My Name is Rapunzel

My Name is Rapunzel ~ K.C. Hilton

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Rating 3.5 Stars

Blurb

My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn’t their fault. They didn’t know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel. I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

Review

so i have been waiting to get my hands on this book for AGES so i was really excited when i got asked to review a copy. while i did enjoy this book it was not quite what i was expecting going into it and was up against some pretty stiff competition as a Rapunzel retelling as this story has been retold quite a few times in the past year or so. this story is a retelling in only the loosest of terms which if unlike me you had read the blurb may not surprise you all that much for the most part the tale is almost unrecognisable with the story more based around the origin of the tale and what Rapunzel’s life had really been like. the inclusion of the dragon which was missing from the original tale (or at least the versions I have read) did add an element of interest and i did enjoy all the unknown parts of Rapunzel’s life and how the story all came together.
however i found that the story did sometimes get repetitive with scenes being repeated without any extra information actually being added and personally i did find the “big twist” oddly predictable. this however did not overly detract from what was in truth an enjoyable version of Rapunzel. it may not be my favorite version of the tale but still one that i am sure i will come back too.

Teaser

Just go, Henry. Save yourself. I tried to shout, but my mouth wouldn’t give way to sound. I was paralyzed. Was it with fear, or something else? The cackling witch at the tree line convinced me it was her doing.

I heard Henry continue to shout for me to flee, but I didn’t respond. I didn’t move. I didn’t run. I was frozen like a lifeless statue in a cold museum. With only the movement of my eyes, I pleaded with him to help me. A tear escaped one of my eyes then rolled down my cheek. That single tear managed to do what my heart and body could not. Escape.

Fear, like unseen hands, gripped my lungs and tried to crush them slowly. My stomach churned and threatened to empty. Would we die here?

The gentle chill of night had turned into a mid-winter’s frost. Tiny bumps rose on my arms and the small hairs prickled to attention. I opened my mouth to speak, but the words remained trapped in my throat.

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Fangirl

Fangirl ~ Rainbow Rowell

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Rating 4.5 Stars

Blurb

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review

yes i did read this 400+ page book in a day… and yes it was amazing.
this was my first Rowell book having not yet fallen for the craze that is Eleanor and Park and i must admit i had a bad feeling that i wouldn’t enjoy it, don’t ask me why because i have heard nothing but good things about it.
i loved the dynamic between Cath and Wren and i found that Rowell perfectly captured the first year experience. i may never have been nearly as much a part of a fandom as Cath was but i loved the perspective of a character that was a writer. while personally i was not all that fussed on the love interest it was still pulled off really well and i liked that he was not your average love interest you see so often in YA.
the exerts from Simon Snow were brilliant and defiantly reminiscent of Harry Potter but i am still working out if Baz is meant to be Ron, Malfoy or some combination of both (that is my guess)

Quotes

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret ~ Brian Selznick

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Rating 4 Stars

Blurb

With 284 pictures between the book’s 533 pages, the book depends equally on its pictures as it does on the actual words. Selznick himself has described the book as “not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” The Caldecott Medal is for picture books, in 2008 this was first novel to receive.

The primary inspiration is the true story of turn-of-the-century French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès, his surviving films, and his collection of mechanical, wind-up figures called automata. Selznick decided to add automata to the storyline after reading Edison’s Eve by Gaby Wood, which tells the story of Edison’s attempt to create a talking wind-up doll.

Méliès actually had a set of automata, which were either sold or lost. At the end of his life Méliès was broke, even as his films were screening widely in the United States. He did work in a toy booth in a Paris railway station, hence the setting. Selznick drew Méliès’s real door in the book.

Review

I really enjoyed this book. the images gave it a movie like vibe (now making me really interested in the film) and I loved the combination of sketches and photo’s. the ending was incredibly clever and although it did not take me long to read it fully immersed me while I was there. plus it feels good to say I have read a 500+ page book in under 3 hours (shorter time than some movies). it is not the sort of story that would have captured my attention had it not been for the images (which make up half the book) but the images lifted it out of the expected story and turned it into an experience that is not quite reading a novel or a picture book and yet not quite watching a movie but was truly enchanting.

Quotes

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

“ If you lose your purpose … it’s like you’re broken. ”

“Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults.”

“If you’ve ever wondered where your dreams come from when you go to sleep at night, just look around. This is where they are made. ”

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Taste

Taste ~ Kate Evangelista

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Rating 3 Stars

Blurb

At Barinkoff Academy, there’s only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Review

this was a very original paranormal romance and one that it actually took me a while to work out what the para-normals were were. The para-normals were cleverly thought out, with a detailed lore and history along with a complex society system that breathed truth into the story. As seems to be her style the author drops you right into the middle of it with very little idea of what is going on. while i do appreciate this style it can mean it can take me a while to get into the flow of the book and unfortunately that was the case with this book. while at about half way through they explain most of what is happening i stayed confused throughout. which considering the mind frame of our main character could admittedly be almost seen as a good thing. the authors usual style of split POV’s was missing and that may have been the reason i did not connect with the characters as much as in her other books. all in all this was a very good book that i am only even slightly disappointed in because i came in with high expectations from this wonderful author.

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Romancing the Bookworm

Romancing the Bookworm ~ Kate Evangelista

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Rating 4 Stars

Blurb

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.
It’s spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Ronni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she’s wrangled into waiting tables with Ronni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick’s Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational’s organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.
Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he’s concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he’s convinced it’s a risk worth taking. What he hasn’t planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.
Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?

Review

from reading the blurb this book was not quite what i expected (i was expecting this “plan to actually involve more scenes from books rather than just romantic dates {but maybe i just did not get the references}) that being said i really really enjoyed this book. Tamara, our leading lady… well to be honest she is basically an extreme version of me… so i connected with her within the first page. while Xavier was the perfect Male lead sweet, thoughtful and of course smoking hot. throw them together add in a best-friend who only wants what is best, a bad boy brother, season with just the right amount of summer beach fun and you have a steamy romance that will have you laughing on every page. One thing i must congratulate the author on is that while this book defiantly has it’s hot and steamy parts it is not overly graphic striking that perfect balance. a book i will read again and again… cause Tamera would want me to.

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The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight ~ Jennifer E. Smith

it is unusual for me to review two unrelated books by the same author in a row but after finishing This Is What Happy Looks Like (Review here) I was struck by the uncontrollable urge to re-read this one

TSPOLAFSRating 3.5 Stars

Blurb

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Review

While i may not have enjoyed this book as much as This Is What Happy Looks Like it is written beautifully and captures those moments between the meeting of strangers and the realization of something more perfectly. an if it had not been written so beautifully i may never have picked up her other books. while it is only short i feel that for this story it was the perfect length and packed full of as many warm and fuzzies you can squeeze into a suitcase.

Quotes

“It’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.”

 

“Did you know that people who meet at least three different times within twenty-four hour period are ninety-eight percent more likely to meet again?”

 

“It’s one thing to run away when someone’s chasing you. It’s entirely another to be running all alone.”

 

“Is it possible not to ever know your type-not to even know you have a type-until quite suddenly you do?”

 

… i could go on and on… this author is just too quotable.

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This Is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like ~ Jennifer E. Smith

TIWHLL

Rating 4.5 Stars

Blurb

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.
Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Review

this book was beautiful. it had me laughing and smiling… and just basically AWWWW-ING every couple of pages. it was exquisitely written making what would otherwise have just been a fun trashy book into something a little bit more… that being said i felt the ending was not quite what i had hoped throughout the book with me being left wondering what actually happens to the characters afterwards, despite how long this book was i just simply was not ready to say goodbye. i loved the inclusion of emails at the beginning of each chapter and the witty chemistry between the leads. the issue of celebrity is dealt with really well in this book and it was nice for this not to be a story of a celebrity and his fan.

Quotes

“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”
“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”

 

“Childhood memories were like airplane luggage; no matter how far you were traveling or how long you needed them to last, you were only ever allowed two bags. And while those bags might hold a few hazy recollections—a diner with a jukebox at the table, being pushed on a swing set, the way it felt to be picked up and spun around—it didn’t seem enough to last a whole lifetime.”

 

“It was exactly as he’d thought it would be, like the first time and the millionth time all at once, like being wide awake, like losing his balance. Only this time, it wasn’t just him; this time, they were losing their balance together.”

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TSPOLAFS YAH

Life After Theft

Life After Theft ~ Aprilynne Pike

17839484Rating 2.5 Stars

Blurb

Kimberlee Schaffer may be drop-dead gorgeous… but she also dropped dead last year. Now she needs Jeff’s Help with her unfinished business, and she is not taking no for an answer.

When she was alive, Kimberlee wasn’t just a mean girl; she was also a complete kleptomaniac. So if Jeff wants to avoid being haunted until graduation, he’ll have to help her return everything she stole. But Jeff soon discovers it’s much easier to steal something than it is to bring it back.

Review

I went into it really wanting to like it. I loved the Wings series (particularly the end)and on hearing this book was about a ghost i was expecting some paranormal action… or something but on reading this i was surprised to find that the story would of pretty much worked if Kimberlee was just a normal teenager. that being said i really liked the relationship that developed between Kimberlee and Jeff and it was nice to see a boy/girl relationship that was not romantic. romance however was my problem with this book after the wonderful love triangle in wings i was underwhelmed while Jeff and Sera have the same easy feel to their relationship as Laurel and David did … it appears the author likes “perfect beautiful girls” with the “nerdy nice guy”. but i must say i was waiting for it to all fall apart… because i really did not like Sera as a character she was a flat goody goody **SPOILER** sure she had a past but it never really came into the story **END SPOILER** while i enjoyed the writing style and the feeling it lent to the book i was often jarred by finding out something had happened without my notice. only simple things like “still waiting for a red light” while i was still driving down the road, or “the bathroom being silent” when i thought we were in the hallway by the lockers. The other thing that i found disappointing is on reading the blurb:

“But Jeff soon discovers it’s much easier to steal something than it is to bring it back.”

I was expecting some sort of clever trick involving her stealing a heart or something but the story was much more straight forward then that. All in all a good enough book but not quite what i was expecting.

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and coming soon

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To Stand Beside Her

To Stand Beside Her ~ B. Kristin McMichael

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Rating 2.5 stars

Blurb

To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn’t follow her own advice.

Leila is a courier.
To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.
Nalick is your typical king.
He’s rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.

Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize. Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.

Review

for the most part this did not read like the first book of a self published author. From the beginning we are thrown into the action as Kay is trying to escape from the guards, this immediately caught my attention and i connected with her almost straight away, however this was not her story. it was Leila’s cue her arriving in the next scene in a comparably dull entrance and unfortunately in my opinion this did not change all that much through out the book. Leila was the quintessential “perfect” character that i must say i kind of hate, although this somehow was contradicted many times as well. she was the “best” courier seen as the “ghost courier” (that even while Kay was running for her life in the first scene, she still found the time to look up to) and yet she has apparently been caught so many times ( … once costing her fiance his life), and apparently has 0 awareness i was expecting some sought of reaction when the king moved her when she was sleeping but nup nada nothing. . however when she is caught she always manages to escape… usually with her feminine wiles, because despite being able to blend in she apparently seems to be the most beautiful girl any of these men have ever seen, and i am still wondering what is so special about her?

Then we come to King Nalick… who while i think he is charming and all the rest i don’t see what Leila thought was different about him compared to all the other kings vying for her hand in marriage, this i think is where this novel fell down for me one of the big requirements Leila said about marrying him is there would have to be love… and i was waiting for them to actually fall in love i wanted some courtship, instead the next day she tattoos herself (which basically seems to be the human version of branding in this book) into his family. it is because of me not believing in this relationship that the ending which while admittedly was bittersweet i did not find to be the sad ending i was warned about.

this all in all was just not what i was expecting i was expecting a kick ass heroine with great fight scenes ala Yelena in poison study… which may have been the problem … i was comparing it to one of my favorite books. i found the fight scenes lacking and clinical simply telling us what she did without any sought of description into how and they became almost non events.

Finally i would like to say something about the writing style, which while original i am starting to see more of at the moment. the writing style was a weird mix of 3rd person and 1st person, with it being written in the 3rd person as if you were a mind reader. This is not a writing style that i personally choose to read as i feel it lends itself to a story being told and not experienced, however i can understand why she did this as the story has so much to do with what characters are thinking.
while this book was not quite what i was expecting and not exactly my cup of tea i see potential in McMichael and i imagine this book will be enjoyed by many people.

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TLOTBE