Archive for the ‘3 Stars’ Category

Hero by Mike Lupica

September 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Hero by Mike Lupica on LibraryThing.  It will be released on Nov. 9th.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can text message himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Billy. What Billy never knew was that his father was no ordinary man—he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries. And now it’s Billy’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Billy’s turn to become a hero.

I liked this book, but I didn’t really think it was anything too special.  But the reason I may think that is 1) I’m not a middle-schooler and 2) I’m not a boy.  I think anyone who falls into those categories would really enjoy it.

At times, it really just felt like it was trying to be too Percy Jackson-ish, but with less adventure.  And while it did have some good surprises, I was left mostly disappointed.  The whole teenage hero thing is a good theme, but it fell a little flat for me.

Mike Lupica writes very popular YA sports novels, so I have no doubt that fans of his will like this book.

I just didn’t.  Sorry.

Three stars because although I didn’t personally like it all that much, I know there are a lot of people out there who will.


Ink Exchange & Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

July 31, 2010 Leave a comment

After reading Wicked Lovely, I hurried and got the next two in the series: Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity.

Ink Exchange focuses mostly on Leslie, a friend of Aislynn’s, and Niall, one of Keenan’s court advisers.

Here’s the synopsis from Melissa Marr’s site:

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Court has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

Here’s the thing: I don’t usually like sequels that aren’t about the same characters from the first book.  Aislynn, Keenan and Seth do make appearances in this book, but only peripherally.  (This is the same thing that bothered me about Holly Black’s Modern Tales of Faerie series– the books weren’t all about the same characters.)

That being said, I did like the book a lot, and after reading the third book, the second one seemed to fit a lot better.

Ink Exchange was a lot grittier than Wicked Lovely.  Leslie has had a lot of horrible things to deal with in her life– a runaway mother, an absent father and a drug addict brother who basically prostituted her to his friends against her will.  But she does find happiness and a way to be herself again at the end, and you know how I like a happy ending.

Three stars because even though it didn’t feature my favorite characters from the first book, I liked it.  But that’s all.  I didn’t really like it or love it, I just. liked it.

In Fragile Eternity, the story really focuses more on Seth and Aislynn.  I totally love the character of Seth.  He’s loyal and charming, and he totally loves Ash, even when she’s busy being somebody else’s queen.

Here’s the synopsis:

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he’d ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who’d always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she’d ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr’s third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.

I mentioned that I love Seth, right?  Because I do.  So I really enjoyed a book that was mostly about him– how he is dealing with Aislynn’s royalty, her new-found faery powers, and her king who keeps trying to steal her away.  Not to mention that his best friend, Niall, has some issues to deal with (as you will find out in Ink Exchange).

Seth wants to be with Aislynn forever.  But how can he be?

Dun dun dun!

I’m still waiting for the fourth book, Radiant Shadows, to come in at the library, but so far I’m enjoying this series.

Three and a half stars for being good.  Not as good as the first, but slightly better than the second.  Three down, one to go!

Dark Flame by Alyson Noël

July 12, 2010 1 comment

This is the fourth book in Alyson Noël’s series, The Immortals.  I’ve read the whole series so far.  I really loved the first book, Evermore. The paranormal teen romance genre is explosive right now thanks to Twilight, and I thought Evermore was a cute book.

But the last two books, I’ve really felt like… “C’mon already, they still have the same problem they had at the beginning?”

Before I go on, here’s the blurb from Alyson Noël’s website:

In this eagerly awaited continuation of the bestselling Immortals series, Ever struggles to help her best friend Haven transition into life as an immortal—trying to keep her from doing anything that puts them at risk, while attempting to gain control over her enemy Roman, so she can finally obtain the antidote that will allow her and Damen to be together. But when the spell she casts backfires, resulting in a strange, foreign pulse that binds her to Roman instead, Ever turns to Jude and dark magick, desperately attempting to break free of the curse, and ultimately risking everything she knows and loves—including her beloved Damen.

Here’s the thing– Ever (the main character) can be kinda annoying.  If you thought Bella was annoying, you’ll totally hate Ever.  She doesn’t trust any of the right people, and she is determined to do everything herself (even though she has no idea what she’s doing). She doesn’t believe that her boyfriend could possibly love her as much as he says he does because she’s always screwing up and pushing him away and blah blah blah teen angst teen angst teen angst.


I normally eat all that angst up with a spoon because I love teen books so much.  But this was even too much for me to handle.  I wanted to reach right into those pages and shake Ever by the shoulders (or maybe slap her in the face) and say, “Get a grip!”


Now that that’s off my chest, I have to say that Ever’s boyfriend, Damen, is (of course) perfect.  (Think Edward, but less sparkly and with dark hair.)  If you luurve Edward, you will go nuts for Damen.  He’s romantic and cute, and he’s got a sweet car.

So there’s that, too.

But if you’ve had your fill of perfect boyfriends, look in another book for someone flawed (but still nice).

If you are into the whole paranormal teen romance thing that’s so huge right now, you will probably like this series.   So if that’s you, I totally recommend it.

But you will probably lose patience with Ever somewhere around page 10 of this book.

Three stars because I really do like the series, and I feel compelled to read the next book, Bright Star (due out this winter).