Apr
30

Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: April, 2014 by HarperCollins
Pages: 452
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.

Final Thoughts:
Amy’s home life back in Kansas pretty much sucked. She was being bullied by a pregnant girl that seemed to think Amy wanted her guy, and her mother, she was checked out to say the least. I was glad the book didn’t drag things out before escaping to Oz. I found the earlier chapters spent exploring this new take on a classic fictional world to be one of the better aspects of the book. As it progressed, my interest started to wane, taking the better part of a month to get through it. I did enjoy where it ended but found that it took too many detours to get there.

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May
14

Title: Pretties (Uglies #2)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published: November, 2005 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Final Thoughts:
This started out SO slow. Set in New Pretty Town, I just couldn’t get into the characters. I got that their brains had been messed with, but it didn’t make for enjoyable reading. I mean, how many times can you listen to characters say ‘bubbly’ or ‘bogus’ before you want to hurl the book across the room? The pacing was just off for me. It was one of those books where you felt the need to put it down every 20 or so pages and go find something else to do. Of course, I got around that by forcing my way through it, but you shouldn’t have to do that. Luckily the second half picks up a bit.

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Feb
26

Title: The Impossibility of Tomorrow (Incarnation #2)
Author: Avery Williams
Published: June, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 375
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.

But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?

Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?

Final Thoughts:
I went into this one with the notion that I had really enjoyed the quick little read that was The Alchemy of Forever. I’m not sure if something changed since then or if time has altered my memories, but I just couldn’t get on board with this one the way I would have liked. It was all teen drama—and high school dance teen drama at that. Sure, the book has its cat and mouse aspect to it, but it was nothing too exciting. It’s another one of those ‘everything squashed into the last quarter’ kind of books.

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Jan
20

Title: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Published: Hyperion by March, 2011
Pages: 359
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They’re demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Final Thoughts:
Hex Hall proved an addictive read for me, finishing it in a single sitting, but this time around, I found it hard to reconnect. Leaving the school behind, we’re sent to the magic council in England, but it’s not nearly as exciting. They’re in a massive building with over thirty kitchens—that was about as exciting as it got. Plus, removed from the school setting, all of the bitchiness is gone. You might say that’s a good thing, but without the tension, it fell flat. I cared little about Sophie’s ‘romance’, so the lack of plot for most of the book left me with hardly anything to hang onto.

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Apr
02

Title: Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published: April, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 367
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one at her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift. She’s not the only one seeking answers, though, and danger grows as she discovers new truths.

Who can Aura trust with her secrets? And to whom will she give her heart?

Final Thoughts:
This took me AGES to get through. It just wasn’t clicking for me. I kept finding myself putting it down mid chapter, leaving it a few days, then telling myself I had to get back into it. It was just so different from the first book, and not in a positive way. With great ideas, this paranormal had heaps to offer, but unfortunately most of the plot this time around gave way for a mess of relationship drama. And with Aura playing musical beds, I really couldn’t connect with her. For me, this love triangle (and at times, square), just didn’t work.

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Dec
26

Title: Eternal (Tantalize #2)
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Published: December, 2009 by Walker Books
Pages: 306
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
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At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.

Final Thoughts:
Apparently this book is set before Tantalize, and so, the entire restaurant-operating ensemble is nowhere to be seen. It reads more like a companion, set in the same world, but in a different city. Unlike the previous book, which focussed on the workings of a restaurant, Eternal delves right into the paranormal. A vampire kingdom full of aristocracy, human servants and dungeons gave this book an entirely different feel. While this one still suffered from some of the same problems as the last one, I found the alternating perspectives gave a better insight into the characters. Plus mixing vampires and angels, how could I resist.

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Nov
24

Title: Fang Me (Demon Underground #3)
Author: Parker Blue
Published: March, 2011 by Bell Bridge Books
Thanks: Bell Bridge Books via NetGalley
Pages: 194
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The vampires want it. The demons want it, too. And someone is willing to kill Val for it.Val and Fang have to find the powerful Encyclopedia Magicka before either of San Antonio’s warring underworld factions locate it or the consequences will be deadly for the entire city. As usual, Val’s vampire enemies (they still call her The Slayer) want her dead. Even some of her fellow demons may be less than trustworthy, since they’d like to grab the legendary book of spells before she does. Val has a personal claim to the Encyclopedia–her demon father left it to her when he died–but someone stole it recently. And that can’t be good.

Battling vamps and dodging demons, Val struggles to unravel the mystery and find the thief. At the same time, she’s fighting her attraction to sweet, sexy Shade–her favorite shadow demon. Rumor has it that Val will lose her part-demon, vampire-fighting powers if she gives herself to him.With a crowd of vamps and demons out to trick her or kill her, it’s not a good time for her to risk her job as the city’s best vampire hunter by falling in love. The stakes are high and aimed right at her heart. But Lola, Val’s hungry little lust demon, doesn’t like being denied. Will Lola finally get her way?What’s a part-lust-demon-teen supposed to do? Whatever it takes.

Final Thoughts:
With a plot very much like that of book two, I didn’t find it as enthralling. There are new characters though, that help bring the tension. Shade and Val’s relationship has its strains and so does Val’s life in general. Reading the first three books in the series in a row has allowed me to witness the progression of the characters over a short period. I like that they’re learning about themselves and growing, but this whole ‘search for magick books’ plot feels like it’s been going on for way too long. Let’s get back to the vampires.

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