The Tainted Poet's YA Book Review:

A YA book review blog for anything out of the ordinary-- Paranormal, Supernatural, Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Complete with Reviews, Interviews and Contests-- So stay and have a look!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Rating: 4.25/5.0
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Age Level: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320

Recommend? Since this is the last book in a series, I recommend this series to fans of Wicked Lovely and other fey related books. 


Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.
He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn't kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.
She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea's reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon's final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series. 

My Thoughts:

Destined was a pretty good ending to an excellent series. I have been looking forward to this book since the day after Illusions came out (I read it in one day) and it did not disappoint. I read this non-stop the day I got it and could not put it down. I simply had to know how she ended it!

There were a few things that I did not like how she concluded in this final novel. First off, there was something missing from the feel of this book. The other books had my heart pounding (for various reasons!) but this book was missing that element. I found it lack luster in that department. However, my loyalty to the series kept me reading.

Everything turned out exactly how I wanted it to! There were a few surprises, but other then that I had the ending pretty well predicted. This is good in a way that everything I was hoping for came true, but bad in a sense that there wasn't much unpredictability involved. I like it when books surprise me and this one didn't. However, I was NOT expecting how she would achieve all of these ends, so it was interesting enough to follow along on Laurel's journey to see her through to the end.

I LOVE Tamani and that doesn't change in this novel. I still adore him to death and he remains my favorite character. I also grew to really like Chelsea in Destined, while I had never been fond of her in prior novels. I am still neutral about David, however I believe she had the perfect ending for him. I can't imagine anything going differently.

Destined was definitely not my favorite book of the Wings series, however, it was definitely a page turner that I enjoyed greatly. I highly recommend the Wings series!


Cover: 5.0
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 5.0
Writing: 3.0

Source: Purchased from store.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Books that I Recommend

I was recently thinking that there are several books that I am constantly recommending to other people. I thought it might be a good idea to make a list and give a few reasons on why I recommend these books and what about them is so special.

The Naming by Alison Croggon

The Naming is one of my favorite books and one of the books I most highly recommend to fantasy lovers. It is a series of four books that is not only incredibly well written, but increasingly interesting as the series goes on. It is also very unique, in my opinion. If you enjoy magic, fantasy, and an interesting twist on bards, then you might want to check it out. This is a book that I will recommend forever.

The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The Uglies is the book series that truly got me into Scott Westerfeld's work. While he has several series out now, I still think that The Uglies is by far his best series. Dystopian in nature, the novel introduces us to a character named Tally that through the series will go through so many changes that she will barely recognize herself by the end of it all. The Uglies is highly acclaimed and one of the books that I think anyone who enjoys young adult literature should check out.

Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

Skin Hunger, I believe, is highly overlooked by most readers. I find it even hard to locate it at a bookstore, let alone find someone I know in person who has also read it. This is why I recommend it so frequently. It is an excellent series that is still currently going on (we are awaiting the third installment) about magic. It switches Point of View between two characters and is all the more interesting for it. I also recommend this to male readers who enjoy Young Adult.

Other Novels:

I could go on and on about more novels, but I decided to make a list instead. A majority of these books don't even need a reason why they are constantly recommended.

-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-The Maze Runner by James Dashner
-Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
-Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
-Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
-Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
-Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
-Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
-Divergent by Veronica Roth

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interview: Aimee Carter

Aimée Carter is the author of the debut novel The Goddess Test. The Goddess Test is now available in bookstores and online.
Questions on The Goddess Test:

Tainted Poet: First off, could you give us a brief summery of The Goddess Test?

Aimée Carter: The Goddess Test is a sort of sequel to the myth of Hades and Persephone, in the sense that it takes place eons after the original myth occurred. How would I describe it in one sentence? What happens when Hades must replace Persephone, and someone is killing off the candidates.

However, I really can't do a better job describing it than the copy on the back of the book:

Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.

If she fails...

TP: I love how you incorporated the Greek Myth about Hades and Persephone into your novel. Is it your favorite myth?

Aimée: Thank you! It is definitely one of my favorite myths. I love many of them for several different reasons, but the myth of Persephone has always stayed with me, even from a young age. In the story, I was forced to tinker with the myth to make Hades a more compassionate character, but I did my best to stay true to the idea of a girl who is forced to marry a god she didn't love. I love Persephone's strength despite her circumstances, but I very much wanted to explore what that sort of relationship would do to Hades as well. Which is where much of Henry's character comes from.

TP: James was one of my favorite characters in The Goddess Test. Do you have a favorite?

Aimée: It's so difficult to pick a favorite. I would have to say, if I had to, still couldn't choose. It would be a three-way tie between Henry, James, and Ava. All simply because of how much fun they are to write. They each bring something unique to a scene, and as a writer, I couldn't be happier with getting the opportunity to 'work with them', so to say.

TP: If you could describe Henry in three words, what would they be? How about Kate?

Aimée: Tough question. Henry would be... lonely, loyal, and guarded. Kate would be desperate, selfless, and uncertain. Or trusting. We can pretend that's only three. :)

TP: What do you think separates The Goddess Test from other YA novels being released this year?

Aimée: Oh, wow. I really don't know. That's for the reader to decide! There is a stunning selection of YA novels being released this year, and I'm in complete awe of every single YA author out there. I don't feel like one of them. I honestly don't know if I ever will. They're all so stunning and talented, and I can't possibly see myself measuring up. I feel like a very little fish in a huge pond, and it continues to baffle me that anyone's ever heard of this little book I wrote the summer I couldn't work because the dentist broke my jaw in two places. (True story.)

TP: There are going to be three books in this series. Could you tell us a little something about the sequel, Goddess Interrupted?

Aimée: Goddess Interrupted was released on January 2012, and I am SO excited for everyone to get the chance to read it! It's much more action-packed than The Goddess Test, though there are still plenty of twists and turns along the way. I can't reveal much about the plot, especially since the first book hasn't been released yet, but I will say that earlier this week, I saw a sample of what the cover will look like, and it is gorgeous.

Other Questions:

Since The Goddess Test is set in Michigan, how do you think being from Michigan inspired your writing?

Aimée: The Goddess Test takes place in the upper peninsula, and while I've been to the UP several times as a kid, my connection to Michigan had nothing to do with why I set it here. I considered a host of isolated places, including Maine and upstate New York, but I chose Michigan for one reason: it has a Paradise and a Hell. Eden is supposed to be around the same place as Paradise, if you know where that happens to be, and that was definitely deliberate.

TP: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Aimée: I've been writing since I was eleven, but it didn't occur to me that I could do it as a living until several years later. I never really had one thing I wanted to do. I was a bit lost as a kid and went through the usual rounds - I wanted to be a veterinarian, a horse breeder, an actress, everything. But writing, especially when I was in my tween and teenage years, was the one thing I consistently loved to do.

TP: Are there any foods or drinks you like to eat or drink while writing?

Aimée: I usually get some sort of drink, though that goes through cycles. I don't drink coffee, but sometimes I get hot chocolate, if I'm at a place where I like their hot chocolate. Sometimes, if they have it, I'll get chocolate milk (sensing a pattern yet?). Right now I'm drinking water mixed with those little individual flavor packets, which works out well.

TP: Which of the characters from The Goddess Test is most like you?

Aimée: I share a trait or two with all of them just by virtue of having created them, really. Personality-wise, there isn't really a character in the book that is me (though if I had to choose, I think I might say I'm most like James - then again, that isn't saying much). But Kate does go through a lot of things, especially taking care of her mother and facing the possibility that she's going to lose the only family she has, which I wound up going through after the book was accepted for publication, oddly enough. My father was hospitalized on and off for several months, and he had major heart surgery, a very bad infection, and a host of problems while I was doing edits for the book. So I certainly empathize with her in that way, though her personality is very different from mine.

TP: What is one question you wish people would ask you?

Aimée: "How would you like to star opposite Ben Barnes in a blockbuster action/romance film?"

Oh, wait, not what you're talking about? Hmm...

Honestly, I've been hoping for a chance to explain why the book is set in Michigan, so it seem you've already asked it! As for something else, I'm at a loss for anything meaningful, so let's go with "What's your hidden talent?" And that would be solving a Rubik's Cube in under three minutes. Most of the time. And that's without peeling the stickers off.

TP: Thank you for the interview! Any last comments?

Aimée: Thank you so much for having me on your fantastic blog!

Check out Aimée's website and learn more about The Goddess Test at!

Check out my review for The Goddess Test!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Rating: 4.0/5.0
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Age Level: Young Adult 14+
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320

Recommend? This is book two in the series 13 to Life.


Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves.

Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more. (Synopsis from Amazon).
My Thoughts:

Secrets and Shadows was a fantastic continuation in the 13 to Life series. Emotional, stressful, and funny all at the same time, Secrets and Shadows was an emotional roller coaster. I devoured this book in just a few days and it definitely left me hungry for more. It is such a page turner that definitely kept me reading the whole way through.

What I really loved about Secrets and Shadows is how easily it is to relate to Jess. She loves to read (vampire novels! Who doesn't?), ride horses (maybe this is just me, but I love to ride English!), and the fact she is just an ordinary girl pushed into an extraordinary setting. It is every regular girls dream-- Though, in Jess's case, it is not so simple. With messages of BEWARE showing up everywhere, Jess has a lot to worry about and even less people to trust.

While the novel was really excellent, there were a few flaws. I had a couple issues with the characters (which I don't want to go into in case I spoil anything) but they did throw me off the book a bit. I'm also hesitant to say the plot is perfect-- it definitely has its flaws. However, the novel more then makes up for these small problems.

The ending of Secrets and Shadows really threw me off-- I was not expecting that! It would be a spoiler to state what I am referring to, but trust me... it's pretty crazy. I cannot wait to read the next installment Bargains and Betrayals, which I have waiting on my shelf right now!


Cover: 4.0
Plot: 4.0
Characters: 4.0
Writing: 4.0

Source: Purchased from store.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

This review is a little bit late, but I had to make sure I posted and shared my thoughts. The Hunger Games movie was MUCH better then I thought it would be. I saw it at midnight with a group of my friends (I think there were ten of us in total) a couple of which who have never read the books (no matter my begging and urging that they should!). It is always an interesting experience to see people's responses, especially to something like The Hunger Games

First off, I was super iffy on the casting. However, I actually enjoyed most of how the characters are portrayed! While I agree that Jennifer Lawrence didn't exactly look like she was starving like Katniss should have, but I think she did a great job at acting like Katniss. Even in the books, Katniss was never meant to be the most likeable character. I, however, do wish they would have shown a bit more of Rue's relationship with Katniss. A few of my friends didn't grasp the closeness between Katniss and Rue, which was a bit saddening. Their relationship was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. 

 I wasn't super fond of Gale (though, truth be told, I didn't really like Gale in the novels either). It could have been because he didn't have a huge presence in the movie, but I'm not sure if I like the actor that is playing him. I guess future movies will tell! However, surprisingly enough, I really liked Josh Hutcherson's acting and he did a fabulous job as Peeta. He seemed really sincere and acted, in my opinion, like Peeta! There were a few actors that I had in mind as my perfect Peeta, but thinking back, I don't think they could have pulled him off quite like Josh did.

Overall, the movie was fantastic and I recommend it to everyone. I haven't found a friend who did not enjoy it! I still really enjoy the novel (more than the movie) but I think the movie definitely did a decent job. Oh! And my friends and I dressed up for the release! I used my Katniss costume from Dragon*Con and my friends dressed as tributes and other characters. We were pretty cool. I cannot wait until Catching Fire hits big screens!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I Read Young Adult

I've recently put a lot of thought into why I read Young Adult novels more often than other genres. I've read pretty extensively through various genres (since I'm an English major and all) but I always come back to young adult. So why? I found that there are several things that young adult novels consistently contain compared to other genres (though, of course, there are always exceptions). I thought I would explore and give some reasoning on why I love this genre so much.

Characters. For some reason, characters in young adult novels have always been much more relatable to me personally than in adult genres like science fiction or mystery (or even romance or other genres that I have dabbled into). Characters in young adult novels, because of their youth, tend to have pretty unique reactions to different settings compared to more mature characters. Also, perhaps because I've recently left my teens, I see a bit of myself and my friends within the characters. I understand what they are going through (especially in novels that deal with relationships) and I love seeing how things turn out.

Love. A lot of young adult novels that I read include relationship issues or characters falling in love, etc. As a girl, I love reading about love and the idea of falling in love. There are numerous young adult novels that deal with just this. I know that there are a lot of other genres that deal with all of these things, however, young love ( like in young adult novels) in my opinion is more fun to read about. First love and sometimes more innocent puppy love is interesting to me (compared to the highly sexualized love in adult novels like in the romance genre).

There are other factors that add in why I like young adult so much. Novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent can really only be done (or rather, done well) with a younger cast of characters. Young adult brings aspects to the literary world that are unique to it. A lot of which is only interesting in young adult. Again, there are exceptions, but even those exceptions are still not quite the same or do not have the same feeling to them. I guess there is no one reason I love to read young adult novels the most. I just do!

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