Category Archives: second in a series

Review: Arise (Hereafter #2) By Tara Hudson

Arise by Tara Hudson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: June 5, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Hereafter #2

I absolutely adored Hereafter. I totally meant to reread it before reading Arise, but lately with blogging I’ve felt the pressure to read quickly and not focus on rereading things. But honestly, I need to let that go. Especially since rereading books in series as a new one comes out helps keep things fresh and makes the newest book more enjoyable. I honestly think Arise suffered from me not rereading Hereafter.
I love Amelia and Josh as much as I did after finishing Hereafter, but this book just wasn’t keeping me hooked and I don’t honestly know why. Tara’s writing was as beautiful as ever and great at describing things in such a way that I still felt a part of the story and not like I was being told about it. I did enjoy the setting being moved to New Orleans and the addition of voodoo. That definitely makes things more interesting, especially with what happens to Amelia because of it. It may have just been the pacing I guess. Some parts seemed slow while others I was tearing through pages. I actually felt ambivalent about most of the new additions in terms of characters, just because I didn’t really feel like they were being developed. Just placed in there to move the story along.
All in all, still a great sequel to Hereafter and I’m most definitely looking forward to the next book. But I definitely suggest rereading Hereafter if it’s been a while.

Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Spells by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: May 4, 2010
Source: Purchased
Series: Wings #2

Summary from Goodreads:
Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger–and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

 This was without a doubt so much better than Wings. That’s not to say I didn’t like Wings, because I did. It was an all right book. But seriously, Spells was so much better. My favorite thing was the world-building for Avalon. It was done in such a way that it didn’t feel like an info dump, though I did think that Laurel’s time spent at the Academy was rushed just the tiniest bit. But I loved how descriptive the author was when describing the faerie world. I felt like I was there, that’s how well I could see it in my mind. The writing definitely improved from book one to two.

We see more of one boy than the other in this book though, and I can’t quite decide which one I’m rooting for. David and Tamani are both great guys, and it’d be awesome if they could just be combined into one person. But that isn’t possible, so hopefully Illusions will help me make up my mind on that score.

There was a plot turn that I was not expecting, with a new person introduced that changes things up. I’m definitely interested in seeing where that goes, but it did sort of make what happens in the ending problem a tad predictable. I’m definitely eager though to jump right into the next book to see what happens to everyone next. I definitely need more of Avalon!

Recommended for anyone who loves faeries. And fantasy and romance. Just beware the love triangle and a girl who can’t make up her mind half the time.

Review: Thumped by Megan McCafferty

Thumped by Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 24, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Bumped #2

It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!

Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.

The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous:

Tell the truth.

I didn’t reread Bumped before this so I felt like I was reintroduced to these characters. And I have to say that there’s one twin I prefer more over the other, and it’s not the twin I would’ve thought I’d pick. But her part of the story was just so much more interesting. She was actually dealing with issues we can all relate to. The other just had boyfriend or non-boyfriend issues.

I think I had mixed thoughts on Bumped, because it does talk about a controversial issue. One that is going on right now even, fictional virus or no fictional virus. Teen pregnancy is a serious issue. And even with the religious aspect of Bumped, I wasn’t all that thrilled with a book promoting teen pregnancy. But Thumped I think resolved that issue somewhat. And I only say somewhat because it’s not a perfect resolution since there’s still that virus going around.

There’s still a weird vocabulary, but if you keep in mind that this is set not that long in the future, and if you’ve read the first book, than it shouldn’t be all that hard to slip into their jargon. I actually liked some of it this time, some of the joined words were clever and made me laugh upon first reading them.

In the end, I must say I enjoyed Thumped much more than I remember enjoying Bumped. Don’t get me wrong though, I did like Bumped. Both books are thought-provoking, and definitely eery. I could well imagine a future like this happening with everything we do to our bodies, all the chemicals and toxins around us everywhere daily. Recommended for fans of dystopian, though it is slightly different from most in that genre.

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Divergent #2

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 don’t even know where to begin with this review. I loved Insurgent, just because it’s the sequel to Divergent, but I honestly don’t love it as much as I loved Divergent. But even as I’m writing this review just after having finished the book, I don’t feel like I’ve finished. I’ll explain that in a little bit.

I think the reason behind why I didn’t like Insurgent quite as much as Divergent is because of Tris and Four. Which is funny since they’re the main reason I loved Divergent. But there’s some trouble in paradise, which when you think about Tris and her personality, is not completely unexpected. Even so, I was not happy with those particular troubles. Other characters stepped up, even one that was completely unexpected. Others betray those they love.

There’s just as much action as ever though in this sequel, and lots happening. It’s a big book, and for the most part the pacing is good. Every once in a while though I’d hit a spot where it just felt like it slowed temporarily, but soon enough picked up again. And the reason why I feel like I haven’t finished is because of the way it ends. Pretty much right in the middle of something, just like the first book. I didn’t really feel like questions from the first book were answered completely. Just reiterated so that we wouldn’t forget. I’m hoping they’re delivered in the final installment.

Insurgent is definitely still an awesome read, and I seriously cannot wait for the third book. I want more Four and Tris! If you loved Divergent you have to read this book. If you love dystopian books in general, this is a series that you absolutely should not miss!

Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: September 6, 2011
Source: Publisher via NetGalley / Purchased
Series: Firelight #2
Purchase: Book Depository

An impossible romance.
Bitter rivalries.
Deadly choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

There are some bombs dropped in Vanish, making this even more thrilling than Firelight. Story-wise this was very good, with Tamra finally manifesting and finding her inner draki. Though I did think it was a little too convenient that she happened to be one of the most rare draki that was especially needed in their pride since Nidia won’t be around forever to fulfill her duty.

Cassian rocked in Vanish as well, which makes me only wish even more that Jacinda would choose him. Will proved to me that I don’t want Jacinda ending up with him based off some of his actions. I applauded her ability to choose one of the boys in Firelight, but in Vanish we’re served that indecision crap I was so happy to not have to deal with. Oh well. I was happy though that the setting for Vanish to place back among the pride. I felt like we didn’t get see enough of the people that Jacinda and Tamra left behind in Firelight. Provided a different atmosphere for the story, which I much preferred. Felt more like a fantasy book than a run of the mill paranormal book set in a cityscape.

While some questions were answered, we have even more that were introduced and not answered. Like what really happened to their father? And seriously, who are the Enkros? What do they want with the draki? Well we’ll definitely find out since Jacinda was stupid enough to pull something selfish and get somebody else caught by the Enkros. Book three, Hidden, is I assume going to be focused on the rescue mission that is hatched at the end of Vanish. I’m definitely looking forward to finally finding out everything.

Early Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (ARC)

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper
Release date: April 10, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Purchase: Book Depository

Maya and her friends–all of whom have supernatural powers–have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

The Calling was a fun read, but not quite as fun as The Gathering, since I feel like it suffered from the second bookitis. Meaning it seemed mostly like a bridge between the first and the last book. Sure they get kidnapped and crash on an island and are then chased by their kidnappers. But really most of the time Maya is wallowing in sadness about another character, fate unknown until later on in the book. And we’re only left with more questions unanswered.

The characters weren’t developed much further either, with Maya and Daniel the only ones who seemed to know what they were doing the entire time. Though it seemed like one or two might have been picking things up as they went. I honestly could do without Rafe. He breezed into town in The Gathering and basically played everyone, but Maya just forgives him for it basically. I’d much prefer she realize what she has with Daniel and choose him. Because Daniel is awesome. The best friend you could possibly have, and no doubt an awesome boyfriend.

The writing is as good as ever which helped to make this a fast read. The story itself was pretty good too, I just wish we’d been given a little more. But we finally get to see something happen that was expected to happen, which made me happy so we did get something. I’m definitely looking forward to the third book.

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release date: February 21, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: The Chemical Garden #2
Purchase: Book Depository

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion…by any means necessary.

I have to say, I vastly enjoyed Fever more compared to Wither. It just felt like things were moving more quickly, and there was more action, especially in the very beginning and at the end. And wow, that end. While the first novel was definitely dark, this one goes beyond the darkness of the first one.
There isn’t anything really revealed that was astonishing or a plot twist, but the action picked up right at the beginning. Fever also starts off exactly where Wither left things. As soon as Rhine and Gabriel escape the mansion, they’re almost immediately prisoners of another kind, temporarily. Despite how dismal the place was, Lauren DeStefano described it in such a way that made it seem colorful while decaying, which is an image that fits perfectly with her world.
I liked Rhine in Fever. She seemed to become more confidant despite the various circumstances they found themselves in, though near the end she seemed to do a 180, which kind of confused me. Even with her being sick around the same time as this 180, I didn’t feel the sudden change was smooth. I have to say I felt bad for Gabriel. A lot happens along their way to Manhattan, but man he stuck it out and never complained. I seriously hope we see more of him in the third book.
The only thing I didn’t like about Fever was the lack of information about the virus, or whatever this defect is. We still don’t know how it came about, or all of what’s being done to counteract it. We only know vaguely what Vaughn is doing, which we see more of definitely in Fever. I really hope this is finally explained the in the last book.
Like I said in the beginning, Fever better than Wither and kept me hooked until the end. And once I read that last page, and what is revealed there I knew there was no way I’d miss what is sure to be an explosive ending to this series. Even if you have lukewarm feelings to Wither like I did, I suggest you read Fever. It definitely changed my opinion on this series.

Review: A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release date: February 28, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: A Touch Trilogy #2
Purchase: Book Depository

Eden won the battle-she saved her true love from the darkest evil. But the war has only just begun. With secrets swirling around her, powerful allies unraveling, and life-and death-as she knows it eroding, Eden and those she loves tread dangerous ground. Can she trust anyone? Will her unearthly powers be her salvation or her downfall? A sweeping, dark, and sexy paranormal romance that will haunt readers with an inventive mythology and a cinematic New York City filled with shadows and longing.

~ WARNING: There are most likely spoilers ahead, please proceed with caution. ~

A Touch Morbid brought up more questions than it answered. Something is happening to Eden throughout the book, and while we’re given an explanation of how it is happening, we’re not really given the why behind the how. And some of the new characters, like Sullivan, why they were added to the story, what’s going on with Touch and whatnot. I’m hoping those things will finally be revealed in the next sequel.
Eden and Az are finally together, but it definitely isn’t happily ever after. They’re keeping secrets from each other, major secrets that will can change everything, and they’re just barely holding on to each other. I have to say that I honestly would just love it if Eden were to somehow end up with Gabe, because I much prefer that pairing to Eden and Az. That is just wishful thinking on my part though.
Alliances are also changing. Whereas Kristen and Eden reluctantly worked with each other in A Touch Mortal, in Morbid we see more of Madeleine and Eden working together in a way, and Kristen going to someone else for help, since Gabe isn’t around to do what needs to be done. Also, while we do see snippets of Gabe here and there throughout the story, it wasn’t enough. I’m hoping to see more of him in the third book.
Overall the book was just as good as A Touch Mortal, but the pacing might throw some people off. I kind of felt like I was waiting for something to happen most of the time, and then everything seemed to come together in an action packed end.

Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Release date: July 26, 2011
Source: Purchased
Series: Nightshade #2
(Nightshade review here)
Purchase: Book Depository

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

Writing like Andrea Cremer’s almost makes me forget that I’m reading a YA book, it’s so well written. Not to say that YA writing isn’t on par with adult books, because it is, it’s just Andrea writes very well. Which also makes it so I feel like there’s a movie going on in my mind while I’m reading, which I love because then I feel like I’m there with the characters, instead of just reading about them.

Wolfsbane picks up exactly where Nightshade left off. The pacing is excellent and was kept moving throughout the entire story, with twists and turns that were unexpected. And some bombs were definitely dropped, especially near the end. We learn something about a major character we thought we knew, and I for one was not expecting it. The love triangle isn’t quite as present as it was in Nightshade, since Ren is mostly only talked about but not seen very much. Which really is a shame, because I am firmly Team Ren. I have to say Calla’s indecision about who she really wants didn’t bother me as much as it usually might, and I can only say it’s because I have seen some merit in Shay, though he still bugs me.

We meet a new set of characters in Wolfsbane, the Searchers. I have to say they made me enjoy this book much more than Nightshade, especially Connor with his humor. Adne is also one of my favorites, and is involved in the bomb that is dropped about another character. I’m really excited to see where it is taken in Bloodrose, as well as her mysterious relationship with Connor. I disliked Ethan from the get go, but then did a complete 180, just like he did about the Guardians. Watching them all interact with each other, they felt like real people who’ve been together for a long time.

Over the last few years, after reading many werewolf and vampire books I got pretty tired of them, and stayed away of paranormal books for quite a while. This however is not your average paranormal story, so even if you’re not a huge fan of werewolves, I would still say give this a try. Andrea Cremer’s story packs punches left and right that leave you wanting so much more, and she always delivers. This series is a definite must read series.

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: January 17, 2012
Format: ARC (subject to changes)
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: Unearthly #2
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Now this isn’t guaranteed for every series I read, but a good deal of the time I like the second book even more than the first. Unfortunately, this was not the case. But don’t get me wrong, I still loved this book, just slightly less than Unearthly. And the sole reason for that will be explained in a bit. First I want to talk about what I did like.
First of all, WOW. I did not expect the story to take the turns it did. I still don’t know how this will affect the story going into book three. Let me just say that unless your heart is made of ice, this book will make you cry. But before that it’ll tease you with what it wants you to think before saying NOPE! This is what really happens. Ah well. Because of this event new characters were introduced, one of which I really enjoyed and think will be a good presence in Clara and Jeffrey’s life. I was also pleased to learn the reason behind the way Jeffrey was acting in the end of Unearthly and most of Hallowed. I very much hope to see more of him and his part of the story.
Now to the part I didn’t like. Lack of Tucker! He snuck his way into my heart in Unearthly, but I felt as if he was just pushed aside in Hallowed. An after thought. I’ll admit it was kind of nice seeing more of Christian and getting to know him better than we did in Unearthly, but I am firmly team Tucker. I hope this is rectified in the next book. I also liked that while Samjeeza made a return, there wasn’t really a lot of action in the good guys vs villain department. Some possible build-up, but besides one incident that further pushes Tucker away, there wasn’t anything like the big fire and fighting the bad guy. Just a lot of research, done mostly by Angela.
All in all, it was almost right up there with Unearthly, nearly even. This series is definitely my favorite angel series out there, especially since it focuses mainly on the angels themselves, and not necessarily God and religion. I know that in reality you can’t have one without the other, but this is fiction so anything goes!