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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Absent by Katie Williams Review

2.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
paperback ARC, 180 pages
Published by Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis as taken from When seventeen-year-old Paige dies in a freak fall from the roof during Physics class, her spirit is bound to the grounds of her high school. At least she has company: her fellow ghosts Evan and Brooke, who also died there. But when Paige hears the rumor that her death wasn't an accident--that she supposedly jumped on purpose--she can't bear it. Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get to the most popular girl in school and stop the rumors once and for all.

This book is probably the shortest book that I've read since elementary school at 180 pages. What it lacked in length, it made up for in depth. Katie Williams in this novel allows the reader to see past her characters typical high school stereotypes and see into their souls. This book in it's appearance and plot epitomizes the phrase: There is more than meets the eye.

My problem with this book is that I don't have any specific moments of like and dislike. Although I found it to be very moving and enjoyable, there was nothing about it that made it really jump out at me. For most of it I was wondering if anything big was going to happen, which it was only in the last few pages that I got that. I can't penalize this too much considering this book is very small, and if it had been a faster pace it could be seen as overly dramatic.

I don't regret reading this book; it's a good book to read while you're in-between other books.

Paperback, 180 pages. 

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7150-1

Cost: $16.99, but $13.50 on 

Published by Chronicle Books

Friday, June 7, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #2) Review

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Hardcover, 401 pages
Published by Henry Holt & Company
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm

This book was absolutely amazing! All of you have to read it! All of the shortcomings from the first book were made up in this one. It is filled with action, drama, romance, fantasy, with some angst. It's probably the best book I have read since I started writing this book blog. It's fantastic. By the end I was screaming, shaking, and sweating. Yeah, it was that good.
Seriously, go out and get this book now!

All the main characters in this book are written so well. You feel like you are them, and you think and feel everything that they do.

2) The same as the first book, there is action at the very beginning and it kept up throughout the entire book. Anytime it felt like the book was finally calming down, BAM, I was thrown from my seat.

3) Prince Nikolai is my favorite character in this novel. His whole story and background is very intricate and surprising. Every scene with him is priceless and at most times, hilarious.

4) I love that Mal and Alina don't have the typical lovey-dovey relationship. Their relationship is not an easy one an don't naturally fit together but they make it work. That's true romance.

5) This book is more than a love story. It's filled with action, comedy, drama, and suspense.

I have tried really hard to come up with something to dislike about this book, but my only complaints are to do with the plot and little tiny things that don't really matter. These type of complaints I don't think are fair to count against her because it's my dislikes have nothing to do with her writing style, or how things were executed, it's more I don't want bad things to happen to my favorite characters haha. I guess my only complaint is that the third book is not available.

*Spoiler Alert*

"Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea." 
"So, no heart flutters or swooning, even in the arms of a royal prince?"

He was teasing, but I heard the uncertainty beneath his words.

"I seem to be immune," I replied. "And luckily, I know what a real kiss should feel like." 
"I came here for you. You're my flag. You're my nation." 

I'd write a bunch more but I don't want to give too much away.

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun ARC Review

3/5 Stars
Details of the Book
paperback ARC, 396 pages
Published by HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis as taken from I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

The most unique aspects of this plot is the Kami and their powers involving ink, but it has all the typical YA characters and themes. An interesting, alluring, boy with strange powers, and an outsider (or as this book calls her a gaijin) who becomes obsessed with him and they fall in love. This is a book for any School Life anime fan, and a decent read for anyone who is in between books.


1) The setting in Japan was well described, I felt that I was in Katie's shoes, that it was me trying to fit in at school, traveling by bike over the city. All the details it made me want to close my eyes and be Katie. That could also be because I have always have dreamed about going to school in Japan, but read it and decide for yourselves.

2) Anyone who has read a school life mangas will love this book. In fact, I feel as if this book might have benefited if it actually was a manga as opposed to be written in prose.

3) The cover of the book is beautiful, and I thought it was really unique how the author included pictures of the Ink drawings in the novel.


1) This could be a manner of opinion but I think if you read this book, and you're not an anime fan that this book wouldn't speak to you so much. I read this with a friend of mine who doesn't like anime, never seen of it, and probably never heard of it until I mentioned it to him, said that he felt like he didn't get the book, like he was missing the little inside jokes because he wasn't familiar with it.

2) Tomohiro and Katie's relationship didn't make any sense to me. While insulting/annoying each other  Amanda Sun writes that these two share "secret alliance" smiles at each other. This was very unclear to me. How can two people, who don't like each other in the beginning have a "secret alliance" relationship?

I wanted more of a development of their relationships, it seemed like they went from disliking each other to loving each other almost instantly.

Favorite Moments/Quotes: 

"'I don't need anymore stalkers,' he said. 'One's enough.' I rolled my eyes, until he added, 'At least she's a cute one.'" (99).

2) "'I know it's late. I just wanted to make sure you were okay.'
'Fine,' I said. 'Except I can't sleep.'
'Yeah,' I said. 'This jerk called my keitai* in the middle of the night.'
I heard him snort.
'I'll go beat him up,' he said.
'Good.'" (312).  *Keitai means cell phone.

I had a few other moments I liked but I'd be giving too much away if I put them here. I'm sorry it took so long for me to post this, I could give all of you a bunch of excuses as to why that was but in reality, I was just lazy, so sue me.