Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Review originally posted on Examiner
To be honest, I'm a bit over vampire stories.  If I'm being really honest, I am entirely over them.  I actually picked this up not knowing what the premise of the story was, but because I felt that it was high time I read a Holly Black book.  I recall several years ago when I was originally getting into The Mortal Instruments Series, her books were considered on par with Cassandra Clare's.  I made a mental note at the time to give her books a shot.  And then I never did.  The other reason I picked this book up was the cover. Simple and it manages to draw you in.
All that being said, I started the book and was immediately sucked into this dark world.  Vampires are typically romanticized in YA but this story painted a grim picture of what our world could be if it was overrun with blood thirsty creatures of the night.  I think my favorite bit of world building was the foreshadowing about the dangers of leaving the windows open at night.  Even if one just needed a bit of air.  An absentminded crack of the window is all it would take to change your life forever.
Holly Blacks, character building and writing style are wonderful and the only complaint I had on that front was that Gavriel wasn't as fleshed out as I would have liked him to be, but fot the sake of keeping a bit of mystery where he is concerned I can see why she chose to leave us a bit in the dark.  Tana, is a sympathetic main character and I found myself trying to stear her away from bad decisions with my mind.  Ms. Black really makes you feel like you are on this dark and twisted adventure with Tana and her companions. 
The other aspect of the story that I loved is how modern it is.  This is a story that is written for the world we live in.  A world where all races, genders and sexual orientations are represented and Holly Black made sure to give them all space. 
Overall, this was a great read and one that I would recommend to lovers of dark YA stories.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Fault in our incredibly late review.

via redbubble

This review originally appeared on 

As an avid reader, I have often been told to read John Green. As a Young Adult reader, I have been shamed multiple times for not being a fan. I tried once, in my eyes reading 70 pages of An Abundance of Katherines, was more than enough time to decide wether or not I liked his work. I'm sure it's quite obvious that I did not, in fact, enjoy An Abundance of Katherines (AAoK). For the next few years, anytime someone would mention John Green to me I would rage at them that I really didn't get what the fuss was all about. I would explain how I not only found AAoK uninteresting but just plain boring. I would always end the conversation the way I do when I discuss authors that don't interest me, "They aren't for me."

I have never been happier to be wrong. After dragging my feet for almost a year, I sat down late this summer to read The Fault in our Stars (TFioS). I knew the premise of the book going into it, honestly, a story about a teenager fighting cancer did not seem like something I wanted to subject myself to. But for some strange reason, I decided to read it on my birthday of all days. Aside from it being a hugely busy day for me, and one that would not allow for a ton of free time, I thought that being so overwhelmed with plans would prevent me from getting overwhelmed by the emotion of the book. And I was right. Thank the lord. 

I cannot imagine how incredibly sad I would have been had I sat down to read TFioS in one sitting. The story itself is not, in my opinion, meant to be sad. The tone of the story is more hopeful than doom and gloom. Hazel and Gus are full of life and love despite the harshness of the reality they live with. And somehow, despite how sad the story actually is, it leaves you feeling optimistic and in my case raring to take on the world. I think that with TFioS, John Green did the impossible, he wrote a cancer book that isn't actually about cancer, but about the joys of living your life despite it. A book, that I thoroughly recommend to all readers, not just the YA fans. And even though I am sure it goes without saying, I'm going to anyway: I am a John Green fan. DFTBA.