YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for December 30, 2009

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: December 22nd 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4.5/5 stars)

Synopsis: Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom…or part them forever.

The fans who flocked to Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange will fall hard for Darklight, the soaringly romantic second book in the trilogy. Breathless high stakes and vividly magical characters make this a can’t-miss fantasy for readers of Melissa Marr and Holly Black.

Review: If you read Wondrous Strange and loved it, do not hesitate to run out and buy Darklight now! I have read so many books over the past year on the Faerie genre and I can safely say, Livingston writes the most descriptive stories. She is an expert in writing detailed scenes and almost everything, besides the imagery, was so well described.

With so many faerie books out there, I wasn’t expecting much from the plot, however, Livingston proved me wrong and made Darklight was very unpredictable and it blew my mind! Livingston is an excellent storyteller, her writing flows smoothly and jumps right off the page, complete with vivid, realistic characters. She did a spectacular job quickly recapping the events in the previous novel and did not dwell too long on them. In this sequel, Livingston brings back the old characters and introduces many several ones. One character who I particularly loved this time round would be Fennrys, one of the Janus Guards. He is a character who is unexpectedly swoonworthy. Kelley and Sonny’s relationship is sweet, although the beginning had a rocky start, it was still satisfying.

The fight scenes had plenty of nail-biting action and there were fantastically written. I have a slight problem, though. There were times when there was a lot of things happening that it was almost too much to keep track of but other than that, the novel was amazing.

There are a few unanswered questions but there is a third book to this series so those questions will probably be answered then. In the mean time, I would suggest you reading this series if you haven’t already. Fans of Holly Black, Frewin Jones, R.J. Anderson, Maggie Stiefvater and Melissa Marr should definitely give this series a try. You will fall in love with the characters again in this fascinating sequel.

Top 6 YA Couples & Top 6 Almost YA Couples of 2009

Top 6 YA Couples of 2009 (this post contains lots of spoilers!)

6th: Willow and Guy from Willow by Julia Hoban
Guy is such a sweet guy, he tries to help Willow, despite her not wanting his help, it’s truly touching. But eventually, Willow falls for Guy and the rest was history.

5th: Katniss and Peeta from Catching Fire/Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I was Team Gale until I read Catching Fire. Now I am 98% Team Peeta and 2% Team Gale. Peeta is a perfect guy, I hope they cast someone good-looking as Peeta!

4th: Viola and Jinn from As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
I nearly teared up at the end! Their time spent together was fragile and their love was realistic.

3rd: Nora and Patch from Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
What can I say? I kinda have a thing for Patch. Sue me. 😛

2nd: Lena and Ethan from Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
They are both such wonderful characters, each unique in their own way, yet when together, they are a match made in heaven. Oh and if you haven’t already, I suggest you go and buy Beautiful Creatures right now. Yes, right now! It’s over 500 pages but it’s 500 pages of romance and intrigue!

1st: Grace and Sam from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I freaking cried, is that enough to explain how amazing their love was?

Grace and Sam’s first kiss:

I kissed her. Just the barest brush of my lips against hers, nothing animal. Even in that moment, I deconstructed the kiss: her possible reactions to, her possible interpretations of, the way it made a shudder tighten my skin, the seconds between when I touched her lips and when she opened her eyes.

Grace smiled at me. Her words were taunting, but her voice was gentle. “Is that all you’ve got?” I touched my lips to hers again, and this time, it was a very different sort of kiss. it was six years’ worth of kissing, her lips coming to life under mine, tasting of orange and desire. Her fingers ran through my sideburns and into my hair before linking around my neck, alive and cool on my warm skin. (pg 87)

Top 6 Not Exactly Couple But Should Be Together of 2009

6th: Ash and Sidhean from Ash by Malinda Lo
I know Ash is lesbian but I can’t help but root for the both of them to be together.

5th: Mae and Nick from The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
I am unsure whether Mae and Nick should be together or Mae and Alan. *sigh*

4th: Ai Ling and Chen Yong from Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia by Cindy Pon
I was mad at the ending, I sat that staring at the last page going “Nooooo, why?!”. You have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about.

3rd: Jonah and Beatrice from How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
They share something more than love but I wished that they were actually a couple. This is an amazing book, you should definitely check it out.

2nd: Nikki and Christopher from Being Nikki/Airhead by Meg Cabot
Don’t want to spoil the series for you but I think they are perfect for each other.

1st: Deirdre and James from Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater
You can tell that James cares for Deirdre and his willing to risk anything for her, to keep her safe.

Here’s a scene where James comforts her, but sadly, they don’t end up together.

He looked so normal and safe, standing there with his summer-brown arms and his Sarcasm: Just Another Service I Offer T-shirt. He looked like ever summer I’d ever known and reminded me of everything I couldn’t seem to have right now. I fought valiantly with a strange rush of emotions for about one-third of a second, and then I burst into tears.

“Hey, hey!” James sat down with me on the couch and let me cry into his sarcasm T-shirt. He didn’t ask any questions or try to get me to talk, because that’s how awesome a friend he is. Realizing that just made me cry more. And then I thought of how pathetic this whole crying jag was, which made me cry even more.

James bundled me closer as I started to shiver, his arms wrapped tightly around me like a living sweater. (pg 122 and 123)

Credit to Alexa from Not Enough Bookshelves for the idea.

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
Release date: January 6th 2010 by Leap Books

Kenzie didn’t expect her first summer in the Florida Keys to be murder. Cute guys, awesome boats, endangered species, gun-toting thugs… In Angelo’s up and down world, Kenzie needed a life jacket and Dramamine.

Kenzie Ryan’s New York know-how and private girls’ academy education prove useless in the middle of an island wildlife refuge.

Upon arrival in the exotic Florida Keys, she is thrown into the midst of an ecological mystery involving the endangered Florida Key deer. How can she navigate this upside down world? A world deftly maneuvered by Angelo–island native and nerve-wracking hunk. The two team up to accomplish what perplexes law enforcement, but Angelo exposes Kenzie’s insecurities, as well as her inexperience with nature and the opposite sex.

Danger and disagreement follow the pair wherever they go. Enamored with Angelo and his local savvy, Kenzie hopes to secure his loyal friendship. But how can she win Angelo’s trust when what she must tell him will crush his ego?

Island Sting includes notes on the endangered Florida Key Deer and the National Key Deer Refuge.

Watch the trailer:

Sounds really good! I only discovered about this book today yesterday so I thought I would share it with everyone! =) The plots sounds pretty interesting eh?