Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) by Jennifer Estep

Publisher: Kensington Teen

Pages: 350
Release Date: August 1, 2011

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately featuring characters finding themselves forcibly shipped to supernatural or mythical boarding schools. These types of books seem to be in an upward trend lately, some good and some not-so good, so needless say, I was both anxious and weary of what Mythos Academy was like.

I found that Touch of Frost wasn’t too unique when it came to characterization. Our main character, Gwen Frost is Mythos Academy’s underdog. Basically in the beginning of the book, she’s on the outside looking in. Surrounded by tons of warriors-to-be, Gwen feels like an outcast. Although she has an, in my opinion, wicked cool power called psychometry (ability to see flashes and witness the history that comes along with touching certain objects and people), it doesn’t really help her when giant panther-like prowlers decide she’s a tasty meal. Thankfully though Mythos’ sexy and dangerous, Logan Quinn, resident bad-boy and bad-ass Spartan keeps an eye out for Gwen. Gwen, who I should mention, is also sometimes referred to as “Gypsy Girl”. Throw in a bunch of rich-snobbish Valkeryies, Mythos’ popular, girl clique, and you’ve got the plot for a half-a-dozen other books. This review might sound kind of negative, but don’t me wrong, I did like this book. A lot. There’s just a few bones I had to pick, including the not-so original character lineup.

Like I was saying, this book might have some downward moments, but there’s also a lot of good quirks too. Gwen Frost, although not super-strong or super-fast like many of her classmates, is pretty kick-ass in her own way. She’s feisty in the sense that even when Logan Quinn starts to sweet talk her, she makes it known, multiple times, that she’s not going to be another one of his many female playmates. Rumors around Mythos’ claim that he’s the play-boy type, and although as a reader we haven’t learnt if this rumor is completely true, I was still proud of Gwen for standing strong. She’s not easily bullied and I really respect that.
This is me sort of rambling but… I wanted to give a small shout out to Gwen’s grandma. I don’t know if it was solely the writing or the fact that I miss my own grandma a bit (being away school sucks at times); but I basically loved grandma Frost. She’s very wise, in many ways. Not just because she’s been around and seen many things, but also because of her gift to glimpse the future. She’s basically the only real, steady rock in Gwen’s shaky life. Also, she make’s very yummy cookies and other baked goods. Best. Gramma. Ever. Right!? Okay back to actual reviewing…

Touch of Frost was a fun ride. The writing style was very easy follow and flowed very well. There was a nice balance of description and dialogue so it was easy to pay attention and not lose focus. Although, not incredibly-original, the various characters, Logan, Morgan, Daphne, Gwen, and so forth, were very likable and believable. Morgan, Mythos’ second-most popular girl, and “known” wi-atch, was completely believable in the sense that you couldn’t stand her.
Another aspect of Touch of Frost that I really enjoyed was its compilation of various myths and religions throughout the world. Most books tend to focus on just one set of gods and goddesses, Greek, for instance. However in Touch of Frost a plethora of different gods and goddesses and their warriors were introduced such as Roman, Egyptian, Japanese, Irish, Norse, and so forth. I think including all the different mythological gods, heroes, and creatures, was a great idea. It really opened the story up to more possibilities. I could easily see spin-offs and other stories branching of from these original novels. With a school full of heroes-to-be there’s endless, unique possibilities for new adventures and stories.

I should also mention that although Touch of Frost is classified as a YA book there’s quite a bit of mature and almost vulgar dialect (a little bit), so I’d say this book is for older teens and up. 

Great read! Shelf-worthy.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Book Review: “The Last Academy” by Anne Applegate

Publisher: Point

Pages: 320
Release Date: April 30, 2013

When it comes to books, I’m an instant sucker for pretty covers and/or mentions of an “academy”. Therefore, the decision to read The Last Academy, was pretty much inevitable. The minute I saw the blog tour sign-up – I applied. Although, The Last Academy didn’t end up making my all-time favorites list, the ending was nothing short of spectacular.

Okay, let’s break this one down…

Ballsy main character. There’s a lot of spooky incidents and sketchy people running about Lethe Academy. If I was at this academy and like Camden, begun witnessing the extra-creepy that goes down, I’d probably be permanently attached to the underside of my mattress. Even though she practically faints at the sight of her crush, Camden always managed to keep it together when it counted the most. When she felt like her friends were in danger, she fearlessly ran towards and stood-up to whatever or whomever was the cause.

Amazing supernatural twist. So I’m kind of spoiling the fact that there is a supernatural aspect… but I won’t divulge any exacts. I will say however, that the ending was totally mind-boggling!!! I’m pretty good at guessing the big reveal, but not when it came to The Last Academy. My theories were not even close! Major props to Applegate for adding some new spice to the YA mix. She proves that there is still new material out there to work with.

A dragging storyline. Like I said, there was a lot of spooky bits to The Last Academy. Being personally freaked out a time or two, I was constantly begging for the big reveal – or heck even a tiny one – while reading. The ending was outstanding, but the beginning and middle included nothing near-as stellar. This book could have easily been cut in half and still have been a decent story.

Instant love. Nuff’ said. 

Overall, The Last Academy was an enjoyable couple hours. Sure, a lot of aspects frustrated me, but the ending left me with more positive than negative feelings which means I definitely look into future Applegate books.

3 Stakes!

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Book Review:”The Collector (Dante Walker #1)” by Victoria Scott

Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 352
Release Date: April 2, 2013

Dante Walker is cocky and vain. He struts around with his tight-physique, wealth, and schmooze – like it’s nobody’s business. In the real world, a guy like Dante would have me turning the other cheek. But in The Collector… phew! I couldn’t get enough. Told from Dante’s perspective, The Collector has a good mix of romance, humor, emotion and action. Even when Dante was at his ass-y-ess he still exerted heat and appeal that kept me wanting more.

Novels narrated by male-perspectives normally turn me off. Off the top of my head I can’t even think of a single book I’ve recently read that featured the sole-perspective of a male. When I first saw The Collector sprouting up on blogs, I ignored it. As a severely selective reader, it’s like I’ve got firewalls in place. It takes a lot of buzz and praise for a book out of my norm to become a book I “have” to read. Sometimes less thought and more action is the key. Giving The Collector a shot – I was delighted when I ended up enjoying Dante’s POV – just as much as any females’.

Dante does a lot of questionable things and makes a lot of bad decisions in The Collector. In the beginning he felt like the villain, a near-nonredeemable character. Without Dante’s personal history accounts, thoughts and feelings, I’m not sure I’d have ever fell for him, let alone liked him. I definitely would never have 100% understood him. He recounts his life bit by bit to others such as Charlie, but it’s completely different when the person in question, personally shares with you who they are and why they do the things they do.

The relationship between Dante and Charlie was endearing, yet not completely suspenseful. Smoldering bad boy who slowly becomes smitten with sweet, innocent, and socially non-existent girl, isn’t really a twist these days. Regardless, this part didn’t deter me from loving their courtship which involved a lot of sweet, yet sorrow-filled drama.

I felt like the characters in The Collector were raw and real. Their growths and relationships were so strong and complete that merely riding on the strengths of the characters, I could have easily enjoyed this novel – without supernatural bits.

If you’re looking for a book with a lot of emotion, a dab of supernatural and a hot lead, I’d definitely recommend picking up The Collector.


4 Stakes!
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Book Review: “Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1)” by Susan Ee

Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 288
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood to read a certain book. Angelfall for instance, I bought ages ago, and have now just finally read. When it first arrived, I started reading and got about 5 pages before I stuck Angelfall on the shelf to collect dust. Whether it be a writing style or your current mood, it isn’t always easy to jump right into a new book. More than a year later after purchasing it, I find myself so glad that I finally took another chance on Angelfall because I loved every moment of it. Dark and cutthroat, Angelfall is a twisty and nail biting apocalyptic dystopian that leaves an impression – days after you finish it.

From the official book description: “It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.”

Pen is a very strong and smart character. She’s clever and resourceful and independent. With a (legit) crazy mother, father who is MIA, and a sister who is physically disabled, Pen’s got a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. The angels that descended earth have destroyed the majority of cities and have possibly killed “billions” of people. The few survivors, like Pen and her family, have had to scrounge for food, hop from place to place, fend-off other humans who will attack you just to survive, and of course, avoid the malevolent angels. Pen has grown up fast. She’s the strong one in her little broken family.

When Pen’s little sister is taken by an angel Pen makes a hard decision to put her trust in a looks to be dying Angel. She nurses him back to health.

The relationship between Pen and Raffe is slow building. Pen rightfully doesn’t trust him which is smart considering the world is in ruins, millions maybe billions of people dead because the angels descended.

Raffe and Pen trade witty banter a lot. It’s so funny and cute. 

We don’t know much about the angels and their plans. And it turns out neither do they. They don’t know why they attacked the earth and there’s huge power plays being made. 

I couldn’t put this book down. Pen is an amazing MC. She’s so vibrant and full of life. She could give Katniss a run for her money. 

Ee’s use of grotesque imagery also makes this book even more high-stake and chilling.


5 Stakes!

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

Waiting on Wednesday 9/13/16

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week’s “I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on” pick is: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee. 

Publication: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 384

Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.

Why I’m waiting

This book sounds weirdly awesome. Have you ever heard of an aromateur? I haven’t! I don’t really know what else to say, this book just came out of left field and I want to read it STAT.

{ What are you waiting on this week? }