Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices book 3/Series book 8)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the Infernal Devices series, Stop! I don’t want to ruin my absolute favorite series for you. For maximum enjoyment and understanding, read intermixed with the Mortal Instruments series in publication order.

“The Internal Devices are without pity.
The Internal Devices are without regret.
The Internal Devices are without number.
The Internal Devices will never stop coming.”

A fantastic end to the Infernal Devices trilogy that leaves a set up for the ultimate showdown that will take place in City of Heavenly Fire, due out on March 1, 2014. Questions you didn’t even know you had will be answered but even more that will not be resolved until the Mortal Instruments finale.
This book just proves that all readers of Ms. Clare’s books should read them in publication not series order as she has masterfully interwoven the history and story of the Shadowhunters throughout each book. After you have read the epilogue you need to remember that the Mortal Instruments series takes place in 2007!.
Visit Cassandra Clare’s website. Be careful, there are spoilers to be found there.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium book 3)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first two books in the series, Delirium and Pnademonium, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

"They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day."

In escaping the confines of Portland, Lena Haloway risked everything only to lose Alex and love in the end. Adjusting to her new life in the Wilds, she makes a new existence for herself. In becoming a part of the rebellion, she learned that maybe she could find love again. When the two people she loved most in the world turn out to be alive after she believed them to be dead, Lena’s world is rocked to its very core. Now in the heart of the resistance movement, Lena and her friends find themselves in the fight for their very lives while her heart struggles between two different boys.
Since Lena’s abrupt departure from Portland, Hana Tate has been cured of the deliria and received her procedural scar. She has been paired with Fred Hargrave, the mayor’s son. With the resistance infiltrating Portland, Mayor Hargrave is assassinated and Fred becomes his successor. Fred and Hana’s wedding is pushed up but Hana begins to have doubts. Guilt over Lena begins to consume her when she discovers what has happened to the family she left behind. As secrets about Fred’s first wife start to surface, Hana begins to question what her future life with him may entail.
What happens to Lena with her involvement in the resistance movement? Will she be able to work things out with Alex or will her involvement with Julian prevail? Can Hana make a worthwhile life with Fred or will she begin to see that Lena may have made the right choice? Will Lena ever see her mother again? And what happens when Lena and Hana’s paths cross again?
Requiem is told from both Lena and Hana’s points of view. Readers will find out what is going on in the Wilds and in Portland in the war over amor deliria nervosa. Secrets are uncovered and questions answered in this thrilling conclusion to the Delirium trilogy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver

Annabel - book 0.5, Hana - book 1.5 and Raven - book 2.5

Three short novellas that giver pertinent background information on three important woman in the Delirium trilogy. The first, Annabel, is the story of Lena's mother. The time frame is before Delirium takes place. The story alternates between her time in the Crypt, leading up to her escape with how she met her husband and the realization that the cure didn't work for her. Hana details her life from when her match is made to the events in Portland leading up to her wedding to the mayor's son. Raven offers a glimpse in her life during the ending events of Pandemonium with Julian's escape/rescue. And the shocking development at the end will have an impact in Requiem.

Each book is available separately as ebooks but the set has been published in a paperback edition.

There is also a short story from Alex's point of view in the first printed edition of Requiem. It reveals details about what happened at the end of Delirium as well as insights about some of his intentions with Lena before they are separated.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Just One Day book 1)

“She left looking for him and along the way she found herself.”

Allyson Healey received a trip to Europe through the Teen Tours! Cultural Extravaganza as a high school graduation present from her parents. After a whirlwind visit of various tourist destinations, Allyson, her best friend Melanie and the rest of their group are going to spend their last night in Stratford-Upon-Avon seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Hamlet at the Swan Theater. While standing in line in the sweltering heat, a group of people are shouting and handing out neon-colored flyers. Melanie takes one and sees that it is for a free performance of a Shakespeare play. Allyson realizes she is now standing in a shadow and looks up. She slowly makes out a cute boy about a foot taller, staring down. Starting up a flirty conversation with her, he tells Allyson that such a night shouldn’t be spent indoors watching a tragedy. Come see Twelfth Night, outside he says. Melanie coyly replies that they will think about it and he leaves.
Immediately, both girls decide to skip out on Hamlet and their tour. Melanie pretends to be having a heat stroke and Allyson convinces their tour leader, Ms. Foley, that she is capable of taking Melanie back to the hotel. Not wanting to miss the play, Ms. Foley reluctantly agrees. The girls take off for the park but are disappointed when they find no signs of a performance. Standing in line for ice cream, the sounds of drums and shouting quickly draws their attention. Allyson and Mel must follow the play as it takes place throughout the park. Finally during Act 2, the handsome boy who handed them the flyer appears. Allyson thinks he briefly makes eye contact with her. When the actors take their final bows, the boy flips a coin to Allyson that she catches. Mel gushes that it is sweet he acknowledged the both of them.
Mel wants to spend their last night hanging out with the tour at the pubs. Allyson just wants to go back to the room and get ready for their train ride to London early the next morning. The two go their separate ways. Mel is groggy on the train and tells Allyson to wake her in London. Having missed breakfast, Allyson goes to the dining car to find something to eat. While sitting at the table, a familiar voice strikes up a conversation with her. It is the boy from the night before. Over breakfast, he tells Allyson the reasons he knows that she is an American but doesn’t look like one. She reminds him of a silent film actress named Louise Brown and nicknames her Lulu. He introduces himself as Willem and tells her he is going home to Holland, his first time in two years. They are laughing when Melanie shuffles in. a little miffed, she quickly brighten upon noticing Willem. Allyson silently pleads with Mel not to spoil the moment. The three get off of the train together and Mel receives word that her cousin will be late picking them up. Allyson is disappointed in the station with the station and Mel asks if she is still moping over not getting to go to Paris because of a strike. She states that Budapest wasn’t the same. Allyson can’t believe she is so close to Paris and will not get to see it. Willem tells her to just go. Allyson’s overprotective mother would not be happy and suddenly Melanie becomes the voice of reason. Willem offers to pay for the train ticket and be her guide. For the first time in her life, Allyson throws caution to the wind. She tells Mel to cover with her mother when she calls and sets off for Paris with a boy she just met.
Allyson/Lulu and Willem spend the day in Paris not doing the typical touristy things. She gets glimpses onto his nomadic lifestyle. Also, she is left wondering if he isn’t a bit of a playboy over the number of girls he seems to know. A day of fun and unusual adventures leads to a conversation over the differences between falling in love and being in love. Willem describes being in love as a stain on one’s soul. He admits to falling in love many times but never actually being in love, like his parents. The day takes a turn for the worse when Willem attempts to stop an altercation and Allyson feels the need to rescue him. Escaping from the danger, Allyson is cut on the neck and it brings Willem back to reality. Ready to put her on a train back to London, Willem attempts to make things right when he sees how angry she is. They end up squatting in an artist’s studio where the tension between the two of them finally erupts. Allyson tries to delay the inevitable by promising to stay one more day. Exhausted, they fall asleep but not before whispering to a sleepy Willem her real name.
The next morning, Allyson wakes up in a panic when she realizes that Willem has left and she is alone in Paris without her suitcase and out of money. Unable to reach Mel, Allyson must rely on Ms. Foley to help her get back to London and her friend. She breaks down when she is reunited with Mel.
After just one day oink Paris with Willem, Allyson finds her life in a major tailspin. Unable to shake the memories, she sets out on a journey to find Willem but along the way she just might discover something about herself. Why was Willem gone the next morning? Will Allyson be able to get over the hurt and get on with her life? Can she locate him knowing very few details about him? What does she learn about herself after this experience?
Don’t fret over the ending! Just like Forman’s If I Stay/Where She Went, Allyson and Willem’s story will continues on October 13, 2013 with Just One Year, this time from Willem’s point of view.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Asunder by Jodi Meadows (Incarnate book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first book in the series, Incarnate, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

“My life might have begun as a mistake, but I wouldn’t let it end as one.”

The residents of Heart have spent the spring preparing the Templedark Memorial for the eighty souls lost that night, those would not be reincarnated. That summer, the citizens spent days at the memorial honoring the lives of their friends. As summer concludes, the desolation of the community is smothering Ana. She and Sam go away for a while.

The two stop one night at the Purple Rose Cottage where Ana grew up. Sam surprises her with a picnic on the lawn and presents Ana with a beautiful flute. Trying it out, Ana is shocked to discover that her playing is attracting sylphs. Even more surprising is the fact that they seem to be dancing and imitating the sounds. Panicking, Sam rushes inside to gather traps while Ana attempts to keep them from attacking. When an oldsoul, Cris, stumbles along, he is startled by the scene. Continuing to play, Ana leads them from the cottage and they peacefully leave.

It turns out Cris is the original owner of the cottage and he and Sam do not seem to be on friendly terms. Cris is on his way to Heart to help in reorganizing the genealogies of the darksouls. The topic of Templedark comes up and Ana keeps quiet about her reasons for leaving Heart She is searching for the reasons Menehem chose to stop reincarnation. Was it to allow more newsouls to be born or could it have been his attempt to prove Jana’s existence?

Parting ways the next morning with Cris, Sam and Ana continue on to Menehem’s lab. There, they compare the information Ana brought with her from Heart to the small library of research Menehem left behind at the lab. Bouncing theories about the sylph’s behavior, Ana realizes that Sam cannot follow her line of questioning. It slowly dawns her that Janan purposely keeps secrets from the oldsouls about the true nature of the sylphs. Ana decides she needs to discover what secrets Jana keeps in the temple and how the sylphs are involved. Once she figures out the mystery, Ana realizes that she can use Janan’s secrets against him.

What will Ana discover from Menehem’s research? Can she uncover the secrets of the sylphs? Who is Cris and why are he and Sam acting strangely around each other? What is Jana trying to keep quiet? Will Ana learn she is capable of love? And what happens when more newsouls are born?

Jodi Meadows’ will conclude her trilogy with a third book in 2014.