Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Book of Spells by Kate Brian Review

The Book of Spells by Kate Brian
Private #0.5
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Summary: The year is 1915 when sixteen-year-old Eliza Williams arrives at the Billings School for Girls in Easton, Connecticut. Her parents expect her to learn the qualities of a graceful, dutiful wife. But Eliza and her housemates have a dangerous secret: They're witches. After finding a dusty, leather bound spell book, the Billings Girls form a secret coven. Bonded in sisterhood, they cast spells--cursing their headmistress with laryngitis, brewing potions to bolster their courage before dances, and conjuring beautiful dress out of old rags. The girls taste freedom and power for the first time, but what starts out as innocent fun turn sinister when one of the spells has an unexpected-and deadly - consequence. Magic could bring Eliza everything she's ever wanted... but it could also destroy everything she holds dear.


Kate Brian isn't one of my most favorite authors. Past books that I read from her would always leave me somewhat unsatisfied. The Book of Spells definitely changed my mind about Kate Brian. I loved every single thing about this book, from the plot, the setting, the climax, to the characters.

The vivid detailing of the behavior, setting, and fashion of 1915 mad this book so realistic and surreal. I had a sudden wish to travel back in time, if possible, to live like how they used to. Surely, it would've been beautiful.

I had a like hate relationship with Eliza. Although she was raised under a strict household; forbidden to act anything other than ladylike, robbed of the books she most enjoyed, the classics and books that men would enjoy, Eliza never tried to change who she was. Her adventurous and spontaneous side never failed to show when Eliza and her friends went on many "field trips" together. Along with her leadership skills, Eliza can be very stubborn. So stubborn it was frustrating.

After the last sentence of this book, I thought, 'this can't be the end, I don't want it to end' because of how fond I grew of this book. The Book of Spells was perfectly written, perfectly wicked, perfectly magical and perfectly mysterious. Among the many books I've read that involved witchcraft this was probably the best.

Rating: 5/5
Cover: 6/10
First Sentence: Even at the tender age of sixteen, Elizabeth Williams was the rare girl who knew her mind.
What the Author's Up To: Goodreads/Website/Facebook/Twitter/Myspace

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Across the Universe by Beth Revis Review

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Across the Universe #1
Published by Razorbill
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But of of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

To be completely honest, I was not all that excited to read this book. I wasn't all that drawn in to the plot and it didn't seem like the genre of book I enjoy reading most of the time.

I particularly liked Amy because she was a brave, bold and fearless character. She was more of the heroine then the damsel in distress ; saving the male rather then being saved. Amy was "unplugged" 49 years before landing, and is forced to live with a society of people with no feelings, emotions and animal-like behavior. While she is slowly trying to adjust to her new life she tries to unravel the mystery of why she was unplugged. I was just as frustrated and angry as Amy was, reading into her thoughts and what she was seeing; abnormal behavior being done from mindless drones that lives on every word Eldest says. Elder was one of those rare male characters that I enjoyed. Although he was the soon to be leader, after Eldest, and was supposed to lead how Eldest led, he was bold like Amy and lived for justice instead of power, even if it meant defying the person that raised him since a child.

I thought it was a great idea to write the story in both Amy and Elder's point of views instead of only Amy's or Elder's or even third person narrative. It made the story that much better getting to know the characters better and their feelings. At some parts, like introducing the ship and the past slightly made me lose interest. I would put the book down, and when I felt like reading I would pick up this book with doubt. Although, I'm glad I got to finish it. Near the end it seemed like the puzzle was even more incomplete because of all the twists in the plot. It was definitely my favorite part because it made me excited and curious to figure out the puzzle.

Overall, I'm glad that I tried a new genre that I didn't expect to read... like ever. This was a more then satisfactory novel that left me pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 3.5/5
Cover: 7/10
First Sentence: Daddy said, " Let mom go first."
What the Author's Up To: Goodreads//Blog//Website//Twitter//Facebook//Tumblr

In My Mailbox (14)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren


Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh
Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope #2) by Maureen Johnson
Popular by Alissa Grosso
Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2) by Kiersten White
Another Faust (Another #1) by Daniel & Dina Nayeri
Oh. My. Gods (Oh. My. Gods #1) by Tera Lynn Child
Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange #1) by Lesley Livingston
The Book of Spells (Private #0.5) by Kate Brian
Wicked (Pretty Little Liars #5) by Sara Shepard
The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney
Love Story by Jennifer Echols
The Ghost and the Goth (The Ghost and the Goth #1) by Stacey Kade

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Radiance by Alyson Noel Review

Radiance by Alyson Noel
Riley Bloom #1
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Published by: Square Fish
Format: Paperback, 183 pages
Summary: Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife- a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she's summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who's definitely hiding something. They return to eath together for Riley's first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley...


•I was really excited to read this book because I always loved reading people going on missions and trying to solve things.
•The environment and surroundings was described vividly. I felt like I was right there with Riley.
•I didn't really like Riley's personality because she was really stuck up and cocky. I sometimes wanted to slap her and remind her that the world didn't revolve around her.
Some minor things... in a way... it was a little hard to believe that you were reading into Riley's thoughts because of the use of big vocabulary. Honestly, you're not gonna find an eleven year old using words used by teachers.
I was a little disappointed that their mission was resolved so quickly because of a long introduction to the book. The conclusion to Riley's mission was very rushed and hard to believe. There were gaps in between that weren't filled because the story had to conclude.
•Really interested to read the second book of the Riley Bloom series. I wonder what's going to happen next... Perhaps Riley changes into a more likable character...
• This book had fewer pages from the books I normally read, but I liked that I could finish this quickly. Sometimes it's good to read a short book when you're often reading books with 30+ chapters.
• I recommend checking this book out from the library first before you make a decision to purchase it.

Rating: 3.5/5
Cover: 8/10
First Sentence: Most people think that death is the end.
What the Author's Up To: Goodreads//Blog//Facebook//Twitter//Myspace