Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia’s life is perfect. She has loving parents, a doting grandfather, and she was just matched with her best friend, Xander. When girls turn seventeen, they are systematically matched with their perfect partner. The fact that she knows her match is unheard of, but to Cassia, it’s perfect.

Until a glitch in the system shows her that maybe there was a mistake. Maybe her society isn’t perfect. Perhaps she shouldn’t accept everything the Officials say without question.

All it takes is one mistake to teach Cassia that her life should belong to her, and it’s time to start living it.

And what about the mistake? The boy who should have been her Match instead of Xander?


I’ve been so excited to read Matched for a really long time. I was on the waiting list for almost 3 months.

The dystopian aspect of this book was subtle and cunning. The Officials and residents are completely convinced that Society knows best. I loved little details about this story like the three pills every person must carry with them at all times. The green one for anxiety, the blue one to keep you alive for days if there is a disaster, and the red one that you should only take if an Official tells you to. No one knows what it does. Cool, huh?

There were things I was left to figure out on my own, like what “sorting” was, or what a datapod was. I’m still not entirely sure I know, but that’s ok.

I had a hard time with the love story in this book, which is the main focus of the novel. Cassia seems to fall in love with an idea and attaches it to someone.

In the end, I feel like this is a big lead-in to book number two. I enjoyed it, but I feel like I only read half the story. I will definitely be reading the sequels.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Source: Local library

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Helen is tall, gorgeous, brilliant, incredibly strong, and painfully shy. Literally. Her stomach cramps if she finds herself the center of attention. She lives a quiet life on Nantucket island with her father, and does everything she can to shrink down and fit in. But her super-human strength and shockingly real nightmares tell her she’s anything but normal.

When the Delos family moves to Nantucket, Helen battles with uncharacteristic hatred. When she finds herself trying to kill Luke Delos, the most beautiful boy to ever walk the earth, in front of the entire school, she really knows she’s crazy. She is losing the battle against anger and hatred, and someone is going to get hurt. That someone could be her.

Slowly but surely, Luke and his family teach Helen about who she is: a demigod, endowed with surprising powers. Like their ancient counterparts, Helen of Troy and Paris, Luke and Helen know that to be together means starting a bloody war. Can they fight their attraction if it means saving the world?


At first I was not entirely sold on this book. I finished it and gave it a shrug. But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had to open it and re-read most of the book. After the second read-through, I picked up on things I hadn’t read the first time. I noticed things the author snuck in and understood so much more.

There was such fantastic family dynamics, but to be honest, I sometimes got confused as to who belonged to whom. Maybe that was the point. It wasn’t so much, “these two are cousins and those two are siblings,” as it was, “they are family.”

Helen and Luke are the perfect star-crossed lovers. I was rooting for them the whole time. There was one love scene that was pretty cheesy, but who doesn’t love a cheesy love scene now and then?!

Word of caution, this is not like Percy Jackson. If you go into it thinking like that, you’ll be disappointed. I think this was a great read, and if you feel dissatisfied or confused the first time around, give it another skim through and you’ll catch on to more the second time around. I am looking forward to the sequel.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Source: the Publisher (via NetGalley)
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Amelia is dead. This is one of the few truths she knows. Besides her name, age and how she died, Amelia only knows that she is dead. Time has ceased to matter, and she spends her days aimlessly wandering near the river that took her life.

But when the river attempts to claim another life, Amelia snaps into action and saves Joshua. In the moment between life and death, a miracle occurs. He sees her.

Now, everything Amelia and Joshua thought they knew is thrown to the wind. Amelia must battle Eli, the dark presence who wants her for his own, and Joshua must save Amelia from his grandmother, who would exorcise her in a heartbeat.

The real question is: can there be love and life after death?


Hereafter was a fast-paced book that kept me so intrigued in couldn’t put it down. When I turned the last page, I found myself asking, “That’s it?!”

The writing was fantastic, the descriptions great.

Unfortunately for me, the actual story just wasn’t my favorite. I don’t know what it was, maybe the paranormal romance aspect or the fact that Amelia seemed to just be bumbling along but then wasn’t surprised when she discovered she had powers.

I don’t know. I do know that I’m glad I read this book, and though it wasn’t my favorite, I take full responsibility for that. I would recommend any paranormal fans read Hereafter, even if it’s just to broaden our horizons from vampires, zombies and fae. 

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (June 7, 2011)
  • Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where I've been

One of the most satisfying things about being an author is hearing what people think about my work. I've never done drugs, but I kind of think the high I get from a good review could be comparable to a controlled substance. Just sayin'.

As a small thank you, I try to send some of my readers over the the blogs and websites of those who've reviewed The Gifted. Phew, was that a mouthful or what?!

I've compiled all the sites into a nice neat page. Up at the top of my blog, you'll see a tab called "Where I've been". Click on it and you'll see it's full of awesomeness.

If you review The Gifted on your blog or site, send me a link and I'll add it to the list. Even if you hated the book, I'll still add it. Promise. If you've already featured The Gifted on your site and you don't see your link, leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll apologize profusely and fix the problem.

I've listed them based on date. It might have made more sense to do it alphabetically, but...I'm an author. I can do whatever I want. ;)

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Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

After being home in the US for months, Ginny is sure she'll never know the contents of the last blue envelope that was stolen, along with all her other posessions, in Greece.

She was wrong.

When a total stranger contacts her with information about the envelopes, Ginny embarks on a second whirlwind journey across the globe. This time, though, Ginny isn't going it alone. Along with the infamous Keith, Ginny is joined by Ellis and Oliver.

Unsure of what she'll find, Ginny certainly got more than she bargained for.


I have to say this was more like 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. Why not, right? I adored 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but did not love the sequel.

Keith made me mad, and Ginny didn't do anything to stop him. I know that sounds cryptic, but you can read the sequel and tell me if you agree or if you think I'm off my rocker.

The journey this time was a little more in depth because there were only a 3 places to go. That was nice, but I think it lacked the scenery the first book held. Instead of feeling like I was back-packing through Europe, I felt like I was stuck in the middle of an awkward family vacation.

The dialogue was witty and entertaining (when not rude and callous). There were a few scenes that had me laughing out loud. There was, however, a lot more language in this book than the first. At least it felt like it to me.

In the end, though I didn't enjoy this installment, I certainly hope there are more Little Blue Envelope books to come.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 26, 2011)
  • Source: The Publisher (via NetGalley)
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