Tag Archives: Caragh M. O’Brien

Book Review- Promised

I’m finally back, and it feels great! Christmas break is so close I can taste it, and I’m hoping to catch up on reading. As you can imagine, between school and extracurriculars, including a newly minted online newspaper for my school that I’m in charge of, I’m swamped. The few minutesย I have each day to read are heaven, if I can get them. There’ll be another dry spell in January because of finals, but hopefully next semester will be easier and I can get back to my usual reading. I’ll try to space some of my movie and book reviews from over the break out through January. Anyway, let’s get to the review! I got this lovely gem from Arcycling! ๐Ÿ™‚

promised

This book is the last in the Birthmarked trilogy, one of my favorite series’ ever. My hopes were very high for this one, to say the least, and I was very happy with the end. Gaia finally has to confront the things she’s been running from. I can’t really tell y’all more than that without spoiling the series (sorry, that’s been a trend from me lately, hasn’t it?), but here is my review of the first one (I’m was a bit inexperienced at reviewing back then, but either way, it’s glowy and gets the point across). I don’t think anyone would regret reading this series!

That being said, these books did rip my heart into tiny pieces. Sometimes I love that, but other times it just stresses me out to read the book, and for the most part, I read to relax. The angst between Gaia and Leon is so strong that it’s like a physical thing, but they make it work. I’ve always admired that part about their relationship, that despite all they’ve been through they are stillย happy together. I was happy to see this stay in Promised. It was also nice to finally see some romance between the two! Because of the way that books 1 and 2 were set up and the circumstances, we didn’t get much of an opportunity to see them together. Now that we do, I am convinced that they are the cutest couple ever. Not in the sicky-icky, always kissing-and-whatnot way, but their witty banter and still tenderness stole my heart. If I was ever unsure about the depth of Leon’s feelings before, that is completely gone now.

In the book, something really, really tough happens to Gaia. Something that stands out above the other terrible things and really resonates with me as a woman. (don’t worry- for those of you who hate reading sexual assault in books like I do, that’s not what I’m talking about) I loved the way Gaia handled it, in fact, I love the way Gaia handles most things. She doesn’t block herself off from her emotions, she embraces them and stands back up, and succeeds.

The end was great. It felt a little rushed at times, but overall I was satisfied with the way it ended up!

Hope y’all are having a good week!

Olivia

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Triple Book Review!

OK, so I was originally planning to make each of these reviews separate! Or, at least one single and one double review.ย  To summarize what happened: I was lazy, now I regret it, and am trying to get it all done in one big swoop so I can move on to the shiny new books I got from the library on Saturday!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh wow, I need to get on the ball with these reviews! I can hardly remember these. But I can do it! So, in case you didn’t know, Prized is the sequel to Birthmarked (WHICH WAS FANTASTIC). I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I liked the first one so much that the second one let me down. It continues Gaia’s journey, just like we knew it would, but Gaia ends up in a very strange colony called Sylum. Sylum is run by women, who have made unjust laws concerning the rights of men, which are drastically limited in their ‘country’. It is a very screwed up society, that is all I can tell you. Gaia decides to be stupid and start a love quadrangle (WHY GAIA, WHY) which I consider to be an overused author trick. And then Leon shows up and makes things even more complicated. People get arrested. People have more babies. People get all hormonal and stab other people in the back. Multiple times.

As much as these things irritated me, the end of the story is satisfying to me. Everything ends up ‘right’ again (right being a relative term) and things are changing. Gaia’s taking charge of her destiny, blah blah blah.For the most part, I enjoyed this book as a sequel to the first. Could it have been better? Yes,because it is one of those books that stresses you out reading it because it is so twisted, and the people who should be together refuse to make life simple. All in all, I am eagerly awaiting the 3rd and final book, and hoping it wraps up this series in a good way!

This book was the opposite of what I expected. I really, really wish I could tell you why. Seriously, it pains me. But this book is so much more than an American girl who goes to school in London, around the same time someone is killing people, Jack the Ripper style. I just want you to think about all of the different things a ‘Shade’ of London could be. I don’t want to be the one to say it. Google if you have to, it’s more obvious than you think. This book gets a little grisly in parts. It is Jack the Ripper, after all. Many times I had to close the book and get some fresh air… but I have a weak stomach. I had my nose glued in this for HOURS! And then, sadly, it was over. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

This book is a mystery, primarily, like no other I’ve ever read. There is just a wee bit of romance, very tolerable for anyone who doesn’t love it. I enjoyed this book, and the mystery, and the suspense very much!! I very badly want to read the next in the series (like Prized, I think I’ll pre-order this!) and if you enjoy English people (check), ‘Shades’ (check), and mystery (check) you will enjoy this book just as much as I did!!

I didn’t like this book. It was so disappointing, because I wanted to like it! When I finished it, I was so unsure of what I had just read!! Is is fiction? YA? modern fiction? romance? paranormal? dystopian?ย  I’m pretty sure even the actual book doesn’t know. The main character is practically going insane! She does all of these crazy things and sees crazy things and freaks out quite often. She takes and anti-psychotic prescribed by her therapist. And of course she meets this perfect rich, super hot, troubled, BRITISH guy who is also slightly insane. And they fall in love. I am all for cliche, but this is ridiculous.

The ending confused me so much! I was hooked when I got through a little, I’ll admit it. But towards the end, it just got freakier and freakier. I guess I’ll be reading the sequel, because I want to understand what the heck that ending was. But I will not be happy about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, overall: HATE: 1 LOVE: 1 MEH: 1 ๐Ÿ˜€

Hope you guys enjoyed this almost-monster of a triple review!!!

Olivia

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Update

Hey guys! I am so sorry for the appalling lack of reviews lately! I’ve been so busy for the past week getting ready for exams, which start Friday for me. It has been crazy, but if you are friends with me on Goodreads you will have noticed I have been going through about a book a day! Not much different than before, except that I haven’t been keeping up with reviews and these are all books I want to review! So many good books! The point is, I’ll be very very exhausted until June 6th, the day of my last exam, and probably won’t be able to do any reviews for at least a week! I hate this, my friends. And I know by the time I get to reviewing these books I’ll have doubled the number! That is quite the mountain to climb, let me tell you. I’ve decided to narrow a few of these down. As always I would love to hear your thoughts! Some of these I refuse to sacrifice on (i.e. The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Great Gatsby) and are going to get full, thorough reviews. Others, well, I’m going to have to make concessions somewhere (either by not reviewing or making lots of mini-reviews, both of which stink) It is finally time for you to get an actual active role in what I review! Below are the books I haven’t reviewed yet. Some of which I would like you to post a comment telling me which book you would rather see reviewed. Thanks!

These are the two I am positive I am reviewing individually!

I know it will be tough, but I can’t decide! Keep in mind that each of these will be reviewed at some point, you are just choosing the book which you prefer to have a full length review of!

I hope I get a little bit of response, but if I don’t I’ll choose randomly! Once again, I’m sorry for my lack of posts lately and I’ll do as many reviews as I can during exams!

I appreciate your input ๐Ÿ™‚

Olivia

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Library Awesomeness Haul- No. 6!

Wow! Number 6 already! I can’t believe it… but anyway, I have just a few books today, but I am VERY super excited about all of these.

Half the book blogger world seems to worship this book, but I haven’t read it yet! And the awesome trailer of the new movie (directed by Baz Luhrman with Leonardo DiCaprio playing the part of Gatsby. You can view it here) came out last week and totally blew my mind. And what better time than the present to read this book? Also, my aunt Alice (same Alice as The First Page Rule aunt Alice, if you remember that far back) adores this book, and she has great taste. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is the sequel to Birthmarked, which I reviewed here and absolutely loved. Can’t wait to read it!

A book about sisters who love books. Word.

Another Goodreads recommendation! This one is about a girl who wakes up from a mysterious car accident (why is it always a car accident?!) that killed her friends but left her unhurt. There is more to the ‘car accident’ than that. Oh, and she falls in love. Hopefully this is different from the hordes of YA conspiracy theory books. Who knows, I’m trying to be optimistic!

I have read the Kindle sample of this (i.e.- the first 2 chapters or so) so I am already mega hooked! This is about a girl who moves to London for a year of high school. When she arrives, she finds out that there is a serial killer on the loose, whose killings strangely match the methods and places of Jack the Ripper’s. This is a genius idea for a book, and so far I am impressed with the writing style and plot!

I finished The Picture of Dorian Gray last night *mega creepy book alert!* and I’m reviewing it soon!:)

Olivia

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Book Review- Birthmarked

Oh, wow. This book was everything I hoped it would be- and more! From the very first chapter, I had my nose stuck in it. (and trust me, my poor teachers weren’t too thrilled ;)) I can’t believe I even have to say this, but I totally recommend this!

Birthmarked is about a teenager named Gaia Stone who lives in a future society. The city is divided into two parts- a bustling, rich city inside a wall, called the Enclave, and those who live outside of it in relative poverty. Gaia and her mother are midwives. Each midwife must ‘advance’ (meaning take the baby from the mother and give it to the Enclave) her first 3 babies of each month. When Gaia’s parents are taken to jail inside the Enclave, she decides to rescue them, no matter the cost.

I’ll give you a little bit of a hint here. The Enclave is pretty messed up. Terrible things happen inside that wall. The Enclave is in a time of trouble, because they don’t keep track of who the babies come from when they are advanced. This has lead to many, many people unintentionally marrying their siblings, making the gene pool smaller, and currently the majority of babies born inside the wall have hemophilia.

I did not expect to find so much adventure in this book. Gaia has to be one of my favorite heroines now! I hate to make comparisons to The Hunger Games, but I think it is called for in this case. I think so many people enjoy Katniss as a strong female lead because of her ferocity, her unwillingness to give up on what she believes and who she loves. Katniss’ downfall, in my opinion, is her coldness. She is sometimes unfeeling because that is what is necessary for her to do to survive at the time. I always struggled with that aspect of her, because I enjoy characters with a little more warmth to them. Gaia has all of the ferocity, gall, power, nerve, strength, and wit of Katniss, but she always follows her heart as well as her head. She is not cold, she has emotions. And while Katniss can find these things inside of her relatively easily, Gaia has to put a lot of effort into finding these parts of herself.

This book changes very much from the beginning. Once you start, you definitely won’t want to stop, but where you end up at the end is much different from the beginning. It took me on an emotional roller coaster ride as well. I tend to get a little overly sentimental when it comes to books (especially the romantic bits), but WOW. I won’t spoil anything, but there is one particular scene that captured my heart. (if you’ve read it, it is the scene where Leon and Gaia are trying to leave. I cried so much. In class. It was embarrassing.) It tugs at the heartstrings, but in a pleasant way.

This is a book that no one should miss. There are a few bloody birth scenes, death scenes, and a few mentions of incest. Nothing gross or over descriptive, though. And nothing that wouldn’t be appropriate for anyone middle grade-ish and up.

I am ordering the sequel, Prized, to my local library this instant. I am still in awe of this book.

Do you have any recommendations for me? Have you read this book? ๐Ÿ™‚

Olivia

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Library Awesomeness Haul- No. 4

I picked up some books from the library last Saturday. I wasn’t actually going to post this, but I haven’t read that much in the past few days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ so I don’t have a book review for you! This one is only a few books, but it’s better than nothing, right?

As you guys have probably noticed, I’ve been more into writing lately. I have been picking up a few from the library each time I go, for a little professional help. There is no perfect ‘how to write’ book. But hopefully this book has some little gems in it. It looks like it was meant for little kids, but hey, you never know!

Another writing book, focused on making the first five pages of your novel great! Seems very useful, and this one isn’t tough to find like Spilling Ink!

I read a sample of this on my Kindle! It totally got me hooked, and I couldn’t wait to read it! My Goodreads says I am reading it right now, but that isn’t really true. I’m about to start it, I promise!

I found this book on Goodreads and added it without looking to much into it. (shame on me, shame, shame) The idea seems good on the surface, but it is one of those hit-or-misses if you ask me! Wings and fairies and all things supernatural are tough to get right. I really want to enjoy it, but you can be sure I’ll tell you about it!

Lastly is a book I have been waiting quite a while to read. If you remember a few weeks back, I read (and TOTALLY loved) two of Sarah Addison Allen’s other books: Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. This is one of her most popular novels, so I can’t wait to read it!

That is all for this time guys! I’ll be back soon with a book review of one of these!

Olivia

P.S. has anyone seen Dark Shadows? I was going to see it, but it seems to be getting very rough reviews. I would like opinions please! My mind is still open!

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