Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alchemy of Forever Review

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 256

Synopsis: After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love? 

  The beginning is very under developed. In a whirlwind the story begins, and we are introduced to two characters.  There is no way to tell who they are or why they do what they do.  Then before any personality is shown they both run away.  Id did serve as a launch into the story because once I got past that I glided through the first 100 pages.  Sera has a plan, her mind locked on target, and she has had many centuries to enact it.  Her persistence was inspiring.  Maybe even good enough to write a song. Hmm?  Motivating that persistence was this slow-burned-until-blazing human compassion.  She could look at a person and see the best of who they really were.  Where we saw a drug-addicted girl, she was a desperate cry for help and peace, no matter what form that might come from.  It's the kind of feeling one might get about a reconciled murderer (one who had been forced to do it by another).
         The minute we were introduced to who was Kailey I felt this beautiful connection to all that she was, and such sadness that she was gone.  Sera seemed to combine with her, but I had no idea how Sera was going to pull it off.  It was like waking up one day and realizing what a bitch you were.  Sera complains about how she never got to grow up, but she has.  Her experiences, however horrible, made her wise even though her body is sixteen.  This became obvious when other characters revealed how Kailey was, and how enthralled with the teenage drama she had been.
         Noah was great.  He had this way of making jokes even when the circumstances weren't very good, and he always respected Kailey and Sera even if he didn't like what they asked.  As soon as he walked on the page I liked him.  If Alchemy of Forever had been one of those crazy love triangle books I'm confident I would have been loyal to Noah. 
       The ending:   Hmmm..... the last page snuck up behind me and jumped out when I least expected it.  Then twisted a knife in my back.  How could that have happened?  It couldn't have been the ending, just a sick joke someone was playing slipping me an unfinished copy.  There were so many unanswered questions and possibilities left.  I don't even fully understand what happened.  It just-

Rating- 7/10- Awesome, but left something to be desired.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine 
Soooo many good new realeases, and so many up-coming.
This week I'm waiting for Stealing Parker, a companion novel to Catching Jordan.  I really want to read Jordan, but haven't come around to it yet.  Still, I'm waiting for Parker.
 Status: Very Excited!

This book is about a girl who falls for the new baseball coach.  It is supposed to be a romantic tale that is to prove that girls like sports too.  After books like Dairy Queen this is a popular element in YA, but this is one of the few that focuses on the sports...or at least I hope it does.  Guarenteed: Romance.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Review

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publisher: speak (penguin group)
Genre: YA Contemporary
From: Christmas Present

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

In some ways Lennie is just like me; she is a clarinet player, can't stop thinking about boys, and has this great passion.  I slid this book into my bag because of these similarities.  I raced through the book because of Lennie's grief and love.  I had lost someone the day I picked it up.  I could relate to what she was going through because I was going through the exact same thing. 
       It must have been easy for Jandy to write this (easy: in terms of writing a book) because I read as much passion in the writing as Lennie blasts through her clarinet.  Jandy had to write all the poems Lennie left all over town, and in some ways that was my favorite part; when I paused at the end of a chapter and saw a poem waiting for me, it made me want to forge forward to the next chapter.  A paperback of this book was in my stocking this year and I have destroyed it already.  My second grade librarian would die if she saw all the stuff I've done to this book.  I've written in the margins, bordered my favorite parts, and underlined all these delicious similes and metaphors Jandy has left nicely packaged in the paragraphs.  My pen is the bookmark, and if that doesn't destroy the spine the constant bending back of the cover will.  When I'm done, this book will look like Lennie's copy of Wuthering Heights. 
        The writing is so amazing that I'm surprised when the twists  come even though I've read it before there are some books that just make me want to play music or write.  Inspiration is a truly rare gift that agonizing hours of searching can not give you, it is discovered.
         I suppose I should write a little about Joe because he is undeniably amazing.  I fell in love with his smile.  The way he saw Lennie, he didn't know her but he came to her house because he knew about her passion in music.  Boys are so simple minded, they can only focus on one thing and for Joe that is music.  It is the way he measured every thing in life.  If only he would drop out of the pages and play his guitar for me while smiling his million watt smile. 
         I haven't gotten to the heart-wrecking decision, Toby-or- Joe part yet (I'm re-reading), and I know it's coming so I've been reading slower to avoid the inevitable.  I want to believe it won't come, but I'm a realistic person and just because the cover is different doesn't mean the story will be in anyway changed. 
Status: Dreading the end.

Score: 10/10- This book is so different from everything else on the shelves.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

There are of course so many good books coming out this year, but there was a cover reveal that caught my eye and I wanted to share.  So here is waiting on Wednesday presenting...

 One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I loved Divergent so much, and the end left a little drool hanging out of my mouth before it was spit away when I shouted when it ended.  Unfair Veronica, you know that leaving the end like that will make us wait eagerly for the sequel, unfair! 
      This cover is so beautiful.  It follows the style of the first one, but there is this gorgeous tree leaves thing going on.  I love it.  It's not a faction symbol, is it?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (6)

This will include all the lovely Christmas presents I got.

Christmas Present     Status: Just Finished

Christmas Present                           Christmas Present
Status: Read                        Status: Read Duh!

 On Kindle                                     Christmas Present
Status: Read                                    Status: Read
From Library                              Christmas Present
Status: Read                             Status: Being Re-read

On Pulse it
Status: Being Read
                                                           On Kindle
                                                  Status: Being Read

Status: Being Read