Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pages: 359
Published: Hyperion, 2011
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Cover Score: B+
Overall Grade: A

Sophie Mercer's last semester at Hecate Hall (aka reform school for shape-shifters, witches, and faeries) was stressful. Not only did she find out that she was a demon, but her great-grandmother killed her best frenemy and her crush turned out to be working for an organization whose goal is to wipe out all demons. As one of the two demons (the other is her father) in the world, Sophie possesses dangerous and volatile powers that threaten everyone she loves, which is why she decides to go to London to get the Removal--a perilous procedure that would remove all of her powers. But when Sophie arrives, her new housemates are demons--which means that someone's secretly raising demons, with creepy plans to use their powers (and probably not for good). Meanwhile, the Eye is still hunting down Sophie in hopes of wiping her off the face of the earth, and they're using her ex-crush Archer to do it. Good thing she doesn't have feelings for him anymore. Right?

My thoughts: Demonglass as definitely one of the best books I've read this year. While I loved the first book in this series, Hex Hall, Demonglass simply blew me away! This novel was just the right length--there was plenty of action, juicy secrets, and romance packed in, and it wasn't too lengthy or complex.
I loved Sophie as the narrator--she was fresh, funny, and relatable. I enjoyed seeing her relationship with her father flourish, and I loved her witty interactions with Archer. The plotline moved quickly and fluidly, and was easy to follow. Ms. Hawkins clearly spent a lot of time on details when it came to the magical properties of the characters, and it showed. The demon history and background information that she provided helped the plot become 3-dimensional and realistic (well, as real as demons and witches can get!).
Thorne Abbey, where Sophie stays in England, made a great setting. It was mystical and mysterious, and Ms. Hawkins's beautiful descriptions made it come to life.
I do have to put forth a warning--once you start reading Demonglass, you most likely will not be able to put it down until the heart-stopping, cliff-hanging ending. I can't wait to see what's next for Sophie in this thrilling, exhilarating series!

Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Author: Artist Arthur
Pages: 245
Published: KimaniTru, 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Cover Score: C
Overall Grade: n/a

Growing up with parents who are more interested in the Lincoln, Connecticut social scene than their own daughter, Sasha Carrington has always felt like an outsider. That is, until she meets Jake and Krystal--her fellow Mystyx who, like her, possess supernatural capabilities that they use to battle a mysterious dark force that is headed towards Lincoln. Not only is Sasha trying to grapple with her new powers and where they come from, she's also dealing with social pressures from her parents, as well as unexplainable feelings for Antoine Watson, a boy who she shouldn't like, but can't help feeling drawn to. The dark side is getting stronger, and as Sasha's powers grow, she must come face-to-face with decisions that affect her friends, family, and, ultimately, her destiny.

My thoughts: I really, really don't like giving bad reviews, but I just couldn't finish Mystify. At about 100 pages in, I had to put it down. I was really disappointed by the second book of the otherwise promising Mystyx series. After really enjoying the first book in this new ghostly paranormal trilogy, Manifest, I was surprised that Mystify and I didn't click. It had all the ingredients for success: forbidden romance, a modern and realistic protagonist, and a unique paranormal twist that even included mythology, which I love.
I just felt like I couldn't relate to Sasha's character, like she wasn't a real person. Her generic narrative felt very forced and formulaic, and after a while, the storyline became too wordy and slow to keep me interested. I know there is a suspenseful, fast-paced plot hiding underneath all of Sasha's internal monologues and lengthy descriptions of everything and everyone, but I just could not locate it. As well, the powers of the Mystyx and exactly what they do and what dark force they are trying to stop was unclear to me, which muddied the storyline and gave it no clear destination.
Who knows? Maybe I'll give Mystify another try later on down the road, but for now, I can't say that I'll be able to complete this series.

Must-Read! Check it Out! Don't Bother

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mini Reviews!

Here's what I've been reading lately during my lapse from blogging (very very bad, I know, but life happens!). I've been super busy and took the small amounts of free time I've had to catch up on books that I should have started way earlier! :)

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 384
Published: 2008, Scholastic
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Dystopia
Overall Grade: A

In the not-so-distant-future, North America has collapsed into a single country (divided into thirteen districts) called Panem. Each year, two children from each district are selected to battle it out to the death in the televised, gladiator-sport-like Hunger Games, in the hopes of obtaining ultimate glory for their district. A talented hunter and survivalist, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen is used to fending for herself and her family in impoverished, filthy District 12. However, when her little sister is selected to be in the brutal Hunger Games, she volunteers to take her spot, and alongside fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark, she must fight for her life when she is plunged into the violent world of the Games. As time goes by, she must face the difficult decision of love vs. survival.

My thoughts: The Hunger Games was unlike anything I've ever read before. Impossibly brutal, candid, and fast-paced, I was sucked into this dystopian world and into the mind of the book's bold, brave heroine Katniss Everdeen, who was relatable, strong, and admirable. This is one of those books that, after reading, I ask myself: why didn't I read this sooner? I picked up the Hunger Games on a rainy day and was plunged into the violent, harsh environment of the Games. I could picture every event in my mind, and the characters were realistic and interesting.
Ms. Collins' story packs a punch: she has an imagination that, combined with a knack for word-weaving, resulted in a heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing read that moves quickly and effortlessly. Both devastating and beautiful at the same time, The Hunger Games has the capacity to affect more than just young adults.

Title: Wicked (Pretty Little Liars #5)
Author: Sara Shepard
Pages: 336
Published: HarperTeen, 2009
Genre: Mystery/Contemporary fiction
Overall Grade: B

Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have had a stressful start to their junior year of high school. After their best friend Alison was murdered, they were taunted by threats from an anonymous stalker who dangled their darkest secrets over their heads--secrets only Alison knew. Now, the stalker has finally been caught, and Ali's killer has been put in jail. These four pretty little liars are ready for their lives to go back to normal. But in the privileged town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, nothing is as it seems...And these little liars had better watch their backs, especially with the new secrets they've each been harboring: Aria's crushing on her mom's new boyfriend, Hanna's stepsister has questionable intentions, Emily's got a new boyfriend, and Spencer is diving into dark family history. What they don't know is that someone is always watching...

My thoughts: I'm completely addicted to this series. Once again, I don't know why I didn't start reading the Pretty Little Liars books sooner. The books are the perfect combination of fluffy chick lit (boys, clothes, drama) and heart-pounding thriller (mystery, murder, suspense). However, Wicked wasn't as good as the previous four books in this addictive, fast-paced series. Coming off of a huge, scandalous reveal in Unbelievable (book #4), Wicked didn't seem to have the same heart-stopping thrills and constantly-moving action that kept me riveted to my seat, madly flipping pages. In fact, Wicked was mildly ho-hum, except for the big surprise ending. While Wicked is a must-read for series fans, I felt like it was nothing more than a transition from the fourth book to the sixth book--but it sets up what I expect will be big action in Killer, the sixth book.