Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rebel Angels Book Review

This is a review of Rebel Angels. It is the second novel in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by young-adult author, Libba Bray. The novel was published in early 2005 by Delacorte Press, a subsidiary of Random House Publishers. The U.S. hardback and paperback editions have fifty chapter and 548 pages.
Synopsis: Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Acadmey-spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Simon Middleton. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify-visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain. The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world to which Gemma takes them. To the girls' great joy, their belonved Pippa is tere as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship. But all is not well in the realms-or out. Lartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face to face with her lates mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's for-Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task...Rebel Angels teems wiith Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light...where inside great beuaty can lie a rebel angel.
This book received a 4/5 stars. The thing that I love about this book is its ability to present deep, philosophical questions and themes without ever actually mentioning them. Throughtout the book, Gemma and her friends are faced with decisions about who they will be for the rest of their lives. In the course of the book, topics like fate and destiny are discussed along with the theme of free choice. Are our lives predetermined or do we make them ourselves with our choices? These are questions and themes to which whole college lectures are dedicated. Yet, the brillance of Bray's writing is her ability to slip them in without you ever noticing. It's not until the book is already finished that you find the questions coming back to you. This is definitely the kind of book that has you sitting there for a half-hour after you have finished it and thinking- and I mean really thinking. But during the course of the novel the depths of this topics do not weight you down. As always, the characters were superbly developed along with the plot. The clever play on words and the surprise events keep the plot fresh and hold your attention nicely. I started reading from the middle of the book last night at around 10 p.m. and I ended up, accidently, staying up all night finish it. Beware, however, that the first half of the book is challenging to get through but the second half is well worth it. The first half had a lot of expository information that needed to be conveyed and a great deal of events that were necessary  to set up the second half, but the story itself wasn't riveting so it took me a while to read. However, once you get through that you are in for a treat! I hope that you all check this book out after reading the first!
The next book on my list is The Mark by Jen Nadol. It is a short novel so expect to see a review within the week.
Thanks and happy reading.
xoxo Theresa
The Book Nook

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Great and Terrible Beauty Review

This is a review of the A Great and Terrible Beauty. It is the first novel in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by young-adult author, Libba Bray. The novel was published on December 9, 2003 by Delacorte Press, a subsidiary of Random House Publishers. The U.S. hardback and paperback editions have thirty-nine chapter
and 403 pages.
Synopsis: Gemma Doyle isn’t like other girls. Girls with impeccable manners, who speak when spoken to, who remember their station, and who will lie back and think of England when it’s required of them. No, sixteen-year-old Gemma is an island unto herself, sent to the Spence Academy in London after tragedy strikes her family in India. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma finds a chilly reception. But she’s not completely alone…she’s being followed by a mysterious young man, who warns her to close her mind against the visions. For it’s at Spence that Gemma’s power to attract the supernatural unfolds; there she becomes entangle with the school’s most powerful girls and discovers her mother’s connection to a shadowy group called the Order. It’s there that her destiny waits…if only she can believe in it. A Great and Terrible Beauty is a curl-up-under-the-covers kind of book…a vast canvas of rustling skirts and dancing shadows and things that go bump in the night. It’s a vividly drawn portrait of the Victorian age, when girls were groomed for lives as rich men’s wives…and the story of a girl who saw another way. 
This book received a 4/5 stars. It was one of my favorite books this year. The plot developed really nicely and the writing style was witty and sophisticated. Over anything else, however, my favorite aspect of the novel was the characterization. Each character in this novel was well-developed and explored. Libba Bray really has a talent for creating a character and making them come to life. They all had their own tone and mood that really complimented the plot and one another. Plus, the main character Gemma really redefines the ideal of a Victorian woman. She is strong and defiant but at the same time in touch with her feminine side. The reason I only gave the book four stars and not five is because there was a section of the book toward the middle that I thought could have progressed faster. Other than that one section, however, the book was filled with fast-paced action. I found myself deeply entranced by it. It was the kind of book that you just cannot put down. Each time I came to the end of a chapter, I would say to myself just one more and than I’ll stop. But I could not stop! I definitely recommend this book. Just know that you are not going to be able to put it down so make sure you have a period of time that you can devote to it.
Thanks for reading! Hope to write again soon with another review. At them moment, I am reading the second book in the trilogy Rebel Angels. I hope to have a review of that up as soon as I finish reading it.
xoxo Theresa
Book Nook Reviews

Rating System

Hey everyone! In this post I would like to discuss the rating system that I will be using to rate the books. To rate my books I will be using a five-star system. For each book that I review, I will look at the plot, the characters, the creativity, the aesthetics, and the mesage. Each will get a grade, from one to five stars, that will comprise twenty percent of the final grade. Five stars will mean that the book is amazing and that there were no flaws in any of the five subcategories. Four stars will mean that the book is really good but had something missing from it that kept it from being a five. While it isn't my favorite book, it is still a book that I enjoyed. Three stars will mean that the book is good but that it is lacking in more than one subcategory. Two stars will mean that the book is okay but not something that I would read again or that I would rush out to buy. One star will mean that the book was not good. It was either poorly developed or poorly written. If a book gets three or more stars, I would recommend you to buy it. Anything less, one or two stars, is not recommended. Hopefully this makes sense to you guys! I've had finals for the last two weeks so my brain is beyond fried.
If you have any book suggestions, send me a message or leave a comment.
xoxo Theresa
The Book Nook

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Introduction and Welcome

Hello and welcome to the Book Nook! This is a blog for book reviews that correlates to the YouTube account of the same name. My name is Theresa and I am an avid reader who recently discovered the book review community. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon Yafictionfreaks on YouTube. Wasting no time I immediately started  both a YouTube and blog account to join in on the fun. Hopefully, I will be able to introduce you to some really great books or to save you from wasting your time on a book that isn't worth it. Within the next couple of days, I will be posting some more introductory-type blog entries on my method of review and some great links to other review sites that I really enjoy.
xoxo Theresa
The Book Nook