Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By: Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive

——————————————————————————————————-

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob Portman, grandson of Abe Portman. His grandpa has always told him stories of peculiar children and monsters but he never believed him and his stories. Until the day his grandpa is brutally murdered by a monster called a hallow. When grandpa Portman dies he tells Jacob to “find the bird, in the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940. Emerson-the letter, tell them what happened.” After nine months of everyone thinking he’s crazy because of this “monster” he claimed he saw, and his parents bringing him to a psychiatrist, he finally comes to the conclusion that what he saw wasn’t real. Until he finds a letter in an Emerson book. This takes him to a secluded island in Wales where he decodes his grandfather’s last words and finally meets the people of his grandfather’s crazy stories.

The book ends off in a cliff hanger where all of the peculiar children and Miss. Peregrine (in bird form) leave with Jacob to find where all the wights are. Wights are a certain type of monster that used to be a hallow but because it ate enough peculiar children it turned into a wight. Pretty much it upgraded to a monster that looks human except for its pupil less eyes. This book was written well and made good connections with the pictures-most of the time. There were times where the pictures were awkwardly paired with words and with the story. I can’t wait to read the second book! I can’t wait to see Jacob because throughout the book he really grew and it will be interesting to see him now that he’s with people like himself. Also, I want to see what new pictures will be in the book.

I decided to read this book because of the mysterious pictures. If you’ve seen the book then you understand. There’s so many peculiar pictures that it made me seriously curious. It took me a long time to get to it because when I bought it, I bought with many other books. Also, while I was reading it I got sick. When I get sick I have a habit of abandoning my books. This only happened while I’m sick and because I was sick for four days it took me forever to finish the book. As soon as I was well I kept reading in till I finished it. I have to say that the book did not disappoint.

The main character is Jacob Portman who’s one of those super smart misfits. He doesn’t really know who he is or where he stands in the world and sort of learns it in the course of this book. He has no friends except for Rickey who sort of abandons him in his time of need. His love interest is a girl named Emma who can wield fire and she’s one of the peculiar children. She also lives in 1940, in particular September third, 1940, which is pretty awesome. She lives in a loop along with Miss Peregrine and all the other peculiar children. A loop is pretty much a place was a day repeats itself. Miss Peregrine made it so that the children don’t die of the bomb raid that happened in September third, 1940 on their secluded island in Wales. The only people who know that time stopped and that their in a loop is the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine. Because their in a loop they don’t age. Because Emma can wield fire I thought she was awesome and just epic. It reminded me of Zuko from Avatar the Last Air bender which is just badass. I thought she was really strong for what’s happened in her life and she’s also very smart. Most of the other characters were really creative and unique but some characters were really similar that I couldn’t tell the difference and I had to double back and reread some bits. I feel as if that should never happen and in the second one that should be improved.

The book was mostly about Jacob finding himself and learning the truth about his grandfather. Jacob really went through an emotional roller coaster. First his grandfather dies right in front of him, then his parents put him through hell with a psychiatrist, then he gets a girlfriend, then he has to cope with him being a peculiar child and his grandfather never telling him. I found that crazy! I hope that in the next book it won’t be so down for him because I seriously feel bad.

I really disliked how all the children acted like children. These “children” have been children for seventy years and should be more mature. Their technically eighty-something’s, so they should act more mature, right? It’s like their immortal or vampires so the author, Ransom Riggs, should have made them more mature. That would have been more interesting. It would have been more epic to see these little eight to sixteen year olds talking very wisely. It didn’t make sense that they acted so childlike and immature. Another thing I disliked was how the author put a love interest. I feel like this story and this main character didn’t need a love interest and that it was very unnecessary. Not every story needs a love story, I was really hoping that this book wasn’t going to have that. Also, I found it creepy that she used to be with his grandfather. That is messed up! She canoodled (and probably more) with his grandfather and then with him! Talk about sloppy seconds!

Other than that, this book was awesomely dark and interesting! Oh, did I mention that this book is set in Wales! Welsh accents are awesome just like British accents! I really like how the author made this book the way it is despite some issues. I can’t wait to see how Jacob and Emma’s relationship is going to go since I don’t really support it. I can’t wait for more Polaroid photographs that help tell the tale.

Overalll, I give it four stars!

Happy Reading!

-Michelle Kumar

Shattered Souls By: Mary Lindsey

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

Before I start talking about the book I’d like to apologize for the blog being so dead the past few days! It’s that horrible time of the year again. With all the projects and exams coming up, Michelle and I might be slow to posting up some stuff the upcoming weeks! In other news, here’s the review! Enjoy!

The book Shattered souls is about a girl named Lenzi who suddenly starts to hear voices, thinking she is following the foot steps of her schizophrenic father, Lenzi ignores the voices. Her world changes when she meets a boy named Alden, a boy who keeps calling her Rose and claims that he can help her deal with the voices. He also claims that the voices are actually souls who desire help before passing on and that Lenzi is a speaker who can grant them their last wish.

Being a lover of the whole theme of reincarnation, I expected really good things from this book! I’ve always been fascinated with what happened to souls after we die. Do we simply cease to exist? Is there an after life? Will we be placed to heaven and or hell according to how we were in the life? Reincarnation gives me than we all get another chance in life. When I read this book, I found out only speakers (those who have the talent to speak to the dead) and their protectors (those who protect the speakers from the crazy souls) are reincarnated. I found this really fascinating. The world that Mary Lindsey created was very detailed. Mary talked very much about the rules, the jobs and the politics of the world of the speakers and protectors in great detail. I loved how she presented ghosts and the afterlife in the book Shattered Souls.

I have to be honest; I wasn’t much of a fan in the first couple of chapters of the book. The first 75 pages or so were pretty repetitive. Lenzi thought she was going crazy, she’d freak out, she’d calm down, she’d tell Alden to go away for being creepy. I found Lenzi a bit irritating the first handful of chapters, but as the story progresses, I found myself being fond of her. Lenzi grows up from a girl who refuses to believe in wondering souls to a girl who wants to help them and complains so much less than necessary. The pacing of the book also quickens. I remember taking a couple of days to get through the first 100 pages, but as I continued reading, I realize that I just couldn’t stop. I loved the last half of the book!

In this book, I was surprised not to see as much as I did from Lenzi’s boyfriend Zak. I originally thought this was a love triangle. But, the choice was very obvious from the first meeting! I loved how Mary depicted Lenzi. She was both that innocent girl who had no idea what’s going on and the one who kicked ass. The book showed Lenzi from the present and Rose from the past. This was just one of the perks of a book about reincarnation. I loved how Mary used the whole reincarnation theme and made two characters from one person, where as in other reincarnation books I’ve read, the lead was always the same in all lives and didn’t change significantly.

My favorite part of the book is most definitely just the way that Mary wrote. The world she created was amazing. She made a whole world with so much rules and such a strict system. I also loved how she twisted the whole reincarnation theme and make it stand out from all the rest!

Over all, this book was great! I shell rate it 3.5 because of the almost unbearably slow beginning.

-Caryl

Renegade By: J.A. Souders

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

Renegade is the first book in the Elysium Chronicles. Renegade is about a girl, Evelyn Winters, who learns that she’s been “conditioned”(brainwashed) to forget her past and anytime that she ever rebelled. It’s also about a “surface dweller”, Gavin Hunter, who stumbles upon her society which means certain execution for him once they get answers from him. Fortunately, Evelyn helps him and in return he helps her learn about what “mother” has done to her and her people. When Evelyn learns the full extent she and Gavin make a plan to escape together from her beautiful yet deadly underwater society, Elysium.

When I first heard of Renegade I thought that the synopsis was cool and that it would really be a good book. Then I saw the cover in detail and was completely taken with the book. The whole thing with the rose and the thorns and the blood intrigued me a lot. The cover looked like a photograph but also looked like it was drawn, which was pretty trippy and awesome. Especially because everything is so beautiful on the cover and then with the way that her head is turned, her gripping the rose and the blood that drips and pools, it made it very mysterious and interesting. I automatically wanted to buy and read this book. Fortunately for me it did not disappoint.

The characters were really interesting. The main character, Evelyn Winters, was deemed “the Daughter of the People”. The Daughter of the People means that she has the perfect genetics, the perfect genetics to make an offspring and that after “mother” can’t rule Elysium then she’ll be the successor and rule Elysium. There’s only one word to describe Evelyn. Bad ass. The way that she knows all her weapons, and how to use them. The way that she speaks to people if their a threat, and the way that she handles her conditioning and her “Enforcer” self. Gavin was the love interest and one of the main characters. He was hot. The way the author described him with his muscles, tanned skinned, blond hair, and gray eyes. Also, he was bad ass on his own when it came to him and hunting and just the way he used his weapons. “Mother” wasn’t actually anyone’s mother; she just made everyone call her mother because she’s just a crazy lady. I actually liked her a lot because of how crazy and non considerate she was. She was just so outrageous! Everything she said and did showed it. I like how the author portrayed that.

When everyone called her mother it just made me think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. If anyone watched that classic thriller, than you know what I mean. Especially when the author showed the people in Sector three who’s conditioning went awry. I liked it because it gave a grotesque feel. Basically I loved it.

This book was awesome because it was like Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Lauren DeStefano’s Wither. Only it was way WAY better than Wither. There was a scene in the end that was like the ending of Divergent only flipped and just a bit more twisted which I liked.

If there was anything I disliked it was that it got confusing when the author, J.A. Souders, showed Evelyn’s little memories of Timothy. I still don’t get it because Evelyn never really stopped to put all those memories together and explain what had happened with her and Timothy. I guess it was pretty basic but I feel as if it was quite random and confusing.

I really liked the quotes that the author put in the beginning of each chapter. They gave a glimpse of the world, with a little humour, without the main character randomly thinking about it. I hate when authors make the main character explain the world building with their thoughts because the main character can’t just randomly be thinking of the world building.

Overall, I loved this book. It deserves five stars for many reasons. Not to mention this book is so amazing and yet (surprisingly) this is a debut novel for J.A Souders. I can’t wait in till the second book comes out! I bet it’ll be even better then the first if J.A Souders is writing it.

-Michelle

The Lost Prince By: Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
—————————————————

The book The Lost Prince is about a boy named Ethan, brother of the Iron Queen/ powerful fey Queen, who wants nothing to do with the world of the fey which he was entangled with ever since he was a child. Although he does all he can to avoid the realm of the fey, the fey won’t seem to just leave him alone. One day, when some mysterious fey attack him he finds himself caught into the world of the fey once again.

Okay, I know what some of you are probably wondering there’s two reviews of the same book in our site, and no you’re not crazy. This is the second review of The Lost Prince this little blog of ours has posted! The previous review was my co-blogger’s Michelle! This is just one of the little perks that come with having two bloggers in one site! Now ya’ll get to see what I thought about this book!

First off all, I’d like to say I LOVE YOU JULIE KAGAWA! This book was amazing! It was all that I hoped it would be! I’ve always loved the world that Julie created. Nevernever just seems like a dream come true. I’ve been a fan of her ever since I read the Iron King and The Iron Fey series is most definitely one of my favourite series. I remember having to wait for the Iron Queen to come out and the year of hell I had to wait after reading it for The Iron knight to come out. Let’s just say I loved the whole series and this was not a disappointment!

For me, the best parts of the book was just seeing the old characters again. I just missed everybody. Specially that darn cat. I missed Ash’s quietness and Puck annoying him. I missed way Ash and Meghan were just perfect with each other and Ash and Puck’s bromance. I was so exited to see Ethan again, and is it creepy to say that he grew up good? Like really good? Look at him at the frickin’ cover! Honestly? Who else felt so old seeing  Ethan and Keirran and falling in love with them, then realize that their the little brother and son of your fave characters. Now tell me that thought didn’t pop into your head while reading this.

This book was very a very easy read, it was action-packed and just really fast paced. I found myself reading this quite slowly though and trying to stop myself from reading it too fast because I know I’d have to wait another year for the next book to come out. Now, let’s talk about the characters? Ethan, well… Let’s just say, he’s not that same innocent little Ethan Chase that Meghan left years ago. This Ethan pretty much just kicks butt now. He’s arrogant and well, turned into a ‘bad boy’. Wow, I felt weird saying that… It was so amazing to see sweet Ethan who didn’t want to leave Meagan’s side, to this guy who’s just plain rude to her. Then, there was Keirran. I loved Keirran so much. He’s the 1/4 fey son of Meghan  who still manages to have all the powers of the 3 courts. How is that even possible? Personally, I kinda thought Keirran was more of Ash and Puck put together than Ash and Megan. Is that a little too weird? I find that the heroines on the story didn’t stand out to me that much. I mean, I didn’t really know what to expect for Keirran’s and Ethan’s love interest, but I’ve always thought it would be somebody strong willed and somebody as awesome as Meghan, but that’s the thing. it’s really hard to surpass the character of Meghan Chase because she’s already that amazing.

Overall, The book was amazing. It was way better than all of my expectations! I actually read this sometime in November, so I’m sorry for such a late review! I was really upset when I heard that The Iron Knight would be the last instalment in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, but once I found out that there would be a spin-off series I was just fan-girling.  The next book in The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series is called The Traitor Son, and I’ll be completely honest. I’m kind of scared of what’ll happen in that one just because of the title. I deeply recommend this book. If you also have not read the first book I am telling you now to go read it, cause it’s frickin’ awesome. Good-bye and I LOVE YOU JULIE KAGAWA.

If you all want to see Michelle’s review of Julie Kagawa’s The Lost Prince, click HERE.

-Caryl

Top 12 Books of 2012

Hey guys, wow, it’s been a long time since we’ve posted something in this awesome little blog of ours. But, the holidays have passed and the new year has yet to come, so I’m here to tell you guys how my year went. It’s that time of year! The time of year were you realize that throughout the whole you’ve read a hell a lot of books! Well at least that’s happening to me. So, here are the top 12 books that I’ve read this year starting with 12!

12. Heist Society by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

———-

Heist society was awesome because it was a book about teenage thieves coming together to pull off an unbelievable heist in the Henley museum in London. How awesome is that? It’s about Katarina Bishop who has just walked away from the life but realizes she has to go back for all the right reasons. This book was amazing because while you’re reading the book you couldn’t actually guess what their big heist was going to be. I don’t want to spoil it, but their heist was pretty amazing. It also took place, mostly, in London which is simply awesome. Also one of the characters, Nick Bennett, intrigued me because he’s not only awesomely British his mother is the head of Interpol! And he’s in on the heist! Anyways, it was simply an awesome light book to read and the reason why it’s number twelve on the list.

Click HERE for more details about Heist Society.

——————————————————————————————-

11. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

———-

The Name of the Star was filled with facts on Jack the Ripper for goodness sake! The book even had a map of his murders! Tell me honestly you’re not intrigued or that you think that’s awesome. The book was fun because it took place in London and was about ghosts hunters. I liked the process that takes away your ability to not see ghosts. Also, it made me think of the book A Spy in the House by Y.S Lee and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake. Which are both mighty fine books. Overall, that book left me wanting more, which just means it was made for my eleventh spot on my list.

Click HERE for more information about The Name of the Star.
Click HERE to read my review of The Name of the Star.

——————————————————————————————-

10. The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa’s unforgettable world of Faery.

Winter’s Passage
Never make a promise to a faery. They always come to collect. Now Meghan Chase must fulfill her promise to Prince Ash of the Winter Court and embark upon a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory—while being pursued by a relentless new foe and guarding her own foolish heart.

Summer’s Crossing
What can turn enemies into reluctant allies? A call from the Exile Queen, Leanansidhe, ties legendary prankster Puck to his archenemy, Prince Ash, on a journey that may end in betrayal and will set them both on an irreversible path.

Iron’s Prophecy
Before she ever knew what she might become, Iron Queen Meghan Chase was warned by the oracle that her firstborn child would bring nothing but grief. And even as Meghan and Ash celebrate their long-awaited union, the prophecy stirs.…

———-

I see this as a fully fledged book despite the fact that it’s actually three novellas put into one book. I put this in my number ten spot because of the awesome things that happen in these novellas. In the first one, Winters Passage, I got to read what had happened in-between the Iron King and the Iron Daughter. I always wanted to know what happened during that time because they talk about it in the beginning of the Iron Daughter and throughout the Iron Knight. In the second one, Summers Crossing, which happens to be my favourite, we get to see a little bromance between Ash and Puck. If you’ve read the series you’re probably saying, in the Iron Knight we get to see a bromance for a long period of time. Well, in Summers Crossing it’s in Puck’s P.O.V. which makes it awesome and significant. The last novella is The Iron Prophecy, which is what happens in-between the Iron Knight and the first book in the Iron Fey Call of the Forgotten series, the Lost Prince. In this one you learn of the prophecy that basically starts the spin-off.

Click HERE for more information about The Iron Legends.

——————————————————————————————-

9. Darker Still by Leanna Renne Hieber  

I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen–everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked–bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

———-

Darker still was so interesting because of the possession of the living concept and the start of the resurrection of the dead. I loved the characters they were easy to love and yes I’m including the antagonist in this group hug. I really liked how the antagonist, the daemon that possesses Lord Denbury, murdered people. I know that’s probably a very odd thing to say but the way he chose the people was quite intriguing. The daemon would kill prostitutes that had the first name of a British martyr and kill them the way that they died. Which was pretty detailed. Also, I liked the whole puzzle to find the daemons name because if you have the real name you have power over them. I thought that was bad-ass  especially the way that Miss Natalie Stewart banished him. This book was based in 1880 which is awesome because that means that it’s both historical fiction and steam punk which is why it’s my number nine.

Click HERE for more information about Darker Still.

——————————————————————————————-

8. Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers  

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

———-

This book is the first in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Yes, you heard correct, Assassin. This book is about Ismae who come from the Mortain convent that happens to teach you how to be class a assassin for death himself. This book was great because of the many different ways she killed people. Never the same thing twice and always so discreet and with confidence. I loved how she worked with poisons. It weirdly reminded me of Harry Potter. And I love Harry Potter. I loved how this book is set in 1495. I’ve never read a book that’s set back so early in history. I love how the author really made this a regular historical fiction/fantasy young adult novel because apparently this is her first young adult novel, she usually writes children book. That a huge leap and she played it so goo that I made it my number eight.

Click HERE for more info about Grave Mercy.

——————————————————————————————-

7. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima   

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell – the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked – as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history – it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returning to court after three years of freedom in the mountains – riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea – the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her – including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

———-

This book was amazing! This book is about two different people from different social classes that collide together and start something a thousand years in the making. A lot of people said that it was really slow and that I shouldn’t read it. I took a chance bought it and read it and loved it. It was slow but you can tell the reason it’s slow is so that you don’t get mixed up and also it’s spinning this intricate tale that will leave you wanting more. After I read this I wanted more. I can’t wait to buy the next book so I can learn what happens next. I loved how they called it the queendom instead of the kingdom. I loved everything about it. That’s why it deserves the seventh spot.

Click HERE for more information about The Demon King.
Click HERE to see my review of The Demon King.

——————————————————————————————-

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor     

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

———-

This book is about Karou and Akiva and where they stand in a war that’s not even connected to Earth. I loved this book because of the setting, the plot, the everything. The characters are amazing despite some issues. I like how in this book they show the concept of resurrection. I’ve never read a book about resurrection but I’ve read books about possession of the living and you sort of have all of that in this book. The author kept you interested with flashback-inceptions and those little fairy tale intermissions. This book for me was flawless. I can’t wait to but Days of Blood and Starlight because I bet I’m going to see a lot of epic war scenes that involve angels, demons, Karou, and Akiva.

Click HERE for more information about Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Click HERE to read my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

——————————————————————————————-

5. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare     

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

———-

Oh my gosh! Fangirling! This book was beautiful to me. It had historical fiction, nostalgia, and possession of the living, shadowhunters, steam punk and my favourite character William Herondale! Clockwork Angel is the first book in the prequel to the Mortal Instruments, the Infernal Devices. I personally like the Infernal Devices better because of the steam punk theme that is always present in this epic series. Also, it’s so unexpected at times. It was a book that as soon as I read it I was like I need the second book. Thankfully I had gotten the second one when I got the first one. Overall, I will never ever forget this book. That’s probably why it’s my number five.

Click HERE for more information about Clockwork Angel.

——————————————————————————————-

4. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare    

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

———-

Holy Awesomeness! This book was awesome/amazing/epic/lovely/to die for/ great! This book made me cry! So far in this list there hasn’t been a book that’s made me cry. This was so emotional for me. I felt what the characters felt. It was just so deep at times I couldn’t believe it. I’m so happy that I got to get this book signed by the author because this book deserves to be signed. It left you wanting more than more. If that even makes sense. It left you with a cliff hanger and about ten thousand question pertaining to what will happen to Tessa. By that I mean who will she chose? She may have accepted Jem but nothing set in stone. Ahhhhhh! Will! Curse! Omg! That was the part that I cried at. I just couldn’t believe it. Damn I’m on the brink of tears. Oh! Let’s not forget Magnus! I love how he’s in both series I find that so awesome. Especially because he’s such a Bro to Will.

Click HERE for more information about Clockwork Prince.

——————————————————————————————-

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

———-

I’ve read this book two times this year because it’s so amazing! When the second book came out I went to the store day of just to buy it and read the crap out of it. Especially with how this book ended. I loved it because it was so legit to real life. By that I mean, she thought and acted like a real person. People say this book is like the Hunger Games. In some ways it is. In some ways it’s not. I liked that because I could spot out all the differences while reading it. Some people would say that because the author didn’t explain the world building that it was an OK book. I do not believe that I believe that the author is building up to it. Which is true. That’s why this book is so awesome. It’s also filled with symbolism, which I think is cool. Oh, I almost forgot! What makes this book number three is that this book, which is perfect/flawless, is the debut novel for young 24 year old Veronica Roth. I always thought that was amazing.

Click HERE for more information about Divergent.

——————————————————————————————-

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendra Blake

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

———-

This book is about Ghost hunter Cas Lowood who kills ghosts because his father did that before he was murdered by a ghost who also happens to attack Cas pretty bad in this very book. I loved this book because of the characters. Anna Karlov, a girl entangled with curses. Cas (Theseus Cassio Lowood), a broody, tormented teenager with his own demons to fight. I love it! I love how they gradually fall for each other but their torn apart. This book got me so excited for Girl of Nightmares, the second book in the Anna novels. I thought it was so cool that it was set in Thunder Bay because I’m Canadian I felt pride for that. I love the ending because I wasn’t expecting that. I love books that surprise me; hence, this was hit for me. Which is why I actually bought it and read it. This book would have been first if the sequel hadn’t hit me so hard (in a good way).

Click HERE for more info about Anna Dressed in Blood.

——————————————————————————————-

1. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake     

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

———-

This book starts of six months after the Anna was torn from Cas. I loved this because of how obsessed he was. He couldn’t live without hid Anna Dressed in Blood. I liked how Anna called from hell for help and Cas literally goes through Cas just for her. He literally says something like that. I loved how there was foreshadowing on what will happen to him after the books over. It made me cry when I read about his father and the even more when I read about the afterlife and the way he described it. Oh my gosh! I felt so bad for him. I liked how the ending wasn’t sad nor happy. I like how after you read it you realize how much pain he put himself through for her. Now that was true love. Hell and all. All of that pain and with that ending made this book extraordinary!

Click HERE for more information about Girl of Nightmares!

——————————————————————————————-

Well now you know what books I favoured over the past year and why I picked them out of my 45 books that I’ve read this year. Let’s hope the world will stay intact long enough for us to see Caryl’s top 12 of 2012 posted in the upcoming days!

The Demon King By: Cinda Williams Chima

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell – the thick silver cuffs he’s worn since birth. They’re clearly magicked – as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.

One day Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history – it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She’s just returning to court after three years of freedom in the mountains – riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea – the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her – including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

——————————————————————————————-

The Demon King is the first book of four books in the Seven Realm series. The Demon King is about Hanson “Han” Alister, who walked away from “the life”. It’s about how he struggles to be seen as an innocent person after being a street lord and also how we gets caught up in something a thousand years in the making. It’s also about Raisa ana’Marianna who is the heir to the gray wolf throne and the heir to the queendom of Fellsmarch. It’s also about her struggles in knowing whats good for her people.

The reason I wanted to read this book was because of the synopsis. It sounded pretty epic. I was intrigued with the whole thing about Han being a reformed street lord  Also, the heir of the throne and whether she would be spoiled or not. I was also wondering how their lives would intertwine even though there from different social classes. Despite the fact that some people told me it was slow and that I shouldn’t read it, I still took a chance and decided to buy and read it. That’s why it took me forever to get to this book. After reading it though I wish I read it sooner and that I didn’t listen to certain people.

The characters were all different with their own problems and personalities, which I highly respected and liked. Han, one of the main characters, was smart, handsome, hardworking, clever, and understanding. He understands mostly because of the way he explains things, the way he thinks, and how you can actually relate to him even though most of us haven’t been in his predicament. Raisa, the other main character, was also smart, hardworking, clever, and understanding with the addition of being well spoken. I liked her because no matter what she always wanted to be independent and understand/know what’s going on in court. This is good considering the fact that she’s the future of the throne. Micah annoyed me but I weirdly accepted him and his narcissism. I liked Amon but as a best friend not as anything else. I would like to see more of him and how he’s doing with not being able to be with Raisa. I think that the author, Cinda William Chima, did a good job making unique stories and personalities for each character, it made them feel real.

I actually liked how it was slow because I think that it showed detail that was needed. In the book when they tell the story of Hanalea and Alger Waterlow, I felt that if the author hadn’t explained it slowly and delicately then I would’ve gotten seriously confused. Some people don’t appreciate when an author does that but I happen to respect and appreciate it. The author made the book in a way that it was never completely dry or boring and I like how she made it flow like that.

I liked how the chapters had names because it told you only a glimpse of what could happen which I always liked. Especially because the titles don’t give anything away. The book was in an alternating P.O.V. between Han and Raisa. This gives us a glimpse of lower class life and upper class life and how different they are. Also, you get to watch something a thousand years in the making unfold in two different pairs of eyes.

Overall, this book was an amazing read that left me wanted more, which just means that’s it’s an awesome, epic, great read. Thankfully all the books in the Seven Realm series are already published so all I have to do is find the rest of the books in paperback.

This book made it to my ’12 Amazing Books of 2012′ list! So, check it out? Click HERE to see the list.

Happy  New Years!

-Michelle

Name of the Star By: Maureen Johnson

     New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

———————————————————————————————————

The Name of the Star is the first book in the Shades of London series. It’s about Aurora ‘Rory’ Deveaux who leaves her small Louisiana town and goes to London with her parents to attend a London boarding school. During her first day she hears of grotesque, bloody murders that mimic Jack the Rippers and learns that the first murder isn’t the last. She learns of her new abilities and gets so caught up in the case that she becomes a potential victim.

I had this book in my tbr pile for the longest time and I was overjoyed to actually read it this year. The reason I wanted to read this is because it talks about Jack the Ripper. Who doesn’t want to read about the most notorious murderer who killed five people, is still unknown, and came from the macabre streets of Victorian London? Seriously, that’s what I call awesome. It came under Historical Fiction, Horror, and Thriller and that to me spells out awesome. It also takes place in London which means British accents everywhere.

The main character is Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux who, like I said above, moves to London to go to a boarding school because her parents started to work in London. I liked her because she didn’t see things in her ‘American eyes’ where everything British is totally strange, highly irregular, and is not likeable. Overall she was very likable and a character I quite frankly would want to be friends with. Jazza was Rory’s first friend she made at her school and happens to be her best friend. She was nice and I liked how she was shy and quite. I felt like I could relate to her. Jerome I have to say I didn’t quite hate nor did I like. I thought he was an interesting character because he wants to be a reporter and is highly intelligent. But I also hated him because I didn’t want him to be with Rory. I would like Stephen to be with Rory. And that brings us to Stephen. I liked him a lot! His description was awesome. I liked the story about how he wanted to commit suicide and how he recovered from that. Surprisingly I didn’t hate any of the characters. I even liked the antagonist, which I don’t what to talk about for fears of spoilers.


     I absolutely loved the covers. I say covers because there are in fact three different covers. One has an unconscious girl and what appears to be the ghost of Jack the ripper. Which I thought was cool but also made me think that it was actually set in Victorian London. The second one is white with greenish blue typography and what looks like a dark park at night with shadowy figures. I liked it because it has a lot of mystery and doesn’t give away anything of the plot. It also happens to be the one I own. The third just so happens to be the U.K. cover and my favourite. It has this very pretty girl with dark hair, a small butterfly that’s in her hair and below her is what appears to be a skyline very close to the buildings. I like this one the most because there’s a pretty girl, the skyline looks cool, the typography looks old and gothic, and the sentence on the cover says “Jack the Ripper is back…” That was surprising because I didn’t think I had so much to say about the covers.


     One thing I really loved about this book is the nostalgia I got. Your probably thinking this is the first book, what nostalgia are you talking about? Well, the nostalgia i’m talking about is Hogwarts. You heard me,Hogwarts.  This book showed the typical day at a boarding school which happens to be a much MUCH more normal version of Hogwarts. I simply loved it. Also, I haven’t read a book in a long time in which they included British slang. I loved it! Not to mention more nostalgia coming from the fact that it reminded me a lot of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendre Blake. The horror, the ghosts, the ghost hunting, and the mystery. It’s funny how all the nostalgia is coming from books on my favourite shelf.

What I thought was interesting in the book was how the obvious love interest hasn’t happened yet. And yes I’m talking about Stephen and Rory. You can tell their going to end up together just not in this book. Probably in the Madness underneath, this happens to be the second book in the shades of London. I liked that because other authors make their obvious love interests fall in love immediately but Maureen Johnson, the author, is actually making her characters fall in love like normal people. I found that refreshing.

I loved the way she put the plot together. Just the way she spun it all together, it resulted in something perfect. The plot twisted in places in so many places I didn’t predict, and that made it so much better!The backbone of this plot was the mystery on why the ghost is doing it and who he is.


     Overall, I simply adored this book! I can’t wait in till I buy the Madness Underneath so I can continue this epic, awesome story. I have high hopes for the Madness Underneath and judging by this book, Maureen Johnson won’t let me down. I also happen to have two other books that she wrote on my tbr pile that I’ve wanted to read since the beginning of last year and hope that I can read them within the coming year.

This book is definitely five huge stars!

Happy Holidays guys! Happy reading! 🙂

– Michelle