Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LEGEND by Marie Lu

Great suspense and memorable characters, when I started reading Marie Lu's Legend, it was unputdownable!

I've had this book in my TBR for a while, read some great reviews on it.  There was just something that kept holding me back--honestly, it might've been that golden font used for Day's POV.  A little hard on the eyes, but I got used to it.  Now, I'm glad I waited.  Otherwise I would've been pining for the sequel Prodigy, which of course isn't out yet.  Is it January 2013 yet? J

Anyway, back to June and Day.  Their story was so fascinating, and I think Lu does a great job of showing us their different outlooks.  June is a 15-year-old girl, the poster child for the Republic, an expert in military matters and the only person ever to score a perfect 1500 at her Trial.  Day is the Republic's number one enemy, a 15-year-old criminal mastermind who has outsmarted and evaded the government's attempts to capture him, the boy believed to have murdered June's brother, Metias.

It didn't take me long to grow attached to Day.  He's an easy character to like.  I think everyone knows going into a dystopian novel, there's always--always--something seedy going on with the people in power.  So, Day's crimes against the oppressive Republic don't seem all that bad.  When his family's door is marked with a strange red X, an indication of Plague, Day will do anything to save them.  Break into government hospitals, bet on illegal Skiz fights to get money for a cure, risk his life to save his mother and brothers.  That's just the kind of person Day is.

As I said, I was definitely a fan.  Plus, Day had some major skills; I mean, come on, he could scale buildings with a couple of knives!  Day was like Spiderman without the red and blue spandex J

June was a little harder to love, being an agent of the Republic.  However, Lu did a great job of making her sympathetic by showing us the close relationship between her and her brother and then ripping that away.  Metias was one of those characters, the ones you like immediately and don't want to see hurt.  I really loved how gung-ho June was about finding his murderer--I just wish she hadn't accepted that it was Day so quickly.

Though I had trouble knowing who was talking (Day and June's voice sounded very similar to me; I had to check the color font more than a few times in the beginning J), I think the alternating POV really worked here.  Through June, we get to see the inner workings of the Republic.  We get to meet sadistic, evil people like Commander Jameson--who's a woman btw--and soldiers who blindly follow orders--like Thomas.  We get to see the Republic's horrendous acts, like rounding up people in a square only to shoot them down like fish in a barrel.  What I'm saying is Lu gave us a truly terrible scenario, and made it believable by showing us, several times, the awful actions of the Republic's officials.

Good book, really enjoyed it!  I'll definitely keep an eye out for Prodigy, have to know what happened to poor Eden!

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I've got a very special treat for you all today!!  (Note: This should've been posted Monday, but we'll call it fashionably late lol)

Rachel Harris is a really cool chick and was one of my very first followers back when I started the blog.  As in when I had just 4 followers and hardly no reviews and no real reason for anyone non-family-related to follow Ninja Girl Reads.  Anyway, I never forget a kindness, and I'm so happy to be able to repay her today!!

So, without further ado, here is Rachel's much anticpated, totally AWESOME cover reveal of her debut, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century!


On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

C'mon, Italy and hot guy named Lorenzo??  You know you want to add it to your Goodreads pile!  To find out more about Rachel and MSSSC, you can find her blog here or check out YA Bound.  I don't know about you, but I cannot wait to read this book!!  Congrats Rachel on all your hard work and that beautiful cover!

Ninja Girl

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Hi everyone!!  Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Greads.  Not much to say--the music speaks for itself.  This is the song I can't stop listening to :D  (Oh, and thanks to Gabby for recommending.  You were right; I do love it!)

Hope everyone has a great week!  Set the sun on fire...

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

IMMORTAL CITY by Scott Speer

A Los Angeles where angels are the unearthly celebrities and we their adoring public.  The Guardians rush in to make death defying saves for their protections (i.e. the people they are paid to protect).  It's like the ultimate health insurance--for those who can afford it.

Immortal City had so much promise.  The cover copy read like a feature film synopsis.  Jackson Godspeed (love that name btw), L.A.'s #1 Immortal It Boy, is this close to earning his place amongst the Guardians.  It's all he's ever wanted--to become a hero and save human lives--but then he meets Maddy, a mortal girl who's never bought into all the Angel hype.  Forbidden love, two opposites attracting, an angel celebrity falling for a seventeen-year-old waitress.  What's not to love?

I'm going to be honest: I didn't love this book.  I had trouble getting through the long descriptions, the dense pages that, for me, didn't seem to move fast enough.  The shifting third person POV made it hard for me to get a good grip on either Maddy's or Jackson's personalities.  Although I liked them fine, in the end, both MCs felt a little flat.  I wanted so much more.

What saved it: The fantastic plot.

In this type of story, it's usually all about character, the romance, the sweeping first love.  BUT there is something to be said for a well-conceived plot.  Amidst all the hype surrounding Jackson's commissioning as the youngest Guardian ever, something more sinister is afoot.  Angels are dying, their wings found severed and left on the Walk of the Angels (think Walk of Fame but with immortals instead of movie stars).  Sylvester, an intelligent has-been cop, is called in to investigate.  He discovers that angels are being mortalized and killed in the order of their stars--and Jackson's star is next.

And that's what propelled me through.  In Speer's Immortal City, there are True Immortals (angels who can't die) and Born Immortals (angels who can be killed if they are made mortal by having their wings cut off).  This was where the story excelled.  Sylvester's scenes, his character, were the most well-written.  I don't know why, but the grit and the kinda L.A. Confidential-esque feel to those parts really worked for me.

I think it would make a great movie.  Some of the action sequences near the end, and even the romance sequences that focused on the use of Jackson's wings--flying with Maddy across the skies of L.A., enfolding Maddy with his wings etc.--those would be great on screen.  And I also really enjoyed Maddy and Jackson's first meeting.  It felt authentic and true.

Overall, I read through it fast and--though it did let me down a little--I still enjoyed it because of the interesting concept.  Can't say it's one of my favorite paranormal romances/urban fantasies ever, but Scott Speer definitely had some great moments.

Have you read Immortal City?  I'd love to hear your thoughts J

Ninja Girl

Monday, May 14, 2012


Hi there, I had another great week with books, hence another Stacking the Shelves post.  This meme is hosted by Tynga's reviews.  Here are the great reads I got this past week.

List of Books: The Husband Test by Betina Krahn
                        Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
                        Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
                        Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
                        Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

From NetGalley: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

First up to read:

I'm SO excited to read Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris, and I always love receiving a galley that looks really promising :D  Plus, I'm already 150 pgs into The Husband Test (which Ninja Aunt P got me for just 50 cents at a local old book sale), and I can already tell Betina Krahn is going to be a favorite romance author!!  Score!

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SOCIAL SUICIDE by Gemma Halliday

Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

I'm a really big fan of wordplay--especially when it's smart and funny.   And seriously, "Twittercide"?  Wow!  The back cover of Gemma Halliday's second novel tells you everything in that one word.  With Social Suicide, Halliday manages once again to keep this mystery series current and put a new spin on the teenage detective plot.

When Sydney Sanders is caught cheating with test answers artfully written across her fingernails, the popular girl is suspended faster than you can say "homecoming queen."  As a reporter, it's Hartley's job to get all the facts.  Even if that means setting up a secret meeting with Sydney, who's been tweeting about the injustice of her suspension ever since.  It should've been easy: Go to Sydney's house, get her side of the story, find out where she got the answers.  Simple, right?  But when Hartley discovers Sydney's dead body, lying face down in her pool, she knows it wasn't suicide.  Why would Sydney set up an interview, only to kill herself?  And more importantly: Who would want to stop her from talking enough to commit Twittercide?

This series has a lot going for it.  First, I haven't seen many YA mysteries that are willing to poke fun at themselves.  This one does just that.  I mean, yes, Twittercide is a serious crime, a girl did get killed.  But the beauty of this series is that even with all the humor you don't forget the seriousness of what happened, and you have an intelligent MC who's out to find the truth.

Which brings me to the best thing about the Deadly Cool novels: Hartley.

This is a girl you'd want to hang out with.  Like I said, she's smart, hilarious, and awkward.  And the awkward is why we love Hartley (or at least why I do J).

Chase Erikson may (or may not) have asked Hartley out enough times in this book that it made me cringe.  After he asks her to go to a football game, Hartley gets all dressed up--only to end up on a stakeout, knee deep in mud and bushes.  And, of course, Chase notices her Jasmine perfume.  Awkward!  Then he invites her for pizza, which again she dresses up for, and again turns out to be a non-date.  Poor, poor Hartley.  Ah, I felt for her.

She's exactly the type of heroine young girls can look up to, yet still relate to on a human level.  Can't tell you how refreshing that is.

The mystery was good as well.  There were enough potential suspects in the murder of Sydney Sanders that it kept you guessing.  Although, again I called this one pretty early, I'll say that it could've gone several different ways.  I just happened to guess right J  The writing has a great flow; it's quick and snappy and never boring.  And the books are always the right length. 

Like with Deadly Cool, I'd recommend this for sure!!  Can't get enough of Hartley and Chase <3

Happy reading,

Ninja Girl

Friday, May 4, 2012


Hi everyone!  Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  The features this week are Ali's Bookshelf and The Housework Can Wait.  I decided to answer mine in letter format like PJ b/c hers came out so great :D  I'm sure Jo's received tons of letters exactly like this one.  Let's get hopping!

Q: What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

Dear J.K. Rowling,

Thank you for Quidditch.   Thanks for the magic in your words.  Thank you for Hogwarts and Headmasters, half-blood princes and cloaks of invisibility.  Thanks for your remarkable wordplay and the subtle genius of Diagon Alley and The Mirror of Erised.  Thank you for letting good triumph over evil.  But most of all thank you for Harry, Ron, and Hermione.  If not for them, I might've never found my love of books in the first place.

Ninja Girl

Thursday, May 3, 2012


This series gets me for several reasons:

1) It's Steampunk!!

2) The great characters

3) The great clothes (check that awesome cover *faints*)

4) The writing of an author who knows how to make the plot dangerous AND fun AND still have plenty of heart

5) The Jack Dandy

Kady Cross's The Girl in the Clockwork Collar was everything I hoped for.  I've heard writing the second book is sometimes hard for writers, but Cross didn't seem to have any problems.  The writing was better than Book 1--which was one of my gripes with The Girl in the Steel Corset.  Clockwork is definitely less dense, giving it a quicker pace, and an overall better flow.  Very well done there.

The characters I loved in Book 1 are back (excluding one of my faves) and fighting a new evil--who also just so happens to have snatched a beloved friend right out from under their noses.

At the end of the first book, Jasper, the cowboy/flirt/speed demon, gets taken from Griffin's mansion, supposedly to be transported back to the U.S. where he'll stand trial for murder.  Unfortunately, the "lawmen" who took him turn out to be the hired hands of a very bad man who Jasper double-crossed a while back.  Dalton Reno wants the machine Jasper stole from him, and he's taken Mei, Jasper's old flame, as a hostage to ensure his cooperation.  The clockwork collar around her neck is actually a torture device.  If Jasper doesn't do exactly as Dalton says, he risks both Mei's and his own life.

First thought when I read the plot: This Dalton dude has no idea what he's up against.

Naturally, this doesn't sit well with Griffin, who's loyal to a fault.  Not to mention Finley, who packs a punch that'll knock a man on his arse.  That girl, Finley Jayne, has a fantastic sense of recklessness that I love to see in a young heroine.  She knows her own strength, and she's not afraid to use it.

What I liked about this book was that you get to know more about the characters--especially Jasper.  The fact that he wouldn't leave Mei, not even to save himself, gave him depth.  He wasn't just a flirt or cowboy, but an actual person w/feelings and, like with all the others in Griffin's gang, an unwavering sense of loyalty.  That's what makes him so cool imo--oh yeah, and his super speed!

The action sequences are awesome--Finley kicks more butt than all of the boys combined.  Just my kind of girl J.  I love the romance aspect, totally get why Finley's into Griffin and vice versa.  Cross writes both action and romance equally well; it'll get your heart pounding whether it's a soul-deep kiss or a kick to the face.  That is talent.

My only beef with the book--and it's a biggie, for me at least: WHERE WAS JACK DANDY???

I'm not gonna lie.  It was such a letdown not to see my favorite character from Steel Corset.  Jack Dandy is the man.  He's such a cool character with inherent layers upon layers of swoon-worthy deviousness.  *Sigh*  Please, bring Dandy back Miss Cross. He's one of your finest creations. Bring him back, and make girls across the world happy J 

Hope everyone has a great week,

Ninja Girl