Review: Wake (Amanda Hocking)


The Deets
Reading level: upper MG or YA
Pages: 309
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 7, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1250008121
Source: library book


Wake (Watersong, #1)Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

 

I just love mermaid stories. Make it a story about killer mermaids and I'm even more entranced. I had a lot of fun reading Wake by Amanda Hocking.

While the plot didn't amaze me, I was intrigued. I hate to say this, but there is only so much you can do with a story about sirens. It was everything I expected it to be, and very little more. Now, don't take that the wrong way. I did enjoy it; it just didn't break the mold.

Gemma was a decent character. She was strong and beautiful-- perfect bait for a gang of deadly sirens. I know the majority of the story focused on Gemma and her plight, but I was really more interested in Daniel. He was mysterious and fun. He had this aura of bad-boy swirling around him that had me hooked from the beginning. Alex was that "boy next door" kind of character, which worked well with being Gemma's love interest. Gemma's sister was also decent as far as foils go. Overall, the characters were all balanced out and did a nice job of supporting one another-- but I'm still team Daniel.

What review of a book about mermaids would be complete without mentioning the main characters? These sirens were not all singing crabs and sunshine. These girls were hard-core. Penn is certainly the most vicious of the three. Talia came across as aloof and uninterested. I'm sure there will be more to that in future books. What I did enjoy about this book is that the focus really wasn't on sparkling mermaid tails. Yes, it was mentioned a few times, but not as much as you would think. There was certainly an underlying mystery that was more prevalent to the plot. The mythology that was subtly introduced was also used in a very clever way. I am curious to see how Gemma and the other unravel that mystery in future books.

Overall, Wake was a fun read. It was quick and had enough romance to make it a page turner. (Very clean romance by the way.) I feel like this was a nice introduction to the upcoming books, which will probably have more plot twists in store.


Mini-review: Enchanted Ivy (Sarah Beth Durst)

The Deets:
Reading level: older MG or YA
Pages: 310
Publisher: October 12th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 9781416986454
Source: library book


Enchanted IvyWhat Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

 

Have I mentioned lately how much I adore Sarah Beth Durst? Probably, but it's worth saying again. I love how each book I pick up is completely different from the one before it. Durst obviously has a talent that is above par.

While Enchanted Ivy isn't really my favorite so far, it was fun. I enjoyed Ivy's adventures at Princeton. If you couldn't tell by the synopsis, the story takes place at Princeton University-- both the real college and it's mytholigical counterpart. It was a new take on the uppity boarding school setting.

I was a bit disappointed to see that this book lacked the amazing descriptive details that I have come to love and adore with Durst's writing. This was written a few years before the other books I've read, so I think it's safe to say that she has come a long way. Drink, Slay, Love was vivid and fun, while Vessel blew me away from page one with its imagery. Unfortunately, Enchanted Ivy didn't have that same impact. It was, however, action packed. Classic Sarah Beth Durst style. I flew through the pages to see what was going to happen next.

All SBD fans will probably enjoy this one. It's worth reading. It's also squeaky clean enough for younger readers, so middle grades readers could read it too.


Review: Crimson Frost (Jennifer Estep)

The Deets:
Reading level: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: December 24th 2012 by Kensington
ISBN: 9780758281463
Source: eARC from Netgelley



Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4)I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…
 


As much as I love this series, I have to say I was a little disappointed with Crimson Frost. Maybe it's just me, but this series is dragging on. I really thought this would be the final book, and I was sad when I started... BUT, now I'm ready for a finale.

I know some stories can't be told in 3 or 4 books (um, Harry Potter?), but many of them can. Honestly. Yes, I love the mythology embedded in the Mythos Academy series, but it's getting stale. I felt like most of the action in the newest addition to the series was much of the same. A few new villains and twists added in, but otherwise more of the same.

Now, with that being said it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy this book. I did. I think Gwen and her grandma are awesome, and Logan totally makes my heart beat faster. The other characters that I have enjoyed in the past really didn't have much of a role in this book. That was a little disappointing. Daphne and her beau were absent for the majority of the book. Bummer. A few new characters were introduced, so that might make the next book more interesting. I intrigued by the hodge-podge team of Reaper fighting whiz kids that has been put together. I hope Midnight Frost brings them all together in some way.

I think it's worth noting that the setting is what makes this series so much fun (in my opinion). Sure, we have yet another supernatural themed story taking place in a uppity boarding school. That cliche is still being used. However, this time the students are "whiz kids" with hidden talents and ties to mythology. You have gypsies like Gwen, Spartan warriors, Valkyries, and a few other mythological creatures popping up. I especially like how the various myth cultures are represented. In Crimson Frost, we meet a creature from Egyptian mythology and Apate. Loki is still lurking in the shadows and trying to take over the world. That hasn't changed.

What will Midnight Frost have instore for us? Who knows. Hopefully a conclusion to this series, because I really don't know how many more twists and turns can be added to the plot before it seems like we're reading the same story again. I'm already starting to feel that way. Thankfully, though, there was one heck of a surprise at the end that will make the next book very interesting. Jennifer Estep seems to have a way with those hook endings.


Cover Appeal: Dystopians Part 2

It's still Dystopian December. Here is round 2 of Dystopian inspired book covers for Cover Appeal.


time
 
Feelings
 
mystery
 
Lake
 
Great old barn
 
 
 

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