Friday, February 28, 2014

Hedgie's Must Reads: February 2014

It's that time again - the end of the month. I had a lot of reading to get done this month, being a bit behind; I didn't have time for St. Valentine's Day. I hope everyone had a good one! Me? I snuggled down with Bilbo with some chocolate and a glass of milk and read my heart out. And a date with Hedgie is the perfect way to spend St. Valentine's Day, in my opinion. :-)

February Reading Wrap-Up

My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day (3/5)
What's February without a little chick-lit? Seriously, though, I'm not a chick-lit Reader - not even close. But a coworker said that this was really funny, and I thought, "Why not?" And she was right - it was funny and kinda cute and kinda sweet, too. It had some good characters and fun British humor. Would I ever read it again? No, but it was a fun little weekend read, and has made me rethink chick-lit just a teeny tiny bit. Oh, I'll never be a chick-lit Reader, but I'm not as adverse to it as I once was. Maybe every once in a while I'll give it a whirl. Girl-read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of romantic comedy.

Sword of Damocles by Brian Bern (3/5)
The first book in a self-published series, Readers are swept up in a world of international spying and phones with nuclear bomb apps (but only the president gets that fancy app). Cade Knight helped his father design that phone, and when it falls into the wrong hands, he and his twin sister have to go on the run when enemy spies start hunting the Knights down. Not quite Alex Rider, this was a fun quick read perfect for the weekend. The writing is good, the characters are intelligent and resourceful, and the techie stuff, while a bit heavy, was still kinda fun. Guy-read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of espionage and Alex Rider.

Enders by Lissa Price (3/5)
The sequel to Starters. With Prime Destinations destroyed, Callie is ready to move on with life. But when she discovers that the Old Man can hijack former teen donors and make them do whatever he likes, she knows that she, her little brother Tyler, and her friend Michael are not safe. They have to stop the Old Man before he kills everyone just to get to Callie. It was a great sequel, but this ought to have been a trilogy. The Author tried to cram too much into this relatively short book, and it ended up leaving quite a few holes in the plot. Nevertheless, it's a fast, entertaining read with good characters. Girl-and-guy read, sixteen-and-up, great for fans of futuristic dystopian.

February Best Reads

Stay Where You Are & Then Leave by John Boyne (4/5)
Alfie is just five when WWI breaks out and his father signs up. Four years later, he hasn't heard from his dad in a long while. His mum says it's because he's on a special secret mission, but Alfie doesn't believe her. Then when he's shining shoes at King's Cross Station, he learns that his dad is in a hospital that's treating returning soldiers for a strange and special condition called shellshock. Alfie knows that the only way to make his dad better is to get him out of that horrible hospital. But how is he going to pull it off? This was a wonderful book. Telling it through the eyes of a child, it gave a whole new perspective on WWI and its impact on families in England. Girl-and-guy read, ages fourteen-and-up (adults will especially love it), great for fans of WWI novels and John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers (4/5)
Jocelyn and her twin brother Jack have always had each other, even in the foster home they were sent to as kids when their mom abandoned them. But now Jack is dead and Jocelyn has to move on without him. That's what she thinks, until she receives a mysterious letter that indicates that Jack in fact still be alive - and in hiding. Together with a friend from their past, Jocelyn must solve the bizarre riddles and puzzles Jack has left behind to find out where it he - and he faked his death. The hunt dredges up unpleasant memories of the hold Seale House foster home - a place which always seemed to have a malevolent spirit haunting its dark passages. This is a weird book, but it kept me reading from beginning to end. Girl-and-guy read, sixteen-and-up, great for fans of mystery and supernatural.

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (4/5)
The sequel to The Archived. The enemy may have been defeated, but Mackenzie is still haunted by nightmares - nightmares that may not only be in her head. Not only that, but people are missing and framing Mackenzie for it. Now the Archive is keeping her under very close scrutiny, waiting for her to screw up and prove that she is unfit to continue as a Keeper. Mackenzie has very little time and very few people on her side. Book #1 is my favorite, but it isn't because of any fault of Book #2. It's every bit as good as Book #1, if not a tiny bit slower. But I loved it, and I cannot believe that this is only a duology! Girl-and-guy read, fifteen-and-up, great for fans of original supernatural mysteries.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab (4/5)
Victor and Eli are college roommates, readying their theses. When Eli chooses to do a paper on EOs - people who develop extraordinary powers after near-death experiences - Victor proposes they take it from the realm of theory and into reality . . . by making an EO. Their experiments go horribly wrong, and ten years later, Victor is escaping prison and is out for revenge against Eli. This is my favorite Victoria Schwab novel. Except for one character, everyone is a villain, and they are spectacular villains. The writing is superb, stringing the Reader along to an utterly amazing conclusion. The only downside is the profanity. Girl-and-guy read, technically an Adult novel, but older teens will enjoy it immensely. Fans of supernatural thrillers and revenge stories will love this.

February Worst Reads

The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr (2/5)
When the Nazis invade Ukraine, the rare and wild Przewalski's horses are declared unlawful and are exterminated. But two survive, and when they and an orphan Jewish girl show up on Max's doorstep, his conscience won't let him turn them away. Soon, Kalinka and the horses are running for their lives towards the ever-encroaching Red Army, with SS troops hot on their trail. Loved the premise, but this wasn't as good of a book as I was expecting it to be - mostly because of the writing style. Presentation can sometimes be everything, and the miraculous, whimsical feel this book could have had, didn't have it. Girl-and-guy read, fourteen and up, great for fans of stories like War Horse.

Defy by Sara B. Larson (2/5)
The first book in a planned series (trilogy?). I know I've said this a lot: logically, I should not like this book. There's a prominent love triangle, the protagonist becomes a pretty senseless female who goes around noticing guys all the time, and the writing style isn't the world's best. But I didn't hate Alexa - she wasn't a bad person and at least she didn't string one guy along while smooching the other. I liked both love interests, and the world - while not as well developed as it could have been - was cool. And there was just something I liked about it. It was a guilty pleasures read. But the best book, but I did enjoy it oddly enough. Girl-read, sixteen-and-up, good for fans of romantic fantasy.

Best and Worst Book of the Month

  • Vicious by V. E. Schwab (Best Book of the Month)
  • Defy by Sara B. Larson (Worst Book of the Month)


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your reading month! I'm interested in Vicious and The Vanishing Game, so I'll have to consider them more now that you've enjoyed them so much. You read so many good books, you should be proud! :D

    Book Badger - Five Friday Favourites #4

    1. Thanks, Amanda! :) VICIOUS is sooooooo good, and THE VANISHING GAME was very interesting. I did read a lot of good books this month; I hope March is just as good. :)


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