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Juhina

Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

Premeditated - Josin L. McQuein Figured out the twist halfway in the book but still really enjoyed it!
Unbreakable - Kami Garcia This book was so good! It brought me right out of a reading slump!
4.5/5 stars
Review closer to release date
Pretenders (Pretenders, #1) - Lisi Harrison Very childish and in the end nothing gets wrapped up because there will be a sequel? Definitely not going to read it
Endless (Embrace) - Jessica Shirvington oh my god I need EMPOWER NOW! this book was just AMAZING. This is the fourth in the series and I loved it so much! By far the best so far.
Review to come closer to the release date
Six Months Later - Natalie Richards ummm. what? How have I never heard of this?

*goes to email Sourcebooks*

I need this book in my life right now! I am LOVING all the mystery novels Sourcebooks has been releasing, like Truly, Madly, Deadly, and now this one!
Frozen - 'Melissa de la Cruz',  'Michael Johnston' 3.5/5 stars

I have to be honest and say that I was very hesitant in starting Frozen for two reasons. The first is that I have read two previous works by Melissa De La Cruz (Au Pairs and Blue Blood series) and really disliked both. The second reason is that some of my trusted blogger friends ended up disliking this book. I take pride in never getting influenced by other people's opinions and ratings when it comes to books but I already had history with this author. Nevertheless, I picked up Frozen and tried to remove any biases I had. Surprisingly, I ended up liking this novel much more than I thought I would. Granted, Frozen is not without any issues and problems, but it was an enjoyable read.

The idea behind Frozen was fantastic. I thought a world that has frozen and a time where pirates and slaverers controlled everything outside of the little compound you are supposed to live in is new and intriguing. Of course I'm not for slavery or piratism, but this seemed like new territory when it comes to post apocalyptic/sci-fi novels. Also, the whole phenomena of pollution taking over the world and cities called Garbage Country and trashbergs (equivalent of icebergs but made up of trash) because of the overflow of garbage seemed different. However I do believe, while the concept was brilliant, the execution and progression of the plot had something lacking. Problems were solved too easily. Whenever they are put in a tight situation, the main protagonist and the people with her would easily get out of it scot free. Also, the plot seemed segmented and choppy at times. Especially the ending when a big revelation happened, I personally didn't see it coming because the authors did not give us proper background information or history on the world and the fantasy part of it (the marked and their abilities, the thrillers and their cause, as well as the sylphs).

Towards the end when they reach their destination, I wanted a bit more emotions put into it. I mean, they've just reached the Blue.. that mythical place no one believed existed but all I got were descriptions of the nature I see everyday outside my room window. I think that is another issue I had with the book and that is the lack of emotions between all the characters. The romance was sweet, if not a tiny bit insta-loveish but I did like the friendship between some of the crew that helped the main protagonist, Nat, get to the Blue. I do know I seem to have had a ton of issues with this book but I have to point out again that I did enjoy it. It is one of those books that even with all its faults, you still end up really enjoying it. Definitely recommend it to fans of Melissa De La Cruz as well as adventure novel fans.
Seven Minutes in Heaven - Sara Shepard Cried my eyes out the last 40 pages of this book :( *sniff*
The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater The Dream Thieves is the much awaited sequel to The Raven Boys, one of my favorite debut novels of 2012, as well as one of my all time favorite books. While The Dream Thieves did not reach the level of love I have for The Raven Boys, it was still a pretty darn good book. The Dream Thieves blew my mind so many times that I tried to stop being surprised and shocked every time but I failed. I know many readers doubt Stiefvater's story telling because of the overly romantic The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, however The Raven Cycle series barely has romance and that allowed the author, and the readers, to really hone in on the amazingness of this plot.

Unfortunately for me, The Dream Thieves focuses mostly on Ronan, one of Gansey's friends, if not the closest one. I personally had nothing against Ronan but through my one year wait all I could think about is that I'll finally get back into Gansey's head because of his fascinating way of thinking, as well as his budding... ok fine.. barely there, romance with Blue. After my initial disappointment, I can't lie, I was disappointed, I was quickly immersed in Ronan's story. Initially everything was confusing because I didn't remember everything from The Raven Boys but Ronan's story in itself is screwed up in the best way so I went along with it. In all honesty, the word beautiful disaster describes this whole series perfectly. Ronan had a fantastic inner voice; I did wonder, when I was reading The Raven Boys, about him and I'm glad that I did end up finding out so much about his history, secrets, and his "abilities", for lack of a better word. I still love the relationship between him and Gansey, as well as how tense it is with Adam. I just never understood how Gansey could be so forgiving of Adam (if you've read The Raven Boys, you'll understand what I mean), and was glad that not everything was swiped under the carpet, the way Gansey does it to try and keep the peace between them.

To not get confused, this book isn't only told from Ronan's POV; It is the type of book with many alternative POVs. We see chapters dedicated to Gansey (yeay!), Blue, some new characters we meet, as well as Adam. Blue and Gansey… I ship those two so unbelievably hard… I know most of you are wondering about this relationship and all I am saying is that it does progress.. but in the slowest possible way. I do enjoy a bit of romance in my non contemporary books, but not when it is the prevailing plot. I like that Stiefvater did a 180 degree flip with this series because you can definitely see the difference from The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. All I can say is that the concept, the writing, and the progression of plot for The Dream Thieves was as brilliant as it was in The Raven Boys. Heck, I probably didn't understand everything that went on in The Dream Thieves but I loved every single minute of it. Readers who are looking for stories that keep you on the edge, as well as always feeling like you're two steps behind, i.e: never a dull moment, should definitely pick up this series and read both The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves.
How to Love - Katie Cotugno So I hugged the book after finishing it... For 1 minute straight while lying on my bed... I just can't form the words to express how much I loved this book <3 Katie Cotugno, I love you
Heartbeat - Elizabeth Scott This was a great and heart wrenching book.
Review to come in January of 2014
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy) - Sherry Thomas The Burning Sky has received the most amazing reviews from some trusted fellow bloggers. It being fantasy instead of the usual dystopian novel made me even more excited for it. Unfortunately I did not enjoy The Burning Sky as much as I hoped but overall it was an enjoyable read.

The beginning of the book was a bit confusingand quite frankly boring. I just didn't know what was going on and was very confused at all the different mages. Also, the plot wasn't gripping enough for me to care. However a 100 pages in, the book finally starts getting interesting with the emergence of the gender bender plot line However I expected a ton of humor to come out of that but that plot line was wasted. I've watched a ton of gender bender dramas and movies and just had some expectations of how entertaining the plot should be. Even with disappointing start, the book did start getting more interesting and I started to at least somewhat understand who the antagonist was and the history behind the mages and the world they are in.

I thought Iolanthe, the main protagonist, was a bit annoying. She tried opposing Titus in every way. Even if it was on the breakfast menu. It kind of frustrated me but the book redeemed itself through Titus' chapters. In all honesty it took me a while to get through this book. I kept on expecting it to get better but it never did. The plot line was uninteresting to me overall and I just wished that we had more character depths as well as developments from them. Their relationship was one page a hate relationship and then the next page it switched to a love relationship.

Even with all of my issues with the book, I did enjoy it overall. I wish that in the next book we would get to find out more about the world in The Burning Sky as well as find out more about the characters and see them develop and grow up. I would recommend this book to fantasy YA readers especially since so many of my friends really enjoyed it.
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver, Sarah  Drew UGH.. so unbelievably depressing in the end.
The Distance Between Us - Kasie West I read it in literally one sitting. I COULDN'T put it down.
SO GOOD!!!
A Matter of Days - Amber Kizer So good!! Read it in one day. I wish there is a sequel

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I went into A Matter of Days without any expectations whatsoever. I received this book in a surprise package and when I found out it was a survival novel I immediately picked it up. If you know me, then you know I devour every survival book that reaches my doorstop. So far I have loved every single survival book I've read, including A Matter of Days.
The book starts on day 56 after the epidemic began. almost 98% of the world is dead but two survivors, who will headline this book, are still alive, and they are Nadia and Rabbit (Robert Jr.). The 16 year old girl with her 11 year old brother, in an almost deserted world. Now the main plot in here is for Nadia and Rabbit to travel from Seattle to West Virginia where their uncle is supposed to meet them. I can't give any more details in fear or giving up any spoilers.

As for the main characters, I love love loved Nadia and Rabbit, as a team these two were just amazing. Also, I've mentioned this before but I love sibling bonding in dystopian and post apocalyptic/survival novels. I kept on being surprised and amazed by how mature Rabbit is and his wide knowledge in everything, from siphoning gas from other cars, to leading them to bodies of water by seeing where a flock of birds are heading. As for Nadia, she was just as fantastic, if not better. She always listened to Rabbit and they operated as a team. Of course we've got Zach who shows up later, and also a dog that became their companion. I do have to point out that this book does not contain any romance. So all you readers who are tired of YA books marketed as dystopian and post apocalyptic/survival only to be sucked into a dramatic love story, this book is for you.

There were so many heart pounding scenes as well as some pretty freaked out ones where I was praying that Nadia and everyone else would be able to survive from. When I picked it up I didn't think I was even going to like it but what happened is that I ended up reading it in a single day and wishing that there would be a sequel for it. It isn't open ended or anything, but I did wish we got to live a little bit more in their world, especially with how short the book is, at 288 pages. A Matter of Days is another survival novel I will be sure to recommend to all the fans of the survival sub-genre. I will definitely check out any new releases by Amber Kizer and pray for more survival novels by her!
Infinityglass - Myra McEntire When I read Timepiece last year, I was slightly disappointed because I loved Hourglass but Timepiece didn't really leave a big impression on me. In actuality, before I started Infinityglass, I tried to remember what happened in the previous two novels and came COMPLETELY blank for Timepiece while I remembered a ton of what happened in Hourglass. Even with that, I had to give Infinityglass a try because a) it is the last book in the series, and b) Timepiece was still good, just a bit of a letdown. I have to say that Infinityglass was fantastic. It brought back my love for this trilogy and I am so happy I picked it up and got introduced to such fantastic characters that have been neglected in the previous books.

Following the format of the previous two books, the plot line continues in Infinityglass but with two somewhat new characters. The first is Dune, the teenage genius who has dedicated his life studying up on the Infinityglass as well as working for the Hourglass organization that Michael, Em, Kaleb, and Lily work in (the main characters of the previous two books). However the twist here is that we find out the Infinityglass is a human being, and not an object (this is not a spoiler if you've read Timepiece). Of course we immediately figure out that that person will be Dune's love interest in this book.

In terms of female protagonists, all the ones in the Hourglass trilogy have been kick butt. From Emerson, Lily, and finally Infinityglass's Hallie. She is the daughter of a... mobster (for lack of a better word), and her mother is basically a psycho (the bad guys of the Hourglass trilogy). She has always had bodyguards and compares her house to Rapunzel's tower. However she is so kick butt and isn't afraid to speak her mind, and usually gets to do what she wants, when she wants. I instantly liked her as well as Dune because he was a perfect mix of nerd and hot guy. I must admit towards the end the plot went a little wacky and I just didn't know what the hell was going on. I was winging it. Reading more trying to see if everything will be explained and to a certain extent it was. The solution and just the way everything was settled was too complicated. Even now, I don't completely understand what went down in the final showdown. However you can blame this on me or my inability to process words at such an ungodly hour, when I finished this book. This shows you that I couldn't put the book down until I reached the last page.

All in all, Infinityglass was the perfect ending to this trilogy. I really enjoyed this installment so much and was so happy with the way everything ended. I would definitely recommend this to YA fans, even ones who aren't big on time traveling, because I am one of those.
Thornhill (Hemlock) - Kathleen Peacock Just.... ugh.. I love this series with such passion <3
This doesn't have a bad cliffhanger like Hemlock so thank you Kathleen Peacock!
Still.. I can't help feeling book hungover and sad that I have to wait a full year (or even more) for the third and last book
Kyle.. why do you insist on breaking my heart? and Jason? and Mac? and all the amazing characters in this book!!!

Full review to come closer to the release date, but bottom line?
READ THIS SERIES!!!!

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Review posted on September 9, 2013: HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!!

Everyone who knows me is no stranger to my unconditional love towards Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock. I loved that book so much and it is one of the few paranormal books that I actually enjoyed, let alone loved. When I received Thornhill for review I was over the moon. I tried to hold reading it off, closer to the release date, but I couldn't and picked it up immediately. While I had high expectations for it, I never doubted that I would also love Thornhill, and that was exactly what happened by the end of the book. The complex and thrilling world, as well as the characters and their relationship dynamics, and just how the plot progressed were just as perfect as how it was in Hemlock.

The characters in this series is what makes up this whole book. Not that the plot isn't bloody fantastic, but the characters all feel so real to me. I am invested in all of the characters, including the secondary and even tertiary ones. Mac, Jason, and Kyle are one of my favorite friendships in YA books. I personally wish I could read how their relationship started and how they were before all hell broke loose. Mac is such an intense character and I love how she takes no crap from anyone and always scolds Jason and Kyle for trying to act as her body guards and making her feel like a damsel in distress. I also love how all three look out for each other and care for each other even with all the issues that do come in between them, no matter how big they are. I am hoping we get more scenes between Kyle and Jason in the next book because I love their banter together; add in Mac and it's perfect.

Plot wise, Thronhill was on fire. Everything progressed so fast and you weren't left in the dark for too long. The setting of Thornhill is completely different from Hemlock so everything is new and we are introduced to a completely new mystery. Even with the serious and dangerous setting the characters are thrust into, the funny dialogue is not lost. I especially loved a scene towards the end of the book between Mac and ghost Amy (no spoiler here since Amy is dead before even the first chapter of Hemlock) where Amy complains on how Mac always puts her life at risk.

"Seriously, I'm beginning to worry you have a death wish. When I wrote 'BFF' in your yearbook, I didn't mean it as a suicide pact" - Amy

This might sound weird but I really wish I met Amy before she died. She was the catalyst to everything that has happened in the past two books and I wished I knew her, and not just her ghost self that Mac keeps dreaming about. Hemlock also has one of my favorite romances in YA books. The love triangle was done brilliantly and I personally do not know who to root for. We've got Amy's ex-boyfriend, Jason, the broken and lonely rich boy as well as Kyle, who you can always lean on and will always be there for you. Their scenes with Mac are all swoon worthy and I feel I am betraying them both because I just can't seem to choose who I like more!

Overall, Thornhill did not disappoint one bit. I loved every single page of it and can't wait to get my own hardcover of it. I feel sad that this series is coming to an end with the third book. I need more of my Hemlock dosage but I can always reread these books because they're definitely reread material!