Replica Author: Jenna Black Publisher: Tor Teen, 368 pages Publication Date: July 16, 2013 From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy. Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match. Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive. When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect. Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It definitely wasn't the typical dystopian novel. Nate and Nadia are best friends whose families have arranged their marriage. That's just the way things are done in this world, and Nadia is basically happy with the situation, even though Nate is gay. Nate gets murdered in the beginning of the book, and then he is replicated. The rest of the book is spent solving the mystery of his murder. The prime suspect is Nate's boyfriend (who no one knows about). In the former United States, corporations have taken over running things. Apparently the government collapsed because people were given too many civil liberties. But how did this actually happen? Was there a war? A little more history regarding that would have been helpful. That premise reminds me of Contiuum, a TV show on the sci-fi channel that I really like. There are basically 3 classes of people, Executives, Employees, and Basement dwellers. The executives have all of the power, the employees work for the executives, and the basement dwellers are the lowest of the low, outcasts of society who are not supposed to mix with the other two classes. There are protests over the class divisions, protests over the replication technology, etc. The society is really strict from a moral standpoint, like the Victorian era. I was totally engrossed in this book. Nate and Nadia are both flawed, but both show a lot of character development. In the beginning, Nate is pretty selfish and acts rather rashly. He's the typical spoiled party boy. He takes his friendship with Nadia for granted, and Nadia lets him. I had no idea why she considered him such a good friend because he really didn't treat her well at all and she let him run all over her. But after he is replicated, he starts realizing how he has treated people in the past, especially Nadia. And Nadia starts standing up for herself. There's a potential love interest for Nadia and I think we'll see more of that in the next book. It's a fast-paced, exciting read and I found the world, along with the replication part of the story, to be fascinating. I'm very curious as to where the next book goes.
Hover (The Taking #2) Author: Melissa West Publisher: Entangled Teen, 352 pages Publication Date: August 13, 2013 From Goodreads: On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan. Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth's atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems...and no one can be trusted. Review: I absolutely loved this book and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This book was phenomenal. I still love Ari, who is strong, caring, principled, and willing to sacrifice herself to help other people. The book starts with Ari still recovering from being poisoned on Earth. She's pushed Jackson away because she just doesn't trust him anymore, but Jackson is still there. Oh, Jackson, how much I love him! Strong, mysterious, caring, vulnerable. We learn so much more about Jackson and we definitely see a different side to him. "What can I say? For me, it has always been you." Awww. Their relationship changes and grows in this novel as they realize how much they need each other and Ari realizes that she never really knew Jackson at all. And I love Melissa West for not creating a stupid unnecessary love triangle. They have enough going on to worry about that. We quickly learn that a lot of the people on this planet are not happy with Zeus, the leader. He's basically insane and cruel and we learn a lot more about him and about his relationship with Jackson. We learn more about Loge and the people there. Things are definitely ramping up for a big battle. Something's going on on Earth, but we don't know what. Zeus will never compromise. It's up to Ari and Jackson along with some new characters (Vill, Emmy, and Mamie) to save everyone on Loge and on Earth. And then, just in the middle of an action-packed scene...it ends. Just be prepared. I must digress to rant a bit about cliffhangers. I'm so sick of them! Why can't authors write series or trilogies without these huge cliffhangers that leave us hanging for an entire year? This is just getting ridiculous, I have to say. I knew it was going to happen, I just knew it, but I still finished the book and, if it hadn't been on my Kindle, I think I would have thrown it across the room. Ends in the middle of a scene. Gah!
Ok, I guess I'm finished with my rant.
Even with the cliffhanger ending, this book was incredible. Action, romance, danger, surprises, this book has it all. I LOVED it!
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) Author: Richelle Mead Publisher: Razorbill, 438 pages Expected Publication Date: November 19, 2013 From Goodreads: In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe. Why am I excited about this book? First, love this series so much, even more than The Vampire Academy series.
Second, chapters are written from both Sydney and Adrian's POV. Yay! For those of you that can't wait, here is the first chapter.
1. Iko from Cinder. Love this Android. She's hilarious. "'Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I'm overheating.'"
2. Tim and George from My Life Next Door. George is so adorable and Tim is a jerk who ends up turning it around.
3. Stephanie from the Embrace series. What a great best friend!
4. Leslie from the Ruby Red series. Again, great best friend!
5. Adrian from Vampire Academy series. Gotta love the smoking, drinking, slightly unstable Adrian. Obviously he is memorable because in the spin-off series (Bloodlines) he is one of the MCs!
Sheri's Choices: 1. Luke and Jocelyn from Mortal Instruments Series 2. Alice from Twilight 3. Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter Series 4. Princess Nehemia from Throne of Glass 5. Iko in Scarlet "I'm enormous" after finding out she had become a ship!
From Goodreads: Franny's supposed to be working this summer, not flirting. But you can't blame her when guys like Alex and Harry are around. . . .
Franny Pearson never dreamed she'd be attending the prestigious Mansfield Summer Theater Program. And she's not, exactly. She's working for her aunt, the resident costume designer. But sewing her fingers to the bone does give her an opportunity to spend time with her crush, Alex Braverman. If only he were as taken with the girl hemming his trousers as he is with his new leading lady.
When Harry Cartwright, a notorious flirt, shows more than a friendly interest in Franny, she figures it can't hurt to have a little fun. But as their breezy romance grows more complicated, can Franny keep pretending that Harry is just a carefree fling? And why is Alex suddenly giving her those deep, meaningful looks? In this charming tale of mixed messages and romantic near-misses, one thing is clear: Flirting might be more trouble than Franny ever expected.
Review This is the second Jane Austen spin-off book that I have read by Claire LaZebnik. The first one I read was Epic Fail which was actually published after this one. While I really enjoyed Epic Fail as an example of Contemporary YA I did not think it was a great retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
The Trouble with Flirting, however, was fabulous in both respects. I enjoyed the subtle similarities and distinct differences between this book and Mansfeld Park. While LaZebnik followed the Pride and Prejudice story line too closely in Epic Fail she did not do this in what is her first Jane Austen spin-off. It makes me kind of wonder if the success of The Trouble with Flirting too strongly influenced the story in Epic Fail. Regardless, if you want to try one of these I recommend The Trouble With Flirting.
Even if you're not a Jane Austen fan this is a great book because of the setting (summer drama camp), the romantic male lead has some really funny lines, a great refresher on Shakespeare, and last but not least the unmarried, reality TV watching, herbal tea drinking aunt!
On the down side, the girls' obsessions with the boys was a bit annoying at times as I wanted them to just focus on developing their craft or at the very least being happy without a romantic lead!
The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness is not a YOUNG ADULT book but it has vampires, witches, and demons. While only two of the books have been published the third is in progress. I decided to review the series because I believe many YA readers will enjoy the plot.
Publisher: Viking Penguin, 579 pages Publication Date: 2011 Listening Length: 24 hours and 2 minutes Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.
Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.
Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers... Sheri's Review: I fell in love with A Discovery of Witches while visiting a friend in St. Louis. Thankfully she understood my near obsession with reading the book. I read it at a museum, while shopping, while waiting for food, and while sitting on her back porch. As an academic, I immediately fell immediately in love with the idea of an academic witch who desperately tried not to use her magic and with Matthew Clairmont, an academic vampire who tries not to kill humans. I suspect my own academic life would be more exciting if my colleagues were witches and vampires! In addition to being interested in every character introduced in this story, I also loved the basic premise that demons, vampires, and witches were searching for an understanding of where they came from. I enjoyed the scientific and historical details throughout the book.
In Shadow of Night the story continues with Matthew and Diana going back in time to locate the book and we get to see their relationship evolve with time and new circumstances. While I also loved this book I was not as compelled to read it without stopping. Deborah Harkness actually divides the book into sections and I found myself taking a break between the sections. What I enjoyed most about this book was Diana's feminist attitudes and behaviors coming in conflict with the Elizabethan time period. I also loved getting to know more about Matthew's past as he lived it.
As much as I enjoyed reading the books Ialso truly enjoyed listening to them as audiobooks. I don't usually listen to a book I have read, but in this case I was able to get A Discovery of Witches at a bargain price and thought it would be fun to listen to while doing other things. I was immediately hooked once again. The narrator was wonderful! Not only did I listen to 24 hours of book one I immediately bought book 2 and listened to another 24 hours. The stories came to life for me in new ways while listening to them.
If you have not read these books I strongly recommend them. If you love audiobooks, these will keep your attention despite their length. If you are new to audiobooks these are probably too long to be frank but the books are wonderful. Unfortunately the release date for the final book in the trilogy is not currently known but I am desperately waiting to read it and hope that they are able to secure Jennifer Ikeda to narrate one final time.
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! It is hosted by Tyngas Reviews.
Hereafter (Shadowlands #2) Author: Kate Brian Publisher: Disney-Hyperion, 320 pages Expected Publication Date: October 1, 2013 From Goodreads: Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan. But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends. Review:*SPOILERS FOR SHADOWLANDS* I guess it was inevitable that, after such a mind-blowing ending to Shadowlands, the second book of this trilogy would be disappointing. It definitely suffers from middle-book syndrome. I still enjoyed it, and I will be reading the next book, but it was just okay. So at the end of Shadowlands, we find out that everyone on the island is dead. Including Rory, her sister, and her father. The island is some sort of limbo land, and everyone is either there to work through unresolved issues and then move on, or is like Tristan and that group, "Lifers" who help those move on. Apparently Rory is a "Lifer" too, but we don't know about her father or sister yet. So some of the novel is about Rory coming to terms about that and learning about how the island works. And crushing on Tristan. Then there is another bad person, a "Lifer" who is apparently sick of living in limbo land and that person is trying to figure out a way to change things and be able to leave. We get a few short chapters from that person's POV, which were unnecessary if you ask me. So now bad things start to happen on the island, and Rory is being blamed for them. In the end, we find out who the bad person is, but to be honest, I don't think it's who we're led to believe it is. That's just my theory. I would love to hear from you if you've read this to get your thoughts on that. I just think it was too obvious, and the evidence too easy to find (I mean, come on, the bag was just left in the middle of the room). And then the book just ends. I did enjoy the book, and I couldn't put it down, but it did seem like a bit of a filler book.
We both really enjoyed the movie and we thought we would discuss some differences between the movie and the book. Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie (or read the book) because otherwise we will ruin it for you.
A large portion of the movie followed the book, for the most part. There were minor differences that made sense to us. For example, when they go save Simon from the vampires at the hotel, it's not just Clary and Jace, but also Isabelle and Alec. That makes sense for all of the main characters to be in more scenes. There were other differences that didn't make as much sense. Simon isn't turned into a rat and mistakenly taken by the vampires. They actually target him by spiking his drink and then take him because they're really after Clary and the cup. Why? No clue. (There's also no flying motorcycles, by the way). Also, when they go back to get the card of the cup and the woman is a demon, instead of Simon getting rid of the demon with the bow and arrow (shooting out the skylight to let in the sun), he smacks her with a shovel and then Jace gets rid of the demon (and they don't make it clear that this demon was not killed, just sent back). Why? No clue.
There were other scenes, and even lines, that were straight from the book, which was great to see. Some snarky comments by Jace were almost word for word from the book. And both of us really liked Jamie Campbell Bower, the actor that played Jace, even though we weren't thrilled about him before seeing the movie. Lily Collins also was an excellent Clary.
Now to the big differences that we're curious about affecting the rest of the movies. There's a portal in the Institute, which is how Valentine gets into there, which was completely different from the book, and how Valentine is able to do that is an important part of later books. Clary goes to see Hodge alone in the library with the cup and then Valentine comes through the portal and tells her she is his daughter (which was different from the book). In the book, it's both Clary and Jace, and Valentine takes both the cup and Jace.
In the movie, Clary then puts the cup back into the card (Valentine is trying to get her to drink from it for some reason, after he puts his blood into it) and jumps through the portal, landing right outside of Luke's bookstore. Obviously none of that happens in the book.
So Valentine and Hodge are left at the Institute, with no way of getting the cup out of the card. Then Hodge suggests to Valentine to lie to Clary and Jace that both of them are his children. So then Jace shows up and doesn't recognize Valentine as his father, but he knows that he is Valentine. Completely different from the book. So Valentine does something that wasn't too clear, and he makes Jace suddenly sees his face as his father (remembering the scene with the bird that he gave Jace for his birthday and then killed). So does that mean Valentine didn't really raise Jace? It wasn't clear to us, it seemed as if he just made that up on the spot. If he did raise Jace, why wouldn't Jace remember him as his father, which is what happened in the book?
Meanwhile, Hodge and Valentine let demons into the Institute, and Clary and Luke show up with a bunch of werewolves and they have to fight the demons, along with Isabelle and Simon. And Clary's mom somehow winds up at the Institute. Clary finds Valentine, her mom, and Jace and that's when she finds out that Jace is Valentine's son, her brother. Obviously that is totally different because in the book she knows they are brother and sister before Jace does, but in the movie it is the complete opposite.
Jace and Valentine are fighting, Valentine is about to kill him, and then Clary is holding the cup in the portal, about the drop it. She then gives it to Valentine and then shoves him through the portal. He tries to grab her back, but Jace holds onto her, and then she stabs something through the portal, and then it freezes the portal, and then it bursts. And come to find out, Clary gave Valentine the replica of the cup, not the real one. So obviously that is completely different from the book, where Valentine has the cup and goes through the portal (that is not at the Institute) to Idris.
We left out a lot of what happens, but we thought it was interesting how many changes they made at the very end. Some of it made sense (having all of the action happen at the Institute, and more fights involving more of the characters), but other parts of it, not so much. Still, absolutely loved the movie and we hope they keep making them!
Let us know your thoughts! What did you think of the movie? The differences between the book and the movie? What other differences did you notice?