Mundie Moms

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clockwork Angel Read Along Day 23: Wrapping Up/ Clockwork Prince Predictions

I am so sorry I am late on posting our CA Read Along post today. I've been trying to verify our winners took part in our read along, and I'm not quite done with that yet, so I'll post a list of winners either later tonight or in the morning.

I'm a bit saddened that our read along is already at it's end. It's been so much fun reading Clockwork Angel with you guys! THANK YOU to everyone who participated! I really appreciate the time and effort you guys put into participating and sharing your thoughts on each chapter. I've totally enjoyed reading everyone's comments through out the entire read along. We'll definitely be doing this again. If you've missed any of the posts, you can read them all here.

Now that we've read Clockwork Angel, what are your predictions for Clockwork Prince? What do you hope happens with Tessa, Jem and Will? Please keep your comments spoiler free if you've already read CP.

Book Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

To Be Released on: November 15th, 2011
Source: ARC from publisher to review
5 Stars: I Couldn't Get Enough of this Book
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime -quoted from Goodreads

A spellbinding fantasy that fans of both Kimberly Derting's and YA paranormal books will fall in love with. The Pledge has a little bit of everything in it. It's a mix of both fantasy and dystopian, has a fabulous romance, friendship, loyally, a bit of mystery, strong family ties, a rebellion, swoon worthy chemistry, and well written characters. This story took me by surprise and I loved every moment of it. I was completely enraptured in what was going on, even though some of the plot line was easy to predict. I loved the way the story was written, and the perfect manner in which the plot unravels. I loved being a caught up in Charlie's story, learning more about her powers and the world she lives in.

Charlie for me was a fabulous character to get to know. I loved her family ties, her down to earth personality and the fact that even though she was raised in a lower class, she often times wanted to defy the rules set upon them, which also had drastic consequences like being sentenced to death if they looked someone of a higher class in the eye when they were speaking to them. Charlie also has a remarkable gift and it was completely understandable why her parents went to such great lengths to hide. I loved her family dynamics and the lengths Charlie's parents would go to protect Charlie and her sister, and in turn the lengths Charlie would go to protect her little sister. Charlie such a well written heroine and I really enjoyed the manner in which she grows as a character through out the story.

The romance and chemistry between Charlie and Max was fabulous! I loved the way it was developed. It was just right, but left me wanting more. It wasn't a love at first site one, but one that developed over the course of the story. I wanted to high five Charlie a few times, because even though she was attracted to the mysterious, strong, tall and handsome Max, she kept her emotions in check and made him work for it. She kept brushing him off, and in turn I loved how prescient Max was with Charlie. I LOVED Max. His devotion to his cause and to protecting Charlie made him that much more swoon worthy. There's a fabulous best friend, the secret revelation of who Max really is and the reasoning behind Charlie's special power that made this story even more exciting.

The Pledge's world is both fascinating and truly unique, which is one of the reasons why I loved it. It has this timeless feel about it, as it's a mix of both the old world and a futuristic one. The people are divided by social classes and are ruled by a Queen, an evil one at that. Even though she gives evil a whole new meaning, I found myself totally intrigued with Queen. She has an magical ability that allows her to live on, even when her body doesn't. By ensuring only women rule this kingdom, the Queen's soul lives on through the next in line. I loved that element of surprises that Kimberly throws into the story with her characters and the events that take place. There were times I felt like I should have caught onto something sooner after a revelation happened, but Kimberly did such an amazing job with her story, that I never had a chance to pause and figure it out.

There is no shortage of action, and surprises in this book. The Pledge surpassed my love of Kimberly's writing style w/ the Body Finder series, and I'm a big fan of that series. Her characters are always so well developed, her stories are written in a very believable way, her character chemistry is captivating, and her world building is so well crafted! I honestly didn't know what to except with The Pledge, and what I got was a story that I didn't want to have end. I wish this book was double in size, but I'm sure even if it was I would still be wishing for more pages. I can't wait to get back into this world! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this series. This book is on my list of favorite books from 2011! I highly recommend pre-ordering it today!

Thoughtful Thursday- Character Chemistry 101

I am a reader who has to have character chemistry. It doesn't matter how much I love a good story line, if I don't feel connected to the characters or find their chemistry believable than what started off as a great read for me, has now become an okay read. For me character chemistry makes or breaks the story. Sophie & I like to use the excuse, "it's okay, we're moms" to talk about anything and everything. Lately it seems like we've talked a lot about character chemistry, because you know we have nothing better to do. *snickers* In between the car pool lane, cleaning toilets, folding clothes and prepping for meals, our minds tend to wonder to our favorite book moments, which tend to have hot character chemistry, swoon worthy kissy scenes and moments that take our breath away.

There's something about those those stolen moments, first loves, that first kiss or gentle touch that turn us into a our former teen selves. We do that inner girl squeal when our favorite characters finally get together. Since we're moms, we also mentally tell the our favorite lead male that we're watching him and if he breaks our favorite heroine's heart, than our other mom side will come out and he'll regret it. We get swept away in reading about our favorite characters falling in love, and relate to the range of emotions they've feeling. We relate to them and also want to protect them from the impending heartache we know is bound to happen at some point, and we're hopefully that things quickly get back to normal after they make up.

Here's a few of the books/series (in no particular order) that Sophie and I often discuss when we're talking about Character Chemistry 101. This is of course only a small fraction of the books we talk about. For the sake of a long, boring post, here's our list of 5 books/series that have character chemistry that totally swept us off our feet.

* The Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
- I totally cheated and listed two series, because I can't pick one book. It doesn't matter if the characters are good or really evil, there's something about the way Cassie writes her characters that makes me love them, and understand them, even if I don't agree with their motives. She makes us fall in love with her characters no matter how broken they are, and allows us to understand the motives behind the ones that are evil. She breaks our heart, fixes it up again, has us sighing, laughing, crying, and when we finish her books, she has us feeling like I'm saying good bye to an old friend.

* Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
- She created the most fabulous, realistic, believable relationship between Anna and St. Clair. They were just normal, imperfect people who had this amazing chemistry that made us want to push them together from the moment they met. We love how their relationship developed and grew. It made us feel like we were there watching two friends' fall in love with each other.

* The Heist Society & The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
- Oh Hale! Sophie and I often talk about the fabulous chemistry that Ally creates with her characters. It's done in the subtle may the characters move around each other, the stolen glances, the knowing each other so painfully well that hooks both of us with this series. Not that we don't like a good make out scene, but wow Ally knows how to deliver hot without it being all steamy.

* The Firelight series by Sophie Jordan
- I should just say Cassian & Will and many of you would know what I'm talking about. I adore these two guys and the chemistry they have with Jacinda. This chemistry literally melted the pages of my book (ok not really, but it was sure hot). This love triangle has one hot, swoon worthy chemistry that leaves me wanting more.

* The Curse Workers series by Holly Black
- Holly just makes us want to lock her characters into a room and let them have their moment together without the curses. How can we not love the chemistry between Cassel and Lila. It's so painfully obvious how they both feel about each other, and yet they both have to keep their distance, which just kills us, but it also leaves us enjoying their stolen glances and secretive moments together that much more. Plus, how can we not love a bad boy who's just trying to do the right thing.

We of course can't just list 5 favorites. Here's some of our other favorites:
- The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
- The Hourglass series by Myra McEntire
- Haunting Emma series by Lee Nichols
- The Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand
- The River of Time series by Lisa T Bergren
- Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
- Half Blood & Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout
- Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins
- Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
- Die For Me series by Amy Plum
- The Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer
- The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

We of course have many more books to list, but I'd love to know what are some of your favorite books/series are that have an amazing character chemistry? Who are some of your favorite couples? Does character chemistry make or break a story for you?