Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: The Woman who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness #3) spoiler free

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
(Song of the Lioness #3)
Tamora Pierce
Fantasy, Adventure

"Let her prove herself worthy as a man."
Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death -- either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman -- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes -- for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
Alanna's journey continues...
You can read my review of the second Alanna book here.

The Alanna books are really one of my favorite adventure series out there. I mean, what do Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and Alex Rider all have in common? Oh, yeah. A MALE PROTAGONIST. Now I'm not saying she's the only one out there, but Clary and Cammie and Katniss all star in YA, and Alanna is a rare sight in middle grade adventure novels. Granted, in the past two books the Song of the Lioness chronicles have crossed over into YA.

That was my one nitpick. Those of you who remember the first book remember Alanna and her friends as 10-12 year olds, the kind of book you could give to a kid. The second and third of this series isn't really appropriate for that age anymore and that kind of disappoints me. I remember reading Alanna: The First Adventure years ago and I know now that it's good I only continued recently. There's nothing graphic or anything, but, and I hate to say this, Alanna is sleeping with her men left and right. I mean, yeah I'm used to the heroine choosing between two guys in a heart wrenching love triangle but come on, lady, you can't have both of them in your bed in one book. Multiple times. Give the sequels to children above 12-13 in my opinion.

That said, Alanna was as fun and kick-butt as usual. George was funny and Myles was insightful, just the way I like everyone:)

Actually I have one more problem. *minor spoiler alert, highlight to read*

Ms. Pierce, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JON? I mean, we (your readers) know him and love him and he is NOT a jerk!! If there's one thing I hate it's when my favorite characters act OUT of character. I really hope for the fourth and final book he'll come back to himself. Then again, having read other peoples' reviews on Goodreads, I can see how his behaviour makes sense. Alas, maybe I just enjoyed the wishful thinking about Prince Charming.

*end spoiler alert*

Other than that? Gotta love the cover of the edition I read (showed above). Alanna, now a knight, dressed in armor, holding a sword and riding a war horse with her hair loose and chest unbound. Basically sums up the status transformation between books 2 and 3. Rating: 

2 more things: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JK ROWLING AND HARRY POTTER! Thank you for bringing the magic into my life. 
And eeeep! I start my first job tomorrow! Guess where? You got it. A local kids/teens bookstore:) Wish me luck!

Monday, July 29, 2013

I am back! with a Review: The Fault in Our Stars

I am back, people- I had an amazing month and hope you did too! I am now accepting review requests and taking emails/tweets/social whatever as usual:)

The Fault in Our Stars
John Green
Contemporary YA, "Cancer Book"

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

If you get around in the book world, you've heard of this one. And in one sentence- EVERY BIT OF THE HYPE WAS MORE THAN JUSTIFIED. TFioS was one of the most sensational, touching, sensitive, funny, realistic, sad, TRUE, heartwarming, and overall emotion-inspiring novels I've ever read.

The writing: John Green, everyone in the world is dust at your feet. I've always said this.

The plot: speechless. And I thought Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns (the only other JG books I've read) were epic. He outdid himself. I just never knew what was going to happen next, but when things did happen, they made total sense. (that was coherent, right?)

The characters: three words- AUGUSTUS FREAKING WATERS. You think Will Herondale has the most beautiful, hilarious, insightful, make-every-female-on-the-planet-faint lines? Think again. Augustus Waters could make Einstein swoon. I would quote you the best ones, but I would just have to attach a pdf file of the whole book because, yes, EVERY SINGLE WORD IN THAT BOOK SHOULD BE QUOTED. Especially Even the word 'okay'.

The end: I can't talk about it. The tears. (not necessarily sad ones though...)

Whom I'd recommend it to: EVERYONE over the age of like 12. Yes, even those no-it's-a-cancer-book people. The Fault in Our Stars is not a cancer book. It's not about death, it's about life. I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days, and when I shoved it under my sister's nose until she read it she came to me freaking out after. Also, not in a bad way. This book won't depress you, it will make you think. It's the kinda book I will take everywhere and make everyone read, the kind I myself will reread every year or so. It is the kind of book that as soon as I finished it, I flipped back to the beginning. The kind you can't read in public because you laugh so hard you snort. Or because you cry so hard you sob.

Basically? BOUNCE TO THE TOP OF YOUR TBR. I promise, you won't regret it.

Have a great day and stay tuned for my Summer of Standalones check-in, two book tours, and tons more reviews planned for August!