Where The Wolves Read

A blog where I review mostly books. I also review, if my appetite allows, movies, music, and video games. Enjoy the feast!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

SummaryHeaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

Review: Such a Rush is the first Jennifer Echols book I've read and it certainly won't be the last. The fun thing about this book for me is that it is set in South Carolina, and guess where I live? Yep. South Carolina. I don't have a lot of pride in SC, but it's always fun for me to read a book set here because I can visualize it better. I liked the characters well enough, but none of them stood out for me. That's probably the biggest problem I had with Such a Rush. Leah is a great main character and I enjoyed reading her, but I didn't relate to her until closer to the end. I loved the interaction Leah had with Mr. Hall, Grayson, and Alec. It's always interesting to see a family with different perspectives like that. Even though they were all part of the same family, they all had different things driving them. The story was neat. I wasn't sure how I would like it because I don't know much about planes (and by much I mean I don't know anything about planes), but the story wasn't a bunch of pilot speak. I remember seeing a lot of love for Such a Rush when it first came out, and I understand why. This is a really cute book. I can't wait to add more of Jennifer's books to my library.

4 howls

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Harken by Kaleb Nation

Summary: After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy reaching higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization desperately wants him dead. He doesn't know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed.

Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. Are there things that humanity is not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?

Review: I was super excited for Harken to be released, and it was worth it! Michael was an excellent character. My only big flaw with him is his attitude. He made statements like, "I'm never wrong" and similar ones too. That's all well and good, but it made him sound full of himself. If he said, "I haven't been wrong yet" or something similar, then I would have liked him more. He wasn't my favorite character, but I liked him well enough. I have a three-way tie for my favorite. Alli, Thad, and Callista. Their attitudes were superb. I smiled every time I saw them on the page. Of course, since I have three favorites, I'm expecting there to be a lot of hurt in the next book. Authors are mean like that. *glares at Kaleb*

The story was great! I was nervous/excited to see how Kaleb does in the YA genre, and I think he did a great job. The beginning of the story moved along very quickly which I loved. The fact that Michael's birthday was a big deal and only in a matter of days made the beginning of the story move fast. *I don't think this is a spoiler* That being said, it did seem like everyone was making a big deal out of Michael's birthday. When it actually happened, it seemed to be more of an afterthought. I was expecting something more dramatic to happen. I don't know how I feel about the priest swearing either. Don't get me wrong, Harken isn't laden with swear words, and what is in the book is done well. I've seen religious people swear, but I've never seen a priest/pastor do it though. That's the only thing that felt off to me while I read Harken. I think that's the only criticism I have of Harken. I absolutely recommend this book!

5 howls

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan

SummaryEvery day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Review: Every Day definitely took me by surprise. It shouldn't have. I've heard nothing but great things about this book, but it's only my second David Levithan book so I didn't know what to think. I liked A as a character. Sometimes he came across as selfish, but for the most part he handled his situation well. I greatly disliked Rhiannon. Her attitude was one of the worst things ever. I think the worst part was that she wasn't overly hostile about certain things, but her reaction in some parts of Every Day got to me. All of that being said, she might have been the most honest character in the entire book. I don't want to spoil anything, but reading Rhiannon made me respect David Levithan so much as a writer. I can't imagine it was easy to write her out the way he did, but he did an excellent job of showing Rhiannon's opinion. With a book like this, where so many characters are introduced, I don't have a "favorite". The character I related to the most was Kelsea. That's all I'm going to say.

I loved the story. Absolutely loved. The idea was unique, and it was done very well. What's funny is I had a bunch of questions about A that I figured would be answered somehow, and suddenly Rhiannon was asking all the questions I wanted answers to. I love when authors do that. To me, this story read like a "find your skin" kind of novel. Obviously, A didn't have his own skin as he kept switching, but it still felt like that kind of book. I liked how the different characters had variety. Single people, people in relationships, pretty people, not pretty people, happy people, and people with issues. This book was phenomenal. I definitely recommend it.

5 howls

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

SummaryAround the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review: Smoke and Bone is a book that I kept picking up and looking at, but the summary never grabbed me so I never bothered to buy it before. I finally grabbed it since it was out in paperback. Yes I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I liked Karou well enough. Sometimes she bothered me, but she was a strong character and I respected her a lot. Akiva was interesting. I liked him a little, but I didn't swoon for him. He has 2 more books to grow on me. I loved Brimstone and Issa. They are probably my favorite characters even though demons are rather gruesome. I loved the story. The story is set (mostly) in Prague. I didn't know how I would feel about that because I don't know anything about Prague. I've never had an urge to go to Prague. I can now say that I would love to travel there and try to experience Prague the way Karou has. I liked the way you could visualize the way Karou grew up. It helped you sympathize with her family. The end was sad. I expected it, but it was still hard to read.

4 howls

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Summary: Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Review: Inbetween was a great read! It's nice to discover a new book where the characters don't annoy you! I didn't have a problem with any of the characters, which is a rare thing. My favorite was Easton though. Don't ask me why, but from his first scene I knew he was going to be my favorite. Cash was a very close second too. Cash made me think of my best friend which is one of those nice things that makes a story more personal for the reader. Finn was cute. I want to see him in later books. I'm sure we will, but I'd like to see how things are holding up for him. I admire Emma a lot. She tried so hard to figure out why things were happening to her, and she fought against something she didn't understand. Some people would say that's foolish, but it was one of the qualities I liked most about her. We need to talk about Anaya too. She is a great character, and I can't wait to see more of her. I'm sure she has a backstory worth diving into. There's also, Scout. I hope we see him more in later books. I think he could prove himself a bit more. I liked him, but I think he needs to redeem himself some.

Am I done gushing over characters? I think so. Now, we shall talk about relationships. The obvious relationship is Emma and Finn. I know it's cliche' to say, but they were perfect for each other. I liked how Emma was curious enough to learn about Finn on her own, but he was still given the opportunity to tell her about his past. Emma's digging helped move the story along. Finn's willingness to open up about his past showed that he was honest. He had some moments where he kept things from Emma, but Anaya helped that along. I won't say any more than that. *zips lips*
Another relationship that I was 100% behind was Emma/Cash. I don't mean "relationship" like they were in one, but they had a friendship relationship. Did I mention that Cash made me think of my best friend? Yes? Good. I have gotten a lot of crap about why I wouldn't date my best friend, because he's a guy and blah blah blah. It was refreshing to read a M/F best friend relationship without having the obvious sexual tension there. Mega bonus points for that. Another thing I loved about Inbetween was the dual-narrative. I think this might be the first book I've ever read where I actually like the dual-narrative. I rolled my eyes when I saw POVs would be shifting between Emma and Finn, but I felt like this was one of Inbetween's strengths. You got to see the personal strengths of Emma and Finn, and you got to see how they both dealt with the effects of their actions.

One last thing, then I'll be done. Tara told me that Blurred, book 2 is going to focus on different characters. This excites me. I want to read more books like this. I like authors giving other characters the spotlight. Like I said, Finn and Emma were fine, but Cash and Easton were my favorites. I want the minor characters to see some happiness too.

5 howls

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe

Summary: It's the year 2040, and sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind-part of a nearly extinct race of shape-shifters descended from guardians to the Egyptian pharaohs. Her home and her secret are threatened when the Council lowers the barrier, allowing the enemy race to enter the Shythe haven.As the Narcolym airships approach, Dez and her friends rebel against their Council and secretly train for battle. Not only is Dez wary of war and her growing affection for her best friend Jace, she fears the change her birthday will bring. When Dez's newfound power rockets out of control, it's a Narcolym who could change her fate...if she can trust him.Dez's guarded world crumbles when she discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, and she's forced to choose between the race who raised her and the enemy she's feared her whole life.

Review: First off, I got this book for free from Trisha. She was at YALLFest which was a nice surprise. I was standing in line with a friend, I turn, and I see her with Destiny's Fire. Pretty darn cool! I went over and asked if I could buy a copy of her book. You know what happened? She just gave me a copy for free! She said they were having giveaways so I could have a copy. That was pretty great! Thank you Trisha so much! You know what's better than getting a free book, though? Reading the book and loving it!

I liked Dez from the moment she was introduced. Usually it takes a while for a main character to catch my eye, if it even happens at all, but I was taken by Dez immediately. The only thing about her that did bother me was her ignorance when it came to Jace. Take it from a female with a male best friend. It isn't that hard to tell when your "friendship" is changing into something else. I loved, loved, loved the story. I really did. I don't read a lot of steampunk stuff, but I LOVE shapeshifter books. I hope more books like Destiny's Fire so I have more incentive to read steampunk novels. Destiny's Fire has an emphasis on the powers of the shapeshifters. Naturally, Dez excelled at her training. That's one thing about the story I wish had been different. I don't want this to be a spoilery review, so I'll try to make it vague. I wish Dez's training had been more built up. Some trial and error. That might have made readers more anxious, in a good way. If that makes sense. o_O
The only other complaint I have about the writing is Lane/Lana's name. She is referred to as Lane thoughout some of the book, and she's referred as Lana through some of it. I understand giving characters nicknames, but Lane/Lana is a one letter difference. Seemed unnecessary to me. This was a truly great book though. I want more!

4.5 howls

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Summary: Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Review: I have been extremely excited to read The Catastrophic History of You and Me since I started seeing great reviews of it. I'm proud to say it did NOT disappoint! Patrick is definitely my favorite character. He was cute and cool, but not an in your face "perfect" guy. Brie was a good character too. She was innocent enough for you to like her, but malicious enough for you to dislike her too. What sealed my love for this book was that I read it as two separate books. One book was about death. Losing someone you love. Dealing with the stages of grief. Trying to move on from it. The second book was the book of heartbreak. Loving someone and them not loving you back. Trying to pick up the pieces of your heart after someone has smashed it. I wish I had this book when I was dealing with both of those issues. Easily, this is one of the most touching books I've read. I absolutely recommend it!

5 howls