I just finished reading this and was about to write up a nice review, went to Goodreads to grab the image and what did I see that has immediately spoiled the happy end of book feeling I was having? That it was called After Eden (After Eden #1) No. No. No. Not every book needs to have a sequel, or more likely, be part of a trilogy. This was a terrific, fast read, standalone story with a fully satisfying conclusion. I’m getting disgusted with publishers. Seriously. Ugh. But how was it? Well, it was just what I needed today. I’ve been taking a long time to read books lately and this was a nice fast one day read. Plus it has time travel. Which I adore. Eden lives in a village on the Cornwall coast. It’s her last year of school and things are pretty great, including with her best friend Connor. Then a new boy shows up-Ryan. He’s out of her league, but wants to hang around with her. There’s something kind of strange about him, though-he doesn’t know what pizza is or who Hitler was. Eventually she figures out the unbelievable, that Ryan is visiting from the future. Turns out he’s on a mission involving Connor and the fate of the Earth depends on his success. Good time travel fiction and a sweet romance, as well.
How delighted was I to just happen upon this on the new bookshelf so soon after reading Finishing School #1? So delighted! This installment has all the same good stuff as the first–intelligencers, mechanimals, automated servants, dirigibles, werewolves, and vampires. Sophronia continues to be an uncannily apt intelligencer and finds herself involved in uncovering more of the vague battle her school appears to be involved in over some gadget. I felt in this one that it wasn’t too important to understand or follow all of that and good thing because it was kind of confusing. After all, what on earth is the aetherosphere? Is it the stratosphere? There seemed to be a bit more of a dip into the Parasol Protectorate world here-vampire hives and dandies in London. I really enjoy this world she has created, including Sophronia’s classmates and instructors, and look forward to the next installment!
I was so excited and lucky that a friend ordered this and gave it to me even before she or her son read it as I was something like #141 on the holds list at the library. Then, to my disappointment, I had such a hard time getting into it that it was almost a week before I settled in and got into it. I recall really liking that book #2 (Insurgent) started mere moments after book #1 (Divergent) ended, but when that was the case with this final book in the trilogy, I had lost the details of the story and thus was no longer caught up in the momentum. [When I look at my review of Insurgent, I see that there was an exciting "big reveal"-I honestly didn't even remember what that was.] I recognized names and the general idea of the story but felt like I was not properly responding with surprise! excitement! shock! because I had no background. Fortunately, I was able to start piecing things together and once it was more about what was happening right then I enjoyed it more. In fact, this book employed one of my favorite dystopian plot points–venturing beyond the know city and discovering what the rest of the world is like. I loved this angle and also how it fully filled in all the questions you had throughout the first two books about how things had gotten that way in their world and what the heck was going on. And you didn’t even have to wait until the end of the book to have those questions answered. Of course, our trusty band of protagonists realize you can’t trust The Man and things aren’t so great on the outside. Cue another insurrection!
I thought this had great adventure, heartfelt emotion (Caleb and Tris, in particular) and of course I loved it that there was an epilogue. This is a trilogy that I would recommend to people to discover now as they could read all three books right in a row, which would be immensely satisfying. Still, I really liked this and thought it was a terrific and strong ending.
I really liked Raven Boys and this was an eagerly anticipated sequel. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it quite as much as the first. I found it a bit confusing and vague and kept wondering if I was just not remembering enough details from the first book or what. That said, I was still fascinated by how Stiefvater brought this ancient magic into a contemporary setting. And the idea of bringing something out of a dream and having it be real is both fascinating and horrifying (depending on what your dreams are.) I find myself especially interested in finding out more about Blue’s psychic family and they are very entertainingly on display throughout this book. The visit to Gansey’s rich and connected parents’ home was kind of jarring. And Ronan’s antagonist, who is a big part of the book, I found such a strange character. At times entertaining, but the whole drag racing thing was just kind meh to me. The best addition to this installment was the character of Mr. Grey-a funny hit man with his own backstory. You’ll notice I haven’t even said anything about plot. That’s because I doubt I could even describe it since it’s all still sort of vague to me. The boys continue to look for Glendower, the Welsh king, and to tamper with the ancient magic running beneath their town. Although not as great as the first, I did still like it, and I think Stiefvater’s writing is admirable. Looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up in book #3.
I was pretty excited when I heard there was a companion novel to Code Name Verity coming out as that was one of the best books I read last year. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t remember enough of that book to get this one, but it truly is not a sequel, just a companion. One of the main characters of Code Name Verity is a friend of Rose, the main character in this book. That’s nice in that it lets you see how her life turns out during the war, and this does take place chronologically after Code Name Verity, and right up through the end of the war. Code Name Verity had some pretty intense scenes in it, especially of torture, which I had a hard time reading. Rose Under Fire is even more intense in that it is primarily set in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Rose is an American pilot, flying for the British. She gets captured and sent to the camp. The details of living (if you can call it living) there are extraordinary and horrific. Rose makes a family there, especially with the “rabbits”, those women and girls the SS did medical experiments on. I found this book difficult to read for extended periods of time. And when I got to the end, I cried. And then I read the afterword and cried some more. Mind you, I was doing all this reading and crying at our town park during my son’s soccer game. And then I came home and leafed through National Geographic and saw pictures of mines in Africa and child soldiers and I wanted to cry some more about how human beings can do such terrible things to one another. OK, so it’s a given that a book set in a German concentration camp during WWII is going to be sad and depressing and hurt your heart. But what else of the book? Well it’s beautifully written. Rose is a poet and her poetry gets her and other prisoners through long hours. Her spirit and courage, and that of the other women, too, is amazing and uplifting. The use of poems and planes all works together beautifully. This was an incredible book, not an easy read, but so worth it.
First of all, I couldn’t believe it when I went to put it on hold and there were five copies in the library system and every one was checked in. What are you waiting for, people? This is one of the best trilogies ever. It has romance, adventure, survival, a fully created and detailed kingdom, and is a perfectly put together trilogy. Put these books on hold post haste! (but your loss is my gain because I ran and checked it out right away.)
So, when the second book ended Hector had been taken by the Inviernos as a lure to Elisa. We knew she’d accept that challenge and try to rescue him. And yes, that is how things start. Although I couldn’t exactly remember all that had happened in the first two books, enough gets told to you to figure it out. There is adventure, dramatic conflicts and reveals, political intrigue, and all kinds of battle plans. Elisa is really a kick ass heroine. She is not just a queen in name, but fully engaged in her plans to bring peace to the world and regain her kingdom. She has excellent hand to hand combat skills, communicates directly with God, and is also smart. I felt that her relationship with God and her Godstone, while still pivotal, took a slight backseat in this installment to some of the other action (which is totally fine.) I can’t believe how much this book packed in. This was one of the most exciting and satisfying trilogies I’ve ever enjoyed.
There was a lot of hype about this book and after some personal recommendations I decided to get in on reading it. Honestly I had it sitting around the house for a while before I even picked it up but once I did I could hardly put it down and had to stay up very late to finish it a couple nights ago. This book is post apocalyptic and covering all the bases: emp, pandemic, natural disaster, savage looters, formerly ordinary teens becoming capable of hand to hand combat, and aliens. Plus you can throw in some YA stuff like attraction to a boy who is too dreamy to be true and family loyalties.
Cassie believes she may be the only human left on the planet. In just a few short months everything on Earth has changed and most of the population has been obliterated. It all started when an alien spaceship arrived, but refused to communicate. The 1st wave of attack is an electromagnetic pulse (emp). All electrical/technological things immediately are wiped out and stop working. This means planes fall from the sky. The 2nd wave of attack is a tsunami that wipes out all coastal cities. The 3rd wave is an avian born pandemic. The 4th wave is finally some direct alien presence coming in and picking off the remaining humans. These waves are not the bulk of the story, rather they are described by Cassie as a neat summary of events. Cassie is desperate to stay alive, she hopes her little brother is still alive and vows to find him. She finally meets another person and despite everyone’s instincts to not trust anyone she is so pleased to have company (and that of a cute boy, to boot!) and someone who might help her find her little brother.
This was super exciting, fast paced, and full of terrific surprises. The story is not told entirely from Cassie’s point of view-it varies between her and a few other key characters. This totally adds to the suspense as the story is pieced together. Even though I knew certain things were likely suspicious and not quite what they seemed, I couldn’t exactly figure it out until it was told to me, which I liked very much. My only quibbles are… I’m going to need to give some stuff away that is a wonderful surprise, so don’t read below the spoiler alert unless you have already read the book, really don’t mind a surprise being spoiled, or are never going to read it. And I’ll sum up here by saying overall I really liked this, wish it wasn’t a trilogy, but am certainly looking forward to book #2! OK, so stop here if you want to read the book!
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT……
My only quibbles are: if the aliens are so advanced that they’ve long ago left their bodies behind, then why do they need use of the planet Earth at all??? Also, I kind of felt like it was a not-uncommon author cop-out to just say things like “it was an incredible warmth I can’t really describe” when describing the alien mind meld. It was like he backed himself into a corner trying to come up with some amazing alien thing but then couldn’t quite pin it down so went with a “beyond description” description. I hope that book 2 can describe the aliens and their “pure spirit” or mind essence, or whatever it’s called, a bit better. How do they have personalities? Thoughts? Organization? And, again, if they are simply essence then why do they need a planet and to much around with human beings??
You know, when I looked this up on Goodreads is when I saw the subtitle of this book for the first time : My Summers with Buster Keaton. That bit of lack of observation on my part made Buster Keaton’s appearance in the book quite a surprise to me. The story is told from the point of view of a young boy in a small town in Michigan. One day a vaudeville troupe arrives to spend the summer in the little town of Bluffton. The boy makes friends with one of the vaudeville kids, Buster. The book covers several summers and some fascinating bits of history. For example, child protective services were always after the Keatons because Buster was thrown around a lot as part of the act, so they would pretend he was a tiny adult. The vaudeville performers brought an exotic flair to Bluffton and made life exciting for the year round residents. A wonderful peek into a very particular time and place that I knew nothing about. It also made me keen to seek out Phelan’s other historical graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn.
It’s been many, many years since I read Once Upon a Marigold. At the time I loved that and thought it was hilarious, funny, clever, and charming. I used to recommend it all the time to kids. Imagine my surprise to find out (via a friend’s Goodreads updates) that not only was there a sequel, but also a third book!
Even though it had been so long since I read the first book, Ferris easily caught me up to date and I’d even say that you could read this without having read the first book and still thoroughly enjoy it. Just like the first one it’s funny and clever, mixing in anachronisms and fairy tale bits. I think if you liked The Princess Bride you would like this very much. I was especially tickled by the attempt of a wizard to explain a new type of joke called a knock-knock joke. In this sequel Christian and Marigold have been married for one year, enjoying peace and romance and being King and Queen. The evil mother had vanished at the end of the first book, but it turns out she’d washed ashore in a little town and had amnesia. When her memory returns she returns to the castle and is determined to take over again. Hijinx ensue as Chris and Marigold attempt to rid themselves of her once and for all, before she executes the king.
Sorry to say, this was not my favorite Dessen novel. She returns to the beach town of Colby that shows up in a couple of other books, this time focusing on a year round resident, Emaline, whose family owns a realty company. It takes place during the summer between high school graduation and the fall and definitely has an older YA feel to the book (I guess her other books are older YA, too, but somehow this seemed more so-she works a lot, sex with boyfriend is just a given, she’s very independent, almost seems in her 20s already.)
I found this a bit long and not especially compelling. In fact, I stopped reading it right in the middle to read a couple of other books. I think I just didn’t care that much about the dramatic conflict. Emaline has a birth father who was a summer boy that her mom got knocked up by when she was a teenager. He’s not really a part of her life, but apparently during her senior year of high school he was determined to help her work to get accepted to Columbia University and said he’s pay for it. Emaline got in, but then he said he couldn’t help her out. And that’s the big crisis that hangs over head, affecting her interactions with her when he comes to Colby for the summer, and basically wrecking everything for her. The better parts of the story were Emaline getting to know her half brother that summer and the crazy documentary being made about a local who, it turns out, is famous in the art world. That was interesting, but really just the backstory to Emaline getting to meet Theo, who’s clearly an ass and not right for her.
Hmm…the more I write about this the more I think I didn’t like it. I did give it 3 stars, though. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t very very good and I just didn’t care very much about any of the characters or their angst.