Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Opal (Lux #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

     I no longer saw the world in black and white and deep down I knew I didn't operate on basic social norms anymore.
     Like thy shalt not kill or whatever.
~page 23 of Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection, #2) 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My Thoughts:  I did like this book but not nearly as much as I liked The Selection.  I think one of the reasons why I didn't like it as much is because American really annoyed me in this one.  She is so wishy-washy that I wanted to smack her.  

We left off with only 6 girls remaining in the selection.  They were America, Celeste, Marley, Elise, Natalie and Kriss.  Celeste is still a major brat and I cannot stand her.  Elise and Natalie are okay but it is clear that they are only there because they are easy to manipulate and Elise has an "in" with the country she is from.  Celeste is obviously only there because she is a Two so she is already "a lady" and she's beautiful.  Marley and Kriss are the peoples' favorites so that leaves America at the bottom of the list.  However, Maxon has continued to assure her that she is the one for him.

America still has feelings for Aspen though and since he is a guard at the palace, she sees him frequently.  This means that she is unable to let him go.  It is also one of the reasons that America really annoys me in this book.  When something serious happens, America pushes Maxon away and it seems to me that she goes back to Aspen as a "back-up" plan yet she gets upset with Maxon for suddenly spending more time with Kriss.  I completely understand why she was upset with Maxon.  Heck, I wanted to beat him up too but she doesn't give him a chance to really explain himself.  I admire America's morals and ethics and the fact that she isn't sure she could become a princess but she is always talking about changing things and what better way to change things than to become princess and then eventually queen?  

I like Aspen and he is always there for America but I am fully Team Maxon.  Especially when you discover a little more about Maxon's relationship with his father.  The king is a total and complete jerk and you really can't help but admire Maxon for finally (somewhat) standing up to him.  Aspen is a great friend to America but he is someone from her past and she has changed now so I think it is time for her to let Aspen go.  

America was a very strong character in the first book.  However in this book, I felt that she lost her edge.  She was constantly whining about who to chose, Maxon or Aspen.  Then, if Maxon made her angry or she didn't agree with something going on in the palace, she would demand that Maxon send her home and then she would change her mind and cry that she wanted to stay.  It was so frustrating!  Then there were the times when she was just reckless and didn't think before acting or speaking.  

I did like the idea of the selection (because I secretly love The Bachelor and this is very similar) and I liked Maxon.  I enjoyed reading about the riots because it brought a little danger and excitement to the book but America really needs to get her act together for the last book!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Thoughts:  I just have to say that I totally and completely disagree with the first sentence in the synopsis.  I think being connected to Daemon Black would be awesome on so many levels!  

Okay, now that we have cleared that up, I will say that I liked Onyx better than Obsidian.  It had more action and tons of sexual tension between Daemon and Katy but Daemon wasn't quite a complete and total jerk like he came off in Obisdian.  

I still really like Katy.  She is so strong and independent and yet she is not perfect.  In fact, she in not perfect by a long shot and made some crazy bad moves.  There were times when I was shaking my head and thinking "Girl, what is going on in your brain?!" but it made her a more realistic character to me.  Sometimes I really do think she should have thought out her plan more but I guess if we had that then it would probably have been a pretty boring book (and it was FAR from that)!  I was sad at the way she pushed Dee away at times.  I totally understand why she did what she did but it seemed to me like there could have been a different way to go about this.  Of course, this also led to less of Dee in Onyx and that made me sad because I really liked Dee.  

Blake was a very interesting character and while I was with Daemon on not trusting him, he totally surprised me at the end with who he was and what he wanted.  I thought that Blake was a complete ass at times (like when he was "testing" Katy) but I liked him at the beginning.  I felt a little bad for Blake with the way Daemon would always show up and how poorly Daemon treated him but on the other hand, I never quite trusted Blake either so I understood why Daemon felt the need to watch out for Katy.  

The action in this book is nonstop.  You have the Dept.of Defense that is snooping around and just when you think you know their intentions, you realize you are wrong and you actually know nothing about why the DOD is there.  Then you throw in Blake and Katy's mom's boyfriend, Will, and things just get crazy.  I loved the fact that this book constantly had me guessing and the cliff hanger at the end makes me so happy that I have the next book already!