Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon — October 17, 2015

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark

“Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she’s surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction”

To be quite honest, for us a book cannot be just about the relationship. There needs to be action, and an antagonist. Sword fights and daring rescues. But the conflict cannot be just how much the relationship is at stake. So this book was definitely not a favorite. But we’re also not saying that it wasn’t an interesting read.

This book is more of a love at first sight romance. The struggle they faced was literally not being able to stay away from each other. So I feel like their relationship was way too intimate way too fast. But the book overall was well-written. It was almost realistic, in a magical-power way. It was obvious that the author put a lot of thought into the book. There was a lot of details about the setting, more so than the characters themselves. Unfortunately, the characters were very unrelatable. It was as if they were never changing. Also, they accepted what would seem to be impossible all too fast. It was just like oh no I have magic powers well this will be fun. What? Shouldn’t they be in denial, not believing the things they are told? Having to convince the person that it is true is what convinces the reader as well.

But this book was actually pretty good. The characters, although relatively flat, are easily attachable. They have admirable qualities,but are all extremely similar. There may be one personality trait that seperates each of them. The book gives a lot of details, and that made it easy to imagine what was going on. You could see the picturesque little town looming over a beautiful blue ocean. You could see the vibrant colors of his bedroom, contrasting drastically with his dark personality. You could see the swirling storm in the sky, growing darker by the minute. It was like you were there, just not alongside the characters.

The plot was actually pretty well thought out. It didn’t keep you on your toes as much as some of the other books we’ve read, but there were quite a few unexpected events to occur that left us in shock. The author did an a amazing job of writing in the tension that people faced, and the increase of it in many of these rough situations. The ending of the book was great, and definitlely the best part of the book, in our opinion. It was a big suprise, which is awesome, despite what other people think.

Okay, in closing, read this book if you love a romance. If to you, the romance is the best part of a novel, go ahead. But if you’re a person who craves the action, the tension, the cliffhangers and doubts, you might want to stay away. Although the story had amazing potential, and was pretty good, this book was not an adventure. Try reading this book if you want a refreshing teen romance novel to spice up your life.

Dragonfly by Julia Golding — October 3, 2015

Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Dragonfly

“Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he’s not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.

When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there’s no escape–from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure–including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen–help them or betray them to the enemy?”

This book is one of the most unique books we’ve read.It has a perfect blend of culture as well as our usual fantasy and action. But to be quite honest, the book was extremely difficult to find. It wasn’t in any of our local public libraries or even at Barnes and Noble. It wasn’t available as an e-book, so we were just going to give up on it and pick a new book. Yet the ever persistent Annabeth decided that she would order it online, presumably the only way to get it. After reading the book, she forced us into reading it as well. So we both borrowed it from her and loved it.

The book seems almost cheesy from the description above. It definitely is not the best way to make people really want to read the book. It was the reviews that really made us look into choosing this book- 4.8/5! With these high expectations set, it was hard to really start and get into the book. But after only a few chapters, it was hard to put down. The connection between the two main characters, Tashi (Taoshira) and Ram (Ramil), is extremely well-developed. As are the characters themselves. The change is so well written and subtle that it’s just so natural to read. The writing is excellent and the author really sets this piece apart from other books through the cultures she blends and uses. It makes the characters and especially the setting stand out.

The characters in this book are extremely relatable. They make mistakes. They feel regret, loss, love, hate, annoyance, fear, jealousy, all of these emotions that make them seem so real. Not like characters in a made-up book. It’s as if they were living, breathing human beings living just like us. Except that they’re royalty in a land we can only dream of visiting. The characters are constantly changing- their thoughts, their behavior, their beliefs, themselves. What they go through in the book actually makes them reconsider what they’ve ever known and what they truly believe. This cannot be said of in many other books that we’ve read.

The plot of this book also made sure to keep us on our toes. There are so many times while reading this book that what we guessed would happen never did, and what we never expected came to pass. There are so many fights, big and small, that you never know if someone’s not going to come back. There are kidnappings, rescues, allies, enemies, peace, war. So many opposing things all at once that it would appear to be overwhelming. Yet through the author’s words the confusion is almost simple.

Make sure you read this book! It may be extremely hard to find, but if it comes down to it, it’s totally worth buying. The characters, plot, setting, all of it is just so exciting! While this review may not have entirely captured the excellency of the book, don’t underestimate it! This book is written very well and is extremely easy to just be absorbed into. Fantasy lovers or not, this book can entertain people of all ages.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson — September 27, 2015

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception

“In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight–but she doesn’t–and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom–to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive–and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets–even as she finds herself falling in love.

This book was actually the first book we picked for our book club. As you might notice, we have a thing for fantasy novels, and this book definitely caught our eyes. And, to throw it out there, this book was even more amazing than the description makes it seem. This book had adventure, romance, and of course deception. You were always guessing as to what was going to happen next.

The book, to add to the deception, was in 5 different viewpoints Lia, Rafe, Kaden, the Prince, and the Assassin. You don’t get to know which of the men are which “role”. And Mary E. Pearson does an excellent job of making sure that their roles are not obvious. Two out of the three of us were wrong about who as who! The author made sure to give clues, for both men, to make it seem as if either one could be either Prince or Assassin. I feel like this shows how much thought she put into creating her characters, and this book in general. We do feel like the characters could have been developed a bit more, but overall they were relatively well-rounded, and you could see an obvious change throughout the course of the book.

The plot of this book was very well thought out. Although, at times, the book felt as if it was becoming almost boring, it sped up almost immediately after. There were many times when the book was so descriptive, so intense, and just so well written it was as if you were there. It was as if you were seeing the scene play out in front of you, feeling the same emotion as Lia or Kaden or Rafe. And that’s one of the best parts about reading.

In this book there were times when there was a peak in the “intensity” and it seemed like the book was reaching its climax. Only for that to be resolved and a new issue to crop up. This is definitely something that kept us going. It really made you want more and more from the author to the point where you can’t possibly understand how she managed to tie the whole story together. But she did, and beautifully at that. With only a slight cliff-hanger. But that’s a small price to pay for a good story.

In conclusion, The Kiss of Deception was a great read. It managed to keep us super interested without being cliché. With a gorgeous cover and a fabulous plot this book is perfect for anyone who loves a good action novel. The author did a great job in writing it, making sure that nothing was forgotten or over-done. Make sure you pick up this book as soon as possible and look for the second one, The Heart of Betrayal, as well! (but if you are super impatient DO NOT READ THIS SERIES YET AS THE THIRD BOOK COMES OUT JULY 2016)

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder — August 6, 2015

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power

“Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for”

When we were trying to find new books, we mainly judged them based on their summaries. We did this because all books have bad reviews, and we didn’t want that to change our opinion of the book. As you can see from the summary, the story does have a very interesting plot line, but after reading it you still know nothing about the characters. What this book is lacking are the details. The characters, throughout all three books in the series, didn’t really change. Whenever someone was described it was almost the exact same way every time. For example, when you first meet the main character Avry, she is described as stubborn and selfless. Nothing ever changed. It was the same in the second book and the third book. Without the details the characters couldn’t come to life in my eyes, and there was no connection to them. This made the book a lot harder to read because you were disconnected from the characters. The characters seemed to be strong at times, and weak at others, but there was never an in between. The characters all had just a few major characteristics that were magnified throughout the series, but that made them static and boring. But, on a positive note, we did read all of them, so they had to be a little interesting. I did really like one of the characters, Flea, because the author didn’t try to make his emotions too obvious and he was very emotionally complex and sweet.

Another issue we found while reading the series, was some of the grammar in the book. For example, multiple times in the book, it says, “me, Kerrick, and Belen”, or, ”Flea and me”. These errors also make it hard to keep reading the book. Not to mention that some of the phrasing of words used makes absolutely no sense, or is just incredibly frank and boring. Figurative language would help helped tremendously to make the descriptions more accurate and imaginable. Although these errors are not very frequent, they occur often enough for us to be upset by them. You might just think we’re being ridiculous by being bothered by these issues, but seriously. She {Maria V. Snyder} had an editor, so why did these mistakes make it into the book? It is another thing that makes it very difficult to really get into this book and find refuge in it.

But, despite what we’ve said above, there are some good things about this book. The plot was amazing and this story idea had really good potential. The characters, if developed a bit more, would have been really interesting to read about. And there actually were a few characters that were relatively developed and very easy to feel connected to (not giving any more names). But we definitely would NOT recommend this book to you guys.

What makes a book interesting? — July 20, 2015

What makes a book interesting?

Hi guys, this is Prim. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what aspects about a story make it, well, good. After reading Touch of Power, by Maria V. Snyder this past week, I decided that an interesting plot line isn’t actually the biggest part in creating a good story. This book had really good potential, and that was, pretty much, all that kept me going. A book really needs all the details. It’s the details that make a story worth reading. You need to know the characters, not just have a few personality traits. It’s important to create a new reality that you can just escape into just by opening a book. You need to be able to live the story along with the characters. An interesting plot and great potential just isn’t enough. You really need that connection- to the book, the characters, and that world, or alternate reality. And this book just really didn’t do that for me. So, find a book that is your get-away from the troubles in life and enjoy that time. And hey, I’m totally open to taking any suggestions, so feel free to comment any. Well, I think that’s all for now… bye!

What makes you cry while reading? —

What makes you cry while reading?

Hi, this is Annabeth here. This summer I read the Harry Potter series for the first time and I really enjoyed it. A major reason why I liked it was, of course, the story line, but I also really enjoyed how well J.K. Rowling developed her characters. By the end of the series I felt like I really knew them and I could justify even their most ridiculous actions with the logic, I’m sure, they used to decide to do it. While reading the seventh book I realized what really makes me cry over a book. The death of characters has always made me upset, but I was never one to cry, yet at the end of that book I felt otherwise. I found out that what really gets to me, is when books are written so well, that I can feel the passion the character has and feel their pain and their motives. I think it’s just really amazing how well you get to know someone you’ve never met (and never will meet).  Well that’s all I have to say… So, bye! 🙂

Book List — July 19, 2015

Book List

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Here are some of our favorite books (and series)

Percy Jackson Series by: Rick Riordan (1st book- The Lightning Thief)

Harry Potter Series by: J K Rowling (1st book- The Sorcerers Stone)

The Lunar Chronicles by: Marissa Meyer (1st book-Cinder)

The Selection series by: Keira Cass (1st book- the Selection)

The Hunger Games Trilogy by: Suzanne Collins (1st book-The Hunger Games)

Poison by: Bridget Zinn

The Ascendant Trilogy by: (1st book-The False Prince)

The Beyonders Trilogy by: Brandon Mull (1st book- A World Without Heroes)

Princess Academy by: Shannon Hale

The Remnant Chronicles by: Mary E. Pearson (1st book- The Kiss of Deception)

Goose Girl by: Shannon Hale

The Kane Chronicles by: Rick Riordan (1st book- The Red Pyramid)

Magisterium Series by: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare (1st book- The Iron Trials)

The Missing Series by: Margaret Peterson Haddix (1st book- Found)

Fablehaven Series by: Brandon Mull (1st book-Fablehaven)

The Roar by: Emma Clayton

The Seven Wonders by: Peter Lerangis (1st book- Colossus Rises)