Jul 29, 2011


Heartless by Gail Carriger
(Parasol Protectorate #4)
Published: July 1, 2011 by Orbit

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.
Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

       I love this series, something proven by the fact that I am still so into the story at the 4th book. Usually the 4th book is where I start thinking the story is gonna get dragged out forever and dump the series altogether. I just found out that Gail Carriger has planned for Timeless (coming March 2012) to be the last book in the series and I'm already reluctant to let go of these characters. This book is just as hilarious and absurd as the first 3 books. If you haven't read Soulless, go do so now! (There's a great deal over here if you need to catch up.)

Reasons I love this book:
  • Alexia- I love her so much! She's insane and hilarious in the way she interacts with everyone around her so calmly and considers humans like her sisters to be out of their minds. She's always held her own, but here she's 8 months pregnant and still not willing to sit still. In her eyes, if she has her parasol she's good.
  • backstory- we finally get some backstory on Lyall which is nice since he's always so calm and put together. Here we get to see the lengths he is willing to go to for those he cares for.
  • Akeldama's house- SPOILERS! An 8 months pregnant Alexia waddling back and forth between 2 houses on a drawbridge and living in Akeldama's closet? Hilarious! END SPOILERS!
  • Ivy- surprisingly, Ivy turns out to be quite useful and more competent than ever before
  • I love that I can never tell what's going to happen. These books are so off the wall crazy and I love it. I never see any of the plot twists coming!

Huh, what?:
  • Madame Lefoux's machine- I was shocked when the purpose of her machine was revealed! Has she lost her mind?
  • Countess Nadasy- she's a vampire queen so clearly she's already crazy but she steps it up in this book
  • Felicity- for a glimmer of a second she seems almost tolerable, but is quickly proven to be even more annoying than I'd thought possible
  • Lord Akeldama- usually a great characters, he reveals his selfish side near the end of this book and looks like a total jerk. He is always aware of what his actions will cause, making his move even more despicable. 

The boyfriend factor:
  • My boyfriend has always loved these books. He despises Felicity even more after reading this one.

Favorite quotes:
  • "We had to lock him somewhere, and that room has no windows."              "I understand. But claw marks are murder on wallpaper."       - Alexia + Professor Lyall  pg. 136
  • "Any child as difficult as this one has been from the start must, perforce, be male."     Alexia snorted. "As if my daughter would be calm and biddable."    - Alexia + Conall   pg. 231

5 Robots
I absolutely love this series and highly recommend it!

Acquired: Bought

Jul 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Movie)

Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord once and for all.

     Obviously, you guys know what this movie's about and that there are MAJOR SPOILERS for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the book), and well as some for how the movie turned out. This movie is very somber from the start. There is a lot of silence and stillness mixed in with the action, but it is generally true to the book and very exciting. Overall, I enjoyed Part 1 just a bit more than Part 2. 

Reasons I love this movie:
  • It's Harry Potter.
  • Ron- one of the 1st things I noticed was how Ron (Rupert Grint) suddenly looks every bit like an action hero
  • Helena Bonham Carter- she's already a scene-stealer as Bellatrix, but her portrayal of Hermione as Bellatrix (thanks to the trio's old standby, Polyjuice Potion) was so brilliantly convincing. I was doing double takes wondering if that was Emma Watson made up to like Helena Bonham Carter.
  • Neville- Neville (Matthew Lewis) finally gets his chance to shine, emerging as a hero and reminding us super geeks of how easily it could have all been Neville rather than Harry. (And in case you haven't been looking up pictures of anything having to do with this movie lately, Neville grew up quite nicely. )

  • Snape- we learn along with Harry just how integral Snape (Alan Rickman) is to the entire story in a touching flashback after Snape's surprisingly violent death scene

  • I can't list everything great about this movie, but some other highlights to watch out for: Molly vs. Bellatrix, Ron defending Hermione, any scene with McGonagall, and Luna making Harry listen to her

Huh, what?:
  • not enough Ron and Hermione kissing- their very 1st kiss is sweet, but all we see is Ron's head blocking the kiss. I was bummed, especially after the Harry and Hermione make-out session in the locket destroying scene of Part 1. I know it's not a love story, but we've waited 7 movies for this to happen.
  • Harry and Voldemort jump off the school- Harry grabs him and jumps off the roof (you've probably seen this- it's in the trailers), but then they fly around grabbing at each other's faces and their faces blur together. Um,ok...this scene baffles me- it's just really strange and unnecessary. My brother defended it by saying but it shows how closely linked they are...I'm not buying that explanation, but it does give it some purpose. 
  • although I think they'd make a cute couple, Neville does not end up with Luna as is implied in the movie
  • the death of important characters are unseen and don't make much of an impact on the viewer (possibly because they are unseen...)
  • Harry and Ginny's son at the end, as well as the other kids just looked very modern to me- like they somehow didn't fit into the world of Harry Potter

5 Robots

I mean, what can I say? It's Harry Potter. Go see it!

Jul 21, 2011


Defiance by Lili St. Crow
(Strange Angels #4)
Published: April 19, 2011 by Razorbill

Now that sixteen-year-old Dru's worst fears have come true and Sergej has kidnapped her best friend Graves, she'll have to go on a suicidal rescue mission to bring him back in one piece.
That is, if she can put all of Christophe's training to good use, defeat her mother's traitor, Anna, once and for all, and manage to survive another day . . .

Read my review of Book 3, Jealousy, here.

   This is a series that started off with a bang, but for me has fizzled. After being disappointed in the third book I was hoping that this one would kick it back up and make me interested in the series again. I was disappointed again. While the books are unique and the premise is interesting, I've found that I don't really care anymore what happens. I honestly think this is the end of the line for me and this series, which is really a bummer because I do really like the characters. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Dru- she's stubborn and wants to be able to keep up with the guys and beat them too. She scared to death when she stops to think about it, but most of the time she's too busy kicking butt. 
  • Dru + Christophe- these 2 are kinda like oil and water most of the time- they can't agree on anything, but there's a little spark between them that's entertaining
  • Nathalie- it's so nice to have a girl around so there's a break from Dru talking to the guys all the time

Huh, what?:
  • Ash- I've lost interest in this storyline because it's been the same for almost 2 entire books and I don't know what it's accomplishing. It almost seems like an afterthought, even for Dru, like Hey haven't seen Christophe lately so I should probably go pursue this forgotten storyline over here.
  • Graves- *SPOILER ALERT* he's my favorite, although the romance with Christophe is nice too. But. Graves only shows up at the very end when the action starts. *END SPOILER*
  • danger candy- thank goodness the author named it, if I had to hear about wax oranges all the time again it might've been too much
  • This is another book full of Dru running and avoiding the baddies, with the only major event that happens in the book being crammed into the very end. I'm just tired of reading these books where nothing important happens until the end. The 1st and 2nd books were a lot better because a lot more happened. The 3rd and 4th books, nothing happens in 200+ pages and it's very frustrating.

Favorite quotes:
  • "Your task is the hardest, Dru. It is to wait and to train. I would change it if I could." My chin jutted stubbornly. He read the mutiny on my face, plain as a billboard. "Don't even think about it."            - Christophe  pg. 45
  • "Let me-" Christophe's other hand flashed forward, caught at my clenched fists. His skin was warm, but his fingers hurt, digging in with more than human strength.       - pg. 113

3 Robots
A series worth a shot, but expect the books to get lackluster despite the interesting characters

Acquired: Bought

Jul 10, 2011


Divergent by Veronica Roth
Published: May 3, 2011 by Katherine Tegen Books

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

       This is a highly anticipated new dystopian book, the start of a trilogy, that definitely lives up to all the hype surrounding it. It's great to see so much interest in a debut author, especially when she's only 22 (! don't I feel like a slacker now...) and being published by an indie company. And despite her age and the way everyone seems to be comparing every single dystopian book ever written to The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth delivers an intense story that has me wanting more. There's not much I didn't like about this book. The pacing and mix of action and introspection was pretty much perfect. *Minor spoilers ahead*- it's not really a secret or a surprise which faction Beatrice chooses, but if you don't wanna know, don't read the spoilers. 

Reasons I love this book:
  • Tris- She's a strong character- I mean, how could she not be with everything she has to face? SPOILER! When she chose Dauntless she didn't know how intense her initiation would be, but she knew they jumped from moving trains. So she had guts choosing them, plus she is crazy curious about everything. END SPOILER!
  • Four- I really love his character- from the way he opposes Eric in how he feels the initiates should be trained, to his struggle to return Dauntless to the honorable faction it once was- plus he's sweet but a little dangerous, which is sexy
  • world setup- the setup in this book is great and it lends itself to a lot of moral conflicts, which are starting to become evident as the faction system begins to break down
  • initiation- I wouldn't want to go through it- it's brutal physically, mentally, and emotionally, just as the Dauntless leader intended- it makes for a lot of twists and turns and is crazy exciting to read about
  • Tris' mom- you'll have to read the book to fully understand this, but from the beginning you get the feeling that she will support whatever decisions her children make, even if it means they must leave her

Huh, what?
  • Eric- he's a jerk and a traitor, plus the complete opposite of Four- I know we're supposed to hate him, but he's sadistic and bloodthirsty
  • Peter- the person he manages to manipulate into betraying Tris made me sad. The lengths he goes to just to up his ranking shows what a despicable coward he is.
  • Jeanine- the Erudite leader, obviously the factions' pursuits were meant to be strong suits, but she is taking advantage of her faction's responsibilities in order to advance Erudite and lessen the other factions
  • weird names- I'm not someone who has a problem with odd names, except when it distracts me from what I'm reading. Beatrice is old fashioned, Four is a little odd, and Tobias? That just makes me think of this:     
(Tobias from Arrested Development)

The boyfriend factor:
  • He liked it, but didn't love it and commented that the faction names were unoriginal and that he would've gone nuts it Beatrice has chosen any other faction.

Favorite quotes:
  • I hold my breath as her turns the last knife in his hand. I see a glint in his eyes as he pulls his arm back and lets the knife fly. It comes straight at me, spinning, blade over handle. My body goes rigid. This time, when it hits the board, my ear stings, and blood tickles my skin. I touch my ear. He nicked it. And judging by the look he gives me, he did it on purpose.    - Tris  pg. 164
  • "But what..." Peter yawns through is words. "What does firing a gun have to do with...bravery?" Four flips the gun in his hand, presses the barrel to Peter's forehead, and clicks a bullet into place. Peter freezes with his lips parted, the yawn dead in his mouth. "Wake. Up," Four snaps. "You are holding a loaded gun, you idiot. Act like it."     - pg. 77

5 Robots

A book with action and intrigue. I'm looking forward to more!

Acquired: Bought