trying to save Marc the ghost, Tripp tell Isabel that she has to play the part as Marc's girlfriend to find out more information. But, Isabel's first reaction to that situation is "Eeuuw" which seems a little juvenile of a response, especially for a girl in advance placement classes. And some of the dialogue is a little corny at times but I still enjoyed it.

There are also illustrations at the beginning of each chapter which gives you a glimpse of what is going to happen in the following chapter.

All in all, I liked the book it took me awhile to really get into and really enjoy it. The next book in the series is Witch vs Wizard which is about two characters from Girl vs Ghost. Tripp and Parker.

Monday, June 13, 2011

DemonGlass - Rachel Hawkins

Sophie's been attached by a werewolf, had semester long cellar duty, nearly murdered by a warlock working for the eye, found out she is a demon, seen a girl murdered by her great grandmother, found out her dad is the head of the council...and that was only the 1st semester at Hex Hall! And this book starts out with her tied up and thrown in a pond that demons, which she is, cannot escape from!

Sophie is having a hard time dealing with the fact she is a demon. Afraid that she might "monster" out and eat her friends she has asked to go through the Removal process. The removal removes the demon part of her so she no longer has powers. But, the Removal process might kill her, so her dad makes her a deal. He asks her to come with him to England for the summer to learn about her demon side. And, if after the summer she still wants to go through the process after everything she learns then she can. But, Sophie doesn't just accept to learn about her demon side, she has accepts because there is a chance she can spot Archer in England were rumors have been saying he has been.

Sophie's thinks her chances to find Archer diminish when her dad takes her, Jenna, and Cal (Sophie's betrothed) to a village three hours from London to keep Sophie safe...but Sophie still finds a way to get in trouble and to find Archer...

The demon raising part is a little confusing to me in this book. It is said that by only using the Grimoire you can raise demons. But, in the last book 4 students raised a demon with out it. So, unless I am missing something, it seems like the book is contradicting itself. But, that is the only thing that bothered me the rest of the book was great! Tons of excitement, I just could not put the book down...and then when the book ended! I was so upset because there is tons left unanswered! I want to know so much more, what happens to the Characters? It leaves you in a big cliff hanger.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tiger's Curse - Colleen Houck

Kelsey has just graduated high school and now needs to find a job. Luckily for her the employment agency had one for her, working as a temp for 2 weeks at the circus that just came into town. Kelsey's job includes, cleaning, selling tickets and taking care of the animals. One of those animals is a gorgeous white tiger that she takes a liking too. When the circus sells off the tiger to a rich connoisseur, Kelsey is asked to go along to India with the tiger to take care of it during the trip; since she had such a great connection with him. But, as soon as she gets to India she finds out that isn't the only reason she was chosen to come.

I thought this book would be a great book because of all the 5 star reviews and the lack of 1 and 2 stars...but this book barely peaked my interest. The prologue was my favorite part, it made the book look exciting. But after that, when Kelsey started to narrate, it seemed to go down hill from there.

There is way too much details in the book. Some of it is not really needed. Like step by step of everything Kelsey does right down to pulling her heel into her shoe. So much detail that it almost takes away from the story. There is a huge long discussion about the cars in India vs the cars in United states. That wasn't really needed, just took up room and did not help the plot at all. And, every time Kelsey touch the tiger she had to wash her hands, and make it clear that she needed to wash her hands because tiger licks are oh so disgusting.

**********May contain spoilers*********

Usually when something key happens in the book it is because it will strengthen the plot or have a key reference later on in the book. But there are some events that are added for no other reason than to add page numbers. For instance, there is a part when Kelsey is in India, in the jungle standing under a waterfall and a rock falls on her head and she goes unconscious. That whole part has nothing to do with the rest of the book, it is just a long segment of her getting a bump on her head. It is boring, and not needed. The book is huge anyway so really there was no need for it.

There are also lame excuses for the narrator to follow where the action may take place, to continue on with the story. Like Kelsey must come with one of the characters because Kelsey is known for causing trouble when left on her own. Even though, there is no evidence to support that she does get into trouble on her own actually it is the opposite. Or when Ren goes to look for his brother in the jungle, Kelsey must come because she might be able to help? But in fact she doesn't really help and it would have probably been better for her to wait in the jeep but then what kind of story would that be? And, the story would have been shorter.

At the beginning of the book a man turns Ren and his brother into tigers because he wants the amulets but then, what? just lets the tigers go free even though one of them is carrying one of the amulets? The whole purpose of turning them into tigers is to get the amulets but then he is no where to be seen for the rest of Ren's 300 and something life? I mean Ren's amulet is obviously easy to find, Ren is easy to find being in captivity so the whole thing seems a bit weak. The whole story line is weak.

I did really enjoy the mythology and the history that Kadam sprouts off. But, it almost seems like the author wikied the myths and then put them in word for word as Mr. Kadam's knowledge. A lot of the mythology is like the mythology in the series Kane Chronicles but where Kane Chronicles is Egyptian this is Indian but the Gods are similar. The author in the Kane Chronicles better describes the mythology and it flows better with the story.

Kelsey character is a bit bland and very old fashion in my opinion. At the beginning of the book she was okay, but at the end of the book she bothered me so much. Causing emotional problem for no reason just isn't cool. I did start to like Ren at the end of the book when he was able to talk more. I also did enjoy Mr. Kadam, he was a very likeable character.

I do want to know what happens to Ren, but I am not sure I want to continue on through all the annoying unneeded descriptions that are bound to be in the next book, I rather have the cliff notes please. So, for now, I think I am going to take a break from this series even though the other book is already out and read another series. I am reading Hex Hall now and so far it is pretty goo.