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Kirstin

Book blogger for YA & NA genres

Greenville, NC, United States | Member Since 2011

125
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 76 ratings
  • 261 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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58

  • Partials

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Dan Wells
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (495)

    The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials - engineered organic beings identical to humans - has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

    Tabitha says: "Action! Romance! Science!"
    "A Unique Dystopian Storyline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Partials, By Dan Wells has been in my Wish List since March. Why did it stay there so long? For one, the synopsis of the book didn’t really seem intriguing and...(I hate to admit this “out loud”) I have found that I usually prefer female writers when it comes to YA books. So, with all my prejudices against this book out in the open, I can now officially announce that, I was wrong.

    I really enjoyed Partials. Actually, I ended up reading the book AND listening to the audiobook as well. At first, it took me a little longer than normal to get through this book. I just had a hard time really getting into the book. Things start out slow as Wells introduces us to the characters and sets up the storyline. Once all of that is established, things start moving at a faster pace. By Part 2 (of the download), I didn’t want to "put the book down".

    This may sound cliché but this book has it all. You’ve got:
    • The post-apocolyptic world in which tragedy has struck and only a very small portion of the population is left alive.
    • A bad “guy"--actually you’ve got two--that is threatening the survival of those remaining.
    • The (potential) hero, 16 y/o Kira who is trying to not only help her best friend, but a cure to save the lives of babies...and the human race.
    • There’s drama, as we follow Kira trying to figure out how to cure RM
    • Tension - when we’re left wondering . . . (NO spoilers here!!!! I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone.)
    • There’s also a little touch of romance here and there. There also may (or may not) be romance coming from unexpected sources.

    I really think Wells did a great job at brining emotion to this book. You can feel the pain as he describes the death of all the babies, and how these young girls -- by order of the law -- have to get pregnant as often as possible, only to watch their babies die without even having a chance to really hold them. He also has a wonderful sense for timing the highs and lows; implanting good action scenes throughout the book. By the end, you don’t want it to stop because you know -- just like any good series -- you’ll be left wondering, “what happens next” in the story.

    I will definitely be reading or listening to the sequel, Fragments when it comes in February, 2013!!!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Death and the Girl Next Door

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (351)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (321)

    Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on. High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy - terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach - comes to school.

    Kirstin says: "PG-13 version of Darynda's snarky writing"
    "PG-13 version of Darynda's snarky writing"
    Overall
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    4 1/2 Stars

    I love the fact that Darynda has decided to write a YA series. There are so many of us that LOVE the Charley Davidson series, but since it is a little graphic in places, it's not really appropriate for younger teens to read. Death and the Girl Next Door, the first book in the Darklight series is perfect for those who want a PG-13 version of Darynda's snarky writing. But with a new series there is the obvious drawback - having to wait months until the next installment.

    Being a Darynda Jones fangirl, I dove head first into Death and the Girl Next Door with the unwavering knowledge that I was going to LOVE every page. Now that I have finished the book I can officially say, I loved it - but not every last page. There is a point (about midway) when the forward momentum of the story seemed to stall a bit. This doesn't last for long before the pace picks up again. Just when I had pretty much figured out what was going on, another layer got added to the story! This made the end of the book hard to deal with - not because the story didn't have an awesome cliffhanger, but it made it hard BECAUSE there was an awesome cliffhanger.

    Let me not forget about the narrator, Lorelei King. What can I say? Darynda Jones and Lorelei King make an awesome pair!! I can't imagine any of her books narrated by anyone else.

    *Sigh* I am not going to dwell on the fact that I have to wait five months until Death, Doom and Detention, I am just going to start counting the days until Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is released.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Biting Cold: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (677)

    Turned into a vampire against her will, 28-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago's vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye - and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing - among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey.

    mhecker says: "oh, NO!!!"
    "New Narrator Overshadows Great Plot!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start with the most apparent thing everyone who LOVES the Chicagoland Vampires series is going to notice - there's a new narrator. Now sometimes that's a good thing...unfortunately, here it is not.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Sophie Eastlake is a great narrator - but when you've had the SAME narrator (Cynthia Holloway) for the first five books of the series, bringing in a newbie just doesn't work. I was so distracted by new speech patterns and accents (especially Luc's) that I lost track of the story at times and had to keep backtracking.

    With all that said. Let's move past that and look at the actual story itself...without giving away any spoilers.

    In the first few books the focus was mainly just on Merit getting a handle on her new lifestyle (as a vampire). Book four was focused pretty intently on the Merit-Ethan relationship. In book five, not only did we see Merit really come into her own, but we also learned a lot about Mallory and her powers. Now, with book six, the focus is put on "relationships:" Merit and Ethan, Merit and Mallory, Mallory and Catcher, etc.

    In these last two books of the Chicagoland Vampires series (Drink Deep and Biting Cold), Chloe Neill has managed to grow even closer with her characters. Now that [us] readers have gotten to know the characters, she has started to weave the plot even more intricately. For this reason alone, I would NOT recommend this book for someone who has not read the previous installments. But, I would recommend Biting Cold for anyone who is a fan of the urban fantasy or paranormal genres. It is also perfect for those looking for a good PNR or urban fantasy with a little more bite (pun intended) than a similar book in the YA genre.

    Even though I was left with some disappointment, I will continue on following this series. As always, the ending left me wanting more. Luckily we don't have to wait too long; book 7 (House Rules) comes out on February 5, 2013.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Lily: Bloodlines, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (838)
    Performance
    (744)
    Story
    (755)

    Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students - children of the wealthy and powerful - carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "An Excellent Sequel!"
    "If you liked Bloodlines...you’ll LOVE Golden Lily!"
    Overall
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    This is – hands down – my new favorite book of 2012! My only complaint about Golden Lily is that it caused me to lose sleep. I finished this book in one day…and what an emotional day that was!

    Normally I would write a little synopsis of the book, but not this time. Richelle Mead’s work speaks for itself. If you’re considering this book, chances are, you’ve probably not only read Bloodlines, but also the entire Vampire Academy series; if you haven’t…then welcome to the Richelle Mead fan club. With that said I’m just going to write a few little tidbits about some of the character development within this second installment of the Bloodlines series.

    Richelle Mead leads us back to Palm Springs and back into the lives of Jill, Eddie, Sydney, Adrian, and Angeline. We also see more appearances from Dmitri (and his duster) and Sonya Karp than we did in Bloodlines.

    Sydney goes through a lot of personal and emotional growth in this sequel. She not only learns more about the real history of Alchemists, but she also starts to realize that she has more loyalty and tolerance for the Moroi and Dhampir races…and that scares her because she doesn’t want that secret to get back to the Alchemists because they would send her to the re-education center (which she is terrified of). The prejudice that her upbringing taught her (both from her father and the Alchemists) is very hard for her to overcome and she battles with it every day. The decisions that she makes along her journey in this book will make you…. (Nope, not going to give spoilers, it’s MUCH better to not know what’s going to happen – trust me, it will be worth the wait.)

    And let us not forget about the sexy, and ever-inebriated, Adrian. For anyone who fell in love with Adrian during the Vampire Academy series (or even if you just discovered him in Bloodlines), be prepared to completely swoon over him yet again. We’ve all adored this sexy man who seems like he’s in a constant battle with his mental health (thanks to his spirit magic), but in this book Adrian takes it to an all new level. I won’t give more details and spoil the plots twists & turns, but just know that hiding his feelings behind his sardonic quips and his constant smoking and drinking just isn’t going to cut it this time.

    Also, the narrator, Emily Shaffer does (yet again) a wonderful job with this book. When dealing with a narrator working on a book series, I find that sometimes the characters don’t sound that same from book to book - Shaffer does not have that problem, she gave a seamless performance of all the character’s voices. Her talent for accents and having multiple characters that sound VERY different from one another is astounding.

    Buy Golden Lily and get lost in between the pages. I will definitely be enjoying this book a couple more times before Bloodlines #3: The Indigo Spell comes out on February 12, 2013!!!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Pandemonium

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (1137)
    Story
    (1143)

    I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her.I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bests eller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

    Emily - Audible says: "Remarkably Mature for YA"
    "A Great Sequel !!"
    Overall
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    Okay. I'll admit it. When I first started listening to this audiobook, I was doing so just because I read the first book and I wanted to know what happened to Alex and Lana, and to see if they made it into the Wilds safely. Once that was figured out (sorry, I'm not giving any spoilers), I did find the story, and the "Now" and "Then" perspectives just a bit confusing to me...but I quickly got with the program.

    In this follow-up to Delirium, we see Lana's character grow immensely and really come into herself. We also see the introduction of an almost entirely new cast of characters.

    There are so many things that I would love to go into about Alex, Julian, and her Lana's mom, but that would be giving away just too many potential spoilers...and it would totally ruin the experience for anyone about to listen to the book. Just know that Sarah Drew does a wonderful job at expressing the emotion in Lana's voice; and that is definitely needed in this book because poor Lana is put to so many tests, emotionally and physically.

    Let me just say that by the end of the book I was (literally) sitting on the edge of my bed, wide-eyed, and by the last words uttered by the narrator, I was cursing out loud because the book was over and I cannot believe that Lauren Oliver expects us to sit and wait until February, 2013 for Requiem to come out so we can find out what happens next!!!!!

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors: Jane Jameson, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2995)
    Performance
    (2717)
    Story
    (2722)

    Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of wedding planning, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend, Gabriel, are coming along smoothly. That is, until she turns a fatally wounded teenage acquaintance, and the Council pronounces her responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

    Kirstin says: "Molly Did it Again!!!"
    "Molly Did it Again!!!"
    Overall
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    There's no reason for me to go into the background of the "Nice Girls Don't..." series, by now we are all here because we love Molly Harper's writing as well as the narrative talent of Amanda Ronconi. What I will say is this - get this book!!!! If you liked any of Molly Harper's work, then you shouldn't even be doubting this purchase; if you've never listened/read any of Molly's work, then by all means, get this book (though starting at book 1 would be helpful too), but be warned - once you start reading Molly's work, you WILL become addicted!.

    *Warning* If you listen to your audiobooks via earphones/earbuds, just be aware that this book will make you look crazy because there will be many times where you cannot help but laugh out loud (I got a lot of funny looks while I was grocery shopping).

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Paranormalcy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kiersten White
    • Narrated By Emily Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (200)

    Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours. But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

    Kirstin says: "Why Did I Wait So Long?"
    "Why Did I Wait So Long?"
    Overall
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    Right now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to listen to this book. I've had it in my Wish List over 6 months and I'm really mad I left it there so long. This book was wonderful, and the narrator was great too. Very rarely do I find a book that can make me (both) laugh out loud and cry. But, this was one of those pieces of work.

    Kiersten White is wonderful at making you understand the true emotions that her characters feel. The love that Evie feels for Lish (her best friend who is also a mermaid), the loathing she feels for Reth (a faerie that seems to stalk her) and the confusion that Lend (an unknown paranormal creature who can steal the appearance of others) brings into her life. Plus, I admire any author that can bring a young adult book to life without any cursing. Instead you get Lish's hilarious monotone voice "bleep"ing. Just try not to laugh when you hear it!

    If you're looking for a book to listen to in small intervals during your commute, this is NOT the book for you. This book sucks you in and leaves you wanting more.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2542)
    Performance
    (1940)
    Story
    (1948)

    When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

    Sam says: "Fantastic book!!"
    "Slow to Start...but Keep Going"
    Overall
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    I got this book because of my love for The Mortal Instruments series (also by Cassandra Clare). Going into it I understood that we would still be dealing with Downworlders and Shadowhunters, but instead of the story being set in present time NY, this time we would be in 1878 London. Aside from the century and the location, the basic plot is a lot like TMI series.
    But unlike TMI series, this book seems a lot slower paced. There were quite a few times when I was just going to give up, and stop listening, and boy, I'm glad I didn't. Not just for the fact that I realized that Magnus Bane is in this book, but also because it was around the half way point in the book when things started to pick up. I will definitely be reading (or listening) to the Clockwork Prince when it is released, 12/6/11.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Drink Deep: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (779)

    Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal-registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay for a bit, and let the mortals calm down. But that's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black - and things really start getting ugly.

    Stephanie says: "My favorite "Chicagoland Vampire" book so far."
    "Best Book of the Series"
    Overall
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    Just like my headline says, this is (by far) the best book of the Chicagoland Vampires series. Chloe Neill really packed some punch with this book. There are so many layers to the story that you just can't seem to absorb the content fast enough. Just when you think you've figured out what is going on (and who's behind it), then the rug gets yanked out from underneath you, and another layer gets added to the story.

    I can't really do a full review on this book b/c there would be way too many spoilers. All I can say is that I can hardly wait for Book 6, Biting Cold to come out in August 2012!!!!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18427)
    Performance
    (16665)
    Story
    (16798)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "The new dystopian hit!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to get this book. Emma Galvin does a wonderful job portraying Beatrice as she starts her journey as an initiate in her new faction, Dauntless. She has to struggle for her life and fight for the lives of her family and friends all while she tries to uncover the deadly truth of what it means to be labeled Divergent. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, then definitely take the time to listen to this, you'll be intrigued by the relationship between Tris and Four.

    10 of 18 people found this review helpful

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