REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Synopsis:

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

REVIEW

Since I plan on reading the rest of the series, I didn’t think it would be necessary for me to write a long review for each book, so instead I’m going to try and keep it simple 😉

I really liked this one, and it’s because of the things I discovered while reading it; things that were never touched on in the movie that I think should have been. This cemented my belief on the whole iceberg concept (The movie is only ten percent of the story and the other ninety is the book), and I was really glad I continued Harry’s story.

Saying I was impressed with the way everything came together in the plot and had a purpose at the end of the story is an understatement. The way Rowling can weave a tale is amazing, and it makes for easy reading and real fascination, even though I’m not the twelve-year-old demographic it’s meant for.

If I did have one thing to complain about, it would be the ridiculous amount of people who hate Harry, or pass him off as a bad kid. Like seriously? Everyone hates him, and it just seemed impossible to me that he’d have so many enemies. Teachers, aunt and uncle, cousin, fellow school mates to which he has never done a thing to harm. I felt so bad for him in this one, and yet he kept going, even forgiving the idiots that called him evil. He really is a great role model for kids, and adults, alike.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling = 4 stars

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Current Read

So I finally found what I hope is going to be a good YA read that will be something light and funny and help me to recover from reading “Me Before You”. If any of you have read that book, then you understand my need for this current read. *rolls eyes while destroyed heart bleeds all over the floor*

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Synopsis:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

Check it Out!

Jules Gray

So recently my girl over at The Perks of Being a Bibliophile just got an Instagram page, and since she’s awesome, I wanted to share the good fortune with you all 😉 If you love her reviews and book promotions, go follow her at @bibliophileperks, and if you haven’t heard of her, RUN TO HER BLOG RIGHT NOW AND HIT THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON. She’s passionate about the books she reads and you can see that in every review she posts. Also, find her on Twitter at @JulesGrayBooks for updates on book giveaways, currently reading lists, and so much more!

REVIEW: ENCLAVE (RAZORLAND, #1) BY ANN AGUIRRE

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Synopsis:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

REVIEW

So like I said in my previous post, ENCLAVE was a fun look back at a book I had read from about five years ago. And boy has a lot changed in those five years. I’ve read a few hundred more books, many of those being dystopians, so I feel I have a bit more experience with the genre now unlike the last time I rated this story. With that being said, lets get to the review!

ENCLAVE is a book that reminded me much of DIVERGENT and HUNGER GAMES in that it had both a competitive feel as well as a breaking of conformance to the “government” they were to obey and live under. This book also had what I would call “simple writing”. There weren’t over explanations of the world building – confusing you and deviating from the heart of the story – and all of the scenes moved along quickly, as well as the pace of the book. A lot happens in just 259 pages, and none of if was filler fluff or unnecessary additions simply to add length. In that way, I really enjoyed reading this.

Though the characters are younger (fifteen and seventeen) there was much to be said about their maturity and the way they handled themselves as well as hard situations. I could really appreciate how the author managed to combine hardness and cold logical thinking along with a  sense of fragile innocence in both of the main characters. You were reminded every once in a while that though they were brought up in a world without much hope, aging them beyond their years, they would still showcase a bit of their naivety along with having feelings of being lost and unsure of themselves, and wondering what to do next. In doing so, Ann did a fantastic job of keeping it realistic.

If you are a romance fiend like myself, then you aren’t going to find the mushy stuff you’re looking for in this read. Despite there being a touch of romance between the main characters, it definitely isn’t a main focus. We’re more learning about their world and how things are changing for them rather than diving too deep into the relationship side of things. Thoughts of making out and holding hands kind of falls to the wayside when death is knocking at your door with every turn you take lol.

Overall, I thought this was a really interesting story with a good amount of plot expanding potential for the other sequels, which is indeed what the author has done with the series. I would recommend this to anyone who is just starting to get into the apocalyptic/dystopian genre, or perhaps have been wanting to read something of that nature but haven’t found the right one yet that doesn’t look too intimidating. It was a well thought out story, easy to follow, and I’m glad I decided to give it another read.

ENCLAVE BY ANN AGUIRRE = 4 POST APOCOLYPTIC STARS

 

 

REVIEW: ASH (HIVE TRILOGY #1) BY JAYMIN EVE AND LEIA STONE

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Synopsis:

Are you an Ash?

*Increased stamina
*Lack of appetite
*Anger outbursts
*Insatiable thirst
*Beauty & Strength
*Male

Call the hotline if these symptoms come on suddenly!

Turns out Charlie Bennet was all of those things except the last. Don’t let the name fool you, Charlie was all woman and she wanted nothing to do with the ash … until the day she found out she was one.

It all started when infected bats bit a small group of humans and created what are now called vampires. Then, the male vampires knocked up some female humans and the result was a gorgeous race of all male ash. Superhuman freaks that had looks to kill.

Charlie is the first female ash, aka unicorn of the Hive – the gated compound in Portland that the humans have designated to isolate vampires and ash from society.

Problem? The Hive is full and only a select few will be allowed to live there. To live at all, really. If Charlie wants to earn the right to become a citizen of the Hive, she will have to survive the culling – a series of fights to the death. And guess what? Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she’ll get special treatment.

Good thing there’s Ryder, the mysterious lead ash enforcer, who seems to always have her back. But when secrets bubble to the surface, it will take more than one guy to save her.

REVIEW

Wow…this was…wow. It was like Divergent meets The Covenant series meets vampires in a clash of awesome lol. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked this read. It was interesting, funny as hell, and it had the Sexy Six, which are a bunch of kickass alpha males that make you wish that this book wasn’t a work of fiction. Needless to say I was a fan.

Charlie is sassy, headstrong, and a girl you would be happy to call a friend. When life throws her a curve ball, she steps up to the plate with a Louisville slugger in tow. So when she discovers she’s an ash, something that was thought to be impossible until now, she owns up to it and treats it like any other obstacle life has thrown at her. All she has to do is survive the culling: a heinous, medieval like tradition to eliminate the weak from the pack and allow newly turned ash the chance to live.

Along the way she meets a totally awesome roommate/best friend. A bunch of hardcore enforcers that somehow become her family, and even a hot as hell super ash who decides to train Charlie personally for the culling – the likes of which has a few demons of his own.

Plot twists galore, I thought this was a fantastic start to the series. We get enough information to understand the world of the Hive, but at the same time we’re not overwhelmed with details. It was the perfect mix of paranormal, romance, and action. My hat goes off to Leia and Jaymin for writing this one 😉

ASH BY JAYMIN EVE AND LEIA STONE = 5 STARS

AUTHOR INFO:

Jaymin Eve

Jaymin Eve has a passion for reading, writing and arithmetic … okay maybe not the last one but definitely the first two. She loves surrounding herself with the best things in life: her two girls, a good book and chocolate.

Living on the beautiful Gold Coast, in Australia, the family loves spending lots of time on the beach. And travelling as frequently as possible.

When Jaymin isn’t trying to wrangle two daughters, a puppy and her husband, you will find her hiding in a corner trying desperately to write her stories (without little fingers pressing random keys). She asks forgiveness if you notice the occasional sskkkkssjs appearing in her book, her children are proud of their contribution.

She’d love it if you contacted her, giving feedback or just to have a chat.

Stay updated:

http://www.jaymineve.com

https://www.facebook.com/JayminEve.Au…

And check out her blog at:

http://jaymineve.blogspot.com.au/

Leia Stone

Leia Stone lives in Portland, OR with her husband, two kids and her dog. When she is not chasing around her twin son and daughter, or writing, she has her nose shoved in a book. She wrote her first book when she was 23 years old. Keep reading, live with purpose. Freeworld!

Follow me on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/leia.stone

REVIEW: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES

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Synopsis:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down

REVIEW

So I finally, FINALLY finished this thing. I got some time yesterday to sit down and devour the last 30%, and I’m so glad I did. Because for one, this was a beautiful read from a writer’s point of view. The details Sarah creates with her words is truly amazing, making the world building in this exquisite. I felt like I was there, living in a faerie court alongside Feyre. For me that made this a class-A read in itself.

From a creative POV, I was really impressed with the originality of the story. It’s not easy to weave a tale about the Fey that readers haven’t already seen before. I thought the author did a fantastic job keeping you guessing about where the journey was going to take us.

On a less amazing note, I did feel like in the middle of the story things got a little slow, and I kind of lost interest for a few chapters. Also, Feyre made some pretty stupid decisions, and ignored quite a few peoples’ advice, putting her in situations I felt she was smart enough to stay out of in the first place. Of course I know that the author has to add some conflict to make things interesting and make the story move along, but I felt like some of the things Feyre got herself into were kind of stupid, and she could act rather childish at times.

To sum it all up, I was happy with the story and its outcome. I think the sequel will be interesting to read, if only to see how life after the big ending comes about. Fans of faeries and tales of the mischievous Fey are sure to be pleased if they pick up this read.

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J. MAAS = 4 STARS

AUTHOR INFO

Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

WEBSITE: http://sarahjmaas.com/

TWITTER: @SJMaas

REVIEW : Tear (Seaside, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

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Synopsis:

Life as a teenager is never easy. But for Natalee Murray, things have just gotten way more difficult. Bored with life, she can’t wait to graduate high school and get out of town, especially considering the famous band members from AD2 suddenly start attending her school, making her once boring life, absolutely insane.

It starts with a pen. A single brush of fingers, and she is captivated.

But Alec and Demetri have a dark secret, one that could shatter their reputations and Natalee’s heart. What do you do when one guy paints your life with color while the other infuses your soul with passion? How do you choose when your heart is divided?

*This is a New Adult/Mature YA. Minor swearing and drug usage.

REVIEW

Let me start out by saying that I am not usually one to indulge myself in reading a love triangle. I hate the strife it causes in a book so I normally avoid them. But since I had fallen so hard for “Capture”, the spinoff to the Seaside series, I decided to give this one a chance. I wasn’t wrong, I wasn’t a fan of this particular triangle, but I did love the outcome for the story, and that’s how I rate my reviews. I love a good ending. I mean, who doesn’t?

Nat is stuck in a rut. Life has gotten boring as of late, and she can’t wait to escape the sleepy little town of Seaside, Oregon. That is until the new guys arrive, the famous Canadian brother duo, AD2. Life gets interesting real fast for Natalee when not only one of the brothers, but BOTH of them stake her out as someone who stands apart from the rest. She can’t go anywhere without one or both of the brothers there, waiting to charm their way into her once boring existence. (Nothing like being caught between two brothers, huh Elena Gilbert? Haha)

I actually liked this story quite a bit. I thought Demetri was hysterical and Alec was that perfect blend of moody and sweet. Normally I’d have to read two completely different stories to experience these two personalities, but in this book I got to hit two birds with one stone. Both boys are total opposites of one another, but that’s what made this story interesting. Who do you choose? The fun one who can charm his way into your heart just by breathing? Or the guy who is always there for you, his protectiveness and heart stopping glances your way threatening to stop your breathing completely? I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out for yourself 😉

Overall this book was a really good example of the heartache the young adults of today experience mixed with the sometimes devastating lives of the rich and famous. Yes, they too have problems just like the rest of us. Sometimes even worse than you could ever imagine. But what made this story stand out from the rest in the band romance genre is the way these characters dealt with their problems. It was a slow healing process, but it was realistic in that respect. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

TEAR by Rachel Van Dyken = 4 stars

AUTHOR INFO

Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.
WEBSITE = http://rachelvandykenauthor.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-…