Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Summoning

Wow. All I can say is: wow.

Okay, I can say more. But I was practically speechless when I finished this thrilling, exciting, out-of-my-mind suspenseful book!

This is Kelley Armstrong’s first foray into the wonderful world of young adult fiction. She is a best-selling author of an adult series (I guess some of which take place in the same world as this killer, so I think I’ll be checking them out sooner than later).

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Saunders is a relatable, sweet, sort of ordinary girl – often mistaken for much younger (I can relate). She’s not hated or loved by her peers. She’s not popular, but she’s not really unpopular either. But when an event that she has waited a long time to happen does happen at school – things start to happen. She’s never been that fond of the dark in the first place, especially after a nightmare that might be more truth than dream, but when an unfamiliar janitor starts running after her down the school halls, his face turning into a melting, waxy looking horror movie – well, she’s lost her mind.

Or has she?

That is the million-dollar question in the air when she is sent to Lyle House, a place of healing for disturbed teens. Because there are more mysteries than therapy going on. And some people seem to think that she’s seeing ghosts instead of hallucinations.

And that is how this frakktastic books gets in gear in a MAJOR way. To be honest, I think it’s in gear from the first sentence.

INSANELY good, spooky, suspenseful, and spectacular! Plus there’s this whole thing about me thinking there’s an epic romance going on in it – that maybe isn’t real obvious yet but my heart is depending upon and I think would be awesome.

To say that The Summoning is hugely entertaining is simply not enough. I don't know if there ARE enough words to describe it, but I'll try. Creepy. Thrilling. Suspenseful (did I say that already? Oops!). Creative. Unique. Exciting. Twisty. Shocking. Fun. Action-packed. Supernatural. Awesome (it deserves to be used twice, I promise!). Hmm. Still not enough! Get it? I LOVED this book!!! The execution of the characters, plot, and overall package is PERFECT!

When I’m excited, my writing skill diminish by about 100% in case you’ve noticed.

Plain and simple, THANK YOU Kelley Armstrong!!! I just can’t WAIT for the next one (it is a planned trilogy). It’ll be a long wait! In the meantime, I plan on rereading. And rereading. And … well, you get my point.

I implore anyone who read this to check it out in August when it hits the shelves. It is MORE than worth it!!!!!

The Humming of Numbers

As much as I hate to give any bad or lukewarm reviews, I started this blog with the idea in mind that I would review books as I read them (meaning whether it myself just reading something for pleasure, rereading, or even getting a book to review from a reader review program) – and honestly state my opinion of them.

Well, my honest opinion of The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel (who is a Washington resident, which is awesome!)… isn’t great. Actually, I didn’t even finish it.

I know! I know! I hate not finishing a book. But there is always that principle that there are SO many fantastic books (like the one I’ll be reviewing next) out there that to force yourself to keep turning the pages of a book you are finding pretty darn dull is a disservice to yourself and the industry.

Here’s the thing: Aiden is a monk in training in the 10th century. He lives a sheltered life with monks. I’ll admit the setting is rather off-putting. But the author is simply presenting the time period as it was. I guess I just didn’t find it the most entertaining or interesting of locations.

Aiden can hear the “humming of numbers”. A sort of energy scale that every living creature, plant, etc. gives off. He meets a girl named Lana who gives off the highest number he’s ever heard from a human: an eleven.

This, I thought, would be an appealing, subtle fantasy that would maybe have poetic wording or something. But it didn’t really turn out that way – for me, at least. I got to page 88 before setting it aside, and up to that point I really had expected Lana’s eleven to show itself in some way. But she didn’t seem extraordinary in any way to me. There were no hints of special powers or knowledge or even just an extreme humanity or something. Nothing.

And even by the time the Vikings attack (around the time I stopped reading) – I just didn’t care. I didn’t care enough about the characters to care. They fell flat.

BUT – I don’t want to bash the author or the book, really. If it sounded like something you’d be interested in before or after this review still read it!!! I hate it when people say, “Oh, I thought I’d like that but now that I’ve read your review I’ll just pass I guess.” Everybody has a different opinion! I mean, there are people out there who don’t even like Harry Potter (I know, crazy, right?! Lol).

I do intend on giving it another chance in the future. Maybe I’ll find out that it was just a weird mood I was in, or I was missing the entire point or something. Anyway, this was just my honest opinion of the book as I read it and why I put it down.
And if there’s a chance Joni Sensel reads this, I really do want to apologize if I sound too harsh. As someone who wants to write myself – I certainly do not want to bash your work. I think it simply comes down to the book maybe not being my particular cup of tea.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Princess Diaries

I firmly believe that older books are just as important to blog about as newer ones. There is always going to be someone who missed the boat the first time around. That's why, after reading Meg Cabot's first in the bestselling series for the fourth time (yes, you read that right) - I decided to put it on here.

I was one of those stuck up girls (not Lana, no worries - maybe a little Lilly) that saw the cover (at the time it was bright pink with a sparkly tiara) and scoffed. I didn't want to read a book that had "Princess" or "Diaires" in the title. Thing is, I loved the Mediator series by a certain Jenny Carroll, and when I realized Jenny Carroll and Meg Cabot were one and the same - I had to read it. And if you are one of those people that didn't read it because of the cover, title, etc. - THINK AGAIN!

Hilarious (I mean, laugh-out-loud funny) and extremely entertaining, The Princess Diaries is the type of book you devour in less than a day because it just so much fun.

Mia is a relatable girl. She's unhappy with her appearance, likes a guy that doesn't know she exists, and maybe a bit of a wallflower (at least at first) but when she gets the news that she's a princess (I'm assuming that everyone knows this twist, which makes it no longer a spoiler) everything changes. From her twenty-five pound cat Fat Louie (I am the proud kitty caretaker of two fluffy twenty-five pounders myself - and a teeny ten pound model kitty), to her bossy and outgoing best friend - every detail of Mia's life is clearly defined and enjoyable. It's realistic, with a fantastical twist.

I'm actually rereading the whole series all over again - and I just have to recommend it to anyone who thought they wouldn't be into it or it sounds cheesy - I WAS YOU! If you have ANY sense of humor, The Princess Diaries (and every book in the series thereafter) will become one of your favorites!