Review: The Iron King – Julie Kagawa

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Title: The Iron King(The Iron Fey Series) [Amazon]
Author:  Julie Kagawa [website]
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Source/Type: Gifted/Paperback
Stars: 4 of 5

Publisher Description:
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

My Thoughts:
So you may have noticed if you look at my current reading choices that I am reading things outside of my normal comfort zone. Graceling, Shatter Me and now The Iron King are all books I would never normally read. It started with Graceling and has since become my own personal challenge. Every month I am reading a book that I wouldn’t normally gravitate to. For February that book was The Iron King and what a great choice it was. A friend suggested I read it for this “challenge” and I took her up on it. At times I felt like I was reading Alice in Wonderland on crack and that I fell into a rabbit hole of crazy, but even with all of those elements the story really worked and by the end I was enjoying myself. So much in fact I ended up buying the next book in the series. J I apologize for any spoilers you may find. I just couldn’t help myself with this one.

The Iron King is about Meghan Chase who on the outside seems like a normal everyday teenage girl. She has crushes and an iPod and a best friend. She lives at home with her mom, step-father and half brother. The thing about Meghan though is she has never been the same since her father mysteriously disappeared. She feels invisible in her own house and really only feels that her best friend Robbie and her little brother are the only two that even see her. But when strange things start to happen and Meghan’s brother goes missing she makes a choice to open her eyes to what she really is and the world she by right comes from. And when a stony prince enters the picture all bets are off for Meghan. Now she must fight not only for her brother and herself, but for everything she has ever known and hope maybe, just maybe to get the prince to melt his heart and take her into his.

Straight up what I liked most about this book was the push/pull of Ash and Meghan’s relationship mixed in with the humor of Robbie.  The book was pretty high fantasy to me so adding a “forbidden” romance was just the ingredient I needed for this story to work and suck me in. The immediate spark between Ash and Meghan was what great book romances are made of and the circumstances that lead to them being together at all were spot on. It dragged me in and held me. Add in the tension between Robbie and Ash, the potentially deadly search for  Meghan’s brother and the many obstacles in the way and I honestly forgot about the fantasy aspect of the book which like I said was pretty high for me.

I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into when I agreed to read this book. But what I found was a fantasy world with real situations and dilemmas that was beautifully written and interesting. It had strong characters, a strong plot, and a really strong forbidden love story with an ending that will leave you breathless and wanting more.

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NOOK/Kindle Book Hoarding? Part 6

Well this is it, the last post of the NOOK/Kindle series. I don’t know about you guys, but it’s been fun getting a look at what other people put on their eReaders and how much electronic hoarding goes on in other homes. I want to send a special thanks out to Amanda, Heather, Michelle, Angie, and Gail for sharing what they read with my lovely ABC readers.

So for the last post in the NOOK/Kindle book series you get me. Let’s see, I became friends with myself at a very early age since I’m an only child. I did have a friend at one point, who was imaginary, who let’s just say she disappeared and since then I have been making real friend ever since. Okay, okay enough messing around.  Basically if you are my friend on Goodreads you know I am very organized when it comes to books, well for the most part(I won’t let you see my mountains at home that don’t fit on the books shelf). I guess for some reason that spills over on to my NOOK and Kindle apps. Basically I buy what I like when I like it but I mostly read it just as fast and if it is there for a year and I haven’t read it it gets archived. Both apps mostly consist of deals I have gotten and didn’t want to pass up. I don’t know, I’m quirky like that.  So without further ado, the books:

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1) The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

2) Crash by Nicole Williams
Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are this generation’s Romeo and Juliet: Explosive. Sizzling. Tragic.

A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won’t let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.

He’s got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that’s been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude’s a cancer, the kind of guy who’s fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.

But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy’s not listening to Jude’s warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings? This racy romance is hot, hot, hot!

3) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close recasts recent history through the eyes of Oskar Schell, an unusually intelligent nine-year-old on an urgent quest to find the lock that matches a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center. This unlikely adventure takes Oskar through every city borough and into contact with survivors of all sorts, and it’s his irrepressible voice—one that few writers could conceive as imaginatively as Foer does—that transforms the tragedy of circumstance into an exhilarating tribute to love.

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1) Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
She never thought a kiss could kill…

Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in…And she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.

Sam is now the school pariah and a media sensation. Consumed with guilt, she’ll have to find strength that goes way deeper than the fastest time in the 200–meter butterfly. Because if she can’t figure out how to forgive herself, no one else will either.

2) Double Threats Forever by Julie Prestsater
After three years of broken hearts, back stabbing, lying, cheating, and fighting, Megan Miller and crew have finally made it to their senior year. They are ready to rule the school and show Carver High what the true meaning of being a double threat is, that is if they can manage to keep the drama out of their life. With Ben gone and Amy creating some waves, Meg feels like she is in over her head. What should be the year of prom, parties and memories, is quickly becoming the year of pressure and figuring what path you want your life to go on, and what it means when you may not have your friends by your side. With Alex and her parents’ encouragement, watch as Meg learns sometimes just because you stand on your own two feet doesn’t mean you won’t be a Double Threat Forever.

3) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna can’t wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

4) Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux
Nineteen-year-old Emily is new to pairs skating, but she and her partner Chris have a big dream-to be the first American team to win Olympic gold. Their young coach Sergei, who left Russia after a mysterious end to his skating career, believes they can break through and make history.

Emily and Chris are on track to be top contenders at the 2002 Winter Games. But when forbidden feelings spark between Emily and Sergei, broken trust and an unexpected enemy threaten to derail Emily’s dreams of gold.

5) The Vow by Krickitt and Kim CarpenterLife as Kim and Krickitt Carpenter knew it was shattered beyond recognition on November 24, 1993. Two months after their marriage, a devastating car wreck left Krickitt with a massive head injury and in a coma for weeks.

When she finally awoke, she had no idea who Kim was. With no recollection of their relationship and while Krickitt experienced personality changes common to those who suffer head injuries, Kim realized the woman he had married essentially died in the accident.

And yet, against all odds, but through the common faith in Christ that sustained them, Kim and Krickitt fell in love all over again. Even though Kim stood by Krickitt through the darkest times a husband can ever imagine, he insists, “I’m no hero. I made a vow.”

6) The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game—a mall converted into a “school” run by corporate sponsors. As the students play their way through the levels, they are also creatingproducts and being used for market research by the sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn’t question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anticorporateprank. She follows the clues to uncover the identities of the people behind it and discovers an anonymous group that callsitself the Unidentified. Intrigued by their countercultureideas and enigmatic leader, Kid is drawn into the group. But when the Unidentified’s pranks and even Kid’s own identity are co-opted by the sponsors, Kid decides to do something bigger—something that could change the Game forever.

7) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

And there you have it. 6 people and a million books. 🙂 Let me know what you thought of the NOOK/Kindle Series. If you liked it maybe I can make it a monthly feature and you may just be featured next.

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Monopoly Money Monday

iPhone cases. I’m obsessed with iPhone cases. I have had my iPhone(the 4s), since about July thanks to me besties, and since then I have purchased more cases then I can keep track of and have been giving more cases then I could imagine. So really, what better way to spend my $100.00 on Monopoly Money Monday then on iPhone cases.

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Design Lab ‘Matte Leopard’ iPhone 4 & 4S Case
Price: $14.00

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The Limited iPhone® 4/4s Case – Coral
Price: $6.99

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Fun Stuff Hearts iPhone 4/4s Case
Price: $16.00

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Monogram iPhone 4 & 4S Case
Price: $28.00

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Pyramid Studded Phone Case
Price: $7.80

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JCrew Sea Glass Printed Case
Price: $25.00

And there you have it. 5 awesomely amazing iPhone 4/4s cases, for a grand total of: $97.79(The Limited case was on sale for 30% off). Shhh…just don’t remind me that I only have one phone. 🙂 What kind of iPhone case would you buy with $100.00?

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Second Chance Sunday – Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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Title: Twenty Boy Summer [Amazon]
Author: Sarah Ockler [website]
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Purchased/Paperback
Stars: 5 of 5

 

Publisher Description:
“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

My Thoughts:
GAH I flipping love this book! No seriously, I’m insanely in love with this book. It is such a great take on first love and loss and moving on. I honestly can’t stand how good it is and I can’t say enough how much I love it. From Anna to Frankie to Sam and to Matt(who we knew SO little of), I can’t find one single thing to complain about because I got every character, understood where they were coming from and why they were acting the way they were. Their story is real and you feel that coming off the pages.

Twenty Boy Summer is about Anna. She is best friends with Frankie and Matt who are brother in sister. Anna has been in love with Matt for as long as she could remember and all she wanted was for him to notice her. When he finally does Anna is on cloud nine. Being with Matt is everything she thought it would be, they just don’t know how to tell Frankie. Deciding it would be best coming from Matt they keep their romance a secret and then the unthinkable happens, Matt dies and Anna is left alone with not only the burden of their secret love and the grief of his family, but with the daunting task of what-ifs and the possibility of moving on. Spending the summer in California with Frankie Anna has to figure out if letting go of Matt is the same as forgetting him and just what their time together, although short, meant to her.

When I read this book the first time there was one sentence that jumped out at me and I think sums up the whole book. “I’m fine. Thanks for not asking.” That right there is what completely broke me because Anna wasn’t fine. She wasn’t fine at all and no one asked because no one thought they had to.  Anna lost something no one knew she had. She had to deal with grieving on her own, had to push aside her pain, her hopes, her loss of love, and that is what I related to. Not because I have ever been in Anna’s place, but because I can’t even imagine what that would be like. One day you are on top of the world and the next everything has been shattered and the person you were is no more. It killed me. Completely killed me! And that is why I think I loved Anna. Not once did she complain. Not once did she let her feelings come first. She was there for Frankie every single time and when Frankie couldn’t do the same I wanted to throw something. Anna did everything she could to hold herself together. Anna let go to one of the most important moments in her life and not being able to have her best friend there to support her hurt me. And that is a testament to Ockler and her talent for writing. She gets it and therefore her readers get it.

I have read Twenty Boy Summer twice now and it has affected me the exact same both times. Sarah Ockler has written a book that will completely tear your heart out of your chest, stomp on it, and then mend it slowly with every tiny piece being handled with care. You will go on the same journey of loss as Anna and in the long run you will grow and be a better person from it. And that’s all I have to say about that.

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JCrew Style

To say I have become obsessed with JCrew clothes and accessories is kind of an understatement. Ever since they came out with adorable iPhone cases, Pixie Pants, and the best ballet Flats ever, oh, and did I mention all the adorable anchor stuff and Sperry’s?!, I have been hooked. I try not to spend too much time browsing the site ( just “spent” $400.00 just the other day) but I couldn’t help creating some looks using all JCrew items. Sounds easy, but it was really hard to narrow it down.

Look #1

JCrew Look #1

Look #2

JCrew Look #2

Look #3

JCrew Look #3

Look #4

JCrew Look #4

Yup, with unlimited resources, this would so be my closet! What would your outfit from JCrew look like?

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