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I quit my teaching job to stay home with my only son almost 3 years ago. It was the best decision my husband and I ever made for our family. It hasn't always been easy or perfect, but it has been wonderful! I have enjoyed the time I get to spend at home with our little, but I also discovered that I needed an outlet. I workout at the gym for my body, but my brain also needs a workout. I decided to start a blog to exercise my brain a bit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

 

Title: Spell Bound

Author:Rachel Hawkins
Publisher:  Disney Hyperion
Pages: 336














Back of Book Summary:

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.
Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

My Review:
Characters:
  Sophie and her band of supernatural sidekicks draw the reader instantly into the plot of the story. I struggled with the love triangle between Sophie, Archer, and Cal. I've had a hard time with those recently (since so many novels have begun to have this same subplot- The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Matched to name a few.) I really enjoyed Elodie in this novel. She was one of my favorite characters. The changes that develop in her character throughout the novel are true to form and make her easy to connect with as a reader. Besides Elodie- I did love Sophie Mercer. She was easy to identify with because of her humor and sarcasm.

Plot, Conflict, Theme:
  The plot was well developed and kept the reader guessing. I enjoyed it for the most part. Again referring back to the love triangle, I was not enthralled, but it didn't turn me away either. There was only one other problem that I struggled with in the novel. I had a difficult time with how easy it was for Sophie to break the connection between the Casnoff sisters. I would have like more of an explanation behind that particular conflict resolution. Other than those two small issues, I like the team work that the characters used to defeat the villains and the human aspect that the villains were given as well.

Quality of Writing:
  Rachel Hawkins is one of my absolute favorite authors. She has such a unique fun voice that her writing is next to impossible to set aside.

My Rating:
Cover:B for Basically Brilliant
Book: B for Basically Brilliant

Friday, January 27, 2012

Matched

Title: Matched
Author:Ally
Publisher:  Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pages:400









Back of Book Summary:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Review:
Characters:
   Ky, Xander, and Cassia are fun characters. I really enjoyed Ky's character. He was mysterious and left to the reader's imagination. Xander was kind and gentle and represented something that was perfect. Cassia was also a well developed character. I enjoyed reading about these characters because they were all flawed in someway. Even in the perfect society that the SOCIETY was trying to create these three managed to be flawed.
   One thing that bothered be about them was the love triangle between the three characters. It was so similar to that of the Twilight Saga that I found it a little tiresome. I don't know that there is a book or movie out there that this wouldn't bother me at the moment because of the hype of Twilight. It isn't so major that it will discourage me from finding out who Cassia is ultimately paired with.

Plot, Conflict, Theme:
  The setting of the story is interesting. I enjoyed the development of the Society that Cassia lives in. It was interesting to learn and piece together the different aspects of the Society. Sometimes I even found myself wanting to be a part of this Society. I wanted a nutritionist to tell me what and how much to eat. I also wouldn't mind having a trainer tell me how long to work out. Of course in Cassia's Society the amount of control exerted over the citizens was even more extreme than that. It was interesting that even though the Society was created to treat people equally, there ended up being a caste system to keep everyone in line.
   There is a rather deceiving conflict that the reader feels in the main conflict in the story- which boy is Cassia going to choose to be her ultimate match- but that is not actually the conflict at all. It is the slow and steadily building feelings of discontent that the citizens have toward the Society. This slowly came to the reader's attention. I was disappointed that it wasn't actually more apparent because the author left this aspect of the story hidden from the reader for so long that in the end there were more questions unanswered than answered. 
   The theme, to me is not quite apparent. I have to read the next novel to discover more about the conflict to really determine the message that the author is trying to communicate to me.

Quality of Writing:
   The quality of writing is average. I found that the story itself had many cliches in it- The love triangle that is overused, the dis-utopian society that is actually mistreating its citizens, the band of rebels that are fighting against the society. This overshadowed the other uniquely interesting aspects of the writing.


My Rating:
Cover: B for Basically Brillant
Book: B for Basically Brillant