The Pledge – Spoiler Contained!

Title: The Pledge
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry – Simon & Schuster, Inc
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Ebook – PulseIt

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking in their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all the classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max, who speaks a language she’s never heard before … and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his loyalties lie. As the emergency drills become real emergencies and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance of freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

When I first heard about the book, I wasn’t really taking in the fact that this author is the same one who wrote The Body Finder series. I also didn’t really like the cover at first glance (although it has grown on me), and so pretty much made an assumption that it wouldn’t interest me at all. So when I read all these great reviews, and PulseIt opened it for reading on their eReader, I decided to try it. My assumption was dead wrong. From prologue to epilogue, there was non-stop action, intrigue, and mystery. The entire dystopian society was intriguing – it wasn’t your every-day totatitarian, utopia-gone-wrong. This book combined fantasy, medieval, and sci-fi elements to create a fascinating fictional world.

Charlie’s character was great. I love her personality, the inner strength that she doesn’t really know she has, and how she is sure of herself, even though she is not a very outgoing character. She’s not perfect, she’s believable, and I love how every step of the way I wasn’t even thinking about what she should be doing – I was just rooting for her the entire time. I loved the surrounding characters, like her little sister Angelina, Max, Xander, even Eden and Max’s friends. The secondary characters emphasized the conflict and the entire society’s issues. Even Sydney had a specific role to play in order to make the book feel whole.

And the romance in the book? Let’s just say that even though Charlie has a difficult time trusting people, especially with the entire society/language/secret ability thing. And then she’s thrown into the middle of a revolution! Kind of puts a damper on physical attraction. However, I love her boyfriend, and the epilogue is amazing. Cliffhanger, settles the romance, just a great ending altogether! Although I wish that there was a little more between the last chapter and epilogue, or that there were two epilogues to give more details as to how they got there:

SPOILER!!!

 

 

such as the coronation, wedding, etc

 

 

END OF SPOILER!!

Basically,the idea was VERY creative, I love the book, and I really, REALLY need there to be a sequel soon!

~Yours Truly

Library Run!!

I went to the library yesterday, and I’m really glad I did, because they had a bunch of books that I really want to read!

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Blood Promise by Richelle Meade (Book 4 of Vampire Academy)

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Runaway by Meg Cabot (Book 2 of Airhead)

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Sass and Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Plus, I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and got Mastiff by Tamora Pierce – the third book in the Beka Cooper Trilogy! Happy Reading!!

~Yours Truly

Trial by Fire

Title: Trial by Fire
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont
Release Date: June 14, 2011

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack – or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. B efore collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.
But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats – old and new – looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she willl have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And she’s going to have to do it alone.

This installment is just as good as Raised by Wolves. There’s less snark from Bryn, unfortunately, because of the responsibilities that she has taken on as alpha. However, there are scenes between Devon, Lake and Bryn where it’s visible through her thoughts and actions. This leader side of Bryn is different, and as a trailblazer – a female, human alpha – she’s taking steps that no one would expect in order to protect her pack. She’s learning more politics and how to see manipulation, especially when it’s being done to her.

The inner workings of the new pack, and how they all work together, was really insightful. The differences between the rest of the North American packs and Bryn’s were really shown in how she worked not as a dominant dictator, but as a guide, almost, and a stubborn military leader. Her role as alpha was more as a protector rather than a ruler, and it was clear through the interactions of the pack. Her conflict with Chase in this book also helped uncover the way she felt about the pack, but their relationship grew and hardened through all the difficulties they faced. I can’t wait for the third book to see how they end up!

The way Lucas impacted the entire pack, and pretty much the entire story, was amazing. I loved how by adding in one factor, the entire plot enters into chaos. Also, Ali’s backstory was revealed, too, and she became more important as a maternal figure, a model for Bryn as a slightly-more-than-human member of the pack, and her past becomes a prominent factor in the plot. And then there was the ending – can’t wait to see when something happens to Bryn! Can’t tell you, because it’s a spoiler, but let’s just say I love Bryn’s dreams, and what she wants isn’t so much to ask for, to be honest. I can’t wait to see how it impacts the pack bonds, though!

Basically, I can’t wait for the third book, Taken by Storm!

~Yours Truly

Raised by Wolves

Title: Raised by Wolves
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: June 8, 2010

Rescued by the alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue werewolf brutally killed her parents, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. But then she discovers Chase, a newly turned werewolf locked in a cage in her alpha’s basement. Seeing him, Bryn feels a bond unlike anything she has ever experienced – but speaking to him brings up questions about her mysterious past. The hunt for answers will drive her farther from the wolves who raised her, and closer to a truth that will change everything.

Bryn is an amazing character. Right away, she’s sarcastic, clever, and completely independent – or trying to be. She’s most definitely a feminist, and put all these characteristics into a human surrounded by dominating werewolves, you get Bryn. Needless to say, I love her. Everything that she experienced was emotional. From the very first chapter, when Callum grounds her, I felt her anger, her frustration, and I was literally about to scream for her. If I was her, I’d have been raging, probably would have run away, and definitely would have died. Bryn is just such a strong heroine.

The entire plot was intriguing. There wasn’t any one place in the book were the action or intrigue lagged, and I was constantly either laughing or breathless with the tension in the book. Chase, especially, added to the tension, but I love the relationship that he and Bryn enter into, and the understanding that grows between them. The entire mystery about Bryn’s past and how they worked together to solve it was great. I also enjoyed Bryn’s best friend, Devon. His dramatics were hilarious, and even though his dominant issues with females, I understood how Bryn came to be friends with him.

Callum, on the other hand, is more confusing. At first, I didn’t really like him at all, even though Bryn loved him like a father. My feelings got sort of mixed up towards the end of the middle, and at the end, I pretty much felt about him the same way Bryn did. I understand more about him, but I still wish that things could have been a little different. And then there’s Ali. Bryn’s adoptive mother was very well-written. I loved the relationship she had with Bryn, but at the same time, it was definitely a mother-teenager relationship. There were times where I wanted to scream at her, as though she were my mother.

So basically, I LOVE this book. Going to start the sequel Trial by Fire right now! Happy reading!

~Yours Truly

Teaser Tuesday: 8

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I just started this book, and I’m literally cracking up!

“‘Bryn.’  ‘Right,’ I said, valiantly fighting the mind bunnies, which had a vicious tendency to multiply at inconvenient times. ‘I let a boy from town give me a ride on his motorcycle, my algebra teacher’s a sadistic imbecile, and I’m a bad, bad girl who doesn’t believe in curfews. Can I go now?'”

~page 5 of Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Merchant’s Daughter

Title: The Merchant’s Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Ebook – Netgalley

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf le Wyse, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of the lord’s bailiff–a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.
Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord le Wyse. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

This book was surprisingly good. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and I’m very glad I was given the opportunity to read it. The historical aspect of the story was great – I loved the medieval feudal system going on, and the setting in old England was a nice touch. There was no electricity, horses (yay), and tons of gossip and corruption (ooh la la). I found it even more entertaining because I my English class just started going over The Canturbury Tales, and I felt more intrigued about book once I could make that connection (I happen to love my English class). The cover is amazing – the mirror, the fire in the background, but especially the simplicity yet beauty of the girl!

Also, the religious aspect of it was intriguing, too. The idea that a girl would choose to become a nun because of a lecher who continues to stalk her? Not surprising. But to go just to be able to read the Bible is an interesting idea. I loved how Annabel had to struggle with herself over what was important – God, etiquette, love, or her family and the rest of society. Her ultimate decisions showed a lot of growth and understanding that she gained along the way. She became a great protaganist as she became more sure of herself and her words and actions.

The romantic parts of the book? Love! If I had to pick a man from medieval times for a husband, Lord Ranulf is definitely my pick. He himself struggles with his bitterness and newfound love, as well as his relationship with God, as his personal growth intensifies, especially when he meets Annabel. The two of them test each other through out the book, not in an antagonistic way, but in a religious way, almost. They fight their human urges to do what’s right – respect the feudal system, the church, and propriety instead of their instincts. However, all of their mistakes allow them as people and characters to become real.

The ending was sweet. All the conflict – the suspense, the distrust and suspicion, all the difficult desisions – in the book basically allowed the reader to sigh in relief and happiness at the end. It wasn’t exactly a happily ever after, but everything came together and I enjoyed it. My one complaint is Annabel’s family – in short, they are despicable, and I’m so happy that Annabel didn’t have to deal with them anymore after the first few chapters.

~Yours Truly

Christmas Books!

I got several books for Christmas, and I’m actually going to start reading after I finish this post. Here they are:

1. Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 

2. Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 

 

3. Crossed by Ally Condie

 

4. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

 

 

5. Between the Sea and the Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

 

6. Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

 

 

7. Witch and Wizard: The Fire by James Patterson

 

Plus two hardcover books (7 Novels by H.G. Wells and The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that are very thick beacuse they are a compilation of several volumes. And I’m very excited, so I’m going to go read now – Merry Christmas again, and Happy Reading!!!

~Yours Truly