Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way-the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds-a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers. In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone-especially yourself-you fight for it.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral further off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.
I’ll be honest, the main reason I originally picked up Losing Faith by Denise Jaden was because it was part of the Contemps Challenge. That’s not to say that the book didn’t sound interesting from the description, because it totally did and as it turns out the book was actually really good. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the book because I hadn’t looked that much into it and it had only just come out when I began reading it. I’ll admit I was uncertain about the book at first, but as I kept reading I just liked it more and more and by the end I just loved it.
Brie has always been the “bad” sister, what with Faith being all perfect and super involved in church and youth group. Basically, Faith is the perfect daughters all parents dream about having. That is until she dies suddenly Brie finds herself in the position long held by her sister. Brie’s life turns upside down: her parents are a mess, the guy she thought loved her may not be all that into her, and her friends just don’t know how to approach her anymore. Brie finds herself becoming friends with the last people she ever expected to be friends with and the more she looks into it, the more there seems to be something off about the night her sister died.
Brie sort of creeped up on me. I wasn’t sure about her at first but as I was reading, I found myself liking her more and more. It’s really great to see her evolution throughout the book. She went from being a a teenage girl trying to find out where she fit in and ended up being strong and knowing exactly who she was. Even if she wasn’t physically there, it was also great to see Brie’s relationship with Faith changed. Despite Faith being dead, by the end of the book Brie was closer to her sister than ever. Brie was truly great once I got to know her and wished I could have spent more time with her.
Brie’s friends amused me more than anything else. From the start I could pretty much tell that things weren’t going to work out with Dustin and that Amy wouldn’t turn out to be as good a friend as Brie made her sound. But when Tessa and Alis came in, I liked them from the start. Tessa had me laughing many times and shaking my head the rest of the time. The things the girl thought of, just had me completely wondering how she even came up with those ideas. Alis was different, I liked him pretty much right away and that might have had something to do with him being all mysterious at first. But as I found out more about him, I could tell that he was just a good guy trying to do the right thing...and for once I wasn’t totally going for the bad guy.
At first, I wasn’t completely sure about the whole religious aspect of the book but it turned out it didn’t really bother me by the end. It wasn’t really what was important about the story. The focus was on Brie trying to figure out what had happened to Faith and getting to know her better through her death. The way the story was set up, I could see some of the things coming but a lot of it took me by surprise which is what I like books to do.
Losing Faith was a great read and, I’ll be honest, I enjoyed it a lot more than I originally thought I would. It was a great story about love and loss but didn’t fall into all the clichés that are normally associated with those two subjects. Now I can say that I can’t wait for whatever comes next from Denise Jaden.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Magic is more dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosse the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are members of a secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
I’ll say this now, and I’ll probably say this again in this review but, I love Cassandra Clare and the stories she writes. They are simply amazing and quite addicting. Every time I pick up one of her books I wanted to do nothing else then just sit there with it and read it until I’ve gone through it all, and even then I want more. The same thing happened with Clockwork Angel. Even before I started reading I knew I would love it just because of how much I had loved the three books of The Mortal Instruments series. To put it simply, Cassandra Clare and her story most definitely did not disappoint.
All Tessa Gray wanted to do was go to England so she could be reunited with her brother, the only family she had left. But when she gets there, things definitely don’t turn out the way she expects them to. After having been held captive for weeks by two women calling themselves the Dark Sisters, Tessa is rescued by London’s Shadowhunters and taken in at the Institute. From there, things don’t really get easier for Tessa. She still has no idea where her brother is or what is happening to her. With the help of new friends Tessa will learn that there are some things in life that are a lot more difficult and dangerous than they appear, like magic...and love.
There are so many good things to say about Clockwork Angel that I don’t even know where to start. Cassandra Clare has always, in my opinion, had an amazing story-telling ability. Every time I read one of her books I am transported to a whole new world. I feel like I can see and live everything the characters go through. And every time I never want to leave, that’s how good the world Clare creates are. There is something almost magical about her writing that captures you and keeps you prisoner until the story is over. And if you’re like me, you just want to stay there even when the story is over.
Clare also creates these amazing characters. I loved Tessa from the start. Even though she wasn’t always at her best, she almost always put others before her which is something I can’t help but admire. She was always blaming herself for things that weren’t her fault but that just shows how much she cared about the others around her. I especially loved to see how she grew throughout the story. At the beginning she appeared as a scared little girl, but by the end she would hold her ground and I was proud of her for it. I didn’t expect she would become someone this strong and I loved her for growing so much.
Will and Jem. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure yet if I’m Team Will or Team Jem. I loved both boys so much. Sure, Will would often get on my nerves but then there would be moments where he was the most caring and compassionate person and I just couldn’t help but love that about him. It’s easy to see he’s afraid of opening up but he would just gain so much if he did. I have big hopes for Will in the future, mostly that he’ll learn to open up and not be scared to get close to people. Jem was just so caring and gentle in everything he did, it was so hard to picture him being a Shadowhunter and seeing him in the middle of battle. It was almost like he didn’t belong there. Seeing how much he cared about Tessa and how he was with her sometime made me wish I were Tessa. I honestly loved both boys and if I had to choose I would have a very hard time.
With Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare has once again written a magical story that will transport readers to another time and place whether they want to or not. There’s no use in resisting, this book will take you to places you never imagined were possible.