Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Hello All! Today I am going to share my review for School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins. This is the spin off book to the Hex Hall series. After I read Hex Hall it became one of my favorite series so I definitely had to pick up the spin off book. I will post the summary from below and then share my thoughts on this book.

Summary from Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

So in this spin off book to Hex Hall, the main character is Izzy Brannick. We learned in Hex Hall, that Izzy is Sophie's cousin and Sophie's mom is sister to Aislinn Brannick (Izzy's mom). The Brannicks are descended from powerful white witches, but they have no magic left and they are also Prodigium hunters. Since meeting Sophie and since there are very few Brannicks left, they don't hunt prodigium anymore but rather help keep them in control and send them to the council for punishment. In this book, Izzy's older sister Finley goes missing, and Izzy's mom moves them to a new town so Izzy can do smaller assignments and go to high school to have a somewhat normal life.

So first I want to say that this book was nowhere near as good as the Hex Hall series was. Not even close. I had a really hard time getting into this one, where the hex hall books have you hooked right away. I tried really hard not to compare everything in this book to the things in Hex Hall, but I really couldn't stop myself. When a series is really great, I think the spin offs have a lot to live up to and this book just didn't do it for me. Overall I was really disappointed it in.

While I loved all of the characters in the Hex Hall series, I did not love any in this book. Most of them were bland and boring, even all of the love interests. I liked Izzy okay, but she wasn't as fun to read from as Sophie was. However, I do think there was a little bit of good character development with Izzy, and if there is more books in the series I can see that there will be more progression with her.

The plot for this book was really boring to me. It took the whole book for things to happen and to get to the point of everything. And then when you finally do get to that point, it wasn't even exciting. Reading Hex Hall, there was always so much excitement and action going on. There were a lot of twists and turns, and I couldn't put it down. This book I kind of dreaded reading because it was that boring. I think this book could have had a lot of potential and could have been a lot better than it was. I'm not sure if there is going to be more books in the series, but if there is I will probably pick them up and hope they are better than this one was. I had really high hopes for this book and it was kind of a let down because I loved Hex Hall so much!

This is all for my review, I ended up giving it a 3/5 stars on goodreads because it wasn't horrible, it was just okay. Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: Demon Glass + Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Hello all, today I am going to share two book reviews in this post! These reviews are going to be on the 2nd and 3rd book in the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins. As soon as I finished reading Hex Hall, (read my review for hex hall here) I had to go get the rest of the series. I was so excited to read these and this quickly became a new favorite series of mine! These reviews will contain spoilers so if you have not read Hex Hall I wouldn't suggest reading these reviews. (I suggest going and reading Hex Hall asap, actually) lol.

My Review for Demonglass (hex hall series #2):

Summary from Goodreads
 Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her. 

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

So this book basically picks up where the last book left off. Sophie is finishing the school year and still wants to have her powers removed since finding out that she is a demon instead of a witch. She meets her Dad for the first time and goes to spend some time with him, which was his condition before letting her go through the removal. She finds out that her and her dad aren't the only two demons in the world after all, and that means someone is raising demons.

There were a lot of different things that I loved about this book. I absolutely love reading from Sophie's pov. She's such a great and entertaining character. She has really great character development as well. I also really love her Dad. He's a great character as well, and he has a great personality. He cares for Sophie a lot and it's really obvious. Even though Sophie just met him, they form a really great bond with each other. I was really happy to see Elodie back in this book. Since she died in last book, shes a ghost now and basically "haunts" Sophie. She doesn't play a huge part in this book but I was glad she was still in the book.

This book had a lot more history in it than the first book did, which is really interesting. We also learn more about how Alice became a Demon and stuff like that. Also, there is an ancient Spell Book in this book and I am such a sucker for stuff like that in books about witches and witchcraft. I loved how both The Secret Circle and Beautiful Creatures had their spell books so I was happy to see one in this series too.

We are introduced to a lot of new character in this book, including new demons. I wasn't sure how I felt about these character at first. I didn't trust them and some of the other people that came into play as well. But this series is great because it has a lot of twists and turns in it, so there is always something that happens that I never excepted. Which I really love because I hate being able to tell what is going to happen in a book. The ending had alot of exciting action and a ton of crazy stuff happens. And of course, the ending leaves you hanging! Which is why I had to immediately pick up the third book. This review is a little short because I can't say much more without ruining the book!

My Review for Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3):

Summary from Goodreads
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

First off, just like the description says "Hailed as impossible to put down", this book was just that. I could not put it down. I was so hooked into this story it was insane.  This book picked right back up from the 2nd book, which left you completely hanging. So at the end of the 2nd book all hell broke loose, and Sophie managed to escape from the hell after she had her powers locked away from her and  after being told to go find her mother who was with the Brannicks. Now if you've read the first two books you will remember that the Brannicks are Prodigium hunters, so why exactly is Sophie's Mom with them is the question?

This whole entire book was full of excited action and there was never a dull moment in it. Ever. This is actually what I love in series, especially the last books in series. There is so much stuff that happens in this final book, and even more twists and turns that I didn't expect. Like I said before in my review for Demonglass, Sophie had really great character development. It even progresses more so in this book. We are also introduced to more new character, all of which I really loved. Somehow this author wrote all of these character really likable, even the characters who are villains I still end up liking. I also mentioned before that Elodie came back in book two, but in this book she plays a really big role. I was really happy about that because she is one of my favorite character in this series. The ending of this book was really great as well, but I was really sad that this series was over. I hope the author someday decides to continue the series, but I do not think that will happen.
This review is also pretty short, because I can't say much without giving away the storyline. This is why it is so hard for me to review books that are 2nd, 3rd, etc, in a series because I never know what to say without giving away spoilers. I always end up just wanting to talk about what happens in the book!

This author wrote a spin off book to this series called School Spirits, which features a new main character. I finished this book yesterday and will also post a review on this book soon.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Hello Everyone! Today I am going to do the Bookshelf Scavenger Tag that I saw going around on the youtube book community. I thought it sounded really fun so I thought that I would make a blog post out of it. 

Things to find in your bookshelf scavenger hunt:

• Find an author's name or title with the letter Z in it
I don't think I have any books with a Z in the title, but this was one of two books that had an author with a Z in their name. 

• Find a classic

• Find a book with a key on it
I love the key on the cover of this book. 

• Find something on your bookshelf that's not a book
Say Hello to my little friend Link.

• Find the oldest book on your shelf
I'm not exactly sure if this is the oldest, but my guess is pretty good.

• Find a book with a girl on the cover
I picked this one because I love love love this book cover.

• Find a book that has an animal in it
I picked this one because of the title and because this books has a circus setting so there is lots of animals.

• Find a book with a male protagonist
Just because it's my favorite book. 

• Find a book with only words on it
This was the closest I could find.

• Find a book with illustrations in it
I love the illustrations in this series.

• Find a book with gold lettering

• Find a diary (true or fictional)

• Find a book written by someone with a common name (like Smith)
So I just picked the one with the last name Smith. Lol.

• Find a book that has a closeup of something on it
I was going to use this one for the cover with a girl on it, but since this has a close up of Meghan's face I thought it fit better here. I love the covers for the Iron Fey series. 

• Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period

• Find a hardcover book without a jacket
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This was my first Harry Potter book that I owned and I lost the jacket for it :(. Also I guess this book could have counter for question one for the Z in Azkaban. 

• Find a teal/turquoise colored book
This book is part of the Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale. I really love this series and I don't think it's recognized enough.

• Find a book with stars on it

• Find a non-YA book
I picked this one because it's one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books and I haven't read anything by him in a long time and I miss his books.

This was a fun post to do and I hope you all enjoyed! Happy Reading! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 2013 Wrap Up

Hello all! Today I am going to do my June Wrap up post for the books that I read last month. I can't believe it's already July! This summer is really going quickly for me. I was able to read 3 books last month in June. I also started reading the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, I did not finish because it is a really long book so that took up a little bit of my reading time.

Prodigy by Marie Lu was the first book that I read last month. I enjoyed this book alot and thought it was a great sequel to Legend. I am really excited for the next book in the series to come out! You can read my review for Prodigy here.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins was the second book I read. This is the first book in the Hex Hall series and one that I had on my to read list on goodreads for a while but I forgot about it. I was in the mood for a good fantasy book so I decided to pick this one up and I really loved it. Not only is it fantasy, but one of the main focuses in this series is on witches and witchcraft which I loved also. This book was great and if you have not read this series yet, it's one that I recommend! You can also read my review for this book here.

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins is the last book that I read in June. This is the second book in the Hex Hall series. After finishing Hex Hall, I had to go out and purchase the rest of the books in the series. I enjoyed Demonglass just as much as Hex Hall and this series quickly became one of my new favorites. Both of the books were really great reads and I read them both really fast. I can't wait to start the last book called Spell Bound, and also the authors spin off series School Spirits as well!

This is all for my June Wrap up post. I have not had much time to read lately and I am trying to catch up on my huge TBR pile that just keeps growing! I hope you all enjoyed and Happy Reading!