Review: City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic #1) – Magnus Flyte


City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic #1) – Magnus Flyte

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Title: City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic #1)

Author: Magnus Flyte

Release Date: November 27, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 448

Source: Book Outlet

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Sarah Weston is one of the best music students learning under Professor Sherbatsky in Boston. Sherbatsky went to Prague to help in the Lobkowicz Castle by organizing and finding out information about Beethoven for the museum. Sarah randomly gets a letter from Prince Max Lobkowicz asking her to come and take her Professor’s place as a scholar because he mysteriously died. Sarah is rushed off to Prague and starts to discover Beethoven’s secrets as well as love, mystery, and a very odd drug. Sarah finds letters no one has found written by Beethove himself and finds out that to counteract his deafness, he took a time traveling drug in order to hear his music being played. Sarah gets curious about the certain drug and stumbles upon some of it; she decides to try it, because what else would you do? She sees energy from centuries back and finds out some vital information. Her partner in crime, Prince Max himself, helps her with all of her adventures. What did Sarah see? Why was she rushed off to Prague?

This book was not what I was expecting at all. Like at all. I got this off Book Outlet for super cheap, but it was mostly a cover purchase. I loved that no one actually knows who Magnus Flyte is. Apparently he just sent the manuscript to Penguin without a return address or anything. That was super cool, so I was excited to read it. It was an interesting concept, but I don’t think that I liked it. There were just random parts where Sarah was having sex with guys. A lot, actually. That was just unnecessary and pointless to put in the book. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t like it so much.

Characters:

The characters were fine; they weren’t great, they weren’t horrible. Sarah was really smart, but she just made awful choices. Max was my favorite out of all the characters. I thought it was a little dumb the way that he became prince, but whatever. I’m over it. It was just really random.

Who Would I Be?:

I guess I’d be Sarah; she was really smart and very musically talented. She was dating/in love with Max, and he was my favorite. It would honestly be really cool to see all the energy from the past when she took the drug, but, I mean, drugs are bad. I’m not a promoter of drugs. Just an F, Y, and I.

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Review: Off the Page (Between the Lines #2) – Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer


Off the Page (Between the Lines #2) – Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

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Title: Off the Page (Between the Lines #2)

Author: Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 384

Source: Bestie

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It’s a miracle that seems perfect at first. Sure, Oliver doesn’t know that you shouldn’t try to open your locker with a dagger or that there’s no such thing as “the ruler” of the local mall. But he also looks at Delilah as if she’s the only girl in the world—the only girl in any world—and Delilah can’t help feeling that being with him is a dream come to life.
 
But not every story can have a happy ending. Because the book wants Oliver back. And it will turn both worlds upside down to get him.
 
Oliver and Delilah will have to decide what—and who—they’re willing to risk for love and what it really means for a fairy tale to come true.
 
Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as the companion to the authors’ #1 bestseller Between the Lines. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and happily-ever-afters.

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Oliver is taken out of the pages of Delilah’s favorite fairy tale. She’s been in love with the prince ever since he spoke to her through the pages of the book after she checked it out from the school library. Edgar, the author’s son, takes Oliver’s place, but then things start changing around in the book because the story wants to be original. Oliver and Delilah are the perfect couple and everything is going really well until Edgar’s mom falls ill. Wishes happen and all of the sudden Jules, Delilah’s best friend, switches places with the princess from the story. Edgar and Jules start to fall for each other, but Delilah wants her best friend back and the princess wants to get back into the fairy tale. How do the best friends deal with their fictional boyfriends? Is Edgar’s mom going to be okay?

I loved the first book in this series, but this one just kind of fell short in comparison. Yes her fictional boyfriend was out of the book. but like every single relationship, there were bumps along the way. They just expected everything to be perfect. Ugh at people sometimes. Anyway, they got so mad at each other and then literally didn’t talk at all. The key to a good relationship is communication. Talk about what is making you angry and get it sorted out. Simple as that. Why would you get mad at a boy who has never ever been out in the real world? He doesn’t know any better! It was really irritating because Delilah just expected Oliver to be good at being in high school. Obviously wasn’t going to happen.

Characters:

My favorite characters were Jules and Edgar. Jules has bright blue hair and is punk/grungey style; she doesn’t get along with a lot of people, so it makes the fact that her and Edgar became a thing so much more adorable. To be perfectly honest, my least favorites were Oliver and Delilah. They were so irritating and there was so much PDA and declarations of love. Please stop. That doesn’t really happen as often as they made it seem.

Who Would I Be?:

I would definitely choose Jules for this one. She was so cool and I loved that she was a little rough around the edges. Overall I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t great. This just fell into the ehh category.

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) – Ransom Riggs


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) – Ransom Riggs

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Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1)

Author: Ransom Riggs

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Quirk Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 356

Source: Book Store

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Jacob lives an ordinary life; everything in his life is boring and predictable. Everything except for his grandfather and all his stories he tells. Abe, Jacob’s grandpa, has been telling far-fetched tales and showing photos to Jacob for years. None of the stories could actually be true, could they? Abe calls Jacob at work in a panic. He’s screaming over the phone that the creatures are after him. They were coming to get him. Just to make sure Abe was alright, Jacob drives over to his house to find everything in a mess and the screen door ripped to shreds. Jacob hears screaming from the woods and runs to see his grandfather sitting in a pool of blood. he looks up and sees black shadow creatures looming around. Jacob holds his grandfather and his last words whisper from his mouth; “Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940… Emerson – the letter. Tell them what happened, Yakob.” What bird? How does Jacob tell people the last words of his grandfather without them thinking he was crazy?

This book was so good! I knew a lot of people loved this book, but I thought the synopsis sounded weird, so I waited a little while to pick this up. It was so different and better than I had imagined it would be. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it. Not a bad thing, though! I can’t wait to read the second book and see what happens to the peculiar children.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters in this book, but my favorites were Jacob and Emma. I loved that Emma hated him right when she met him, it made their relationship much better. I loved that Jacob loved his grandpa and trusted him. Not a lot of books actually speak highly of family members. If it weren’t for Abe, Jacob wouldn’t have gotten to go on this cool adventure.

Who Would I Be?:

I would definitely be Emma. She was such a down to earth girl and she was very sassy. Her peculiar trait dealt with fire, so she could hold it and created. I love her relationship with Jacob; they’re so cute. I am excited to see how things pan out with the group of them in the next book.

 

Review: The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) – Lemony Snicket


The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) – Lemony Snicket

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Title: The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

Author: Lemony Snicket

Release Date: January 1, 2000

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 224

Source: Book Store

Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and the one you are holding may be the worst of them all.

If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.

I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Violet, Klause, and Sunny have been sent to live with their distantly related Aunt Josephine. Count Olaf is still after them and will stop at nothing to obtain the family fortune. Mr. Poe, the man who is in charge of the legal affairs of the children, drops them off at their Aunt Josephine’s house on the top of a very large hill over looking a giant lake. Aunt Josephine shows them around the house and explains her fear of almost every object there. She doesn’t use the stove for fear that it will suddenly burst into flames, so they eat cold soup for dinner. She’s afraid of the furnace blowing up, so it’s always freezing in the house. The three children overlook her irrational fears because they’re just glad to be away from Count Olaf. Everything is semi-decent until they see him in disguise at the grocery store. What did he want with them now? Why did he always have to follow them?

This book has been my favorite of the series so far. It’s very obviously geared towards young children, but it’s still fun to read. I’m excited to see where the rest of the series will go. I really do wish that I would have read these books in late elementary school/early middle school, because I definitely would have enjoyed them more if I had.

Characters:

Violet is the inventor, Klaus is the reader, and Sunny is the one who bites everything. Klaus is my favorite because he is the one who reads all the books he can. I love books. he loves books, it’s a great deal. Count Olaf is mean, so he’s easy to dislike, but really, my least favorite character was Aunt Josephine. She was supposedly scared of everything, but how the heck did she get to the cave if she was so scared? I just feel like part of the explanation was missing.

Who Would I Be?:

I would be Klaus because we both love books and reading. I think I said this in the review of either the first or the second book, but I would love to have two siblings, as well. That would be pretty cool.

Series:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

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Review: Crank (Crank #1) – Ellen Hopkins


Crank (Crank #1) – Ellen Hopkins

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Title: Crank (Crank #1)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: October 4, 2004

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 537

Source: Book Store

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Kristina lives a happy life with her older sister, younger brother, mom, and step-dad. Everything is going well; she gets good grades, she has nice friends, but she decides to visit her father who left her family because of a drug addiction. She goes and stays with him for a full month and some pretty bad things happen. She meets a boy who is addicted to drugs, and he gets her to try “the monster” – crack. Horrible choices continue to happen while she’s staying with her dad, but they only get worse when she gets back home. Kristina refers to her alter-ego as Bree; whenever she’s getting high, she’s Bree. Bree makes those decisions, not Kristina. She gets a call from her boyfriend in her dad’s town saying that he loved her but they should see other people. This just pushes her to her monster even more.

This was beautiful. It was creepy and twisted and dark, but it was an amazing style. This book was written in verse, witch was a new experience for me. I loved this book because it was so different from what I usually read. Kristina always struggled with doing drugs. She knew it was wrong, but she didn’t know how, or if she could, stop. It was really interesting to read from a perspective like this because her perception was so clouded and her judgments were so poor. It was honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Characters:

Really, the only character was Kristina. This is all from her drug-induced perspective, which, like I said was very interesting. Bad things happened to her, and she handled most of them in the wrong way, but in the end things were semi-okay. I understand that addiction is a real thing and that people deal with it every single day of their life, but I don’t know what would possess someone to start doing drugs. I really, really don’t. There is no upside to drugs. Literally everything is downhill. Who cares about the high if the low is that low?

Who Would I Be?:

I don’t want to be anyone from this book. I know that’s cheating, but hey, I make the rules here. It would be so hard to deal with addiction or live with someone who was living with addiction. I wouldn’t want to have to know what it feels like to be completely consumed by a drug. No way.

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Review: Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent #1.5) – Veronica Roth


Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent #1.5) – Veronica Roth

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Title: Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene (Divergent #1.5)

Author: Veronica Roth

Release Date: April 23, 2012

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: eBook

Page Number: 15

Source: Nook Store

#1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth retells a pivotal Divergent scene (chapter 13) from Tobias’s point of view. This thirteen-page scene reveals unknown facts and fascinating details about Four’s character, his past, his own initiation, and his thoughts about new Dauntless initiate Tris Prior.

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Al mouths off a little to Eric in the training room and is told to go stand in front of the target while Tobias throws knives at him. He freaks out a little, so Triss takes his spot in front of the target. This story goes through Tobias’s thinking behind everything that goes on in that scene. This novella was supposed to be 45 pages, but 30 were the first pages of Divergent and 15 were the actual novella. I guess it makes sense because the actual knife-throwing scene was really short, but I thought it would be longer. I love Divergent, but I would have liked this book more if I’d read it before reading Allegiant. I already knew how Tobias spoke and thought. This was one of my favorite scenes from Divergent, though, so it was cool from a different perspective.

Characters:

Again, this was just the same scene from Divergent, but from Four’s perspective. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away. Reading from his perspective did make me want to re-read Divergent, though. Divergent and Insurgent, Allegiant can just go die far away from me.

Who Would I Be?;

I’d want to be Al or Christina to see this from yet another perspective. I think that would be kind of cool since we’ve seen both Tris’s and Four’s perspectives.

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Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 498

Source: Bestie

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Charlotte’s position as the leader of the London Institute has been challenged by the family who wants to take it over: The Lightwoods. In order to keep the Institute run by Charlotte and Henry, the residents of the London Institute must find the Magister. They have one fortnight to find out who he is, why he wants to hurt everyone, and catch him. Jem, Tessa, and Will head out in search of answers and find Will’s family. They’re in danger of the clockwork beasts the Magister has created; all of them need to get more information quickly so no one else is put in danger. Meanwhile, Jem has started to fall for Tessa, and Will is just pushing her further away. Tessa doesn’t know who to choose. She loves them both, but for different reasons. Tessa continues following and helping the Shadowhunter clan because she needs to find out what she is. If she’s a warlock, why doesn’t she have warlock marks? She needs to know, and the only person who actually knows is the Magister.

No. No. This book is not okay. I love this series and Cassandra Clare and everything in these books. This is probably the best book I’ve read this year and everyone needs to read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Gah! Jem and Tessa. Will and Tessa. Charlotte and Henry. I love this book so much. The setting is beautiful. The characters are perfectly flawed. The whole concept is just mind-blowing. Thank you, Cassandra Clare for gifting our Mundane world with your beautiful writing.

Characters:

I love them all. Every single one. Especially Jem and Will. I just want them both to be with Tessa because they’d both make amazing husbands for her. I’m kind of partial to the whole Herondale family, though. Oh my gosh. The scene where Will is talking to Tessa in the study room. Oh man. So many feels. But the way Jem talks to her is just perfect. I jut want to marry him. Okay, not for real, but he’s so sweet. The characters you’re supposed to hate are really easy to hate and the characters that you love just pull at the heartstrings. Really though, Magnus Bane is still one of my all time favorite characters. He’s so sassy and perfect. Much love.

Who Would I Be?:

Tessa. Tessa. Tessa. Who wouldn’t want two beautiful boys swooning over you? Well, actually I don’t think I’d be able to break one of their hearts. I just love them both. She loves them both. It’s destined to be. I don’t know how I would cope with the immortality thing, but I’d probably just go and be besties with Magnus.

Series:

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

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