Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

I absolutely adored this book. I started this book last night and had trouble falling asleep so I read and read until much too late and then I continued reading it this afternoon once I got home and finished it. I feel in love with the main character, Blue.  I connected with her and empathized with her through all of her struggles and triumphs throughout the book. Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is the description from Goodreads.

"Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing. 

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible."

This description is absolutely perfect for the feeling of the entire book.  Blue is Native American and spends most of her childhood living with a Native American man who becomes a father figure for her since she didn't know her mother or father.  He dies unexpectedly in her early teens and she lives with his sister.  I mention the Native American aspect because Amy Harmon incorporated some really nice stories that were old Native American tales or legends passed down through generations that really added to the whole book. 

In any case, Blue meets Wilson when he teaches her during her senior year of high school. For a minute, you almost think it's going to be one of those ridiculous stories about the girl who ends up sneaking around with her teacher and they almost "get caught" multiple times and finally, she graduates and they can be together.  However, this book isn't like that AT ALL.  The friendship between Wilson and Blue is sweet, and is simply that through her entire senior year.  He tries to guide her and nurture her in a really wonderful way. The story really picks up after she graduates from high school and the relationship continues and changes and grows.  

This story threw several things at me that I wasn't expecting and I really loved that about it.  I was constantly surprised and it kept me guessing.  I was never overly frustrated with the characters stupidity during situations like I have been in other books in this similar genre.  I felt that it was a nice breath of fresh air and I'm almost sad it had to end.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Black City by Elizabeth Richards

I read this book pretty quickly since it was a holiday weekend.  I started two nights ago, read throughout my Memorial Day and finished it last night.  I stayed up a little too late finishing it just because I was so close to the end!

So here is the book description from Goodreads

"A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable--they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash's long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught, they'll be executed--but their feelings are too strong.When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths."

I have to tell you, I was a little surprised by this one.  I basically decided to read it on a whim and the reviews weren't awesome so I was a little worried, but I absolutely loved it!  I'm going to try not to give away any spoilers in this one, but I can't promise that I always will in future reviews.

The book is about two races, humans and Darklings that have fought a war against each other that recently ended.  A darkling from what I gathered was basically a vampire-like creature that has fangs and survives on blood. Also, whenever a darkling bites, the venom in their fangs has a drug-like effect which becomes addictive and adds an interesting note to the story line  There are several different types of darklings which are discussed briefly in the book. The two races have been completely separated except for Ash, who is half-blood, and has been allowed to live with the humans and ends up going to school with Natalie.  Natalie's mother works for the human government and is causing all kinds of problems for the darklings throughout the story. There is still some serious turmoil between the races and we follow the story from the human perspective (Natalie) and the half-blood perspective (Ash) throughout the book.  There is a fight for power between the two races and a forbidden romance develops between Natalie and Ash.  Their love story is cute and I found myself rooting for them!  I know some people mentioned being frustrated by the love story aspect, but I thought Elizabeth Richards handled this well.

The book is pretty dark and I pictured it kind of "gritty" in my mind while I was reading.  I enjoyed all of the characters and felt like most characters were developed well.  Of course, as is the case with ever good trilogy, we end on a slight open end.  However, the Elizabeth Richards could have made it MUCH worse if she had ended it any sooner so kudos to her for not leaving things where she could have!  All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I am excited to continue the story in the next installment, Phoenix, which is due out June 4th!

I'm going to apologize now for my book review.  I'll get the hang of this and hopefully get better at it over time!

The Beginnings of My Book Review Blog...

To get things rolling, I have a list below of a few of my favorite books with a link to Amazon so you can check them out. I am an fanatic so I will often link back to them. I also own an Amazon Kindle so most often my links will take you to the Kindle ebook version of the book, but it's easy enough to click on the hardcover or paperback version from that page, so no worries.

A few of my favorite books in no particular order include: 

I've got a button over on the side that links over to my Goodreads page which shows the books I'm currently reading and what books I've previously read or want to read in the future.