All Things Raven

The Raven Cycle.png

I recently read the first book of The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys is a fresh breath in a sea of YA supernatural repetition. In wake of Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent series everything I have read in the past few years seems to be attempting to ride on the coat tales of success. Some of them have been good, most have just been repeats with different characters and monsters.17675462

What makes The Raven Cycle so interesting?

  • A non-annoying budding love story going on.
  • Most of the main characters and POV that the story is written in are male.
  • Actual adults present in the lives of these teenagers.
  • Underlying mystery.
  • Original supernatural elements I’ve not seen before.

I am currently on book two, The Dream Thieves, and I’m 89% finished. 4 out of 5 stars is my current review, but only because I haven’t read to the final book, The Raven King, yet (which released in 2016 by the way).  This is due to the fact that every series, no matter how great, seems to have a lull in the middle somewhere. A book that isn’t as good as all the others. There are also two of those little in-between stories if you’re into them.

On a side note, I recommend taking a look at Maggie Steifvater’s website. It’s probably the best author’s site I’ve ever seen. You can just click the link to check it out.


Review: Secondhand Souls

23460830.jpgTitle: Secondhand Souls

Author: Christopher Moore

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Comedy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I am a fan of Christopher Moore. If you haven’t read any of his work, and you are a responsible adult who can handle some colorful language, I suggest you find one of his books and read it. His writing is laugh out loud funny. I’m talking big belly laughs and chuckles all around.

That being said, Secondhand Souls is a sequel to A Dirty Job, but it isn’t his best work. It chronicles a father and his daughter and their magical adventures through San Francisco. Many interesting characters seem to make their way through an assortment of Moore’s titles. They all seem to be set in the same world and therefore many of the characters can exist in multiple books. My favorite would have to be The Emperor and his trusty dogs, who is actually a homeless man who has two dogs. Or the token foul mouthed goth working at a suicide hotline.

This book  is not as action packed as its prequel and seems to just be filler, but it’s hilarious filler, plus it is weird. I won’t give away the weirdness because I can’t without containing many many spoilers, but trust me. It’s weird. The entire book promises a big battle with the current big bad, and it does happen, but not until the very end. Therefore you are left with a book full of climax and not much action, just a lot of weirdness. Many problems are sorted out and there are some side stories going on that eventually tie in at the end as well, but all felt a little aimless until the end.

Basically, the ending is great, but the rest of the book just lags until then.

Check it out on:

Goodreads      Amazon      Barns & Noble



Review: Conversion


Title: Conversion

Author: Katherine Howe

Genre: YA horror

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The quite halls of an all girls Catholic high school are filled with students getting ready to graduate. They are fighting for the position at the top of their class and the pressure is building. Every test and assignment counts.

As the intensity of their daily stressed filled lives drone on as all daily lives tend to do, the head popular girl falls over in a seizure. Soon after another girl falls to the same ailment, and then there are two or more dropping a day. Is it the pressure? Is it the HPV vaccine? Is it something in the water?

Howe does a good job of showing the pressure young Colleen Rowley is facing as she gets ready to graduate and is fighting for that top spot in her class. As she watches her classmates literally drop like flies, she doesn’t know if she should take advantage of the lack of school attendance or stay home.

The fear spreads through the small town and it is fun to read about the different ways panic effects people. Some will go for fame, others will go on a raging anger binge to find out what is going on. Others flee to keep safe. Each character in this book deals with what is happening to these girls differently.

What is also interesting in this book is that Colleen does a report on the Salem witch trials and as she is doing the report and reading first had statements, her own world seems to parallel that one. I enjoyed the way these two stories coexist and work together to coax the truth of what is happening to these girls from the story.

goodreadsamazonbarnes and noble


Opal Review

Having finished the Lux series, this is probably my least favorite of the five. Though it wasn’t a bad book, just a bit boring at times. It says a lot for a series though. A five book series that only has one slightly slow book. Normally series fizzle out by book 3 and don’t clime back up enough to make you want to finish. I definitely wanted to finish.


Opal by Jennifer Armentrout

YA paranormal, fantasy, romance, sci fi

Published December 11, 2012

Opal was the lull in the series. It had to give the set up to the last two books for the ending, which I understand, but it was a bit on the slow side. I read it slower than the other books, which I didn’t put down. In this book we see Katy and Daemon together, so there isn’t anymore of the teen angsty type stuff. There are more serious things to attend to, like saving lives and trying to infiltrate a highly secure government facility without getting caught. The ending is tragic and makes me glad I read the book when the next one was out, because I wouldn’t have been biting at the bits to get my hands on the next one. Lucky for me my library had it in.

Blake is back and not to be trusted, obviously, but he is a super creeper-McCreeperson. Crazy things go down at the end of the book, however the first bit is very slow and just kept me waiting. Not a big fan of that. Some other people pop back in to say a hello. This does give some low level action in the middle, but nothing like I have come to expect from this series.

Overall not a bad book, a bit slow on the uptake, but necessary to transition into the final two.

Goodreads excerpt:

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

As I said, I have finished the series, so I will be reviewing the final two soon.

Books at the Top

There are so so so many books that I have been keeping on my TBR (to-be-read) list for way too long, and I’m constantly adding new ones. Who isn’t a victim of this problem? This summer I made a plan to check off some of those titles, and while I haven’t quite made a dent in the list, I have put some of those books on the read list. Here are some that are next up on my summer reading list:

Origin, Opaland Opposition (the last three books of the Lux series),  The Last WerewolfThe Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Witch’s Daughter

July 2015 reading list

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Review

I found this book on a random isle in the library. If I go to my local library and don’t have something special in mind I roam the isles and find random books to read. When I got this home I looked at the cover and noticed it said “based on the YouTube phenomenon” and my interest was peaked.

More on the videos:

This girl, Sunshine, is video taping paranormal activity in her new home where she lives with her mom and posting it on YouTube to provide proof that the house is haunted. Surprise, her mom doesn’t believe her. The videos are very fun to watch and she is a very cute and charismatic girl. There are many secrets she finds and everyone around her is involved somehow.

After watching ALL her uploaded videos, I now subscribe to her YouTube channel. I keep up with it weekly. I posted her first YouTube video below along with her book trailer.
 The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

YA paranormal

Published 2014
I found this book entertaining, but not awesome. There were a few moments here and there that were somewhat scary, but not as terrifying as I expected. I had watched the entire library of uploaded videos on YouTube before reading so I kind of knew what to expect.

One thing that got on my nerves about this book is the word choices. Sunshine actually says “Gee” in normal context…who talks like that. And in her vlog she says “blah” at the end of her videos for the first year or so and this was unsuccessfully included in the book. It was awkward.

Other than that though, I’d give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’m sure that if I hadn’t watched all the videos It would have be more suspenseful. There is mystery, suspense, and horror included.


Here is the Gooodreads excerpt:

In that place where you’re more asleep than awake any more, I hear something else. A phrase uttered in a child’s voice, no more than a whisper: Night Night.
Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .
If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?
As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.
The first in a frighteningly good new series based on the popular YouTube sensation The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Network, created by Paige McKenzie.


I Am Number Four: Review

I Am Number Four has been on my to-be-read list for a long time and I finally picked it up. Color me disappointed. Not what I expected.

I am number fourI Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

YA Fantasy, SciFi

Published 2010

#1 of Lorien Legacies

I have seen the movie based on this book. It has been a long time but I remember it being OK, not great though. I expected more of the book because lets face it, books are better!

My expectations were not met. The entire book promised action at any moment, but it didn’t deliver until the last few chapters. Meaning, only a quarter of the book was actually interesting. Lots of information to give the reading since it was the first in a series. Show it, don’t tell it.

I’m debating about reading the second book of the Lorien Legacies series because if the last of this book was action filled, maybe there is more to be had in the other books. Me reading it isn’t certain though.

I had to force myself through this one, refusing to not finish it since it was on my TBR list for so long I felt I owed it to myself to finish it.

Here is the Goodreads excerpt:

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.