Review: Rampant

Okay. So I went to the bookstore yesterday and finished
Rampant. And it was good. Really, really good.

Book Description:

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

My Opinion:

First off, can I say how much I like the idea of killer unicorns? Regular unicorns are blah. They're beautiful and perfect and the embodiment of all that's good and pure in the world. And that's not interesting. Who wants to read about silly, vapid little unicorns anyways?

That's why I applaud Ms. Peterfreund. She finally showed us what unicorns really are. Monsters.

Astrid's job as a unicorn hunter is in the tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (think tough blondes out to save the world) and the whole regiment of women warriors throughout history. I love the history and legend interludes the author puts in, and how unicorn history fits into it all. In Peterfreund's world, Alexander the Great supposedly conquered the world due to to the help of a horse-but-really-unicorn, and his female descendants are the only ones who can rid the world of unicorns. And Astrid turns out to be one of those descendants.

I really, really lurve the setting. Rome. Mmm. Gelato or art museums anyone? Astrid manages to sneak out of the cloisters and tour the city, as well as meet up with a couple of cute guys. And she learns some cool weapon skills on the way. She's like a superhero when she's a around unicorns; she can fight and heal better than any normal human can.

Oh and about the unicorns: they're terrifying. They're like all the horrible monsters in mythology wrapped into one evil, horned creature out to get Astrid. But Astrid is pretty tough herself. She comes away with some unicorn kills of her own.

Overall, I liked the author's writing style and her voice. Astrid came off as a likeable, relatable character. At some times I doubted the situation (for example, when Astrid's mother sends her off to the Rome without a second thought). And there are some heavy-handed messages about chastity. But I'm willing to forgive that for a fast-paced, well thought-out, and inventive narrative that kept me wanting more and flipping pages feverishly. The end left a lot of questions unanswered, so I'm hoping that means there's going to be a sequel. Pretty please?

Actually, I liked it so much I'm going to buy it off Amazon (hey, it's cheaper). Why not join me?

I give it a 9/10


Ramblings on Bookstore Ethics and Book Picks

2nd post!

Anyways, it is like a gazillion degrees over here. The news people are all saying that the heat is breaking records and that if you leave your pets out they'll die. And We. Don't. Even. Have. Air. Conditioning!

So now I'm determined to spend the weekend at the bookstore. Yesterday I was at our local Borders, despite wanting to go to B&N (but apparently my Mom feels sorry for Borders because there's no one ever there). They have these nice squishy leather chairs (but not nearly enough of them). I picked up a few books to keep me occupied, narrowly avoiding meeting this boy I know who I really don't like, and sat down to the bliss of air conditioning and a multitude of books. I didn't technically buy anything. Usually I'll get some tea at the coffeeplace inside, but I had forgotten my money. So I just kinda sat there for a few hours reading. Noooo, I don't feel guilty. Not Really. Not.

I mean, I'm filling up the store, aren't I? It makes them look like they have lots of customers, even if they don't. Okay, how 'bout this. For every 5 books I read at the bookstore, I'll buy one! If I could afford it, I would buy a few books everyday. But hardcover is expensive, I mean one book is around $20, so imagine how much money I would have to be making to buy a book every time I go to the bookstore. Mhhmm.

So here are the books I picked off the shelve:

Another Faust by Daniel Nayeri--didn't read this one, but it looked really interesting. It's about these teens who disappear from their homes, apparently kidnapped, and then suddenly reappear in High Society five years later, with mysterious powers.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella-- I read this! I love Kinsella's books, they're so hilariously funny. You should definitely start off with the Shopaholic series if you haven't read anything of hers yet. But this is the latest book out from her.
Lara, a stressed out 20-something woman begins seeing the ghost of her dead Great-Aunt Sadie. Apparently, someone's stolen Sadie's precious necklace, and Sadie can't rest until she gets it back. Lara is the only one who can see her, so Sadie enlists (forces) her to help her, using her persuasive powers she's gotten from being a ghost. Much hilarity ensues, as Lara is forced to ask some random man that Sadie fancies out on a date, and then turns up in ridiculous clothes from the 1920s.
I found myself cringing and stressed out in the first part of the book (Laura's business is about to go bankrupt) and then embarrassed after Laura goes through all that humiliation. But it was a fun read. I think. I would recommend it.

Immortal By Gillian Shields
-- I read this! The cover is a lurvely blue with a necklace on it (that looks quite like the one from Titanic). I read the blurb, and immediately sat down to read it.
The last thing Evie Johnson wants to do is go off to a private, snobby school filled with rich kids. But she's won a scholarship, and has no where else to go. Wyldcliffe School for Young Ladies is located in a gothic manor out in the moors of Northern England and there's a rumor that it's haunted. Evie is picked on by the other girls, but she finds solace in the friendship of Sebastian, a mysterious but beautiful boy that Evie finds herself drawn to. Evie begins seeing visions of a flame-haired girl that looks so similar to her that she could be a sister. As Evie begins falling for Sebastian, it becomes clear that there's more to him then she'd originally thought, and that the ghost of the girl is inexplicably intertwined in their lives.
I really liked the setting for this. England? Mmm. Gothic, haunted manor in the moors? Yummy. And romance? Even better. I didn't really like the ending but other than that I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it.

And last but not least,
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund--So I got to this one last, and the bookstore was about ready to close. So I only got to read the first half. But as soon as a I finish it, I'm going to write a full-on book review for it, because so far I love it. Spoiler: it's got killer unicorns in it! What's not to love about that?

Wow, I'm exhausted. I think next time I will just copy and paste the book blurbs a instead of writing them myself. And then comment. Hehe, still figuring out how I'm going to do this blog.

Off to the bookstore to finish Rampant!


Hallo there!

Well, I've decided to start a blog, as you can see for yourselves. I intend this to be updated regularly (but fat chance of that happening). This will mostly be a YA book review blog.
I'm warning you now, this might turn out completely rambly. And off-topic. I may put you to sleep. Or bore you terribly.
But wait! Don't run away yet! I've got chocolate chip cookie recipes and book reviews to share. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, stick around :)