Tuesday, October 22, 2013

[Review] Tokyo Heist - Diana Renn

Title: Tokyo Heist
Author: Diana Renn
Genre: YA Mystery
Published: 2012
My rating: ★★

Description: Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she's thrilled that her father's new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt. Her father's client, the wealthy Yamada family, is the victim of a high-profile art robbery. Someone has stolen van Gogh sketches from the Yamadas' Seattle mansion and is holding them hostage until the Yamadas can produce the corresponding van Gogh painting. The problem is that nobody knows where this painting is hidden, and until they find it, all of their lives are in danger. 

Joined by her friend Reika, Violet searches for the missing van Gogh in a quest that takes her from the Seattle Art Museum to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery deepens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to find the painting and the criminals--before it's too late. 

I was excited to read this novel because I have a strong interest in Japanese culture. Yet from the first chapter, I realized I was going to be disappointed. The writing style felt more appropriate for a middle-grade novel than a young adult. The first person present tense point of view didn't help. It felt sugarcoated and there were no gritty scenes, which are what I thrive off of.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

[Review] The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: 2010
My Rating: ★★★★

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school . . . or at home. 

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. 

But she could never have guessed the truth--that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face . . . and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

I was a teensy bit bored with the novel at first since it starts out as kind of your typical modern fairy tale: normal girl who has trouble in school ends up having to go off and save her brother from the fairies who took him and she finds out she's the daughter of a fairy king. It might be because she's female (I have a tendency to hate them, not gonna lie), but I also didn't really care for Meghan at first. Her self-pitying manner was annoying. She's poor, her parent's don't give her enough attention, and her crush is a jackass. However, once she got into the world of faery, she started to grow on me. Especially since she's trying to find her little brother and will stop at nothing to get him, even if it means carelessly indebting herself to every creature she comes across.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

[Book Signing] James Dashner

Feel free to writhe in jealousy, shuck faces!

It was a fun night. My only regret is not taking a photo with him. I was too shy. When I got the books signed, he teased me about my name a bit, then I told him how I threatened to break up with my boyfriend (who I dragged with) if he didn't read The Maze Runner. I made James Dashner chuckle!