Jun 28, 2012

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Book Description:

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

Christina's BookReview
 “People aren't born good or bad. Maybe they're born with tendencies either way, but its the way you live your life that matters.”

In the third installment of The Mortal Instruments we finally get the answers to all of our questions. Are Clary and Jace really related? Is Jace really as evil as Valentine? Does Jocelyn wake up? Why are Jace and Clary so powerful? And so many more.

City of Glass starts off a couple of weeks after its predecessor, City of Ashes. The Lightwood’s have been summoned back to Alicante. Clary is set to find the potion to wake her mother from her coma. Everything is set. But Jace has other plans…

In City of Glass we start off with Jace trying to keep Clary safe from his father Valentine and the Clave. But things don’t’ turn out as planned. When Jace is forced to leave New York and bring along Simon, the story begins to unravel for him.

On the other hand, Clary being her usual stubborn self and not liking that the Lightwoods and Jace have left her behind, creates a rune to open a portal to Alicante. What she doesn’t expect is Luke coming along for the ride. After arriving in Alicante a series of events are set in motion and we are taken on the adventure of a lifetime!

Let me sum up a couple of things that stood out to me in City of Glass:

1. Clary’s stubbornness- Although at times she was a little rash in her decision I liked that she wasn’t letting anyone push her around. She was pretty badass as well.
2. Jace punishing himself because of who his “father” is-It was heart-wrenching seeing how Jace continued to feel like he was a monster and push all the people that loved him away. Finally when things are revealed you can’t help but love Jace even more than what you already have.
3. Alec finally growing a backbone- During the series Alec was not one of my favorite characters. To me he seemed whiny and annoying. That changed when he began to finally just be himself and also a leader of the Lightwood children. And when he finally saw what was in front of him.
4. Magnus’s help to bring Jocelyn back-His devotion to helping Alec and the gang was immense. I loved Magnus from book 1 and I’m glad he was a constant in each book.
5. Luke’s undying devotion to helping and protecting Clary- I LOVE LOVE Luke! He was, after Jace, by far my favorite character in this series. His love for everything and everyone concerning Clary and Jocelyn was heartwarming. He was sweet, attentive, protective, authoritative and everything else an adult figure should be.
6. Jocelyn’s history with Valentine- Finally being able to fully understand the background of Valentine and the Circle was very information and answered many of our questions. Although Jocelyn doesn’t play a huge part in the series he story was the most helpful.
7. The slight glimpses into Valentines “nice” side- We all expect the villain to be incredibly evil, and although Valentine is that, we got to see little glimpses of how he was in the beginning. He was a man with a vision, consumed with jealousy and power.
8. The Clave- I enjoyed finally getting to finally see what all the fuss and hype was about the all knowing Clave. It turns out they aren’t all knowing. And some are not people that should lead the Shadowhunter community.
9. Clary/Jace/Sebastian triangle- Although there really wasn’t a romantic triangle there was a triangle. The introduction of Sebastian was an interesting one and one that I didn’t see coming until about a quarter into the book.

I enjoyed all the action that was in this book, from the fighting scenes to the history of Valentine’s Circle. All of our questions are finally answered as well as new ones arising. New characters are introduced that are a huge part of the story and one that will have everyone on the tip of their seats. The devotion of all the characters is endless.

The only thing that bothered my about City of Glass was the new questions that arise at the end. I look forward to reading more of the books but hope that the series isn’t dragged on and that Clary and Jace aren’t thrown into another whirlwind dilemma.

With all that said. If you enjoy paranormal action packed books, romances, and paranormal beings, pick up The Mortal Instruments. You will not be disappointed! 

Review for Book #1-City of Bones HERE 

Review for Book #2-City of Ashes HERE 

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Book Description: 

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
 Christina's BookReview
"You never love anything like you love your children."

City of Ashes picks up a couple of days after City of Bones.
In this installment of the series we meet new characters, from Downworlders to the Seelie court. In City of Bones both Clary and Jace must find a way to get back the Mortal cup from Valentine and deal with the heartache thrown their way.

After Jace is put on lockdown because of his connection Valentine the latter takes the opportunity to steal the Mortal Sword, the second Mortal Instrument.

City of Ashes starts off a little slow but halfway through picks up drastically. All of the adventures and battles in this book are as badass as the characters. The secondary characters have their moments in the book and you quickly get attached to them. You get to see a little more of Alec and his growing relationship with Magnus. You meet Maryse and Robert Lightwood and all though you dislike them at first a little after a while you can't help but admire there love for their children. All of their children. Simon comes to terms with the changes he is experiencing and see him grow as a stronger character. We also meet the Inquistor, Imogen, who is hell bent on getting her revenge on Valentine, at all cost. And of course there is Luke and his growing parental authority and protection of not only Clary but Jace as well.

While dealing with all the things going around them Jace and Clary must learn to accept their new lives and learn to deal with the consequences of being offspring's of Valentine. They must also deal with trying to avoid the feelings they have for each other when people around them are hell bent in making it impossible.

I have to admit I didn't enjoy COA the first time around so didn't get too far. What a mistake! After getting past the rough patch I was quickly consuming every page. I even found myself crying tears at the end of this book and then wanting to shake the characters and smack them (you will have to read). I can't wait to see what will happen next with Clary and Jace. I have my suspicions and can't wait to find out if I'm right! :-)

Review for Book #1-City of Bones HERE 
Review for Book #3-City of Glass HERE

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book Description:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
Christina's BookReview
"He's not a liar at all. Not about important things. He'll tell you horrible truths, but he won't lie." She paused before she added quietly "That's why it's generally better not to ask him anything unless you know you can stand to hear the answer."

City of Bones is the first book in The Mortal Instruments series.

As the story starts we meet Clarissa Fray, or Clary, as her best friend calls her. She is out a club and notices that a boy is followed into a room by two guys with knives. Intent on Helping him she goes in after him. Little does she know that her life was about to change forever. It was the beginning of a journey she would have never thought existed. After the events of the night at the club Clary has one question. Why can she see people that others can't?

Not until her mother is kidnapped does Clary really start her investigation. She learns that she is not a typical mundane (human) and that her mother has been keeping secrets from her for 16 years. When the only person that could help her is Jace Wayland, the annoying Shadowhunter that killed the boy in the club, Clary is thrown into the Shadowhunter world. During the way Clary learns what Shadowhunters, Downworlders, The Silent Brothers, and who Valentine is. Little does she know that her life will never be the same again.

Jace Wayland isn't used to having to deal with anyone but himself. He's full of himself, only cares about himself and believes that love is meant to destroy you. It was what his father taught him. So when Clary barges into his world he isn't prepared for all that entails. Clary isn't like any other girl. She doesn't fall for his charm, has a comeback for all his sarcasm, and has an unconditional love for the people in life. Jace is about to meet his match in Clary.

They must work together to help find Clary's mother and find the one thing Valentine wants. The Mortal Cup. Little do they both know that this will lead them to the one place no two people falling in love would like to go...
Clary must find a way to save her mother, learn all about her new world, fight off Demons and Downwolders, and work with one stubborn and sarcastic guy. Whats a girl to do?

Jace must help Clary find her mother, learn to subdue his growing feeling, protect Clary at all cost, and when the ultimate secret is revealed, live with the pain. What is he supposed to do?

City of Bones is jam packed with action and lots of great characters! From Clary best friend Simon, who is a D&D nerd to the High Wizard of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane. If you want to read a series full of paranormal elements from angels to vampires, The Mortal Instruments is the series for you. Starting with City of Bones.

I'm looking forward to see how Clary and Jace's story ends.

Review for Book #2- City of Ashes HERE

Jun 16, 2012

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Book Description:

When U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman half-buried in the dirt during his third tour of duty in Iraq, his first instinct is to toss it aside. Instead, he brings it back to the base for someone to claim, but when no one does, he finds himself always carrying the photo in his pocket. Soon Thibault experiences a sudden streak of luck—winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat that kills two of his closest buddies. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph—his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can’t seem to get the photo—and the woman in it—out of his mind. Believing that she somehow holds the key to his destiny, he sets out on a journey across the country to find her, never expecting the strong but vulnerable woman he encounters in Hampton, North Carolina—Elizabeth, a divorced mother with a young son—to be the girl he’s been waiting his whole life to meet. Caught off guard by the attraction he feels, Thibault keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate and all-consuming love affair, the secret he is keeping will soon threaten to tear them apart—destroying not only their love, but also their lives.
Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, The Lucky One is Nicholas Sparks at his best—an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.
Christina's BookReview
This is my third Nicolas Sparks book and I have to say that unlike the others The Lucky One took me awhile to get into.

After Logan Thibault finds a picture or a beautiful girl, while on tour in Iraq, he is called Lucky by his friends. As Logan suffers the lost of fellow friends he sticks to his belief that the picture is not lucky. But something prevents him from parting from it. After five years, because of a friend, he decides to find the girl in the picture. When he finally finds her Logan will learn what his destiny is.

Elizabeth is struggling to take care of her nana, her nana’s farm, being a teacher, being single parent and trying to put up with her ex-husband crap. She wishes for the love and comfort of someone else but isn’t hopeful. She doesn’t know that her life is about to change.

When Logan starts to work on nana’s farm he isn’t looking to fall in love with the girl in the picture. As Logan spends time with Ben, Elizabeth’s son, and her nana, she starts to warm up to him. After finding that spending time with Logan is peaceful and comforting Elizabeth starts to fall in love with him. Logan realizes that he’s always been in love with the girl in the photo. But Logan is keeping secrets from Elizabeth and she can’t understand why. Until Clayton, her ex intervenes…

Clayton doesn’t care about anyone but himself. And he wants Elizabeth as a friend with benefits. He doesn’t want another man around his ex-wife or son and will do anything to make sure it stays that way. To top it off, Clayton hates Thibault with a passion. When he discovers Logan’s secret Clayton quickly shares it with Elizabeth hoping that he would be her shoulder to cry on and in the process hook up with her. Things don’t work out that way.

As we take a trip down Logan’s life you learn of all the good and bad that happen in a Marine’s life. Although life in the Marines was filled with very sad times, I enjoyed reading them and many times caught myself in tears. I found myself enjoying the flashbacks more than the present. The only thing in the present I enjoyed was Zeus, Logan’s dog companion, and Ben. Ben was enjoyable to read about especially the times he spent with Logan and Zeus.

The love story is wonderful but the love between the characters themselves was very flat. I wished that they had more interactions and there were more dialogue instead of so many 3rd person monologues. Because of that I had to give The Lucky One 4 stars instead of 5.

Jun 15, 2012

Obsidian (Lux # 1) by Jennifer Armentrout

Book Description:

Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is.

Christina's BookReview

“But no matter where I went, what I was running from would still be with me—Kat. She wasn’t just back in the house, in that bed. She was with me now, inside me. And there was no outrunning that.”

Holy freaking heck! I never imagined that a story about aliens would keep me enthralled. I seriously was hesitant about it but anything with romance quickly pulls me in. Obsidian is so much more then what I expected! It is the kind of book that you want to take your time reading because you never want it to end!

Katy has just moved to a new town with her mother. She is like any typical teenager, upset about the move, upset about leaving her hometown behind and upset that her internet connection sucks which means she won’t be able to update her blog. With her mother’s insistence, she decides to try and befriend the next door neighbors. What can it hurt? There just her neighbors. Oh how wrong she was…

When Daemon Black answers the door, dark shaggy hair, green eyes, half naked and looking like he walked out of cover shoot for GQ, Katy doesn’t know how to react. That is until he speaks. Daemon Black is douchebag. He’s arrogant, ignorant and a jerk to Katy. She suddenly rethinks the friendship part and leaves him with a few choice words herself. But the opposite happens with Dee, Daemon’s twin sister. They instantly form a friendship and become the best of friends. All the while Daemon keeps insisting that Katy is not good enough to be friends with his sister. He threatens her and belittles her in order to get his point across. But Daemon Black has just met his match.

Katy isn’t a pushover, she isn’t a measly human, and will not let him get away with his behavior. She will fight fire with fire or insult with insult in their case. Katy is tired of people thinking that she is some measly girl that cannot and will not defend herself. She is tired of Daemon Black and his threats. She will not give her friendship with Dee up and Daemon Black can shove off.

When things in town suddenly start to get weird and Katy is attacked by a man looking for them, Katy knows something is up. What she doesn’t expect is what she finally discovers. Her new best friend and her infuriating brother are not normal. They are not even human.

While trying to understand the new Paranormal world she is introduced to she must also fight off jealous ex-girlfriends, an arrogant jerk that makes her blood boil, people staring at her weirdly, people coming after her, and the glow she now has surrounding her.

How can a mere human handle so much? Read and find out!

The author does an amazing job in bringing the alien concept into this story. I loved the hot and cold relationship between Katy and Daemon. Katy was a kick ass protagonist and I loved that about her. The secondary characters were also amazing and weren’t just shortly mentioned characters. The author spends time in introducing every one of them to the reader. Its action packed, chuck full of romance, and jammed pack with funny moments.

I cannot wait to get my hands on Onyx! August isn’t coming fast enough now!

Seriously, if you are hesitant about this book, don’t be. It’s fabulous! Pick up a copy NOW and devour it! I dare you!

Jun 10, 2012

Easy by Tammara Webber

Book Description:

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem—their only interactions are through email.
Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees—hoping for more.
Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations)
Christina's BookReview
“As for being somewhere you're not supposed to be--Maybe you're here for a reason, or there is no reason.”

The story starts off with Jacqueline leaving a Halloween party and almost getting raped by one of the frat boys. Thankfully she is saved by a guy she has never met. We shortly learn that Jacqueline has been dumped by her HS love and is on a course of heartbreak. Deciding not to let her jerk of an boyfriend ruin her grades or her life she seeks the help of a tutor. Taking a class because your boyfriend was taking it is the stupidest mistake a girl can do. So with leniency from the professor she is assigned a tutor. One she only talks to online because of their conflicted schedules. Landon is very willing to help Jacqueline and during their email conversations he seems to be flirting with her. She can't help but be excited to receive his emails. The problem is she is starting to enjoy spending time with the stranger that rescued her, Lucas.

Lucas is completely different from what she is used to. He seems to not care about their Econ class and has many odd jobs. He is nice one moment and distant the next. He is infuriatingly disconnected but deliciously tantalizing. When he and Jacqueline start their on and off flirtation she can't help but fall for him. The problem is his hot and cold personality towards her. One moment kissing her and protecting her the next flat out ignoring her. This makes her think that maybe Landon is the better of the two.

That is until she finds out who Landon truly is...

This story is truly a story of a girl who is trying to find her way in life and trying to come to terms with the separation from her HS love. Jackqueline is shaken by the attack and the ones that follow but finally realizes that running and ignoring what happened is the way to go. She decides to confront her attacker and finally, after a very unfortunate incident to a friend, tells people what happens. She is pretty headstrong and whats not to love about a girl that's empowering.

The only reason this book received 4 stars was because I found her relationship with Lucas to be lacking something. Not sure what it is but I felt like he was very withdrawn and she was very accepting of it. I would have liked to learn more about Lucas. We do learn why he is the way he is and the saddening story of his past but not because he opens up but because she searches for it.

With all of that said, I recommend that you purchase the book and check it out. It is a good read.

Jun 4, 2012

Tigerlily by Jillian Peery

Book Description:

Author Jillian Peery takes you back to the magical world of PineLight in the heart-pounding sequel, TigerLily.
They were mortal enemies. And I loved them both.
It was my curse, an unending punishment, and a waste of my heart. Finn and Edmund were a part of me, running through my bloodstream like sweet adrenaline, keeping me alive. All of our past, present, and future intertwined like an ever-growing grapevine. Both were forbidden, but my heart didn’t care. It would only be a matter of time before these two passions ripped me apart.

Christina's BookReview
 "If every person is born with two sides, one good, one bad, is it possible that each side could love a different heart?"

The second time around is sweeter!

In book 1 we met Clarabella Callahan and learned about the world of Everest. We discovered that she was not only a guardian, but the guardian that will put an end to the evil that unleashed.We also met Edmund, a not so good guy and Finn the king of Everest, the kingdom in which Clara and her family live and the love of Clara's life. And although, I enjoyed Pinelight I didn't love it.
In book 2 we pick up a while after the end of Pinelight. Clara is mourning the loss of the two most important men in her life, Finn and her father. One lost because of destiny and another at the hand of the dark side. When she finds out that her father is alive she decides to go looking for him in the Lost World. There she is rescued by Edmund from the dangers of the waters. Although she hates Edmund because of his betrayal in book 1 Clara little by little begins to see the truth behind him. The man behind the mask is not what he seemed.

As Edmund and Clara travel together to find the truth behind her destiny and find a way to rescue her father something happens. Clara falls in love with the man that she once hated. But falling in love is not logical for Clara because there will always be Finn.

Finn comes looking for Clara and thinks he is rescuing her from Edmund, the traitor. He agrees to help Clara continue her journey to find her father and to vanquish the new evil threat. The spawn of Victor, Erik. As they travel to Zyon to recover the land and finish off Erik Clara fights the feelings she has for Finn. A King could never marry a Guardian. The King of Everest is destined to unite with the Queen of Zyon, which is Kalani, the girl her father rescued from Zy when Victor attacked it. Finn is forbidden and so Clara tries to deal with the pain of loving him in quiet. All the while having Finn protect her from getting killed.

There's a battle. There's a loss of a friend. There's a win and conquering of the kingdom. The loss of a loved one. There's a love acknowledged. Two loves. Both forbidden. There's a trial with a surprising interruption...

Tigerlily was a great read! I felt just as confused as Clara did between Edmund and Finn. And at this moment I still do. On one hand we have the mystery but loving ways of Edmund. On the other the sweet and caring love of Finn. What's a girl to do? I have no freaking idea...lol...and that's what makes me love this book. Its hard to find a book where both love interest are swoon-worthy and Jillian has hit the mark. I can't wait to see where this leads and how it will all wrap up. I laughed, cried, screamed in anger and smiled throughout this book.

If you haven't checked out the Pinelight series do yourself a favor and pick it up! Enter a new world. I dare you. :-)
  (See below for a synopsis of PineLight, Book 1 in this series) 

PineLight (Book 1)

"I loved him - that was my torment. And I was losing him all over again."
Walls crumbled all around me. An undeniable force pulled at my core. I tried to fight it, I tried to deny it the power, but I was weak. I felt pain in my side, and I knew that this dark force was winning. My veins started to burn, and I screamed, but it didn't stop.