Friday, December 24, 2010

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

I have mixed feelings after finishing "Here Lies Bridget" by Paige Harbison. This novel tells the story of mean girl Bridget Duke, who basically is a carbon copy of "Mean Girls" character Regina George. She rules the school through fear and celebrity. Some of her peers worship her, others despise her. What Bridget doesn't realize is that she is a psychological bully.

The first portion of the book was hard to get through. I didn't see any redeeming characteristics in Bridget's character. I know that the author said a few times that she was a better person (especially around love interest, Liam). However, we never saw it. I think that had we seen a bit more of the softer side of Bridget prior to her time in purgatory/judgement... maybe I would have felt a bit sorrier for her as she saw how much she's hurt the people in her life.

Her time in judgement helped raise this book from a one star to a two star (using scale of two stars = "it was OK"). This portion of the book was incredibly well written and emotionally powerful. I really connected to Bridget's character (finally!) and I loved the journey she went through as she saw her actions through someone else's eyes.

Well, this review may be short, but it just about covers it. Get past the first portion of the book. If you were bullied in high school, it may be a bit hard to stomach, but once you're through, it's actually a lovely tale of redemption and doing the right thing.

"Here Lies Bridget" published by Harlequin Teen. They provided me with an advanced reader's copy. The book is scheduled to be released in February 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just a little update

Hey there! Anyone else on You can find me on there under the name shortandsweet (link). Please feel free to add me as a friend! I've been reviewing on there for years.

I'm currently reading Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison. It's scheduled to be released in February 2011. I'm moving a lot slower reading this one.. a) the holidays and b) I despise the main character. I know that I'm supposed to hate her, but I'm having a hard time moving past my hatred to care what happens to her next. Don't worry though, I'll make it through. It seems that those who do really end up enjoying the book so I have high hopes.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season! I hope to have this review to you guys before Christmas. ;) Fingers crossed!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

This book made me miss my mom. I know that seems a little strange, but my mother was a CASA worker and a long time foster mother (over 30 foster children, plus her own 4!). She would have enjoyed this interesting take on what happens to abused children.

Lost Voices is the first book in a series and to be honest, it sometimes feels like pieces are missing, making the plot a bit disjointed. The book follows the story of Luce (short for Lucette) who is a mild mannered, troubled young teen. Her father, who was a “diamond in the rough” type, has presumed dead after being lost at sea and now Luce lives with her alcoholic and bitter uncle. She is treated poorly by almost everyone in she encounters and has become a weak slip of a girl. After the abuse hits a breaking point, she transforms in this dark and mysterious way into a mermaid. In Ms. Porter's world, abused females turn into vengeful mermaids/sirens who take revenge on the human race for having wronged them in their past life.

Ms. Porter's mermaid lore is very interesting to read and I found it a nice twist from the romantic paranormal young adult books I've been reading as of late. While this book definitely falls into the paranormal category, it is a book that deals with real life issues including abuse (physical and sexual), revenge, the moral dilemma of right and wrong, etc. I really enjoyed seeing Luce's character develop from someone who has been beaten down for years to a strong young woman who follows her own moral code, which is different than the society she lives in. In addition to interesting character development, the writing style of Ms. Porter is incredibly exquisite. She definitely has a gift for using words as an artist as well as a storyteller. Lost Voices stimulates the imagination with absolutely gorgeous visual images. I do not think that I have ever saved so many passages from a fiction book to my clipboard on my Kindle. I just wanted to be able to re-read these visual passages again. They were like beautiful sweets to feed my imagination.

While I greatly enjoyed Ms. Porter's novel, it did have its downfalls. The plot seemed a bit disjointed at times and I wasn't sure where it was going. There was no real action. However, I'm eager to see how the second book develops. It might explain some of the questions I now have after completing Lost Voices.

Overall, it's a solid debut novel that takes an interesting real life topic and adds an unusual paranormal twist. Great job, Ms. Porter!

Lost Voices is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They provided me with an advanced reader's copy. It is scheduled to be released in July 2011.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Wow. ... Just wow. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the ARC of The Iron Queen. I am so grateful I was able to read this in advance.

I stayed up late last night to finish this which genuinely shows you how much I adored this book as I have an active toddler and most nights, I crash by 9:30!

Let me put my thoughts together and then I will post a thorough review. Seriously though, let me just say this for now - "wow!"

EDIT: 12/5/10

So, it took me a few days to put my thoughts together so I could write something better than "wow". Usually, my reviews are pretty short and to the point (hence my username shortandsweet), but I'd like to write something a little bit more in depth about "The Iron Queen" since NetGalley & Harlequin were so nice to give the opportunity to read this book in advance.

This book is the 3rd book in the Iron Fey series by [author:Julie Kagawa|2995873]. In The Iron Queen, we continue following our heroine Meghan Chase in her battle to save all that she loves and along the way, discover her inner strength. The inner strength of Meghan is one of the aspects of this series that makes it so appealing to me. Meghan begins in The Iron King as an average teenage girl, nothing too special, and a bit on the unpopular side of things. At first, she reminded me a bit of Bella from Twilight (which, I'm sorry, but for me is NOT a good thing) - weak willed, a pushover, etc. Throughout the series, she has developed into a strong and powerful character with a wonderful dedication to doing the right thing and protecting those she loves most. I admire her character and Ms. Kagawa's fantastic development. She didn't just turn into this powerhouse girl overnight (coughlikeBellacough). She became a powerful young woman by facing her problems head on and learning from her mistakes. She's a very real character, despite being part of this incredible fantasy world. She is definitely my favorite part of this series.

Ms. Kagawa's other characters too are wonderful. Again, with her male leads, she does a great job at going above and beyond the typical fantasy stereotypes and creating characters with depth and complex emotions. I read a lot of young adult fantasy fiction and I've rarely seen since well developed characters. There are so many layers to their stories that she slowly reveals as we move along in the main plot line. She does a great job at balancing their backstories and moving along the main plot line that you never feel like she's slowly down the momentum.

Well, I'm getting quite gushy, aren't I? Well, I should probably stop blabbering on and on. I don't want to ruin my reputation of "short & sweet" reviews, but let me just say this - I highly recommend checking out this series if you're a fan of fantasy fiction, even if you don't usually read young adult literature. I think you'll enjoy it.

Well that's it from me. Until next time folks!

The Iron Queen and Iron Fey series is published by Harlequin Teen. They provided me with an advanced reader's copy. The book is scheduled to be released in February 2011.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why YA Fiction?

So, a question I've gotten a lot from family and friends is "Why young adult fiction? Aren't you too old for that?" Absolutely not! Just because it says YOUNG adult doesn't mean that people over the age of 21 aren't allowed to read it. (And for the record, I may be over 21, but I'm still under 30 and plan on staying that way. Hah!) It just means that the general audience for which the novel was written is younger. This also means that the plot line and character development isn't usually bogged down with unnecessary description or overly complex plot lines that you'll sometimes find in adult oriented literature. You can still find rather steamy romance (though not as graphic as romance novels!), extraordinary action, and unique complex situations. It's just aimed at a younger audience.

Nowadays, with the current generation of teen readers, the books really don't vary that much from young adult to adult. For example, one of my absolute favorite young adult authors, Shannon Hale, has written a couple adult novels and they still feature the same whimsical, conversational style that I adore. (hrm, I wonder who else I know writes that way? OH YEAH! Me, duuurrrrr) The main characters in these books are just adults instead of teens and are facing more real world situations (well, sort of) that will probably appeal to an adult audience more than her usual YA audience.

So, yeah, the short answer to the question is..... BECAUSE I WANT TO. :) Like the title of the blog says, I'm never gonna grow up! Keep an eye out for the first review to be published exclusively on this blog - "The Iron Queen" by Julie Kagawa. I am eating this book FOR BREAKFAST so I am sure the review will be up soon. (BTW - You can read more of my reviews over at shortandsweet on
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