Thursday, January 26, 2012

An End to a Much Anticipated Trilogy

The Nightshade Trilogy has come to an end, to my dismay.
BloodRose by Andrea Cremer begins where the battle left off. Calla and Adne traveled back to Vail, where the rest of the Banes and Nightshades reside, in order to convince Ren, the former Bane Alpha (also the one Calla was originally promised to) to join their team.

In this story Calla is the reigning Alpha leading her pack and the rest of the Searcher troops into battle. Their goal is to help Shay achieve his destiny as the Scion (the holder of the sword and power to destroy the Keeper leader) and to bring peace back among all. Her love for Shay and Ren leaves her with a decision: should she remain loyal to what her pack had originally intended, or should she follow what lead her astray? How can the Scion and a Guardian ever be together?

A great ending to this story! I absolutely fell in love all over again with these books. I immediately added them all to my favorites on Shelfari because I could not stop reading them. The writing is wonderful, the story line's amazing, and the romance makes you wish guys like Shay and Ren actually existed.
The ending was unexpected, but it ended in a way that left the readers content. The expected twists and turns happen, but with a quarter of the book to spare, so I had to hold on anxiously awaiting the true ending and not my fairy tale.
Great series. I am sad to see it end, but it was done perfectly. Not too over the top, not too mushy, I think just the right mix to make everyone enjoy it. I feel like these books are great for adults, although young adults will fall in love too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Don't think or judge; just listen

Happy New Year, all! I hope everyone's new year is turning out amazing. It's always nice to start over. Whether or not you keep the resolutions, the important thing is moving forward and looking towards the future, not the past.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen was my last read of 2011. I had a rough 2011, beginning to end, but I was glad to have a Sarah Dessen book conclude the ridiculousness.
All of Dessen's books have a female lead. Depending on the book, the lead may be involved in a broken home, has a secret to hide, involved with the wrong crowd, but all her heroines are desperately trying to find themselves and find happiness within their world.

Annabel is a model. Well, that's what her mom wants. She and her older sisters, Kristen and Whitney, modeled at young ages. Kristen gave it up for college, and Whitney was consumed by it. She developed an eating disorder, and although she's recovering, the family still walks on eggshells around her. Annabel continues to model because she doesn't want her mother to fall apart again. Over the summer, she shot a commercial which portrays her as a role model for young women. The rest of the summer, she spent secluded, hollow, unable to face any of the past. All she knows is that Sophie, her once best friend, hates her because of an incident at a party before school ended. She can't face the past and is so caught up in being alone, she feels silence is her only friend. So she takes her usual seat at lunch by the wall; her only company is Owen, a guy who recently just got out of anger management classes for punching someone in the face. And he is always listening to his music.
After weeks of silence, Owen unplugged the headphones and started talking. Owen unravels a world of music and honesty, which she never expected. While spending lunch debating good, bad, and ugly music tastes, she develops a bond with him and herself. After years of holding things in and resisting, Annabel discovers that perhaps the voice she's been resisting was her own.

I always have a soft spot for Dessen books. They're great books for mature young ladies, and they are legitimate feel good books. They have happy endings, even if it's sort of expected, the young women are relatable, and the text flies by. The writing is very good, so an adult can enjoy it. I am glad I ended with this book because it is about finding yourself. I had a lot of self discovery moments over the past few months, and it was refreshing to know that no matter how deep or shallow the problem, you always get up, move on, and push forward.
Great book! I recommend any Dessen book to those thirteen year old girls who are in the beginning of their discovery phase, high school girls who have over nine thousand problems and feel they have no way out, and adults who are looking for a nice book to feel good about once they finish.