Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: The Diviners

             The Diviners by Libba Bray

Release date: September 8, 2012

Read: February 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 529 pages

Description from Goodreads:

   Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
   Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
   As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Review: Normally, I don't go for the really creepy, and paranormal books. Add the fact that it's set in the 1920's, and you are in for a really scary ride.

Now I don't want to scare you away from the book, however it's not for the faint of heart. I think I first realized this during the introduction. It begins at a party with a Ouija board. A OUIJA BOARD! I think any normal person would see that it's only going to go downhill from there.

Like I said before, I'm not the creepy book type of gal. But this book kept me hooked. I literally couldn't stop reading. It took a while to hit the action, as Bray did a lot of character building on Evie (the main character). Once it hit, it was awesome. Every twisty turn was refreshingly original, and I never felt bored.

Although, I wish that we could have seen a little more of New York City in the 20's. The whole story stayed in one area, so I think had we traveled a little further, the story would have had even more depth to it. All in all, it was a great book, and I can't wait to read the next one!

Favorite Quote: “Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on. Cuts your throat and takes your bones, sells 'em off for a coupla stones.” ― Libba Bray, The Diviners

(Not gonna lie, this was one of the creepiest parts of the book)

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended to people who like: horror, paranormal, supernatural, YA, romance, exciting, thriller, mystery

Happy Reading,


Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: The Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan

Release date: April 1, 2006
Read: Mid-July, 2015 and many times before that
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Paperback, 279 pages
Series: Book #2 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Description from Goodreads: 
   The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Review: Eventful, enticing, and downright funny. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think about this book. The none-stop rolling plot, the hidden meanings, the otherworldly places they visit. It all fits together perfectly. The first time I read the Sea of Monsters, I have to admit, I kind of hated Tyson. He seemed so needy, but the more I read about him, the more I realized that he was okay. My favourite scene is tied between Circe's island and Annabeth swimming to the Sirens. Both involve great sorcery: Circe herself, and the veil the Siren's put over people when they hear their music. The Son of Neptune, also by Rick Riordan, references the Island, which intrigues me, and I have always heard about evil mermaids, Sirens, who control their victims with their powerful voices. But to read about them with great detail in a more realistic perspective is a whole 'nother story.

Favourite Quotes:

  • "THAT Perseus always won. That's why my mom had named me after him, even if he was a son of Zeus and I was a son of Poseidon. The original Perseus was one of the only heroes in greek myths that got a happy ending. The others died- betrayed, mauled, mutilated, poisoned or cursed by the gods. My mom hoped I would inherit Perseus's luck. Judging by how my life was going so far, I wasn't too optimistic." -Rick Riordan
  • "Mythologically speaking, if there's anything I hate worse than trios of old ladies, it's bulls. Last summer, I fought the Minotaur on top of Half-Blood Hill. This time what I saw up there was even worse: two bulls. And not just regular bulls- bronze ones the size of elephants. And even that wasn't bad enough. Naturally they had to breath fire, too." -Rick Riordan
  • "Annabeth: My fatal flaw. That's what the Sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris. Percy: The brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches? Annabeth: No, Seaweed Brain. That's HUMMUS. Hubris is worse. Percy: What could be worse than hummus? Annabeth: Hubris means deadly pride, Percy. Thinking you can do things better than anyone else... even the gods." -Rick Riordan

Rating: 8/10

Recommended if you like: constant adventure, travel, fantasy, mythology, destiny, fate, short reads, kid novels

A recipe for disaster,


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book Review: The Princess Diaries

Taken from

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Release Date: June 26, 2001

Read: June of 2010 (for the first time)
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Format: Paperback, 283 pages

Description from Goodreads

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there's nothing worse than being a five-foor-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.
Is she ever in for a surprise.
First Mom announces that she's dating Mia's Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn't have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

Review: I first picked this book up five years ago. It might be hard to believe, but no, I hadn't seen the movie first. In 2010, I was at a clearance sale at Chapters and saw a three volume set of the first three books. Obviously I bought it. After reading the synopsis on the back, I knew that this was the book for me. Mia is the princess that no one expected to be. She is crazy and neurotic, but it comes off as endearing, and somehow cute.It's funny, in a zany and quirky way. One of my favorite parts of the first book, is all the pop culture references in the early 2000's. Of course, if you don't know very much about this time, it may be a little hard to follow. When I first read this, all I wanted was to be exactly like her best friend- Lilly Moscovitz. She is one of the best parts of the entire series, because she is the wild child rebel that causes trouble where ever she goes. She inspired me to listen to the news, and to not flinch away from expressing my opinion. If you still aren't sold, and are thinking "I'll just watch the movie," here's one more thing. Grandmere, is one of the biggest character changes, book to movie. In the books she is one mean, and crafty old gal. She smokes and drinks CONSTANTLY, which adds to the charm.  If you really aren't sure about reading them, Anne Hathaway read the first three books, and Clea Louis the rest. They are great, and I've listed to them about a million times. This is on of my favorite book series ever, and I recommend it to anyone who needs a long and funny series.  

Favorite Quotes: “What kind of name is Paolo, anyway? I mean, this is America, for Pete’s sake! YOUR NAME IS PAUL!!!” 

― Meg CabotThe Princess Diaries
“You know in sixth grade, when they made all of us girls go into this other room and watch a video about getting our periods and stuff? I bet while we were gone, the boys were watching a video about how to look at each other in that infuriating way.”
― Meg CabotThe Princess Diaries

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Recommended for People Who Enjoy: YA fiction, feminist characters, funny dialogue, princess stories

Happy reading, 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: The Mime Order

    The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Release date: January 27th, 2015
Read: August 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardcover, 510 pages

Description from GoodReads:
   Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

   As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

Review: I'm going to start off by saying that I loved the Bone Season, and the cliffhanger ending tore my heart out. This book haphazardly stuffed my heart back. It was probably because the whole suspicious Scion-Rephaite connection was blown wide open, and every motive was painstakingly explained. Not to mention, the whole 'trying to survive'/'learning about my powers' was pretty much over, which was what added the thrills.

   Although I took a five month break, I'm glad I picked it back up again for the ending. Not being one for huge written fight scenes, the 'Rose Ring' fight was surprisingly good. The whole thing was very Hunger Games-esque, but better. (Set the walking in sequence to "Too Slow" by Johnny Klimek)

   The Warden, was just there. As always. There only when Paige needed him. The first book rounded him out a little, but the Mime Order flattened him out again. 

   Altogether, there were only about five chapters that were worth it.

Quotable Quotes:
"Words are everything. Words give wings to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hopes of repair."
"Madness is a matter of perspective, little dreamer." - Jaxon Hall 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Read this if you liked: Mockingjay, the Bone Season, a Great and Terrible Beauty, Divergent, etc.

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Book Review: Fire and Flood

Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Read: August 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages

Description from Goodreads
Time is slipping away.... 
Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.
Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place? 

Review: This is one great book! From the first page, this book takes two pages almost, to hit the action! I really loved Tella as a character, and she reacts to the situation the way any normal person would. The plot line grabbed me very quickly, and never stopped going. One can see where the "Hunger Games" comparisons come from, but reading it, you can see the differences. I liked how the point of the whole race/games was saving NOT killing. Veronica Scott also introduces a new element to the book, by adding "aids" to each of the contenders. It's really cool to see each "aids" powers, and how they help the contenders. I can't wait to read the next in the series!

Favourite Quotes“If my hair gets any frizzier, I'll shave it to the scalp. Or light it on fire. Whichever is easier.” 
― Victoria ScottFire & Flood

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: The Hunger Games, action, thrillers, survival, YA, tiny bit of romance

Happy Reading, 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What about... Wednesday

Heyo, it's Wednesday! So here's the next list of recommendations:

1. The Mazerunner by James Dashner
2. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
3. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

1. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
3. Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman

1. The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephan Chebodsky
2. The Help by Kathryn Socket
3. The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory

That's it! I hope you enjoy the books, and come back next week for the next "What about... Wednesday"!

Book Review: Mortal Danger

    Mortal Danger by Ann Aguire

Release date: August 5th, 2014
Read: August 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages

Description from Goodreads:   Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It's a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who--or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind.

Review: Wow, this book was... not at all what I expected, or wanted for that matter. All of the assumptions I had melted away once I started reading. Edie was not as vengeful as I had hoped, instead I got pretentious, confused, and lots of lip-biting. Kian was gooey and "heroic", so there were only a few scenes with him that I actually liked. There is also one predominant thing spread throughout most of the novel, being beautiful can get you whatever you want. I mean, come on. This is the 21st century, stop this mindset! Needless to say, I won't be reading the next book.

      There is one good surprise. This book was scary. I thought it was going to be about as scary as an episode of Bones, but to me, it was more like a Stephen King novel (bear in mind, I get scared very easily). So it goes that I couldn't sleep, and was constantly looking at my window for tiny handprints.

Quotable Quotes:  
"Hateful words had a way of worming beneath the skin, until they became the unbearable echo in your head. I wasn't listening anymore." - Edith (Page 90)

"I remember seeing her face and thinking, what can I do to break her?" - Edith (Page 126)

Rating: 2/5 Stars
Read if you like: horror, romance, And Then There Were None, teenage drama, Ann Aguirre

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Book Review: Say You Will

       Say You Will by Eric Walters

  Release Date: May 19th, 2015
  Read: August 2015
  Publisher: Doubleday Canada
  Format: Paperback, 192 pages

Description from GoodReads:   
    Sam is not exactly what you'd call a regular guy: while his IQ is stratospheric, his social skills don't quite rank as high, and his dating history: well, there's no history to speak of... yet. But Sam has set out to finally fit in. He's resolved to get some answers wrong in class; to stop getting perfect marks on his assignments; to get to know some people other than Ian and Brooke, his two closest (okay, only) friends--and find himself a prom date. And the prom is on everyone's mind: Sam's school has become swept up by promposals--in other words, very elaborate, very public scenes in which someone is asked to the prom. Sam thinks he might have found the inspiration he needs to ask the girl of his dreams out for a perfect night at the prom--as well as the unforgettable way to do it.

Review: From beginning to end, this book is adorable. The characters made me laugh, smile madly, and give many awww's. Based on the first chapter of the novel, you have a general idea of how the book will end. That's part of the greatness; the book is just a little romance novel that cheers you up, no matter how you're feeling. It's just a short, sweet ride on a tandem bicycle.

Quotable Quotes:
"I'm hoping there will always be something between us, maybe a wall, a restraining order, or a continent." - Brooke (Page 165)
"It always was you. It always has been you. It always will be you." - Sam (Page 183)

Rating: ✬✬✬✬✬ (5/5)

Read this if you like: romance, short stories, John Green, Eric Walters, general cuteness

Optimistically yours, Ola

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Review: Secret Diamond Sisters

Taken from Goodreads
Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

Released: February 24th, 2014
Read: August, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Paperback, 382 pages

Description taken from Goodreads:
   Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Review: This was definitely a book that I've never read before. It had a very unique story line, and the idea was definitely original, and that was what grabbed me. What I loved the most was the attention Madow had. When she was describing the casinos and clubs that the girls visited, you  actually felt as if you were there. And when she was describing the various outfits, you could see the very fabrics that they were wearing. However, the characters were not as rounded as they could've been, and they felt, at times, flat. I felt as if she could've delved a little harder into Peyton's character especially, and told more about what made her act this way. However, the plot was intriguing, so I will definitely read the sequel!

Favorite quotes: "“For Courtney’s whole life, seeing the world had only been a dream, but now, as Adrian Diamond’s daughter, it could be a reality.” 
― Michelle MadowThe Secret Diamond Sisters

   “The people who say New York never sleeps must have never visited Las Vegas.” 
― Michelle MadowThe Secret Diamond Sisters

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Recommended for people who like: Gossip Girl-type stories, gossip, intrigue, romance, fashion

Happy Reading,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What about... Wednesday

Hey, it's Wednesday, and we're going to do a whole bunch of flash recommendations, to get you through the rest of the week! So, what about...

Lauren's picks:
1. Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
2. The Originals by Cat Patrick
3. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Mari's Picks:
1. Bittersweet by Colleen Mccullough
2. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black
3. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Ola's Picks:
1. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
2. The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
3. Feral Curse by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hope you like them, and stay tuned until next week's "What About... Wednesday!"

Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Olympians the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

Release date: July 1, 2005.
Read: 2009, and three times since.
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Paperback, 375 pages
Series: Book #1 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

Description from Goodreads: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Review: "Blaa-ha-ha!" Just imagine. Your best friend is a satyr and you are only part human. Honestly, that'd be awesome. Who wouldn't want a little excitement in their lives? (And yes, I do realize that I would be constantly hunted.) You'd have supernatural powers and automatically be a pretty good fighter. That's the dream.
     The Lightning Thief is a well thought-out book. Rick Riordan took information, myths, and stories from textbooks and created an enchanting new world. He used prior knowledge and added an exciting twist. From Percy Jackson's point of view, you emerge into a camp filled with magical creatures and people to meet. Everything, from the climbing wall that spills lava to the appearances of monsters, is detailed, except for the characters. Only a few characters have backstories. How and when did Clarisse get to camp? When was the camp built? These are questions I'd love to have answers to. Although we don't learn much about some demigods other than their appearances, I still adore this book, and I understand that it is meant to have a sequel.

Favourite Quotes:
  •  "It's funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality."- Chiron, Rick Riordan
  •  "The real world is where the monsters are. That's where you learn whether you're any good or not."- Annabeth, Rick Riordan

Rating: 6.5/10

Recommended if you like: greek mythology, gods, supernatural worlds, adventure books, or the Kane Chronicles

A recipe for disaster,


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Book Review: Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct by S.E.Green
  Release Date: May 6th, 2014
  Read: July 2015
  Publisher: Simon Pulse
  Format: Hardcover, 288 pages

Description taken from Goodreads  
            She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick. Why? Because she might be one herself. Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs. And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

Review: Going into this book, I'll admit I was a little skeptical. I wasn't sure how the book would play out. However I'm glad I gave it a try. What I found was a wonderful novel. I really loved Lane as a character, and she's very unique, compared to most of the heroines we read about today. I also loved how although she can't connect to humans, she has a special bond with animals. The way she interacts with the dogs at the shelter she works at, hints at the fact that she actually does have some empathy after all. I haven't read the sequel, but I really can't wait! I want to read more about Lane, and how she continues to cope with with the fact that she may be a psychopath! The twists and turns that this novel takes are gripping, and you won't be able to put it down!

Quotes: "Hacking someone apart with a knife is an interesting way to grieve the loss of a loved one"
-Killer Instinct by S.E.Green, page 97

Rating: 4/5 stars

Recommended for people who love: Dexter, YA fiction, thriller, mysteries, crime solving, powerful females

Happy reading, 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Book Review: Anya's Ghost

      Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Read: July, 2015
Publisher: First Second
Format: Paperback, 221 pages

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

The first thing that caught my attention was the gorgeous art style. Then I actually read the description and had to know the full story.

There's the beautifully flawed main heroine, Anya. She's got curves, attitude, and a need to fit in and be what everyone else is. She's so believable and real that everyone can relate to her in some way.

As plots go, this one is pretty simple, but the few plot twists that it does have sets the book apart from other YA ghost novels. (Are there many of those?)

I'd definitely read it again and again, even if it's only for Anya and the art style.

Quotable Quotes:
"I'm enough like you to know how you feel. Wanting how others look, what they have, who they have! Everyone else's life seems so much easier." -Anya (Page 207)
"I don't think american boys really go for girls that look like rich men." -Anya (Page 4)

Read if you like:
Ghosts, teen problems, mystery, getting spooked


Optimistically yours, Ola <3