Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3)

If you want to see my review of the second book in this trilogy, click here

Also, do you think that I should start putting the synopsis of the book I'm reviewing directly in the post instead of linking it? Tell me in the comments below :)

17352960Book: Echoes of Us

Author: Kat Zhang

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Review: I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book after finishing the second book in the series, which I didn't like at all. However, I had already taken Echoes of Us out of the library and I was curious to see how the series ended, so I gave it the "read the first chapter and see how good it is" test. I'm so glad that I did, because I loved this book! Everything the other books were lacking in were included in this one, and the writing was much better.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the setting. Basically, the two main characters, Eva and Addie, allow themselves to be taken to a hybrid institution to film the terrible conditions so that people know how bad things are there. The institution is so well described, I can picture it in my mind, and it almost feels like a real place. The fact that the author isn't hesitant to make a really creepy place one of the main settings makes me like this book much more.

Another thing I loved about this book (and the series in general) was how much character development there was between the first and third book. In the beginning of the trilogy, Eva and Addie are completely innocent and unaware of the struggles going on in their country, but over the course of the series they become conscious of fight for hybrid freedom and the details the government is hiding from them about the rest of the world. They change from a normal 15 year old high school student into a rebel leader who talks to the president in less than a year, and the best part is it feels like a completely natural transition.

Overall there wasn't much about the book that I didn't like, and I'm (happily) surprised about the way the series ended.


-Serena :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review: Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles #2)

Sorry I haven't posted a review in a week! I have midterms right now and I'm spending all of my free time studying/doing homework, but I finally managed to make time to do this :) .

Also, I've realized that I never shared my Goodreads profile with you, so if you want to look at that just click here.

16109664Book: Once We Were

Author: Kat Zhang

Rating: 3/5 stars

Review: I have mixed opinions on this book because although I found myself sometimes not enjoying it, in terms of being a sequel this book was amazing. It tied up a lot of the loose ends of the first book and kept the story going exactly the way I wanted it. Also, Kat Zhang was very good at refreshing my memory of what happened in the last book (there was a gap of several years between when I read the first one and this one). I almost never had trouble figuring out who an old character was, or why a certain place was significant and what happened there. If I was just rating it as a sequel and not on the content, I would give it 4/5 stars.

Another thing that I love is how cool the actual concept of the book is. Basically, in a different version of America/the world, people are born with two souls in one body, but normally the "recessive soul" (the weaker one) disappears before people reach middle school age. However, although the main character is the recessive soul, she never fully vanished from her body.

Although the idea of the book was amazing, I didn't particularly enjoy reading this book and it felt a lot longer than it's actual length of 350 pages. I often had to force myself not to stop reading it altogether, and I'm happy that I finished it because now I can read something that I'll enjoy. The major problem with the book was that there wasn't enough action. This made for long stretches of nothnig big happening, which made me want to throw the book out of the window. If I were to just rate the plot/story, I would give it a 2/5.

Overall, a 3/5 seems like a fair rating because while I didn't like the overall feel of the book, the way it continued the story was very good.

Would I recommend it: It's right on the border between yes/no so honestly it depends on how cool the synopsis sounds, because it does capture the feel of the book pretty well


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review: Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4)

 WARNING: If you haven't read the first three books in this series yet, there may be minor spoilers


Book: Frozen Tides

Author:  Morgan Rhodes

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review: This book was definitely my favorite in the series so far! One of the things I loved the most was the way that the chapters switched POV between so many characters (all of the books are like that but in this one there are a lot more characters). This made the book a lot more complicated, because you'd know when a villain was planning something new, what feelings people had for another, when someone was lying, or when someone was dead/dying before any of the other characters knew. However, this also made the book extremely annoying because you would know that a character was about to be attacked but then you'd have to read about the character from their POV and they didn't know anything and it was agony not being able to tell them to watch out.

Another thing I liked was that Morgan Rhodes stopped killing off all of the characters. My major problem with the first three books was that everyone except a few people were always dead by the end of the book. Sure, this book wasn't perfect—some people I loved still died—but it was much better than the others. In fact, Morgan Rhodes went as far as to let a character who was definitely dead come back to life at the end (which is probably the point where I hugged the book).

The only thing I didn't really like was that I wanted more magic. I mean, there was still magic, but in general my two favorite parts of fantasy books are the world building and the magic, and I didn't feel satisfied with the amount. The thing that annoyed me the most was that throughout the book, there was almost no development with the Kindred, and even though YOU know the secret behind what they actually are, almost no one (even the people in possession of one of them) realize what they actually are.

Would I recommend it: Overall the book was really good and it's definitely worth giving the series a try if you haven't already

-Serena :)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: The Girl From Everywhere

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)Book: The Girl From Everywhere

Author: Heidi Heilig

Release date: February 16th, 2016

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: Before I read this book, I was in a reading slump. I tried reading at least 5 other books, but I couldn't really get into any of them. But the moment I started reading this book, I was hooked. It has a perfect combination of adventure, family problems, time travel, and romance.

The only thing I don't like was the love triangle. There are two boys: Kashmir and Blake. I HATED Blake.. The funny thing is, he is an awesome character, and if he didn't get in the way of Nix (the main character) and Kashmir, he would be one of my favorites. However, this isn't the case, so I can still be heard screaming "just die already" to my book.

I definitely recommend this book, and I can't wait until the next one comes out! It's hard to believe that Heidi Heilig is a debut author, and I'll definitely be reading all of her future books!

-Serena :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

REVIEW: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

 A month or two ago, I was lucky enough to win a goodreads giveaway and I received an ARC of this book! I decided to wait a little while to read it, as I wanted to read the Throne of Glass series first (which is one of my ultimate favorites now!). But, after the excitement of ToG, I forgot about it for several weeks... Yeah. I actually FORGOT about a book. But eventually, I saw it on my shelf and read it in less than a day! That was actually two or three weeks ago, but I realized that I never reviewed it, so here you go :)

ALSO: I've decided to link the goodreads page to the book title (down below) so you can click on that if you want to read the synopsis and any other details.

23272028Book: A Study in Charlotte

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Release date: March 1st, 2016

Rating: 3/5 stars

Review: Despite my rating of 3 stars, this book was definitely better than the average mystery book. It was fast paced, well written, and very well planned out. Best of all, it was a modern Sherlock Holmes mystery, only it wasn't Holmes and Watson, it was their descendants. This makes the book incredibly interesting to read, and not only because of the obvious reasons. Throughout the book the two main characters, Charlotte and Jamie, are practically haunted by their family history in so many different ways. There are murderers trying to replicate the killings from Sherlock Holmes stories, people who tease them about their families, and a really awkward relationship between each other in the beginning of the book. Thankfully, in turn each of those problems is resolved by the end of the book.

 I have only two reasons why I didn't give it a higher rating of 4 stars. The first one is that it wasn't a very memorable book, and even though I only read it several weeks ago, I needed to skim through the book before I could write this review. In my mind, part of what makes a book so good is when you can't get it out of your head for months after you read it. The second reason I didn't give it 4 stars is because I never really got completely submerged into the story, and often when I was reading it I would still be conscious of the real world (e.g., I was thinking about what I was going to eat for lunch at the same time as reading). This might have been because I was tired or I was hungry or something else along those lines, but it was still annoying.

Even though I could never be truly engaged in the book, I'd still recommend it, especially if you like mysteries!

-Serena :)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

REVIEW: The Siren by Kiera Cass

So this is my first review on this blog! *throws confetti*

Book: The Siren (click here for the synopsis) 

Author: Kiera Cass

Release date: January 26th 2016

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: I loved this book! Just like in The Selection, there is romance that makes you ship the characters so much, the urge to reach into the book and push the two people is almost uncontrollable. However, unlike the Selection, this book is a fantasy novel! The main character's name is Kahlen, and she's a Siren, which means that she has to serve the Ocean for 100 years, and then she's free to return to a normal human life. It's really not that bad. That is, until the love interest is introduced. The problem- he's a human, and her voice is poisonous to anyone who isn't a Siren. So it's a romance without words. Which basically makes it 100x better. Oh, and did I mention that they bake cake? Like, TOGETHER.

So overall I LOVED this book and would definitely recommend it and I'd buy it ASAP.


P.S. If you have any recommendations on how to make my blog better, be free to tell me in the comments!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Hi Everyone!

Hey everyone!
As this is my first blog post, it will just be an introduction to how I'm planning to run this blog and a way that everyone can get to know me better!

So here's my plan:
 I want to post short reviews of YA books. Something I've noticed recently is how many blogs there are out in the reading community that post amazing reviews but are just a little too long. Sure, they might be great if you have enough time to read a several page review, but sometimes time is hard to come by, and let's be honest- I'd rather be reading an actual book. That is why I want to post a 1-2 paragraph review of books, so everyone can take 30 seconds to see a little more about what was good and bad, instead of taking 5 minutes to do the same thing.

On a different note, here are 7 facts about me:
1) I have two younger sisters, who's names are Sylvie and Charlotte
2) My favorite subject is actually science, especially the fields of Geology and Astronomy
3) I drink very large amounts of tea daily (about 5-10 mugs)
4) I love to do origami, and it's one of my favorite hobbies
5) I play soccer, and (on and off) take rock climbing lessons
6) My favorite color is blue, but I love green also
7) I love to visit national parks

That's it for now! I'll try to start posting reviews soon, and until then have a good day :)