Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

This is the first book by Cassandra Clare that I have read, never mind that I have had City of Bones sitting on my bookshelf for nearly two months now, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The reader selected for this particular audio book was decent enough, and at times I wanted to strangle her, but I still kept up with the story, kept up with what was going on and delighted in the interactions.  I like both Jem and Will for different reasons, despite the fact that Jem has the drug addiction, and that makes me sad.

Jessamine, I want to smack just as much as I like (well like perhaps may not be the right word, tolerate is perhaps better) because I cannot bring myself to hate her.  She was hilarious in the beginning of the book, and I also adored Henry and Charlotte, they are quite adorable.  I am looking forward to reading more about them hwen I start reading the second book.  Also, I’m not entirely certain on the fact that Tessa is a warlock, she is something different, something that has not yet been encountered before, and that is not a bad thing.

The ending…seriously, made me want to pull my hair out and throttle someone.  What in the hell was the problem that drove Will to ask Magnus about something…I want to find out, I need to find out darn it.  There were parts in the novel that were slow going for me and at certain points I had to go back and relisten to things because I didn’t entirely understand what was going on.  However, it was decidedly a good start to the series, and I am going to be starting book too fairly soon now that I have it from the library.

Book Review: Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

Some of my favorite things in this book: hurricane in a skirt (Miss Acacia), the pet hamster (whose name is Cunnilingus),  bottled tears (yes, tears), and a delightful cameo by England’s very own serial killer Jack the Ripper.  There is very little NOT to love of concerning this book by Mathias Malzieu.  I read a translation of it, because my French is not the best any more.

In this book, Jack, the boy with the cuckoo-clock heart, is now dependent upon the clock installed in his chest, keeping him alive.  His heart is fragile, and too many strong emotions will weaken and ultimately break his fragile heart.  Love and anger are the chief of these that will destroy the fragile mechanical device that keeps him alive.  Yet, despite the pleas of the woman who installed the mechanical heart, Jack travels from Edinburgh to Andalusia in search of Miss Acacia.

Gorgeous and grotesque, this book is filled with delightfully lush, fruity, and sugar-adorned images tend to leave one hungering for more of his pretty words.  The adoration that Jack has for Miss Acacia is something right out of your favorite fairy-tale, it is so perfect, and almost in that regard uninteresting, however this fact is made up for by the motley crew of supporting characters make up for it.

The twinkling 19th century Andalusian circus, the laboratories filled with tiny bottles, the ghost train decorated with bones freshly pulled from the catacombs are all things that I adored experiencing with Jack on his journeys.

This book is definitely right up the alley of Tim Burton fans with its mixture of frightening and romantic imagery.   Definitely a good read.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This is the first book that I’ve read written by John Green and I do not think that it will be the last.  This book is absolutely amongst my favorites and it is by far a tear jerker, but it isn’t your average cancer book, because cancer books suck.

I love the story within a story, the friendship between Isaac, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.  All three have some various type of cancer: Isaac’s is in his eyes, Hazel Grace has stage IV thyroid cancer (with masses in her lungs), and Augustus Waters has Osteosarcoma and has already lost a leg.  They meet through a support group, and there is friendship and true love that is formed in this rag-tag trio of cancer survivors.

Isaac got a piece of my heart because his heart was broken, because no one wants to break up with someone when they become even more disabled than they already were to begin with – thanks to the cancer.

Augustus Waters, got a huge place in my heart for his razor sharp wit and his undeniable charm.  He is the guy you simply have to love because he just is. Romantic at heart, I love the fact that he uses his wish to benefit Hazel Grace, taking her to Amsterdam to meet the author of her favorite book An Imperial Affliction, which ends abruptly and she wants to know why, and know what happens to the characters within the book.

Hazel Grace, not your average cancer kid, she’s smart, honest, tough chick, and I adore her.  Her personality is absolutely catching (well, it is after she meets Augustus Waters and goes from being Hazel to Hazel Grace).  The way she interacts with the world, is not something you’d expect given her situation, constantly on oxygen, and her body essentially turning against her at every turn.

The ups and downs of life of children with cancer is given a unique view, because it is told from those children who are living it, surviving it, or ultimately succumbing to it.  To say that I made it through this book without crying would be a lie, I sobbed at several points through this book, I laughed at several points through this book, and truth be told, I cursed at the author of An Imperial Affliction (whose name escapes me at the moment), however, these are characters that will stick with me for quite some time.  Not your average young adult romance or your average cancer book, and these are not normal teenagers, not normal children at all.  They are a far cry from normal and their biggest worries are not which celebrities are getting together with who, or what outfit they will be wearing to school to attract the attention of the cute member of the opposite sex – instead they are worrying if they will live to see another birthday, if things will continue to go up hill, or if they will suddenly be tumbling headlong in to areas where medicines no longer work.

By far one of my favorite books of this year, and I will be reading more John Green in the future.

Book Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Okay, so I’ve read Wings, the first in this series, and fell in love with it. So, now that the second book has come out, I was all for it, continuing to learn about the fae realm that has been set up with Laurel, David and Tamani (why by the way is becoming one of my favorite love triangles ever). I love the fact that we get a bigger and better glimpse of the world of Avalon, and the way that the different faeries live their daily lives. The caste system set up by the different seasons of faeries is unique, and definitely something akin to the medieval structure of things almost.

Each faerie has a job to do and a task to accomplish, and there are formal customs for things and more often than not Laurel gets picked on to a point at Avalon Academy because she, a Fall Faerie, and Tamani, a Spring Faerie are friends and do things together. Laurel is supposed to take the lead in all things because she is the higher ranking faerie, but she doesn’t exactly know what to do, not does she actually care about the differences because Tamani is a friend.

I think, one of my favorites is the struggles between Laurel and her mother, because it is something real. There is a time when everyone goes through that phase where their parents don’t agree, don’t condone their behavior, or things of that nature. It is especially common in LGBT families, where individuals who come out of the closet are looked at and treated differently by members of their own family, but this review is not turning into an LGBT rant, I am just using it as an example, don’t get your knickers in a twist please and thank you. I love the fact that her mother finally, finally accepted and came around and stopped treating Laurel like she was something foreign, alien, and began showing her affection once more without the stiff indifference that had been there before.

All in all, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series, and see what bigger thing is going on in the world and really, WHAT exactly is going on between Tamani and Shar…that ending made me go WTF and stare at that last page for a good ten minutes trying to figure it out.

All in all, well worth the five star rating, and definitely a series I would recommend.