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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cool Book Shelf


Now this is just an awesome bookshelf, I want it! 🙂

 
 

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Until I Die (Revenants #2) by Amy Plum


Until I Die (Revenants, #2)

Until I Die (Revenants #2)

Hardcover
357 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 3rd 2012)
ISBN 0062004042 (ISBN13: 9780062004048)
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars
Description:
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.

Review:

Nothing makes me so happy as spending time with characters I love. I fully expected Until I Die to suffer from the middle book syndrome but, despite a few symptoms that were obviously present, Amy Plum managed to make the most of it. Of course it wasn’t as eventful as Die for Me, and I’m sure If I Should Die, the last book of the trilogy, will be much more exciting, but Until I Die was a satisfying read in every way.

The fact that I recognized the villain(s) right away and that I was able to see right through their schemes didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book. I don’t read this for the mystery, I read it for the setting and the fabulous characters I’ve come to see as friends. I’m not just talking about Kate and Vincent here, the entire group of revenants is very dear and familiar to me, I feel like I’ve known them all for ages. I missed Charlotte a lot in this book, she was always one of my favorites, but I understand why she had to leave and I had Jules to distract me (and make me laugh) with his womanizing ways.

I hate it when a huge part of the plot is built on lack of communication between partners. Most of the problems Kate and Vincent found themselves in could have been easily avoided. All Vincent needed to do was tell the truth instead of constantly asking Kate to trust him and let him handle things. Even though he was just trying to spare her feelings and avoid shocking her further with grim facts of his existence, I thought it was condescending and just a touch stupid, especially because she handled everything he threw at her so well before.

On the other hand, a part of me is glad that Vincent has a flaw I can rant about. Everything else about him is just so perfect and he and Kate are one of the sweetest couples in YA literature, at least to me. I love that they never doubt each other and that they always consider each other’s feelings, even when it requires sacrifice. Their relationship is very mature and healthy, and the big moment they had in this book was handled elegantly.

The fact that I pointed out a few negatives doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. In fact, I remain a huge fan of this trilogy and I truly don’t know how I’ll wait a whole year to find out what happens to Kate and my poor Vincent. (Did I just write ‘MY poor Vincent’?! Hah, yes, I suppose I did. Shut up, brain!) Hurry up, Amy Plum. I’ll be OLD by May 2013.

 

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Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum


Die for Me (Revenants, #1)

Hardcover
341 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by HarperTeen (first published May 5th 2011)
ISBN 0062004018 (ISBN13: 9780062004017)
RATING: 5/5
Description:
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Review:
Die for Me will definitely be going on my “favourites” shelf. I absolutely ADORED this book!! This addictive story had all the elements that I look for in a favourite novel: smart and relatable protagonist, very-near-perfect *cough* HOT love interest, wonderfully executed story, great supporting characters, awesome setting (PARIS!!), and a new and interesting mythology, which was very refreshing. It had it all!Die for Me introduces us to a seldom written about paranormal UNDEAD creature called a revenant, and despite the traditional brain-eating, disgusting zombie stereotype… there is nothing icky about these revenants… not when they look (and act) like Vincent, Jules and Ambrose.The lore on revenants in this book was clearly explained and it worked so well. These selfless revenants were once human–their first true death was the result of sacrificing themselves in place of someone else, and for whatever reason, some of those selfless people were chosen to come back from the dead and continue saving human lives by purposely putting themselves in place of the person about to die. Their purpose is so noble and one that they are very passionate about… it is part of who they are. They cannot deny their compulsion to save a human from certain death, which sometimes means their own death–from which they do come back from over and over.

Die for Me takes place in Paris, France. Kate, and her older sister Georgia, have moved to Paris to stay with their grandparents, Mamie and Papy, after their parents died in a car accident. Coping with this loss and trying to rejoin the living has proven very difficult for Kate especially; it’s almost ironic who helps her heal… an UNDEAD 19-year-old boy, Vincent.

Kate was easy to connect with and a great protagonist. She was REAL and honest. Her inner dialogue was relatable and understandable. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders and a great sense of humour. Her mother always believed she was a ‘old soul’… and that is clear in Kate’s personality and maturity level. Her reactions to most situations were realistic and believable. The following excerpt is one of my favourite snippets from Kate’s inner dialogue:

“I love him. I had been keeping those three words stuffed deep inside of me, for my own protection. But I was done with self-preservation and my heart was open. I had feared that love would make me vulnerable. Instead I felt empowered.” (pg. 340)

Kate’s relationship with the gorgeous, incredibly charming, chivalrous and enigmatic Vincent progressed beautifully and at a believable pace. Their romance had my heart melting left and right. Vincent is a very charming 19-year-old (in revenant years — how they age is explained in the book) who first catches Kate’s eye at a café, and they continually run into each other afterwards. (They later joke about stalking each other.) He was so very sweet and passionate. However, at first, I wasn’t sure about Vincent as he seemed too good to be true, but I think I fell for him right along with Kate.

Kate & Vincent’s love story was all about risk. Was Kate willing to risk her heart falling in love with a supernatural being who lives a dangerous life and was going to die over and over again in someone else’s place? Of course, she questions whether she can handle such a life with him. Her feelings were still so raw so soon after her parent’s death. But is Vincent worth it all? (view spoiler) I think when Jeanne (their endearing servant) told Kate he was worth it… that sealed it up for me.

For Vincent, he was taking a very big risk in bringing a ‘human lover’ into their lives. He also hadn’t opened up his heart to anyone since Helene — the girl he loved before he died his first death and became a revenant so many years ago.

Vincent’s ‘kin’ added more than their share of richness to the story… from the flirty Jules who seems to have more than a friendly interest in Kate, to the adorable and brawny Ambrose. Little Charlotte, the lone female in this clan of revenants, is just incredibly sweet but also a bit lonely, and her twin brother Charles, who is a little messed up. Kate and Georgia’s grandparents Mamie & Papy were just lovable and very progressive by traditional grandparent‘s standards. Gaspard–the nervous poet and capable advisor and mentor. And Jean-Baptiste (JB) served as the patriarch of this family of revenants… a cautious and more elderly revenant with reserved charm. The camaraderie between the household of revenants was wonderful… they are each others’ friends and family.

I also loved the relationships between the human characters… especially Kate and her polar-opposite older sister, Georgia. They are each others best friend–they argue but they also have the others back. I liked that we saw a very real sisterly relationship between them.

And what is a story without some bad-guys, huh? In this story, the bad guys are evil revenants called the numa. They are bent on destroying lives… not saving them like Vincent’s kin.

As an aside… I have to make a point about the book’s cover… it’s simply stunning! And I was further thrilled that the pages inside definitely lived up to this gorgeous cover.

Die for Me ended on a lovely note–ending so nicely without a major cliffhanger. Amy Plum’s great writing made me want to read the next book, well before I was even finished, without being dependent on an unresolved plot. I did not want to throw this book against the wall… in fact, I hugged this book. It made me happy!

P.S. This book was even better the second time around! Spectacular and I’m still hugging it!

 

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Quote Of the Week :)


The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them.

-Jeff Jarvis

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Quotes

 

Wicked: Resurrection (Wicked #5) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié


Wicked: Resurrection (Wicked, #5)

Wicked: Resurrection (Wicked #5)

Paperback
402 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Simon Pulse (first published June 30th 2009)
ISBN 1416972277 (ISBN13: 9781416972273)
RATING: 5/5
Description:
Who is Alex Carruthers? That is the question fans of the Wicked series have been asking since the seemingly final book, “Spellbound,” left readers on the edge of their seats. But now, the true and final conclusion offers a heart-stopping, magical adventure about witches, destiny, and the beyond.
Review:
Ever since I started Wicked a couple of days ago, I’ve been a fan of this series. It may not be every one’s cup of tea, and the magic in these books are nothing like Harry Potter, quiet the opposite in fact, filled with darkness and evil, and you never quiet know which side everyone is on….But that’s one of the things I enjoy so much about this series.And Wicked: Resurrection was anything but a disappoint, a fitting conclusion to the series. After having the last two books leaving you hanging, wanting more, Holder and Viguie finally managed to wrap it all up nicely, leaving the reader satisfied. It may not have the traditional HEA (happily ever after), but this HEA matches the story and characters, and that’s all that really matters, right?

I don’t wish to give out any spoilers, from any of the three books, so I won’t go into deep details. However, I will say that Resurrection manages to keep you guessing until the end, throwing out new twists and characters just when you think you’ve managed to figure it all out.

Darkness and corruption is zeroing in on Amanda, Nicole and Holly, but with the right knowledge and by working together, only they (and Owen) can turn back the malicious Merlin from destroying the world and killing them. Yes, it may sound like ‘just another save-the-world’ kind of book, but if you read the series, starting with book one (very important for understanding and enjoying the series completely!), you’ll soon find out that it’s nothing like what you’d expect.

And to top it all off, besides the demons and magic and darkness, oh my!, Wicked: Resurrection has a nice dose of romance in it as well, between three separate couples. They may not have the perfect connection, and they all go through some really hard times, what with having ghosts from the past possess them and what not, but in the end, they stay together. And to me, that’s what makes a romance more believable– face it, none of us will ever have a relationship that doesn’t have a few problems along the way, speed bumps that make us wonder ‘Is it even worth it?’. But in the end, if you can survive the trip, the conclusion is well worth it.

5 STARS! Wicked: Resurrection is a stunning finale to a delicious fantasy series. I’ll definitely be recommending this to friends and family, and anyone else whom I think would enjoy the darker elements in the book.

 

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in UPDATES

 

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in UPDATES

 

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