Category Archives: Book Reviews

Where I Belong by Gillian Cross

Standard

Hi everyone! Ash here. I just finished reading Where I Belong, by Gillian Cross, and thought I’d write my post right away, when I still have my frustrations clear in my mine.

This book gets 5 pens for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s confusing. Although the characters’ names and personalities are all described on the inside cover of the book, it doesn’t mention anything about how the narrator changes throughout the story. For the first couple of chapters, I thought that it was all one character, and that the names of the characters at the beginning of the chapter were the chapter titles. I know, I could have been a bit more observant, since I’ve read many books where the narrator switches around, but at least those other books mention something about the changing narration!
Like I said, there were a couple of reasons I bumped this book down three pens from your average good-read book rating, which is eight pens. The second reason was that I guessed who was betraying Khadija from the very beginning. I don’t know, maybe I’m just an amazing book reviewing that I always know who the real bad guys are, but I seem to have this problem with many books. Maybe the author thinks, it needs more and more foreshadowing! This isn’t enough! or maybe the character just wasn’t developed enough. Whatever the case, I knew the bad guy from the beginning, and that just made it a bit boring.

That said, it’s not that bad of a book, and if you have some spare time, feel free to read it! It has a great plot line! The characters are just a little too easy to understand.

Now, here for the review:

Where I Belong is a book that is constantly switching narration between the main characters. Khadija, who lives in London, is thousands away from her brother Mahmoud, who lives in Somalia. Yet Khadija holds–or rather, will soon hold–the key to hid life. Someone (this is what I mentioned before about knowing the main bad guy) has kidnapped her brother and is holding him for ransom. Then there’s Abdi, a 14-year old boy coming to terms with the loss of his father, and Freya, the “totally unfashionable” daughter of Sandy Dexter.

Sandy Dexter is a famous fashion designer, and she wants Khadija to be the mysterious Qarsoon: The Hidden One. This is why her brother Mahmoud is kidnapped for ransom, and it’s the person behind the kidnappers who should really be less obvious.

 

Hope you like! Well, not really. I wouldn’t read this book again.

~ Nik

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Standard

Hello!

I apologize, for I haven’t written a post in a while. It’s always something. Vacations, laziness, late-night parties. Just kidding about that last one. I don’t do that kind of stuff.

So here’s a great, 7-pen book review for you today; Beastly.

The amazing book cover, which actually has a reference to a character's hobby!

The amazing book cover, which actually has a reference to a character’s hobby!

It all starts out in high school. Kyle Kingsbury is the most popular boy in school. He is perfect. Perfect looks, perfect life. All the girls want him. All the boys envy him. He has a newscaster as a father, which guarantees him money ( read: popularity). But the night of the school dance, when Kyle brings the wrong type of corsage, his date, Sloane, the prettiest girl in school, hates him for a stupid mistake. He ends up giving the corsage to a random girl, who takes it. He is turned into a hairy creature by a witch that night. His father tries to use his money to help, taking him to doctors to fix his condition, to no avail. Kyle Kingsbury, the boy everyone envied, turned into a beast, banished/ignored by his father to live in a huge mansion, with only the maid and his tutor to keep him company. The only way to change his curse is to love someone before

This is a great book that I really enjoyed reading. I always found myself reading it whenever I could! It was similar to Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorite fairy tales. Yet, it was nicely updated to fit the 21st century. One of the only things I would change about it is the ending. To me, it felt rushed, like the author had to fit in the ending under a certain page limit. Also, the author didn’t really lapse time well; the way they broke it up into sections was confusing. Read it, and see what I mean. I thought it would’ve been easier for me to comprehend the time lapse if there were small events in between the big ones, so it would flow nicer and not be so… “(A month before deadline) —> (deadline)”, if you know what I mean. Wow. That sounded more confusing than it is. Oh well.

Overall, a great book!

Rating: 7/10 Pens

Age Recommendation: 13+, for kissing and the occasional curse word

Thanks! I hope you like it!

-G

What I’m reading- Heist Society, by Ally Carter- review to come soon!

Wake by Amanda Hocking

Standard

Hi everyone! Ash here… finally. Yeah, we’ve kinda been lazy lately. We were going to start doing a couple posts a week and switching off, but then Ginger and I kept going on vacations (i.e. when it was her week, she happened to go on a vacation, and when it was my week, I happened to go on a vacation) and we just became lazy butts, reading but never reviewing. The life of a lazy blogger.

Anyways, I recently read a book I found exciting, interesting, and over way too soon.

Without further ado, here’s the review for this 9-pen book…

Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi, and Thea are the people you envy and hate. Everyone knows there’s something off with them. Everyone’s watching them, but they’re watching Gemma. They want her in their group. Gemma seems to have it all, because she’s pretty, without a care in the world. Not as pretty as Penn, Lexi, and Thea, of course, but there’s something wrong with those three.

One night, while Gemma is out on a late night swim under the stars, she finds Penn, Lexi, and Thea partying on the cove. They somehow convice her to join them, and Gemma wakes up the next morning on the beach, disoriented, but not enough to ignore the fact that something’s different.

Now Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever, but she knows there’s something wrong. Her new powers and abilities, which you’d never guess, come with a big, bad price tag. As she uncovers the truth, she has to choose between her family and friends or a dark new world filled with frightening secrets.

Like I said before, this is a 9-pen book that merits your attention! It’s a great book, so go out and read it!

Hope you like!

~ Ash

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Standard

I don’t know what to say about this book!
That’s a good thing, I guess, because I know that I might be in love with this book.
Crewel centers around a questionable world in which spinsters weave a huge cloth, containing the threads of life, or as I liked to call them, the “threads of humanity”.  The spinsters work their butts off, gifted with an extraordinary talent for weaving.  All 16 years of her life, Adelice Lewis has been taught to stay away from weaving, but when the time comes for her testing day, nothing can hold her back.  Adelice spins for the first time, is taken the next night, and her family is captured.  Her life hangs in shreds around her.  The poor girl has to deal with changes as they are thrown to her, leading up to a forbidden romance and the ultimate twist.

The most amazing rainbowey book cover in the universe

I would give this book 8/10 pens, the “good book” rating.  The plot line intrigued me, (I mean, seriously, a girl who weaves other people’s lives?) yet the writing was bland at parts.  I owuld recommend you read this book, as it is a great book and definitely worth reading again.

Rating: 8/10 pens

Age recommendation: 12+, for mature themes, such as death

-Ginger

What I’m reading: Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Standard

This book is so good! The plot line is completely original, and so is the idea the book revolves around: certain people can create Chalklings, two-dimensional figures that come to life. This book gets 8.5 pens, and it would’ve gotten nine, but for some problems I had with the book.

More than anything else, Joel, the main character, wants to become a Rithmatist. Rithmatists are chosen by “the Master” in a mysterious inception ceremony, and they are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalkings–evil creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings are now a threat to all of the American Isles. (There’s the problem, right there–I didn’t really get the setting. Is it a whole ‘nother world? Is it the same world we live in? That’s like saying, “We might be in America, we might be in the middle of the ocean, and we might not even be on Earth. If you wanted to know.”)

As the son of a late and low-class chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that Joel would do anything to be able to do. The students don’t realize that they have something others may covet. Suddenly students start disappearing. They’re kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood.

Assigned to help the professor investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend, Melody, who is plunged into the mystery with him, find themselves on the trail of a new and unexpected discovery that which change Rithmatics–and their world–forever.

So like I said, not enough details on WHERE… But other than that, a great book! Hope you like!

~ Ash

The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis

Standard

This book was so good! This book has come out by now, so if you want to go read it, you don’t actually have to wait until it does come out. The Colossus Rises gets 8 pens, just like most other “it’s good you should read” books.

Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid like you or me, except for one thing: In a few months, Jack is going to die. He needs to find seven magic loculi that, when they’re combined, have the power to cure him. There’s a little flaw in the plan though: the loculi are the relics of an ancient and lost civilization that haven’t been seen in thousands of years–because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Anyways, I’m excited for the sequels to come out! It’s prepped to be a seven-book series, since there are seven loculi and seven wonders. The author does a really good job of confusing you, the reader, into thinking this guy is good when he’s really bad and this guy is bad when he’s really good! Even I, Ash, reader extraordinaire, couldn’t figure out exactly who was on which side. And that’s saying something. I usually pick up the little details and decide who’s gonna betray someone or something like that. (Side note: I didn’t even GUESS about the big plot twist in Ender’s Game!)

Hope you like!

~ Ash

What I’m Reading: The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson, and Nobody’s Princess, by Esther Friesner. Reviews to come soon!

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Standard

This book is just simply amazing, although it does seem a little weird at first. The plot line is awesome, and the writing style of the author is wonderful. This book gets 7.8 pens, because it’s not your average book. It actually–wait. Don’t want to spoil it for you!

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just woken up from a year-long coma, and she is still recovering from the horrible accident that caused it. But before that? Jenna can’t remember–her mind is a blank slate, with no memories, from those of who her friends were to simple definitions of words, such as “time.” Jenna is given home movies chronicling her entire life, sparking memories to surface. But these memories are so exact, so precise and perfectly remembered that Jenna questions if the memories are really hers. And why won’t her family ever talk about the accident that left her like this? Jenna is becoming more curious and, in doing so, learning the definition of the word “curious.” Jenna is afraid of what she might find if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What really happened to Jenna Fox? What about her friends? And who is she, really?

If you look at my rating (7.8 pens) you’ll see that I knocked it down 0.2 from my average “good book” rating. That’s because there was a plot spoiler that I guessed near the beginning of the book, when it was supposed to be a surprising thing to learn.

Hope you like!

~ Ash

 

Age Rating: Kind of mature, for a little bit of language.

What I’m Reading: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis (Advance Reading Copy). Review to come soon!