The Whimsical Mama

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Top Ten Tuesday #67: Spring 2015 TBR March 17, 2015

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books on My 2015 Spring TBR

 Previous TBR posts (Winter 2013 6/10 Fall2013 3/10 Spring TBR 2014 6/11 Summer 2014 3/10  Fall 2014 2/10) After not doing well at all with my Fall 2014 TBR, I did much better with my Winter 2014. I read 6/10. True enough, I did have an extra month! Now for the books I plan to read this spring!

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1. Gilt by Katherine Longshore

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

3. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

6. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

7. Forged by Erin Bowman

8. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

9. The Body Electric by Beth Revis

10. Chronicles of Faerie: The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

What are you planning to read this Spring? Anything I should take note of for this summer?

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!! (:

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Flashback Friday #1: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare June 6, 2014

Flashback Friday is a feature I started here on The Whimsical Mama featuring books I read before I started blogging. Most reviews will come after rereading the book again. This is a biweekly feature. This week’s selection is:

 

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 27 March 2007
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: paperback, personal copy,audiobook, via library
Status: Book one of The Mortal Instruments series

Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

 

My thoughts:

I think it’s fitting that my first review for Flashback Friday is starting with a binge reread of The Mortal Instruments in preparation for City of Heavenly Fire coming out. I picked up an ebook of City of Bones on sale from Amazon. Mary had recommended it to me in passing, so I decided to get it. Then I saw the announcement that Jamie Campbell Bower had been cast in the upcoming movie. I liked him in Sweeney Todd, Twilight, and Harry Potter, so I decided to read this series. I asked Mary about it again and she said to read it. I devoured the whole series and then The Infernal Devices. The Infernal Devices was read while snuggling my very clingy newborn. She’s Team Jem like her mommy. (;

Anyway. Focus.

Once again, I was immediately sucked back into Cassie’s incredible Shadow World. I’ve been to New York City once, but between The Mortal Instruments and Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods, I feel that I know it much more than I learned in that single visit. I love that both star in a club scene. I’m much like Simon in not caring for clubs. I’ve only been a handful of times.

I think that Clary is a very strong and magnetic leading lady. She is thrown into a horrific situation and is able to relatively together. I’m sure it’s part of her Shadowhunter legacy over her strengths as a 15/16 year old.

I absolutely love Simon. I think he’s the true scene stealer of City of Bones. As a whole, I consistently love him. Yes, he irks me occasionally, but not as much as others. He’s the best best friend Clary could ever want and most definitely needs. He has a lot thrown at him, but he remains calm and stays by Clary’s side. A true friend for sure, sticking with her through thick and thin.

Jace is a strong personality to swallow. He’s so full of himself that during a first read, it’s easy to dislike him and wonder what the crap Clary is thinking. Multiple reads and it’s still irritating, but you’re more sympathetic to his issues.

Isabelle and Alec are introduced and set up to become excellent secondary characters. Isabelle is so sassy and I love it. Alec is well, Alec. Like Jace, he’s on the rough side to handle in the first read and then he becomes so endearing.

On my list of villains, Valentine is definitely one of the better ones. Much like Voldemort in Harry Potter, he’s a shadowy and feared name an dno one knows if he’s alive or dead. I think not knowing is worse than Valentine himself in City of Bones. I find him a much more intimidating figure in City of Bones the book than the movie. As much as I love Johnathon Rhys-Meyers, I thought he was horribly miscast for Valentine.

For a debut novel, I think City of Bones is a well put together story. The world building and characters are incredible. It’s full of actions and twists and turns. Every time I’ve read it, I’ve breezed through it. I highly recommend it and the series. I think it’s worth the hype. Will all of the future spin off series set in the Shadowhunter universe be as great? I can’t say. I do think this is a good paranormal series that can be enjoyed by young adult readers of all ages.

About the author:

“Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.”

You can find me online at

www.cassandraclare.com

I have a blog:

http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

and a Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/Cassandraclare

and a Twitter:

www.twitter.com/cassieclare

 

Throwback Thursday #1: Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday is a meme I’m starting. TBT is when I’ll review a book I read before I started blogging. This week’s selection is:

Rating:  4 stars
Pub date: 27 March 2007
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Format: paperback, personal copy
Status: Book one of the Blue Bloods series

Summary:

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

I came across Blue Bloods just after Masquerade was published in 2007. I would stroll up and down the aisles of the YA section at Barnes and Noble looking for new reads. I saw the cover of Blue Bloods and was immediately drawn in by the obvious vampire aspect. I mean, c’mon. There are bite marks on her neck. MUST be vampire involved! Honestly, I think this is when I came across Twilight, too, but put it back cause it didn’t catch me. I thought what the heck, school’s almost over so I’ll pick it up. I started it the next school day. Wow. Back to B&N to get book 2! I actually “got in trouble” in my AP US History class for reading this one. My teacher told me if I was going to read in class at least make it look like I was paying attention. I said okay and set the book down on my desk and kept reading. (: Now, I wasn’t being bad, I’m great with history. Can’t remember what we were covering, but it was something I already knew well so… I read. (:

Let me introduce you to the big players:

Schuyler Van Alen – I love her. I identified so much with her! I wasn’t part of the “cool kids” in HS. I never wanted to be, and I was okay with that. I loved my friends. I think the way she handles herself when she is thrust into the middle of the Committee is inspiring. She stays true to herself and never wavers.

Oliver Hazard Perry – Oh, Ollie. He’s the best best friend a girl could hope for! His crush on Schuyler is adorable as well.

Bliss Llewellyn – I can kinda relate to Bliss being the new kid in school. I switched school systems in middle school.

Jack Force – Jack is the off limits hot jock in school. He’s a year older than Schuyler and always seems unattainable. Schuyler nurses a secret crush she even tries to hide from Ollie. There’s so much more to Jack than meets the eye and it just pulls you right in.

Mimi Force – Your stereotypical hateful Mean Girl. She’s THE queen bee of the school and lords it over EVERYONE. She especially hates Schuyler because she might as well be a charity case. Mimi is so evil that you hope she has a redeeming aspect.

Everyone’s world is thrown upside down when one of their fellow students is found dead. Schuyler is then among the new inductees of this year’s crop of Committee recruits. It is revealed to her that she is a vampire, a fallen angel from heaven. Or so she thinks. She soon learns that she is a new creation. She’s part human and part angel. This makes things extremely complicated as there has never been another like her. The Committee reveals that the girl who was found dead was killed and they don’t know who did it.

The race is on to uncover a mystery that has been hidden from the Coven for generations. At each turn, things become clearer and more muddled. Schuyler teams up with Jack in trying to uncover the murderer. Certain things come to light that throw their suspicions down the drain. Schuyler’s grandmother is attacked and she offers a piece to the puzzle that might help solve things. She says to find Schuyler’s grandfather.

Blue Bloods is a quick and light read. It’s full of NYC socialite drama with a dark twist. I never thought I would go for a book like this, but Melissa does such a fantastic job with the story line that some of the Mean Girls type drama actually makes it better overall.

The drama and intrigue continues in book two, Masquerade.

Recommended for: Those who have an interest in fallen angels, vampires, NYC, and lots of drama (but GOOD drama!)

Not recommended for: Those who don’t care for drama or a new spin on vampires.

 

 
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