Friday, January 29, 2010


Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…


Beth says 2.5 Stars...

I liked this series at the beginning. It was fun, cute, light, and fluffy with a dash of magic. Perfect books for beach reading and other leisurely activities. Then it tried to get all serious, and it failed miserably. It feels like reading a terribly over dramatic soap opera. I will give it the fact that, like a soap opera, it still manages to remain entertaining. This is the third book in the series, and by this time I was hoping for some depth in the characters. Alas, that was not to be found. Ever is still as centered around herself and Damen as she always has been. The relationship between those two creeps me out just a little bit as well. I'm getting Twilight flashbacks and I don't like it. There's the living forever together, the extremely dominant male, the "other man" that threatens the relationship, and the relationship becoming the center of the girl's life. I guess I just like my heroines strong, yet flawed, and didn't get that at all from Ever. I couldn't connect with her any more, and found the connection from the previous novels (particularly the first, which I really enjoyed) waning. The plot really wasn't very good; it didn't suck me in. I felt like some events were meant to be shocking and rock my socks off, but I just didn't get it. It's not like this book was terrible, but it really wasn't very good. I'm not sure if I'll be continuing with the rest of the series, but if this is any indication, I certainly won't rush out to buy the next one.

Book from Library

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.


Beth says 5 Stars...

Maybe I'm a little bit biased because I adored another one of George's books. I had extremely high expectations for this one, and was not disappointed at all. I'll be honest and say that I really didn't know a great deal about the actual fairy tale when I picked up the book, but after I finished it I had to find out more. George stays true to the fairy tale and just flushes it out, creating a much richer and more vibrant world than before. Everything becomes so much deeper and three dimensional, with the original story a part of a greater whole. The writing was just as I expected; beyond lovely and enthralling. The icy and sparse world was rendered so beautifully that it felt both barren and glorious. I was able to picture things so vividly.
The characters were interesting, particularly those that were not human. I loved the mythology of the trolls and bears, and felt that it was well explained for the length of the book. Also, I enjoyed that it was revealed over time and not dumped in all at once. Other authors should take note of this novel technique (bad pun, I know). The only thing that I can see detering some readers is the stilted and somewhat formal language, particularly in the dialogue. I think that it works very well to create distance between the world of the book and the world of the reader, but I can see it being a little bit of a problem for some people.
Overall I thought this book was great. I'm really excited about George's new book and can't wait to pick it up. It'll be interesting to compare this to Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (which I have) because it seems that they took the story in completely different directions. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a bit of magic and glacial beauty this winter.
Book from Library

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crazy Beautiful

In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself. Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Beth says 4 Stars...

I enjoyed reading this book. It was cute and a little different. The only thing that bothered me was that it didn't go far enough. It attempted to be different, but didn't go far enough. It bordered safety and risk without falling into either category. Also, there are so many different retellings of Beauty and the Beast and I've read my fair share of them. I thought it was interesting that there wasn't a strong magical presence in the novel. I guess I've come to expect large amounts of magic in my neo-fairy tales. I think that it makes me enjoy it a little more, but maybe that's just the fantasy nut in me. The book was good but not great. The writing style was really interesting. I loved how it alternated perspectives, and felt that it was well done. It was obvious who was speaking and the voices were well developed. The rest of the characters weren't too compelling, and the side plots fell a little flat. Despite its shortcomings, the book was really a fun read. It was just dark and twisty enough to appeal to me. I'd say to grab this one if you want something that's a little on the dark side but has no magic.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Night Dance

Under the stars, in a secret world...

Rowena, the youngest of twelve sisters, loves to slip out of the castle at night and dance in a magical forest. Soon she convinces her sisters to join her. When Sir Ethan notices that his daughters' slippers look tattered every morning, he is certain they've been sneaking out. So he posts a challenge to all the suitors in the kingdom: The first man to discover where his daughters have been is free to marry the one he chooses.

Meanwhile a handsome young knight named Bedivere is involved in a challenge of his own: to return the powerful sword, Excalibur, to a mysterious lake. While looking for the lake, Bedivere meets the beautiful Rowena and falls for her. Bedivere knows that accepting Sir Ethan's challenge is the only opportunity for him to be with Rowena forever. But this puts both Bedivere and Rowena in a dangerous in which they risk their lives for a chance at love.


Beth says 2 Stars...

I was so excited about this book. I'd read a couple of the books in the Once Upon a Time... series and had enjoyed them (The Storyteller's Daughter is just fantastic). The story of the 12 Dancing Princesses is one of my all-time favorites, and I'm also a bit of a sucker for Arthurian legend. I thought that combining the two would be fantastic. Alas, I was disappointed. The story just never gelled. It followed two characters who were separated and then came together, but the way they met didn't really make sense. The magics weren't well defined (a problem for a fantasy novel) because they weren't exactly Arthurian, but then weren't like those in a typical fairy tale. The combination made one of the central elements very confusing and took away from the book. The plot was also a fusion that just didn't work. Sometimes it felt that I needed to be thinking about Camelot, yet at others I should have remembered the fairy tales. I love fusions and twist on fairy tales, but this time it just felt choppy. It didn't blend together like it needed to. Besides that, it was predictable. I didn't know exactly how everything was going to happen, but I knew ahead of time what was going on. I hate being able to guess a plot (and I'm also really terrible at it), and it really detracts from the story in my opinion.

The characters were nothing remarkable. The villain didn't seem that evil, and the good characters were on the boring side. I wanted depth and differences and found none. The romance was so blah. It was safe and typical complete with the whole "true love is magnificent, immediate, and conquers/heals all things" message. Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I think that it's more complicated than that. I guess I'm also comparing this retelling with Jessica Day George's magnificent Princess of the Midnight Ball, so it even weaker. The writing wasn't that great, so there was nothing to really save the book. The dialogue was unsophisticated and Weyn tended to drop information on you like a brick. There wasn't any nuance.

I was saddened by this book. I wanted it to be good and fun, but it failed me. If you want a better retelling of the same story grab the book by Jessica Day George that I mentioned because you won't regret it. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for this one.

Book from Library

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As You Wish

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.


Beth says 4 Stars...

This book was so cute. I had so much fun reading it and enjoyed the whole process. I hope I wasn't the only one, but I had some serious Princess Bride flashbacks. At first I found Viola to be a bit mopey, but that changed as the book went on. She developed nicely and morphed into a more mature young woman by the end of the book. Jinn had an interesting arc and went through the most dramatic change. The new take on jinn culture and mythology was astounding. I hadn't read anything quite like it, which really helped keep me involved in the book. I also liked the supporting characters; for some reason they always seem to be the most interesting. The only problem I had was with the plot. It was predicable and a little bit cliche, but still fun. It wasn't original at all and that bothered me. It seemed to me as though I had read it before, just in a sightly different incarnation.

Overall, I thought that this book was fun. It was cuteness without being overly sappy. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a lighthearted romp.

Book from Library

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nightlight: A Parody

About three things I was absolutely certain.
First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe.
Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead.
And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight.

Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Nathan says 4.5 stars...
This is the parody I've been waiting for. Like mountain lion blood from Edward's lips, acerbic wit drips from every page. Nothing is safe in this hilarious and campy farce. Poor Belle Goose takes the most ridiculous aspects of unremarkable heroine Bella Swan and amplifies them into a laugh out loud mockery of a shallow, static character. Other characters echo issues in the series while still being laugh-worthy. The writing is a cruel, and rather accurate, mimicry of Stephanie Meyer's own. The plot is a funny twist on the series. Even the actors in the movies aren't safe from some ribbing. I'm aware that this review is very short; I just don't want to give anything away. If you've been wanting to rip out the jugulars of sparkly vampire fans this is the perfect solution. I can promise that this book is much more biting than any Cullen.

Book Purchased

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Countess Below Stairs

Happy 2010!!

After the Russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian countess, has no choice but to flee to England. penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination. Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome earl of Westerholme. to make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s beautiful and nasty fiancĂ©e...

Beth says 5 Stars...

This book was lovely. It was fantastically fun and a breath of fresh air. The plot wasn't amazingly original, but was really cute. The plot kept me very involved and made me not want to put the book down. I had read several other books around the same time, but nothing was as good as this one. It wasn't quite what I expected from Eva Ibbotson, though. I adore her children's books and thought that her YA novels would have more of a fantasy feel to them. Instead it was a historical fiction treat.

Anna was a great main character. She wasn't too perfect, but still managed to be someone obviously good. The supporting cast was just as much fun. They all had their little quirks that managed to make them stand out, but weren't overwhelming. The romance was well done, minus a bit of strangeness at the end. The slight oddity of the ending didn't ruin anything for me; I could get over it because the rest of the book was so good.

Overall the book was great. If you're in the mood for a bit of light historical fiction this is a perfect read. It never gets too heavy, but it isn't just pure fluff either. I'd suggest enjoying this over the holiday break.
Book form Library