Tuesday, November 18, 2014

(Lazy) Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

"Blue Lily, Lily Blue" (Raven Boys #3), by Maggie Stiefvater. The Goodreads summary:
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
As you may have discerned from the post title, I’m feeling a bit too lazy to write a full, intelligible review (that seems to be a common malady for me lately). Honestly, I’m feeling lazy enough to skip writing a review altogether, but then I thought that I should write at least something to let you guys know that this book was awesome. I mean, man. This series. It’s nice to have books you can count on, you know? Every single one of the books in this series so far has delivered. Has gone above and beyond delivering, really.

Those raven boys . . . I just love them so much. And it’s not just Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue I love, it’s the Gray Man, everyone at 300 Fox Way, and even Greenmantle and Piper. That Piper—she grew on me more than she was supposed to probably.

You might thinking by now, “Hey, Karen, what about the plot?” Like, I said, lazy is the name of the game today, so can I just say the plot was good and gripping and well-developed—the whole shebang—and leave it at that? Though I will say that one scene where Blue and a certain raven boy touch fingers in the car made me feel like this: !!!!!!! Because that particular raven boy happens to be my favorite, and I didn’t think anything would actually happen between them—I thought Blue was going to go for a different raven boy altogether.

And while we’re on the subject of raven boys—Adam. I love seeing how his character is slowly developing. I feel like he—and maybe Ronan—is the one doing the most growing, and it’s gratifying to watch it happen. And, and, AND that scene in the courtroom with Adam when Gansey and Ronan show up? I swooned over all of them in that scene.

Overall, read it! If you haven’t started this series yet, get to it! One book to go in the series . . . I’m kinda dying over here.

Rating: 4 / 5

Other books in this series:
-The Raven Boys
-The Dream Theives

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

“I’ll Give You the Sun,” by Jandy Nelson. The Goodreads summary:
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
I am in love with this book. That’s all there is to it. I mean, I knew going in that the odds were pretty high I’d like “I’ll Give You the Sun” since I totally and completely adore “The Sky Is Everywhere” by this same author. But still . . . there’s always that little bit of fear that you’ll be let down. But “I’ll Give You the Sun” didn’t let me down AT ALL. It was pretty perfect, actually.

I just don’t even have the words, really. Because Jandy Nelson creates two hot messes known as Jude and Noah who explode with passion and fear and shame and love and just generally feel all the feelings I want characters to feel. And, dang, can Jandy Nelson write. I mean, she can really, really write. She knows how to use all the words and emotions and descriptions to create prose that pulls you under and makes you wish you didn’t have to come up for air in the real world.

At its heart, I think “I’ll Give You the Sun” is equal parts a story about romantic love and a story about love for family. But it’s never an easy love. Never a love that can be taken for granted. The characters have to try again and again to get through the walls of hurt and fear that separate them from those they love, and I felt for them every single time they threw themselves at those walls only to crash against them rather than through them. But the thing is, every single time, they get up and try again.

And then there’s the small things, the things that made me smile. Like Jude’s aversion to oranges and affinity for onions and lemons. Like Clark Gable. Like Grandma Sweetwine’s bible. Like Noah’s self-portrait titles and the three words he wants to have with God. Like a certain parrot’s obsession with Ralph. Sometimes it’s the little things, as much as the big ones, that make a book for me, you know?

Overall, in case you couldn’t tell, this is one of my favorite books of the year. I kinda just want to carry it around with me all the time so I don’t have to let it go.

Rating: 5 / 5

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Silver Shadows

“Silver Shadows” (Bloodlines #5), by Richelle Mead. The Goodreads summary:
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.
So, remember how I really didn’t like number 4 in this series (The Fiery Heart)? Well, I’m happy to report that this one was much better. It was more on the level of the first three books. Which is to say, not quite as good as the Vampire Academy series, but still pretty enjoyable.

I think what saved this book is that Sydney and Adrian were separated for most of it. This thankfully meant that all the cheesy, puerile mushy stuff from the last book was missing from this one. Rather, this book is all about Sydney trying to use her smarts and her skills to survive the re-education center, and Adrian using his smarts and skills to try to track her down and break her out.

Adrian kind of annoyed me for the first half or so of the book because he fell back into his old habits, with all the partying and drinking. I mean, I get it—that’s his fall back when his life feels out of his control, but still . . . I thought he’d grown out of that in the last few books. Though, I did think it was pretty brave of Mead as the author to take a character that seemed to be making progress and set him back a ways. And I guess it kept Adrian from starting to seem too perfect, because Adrian wouldn’t be Adrian if he were anywhere near perfect.

On the other hand, Sydney was her usual put-together self in this book. It would’ve been nice to see her crack a little, actually. You’d think that being physically and mentally tortured for four months would have some effect on her, but nope. She remains unscathed. Maybe things will catch up to her emotionally in the next book?

Overall, I enjoyed this one nearly as much as the first three, though I wish the secondary characters like Jill, Eddie, et al. could’ve been in it more, ‘cause I love those guys. But mostly I just spent the book being happy that it was better than that disaster of a fourth book.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
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