August Wrap-Up Post for 2012 TBR Challenge

Books Read: 27 books out of 20-30 books
Goal: 30 books - a sweet kiss - REACHED

Hello, everyone! Today marks the ending of the wrap-up for the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge month of August! I've reviewed a whole ton of books this month, so below are those applicable to the challenge because they were written in 2011 or earlier.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Touch by Jus Accardo 

Review: Fire

Author: Kristin Cashore
  • Series: Graceling Realm #2
  • Published: October 5, 2009
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 461 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Bought
  •  
~*~Summary~*~
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Fire's story was wonderful, but nothing can compare to the amazingness that is Graceling. Where I loved everything about Graceling, I didn't find myself in the same situation with the second novel in the Graceling Realm series.

The characterization was superb. Fire was incredibly complex. She just wanted everything to be okay, despite her wild upbringing and evil, manipulative father. Herself and the King's sons were all a new generation of right while their fathers was the generation of the wrong. My one problem, characterization wise, was Archer. He was all over the place. His stubborn ways constantly made us dislike him and his actions were intolerable and impulsive. Part of the time I loved him, part of the time I hated him, and when we learn more about him, I pitied him. I couldn't feel bad for anything that happened to him because after half of the things he did to Fire and several other ladies, the woman in my was screaming that he deserved it.

The plot was superb. It kept me on my toes and I loved the incorporation of the music. Truly, I can't find one thing wrong with it. I love how the characters growth was essential to the plot. I love how the plot was full of twists and surprises. I love how the lies were slowly unraveled and there was no extreme level of predictability. Is it obvious that Cashore is one of my favorite authors of all time?

I also adored the romance in the novel. It was slow, easy-going. Fire had to learn to love those around her, just as everyone at the kingdom had to adjust to her. It was not instantaneous and it took a large portion of the book to happen. Sacrifices were made to have such a love. No, I can't ruin who the love interest is, but I'll tell you that they are perfect together! And the moral was so strong. Despite someone's physical beauty, true beauty is on the inside. If you are beautiful on the inside, then the outside is beautiful to those who love you as well. That was my favorite moral of this story.

This book can stand alone from Graceling. It has nothing to do with it besides one cross over character and the understanding between the two worlds. They are not the same, but there's a link between the two of them that is evident if you read both books. Fire can be read before or after its prequel by anyone. Anybody who loves high fantasy should read this. Actually, anybody at all can read this, but it will especially satisfy high fantasy lovers.

Is it clear that this novel has me at a loss for words yet? No? Well, it does! Can't wait to read  the third book in the series, Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore never ceases to amaze me.
~*~Cover~*~

I love this cover. it's simple, but describes the book, and I've always been fascinated by the lips up top. I can never hate a cover by Cashore.

 


 4.5 stars

~*~Links~*~

Giveaways Galore

There's some awesome giveaways this week! Here you go!

Sparkles and Lightning Followre Appreciation Giveaway

Deadly Destinations! Check them out at All Things UF! I've been following this for a while and love it! haha

|The Dark Light|Auracle|Otherkin|Dark Companion|Immortally Yours|Mirage|

|Torn|Blood on the Moon|Onyx|Trance|Transcendence|Spark|

Guest Post + Giveaway: Rachel Harris, Author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century



Hey everyone, I was lucky enough to have Rachel Harris stop by and talk about Italy and why she's using it in her novel, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. Check it out!


Visions of Italy
Lili rocks, doesn’t she? As we all know, she has spectacular taste in books and fabulous ideas on who she should invite here as a guest (ahem), but something you may not know is that her and I happen to share a fascination for a certain European country. Lili’s the President of her school’s Italian club, and I…well, I’m a huge fan of it.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure how and where my love affair with Italy began, but I’m pretty sure it was freshman year of high school with the play Romeo and Juliet. Before then, sure, I’d gobble up the food like nobody’s business and swoon over hot Italian guys and their sexy accents, but the country itself didn’t really come alive for me until that play.
Maybe I thought the place was swarming with modern-day Romeos or something—and  to date myself completely, at the time Romeo in my mind was Leonardo DiCaprio who’d just played him in the movie version. But whatever the reason, I made it my personal mission to go to Italy and see it myself one day. To breathe in the espresso-scented air, see the beautiful architecture, gaze upon the centuries old artwork, and yeah, gawk at a few Italian guys. Luckily, I shared that mission with my parents, because four short (or really long, depending on your outlook) years later, they took our family on a trip of a lifetime.
Our trip to Europe was a whirlwind. We visited so many cities in a dozen countries, but the highlight was definitely our stops in Italy. That is where I ate, people watched, shopped, took pictures, and ate some more. And my favorite hotspot on that leg of the trip, hands down, was Florence.
It wasn’t just the food, though I did have a spectacular pizza there. And it wasn’t just the shopping, though I did buy my favorite memento—a very sweet leather jacket—here. It was everything.
Seeing David up close. Walking the ancient streets. Touring the buildings. And best of all, watching the historical reenactment parade.
I don’t even know why it happened—if it was an annual festival in Florence or I just got extremely lucky—but while we were there, people suddenly burst onto the road, dressed in period costumes, waving banners, and cheering eagerly. Over the next thirty minutes or so, I was swept away in the magic and beauty of the city and its history, and though I never really thought about it until this moment, the kernel idea for My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was probably birthed right then.
What about YOU? What was your favorite vacation ever…and did it inspire your creativity? And, most importantly, what was the best thing you ATE on your vacay (mine was that fabulous pizza!)

This is Rachel's tour group in beautiful Firenze. She is in the middle on the bottom in a white shirt, sunglasses, and khaki shorts (most like the tourists that Cat makes fun of in the book! lol)


~*~*~*~*~*~

Don't forget to check out this awesome giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a copy of her book and some swag! U.S. only, sorry!

Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

Author: Rachel Harris
  • Published: September 11, 2012
  • Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Source: Publisher
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?


~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This book is all things cute, adorable, cuddly, come-give-me-a-hug-and-never-let-go awesome. I couldn't get enough of it because of its simplicity and adorable plot. This is one easy read that I highly recommend to any reader. It can be finished in a single sitting and the moral of the story is one for any young girl to learn. It is clear that this novel is geared towards a younger young adult audience, but here I am at age seventeen completely gushing over it.

Cat is unlike many daughters of Hollywood. She hates the spotlight, doesn't like being the center of attention, and prefers to read and learn about her Italian heritage than go shopping on Rodeo. In other words, she's the complete opposite of her absentee mother. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, her overly-peppy future step-mother insists on throwing the party to end all parties that will air on MTV and the only compromise Cat can make with her father is a trip to Florence so she can learn more about her heritage. But Cat quickly does something unlike herself when she enters a gypsy tent that will send her back in time to live with her ancestors while she learns some valuable life lessons, all with the help of her wonderful ancestral cousins Alessandra and Cipriano, the amazingly gorgeous and artistic Lorenzo, and the creepy suitor Niccolo. 

The characterization in this novel is sheer genius. I felt for every character within minutes of being introduced to them. Cat was a strong main character that just wanted to get away from the spotlight. She was smart and yearned for true friends. She was the perfect gateway to experience emotions as we read. Both Alessandra and Cipriano are easily likeable as well. Alessandra is the friend and sister that Cat always wished for. Cipriano is always poised, only giving into his playful side when around friends, especially Lorenzo. And Lorenzo...how he can so easily jumble a girls thoughts. Originally a player, he quickly falls for Cat's unique futuristic ways while in the Renaissance time period as he struggled to follow his dreams of being an artist. Trust me when I say that Lorenzo certainly is a swoon-worthy boy. Niccolo made my skin crawl. Of course, characters like him are not meant to be likable, but I can't help the respect I feel when an author so expertly writes a villain that makes you shiver in disgust. Bravo, Rachel! I loved the supporting characters just as much as I loved the main characters.

 The plot was unique and fresh. Thought it was simple, it was full of amazing emotional moments, epiphanies, and laughs. Anyone who does not have prior knowledge of Italy can easily get immersed in the story and learn. For those who do have prior knowledge of Italy, you can see all of your history lessons coming to life. Whether it be visiting the statue of David mere months after it was created or having to survive being strung into an unforgiving corset, all experiences of the sixteenth century are present in the novel with a hint of present-day flare at the hands of Cat's vocabulary and trusty backpack full of contraband futuristic items. Reading this book will be easy-peasy.

I have to dock a half of a star for the ending. That cliff-hanger! So completely welcome because it sets up an amazing second story, but so completely hated because I want to know what happens now. Rachel Harris, your writing will be the end of me because of an overwhelming anxiety!

Unique characters and a visit to my favorite time period of the Renaissance era, this book is nothing but a recipe for success that can satisfy any reader looking for a light romance that will make you giddy. Harris will capture your heart easily with her debut novel and amazing writing style and her characters will make it impossible to ever let go.

~*~Cover~*~

This is a cute cover. A sixteen year old from modern times suddenly pops up in the sixteenth century. How else would she dress? It's quirky and adorable and put a smile on my face.

 
4.5 stars 

~*~Links~*~ 

|Amazon|Goodreads|Book Depository|Barnes and Noble|Author's Website|

Review: Storm

Author: Brigid Kemmerer
  • Series: Elemental #1
  • Published: April 24, 2012
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 353 pages (Paperback)
  • Source: Library
  •  
~*~Summary~*~
 Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys - all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

What an amazing start to a series with nothing but promise!

Becca just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing even though it's the right thing to do. Confusing? Yeah, I know. She saved a boy from getting beat up and that boy happened to be Chris Merrick--a guy with many people out to kill his family because they are powerful Elementals. Chris just happens to have an affinity for water. Because of this, she immediately had a target on her back and everything spiraled out of control.

The characterization in this novel is strong. I really enjoyed the family dynamics among the Merrick brothers. Michael is really doing everything in his power to help his brothers. Nick and Gabriel balance each other out and Chris is the little brother that they all look out for and love, even though he always seems to have some type of problem chasing him. 

Becca was a very interesting main character. As a reader, we were able to come to conclusions a lot quicker than her, though. And while she is incredibly tough for half the book, she isn't in other parts of the book. It's almost as if she's tough when she doesn't have to be and she's not when she should be. This was slightly frustrating to me.

My one qualm with this book was the slight love triangle and the predictability. It felt very back and forth. It was always Chris or Hunter. Both had secrets, but Becca loved them both. And while I enjoyed them both, I was always rooting for Chris. He was a hero and risked his life to save her when some evil people from her past came back to haunt her. Not going to explain how, you'll find that out when you read, but that was one other small point of the book that knocked this down from a 5 star rating. I get that dealing with pure Elementals can lead you to extremes, but taking it that far? That's a little twisted. It's as if this entire town is insane, but I can never walk away from it. I simple must know what happens to the Merrick brothers!

As you can tell, I really enjoyed this book and I do recommend it to any fantasy lover looking for some action, awesome character development, and a really sweet romance because the characters have trouble accepting their feelings for each other at first. Chris Merrick is definitely one to dream about! 

~*~Cover~*~

I like how the cover has all four Merrick brothers on it since this series is their story, but Chris is up front since this is his specific installment. The fan in me is sort of bummed that the twins don't really look like twins. While Gabriel is clearly on the left, Nick should look more like him then he does. Michael in the background looks as protective as he should be. Though, I'm now convinced that these aren't the people that I think they are! Interesting. I'm glad all the covers in this series follow the same path!


 4.5 stars

~*~Links~*~

Waiting on Wednesday #15

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that spotlights upcoming releases and it is hosted by the fabulous Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is...

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Date of Publication: October 23, 2012
Series: Mara Dyer #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 544

~*~Summary~*~

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

~*~Why I'm Waiting~*~

I read the sequel to this book and it is one of my favorite books of all time (or at least of this year). It is so unique and dark and interesting! Mara is literally insane and her life is so twisted. Plus, Noah is absolutely and utterly amazing. Need I say more? haha

~*~

What is everyone else waiting on?

Review: Embrace

Author: Jessica Shirvington
  • Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
  • Published: March 6, 2012
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 369 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Library
  •  
~*~Summary~*~

It starts with a whisper: "It's time for you to know who you are..."

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice. 

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It's a battle Violet doesn't want, but she lives her life by two rules: don't run and don't quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden. 

LINCOLN: He's been Violet's one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he's Grigori--part human, part angel--and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles. 

PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he's the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln's lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray. 

Two sides: Angel or Exile.

Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.

The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity... 


~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This book is even better the second time around. Truly, an enticing beginning to what promises to be an amazing series!
 
This book is easily one to love. Violet Eden is a main character that is easy to connect with. Though she is quite frustrating at times, she accepts her flaws and pushing through them. She'll sacrifice nearly anything for those that she loves. But she's a bit impulsive, and at times you just want to whack her on the head and flail around in frustration because you know she's going to regret her actions. But for a strong girl who entered the world of Grigori as an unwilling anomaly, she'll try to handle anything that could possibly be thrown at her.

I also really enjoyed the love triangle in this one. It was well-executed. Both Phoenix and Lincoln had their own appealing qualities, though again, both were incredibly flawed. Lincoln was constantly battling between whether it was a good thing or a bad thing to be with Violet because, ultimately, he should never have allowed himself to fall for his Grigori partner. He loved her with every fiber of his being, thus it's hard to hate him. Phoenix is sort of the complete opposite of Lincoln. While he tried protecting Violet, he is an exile--the type of person she is meant to kill or send to some unknown place for judgment. Yet she can't help but be attracted to him because every time they touch the sparks literally fly. And let me tell you, the romance that happens in this love triangle is HOT!

I easily connected with almost all the characters, besides the baddies. Of course, they were just deranged, but even then their reasoning was somewhat believable. When lies were revealed or hidden identities came to light, I ate everything up. This book is certainly full of surprises and light foreshadowing that one would never even think about until you made the connection later on in the story.

My one qualm is that the story was littered with cliches here and there. And they came at the worst moments possible when you would never want a cliche and BAM! there it is! While they're not plentiful, they were common enough to bug me and, in my opinion, interrupt the flow of the story. What was so real because the connection to the characters was so strong was temporarily lost because a cliche was used to keep the story flowing. Literally falling into a guys arms, legitimate sparks flying, thinking of someone else when you're getting kissed, kissing someone to shut them up. As enjoyable as it is, I know Shirvington is capable of so much more because she's an amazing author. Still, part of me has to love these cliches! This story, gah! What is there to truly hate? 

I eagerly await the release of EMBRACE and after reading this book, I'm sure you'll be awaiting its release, too! 

~*~Cover~*~

While this cover does sum up the story within its pages, I'm not a huge fan of it. It just seems like it is missing something. But the cover that they used to replace the paperback is much worse, so I do enjoy this one more.


 4 stars

~*~Links~*~ 

Review: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas
  • Series: Throne of Glass #1
  • Published: August 7, 2012
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 416 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Bought
  •  
  • ~*~Summary~*~ 
  • After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

  • ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~
  • This is truly a phenomenal high fantasy debut!
  •  Celaena was sentenced to a life of hard labor after she was caught performing her job: being an assassin. Apparently, she was betrayed by someone important to her. While I find this to be incredibly interesting, we don't explore much of this in the plot of this book besides her theories. My best guess is that we learn more about this in the prequel novellas. I haven't read them, but after reading this amazing book, I definitely want to! I would recommend reading them before reading this novel, though.
  • One day, Prince Dorian invites her out of labor to be his Champion. 23 other criminals were chosen by important nobles to compete in a series of competitions chosen by the King. The winner will be his Champion and fight by his side, doing everything he says. Celaena has trouble stomaching the fact that she is willing to sign herself over to the King--the man she hates most--for 4 years, but repeatedly reminds herself that afterwards she will truly have her freedom. She must win. Not just for herself, but for magic, as well.
  • I really enjoyed the characterization in this novel, even that of the evil criminals that were fighting against Celeana. It was incredibly complex and, at times, the characters were infuriating, but I always kept reading. The plot twists held me prisoner and as the lies unraveled and more and more magical secrets were revealed, I couldn't even fathom putting the book down.
  • My favorite aspect of this novel was that, for once, I have come across an amazingly well executed love triangle. And the romance is slow and easy, real. It's not as if Celaena suddenly trusts Chaol and Dorian because they're attractive. She admits they're nice to look at, but reminds herself that these two are her enemies. Only when she spends a while in the palace and must be with them constantly does she begin to fall after glimpsing their true colors. Chaol understands her in ways nobody else has, and Dorian simply fascinates her because he is nothing like his horribly brutish father. Both men are amazing characters, love interests, and heroes. I truly enjoyed their presence in the novel.
  • All in all, this novel left me speechless. Full of secret motives, lies, magic, a slowly spreading darkness, and an ever-growing desire to be free, this book cannot be missed. The romance is perfect, the action is easy to visualize, and the magic brings a plethora of interesting twists to this amazing high fantasy world. However, it is incredibly clear that this book is not for everybody. It is slow moving, though everything comes together perfectly and you'll find it hard to put the book down. The love triangle is always slowly paced, which may not sit well with some readers. Lastly, there's a lot of lies and secret motives that make you question a lot of characters involvement in specific events. To put it simply, this book will boggle your mind.
  • If you can't deal with some slight violence, I wouldn't recommend picking this book up. But if you're like me and love an amazing high fantasy story, a strong heroine fighting to survive, two amazing love interests in an equally amazing love triangle, and the beautiful twist of magic, I would go pick up this book right now!
  •  
  • ~*~Cover~*~
  • I can't say that I'm super impressed with this cover, but I do like it. Especially the addition of the dagger on Calaena's arm. However, the face of the model portraying Calaena is a little odd. It's beautiful, but almost looks unrealistic.

Weekly Wrap-Up!

As this post goes up, I am in the middle of a 7 hour car-ride home from a vacation. Haha, I'm exhausted, but had an amazing time!

~*~Stacking The Shelves~*~


For Review:
Spark by Brigid Kemmerer (ARC)

Library:
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Won:
Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass (ARC - thank you Rachael!)
Defiance by C.J. Redwine (ARC - thank you Rachael!)
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (ARC - thank you Rachael!)

Time Between Us is backwards. The author is going to try to send me a second ARC. If she does, I'll give my current one away to someone. It's simply backwards, but still easily read.

~*~Current Giveaways~*~

3 copies of 52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody (US only)
Secrets by Dawn Kirby (signed) (US and INT)

~*~Recommended Giveaways!~*~

Deadly Destinations! Check them out at All Things UF! I've been following this for a while and love it! haha

|The Dark Light|Auracle|Otherkin|Dark Companion|Immortally Yours|Mirage|

|Torn|Blood on the Moon|Onyx|Trance|


~*~Reviews Posted This Week~*~ 

52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody - 4 stars
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard  - 4 stars
Survive by Alex Morel  - 3.5 stars
Divergent by Veronica Roth  - 5 stars
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini - 4 stars

Review: Starcrossed

Author: Josephine Angelini
  • Series: Starcrossed #1
  • Published: May 31, 2011
  • Publisher: HarperTEEN
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 487 pages (ARC)
  • Source: Gifted
  •  
  • ~*~Summary~*~
  • Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

    Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

  • ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~
  •  
  • Greek mythology is something that I really enjoy, so I was looking forward to this book. Once I obtained it, I completely devoured it! I found all aspects of the book to be really interesting, such as the several different houses and one houses desire for power. And all of this is placed on Nantucket! I know, of all places, Nantucket is not the place that I would think some demigods can battle each other, but it truly did help the story!
  • The main character, Helen, was incredibly interesting as well. She was just a normal girl, or at least she thought she was. She happened to be incredibly fast when she ran and could never find jeans that properly fit her long legs, but hey, I'm a tall girl too and I have the same problem! Then, the Delos family comes back to town and everything changes. The normal girl that we thought Helen was is no more. Instead, she's a powerful demigod and nobody knows where she comes from, what house she belongs to, and the true extent of her powers.
  • I loved the entire cast of demigods in this book. Each one had amazing powers that were totally unique and somehow helped the plot along perfectly. I thought it was a nice touch to have such an element constant throughout the progression of the story.
  • I have to say that one thing I had a problem with was the romance in this story. While I did love it, I didn't like how it began. Obviously, the summary hints about their very first encounter. It was so sudden that I was the tiniest bit put off by it. Then I was really surprised that everything was so intense between Helen and Lucas after that. They went from attempts to kill each other to the need to fight an intense attraction for each other. Of course, as we begin to truly learn some things about them it all falls into place, but I think that aspect of the story could have been executed differently.
  •  All in all, this was an awesome story. I really felt for the characters! I didn't want anything bad to happen to them and every time one of them got upset or hurt, my heart broke for them. I truly adored Lucas and can't wait to see what him and Helen do in their future--forbidden love at its finest. Aside from some characters being too quick to trust others, I can't find any faults in this awesome tale rich with mythology. I can't wait to pick up the second book to continue Lucas and Helen's story!
  • ~*~Cover~*~
  • I love this cover. It very much hints at the mythological retelling and the background is gorgeous. Great choice.
  • 4 stars 
  • ~*~Links~*~ 
  • |Amazon|Goodreads|Book Depository|Barnes and Noble|Author's Website|

Review: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
  • Series: Divergent #1
  • Published: May 3, 2011
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 487 pages (Paperback)
  • Source: Bought
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~*~Summary~*~

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. 

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Words cannot describe how upset I am with myself because I chose to put this book off for so long. It is definitely amongst my favorite dystopians of all time. Roth truly has a way with words.

Divergent is set in a futuristic Chicago where everyone is divided into 5 different factions. Each faction has different responsibilities. One pursues knowledge, another makes up the government, another is constantly honest just as the Dauntless faction are increasingly brutal. People figured that if people belong in different factions that dictate how they should act, there will be no fighting since everyone is among those of the same kind. When a child is 16, they choose to stay with the faction that they were born into or go somewhere else. Tris just turned 16, and she can no longer handle her Abnegation upbringing. It's time for a change, but she didn't think her change would be as great as discovering that she is Divergent--meaning should doesn't belong to any single faction. 

This book completely rocked my world. I have no words for how much it blew me away. The world-building was superb and well thought-out and every character was memorable and important to the progression of the plot. I seethed with hatred for some while I oozed love for others. Some simply confused the heck out of me, but they were all well-characterized nonetheless.

And Four, don't even get me started on Four. I figured out who he was from the beginning, so it was slightly annoying to me to realize that Tris was so lost when it came to his true identity. But when she discovered it, I was incredibly happy. Four is amazingly strong and gorgeous, but he has a lot of hidden secrets. He's a mystery that anyone would want to unravel and he is one of my favorite love interests of all time. That's all there is to it.

I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to dystopian fans. Anybody that likes action and fighting will enjoy this book as well. Lastly, there's even some science fiction thrown in and the romance is interwoven beautifully. It's an important part of the plot, but it doesn't overpower it. I am still chastising myself for waiting so long to read this and I am, without a doubt, anxiously waiting the opportunity to pick up its sequel. 5 stars to this amazingly unique tale. 

~*~Cover~*~

I never understood what the cover of this book meant until I actually read the book. When I passed it in the book store, it always piqued my curiosity, I was just stupid enough not to pick it up. I think its visually appealing and simple. Good cover choice.

 


5 stars

 
~*~Links~*~