Tag Archives: Birthmarked Series

Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien

3 Jan

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Book Three in the Birthmarked Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

I enjoyed this book, but overall I think it’s the weakest in the series. Still, the ties and emotional connections I had to the characters from the previous books makes me want to bump my rating to 3 stars.

Here is my criticism: Why oh why do authors think it will be boring if people have normal emotions? Fo reals. I understand the need for drama and foreshadowing and plot twists blah blah blah. But heavens above! I could not keep up Gaia’s epiphanies or Leon’s brooding love-sick control freak-ness. Gaia seemed to change direction in each chapter and I was so flustered by her mood swings I almost stopped reading. Now I understand men when they deal with PMSing women! For a character who was so steadfast and determined, solid and stubborn in the first two books, she sure does a lot of roller-coasting in this one. And I find it hard to believe that she would just get up after that tragedy happens, shrug and move on. I wish O’Brien would have spent more time focusing on her emotions during that realization. And Leon, oh brother. Just the same old same Cassandra Clare type love interest. All passionate brooding but nothing I could really sink my teeth into until the final chapter.

With my love loss for Gaia and Leon, it was hard to truly adore this book the way I did the others. I was infatuated with Gaia’s bravery in book one and two but her heroism in these books stretched by WSOD a tad too far. I couldn’t connect that way I wanted to. Thank goodness the story was technically well-written or I would have set this down. I would have also enjoyed a quick recap from the first books. I hadn’t read the other two books in awhile and it took me a quarter of the book to play catch up before I remembered everything.

If you have read the first two books (and the bridge), you should definitely read the third to complete the series. The story itself is still captivating, even if its pushed to be unrealistic. Just go into with the notion that the characters are not the same they were when you met them.

Best Of 2012 – Not just the boring categories!

2 Jan

Hello and Welcome to the year 2013!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! 2013 has some amazing book releases so I am SUPER STOKED for this year. Now, like all book lovers and bloggers, I just had to create a Best of 2012 blog. While most people do one in December, I read lots of books over the holidays so I wanted to wait until the year actually ended before I created my list. You never know what gems you can find in the last weeks of the year! I also wanted to add some variety to the blog so I asked my book soul mate Amy to pick her favorites in each category. You can read her Top Ten Books Read of 2012 here.

Please note that these books are not only the books that were published in 2012. We wanted to included all the books we read so some of them are a few years old. I hope you all enjoy and please add your favorites in each category in the comments!

Favorite Book of 2012

Sydney                     Amy

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The Selection by Kiera Cass     Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Author of 2012

Sydney               Amy

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Cinda Williams Chima         Neil Gaiman

Best Female Protagonist

Sydney           Amy

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Penryn – Angelfall by Susan Ee          Beatrice – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Male Protagonist

Sydney         Amy

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Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

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America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

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Gaia, Birthmarked  by Caragh M. O’Brien    Viola, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

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James, Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater    Katy, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

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Deuce, Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre       Katsa, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

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Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

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Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Bridge Books and Short Stories

17 Dec

In my last couple of reviews, I have been mentioning bridge books a lot. Bridge books are short stories that are written to enhance the overall series an author is writing. There are many different kinds of bridge books but the ones I read usually are written as an “in between book”, typically given a 1.5 or 2.5 designation, and bring in a different character’s perspective. I personally, loooove bridge books. They can develop and enrich your story in a magnificent way. You can be introduced to a new character, a new way of thinking. You can grasp or understand a concept you couldn’t in the full book. You can live a moment through different set of eyes. It’s an amazing aspect of writing that I wish every author would do. Authors like Cassandra Clare and Lauren Oliver have fully grasped this concept. It also, and this pure selfishness on my part, can help ease the pain of having to wait for the next book to be released. I can’t tell you how many times I am uber bummed I have to wait a year until the next book comes out and then I find out that a bridge book will be released in 6 months and it makes my life so much better.

Below is a collection of a few different categories of bridge books/short stories I’ve read over the last year. Each one gives you an idea of what bridges and shorts can add to a story. You can read my full reviews of each by clicking on the links attached to the titles and it will take you to my Goodreads account. I highly encourage everyone to read the bridge books and short stories associated with series. It can make the books so much more enjoyable!

13013051Tortured by Caragh M. O’BrienBirthmarked 1.5

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book is the 1.5 book in the Birthmarked Series, a pretty decent dystopia trilogy with a female protag, and is probably my favorite bridge I’ve read thus far. I enjoyed the series with my ratings of each book fluttering between 3 and 4 stars. This bridge, however, added a HUGE piece of insight into the heroine’s love interest, Leon. He is narrating this bridge which is awesome because the entire series is told from Gaia’s point of view. It also connects how Leon ends up where he does in Book 2, Prized and in Book 3, Promised you wouldn’t understand the unique dynamics between Leon, Gaia and the prison cell unless you’ve read this bridge. It’s an amazing add on to the series.

15715106 The Audition by Rachel Hartman, Seraphina 0.5

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

This was a sweet and simply story and very enjoyable. It gave to quick insights into each character but didn’t give anything away, which is hard to do since, unlike most bridge books, it was actually written and PUBLISHED before the actual book, Seraphina, was released. Seraphina was set to be a huge sell this year and this was meant to be a teaser trailer by the author/publisher. It’s a nice little read to add some dynamics before you start Seraphina, even though I actually read it after I had already finished the book (review to come!)PS – it’s available for free online if you click the link on Goodreads!

15362992Endurance by Ann Aguirre, Razorland 1.5

Rating: undecided out of 5 stars

Pulling directly from my review I wrote after reading this, “I don’t think I can thoroughly comprehend my feelings towards this one until I read book two and three.” Well, I’ve read book two, Outpost, (read my review here) but I still don’t know how I feel. What’s makes me shifty about giving a solid rating is that this bridge introduces us to Thimble and Stone whom we barely knew in Encalve. Deuce refers to them constantly but I am hesitant to give my feelings to these two because if I don’t see them in book three, Hoarde, my poor little heart is going to be crushed. After I initially read this, I rated and reviewed it at 2 stars but I think now it’s just because I didn’t want to get attached to them if I wasn’t going to see them later. Ahhh Ann you manipulate my emotions so much in this short 70 page story! I love it!

12663646Hana by Lauren Oliver, Delirium 1.5

Rating: 3 our of 5 stars

Lauren Oliver does a lot of bridges and shorts. She has a o.5, 1.5 and a 2.5 in this series and omg does it add some depth to the plot. In this one, she actually retells the ENTIRE first book through a sub character’s view. It’s crazy intense viewing scenarios through Hana’s eyes, especially when interacting with Lena, who’s the main character throughout the rest of the series. The third book, Requiem is actually told through both their eyes so it was very smart, in my opinion, to introduce readers to Hana (and her questionable morals/actions) in a short. Read my review of Pandemonium, Book Two here and see what I want to see in Requiem here.

“Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life.” Christopher Paolini, Eragon

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