Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 2 - Gurihiru, Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Dave Marshall Finally got this book and I'm already looking forward to the next one!!It's hard to have been such a fan if the show and to live without it as Aang as the main protagonist.( I love Korra though, she's awesome and a woman of color!!!) but these books give me my Avatar the last Airbender fix. I love Zuko's story and am looking forward to seeing how things turn out for the young, confused prince XD
Prodigy - Marie Lu In my opinion the storyline was solid and the plot was good, but at times I put it down because I felt as though it slowed down on the action. Sure there action but not like Legend. Some details I saw as predictable but I still very much enjoyed it anyways. Perhaps switching point of views every other chapter worked better in the first book to me. Sometimes i felt as though they spent way too much on June. I think it did a pretty good job on June's development. I read on a few posts some people didn't see June as likable and perhaps I was one of them. She came off as much more human to me in this book. She was just too full of herself in Legend, so It was nice to see her humble up and live life on the slums for a bit.As far as Day, he'll remain my fave character in the series.He's selfless and cares about things that matter. Some tension was added to his life by attempting to fit Tess in as a love interest but this just did not work for me!I saw her as a kid so her being so aggressive made her come off as bitter because Day didn't want her.Can't a guy and a girl just ever be friends without romantic feelings being involved?Secondary characters like Anden and Kaede were shining stars to me, Kaede is a kickass heroine and i believe there were more layers to her than the first book. Anden was so idealistic and I felt bad for him because there were so little people he could trust. I'm going to have a love hate relationship always with Day's appearance. I envision him fully asian, no blond hair, no blue eyes, but I know that he's written that way so I'm wrong.I'm always going to complain that Day doesn't really empower the image of an asian guy because his main features are that of a caucasian male, so it reinforces the stigma that in order to be attractive, you have to look as close to white as possible. I felt like there was a diversity but they were always side characters. None that ever contributed greatly to the plot.This book had every element that makes to pick up a book. A short and catchy title, great cover art and a fantastic blurb.I think Marie Lu is pretty descriptive when she describes characters and she chooses names that are unique but memorable. I look forward to the final chapter of this Saga!
Princesses Don't Fight in Skirts - Aya Ling I had the opportunity to beta read for this upcoming novel and I absolutely loved it!!! If you liked the first book, you'll really love this one!!! It's so action packed, a big change of pace from Princesses don't get fat.At first I wasn't sure I would like Arianna. She's spoiled, conceited and so full of herself that I just didn't think for one minute that she could become a warrior maid. Even she didn't want to become one, all she wanted was to be beautiful, married and fashionable; so at first I wrote her off. But Arianna showed a lot of growth throughout the story. Yes she was still self centered, conceited and full of herself but by the middle of the book she grew to be likable. There are a lot of great new supporting characters. The women are hella strong in this book, it made me wanna go pick up a sword and become a battle maiden!!! I also liked the return of the characters I loved in the first book!!!Overall Princesses don't fight in skirts was a really strong sequel with tons of action. You really don't have to read the first book to follow this book, but since there are returning characters it would be helpful if you did!I really liked Prince James. He was so different from his older brother Ralph, who appeared in the first book. He was an eccentric prince and I loved that about him ;)I look forward to her next book!!!
Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector, #1) - Cecilia Robert I first heard about this book via amazon after endless searching for people of color on ya books. The cover definitely speaks for what I love in books , which is diversity, so I jumped on the chance when the author offered it to me for review in exchange for my honest opinion.The book deals with a young Viennese girl who after a tragic accident with her family offers her soul to the grim reaper in exchange for a second chance with her family. I've never gotten a chance to read a book like this so it was refreshing to dive into a world of the dead and the dying. It's a great sway away from the insane amount of vampire, werewolf, angel , demon and dystopian novels I've read in the past. What I'm not in love with: The author doesn't spend a whole lot if time describing what the characters look like. I think the lead character is bi racial and judging by the cover i take it she's at least a brown girl but I really don't know. I don't know what her BFF , her boyfriend or Siegfried really looked like. So I had a hard time imagining any guy she described as handsome. I would have liked a clearer picture on the characters.Siegfried : I liked him but wasn't in love with him. He just came off as weird to me. Not charming not dashing just cocky and weird. I would have liked for him to resemble a believable young man. Instead he came off as a little creepy and full of himself.Sometimes I was confused since the setting was in Austria , there were a lot of terms in German. It wasn't a deal breaker just confusing. This isn't something I hated, because its rare that an author chooses a lively city to set a story, it's usually some boring small town farm city, so I liked the change of scenery.The book was edited well enough but I did catch a few mistakes here and there. But for an indie book it's definitely one of the best edited books I've read so far. It wasn't enough to take me out if the story :)My last issue: sometimes she was referred to as Ana other times silviana , so I'm not sure if I missed it but I can't remember if Silviana was her name or not. Only her mom called her it , it seemed like, but I wish I would have gotten an indication like "Silviana is a name I was born with but only my mom calls me that". Because at first I would always think they were talking about another person.What I liked:I think I remember the lead character describing herself as curvy. That in itself is rare in ya because writers seem to think writing a girl that's willowy is just the standard. It was nice to read about a girl who had a different body type and she seemed confident enough . Really comfortable in her own skin.I think what u most appreciated about this book was the relationship with her family. After becoming a reapers novice , she really started to value and appreciate her family. Too often than not family is always missing from ya fantasy novels, as if teenagers can carry on on their own with no rules. Her parents were much involved in the story and I especially loved her role as big sister to her siblings.The concept: I'm not goina lie the concept if this book was definitely unique, and painted a different type of underworld. I'm really drawn to stories that feature that theme but in ya books its a little harder to find, so one of the main reasons I found this book awesome!I think I really wanted to give this book a 3.75 but given the fact that that's closer to 4 than it is 3 , I went on ahead and gave it a four. I will be buying the paperback copy as well as the second book when it comes out because I'm dying to know what happens next!
Legend - Marie Lu Coming in a bit
Princesses Don't Get Fat - Aya Ling The book is somewhat of a short quick read so it only took me a day or two to finish it once i got around to it. The story focuses on a princess named Valeria who has a penchant for food and sweets and because of this she's grown to be a bit of an unhealthy weight. This leaves her undesirable and ineligible for marriage, but princesses aren't quite how they used to be so she could really care less. Whereas other princesses are dodging marriage due to the need to want to be adventurous, Valeria finds the love in food and nothing seems to be able to surpass that. But when 3 princes lose purposely in attempts to win her hand in marriage, her mother deems it necessary to enroll her in a some kind of warrior academy for nobles and royalty like herself to see if she can lose a bit of weight.About the characters, I liked Valeria. She seemed to not let what anyone think of her stop her from living her life or what she loved the most, cooking and food. The only thing I have to say that i disliked about her was that I felt as though she could have taken the training at the academy seriously. She seemed to be losing weight the way you're supposed to, by cutting back on food and working out, but as soon as she rediscovered sweets(which was forbidden in the academy)she just gave up completely on her workout regimen. It made her seem like a bit of a quitter with little self control. I guess because I take fitness so seriously it just upset me that she would give up before reaching a healthy goal, and no i don't mean skinny. I was just where Valeria was at one point, so i know how hard it is to LOVE fitness as much as you love food. But all in all I still liked her and found her easy to relate to.I loooved Prince Ralph, her handsome friend at the academy. He was the most sought out Prince of all the land and somehow he was able to look past the fact that Valeria was really overweight. He had a very regalness to him so at times he was a bit stiff, but he was a prince, I suppose he wasn't supposed to be the happy, smiling type. I wished he would have pushed Valeria more. The person you love should want to see you around for a long time and unfortunately being overweight comes with a lot of health risks. But i just really liked the two of them together, it's rare when you read about a guy in these type of books who's attracted to the girl that's seen as less than astonishingly beautiful. It made me want to find my own Prince Ralph. She didn't really have to change anything about herself for him to love her, and in some books like this the girl loses all this weight and her crush likes her suddenly out of plain vanity.The setting and descriptions the author chose to use were beautiful. I felt as though she painted the pictured very well for me, and i liked that it wasn't based of our "real"world. It was more like inspired by Europe but not completely mirroring it. The author is a really good writer and the book was really well edited. For Indie books it's common to see a lot of grammatical errors as well as misused words, but this was damn near perfect. I caught like one or two but i've caught the same in a recent book i've read by Cassandra Clare so the author seemed to treat this book as a professional project.I'm really big on diverse character in books because i feel there's a need for characters that break the industry standard of white, able bodied, red or blond haired, skinny heroes and heroines and even though there's characters were obviously Caucasian, the fact that the main character was Plus sized put the book into a category of breaking that mold. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and I really look forward to the next one.......and the next one after that!The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because Valeria seemed to be nonchalant of what being overweight could do to her in the future. I would have really like to see her take it more seriously. She seemed to be a beautiful person inside and out, but i just felt as though she could have taken better control of her life and lastly, her weight.I was given this book in exchange for my review
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 1 - Dave Marshall, Gurihiru, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Gene Luen Yang I love these little books.It's going to be a hassle for me to wait allllllllll the way until July when the next one is released. A must have for any Avatar fan!
The Last Prince of Atlantis - Leonard Clifton Unfortunately I could not finish this book. I also didn't rate it because it's hard for me to rate something I believe does not meet industry standards.I think the initial concept of this book was pretty cool. The story follows a young African American boy who finds out he's the last prince of the fictional Atlantis, the book gets sidetracked with a lot of telling and no showing, poor character development and too much likeness to Rick Riordan's The Lightning thief. I feel that perhaps he should have left the Greek mythology out of this book because it overshadowed the Atlantian culture.The last prince of Atlantis had me so confused on what actually occurred in the story. It had no clear Point of view and no "beats" to help move dialogue forward. Many times when people would talk there would be no actions going on in between , so it was as if they never stopped talking.It made it hard to imagine what they were doing in the background of it all. Something that assists writers with writing a novel is to read other books. It's seems really stupid to read other books while writing a book but while reading books, you get an idea of how to set up language and background. Too often the book, to me, was unclear because it is not properly written.This book does not have the proper editing to judge it fairly.To judge it that would mean to I hold it to the same credibility as a traditionally published book and unfortunately, I do not.There are also a lot of grammar issues throughout the entire book.I'm not a grammar Nazi, but it's really hard to read a lot of misspelled words and misplacement of punctuation marks or known at all where they needed to be.It also never gave clear descriptions of settings. I'm a Miami native and I did not envision the Miami that I know and love. There was also a lot of confusion of where the story took place as well as where the Atlantian lineage came from. There were too many places thrown around so I wasn't sure if Atlantians where from Earth, Outer Space, Zion West, The Caribbean, Atlantis?I wasn't sure because there were too many names just thrown around. I think the author just made too many comparisons to other cultures that actually exist when he could have taken the chance to make the Atlantian culture something unique and unrelated to any of the cultures you see today.Everything seemed to come natural to Allen, which made him totally unrelatable. One day he wakes up and he is regular Ole Allen, the next day he's muscular, taller and possesses the power of an Atlantian general. Since I read A LOT of YA novels, I have to admit I'm more drawn to lead characters to struggle a lot in the beginning. Once Allen found out of his heritage, he was so cocksure and didn't fight with this truth violating his normal. He seemed to just excel at everything within the first 6 chapters. I just didn't connect to him because he had no vulnerabilities.The thing that upset me the most about this books is that some of the characters are a little stereotypical. Allen had a Cuban friend and when I first read that he was a Cuban from Miami, my heart leapt. Why? Because i too am a Cuban(well a Cuban American, that is) from Miami. But he came off as so stereotypical that I could not connect with him because for one, I don't know Cubans that act like that or talk like that, especially young people. Which brings me to Allen and Athena. Their relationship just seemed instant. They knew almost nothing about each other besides having one conversation and already they're having sex. They also didn't "act"like real teenagers to me, because once Allen found out he was Atlantian, they wanted to get married. Now how many 15 year olds do you know, anxious to marry the first person they sleep with?I also was not a fan of the way racial identity was portrayed in the book.If i had a child I'm not sure if this would be the perfect story to read to a kid, because young children are at such an influential age where everything they encounter influences how they will see things later on. The mixed race identity was highly praised in the book; which I can't say that I mind if it's done right, However it was like you had to be a mixed race person just to be beautiful and strong. Our society tells us that being black is never enough and this book was a pure example of that.I want to commend the author with his effort to try to introduce readers to diverse in YA novels but this is just something I would not recommend to other readers.Perhaps with the help of a ghost writer and some extensive research and proper editing, this book could be a decent read.I did not give this book any stars because I did not and could not finish it. :(
Wildefire - Karsten Knight Finally a review that I'm excited to talk about. So far since I've started reviewing books on here, I haven't given anything past a 3.5 :P And It's not because I didn't like the books(I enjoyed every one of them) but there were just things I felt that weren't my cup of tea.This book Wildefire was EXACTLY my cup of tea. It had everything I look for in an exciting book. Great villain, CHECK! Insanely relatable heroine, CHECK!A diverse cast, that including a main protagonist that was a POC,TRIPLE CHECK!A really good plot that made me want to keep turning the page, QUADRUPLE CHECK!From the cover you can't really tell it's about a girl who isn't white. I'm pretty sure that was a marketing ploy to get more sales, but hey if it gets into the hands of more readers because of this, I can't knock the hustle.The book follows Ashline Wilde, a sophomore in high school who has a hot temper and an attitude to match. Ashline was adopted by a Caucasian family along with her birth sister Eve, and always felt like outsiders being two Polynesian girls in a nearly all white environment. This of course caused Eve to rebel and separate herself from the only family she's ever known , while Ashline was left to put back the pieces of their broken family life. Little do they know that their paths will cross again, and have with every generation with tragic endings.The book started out with action.In the first few pages you get a glimpse of Ashline's firecracker personality and can tell that from the first chapter she'll be a kick ass heroine. But to be honest as much as I loved this book, the first 150-165 pages kind of dragged. It wasn't as though nothing was happening but it was a little boring until she befriended her "godly" friends. That's when the story really started, when she realized along with 5 other kids that they were all gods and goddesses of their given culture. The cast was so diverse I swear I almost had a hard attack. The only culture I felt was missing was someone Latino or South Asian(since in south Asian culture there are so many awesome gods), but the cultures Karsten chose were really awesome and hardly ever highlighted in books. The book featured characters of Haitian, Greek, Nordic/Scandinavian, Japanese and Egyptian descent. Her non "godly" friends also featured a likeable gay male, so as you can see the author really wrote a book that reflected the world we live in and not just some small town where everyone looks the same, acts the same and is a very narrow image of how the world really is.It was cool to see the gods portrayal in the book. In this story, every generation they would be reborn in human form. They weren't some holier-than thou untouchable beings that sat on thrones in the skies of heaven. They were regular human beings who just happen to be the reincarations of gods. Even though they embraced this, they didn't want to see themselves as any different, or any less human than anyone else. In some pop culture they always portray gods in Christianity or greek mythology, so this book was a breathe of fresh air .I really liked Ashline! She seemed beautiful and doesn't fit the typical description of heroines in YA novels. For one she's Asian and for two, she's not a complete dumb ass. I really related to her since growing up I went to mostly Caucasian schools so it was a bit of a struggle to fit in sometimes. She was extremely loyal to her friends and even though she was a little rough around the edges guys were attracted to more than just her looks. She was never the damsel in distress and fought her own battles. I don't know how many books i put down because there aren't any female characters like this in books. To the author, Thanks for showing a different side to a YA heroine.As far as the villain goes, I loved her sister Eve as the villain. I'm really drawn to villains that have a strong connection to the hero/ine. It makes the villain appear more vulnerable and actually kind of likeable. It's easier to see the villains purpose when they have some kind of connection to the hero as opposed to just being the villain just to create predictable conflict with the hero/ine. I'm excited to see how things turn between both the sisters. Having a sister, who is also my best friend, I'm always excited when a fantasy/ya story features two sisters.This book was the best book I've read so far this year! Even though it started off slow, it ended with a bang and while writing this review, I'm purchasing the sequel Embers & Echos in another tab! I give this book 4 stars. It would have gotten 4.5, if the start would have matched the middle and end.
Glitch - Heather Anastasiu April 28th 2013Glitch by Heather AnastasiuWhen I first picked this book up I was excited to read a book that had some Sci-Fi elements. I haven't had a chance to review a Sci-Fi book yet so I dived into this book somewhat blindly. I can't say that it was a bad book, but it wasn't the most interesting either.I was a little disappointed because this one was on my Amazon wishlist for a few months before it actually came out, but I just found other books to buy.I can't say that it met my expectations but that doesn't mean it was a BAD book. Perhaps it just wasn't for me.Allow me to tell you about the what I did like and didn't like about the book. The story follows a young teenage girl in a society that has become a Utopia by installing V-chips that suppress human emotion.Because of this there are no wars, no famine, no disease, Everyone's just complacent, under-stimulated and stays in their lane. Everything from a job, a mate, AND EVEN KIDS are decided for you, this is what keeps their society referred to as "The Community"running and efficient. Being "linked"to the community means you don't feel feelings, you don't see in color, you don't "taste"good foods, anything from keeping people from being over stimulated or what they call "Glitching". Being a glitcher means something god awful in their society and they'll risk any means trying to "fix" you, so naturally glitchers try to keep it a secret in fear of being deactivated and reprogrammed. This is what the lead character Zoel fears, so at all costs she attempts to keep it a secret.The main character Zoel or Zoe is what she liked to call herself, was a bit inconsistent and boring. I understand that in a book where people are being controlled by V-chips might lean in that direction, but the first 100 pages were just dull. It appeared as though all glitchers had supernatural abilities.Zoe's ability was Telekinesis and it was a helpful power but she had no way of controlling it nor was she good at hiding the fact that she was a glitcher.What I liked about the book1.The Community had the potential to be an interesting topic. I'll admit it did fall a little flat but I have a wild imagination so I envisioned perhaps more than the author gave me.2.The fact that the glitchers had abilities. It reminded me a lot of X-Men and I'm a huge fan of the tv shows and comics.What I didn't like about the book:1.Her friend, Max. He showed every sign of an abusive friend and she always excused his behavior. He was in love with her and had been a glitcher for months before she started glitching. He was dealing with issues that were hard for him being "Linked"to the community for so long like desire,hormones and inability to control how he felt. Why is it that authors always have to have a guy like this around to move the story forward? He served as a monkey wrench in her boring love triangle and to be honest I could've done without his character. I hate when authors try to create this love triangle but from the start its always leaning toward one person. It's not really a love triangle if the other guy never stood a chance at all. I liked him at first but in the end he was just stupid, conniving and selfish. 2. Her main love interest, Adrien, was also really boring. I really didn't get why they were in love and I got so sick of her describing his blue-green, aquamarine, green sometimes blue eyes. It got tedious and made me want to put it down several times. Guys always bloody look the same in these books. It just made me want to read about a white girl dating a black or asian guy. 3.The swearing language in this book was obnoxious and corny. Shunting & Godlam'd. I swear i wanted to shunting throw this godlam'd book out the window!I get that you're writing for a young audience but either use actual swear words or none at all. The language seemed really inauthentic because of this.4. The romance overshadowed everything that could have been cool about this book. I know it's a YA book and romance plays a big part in books like this but it took away all the seriousness the book could have had. Without the romance I'm not sure if the story could have stood alone on its own, which is usually what i look for in these type of books. Would the story still be a story without a romance?This one failed at this miserably.5.I would say it's more dystopian than Science Fiction. It seemed to be tagged as Science fiction but it's actually more of a light sci-fi novel.6.Zoe was so boring and kept blaming herself to the point were she was kinda annoying. I wish she would have realized that some things were out of her control and I wish she would have stood up to Max when he would pressure her to do things. I also didn't get why some feelings she had like love and frustration were easy to understand but she needed embarrassment and anger explained to her. It would have been better if everything she was experiencing was something new and alien and beyond her understanding.This has been on of the harshest reviews I had to give on our blog so far. A 2 out of 5 stars isn't the lowest but it has been the harshest. I hope that the future books get more interesting because I'd really like to get more into the series.
Ruby Red - Kerstin Gier I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this book. Again I got lost in the hype around a high rated book and let that con me into purchasing it. Let me start off by saying this is in no way a BAD book. It was beautifully written, had somewhat relatable characters and the leading lady Gwyneth wasn't a complete idiot like most young women written in these books. But there was just something about the plot that was a bit slow and boring to me.The characters spent a lot of time talking about "some"secret and i swear they spent the entire 318 pages referring to it as such. I feel as though I've learned very little as the mission at hand because not even the characters that were supposed to be guiding Gwyneth shared any details about her purpose or what she should even be doing with her time traveling gene. What's the point of being able to time travel and not being notified on what you're supposed to be doing with it. The book spent most of it's time doing little revealing and focused more of it's time talking about characters that didn't make an appearance until the end of the book.I liked Gwyneth. She was honest,likeable and actually quite sharp. Her best friend Lesley was really cute and supportive, a bff every girl should have. Her cousin Charlotte and her crazy ass mom were obnoxious. I was glad when Gwyneth unintentionally kicked Charlotte off her high horse with being born with the time traveling gene. Some girls just have it all, but Gwyneth proved that you don't have to be this overachieving maniac to be part of something special.And then there's Gideon, her love interest. I didn't hate him but I wasn't head over heels for him either. He did seem attractive but his personality was a bit bland and I just didn't "get" him. Perhaps he just wasn't in enough scenes, because I knew so little about him. I did like that they didn't have some insta-love thing going on. But I also wondered if they would even fall for each other because there wasn't a whole lot of normal teen interactions between the two of them. They hardly flirted, barely shared anything personal with each other and they just didn't have much chemistry. And the ending! I didn't understand why the ending ended the way it did. There were some inconsistencies that I didn't quite understand and I was hoping the author would clear them up by the end of the book. Like how was Gwyn staring at Identical versions of herself and Gideon Hundreds of years back. I was hoping they'd explain it but NOPE, NADA!Overall I'd give this book a 3 star rating. It had some pacing issues for me and I would have liked to see them time travel more and have better explanations on the task that was at hand. No one wanted to tell anyone what was going on.I don't even feel like I've read a complete story, more like a novella. I wish there would have been more details about her take on the mysteries of time traveling. I love time travel, in fact our first novel is about time travel but I was hoping it would have more action in it. I look forward to the sequel but I'm not exactly rushing out to get it.
Ember (Ember #1) - Madison Daniel gotta say the reviews for this book sold me on a dream. I bought this book off the glowing reviews alone. On both goodreads AND amazon this title got nothing but 4-5 star reviews, so I was expecting a well written, well developed masterpiece by an amazing author who has a promising career ahead of him. Only know do i realize that page at 262 how wrong I was.What I got was a book that has been falsely advertised as a professional urban fantasy.This book doesn't even deserve to replace the phone book I have set in place under my unlevel kitchen table. Not only was the book slow at pacing, poor at character development and struggled to keep me interested with it's thin, humdrum storyline; IT WAS FILLED WITH SO MANY ERRORS!To call it professional would be an insult to all books sitting on the shelves on many peoples' homes. The writing was at best, Horrible.This author does not know to properly write a story. He often told actions instead of showing them. I kid you not, there had to be 15 to 20 grammatical errors, misuse of words and unnecessary use of punctuation on every page. It was almost impossible to get through the book with this many issues.The plot was probably the second worst thing i hated about the book. The characters were written vain and unrealistic. The lead character was just stuck on stupid and I could not feel for him.His two love interests? I swear I wanted to blow Asia's head off because she was this insecure, spoiled little brat that other than her looks had almost no appeal. The one positive thing I will say is that i kinda liked his other love interest Sam, but she just couldn't see that Max was an idiot not worth her precious time.In the beginning I was rooting for them; but in the end I just wanted her to wake up and leave Max to be miserably in love with Asia.And let's not forget their X-Men abilities. Apparently Max could ignite flames from his body, and Asia could control storms, rain, the weather; You name it! But there was absolutely no explanation on how they were even bestowed these powers. Was there some kind of radioactive explosion? Are they part of some government experiment project that injected babies with superhuman genetics? The answer is I DON'T KNOW because there was absolutely no logical reason they were able to do the things that they could do!!!I hate to give a book a bad review but this book could have easily been put through the developmental editing process to help improve the story. And I know editing is expensive but it's worth it when you see the final project. I may have given this book a 3 had they had taken the necessary steps to make this book really shine.It makes me wonder if any of these reviews are reputable since no one mentioned the obvious things wrong with the book!!!The original location of this review can be seen here.
Living Violet (Cambion Chronicles) - Jaime Reed First let me start of by saying that this book had major potential to me.The writing was solid, the lead characters steered away from the cliche stereotypes and the girl showed strength and discipline that other female heroines rarely show in YA books today. I didn't exactly hate it but was it took me a whole two weeks to finish it, which for a book with less than 300 pages is highly unusual for me.The reason why, I kept putting it down.Let me start with what i didn't like about the book.The lead characters constantly complained about her being "Bi-Racial". In her head it ostracized her from other people and made her feel different, but out of her wide circle of friends, it seemed like she was the only one who ever mentioned it. She claimed that black girls made fun of her because she "talked like a white girl", but to be honest she had more of a typical suburban voice of an African American girl.She talked proper when she needed to and used slang around her friends. It was references like that that made me question the authors feelings about black people. Another example of this is that when she described Caucasian people it was always so flattering and seemed to paint a beautiful picture but when she described any type of minority it was only to demonize and and somehow paint this picture of the angry, bitter and uppity black person. She spent little time describing her best friend, who was Filipino and spent more time on how beautiful her co worker at work was. I know they were friends too, but wouldn't you spend more time talking up your best friend, who you've known for years as opposed to some chick you've just been working with for like a year?????I felt like the author was coming from a place where she could only relate to suburban people which is okay, but if that was the case why make Samara use slang and emulate the speech a urban African American girl???I felt like she could have just been written a girl with two black parents, because her being bi-racial added almost nothing to the story. I could have lived without the issue of another author not having the guts to just make a girl with two black parents just for the sake of not getting published.For some reason people have it in their minds that making a character just black is somehow limiting to the success of their book, fearing that their book will make the ethnic fiction shelf and never make it in the hands of a white reader.But this is just not true, i know a lot of people who are just dying for diversity and see this route as a cop out.The flow of the book seemed to move slow.There were time the pacing was steady but others where absolutely nothing happened in certain chapters. I put the book down a few times because of this.I also want to say that I didn't really like the villain. He was extremely corny, there were very little chapters on him and i just didn't feel the threat like the characters did. Yea I know he was killing people, but i didn't really feel like the author conveyed his pain and his true goal, if he even had one. She spent so much time on filler chapters that she could have spent that precious words, sentences and pages on properly developing her villain so that i truly feared him.Now let's discuss what i liked about the book:I liked the voice of this heroine.She was very relatable. I found myself laughing about the way she put things because she talked very similar to myself. I grew up in the urban area but went to schools where it was predominantly caucasian so i have this habit of using slang when i'm around people i'm familiar with but speaking with more of an interview voice when i'm around people i don't know.I felt very close to the author's choice of dialogue because it felt realistic and fresh. A definite step in the right direction. Also Samara wasn't all lovey dovey like more heroines.She was realistic with her goals and aspirations with having a boyfriend.She liked him but didn't worship the ground her walked on.And our Hero, Caleb?Hmmmm... I gotta say that i liked Caleb.The only thing that distracted me was the boy on the cover because she never described him with having blond hair, but rather brown. I pictured a celebrity crush of mine instead who has brown hair and similar features to Caleb's description. Caleb wasn't described as overly attractive and honestly that made his appeal more likeable. In real life some of use don't date the overly good looking guys because they treat us like crap, and let's face it in YA novel the insanely good looking guys do treat the girls like crap at first. He seemed to genuinely like her and wasn't a sap when it came to romance. He reminded me of most guys, even though they will have strong feelings for you, it's just hard for them to express them so they just don't.But he had such a cute way of doing it, I won't spoil the surprise.The paranormal creature that this author chose to write about was kinda cool.It was an interesting take and totally different from the trending madness of vampires, werewolves and fallen angels.All and all I liked this book more than i hated it but i finished it through and plan on getting the sequel just because i'd like to see how Samara's story unfolds.If i could rate it on a number scale i'd give the book 3.5 Stars.
Fallen - Lauren Kate I really didn't enjoy this book.None of the characters were memorable,its was totally cliche and at the time i was reading a book almost IDENTICAL to this plot but this one got put down.I wish authors would have the guts to write an original story instead of following this dumb ya trend just to sell books.YA is one of my favorite genres but this book made me wanna just give it up altogether!
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 2 - Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, Gurihiru, Bryan Konietzko loved it!
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 3 - Gurihiru, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, Gene Luen Yang great quick read

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