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book reviews for the thrifty soul

Archive for the category “Rachel’s reviews”

Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter

Goddess Interrupted releases tomorrow, and Rachel and Emmy discuss it with each other and tell why you should go BUY IT!

*SPOILER FREE!*

Rachel: Goddess Interrupted was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year, and that comes with certain expectations. And with a whole year to brood on those expectations, they can get rather high…. Sometimes books don’t always live up. GI was not one of those. This book was everything I wanted and absolutely more.

Emmy: I mean, we have more of all the characters we love *coughHenrycough* and I absolutely adored the way Carter characterized all the gods this time around.  It goes way deeper into their theogony (the birth of the gods) which I think made me connect better to Walter and Ava and even Calliope. And of course, we’re introduced to Persephone, who added a whole new layer to the angst between Henry and Kate! Read more…

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Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Rating: SKIP IT

This book, unfortunately, had two significant issues. Let’s talk about the easy one first:

Mismarketing.

Take a look at this description:

Kendra Hilferty is a witch. Yes, a witch–and she has been for hundreds of years. She might be known for the inventive curse she put on one beastly teen guy, but there is more to her story. Here, she chronicles her immortal existence, from first discovery of her powers. While always good intentioned, Kendra has found that her bewitching can backfire, and her magic turns versions of The Princess and the Pea and The Little Mermaid–set against the real-world backdrops of Versailles and the sinking of the Titanic–on their heads. Kendra’s reminiscences of her past are wrapped around a real-time Cinderella story in which she is trying to play fairy godmother… to the stepsister. With dark twists, hilarious turns, and unexpected endings, Bewitching is a contemporary read for fairy-tale lovers, fantasy fans, and anyone looking for more Alex Flinn.

What’s this? A book all about a kickass witch? Awesome!

…..wrong. Read more…

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows


Rating: BUY IT!

Incarnate was one of those books that I was honestly terrified to start, because I had heard so many fantastic things about it. I was afraid that it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations.

I was wrong.

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies–human and creature alike–let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all? Read more…

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Rating: BUY IT!

Cinder is everything you could ever want from a post-war apocalyptic/dystopian futuristic sci-fi fairytale retelling.

I have to admit, I fell in love with this book from the instant I heard about the premise. I love fairy tales and their rewrites, so that was already a selling point.  But when I found out that this Cinderella is a cyborg, and her best friend is an android? I’m pretty sure I had to be pulled off of the ceiling.

How on earth can all these different “genres” mesh together smoothly? Therein lies the true masterpiece of Cinder.  All the elements of the historic story are updated to match the futuristic setting while still retaining the essential nature of the tale.

The characters were easily the best part of Cinder.  Each one had a life of his or her own and was truly fascinating.  Cinder was far from her Disney counterpart: rather than cleaning around the house, Cinder is a genius mechanic.  And, not to knock the Disney version (even if not my favorite, I still squealed like a little girl when I got to take my picture with Cinderella at Disney World), but Cinder doesn’t need a fairy godmother to help her kick ass! Read more…

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Rating: BUY IT!

Most likely, you already know what you are going to think about this book. Have you read Cassandra Clare’s other books, especially Clockwork Angel, and loved them? Then you will love Clockwork Prince. Did you hate all her other books? Then why are you even considering buying it?

That said, my feelings about Clockwork Prince are strong, perhaps as strong as any I have felt in all of Cassie’s books (and if you’ve read them, you know there are a lot of feelings).

A warning here: If you have not read Clockwork Angel, you probably shouldn’t read this review. Also, get thee to a bookstore and buy it, read it, then come back to see what you missed.

Clockwork Angel left us with a lot of questions: Where is Mortmain and how does he have this knowledge and power? What is Tessa? And the biggest question of all: What on earth is happening with Will?

Okay, I’m a little biased on that last question.

In Clockwork Prince, we finally get some answers, and then we get a few more questions. Read more…

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge takes place in the nation of Ludania, which is fairly clearly a post-fall-of-modern-society country, but aside from that remains essentially timeless. The society is divided into a traditional caste system, but the castes are kept entirely distinct by language – each caste has its own language, and to acknowledge the language of a higher caste than your own can be deadly. The story centers around Charlie, a girl in the merchant class, who has a secret: she can understand all languages.

The first half of The Pledge focuses on building the world and characters, with the biggest issue being Charlie’s struggles to hide her secret talent.  Although I enjoyed getting to know the characters (the relationship between Charlie and her little sister being one of my favorites), the first half felt a bit slow, with some fairly obvious hints at the plot to come, but no actual advancement.

In the second half, however, we are met with bursts of action and revelations. Although the action sequences were dramatic and invigorating, sometimes it felt like the overall plot could have used a bit more drive. In addition, many of these plot twists and revealed secrets were somewhat predictable. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t still enjoy those twists nonetheless. Read more…

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I’m going to preface this review by saying this is 100% a BUY IT! book.

“But Rachel,” you might say. “I thought you were trying to help us save money! All you’re doing is telling us to go buy lots of books!”

Yes, dear reader, this is true.

We have only just begun, so we’re currently reviewing books that we’ve read within the past year and want to talk about. And let’s face it – the books that stick with us are the ones we loved loved loved!

But never fear…as books continue to be released, a greater variety of reviews shall come (and remember, just because we say to BUY IT! doesn’t mean you can’t decide that a book isn’t for you or you’re a-okay with getting it from the library).

And now….ONWARDS TO THE REVIEW!

When I first heard about Girl of Fire and Thorns, I was so excited. I love finding great fantasy worlds in YA books, and Girl of Fire and Thorns did not disappoint. The world Rae Carson built was absolutely incredible. Beyond just the physical aspects of the world, Rae did a fantastic job of creating an entire culture. A lot of the culture was based around Spanish themes, but not so much so that it felt like the book was just stealing from our world to make its own. Read more…

The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter

OHMIGOD!

No, really.  Besides BUY IT RIGHT NOW is all Rachel and I can think to say.  We really really really like this book.  Maybe it’s the mythology side of things or Aimée’s cool heroine or having a hero that is a total badass (and hot and sexy and Iwannamarryhimrightnow(dibs)).

Whatever it is, Aimée’s got it going on.

The Goddess Test is the start of the trilogy (and we can’t wait for the rest of it!).  It’s character driven–but not excessively so.  We spent the whole read desperately wanting to hang out with Henry (and just plain wanting him).  Well, Henry and hoping Kate’s mom never dies.

The story’s heavy on the relationships between the characters which helps generate conflict (high school mythological drama? check!), keep the reader engaged and move the plot forward.  And what a plot…

Neither of us could put the book down after starting it – you know those books you read in a day, even when you have a bunch of other stuff you should be doing? This is one of those books. The plot is equal parts romance, adventure, mystery, and challenge that keeps you on your toes.

Not to mention the guessing. Guessing what will happen, guessing what the tests are, and the best part of all, guessing which character corresponds to which Greek god! Read more…

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