Hex Hall

Title: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1)

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Summary from Goodreads:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Personal Review:

I wanted to like this book… I really did. I loved the sound of the story and I had heard such great reviews, but no matter how much I wanted to, I just could not stand the main character (which always sorts of ruins a book). I found Sophie Mercer to be incredible annoying and incredibly immature. The thought of a sixteen year old girl saying things like “yuck” and “eww” was just too much for me. She was also incredibly judgemental and kind of stupid. For example, who says “Bad dog” to the werewolf charging you? And the fact that that then became the inside joke between her and Archer was annoying. I didn’t find it funny the first time, much less the whatever th time they made the joke.

However, all that said, I am still reading the second book. Why? Because I like the premise of the book. I have never read a book with so many paranormal creatures. I mean, seriously, shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, faeries, demons, and who knows what else. CRAZY! Plus, upon the end of the first book, I wanted to know what would happen next. Is the bad person really bad or just caught up in a net (don’t want to give away who the bad person is). Will Sophie give her Dad a chance? There are just so many things I want to know. So I will suffer through the incredibly annoying characters to get my answers. After all, I despised the character of Harry Potter but I loved the world JK Rowling created enough to continue to read them.

So, in conclusion, I hated the main character (though in all honesty, I hated almost every character) but I liked the “world” enough to continue. Sometimes there are books just like that. Maybe it is just that I want to love it because sometimes there are books you really want to love, or maybe I think there is hope for the second book, either way, I will continue it. The review for the second book should be up in a few days. It is due back to the library on Monday so I have to read it quickly.

Rating: 3

So have any of you read this book? Did you like Sophie? Dislike her? What are your thoughts on this series?

Snow Treasure

Title: Snow Treasure

Author: Marie McSwigan

Summary from Goodreads:

In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated–until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country’s treasure–and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers

Personal Review:

The first time I read this book, I was in middle school. I spent most of middle school and high school obsessed with World War II and the Holocaust. I could make an analogy to almost anything and Hitler or some aspect of the second world war. I even took a class on concentration camps in the ninth grade until a move made me drop it.

That said, I have read my fair share of books surrounding World War II, and this book is one of the best. It is based on true events that took place in Norway. A lot of times when one thinks of World War II, Norway never even crosses our mind. They weren’t made an example of by the Nazis like Poland was, and they had a very small to non-existent Jewish population. However, at the beginning of the Nazi occupation, young children were responisble for smuggling out 9 million dollars in gold out of the country under the very eyes of the Nazis.

The children would load bars of gold onto their sleds and sleigh right past the Nazis to a secret location. Once there, they would bury the gold in the snow and build snowmen on top of it, so that the adult in charge could find it easily and store it on the boat that was responible for taking the gold out of the country and into America.

This book was well written for the target audience, and very informative about an event that very few people know about that took place in World War Two. It is not gruesome or graphic and entirely appropriate for children and teens to read.

If you have not read this book, I highly recommend that you do. It is short and can be read quickly. Just look it up and check it out from your local library!!!

Rating5

Beastly

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Summary from Goodreads:
I am a beast.
A beast!
Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.
You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll, stay this way forever ruined unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly…beastly.
Personal Review:
When I first started this book, I was not sure how I felt about it. I found Kyle to be very whinny and annoying. I was not sympathetic towards him at all. But as the book progressed, I came to enjoy it more and more.
I haven’t read this book since the read-a-thon and a lot of the details have escaped me, including the names of the character, so this will be a quick review.
This book was a fast read and it was a good modern adaptation of a favorite childhood story. I have to admit that when I was a child, I did not like the movie Beauty and the Beast at all because it scared me. But I liked the idea of this story. The whole idea of falling in love with someone for who they are inside, despite who they are on the outside has always appealed to me. And this book does it well.
I also liked the “chats” inbetween the parts in the book with the other characters from Hans Christen Anderson. I loved how it was “moderated” by Mr. Anderson and it had Froggie (from Princess and the Frog) and Silent Maiden (from Little Mermaid) and a host of other characters. I think the book would have also been entertaining if it had all been told through this chat form.
Anyway, sorry for the totally random review without any sense of continuity. I look forward to reading other books by Alex Flinn.
Rating: 4.5
What did you all think about this book if you have read it? Have any of you seen the movie? Is it worth seeing?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

Author: J.K. Rowling

Summary from Goodreads:

Readers beware. The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding series is not for the faint of heart–such revelations, battles, and betrayals await in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that no fan will make it to the end unscathed. Luckily, Rowling has prepped loyal readers for the end of her series by doling out increasingly dark and dangerous tales of magic and mystery, shot through with lessons about honor and contempt, love and loss, and right and wrong. Fear not, you will find no spoilers in our review–to tell the plot would ruin the journey, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an odyssey the likes of which Rowling’s fans have not yet seen, and are not likely to forget. But we would be remiss if we did not offer one small suggestion before you embark on your final adventure with Harry–bring plenty of tissues.

The heart of Book 7 is a hero’s mission–not just in Harry’s quest for the Horcruxes, but in his journey from boy to man–and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and you-know-who, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. Attentive readers would do well to remember Dumbledore’s warning about making the choice between “what is right and what is easy,” and know that Rowling applies the same difficult principle to the conclusion of her series. While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Dumbledore, Snape, and you-know-who, it is a testament to Rowling’s skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise.

Personal Review:

When I did this re-read, I did it on audiobook. I had not seen the movie yet and I wanted to re-read the book before I watched it. And I am so glad that I did. I loved this series and this book the first time I read it, but I hadn’t read this book since the night it came out. I had forgotten so many of the details, including who died and who lived.

Now let me preface all this by telling you a bit about the Harry Potter fan that I am. I absolutely despise the character of Harry Potter. I was one of those who wished the character’s death in the final book and yes, I own a book called Harry Potter Should Have Died. I wasn’t necessarily pro-Voldemort… I just wanted to see them die together. That would have been the ultimate ending for me.

Ronald Weasley is my second least favorite character. I find him annoying and disloyal (if you have read the final book, you know what incident I am talking about). My favorite character is Severus Snape, hands down. I also love Dumbledore. And Dobby. And Hermione. And Ginny. And Draco. What? Yes, I did just say that I like Draco Malfoy. I pity him. He is a victim of birth. He was created into who he was, but you can see his struggle with that in several circumstances. And when I am honest with myself, if I was raised in the home and with the values he was raised with, I would have probably turned out like him. And when others are truthful with themselves, I think they can admit to that as well.

Ah, but I am so far off topic and where I am meant to be in reviewing this book. It is hard, if not impossible, to review this book without spoilers. Let me just say this, the deaths in the book absolutely crushed me and made me cry. I live in denial about some of the deaths… in my head, some of the people who died didn’t really die.

But re-reading this book as an adult, or at least a few years older, I have had a bit of change in perspective. I can appreciate some of the things that made me mad in the past. I can look over many of the things that drove me insane the first time. I don’t agree with it all, but I did enjoy this a whole lot better this time around.

Rating: 5

Any of you re-read this book lately? Who are your favorite characters in this book? Let me know what you think!

Wondrous Strange

Title: Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange #1)

Author: Lesley Livingston

Summary from Goodreads:

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

Personal Review:

Okay, I want to preface this review with saying that I read this about a month ago or so and so a lot of the details have started to slip out of my mind. I apologize for that!

Now, I am not a person who really enjoys the paranormal series. Yes, I loved Harry Potter and the first book in the Twilight series, but other than that, I normally do not go for this genre… but this book was AMAZING. I loved it.

The characters were very likable and the whole idea of this book was original to me. Everything from the idea of the Janus to the four kingdoms in the Faerie world… it wasn’t like anything I had ever read before. I also loved how this tied in with A Midsummer Night’s Dream so much. I played a part in that play (I think Titiana, but I can’t remember) when I was in the forth grade, but I haven’t read it again since. Shakespeare is not an author I read a lot… I don’t like his plays, but this book made me want to reread it. I loved how it all tied in together.

In addition, the mystery and questions kept me going throughout this whole book. And I have to be honest, the ending… did not see that coming.

I cannot wait to read Darklight and Tempestous. I have them checked out from the library and I hope to start Darklight in the next day or two.

If you have not read this book, READ IT! I don’t care if it is not your genre, this is an amazing book and you need to read it!

Rating: 5

Have you read this book or the others in the series? What did you think? Did you love it as much as I did? Please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book!

Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next #2)

Title: Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next #2)

Author: Jasper Fforde

Summary from Goodreads: 

“If Thursday thought she could avoid the spotlight after her heroic escapades in the pages of Jane Eyre, she was sorely mistaken. The unforgettable literary detective has another think coming.” The love of her life has been eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath, and to rescue him Thursday must retrieve a supposedly vanquished enemy from the pages of “The Raven.” But Poe is off-limits to even the most seasoned literary interloper. Enter a professional: the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens’s Great Expectations. As Miss H’s new apprentice, Thursday keeps her motives secret as she learns the ropes of Jurisfiction, where she moonlights as a Prose Resource Operative inside books. As if jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, weren’t enough, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.

Personal Review:

I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. I greatly preferred it to The Eyre Affair. I love the plot line and the characters a lot better in this book. And I love the character of Miss Havisham. I hated her in Great Expectations, but in Lost in a Good Book, she is an absolutely fantastic character. I love her wit and everything about her character. I also love the idea of book jumping.

One of my favorite scenes was the trial that took place in The Trial by Kafka. Great scene. And I love how Thursday got away with things with that judge without even realizing that she was doing it.

The start of the book was a bit slow and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it, but things swiftly picked up and I really got into the book. It made me laugh so often. I was listening to it on audio and I found myself trying to make excuses of things I could do while listening to the book (I only listen to audio books while doing something else). I normally do not like audio books at all, but this one was absolutely great.

I started the third book, but I have to admit that I returned it to the library without finishing it because I just couldn’t get into it like the second book. I found my mind drifting quiet a bit in the third book and to tell you the truth, I have absolutely no clue as to what the plotline of that book was. I may try it again later, but right now, I have bigger and better books to read.

Rating: 4.5

Have you read any of the books in the Thursday Next series? What do you think of them? Would you recommend that I give some of Jasper Fforde’s other books a try? I have Shades of Grey checked out from the library right now and was wondering if it was worth reading.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.
Jamie here (you might also know me as Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner). This week I’m talking about all those books I probably wouldn’t have read had it not been for the prodding of some other bookish people. So, here’s my top ten books I’m glad people recommended to me because I would have for sure skipped over them/not have known they existed/judged based on the cover alone.”

  1. Harry Potter series – My grandma gave me this book for Christmas one year. I tried to read it many times but I just could not get past the first five chapters. It was boring (an opinion I still maintain about the first five chapters). Then in eighth grade (nine years ago) my then boyfriend told me that I could not judge the book without actually getting through the book. Harry Potter is the only good thing I got out of that relationship (cheated on my with my then best friend). Anyway, I love the Harry Potter series and just recently finished re-reading them.
  2. Twilight – A friend of mine from college recommended that I read this book. I loved the first one. However, I hate the other three. So I am glad to have read the first one, but that is the only Twilight series book that I read (I have re-read it about five or six times).
  3. Da Vinci Code – I was lurking on facebook and I saw that one of my best friends from Middle School had listed this book as a favorite of hers. I had “heard” a lot of controversy surrounded this book, but I had never read it. I immediately went out and read it and I loved it, which led to me reading Dan Brown’s other books and I love his books. I always love a good mystery and Dan Brown’s a really interesting to me.
  4. Wither – No one really recommended this book to me… I just saw it reviewed on a lot of blogs and so I went out and bought it. I am half-way through it right now, but I love it. It is a great book and I never would have gone out and read it without all the great reviews.
  5. The Hunger Games – Wow, I love this series. After Harry Potter, this is my favorite book series. This was a group read on Goodreads. I loved it and I have spread it around to many of my friends and family and they all love it as well.
  6. Sweet Valley – Yeah, I know, lame… but in High School and Middle School, I loved them. The girls in my school passed them around quiet a bit, so I would say all the girls who read them would be the ones who recommended it to me.
  7. Truth or Die – This is a series of mystery type things that happened in a college. The series is called Nightmare Hall. I really enjoyed this book in High School. Truth and Die is the first book I read and it would recommended to me by my ex-best friend (see #1). The book has one of the best prologues I have ever read. I have re-read the book several times, but I have re-read the prologue a hundred times. I love it.
  8. Sarah Dessen books – One of the girls in my hall in college recommended Sarah Dessen to me and I have loved all of her books that I have read. I plan on reading all of them. I love how she addresses the big issues that teens face. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite author’s.
  9. The Kite Runner – I love, love, LOVE this book. This is a great book. It was required reading in one of my college classes so I am counting it as recommended from the Professor. This is definitely one of those books I would have never picked up on my own and I am so glad that I read it. It is amazing.
  10. Wondrous Strange – I don’t remember which blog this was reviewed on. I think that Christy from the Story Siren. I don’t usually read paranormal books and other than Artemis Fowl, I have never read a book about Faeries. But this is a great series and I love it. I am about to start the second book and I am so looking forward to it. If you haven’t read this series, then I highly recommend it.
Anyway, those are my top ten favorite recommended books. What are yours? Have you missed any of these series, because if so, this is me recommending them to you…