Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset
by Kady Cross
June 2011
Harlequin Teen

There is a darkness within me, something I can't always control.  If you like a girl with a secret side, you're gonna love me . . . 

Yeah, except I didn't . . . and neither did your so-called boyfriend.  This book was so frustrating!!!  There are so few steampunk young adult novels that I was just that much more excited to read this one and even begged my boss to pre-order it for the library.  Kady Cross's own description for this book is "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-Men."  How can you not be super excited to read a book like that?!  This book has excellent reviews on so you probably shouldn't exclusively take my word for it, but here are my issues:

1. It was too easy.  Rather than creating a true steampunk world composed of Victorian ideals and styles meshed with occasional non-era technologies, the author has instead thrown us into the future with teen superpowers such as the ability to speak to robots and silly inventions like a steel corset that is fashionably thin and comfy but also completely bullet proof.  I propose, however, that we simply must have limitations or we lose room for growth.  When the characters run into huge obstacles that are suddenly solved by the evolution of someone's superpower e.g. "Hey, we need to be able to see in the dark . . . guess what?!  I just leveled up and can now see in the dark!"  I call it bad writing - not character development.

2. UGH I hated the love interest!  So the girl has some serious Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type issues which is totally fine.  HOWEVER, if you're going to be the girl's boyfriend then don't say you only love her sweet, kind side and desperately try to get rid of her kick-a awesome side!  Especially since I personally thought that her Mr. Hyde side made much better girlfriend material.

3. And another thing!  Please don't introduce totally awesome, super roguish, drool-worthy characters if you don't intend to use them.  I mean come on, quit dangling this potential love interest in our faces if we never get to learn more about him.  Hopefully he'll show up more in book two . . . ?

So there you have it.  Depsite my grumblings, I was not completely bored while reading this book so if you're huge into steampunk and looking for a new cosplay costume idea then go ahead and read this.  But I suggest getting it from the library.

The Steampunk Chronicles
The Girl in the Steel Corset
Book 2 (TBR)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Love You More by Lisa Gardner ★

Love You More
by Lisa Gardner
March 2011

Who do you love?  It's a question anyone should be able to answer.  A question that defines a life, creates a future, guides most minutes of one's days.  Simple, elegant, encompassing.  Who do you love?

Hooray for another Detective D.D. Warren book~!  If you recall, I read The Neighbor, also by Lisa Gardner a few months ago and absolutely loved it!  Since it wasn't too scary and didn't leave me shaking under the covers for months or even minutes after, I decided to try another one.  And I was not the least bit disappointed!  We can possibly call this naivete on my part (being so new to the genre and all) but I do so love her stuff.  In this novel, Detective Warren is tackling a very sensitive case, as it appears that a fellow officer may have murdered her own husband and daughter.  Appearances can be deceiving, however, and the truth runs even deeper than the questions "Who do you love?" and "How far would you go to keep them safe?"

Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Outside In
by Maria V. Snyder
February 2011
Harlequin Teen

Something from Outside wants in.

Even though I enjoyed this book I'm left wishing that Maria V. Snyder had chosen to begin a new project rather than revisit the world of Inside Out.  That said, I think it was admirable of her to tackle the very challenging question of "What happens after the revolution?" that so many similar young adult novels never address.  Seeing how difficult it is to hold people together and to prevent similar revolutions once one has been successful made for an enlightening read.  This book is all about Trella's growth as she comes to realize that her life has changed in irreversible ways and that she must own up to responsibilities and duties that she'd never dreamed would be hers.  If you enjoyed Inside Out, then this is a must read.  Otherwise, let's look forward to something completely fresh and new from Maria V. Snyder soon.

Inside Out Novels
Inside Out
Outside In

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society
by Ally Carter
February 2010
Hyperion Books

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre . . . to case it.

I think I'm going to chalk it up to all the White Collar I've been watching lately, but I wanted to watch this book so bad!  Normally I would never ever say this, but I honestly think this book would make a better movie.  I can't even say for sure what it was, but something about the action and suspense just seemed better suited for a script than a novel.  One thing that I did very much like about this book compared to other Ally Carter reads was the minimal amount of silly go-go-gadget type spyware.  In any case, this book is about Katarina Bishop, a young girl from a family with a long history of professional thieving.  Fed up with a life of lies and stealing, Katarina runs away from home to live a "normal" life.  Her past soon catches up with her, however, and she's forced to choose between the life she ran from and the life she thinks she's always wanted.  Overall, a cute little spy read, though I have to say I could have done without all the morality lessons regarding stealing.  But hey - Disney is the publisher so at least it wasn't entirely unexpected.

Heist Society Novels
Heist Society
Uncommon Criminals
Book 3 (TBR 2013)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Need by Carrie Jones

Need (Book 1)
by Carrie Jones
December 2009

I text Nick.  Gone running.  See you ON ROAD.  There, my bases are covered and I'm going pixie hunting.

In vain I have struggled, but I simply cannot finish this series!  Which is really sad considering how much I enjoyed the first book.  In Need, we're introduced to a world where pixies are more prevalent than vampires, and werewolves and other shape changers make for common classmates and family members.  Into this we throw Zara, a tree hugging, Amnesty International letter-writing hippie who also happens to be afraid of very nearly everything.  While I can absolutely see the "Twilight" in these books, I also loved the fresh feel of the heroine.  Sure she's a little odd (um . . . she collects phobias . . . ?), but she does it fashionably (hippie skirts and messenger bags, yay!) in the name of freeing criminals and animals from cruelty.  I'll take a girl who chains herself to construction equipment over a ditz who trips over her own shoelaces any day.  So there you have it.  Need =   Captivate and Entice = L

Need Novels
Book Four (TBR 2012)