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Profile for Alyssa M. Kirk > Reviews


Alyssa M. Kirk's Profile

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Reviews Written by
Alyssa M. Kirk "Teens Read and Write" RSS Feed (Los Angeles, CA United States)

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Poldark, Season 1
Poldark, Season 1
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Poldark, Season 1 (Amazon Video)
Romantic sexy suspenseful

Skulduggery Pleasant Books 8 & 9: Last Stand of Dead Men & The Dying of the Light (2 Books)
Skulduggery Pleasant Books 8 & 9: Last Stand of Dead Men & The Dying of the Light (2 Books)
by Derek Landy
Edition: Paperback
2 used & new from $18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Always a blast!, September 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Continued brilliance for those who enjoy the series.

Orphan Black Season 1
Orphan Black Season 1
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Slow First Episode but then exploded!, July 7, 2014
First one didn't grab me, but I kept going and soon couldn't stop watching! So addictive. And Paul has me mesmerized.

Skin Game (Dresden Files)
Skin Game (Dresden Files)
by Jim Butcher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.14
168 used & new from $0.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Butcher Never Disappoints!, July 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Skin Game is fun, fast-paced, full of unexpected twists, brimming with suspenseful moments, and littered with fabulous characters, old and new. Only problem? Waiting for the next. Guess I'll just have to read it again.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
by Rae Carson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.43
101 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Girl Power Goodness!, March 12, 2012
This was awesome! I loved the super-uber girl power!

Starting off, it was slow, but nonetheless intriguing. Princess Elisa was so helpless and self-loathing and I found her hard to connect with, but boy did that change quick. Elisa went from lonely, fat, and no self-confidence to strong, fit, independent and a highly intelligent leader with an endless supply of people who loved her. How's that for a 180?

Elisa wasn't the only character to love in this story. I enjoyed the many-layered characters throughout the story. I was constantly surprised by all who surrounded Elisa. No one was what they appeared at first, or even second glance.

The relationships grew gradually and realistically, and I felt equally as hurt and/or betrayed as Elisa when something went wrong. And so, so many things went wrong for poor Elisa.

The romance in Girl of Fire and Thorns was secondary, really thirdary. Is that even a word? Well, it is now. Sometimes I wanted more, but it worked well because this was more a story of Elisa's self discovery than falling for a guy. That said, I'm all about Humberto, he has my heart!

There is a religious aspect to the story, the Godstone in Elisa is supposed to give her a direct connection to God. I was surprised that it was never an issue for me. It wasn't preachy in the slightest and actually added depth to the story and Elisa's character.

This worthy adventure delivers great twists and turns, lots of intrigue, exciting action and excellent character development.

Straight up fantasy is usually hard for me to get into, but I had no problems. I would label this baby as a must read. And I cannot, I repeat, cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel! Argh - the waiting!

by Marie Lu
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.39
170 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Dystopian -, March 12, 2012
This review is from: Legend (Hardcover)
With the couple-from-the-opposite-sides-of-the-tracks theme, Legend has a Romeo and Juliet vibe, but romance takes a backseat to this action-filled dystopian.

And in this case, Juliet is a kick-butt soldier type.

The U.S. is divided into warring factions of East (Colonies) and West (Republic). June is a military prodigy for the Republic, her mind filled with all the rhetoric that goes with it. When her brother is killed, supposedly by the all-evil Day, she is sent in pursuit. Undercover in the slums, June meets up with Day and the story starts rolling.

With alternating points of view you get to know each character well. I loved June. Her development is a bit different. Instead of the softie who finds her inner strength, June is a hardnosed believer in the cause who softens over time as she and Day uncover the truth of the malevolent government conspiracy.

And she warms up to Day.

Who wouldn't? Day is an adorable sweetie, cast in this role of nefarious criminal when he's really just trying to protect his family and live a peaceful, happy life. But this is dystopian, guys, so life sucks and few get what they want.

A horrific plague runs rampant (and threatens Day's loved ones), the Republic is a police state where the poor are under the government's thumb, and everyone's life hangs by a precarious thread. Mystery and intrigue abound, June's whole belief system turns upside down, and the story provides plenty of thrills and chills, as well as death and mayhem.

The plot is often predictable - you can figure out who Metias' real killer is in the first few pages, and overall the "surprises" aren't really surprising. But who cares when the story is this engaging!

The action, drama, machinations, and political maneuvering, as well as captivating characters you're happy to invest in (especially June), make Legend excellent entertainment.

I'm excited for the sequel because even though many secrets were revealed, I know there's a bigger story lurking in the shadows just itching to be told!

by Brodi Ashton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.97
78 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teens Read and Write Reviews:, March 8, 2012
This review is from: Everneath (Hardcover)
It starts with Nikki trying to say goodbye to the people she loves and making amends for her mistakes. Broke my heart! And then knowing she's decided to let herself be banished back to the Underworld instead of compromising her morals and taking the easy way out -- I instantly loved her!

Her despair and sadness eventually dragged a bit for me -- you all know I love me some fast paced action, so take that with a grain of salt -- BUT then she starts looking for a way to cheat fate. Everything starts snowballing from there and I couldn't put it down.

The story flashes between present day and the events that led her to follow Cole into Everneath. A thread of dark, cryptic tension rippled throughout the story, and kept me intrigued during the slower parts. And as a mythology nerd, I LOVED the twists on classic lore and the mysteries surrounding it.

Cole's sexy vibe and enigmatic complexity oozes off the pages. I definitely share Nikki's love/hate conflict, and see why she followed him in the first place. Sooooo tempting.

Jack is equally devastating and so very real. True blue, committed, adoring. *Sigh* There should be one of him wandering the halls of every high school for all the girls to pine for.

I wouldn't say there's a love triangle exactly, and that gives Everneath a big plus in my book. Nikki loves Jack while she's only ever needed Cole -- for information, survival, etc. And both love interests reflect her feelings. Jack actually cares for Nikki. Cole simply needs Nikki and he'd be stupid if he didn't use that sex appeal to win her over.

The ending left me near tears and frantically awaiting the next installment.

All in all, a really good read. More intensely emotional and gut wrenching than paranormal action/adventure, but worthy entertainment.

And this remains one of my all-time favorite covers. Why can't I look like that every time I step out of the house? I'll just have to get a fog machine.

Untraceable (Nature of Grace Book 1)
Untraceable (Nature of Grace Book 1)
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast paces wilderness adventure!, February 22, 2012
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Okay, so there are no lions. Or tigers. But Untraceable does have bears. So how about:

Bears and villains and mystery and drama and romance and heartache and surprises and...

This wilderness survival mystery thriller has punch! Grace is spunky and tough, and tends to get herself into trouble even when she knows better. Typical teenager. But it all stems from her love of nature and her determination to find her father.

Nature, a huge part of Untraceable. Vivid description took me right into the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee - that's where the bears come in. Grace offers up survival advice and each chapter is even titled with survival skills.

But it's the story that's the big draw.

A fast-paced thriller, full of interesting characters, and a never ending supply of unexpected turns. As Grace's investigation pulls her deeper in to a much larger web of lies and corruption, the intensity rises and just when you (and Grace) think you have it all figured out, Bam! you get side-swiped with a new twist.

The romance stars Wyn, Grace's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, and the new hottie in the woods, Mo. Wyn is sweet but has rebounded with the town mean girl, so that lost him points with me. Mo comes across as a terrific fellow, but harbors plenty of secrets.

Danger and suspense increase. Grace gets caught up with some nasty folk so be prepared for violence to escalate. And the emotional roller coaster ride becomes very intense, especially near the end.

The ending isn't quite a cliffhanger, but it does leave some questions that leave you ready to get answered in the next installment, Uncontrollable, due out this summer.

Thirteen Days to Midnight
Thirteen Days to Midnight
by Patrick Carman
Edition: Hardcover
76 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teens Read and Write Review: [...], May 18, 2010
Jacob Fielding receives a gift/curse from his foster dad just before their car crashes into a tree. Mr. Fielding, the dad, dies but Jacob lives because Fielding utters the words "You are indestructible" and passes on his own power of indestructibility to Jacob.

Jacob didn't know anything about this and he's coming to terms with the power. Jacob and his best buddy Milo have a great relationship and then Ophelia (call her Oh - I had a real problem with that nickname, or the spelling. Everytime I read I'd have to remember it was her name and not an explanation of some sort). Oh (see what I mean?) shows up while Jacob's off school and she and Milo have become friendly.

She and Jacob have an instant connection and the three of them start hanging out. Jacob signs her arm cast (from a skateboarding accident) and uses the last words Mr. Fielding said to him, "You are indestructible." Later, when daredevil Oh takes a super nasty spill off her skateboard, she's unscathed.

A little freaked out, Jacob says, "I am indestructible," and now the power that he had unwittingly given to Oh is back with him. Soon the kids figure out that Jacob can give and get back the power to people just by saying or thinking the words.

They all become obsessed with using it and it gets them into some serious trouble. Jacob and Milo decide it may not be such a good thing but Oh goes a little bonkers with the power. She wants it all the time and we watch her her lively good-natured self spiral downward and disappear beneath a power hungry angry girl overcome with thoughts of death.

The rest of the story unfolds as Jacob and Milo unravel the puzzle of where the gift comes from and how it works in order to control it and save their friend. They make some smart decisions and try to do what's best.

Thirteen Days to Midnight kept me thoroughly engaged. I liked the characters, the original premise and the pace built to a dramatic climax. This "superpower" book was different in that it explored the darker (and realistic) side of having the power - especially when it's given to teenagers - even well-meaning ones.

I highly recommend it, but it isn't a fun read. Well, it's fun to start out but then the realities and consequences of the power become twisted. The novel is dark but also thought provoking (without getting preachy) as you start to question the idea of playing God and making life and death decisions. This would make a good book club choice for the discussions that it could provoke.

It touches on death and even suicide but I think it handles both well. There's no sex (a few kisses) and very minimal swearing.

The Cover: I like it. Ominous, mysterious and foreboding.

First Lines: Jacob Fielding stood in a small room and stared at a body. It was a dead body, someone he could have saved but chose not to. Jacob had let the person die because, in his view, it was the right thing to do.

I thought these were great. I'm ready to get into this story!

Bottom Line: Again, I wouldn't say it's `fun' but worthwhile? Intriguing? Powerful? Absolutely. It's a story that will stay with you.

The Hunchback Assignments
The Hunchback Assignments
by Arthur Slade
Edition: Hardcover
78 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teens Read and Write Reviews: [...], May 10, 2010
The Hunchback Assignments is a creative twist on the Quasimodo hunchback story that had me reading until the wee hours.

The tale begins with Modo as a toddler and one of the attractions in a traveling freak show. After seeing the child's amazing shape-shifting ablities, Modo is saved by the mysterious Mr. Socrates, who raises him in seclusion and trains him as a first-class secret agent for the Parliament Association.

Cool, right? Modo is adept at math, science, languages, etc. He's a clever kid although lonely and also devastated by his deformed appearance.

At fourteen he's set upon the streets of Victorian London and is soon investigating the mysterious disappearances of several street children. In his sleuthing, Modo relies on his amazing shape-shifting abilities. While his natural appearance isn't pretty, he can transform/mirror any other person. He's also like a Victoria era free runner because he travels over London's rooftops with ease.

Modo learns that the Clockwork Guild has set in motion a malicious plot against the government, just as a evil scientist is creating a monstrous army of altered children to further the goals of the Guild.

To protect the empire, Modo teams up with another agent, Octavia Milkweed, for an assignment that takes them from the tower of London to a frightening world deep beneath the city, that includes traipsing through the city's sewers.

The setting is a creepy Victorian London but with a dystopian twist because of the cool gadgets. Modo is lovable. He's this smart guy and adept super spy but he also has many insecurities, and while his feelings for Octavia grow you keep rooting for him to succeed in saving the world and finding love.

The Cover: A winner! The cloaked figure on the roofs of London, the gears and symbols - and the blue gives it a dangerous, eerie feel. It's what prompted me to pick this one up.

The First Lines: The large carriage rattled with grotesqueries - bones of cats and pigs strung up as wind chimes, bleached bear skulls dangling from wires, and three shrunken monkey heads mounted on posts. Their glass eyes stared out at the approaching winter. Bells that hung from reins tinkled, warning away wandering spirits. Four horses pulled the carriage, hip bones protruding from their bedraggled flesh, hides scarred by thousands of whippings. Huddled behind them in a thick, warm coat and muffler was a grizzled old man.
I love these first lines. So creepy and bizarre, I've got to find read on!

Bottom Line: The Hunchback Assignments is a fast-paced adventure with snapppy writing and an intriguing plot that had me from page one. Sinister villains, engaging heroes, terrific description, action, adventure, romance - The Hunchback Assignments wraps them all in a exciting tale that reminds us that physical appearance has nothing to do with a person's true character. I highly recommend this one!

Review by Gregory Kirk

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