Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book #9: Boundless

Title: Boundless (Book #3 in the Unearthly trilogy)

Author: Cynthia Hand

Date started reading: Jan. 30, 2013
Date finished reading:  Feb. 1, 2013

Publish date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-0061996207
Number of pages: 448

Official summary: "The past few years held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner ever could have anticipated. Yet through the dizzying high of first love to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she could no longer deny was that she was never meant to have a normal life. Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her ... even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seemed like the best option, so she’s headed back to California — and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place. As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. ... With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal. In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must choose her fate once and for all." (http://www.cynthiahandbooks.com)

Official book trailer:

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $15.29 from Walmart using a giftcard I got for Christmas

My spoiler-filled commentary:
  •  I'm sad to see this series end. I knew it was just going to be a trilogy from the beginning, but I think it could've lasted another book or two.
  • Angela getting pregnant by a "gray angel" ... TOTALLY didn't expect that. It's weird to think that her "purpose" in life was to give birth to a baby that was 3/4 angel. I got a little angry at the author for having Angela tell everyone at the college that the father was a boy at the school instead of being honest because I think that sends a bad message to the mostly-teenager audience, but I guess I understand why she did it. Angela was afraid to let anyone know that a full-blooded angel was the father. 
  • I'm pissed that in the end, Clara ends up with Tucker instead of Christian. I know Tucker was the "love of her life" from the beginning of the series, but he was just human, and Christian was part of Clara's "life purpose." Clara and Christian were soulmates, and he loved her completely, and ultimately Clara chooses Tucker. Of course, like I've said before, I don't get why the authors of supernatural books always feel the need to make humans into something else; Clara saving Tucker's life when he got killed by an angel-blood turns him into some sort of prophet of the Lord which allows them to be together. Annoying...
  • I love how the author mentions the "Vampire Academy" book series and the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series in this book. Of course, VA's author Richelle Mead has been quoted on the back cover of the Unearthly series all along, so I bet Cynthia Hand was just trying to work her friend's book series into hers somehow.
  • I was bothered by the fact that Clara went to a college party and the kids were watching "That 70s Show," and somehow the author says "That Seventies Show" instead. I know that's not a big deal in the long run, but the copy editor in me is screaming at the fact that the mistake made it into the book.
  • I normally try to make sure when I buy a book series that the covers are all matching. I don't know if other people think about stuff like that or not, but I do. This one's going to bug me. Of the trilogy I have, the first book is a paperback. The second is a hardback, but I bought it as-is at a used book store and it's missing the dust cover, and this one is a hardback with the dust cover because I bought it new. Three books, totally mismatched. I guess I just gotta deal with that.

Memorable quotes:
  • "I can't spend my entire life being afraid of the black-winged bogeyman. I have to live my life." ~ Clara
  • "Sometimes it's difficult to be the bearer of a sword." ~ Michael
  • "I blame God. If there even is such a thing. Sometimes I feel like we're all chumps, doing stuff from these visions just because somebody told us to, in the name of a deity we've never even met. Maybe the visions have nothing to do with God, and we're just seeing the future. Maybe we're all just perpetuating the myth." ~ Jeffrey
  • "If we can send one man to the moon, why can't we send them all there?" ~ Angela
  • "Sanity is overrated." ~ Clara
  • "Love is a many-splendored thing. But it is also a pain in the ass." ~ Clara's mom
  • "Angels can be a pain in the ass." ~ Clara
  • "I love you. Can you feel that? You. Not some destiny I think I'm called to. You. I'm with you. My strength. My soul. My heart. Feel it." ~ Christian to Clara
  • "You're my glory swoard, you know that? My truth." ~ Christian to Clara

Buy on Amazon.com: Boundless (Unearthly)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book #8: Beautiful Redemption

Title: Beautiful Redemption (Book #4 in the Beautiful Creatures series)

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Date started reading: Jan. 28, 2013
Date finished reading:  Jan. 30, 2013

Publish date: October 2012
ISBN: 978-0316123532
Number of pages: 464

Official summary: "Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves. Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect. Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series." (http://www.kamigarcia.com)

Book trailer:


How I obtained the book: Got as a Christmas present

My spoilery commentary:
  •  This may be an unpopular opinion, but I frankly wish this serious would've ended with the third book. This book seemed desperate. It's like the authors wanted so bad to create a happy ending for Ethan and Lena that they wrote a book that didn't need to be written. The third book ended with Ethan saving the world; yes, he died, but he died to make things right with the world. It would've been a very bittersweet ending to the series, but it would've been better than having this book that was just ridiculous/goofy. Ethan fighting his way out of his afterlife to go back to being alive, mainly so Lena wouldn't have to live alone, was stupid. Plus in the end it wasn't even a truly happy ending because as soon as Ethan comes back to life Amma dies. Just... plain.... stupid.

Memorable quotes:
  • "Life without Ethan was something worse than a nightmare. It was real. So real that I refused to believe it." ~ Lena
  • "Ethan thought he was doing the right thing. ... He saved the world, but he shattered mine." ~ Lena
  • "I'd never really thought past the whole dying-for-the-sake-of-the-world part of things. When you're alive, you don't dwell on how you're going to spend your time once you're dead. You just figure you're gone, and the rest will pretty much take care of itself. Or you think you're not really going to die. You're not going to be the first person in the history of the world who doesn't have to. Maybe that's some kind of lie our brains tell us to keep us from going crazy while we're alive." ~ Ethan
  • "Funny how history repeated itself around here. Funnier still how I was about the last past in Gatlin to figure that out." ~ Ethan
  • "What's done is done. There's no cheating death any more than you can cheat 'The Book of Moons.' Someone always has to pay the price." ~ Genevieve
  • "There's no merit badge for grave diggin'. Not in Gatlin's pack meetin's." ~ Link
  • "There are things worse than death, Ethan. Things that are darker than the Dark Casters." ~ Obidias
  • "Birds made me nervous. They were like old ladies but with sharper beaks." ~ Ethan
  • "I'm tied of seeing everything. It was easier back when I didn't know anything. I barely even knew I was alive." ~ Ethan
  • "It was like waking up in the middle of a game of 'Dungeons & Dragons'." ~ Ethan about the Otherworld
  • "One thing about former Incubuses: They really appreciate Mortal food." ~ Lena
  • "I always say it's not a party until something catches fire." ~ Abraham
  • "Screw all the Incubus crap. That's how you do it Mortal-style." ~ Link after killing Abraham
  • "Why should we be forced to record history when we can be the ones who make it!" ~ Angelus
  • "There is no reason to have power if you are left with no one to torment and control." ~ Xavier
  • "Ethan. You are a strong Mortal. You have more life in you than any dead man I've met." ~ Xavier
  • "I love her beyond the universe and back. I love her from this world to the next." ~ Ethan about Lena
  • "Karma's a bitch, wouldn't you say, Mortal Boy?" ~ Sarafine to Ethan
  • "I guess that's the thing about a hero's journey. You might not start out a hero, and you might not even come back that way. But you change, which is the same as everything changing. The journey changes you, whether or not you know it, and whether or not you want it to. I had changed." ~ Ethan
  • "Link was so full of crap, he could pass for a toilet." ~ Ethan
  • "Maybe there isn't a meaning to life. Maybe there's only a meaning to living." ~ Ethan

Buy on Amazon.com: Beautiful Redemption (Beautiful Creatures)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book #7: Beautiful Chaos

Title: Beautiful Chaos (Book #3 in the Beautiful Creatures series)

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Date started reading: Jan. 24, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 28, 2013

Publish date: October 2011
ISBN: 978-0316123525
Number of pages: 528

Official summary: "Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin? For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask. Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending." (http://www.kamigarcia.com)

How I obtained the book: Got as a Christmas present

My spoilery commentary:
  • "Beautiful Chaos" was definitely the perfect title for this book. Because Lena had chosen to be neither light nor dark, the world is in utter chaos. It sort of annoyed me when the prophecy that someone who is "one but two" would have be sacrificed to put the world back in order that I knew instantly it meant Ethan. He had been having dreams/visions where he sees another version of himself. I wasn't sure why he was seeing another version of himself until it was revealed that his soul had split in two when Lena had brought him back to life in the first book, but I knew that there was "two" of him somehow. The authors tried to throw the reader off by saying that the sacrifice could be Lena or John or Liv or Link or someone else, but I always knew it was Ethan.
  • It was fun to have Ridley be human again after her Caster powers were stripped in the second book, but I knew it wouldn't last. I hoped she would stay human.
  • Having Macon come back to life, not as an Incubus like he was before but as a Light Caster, was also interesting. It suddenly added a whole new depth to his character. Plus, it just made him seem more human. 

Memorable quotes:
  • "In Gatlin, it's funny how the good things are all tied up with the bad. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which." ~ Ethan
  • "I needed to believe that sometimes a nightmare was just a nightmare." ~ Ethan
  • "Just because I'm a disgusting Mortal doesn't mean I have to dress like one." ~ Ridley
  • "Your powers have never been predictable." ~ Ethan
    "Spontaneous combustion is a little more than unpredictable." ~ Lena
  • "Hunger is such an incredible inconvenience." ~ Macon
  • "I don't think I could ever love anything the way I love you." ~ Lena to Ethan
  • "Fate is a wheel that turns without our hand." ~ Bokor
    "Don't try to sell me the silver linin' from a cloud as black as your soul." ~ Amma
  • "If you tamper with the Wheel a Fate, it will continue to turn until it crushes you in its path." ~ Bokor
  • "I had always hoped things would change in my town, until they started changing. Now I wanted Gatlin to go back to the boring town I'd known all my life." ~ Ethan
  • "Evil doesn't always have one face, Ethan." ~ Ethan's mom
    "Yes, it does. We're talking about Light and Dark. Things don't get any more black and white than that." ~ Ethan
  • "Sorry to disappoint you. He's not evil. He's just a jerk. Sometimes it's a fine line." ~ Reece about John
  • "The problem with having actual evil in your life is that regular, everyday evil -- administrators giving you detention, the textbook evil that makes up most of high school existence -- starts to feel less terrifying. Unless it's your father dating your glass-eyed English teacher." ~ Ethan
  • "I wanted to find a place to hide from all of it, where the nightmares and the rivers and reality couldn't find me. For me, that place was always inside a book." ~ Ethan
  • "Light and Dark are two sides of the same coin." ~ Abraham
  • "Getting answers out of Amma was like pulling teeth, if the teeth belonged to a gator." ~ Ethan
  • "In Light there is Darkness, and in Darkness there is Light." ~ Macon
  • "My life has never been about what I wanted. My choices were made for me. I tried so hard to fight the Darkness, but I wasn't strong enough." ~ Sarafine
  • "Only Aunt Prue would need a bouncer for her funeral." ~ Ethan
  • "No wonder Incubuses keep showing up in your room. You sleep like the dead." ~ John to Ethan
  • "When I first met you, that's what I remember. I looked up at the sky and thought, 'I'm going to love this person because even the sky looks different.'" ~ Lena to Ethan
  • "Life is really, really short." ~ Ethan
  • "Damn, Wate. You sure have a creepy family, for a MOrtal." ~ John to Ethan
  • "You Mortals are even more screwed up than Supernaturals." ~ John to Ethan

Buy on Amazon.com: Beautiful Chaos (Beautiful Creatures)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book #6: Beautiful Darkness

Title: Beautiful Darkness (Book #2 in the Beautiful Creatures series)

Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Date started reading: Jan. 21, 2013
Date finished reading:  Jan. 24, 2013

Publish date: October 2010
ISBN: 978-0316077057
Number of pages: 512

Official summary: "Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems." (http://www.kamigarcia.com)

Official book trailers:

How I obtained the book: Got as a Christmas present

My spoiler-filled commentary:
  •  I don't understand supernatural-themed books sometimes. It's like the authors are determined to make every human into something supernatural. Ethan was merely human, but then it turns out he is a "wayward." Link was a human, then gets bitten by an incubus and turns into an incubus himself. Marian, Liv, and Link's mom all turn out to be Keepers. Aunt Prue turns out to know all sorts of things about the Caster world and has mapped out the Caster tunnels. And so on... No one can ever be truly human, or stay human if they start out that way.
  • When I got to the chapter titled "Wayward Soul," I had this moment that my mind suddenly flashed to the show "Supernatural" because its theme song is "Carry on my Wayward Son." It took me a while to recover from my "Supernatural" feelings and be able to get back into this book. Stupid fandoms crossing over into each other...
  • I was happy that the series introduced Liv as a secondary love interest for Ethan. Frankly, throughout the book, I actually thought she was better for Ethan than Lena, and not just because Liv is a human Keeper. Liv and Ethan just fit together better. Also, incubus John comes into the picture as a love interest for Lena, and once again I felt that was a better match. But in the end, Ethan and Lena had to go back to each other... of course.
  • In the first book, Lena somehow was able to block out her 16th moon and delay her claiming. In this book, she claims herself as neither light nor dark. That was such a cop-out for the authors in my opinion. I know it sets things up for the rest of the series, but it would've been better to have her either go light or dark and see what happened from there.

Memorable quotes:
  • "Around here, our traditions were so traditional it was hard to put a finger on them. They were woven into everything we did or, more often, didn't do." ~ Ethan
  • "This town owned us, that was the good and the bad of it. It knew every inch of us, every sin, every secret, every scab. Which was why most people never bothered to leave, and why the ones who did never came back." ~ Ethan
  • "The second I fell in love with a Caster girl, no one I loved was safe. Lena thought she was the only one cursed, but she was wrong. It was our curse now." ~ Ethan
  • "Funerals were tricky like that. And life, I guess. The important parts you blocked out altogether, but the random, slanted moments haunted you, replaying over and over in your mind." ~ Ethan
  • "I wasn't an expert on feelings, but Amma's were all stirred up in cake batter, and she wasn't about to share them. She'd rather give away the cake." ~ Ethan
  • "All (Lena) had wanted, her whole life, was to choose her own destiny. Now she could, and it was like some kind of cruel cosmic joke." ~ Ethan
  • "I had just about cornered the market on miserable. I was worse than miserable, lower than a flattened sloppy joe left behind on a lunchroom tray. I was alone." ~ Ethan
  • "The Mortal part of our town was just as confusing as the Caster one." ~ Ethan
  • "Ridley was like a beautiful snake -- you couldn't let her get close without the risk of being bitten." ~ Ethan
  • "Think you're the only one who can find somethin'? Don't need to be a Caster to see what you fools are up to." ~ Amma to Ethan and Liv
  • "Time passed slowly in Gatlin, kind of like dog years, only in reverse." ~ Ethan
  • "My mom was Juliet in some kind of twisted play where Romeo was an Incubus, even if it was Macon." ~ Ethan
  • "Never underestimate the power of the British accent." ~ Liv
  • "Ladies first." ~ Ethan
    "Why is it men only say that when it's something horrible or dangerous?" ~ Liv
  • "I owed my life to (Lena), but I didn't feel happy. All I felt was brokeness. The fear of dirt and nothingness and being alone. The loss of my mom and Macon and, in a way, Lena. And something else. The crippling sadness and the incredible guilt of being the one who lived." ~ Ethan
  • "Ya'll are gonna find that gold-eyed Lena Du-channes. Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds himself a nut." ~ Aunt Prue
  • "Maybe Ridley was like chicken pox; you could only catch it once." ~ Ethan
  • "Think of me as the praying mantis of the supernatural world." ~ Leah
  • "There was no one color that could paint Lena Duchannes. She was a red sweater and a blue sky, a gray wind and a silver sparrow, a black curl escaping from behind her ear." ~ Ethan

Buy on Amazon.com: Beautiful Darkness (Beautiful Creatures)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book #5: Gates of Paradise

Title: Gates of Paradise (Seventh and final book in the Blue Bloods series)

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Date started reading: Jan. 19, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 20, 2013

Publish date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1423157410
Number of pages: 368

Official summary: "Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael — Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven. Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties? Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission. Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice — the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not? The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love." (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

Official book trailer:

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $14.44 from Walmart using a gift card I got for my birthday

My non-spoiler commentary:
  •  I had been really pissed off when the author announced "Wolf Pact" would only be an eBook in the USA, but then I decided that was ok once I got a print copy sent to me from the UK. Now I'm pissed about the entire situation again. There were many fans angry because they either don't have an eReader or are purists who only want to read "real" print books or fit in both categories, like me. The author told all the angry fans that it wasn't important to read "Wolf Pact" in order to understand "Gates of Paradise." I TOTALLY disagree. "Gates" only briefly explained Bliss' journey to gather the hellhounds. Without reading "Wolf Pact," I don't think fans will fully grasp that side of the storyline. I've read several bad reviews for "Gates," and those people seem to be the ones who either don't like Bliss or didn't read "Wolf Pact" or both. 
  • I'm fairly happy with this book and how the series ended. I'm not sure I could've came up with a better way to end it. I am sad that the series is over, but I'm really glad to finally have closure on a lot of the various storylines.
My spoiler-filled commentary:
  • I'm glad to finally how exactly Gabrielle (Schuyler's mom) had a child with Lucifer. That had been mentioned since I think the third book, but it was never explained. During the 1400s, Gabrielle's reincarnation had been tricked and was confused as to who her "mate" was. She ended up believing that a man who was actually Lucifer was Michael. She slept with Lucifer once and ended up pregnant. Michael made her forget the pregnancy and the baby. The baby ended up being Bliss. It's a relief that the author took the time to finally tell the story of Gabrielle and Lucifer's hookup so I could understand Bliss' existence.
  • Bliss becoming one of the wolf pack and becoming a wolf herself was a little odd, but because I had read "Wolf Pact," I understood why that was. It had to do with the side of her that came from Lucifer. I sort of feel sorry for Bliss overall. She started her life thinking she was just human, then found out that she was a vampire/fallen angel, then found out that she was Lucifer's daughter and his spirit was living within her body, then she killed the part of her that Lucifer was in and became a human, and then ended up as a wolf. She had the biggest transformation of all in the series... obviously. I think she has the most intellectual/emotional strength of anyone else in the series.
  • Mimi and Jack have to pretend to be on Lucifer's side in order to take them down. They were pretty much caught. It makes sense that no one would trust them because, well, they shouldn't have been trust. Mimi faced off with Kingsley more than once, and she was supposed to kill him, when she was still in love with him. After the defeat of Lucifer, Mimi and Kingsley get "bonded." I expected them to get married, but they did the bonding in hell and were going to rule hell together. That I did not expect.
  • Jack was supposed to kill Schuyler and was fairly convincing that he had went back to his evil ways. He even drank blood from her in the last minutes before Lucifer was attacked, but it was what had to be done to open the gate to Heaven. Jack was killed.... or at least it appeared that he died. Schuyler finds him a few years later when she goes off to college. After he died, Heaven gave him a chance to come back to earth and live out his life or stay in Heaven. He chose earth and Schuyler, but it took a long time for him to find her.
  • Schuyler discovered that her human father had another fully human daughter. The father was dead, but Schuyler was able to meet her grandmother and her half-sister. Oliver instantly falls for the sister. After the great battle, Oliver asks Heaven to turn him into a vampire and he ends up together with Schuyler's sister. I don't quite understand why he'd choose to become a vampire.
  • Michael and Gabrielle returned to Heaven as angels, along with many of the other vampires. Some vampires chose to stay on earth to live out their immortal lives. After Lucifer was defeated and the gate to Heaven was opened, Schuyler was able to meet the spirit of her father, which was bittersweet.
  • There was some confusion in the end because the legend said that Schuyler would lead the fallen angels through the Gate to Paradise through the blood of her father. Somehow it ended up that it meant that Michael's blood (and sword) was what she needed, not her actual father. What the hell was up with that? That's the one thing I'm really confused on.

Memorable quotes:
  • "You look beautiful and tragic, just the way a heroine should on the eve of battle. Like Joan of Arc in her silver armor." ~ Oliver to Schuyler
  • "Divorce lawyers had nothing on Lucifer." ~ Mimi
  • "Mimi and Jack were only just friends now, with a deep and abiding affection between them. They would always share their past, but their future together was unknown. She still loved him, she would always love him, but it was the kind of love that was muted, safely seen through the rearview window, like a place you used to call home but no longer visited. There would always be a wound there, but the healing had begun."
  • "You only live once." ~ Oliver
    "Not if you're a vampire." ~ Schuyler
    "Point taken." ~ Oliver
  • "The difficulty with being Abbadon and Azrael was that it was easier to do things well than to do them poorly." ~ Mimi
  • "The work of the Dark Angels was never done." ~ Mimi
  • "Schuyler Van Alen should never have been allowed to live Her life is a mockery of our glory. She is her mother's greatest mistake, and will prove to b her deepest sorrow. I will enjoy draining her life's blood and subsuming her spirit." ~ Lucifer
    "What a hypocrite, Mimi thought. To call Schuyler an Abomination when you yourself unleashed the half-demon Nephilim into our world. Silver Bloods mating with human women to create a half-mad race of demon children. And good luck with that plan to kill Gabrielle's daughter. I'll believe it when I see it. Schuyler Van Alen is nothing if not hard to get rid of."
  • "Evil was seductive and easy, and virtue was difficult and unappreciated." ~ Mimi
  • "Love never failed to get people in trouble." ~ Mimi
  • "You don't know anything about me, Schuyler, you never have. You've never understood what it means to be one of the Fallen." ~ Jack
  • "Appearances can be deceiving. You of all people should know that." ~ Kingsley to Mimi
  • "By falling in love with (Jack) she had doomed him. But even so, she could not regret their love." ~ Schuyler
  • "You were corrupted by your love. By giving in to your love, you let evil flourish in our world." ~ Gabrielle to Michael
  • "(Bliss) had been looking for a real home all her life, and finally discovered that home was in Lawson's arms."

Buy on Amazon.com: Gates of Paradise (A Blue Bloods Novel)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book #4: Ali's Pretty Little Lies

Title: Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Prequel to the Pretty Little Liars series)

Author: Sara Shepard

Date started reading: Jan. 17, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 18, 2013

Publish date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-0062233363
Number of pages: 304

Official summary: "Before there was A, there was Alison DiLaurentis. Boys wanted to date her, girls wanted to be her, and somebody wanted her dead. ... It's the end of seventh grade, and Alison DiLaurentis and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. Ali runs her clique with an iron fist, and she's got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer to keep them in line. But Ali's hiding a dark secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She's desperate to keep the perfect life she's worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences. ... Set in the weeks leading up to Ali's murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: Ali herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began ... and how Alison DiLaurentis's life ended." (http://harperteen.com)

How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $11.64 from Walmart using a gift card I got for Christmas

My commentary (warning some spoilers ahead):
  • Of course the very first thing I did, as I do with all the PLL books, was look inside the dust cover for the "secret message." I was sort of disappointed with this one. It says, "I'm Ali and I'm fabulous," which was basically Ali's life motto. It was too obvious of a message. I wish the author would've come up with something unexpected. (Note the photo below has some crazy color editing because the navy blue cover with silver text made for a really crappy photo, so I had to do some work to get the text to show up. Plus adding the flame effect seemed fitting because of the fire that happens in the main series.)

  • I'm a little shocked to be saying this, but this is by far the best book I've read by Sara Shepard ever... that includes all the PLL and The Lying Games books. I was surprised that it was actually written from Courtney's perspective, even though it's titled "Ali's Pretty Little Liars." It's Courtney as she's pretending to be Ali. I was sort of hoping to read about the real Ali's experiences in the mental hospital and stuff, but the book answered so so many questions about how the switch was made, about how Courtney was able to pull off being Ali for so long, and then about Courtney's murder. It left one really big shocker at the end... Ali had an accomplice helping her in the murder, which I don't think has ever been addressed in the main series. Maybe it's something that will come up as the series comes to and end.
  • My favorite aspect of the book was learning about why Courtney-as-Ali went from really sweet to her four best friends to being really obsessed about learning their secrets and using them against her. You start seeing her mental stability cracking as the girls lead their own lives and don't tell Courtney what's going on. Courtney is afraid that either they're realizing she's not really Ali or that she'll end up getting replaced by someone else as the girls' friend.

Memorable quotes (Note for the sake of clarity I refer to Courtney as Courtney instead of Ali, even though she's pretending to be Ali when she says most of this stuff):
  • "Sometimes, a family is like an ear of summer corn: It might look perfect on the outside, but when you peel the husk away, every kernel is rotten." ~ Courtney
  • "There was nothing in the world more powerful than a clique of girls who were honestly best friends -- not just frenemies." ~ Courtney
  • "Death is the most romantic gesture of all, don't you think? I mean, if you're willing to die for someone, that means you really love them." ~ Aria
    "Thanks, but I'd rather live and enjoy being in love." ~ Courtney
  • "Friendships were tit for tat." ~ Courtney
  • "(Courtney's) nastiness felt like a runaway train she couldn't stop if she tried. But she didn't exactly want to. Every time her friends squirmed, she felt like it restored just a teensy bit of her life source."
  • "I've done things you aren't capable of. I'm better at being you than you ever were." ~ Courtney
    "It's my life. You really think I'm going to have a hard time? I can even be friends with those stupid bitches, if that's what it takes. I can do this with my eyes closed." ~ Ali
  • "Watch where you store your secrets, 'Ali.' Anyone can open up a diary and find out all kinds of things." ~ Real Ali to Courtney

Buy on Amazon.com: Pretty Little Liars: Ali's Pretty Little Lies (Pretty Little Secrets)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book #3: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Date started reading: Jan. 12, 2013
Date finished reading: Jan. 17, 2013

Publish date: November 2012
ISBN: 978-0316231657
Number of pages: 592

Official summary: "Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything." (http://www.kamigarcia.com)

Official book trailer:

Official movie trailer:

How I obtained the book: Got through PaperBackSwap.com

My pre-reading commentary:  I'd like to claim that I am not reading this series just because the movie looks awesome, but I'd be lying. I have heard lots of good things about the books, so yes, I am interested in them, and I'll probably love them, but if it wasn't for seeing the awesome movie trailer a couple months ago, I would've never planned to read them.

My post-reading commentary:
  • I feel like the authors were way more wordy than they needed to be. I think the first 120 pages or so could've been written in 30 pages. They spend way too much time describing everything. I really didn't need 40 some pages explaining how living in a small town is. 
  • I really think this may be one of the few times when I like a movie that's based on a book better than the book itself because the movie will have to condense things a lot and won't have so much of the details I felt were unnecessary. 
  • In the end, I really think about a third of the pages could've been cut out and the story wouldn't have suffered one bit. Everything had too much detailed. The entire book overall was too wordy. The storyline was great, but the execution of it was a little lacking since there were parts that were a little too dry because they were bogged down by Ethan describing every detail of everything around him and of everything that happens. 
  • I am seriously looking forward to the movie now, even more than before I read the book. Judging by the trailers, they did a great job translating a magical world for the movie screen. 

Memorable quotes:
  •  "Gaitlin wasn't like the small towns you saw in the movies, unless it was a movie from about fifty years ago. ... Gaitlin wasn't a complicated place; Gaitlin was Gaitlin. ... There were no surprises in Gaitlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere." ~ Ethan
  • "It's funny how you can live somewhere your whole life, but not really see it." ~ Ethan
  • "Things were changing pretty quickly around here, for a town that never changed at all." ~ Ethan
  • "Teenagers -- everything is apocalyptic." ~ Marian
  • "To everyone else, school was prison. To Lena, it was freedom." ~ Ethan
  • "Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures." ~ Macon

Buy on Amazon.com: Beautiful Creatures

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book #2: Wolf Pact

Title: Wolf Pact

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Date started reading: Jan. 8, 2013
Date finished reading:  Jan. 9, 2013

Publish date: April 2012
ISBN: 978-1907410185
Number of pages: 304

Official summary: "Once enslaved in the darkest pits of the underworld, Lawson and his pack were destined to become Hounds of Hell. Escaping to Earth bought them a little time, but their old masters soon catch up with them and take away the one thing Lawson is desperate to keep hold of - the girl he loves. Now, Lawson needs to hunt the beasts he was running from if there's any chance of seeing her again. When Bliss, a mysterious ex-vampire, turns up on her own search for the Hounds it seems she might hold information that will help. But will she be able to trust this insolent, dangerously good-looking boy when she knows that he has a wolf's soul?" (http://melissa-delacruz.com)

How I obtained the book: Bought for $12.99 online. Since the book was only released as eBooks in the USA, I had to order the book from the UK, but luckily I wasn't charged for international shipping.

My commentary:
  • I'm still really pissed that the book wasn't published as a print book in the U.S. Just because the author missed her deadlines, the book was released only as eBooks. At least I could get it from the UK. 
  • I was somewhat worried this book would end up as bad as the other Blue Bloods spin-off books (the Witches of the East End books), but it was amazing. I was hooked only a few pages in. I had forgotten how amazing her writing could be because of how bad the Witches books were. 
  • I am so glad that Bliss got her own book. I had been missing her in the last couple Blue Bloods books. Even though I like the other characters in Blue Bloods, I love Bliss and the series was really lacking without her. I really hope when the final Blue Bloods book comes out this month that Bliss will have a decent part in it. 

Buy on Amazon.com: Wolf Pact. Melissa de La Cruz 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book #1: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Date started reading: Jan. 3, 2013
Date finished reading:  Jan. 7, 2013

Publish date: February 1999
ISBN: 978-0671027346
Number of pages: 213

Official summary: "standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. but there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. since its publication, stephen chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over a million copies in print, and inspired a major motion picture. the perks of being a wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up." http://books.simonandschuster.com/Perks-of-Being-a-Wallflower/Stephen-Chbosky/9781451696202

Movie trailer:

How I obtained the book: Received as a Christmas gift

Pre-reading commentary:
  • I had heard many good things about this book for a long time, but it never seemed to me like a book I'd enjoy. Then the movie came out, and I heard more good things about it. I ended up watching the movie one night out of boredom, and it did turn out to be something I liked, so I thought I'd read the book too. 

Post-reading commentary:
  •  I think the main reason I spend most of my time reading books about vampires, witches, fallen angels, etc. is because I want to escape into a reality with fictional demons instead of dealing with the demons that exist in the real world, especially those that exist in my own life. This book was one of the rare times when I have ventured into real demons (even though this is a work of fiction). This book covers sexual abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, child molestation, alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental health issues. I knew reading this would be hard, but I didn't expect the writing to be quite so well that it totally shattered my sanity for a couple days.... shattered in a good way, if that's even possible. 
  • I knew from watching the movie that Charlie was going to be depressed in the book and that he's a victim of molestation, even though he doesn't realize it. Somehow I didn't think about how hard it would be to read the book through the process of Charlie coming into terms with and actually remembering the abuse that he had blocked out. The book does an amazing job at portraying the mental/emotional process of going through that. Charlie talks about how his psychiatrist keeps asking him weird questions about his childhood that he doesn't quite understand, but later he remembers being molested by his aunt when he was younger and suddenly those questions make sense. Then Charlie has a breakdown and winds up in a mental hospital for a while. Yep, that's very similar to my own life. It's hard to read... even if I know this is a fictional account of it.
  • The structure of the book itself is pretty genius. Instead of chapters, the book is divided into four parts consisting of letters Charlie writes to some unknown "friend." It never really explains who this person is, and Charlie wants to remain anonymous to whomever he's sending his letters to. At first, I thought maybe he was writing letters to some fictional person but not ever mailing them, but the book does mention him actually mailing the letters several times, so I guess he really is supposedly writing to a specific person. Since it's narrated through these letters, you only know what Charlie wants the reader to know when he wants the reader to know it. It's very similar to picking up someone's journal and reading it because he does reveal some very intimate details of his life, but you don't always get to know everything that's happened. You're left to fill in the blanks yourself between what is revealed in the letters. 
  • I wonder what I would do if some anonymous person started sending me letters like this. I wonder if I would read them. I wonder if I would try to figure out who the writer was. I wonder what I would've done when the letters suddenly stopped coming when Charlie goes into the hospital for a couple months.
  • Because Charlie reveals things in fragments (and actually remembers the molestation in fragments), the book reminded me a lot of when I read "The Tracey Fragments" by Maureen Medved. Both books are so well at portraying a young mind with mental health issues that it's hard sometimes to remember that these books are fiction. They feel more raw and realistic than some of the memoirs I've read.

Memorable quotes:
  • "It's just that sometimes people use thought to note participate in life." ~ Bill
  • "Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve." ~ Bill
  • "Not everyone has a sob story, Charlie, and even if they do, it's no excuse." ~ Charlie's dad
  • "Old pictures look very rugged and young, and the people in the photographs always seem a lot happier than you are." ~ Charlie
  • "I don't know if you've ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That's why I'm trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning." ~ Charlie

Buy on Amazon.com: The Perks of Being a Wallflower