Genre: Young Adult

Hollow City

Posted November 19, 2014 by Hillary in book review / 0 Comments

ISBN: 1594746125
Hollow CityHollow City by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #2
Published by Quirk Books on 2014-01-14
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, General, Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ebook
Source: library
Buy on Amazon

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

My Review 2

After reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I could not wait to read Hollow City. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children left us on a cliffhanger. I was hoping that the second book would divulge all the info that I had from the first book but this book only adds MORE mysteries and questions.

I felt like I really connected with the people in the book. I am not sure if it is because I am deaf and have bipolar and i always felt “different” when I was younger but this is a book that I wish I could have read in my teen years. Being Deaf and able to talk I also felt like I was torn between two worlds like Jacob feels. I thought it was interesting how he dealt with that and even how some of the repercussions of his choices.  The book does not shy away and make everything all happy in the end but rather explores different issues and how they affect the children.

Despite it being a fantasy the world building was so good that it was completely believable. Ransom Riggs has some serious talent! Myths and old stories were woven seamlessly into a story that transported you to an alternate world. I could picture this world clearly in my mind.

I read this on my nook simple touch so I couldn’t really see the pictures in the book. I am going to get a dead tree copy or maybe when I get my kindle fire for Christmas I will get a copy of that. This was the only drawback that I had. Other than that this was a near perfect book. I sooooo can’t wait until the next book comes out.



Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Posted June 19, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews, young adult / 0 Comments

smoke and bone

From Goodreads:

Around the world, black handprints 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 otherworldly 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?

My Review: This book is soooooo good! At first while you are reading it it builds up to the final climax and what a climax it is. It gives the story about Karou and how she goes to art classes and what she does with her everyday friends.

The plot is believable. I could connect with the characters and feel empathy toward them. I felt like I was walking down the street of Prague with Karou. I felt that I was her best friend and that she was sharing her life with me. At first it seems to be an ordinary life expect for the part where she works for otherworldly creatures.

Karou often wonders where she came from but no one will tell her. The reader is left wondering this also. It seems she has no parents as she was raised by a creature by the name of Brimstone. She tries to find out more about herself and what Brimstone does and what he needs with all of the teeth that he collects.

Then she meets an angel who is not like the traditional angel but rather a species from another world and she is left wondering more than ever who she is.

The reader knows no more than Karou does. It is not until the end of the book that we find out the whole truth. I cant say more than that as I don’t want to spoil the plot but when I read the last page I was like noooooooo I have to WAIT until the next book comes out?! It wont come out until November but this is one book I will be preordering.

This is a book that has something for everybody. Mystery, romance and intrigue and I am sure we all wonder where we come from and who we are at some point. So don’t miss out, read this book!


Review: The Amber Spy Glass

Posted January 17, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews, fanasty / 0 Comments

book review of amber spyglass
This is the third book in His Dark Materials trilogy. I read the first two during Banned Book Week but never got around to reading this one until I got my Nook for Christmas and downloaded it from my library.
From Good Reads:The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spy-master to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. And this final volume brings startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone’s amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will reveal the secret of Dust.
My Review: This book is just as good as the previous two in the trilogy.  The story continues with Will trying to find Lyra and the angel’s who want him to give the Subtle Knife to Lord Asriel in the fight against the authority.
Lyra and Will want to travel to the Land of the Dead but will they be willing to pay the price to do so?
This book covers a multitude of feelings. The lengths people will go to for love. The price people must pay for things they feel they must do among other things. This book will cause one to think about how in real life we must do these things too.


Review: Ashfall

Posted January 16, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews, young adult / 0 Comments

a book review of ashfall
From GoodReads:
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don’t know it’s there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.
My Review: I have always wondered what would happen if we were to have some really bad event happen. In Ashfall we get just that. Alex who is used to all modern stuff must make do with out them when a super volcano erupts. The author does a superb job of imagining what this is like. He effortlessly blends storytelling and science together to create a book that will suck you right in.
It is especially gratifying to see the growth of Alex through out this book. He starts off being a cranky child that cant be bothered going with his family to visit his uncles farm to a almost adult like state of being able to help on a farm and doing adult like things. We see this growth very clearly in the book.
This book is heavy on both character and action plots. There is action so that you are never bored in the book.  There is enough character growth so that the plot is realistic.


Review: Wither

Posted January 2, 2012 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: WitherWither by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 22nd 2011
Genres: Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368

What if you knew exactly when you’d die? The first book of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

book review ofwither
From Goodreads: Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.
My Review: I heard many good things about this book but I have to be honest. Rhine the main character sounded like a whiney brat to me. I KNOW she was brought to the marriage against her will and most people in that circumstance would want out. I couldn’t but help think that she has it so much better than her previous life so why does she try and make it sound like she is stuck in a prison.
To be honest it is a prison but come on. She has a servant who does almost anything for her. She gets to go out to all the best parties and she basically gets everything she wants. Yet she spends the whole book moping. I can understand she wants to get back to her twin brother but seriously. Cut out the poor me mentality. It is irritating and gets on my nerves.
That aside the book was well written. The world building and the character growth is amazing. Nothing much happens in the way of the plot but I guess not much can happen while you are at home most of the time. I had mixed feelings about this book. I want to read Fever and see what happens next but it is not a book that I went crazy over.

Review: Blood Red Road

Posted November 3, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, young adult / 0 Comments

blood red road

From Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


My Review: I have been attempting to branch out from my usual fare of Literary Fiction. I head good reviews from several bloggers on this Young Adult book and when I saw it in the library decided to give it a try. I am glad I did..

This is a book that is fast paced so you will never get bored. It seems that from the very first page there is action. The world building is done through the plot. And what a world it is! It is set in a dystopian future where chaal (a drug) is used to control people and they have barbaric cage fights using humans and stuff. There is some points where I thought there was no way Saba (the main character) could get out of this one but yet she always did. I came to admire her strong independent spirit. I loved the characters in this book. It was easy to connect with them and imagine myself in their place.

The narration style is different than what one would be used to. It took me a few pages to get used to it but once I did it quickly fit in with the characters and the plot and only added to the story.

I would encourage everyone to read this book. This is one book that lives up to its hype.


Review: Wolf Mark

Posted August 6, 2011 by Hillary in ARC, Book Reviews, middle-grade, sci-fi, young adult / 0 Comments

Review: Wolf MarkWolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac
Published by Lee & Low Books on 2011
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Native American, Paranormal, People & Places, United States, Young Adult
Pages: 377

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he's ever read. And Luke knows enough-just enough-about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much? Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He'll finally be able to have a normal life. He'll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He'll hang out with his friends. He'll be invisible-just as he wants. But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school's mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke's own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

This book was sent to me by the publisher


From Goodreads:

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?
Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants.
But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

My review: I am now a fan of TU a new imprint of Lee and Low Books. I have liked all three of the books they have sent me. I never thought I would like young adult books but boy, was I wrong. I think I am going to seek out the genre a bit more.

Wolf Mark is has sci-fi elements which I love. It also has a little romance thrown in but with a young adult feel to it. It brought back to memory of my own high school days.

The characters all of them are well developed. I found myself rooting for Lucas and he races to save his father. It is hard to find a book whose secondary characters are  as well developed as they are in this book. I could find myself empathizing even what I thought to be the bad guys (even though they weren’t) and his best friend.

I also love the lore that was interposed in this book. I love mythology. And there was not short of it here. It explained in such a way that it was assessable to it target audience which is 12 and up. I myself learned quite a few things from this book. Such as what a grue is among other things.

I would recommend this book to any young adult who likes sci-fi and to any adult who likes sci-fi and young adult books.

Review: Galaxy Games

Posted July 30, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, middle-grade, sci-fi / 1 Comment

I received this book from the publisher

galaxy games

From Goodreads:

Things are looking up for Tyler Sato (literally!) as he and his friends scan the night sky for a star named for him by his Tokyo cousins in honor of his eleventh birthday. Ordinary stars tend to stay in one place, but Ty’s seems to be streaking directly toward Earth at an alarming rate. Soon the whole world is talking about TY SATO, the doomsday asteroid, and life is turned upside down for Ty Sato, the boy, who would rather be playing hoops in his best friend’s driveway.
Meanwhile, aboard a silver spaceship heading for Earth, M’Frozza, a girl with three eyes and five nose holes, is on a secret mission. M’Frozza is the captain of planet Mrendaria’s Galaxy Games team, and she is desperate to save her world from a dishonorable performance in the biggest sporting event in the universe.
What will happen when Ty meets M’Frozza? Get ready for the most important event in human history—it’ll be off the backboard, around the rim, and out of this world

My Review:I really like sci fi. Any form of sci-fi so this was a book I couldn’t not like. What I really Liked was the way he incorporated diversity in his book.In most books it’s white people meets a space alien and blah blah. This book however, incorporated all different sorts of cultures and even I learned something from this book. It incorporated Japanese culture, Japanese-American culture among other cultures. It truly embodies the fact that it is earth  meeting the space aliens.

It also says true to the worries and day to day activities of children in that age group. Whether it is going to school or making new friends or even a new girlfriend the emotional completely stays within the typical middle age group

over all it was a great story the characters were well developed. The story had so many believable elements that it was easy to suspend your belief in meeting the aliens. The descriptions were wonderful. I even liked the illustrations that came with the book. I would recommend this to a middle grade student or to anyone who likes sci-fi. I cant wait for book two to come out!


Review: Tankborn

Posted July 1, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, young adult / 0 Comments

FTC notice: This book was sent to me by the publisher


In the beginning of this year I told myself I was going to break out of my literary fiction rut and try new genres. So far I have tried several different genres but have held back trying Young Adult. I cant give a good reason for my hesitation for this expect maybe I thought Young Adult did not have much to offer me. I was sadly mistaken. Young Adult has changed since I was a young adult. So when I found out I had won a prize from Arm Chair BEA I picked three young adult books as the prize and I loved it. This is the first I read of three.

Tankborn is the first Young Adult that I have tried outside the harry potter craze. It is about a girl who is  a GEN (genetically engineered non-human) who is given her Assignment. Before she leaves her nurture mother though she is given a strange package to carry into where the humans live.

Her best Friend is a nurturer tasked with the care of human babies. When they realize babies are being taken in the middle of the night they realize something more sinister is happening.

I could see where a young adult especially one who is in some way different (Like I was with a hearing aid when I was younger) could relate to this story. It showed that just because you are different does not mean you are even less important. Even though they are tankborn they are still important in the grand scheme of things.Likewise YA with disabilities have their place in society also.

I also liked that it was the characters that were flawed that had a hand in solving the issues in the book. That showed that people who are different can still be leaders and have strong role models.

The characters are fully realized to such an extent that the readers starts to care about what happens to them. I was rooting for the characters to come out victorious when they were fighting to save themselves and other people.

The story itself was an engrossing one. I found that I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next. The pace was faster than I find in lit fiction. Which is a good thing because I seem to find a lot of books to be dragging these days. Not this one though.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to a YA that has something different about them to show them that they too can find their place and overcome.


Cures for Heartbreak

Posted October 1, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

cures for heartbreak When Mia was 15 her mother was diagnosed with cancer and dies 12 days later. Then her father has a second heart attack. This is a story about how Mia coped with these two events.

This book is well written. It follows how a 15 year old girl would act and speak. It goes through such details as her having a crush her first boyfriend and school.

It does not pretend that she gets a happy ending and her life is all rosy after her mother dies. It paints an accurate portrayal of how a person would react to such a situation. For example, she fails some classes at school and she faces other tough obstacles.

What could have been a depressing book instead uses humor to somewhat lighten up the mood. The use of humor in this book is appropriate. It does not come of as mocking or to cheapen what Mia is going through but rather as a way to express grief and such in a way that a 15 year old can process it.

The book feels disjointed in ways. There are several stories that interweave with each other. It almost feels like different books. There is a thin common thread that joins them all together. I think this is  a good use of writing technique because it symbolizes how events in our lives seem to be fragmented but in reality there is something that joins it all together.

At the end of the book we find out this is a semi-autobiographical account of the author’s own experience with her mother dying and her father having two heart attacks. After learning this I became curious about her own life. I hope she writes a memoir.

Another interesting fact is that the editor attempted to get this published as an adult novel but no publisher want to do that so instead it was published as a YA novel. I thought it was in between. I could see where it would be taken as a YA novel but at the same time I felt that the issues could stood as an adult novel. Upon father reflection the style of writing mostly reflects how an YA novel would feel.