Ruby Red Trilogy Review

I gave this series a solid 5 stars and also added these two books onto my favorite of all times list. 

Ruby Red

The Ruby Red Series by Kerstin Gier took me by surprise. When I initially picked up Ruby Red, the first novel in the series, I was expecting a quaint story about a teenage girl who time traveled and a few historically relevant scenes that made for just another angsty teen fantasy novel. However, what I got was a fun and witty story about a girl named Gwyneth who inherits her family’s “time traveling” gene instead of her cousin, Charlotte who was believed to be the apparent heir for sixteen years. Unlike Gwyneth, Charlotte was thoroughly trained to handle being a time traveler and was initiated into the society’s secrets through private lessons since the time of her birth.

Ill-prepared for her new job Gwyneth makes up the rules as she goes along. From falling in love with her time traveling partner, Gideon, to being introduced to the infamous Count Saint-Germane, leader of the secret time traveling society (who has long been dead), Gwyneth proves that she is not just an accessory to anyone else’s agenda. Instead, she searches for clues in the past and the present with the help of her best friend, Leslie and the ghost and demons who follow her around.

Sapphire Blue

To make matters even more interesting, Gier has stretched the cast of the series across different time periods, which gives the story a Clue like feel. Each characters’ motives come off as suspicious and it seems that Gwyneth can only trust herself, which causes the series’ plot to be full of suspense.

The first book in the series is geared more toward character formation and unraveling who Gwyneth is and what role she plays in the time travelers’ mystery. However, Sapphire Blue has a bit more action than Ruby Red. In this second installment readers get to see Gwyneth travel back in time more and converse with her ancestors, which allows her to obtain more answers to her questions about why she must time travel.

Also, in Sapphire Blue, the love connection between Gwyneth and Gideon becomes more apparent. Gier constructs this weird dynamic between these two characters in her first book and it only gets more complicated as the series goes on. At first, it seems like Gideon likes Gwyneth. Then, it seems like he hates her. THEN, it’s like okay, maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t…in short, his character holds a lot of secrets. None of which, are really revealed until the end of Sapphire Blue.

Gideon’s character seems to be good however, my actual feelings toward him changes continuously throughout the first two books. When he’s first introduced, I just assume that he is a sort of secret bad guy. Later on, it’s revealed that he was mostly raised by the secret society and was unable to 

Emerald Green

actually spend time with other kids besides Charlotte. Therefore, the fact that Gwyneth is his new untrained time traveling sidekick is a little much for him to bear. Yet, he outwardly warms toward her, but still gives multiple hints that he would rather work alone. This places him on the potential bad guy list along with like 50 other people.

This series is definitely one that I would recommend. Sadly, with this new installment comes a new cover design. Gone are the beautiful original jeweled covers and instead, readers will see a dark-haired girl in various colored ball gown standing next to a clock-tower. I am hoping that I can find a copy of the final book with the original cover since these books are translated from German into English.

Happy Reading!

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger Book Review

I gave this book 5 stars.

Kody Keplinger’s novel, The DUFF is the type of book you could read at any age and connect to. The main character, Bianca is a tough as nails girl who’s heart has been hardened by the pains of love. Adamant about never falling in love again, she chooses to enter into an “enemies with benefits” relationship with Wesley, the notorious womanizer of her high school who has problems of his own. Together the two teenagers work through their problems in the form of..ahem…advanced cardio for the grown and sexy. However,  even with their preconceived rules of “no feelings” being involved, Bianca and Wesley learn the hard way that love can infiltrate your heart when you least expect it no matter how hard you plan.

Keplinger’s characters are well developed and likable. Even though Bianca does come off as cynical at times, the reader gets shown that her feelings of anger and frustration are justified. The way that this character antagonizes over being “the duff” a.k.a the designated ugly fat friend, is something that is especially well portrayed by the author and made into a relatable point for anyone who chooses to read this book due to the fact that most people have felt like the dud of their circle of friends at one point of their life or another.

On the flip side, Wesley’s character while clearly placed into the cliched role of being resident bad boy is endearing opposed to annoying. Even when he makes Bianca feel ashamed of herself by calling her the duff, it’s apparent that his character is battling his own set of demons and does so only as a knee-jerk reaction to his pain.

Keplinger’s choice to use cliched roles in her work is balanced off by the fact that her storyline is solid. Never does the reader feel as if they are being rushed off into a tidy conclusion. Instead, the author paces the story so that her audience can get the full benefit of watching the character’s lives come undone and then slowly pieced back together again. Both Bianca and Wesley’s character are funny, interesting, and sarcastic enough to keep readers entertained and willing to stick wound to finish Keplinger’s story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is in need of a good chick-lit book or who just loves a good novel about bad boys and strong opinionated female leads. Yet, I would caution against letting younger readers begin this book being that it is meant for a mature audience due to explicit sex scenes throughout the novel.

Dreams of Murder: A Book Review of "The Nightmare Affair" by Mindee Arnett

I gave this book 5 stars!!!!

This book was absolutely amazzzzzzzzing! I happened across The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett on Amira from AmirasBookReviews on YouTube during her list of anticipated books of 2013. During her synopsis of the book, I heard one of my favorite words for describing any book….MAGIC! That’s right! This book stars a magical cast of characters who are students at a magical boarding school (think Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins not, Harry Potter) and looking for clues to solve who’s behind the murders at their school. 

Fortunately, Arnett doesn’t take the normal character route of other YA writers and instead makes her main character, Dusty a nightmare. Not nightmare as in a whiny, obnoxious character but, nightmare as in a magical character who feeds off others’ dreams to obtain her magical powers. The story starts off with Dusty breaking into her crush, Eli’s room to “feed.” While doing so, she notices vast differences in Eli’s dreams. For starters, Eli’s dreams are in color and he’s dreaming of a murder. Thus begins one of the best paranormal/fantasy books I’ve read since I finished Hawkins’ series.

Arnett takes readers on a journey to find out who is killing the Keepers, a group of three magical beings one from fairykind, darkind (i.e., nightmares, demons, etc.), and witchkind. These Keepers are protecting some secret within the story. To solve this mystery, Dusty has to pair up with Eli allowing the two to become a dree-seer pair, a duo who help each other see into the future through dreaming.These two along with Dusty’s best friend, Serene, a siren become junior detectives pursuing the killer using all types of wacky tricks to stay ahead of the murderer and their teachers who have warned them to stay put.

With this book, I didn’t feel as if the author was reaching or even using recycled cliches to tell the story. Arnett’s characters felt fresh. The story line drives you to keep reading even when you think you know who the killer maybe. Dusty’s character is also relatable in the fact that, even though readers may not have magical powers, they may have experienced feeling like an outsider before, a feeling that Dusty often feels. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who loves a good “who done it?” series or who just loves fantasy fiction.

Reading Fairy Tales As An Adult: Cinder By Marissa Meyer #BookReview

Note: Minor spoilers are included in this review

Quote from the book, Cinder:

"On the fifth step, she heard the bolts snap. The wires tore loose, like tendons stretched to the max. She felt the loss of power at the base of her calf...." - Marissa Meyer

I gave this novel 5 stars! Cinder was EVERYTHING!

You know how you see certain books in other people’s reviews and just side-eye the book and think, “really?… how old are you again? Fairy tales are for kids!” Yeah…This was one of those times where I was totally wrong!


Cinder’s story starts two centuries into the future after Earth has gone threw a destructive Fourth World War and the world is broken into new factions known as The Earthen Nations and their enemy, Luna a.k.a “The Moon.”In what we would now consider to be Asia, Cinder, a cyborg girl lives in New Beijing and works as a mechanic. Orphaned at a young age and lacking a sufficient memory of her childhood, she is adopted by the Linh family and taken in as their third daughter. However, once her stepfather dies after falling ill with the Leutomitis Plague, Cinder’s life becomes a fictional Hell. Not knowing who she really is, Cinder lives life as an outcast and her stepmother’s personal verbal punching bag. Yet, things start to look up one day when the Prince of the Eastern Commonwealth (a.k.a Asia) stops by her mechanic booth and gets her to fix his droid. From there, the fun begins. Love sparks start flying and secrets become the backdrop to a kick butt storyline.

Things that I enjoyed about this story:
1. Marissa Meyer seems to have thoroughly thought out what pieces of the Cinderella fairytale she would use to create her story. Instead of just extracting the whole tale, Meyer takes what she needs and leaves the rest of the tale alone. Her story never feels as if it was written between the lines of the Grimm brother’s fairytale or in between the scenes of the Disney film adaptation. Meyer’s story takes on a life of its own standing in the forefront in a saturated genre of literature where most stories have already been re-written to death. Her characters are well thought out and so is her setting for the story. Which brings me to point #2…

2. The setting of Meyer’s story made me extremely happy due to me not really being a fan of dystopian novels. I always feel as if dystopian writers are trying to prove something when they write about worlds that have gone wrong in their quest for perfection/one country dominance/etc.. Yet, Meyers makes me feel as if this world has naturally evolved even though she makes it clear that their was once a war that took place. Unlike her contemporaries though, she doesn’t force the issue of gore and death or other bad things upon the reader.

3. The technology in this novel was so cool! I really felt like the portscreens were really just amped up smart phones and this made me a little giddy about where technology might go in the future (LOL I know…how very nerdy of me). Cinder’s BFF/Sidekick was one of my favorite characters. Iko, a humorous droid kept me laughing continuously whenever she oogled over the Prince or did some other human-like thing to cheer her buddy.Also, the ball scene where Cinder drives the car through New Beijing’s streets seriously amused me. LMBO It was like a slight PSA about what’ll happen if we don’t learn to clean-up our Earth and recycle and all that Jazz.

4. The ending was also my favorite part of the novel besides the ball scene when Cinder danced with the Prince/Emperor. The fact that Cinder is ended with her in jail makes me giddy at what’s going to happen next. I always feel like the best stories end with the character in a hard place.

Overall, Cinder was an excellent read. That I am glad that I picked up. I am now a true believer that fairy tales are not just for kids.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer #BookReview

I gave this book 3.75 stars…Yeah, I know I shouldn’t have been so harsh but, the book lover in me couldn’t let certain details of the story fall by the wayside.


The premise of Scarlet is interesting and promising however, Marissa Meyer seems to be trying to either a) give too much detail on Scarlet’s search for her grandmother or b) have added too much fluff along this storyline. When reading Scarlet’s part of the novel I found myself wrestling not to skip ahead to the next chapter.

*****SPOILER***** The fact that she spends most of the time looking for her grandmother yet, there was no actual action until half-way through the novel was problematic for me. I understand that the Wolf pack let her father go to “warn” her/string her along but, the whole idea that no harm would fall on her until 3 weeks later is a little sketchy to me. Which brings me to my next problem with this story…Wolf.

Wolf’s character was hot and cold for me. I loved the parts of his personality that were somewhat childlike and curious however, when he got to the point where he became less transparent with Scarlet and started to back away/fall into her advances I became frustrated. Meyer’s formation of this character lacked something on this front because, I felt as if Wolf was holding back from the reader. To rectify this issue in further installments, I would suggest Meyer’s give Wolf his own chapters so the reader can hear his thoughts and understand his motives first hand instead of through Scarlet’s point of view.

Unlike, Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf’s romance while somewhat adorable and promising did not cause me to be emotionally invested in what was happening to them like when I read Cinder and Kai’s story. With Scarlet and Wolf I found myself yelling at them (mostly Scarlet) to get it together! Scarlet’s mind seemed to be one tracked and outside of that, her likeability as a character was a few notches lower than what I’d give Cinder due to her not really getting a back story outside of the “privileged kid abandoned by divorced parents who gets sent to live with her grandma in the country then has to grow a pair to rescue said grandma from the bad guys” storyline. Usually, when a character’s loved one gets taken, you understand their motives but, in this novel I felt as if Scarlet was just searching for her grandma because she had nothing else to do.

I really love Melissa Meyer’s creation of Cinder and Scarlet’s world and can’t wait til Cress and Winter come out. I personally hope Meyer’s gives Thorne and Wolf more speaking chapters so that I can get to know them better.

Predictions:
1. I am convinced that the girl who talked to Cinder in the first book through D-COMM is actually the Dr.’s daughter who is also made Thaumaturge Sybil’s slave. I think she is Cress and the next novel will follow her on Lunar and show her interacting more with Cinder.

2.I really want Cinder to apprehend an Earthen satellite or even just a netfeed to broadcast to the Earthen nations that she is really Princess Selene. I feel like her doing this BEFORE Queen Levana and Emperor Kai’s wedding would totally shake things up a bit and add some kick to the next novel.

Lastly, is anybody else wondering how long it’s going to take Kai to figure out who Cinder actually is? I swear something should have clicked in his head 350 pages ago why Queen Levana really wants Cinder. I mean seriously why hasn’t she asked for any other Lunar to be returned to her. GET IT TOGETHER KAI!