Friday, April 19, 2013

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty- Video Review

Hi Everyone! After a long hiatus, I am back with updates here on Pink Owl Reads. I have recently been trying my hand at YouTube videos. Here is a video review of A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty.
Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Rating: 3/5 Hoots

Release Date: March 17, 2011

GoodReads.Com Summary:
 Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

My Review:
Chime is a unique, atmospheric novel. It is different than anything I've read this year, blending self-discovery, romance and mystical fantasy elements. Briony is an interesting and likeable character, even though she is a bit frustrating at times with her stubborn refusal to believe anything good about herself. I really enjoyed her dark sense of humor- I didn't expect to laugh while reading this book, it was a nice surprise!

The setting adds a lot to the story- Swampsea, an isolated, rural swampland in England at the turn of the century is on the cusp of modernization. However, it is still governed by superstitions of the Old Ones that inhabit the swamp. I loved reading about the lore of the Old Ones- the Boggy Mun, the Dead Hand, and the mint-and-apple smelling brownie.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is the relationships Briony has with the supporting characters. Her friendship and maybe something more with Eldric is so much fun to read about- their funny banter and secret society were awesome! Plus, I think most girls can relate to Briony's struggle to decipher his actions and determine whether he feels the same way about her. I also loved experiencing the change in Briony's relationships with her Father and Rose.  The other village characters are great too- poor Mad Tom, the Chime Child, Leanne, and Tiddy Rex all provided so much color to the story!

The only thing that I did not enjoy about the book was that I felt it dragged a bit in the middle- I figured out what happened before Briony did, which made reading about her struggle to uncover the truth a little tedious. I have mixed feelings about the cover design, it is pretty and really eye-catching, however I don't think it portrays Briony's personality accurately.

Overall, Chime was an interesting and fun book! I would recommend it to sophisticated readers who don't mind taking their time to enjoy the setting and language.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Rating: 4/5 Hoots

Release Date: 9/12/2011

GoodReads.Com Review:
Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.
Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.

My Review:
Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It and its two sequels have been on my favorites list for a while, so when I saw that she had a new book coming out this year, I was thrilled. I am pleased to report that Blood Wounds does not disappoint. Although the subject matter differs, the distinctive voice and writing style I enjoyed so much in her other books is present in Blood Wounds too.

The story is intense- Willa’s biological father brutally murders his family, and there is just enough detail to describe how horrific it is, but it is handled tastefully. The murders take place at the beginning of the book, and most of the plot is revolves around how Willa comes to terms with it, and the unexpected consequences it has on her family life.

I admired Willa, and felt compelled to keep reading about her emotional struggles as she copes with the fact that she is related to someone with someone with the capacity for that kind of violence. She is courageous, mature and handles unimaginable events with grace. As I said above, I love Pfeffer’s writing style. The supporting characters in the novel are incredibly well-developed as well- they all have their strengths and their flaws, and the relationships and family dynamic felt realistic and believable to me.

Blood Wounds was a great read, and I would definitely recommend it! I would pair it with Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

All You Desire (Eternal Ones, #2) by Kirsten Miller (GoodReads)

From the Library:
Divergent by Veronica Roth (GoodReads)
Twisted by Sara Shepard (GoodReads)
Supernaturally by Kiersten White (GoodReads)
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (GoodReads)
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares (GoodReads) [not pictured]

I had a great week- got lots of things I have been waiting on! I have read Twisted and Sisterhood Everlasting, so should be reviewing those soon! What's in your mailbox?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Rating: 5/5 Hoots

Release Date: July 26, 2011

GoodReads.Com Summary:
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

My Review:
Wow! This sequel to Nightshade does not disappoint! The same intensity, action and emotion I loved in the first book is also present in Wolfsbane. While the first book focuses on Calla’s life among the Guardians, in this book she is thrust into the world of the people she always believed were her enemies, the Searchers. I loved learning more of the mythology of the Searchers, Keepers and Guardians and more of the personal histories of the characters.

We are also introduced to a new group of characters, Searchers on the Haldis team. I enjoyed getting to know each of the new characters (especially Adne, her weaving skills were so cool!), and seeing the return of some of my favorites of Calla’s packmates. Each character has such a unique personality that even though there are a lot of them it is easy to keep them straight. Calla is also an impressive character, I love her strength and how she is completely unapologetic about who she is.

Plot-wise, the love triangle between Calla, Shay and Ren is so compelling! It makes it hard to decide which guy to root for (although I think after this book I am more Team Shay). Calla shares something real with both of them, and they each have their HOT romantic moments! The action/fight scenes do not disappoint either.

I can’t wait for the next installment, Bloodrose!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

From the library:
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (GoodReads)
Wolfsbane (Nightshade #2) by Andrea Cremer (GoodReads)

For Review:
Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch (GoodReads)

Kind of a light week for me, but I was excited to finally read Twenty Boy Summer, and I am so glad to have gotten Wolfsbane! I just started it but will have a review up soon!

What's in your mailbox?