Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Want to Read Wednesday: Spell Bound

 Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

[from Goodreads]

With Want to Read Wednesday, I'll be spotlighting books I want to read, whether they've been out for 10 years or won't be released for another 10 months.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review of Just Listen

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store. This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened
the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

[from Goodreads]
Rating:  4 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Teens, clean romance readers
High point:  The patient emotional progression of Annabel
Low point:  Owen
Reader maturity: 13+

I believe that Just Listen is my 2nd favorite Sarah Dessen novel, right after The Truth About Forever. It's poignant and thoughtful, and even if the reader isn't as conflict-averse as Annabel, I think anyone can find someone to relate to in this novel. Fear of the truth, fear of rejection, fear of humiliation and inability of self-expression are issues that all teenagers deal with at one time or another, and Sarah Dessen does a wonderful job of exploring familiar territory in a touching and positive way.

Annabel learns to confront her fears and find her voice in a believable way and amount of time. She doesn't wake up a changed woman one morning; she fights to find the strength to make herself heard. Owen Armstrong is a big part of her transformation, as a former attendee of Anger Management. While I liked Owen's character and the relationship between him and Annabel, he was more mature and vocal than any teenage guy I've ever met. I had trouble believing that, even after court-ordered Anger Management classes, he would be spouting off phrases like "I-Lang" and "R and R" as if they were part of normal teenage lexicon.

Other than that, I appreciate how deeply I connected with Annabel, even though we have very little in common and I found her to be weaker than I generally prefer my  main characters. She and her family were beautifully developed, with meaningful vignettes providing the reader with all they need to know. There are a lot of brief appearances by minor characters that eventually have great meaning as well. Every person and every scene serves a purpose. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan or you've never read any of her work, I highly recommend Just Listen for a thoughtful YA contemporary.

Title:  Just Listen
Author:  Sarah Dessen
Genre:  Teen Fiction - Romance & Friendship
Year:   2006
Book Source:  Purchased

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Supernatural Saturday Review: My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)

She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   2.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Paranormal fans, anyone hiding bean sidhe secrets 
High point:  Banshees are unusual in the YA genre 
Low point:   Insta-love!
Reader maturity: 13+

My Soul to Take had an abundance of untapped potential that has me hoping for a realization of greatness in the next novel. There's a great story in there, but I had issues with a few things.

First, a novel about a teenage bean sidhe should have been fascinating, but every few pages flattened me with either an information dump or passionate kissing, which brings me to my next point...There was SO. MUCH. PDA. Every kiss, every hug, every touch was described in excruciating detail (not everything in the novel, like thoughts or scenery, but every-single-little-thing to do with Nash). To the author's credit, Kaylee, while overly passionate, at least didn't venture into inappropriate territory. Lastly, Kaylee and Nash "fell in love" (note the quotation marks) way too fast. The guy talked her down from one little (metaphorical) ledge and she uses that event to justify all of his subsequent actions by reasoning that he must be a good guy since he was nice to her that one time.

Most of the things I mentioned are based on my personal preference in novels so if those things don't bother you, give My Soul to Take a chance. And if you're with me on insta-love and too much PDA, you might still want to check it out. As I mentioned at the beginning, there was potential and that's what kept me reading. Maybe Kaylee and Nash will take things down a notch for My Soul to Save.

Title:  My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)
Author:  Rachel Vincent
Genre:   Fiction - Paranormal
Year:   2009
Book Source:  Won from I Like These Books

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kindred Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

On Fridays, I feature family here at Bookish in a Box. Below is a review of one of my dad's recent reads.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. The story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

[excerpted from Goodreads]

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Full-spectrum
High point:  Meeting the family
Low point:  Racial discrimination
Reader maturity:  15+

I originally heard excerpts of this book on my local PBS station and knew I had to read it. This non-fiction work is about 300-pages long and the protagonist is a poor African-American mother with an aggressive form of cancer. A portion of the cancerous tissue was removed without Ms. Lacks or her family’s consent and has been responsible for some of the greatest innovations in modern science and medicine. You’ll see the innocent stepped on by political, judicial and social antagonists in the interest of big money. Deep questions are raised and there are no simple answers.

The scene opens in the early 1950’s when racial discrimination was the norm. Being a child of the sixties makes some of this difficult for me to accept. There were points in the book where my interest was drowned by the complete disregard of human decency merely because of the color of someone’s skin.

The book is well-researched and rich with the topics of poverty, racism and scientific ethics. This was one of those books that I found myself reading whenever I had a few minutes. It is written from the point of view of the author, contains some scientific and medical terminology, and as such is often bluntly graphic. I found profanity to be minimal.
Title:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author:  Rebecca Skloot
Genre:   Nonfiction
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Purchased

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review of The Clearing

In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever.
     Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae’s place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school.
     Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist—Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she’s starting to fall for him.
     But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it’s still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy’s crossing over to Henry’s side brings him more happiness than he’s ever known—but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.
  [from Goodreads]

Rating:   2 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Historical adventure readers
High point: Strong relationships
Low point:  Stilted dialogue
Reader maturity:  15+

I was crushed when I lost The Clearing over a year and a half ago. As I love historical fiction and YA romances, I was really looking forward to it. Upon reading it last week after I found my copy, my feelings are mixed.

I have high praise for Heather Davis' exposition of Henry and his secrets, although Amy's secrets were revealed with far less finesse. The romance and historical aspects were handled beautifully, as well as Amy's relationships with both her mother and (much more motherly) great aunt. Unfortunately, the dialogue is distractingly stilted, especially that in the contemporary portions of the book. The Clearing tackles issues of teenage awkwardness, but this surpasses poor social skills. The people who spoke most naturally were Henry and his family, which seems peculiar since Amy specifically notes to herself that they speak strangely.

The Clearing includes some adult matter, none of it graphic, but all of it needless, especially since it was out of character for the gentlemanly Henry and didn't serve to drive home any particular point. As I said, it's not graphic, but it lends a tone to the novel that makes it inappropriate for younger teens.

Other than the awkward dialogue, The Clearing was a sweet story about acceptance and the true meaning of love. While it didn't blow me away, it's perfect for a nice afternoon of escapism, and since the author did such a great job capturing the struggle of growing up, I'd like to check out some of her other works, like Wherever You Go.

Title:  The Clearing
Author:  Heather Davis
Genre:   Fiction - Historical
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Won from Fantastic Book Review

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Want to Read Wednesday: The Traitor and the Tunnel (The Agency #3)

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose.
[from Goodreads]

With Want to Read Wednesday, I'll be spotlighting books I want to read, whether they've been out for 10 years or won't be released for another 10 months.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Supernatural Saturday Review: Passion

Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

[from Goodreads]
Rating:   N/A out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Not me, apparently
High point:  The first 90% of the novel
Low point:  The last 10%
Reader maturity:  13+

For the first 90% of the novel or so, I was really excited about the review I was going to write for Passion. I had some problems with Luce's dependence on and all-consuming love of Daniel in the first two novels. She certainly has a mind of her own in Passion, and I intended to write a glowing review about the slow reveal of secrets and maturation of Luce's character, as well as the growth of Daniel and her friends, learning to let Luce go. I was also considering how to tell you how much I enjoyed Luce's excursion through time; since I'm a fan of historical fiction, this seemed to be a delightful marriage of paranormal and an exploration of different periods in history.

Unfortunately, there's that 10%. I'm already somewhat uncomfortable with angel novels, and that last bit of the book tipped me well past my comfort point, taking the book from a mere paranormal YA to something much more sensitive. If you'd like to read my thoughts on the first two books in the series, you can find them here:  Fallen and Torment

Title:  Passion
Author:  Lauren Kate
Genre:  Teen Fiction--Horror & Suspense
Year:   2011
Book Source:  Purchased

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kindred Review: The Thirty-First of February

I'd like to welcome my dad here to Bookish in a Box today!! I come from a family of voracious readers, and I'm excited to be getting them involved in my little piece of the internet. My dad gamely agreed to review a book he recently read, and I'm excited to share it with y'all. 

The Thirty-First of February is a collection of science fiction short stories originally published in 1949.
[image from Goodreads]

Rating:  5 out of 5 boxes 

Reason:  High probability of re-reading but knowing the ending of each story takes much of the intrigue out of the experience  

A few weeks ago, I finished a book of thirteen short pieces of science fiction written by Nelson Bond:  The Thirty-first of February.

While the collection was originally compiled in 1938, each story was written such that it could have been any year hence. Most text was written in third-person narrative. Descriptive details about such items as automobiles, articles of clothing and societal customs are mentioned throughout to assist the reader in imagining the scene, but little to localize the frame of reference to the late nineteen-thirties or forties.

Many stories are timeless and remain a topic of film and literature to this day. Common folk with extraordinary powers, time travel, ghosts and unknown visitors from dimensions beyond our own.

The Monster From Nowhere is of particular interest to me because it opens the door to a parallel dimension beyond the four wherein humans exist.  Like Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace, Nelson Bond paints a vivid picture and fills in the blanks such that even the less technical reader can understand.

I would recommend this book to those individuals wishing to stretch their mind and imagination around twists to common everyday life.  I found it particularly helpful to clear my mind beforehand, rather than crossing the threshold of Mr. Bond's imagination with preconceived notions.

Title:  The Thirty-First of February
Author:  Nelson Bond
Genre:   Fiction - Science Fiction
Year:   1949
Book Source:  Purchased

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review of A Golden Web

Alessandra is desperate to escape.Desperate to escape her stepmother, who's locked her away for a year; to escape the cloister that awaits her and the marriage plans that have been made for her; to escape the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There's no tolerance in her quiet village for Alessandra and her keen intelligence and unconventional ideas.In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee -- and an enduring fame.In this exquisite imagining of the centuries-old story of Alessandra Giliani, the world's first female anatomist, acclaimed novelist Barbara Quick gives readers the drama, romance, and rich historical detail for which she is known as she shines a light on an unforgotten -- and unforgettable -- heroine.
[from Goodreads]

Rating:   2 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Historical YA readers
High point: Interesting plot
Low point:  Didn't engage me
Reader maturity:  15+

I generally enjoy historical fiction, but something about A Golden Web put me off. Whether it was the stilted language of both Alessandra's thoughts and the dialogue or the bawdy references to things that may have been acceptable conversation in fourteenth-century Italy but made my twenty-first century self blush, I'm not sure.

Alessanda never came alive to me; I sympathized, but I couldn't manage empathy. She's a smart and hard-working girl, but I couldn't connect with the character on the level I had hoped to. However, I enjoyed the references to every day Italian life and the insight into the workings of universities in the 1300s. I always assumed they were like modern colleges, with dedicated buildings and courses, so I was surprised by the historical format.

As I mentioned above, there are some coarse references to anatomy and certain physical acts. In context, it's not too shocking, but the book does mention things that aren't considered polite conversation today. Due to that, I was confused about the intended reader. A Golden Web is written in a Middle Grade style, but some of the content is definitely for older readers.

Title:  A Golden Web
Author:  Barbara Quick
Genre:   Fiction - Historical
Year:   2010
Book Source: Won from A Good Addiction

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Want to Read Wednesday: The Gathering Storm

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue. 

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

[from Goodreads]

With Want to Read Wednesday, I'll be spotlighting books I want to read, whether they've been out for 10 years or won't be released for another 10 months.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Supernatural Saturday Review: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?
[from Goodreads]

Rating:  4 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Teens who love good vampire drama
High point:  The empathy the reader feels for Rose
Low point:  Sequel Syndrome
Reader maturity:  15+

Spirit Bound took me months--almost a year, in fact--to finish, in part because I didn't want to end on a cliffhanger and have to wait for the paperback of Last Sacrifice to be released and in part because I was a little bored. The event that was, to me, the climax of the novel was somewhere in the middle, leaving chapters and chapters of anticlimactic action.

It took me so long to finish that I don't remember a lot of what happened, except the main events. What I do remember is that I felt really proud of Rose for her honesty with Adrian, as well as some mature decisions that she makes with regards to their relationship (after a string of immature ones, of course). Adrian also impressed me (and Rose) with his understanding and patience. His character has more quality and depth than I initially gave him credit for (and I changed from Team Dimitri to Team Adrian over the course of Spirit Bound). Lissa is kind of the "eh" character to me again; she doesn't seem to be nearly as good of a friend to Rose as Rose is to her.

While Spirit Bound felt like more of a tie-in between Blood Promise and Last Sacrifice, it possesses the key elements that make the Vampire Academy series so memorable. While not my favorite of the series, it's still a great book, and I can't wait to see how Richelle Mead ends the saga.

Title:  Spirit Bound
Author:  Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult Horror and Suspense
Year: 2010
Book Source:  Purchased

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Want to Read Wednesday: Illuminated

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

[from Goodreads]

With Want to Read Wednesday, I'll be spotlighting books I want to read, whether they've been out for 10 years or won't be released for another 10 months.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review of I Am Number Four

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.


[from Goodreads]
Rating:   2.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  YA sci-fi searchers
High point:  The ending action
Low point:  The unbelievable plot points and archnemesis
Reader maturity: 13+

When I first heard about I Am Number Four, I was very excited. The premise seemed unique and well-coordinated, and I read a lot of good things about the novel. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. I think one of my cousins summed it up well when he said [talking about the movie, but it's applicable]:  "The action at the end was the reward for having to sit through the first hour and a half."

I'm hard pressed to diagnose the exact problem I had with the novel. Symptomatically, it didn't draw me in. That may have been due to the male narrator, his male mentor, his head-over-heels, love-at-first-sight paramore or the fact that it took the narrator months to figure out something I guessed within two pages. Number Four, along with being somewhat mentally addled (due to the girlfriend?), was also reckless and impatient and frequently ungrateful for the sacrifices made for him to survive. He also creates an archnemesis within hours of arriving at school, an archnemesis with unbelievable  and impossible emotional growth potential.

The events of the end were pretty exciting and contained some great action sequences. The arrival of a new character piqued my interest and showed promise as a leading character. Ultimately, if the sequel, The Power of Six, fell into my hands, I'd read it, but I won't be waiting in eager anticipation.

Title:  I am Number Four
Author:  Pittacus Lore
Genre:   Fiction - Science Fiction
Year:   2010
Book Source: Borrowed

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Supernatural Saturday Review: Crescendo

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Teen girls, 20-somethings, YA paranormal romance readers
High point:  Nora (finally, a smart heroine!)
Low point:  Also Nora, due to her irrational emotional tangents
Reader maturity:  13+

The ending of Crescendo was awesome!

After reading other bloggers' reviews of Crescendo, I wasn't sure about whether or not I wanted to read it. Hush, Hush entertained me, so I was still looking forward to it, but with a bit of apprehension. Within the first few chapters, I understood where the lukewarm reviews came from. Nora impressed me in Hush, Hush with her realism and relative level-headedness, but in Crescendo, she tends to let her imagination/anger/pain control her with each negative thought that enters her head. Her emotional runaway train disappointed me, but eventually I came to the realization that the teenage years are filled with a lot of ridiculous, illogical reactions and obsessive notions. Nora's appeal in Crescendo may be to a more limited audience, but she's still Nora and still a good main character. And even while she was treating Patch like she enemy, she was also learning to assert herself (albeit by frequently putting herself in harm's way...). Nora's best friend, Vee, is also a much bigger part of Crescendo, which was a fun addition. Vee may be loud and sarcastic and bossy, but she really cares about Nora and she's a great friend.

It may seem a little bit irrational of me, but I really enjoyed Crescendo. At first, I didn't think I was going to, because so much of the novel is about Nora being irrational, but the last third of the novel pulls everything together and gives Nora a chance to act more like the girl I admired in Hush, Hush. Crescendo, unfortunately, falls prey to Sequel Syndrome, when a book seems to serve more as a bridge from the first book to the third than a novel in its own right. However, Crescendo still manages to further the story in an interesting way and drops some intriguing clues about who Nora and Patch really are.

Title:  Crescendo
Author:  Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre:  Teen Fiction--Horror & Suspense
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Won from Reading 'Cause I'm Addicted

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Want to Read Wednesday: Legacy

I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.
 In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.

When the palace guard captures and intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.

In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.

[from Goodreads]

With Want to Read Wednesday, I'll be spotlighting books I want to read, whether they've been out for 10 years or won't be released for another 10 months.