Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mini Reviews: Secondhand Charm, Firelight (Firelight, #1), Momogumi Plus Senki vol. 1, Almost to Die For (Vampire Princess of St. Paul, #1)

Title: Secondhand Charm
Author: Julie Berry
Pages: 352
Publication: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Summary taken from goodreads:
In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms--no more than trinkets when worn by others--are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . . 
Berry's debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales--and now she's done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.


The book wasn't bad, it was just bland and quite unoriginal.

Title: Firelight (Firelight, #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pages: 323
Publication: September 7, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Summary taken from goodreads:

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love. 
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form. 
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy. 
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.


I'm not sure why I didn't love this book. I mean, the setup and world of the Draki was really original and interesting, the characters were believable, and I could sympathize with all of them, but... I'm not in a rush to go buy the sequel any time soon.

Maybe it's because the majority of the book was basically about Jacinda's conflicting desires on letting herself get attached to Will or not because of the deadly consequences that would most likely occur.

And there's so much tension and steam (literally) in the book between the couple. I guess I just didn't feel in the mood for a book with so much sexual tension and angsty indecisiveness.

Title: Momogumi Plus Senki vol. 1
Author: Eri Sakondou
Pages: 192
Publication: August 11, 2009
Publisher: TokyoPop
Summary taken from goodreads:
After transferring to a new school, Yuki, a disaster-attracting young student, is told that he is actually the reincarnation of Momotaro from Japanese folklore. What's worse, he was cursed by demons in his previous life! And if he doesn't break the curse, he will die on the day he turns 18. But when he goes out to kill these demons, he discovers that he doesn't have to kill them to break his curse. He only needs to provide them with a little demon therapy.


Incredibly beautiful art, amusing cast of characters, and a somewhat overused plot that makes the manga slightly predictable.

Title: Almost to Die For (Vampire Princess of St. Paul, #1)
Author: Tate Hallaway
Pages: 241
Publication: August 3, 2010
Publisher: NAL Trade
Summary taken from goodreads:
Twilight meets The Princess Diaries in the new series from the author of Honeymoon of the Dead 
On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker learns that her so-called deadbeat dad is actually a vampire king. And he wants Ana to assume her rightful position at his side, in spite of the fact that she has witch's blood running through her veins-from her mother's side. 
Too bad witches and vampires are mortal enemies. And now Ana's parents are at each other's throats over her future. It's up to Ana to make a choice, but deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.


** this review contains some spoilers **

I felt like the author was trying too hard to sound like a teenager, especially in the beginning of the book. The constant use of WTF and some of the confusing diction made me wary in the beginning; I wasn't sure if this was going to be the third "didn't finish" book I've read this week.

However, the plot was getting picking up and Ana was an interesting character to read. Plus, there were some funny parts in the book that I enjoyed. Also, the climax was built up very well and executed quite nicely, although I don't quite like the ending.

I mean, I knew that there was going to be a love triangle, but really? She's going out with the both of them? What type of message is this book trying say to girls? I'm so indecisive that I have to string along two guys!

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