Book Review: The Scorpio Races 

Scorpio-paperback-websiteRating: 5/5 stars.

Oh dear… I’m in love. This was an incredible book. I don’t think words can tell you how beautiful this book is.

On the first day of November, something unique happens on the island: The Scorpio Races. People race dangerous water horses known as capaill uisce in hopes of winning. Many riders die in preparation for it and in the race. Sean has raced many times, and won most of them. If he fears anything, no one knows. Kate was never going to race; she never wanted to. Now she is given no choice. She won’t flee from what she has given herself over to do.

Kate Connolly is amazing. She’s tough, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not without fear. Kate, also known as Puck, doesn’t allow her fear to control her actions. She has a lot of stubbornness to her that gets her in and through bad situations. Puck is willing to do almost anything to keep her family together for a little longer. Sean Kendrick is quiet, unmoving. Every choice, every action is deliberate. He has this way with the capaill uisce that is so special. He is not afraid. Finn is so childlike. He’s scared, but so very brave. Gabe has dealt with something for far too long. Now he has made the decision to fix the problem. Even if it tears his family apart. George Holly is another interesting character. He’s not from the island, but he starts to feel the same way for the island as any native would.

It was a slow moving tale, but that didn’t make it any less interesting. The tale was woven perfectly at the pace it was at. I loved how Sean and Puck’s relationship developed. Puck’s relationship with her brothers is very neat. The race was intense, but everything that built up to it made my heart go so fast.

It was intriguing world, depicted so that it felt very real. The smell of fish. The wind against my face. The pounding of the surf. The sand in my eyes. I felt it all. Every time I read this, it was like I had stepped into another world. The island was amazing in its own unique way. The cliffs, the grass, the horses, the capaill uisce, and the stormy weather made the tale what it is.

This is the fourth book that I’ve read by Maggie Stiefvater and I will say it time and time again: I love her writing. Whether she is writing in first person or third person, it is gorgeous! It is so elegant and rich. It gives the story this sort of depth that is beautiful and resonates with your heart. She could probably write about the most boring thing and I would read it because her sort of writing style keeps you intrigued and interested no matter how “boring” it may be.

Now there was a bit of language, but it was spread very thin. There was a few inappropriate references to things too. The religion on the island was a mix of superstition, island’s spiritualism, and Catholicism. But the book didn’t get into much of it.

I’m recommending this to older teens. It is really a masterpiece. You must take the time to read this.

-G. Paige

Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle: Book 3)

Blue-Lily-Lily-BlueRating: 4/5 stars.

Oh, oh…this was amazing and so intriguing. Agh! How is this series going to end?

Blue has become so close to these Raven Boys. Neither the Raven Boys or Blue could imagine one without the other. Among all the things she may have discovered with these Raven Boys, sadly the one thing she never wanted to come true is: she is finding her true love. But she is also learning that what you have you can lose so easily, like mothers, lives, friends, and certainties. Will she be able to find any of them again?

These characters are really growing. Ronan is turning over a new leaf. He is slowly learning to be a bit more like he was before his dad died. He is a bit more kind and caring, especially to Blue and Adam. Adam is ever changing and I don’t think I’ll ever truly know him now, but he’s learning not to take every as charity and pity. He’s is accepting truth and friendship for what it is. Gansey and Blue’s relationship grows, but their differences may also break them apart. Gansey is struggling and is fearful in a way his friends haven’t seen before. I love seeing this new side of him, even if it is terrible and sad at the same time. Poor, poor Gansey! Blue is tired of holding her secret from Gansey any longer. She misses her mom and she wants to be able to kiss someone. Then there’s Noah. What is going on with Noah?! I’m freaking out over here! Don’t leave please!

This series never ceases to surprise me. Every book I’m learning some new secret, whether it is about someone’s past or about a person’s being in general. I probably could read this whole series and find out so many things that I missed the first time.

I felt like I could tell what the plot was in this one, so that was a relief. But I still just can’t comprehend it all. There is so much underneath the surface that you can miss if you’re not looking close enough. It’s beautiful in that way. The buildup leading to the end was very intense. The end was even more intense and exciting. Oh my goodness,  I can’t believe everything that is happening.

It is funny how normal this world feels at one moment, then how magical and supernatural it feels in the next moment. I have loved it. It is so paranormal. Ronan’s abilities are so interesting. Adam’s connection to Cabeswater is hard to decipher. Noah, strange things are always happening to Noah. Blue I think we’re still learning more about.

There was plenty of language again, including: f***, d***, s***, a**, and a few others. Though there definitely wasn’t as much language as the last book. So that was good. There were some gay references, but without anyone ever saying the word gay. So at times I couldn’t tell when they were talking about it or what the intention was. A married couple in this book were mentioned as hardly wearing any clothes while in their house, but nothing came of it. It was just said and that was it.

I really enjoyed this. The writing is stupendous! I need the next book now! How is it all going to end? It can’t end happily, and it’s worrying me like crazy. If you can handle the language, go read this now. This is so unique.

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle: Book 2)

dream-thievesRating: 4/5 stars.

I loved this book!  But I must say, I’m not sure if I got the plot (or the point) to this book. Maybe I’ll get this as I read the rest of the series.

Ronan has secrets. Some he keeps from others and some he keeps from himself. One secret is that he can bring things out of his dreams. What comes out is not always what he wanted, but there are others who want those things. Blue and the Raven Boys are on the search for the Welsh King Glendower. Gansey’s obsession with Glendower has infected all the boys and Blue. They feel that they are getting closer to finding Glendower. The secrets and the way to Glendower are now coming out of the dark. The only thing that’s certain is that this will bring change.

Oh man, I just have fallen in love with these characters. They are each so different and so special in their own uncommon way. Blue just defies the world with her style of clothes and by just being herself. She is so torn in this one. Ah, I’m heartbroken for her. It was so sweet what Noah did with Blue, but I don’t think it was the most appropriate thing, but it was done out of kindness and curiosity. Adam’s changed and I don’t even think I know the half of it. Those choices that Adam made…I think they are starting to have an impact. Gansey you’re trying to keep the gang together, but sometimes you just have no clue. Other times, oh my goodness you’re the best person ever! Then there’s Ronan which was who the book mainly focused on. Learning about his past and his gift was so intriguing.

I love how this is written. I love the way things are said and not said but understood all the same. It is just so neat. The character development is perfect. These characters might just be the death of me.

Because it did focus on Ronan, there was more language than the last book. F*** and s*** were probably the ones most used. There was a bad hand gesture thrown in about two times. The use of God’s name in vain was there. Ronan drinks until he’s like drunk while trying to accomplish something important. One person I think was asking another if he was gay without really saying the word gay for a moment. There were a few kisses shared (not gay kisses). One time it was said that two people (not married and not central characters) were laying in bed together before a phone call and then it moved on from there.

This one didn’t have much psychic stuff in this book, but there was plenty of intrigue and action. It had a few really intense and crazy moments (What just happened to the normal world?). There were these creepy night horrors (scary monsters pretty much) and just a few fight scenes that I could tell were bloody, but it didn’t go into detail.

Even with its faults, I just loved this. I’m recommending this series to older teens. It’s such a unique read that you won’t find anywhere else.

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle: Book 1)

81iFWnYVpTLRating: 4/5 stars.

My first thoughts on this was that this was not what I was expecting, but I don’t really know what I was expecting.

Every year Blue Sargent and her mother watch the dead walk past and for the first time Blue sees a boy. Blue has always been told that she will be the cause of her true love’s death, but when she sees the dead boy, she must find him. His name is Gansey and he is a rich student at Aglionby. He and his three friends are on a search for something amazing. Their Raven Boys, which means trouble. But Blue is drawn to these boys and their search. She never believed in true love, at least, until now.

I have to say that these characters were some of the most unique and well written characters that I have ever read. Oh my word, these characters are so gripping. I loved them all for different reasons. Blue was bold in a way. She stuck out as different purposely. Her style of clothes was so her. Once she set her sights on doing something, she followed through with it. The Raven Boys were so great. Gansey was a person you just liked right away. He had two sides. One was vulnerable and fearful and worried. The other excluded confidence and showed just how rich he was. Adam, oh I loved him. He worked so hard to be where he was. He was poor, but he was his own man. He was quiet, but not really shy. Ronan was gruff and angry (I don’t think I really knew a moment when he wasn’t in some way angry), but he had this surprising kind and protective side. Noah was quiet and shy. He was kind of in the background of the book for a bit more than halfway through then you find out something shocking. Woah…I wasn’t expecting it at all.

This was set in our own world, but it had some very fantasy and mystical elements. There was a lot of psychic stuff (well, it seems all of Blue’s family are psychics) like predictions and fortune telling and even a few rituals. There was a little bit of speaking with the dead (or more like ghosts) and much discussion on ley lines. So I advise caution for those who don’t like to to get into magic and the like.

It was such an exciting book. I loved every moment of it. There was always something new to learn and discover either about the characters or the “quest” the Raven Boys were on. There was also a fair share of intense and shock moments especially towards the end. Ther was some violence and it was a bit bloody, but I didn’t think that it was really described. This was just one of those books that held your attention even if it wasn’t an exciting moment.

I loved the way this was written. There was a ton of times when the boys would say something and you knew there was another underlining meaning to it. Then you’d have to think for a moment to get it and sometimes you didn’t get it until later. It switched the points of view and I loved it and was frustrated by it when it cut off an exciting part.

The only thing that I didn’t like was the language. It was probably the most bad language I’ve read, though I haven’t read many books with bad language. It had f*** a few times along with d*** , s***, and a** among a few other choice words. There was a few mentions of really bad cursing, but they didn’t say the language. There was also a bad hand sign or two and the book also included use of God’s name in vain which quite disturbed me.

I will still definitely be reading the next one! All things considered, it was fantastic! This is great for people who read fantasy and contemporary. I’m recommending this for older teens and up.

-G. Paige 

Book Review: Ashburn (I.C.E. Agency Series: Book 1)

imageRating: 5/5 stars.

I haven’t read anything much like this and I loved it. The agent aspect of it reminded me much of the TV shows I watch, but in book form (which, by the way, is so much better)!

Special agent Bryce Reynolds is given a top-secret mission. One that involves a friend that he hasn’t seen in ten years…Cara Stephenson. Can he keep all these secrets from someone who knew him so well? Cara is just a talented graphic designer at Silver Strand technologies. Then suddenly her childhood best friend shows up into her life. Before much time has passed, they are both on a mission for a missing technology developer who has a priceless prototype that he may have been kidnapped for! Will they find him? Will they even survive their trek through Venice and other places?

Oh, the characters were so great. Bryce was my favorite. He was so cool. I loved all the top notch gadgets he pulled out for special occasions. He was so kind and protective. He knew how to stand his own ground. Also, I loved how he liked to tease Cara. It was hilarious! Cara was smart, creative, and great at improvising in tough situations. The little bit of romance between them was sweet and not at all inappropriate.

The plot was fast paced and filled with action. But it also had some scenes that felt…normal. I don’t get that a lot in books. It was nice. There was gunfights and street fights and a motorcycle chase! It was definitely exciting. I also loved reading about the different places they went to. Venice, Paris, and much more!!! It was really neat. I almost felt like I was there and knew what it was like.

I would recommend this to teens and up. The violence could be a little scary for younger people. Those who love spy and agent novels will really enjoy it.

-G. Paige

Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory


Rating: 1/5 stars.

I only read 65 pages of this book. Why? Well, what I read and where I saw the book was going towards was inappropriate and was unacceptable, to me.

Hayley and her father, Andy Kincain have been on the road for five long years. They never stayed long in one place for they were running from the demons that have haunted and tortured Hayley’s father (mentally) ever since he got back from Iraq. This book starts as Hayley and her dad are finally settling in her grandmother’s house in the town where her dad grew up so Hayley can attend school. When she starts hanging out with this boy she starts thinking about her own life and where it’s heading. Maybe now Hayley can live a normal life and leave painful memories behind. But will her father’s memories drag him under?

I was recommended this book by a wonderful librarian. I have never read anything by this particular author so I was not sure how this was going to turn out. Also, I can’t remember if the librarian had read this book or read other books by her. Either way, it did not turn out to be an enjoyable experience. The main idea of the book (Hayley helping her dad get through/over the drugs and memories) sounded great, but in what I read, that wasn’t the main focus point (it was more to the side thing). The spotlight was on Hayley and her school life. That led to just a lot of cultural stuff that was mentioned between Hayley and her “friends” (like pornography and homosexual stuff). Then there was a ton of bad language that got really too much for me. So that, combined with the idea of a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship ahead got me to put the book down.

I won’t recommend anyone to read to this. But maybe I’ll try one of the other books by this author.

-G. Paige