Wednesday, July 27, 2011


A Jekyll and Hyde Steampunk YA set in Victorian England, featuring a sixteen-year-old girl, who not only has one kick-ass persona, but two?  Yes, please!

Kady Cross is firing on all cylinders in The Girl in the Steel Corset (and not just b/c the cover's gorgeous, and the title rocks).  It's the story that stood out for me.  The unique twist she put on the Jekyll and Hyde concept just blew my mind.  In the acknowledgements section, Cross said she wanted to write "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-Men," and she more than succeeded.  I've loved X-Men since I was a kid (FYI: Rogue is the ultimate! She was always my favorite J), and part of the reason was that the back stories for each character were so well thought out and completely developed.  The characters in Cross's book were wonderful: Finley the girl with two faces, one wild and wicked, the other a little too good; Griffin the leader of the pack with a vendetta to repay; Sam the strong man whose strength failed him at a critical moment and left him (in his eyes) less than human; Emily the sweet genius who couldn't let her one true love die, no matter how much he'd hate her afterward.  As I said, for me, it's all about making the characters real, giving them a past and seeing how it affects the here and now.

And speaking of characters with a past, can we talk about Jack Dandy for a sec??

I'm not going to lie.  After the first chapter (which featured Finley, who I loved and worried about throughout), I had a hard time sticking with it.  The prose was a little much for me, a bit too wordy.  But then Jack stepped onto the scene, and I couldn't read fast enough. J  You know how sometimes there's that one character that you just cannot wait to see again?  The one that has you searching for the next time he/she appears, the one that drives the story simply by being in the room?

Well, that's what Jack was for me.  He was just so deliciously bad (in the best way possible).  His in-and-out cockney, his seedy digs, his horrible reputation.  Dandy was the baddest of the bad, the one man you never wanted to cross--and Finley goes out looking for him.  I really love characters who are threatening yet appealing in some indefinable way.  Don't get me wrong, Dandy was a bad, bad man, and I knew it all along.  I never once doubted that.  But he was always there for Finley, and Cross left the door open for one heck of a love triangle.

Even if I didn't love Finley so much, I'd read the next book just to get a little more Jack.

The plot was good: Bad guy (aka The Machinist) is somehow making automatons commit crimes.  It's up to Griffin and his crew to solve the mystery of how and who's doing it before more people get hurt/killed.  And like I said, I thought the concept of a sixteen-year-old female Jekyll and Hyde character was very unique.

But that description--"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-Men"--would've gotten me to read it no matter what.  Jack Dandy, though, was what (or should I say who?) kept me turning the pages.  I'd recommend it to any X-Men fan and any reader who loves themselves a little wickedness in their heroes and heroines J

Happy reading all,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

QUEEN OF THE DEAD by Stacey Kade

Confession time, I think I may have a bit of a crush on Stacey Kade J  You guys the woman can really write, and she proves just how good she is in Queen of the Dead, the second Ghost and the Goth novel.  (By the way, I can't get enough of Alona and Will!  They're just so…perfectly unperfect together)

Anyway, I think this novel could've gone really awry.  Kade did such a great job in the first novel, that this one (the dreaded sequel) could've come up crap--but it didn't.  She could've just told the same story over again and not moved the story forward.  She could've moved the story forward but in a totally crap direction.  But she didn't do either of these things, and that's why Queen came up daisies imo.

Alona and Will are still together--the ultimate odd couple--trying to help ghosts and whatnot, but now their relationship has blossomed into something more.  And there's kissing.  And Alona admitting that Will's a great kisser.  And Will admitting that he likes kissing Alona.  Can I get a "Heck yeah!" for the kissing??

Things turn sour when they run into Mina--another ghost-talker with frizzy hair and a chip on her shoulder.  Mina's part of an organization of ghost-talkers (or at least she wants to be), who believe in helping the living over the dead, and Will's world is rocked when he discovers his dad might've been one of them.  Alona's un-life is turned upside down when her parents decide to move on without her, and she's not the type of girl, dead or undead, to sit back and take it.  When Will refuses to help, she takes matters into her own hands--and things take a turn neither the ghost or the goth (or this ninja) expected.

There were so many ways this book could've gone wrong, but I really enjoyed the direction Kade took the story.  I'll be waiting to see if she can keep it up in book 3, but I think I'll like it no matter what.  I love the humor in these books and the characters.  There's something about Will and Alona that feels fresh even though it's so commercial.  Kade writes both of them beautifully, and we get a real sense of who they are and why they might (despite their bickering) actually go for each other.  If they ever make a movie, I'll be first in line to see it.

Reasons to read this book: the ghost, the goth, the kissing, the writing, the danger, the laughs…  What more do you need? J

Happy reading,
Ninja Girl

P.S. I got an honorable mention in that contest I entered YAY!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN by Janet Evanovich

You know that saying, "Where there's smoke there's fire"?  Well, that definitely applies to Janet Evanovich's Smokin' Seventeen J  After the last two books, I'll admit I was a little weary.  Stephanie was stuck in that same never-ending loop of Morelli-Ranger-Morelli-Ranger.  The plots weren't as punchy, the humor was still there but seemed to be a bit stale, and I didn't feel enough tension in Stephanie's relationships with the guys or in the action itself.

But I tell ya, Miss Evanovich brought it all back in book 17.

Romance, plot, laughs, a creepy bad guy and plenty of my man Ranger.  Y'all the man is hotness personified!  I know I can't be the first to say it.  I mean, I love me some Morelli (and I do think it'd be more in line with Stephanie's character to choose him in, oh, I don't know, book 100? J), but Ranger is the ish, you know what I'm sayin'?  And just FYI, there is plenty of hanky panky in this book.  Evanovich always writes those scenes in a fun/tasteful/funny way, but if you're not a big fan, I'd say just be prepared.

Here's the rundown.

Dead bodies start showing up buried on the Bail Bonds Office lot.  Stephanie and her crew set up shop in Mooner's crappy camper.  (I'm a big fan of The Moon Man btw).  Grandma Bella puts "the eye" on Stephanie and something called "the vordo."  Lula gets gummed by a senior citizen who thinks he's a vampire.  There's a dancing bear and granny panties in there somewhere.  Morelli and Ranger both make bids for Stephanie's affections, between the sheets and in the light of day.

Basically, it's everything you'd expect from a Plum novel and more.  As I said, Evanovich gets back on track and delivers.  She brings the fire and the funny back in a way that only she can.  Seventeen is a great new addition to the series.  Personally, my favorites are still the first one (it had the best plot and stakes and introduced me to Miss Plum's zany world) and the one where we find out more about Ranger (I'm thinking it was either book 8 or 9, but I can't be sure.  It's the one where Stephanie finally visits the bat cave and finds out more about the man behind the mystery <3).

The book was really, really fantastic!  I hope Stephanie's adventures never stop.  That doesn't mean I don't want her to choose who she wants to be with, but I could read about her world forever and not get bored.  I love Evanovich's writing--she's like the Meg Cabot of the adult fiction world--and if this is what the seventeenth book was like, I'm chomping at the bit to read Explosive Eighteen!

And just so we're clear: Ranger is more than just hot muscles dressed in black stretchy tees and cargo pants.  He's got a heart, and he cares about Stephanie.  And that is what I love so much about him.  Although the muscles and the Bulgari body gel don't hurt J

Thanks for reading,

Ninja Girl

Monday, July 11, 2011


Soooooooo, I did it!  I entered my very first writerly contest a few minutes ago, and I feel great--and nervous, of course.  But overall, I'm feelin' pretty good :)  The contest is Miss Snark's First Victim July installment of Secret Agent.  I've known about it a long time, but never had the cajones to enter.  I know most most of you bloggers/writers probably got past this milestone ages ago.  Getting over the fear of putting your work out there, the paranoia that someone will steal your idea.

*shifts ninja eyes back and forth*

What can I say?  I'm a late bloomer.  The ms I entered is my first (I'm currently querying my second), but I did it you guys!!!

This song describes how I feel to a tee :)  I don't expect to win or anything, but maybe I'll get some good feedback that will in the end make me a better writer.  And YAY for courage!  Baby steps, you know?

Have a great one!

Ninja Girl

Friday, July 8, 2011



Hi all!  The feature this week is Read.Breathe.Relax and the host, as always, is Parajunkee.  Go check them out :) Here's today's question:

Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

Oh, that's easy.  In school, I was one of those kids who actually read everything we were assigned (even though at that point I wasn't really into reading).  Answer to the question probably running through your brain at this very moment: Yes, I am a complete geek.

I'm sure no one else will say it.  The book's supposed to be a classic, and I'm sure a whole bunch of people out there like it.  Why else would it be required reading?

But my answer is Animal Farm by George Orwell.  Just…no, not for this ninja.


I have now completed all three books in The Hunger Games trilogy, and all I have to say is…

Yes, yes, and yes!!!

I loved the books J  My favorite was probably one, but two and three were fantastic.  Katniss is still one of my favorite heroines.  Suzanne Collins is a genius.  I love Gale and Peeta and Johanna and Greasy Sae and Darius and Mags and Boggs and (believe it or not) Finnick.  Ah, I'm a sucker for a tortured soul, and this one was courageous as well.  Can't beat that.  President Snow was a terrific baddie.  I wanted to see him go down from that first meeting with Katniss.

One of the things I liked best about these books is how unexpected they were, even after I'd read a ton of great reviews.  No one ever really gave away the twists or spoilers (and I thank you guys for that!).  Also, no one--NO ONE--was ever safe in these books, and I felt the tension up until the very last page.  Awesome is a poor description of just how fabulous these books were.

As I said, at the end, the first book was still my favorite.  I'd love to hear which one you guys liked best and why.

Hope you all have a great weekend and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Here's a really cool meme hosted by GReads that I discovered on Dreaming Dreams no Mortal ever Dared :)

I love music!!  It's one of my favorite things right after family, books and dance.  This weekend my aunt and I went on a roadtrip to find the best seafood up the east coast.  What we found out was this: Me and Ninja Aunt really, REALLY dislike seafood :(  Just one of those things I guess.  *shrugs*

But anyway, onto my choice for Tune in Tuesday.  This song got me through hours of driving on the boring interstate, kept me awake, and literally was set on repeat and played at least 50+ times.

Trial of the Century by French Kicks

I am officially obsessed :)

Hope you guys had a great fourth and enjoy the song!

Ninja Girl