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YA Novelties

We're just four ordinary teenagers, Angie, Jenny, Rosie, and ~M, that have have nothing better to do than read.

Midnight Frost

Midnight Frost - Jennifer Estep 3.5 Stars

Check this review out at our blog!

f there was one song that Midnight Frost could be compared to, it have to be that classic marching band song "Pomp and Circumstance". It's a fantastic arrangement that is enjoyable to hear, but is overplayed and used too often at graduations. Similarly, Midnight Frost is an exciting continuation of the Mythos Academy series, but is also disappointment with its surprisingly clichéd plot and pathetic caricatures of once spectacular characters.

We begin the fifth installment of the Mythos Academy series with Gwen and the academy affected by the betrayal of several characters and the attack from the Reapers. Gwen is still suffering from her fight against Logan and Logan's inner battle against Loki. When Nickamedes is poisoned by the Reapers who intended to poison Gwen, Gwen and the gang race against time to find the antidote. Despite knowing that it is a Reaper trap, Gwen can't back down and takes on this daunting task that comes with even more secrets revealed.

Honestly, Midnight Frost is a solid read. The action moments are great, the emotional moments are bittersweet, and the story isn't terrible. However, there is nothing that really sets the story apart from any other fantasy or paranormal book out there. Every possible stereotype out there is being used in this installment, such as the New Moon Edward-less plot device and the helping animals for help in the future plot device. This caused the book to be less melodramatic and heart-pumping. This series is amazing for having some plot twists that I never saw coming, but Midnight Frost was so predictable and bland.

When compared to the rest of the series, this book also had some pitfalls when it came to continuing to flesh out the characters. Gwen is all mopey over Logan's departure from Mythos Academy, which is completely understandable but still kind of annoying. We don't see the real Gwen appear until the book is almost over.

Although it does make more sense according to the conventional rules of book writing to have a noble idiot character (character who abandons lover for some dumb reason) come back in the end. It is much easier to sort things out that way. If you haven't figured out, it's because Logan doesn't come around until the end. Annoyingly, his reappearance is supposedly all dramatic, but it's really lame. Haven't we already seen this kind of stuff before?

Other than the disappointing plot and characters, Mythos Academy is a decent sequel to Crimson Frost. It was enjoyable and I flipped through the pages (or tapped my Kindle really quickly) extremely fast. Still, there was that voice in my head going "BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!" throughout the book. Hopefully the next book in the series will be able to surpass Midnight Frost and the rest of Mythos Academy series.

-Angie @ YA Novelties

The Elite

The Elite - Kiera Cass 1.5 Stars

Check this review out at our blog!

There are books, then there are books that you start to regret reading after finishing them; The Elite is one of those sorts of books. Knowing that this book, or series as a whole, has no merit plot-wise or writing-wise just makes it even more depressing. My only reason for giving this a rating slightly more than 1 star is because this book is like a drug. It is dumb and idiotic to read it, yet everyone is reading and loving it. The question is really why this series is a New York Times Bestseller?

After reading The Elite, it has come to my conclusion that America Singer is either suffering from severe hormonal imbalance or is a psycho. This book is mainly an extremely distorted love triangle, unfortunately. While America goes all mooney-eyed over Maxon and promises to marry him, she makes out with Aspen in her spare time. I don't buy the whole 'I'm so conflicted over whom I love' excuse because America totally told Maxon that she likes him. In conclusion, the only reason that explains why America is such a yucky cheater is that Aspen is secretly an alien who releases pheromones that makes people with low IQs even dumber. And that just makes no sense, but it's the only thing that is somewhat logical...

America definitely sucked and was puke-worthy, but the worst thing about The Elite is the repetitiveness of the plot.

Here's a list of the top 6 scenes (paraphrased) that are supposedly noteworthy (not in any particular order):

1. WTH was I thinking? Maxon was the wrong guy for me. He doesn't shave enough! (OK, fine, get rid of the shaving part). I ran to Aspen, kissing him and hugging him we fell to the ground. Aspen was my home. This happens at least 3 or 4 times. Now, I just pity Maxon and hope that America ends up dead.

2. I heard gunshots. The rebels from Oz (way more creative than the "realistic" terms given for the rebels) were attacking the castle again. I ran toward the underground shelter below the castle, but then something got in the way, so I decided letting the rebels capture me was a better idea. OK, maybe this exact scene happened once. Still, rebels attacking the castle happened at least 4 or 5 times, but nothing really happens. Poor rebels are being taken out of the picture in favor of love spats. Once again, THE BLURB WAS ALL A LIE!!!

3. Major argument between America and Maxon. Imagine a grand debate over whether Maxon is in the wrong for flirting or America is in wrong for pushing and pulling Maxon back and forth. Then comes America's favorite question: You're going to send me home now, right? Spoiler: Still waiting for her to go home...

4. You must prepare to be queen. Then you're going to have tons of princess lessons in politics and diplomacy... When I heard this, I looked at Celeste who smirked and Kriss who looked like she knew exactly what she was doing. Then I knew that I would fight tooth and nail to be better than Celeste. I'm sorry, if these are your priorities, then clearly you have no purpose in life... Yeah Celeste is a mean girl, but shouldn't you try to be better than all of the other girls, than just one? I thought you wanted to be queen, girl!

5. You haven't changed America. In spite of all of the fancy stuff they stuff you with, you haven't turned into a zombie yet. Well, yeah! The stuff they've been poisoning her with has been turning her into an unstable person who lacks any brains. Not just her, everyone in the castle is a moron.

6. I don't want to be in the spotlight! The crown isn't right for me. ______ would be way more qualified than me! She totally can handle the press better than me! Well, I don't know about you, but if you were a performer wouldn't you enjoy the spotlight? After all, America's mom did say that she loved performing in front of people.... America, you need a better excuse than spotlight. It doesn't add up. Anyway, you suck at talking to the press because you have no filter. Maybe that should be fixed too, in addition to your brain.


In conclusion, there isn't much substance in the plot. Well, that was already pretty obvious, but reading the same scenes repeat over and over again with slightly different details sucks for a reader. Now, I don't have much faith for the last book in this trilogy, The One. Kiera Cass is treating her readers like fools which isn't right. Readers deserve books that are fun to read, yes, but also make sense. I won't say any character deserves better than what they were left with at the end of The Elite, but I definitely hope that Cass ends this series with a bang. This bang should probably include the rebels doing something, as a word of advice.

Although The Elite was a cute, fluffy read, there were just way too many issues with the characters and plot for it to be an enjoyable read. Hopefully the romance can settled with some blood involved because that would just rock the reality dating show world.

-Angie @ YA Novelties

The Girl with the Iron Touch

The Girl with the Iron Touch - Kathryn Smith Check this review out at our blog!

Warning. This is the 3rd book in the series, so it is highly recommended to read the first two. It can be read by itself, but to fully understand everything the first two must be read.

All in all this installment in the Steampunk Chronicles was great, but not an amazing but not an oh-my-god-I'm screaming-my-head-off 5 star read. So a few months have passed since the last book, and not everything is the same. Griffin is having problems with the Aether and refuses to tell anyone, making all of his friends worried sick. Meanwhile, Sam and Emily are doing great as they both pretty much know how the other feels, except right when they were actually going to confess to each other Emily is abducted by the Machinist who isn't dead (kind of). Then begins the main part of the story of the hunt for Emily and her time as a captive (Jack Dandy becomes involved at this point).

In The Girl with the Iron Touch, there is definitely more of a focus on the romance. Sam and Emily are officially together, but Finley and Griffin are a bit more complicated. However, they do get together by the end of the book and the semi-love triangle between Finley, Griffin, and Jack is resolved, but not in the best way. With all of the loose ends, there is so much more room for the story to continue. I have heard rumors that this is the last book in the series, but I don't believe it. The Girl with the Iron Touch ends with too many unresolved questions that there has to be a following book.

One of my favorite aspects of this read is that the focus is on Emily this time. The first one was about Finley, the second starred Jasper, and now this one focuses on Emily. I really think that the changing focus on all of the different characters gives the reader a deeper understanding and involvement with that character. It's great for character development. Maybe the next one (which there has to be) could be Sam's back story?

Another one of my favorite parts of this series is the whole technology in Victorian times aspect. I have to say, the Steampunk Chronicles are one of the best series in the steampunk category with a great balance of romance, action, mystery, and gadgets. I find how Cross adds a twist to modern inventions and makes them fit in with the story fascinating.

All in all, The Girl with the Iron Touch is a good continuation of the series with a deeper inside into some of the characters and the haunting possibility of the resurrection of the Machinist, everyone's worst nightmare. Romantic entanglements also come to play when everything is threatened by the Machinist and his robotic creations. It wasn't 5 stars, but it is still a must read for the series.

- ~M @ YA Novelties

The Sentinel Mage

The Sentinel Mage - Emily Gee Check this review out on our blog!

3.5 STARS!

With an awesome premise of gender bending shape shifting, The Sentinel Mage stands out among other fantasies. However, its somewhat repetitive dialogue and predictable plot bog the novel, which should have been so much more.

Prince Harkeld of Osgaard has been raised with the notion that mages are vile creatures that eat humans and destroy everything good in this world. So when it’s revealed that he possesses mage blood himself, he is ready to say adios in fear of his “cannibalistic” inner nature. Too bad he has far more important things to do because his blood and hands are the only things that will save the world from a centuries old curse.

Since Harkeld is going bananas about his mage blood and mages in general, the mages protecting Harkeld have to find a guardsman to protect the prince because Harkeld’s evil daddy wants his son’s blood for far more nefarious plans. The only option is Innis, a powerful shapeshifter, to shapeshift into a man to protect him. As they journey together, both Harkeld and Innis will have to trust each other in order to survive.

Although my beautiful recap of the novel is perfect, the actual book is a slightly more draggy and dull. Many fantasy novels are basically the protagonists traveling through the woods toward a goal while beating up the bad guys. The Sentinel Mage does not deviate from this common theme for the most part. Even though there were three interwoven storylines, the main story of Harkeld and Innis kept dragging down the far more intriguing storyline about Harkeld’s sister, Princess Brigitta, who is forced to marry a malicious nobleman and her guardsman.

Furthermore, the third storyline should not count as a plotline because all that happens is Jaumé walks to toward the action. He does not meet the action yet, so his chapters were basically restatements of “He walked more today” with different words. I wish there was more about Jaumé than just him walking because he most likely will play a major role in the future books of this trilogy.

Despite these few setbacks, The Sentinel Mage is a truly enjoyable fantasy. Emily Gee is a wonderful writer who knows how to create a horrifically beautiful settings and how to write characters with dimension. Brigitta’s dilemma between drugging herself or experiencing her husband raping her totally grabbed my heart. She probably is my favorite character in the series for her strength and perseverance. Hopefully the future books in the series focus more on her because she is such an awesome heroine.

All in all, The Sentinel Mage could and definitely should have been more than it was. Harkeld and Innis are really the more important plotline, but Brigitta’s conflict was far more intriguing than several people journeying to three rocks. However, if you enjoy the fantasy genre, you’re guaranteed that this will be an exciting, yet forgettable read.

Angie @ YA Novelties

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge Check this post out on our blog!

3 STARS

OK, so I read this about a month ago, and I've been meaning to get to a review of this... jeez, it has been a while, hasn't it? So therefore, my review isn't going to be so much of a review, but rather some kind of rant thing.... I'm just going off the bits and pieces I remember, so bear with me, folks.

Summary Rosie-style: From what I remember, a father makes a deal with a demon prince, and it all goes horribly wrong. With demons, you gotta remember to choose your words very carefully. At the time, his wife, pregnant, was very sick, and he wished that his twin girls would come out healthy and happy. However, he forgot to wish for his wife's health, and she ends up dying. There's a catch, though. The father sealed away the fate for one of his daughters, Nyx, who is fated to marry this demon prince, Ignifex. She's super bitter about this and tries not to hate her twin sister, who got the better part of the bargain. Her sister, on the other hand, receives all the love and attention from daddy, while Nix receives the "heroic" speech stuff. She gets the "Oh it's your duty to kill the demon prince and blah blah" and is reminded everyday of her terrible fate.

So she goes and marries the demon prince, right? Except he's not exactly what she expects. No matter how many times she [pathetically] tries to kill him, she never succeeds, and every time he brushes her off like a bug. He's very compliant and has quite a humorous approach to his situation. Apparently, being a supreme ruler with awesome powers becomes very boring, so much to the point of marrying a woman who YOU KNOW wants to kill you. The demon prince, master of all deals, makes Nyx a bargain. If she can guess his true identity, she will be set free, no questions asked. BUT, if she guesses wrong, he will turn her into stone, and she will forever reside in his haunted castle unable to do anything but be aware of her surroundings. So as a living result of a bargain gone wrong, she opts for the other route and explores his castle for ways to kill him and escape.

So the whole book is about her relationship with her sister (Nyx struggles especially with her feelings about her sister. Her feelings of love and hatred battle throughout the book) , her father (who she yearns to receive approval from), her aunt (who shacks up with Nyx's father), and Ignifex (to whom she can't resist her carnal attraction!!! ooOOOoo ♥♥♥) Oh, and did I mention his Shadow? She falls in love with his Shadow, a mirror image of Ignifiex, a seemingly more human side of him, but possibly another trapped man?

Characters: Alright, now that the summary stuff is done, lemme tell you MY impressions of the characters.

Nyx: So she lives there for a coupla years and cannot do jack****. She stinks as an assassin, and for a majority of the book (she narrates it, she's the POV) she just complains about her situation and ponders what she can do to possibly escape it. She worries over things she can't control, and she hates herself for being attracted to Ignifex. Also, she is so indecisive!!! Her feelings about her family change from chapter to chapter - I swear - and her love from Shadow to Ignifex changes every time one of them kisses her. Or maybe from page to page. At least it feels like that...you try to root for her, but she changes her mind way too much.

Ignifex: Ok, so he's super badass, and pretty funny when needs to be. He puts up with a failure of an assassin wife. He's a thumbs-up in my book.

Shadow: Um, is it just me, or is cheating on your demon husband with his shadow kinda WRONG??

Father: 5 Star jerk. Has sex with his dead wife's sister. Feels no remorse for what he's done, inadvertently killing his sick pregnant wife while selling the soul of his oldest daughter to the demon lord, all the while telling her its her duty to save the city, AND giving all his affection to his other clueless daughter.

Astraia: Nyx's twin sister who gets the better part of the deal. Nyx says some pretty crappy things to her before going off to marry the prince...It's not really Astraia's fault - in fact, it's her father's fault for it all happening, yet Nyx despises her sister for a good part of the novel. But then loves her sister. But then hates her. She actually is pretty badass though...

Plot: Sooo, the city they all live in is taken over by some sort of dark force/demons, and is plucked away from the normal world. Um. The demon prince controls the demons, which everybody fears because once you see a demon, you're pretty much down for the count, aka DEAD. They live in a world where it's similar to Earth, but no really. They have a fake sun and such... it's like they're all living inside the pages of a book. Or at least that's how I imagined it. It really gets quite confusing how everything is explained.

The author tries to make a mish-mash between Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology, but it's just kind of a warble between the two. I can see how some aspects of Beauty and the Beast play into it - the living house - and how Greek Mythology plays into it, since Nyx's family worships Greek Gods... but that's pretty much it. Hodge kind of just goes on her own path and creates a story that hits you from out of nowhere. This book will not be what you will expect....but in a semi-good way I guess?

BTW - the pace is kind of slow, but it really doesn't feel that way. Unless you hate reading about indecisive POVs - now that could go really slowly. Not to spoil it, but it does end kind of weirdly. It takes a turn that you really don't expect... deus ex machina?

Overall: OK..... uh. If you like mish-mashing of stories you already know and don't mind indecisive MCs, then this is the book for you! One thing I really liked was the emotional progression of the relationship between Ignifex and Nyx. It wasn't supahfast like some YA novels, but was instead very realistic. The way the background info explained was a little shakey and a bit confusing. SO DON'T SKIM.

Happy Reading, folks!

Rosie @ YA Novelties

Sekret

Sekret - Lindsay  Smith Check this out on our blog!

3.5 STARS

Plot:

Yulia Andreevna Chernina is not your average Russian girl; she can read the minds of those around her, and even pick up past memories with just a touch. Having lived luxuriously for most of her childhood, Yulia has now been in hiding with her mother and brother for several years. Set in 1963 Communist Russia, Yulia is recruited by the KGB and forced to participate in their espionage psychic program. If she doesn't cooperate, they threaten to harm her mother and young autistic brother. There, she meets several other teens who share similar psychic abilities but all specialize in something different. Together, they must work to fulfill their mission to protect the Soviet space program from the Americans. Yulia chooses not to succumb to the corrupt government's ways -- she works to find a way to escape her psychic prison and save her family.

When reading this book, I admit that I didn't really keep track of events as much as I should have. There's so many tiny events that go on, it just gets a little overwhelming. It's like - "Who's doing what now?", "Who is that?", "What does this have to do with the plot!?" and "I'm so confused..." [This happened to me several times. I had to flip back and reread some stuff] Basically, all that really matters is the relationships between characters...

It's been maybe a week since I finished reading it, and to be honest, I can't really remember much of what happened. I just know that there were a helluva lotta characters and events.... all I remember was that she had to work as a psychic spy to order set her family free and along the way she meets these 2 guys, Sergei and Valentin, both vying for her attention...

Characters:

Yulia: Yulia quickly hardens in the few years she's lived as a street rat. She learns to not trust anyone and to use everything she's got to her advantage -- even her mysterious psychic powers. She's got her head on straight as well as her top priorities - first her safety, and then her family's. Yulia is no fluffy princess; she is quite the opposite (even if she gets swept up in a complicated love triangle...but let's face it: what YA heroine hasn't?). Even when presented the luxurious life she had once lived, Yulia yearns for something more -- freedom from the oppressed life she's been leading.

I really admired Yulia's strength, intelligence, and persistence to seek freedom. Despite all the horrible things she experiences, she always clings to the hope of a better life.

Sergei: Bad boy hockey player Sergei accepts his life as a KGB spy. He'll do anything to stay on the ice, even if that means turning against his friends. After all, who needs friends when you've got a rich life? It's much better to know work towards a goal than to live day by day. He doesn't understand why Yulia doesn't love her newly enriched life at the psychic school.

Valentin: At first a seemingly distant musician with very dangerous powers, Yulia has a hard time opening up to Valentin. With time, she comes to understand his true self, and not just by his abilities as a psychic.

Overall:

The whole idea of a psychic program within the government itself is just really cool. Yulia is a strong female lead -- that's also cool! A complicated love triangle is ehhh, but understandable -- it's one of the requirements of a YA novel, I suppose. However, the delivery and just number of events and people and places these spy kids needed to accomplish/meet/be at were just very overwhelming and rather... forgettable? I'm not saying this book wasn't an enjoyable read - it certainly was - but was it really worth remembering for the long run? Probably not.

BTW - a pretty generic background knowledge of the relationship between Russia and the USA after WW2 would be really helpful.

Happy Reading, folks!

Rosie @ YA Novelties

Prophecy of Solstice's End

Prophecy of Solstice's End - Diantha Jones 4.5 Stars

Check out this review on our website!


Wow... This was a seriously epic roller coaster...

Let's just say a ton of stuff happens in this book. It's massive! Everything is ginormous and ridiculously insane, but this book rocks. So many secrets are revealed and so many more clues are given for future secrets. Clearly, Diantha knows what to give her readers, but unfortunately rations her servings. There was so much that I wanted and received, but just felt needed more by the end. It has been some time since a book has consumed my soul like this. I NEED MORE!!!

We begin with Chloe attending the Solstice's Olympic Games with many of the gods and demigods in attendance. With parades, parties, chariot races, and bonanzas, the Solstice's Olympic Games is an event that is rivaled by no other. However, underneath all of the fanfare that comes with this event, there are secrets lurking awaiting discovery. Each god has a hidden agenda just ready to send the world into oblivion. Cheery, isn't it?

Plot-wise and action-wise, this book rocks the world. There are so many conflicts and plot twists that occur that make Prophecy of the Solstice's End like no other. Chloe is constantly tested by the gods, who are the most irritating and beautiful people to ever exist. Constantly, the gods come in as the pretty and the soap opera characters. It's quite humorous, but also quite irritating. We get it, they have sex appeal. No need to keep repeating how magnificent they are. My new goal is to find one ugly thing in Olympus.

But really, the best aspect of this book would have to be the character relationships. Constantly, so many characters, whom we have deemed as the best buds that could never be torn apart, are forced to question their bonds with one another. Ace, who is extremely close to Strafford and Swindle, starts to question them when they start hiding secrets from him. Additionally, Chloe finds herself becoming best buds with Strafford's sworn enemy, further testing the bonds between Strafford and her. It's crazy, but so emotionally investing as a reader.

This book would probably have to be my favorite book yet of the Oracle of the Delphi series. Although this book received a lower rating than Prophecy of the Setting Sunrise, Prophecy of the Solstice's End was a fantastic book that is so unbelievably exciting and enjoyable to read. There definitely could have been less pretty descriptions, but thankfully they did not take away from the primary focus of the book: the impending doom of the world.... Dun dun dun...

-Angie @ YA Novelties

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back - Sariah Wilson 3.5 Stars

Check this review out at our blog!


Sometimes, you just want an adorable, sweet read to balance out your reading depression. Nothing too depressing like cancer or tragic pasts, but not too cheesy and fluffy. Thankfully, there are books like The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back here to fulfill this purpose. With a lot of heart and laughs, this book made me smile at every turn.

Mattie is the average girl that is continually being traumatized by her stepsister's perfectness. Not to mention, Mattie is having to deal with a sociopathic mother, a bully who knows how to press all of the right buttons, and an arrogant Jake Kingston. Life sucks, right? Even though Mattie is facing way too many issues for someone her own age, these problems are so relatable and similar to the stuff we face in real life. Initially, Mattie faces these issues cynically and does nothing to put a stop to them. It doesn't happen until Mattie is utterly humiliated when she decides to fight back. However, she receives help from the person she least expects: Ella. With Ella, Mattie goes to prove to the world that even an average person can defeat the extraordinary through the student council elections.

If you can't tell already, this is an underdog story. It's a story that brightens our day when we read about the underdog defeating everything standing in her way. Mattie is definitely a flawed heroine. She makes so many mistakes and assumptions throughout her journey to discover herself. But this makes her so likable because she actually learns from her mistakes and admits to them.

I admit, I really enjoyed this book. So many of the characters, not just Mattie, were so enjoyable to read about. We meet Ella, Mattie's perfect stepsister, who is so ridiculously nice and kind. Initially, Ella seems like a flat character because we only really see how perfect she is. Little by little, the history behind Ella's actions and personality unveil, soon making her my favorite character after Mattie. Jake himself wasn't too bad either. After piercing through his arrogance, we see the stereotypical male lead who is mean because he is pressured to get into a good college, so he vents out at others behind everyone's back. I mean seriously, there probably are more original reasons for why Jake was such an arrogant *beep*, but I guess this reason was believable, so kudos to the author for that. Additionally, many of the other characters were cute to read about, such as Mattie's dad, Trent (Mattie's best friend whose a guy), and Mattie's sociopathic mother (Yeah, she was really mean and nasty, but my mom is like that too. Therefore, I probably don't see Mattie's mom's verbal abuse as something completely wrong).

As a light, summer read, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is a perfect relaxing read. Snarky, adorable, and emotionally riveting, this book is a book that will bring a smile for it's dorky, but sweet ending. Despite a few clichés and extremely childish moments that were unsuited for the age of the characters, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is a fun, fast-paced read that will have you laughing, crying, and smiling with Mattie during her journey for identity.

Angie @ YA Novelties

The Frog Prince

The Frog Prince - Jenni James Check this review out at our blog!

Jenni James has once again proven herself to be extraordinarily gifted with her fairy tale retellings. While staying close to the setting and dreamy quality of fairy tales, Jenni James sends her readers off to a darker, more developed fairy tale world. These retellings all have a special quality about them that set them above all others. For example, Sleeping Beauty included a world of good warriors fighting off the evil witches. I mean who would ever think of that? What about a cannibalistic stepmother in Hansel and Gretel? The stuff Jenni James usually writes is just candy (fluff, but addictingly tasty fluff), so when she started exploring human nature through fairy tales, her retellings reach another level of amazing-ness.

We begin with a not-so stereotypical scene of a prince convincing his mother that turning into a frog is the best course of action. A majority of Jenni James' retellings involve witty banter, and this was no exception. It may seem as if the smart talk takes up a majority of the book because there is so much of it, but it really suits the story. In fact, it is way more amusing to see characters making fun of each other using their words, rather than the more commonly used body gags.

The best part, though, was not the humor inserted in the dialogue: in reality, it was the depiction of the natural bond between Nolan and Blythe that develops. I know, it's ridiculous that a person can bond with a frog. But somehow it's easy to fly with this idea that people can bond with frogs realistically. The original fairy tale was kind of "meh" on explaining how a princess who hates frogs can deal with a frog hovering around her 24/7, so this take on The Frog Prince revises and improves the logistics of how princess and frog fall in love and eventually marry. We really see that from the moment Nolan and Blythe meet that these need each other and how their relationship shifts from acquaintances to close confidants to finally lovers is so romantic. It's difficult for a book to force a reader to fall hard for the romance, especially in an 87 page book, but this book managed to do it so effortlessly.

The thing that really strikes the most is the evolution Nolan and Blyth themselves. Remember him? How he thought that he was better than his fiancé and wanted to judge her? Remember her? The one who judges on first impressions? Yeah, these two flawed people are able to overcome their faults with one another's help, which is so adorable and meaningful. This relationship is definitely a keeper!

Sigh... Fluffy fairy tale retellings are always a relaxing, fun read, but only if they are done right. Too often writers incorporate too much detail or aren't able to sell their retelling. Thankfully, The Frog Prince didn't have too many problems with this. The only thing that was really annoying was the extremely rushed endings that Jenni James always ends with. Once again, the ending was kind of lame and needed more oomph to make it have greater impact. Rushed endings with quick little blah blah stuff is always a drag to read, so I really hope that the next fairy tale won't face this epidemic problem. However, this was expected, especially after this happening seven times already. Despite this minor issue, The Frog Prince is a fantastic retelling that stays true to the essence of the original while exceeding expectations with a beautiful romance that eclipses all others.

Angie @ YA Novelties

BookLikes -> Goodreads Synchronization

Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews:

Good news for those who like BookLikes and Goodreads and want to stay active on both. Now you can synchronize your Goodreads profile with your BookLikes webpage. Just connect your GR account in Booklikes Settings/Import and fill up your both bookshelves at one go from your BookLikes webpage.

 

To synchronize your Goodreads account with your BookLikes webpage, follow these two steps:

1. Go to Settings/Import and connect your Goodreads account.

2. Enjoy shelving and reviewing books on BookLikes and have them published on both sites.

 

BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization includes:

  • adding books to shelf,
  • adding shelves,
  • posting a review,
  • rating books.

 

Once you do one of those things on BookLikes, they will be published on your both sites: here on your BookLikes webpage and on your Goodreads profile. Please note that during this process we're dependent on Goodreads technology and some synchronization delays concerning adding books on your Goodreads shelf and posting a review may occur.

 

Please remember that BookLikes -> Goodreads book match is possible thanks to ISBN. If the book lacks the number or is unavailable on Goodreads with the given ISBN, it may not appear on your Goodreads bookshelves.

 

The synchronization will be active from the moment you connect your GR account on BookLikes. If you would like to fill up your BookLikes profile with your past book entries from Goodreads, you can do that by importing your csv file from Goodreads with your book collection, bookshelves, reviews and ratings in Settings/Import. If you have any questions, check our FAQ site or write to us

 

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Nobody

Nobody - Jennifer Lynn Barnes Check this review out at our blog!

What if you were nobody? Someone without any friends or other relationships, and you're always forgotten it's almost like you aren't even there. That is the case for two teenagers, Claire and Nix. They grew up differently, but they are the same, they're Nobodies, invisible. Claire has parents, but they need sticky notes to remind themselves about her, so she does what she can to get by, emerging herself in imaginary situations. Nix grew up in a bare, blank room, raised by a group called the Society. His job is to assassinate Nulls, people who are the exact opposites of Nobodies, Nulls don't have feelings and can easily manipulate normal people, which is why they can be very dangerous and need to be killed. That's why Nix is sent to kill Claire, he is led to believe that she is a Null, but somehow, she can see him. That totally shocks him, and eventually he realizes that they are both Nobodies. What else has the Society hidden from him?

I really pity both Claire and Nix, but more Nix. Both of them are very lonely, but Nix has definitely had it harder, after all he was trained to become an assassin (and a very harsh training at that). The characters of Claire and Nix are a bit meh, I mean they're lonely and unloved, but they need a bit more depth. Nix also had a much better background story that really showed you his pain and suffering, and all the wounds (literally and figuratively) that he has.

I love the idea of Nobodies, Nulls, and Sensors (people who can detect Nobodies and Nulls), and the concept of energy (or lack of) that gives them their powers. I think that it is a very unique idea, which is why I decided to give this book a try. I also like the alternating viewpoints of Claire and Nix, that way you can see how similar yet different they are from each other. The ending was just adorable (the epilogue) and so lovely. I am a bit sentimental, and I love happy endings, and this does not disappoint. After the last major battle scene, everything wraps up quite nicely, and Nix finds redemption.

The first third was kinda slow and boring, it seems to take Nix the longest time to realize that Claire is also a Null (I got kinda frustrated at how obvious it was). Finally, once that happened, they fell instantly in love. What is this folks? Yes, insta-love, that dreaded curse. I guess it may be more understandable as they are the only two Nobodies around (or are they?) and they've never met someone like them, but really. You think that maybe it would take a little bit more time for them to fall in love. Anyway, the book really picks up after the realization, and the rest is quite interesting and action packed. I also wish the Society was explained better and more in depth.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone who likes a unique science fiction romance, with mysteries abound.

- ~M @ YA Novelties

Spartan Frost

Spartan Frost - Jennifer Estep Check this review out at our blog!

After the giant cliffhanger at the end of Crimson Frost, I was ready to blow up the entire world. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!?!?!?!? *beep beep beep beep* pause *beep beep beep beep beep* I was spazzing out because the most kickbutt couple in the entire world was going through noble idiocy. Noble idiocy, if you don't know, is the chronic syndrome that couples go through where one person decides to leave the other for some pathetic reason. Refer to Edward from New Moon.

At first, I felt betrayed by Jennifer Estep. How could she subject the most clichéd plotline in the world onto such an epic series? But then Ms. Estep released this novella which makes things so much better. Rather than abandoning Logan freaking Quinn for several months, she decided to give us an even better view of Logan freaking Quinn. Usually novellas are pointless stories that the author writes for some money, but Spartan Frost was totally worth the read and the money.

Spartan Frost begins with Loki possessing Logan, forcing him to attack Gwen. This event was already recapped by Gwen in Crimson Frost, but it was so much more heartbreaking to see this event from Logan's point of view. Seeing Logan so furious and hateful of himself for attacking Gwen, even though it totally was not his fault, is so heartbreaking. Before reading this, I understood that Loki needed to be destroyed forever. But after this, I want Loki to be tortured for eternity because he just gave Logan freaking Quinn a meltdown! This transgression is unforgivable because Logan is such a great protagonist. He has all of the bad boy swag, but he actually has emotions, which sets him apart from the rest of those dumb male YA characters.

Poor Logan is so traumatized that he runs away from Gwen for her safety, which is NOBLE IDIOCY, as mentioned before!!! This stuff usually ruins books, stories, and plots. However, in this case, the noble idiocy made so much more sense. The reason is because we got to see what Logan felt during his meltdown. It also may have helped that he wasn't a soulless robot throughout this ordeal: He still kicked the Reapers' butts in this novella, which is definitely a plus. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised that Spartan Frost effortlessly connected emotionally with its readers, despite its rather short length.

Honestly, if you have not started this series, you really should start now. The first book, Touch of Frost, is not as good as the rest of the series. Furthermore, there isn't anything really original in the setting or storyline of this series. In spite of these faults, Mythos Academy really has grown to be a favorite YA fantasy series though because all of the characters really connect to the readers. I admit, part of the reason why there is a connection is because Gwen has the power to sense the past when touching an object or a person. Still, there is something special in this series that everyone should discover.

-Angie @ YA Novelties

Review: Solar, Defeated by Diantha Jones

Solar, Defeated - Diantha Jones
For the people how have fallen in love with the Oracle of Delphi series, Solar, Defeated is a must read. Who can deny the amazing allure of Strafford Law and all of the bothersome secrets cause a guy that amazing to be ostracized on a daily basis? Story of my life right here.
 
Initially, the novella began with Strafford reminiscing his past with melancholy and regret strewn everywhere throughout the pages, setting the bar of the novella relatively low. However, immediately the reader is sent on a flashback journey that introduces the Strafford that everyone once loved and his family that was once closely bonded. Diantha has done a splendid job of revealing the pain within Strafford that has been hidden from readers previously. The flashbacks are not pathetically depressing, but are in fact extremely cute and fun to read.
 
Despite all of the adorable flashbacks that were so enjoyable, they also left me tearing once I finished. After seeing a happy Strafford with his joyful family, it was shocking and tragic to see the family all broken up after the death of Isolde, Strafford's twin sister. It was unimaginable that her death, even though it was already known, could destroy the familial bond between Strafford, his siblings, and his parents. 
 
If I could describe this book it would have to be like an Annie or Les Miserables mash-up. Yes, both of these are musicals, but since Strafford and his siblings are the children of Apollo, it's not like they're avoiding music. In fact at one point, one of the cutest scenes was when the family formed a band. In other words, the desolate beginning soon branches into a fluffy, cheerful middle, and ends with a somewhat deflated climax. Although there are so many questions answered in Solar, Defeated, there are also so many more questions that came up as well, especially with the vague, open ending.
 
For the most part, it is hard for me to decide whether this novella was a read I loved or a so-so read. There was so much that had me smiling and eagerly rereading, but the inevitable depressing parts of the novella were quite burdensome. There were points that felt a bit disjointed because of the vacillation between the bright and the dark. It is definitely not Diantha's fault or the novella's problem; it's my own personal tastes that playing a factor in it. This is definitely a novella that all Oracle of the Delphis series lovers will enjoy, so go and give this series a try because it is so worth it.
 

Review: Kiss Me by Jillian Dodd

Kiss Me: The Keatyn Chronicles: Book two - Jillian Dodd

Kiss Me picks up exactly where Stalk Me ended, kind of like the first book never end. So make sure you read the first novel! This series is shaping to be like Gossip Girl except boarding school edition, which is awesome because I love GG. This book definitely has a lot more going on than the first novel, meaning way more drama! Seems like Stalk Me was just the build up of the drama that is Kiss Me. By the way, why do boarding schools always seem so glamorous in novels and TV?



Keats and her parents are really tight. It's really nice that they get along, since most YA characters don't get along with their parents. It's pretty cool that she goes to her parents for relationship advice and that she listens to their advice. 
 
I knew there was a reason why I didn't like Brooklyn! After reading Kiss Me I don't like him at all! Brooklyn= yuke! I don't really understand why Keats is mad at Cush though. It's not like he betrayed her...
 
There's another love triangle. There always is.... Although I find love triangles overrated and overused, I do like this love triangle between Aiden, Dawson, and Keats better than other love triangles in the YA novel world. First off Dawson, hello that's the name of the character from the Lux series! And Aiden is the guy from the Covenant series! #JLA is the greatest! Sorry... the characters in Kiss Me just have really awesome names. I hate when both the guys in the triangle are both awesome because that makes predicting and deciding what guy she should end up with much harder.
 
I definitely liked Kiss Me better than Stalk Me. Maybe it was because I read both within a few days of each other, but I think it was because after Stalk Me I got to know the characters very well. I can't wait for Date Me(the third book)! Very sad/ mad/ excited that we have to wait until spring!!! April 15th come faster!

Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

Talented - Sophie  Davis
There are times when books that have summaries that interest you, but not in the way that the author probably intended. The whole little snippet at the end talking about James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse's love child is what had me sold. It wasn't like I wanted them to have a love child, that wouldn't be a pleasant experience, it was more that the writer of this blurb clearly wanted to prove that this book would meet the ridiculously high expectations placed upon it by comparing it to James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse, and I intended to determine whether it was a deserving honor or a farce.
 
The story begins with Natalia "Tal" proving herself as an expert 'Talented' who can kick butt with her mental capabilities. Whoo-hoo! Natalia is introduced along with the group she is assigned to as she is training to be a Hunter, which includes the ever-responsible Henri and the playboy Erik. With her childhood friend boyfriend, Donovan, and her new best friend, Penny, it seems as if Tal's life is an average one, even with the whole Hunter thing. In fact, Tal's life is a little too simplistic in this radically different dystopian world with people with superpowers. Soon enough, Tal is quickly caught into the net forcing her to challenge her ideals and the sacrifices she will have to make to finish her retribution. On a side note, the guy who killed her parents is kind of important here, but then again not really.
 
This summary that I have crafted is full of contradicting statements. I know, it is ridiculous. Well, the reason for that is because truthfully, I have no idea how to describe the basic plot. There are shifts from epic fighting scenes that deserved more description and detail to cute girly scenes about fashion and nail polish to highly emotional scenes that either make me want to smile or want to puke. So many descriptions to choose from, so how am I supposed to decide?
 
One of the things that I struggled with most was the emotions that a scene would try to evoke. Sometimes the author succeeded in her goal with certain scenes, while at other times, not so much. For example, Tal's questionable boyfriend is a playboy and everyone knows it, but her. Despite the fact that they know it will crush her, the teammates that Tal lives with, Henri and Erik, don't even tell her because they are afraid that it would ruin the karma within the group! In other words, they think that Tal is too weak to handle her cheating boyfriend, so they just let him continue cheating on her! It is ridiculous and totally hypocritical for a book that seems to advertise the girl power. 
 
There were scenes that had made me start tearing a bit, though they were few and far between. When Tal, Henri, and Erik are assigned a Kill Mission to assassinate a scientist, the author was able to capture the conflicting emotions that everyone was experiencing. Most books about spies and assassins tend to skim over the nitty gritty emotional conflict one may experience when killing another human being, but Talented instead used it to make the characters that originally seemed too uppity become more relatable. 
 
Even with all of the flip-flopping feelings I had about the characters and their decisions, Talented was an extremely enjoyable book. At times, it was hard to decipher what direction the author intended to take it. One of the most important characteristic that a protagonist must have is to be flawed, which Tal excels in. Her mistakes and teeny bit of arrogance make her a heroine I love to cheer for because it is always a surprise whether or not she succeeds. The dystopian world that Tal lives in is one that is quite fascinating, full of facets, that I cannot wait to discover when continuing on with this series!
 

Review: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Don't Turn Around - Michelle Gagnon
Don't Turn Around is a beautiful book. Seriously, I think I've been waiting my whole life for this. It's got everything a truly terrific young adult book needs to have:
 
  1. A strong female character (Noa) who doesn't get progressively weaker as they male character (Peter) appears.
  2. The beginnings of a romance between the two main characters (it's only the first book. I'm sure it'll progress)
  3. A storyline improbable enough to be classified as young adult, but grounded enough in reality and the insane world of hackers to make for an incredibly entertaining read.
  4. An author with some insane writing skills.
The book alternates between the viewpoints of Noa, a girl living on her lonesome after running away from the foster care system, and Peter, a rich boy who lost his brother to some mysterious disease that is taking out the country's teenagers. The book starts out with Noa waking up in a warehouse crawling with evil henchmen with an IV in her arm and Peter's house being broken into by a group of masked thugs. The story continues on the action packed course it starts off with and doesn't slow down. 
 
The book ends up including just about everything and action book could. Tragedy? Some. Insanely wild and awesome fights/running away? Lots of it. Sheer fantastical hacking scenes? Enough to make you want to become a professional hacker. The beginnings of a revolution just to spice things up a bit? You got it. A few predictable plot lines? Come on. This is young adult fiction we're talking about. You already know the answer.
 
Overall, Don't Turn Around was a gripping novel with strong characters the reader roots for, a storyline that keeps the pages turning and, of course, hackers!