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: Sea of Shadows

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1)Image
Kelley Armstrong
YA Fantasy
Publish Date: April 8th 2014
*Received an Advanced Reader Copy in good reads giveaway
** This Opinion is 100% my own.

            In the Forest of the Dead, where the Empires worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

            Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

            Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sister’s journey to find each other sends them far from the only home that they have ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls’ cross a once empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court – one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

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            I’ve only recently started reading Kelley Armstrong’s work. I’ve already invested in her new series Cainsville and was really excited to try her young adult fiction. I definitely was not disappointed with Sea of Shadows!
            I really, really, really enjoyed the backstory and all the lore. The whole concept of the Keeper and Seeker, and even the Forest of the Dead really drew me into the story and hooked me. I’ve been getting into fantasy novels a lot in the past year or so, largely in thanks to my Husband and I am super pleased to be adding this series to my collection!
            It’s dark, edgy and has a strong sense of purpose. There is a point and reason as to why each scene in is in this novel and I find that extremely refreshing and uplifting that there were no needless fillers. The main characters each have their own voices and strongly defined personalities. There is personal growth for each character in Sea of Shadows which doesn’t always happen with series, so it was great to see that already taking off.
            The romance aspect is great and seems really natural. It never seems too forced or too rushed for me to find it awkward and unrealistic. I definitely have a favorite couple and a favorite character at this point in the story but will reserve on ‘fan-girling’ all over this book review.
            I’ve noticed that this book isn’t getting the best reviews currently and am hoping that will soon change as I think this series has a whole lot of potential and has a very fascinating story and cast of characters that I personally cannot wait to get to know even better. I love it when things are revealed over time and when you’re not bombarded with information and I think Kelley Armstrong’s writing style is really suited to my reading style and what I want from out of a novel.
            I am looking forward to the second part of this story and am deeply saddened by how long it is I’ll have to wait for it. Thank goodness Kelley Armstrong has many more books and series for me to try out while I wait!
           

Check out of Goodreads Page Here!

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: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus 1 & 2

Magic Knight Rayearth 1 & 2Image
CLAMP
Shojo Manga
Published: 1993-1995
4/5

                Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, Fuu Hououji are on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. The girls are blinded by a flash of light and hear a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro. They fall through the sky into another world, Cephiro. Once there, they meet Master Mage Clef. Clef explains, “In Cephiro, one’s will has the ability to change reality for better or worse. The dark fears in people’s hearts become monsters, while a well-intended wish can do miracles. One person, the Pillar, whose will is stronger than anyone else’s, is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro.” In the first story arc, the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, has been captured by her high priest, Zagato. The three girls are charged with the task of saving the Princess. Magic Knight Rayearth follows Hikaru, Fuu and Umi along with their friendly sidekick, Mokona, on their quest to save the mystical planet of Cephiro.

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                Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu are all from different walks of life and all attend different middle schools, however one fateful day each of their respective schools and classes take a school trip to Tokyo Tower where they are suddenly blinded by a great flash of light and a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro.
              Once the girls are transported to Cephiro they find themselves falling through the sky and somehow they land on a giant flying fish that takes them safely to land where they meet the Master Mage whose name is Clef.
                Clef explains to Hikarua, Umi, and Fuu how the world of Cephiro works, how one’s ‘will’ has the ability to change the reality and even the landscape of the world forever, and that it can be changed for the greater good, or it could be used selfishly for dark intentions.
                The Pillar whose will is stronger than anyone else’s and who is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro, however she has been compromised and has been taken captive and it’s up to the Magic Knights to save her and restore peace to the planet Cephiro.
                This is a fantastical tale, it moves very quickly and your attention is definitely needed for every page and picture screen otherwise it would be easy to miss information and quickly become confused. I think this series had a lot of offer and I found it very disappointing that it didn’t have more details than what was given to the reader; there are a lot of unanswered questions and plot holes that could have been easily resolved with even one more omnibus I believe. There were also some fillers that I found were unneeded as the story progressed so quickly and it would have been considerably more enjoyable to have solid story line instead.
                The artwork contained in this series is beautiful and  your mouth will water in your  desire for more. You’ll not be disappointed with a single panel.  I really wish this series had continued on for longer so I could have continued to be immersed in the strange and lovely world of Cephiro.
                Magic Knight Rayearth is one of my favourite Manga’s that I’ve read so far, and it’s a story from my childhood that I’ll treasure for a long time.
                What’s your favourite manga series? Would you recommend it to me, if so, why?

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? 

Book Review: The Death Cure

Name:  The Death CureImage
Series:  The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author:  James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s books
Published: 2011
3/5
(Spoilers)

                Thomas knows that WICKED can’t be trusted. They stole his memories and locked him insie the maze. They forced him to the brink of death by dropping him in the wilds of the Scorch and they took the Gladers, his only friends, from him.
                Now WICKED says that the time for lies is over. That they’ve collected all the data they can from the Trails and will rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission: To complete the blueprint for the cure for the Flare, but they must undergo one final test.
                What WICKED doesn’t know, however, is that Thomas has already remembered far more than they think and it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a world of what WICKED says.
                The time for lies IS over and the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever have imaged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ___________________

                The Death Cure starts out as strong as the first two books in the series but steadily falls and fails to capture the adventure of the first two books. I found that the book swayed from the main plot focus and started to become a little confusing and muddled, as though the author wasn’t sure himself where the direction was going with the final installment of the Maze Runner Trilogy.
                The synopsis on the back of the book heavily presses the fact that the ‘Time for lies is over’ However I found myself learning very little in the wake of this. All the revelations left with me with more questions and with less of a concrete ending than I would have liked. Characters were introduced that we learnt very little about although you’re lead to believe at some points that they’re important or they’re just not explained well at all in general.
                There are also a few character deaths, they’re brutal and cold and kind of left a gross taste in my mouth, they seemed needless and though life is not perfect and the world created within this book is very desolate, bleak and unhopeful I was hoping for more hope… more… something. The ending was also extremely open, open to the point where you basically get to decide what happens. That is unless the author decides to write a fourth book and make the trilogy a quartet… which isn’t likely to happen.
                Despite the lack of a strong ending the series is still enjoyable, I would still recommend the series, I would just warn you that the ending may not live up to your standards if they were set by the previous two books in the series. I feel as though James Dashner just wasn’t sure which direction he was heading in anymore and that’s how we ended up with a bit of a disaster.
                Have you read this series? How did you feel about the ending? What did you like/did not like? Would love to hear your opinions!

Book Review: Two for the Dough

Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum #2)Image
Janet Evanovich
Adult Crime Mystery Series
Published: January 10, 1996
4/5

 

            Bounty Hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie’s bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso- a suspiciously wealthy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend- the states are higher than ever. The fact that Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli- who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch – only makes the hung more thrilling…
            Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark but Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. A more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move… and his next move might be Stephanie’s last.

 

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            Another fantastic book, with the same set of great character and returns of a few I didn’t know I’d be seeing again! Again it’s funny, sassy and smart, an excellent new book for Stephanie Plum to display all that she is.
            I really enjoyed the story line in Two for the Money a whole lot. I believe I enjoyed this one more than the first as I read it quite a lot quicker and this book couldn’t possibly been funnier nor more dark! The plot in this book takes a very wacky and sinister turn that will leave you gasping and nervous and probably a little bit scared for our favorite bounty hunter.
            Grandma Mazur has quite the substantial role in this one you guys and the book was so fantastic because of it! I cannot get over this woman, she is so funny and so completely deranged and dangerous I can’t help but think she needs to be locked away somewhere! She is definitely a hazard to public safety. She’s also not someone you want showing up at your funeral or anyone you care about funeral because she does some really weird things you guys…like creepy weird!
            I really enjoyed the interaction between Joe Morelli and Stephanie Plum in this book; you can really see the budding romance between them take place. It’s obviously clear that he cares about her…obvious to everyone and anyone except for Stephanie.  It’s really fun watching them try to out due each other while fighting an intense attraction! It truly is great!
            I highly recommend this series you guys, up until this point it’s almost perfect. I will admit however, that at times it does drag and has the same problems I mentioned in regards to my first review of the first book in the series! Which you can find HERE