ARC Review: “The Chaos of Stars” by Kiersten White

The Chaos of StarsThe Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Goodreads | Amazon

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

3 1/2 stars

Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for this eARC! This title will be released September 10th, 2013.

When I saw that Kiersten was writing a book with an Egyptian theme, I nearly died of happiness. I am a HUGE fan of her Paranormalcy series (see here), as well as her Mind Games series (see here), so this … this just hit the spot in every right way. Well, at least the news she was writing it did. After all that, it’s not surprising that the book itself couldn’t live up to my anticipation…

Continue reading

Advertisements

ARC Review: “Mind Games” by Kiersten White

Mind GamesMind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White

Goodreads | Amazon

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

5 stars

Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this eARC! This title will be available February 19th, 2013.

This should not have worked. This should not have been good. Everything about this book was begging for me to hate it.

So why did I love it so much?

Here’s why I shouldn’t have loved Mind Games:

  1. It’s written by Kiersten White and it’s NOT about Evie and Lend, to which nothing was supposed to compare.
  2. The point of view is constantly switching between two sisters.
  3. The point of view not only switches between characters, but switches between the past and the present.
  4. There is a love triangle beginning for one of the sisters.
  5. I hate false advertising. This book isn’t really a “slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller” as descriped in the blurb. I wasn’t ever particularly scared or anything.

AND YET I LOVED IT.

All of my feels about this book are hard to explain. But hold on, let me back up a little. This book is about two sisters with psychic powers who have been orphaned and “taken in” by this school for girls with psychic powers. The problem is that this school is not a nice place, and they’re using these girls for evil purposes. The first sister’s name is Annie, and she’s blind—but a Seer. So her sight is really more useful in the long run. Her sister Fia is like nothing anyone has ever seen before, because she has these great instincts that tell her everything from the right stocks to pick to how to perfectly fight someone—and also keep her from being able to be seen by Seers. The school that’s taken them in is training Fia to be their killer while holding Annie for collateral. The book opens with Fia out on her first hit, which she is unable to carry out. And then it all goes downhill from there.

I was not amused with the book started going back and forth between Fia and Annie, and even less so when the book kept going into chapters of flashbacks. Usually, this DOES NOT WORK. But with this one … it did. It ACTUALLY WORKED and I don’t know how. The flashbacks actually did their job of making the story and the characters even deeper while never taking away from the flow and process of the present storyline. WITH FLASHBACKS, I felt like the plot never stopped moving forward, and fast. I’m still going gaga about that.

The characters of Fia and Annie were very different, and their voices really came through. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with Annie, but Fia entirely makes up for it. She is broken, she is battered, she is stubborn and she is a fighter. Living in Fia’s head is painful and terrible and breathtaking.

Usually I wouldn’t be a fan of the love triangle that was set up either, but here it totally made sense. The characters aren’t throwing themselves at each other, and they aren’t eternally in love with each other from the start either. There’s a mutual attraction that pulls one of the sisters in two ways that make utter and total sense.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but here it goes: I think that Mind Games is better than the Paranormalcy books. I mean, the two books are REALLY DIFFERENT, but I think as a crafted object Mind Games is actually better. There’s a less of White’s humor in here, but her story writing seems to have reached a new level with this one.

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I am SO excited for this topic, I have NO IDEA how I’m going to pick just ten for this topic! Also, if you’re seeing this, I’m so happy because that means I haven’t been swallowed by Hurricane Sandy. Or wait. I have Auto-Post. Maybe I have… Er. ANYWAYS!

1. Yukiko from Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Anybody who can befriend a thunder-tiger deserves to make this list. She isn’t bad with a small knife, either. And she has no problem murdering emperors. (See my review HERE!)

2. Calaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Teenage female assassins? Uh, YES. There is no way she DOESN’T make this list. She also never shies away from violence, and loves to cause a ruckus herself. (See my review HERE!)

3. Allie (Allison) from The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Kick ass theif turned kick ass vampire. It doesn’t get much better than that. (See my review HERE!)

4. Ismae from Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

This girl was raised to be an assassin by KILLER NUNS. I have yet to see an assassin training establishment that awesome. (See my review HERE!)

5. Ellie from Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

She’s snarky, has swords of light and totally knows when to cease the killing and go to a party. Need I say more? (See my review HERE!)

6. Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The Queen of Snark right here. Also the queen of snarky kick assery. It doesn’t get much better than her!

7. Kel from First Test by Tamora Pierce

Okay, she’s a little less snarky than the other girls on my list, but there is no way you can weild a sword better than this girl.

8. Alanna from The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Not only is she the best at weilding a sword, but she can also kick ass with magic. Her temper is pretty fierce, too.

9. Eona from Eon by Alison Goodman

Pretends she’s a guy so she can prove her kick assness. Also controls a dragon. Do not mess with.

10. Evie from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Her weapon of choice is a pink, glittery taser named Tasey, but don’t underestimate her even without it–she can kill with snark alone, I swear. And also fashion sense.

Review: “Endlessly” by Kiersten White

Endlessly (Paranormalcy #3) by Kiersten White

Goodreads | Amazon

Evie’s paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie’s hands.

So much for normal.

4 stars

Disclaimer: If you haven’t read Paranormalcy or Supernaturally, mild spoilers WILL follow

Holy bleep. It’s over. It’s really bleeping over.

I need to go grab my pinkest, sparkliest shirt and cry.

But you know what?

This trilogy not only STAYED a trilogy (thank God), but it also ended just the way I wanted it to, in the way that I wanted it to.

Well, sort of.

Opening these pages was really hard to do. It’s the beginning of the end, you know? I really enjoyed the first two books of the series for what they were: fun, fluffy, sugar hyped rides that made me giggle while gripping the pages in a MUST KEEP READING frenzy. I expected everything and anything from Endlessly. In a way, I got both.

It was, as ever, a crazy, quirky ride. Evie remained the same crazy chick she always was, but in a way that also bothered me a little. I honestly can’t see too much difference between Evie at the start and Evie at the finish, and after all she’s gone through I expected at least a little bit of something more. Because of the way Evie is written, it’s often hard to find depth in her character. …of course, if you’re reading these books for depth, you’re kind of in the wrong place.

Lend didn’t take as much precedence in this book as I wanted him too, simply because he and Evie are so cute together. Of course, Evie was FREAKIN’ BUSY saving the world and everything, but Lend could have helped out a little more than he did. The one time he DID go with Evie, he spent most of his time naked and passed out and Evie didn’t even appreciate it. (No, it was totally PG. It’s a loooong story, folks.)

I was actually quite surprised to see as much of Jack and Reth as we did. After all, who would partner up with two people who tried to kill her and/or otherwise harm her? Oh, right, Evie. Despite her and Lend’s apparent lack of depth, a surprising amount of it was given to Jack and Reth, which I absolutely loved. We really got to know these characters and understand them, and they became so much more than just accomplices. Reth, especially. I didn’t even like him in the first couple of books, but after this one I just felt … all of the things for him.

You guys all know how I pick at logical consistencies. For Kiersten White, I’ll put a lid on it. Several key plot points and twists did not make sense and/or happened far too fast, but you know what? Again, if water tight plot is what you’re looking for, you’re in the wrong place.

I don’t want to talk too much about the plot, but let me just say this: did you want to know more about the faeries? You’ll get it. You’ll get A LOT of it. This one is very faerie-centric. You’ll even get to spend a LOT of time in the Faerie Realms. Did you want to see more supernatural creatures? You’ll get them. There’s even a dragon and a unicorn. Do you want to know the entire purpose behind creating the Empty Ones? You’ll get that. (Hint: It’s not what you think by a loooong shot.) Several characters make unexpected returns as well. And that’s all I’m saying. 😛

I enjoyed Paranormalcy as much as I did because it was quite possibly the quirkiest book I ever read. I laughed out loud out of pure, “Are you serious?” at times, just because of Evie’s personality. It was pure, undiluted mind candy. PINK, SPARKLY mind candy. And it was amazing. Supernaturally was more of the same, even if I felt it didn’t measure up to ParanormalcyEndlessly at least matched Supernaturally. There were too few opportunities for me to laugh in this one–again, understandable because Evie is freaking out trying to save the world, but still. That said, I found Endlessly to be a fitting finale for the series. The entire series was tied neatly with a bow–a pink, sparkly one. Have fun with your normal life, Evie!

However unnormal it will be.

1,000 Followers Giveaway!

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST.

MY LIFE IS A NOTEBOOK HAS HIT 1,000 FOLLOWERS!

When I started this blog, I had HOPES that someday I’d hit this number, but when I started out the numbers went up REALLY slow. I started to stop letting that bother me and just work on writing and reading and having fun, because blogging is supposed to be about the numbers. But now that day has actually come. 1,000 followers. Wow.

I know there are a bunch of bigger blogs out there and that 1,000 isn’t as much of a milestone to some of you, but it really is to me so thank you guys SO MUCH for helping me reach this point.

I WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT YOU.

On that note, I decided to put it up to a vote about which books you guys would win from my celebratory giveaway. The answer was, overwhelmingly:

THE PARANORMALCY SERIES BY KIERSTEN WHITE!

So here we go, guys! Click HERE to enter – just remember the giveaway is US only and ends September 30th at 11:59 PM. Sadly, I couldn’t open this up internationally because I’m now a broke college kid, but I have some international ones coming up, promise!

Top Ten Books for People Who Liked “Anna and the French Kiss”

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

You guys may or may not know that Anna and the French Kiss was my first 5 star review. This was even more shocking because I haaaate teenage romances. Usually. Unless they’re done REALLY WELL. So I decided to take that book to show you just how picky my tastes are!

1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

This one made me laugh and cry. It was absolutely fantastic. I just…I just can’t even put my feelings into words. Oh wait, yes I can. I reviewed it.

2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Alright, alright, I know this one isn’t a contemporary, but bear with me. I’m going with the criteria of FANTASTIC ROMANCE with this one. This one doesn’t have a love triangle or a cliché ANYWHERE. It’s just … awesome. See my review for more.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Yeah, this one is a semi cop-out, but c’mon. You know it’s true! (Although, I don’t actually think this one measured up to Anna…)

4. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

No, this isn’t a contemporary EITHER. I didn’t say they all would be, did I? This was a fantastic ride on several levels, not to mention the cute romance to be had. I’ve gotten several people hooked on this series and I’m proud of it!

5. Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci

Okay, so, these aren’t particularly romance heavy, but the romance in them is done really well. They (it’s a duology) are also ridiculously powerful books that I’ve checked out multiple times from my library. They are just EXCELLENTLY written.

6. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot

Again, cop out, because Meg Cabot is like the queen in certain circles, but to be honest I never really enjoyed much of hers. This one, though, is SO EXTREMELY CUTE I COULD DIE. I love it. It’s like candy.

7. When it Happens by Susane Colasanti

Again, cop out, because it’s SUSANE COLASANTI. But still. This book. SO CUTE. I love it. It’s amazing. It makes me SO HAPPY.

8. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Not a contemporary, but people who’ve read both series can’t tell me that Anna and Sophie wouldn’t be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER if they met in “real” life. I certainly think they would. 😀 (Plus, Archer? HELLO SEXY. He and Entienne could burn down buildings just by walking into them.)

9. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

This is actually a second book of a series that is connected but doesn’t particularly have to be read in the same order, but I think it’s the best one for Anna fans.

10. Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce

No, not a contemporary. But I still think Anna and Aly would make fiiiiine friends. OHMYGOD, SOPHIE, ANNA AND ALY. THIS WOULD BE THE BEST BOOK. Someone help me get these guys on that…

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend As Good Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It should probably be noted that my idea of a beach read is, uh, anything. Even if it’s dark and dangerous and depressing. That said, I’m going to TRY to give you guys what it is you’re looking for. I think. Uh. Well, here we go! (All title links go to Goodreads)

1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I have not posted my review of this one yet, but GUYS. One of the best contemps I’ve EVER read. Seriously. It’s a little lacking on the fluffy, fun side but … I don’t care. I reread this one any day.

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass

There are few books that are total and utter mind candy, sparkly and airey. This, this is one of them. And I loved ever second of it.

3. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Gorgeous cover. Gorgeous read. And not too heavy to cart around. (Did I mention ONE OF MY FAVORITES EVER?) 😛

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Alright, so, this one will try to take you away to France, but c’mon. Would you rather just be on a beach or on a beach IN PARIS? Be truthful now. (Plus, there’s a reason my review includes so much squealing.)

5. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

A quirkier, spunkier read I’ve rarely come across.  Plus, the last book comes out in August, I do believe. It’s a PERFECT time to read or reread this series.

6. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

SHH, we’re sneaking in a non-YA read. That’s pretty okay with me. I LOVE THIS BOOK. UNRESERVEDLY. Perfect summer read right here.

7. Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

Oh man, I’d almost forgotten about this one. How, I do not know. Thank you, Goodreads. This might literally end up being my beach read!

8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

HELLO HOTNESS. My favorite Simone Elkeles book of all time right here. A staple of any summer.

9. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson

A CLASSIC. I adore these books, and adored even more the decision to rerelease them with new, gorgeous covers. My old ones were falling apart.

10. A Match Made in High School by Kristen Walker

Seriously, sometimes you have to enjoy a book for its cuteness. This is one of those times.