Review: The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron TraitorThe Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
The Call of the Forgotten #2
Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 29, 2013
★★

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as “normal” as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, “normal” simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s next choice may decide the fate of them all.

I don’t think I can accurately express how I felt about this book. I won’t lie—I don’t have fond feelings for The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten. (Albeit, my feelings for The Iron Fey weren’t quite so fond either.) My problems with The Iron Fey trickled down into my problems with The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten. Honestly, I just didn’t like this book.

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Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #2
Young Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17, 2013
★★★★★

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

(I apologize in advance if this review is slightly all over the place. I tried my best to categorize my thoughts, but honestly, I just loved this book too much to be completely organized about this review. My apologies.)

I won’t lie and say that I liked Adam in the last book, because I really didn’t. There were so many scenes in The Raven Boys AND The Dream Thieves that made me want to hate Adam, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I would tell myself that I hated Adam, but then my friend would tell me why I shouldn’t, and I think, “Oh yeah. I suppose so. Poor Adam. Adam is misunderstood.”

Anyway, this entire review will not be about Adam. (Although I do want to point out that Adam does questionable things, but that is because even Adam himself does not understand who he is; he simply knows that he wants to become successful on his own, aka without the aid of Aglionby boys with money.)

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Review: The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

The Lost PrinceThe Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey: The Call of the Forgotten #1
Fantasy | Young Adult | Paranormal
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 23, 2012
★★★

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.

My name is Ethan Chase.
And I may not live to see my
eighteenth birthday.

I really don’t know what to think about this book still, and it has been a little over three days since I read it. About a year or two ago, I pretty much marathoned the first series, The Iron Fey, and from rereading my reviews, I only really liked The Iron Queen. I mean the other three books were decent, but The Iron Queen seemed to be the only one I truly liked. From what I remember, Meghan was my biggest problem.

Therefore, this book should’ve been a relief, right? New characters? Same world? (Because I did like the world.)

Well, not really.

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Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven BoysThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #1
Young Adult | Paranormal | Fantasy
Published by Scholastic Press on September 1, 2012
★★★★

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

For years, I have been pressured to read this book. My book friends, my friends that have read it, Goodreads, BookTube–everywhere, everyone wants me to read this book. But finally, my English teacher decided to make The Raven Boys available for one of our Literature Circle books, and I snatched it up. A close friend of mine loves this series, and I figured why not?

Boy, am I glad that I decided to read this book. It was so good.

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Review: Winger (Winger #1) by Andrew Smith

Winger

Winger by Andrew Smith 
Winger #1
Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 14, 2013
★★★★★

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

There’s something incredibly refreshing about a book that focuses on growing up (Ryan Dean is 14 years old) and living your life yet still follows a plot. Although the plot wasn’t mountain moving like saving a country or destroying a government, it was very clear: get Annie to fall in love with Ryan Dean. That wasn’t exactly an easy task considering Ryan Dean was 14 and Annie was 16 along with the fact that Ryan Dean thinks every girl is hot. He’s also a major pervert.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Annie said. “Did you bring any swim trunks? We have an indoor pool and Jacuzzi.”
“Wow,” I said. “No. I didn’t.”
I looked down, then shrugged and looked over at Annie and whispered, “I’ll go without.”

Therefore, not am I only glad that I get to read about a hilariously perverted 14 year old boy, I get to read a hilariously perverted 14 year old boy who learns that life is more about girls and more about living.

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Discussion: Finishing a Series with a ‘Meh’ First Book

discussion

Today’s discussion topic will be about finishing a series when the first book was just alright for you.

When it comes to YA books, I go into them with a higher expectation than any other genre, therefore my end rating for YA books is generally pretty harsh. And my reviews tend to be pretty harsh as well. This results in the majority of the books I read in the YA genre ending in 2.5 or 3 stars.

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Book Review: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Standalone
Young Adult | Mystery | Contemporary
Published by Kathy Dawson Books on March 25, 2014

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.

I must warn you first that I am really into bad boys in young adult literature. I don’t know why, but they thrill me. I suppose I liked Nearly Gone as much as I did because Nearly reminded me of myself in many ways. Firstly, I’m very competitive and serious when it comes to my grades. I constantly compete with the smartest kids in my class to set the learning curve (I fail most of the time, but I still try). Secondly, I love puzzles. They confuse the heck out of me, but I love them. Thirdly, Nearly likes bad boys. Yeah, I like bad boys as well.

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Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I Must Read

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. (: This week’s topic is books that people have told me that I absolutely must read! tttAnna and the French Kiss–Do I even need to elaborate? Yes, I have purchased this book. No, I have not even read the first word. Yes, my friend Sav has even borrowed it and read it. So has my friend Lauren. But me? Nope. Nada.

My Life Next DoorSo many people have been telling me that this is a good book, so I just had to buy it! You know, back in January. It’s been about seven months. I think it’s time that I sit down and read this.

Eragon–You would not believe how many people at school have told me to read this. I’m talking about the kids that despise reading with their very being. Yes, they’re telling me to read this descriptive monster. Admittedly, I own it. And the sequel. Fudge my life.

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Book Review: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey #4
Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Published by Harlequin Teen on October 26, 2011

My name – my True Name – is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase – a half human, half fey slip of a girl – smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end – a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

NOTE: This is the fourth book in a series. There will be spoilers for the first three books.

I wish The Iron Queen was the last book in the series. Although The Iron Knight wasn’t bad and I did happen to enjoy parts of it, that’s all that I enjoyed–parts of it. I didn’t enjoy the entire book, which I wanted to so badly.

The Iron Knight is in Ash’s point of view, and it starts off right where The Iron Queen left off. Ash is searching for a soul so he can go into the Iron Realm to be with Meghan. If you’ve read my review for The Iron Queen, then you’d know that I’m on Ash’s side now. Before you freak out, yes, I was on Ash’s side for this book. I don’t know how to explain it other than this book was boring.

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Book Review: Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Avalon #1
Young Adult | Science Fiction | Dystopian
Published by Balzer + Bray on January 21, 2014

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly.

Jeth Seagrave lives in a world where a police force called the ITA monitors the planets and people can travel at the speed of light in their spaceships using metadrives. In this futuristic world, Jeth works for a powerful man named Hammer Dafoe, who’s basically the equivalent to a drug overlord in today, stealing spaceships and metadrives from the ITA.

On one of Jeth’s missions, he runs into an ITA agent who’s willing to work with Jeth to betray Hammer in exchange for information on Jeth’s parents who were murdered by the ITA for treason. This supposed alliance starts Avalon off with a bang, which is something I appreciate.

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