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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Let the Sky Fall – Shannon Messenger

Let The Sky Fall coverLet the Sky Fall
By Shannon Messenger
Let the Sky Fall – Book 1
Available March 2013

Description:
Vane Weston should have died in the category five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past—except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She’s swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, they start to realize the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

This Blonde’s Review:
He lost his parents as a child and has no memories from before the tornado that took their lives. All he remembers is the face of a girl he doesn’t know, yet he feels he knows her. When Audra shows up in the middle of a date he can’t help but go after her. Life just gets crazier for him after that.

Audra is a sylph, she is part of the air around us and doesn’t require food and water to survive. Food and water are from the earth and will bind her to the earth, something she wants to avoid. She is Vane’s guardian and has been hoping for his breakthrough. When something happens to bring them to the attention of the people who murdered their parents she realizes it’s time to force the issue.

Vane’s discovery that he isn’t quite human isn’t seamless. In his mind he’s a typical lazy teenage boy, so he has a little trouble keeping up with Audra, but he gets used to the idea a lot faster than most would. But he has powerful motivation in knowing that if he doesn’t succeed that Audra will die.

The storm is coming and they’re doing their best to survive the war that’s starting. They’re also trying to fight their feelings for each other. Audra avoids it because she remembers their past and knows the future that has been planned for Vane. Vane only avoids it because it’s clear that Audra wants him to and he won’t make her uncomfortable.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this one when I started it. I started it and almost put it aside a few times with the business of life. I stuck it out and was quickly sucked up in the story.

Audra and Vane’s pasts have shaped their lives and have a bigger impact on their lives than they realize. Audra lives with guilt over what happened thanks to her memories and the blame that has been placed in her lap by her mother, who survived the tornado. Vane lives with the guilt of not remembering his parents, wondering what type of person would forget those who care about them.

I really enjoyed Audra and Vane! They were both such great characters while they were so different. I felt bad for Audra but loved her and enjoyed getting to know her. She’s damaged and strong and cares more than she likes to admit. Vane has the kind of heart and dedication that makes him loving and loyal, even in the face of the hardest circumstances. He’s not at all a bad boy, he’s a great guy with a good heart.

The end of this one gave us a rather open ended feel where I could see if continuing into a second book, but I could also see it ending there and leaving us with the idea of where it could go next. I was happy when I thought it was a stand alone book, but now that I know it’s part of a series I’m already impatient to find out where they got next. I love the way Vane wrapped his part of things up, and I also really loved that it wasn’t the typical ending you’d expect.

If you enjoy the idea of people who have more of a connection to the air than the earth who are the kind of characters you can care about, then you’ll love Vane and Audra’s story.

 

Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me coverUnravel Me
By Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me – Book 2
Available February 2013

Read my review of the first book in this series, Shatter Me.

Description:
tick
tick
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it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

This Blonde’s Review:
Juliette thought life at Omega Point would be better for her. She isn’t alone anymore, she’d fit in there. Except life isn’t perfect.

Juliette isn’t a changed person just for being at Omega Point. She still has doubts and she still isolates herself. Those doubts and her fears will keep her from accepting her powers or gaining control of them. As long as she’s so unstable she won’t trust herself and no one else can trust her when she doesn’t trust herself.

Luckily she has Adam. Even if he seems distant and distracted.
When she discovers that Adam isn’t as safe at Omega Point as she thought she is determined to do whatever it takes to protect him. Juliette is willing to do whatever it takes to help the people she cares about, even if they’re people she never expected to care about.

When Warner shows up in her life in an unexpected way and turns out to have unexpected talents, Juliette is more intrigued than she imagined she could be. We’ll also learn that there are more similarities between the two men in her life than we ever imagined, while some things are as opposite as can be.

As both sides gear up for war, Juliette knows she’ll have to make a choice. She’ll have to decide whether she can do what is expected of her.

I had mixed feeling about this one. Watching Juliette continue to act pathetic annoyed me. I had a hard time accepting how easy it was for her to curl up into herself. At the same time, I knew it couldn’t be easy for her to be alone all the time without anything to help with the hard thoughts, so the way she is was only to be expected.

Despite my mixed feelings for Juliette, I find myself wanting to know what’s going to happen. We do have a clear idea of who we should see as good and bad, yet some things aren’t as clear cut as we’re used to seeing. Our good leader is someone I have trouble respecting, since a leader needs to be stronger than I feel theirs is. I do look forward to to next book to see if he can make the kinds of decisions that need to be made without going too far.

And the boys…. I’m much less interested in the potential love triangle than I am in the choices that they’ll have to make in the situations they find themselves in.

If you enjoyed the first book then you need to read this one. It doesn’t give us any solid answers but it gives us a peek at the kind of girl Juliette can be when she learns to trust herself. As much as this is the story of supernatural powers and war in a world of ultimate control, it’s mostly the story of a girl and how she comes into herself.

 

Origin – Jessica Khoury

Origin titleOrigin
By Jessica Khoury
Available 4 Sept 2012

Description:
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

This Blonde’s Review:
Pia is not your typical teenager. She has never met anyone under 30 years old. She has never left the laboratory compound where she was born. And she will live forever.

Pia was engineered to be immortal. Through careful selection and a secret process used through several generations she was born perfect. Her skin can’t be broken, her senses are sharper, and she’s incredibly intelligent. She works hard to gain the respect of the scientists around her and to become one of them. They all know she’ll live forever and work towards the goal of creating more immortals. Pia doesn’t know the secret to the process yet, but she will as soon as she passes the final test.

The story starts with her as the smart girl who does everything that is asked of her. There are things that she sees as normal since she doesn’t know better that throw up serious red flags for us, but we can’t expect her to have our experience. She is very curious about the world outside of the compound, so when a new scientist comes in she isn’t sure what to think. She doesn’t want to like her, but she casually talks about the outside world as though it’s a marvelous place Pia should want to know. When given the chance to explore she finds more than she bargained for in the form of Eio.

I enjoyed watching them get to know each other. I loved that Eio didn’t push Pia to do anything she didn’t want to do and didn’t try to force her to see things his way. He simply cared about her and made sure she knew she was welcome to come back any time. The people in the compound were such a great mix. We don’t want them all to seem great, awful, or forgettable but the author gives us a great mix of both. There are certain people that I had an instant dislike to and others that I liked right away. When it gets down to Pia’s final test and we see what they have to go through to be accepted we can’t help but wonder if anyone of them are worth liking. Despite the small environment and small number of people around her, the author did a great job of giving that mix of characters to explain how Pia could be so sheltered yet have so many normal thoughts and emotions.

When I got this one I wasn’t sure that I was in the right reading mood for it but I actually really enjoyed it. The concept was strange since there was never any conversation or thoughts on why they’d want to create a race of immortals. I also couldn’t see why they were so insistent that Pia not be allowed to know even the basics about the world beyond the compound, except to make her desire to go outside the gate more understandably thrilling for her. I did like Pia, despite her sheltered upbringing, and I liked Eio. An important first step is having characters we can like. But how can they be together if Pia will live forever and Eio can die?

If a story about an immortal girl learning what it means to live and what the price of her immortality really is sounds like a story you’d want to read, then you’ll want to get ahold of Origin in September.