City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

May 29, 2009

Before I begin, I want to say that this is a non-spoiler review, so feel free to read. 🙂

Clary had no idea how much her life would change when she walked into Pandemonium Club with her best friend Simon. At the club, she sees three strange teenagers kill someone. The weirdest part? After they killed the “boy”, the body completely vanishes! Clary learns that the teenages, Jace, Isabelle, and Alec are a part of a group called Shadowhunters. Shadowhunters free the world from demons. Clary soon learns that she and her mother are a part of this mysterious world…

I was overjoyed when I learned that I would receive this book from the Pulse It program back in April. I had been wanting to read the series for some time. Luckily, I was not disappointed. City of Bones was filled with twists and turns, which made me want to keep reading. The characters were also very likable. My favorites were Clary, Jace, and Simon. Almost every character had a hidden past, and reading about it was probably my favorite part of the novel. The past revealed that things were not like they originally seemed. This is kind of random and insignificant to the novel, but another part that I really enjoyed was this quote:

He raised an eyebrow, which made Clary instantly jealous. She’d always wanted to be able to do that.

I have always wanted to be able to raise my eyebrow one at a time too! Seriously, I love watching people do it!

On a more important note, the only thing I did not like about the novel was the pacing. The pacing is very controlled. By controlled, I mean most readers will probably have read the book slightly slower than an average book to understand all the descriptions. It’s almost as if Clare is saying to readers, “I know you want to find out what’s going to happen next, but I’d rather torment you with insignificant(, yet interesting) details. Muahaha!” It is hard for this type of pacing to work well for a fantasy novel, especially for City of Bones.  When I read a fantasy novel, I want a book a fast-paced, action-filled novel. While City of Bones had plenty of action, I would not call it a fast-paced novel.

Still, City of Bones is a great start to series, and now I really want to read the other novels!

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Soundtrack Saturday 8

May 9, 2009

Soundtrack Saturday was created by Persnickety Snark.

This week’s book is Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jill Wolfson. The song I chose only has one thing in common with the novel: the title. The song is by Brendan Benson who is also known as member of the band The Raconteurs. Enjoy!


Update

March 10, 2009

I just wanted you guys to know that my next review will probably not  to posted until next week. When I was out of town, I got sick, and being sick makes me not want to read. I tried reading yesterday, but I just kept coughing and coughing. On Saturday, I coughed so hard I threw up. That’s how sick I was.  Thankfully, I went to the doctor yesterday, and the medicine is helping. Unfortunately, I need to study for an APUSH and Pre-Cal test today, so I can’t read. 😦 On Saturday I am going to take the SATs for the first time.

But then there is good news! I have the whole week off next week. I am excited to catch up on reading, improve my blog (suggestions?), and  just r-e-l-a-x from school! Oh yeah, don’t forget to enter my guess the cover contest. It ends Sunday. For a link, look at my sidebar.

Well, I’m off to studying. Adios!


Guess the Cover Contest Hints

March 2, 2009

As promised, here are some hints.

First of all, if you are completely clueless, then check out Teen Read’s Ultimate Teen Reading List. You never know what you may find.

#1 has been adapted to a movie. The book cover features the main actor.

#5 is the memoir of a famous journalist.

#7 is a picture book.

#8 won the Newberry Medal.

#10 is actually the cover of multiple novels, so I will accept multiple answers.

#12 is kind of easy.

#13 has also been adapted into a movie.

#17 shares the same author as one of my first book reviews.

#20 is somehow related to #10.

I hope that helps!


Upcoming Books – March

February 25, 2009

It seems like every month there are more and more books I’m interested in.


Book Review Summaries

February 23, 2009

Do you prefer bloggers to write the summary themselves for the books they review?

This is a question that has been on my mind for some time now. I write the summaries from most of my reviews, but occassionally I will copy & paste the summary from a website or use the description on the back cover. Typically, writing the summary helps me write the review, and I also want readers to know that I care enough to write summaries…most of the time at least. The other times, I’m just too busy. However, do readers prefer one over the other or not?

Thank you in advance. 🙂


Flavor of the Week – Tucker Shaw

February 18, 2009

I was looking back at the Barnes and Noble synopsis of this novel that I posted for In My Mailbox, and I noticed an error. The entire synopsis refers to Cyril’s best friend as Chris, but his name is Nick. Has anyone ever noticed something like this on other synopsises?

Cyril Bartholomew is in love with his lab partner, Rose Mulligan. However, Cyril is a little on the heavy side, and Rose only sees him as a friend. Cyril’s chubbiness also causes him to keep his love of cooking a secret. Then, Cyril’s best friend, Nick, moves back in town after two years. Nick woos Rose with Cyril’s kitchen-sink cookies and claims that he made them. Before long, Cyril is creating gourmet meals for Rose while Nick takes all the credit.

Story-wise, Flavor of the Week is a pretty ordinary novel. Shaw takes a typical loser boy, a typical pretty girl, and a typical best friend to create a love triangle. Nothing special, right? However, the inclusion of food in the novel created for a fun and pleasant read. Before I start, I might be a little biased because I love all things food, but I found it to be a creative add that, frankly, saved the novel from being a complete bore.

My favorite inclusion of food was Cyril’s audition to the American Institute of Culinary Arts, but even that was slightly predictable. Another thing I liked was that a recipe was included at the end of chapter. While most of these recipes were not simple, I think a teen could prepare most of them. Personally, I want to try to the kitchen-sink cookies.

While Flavor of the Week was a predictable read, I still enjoyed it. At 200 pages, with many of these pages consisting of recipes, it is also a quick read, so what have you got to lose? 😉