Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

From Goodreads:

Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Rachel's Thoughts: I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

From early on in this story, I knew this book probably wasn't going to be a great fit for me. It seemed as though on each page in the first chapter, the author felt the need to remind the reader that the main character, Kitty, was Asian. This continually pulled me out of the story (and irritated me) because people don't go around comparing everything to their ethnicity.

I requested this book because I love paranormal and YA stories. But DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO was a bit too simple for my tastes. There were very few plot threads. The mythology behind these weredragons was not explained much at all. And it lacked character depth.

There is a saving grace: the romance. This was not a case of insta-love, which I appreciated. The relationship unfolds beautifully and with perfect timing.

If you want deep characters with engaging back stories and a plot full of interweaving threads, this book isn't for you. If you're looking for a quick, simple action story with romantic elements, this book may be your perfect fit.

I gave it 2 1/2 bookmarks. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Zodiac by Romina Russell

From Goodreads:

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Rachel's Thoughts: I was thrilled to get this book as soon as it came out, and couldn't wait to dive into it. I was not disappointed. I can't say that I cared a whole lot about the main character, Rhoma Grace, but the world Romina (interesting how the MC's name is very similar to the author's name) created was beautiful and layered. I love layered stories. And I really enjoyed learning about the culture and clothing and food of each House. Is the main character very deep? No. But the story's pace is quick, the characters engaging, and the plot unique. I suggest giving this book a try. 

I gave it 4 bookmarks. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FOREVERMORE by Cindy Miles

From Goodreads: On a misty cliffside, mystery and romance await. . . .

Ivy Calhoun's life has been turned upside down. Her new stepdad has uprooted Ivy and her mom, bringing them to live in an actual castle in the misty Scottish countryside. There are stone-faced servants and shadowy corridors, and the ancient walls seem full of secrets. Ivy is at once frightened and intrigued.

Especially when she meets Logan, a gorgeous, elusive ghost who has haunted the castle grounds for decades. Ivy is immediately drawn to him . . . but Logan is not the only spirit around. Something dark and deadly is afoot, and soon Ivy finds herself in mortal danger.

Is Logan exactly what he seems? Could his mysterious past be tied to Ivy's present? And can Ivy stop herself from falling in love with him?

This is a stand-alone novel, said to be for ages 12 and up.

Rachel's Thoughts:

I've never read a story that takes place in Scotland, so within the first few pages of this book I was ready to pack my bags and head to the Highlands. Gorgeous descriptions. And seeing as this is written for a younger YA crowd, I thought the sweet, simple love story was perfect in all its dreaminess.  

However, for me, the middle fell a little flat as I waited for more revelations, more pieces of the puzzle to come together. 

This story was fairly predicable and could be a little more developed, but all in all, I thought it was an engaging, light read, one I'd be more than happy to recommend it to the younger YA crowd. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ALTERED by Jennifer Rush

From Goodreads: When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them. 

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

This book is the first in a series and is said to be for grades 8 and up.

Rachel's Thoughts: I have mixed opinions on this one. The writing was wonderful, and I loved the concept, but I think it just wasn't my thing. I like deeper relationship building and this didn't have that. This was more mystery mixed with thriller, in that they were always on the run and searching out clues. I like thrillers, but toward the end it really seemed as though the characters were causing problems and making poor decisions just to keep the tension going. And don't let the hot-guy-cover fool you, there's not much romance in this story. I gave this book 4 bookmarks.


From Goodreads: It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

This book is the first in a series and is said to be for ages 12 and up.

Lakela's Thoughts: This book was incredible! I couldn't believe how well balanced it was! While it was very dark it wasn't too dark. Pretty Dark Nothing always had me on my toes and I read it really quickly! It kept me up at night, but in the good way. I am definitely going to buy this book! I'm impatient for the next one to come out. I suggest this book to anyone looking for a quick, creepy read. This book gets 5 bookmarks from me.

Monday, April 22, 2013

SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins

From Goodreads: Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

This book is the first in a series and is said to be upper YA (for older teens).

Rachel's thoughts: After reading this book, I can say without a doubt, I am a HUGE fan of Wendy Higgins. Forbidden love story? Check. Supernatural elements and world-building that makes sense and feels real? Check. And the pacing, oh the pacing. Lets just say, many a night I stayed up WAY too late hanging out with Anna and Kaidan. I actually read a library copy of this book and then went out to buy my own. The second book in this series, SWEET PERIL comes out later this month, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for Anna, Kaidan, and their friends. This book gets FIVE bookmarks from me.

THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

This book is the first in a series and is said to be for grades 8 and up. 

Rachel's Thoughts: This story had me from beginning to end. And I'm not into faeries, so it wasn't the concept, but rather the writing, that sucked me in. So if you're a faery lover, I'd definitely suggest this one. I gave this book FOUR bookmarks. 

Lakela's Thoughts: I really liked the beginning and it totally pulled be in, unfortunately it didn't keep that same rhythm. I only read about a third of this book. I had to force myself to read more in hopes it would eventually get interesting again. It slowly got more and more confusing and I didn't really care for the story. I like the idea of a story like this but not this way. I would suggest this for faery lovers and people interested in mythology. (There are mythological hints here and there.) The details of explaining things around her, were so good they ended up giving me nightmares. I gave this book TWO bookmarks.