Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swoon (Swoon, #1) by Nina Malkin, Book Review

Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree, and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him -- but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking. Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent -- and irresistible -- adversary, before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.
What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?

Title: Swoon
Author: Nina Malkin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 425
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2.5

*I received a review copy of this title from Simon Pulse in exchange for a 100% honest book review.

Swoon tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Candice "Dice" Moscowitz who moves from her beloved home in New York City to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin and a very preppy, conformist community in rich and privileged Connecticut. When Dice's cousin, Penelope "Pen" dies, she comes back but possessed by the spirit of the ghost of a man named Sinclair "Sin" Youngblood Powers whom was hanged in the seventeenth century. The novel chronicles the adventures of Dice as she tries to exorcise Sin and save Pen.

The plot-I loved the plot and the concept more than the book itself. I love the idea of possession, ghosts, spirits, etc. and I was really looking forward to reading this book. I love Nina Malkin's writing style, even though it may be hard to follow at times, it is very unique and different.

The characters-I loved the characters. I thought that all of the characters were very real, and I felt as if they could actually be real people in the normal, mundane world. I loved Dice and Sin; I thought that Dice was a great heroine and Sin was a very dark hero.

The setting-I loved the setting in this novel, because it presses important societal issues such as conformity, individuality, and pushes the boundaries of acceptance. I loved the harsh reality of this book--Nina Malkin is definitely not afraid to write very provocative, mature scenes.
All in all, Swoon was an okay book. I gave it a 2.5 because I liked the plot and the characters, but I hated the pacing--I wish the action-adventure scenes would've been more amped up.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare, Book Review

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Pages: 485
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5

*I received a review copy of this title from Simon & Schuster in exchange for a 100% honest book review.

I originally read City of Bones when it first came out, but I never finished it and it. For years, it sat there waiting for me. I decided that I wanted to re-read City of Bones just to brush up on some information, and re-live the experience. Presently, there is a ton of hype surrounding The Mortal Instruments series, and there's even a movie in the works, set for release in 2012.

The plot-I loved the plot of this book. It basically tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl named Clary Fray, living in New York City, whom arrives home one night to find her apartment in ruins and her mother gone. And then Clary is attacked by a demon, which she kills. Clary meets a beautiful golden boy named Jace and joins his "family" of Shadowhunters, demon-slaying Nephilim, half-angel, half-human celestial beings. Clary basically goes through the entire first novel discovering herself and who she really is and who had abducted her mother and why, all the while encountering supernatural and paranormal elements.

The characters-The characters in this book were hilarious, smart, intelligent, independent, witty, and all around great. I usually hate at least one character in a book, but in City of Bones, that didn't happen. I loved Clary because she was so strong and independent. I love Alec and Isabelle for their humor yet their immense seriousness at the same time. I loved Jace because he is outrageously gorgeous and headstrong. I loved his personality and his unwillingness to back down from a fight. I thought that Simon, Clary's best friend, was a great character because of his humor and his "dorky" personality. I thought that Jocelyn (Clary's mother) and Luke (Jocelyn's best friend) were great characters, and I loved reading them. Valentine (the big, bad enemy of the series) was a prime example of an amazing villain. I loved Valentine's evil snarkiness and his aversion to certain Downworlders--vampires, werewolves, witches, and faeries.

The setting-*sigh* The setting of this novel is New York City, which is where I want to move after high school and attend college. I loved seeing the real, exotic, gritty, artistic side of NYC and loved how the City was seen as a playground for Downworlders.

I thought that City of Bones was filled with a perfect amount of action, adventure, romance, and suspense. This urban fantasy is so amazing and I am excited to read more from Cassandra Clare. I am currently reading the sequel, City of Ashes, and can tell you this: uh-maz-ing!