Review: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

red queenThe Red Queen (The Cousins’ War #2) by Philippa Gregory

Details: Hardcover, 382 pages
Published: August 3rd 2010 by Touchstone
Source: Either I bought it for myself or my mom got it for me.
Buy it: The Book Depository

Summary: The second book in Philippa’s stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series – The White Queen – but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

Review: I absolutely love Philippa Gregory and will read every single one of her books. I haven’t read one that I haven’t enjoyed and The Read Queen is no exception.

However, it is probably my least favourite out of all of the books I’ve read by her. I was also surprised that I liked The White Queen more than The Red Queen, which is odd. Most people seem to prefer the second book more.

When I started The Red Queen, I really liked Margaret Beaufort, but as I got further into the book, and she got older, I began to dislike her more and more. At one point I actually called her a monster and put the book down for awhile.

In the end, I really did enjoy The Red Queen, but not as much as The White Queen. I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book, The Lady of the Rivers. This is such a great series, which is no surprise. I mean it is Philippa Gregory.

My Rating: 3 stars

Waiting on Wednesday: #5

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

severSever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano
Expected publication: February 12th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

the replacementThe Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Details: Hardcover, 343 pages
Published: September 21st 2010 by Razorbill/Penguin Group
Source: I either bought it for myself or I got it for Christmas last year. I can’t remember.
Buy it: The Book Depository

Summary: Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Review: What can I say about this book? I have this habit about getting really excited about these kinds of books (fae) and going out and buying them even though I know deep down that they’re just not my cup or tea. I always enjoy them, like it did this one, but I don’t think that there are many I’ve loved enough to give five stars to. Which is such a shame since all the ones I’ve read are very good.

The Replacement is no exception. It is very good and has everything you could want in a book. It has great characters, an interesting plot, and on top of that, it’s well written. So why only three stars? I honestly can’t tell you. I can’t find anything wrong with this story. It must be because I’m not the biggest fan of fae books.

Do I think others will enjoy The Replacements? Yes, I do. Even if you are like me, I still think it’s a good read. Go out and get it, or pick it up off your shelf and give it a try. Odds are you will like it. I will read more by this author.

My Rating: 3 stars

Review: Far from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters

xanaduFar from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters

Details: Paperback, 288 pages
Published: April 1st 2007 by Little, Brown Young Readers
Source: I won it.
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: Every day in Coalton is pretty much the same. Mike pumps iron in the morning, drives her truck to school, plays softball in the afternoon, and fixes the neighbors’ plumbing at night. But when an exotic new girl, Xanadu, arrives in the small Kansas town, Mike’s world is turned upside down. Xanadu is everything Mike is not–cool, complicated, sexy, and…straight. This heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful novel will speak to anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone just out of reach.

My Review: Julie Anne Peters is probably my favorite author, so needless to say when I found out I won a book of my choice, I picked this one.

Every book I’ve read by her is even better than the one before it. This one is no different. I devoured it. I just couldn’t get enough and in the end, as always with Julie Anne Peters books, I wanted more.

I have fallen for a lot of straight girls in my life and I know how hard it is. Especially when they do the kind of things that Xanadu does. It’s torture and never ends well. So I know exactly how Mike feels and what she goes through. I have related to characters before, but never like this.

The writing, as usual, is incredible. It is so easy to read, it just flows and pulls you right in. It’s kind of like watching a movie. The characters and the plot are believable and real and I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I needed to know what was going to happen next.

If you’ve never read anything by Julie Anne Peters, what are you waiting for? They are some of the best books I’ve ever read. I need to get more of her books and soon.

Please, I am begging you, pick this book up. You will not regret it. In fact, pick up all of her books. You will love them.

Far From Xanadu now has a new title, Pretend You Love Me, and a new cover. I may have to buy it just for the hell of it.

pretend you love me

Rating: 5 stars

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

beautiful creaturesBeautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Details: Hardcover, 563 pages
Published: December 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: I bought it
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: 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.

My Review: This was another one of those books that I was worried about reading because of all the hype. Just like I was with The Hunger Games. Once again, I am super happy I picked this book up.

I honestly don’t think I can say one bad thing about Beautiful Creatures. It is the perfect book. Everything about it is incredible. I love the characters, the plot, the writing, not to mention the cover is gorgeous. I have absolutely no complaints.

I will be recommending this book to everyone I know and if you haven’t read it yet, you must. It is one of the best books I have ever read. I can’t wait to start reading Beautiful Darkness.

My Rating: 5 stars

Review: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

fragile eternityFragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely #3) by Melissa Marr

Details: Paperback, 389 pages
Published: May 28th 2009 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Source: I bought it
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: Aislinn never expected to rule in Faerie–but that was before Keenan stole her mortality to make her a monarch. Now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she’d ever dreamed of.

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone–but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he’s ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on a new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

My Review: I love this series. It is one of my all time favorites. Every single book is incredible and well written. Out of the three I’ve read so far, Fragile Eternity isn’t my favorite, but I still absolutely loved it.

Melissa Marr really brings the story and characters to life. You feel like you are actually there and not just reading a book.

I love how much focus is on Seth in this book. He is an amazing character and it’s nice to know more about what he’s thinking and feeling.

I honestly can’t wait to start reading the next book, Radiant Shadows.

My Rating: 4 stars

Review: Ironside by Holly Black

ironsideIronside (The Modern Faerie Tales #3) by Holly Black

Details: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: August 6th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Source: I bought it
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben’s coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing — her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can’t see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn’t exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth — that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother’s shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben’s throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

Holly Black spins a seductive tale at once achingly real and chillingly enchanted, set in a dangerous world where pleasure mingles with pain and nothing is exactly as it appears.

My Review: Ironside is the third and final book in the Modern Faerie Tales trilogy and it was a pretty good ending. Valiant is still my favorite of the three, however I really did like this book.

Ironside was hard to put down. It didn’t pull me in as much as Valiant, or even Tithe, but I still wanted to keep reading to find out how it all would end. I have to admit though that I was just a tiny bit disappointed in the ending. It just didn’t feel finished.

Holly Black is a fabulous writer. She creates a gripping story filled with friendship and danger. So of course I would definitely recommend this trilogy to everyone. All three books are fast, fun and well written.

My Rating: 3 stars

Waiting on Wednesday: #4

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

scarletScarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review: Valiant by Holly Black

valiantValiant (The Modern Faerie Tales #2) by Holly Black

Details: Paperback, 336 pages
Published: September 5th 2005 by SIMON & SCHUSTER CHI
Source: I bought it
Buy It: The Book Depository

Summary: When seventeen-year-old Valerie runs away to New York City, she’s trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city’s labyrinthine subway system.

But there’s something eerily beguiling about Val’s new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

My Review: Val comes home to a very big surprise, and not the good kind. Deciding to get away from it all she runs off to New York City. While there she meets some kids her age and they start hanging out. This leads her into some new and interesting situations.

Valiant is such a fast, fun, intense and compelling read. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I don’t have one single complaint with this book other then I wish it was longer.

Holly Black is a fantastic writer. You get pulled right into the story and feel like you are right there with the characters, experiencing it all with them.

I will definitely be reading this one again.

My Rating: 5 stars