Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 498

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray, has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street, and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life.

To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move, and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets, and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Discussion: I liked this book waaaaaaay more than the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. The first book’s plot isn’t as complex as I wanted it to be, and it was kind of predictable. But this plot was much better. I also think that this series could be read first; in fact, it might be better.

So.

  1. The truth about Will. I can’t spoil this, no matter how much I want to [I’m eating chocolate right now and it’s really good…], so I will just say this: you learn more about him, and your opinion about him might soften. Or at least mine did, considering I hated him after Clockwork Angel.
  2. Sophie has a bigger role. I find Sophie very sweet and lovable, and I was very glad to see her friendship play out with Tessa. I like how they talk about very girlish, simple things, like boys and relationships, but also consult each other about larger issues.
  3. Jessamine is much more interesting. I was fascinated with Jessamine in the first book, but she was just the sour-faced girl on the side. But now she has a role, an actual, complex part. I applaud Clare for adding her in and making the story more interesting.

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But, alas, even Clare’s books have flaws.

I noticed in this book more clichés:

  • biting your lip and bleeding as a result
  • clenching hands and white knuckles
  • melodramatic

Clichés make me cringe inwardly. They are all so dramatic and unrealistic that I can’t help wonder what the author was thinking. Have they seen people in real life? I think.

Plot twists were around every corner, which kept me on my toes and reading. Good job, Cassandra Clare! I think that is one of her [many] strong points. Of course, a character had to die already, just like in TMI.

Oh, and the cliff hanger! That would have killed me if I didn’t have the next book. Thankfully, I did.

I enjoyed the second installment of The Infernal Devices a lot and have already begun Clockwork Princess.  I think I know what will happen, because Instagram likes to spoil things for me, and I’ve read the series after this which gives stuff away, but oh well.

Have you read Clockwork Prince? Did you enjoy it? Did you notice the clichés ? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel

Author: Cassandra Clare

Number of Pages: 476

Genre: YA Fantasy

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

Discussion: I really do love Cassandra Clare’s work and the Shadowhunter world she has created. I was so happy to be back in the realm after the conclusion of City of Heavenly Fire. I also found out a few things.

  1. Will Herondale is Jace’s ancestor. TBH, if they didn’t show names, it would have been obvious anyway. Their demeanors are identical, although I prefer Jace. I don’t like Will much, even if every other fangirl alive loooves him. Beauty comes from within, peoples. duh animated GIF
  2. Tessa Gray is [SPOILER ALERT!] the same one who was part of Clary’s namesake. How cool is that? So that means she is a warlock, and is immortal. But doesn’t that mean that the Silent Brother who turned human [or something else…] becomes her boyfriend? what animated GIF
  3. Church the cat is immortal; yay!!! I love Church.
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Awww. =^.^=

I like the plot a lot, and, of course, Cassandra Clare’s writing. Overall it’s just really great.

But let’s get nitpicky.

Clare’s writing, though it is lovely and flowing, is quite filled with clichés. Examples:

  • “I bit my lip, and tasted blood.” When you bite your lip, it doesn’t bleed. Only if you try extremely hard.
  • “I breathed out a breath I didn’t know I’d taken in.” Apparently the biggest cliché in YA.

These bug me. A lot.

If you’ve read The Mortal Instruments, I recommend reading this series. Even if you hadn’t you could read these first.

Note: I am able to post this today, instead of Wednesday. Also, Nakoma is now under My Writing.

Have you read Clockwork Angel? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Number of Pages: 374 pages

Genre: YA Dystopian

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Discussion: I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

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I honestly thought I would hate this all over again, throw the book across the room, and never even start Catching Fire. But I did. Sure, it wasn’t amazing, and I only gave it 3.5 stars, but I’m reading the second book and liking it more. I still think Mockingjay will be horrifically horrid. Ah, well.

So, what did I like?

  • Katniss-I mean, just a bit more. Just a smidge.
  • The plot-Honestly, I forgot how good the plot is. Very entertaining.
  • The side characters-Prim, Cinna, Effie, the prep team–those people.
  • Gale-He is one of my favorite characters.
  • Rue-I just love her! So much.
  • The political part-You know, the part of it that talks about government and stuff that only certain people debate about.

And what did I dislike?

  • The writing-I really do not like Suzanne Collins’s writing. The sentences are short and clipped and I just don’t like it!
  • Peeta-I know, fangirls will murder me for this, but I find him to be an airhead.

I surprised myself while making these lists; I guess I do like it more than I know. But the writing doesn’t do it for me. Not enough.

Have you read The Hunger Games? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

Before we go: I’ve decided to push back the Weekly Wrap-Up to Saturday from now on.

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Number of Pages: 552

Genre: YA Historical fiction

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: [This is actually the summary from Goodreads, and it’s not on the cover.]

It’s just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids – as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Discussion: First the end. Then the beginning. [If you caught the reference, points to you!]

I finished this book today in science class. I read the last sentence, those last words, those last letters, and basically stared. I cried. [You know (or should know) that I do not cry when I read. So this is rare. But it wasn’t full-out weeping, just some tears.] When one of my friends tried to ask me a question, I yelled at him. And my friends were like, What the heck?

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Before I read The Book Thief, I read reviews about it. Mostly everyone said it was terribly sad. So when I started the book, I expected it to be absolutely devastating and heartbreaking and blah. But it wasn’t! It was funny, and mysterious, and intriguing. Still, halfway through, I didn’t understand how it was sad. I mean, come on. TFIOS is sad. But this? Psh. I basically rolled my eyes and mocked people’s sensitivity.

Ha, Chloe. Ha! Listen to the reviews next time. Don’t mock. Don’t roll your eyes. They’re right.

So if you go into this book thinking it’s not sad, the please reread this and every other review, because: IT IS SAD. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Besides being sad, this book is beautiful. I had my doubts at the beginning, but, OMG.

The characters. Liesel is the past equivalent of a book blogger. She needs words. And she will do anything to get them. They feed her soul, and although she starts as an illiterate ten-year-old girl, traumatized and confused, she turns into a fourteen-year-old young woman who relishes words and writes like nobody’s business.

Hans, Liesel’s adoptive father. I love the descriptions of his silver eyes. Not only does he too love words and teaches Liesel how to read, but he loves music. He plays the accordion magnificently [or so I’m told]. Hans seems like a wonderful father with such a kind heart.

Rosa, Liesel’s adoptive mother. She’s a witch most of the time. Yet she loves Liesel and Hans. The scene with her holding the accordion is so human and shows Rosa’s true colors.

The narrator. The narrator is an interesting choice by the author. It is, quite obviously, Death. It is appropriate, in my opinion, to have Death as the narrator, because what happened a lot in WWII? Death. But I still don’t fully understand why Death chose to focus on Liesel’s story, out of the billions of stories of people in the world.

The setting. Yes, there are a bajillion books and stories about WWII. But many of them are set in the US, or some other country in Europe, or somewhere close to Hitler. But this book is set on a street in Germany, a poor, ordinary street, with ordinary residents who play soccer in the street, steal, and just are pretty ordinary. There aren’t spies, or tons of Jews, or anything really special. Just a street.

I loved this book to pieces, but even awesome books have problemos. This book’s? Read…

  • A LOT of parts were slow, and I found myself thinking, Oh, I should read…but it’s so boooring. I had to force myself to read it a lot!
  • I wasn’t so psyched about the narrator.
  • The ending. It’s just, GOD.

Have you read The Book Thief? Did you cry? Tell me in the comments below.

BTW, just got 51 followers! Thanks so much. :) Love y’all.

I am posting for the third time today [Sorry!], and it is the TCWT blog chain, about book beginnings and endings.

Bye now.

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Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Title: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Number of Pages: 488

Genre: YA Dystopian

Overall Rating: 4/5

Summary From Cover: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Discussion: I finished this book during our library time at school. When I read the last page and closed the book, I just kind of stared and told my friend sitting next to me, “I can’t believe it. I think I’m going to cry.” And some other stuff, but I might [accidentally] spoil the ending. But the gist was:

I thought of this exact quote.

If I hadn’t been in a library, I probably would’ve thrown it across the room. Let me do it now.

Done. It’s very satisfying. On with the review.

Ahem.

The beginning was kind of slow, and there were lots of flashbacks and moments [throughout the book] when I was just like, You could’ve done ________ and it would’ve been much easier/faster/better/safer/etc.

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I did, however, love Ruby, the MC, and the supporting characters, Chubs and Zu, and the love interest, Liam. Ruby is so kind and heroic, always doing things for the good of others, though I do think she should do more stuff thinking about herself. I facepalmed mentally a lot when she chose to keep secrets. [It actually really bugs me when characters keep secrets from people they know and love.] Chubs is so sweet, and very levelheaded. He seems like the kind of friend you could go to for sage advice. Although, he can be brutally honest. Zu is just so adorable and innocent, aside from her awesome powers. She’s so girly and cute, and reminded me of my friend Misa, who loves to laugh and joke. And Liam. Oh, Liam. He is going on to my OTP list. His only flaw? Not thinking through plans enough, resulting in bad consequences.

The writing is pretty spectacular. Bracken has you in this world so beautiful, yet so tragic. And the themes are quite amazing, somewhat parallel to our society today, putting people into boxes and labeling them.

Definitely read this book. It will hook you in!

P.S. I am posting a wrap-up today, too, but on a different post.

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Top Ten Books I Want to Read But Don’t Yet Own and I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World Book Review

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

TTT is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

 


1. Where She Went by Gayle Forman-I mean, I loved If I Stay, so this is a must-have. Kind of obvious…

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry-Every blogger (or at least almost every blogger) has loved this book. It sits on my teacher’s shelf, mocking me.

3. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare-Yet again, I read The Mortal Instruments, so it’s just…I have to have these!!!

4. Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth-This slipped between my fingers. It was at Costco when it first came out for, like, eleven dollars, but I was like, I don’t really need it. Now I need it.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell-I have yet to read a Rowell book, but bloggers rave about her. I honestly know nothing about this book.

6. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell-Another must-read from all the blogosphere and beyond.

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor-Bloggers love this!

8. Hate List by Jennifer Brown-Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer just reviewed this, and it sounds like a great book.

9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll-Believe it or not, I have never read this book. And I’ve only watched the Hello Kitty version of it when I was really little.

That concludes this week’s TTT. Sorry there’s only nine! Any books you would like to read but don’t have? Tell me in the comments below.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

Title: I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World

Author: Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

Number of Pages: 193

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary From Cover: Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

No one expected her to survive.

Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which includes exclusive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world — and did.

Malala’s powerful story will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles and the possibility that one person — one young person — can inspire change in her community and beyond.

Discussion: I loved this so much! I devoured it extremely quickly; I never thought that I would enjoy a nonfiction book so much. The only thing that separated me and five stars was that some of the content was missing that was included in her first book.

This Young Readers Edition isn’t as heavy. It also has less names, dates, and acronyms to memorize. I had a lot of trouble with those during her first book!

I recommend reading this first, and if you want to know more, read the original I Am Malala. But this is easier to process and lighter on the intense stuff. You also get more insight into her life before the Taliban.

Sorry this review was so short; I’m tired. I will go write now, though.

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Requiem by Lauren Oliver Book Review

Book Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Title: Requiem

Author: Lauren Oliver

Number of Pages: 391

Genre: YA Dystopian

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Summary From Cover: They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day.

Discussion: I finally finished it! Yes! It wasn’t terribly horrid, but it wasn’t wonderful perfection either. I struggled to get through it. Many parts were slow, especially from the main character, Lena’s perspective. I found myself enjoying Hana’s POV better, and for that, I felt bad, because Lena is so sweet and lovely, while Hana makes me want to rip my hair out! But in this book, we see cured Hana, a different side to her. [Can’t give anything away!!! So hard!!!]

And the feels, man, the feels.

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It was all of them, at random times. I probably looked like an idiot, sitting in a public place, laughing out loud, glaring, and almost crying because of words on a page. I don’t know how Lauren Oliver does it. They’re in mortal terror, and then someone says a joke, an you laugh, completely forgetting they’re about to die. If I could do that, be able to weave magic into words and type them onto a page, reaching out and touching readers’ hearts, GOD would I be the happiest person alive.

I gave it such a low rating, though, because of the slow parts. There were lots of ’em. And it made me want to throw the book across the room! [Of course, I couldn’t, because it’s a library book, and, well…] I do think you should read this series, because it really makes you think about what we take for granted and what our life would be life if that was all taken away.

Did you enjoy my book review? Have you read Requiem? If so, what did you think? If not, will you read it? Tell me in the comments below.

On another note, I am watching Divergent tonight! Finally! With chocolate cake!!!

All the best,

Chloe