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Chelsea Russell's Blog

I grew up with a love of the written word. Writing is an art just like any other creative endeavor. Unlike painting with pastels, my words are my medium.

Currently reading

The Passage
Justin Cronin
The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wecker
Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life
Jenna Woginrich
The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman I really wanted to fall in love with this book, but I suppose it wasn't meant to happen. I just wanted to finish so I could move on to something else, which is saying something considering it's not much over 170 pages. The prose was beautiful, but I was left wanting.

The Diviners

The Diviners - Libba Bray Finally!!! A series I'm actually looking forward to reading.

I ab-so-lute-ly adored Evie's spunk and the setting. I think I may just have to start using some of the expressions from the 1920s. They're just the cat's meow ;p.

The character viewpoints changed quite a bit, but I enjoyed all of them. I typically tend to form favorites and get bored with some of the characters, but that wasn't the case for this book. There was plenty of action and romance, which is never a bad thing :). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next in the series!!!!

The Rithmatist

The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson Why in the world have I not yet read any of Brandon Sanderson's books before now?!?!?!?!? I absolutely adored "The Rithmatists." The characters were engaging and I loved the dueling scenes. Some of the theory behind Rithmatics was a bit confusing at times, but the illustrations definitely helped. My mind is blown at the sheer creativity contained within this book. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!!!!!!!


Birthmarked - Caragh M. O'Brien Interesting dystopian concept. I felt as though some parts were a bit stagnant, but overall not too badly written. There were a couple copy-editing errors sprinkled throughout. I guess my biggest complaint is the need to stretch what could have been a good stand alone book into a series. Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more common.

Dark Places

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn I was quite disappointed with this book. I really enjoyed "Sharp Objects" and was hoping this would be as engrossing of a read. Sadly, that wasn't the case. The extensive use of foul language was a bit off-putting. It seemed as though every other page had at least one profanity, if not more. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story immensely though. I was kept guessing until the very end.

The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse - Cassandra Rose Clarke A fun, quick read. I really liked the main character, which seems hard to find anymore. There wasn't really a specific climax per se, but the book was still engrossing. I'm excited to read the next book in the series.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor Totally unexpected. A true joy to read!! There were so many points where I was left surprised. I think some of the best books are ones where you can't even begin to expect what may happen next. Awesome book :D.

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold

The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold - Francesca Lia Block Not quite a solid four stars, but good enough to rate it thus. I think the best word to sum up these fairy tale retellings is bittersweet. The author's style of writing was absolutely beautiful. Her choice of words and descriptions were entrancing and not at all standard. She is quite blasé about the use of drugs and sex, which seems to be the norm as of late. I didn't expect to find that sort of content in this book, so I suppose I was just caught of guard. I also preferred the beginning stories over the later.

Across the Universe

Across the Universe - Beth Revis I'd give this a solid 3.5 stars. I felt as though the beginning was definitely slow. There would be times when I would get into the story and then my interest would wane. I thought the best part of the book was the last third.

The End Games

The End Games - T. Michael Martin I couldn't even finish the first chapter. It felt forced and exceedingly fake. I may try to pick it up again one of these days, but I sincerely doubt it.

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness I started out really liking this book, but it started to drag about midway through. Even though Todd and Viola were constantly on the move, it all seemed a bit forced. In another review someone compared Aaron to the energizer bunny, which I think is an apt description. There was also a lot of unnecessary cursing. If it doesn't add anything to the story, then it isn't necessary. I will probably finish up the series, but I guess part of me feels like I was deceived since the overall rating for this book was fairly high.

Green Rider

Green Rider - Kristen Britain An enjoyable read, although nothing too special. I imagine I will eventually read the others in the series. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed by Karigan G'ladheon. Even though she doesn't have any specific talents (other than becoming somewhat transparent), she still manages to succeed against all odds. In essence, I suppose my main problem was she seemed very "Mary Sue-ish." Annoying indeed.

Written in Red

Written in Red - Anne Bishop I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Anne Bishop was able to create a world somewhat similar to ours and, yet, completely different. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! (I'm sorry my review is so vague. I read this book over spring break and completely forgot to sit down and write a review.)

Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier The beginning was a bit slow, but it eventually picked up and I was able to lose myself in Sorcha's story. I admired her determination to persevere even though the odds were stacked against her. I thought her brothers became quite overbearing at the end of the book. If she was able to fend for herself for the majority of the book, I guess I don't understand why she was so willing to allow them to dictate her life after she saved them from living the rest of their lives as swans. I plan on reading the second book, but I will probably wait a couple of months.

The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees - Lisa O'Donnell I loved "The Boxcar Kids" growing up and would read the first book in the series over and over again. The children's ability to pull together and take care of themselves despite the adversities they faced was inspiring. I guess I was hoping this book would be somewhat similiar, but that's not the case. The warnings about "The Death of Bees" being dismal, bleak and shocking are indeed true. I probably could have tried to muddle my way through a bit further, but I would much rather read something I will enjoy.

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken I think this book deserves a solid 3.7 stars. I suppose I'm just not in the mood for series as of late. In my opinion, it's a bit tiresome to wait for the next book in a series that is just so-so. I'll probably read the next book when it comes out, but hopefully I won't have forgotten too much by that point.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read. There was lots of action and I liked the different powers/abilities. They were constantly on the move and there were times when I was surprised by the brutality of Alexandra Bracken's descriptions. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit predictable and lessened the impact (at least for me).