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Friday, December 21, 2012

Jenny Reviews Florence

Florence (Florence Waverley, #1)Florence (Florence Waverly #1)
by Ciye Cho
Released: July 1st, 2012
eBook provided by author for honest review

The Blurb:

   Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverly is put of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.
   Every Niemelan has a role to plat, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand- and find out where she belongs- Florence will have to risk is all, her heart... and her very soul. 
   I must admit I was a little apprehensive about reading Florence.I've on;y read maybe two other books about mermaids before reading this one and I had no idea what to expect. How are the mermaids going to be portrayed? Will this hold true to how I see mermaids or will it bash my child heart? And how the heck is a human going to survive in this underwater world among mermaids??
  But all my worrying was unnecessary because Florence was actually pretty great. It's one of the books that you just love and you can't really put your finger on why. You just do. But I guess that doesn't make for a very helpful review does it?
   I think one of the things I liked most about Florence was the world in general. It's just really neat from the protective dome made out of jelly fish to a giant sea anemone thing that hugs everyone while they sleep. Oh! And underwater volcanoes! It was just really neat to see how everything at the bottom of the ocean was woven together to create this world that is rather similar to our own. Even the animals had a place in it all. There's this understanding and harmony between the Niemelans and the animals, it was 
  I loved how the Niemelans themselves were described. They're so colorful. They not just humans with fish tails slapped on where legs should be.
   I know I've gone on about the world of Niemela, but the story is great too, I promise. I love when characters find their niche in unexpected places. While Rolan may have told her several times that every Niemelan must have a role to play and she spent a good part of the book still finding her role, to me it felt like she really did fit in more in this underwater world than she did back on the surface. She adapts quickly and excels at little things that as a human she shouldn't be able to do. I really did spend most of the book expecting Florence to sprout a tail.
  There was very little I didn't like about the book, if anything at all. I was a little confused on what a familiar actually is, but I may have missed the explanation and it really isn't big enough to take away from the story at all.
  Over all I definitely recommend Florence if you're looking for a "fish out of water" or uh, human off land? type of read. (Yeah that was a horrible joke...) And after the ending I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what's in store for everyone in the sequel.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jenny Reviews Phantoms of Fall

Phantoms of Fall (The Haunting Ruby Series, Book 2)Phantoms of Fall (Haunting Ruby #2)
By Joy Elbel
Release date: Dec. 1, 2012
Copy provided by author for honest review
Available at Amazon

The Blurb:
Love demands sacrifice... but how much?
With the haunting at Rosewood far behind her, Ruby thinks life with Zach will now be perfect but she couldn't be more wrong. In reality, her problems have just begun. As the season changes, so does everything else. Zach's behavior takes a disturbing turn, classmates unleash a new band of torture, and new friends become new enemies. Worst of all, Rita unveils a startling revelation about the summer's events -Ruby's close brush with death may have opened her up to the other side. Now knowing that what happened over the summer could be just the beginning of a very long battle with the supernatural, Ruby is faced with a tough decision. Should she reveal this fact to Zach or do what she swore she would never do again -lie? The mounting stress has devastation effects on Ruby -or is something else that cause? Paranormal activity in the school creates more danger for Ruby and Zach than she ever imagined possible. Their love is tested in more ways than one as Ruby faces The Phantoms of Fall.

Holy Raging Teenage Hormones Batman! But I'll get to that later....

   So, Phantoms of Fall picks up not too long after Shades of Summer. Just when Ruby and Zach think they have nothing left to worry about and they get to have a normal relationship things start to fall apart. Ruby discovers the girl's locker room at school is haunted, Zach has become possessive and angry, attacking any guy who even looks at Ruby, Rita reveals that Ruby will never escape ghosts which could lead to the end of her and Zach's relationship, that is if Zach's witchy ex-girlfriend doesn't break them up first.

   Like the first book, I was able to devour this book fairly quickly. There's quite a bit to like here. The ghost's past and Ruby's present once again parallel each other and I always like when that happens. By the end of the book, Ruby is practically reliving what the ghost went through almost as if she's possessed. People get pushed, someone falls down the stairs, and Ruby ends up showering in blood (course she only thinks its blood) Yay, for paranormal activity!
    But it's not just the paranormal that plagues Ruby. There's trouble in paradise! Misty is stepping up her game in trying to get Zach back for herself using Ruby's insecurities for her benefit. Really, what's high school without the mean girl? And on top of that Zach develops this random angry possessive streak. He seriously blows a gasket when a guy jokingly hits on Ruby and she wants none of that. Good Girl! Despite wanting to smack him, I rather liked this new development in Zach. It makes him less perfect, which is how he's described by Ruby. A lot. After the way emotionally intense relationship they had in Shades of Summer I was happy to see Ruby so conflicted trying to decipher Zach's actions against his words while trying to figure out her own feelings and hormones.
   Unfortunately, despite Zach's outbursts and Ruby's secrecy these two are still so intensely in love in wears on me. I'm not opposed to them being love. No, let them be in love. That's great. But their relationship is still just so intense. I wish I had a better word to describe it. When they're together somehow they always manage to express their undying devotion to each other. And Ruby is on ball of raging teen hormones. She wants Zach bad, like can't think of anything else bad, and we get a peak inside Zach's brain for a chapter and he's right there on the same wave length. It got to be so much it covered up everything else that was going on at times. I just want to grab them by their chins and say, "You're teenagers. Slow. Your. Roll!" Is that the adult in me talking? Yeah, maybe. But I like to believe teenagers aren't as completely sex crazed and ooey-gooey in love as these two. Maybe I'm just naive.
   Over all, it was a good read, you just have to dig it out from under the tidal wave that is Zach and Ruby's Love (or lack there of) life. I am interested to see where the story goes because Oh my! What a cliff hanger!

Haven't read Shades of Summer yet? Check out my review and be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy of both Shades of Summer and Phantoms of Fall over on our Indie Monday post with Joy Elbel.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nick reviews Origin

by Jessica Khoury
Release date: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Edition: Hardcover 394 pages (purchased)

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be. From a book that I thought would be a lovey book with some sci-fi tossed in, this was the opposite of it. This book is heavy on the sci-fi with some "non-overbearing" love elements to it. If you know me, I'm not much into all that lovey gooey stuff in my books. I don't mind a romance to be present but I do not like books where that is all it is centered around. This book is just that and it does it well. I love the main character. Pia is one of my favorite type of characters. The type of character that discovers the world for the first time at an older age. Kind of like Quorra from Tron Legacy or Rapunzel from Tangled. Stuck in a place locked out from the real world only hearing pieces of what that real world is like. They are fun and I love to watch them discover things that are old to an every day human being but very new to them.

                                          "You know Jules Verne? What's he like?"

Another favorite part of this book was that the whole story was one big conspiracy. Boy, I love me some conspiracies. Hiding the truth for the so-called "greater good" of life. Making things that certain people want them to be and not how they should be by just leaving well enough alone. It always makes out for a better, more sinister villain. Those are the best kind.

Okay, so, you could get after me again for this dislike section. I don't really have any dislikes again. There are some names of certain beings in the story that can get confusing at times but that was more certainly my fault and not the story. The names can be tough to pronounce and remember in your head but it's part of the tribe of people that are encountered in the story.

Who would I recommend this to:
If you are like me and believe that sci-fi is on the rise in YA and you are excited about things like that, read this book. If you LOVE conspiracies like any sane human being should, you will love this book. If you like stories with a real plot tossed in with a small bit of romance, this is also for you too. It is a great story than I think deserves plenty of praise in 2012.

I have to add this on this review as a "Thank you" to my quite epic sister-in-law for getting me this book and having it signed by the wonderful Jessica Khoury at the Austin Teen Book Fair. Oh yeah, I also loved reading this book because it had a wonderful new book smell. Just saiyen. :D