Friday, September 30, 2011

Recap 9/24 to 9/30

In case you missed anything, here's a recap of what was posted Saturday, September 24th through Friday, September 30th. 

+ Winners!

Winners of the River of Time Extravaganza!

Heather from Buried in Books won the signed set of all three books!

Kristi, Faith Hope and Cherry Tea, and The Book Diva won a book each from the series!

Melissa won a River of Time Tribe t-shirt!

And 30 people who have been contacted and who I hope you don't mind if I don't list all their names here have won a signed bookmark!

Congrats to all who won!

And THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who participated. I wish I could give you all a prize because your efforts have touched me and made me so incredibly happy. Thank you for all you did. There were over 300 entries all said and done, which means The River of Time series was promoted over 300 times by all of you during this contest alone! I am so proud and thankful. I hope Lisa's publisher takes note of all of the fandom this series has inspired and decides to publish Lord Greco's story and Lia and Luca's trilogy.


Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

(Click on the links to go to my reviews)


Review Comparison: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

No More Waiting!

Spotlight List: Sisters

What's Your Status?

A meme created by Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life where we recap our reading week. Feel free to visit her site and link up your own What's Your Status Posts. Here's how my week went:


(Click on the link to go to Goodreads)

My reading machine days are over! Only one book this week.

Currently Reading

Fateful by Claudia Gray
(Click on the link to go to Goodreads)

I am almost finished. The ship will be sinking soon. I'm enjoying this a lot, but not as much as the hype. Probably...four stars, but there's still time for that to change.

Miss anything last week? Click here to read a Recap

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spotlight List: Sisters


I have a younger sister and I love her to pieces, so that may be the root of my love of sister books. My favorite sister stories are the type that show an endearing relationship that, while there may be realistic bumps and sister-fights, the strength of their relationship always shines through in the end.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Release Date: August 15, 2004
Publisher: Yearling
Pages: 272
Goodreads Page

I always describe this book like this: If Little Women and Anne of Green Gables had a baby of a book and set it in modern times, the result would be The Penderwicks. The sisters here have all the spunk of Anne with all the sisterly camraderie of the March household. I love the way they bicker and gripe--just like real sisters--but at the same time it's clear how much they love one another.

If you liked the family conventions and labels for Events in Heather Dixon's Entwined, then I think you'll love the sisterly relations and cute phrases (like OAP, which is "Oldest Available Penderwick") found in The Penderwicks.

My review of The Penderwicks

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 352
Goodreads Page

Set in a magical version of Regency England, Bewitching Season follows the delightful Leland sisters (and their adorable brother) as they practice magic, tangle with the queen, save their kidnapped governess, and fall in love.

It is the strength of their relationship that carries this story, as they team up together to solve the mystery. The way they tease and support one another adds levity and heart to this whimsical adventure of manners and mystery.

The Truth-Teller's Tale by Sharon Shinn
Release Date: July 21, 2005
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Pages: 256
Goodreads Page

I know the cover is pretty awful, but this is one case where you'd be very wrong to judge the book by its cover. I adore this book! It's a quieter tale, having none of the rapid-fire action I usually look for in a story. The focus is instead on the relationships between the characters, with the relationship between the sisters at the very heart of the tale.

I was completely absorbed in their relationship. Their triumphs and loves, sorrows and fears all impacted me as if these were my own sisters. The subtle ways the sisters showed they cared for one another--tender embraces in times of need, quiet understanding, and fierce protectiveness--touched my heart.

Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin
Release Date: April 21, 2005
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 160
Goodreads Page

You could call this an "issues" book (and you know how I usually feel about issues books), but for me this book is much more about the relationship between the two sisters. Each sister is going through something totally different, but I was equally absorbed in both of their struggles.

I'm giving you the "Don't read this book in public" warning for tears of sadness. There might only be 160 pages to this book, but those are powerful pages. Each sister works her way through traumas filled with grief, confusion, anger, and, ultimately, acceptance.

My review of Where I Want to Be

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 288
Goodreads Page

This is a fairy tale retelling based on a French tale of the same name, reset here in a fictional historical India. The change of setting is beyond perfect, but one of my favorite parts of this story is the sister relationship.

Diribani is gifted with precious jewels that fall from her mouth as she speaks while her half-sister Tana is given snakes and toads. The sisters are parted early on as a result of their gifts, but their bond cannot be broken by distance. As Dribani travels far away from her home to a kingdom that follows a wildly different culture, her memory of Tana gives her strength in this foreign land. Tana's gift leads her on a path of exile, disease, and rebirth, but her relationship with Dribani guides her through.

My review of Toads and Diamonds.

Honorable Mention:
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Release Date: August 25, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 402
Goodreads Page

Ok, so Astrid and Phil are cousins, not sisters, but their relationship is so sisterly that I'm including Rampant as an honorable mention. Astrid's mother is in-freakin-sane, so Phil often steps into the "guiding older sister" role. Their relationship is fun and light, but it's also fiercely protective. I was so happy Astrid had someone like Phil looking out for her, especially with all the crazy unicorn killing going on.

What are some of your favorite books about sisters? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to add links to your reviews!

Want more books about sisters? Check out Alex's list at A Girl, Books and Other Things!

Want to see more Spotlight Lists?
Not Your Typical Vampire Book
Time Travel
More lists

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No More Waiting (6)

No More Waiting is a feature I periodically do here to highlight books that have recently been released. I also highlight book-related sales that are currently available.

Click here to see previous No More Waiting posts

Books I've Read and Recommend

I think it's pretty clear by now that I am IN LOVE with this series. Torrent is the final book in the trilogy and it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. For those of you who have been waiting for all the books to be published before you started reading, now's the time!
 Today is also the final day to enter my River of Time series giveaway!

One of the most inventive 12 Dancing Princesses retellings I've read. I Special Shelved this book after lots of fangirlly cheering.

Rae Carson is a new voice in fantasy and I hope we see a lot more from her in the future. MC Elisa starts out pretty down on herself, but she finds her inner strength after an arranged marriage, a kidnapping, and a war. Loved it!

I didn't like any of the characters in this book, but that didn't stop me from devouring every page. Talk about a scary dystopian!

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
I didn't personally click with this retelling of The Snow Queen, but tons of people will. Recommended especially for readers who like contemporary issues.

Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
I didn't love this one either, and the reviews I've read seem pretty evenly split. Maybe you'll fall into the side that loves it! Told in 8 different viewpoints, this is a court fantasy with a unique twist.

Books I Want to Read

Ruling Passion by Alyxandra Harvey
This is a new bind-up edition of The Drake Chronicles and includes:
Hearts at Stake
Blood Feud
Out for Blood

I've been meaning to read this series as I've heard really great things about it. Plus, a ruling family of vampires? Yup, I'm totally on board with that. Even better, Amazon counts it as eligible for their 4 for 3 sale!

A ban on coffee and chocolate, a future ruled by 1920s-like mobs, oh yes, I would like to read this!

I'm not really sure what to make of this book, but every review I've read has been raving about how amazing and unique it is, so (despite the unattractive cover) I'm intrigued.

I am kicking myself for passing up on this ARC when I had the chance to read it! I thought the cover was gross (ewww the blood looks thick), but that will teach me to judge books by their covers (yeah, right, like I'll learn). This sounds like a hilarious new take on vampires...with unicorns.

A post-apocalyptic book will always at least pique my curiosity (even if the cover makes it look like an adult book that belongs on supermarket shelves).

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this one, that is at least until all the awesome reviews started flowing in. Now I can't wait to try it. Werewolves on the Titanic? Ok! The (far prettier) UK cover doesn't hurt either.

This is another one that I was only sort of interested in until I started reading some positive reviews. A boarding school book with the Gothic-like question of "real or supernatural" and a creepy roommate.

Isle of Night (The Watchers #1) by Veronica Wolff
I'm not really sure about the specifics, and is it just me or is that cover pretty awful? Still, what I do know--girls train to be some kind of bodyguard for their male vampires?-- sounds like it has potential.

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees
 Shakespeare's brother gets popped into modern times and hilarity and romance ensue. How wrong can you go with that??

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 
I really have no idea what this is about other than it's supposed to be creepy and the author is supposed to be top notch. I like the cover?

Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
This is a retelling of the Greek myth about Theseus and the minotaur. From what I've heard, this is a dark and definitely older YA version.
 Return to Exile (The Hunter Chronicles #1) by E.J. Patten
The blurb reads: "One boy. Untold enemies. A whole world to save. Time is running out." Sounds good to me! I think this one is MG.

Another I passed on because I don't like the cover (I don't like underwater covers! It's like I'm drowning!) but reviews have been swaying me. That and I've heard the guy is apparently worthy of screaming "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?!"

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
 An experimental program that can predict a person's behavior and a boyfriend with a secret. Sounds interesting!
 Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1) by Tera Lynn Childs
Descendents of Medusa fight demons. Yep, I want some of that!

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Historical fantasy + pretty jewelry + thieves = YES PLEASE!

Free e-books!

The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a book with jewelry on the cover! And free books. A stalker, a missing student, and paranormal abilities are just icing on the cake.

On Sale Now!

Last I checked, these books were significantly discounted on Amazon. I am not affiliated with Amazon, so I won't be profiting in any way if you do decide to buy these books through them. I'm just a reader who likes a good deal and thought I'd share.

What books are you going to spend your hard earned money on? (Or use your well-worn library card on?)

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Feel free to link me your reviews in the comments!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Pages: 313
Received: ARC from Heather at Buried in Books
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page


From Goodreads:

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it - Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else.

And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.


I'm back in my secret bunker

Why? Because I didn't really like Breadcrumbs. To say my expectations were high is an understatement. I love fairy tale retellings, the cover is beautiful, and a friend even mailed me her copy to read (after she loved it). People are even talking Newbery!

I have a lot to hide from.

I am the wrong reader for this book

Yes, Breadcrumbs is a fairy tale retelling, but it is also a contemporary and deals with issues of depression, friends growing apart, divorce, adoption, and not fitting in. Hazel is so incredibly lost and her sadness is a tangible thing. I didn't expect any of this going in, so I was very shocked when half of the book focused solely on these topics.

Breadcrumbs is broken into two mostly equal-length parts. Part one is almost completely contemporary and only contains one tiny bit of fantasy (which is more metaphorical than fantastical). This section follows Hazel as she struggles with all of those issues I mentioned.

I was totally bored with this part. I'm not really a contemporary reader, and I'm really not a contemporary issues reader. Between Jack's mother's depression, Hazel's absent (through recent divorce and remarriage) father, Jack's falling out with Hazel, and Hazel's difficulties in school, I felt completely bogged down with sadness. And boredom. I just don't like reading about these sorts of things.

I couldn't relate

Breadcrumbs uses the third-person omniscient narration style, with a sometimes focus on Hazel's perspective. I had a really hard time getting into the book because of this narration style and the randomness of its application.

Sometimes it felt like an adult voice, sort of like a "Once upon a time" type of narrator. Other times it felt like the voice of Hazel, which seemed to me like a very young MG or even elementary school voice. I never felt like I could settle into the story due to these changes in narration voice.

Usually I'm ok with MG book, even when they're written on the younger end, but Hazel felt a little too young for my tastes. I also had difficulty connecting with her personality so I never felt invested in her or her story. That isn't to say there is something wrong with the way Hazel is written. We're just very different people.

Hazel is an extremely imaginative girl and I'm...not. At least, not like Hazel. She's so focused on her imaginings that her dreamy tendencies are causing her trouble in school. This is another point I could not relate to at all because I was the most anal rule-following elementary school kid imaginable.

Part 2, or when the fairy tale finally started

I was a lot more engaged with part 2 due to the fantasy aspects. Hazel's wandering through the woods in search of Jack felt almost like Alice's experiences in Wonderland (which I never liked, and didn't love it in this version either).

Hazel encounters many different fairy tale characters, but they're not the ones you might expect. Anne Ursu incorporated a bunch of the more obscure Grimms' tales, but these tended to be the darker stories (think chopped off limbs, torture, and death).

I liked this for its freshness, but I was kind of bummed that part 2 carried over the sad, oppressive feelings that part 1 focused on.

What kind of reader IS a good match?

I couldn't help but wonder who I would give this book to in my library. Hazel's voice is so young, but the fairy tales would probably disturb my younger library kids who might otherwise relate to her (I can't speak for your kids or library kids). There isn't much resolution of Hazel's real life troubles, and there are no happy endings with the fairy tale aspects.

If it weren't for the lack of resolution (and for some kids, the darker elements) I would have recommended Breadcrumbs in a heartbeat. Any kid going through similar problems to the ones Hazel experiences in part 1 would probably find Breadcrumbs extremely easy to relate to. They would also probably find it comforting to see their situations so sensitively mirrored.

The lack of resolution gives me pause though. The Snow Queen story arc is resolved, but in real life kids who experience a break with a childhood friend aren't going to find their solution so easily. While they may related to Hazel's difficulties in school or her situation with her parents' divorce, Breadcrumbs offers very little in terms of a happy ending or way of coping (in fact, pretty much all of those plot points are left as loose ends).

So who WILL like Breadcrumbs? Adults, I think. Anne Ursu does a beautiful job using imagery and fantasy elements as a metaphor for Hazel's issues. There is much to discuss from a literary standpoint and the characters as emotional vignettes are palpably drawn.

I don't feel like the book came together in a cohesive manner (too many different directions, loose ends, inconsistencies in voice) but each individual part was well-written. The very thing I didn't like--the oppressive sadness--is in itself a testament to Anne Ursu's ability to powerfully convey the emotional state of her characters.

Bottom line

Not for me. I wasn't feeling Hazel or the story (or really much of anything beyond this is so depressing) and I didn't like how so much time was spent in the contemporary world (only to abandon pretty much all of those threads in part 2).

There were a few bright spots that caught my attention (Hazel's friend's uncle, the presentation of some of the fairy tales--though NOT The Snow Queen), but I disliked Breadcrumbs more than I liked it.

I'd take my review with a grain of salt though because what this all boils down to is Breadcrumbs and I were just a case of "Wrong book, wrong reader." For a review from a reader who loved Breadcrumbs, head on over to Buried in Books (she's also holding a giveaway with a chance to win a copy of Breadcrumbs!).

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Breadcrumbs that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 307
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page


From Goodreads:

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. On board their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.


I'm still a mix of emotions and confusion about Glow, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Glow is a multi-layered book that makes you think about what you just read and begs the question, "What would you do?" With thoughtful world-building, near-constant action, dire situations, and a dystopian presentation that forces the reader to examine all sides, Glow is exactly the type of dystopian I like to read.

But the blurb is a little misleading, I think. It makes the story seem like a love triangle and Waverly's indecision over marrying Kieran will play a prominent role. It doesn't even hint at religion, which takes up far more page time than romance (don't go running yet).

Why I almost DNF-ed

I'm a character-girl, so I was seriously considering DNF-ing Glow when almost every character responded to the Big Crisis like a complete moron. Kieran, the promising future captain, quickly displayed that he was only a hot-shot when the pressure wasn't on. Turn up the heat, and Kieran melted into a puddle of useless stupidity. Waverly needed to be beaten with the obvious stick because, honey, a blind man could see that those guys with guns rounding up the children are so NOT there to help you.

But then I realized something. I'm NOT supposed to like these people. I'm not supposed to think they're heroes who are doing everything right. No, these characters are just regular people, and they're actually responding exactly the way many real people would in a sudden crisis and its fallout. I had to shrug off my usual insistence on hero-worshipping my characters and instead just sit back and watch the true-to-life insanity unfold.

And it. was. horrifying.

Life in the fast lane

It's embarrassing how easily bored I can get with books, but Glow kept the action set pretty high so I always felt engaged. There's a chapter or two in the beginning that I found pretty boring (Oh Waverly, look at your dreamy eyes. Wait Kieran, I don't know if I want to make babies with you yet! Blah, blah), but it sets the stage.

Then, BAM! They are boarded by the other ship and BAD stuff goes down. Kieran and Waverly are separated, with Waverly being taken to the other ship. There isn't much time for either of the characters to spend on gooey thoughts about each other. Instead, they're both occupied with their separate crises.

Kieran needs to fix and pilot a severely damaged ship in a situation that rapidly descends into Lord of the Flies: In Space (and Less Dull). Waverly's situation is not as action-intense, but the tension levels are still sky high. Whereas Kieran's dystopian world is more the development of questionable situations among chaos, Waverly's dystopian focuses more on the established bad world with Waverly desperately trying to out-maneuver a pretty twisted system.

Ok, I can see where you're coming from. 

Amy Kathleen Ryan does a great job showing all sides of the situation. The established dystopian world Waverly gets kidnapped into has developed in a way that is logically sound and can almost seem reasonable. The dystopian system is made up of normal, everyday people, and it is easy to look around at the people in our world now and see them acting just like this if presented with a similar situation. The situation Kieran experiences is equally nuanced and realistic.

The characters in the dystopian society are sympathetic and kind, at first glance. They believe they have exhausted all possible alternatives for survival. It is clear the woman in charge is acting in ways she believes are in the best interests of her people. All of them recognize that the situation is dire, but they all believe they are doing the best they can with a bad situation.

And, you know what? I can almost buy into it. That is, until my moral What the heck is wrong with you?! alarms start going off. LOUDLY. The more I read, the more I realized that NONE of the situations, both past and present, are situations I'm cool with and those people are in-freaking-sane if they think their actions can be justified (but that's fine because this is a dystopian).

The fact that these people can leech under my defenses and make me consider their perspective even for a moment is a testament to Amy Kathleen Ryan's genius presentation of the opposing sides. This is how you make a dystopian!

Preach it!

Yes, religion plays a large role in Glow, though general faith is focused on more than any particular set of beliefs. Just like the characters, religion is not presented as all good or all bad. Religion is shown as a saving grace, uniting and motivating people when all hope seems lost. It is shown as a beacon, but it is also shown as a means toward social control and domination.

There is no ultimate judgement passed on religion. The various effects of religion used by different people and for different reasons are simply presented. It is up to the reader to decide if religion is good, bad, both, or neither.

Writing style (yeah, I noticed)

The writing style is very bare bones. It isn't flowery or beautiful or standout. It's very simplistic and straight forward, and doesn't allow for much character depth or individual voice.

What it does do is focus on the plot and character motivations. The writing sets a driving pace with an unwavering focus on events. This is less a book about the characters as real individuals and more about showing the reader a situation.

At first I thought this was a little grating (character girl!), but I quickly found myself wrapped up in the story. The writing isn't pretty, but it is, at least for me, undeniably effective.

The narration switches from third-person-Waverly and third-person-Kieran, but the POV does not alternate the way you might expect. Instead, the book is broken up into five sections. Part 1 alternates chapters between Waverly and Kieran so we can see the crisis unfold through both perspectives. Part 2 follows Waverly, part 3 Kieran, part 4 Waverly, part 5 Kieran, and the epilogue mirrors part 1 with alternating chapter POV switches.

I really liked this narration style because it allowed both sides to be shown (which is necessary for the story to unfold properly), but it switched slowly enough that I was able to become fully immersed in each section and didn't have to deal with a cliffhanger after every chapter.

Bottom line

I'm not sure if I can say I  like Glow because I was appalled by so many of the characters and so much of what was happening. But isn't that what a dystopian should do? Aren't I supposed to recoil and feel uncomfortable and disgusted? I'm thinking points for that, even if it wasn't always pleasant. I would have liked to have been able to love the characters, but I appreciate the level of realism.

Glow is only the first part in a series, and it does end very much in the middle of the story. I will most definitely be picking up the sequel. Not only do I want to find out what will happen next, but I also want to find out more information about what really happened to set all of these events in motion.

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about Glow that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Want to win a copy of the audiobook version?
Click here to enter! (US only/Ends 10/26)

Looking for another book like this? 
You might like  The Last Knight for a similar "all sides" look at the characters' choices

Click on the covers to go to my reviews.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review Comparison: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Review Comparison: Enclave

Review Comparison is a feature I do where I pull out the pros and cons of the featured book mentioned in my review and other bloggers' reviews to provide a snapshot of opinions.

Click for my original review: 

The following bloggers kindly allowed me to include their reviews in this feature: 

The Book Vixen: 5 out of 5
The Bookish Brunette: 5 out of 5
Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories
: 5 out of 5
Books of Amber: 5 out of 5 
Books From a Shelf: 5 out of 5 
Books Before Bed: 5 out of 5
BookAHolics Anonymous: 5 out of 5
A Bird's Eye Review: 4 out of 4
A Tapestry of Words: 4.5 out of 5
Ruby's Reads: 5 out of 6
Rainy Day Ramblings: 4 out of 5
Taming the Bookshelf: 4 out of 5
Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books: 3 out of 5
Stalking the Bookshelves: 3 out of 5

Black Fingernailed Reviews

Madigan Reads

Book Chewer

Please click on the links to read their full reviews!


Agreement among the reviewers was notably high on almost every point mentioned. The fast-paced, engaging plot and Deuce's fierceness were mentioned by most reviewers and almost unanimously liked. The romance between Fade and Deuce was overall well-received, but the love triangle and other romantic interest fell flat for most reviewers.

Though reviewers were mostly (but not completely) in agreement on the quality of the world building, they were divided on their preferences for the first half (more dystopian) or the second half (more post-apocalyptic). 


  • "I'm really not one for the dystopian type novels. Well I think I may have found the exception" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "I'm not normally into the zombie scene, but I loved this!"(A Bird's Eye Review)
  • "I'm not a big fan of the dystopian genre...[but Enclave was] A pleasant surprise; a book definitely worth reading" (Rainy Day Ramblings)

  • "I could not physically put the book down or look away. I sat for hours spellbound by the fantastic writing and interesting story and amazing characters" (Black Fingernailed Reviews)
  • "I finished the book in one sitting...I could not put it down" (Books From a Shelf)
  • "Cancel any plans because you'll be staying up all night, if need be, to finish Enclave" (The Book Vixen)
  • " pulled me in to the universe so completely, that I found myself devoting a nice solid five hours or so to solidly reading through this imaginative journey into a dark future" (Madigan Reads)
  • " prepared to sit down until the last page is done!"(Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories)
  • "...I totally could not put down until finished!"(Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories)
  • "An engrossing read that will keep you flipping the pages"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "I was sucked in from page one and couldn't put it down until I had finished"(Small Review)
  • "This is a gritty, heart pounding adventure that has you flipping the pages eager to see how our characters will overcome the many adversities tossed in their paths" (Rainy Day Ramblings)

  • "This is one of my favorite books" (Books From a Shelf)
  • "It was fantastic!" (Books Before Bed)
  • "I quite frankly loved this book" (Ruby's Reads)
  • "It definitely earned a spot on my top ten reads of this year...It's going to be a hard one to beat" (The Book Vixen)
  • "Enclave was FANTASTIC" (The Bookish Brunette)
  • "Ranks right up there in my favorite reads of 2011"(Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories)
  • "This book is gritty, feral and wow...just amazing" (Taming the Bookshelf)
  • "...just insanely good!"(Book Chewer)
  • "Even characters you want to hate have deeper layers that make you think uncomfortable, philosophical thoughts" (Ruby's Reads)

  • "...keeps a fast paced throughout the novel--I can't think of one dull or slow moment"(Books of Amber)
  • "...the tension keeps building and building...fantastic fighting scenes...Some parts were downright scary"(Books of Amber)
  • "There is plenty of action happening here!"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "Fast-paced...with intense action...The constant running and brutal fight scenes kept up a thriller like pace, but its really some of the slower, quiet moments that I loved the most" (Stalking the Bookshelves)
  • "...packed with action and was very fast paced" (Book Chewer)
  • "Action-packed" (Blackplume)
  • "The fight scenes were awesome...the fighting and near-constant peril make for a brisk pace"(Small Review)

  • "[The second part of the book is] not bad or dragging but it's not as good as the first part" (Blackplume)
  • "The first half of the book grabbed my attention a little more because it was so different...however, the last few chapters started getting really interesting" (Books Before Bed)
  • "This book is absolutely thrilling until three quarters of the way through, then it stumbles and falls flat" (Rainy Day Ramblings)
  • "I found the beginning to be a bit frustrating, as your introduced to a lot of characters very quickly and it was difficult to remember who was who and who did what." (Stalking the Bookshelves)
  • "The beginning is a bit boring...but towards the middle, the book took a wild turn to the interesting and i just could not put it down after that!"(Book Chewer)

~World Building~

  • "I absolutely loved the world building in it" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "Ann did a marvelous job recreating a degenerated society, one that was easy to follow and understand" (Books Before Bed)
  • "I adore the post-apocalyptic world that Ann Aguirre created" (Ruby's Reads)
  • "The world building was a-maz-ing...dark, gritty and bleak post-apocalyptic world" (The Book Vixen)
  • "...intriguing and well thought out world"(Books of Amber)
  • "The combination of the dystopian society of the underground enclave and the post-apocalyptic setting of the world above in Topside worked really well, and I was glad that we get a chance to see both"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "It's unbelievable how Ann Aguirre was able to create such a world" (Book Chewer)
  • "The world building is phenomenal...[Ann Aguirre] takes her time paying careful attention to detail until I felt as if I was [there]" (Rainy Day Ramblings)
  • "Ann Aguirre's world building has two things going for it: 1) It makes logical sense, and 2) I can picture it perfectly" (Small Review)
  • "The underground world is compelling and intriguing...dystopia at its best!" (Blackplume)

  • "I'm thinking maybe the only complaint Ihad was I would have liked a little more of the underground" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "A lot of the world is portrayed in broad stereotypes rather than delving into intracicies...there is an oversimplification of what could be a very complex landscapes" (Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books)

  • "...had a cinematic feel to it; it read like a movie playing in my mind" (The Book Vixen)
  • " can taste, hear, smell and feel what is going on with the characters"(Housewife Blues and Chihuahua Stories)
  • "Reading Enclave was like watching a movie unfold before my eyes"(Small Review)
  • "Ann Aguirre did a great job with her descriptions" (Taming the Bookshelf)



  • "...terrific narrator...From the beginning, Deuce appealed to me" (Ruby's Reads)
  • "I truly loved this character" (Rainy Day Ramblings)
  • "I wasn't overwhelmed with over-processed thoughts...[Deuce is] a strong, fierce and loyal young woman trying to survive" (The Book Vixen)
  • "I loved Deuce I thought she was a strong character, and held her own" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "Deuce is one serious tough cookie...She has a big heart and she's loyal and protective of those she loves" (Black Fingernailed Reviews)
  • "She was just plain kickass!" (Books From a Shelf)
  • "Deuce was an amazing heroine! She is fierce, brave and completely confident in her role as a Huntress...flat out breath-taking, and probably my favorite heroine of the year!"(The Bookish Brunette)
  • "Deuce was a strong female lead...I felt as thought I was right there with her--her voice was so clear" (Books of Amber)
  • "Deuce is a tough girl" (Book Chewer)
  • "I really loved Deuce; she is one tough girl!"(A Bird's Eye Review)

  • "I enjoyed reading about Deuce in particular as she faces internal struggles between being a warrior who accepts losses and the human being who wants to save those she knows" (Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books)
  • "As much as I loved her tenacity I also appreciated the side of Deuce that doubted herself and her abilities" (Rainy Day Ramblings)
  • "Deuce is such an admirable heroine...I loved seeing Deuce at her more vulnerable moments. She was equally brave and yet somehow soft and emotional" (Taming the Bookshelf)
  • "What made me keep turning the page?...Watching Deuce change her thoughts about what makes a person strong or weak"(A Bird's Eye Review)
  • "She's tough but has a soft spot, one she eventually embraces" (Books Before Bed)
  • " appealing heroine to root for--one who is physically and mentally tough-as-nails...seeing her grow emotionally...was fabulous"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "I thought Deuce's reaction...was portrayed very accurately"(A Tapestry of Words)

  • "I didn't find Deuce the easiest character to relate to...she tends to justify why horrible things have happen, instead of properly dealing with how she feels about them. I do admire the fighter in her though..." (Stalking the Bookshelves)
  • "I can't say I exactly like Deuce or relate to her, but i do find her intriguing to read about"(Small Review)


  • "Boy, what I would do for [Fade]" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "...together [Fade and Deuce] are just about the strongest team you'll ever come across" (Black Fingernailed Reviews)

  • "...three cheers for a romance that grows rather than appears out of nowhere" (Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books)
  • "I definitely enjoyed the progression of the relationship between them, as they start out wary of each other, and learn to trust one another as hunting partners before anything romantic happens"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "I also really, really, really want more development between Fade and Deuce [in the sequel]" (Books Before Bed)
  • "[Fade is] a little more than your typical mysterious love interest. There are so many layers there to be peeled back and explored, i can't wait to find out more about him"(Books of Amber)
  • "The romance is there, but for now it's just kindling"(Book Chewer)
  • "There was just enough romance to make me happy"(A Bird's Eye Review)
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed the development of the bond between Deuce and Fade" (Rainy Day Ramblings)

  • "There is a slight love traingle, but I am Team Fade 1000%...I'm smitten with Fade" (Taming the Bookshelf)
  • "[regarding the second love interest]...the raping part was over the top. There could have been a better way to make him a bad guy" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "...although romance isn't a big factor in Enclave, there is a bit of a love triangle" (The Book Vixen)
  • "The only minor flaw in this novel is the damn love traingle! I really didn't like where that took the book. Especially as one half of the triangle was...Well, let's just say he wasn't the nicest person" (Books of Amber)
  • "I was loving the romance during the first half of the book. It's a slow burn based on mutual admiration with not a speck of insta-love in sight...But then the author totally KILLED it in the second half! The stupid love triangle rears its head..." (Small Review)
  • "MAJOR *SWOON* for Fade...but when Stalker kisses Deuce in the woods...I almost, ALMOST forgot Fade. It was smokin' hot" (The Bookish Brunette)


  • "The ending is well done because you aren't left with some huge jaw-dropping cliff-hanger, but rather the door is kept open for a sequel" (Stalking the Bookshelves)
  • "The ending of Enclave left me itching for more" (Ruby's Reads)
  • "Pretty much a cliffhanger...The plot is actually pretty sparse and unfinished in this installment, but it does set up some interesting questions"(Small Review)
  • "...maintains an internal story arc...there is enough resolution to leave the reader feeling satisfied, but still penty more questions to be explored in sequels"(A Tapestry of Words)
  • "There is no climax or resolution just an abrupt end. I felt cheated" (Rainy Day Ramblings)

  • "I can't wait to read more of the journey" (BookAHolics Anonymous)
  • "...I'm now looking forward to the sequel" (Madigan Reads)
  • "I'm very interested to see where the story is headed" (Stalking the Bookshelves)
  • "I cannot wait for the second book in the Razorland series!" (Taming the Bookshelf)
  • "I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!" (Books Before Bed)
  • "I was also happy to hear that there will be a sequel to this book"(Book Chewer)
  • "I will be the first in line to read the next of this series!"(A Bird's Eye Review)
  • "I'm totally on board for more zombie-killing action when Outpost is released in 2012"(Small Review)

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