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Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.

January 9, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Published by Walker on 6th December 2011
Pages: 496
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
five-stars
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
I have been anticipating this book ever since I finished reading Clockwork Angel in 2010. Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors, and I absolutely love her Infernal Devices series, so I have been desperately waiting for this book and luckily enough, I received it this past Christmas. Happy Hollie, haha!

What worked for me: Absolutely everything. I loved the development all the characters went through, and that we got to see more of Charlotte and Henry too. The plot had so many twists and turns, yet I just could not stop reading it! Also, just to get this out in the open, I am now a firm, firm member of Team Jem. There’s one particular scene that I ended up reading three times because I could not get enough of it. I absolutely adored his and Tessa’s relationship, and I really, really hope that this continues in the next installment of this series or my heart may just possibly break into tiny little pieces.

Also, I think Tessa has really come into her own in this book, and, if we’re to compare Clary and Tessa, I prefer Tessa. I just think she’s got more spark about her. (Not to say that I don’t love Clary, because I do). I liked the twist that came about her heritage, and that it was left to be solved in the next installment of the series.

What didn’t work for me: At the risk of sounding awfully lame, the fact that Clockwork Princess doesn’t come out until the latter end of this year.

This has been a highly anticipated release for every Cassandra Clare fan, and for me, this really did not disappoint.

Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

January 2, 2012

Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Published by Walker on 9th March 2010
Pages: 320
Source: Bought Physical Copy
Goodreads
five-stars
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding. 

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
Whenever I look on a lot of people’s ‘Favourite Ever YA Contemp’ lists, this book is pretty much always there, so I needed very little encouragement to pick this one up and read it. This was such a quick read, yet there was an incredibly amount of emotion lying on these pages. I can’t even begin to summarise the story, the one I pinched from Goodreads will have to suffice.
What worked for me: The characters in this book were absolutely incredible. I felt something for every single one of them. My heart ached for Lennie, Gram, Big and Toby. The loss that they were going through was awful, and Nelson cleverly portrayed this through her words. I wanted to climb into the pages of my book and knock some sense into Lennie when she was with Toby, however strong her feelings were for him. I loved the introduction of Joe’s character and how he helped pull not only Lennie from her grief, but Big and Gram as well. All of these characters were diverse and full of depth, and Bailey’s death was pretty much always at the forefront of their minds, which I thought was extremely important. The closure Lennie received at the end of the book was well-written, it wasn’t as simple as ‘oh I’ve fallen in love and now I’m happy’ it was a long, eye-opening process that was dealt with magnificently by Nelson. I also loved Lennie’s memories that she’d written on literally anything she could and just dropped in the most random of places. I felt they really helped me get to know not only Lennie, but Bailey as well, and I loved how they were brought into the main part of Lennie’s story, and that they were also mentioned throughout the book as Lennie wrote some of them.
What didn’t work for me: I loved pretty much everything to do with this book. There was not a single thing that didn’t really work for me, perhaps I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of Sarah in the book, then again, perhaps not.

The Sky is Everywhere is a phenomenal book that deserves every single spot on people’s favourite YA contemps. It has definitely gained a spot onto mine.