Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

October 13

Comments: 11

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Ann-Katrina

Hush, Hush Cover

Back Cover of Hush, Hush

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Three Quick Points About Hush, Hush

  • Point 1: The best kind of bad. The smokin’ hot half-nekkid angel guy on the front cover barely does Patch justice.
  • Point 2: Nora disappears in the story. I mean that figuratively, of course. Her personality disappears. Sometimes she felt like a shrinking violet. (Not altogether a bad thing.)
  • Point 3: The names made me cross-eyed. OK, some of the character names were so far out there, I had to stop reading, process, shake my head, then continue.

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11 Comments, add yours...

January 2

Comments: 16

Review: Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

by Ann-Katrina

Uninvited by Lisa Marrone

Back Cover of Uninvited

When rejection comes back to bite you…

Jordan’s life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can’t understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life — once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn’t relate to — now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words….

Three Quick Points About Uninvited

  • Point 1: This book reads like the anti-Twilight. The characters are shallow and the plot is paper thin. The difference is, rather than a clean cut honor student being completely enamoured by the new vampire who’s been stalking her, it’s the story of a constantly drunk honor student wishing she weren’t being stalked by the new vampire.
  • Point 2: Redefines the term “lush life.” Everyone is drunk and high (except maybe the parents, but I can’t be certain) throughout most of the book. It became redundant.
  • Point 3: Jordan needs a lot of therapy or to develop an actual personality. I really wanted to like Jordan’s character, but didn’t. Throughout the book, we’re trapped inside her head while she complains about every facet of her life (and it feels as though the air is slipping away fast). In the end, she turns over a new leaf, sort of, but never quite redeems herself.

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16 Comments, add yours...

November 4

Comments: 3

Review: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews

by Ann-Katrina

Magic Bits Cover

Back Cover of Magic Bites

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Three Quick Points About Magic Bites

  • Point 1: The prose and pacing are exquisitely done. The book is smartly written without being pretentious and urges you forward without shoving you down a flight of stairs. It’s evident that the word selection and syntax were assembled with care.
  • Point 2: This novel is a perfect exercise in world-building. Set in a future version of Atlanta ravaged by magic, the descriptions are vividly dark and disturbingly crafted. It becomes real.
  • Point 3: What, no sparkly, beautiful, or dangerously seductive vampires? Nope. In this book, vampires veer from the contemporary norm. They are hideous quadrupedal humanoids continually degrading into something much worse—”an abomination in progress.”

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3 Comments, add yours...

September 29

Comments: 8

Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

by Ann-Katrina

coraline-cover

From the Back Cover of Coraline

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Three Quick Points About Coraline

  • Point 1: This book is absolutely riveting. Who knew I’d ever use the term riveting to describe a short novel penned for third-graders?
  • Point 2: I’m sure some children will wind up with nightmares after reading it (or having it read to them). I can’t deny that I’m a huge fan of horror and creepy stories; my library as a youth (and even today) tells this tale. But, reading Coraline definitely sent a few chills up my spine…more so than some of the adult novels I’ve read.
  • Point 3: Coraline is a splendid reminder that we (children and adults alike) are all capable of great courage. Coraline has a real child’s personality–not some fantasized version of one–which made her courageous adventures incredibly relatable. I was able to see much of myself, when I was a child, in her and watching her dig deep to find her courage made me want to dig deep and rediscover my own.

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8 Comments, add yours...

September 26

Comments: 7

Review: Nightlife (Cal Leandros, Book 1) by Rob Thurman

by Ann-Katrina

Nightlife Cover

From the Back Cover of Nightlife

There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I’ve known that since I can remember, just like I’ve always known I was one…

…Well, half of one, anyway.

Welcome to the Big Apple. There’s a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side—and that’s only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.

His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares–and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn’t exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

He and his half brother, Niko, have managed to stay a step ahead for four years, but now Cal’s dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they’ve always wanted him: He is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal’s life….

Three Quick Points About Nightlife

  • Point 1: If you were to remove all the adjectives and adverbs from the book, it would probably shrink by about 60 pages. Being a lover of adjectives and adverbs, it pains me to say this, but there’s a limit to their use. They should be treated like a fine and potent spice–use only as much as necessary or the entire dish could be spoiled.
  • Point 2: This Cal character is a sardonically wonderful guy. The novel got heavy at times and it felt like trudging through mud, but the twisted humor injected through Cal’s voice certainly helped to balance it out.
  • Point 3: What happened to the climax? The build up is good, the tension is there, and you’re poised, ready to see what dark and ominous creatures spring forth to tear the main characters into shreds, and then…wha…that’s it?

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7 Comments, add yours...

 

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