Book Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1)Image
Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
P.I. Mystery, Crime fiction
Published: March 25th, 2014
5/5

 

                Ten years after graduating highschool in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back and in the land of sun, sand, crime and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
                Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

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                Not going to lie to any of you, but I was extremely excited that Veronica Mars was turning into a novel series in fact I’m still extremely excited about it.
                Veronica Mars was an important character to me when I was younger, she was fierce independent, strong and didn’t require saving from some guy every five minutes. She was very inspirational to me when I was younger. Not to mention I thought it was pretty cool that she got to do so many ‘interesting’ things and when I was older I hoped I would be like her in high school too, which for obvious reasons didn’t happen and for more obvious reasons I’m very thankful.
                The novel takes place shortly after where the movie wrapped up. What was really enjoyable to me about this was that though minor plot points were spoiled in the book the major plot points of the movie were not discussed in too much detail. I had read the book before I had seen the movie and was very pleased to find that it did not ruin the movie for me at all and neither the movie nor the book really ruin the original plot line of the TV show either which is pretty amazing when you think about it.
                I thought they did a great job of transferring Veronica Mars from the screen to the pages of a book. They managed to keep her sarcastic, biting humour alive and fresh, and her character matched perfectly which the other medias.
                The progression of the plot was done well, I didn’t find myself getting bored and the story didn’t drag needlessly on. It’s very short, and sweet and written in the typical Veronica Mars style of crime solving. I didn’t find the story predictable or annoying which is great and sometimes a little hard to do when you’re writing a story based on crime.
                There were a few things about the novel that I didn’t like however. I felt pretty sad that Veronica Mars was still stuck in Neptune California, I had always imagined her moving on and being involved in the FBI as a criminal profiler or some kind of government investigator because she seemed to have such an obvious knack for her. I also was pretty put off by the arrival of her mother into the story, I’m not her biggest fan and I continue to still not like her or want her in Veronica’s life because I truly believe she is one of the most selfish characters in this series.
                The cover of the book also kind of makes me sad, it’s really simple and really, painfully boring. I don’t mind the font but the picture and word placement makes no sense to me and comes across as awkward. Plus I really, really dislike that shade of yellow.
                Over all really happy to see this series continue on and I am very excited to read book two when it comes out.
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Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of MidnightImage
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: August 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
4/5

            After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

               Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

              Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
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            Crown of Midnight was a prime example of how fantastic a sequel can be. Where other sequels fall flat, Crown of Midnight takes this complex story to new heights.  It is possible that perhaps Crown of Midnight is even greater than Throne of Glass.
            Celaena develops and becomes considerably darker than she appeared in Throne of Glass and I was eternally thankful for that. With the life that she had lead up until this point it seemed strange to me that in the first book that she was so footloose and fancy free. She starts to develop and question things that she had already known, and we find out a whole lot of things regarding her past that I actually hadn’t seen coming. She falls in love, she is betrayed, she is lost at times and finds strength to continue on even when everything becomes bleak. She amazes me with her ability to forgive but not forget, to let go but to still hold others accountable to their actions.
           The romantic encounters are more realistic, and at times made my heart swell up with intense happiness and other times deflate with sadness, it’s clear to me whom I want Celaena to end up with if she does indeed choose either Dorian or Choal. She’s a complicated character and so are both of these men, and no matter who she chooses in the end, I’d be happy just knowing that she’s found love, peace, and acceptance with someone.
            Crown of Midnight switches point of view within the chapters and normally I don’t enjoy that very much but I felt it was important and needed and kept me captivated despite by previous grievances with novels that do this. Sarah J. Maas did an absolutely fantastic job integrating characters and giving everyone their own personalities and voices, no one person sounded too much like the other.
             The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Celaena embarks on a completely new quest and her story continues to grow. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this installment and this is definitely turning into a series I wish was already completed and published because I’m biting my nails with need and want for the next part of the story.
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Book Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)Image
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 2012
4/5

In a world without magic, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the vicious king who rules from his throne of glass but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she will be released from prison to serve as the King’s Champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.
The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her and a princess from a faraway land will befriend her. But something evil dwells in the castle – and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival – and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

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Personally I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, its simple plot and easy to like characters made for a fairly quick and enjoyable read. The plot is certainly not complicated and despite what I’ve seen other’s saying, I do not believe you need to read the ‘prequels’ to understand ‘Throne of Glass’ and the progression of this story.
I really enjoyed Sarah J. Mass’ writing style, throne of glass greatly reminded me of Graceling written by Kristin Cashore and I truly feel if you enjoyed that book you would also enjoy this one.
Celaena was very likeable despite the obvious flaws with her character that made me reduce my rating to a four star instead of a 5 star. She’s witty, intelligent, friendly, and very likeable. I did however find that her obsession with her appearance, and ridiculously feminine clothing to be unlikely as her position as an assassin would likely not allow her much of those privileges in the past. I find it extremely hard to believe that a woman who is almost unmatched in beauty (According to the author) would be able to go unnoticed for so long and I think it’s virtually impossible that no one would have known who she was.  Beyond those flaws however, I found her to be a strong character and a fairly decent role model for young woman.
I also really enjoyed the characters of Prince Dorian and Chaol who is the Captain of the Guard. There were obviously a few character issues with them as well but understandably no person is perfect so expecting characters in novels to be perfect is probably like trying to breath under water and unless you’re a fish it’s very unlikely to go well.
I am looking forward to seeing how all the relationships develop, where things will go between Chaol and Dorian and if the triangle will destroy their friendship. I’m obviously also interested in knowing whom Celaena will end up with in the end as well; perhaps she will not end up with any of them.
In a land where magic is outlawed I’m very curious to see where that will take us as it’s quite obvious that by outlawing it there will be magic involved within this series. It’ll  be neat to see what kind of magic the author introduces and how the magic will take place within this story line.
Overall a great introduction into a series I’m fairly certain I will greatly enjoy. Have you read Throne of glass? Let me know what you thought! It’d be great to discuss such an interesting piece of YA literature.
If you’re not interested in reading Throne of Glass I would also love to hear why, it’s great that everyone has so many different opinions! : )

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Book Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue SeaImage
April Genevieve Tucholke
Paranormal, YA
Published: 2013
Publisher: Dial
5/5

                Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
                Is River just a crooked-something liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
                Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back.
                Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight and that’s just how River likes it.

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                Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a captivating gothic paranormal romance, set in a sleepy town full of interesting, lively characters with bizarre names. With a gorgeous cover and captivating blurb it would be hard to pass by this delicious book without the urge to pick it up.
                Like with most wildly popular books there are two sides. There are those who are going to love the book, there are those who are going to severely dislike the book. As with everything else in life, there is no such thing as a perfect book. They’re all flawed because we are all flawed and no one ever will be able to please everyone.
                For me personally this book had a lot of elements that make an engaging, enjoyable young adult novel. I’ve noticed recently that Young Adult fiction isn’t often doing it for me, the more I pick up the more I am putting down and I’m okay with that, fiction tastes change as you change and what you liked last month or last year doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it in this moment.
                I wouldn’t say that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is necessarily a case of insta-love as I’m often not a fan of those, but at the same time realise that insta-love does happen, in real life and in fiction. I knew that my Husband was the one within a week of dating him. It happens and when magic, and paranormal elements are involved I’m more likely to go with the flow of the story than stand there and judge it. I thought that April did a great job with the paranormal, fantasy elements of the book and that she wrote a story line that was both believable in their universe and a joy to read.
                Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea was very fast paced and I really wish it were double the size, largely in part of the fact that I didn’t want it to end so quickly and because I felt that the story could have used more back story, more pages of explanations and more time to develop the plot and the twists. This is the first book in either a trilogy or a series so I’m willing to let that go and allow myself to be filled with anticipation for the next books.
                This story is not complicated, it’s simple, it’s dark at times and light in other times and though a few questionable things happened I still felt myself suckered into it enough to sit down for 2.3-3 hours and finish the whole book in the same sitting despite having a super serious lack of free time right now.
                What Story have you read where those who read it either strongly enjoy or dislike the novel? How did you feel about the story in particular? 

Second Hand Book Haul + Various other books I’ve purchased

                Lately I’ve been browsing some used book stores so I thought I’d share what I’ve picked up within the last few months as I’ve been dropping the ball and not posting on a regular schedule. A few of this books are brand new as they are new releases but I’m going to include them in this haul anyways, as I’m not sure if I’ll be acquiring any more books or not this month. Except for perhaps 2-3 new releases I want this month I am doubtful I’ll be picking up anything else. With my new job my ability to sit down and read a novel lately has been pretty slow and it takes a lot of effort to find the time at the moment. However thins should be settling down now that I’m in a routine! Look forward to more book reviews coming your way soon! 🙂

Yesterday I picked up books 1, 2, and 3 in the Ink World Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
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I also picked up Out of Easy by Ruta Septeys and 50 Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
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I also picked up The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black.
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Book Haul: August (Kinda)

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                Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book haul but I’m here and I’m back in full action so I thought I’d update you on a few books that I’ve added to my personal library recently.
                Which books have you hauled this month? I’m always interested in hearing about new books and of course interested in what you’re reading!

Flesh and bone: Book 3 – Jonathan Maberry
Soul Screamers: Volume 3 – Rachel Vincent
Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Omens – Kelly Armstrong
Shades of Earth: Book 3 – Beth Revis
The Third Twin – Ken Follett
Fall of Giants: Book 1 – Ken Follett
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
Inferno: Book 4 – Dan Brown

Book Review: Crescendo

CrescendoImage
Becca Fitzpatrick
Young Adult
Published:2010
4/5

 

                Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever (if that’s possible) and what’s worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora’s archenemy, Marcie Millar.
                Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn’t been acting so distant, Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.
                If that weren’t enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do wit his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.

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                Fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I enjoyed it quite a bit more than Hush, Hush even. Normally people like the first book in the series the most but I might actually enjoy Crescendo the most!
                This book was action packed, full of mystery suspense mind numbing romance, ridiculously good looking Patch of course and who could resist Patch? I certainly couldn’t even if my life would be better off without him.
                I enjoyed all the twist and turns in this novel, I am really liking the direction I believe this book is going in and that’s a beautiful thing you guys. I really, am just…ugh I really just love this series and all the characters; again Vee just makes me laugh with how ridiculous she is. Nora and Vee’s schemes are hilarious and kind of on the dumb side but that’s what makes it all the more entertaining.
                I really like that I didn’t figure out who the bad person was in this story until that person was revealed, I really enjoyed the plot twists with other characters as well including Marcie Miller.  It was a really interesting plot progression for me and I am glad I gave the second book a shot because I was unsure as I did not enjoy the first book quite as much.
                Have you guys read this series? What did you think about it? Or at least up until this point! What did you not like about it?!