Sunday, August 14, 2011

Timeless by Alexandra Monir


When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s family, she is forced to move from Los Angeles to New York City to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she has never met. In their historic Fifth Avenue mansion, filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers the biggest family secret of all—an ancestor’s diary that, amazingly, has the power to send her back in time to 1910, the year it was written. There, at a glamorous high society masquerade ball, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life. And she finds herself falling for him, and into an otherworldly romance.

Soon Michele is leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves—and to complete a quest that will determine their fate.

  • Number of pages: 280


The thing about this book is that the story is a very interesting one, but the way it was written isn’t great. At first reading this book everything was great: the main events were set up perfectly, and the characters started out good. I just didn’t enjoy reading how the rest progressed. I can’t really explain it any better than saying that it wasn’t how I thought it was going to be. I just wasn’t captured. From the beginning I should have gotten hooked like I do with most books, I just wasn’t feeling it with this one.

The story is about Michele who’s suddenly thrown into the life of the wealthy when her mother dies, and she is sent to live with her super rich grandparents. Somehow she gets this key that can somehow transport her to a time in the past, 100 years to be exact. There she meets the boy who has been occupying her dreams for years. It was all cute at first, but then Michele makes a discovery and does everything she can to change the past, and the boy’s future. There were some times where the events were stretched put too much and some random things that I just didn’t understand what it had to do with. And sometime it just seemed overdone to me. Like the corny parts of the book had just too much. The end bothered me. The book wasn’t bad, it’s just that at the end I figured, “ok at least now she did what she had to do and it’s over”. Apparently I was wrong, though. I think that the way the author was ending it was fine, she fixed the past and she was going to learn to move one. Then right when the book was going to be over . . . BAM! Something big happens and the story is stretched out even more to encompass this new turn of events. I probably am going to read the next book because I hate leaving things unfinished, but to be quite honest it would have been great to me if it ended here; it’s probably safe to say that it’s not going to be at the top of my list. But who knows? Maybe I’ll end up loving the next book. All in good time of course. But for now from 1-10? Timeless gets a 4.5

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter


Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it’s Kate’s turn.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails . . .

  • Number of pages: 293


I’ve had my eye out for this book for quite some time. It caught my eye expressly because it dealt with some Greek mythology. I actually adore mythology. Reading The Goddess Test was very interesting. The concept of the story was good. I always thought that Hades (in this case Henry) to be misunderstood. It was great seeing someone recognize it as that. But there were lots of stuff that really bothered me about it.

The characters seemed quite annoying to me. I don’t know why, they just seemed very fake to me, like they didn’t have much substance. One in particular was Henry. God, it killed me that he was portrayed as an empty shell for the most part. I mean I get that Carter was trying to make it out that he had given up, but there just wasn’t any spunk to him! He didn’t have any special qualities about him that separated him from the rest. And honestly I don’t know why Kate fell for him. There was nothing in this book that made sense as to why she loves him. And if I can’t understand why she loves him then I, as the reader, can’t fall in love with him either! Kate sometimes came out as . . . I don’t want to say annoying (again) but somewhere near that. I just couldn’t understand her

Another thing was that some stuff was just way too predictable to me. Then again, somethings weren’t. It just all depends, but there were times when this piece of news, or that piece of news was suppose to come out as a surprise, and I had already predicted it. Then again, there were some moments when I was in shock that I hadn’t seen it coming. I think I would have liked it if this book just ended its, that there wouldn’t be more to the story to come in a sequel because this book could have ended itself right, and I would have been happy. But I guess I can understand why there would be given more to the story. I will be putting book two down in my list of books to read, maybe it’ll come out better than this one. So from 1-10? I give The Goddess Test a solid 5.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter


Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed. Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

  • Number of pages: 304


Kat Bishop and her crew are back for an all new riveting adventure including traps, yachting, curses, and cons. I devoured the first book, Heist Society, and I couldn’t stay away from Uncommon Criminals for long. After taking some solo jobs around the world Kat Bishop is finally going back home when she and her oh so suave best friend, the infamous and gorgeous W. W. Hale the Fifth find themselves with the opportunity to steal the Cleopatra Emerald . . . which happens to be cursed (of course). And Kat of course can’t resist such a tempting job, but when things start to go terribly wrong, she and her crew of teen thieves work together to undue the mistakes made and return the emerald before it can make any more trouble for them.

I think this book was just as wow worthy as the first book, and I believe that over and over we can see in the books how Kat is maturing and making her way through the family business without technically becoming the bad guy. Really, every one of the characters were maturing in their skills and personalities, and yet always had those funny ways about them that made them special and quirky and fun. I really loved Ally Carter’s work again in this second book. So much tricks and turns that kept me guessing until the very end—literally. I think that was one thing that kind of bothered me even if it was for a little. Near the end of the book when all the pieces were coming together I had to strain my brain a little to keep up with the book. And even after the way they pulled off everything was revealed I had to pause and think a little while to understand everything better. From 1-10? I give Uncommon Criminals a 7 (:

Heist Society by Ally Carter


When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre . . . to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria . . . to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the vest boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history—and, with luck, steal her life back along the way.

  • Number of pages: 304


Completely ignoring what I was taught since birth about stealing being bad I totally wish I were part of this society. Is that bad? Probably, but I can’t help it. The Heist Society is so cool. This was a good book with lots of excitement and brainwork I guess you could say. Kat is not the average thief—even by her family’s standards. She’s the best of the best (ignoring the fact that she’s just a teen) and has amazing strategist skills, but one thing she has is a conscience—at least for a thief. So she makes her way out of the family business, which is like a HUGE no no. When she is expelled from the boarding school she snuck herself into she finds herself in the biggest job she’s ever done . . . that will also save her father. And along with the rich and handsome best friend, Hale, Gabrielle, The Bagshaw Brothers, Simon, and Nick they are about to find out how much talent they actually have.

This book was very entertaining in the way that Ally Carter makes everything out to be like a real society. One that not many people know of course, but one that exits nevertheless. I loved how it is like a type of living (even if it is corrupt). These people got skills. I kind of got jealous. So from 1-10? I think this society of thieves gets an 8!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire


One hour to rewrite the past . . . For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson is willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past. Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

  • Number of pages: 400


The intricacy of the ins and outs of this book was spectacular. My preferences to sci-fi are usually slim, but Hourglass totally blew me away. It was riveting, complicated, and full out entertainment. It took all I had to keep myself from laughing hysterically while reading during my car trip. My parents already looked at me like I was crazy when the occasional chuckle escaped me. That’s how funny this book was. I love when there is so much drama with humor interlaced the entire plot. Okay, so, Emerson Cole thinks she’s crazy . . . and with good reason! She sees people who no longer exist. Not ghost exactly, more like visions of people from the passed called Rips. She learns all this from the most “delicious” guy, Michael, who happens to be just like her . . . sorta. I can’t really explain all this so the only way to get all the details is to pick up a copy and read it for yourself. But keep a sharp mind out because sometimes things would get a little complicated and twisted around. Just a heads up.

So what exactly is it about this book that I liked so much? I’d have to say Emerson, all the way. I absolutely LOVED reading from her perspective. She is the most kick ass character—literally. Her sarcasm practically dripped out. There is nothing better than good out sarcasm and a strong will to make a book pop. She was the personification of a strong female lead. And you know what I loved about her? She was always showed as strong, but there were clearly times when she cracked. That was perfect for me because it shows that she was human, you know? Not some super girl with the will of an army, just a girl trying to right wrongs even if it was hard and scary. Still, there was something that put me off about her sometimes. I cant quite put my finger on it, but it doesn’t really matter. Along with Emerson there were so many other characters that I LOVED. And when I say I loved that it’s that I LOOOVED them. The thing about this book is that it was the story line that made this such a good book, it was the characters. They were just so real to me, so raw. Emerson’s sparkiness, Michael’s strong feeling of protectiveness, Dru’s compassion, Kaleb’s openness, even Lily’s sassiness even though she just showed up a hand full of times. They were the ones that captured me, and sometimes that doesn’t happen in a book. So for Myra McEntire’s incredible talent for making characters jump off a page . . . from 1-10? I give Hourglass a 9!

P.S. I'm like 95% sure this is just the beginning of a series, but so far I haven't heard or seen anything about other books. Got any info on this? Let me know! I cant't for the next!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

How do you defy DESTINY?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small as sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history. As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realized that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might no to be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
  • Number of pages: 487
Take this amazing book cover as an indication of how this book is going to be . . . AH-mazing! I was absolutely captivated by this story, I mean, who doesn’t love a good ol’ curse dating back from the time of the Greek gods to set the mood for this epic book. And who can resist a good demigod story? Out of all the paranormal/fictional characters out there I have to say demigods and angels are my favorite to read about. I do give warnings to you all out there when there is something I think you should know before reading books, and my warning for this book is though I did love it the beginning was . . . scary intense. Like there is this part where these creepy sisters that represent the Fates show up and they are um, well, creep. I can’t even describe it any other way, it kinda freaked me out. Props to the author though for making it seem so real. But other than that and some other freaky stuff in the beginning I have to say the rest of the book was very good. Great even! Of course what would a book called “starcrossed” be without a very dramatic love story? Helen and Lucas are so desperately in love, but alas that is not meant to be . . . or is it? I was kept on my toes (or in this case the edge of my bed) from beginning to end and even afterwards when it was over. Now HERE is when I almost had a heart attack, when I found out that the second book come out . . . MAY 2012!!!! NOOOOOO!!! It can’t be, right? Wrong -.- I have to wait so many months to continue on to the next book Dreamless. I think it’s just cruel how sometimes these books don’t come until months later, but what can you do? Any way I’m getting off track. The only thing I can really do at this point is gush over how I loved this book and if from experience you also love hopeless love stories with danger, secrets, and drama then I guarantee Starcrossed as the next book that should be given a spot on your bookshelf. So from 1-10? Starcrossed is given a close 8.5!

Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury

She took a stand . . .
He took a chance . . .
Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal—on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different.
Ella Reynolds is a part of the “in” crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him . . . the way he is drawn to the music. Then Ella makes a dramatic discovery—she and Holden were best friends as children.
Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake.
Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden’s praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theatre kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song much be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.
  • Number of pages: 319

I took a chance reading this book, and was not disappointed. This story was deep. I cant say that everyone out there is going to be compelled to read this book because it isn’t one of the usual genres that kids out there are into. And by that I mean there is not one vampire, werewolf, faerie, or love triangle. But should that stop teens from reading Unlocked? I don’t think it should. This book captivates a reader such as myself because of the genuine feeling that comes from it. This book takes you on a spiritual journey through the family and friends of Holden Harris, a guy locked in the grip of autism. Other than praying for the mental return of Holden Harris from his “prison” I didn’t see much of the Christianity aspects in this book. That could be good for anyone out there that isn’t Christian who might want to read this book because I didn’t get the feeling that it pushes this religion to make you want to be a Christian or anything. I, on the other hand ,do believe in God so this was a good book that reminded me of the help the Father can give to those who call to him. Mostly I saw that from the parts where you look through the eyes of the mom of Holden. That poor woman, I can’t even pretend to understand what she went through. And the fact that this actually happens, that there are still kids out there who can’t break from their autism is so sad. I saw in this book how devastated these people who live with an autistic family member or friend might affect them and how much they want that person to come back. I actually did learn a lot from this book, which was good. I think all stories should always give you a little lesson in between pages. After reading I went on a little Google spree, and read a little more on this problem. I can’t say that it wasn’t a little tedious during the beginning when everything is coming into place and there is still no sign of recovery from Holden, but once I started to see some changes in him is when I really could put down the book.
From 1-10? Unlocked get a 6 because I did have to push myself for this book, but was rewarding at the end

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 39 Clues


There is no way really for me to get a summary of these books without setting off some spoilers so I found this video on YouTube that I have to say sums up The 39 Clues off perfectly.

  • Number of pages: around 155 using the first book as a base


This series really surprised me. I read the first book a couple of months ago because one of my friends recommended it to me. She gave me her personal copy, and I set off on a trip to France with Amy and Dan. Usually I get a bit prejudice towards smaller books because I think that it isn’t in some way in my reading range. I guess that sounds kind of bad, but that is just one of my bad thinking habits that I need to get control of if these books are any indication that small books can be SO good. Because that’s what these book were. They were brilliant, fast paced, and mysterious. The plot was very interesting because it really makes it seem like this all-powerful family dates back hundreds of years to the 16th century. I was fascinated with the ways that the authors used history’s biggest and best-known people as anchors in the clues. I admit it! I learn a lot from these mini history lessons though you do have to be careful in what you think is history and what was made up to make it seem like they were part of the Cahill hunt.

The adventures of the hunt itself was so much fun. Amy and Dan literally went from one side of the globe to the next and back and forth for I think it was a month or two just to find clues to win the biggest prize in the world—ultimate power. It was incredible how smart these kids were. I think of them now and think of my friends and me and I could never in a million years picture us thinking the way they do and using photographic memory! I think that had to be one of the coolest things, to look at something for a second or two and have it permanentlyingrained in your head. I think that would be mighty useful when it comes to tests and studying. But seriously the way they make out these kids to be is amazing although sometimes a little over the top. Although they did have help from other fantastic characters like Nellie Gomez, a favorite of mine.

What I loved about these books is that you had to think about the clues too. Not sure if that makes sense, but like you were also thinking about it too . . . not that I would get even NEAR to cracking the codes before Dan and Amy. These books were very entertaining; it was like food for thought (I try to say this phrase a lot). The way all the authors wrote the book is amazing. It was one author per book and though there weren’t that many difference I like to tell myself that I saw the different styles of writing in the few authors that I recognized like: Rick Riordan, Jude Watson, and Margaret Peterson Haddix.

From 1-10? The whole series gets a 7!


This whole series is also like a card trading/online game thing that I haven’t really gotten into, but seems pretty cool. I have like one set from one book, and they look cool. Sometimes the whole family roots and clues are a little hard to keep up so I found this website that might help you out if you are reading them or want to read them: you can see pictures and profiles too!

Because all authors contributing to these books is important here is a list of all the authors (at least from the first series)


Rick Riordan

Gordan Korman

Peter Lerangis

Jude Watson

Patrick Carman

Linda Sue Park

Margaret Peterson Haddix