Book Review: Cinder

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

For a few years now, I had been avoiding reading Cinder. It was all over every blog I went to, and it seemed to always get rave reviews, and so I avoided it like the plague. I figured, that from my experience, most YA books that get nothing but great reviews are generally a disappointment when I do read them, so I figured the best thing to do was to just not read this book. Then, one day I spotted this one for five dollars at the bookstore, and decided to get it, figuring that if it was bad, at least it didn’t cost me much to buy it. I would have never guessed in that moment, that I would enjoy this book as much as I did.

I went into this book blind. Only knowing it was a retelling of Cinderella and that the main character was a cyborg. Other than that, I couldn’t have told you anything about the book. I think that not reading the blurb on the back was a good decision.

I have to say, that reading that first page, especially with that whole wrenching the foot off scene, instantly sucked me in. I mean, come on, what a unique and fantastic way to start a story. I felt like only one of two things would happen after that. The story would either continue to hold my attention right to the very end, or it would sudden crash and I would loose interest. I’m happy to report that it kept my attention.

Everything about this novel captivated me. I loved the characters, the world, the sci-fi elements. While it is considered a retelling of Cinderella, I found that that element of the story was very small, which I feel actually made the overall book better. I admit that I was worried the focus would be too centered upon trying to tell the story with a sci-fi flair to it, but that was not the case. The basic elements were there, and yes the story did revolve around them somewhat, but there was so much more to it as well.

I feel like I can’t probably describe everything I loved about this book. It’s a book that is too good for words, I suppose. Really my only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner, so that I could sing it’s praises along with everyone else that read it as soon as it was released. And yet, at the same time, I’m glad that I waited because I do not need to wait a year for the next book to come out, I can immediately start the next book and read the whole series back to back if I so choose.

If you haven’t read this book, I would high recommend doing so. There is something very special to be found within it’s pages and I am looking forward to continuing on with this series and seeing just where the story goes.

Book Review: The Titan’s Curse

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Review contains minor spoilers – but come on, this book is 10 years old so it shouldn’t be that much of a spoiler.

Oh this book. I started it with excitement, and then part way through, hit a major reading slump. When I picked it up weeks later, I was eager to finish it and yet I didn’t want to. I couldn’t be certain if it was the after affects of the reading slump or the fact that I just hadn’t really loved the first hundred pages. Maybe this book had succumbed to the dreaded mid-series slump that I find in many series, when they start strong, slack in the middle and then either pick up again at the end or struggle to bring things to a close cleanly.

I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. There was something in this book that just didn’t seem to jive. I don’t know what it was. I will say, that I was glad to see that there was a greater presence of Gods and Goddesses in this book, something I was craving in the previous two novels. Having Artemis in this one was great, and I really liked the way she was portrayed. It made total sense in a way, even if at times it was a little weird.

I think the biggest disappointment for me, revolved around Zoe. I loved this character and yet, we lose her as quickly as she comes into the story. I understand why it happened, and it made sense in the end, but damnit, I was more Zoe and I know that won’t happen.

Even though this book didn’t feel as amazing as the previous ones, I am still looking forward to reading the rest of the series. If you haven’t read this series yet, now may be the time to do so.

Book Review: Violet Grenade

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Oh this book. I don’t even know what to say.

Initially, I was fairly excited about this book. It sounded so intriguing when it was first introduced by the author months ago. Then I was lucky enough to get an early copy to review.

When I started reading this book, I was sucked into it pretty quickly. I didn’t want to put it down, and I wanted to know all that would happen. I read most, if not all of it, in one sitting. There were times when it felt repetitive, mostly involving things in the house, but otherwise, I still enjoyed it. I didn’t really fully understand Domino’s character at times, but I figured it would all make sense the further into the story I got.

Then I got to the end of the book and…hell, I don’t know what happened, but almost as soon as I finished the book, all the details of the books faded from my memory. I couldn’t remember most of it and honestly couldn’t tell you why I liked the book so much while I was reading it. I can’t explain it. I still don’t understand it myself, even a month later. I guess it’s just one of those books that doesn’t stick with the reader.

That’s it. Can’t really talk more about it since I honestly don’t remember the details of the book. If you haven’t read it and are curious about the story, go ahead and read it. You might like it, you might now, but you’ll never know until you read it.

Book Review: The Sea of Monsters

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The second book in the Percy Jackson series is just as good, if not better, than the first. I won’t go into a lot of detail, mainly because I find it hard to talk about books part way into a series without giving away something important to the plot. And yes, I understand that most people have probably already read these books, but for those that haven’t, I want to keep this spoiler free.

I really enjoyed this book. It picks up almost a year after the first book, yet there is no gap in the story. Right from page one I was hooked and could have easily read this entire book in one sitting, had life not gotten in the way of course. The characters have come a long way since they were first introduced to us, and even throughout this book, there is good character development. Of course they still have a ways to go, but hey it’s only the second book in the series, so more growth will come with time.

This story has a nice fast pace to it, with something always happening. There were some good twists in the plot that made it all come together wonderfully. I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about the book. I love how the new characters introduced throughout this book helped and hindered the heroes in various ways. Some of this characters had unexpected affects on Percy and the quest he found himself on.

Overall, this was a great book. I think Rick Riordan does a wonderful job of melding the present day with ancient Greek myth. I cannot wait to continue on with this series and see what Percy and his fellow half-bloods must endure and overcome next.

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars

So way back when in 2010 (wow has it only been 7 years), I watched The Lightning Thief movie, and while I liked it, I told myself I needed to read the book because the books are almost always better than the movie. It took me a couple years to get the series and then a few more years passed before I finally got around to reading this book. Another reason why I waited so long to read the book, is that I wanted to details of the movie to fade from memory, so it was like walking into the book with a clean slate. I had only the most vague of memories of a few things that happened in the movie, so now was the perfect time to read it.

Right from the beginning I was pulled into the story. I like how the book started with a confession from Percy, which really helps to set everything up. It makes you intrigued about why he wouldn’t want to be a half-blood. From then on the story just keeps getting better.

The flow of this story is fantastic. There aren’t any noticeable slow points, sure there are moments where the action has died down but they don’t feel like a lull in the story, more like the calm before the storm. The mix of characters in this story is great as well. Obviously most of them are half-bloods, with a good dose of Greek monsters and Gods mixed in, along with a plentiful dash of mortals to finish it off. I have to say I really liked Annabeth’s character, which they were all great in their own way, but for some reason her character stood out to me the most.

One thing I thought was interesting is how the perspective of mortals changed when viewing half-blood and monsters. For example, a sword fight looks like a gun fight to mortal eyes. They never see what is truly going on, which os course can work both for and against the characters as they make their journey across America to get to their ultimate destination.

Really my only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that we didn’t get to see a lot of the Gods in this book. I get why, the focus isn’t on them, but on their kids. I just wish there had have been more. I’m hoping that as the series progresses that they will have a bigger role and influence in the books.

Overall, I found this to be a really good book and a great start to a series. I am really looking forward to continuing on with their series to see what else the characters must endure throughout their years at Camp Half-Blood and beyond. I also look forward to seeing my son read this book, and hope that he enjoys it as much as I did.

Book Review: Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I can’t even tell you why I originally bought this book. But considering it has a price sticker from a used book store on it, I’m assuming that I saw it during a book shopping trip and thought “Why not, it could be interesting” and so I bought it.

Though the first chapter felt a little off, the rest of this book flew by. I managed to get through it in just a few hours and while most of it slipped away almost immediately upon finishing it, I’m glad I gave it a chance.

The one thing that I had an issue with was how quickly the story jumped between the four friends. Even at the half way point I still couldn’t keep track of who was who, which made it difficult to feel any connection to any of the characters. So by the end of the book I was left thinking, wait what happened with that girl again? It’s strange to have the contents of a book fade away so quickly. In fact, I wrote this review immediately after finishing the book and I’m seriously grabbing at straws here to put anything down, that’s how much of it I remember. But I know the few details I do remember will inevitably fade more and I will be left with nothing to write.

Overall, this was a quick read, but since it didn’t stick with me, I can’t really say much else about it. I was just one of those okay books. I know there are people out there who have really enjoyed this book, so if you are curious about the story, I would recommend checking it out.

Book Review: The Giver

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I picked up The Giver a while back because I was intrigued by it. I had seen it on a number of book blogs and everyone seem to have enjoyed it, so I figured I give it a shot because it was a short book.

When I first started reading this book, I was pretty confused. It felt like I had already missed something, like there should have been either another book before this or that there was a prologue needed to better explain things. But I keep reading because I was also curious about everything and figured all the information would come if I just kept going.

After that first chapter, I was absorbed into the book. I found the world so strange and interesting. The vast amount of rules that everyone had to follow, and the way the society functioned as a whole was really what made me keep reading. Sure, the characters were interesting enough, but only a few were featured throughout the entire novel that I felt we were missing some aspects of life there. Even so, I couldn’t put the book down, devouring it in one sitting, which was easy given that it was less than two hundred pages long.

I realize this is quite a short review, but I really don’t see a way to talk more about what I liked about the book without giving a lot of it’s content away. So it’s just going to leave it at that.

I did feel like the ending left something to be desired. There was closure in one way, yet there were so many more questions left unanswered. I can only assume that they answers will come with the rest of the books in this series, which I will likely read at some point. Overall, I really liked this book. It was a quick yet fascinating look into a possible future of humanity. If you haven’t read this book, then I would recommend you do so.