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What did I miss? {7/15 – 7/22}

Jul
22

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Memes, What did I miss?

What did I miss? is a feature here at The Grammarian’s Reviews showcasing weekly updates and highlights from both here and other bloggers. So let’s get on with the recap!

Cover talk: The Casual Vacancy — I discuss what I like/dislike about the cover of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming release.

[review] Black Heart by Holly Black — An amazing end to an extremely gripping series. I’m sad to see it end!

Charging for reviews? — I discuss what I think is the unreasonable act of bloggers charging authors for reviews.

Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole — A release note, part of the Kismet blog tour.

Whip it Up Mondays — Truffles! (No, not the chocolate kind.)

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Where do I begin? This week sucked, to be honest. A lot of work drama really had me wanting  to spend time by myself. And spending time by myself resulted in extra reading time! I plowed through Black Heart, the last installment in the Curse Workers series by Holly Black. And then I spent time wishing it hadn’t ended. The Curse Workers series is the first series in a while that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It’s hard to find a series in which you enjoy each and every book – especially when it’s a genre you don’t typically read.

Because I enjoyed them so much, I decided to take a chance and go for another popular series that’s not typically a genre I read: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I’m currently finishing up City of Bones and OMG IT IS AMAZING AND WHY DIDN’T ANY OF YOU MAKE ME READ THIS SOONER?!

Oh, and there’s still nothing planned regarding my two-year blog birthday this week. Yep. I’m slacking.

Road Trip Playlist — Liz shares some perfect road trip songs, in honor of YA road trips.

Blogger ethics — Nafiza addresses some of the issues making their rounds through the blogosphere.

Ash teaser! — I think a lot of us were upset that Ash didn’t win in his round of the YA Crush Tourney, but Kagawa treated us all to a cute little teaser anyway!

Social media — Kat discusses the pros and cons of social media and the appropriate etiquette.

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REVIEW! Black Heart by Holly Black.

Jul
20

14 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book reviews, Four Stars

Black Heart by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

296 pages | Published: April 3, 2012 | Margaret K. McElderry Books

MY THOUGHTS:

I need this series to not be over. Partly because it’s so good, and partly because I still need answers. At the same time I understand that there could never be enough answers to Cassel’s life. Black could keep writing this series and it would result in me craving more, more, more.

Point blank: Black Heart – and, generally speaking, the Curse Workers series – is addictive.

This book was the one that had me on the edge of my seat the most. I really, really feared for Cassel and wanted everything to work out for him. He took hold of my feelings like no male character has been able to do in a while. He’s not the nicest or brightest kid. I mean, let’s just say it: he’s done many illegal things. And yet I still wanted things to work in his favor. He proved he could change; he proved it to me and himself. And the greatest thing is that his growth is taken yet another step further than seen in Red Glove. I won’t spoil anything, but he shares quite a touching moment with Sam. (I went and re-read it. It’s that cute.)

I think the only disappointment with Black Heart is its predictability, which I’d learned to spot in the past two books. The denouement is thrilling and gripping, but it didn’t leave me in the dark. I think, this time, Cassel’s story is missing that extra oomph, that extra con magic. (I say con “magic” because this time the cons seem sloppy.) If the cons matched the personal elements, it would’ve been absolutely perfect.

But this doesn’t change the fact that Cassel Sharpe stole my heart. (Or that I’m letting him keep it.)

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