March 10, 2013

Book Review: REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver

Book Review:  Requiem
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Category:  Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.
 we are still here.  And there are more of us every day.  Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a
 disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the
 cure: We are free to choose.  We are even free to choose the wrong thing.


Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing
Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge

********SPOILER ALERT********SPOILER ALERT********

Alex is alive. 
dream and nightmare has come true.  Alex lives but he is no longer the Alex that she knew and loved.  He is cold and filled with hate.....hate that is directed towards her.  

Despite all this, Lena knows that she still
loves Alex. She never stopped.  And though she already has Julian who sacrificed his old life and joined the resistance for her, She cannot deny her true feelings.

Lena and her fellow
Invalids keep moving.  They are no longer safe in the wilds.  The regulators, who now acknowledge that they exist, are on the hunt and the uncureds are the prey.
The beginning of it all

Lena's best friend
Hana is cured and has been paired with the greatest catch in Portland's safe world, Fred Hargrove, its soon to be mayor.  But something is wrong.  Hana still feels and dreams what she is not supposed to.  Lena and the people Lena loved still matter to her, guilt for what she has done to Lena and Alex still eat at her and she feels the need to help Grace, Lena's favorite cousin whom she accidentally found in the bad part of town. And though Fred seems perfect, Hana knows there is more to him than he shows.  She finds out that Fred used to be married to someone else, but his wife later just disappeared.  If she resists Fred's controlling nature, will the same thing happen to her?

This book is the end of Lena and Hana's journey.  Told in both their perspectives, it is interesting how they transform into the people they become, especially Hana.  

As one of the
cureds, Hana is an anomaly.  She cares. Too much.  And gets in trouble because of it.  The old feisty Hana still exists within the new one and though her feelings have been essentially numbed, she stills feels.  Hers is my favorite character in this last installment of the series.  She evolves in spite of the cure, and I like how she becomes the linchpin between the good and bad at the end.  She is the answer to Lena's future, despite being its destroyer in the past.

As for
Lena, she has gotten strong.  She no longer runs away and is now like her mother, a brave member of the resistance.
Lena's only flaw is her love for
Alex. Heck even I was torn between Alex and Julian.  Both sacrifice so much for her love but in the end she can only choose one.

Lauren Oliver created an interesting dystopian world that we delve into again in Requiem.
But my patience was stretched through much of the book, with its many descriptions and overlong scenes.

Honestly I was
disheartened with the lack of Julian and Alex.  One of the things that attached me to the series to begin with were these two men and I was looking forward to reading thrilling scenes with those two plus Lena.  Instead the love triangle just fell away and much of the book is about escaping, then fighting for their right to exist.  Both Alex and Julian were built up so much in the two previous books that this just left me with...... nothing.
So if you're a
Julian or an Alex fan, lower your expectations... perhaps then you may still enjoy Requiem.

You may visit the Author's site at:

Here are my reviews of DELIRIUM and PANDEMONIUM:

March 06, 2013

Book Review: THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book:  The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)
Author:  Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Category:  Young Adult Fantasy

“I had arrived early for my own assassination.”- Jaron

“You have become so unstable, obviously the only thing wrong is with you.”- Gregor

“…you are Jaron’s friend.  I have so few friends I don’t say that lightly.  You don’t belong here.  You never did.”- Sage

“I don’t belong in your world, Jaron.  You have the princess.  Win her heart.  Be hers.”- Imogen

“Do you hate me, because I’m not her, because you’ll have to marry me one day?”-  Princess Amarinda

Description Via Goodreads:

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King!

********SPOILER ALERT********SPOILER ALERT********

Jaron is King. But someone wants him dead.  He believes the surrounding kIngdoms, especially Avenia headed by its King Vargan along with the Avenian pirates, plan to invade Carthya, his kingdom. After a failed assassination attempt, by his former friend no less, the regents are pushing for a steward in his stead.  Buying himself a few days, Jaron sets out with his trusted friends Mott and Tobias.  He then leaves both behind with a plan for Tobias to secretly take his place as King temporarily while he sets off to look for the pirates, the very ones who tried to MURDER him years before and set his life as an orphan and a thief in motion. 

On the way Jaron, who once again has taken his orphan name Sage, rescues the granddaughter of a nobleman named Harlowe.  Later on he meets and is set up by a young thief named Fink to be captured by their group headed by Erick.  Sage convinces Erick to take him to the pirates and  there in Tarblade Bay, the home of the pirates, he finally meets Devlin, the pirate king.  Baiting Devlin with his knowledge of the Royal treasury’s secret location, Devlin accepts Sage and brands him as one of them.  What Sage didn’t expect was to find a friend, the one he would do anything for, with the pirates…..

Jaron/Sage hasn’t changed.  He is still the same boy we met and loved in The False Prince:  reckless, impatient, frustrating, impulsive, snarky, brutally honest and every other not so good adjective you can possibly think of.  He can be annoying but you will end up rooting for him still.  He does what he thinks he has to do for his people and his country.  And since he spent years with no one to trust, he cannot see his friends for what they are and how much they care for him.  Jaron does things his own way so it is a miracle (plus clever writing) and pure luck that he survives through everything.

As a hero and a King, Jaron is flawed.  So much so that while reading I wanted to smack the (imaginary) king so many times I was squeezing my tablet instead.  But he is BRAVE and LOYAL.  And he would willingly give up his life and his freedom for the people he loves.

Obviously I REALLY love this book.  There were no dull moments.  From start to finish I could not put it down.  Every page, every second, was an adventure I loved being on.  I was scared most of the time for Sage and could only breathe a sigh on the 2nd to the last chapter.  As for the end?  The cliffhanger will leave you wanting the 3rd and last installment of the Ascendance trilogy NOW.  I honestly cannot wait for the next book. 

I also like that the characters we loved in the 1st book are present here.  Mott, Tobias, Kerwyn, Roden, Imogen and Amarinda.  Of them all I like Amarinda the most.  Not just because she is the princess and future wife of Jaron, but I appreciate her loyalty, love for Carthya and quiet strength. There is a touch of romance in The Runaway King, but none too distracting.  Hopefully there will be more in the next book.

Jennifer Nielsen is a wonderful writer.  She has created in these books a world I would dare not live in but would need to see and feel if only in my imagination.

Read The Runaway King. But before this do read the 1st book, The False Prince.  And fall in love with the Prince who would be His Majesty. Jaron, the Ascendant King of Carthya.

Here’s my review of THE FALSE PRINCE:

You may visit the Author’s sites at:

March 03, 2013

Book Review: BEAUTIFUL BASTARD by Christina Lauren

Book:  Beautiful Bastard
Author:  Christina Lauren
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Category:  Erotic Fiction

“I want more than just this.”- Bennett
“What did you just say?”- Chloe
“I want to be with you.”- Bennett

Description via Goodreads:

An ambitious intern. 
A perfectionist executive. 
And a whole lot of name calling. 

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

********SPOILER ALERT********SPOILER ALERT******

Chloe hates Bennett. Bennett hates Chloe. Bennett wants Chloe.  Bennett takes Chloe (all over the place).  Bennett keeps Chloe. Forever…really….

That, in a nutshell, is the story of Beautiful Bastard.
It’s a hate, hate then love story that you’ve probably read before, just without this much sex.  Because there’s a lot…. a real lot….. as in almost every other page kind of lot.

Bennett is mean to Chloe because he can’t fight his attraction towards her.  One day he gives in to his desires.  She gives in to hers.  She tries half-heartedly to stay away from him but every time he turns his beautiful stare on her, she’s a goner.  They have sex with wild abandon many times.  Then just when she thinks it’s the end, he decides it’s time for them to take things to a higher level.  The beginnings of a serious relationship?  Could have been if Bennett didn’t belittle Chloe when he thought she wasn’t listening.  She quits, he grovels….then…..there you go.
Follow up to Beautiful Bastard

As far as plots go, this has been done many times over. Predictable and mindless reading, that’s what we have here.
In terms of powerful animal attraction between two protagonists, Beautiful Bastard is similar to Fifty Shades of Grey .... without the silver balls and paddle plus the Red room of Pain
But yes, it is a Twilight Fan Fiction….another erotic version of it.
The two leads act more like rabbits than highly educated achievers they’re described to be, humping each other every chance they get, on seemingly every surface available to them, all the while professing their hate for each other
Apparently in this book Hate really is the opposite of love because they eventually, despite not knowing anything substantial about each other, fall in love
I don't understand how their sexual attraction instantly shifted to True love.  In that alone the story is just too unbelievable.
One thing though, the author is VERY creative in the sexual adventures of Chloe and Bennett, so depending on what you're looking for in reading this book, you might still enjoy it.