Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book Review: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Title: Endlessly
Author: Kiertsen White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA (paranormal)
Why I read it/how I found it: Last book in the Paranormalcy Trilogy

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

So, as is no secret to this blog, I adore the first two books, Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. They're fun, hilarious, with characters that jump off the page and have great voices. 

The last book in a series can be tricky. There's so much pressure to finish everything off in a satisfying way, to tie up all loose ends and get the characters in the place that they should end up. Endlessly does this beautifully. There really is no other way this series could have ended, for every character, from Evie and Lend, to Arianna and Reth. 

Endlessly hits a great pace, by page thirty you just can't stop reading until the end. The plot moves along without dragging anything along. As with the rest of this series, the humor doesn't stop and I found myself laughing just like the first two.

Evie and her journey has meant a lot to me, it's saved me from drudgery of college work and reading for something fun and meaningful. I loved seeing her story wrap up, although I'm sad that it's over now.

Other information: This is the last last last book in the Paranormalcy trilogy and world (sad day, right?). The first book has been opted for film. Kiersten White's blog is here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Going on

*Climbs out of hole*
*Blinks in the brightness of the internet's light*
Hello, again.
I've been pretty much absent for a while. I hit a slump with my book, a huge one that I haven't hurdled past yet, and I'm working on still. Other stuff has happened, like my cousin getting married and my brother leaving for the Navy (he's going to be a doctor!), and my sister coming to visit with her kids.

But mostly, I felt worn out.

Which is weird, because it's summer and I should be all jazz hands about it. But things just got...moody. You know, when it happens for no good reason? When you don't want to do anything? Pretty much, I've been reading. Which is why my only posts here have been for book reviews. Oh, I pretended like I was working. I made a youtube channel to review all of the books I read, since I only do one a week here and don't get a chance to discuss them all. And I read, I've babysat.

But what's really important, I've been slacking on. My book. And for some reason, that just climbed into this blog as well, and I felt uninspired. I didn't want to post just for the sake of posting, which is why all we have are two book reviews since my slump hit.

Upon realizing that I'm leaving for school in a month, I know I have to get my act together and finish this book. Just the first draft of it! So I'm using this blog for accountability. I will be doing my regular post and keeping an update on how I'm doing.

Here's to ending ruts. Cheers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

*Waves* Long time, no see. Things have been a little crazy for me right now, which I why I haven't been blogging, but here we go again. :)
Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: YA (paranormal)
Why I read it/how I found it: Saw a movie about it was coming out and had to read it.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

This book is really unique in the fact that it's a YA paranormal romance, but the BOY narrates it. That was very refreshing and I'm sure made it stand out when the authors were querying it. Ethan could feel like adult women writing from a teenage boy's perspective at times (like when he goes on about Southern architecture or when he explains he or his friend Link does something/thinks a certain way because they're boys). But it wasn't horrendous, just something I noticed.
Lena, his love interest, was pretty unique herself. She kept things important to her, but to others seemed like junk, on a necklace. Her struggle to fit in and yet not wanting to at the same time felt very raw and real for someone in high school, especially someone like her who never got to have a "normal" childhood. 
Of course, being the star-crossed lovers that they are, it got a little tiring to hear them say:
"It's not right for you to be with me." (Lena)
"I don't care! I want to be with you!" (Ethan)
On...and on...and on. This book is 563 pages long. I feel like 1/4 of it is the two of them with this same conversation. Also, I think this book could've been slimmed down a bit. Extra scenes/incidences/details here and there. The plot didn't feel very concise to me. But in the end, there's a lot of twists and turns I didn't see coming, yet at the same time, the authors put clues in that guide you there. The climax is very thrilling, with just enough action, suspense, stakes, and emotion to top it off in the grand finale.
The paranormal elements, Lena and her family being "Casters" (witches, essentially, but don't call them that) was interesting and well-thought out, although I feel like the magical elements will come out more in the later books.
I have a feeling those in the South might not take to some of this here. Ethan felt very superior to those in his town, determined he wasn't "one of them." He had been raised by educated people, learning to speak right and look to more than what's in their town, Gatlin. The people of the town, besides the outcasts and educated, are judgmental, closed-minded, vindictive, and basically every negative aspect you can think of in a stereotypical Southern small town. Ethan talks about how because his mother didn't want to join the DAR or Ladies Auxilary, had been educated, vegetarian, and a liberal, she'd been treated poorly when she lived and even when she was dead. Which, for me, was surprising because one of the authors grew up in the South. It seems to me like she didn't have much warm, fuzzy feelings about the place she grew up in. While the town created conflict and antagonism, Ethan's smug attitude and his pre-judgement of the town didn't seem to reflect any of the good things about the South, either. I've never been to the South, but I guess I just hoped for something more than stereotypes that I'd seen before.

More information: This is the first in a series of four, with the last one to come out this October. The novel's website is here. Kami Garcia's website is here. Margaret Stohl's website is here. Warner Bro.'s is adapting Beautiful Creatures into a movie, and is currently filming.