August 25, 2012

Book Review: THE LOST PRINCE by Julie Kagawa

Book:  The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten)
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Publisher:  Harlequin TEEN
Category:  YA Paranormal Romance
Due Out:  October 30, 2012

Book Description:

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday

Back cover of The Lost Prince
Those who loved and followed the story of Meghan Chase through The Iron Fey series will be happy to know that Ethan, the one whose kidnapping in the book THE IRON KING triggered the whole series, is back.  And this is HIS story.

Ethan has never been normal, or at least not since he was taken from his home at a young age and brought into the land of the fey, the Nevernever.  He was rescued by his half sister and taken back home, but only by sacrificing herself.  In the end she became the Iron Queen and has had to live and rule in her own kingdom.  Ethan hasn’t seen her in 12 years.

Feeling abandoned by his sister and still haunted constantly by the mischievous fey, Ethan has chosen to close himself off to the world, having no friends, no social life.  His only “fun” is his sport, Kali, a Filipino martial art using sticks taught by his sole friend and mentor Guro (teacher) Javier.
Author Julie Kagawa

Expelled from several schools, he has to start over at a new one where he meets Kenzie, who writes for the school newspaper and has zeroed in on Ethan as her latest subject.  On the same first school day, Ethan unwillingly helps out a half breed (half fey, half human) named Todd who was being manhandled in school.  Todd forces himself into Ethan’s life and home, fearing that his life is in danger.

 Soon after, Todd disappears and Ethan goes off to find him.  Kenzie accidentally gets involved and both end up in the Nevernever where finally, after many years, Ethan faces his sister again.  They later learn that half breeds and exiles are disappearing all over the world, and another fey, The Forgotten, have re-emerged.  Ethan needs to save Todd and leave the kingdom, with the help of a boy he never knew existed, a boy whose connection to him may mean the future or the end of one.

Though I would love to tell you more, I can’t for I do not want to ruin the many surprises Julie Kagawa has for her readers.  All I can say is that those who are looking for their favorite characters in The Iron Fey will not be disappointed.  An all star cast this book has.
coming out soon!

As a whole, THE LOST PRINCE is a stand alone book.  If you haven’t read the Iron Fey series1, you can start with this (though I still say begin with THE IRON KING, purely for the amazing story and romance). 

Ethan is a strong character, much like his sister.  I like Kenzie too although she didn’t hold my interest the way Meghan did.  Same with Annwyl (one of the exiles).  But Keirran, oh that boy, I can already see him breaking everyone’s hearts.  He is frustrating as he is interesting. 

It is no secret that I am a huge Julie Kagawa fan from her very first book and The Lost Prince is another proof of why this is.  Suspending disbelief and entering a make believe world is so easy with Kagawa.  She makes you want to live in her books.

Another plus factor for me, a very personal one, is her choice of Ethan’s sport.  KALI is a proudly Filipino sport.  Kali, otherwise called Arnis or Eskrima is a traditional Filipino martial art where one uses rattan sticks.  Bruce Lee was known to have practiced this art himself.  I tried this years ago and I must say going home black and blue, especially on the arms, is not uncommon nor unwelcome.   I was never any good at it but I still wish to be. It is a sport that I hope will spread further worldwide.

You may visit the Author's site at:

August 03, 2012

Book Review: WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin

Book:  Where We Belong
Author:  Emily Giffin
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Category: Contemporary Fiction

I could have chosen to remain anonymous so I’m not really sure what made me do it.  Maybe it was strictly to alleviate guilt…maybe part of me was waiting for the assurance that she was okay…But maybe on some deep down level, I wanted her to return to me. Maybe I wanted to see and touch her again-  Marian

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.
For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.

Author Emily Giffin
I have always loved Emily Giffin.  Her novels Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Love the One You’re With are books I’ve read and reread many times over.  Her writing is flawless, and always of stories that pinches the heart. 

Marian never thought she would see her again, the daughter she gave up 18 years prior, from a pregnancy she kept secret from everyone, including the baby’s father.  But one night Kirby shows up, not asking for anything except to meet her mother and to know the identity of her father.   Reluctantly, Marian and Kirby start a relationship that unravels what Marian thought was the life she wanted.  To answer Kirby’s curiosity about her father as well as her own, Marian searches and finds Conrad, the boy she never forgot.  In seeing them together, Marian sees the life she gave up, what could have been, and perhaps what could still be.

Though much assured of Kirby and Marian’s developing relationship, the ending between Conrad and Marian left me wanting more.  Yes there are subtle signs of reconciliation, but I am a sucker for happy endings and this one deserves a sequel. 

All the characters in this book are likable, including Peter, Marian’s boss and boyfriend.  I especially like Marian’s dad for being an example of how understanding fathers can be.  And Conrad…he deserves a book of his own, that’s how lovable his character is. 

Alternating between Marian and Kirby’s points of view, it’s easy to get pulled into the story.  As a reader I felt and understood the emotions of both main characters.  In the end you can’t help but root for them to become the mother and daughter they were meant to be. 

Overall, I loved this book and highly recommend it to those who love a good story.  Also pick up other Emily Giffin books, they are so worth your time. 

You may visit the Author’s site at:

You can run, but you can’t hide.”- Conrad
“Who’s running? And what are you doing at a party like this?”- Marian
“Lookin for you.”- Conrad
“Well.  Looks like you found me.”- Marian