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Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I experienced a lot of different emotions reading this book. It was like a crazy roller coaster ride. Sometimes I wondered why I was reading this book, other times I wondered why I couldn't read it any faster. Of course, I also experienced sadness and confusion, just like Kate did during the course of the book.

I really liked Kate. She's a really likable character that's doing a lot of things for her dying mother and she's doing it alone. She's the type of kid that doesn't really have time to be a kid; she's more of a grown up than anything. She's someone that I could really relate to. I'm sure at some point, we've had to grow up a lot faster than we should have and that is what gave Kate such a level head.

At first, I really didn't like the direction this story was taking, but once we got about halfway in, I really started to become immersed in the story and I really wanted to know more. I couldn't believe some of the things that occurred though. This book really did keep me on the edge of my seat. Carter did a great job of not giving things away ahead of time. You know, some stories are so easy to read, you can just tell what's going to happen before it does. Well, not this one. It has so many surprising plot points, it's always a surprise when you read the next paragraph.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Eve by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve, #1)Eve by Anna Carey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The concept of this book sounds simply amazing, it really does, but that is about as far as that goes: the concept.

Eve could have been a really fascinating character but she really falls very flat. She's someone that is very naive. She falls victim to believing everything that the teachers at school feed her. She doesn't want to believe anything other than what she was told so when Arden another girl from school tells her that the things she thought were true weren't, she finds it hard to believe. So she does something stupid. It seems Eve does a lot of stupid things and continues to be naive for most of the story.

I think my biggest issue with Eve is how she goes from being very naive, to very smart, to very naive over and over again. It doesn't make her likable. It makes me dislike her if anything. She doesn't have anything that makes me relate to her, other than suffering great losses in her life.

Also, what was with the drop off of Arden? She's with them and then she's gone. There is no more mention other than a passing question as to where she might be.

I just felt like there were so many plot holes here it just did not make for an excellent story,

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Friday, March 23, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 5 Predators and Prey

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Predators and Prey (Season 8, Vol. 5)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Predators and Prey by Joss Whedon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How nice to see Harmony again! This group of Buffy stories has a lot to do with Harmony and I'm thinking we'll probably see a lot more of her in the next stories but of course, I don't know until I read on!

Harmony, ever the attention seeker, gets herself a TV show. Buffy and Andrew team up, and they finally work on a few of their issues. We also see a nice resolution to Dawn's current problems (being under spell's and all).

I think my favorite story had to be the one with the vampy cats. That was quite an interesting storyline and something that I wasn't expecting to read in a Buffy comic. However, it reminds me of something that I would see on the TV show so it wasn't so surprising really. It was cute, creepy and funny all at the same time.

Also, the bonus Harmony story at the end with the small vampy cat story was also a plus. Cute, creepy and funny because it's really hard to be mad at Harmony sometimes.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower

The Agency 2: The Body At The TowerThe Agency 2: The Body At The Tower by Y.S. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book a lot more than I liked the first. I feel as if Lee really got her stride going after writing the first novel which meant this novel really took off.

Once again we meet with Mary and the detective agency that she works for. We find out Mary is supposed to work on a case for the commissioner about the new parliament house that is being constructed. Someone has died and it's up to Mary to find out what is really going on.

We meet up with Jame Easton, a character that Mary had contact with in the first book again. Of course he becomes entangled in her plot, just as he did in the first novel, but things take a very different turn during the end when Mary reveals so much more to James about her past that may or may not affect their relationship. Of course, the book ends on such a cliff hanger it's hard to tell what will happen until the next book.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren Destefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)Fever by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel like this book was amazing this time around. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first book, but I really feel like this book took off and really set the pace for the rest of the story. I cannot wait until the last book.

Rhine is still the same character as she was in the first book-determined and stubborn. With Gabriel at her feet though, she has a lot of things to contend with. As the story progresses, Rhine also picks up a third person that she feels the need to protect at all costs. And she's more determined than ever to find her brother. Even when things do not work out as planned, she really doesn't give up. I like that about her.

Things take a big, big twist though and Rhine really tries to take it like a champ. She tries to make the best out of a bad situation. While I really like that about her character, I cannot help but wonder what will change in the next book. Of course, I'm also imagining all the ways the next book could end.

The pacing is just right. Things are not done too quickly or too slowly. As readers, we get to experience what Rhine experiences at that exact moment. Things are given just enough detail to get us through the story. We do not know too much or too little. This book was simply amazing!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Hickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle (ARC)

Hickey of the BeastHickey of the Beast by Isabel Kunkle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would love to give this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 instead of just a three. Sadly, we don't have that ability.

Anyway, I admit, I think the title of this book is really, really cheesy. However, the title really makes sense and is a perfectly fitting title for the book, so it's pretty easy to look past that really. Even if it is a little cheesy.

We follow Connie, daughter of a boarding school headmistress and a few of her friends on campus. Connie is writing a very, long letter to her friend about the events that she experienced during her first year of high school. The story is told from Connie's view and is told in a very conversational type of way. It can be a bit hard to read at times. Sometimes I felt like there were way too many details or that Connie just lost herself and went off on another tangent. Of course, that is how some people are. I just didn't like it and felt that it really prolonged this story too much.

However, I felt a major strong point here was, how the girls came to the conclusion about the mysterious events that were occurring on campus. They were very methodological about it. They tried not to jump to conclusions but Connie really did come up with the right thing at the right time. It really came down to her being the one meant to solve the mysterious events. And, true to paranormal belief, things didn't come across as cheesy or boring. The story progressed at a nice pace (once we got past some of Connie's rambling).

However, another big disappointment is, I had long figured out the person responsible. Two events stuck out in my mind which made me question where things were going well before we delved deeper into the story and the strange things that were occurring. It didn't make things shocking when things were finally revealed.

View all my reviews Thanks to LibraryThing for allowing me to review this book.
Monday, March 12, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink (ARC)

A Temptation of AngelsA Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I wavered quite a bit, back and forth as to how I thought this book would be. The synopsis makes this sound amazing. The first chapter is just confusing. It takes such a long time for things to unfold, I wondered if continuing on to read would be worth it.

It was worth it, but it wasn't amazing. The plot was interesting. It had an entirely different take on the angel story concept. However, the problem with this book is, it falls into one of the many pitfalls that YA novels are getting into lately. There is always some sort of love triangle, and you guessed it, this book has one. The good thing though? The romance isn't in your face. However, this complicates things because towards the end, I was wondering how Helen, our main character could love her chosen partner when she's only known him for a short time. Not to mention, the interactions between Helen and her chosen partner, are well, short and varied.

Let's not forget, Griffin and Darius, the brother's Helen moves in with, fall into the love hate trap with Helen. One brother likes her, the other doesn't care for her and would prefer to just shove her out of the way to keep doing what they do minus the girl.

Also, I felt as if the characters were a bit transparent and sometimes a bit boring. I found it hard to truly care for any of the characters very deeply. You know, some stories you read and when something terrible happens, you can't help but feel for the character? Yeah, with this one, it wasn't a big deal to me if something major happened.

I rated this mostly based upon plot ideas and the story itself. I haven't rated this much on characters because, character development aside, I could enjoy the story without worrying about character flaws.

View all my reviews Thanks to Library Thing for allowing me to review this novel.
Saturday, March 10, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

The Warrior Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #1)The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book to be a completely different and refreshing take on magic and wizardry. Events within the story followed some of the typical parts within your typical magical YA stories, but the concept of this one was much more original.

I for one liked the idea of how magical people are born. I won't give it away because it is sort of spoilery, but I think it's a pretty interesting concept. Of course, that concept raises a lot of other questions about how they are born, but if you take it for what it is, it's a very interesting concept that I have not see done before.

The characters in this book are likable, but they also have a lot of layers to them. They're not one dimensional characters where everything is obvious. Everyone is hiding something, some kind of intent that isn't inherently obvious on the surface. This makes reading through this easy as you're constantly trying to decode characters and their intent towards other characters.

My biggest issue with this book? Why on earth are the chapters so long? Some chapters are pretty short, other chapters are so long, you're reading on and on and on for 30 minutes or more. I would have liked chapters to be broken up a bit more. Then again, that could just be my personal preference, some else out there may have enjoyed the longer chapters that just seemed to go on forever.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Time of your Life (Season 8, Vol. 4) by Joss Whedon

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Time Of Your Life (Season 8, Vol. 4)Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Time Of Your Life by Joss Whedon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For me, this volume of the Buffy comics just didn't live up to the others that I've read. Granted, more things happened that put Buffy and her friends back onto the path of saving the world, when it came down to the end, I felt like the last story in this section was very rushed.

I think one of the most interesting things in this volume however, is that we learn something interesting about Willow that I hadn't expected. Willow of course, is back and in action in the present as a good witch again. She's managed to control her powers and she's not evil. This story touches on future Willow and I'm talking a few hundred years in the future Willow. At this point, I cannot tell if there is more to Willow's future story that we haven't been presented with yet or not. I'll have to read the next books to find out.

This volume not only touches on future aspects of Buffy but it also touches on the past. If you miss Buffy and her days of high school slayering, then you'll enjoy the last story in this volume. It's drawn in a completely different way, which to me, gave it that old time, past type feeling. It's a short lived story though that does not appear to continue to the next volume.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Reunion by Jeff Bennington

ReunionReunion by Jeff Bennington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I believe I had a completely different idea of what this story would be like before I started to read this. I mean, I knew what this was about and I knew there was a paranormal element to this book, but I never imagined the lengths the plot would travel through to come to the ending. It just blows my mind.

At first, the ending was slow. The details the school shooter David enacted before going through with his crimes was a little hard to read. It wasn't horrifying or too graphic, it was just a bit slow and a little hard to continue to read through. I felt the part was done perfectly however. He was a very, very troubled kid. You cannot help but feel for him because no one deserves to be treated as he did, let alone suffer through all the terrible things that were done against him. He was a trouble soul that just could not take it anymore. That of course does not excuse his actions. He had a choice and he choose to commit his crime.

Things lumber along smoothly when we meet up with the main group of survivors from the shooting. Each of them has their own personal conflicts to deal with following the shooting. It seems like a pretty normal story about people trying to put their lives back together after a tragedy. Things however take a very, very strange turn when people begin witnessing paranormal events at the now defunct school building. Crimes are still being committed and it seems they're being done from the inside which is a pretty hard thing to believe. It doesn't seem like a ghost can be behind those things.

Things continue to get weirder and weirder as the story progresses. Things are not what they seem. There are many people hiding secrets that are putting many people at risk. It seems however that David is still suffering and there is only one thing that can be done about it, which I think was the most surprising part of the story!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1) by Jessica Day George

Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not very familiar with fairy tales aside from the ones that everyone knows. I've read other re-tellings of fairy tales without really knowing much about the original story. The same is true about this version of the 12 dancing princesses. I've heard of the tale but I haven't really read the original.

I was intrigued with the main male character Galen. A soldier and a knitter? How cool is that. Also, he's a pretty likable character. He's hard to not like, especially when you get to know him and see just how much bad stuff he's been through. I really appreciated how easily he fit into his new life and wasn't full of himself. It was refreshing to see a male character that wasn't all about himself. I think that's becoming the norm in YA literature. Thankfully, not in this one.

The princesses are likable characters as well. However it seems we only hear about a few of them and not all. Which, I guess when you're dealing with 12 of them, I'm sure it gets awfully hard to keep track of all of those girls. Even so, I feel the story of the hardship created by the curse from the King Under Stone is done wonderfully. It's very obvious how pained and exhausted each girl is over having to dance night after night at the midnight balls.

I really enjoyed this story and I was very happy with the ending!

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Saturday, March 3, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at The Gate by Joss Whedon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate (Season 8, Vol. 3)Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate by Joss Whedon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This volume of Buffy comics really blew me away. We're really starting to hit a groove I think. The story lines combined with character actions and words are starting to really fall into place with how characters acted on the show.

I think this volume really hit a high point. Things really started to get interesting in this grouping of comics and we're seeing Buffy do something that I thought would NEVER happen. I'm actually quite giddy over that however I'm a bit apprehensive as to where this will go in later comics. I don't want it turned into a running gag and I certainly don't want things to go in a back and forth motion where she's constantly choosing one and then going back to the other. That will be disappointing. Pick one and stick with it!

Also, poor Xander. He cannot catch a break. I was overjoyed and then let down. I thought maybe Xander was back to a good point in his life. However I hope that better things are to come! I'm definitely very excited to to read the next volume.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 | By: Traci

Review: Camille by Tess Oliver

CamilleCamille by Tess Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd really like to give this book a 3.5 stars but sadly that's not possible!

I really liked this book. I mean, I really did. I really liked Camille, the main character. She's not your traditional lady and I like that. I like characters that do not always fit the mold. Her caregiver, Dr. Bennett was also an interesting character. He's a nice guy with a lot of secrets to hold, especially when it concerns Camille and her sister.

The paranormal aspect of this novel was pretty good. We have two characters, Camille and Dr. Bennett that spend their time hunting werewolves while attempting to find a cure to prevent the whole mess from happening in the first place. Then, there is Nathaniel Strider, a street rat that has had the unfortunate luck of being bitten by a current werewolf. That sets the whole basis for the story line.

A lot of secrets are uncovered in this story. Things about Camille's life, as well as Dr. Bennett and Emily, Camille's sister. Camille also has a few secrets of her own but they're a bit more obvious than the secrets the other characters harbor.

I think my biggest disappointment and the reason why I gave this book under 4 stars, was how it ended. It just ended on a rather 'blah' note. I expected more, especially after Camille's actions. I expected Dr. Bennett to do more. I expected more to come of what Dr. Bennett presents Camille and Strider with, rather than a few explanations. I just feel as if the current story was unfinished!

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