This book had so many issues, but I'm giving it 3 stars because it's about San Francisco, and because Etienne goes to Berkeley. Go bears! Hehehe.
Wher...moreThis book had so many issues, but I'm giving it 3 stars because it's about San Francisco, and because Etienne goes to Berkeley. Go bears! Hehehe.
Where shall I start. The tattooed, pot-smoking boyfriend who's jealous, inconsiderate, and insensitive? Um... Why did Lola date him again? How about Lola herself, a walking fashion phenomenon? I liked the descriptions of her outfits and the crazy stuff she did, but sometimes she went a bit overboard, especially with the Marie Antoinette and Cleopatra getups. Because I've watched Marie Antoinette, and I know there's no godly way to maneuver in a dress like that. With hair like that. If the clothing's not enough of an indication, you can tell Lola has a flair for the dramatic from the way she "bursts into tears" every couple pages and how she nearly faints when Cricket and Calliope come back. Also, she talks to the moon, which is not just a little weird.
The plot is fairly ridiculous. There's never really much of a struggle between whom Lola should choose. Of course anyone would choose the nice guy that the dads approve of over that hulking 22-year-old nymphomaniac! Then there's her fortune telling homeless mother who's not really that homeless and her gay fathers, one of which owns a pie-making business. I liked her dads. They were cool. But Perkins throws so much eccentricity into this story that it overwhelms it. Anna and the French Kiss wasn't this complicated. There were backstories and drama, but it wasn't so colorful and chaotic. Speaking of those two, I still loved reading about their interactions. Their love makes singleness pathetic.
Anyway, I still think Perkins is awesome. I mean, she makes life seem so fun. Like you just happen to have a cute neighbor who invents romantic moons and stars, who just happens to be totally in love with you, and who you just happen to run into everywhere. God. I'd love to live in one of her books. Also, she makes San Francisco come alive. I love San Francisco. I especially love walking in the Mission, seeing all the Victorians stacked up against each other, so this book really hit a personal chord for me. And... come on. They go to Berkeley. But living in the Foothill dorms was a bad, bad choice for Etienne and Cricket. Bad. (less)
There are no words to describe how angry this book made me. It was very reminiscent of Beautiful Disaster with its overbearing, over-possessive male l...moreThere are no words to describe how angry this book made me. It was very reminiscent of Beautiful Disaster with its overbearing, over-possessive male lead and a dumb-as-rocks heroine.
First of all, Etta does not stop whinging about how she needs her space and she needs to be free, blah, blah. She also talks about her brother's death like it's no big deal. Her brother's death is only used as a tool to justify her father's dickishness. Nowhere in the book is there any mention of what her brother meant to her, even though they don't seem to be that far apart in age. So she manages to find a house with two very nice people, although one of them is a party girl and gets drunk way too much, and she moves out because her father trusts her to do it.
Then, she meets Damien. This is where all the shit starts hitting the fan. The first clue should've been when Damien randomly lets her into his apartment even though he doesn't even know her, then proceeds to corner her. Then, of course, he starts popping up everywhere, and then their undeniable attraction (cue eyeroll) drives them together. Damien is a chauvinistic bastard, and he isolates Etta from everybody in her life, cancels her appointments, keeps her from class. This goes on for way longer than necessary, but every time Etta even makes some sign of resisting, all he has to do is press her against a wall, and she's willing to do whatever he says. Also, I'm very certain that one of the scenes is rape. There is literally a scene in which she is running away from him, and he grabs her ankle and drags her back to the house. What the fuck? Who does that shit? And her friend is right there, but he doesn't call the cops or do something about it?
There was some truly fucked up stuff happening in this book, but to my endless amazement, none of Etta's friends or family make any move to do anything besides complaining that she's never there.
Etta herself is messed up beyond belief. She lets her boyfriend micromanage every aspect of her life, and all it takes is some hot breathing before she submits to him again. He keeps 90% of his life away from her, and all she does is spout crap about how he's like a magnet and it hurts to be apart from him. She fucks around with Damien when she gives her best friend, Aaron, false hope. Also, she's amazingly naive and stupid. Yeah, I get that she's been sheltered, but an 18-year-old should know that when a man and woman have sex together without protection, pregnancy will happen. Especially if the two of them do it a million times every day like she and Damien did. I was beyond disgusted with her behavior and idiocy. Ugh. This is what Etta's perspective about sex is:
I get that most people view sex as a big step in a relationship. I, personally, do not. I don't see a problem with giving in to your desires. I see more of a problem in denying yourself... If he'd just let me touch him, or if he'd just touch me, then this wouldn't all be such a big deal.
Uh, what!? Does this not sound like something a crack addict would say? What kind of twisted logic is that? She basically just said everyone should have no restraint and sleep around all the time. I hope I'm not the only one who sees something really wrong with her point of view. I was disgusted with the sex scenes in this novel. Not only were there too many, but they played no role in furthering the plot, and too many of them came out of Damien forcing Etta into something she did not want to do.
Worst of all, there's a sequel! What the actual fuck?! You're going to have to drag me through a tub of acid before I read that drivel. No wonder this book was free on iBooks. (less)
Don't know why I never reviewed this, but here I am now. I had sort of high expectations because of all the raving reviews, but I honestly thought thi...moreDon't know why I never reviewed this, but here I am now. I had sort of high expectations because of all the raving reviews, but I honestly thought this book was too full of holes for it to ever seriously make it onto any of my good shelves. Their are a lot of obvious problems with the so-called "curse." Besides that, the name Trollus always makes me laugh. It just makes me think of this:
Come on, Trollus is a really weird name. Also, you can't have good looking trolls. Doesn't that defeat the very definition of a troll?? Also, it's just not a pretty word to call anyone. We might as well start having sexy as hell brownies and GQ cover goblins, since we've started down this path already.
I enjoyed the imagery and the idea of this dark city with glass gardens, and Tristan sometimes did things that made me like him, but in the end it's just another book with two attractive people who have the world against them. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, everywhere. There were a couple twists here and there, but in the end I felt woefully underwhelmed, especially since I thought it didn't need to be prolonged into a trilogy. (less)
If I have to read another metaphor about fire and destruction and being incinerated to ashes by passion, I'm going to hit the wall.
So it probably doe...moreIf I have to read another metaphor about fire and destruction and being incinerated to ashes by passion, I'm going to hit the wall.
So it probably doesn't surprise you to know that I'm not a supporter of cheating. It disgusts me and I don't think there's anything to justify it. And after reading this book, I still believe that. I was disgusted with Cathy and how fickle she was. The only reason she left Ben was that Arsen appeared. The only reason she asked Ben to try again was that Arsen dumped her. Also, the random POVs are just that: random.
The author chose a hard topic, and her justification for why it happened is weak at best. I have absolutely no pity for Cathy. The miscarriages are bad, but it was no excuse for her to treat her husband the way she did. I feel horrible for both Arsen and Ben for loving Cathy in the first place.
I did like the paralleling love story between Ben and Cathy, but it was too inconsistent. And there was way too much sex. I think the main problem here was that Cathy was just too horny. Every ten pages, she's getting wet or having sex with either Ben or Arsen. Sex gets boring after a while. Hard to believe, I know.
I don't know why this book is getting such great reviews because there's nothing below the surface except for a woman who throws away something great to chase after something that is insubstantial. I don't understand why Cathy and Arsen are so attracted to each other beyond looks, considering the shallowness of their relationship. While Asher made an effort to justify this plot, I'm not convinced. (less)
I think I'm starting to get tired of all these contemporary YA novels that revolve around sexual/physical/psychological abuse. There doesn't have to b...moreI think I'm starting to get tired of all these contemporary YA novels that revolve around sexual/physical/psychological abuse. There doesn't have to be some awful tragedy in order for a modern-day story to happen. Don't Breathe a Word wasn't awful, and it actually had some nice prose and momentum, and it lets us glimpse what life is like for the homeless in Seattle. But other than that, I was bothered by the glorification of life on the streets and the whole "street power" idea. Everything was resolved too quickly, and the evil presence was too easily obliterated. (less)
Yeah, so... I really don't understand the high rating for this book. It's another one of those teeth-ruiningly "sweet" novels where the girl suffers f...moreYeah, so... I really don't understand the high rating for this book. It's another one of those teeth-ruiningly "sweet" novels where the girl suffers from a lifetime of abuse from her peers and her family before the boy swoops in, saves her, and opens her up to society again. The writing was mediocre, the characters annoyingly one dimensional (the kind, motherly mom that reminds the MC of what she's never had, the doting father, the funny grandpa). I skimmed most of it, and I was ready to give it only one star, but the ending came as a slight surprise (maybe because I wasn't paying attention half the time), and I liked the fact that Henry left for a while.
Kate... I don't understand Kate. I know her history is explained, but I still don't get why she was abused my her peers in the first place. The bullying that happens to her at school sounds disgustingly juvenile, and definitely not something that high school students would do. I know there are bitches out there, but following one girl in targeting one specific person without any reason at all seems outrageous. I don't like how easily Kate made up with her tormentor, and I know it's supposed to show her kindness, but the girl put menstruation blood on Kate's dress at a dance and got all her groupies to laugh at her! If you immediately become best friends with someone like that, you're not amazingly kind. You're stupid. She suffers all this abuse at the hands of her parents, but she could get help. I fail to see how foster homes or state care is worse than getting beaten near death every day. Bennett makes an attempt to have her parents redeem themselves, but it falls flat because these changes are so abrupt. You can't go one day beating your daughter and then trying to make small talk with her the next. I know there's an explanation for that, but it doesn't seem realistic. At all.
Henry is your typical sweet-talking charmer whom everyone happens to love. He plays the role of knight in this book, saving Kate, appearing at all the right moments, apologizing for being perfect. The reasons he likes Kate in the beginning, as he explains himself, are her lack of caring for things that girls obsess over and her damsel-in-distress mating call. So really, all the reasons he goes after her are byproducts of her being bullied. In my opinion, Kate doesn't do anything lovable. All she does is cry, get hurt, cry some more, and hide.
I don't know exactly what this book is trying to accomplish, but if it's trying to be realistic, it's failing hopelessly. It's using abuse as a means to make a girl more appealing to the audience and to a guy, and it's encouraging a selflessness that could possibly get a person killed. And it offers a miraculous ending in which everybody recognizes his/her faults, which are all very typical (alcoholism, bitchiness, abandonment issues, etc). They all voluntarily go and get the help that they know they need. Ugh. If you want a good contemporary novel, there are plenty others that far surpass Heart on a Chain.(less)
Definitely not as good as the first book. There was something captivating about Will's and Lake's relationship in the first book that kept me reading;...moreDefinitely not as good as the first book. There was something captivating about Will's and Lake's relationship in the first book that kept me reading; maybe it was the taboo aspect. This one is in Will's perspective, and I really think Hoover should stick with writing from Lake's point of view. Will just didn't seem anything like a twenty-one year old guy who used to be a teacher. Instead, he sounded more like a lovestruck teenager.
That's not to say that this book didn't have its moments, because it definitely did. The new characters like Sherry and Kiersten were nice additions, and the bonds among the neighbors and friends were still as strong as they were in the first book, though the absence of Lake's mother is evident. There are bouts of humor and feeling, but that gets interrupted sometimes by too much cheesiness. I especially liked Will's and Kiersten's poetry towards the end, though I think the subject of slam poetry isn't explored enough here. The thing about this series is that it does require a suspension of disbelief, just because it's hard to see two barely-adults raising two kids in two different houses where people don't knock on doors and everyone is totally friendly. I think the fact that many of the problems that were brought up in this novel weren't fleshed out also added to the increasing ludicrousness of the plot. While in Slammed, I could sympathize, many of the events here just made me roll my eyes.
Time for me to move from this butterflying series and off to something new. (less)
The first hundred pages of this book worried me. I was afraid that we were back to the materialistic "assassin" who didn't do much besides buy dresses...moreThe first hundred pages of this book worried me. I was afraid that we were back to the materialistic "assassin" who didn't do much besides buy dresses and swoon over princes. It was slow in the beginning. Once again, Celaena is back to snooping around and snarling at people, but doing no killing whatsoever. While her relationship with Chaol heats up, some of the things they say to each other are positively cheesy.
I honestly don't remember much from the first book. It left me with quite a lackluster first impression, since the challenges were mediocre and the villains were predictable. In this book, there's still that same predictability, but Maas does throw in some twists. In this book, we really see the loss of Celaena, the light-hearted girl from the first book. Her past starts to come back in fragments, and I'm really impressed by how Maas manages to keep us in the dark about so many things about her history when we're reading from her point of view a majority of the time.
The perspective shifts were a bit annoying. I didn't like getting thrown from Chaol to Dorian to Celaena to random creatures lurking in tunnels, but that might be my personal preference. While being omniscient has its advantages, I wouldn't have minded just watching everything unfold from Celaena's perspective. I actually think I was denied a lot of the plot twists just because you understood the reasons for them happening before they actually happened ((view spoiler)[Nehemia already knowing she was going to die spoiled the pain of her death for me (hide spoiler)]). The first part of the book is deceiving, so make sure you solder past that because there are great, bloody things awaiting you. Oh, yes. The blood, the gore, the triumph! It seems like all the pent-up non-assassin things that Celaena was doing for Throne of Glass finally burst and the real her came through. The second half of the book is darker, grittier, and toes the line between what's really appropriate for YA fiction. Ultimately, it brings the story into more focus. That was when I finally understood what Celaena was fighting for and what the whole business with all these different kingdoms was about. Part two is creepy and mysterious, which is just how I like my stories.
That's not to say this book doesn't have its faults. Everything in the end is so chaotic, I think the main point is missed. There's so much blood and killing, it's almost like Maas is forcing Celaena to make up for the lack of violence in the first half. Also, she uses the word "ancient" far too much. Some of the events don't quite tie up together to me, especially towards the end when everything becomes a conglomerate if killing first and avoiding questions later. While I wasn't too emotionally invested in the characters, it was a fun book to read, and I'll be coming back to find out what happens. Shit has finally hit the fan, and it is totally a reason to celebrate and look forward to the third book! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A general's daughter buying a young slave? Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome waiting to happen. Let's do this!
6/6/14 Review Update: After obsessively wa...moreA general's daughter buying a young slave? Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome waiting to happen. Let's do this!
6/6/14 Review Update: After obsessively watching Game of Thrones, I noticed the interesting parallel of this fictional slave-based kingdom of Valoria vs. Valyria and the slave cities that Daenerys conquers. Hmm... Interesting. I wonder if it's just a coincidence that the names are so similar?
4/21/14 Review Update: Going into this book, I expected explosive fights, a magical world, and a sweeping romance. One of the biggest fights ended up being a small spat involving two characters poking each other with swords and ending in a very high school-esque fashion as one declared she had "dirt" on the other guy. Somehow, everyone believes that this is a huge victory.
The magical world turns out to be like something out of my history book, with a couple fashion troubles and a visit to the market that attempt to give the world character. This actually isn't that big of a disaster because I appreciate the details that Rutkoski inserts about the conquest of the Herrians and the way war shapes Valorian life. Still, I had no idea that Kestrel lived in an empire. While reading the book, I could only ever imagine her on some sort of Southern plantation because it doesn't seem like she goes anywhere besides to gossip, flirt, or gamble. There is mention of a god of lies and a god of hospitality, but religion is nothing else but an addendum to add flavor to Rutkoski's metaphors.
The sweeping romance... where do I begin? It turns out to be a baseless love that takes off because the two characters are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. I don't understand it at all... Sure, Arin is good looking and can sing, and Kestrel loves music so obviously they should be together. But all of their interactions were just strange and surprising to me. I didn't have much emotional investment in their relationship. While it's alluring because it's forbidden, and they learn about each other under the constant danger of the tensions between their people, it moved far too fast for me to see any connection. It gets a little better in the second half, but I still think it's kind of dumb, and once again there is the woeful third wheel Roland, who has all the qualities of an amazing man but is sadly used and abused, then tossed aside with a second thought but nothing more.
Also, Kestrel is so useless. She can't fight, and while she gambles and plays piano, are those things really going to be her redeeming factors? As someone who supposedly has a mind for military strategy, she doesn't use it much. A lot of the things that happen in the book: her duel, the deal she strikes with the emperor, her supposed "love" for Arin, made me skeptical. It just doesn't make sense that the social setting responds so slowly, with far less judgment than they should, and how long it takes for breaches to be noticed. The slavery concept, while interesting, doesn't translate to anything except a bunch of glorified servitude. In both Arin's and Kestrel's cases, neither is really under captivity. Throughout the book, Rutkoski takes topics and softens them with flowery language. Heavy topics like rape and slavery are glossed over in favor of bewitching blue eyes and baking parties in the kitchen. While I'm interested in how Kestrel and Arin manage to get out of this little debacle, The Winner's Curse might be more suitable for those who are more oriented towards romance and eBay. (less)
I can basically dumb this book down for everyone else who hasn't read it yet with 10 basic senten...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I can basically dumb this book down for everyone else who hasn't read it yet with 10 basic sentences.
1. Girl with dark, secret past that she's ashamed of telling to anyone because it'll make people see her differently moves to a new place. 2. Girl tries to avoid deep connections with other people, especially attractive males who seem to be potential boyfriend material. 3. Girl runs into Boy on first day of class (literally). Boy is attractive (surprise!). 4. Boy is very interested in Girl even though Girl turns down his every advance (actually, maybe that's exactly why he's interested...). 5. Girl finally lets Boy in. They do lots of fun things, like going to a drive-in theater, meeting parents, feeding each other eggs... 6. Girl finds out that Boy is definitely worth it, and so she pushes him away. 7. Boy and Girl fight because Girl is still insecure even though Boy has made it completely clear that he would do anything for her. 8. Boy and Girl get back together because they're both masochists (especially Boy). 9. Boy and Girl fight again because Girl can't get over anything and would rather cry. 10. Boy and Girl get back together and Girl suddenly decides to forget her past and move on. 11. SEX. Or, as Avery words it, "swesomely amazing sex."
TL;DR: Boy meets Girl, Girl is bitch to Boy, Boy can't help himself, Girl is bitch to Boy again, Girl and Boy have sex.
I definitely was reminded of Beautiful Disaster while reading this. It's the exact same formula, with less throwing things and abuse on the male's part. Actually, I think Avery is pretty much guilty of all abuse in this book. I must say that if there's one thing that Armentrout is good at, it's her male leads. Despite all their moments of douchiness, they turn out to be upstanding men, and that's what Cam was. He had astonishingly good moments. There was this one part when Avery says, "Cam, you're a good guy" and he replies with, "I'm only good with you." Pretty heart-melting stuff. His biggest character flaw was getting involved with the hot mess that was Avery. I don't know what to think about the way sexual abuse is addressed in this book. I thought it was overdone in that it was mentioned too much without any details, and it told me nothing new. In a way, it was more a device to further the plot than anything else. In addition, there was an explosion of spelling/grammatical mistakes, and some of the characters have the tendency to speak like middle schoolers who still have to put quarters in the swear jar.
Overall, I didn't really enjoy this. Unlike a lot of people, I actually like the tired, trite formula. But I guess this moment was bound to happen sometime. I was setting myself up for disappointment. Now I'm going to expect to bump into a hot guy my first day at college. (less)
THIS BOOK HAS MADE ME SO CONFUSED. If you look at the shelves I've placed it on in my Goodreads review, you'll probably think I have schizophrenia or some other terrible psychological disorder that only comes into play when I'm reading books.
I was so angry at the start of this book. To me, Kat (Katy? Kittycat? Kitten? WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR NAME?) was suffering from a severe case of Bella Swan Idiocy, what with her stumbling over tree roots and flat ground and ogling Daemon just because of his jaw-droppingly good looks.
Even though I couldn’t stand him, and I actually think he might be the first person I ever hated, he was…he was a god. Who knew the kind of girls he was used to seeing in bathing suits.
She was every bit the annoying girl who doesn't know she's pretty, gets insanely jealous whenever another girl gets within ten inches of a guy she says she hates, and gets distracted whenever he takes off his shirt (which is a lot, in this book).
I was sick of that. Frankly, I was ready to flip some tables and call it a day.
But then... something changed. Maybe it was around the time Katy dumped a tray of spaghetti over Daemon and his fake girlfriend's head, or maybe it was when her comebacks started getting better. At any rate, that was when I began getting interested. It amazed me that this book had such a high rating, and they definitely didn't skimp on the advertising, since covers popped up everywhere. My every step on GR was dogged by the stupid green cover with its flawless models with their glowy green eyes. Which led me to believe that there was something about this book that I was missing. In the first half, all I could think was two stars this book sucks two stars why would anyone read this piece of crap TWO ST--
I mean, it's horribly cliche-ridden. As I've already mentioned, we have the cutely clumsy heroine, who attracts the attention of a guy who's 1000000x hotter than her and his equally hot sister, they're hiding some freaky supernatural secret with connections to Native Americans (this seems to be a crowd pleaser), and the heroine discovers this secret because she's stupid enough to walk in front of a truck. It's a recipe for disaster.
Strangely enough, it works. Not for the first half. That was just frustrating and made me want to stab Katy in the face. But after she discovers their secret, I looked forward to the book. One thing that I absolutely love, and that I have to commend Armentrout on, is that the woman knows how to write chemistry. Not only do they have a fuse-blowing make-out session (literally), Katy and Daemon have these sweet and hot moments together that made me root for them. The ending was a nice addendum to this, and it shows that Katy isn't a weak-spined character like I originally believed. Rather, she's pretty liberal with her middle fingers and insults. Also, she has secret ninja moves.
Daemon fell to his knees beside me, pulling me into his strong, solid arms. “Kat, say something insulting. Come on."
There were just these moments that made me laugh, which contrasted with my eye-rolling in the beginning. I know a lot of people have issues with Daemon, but I have already come to this understanding with myself that I'm attracted to douchebags, so despite Daemon's controlling, possessive, and overconfident demeanor, I find it very endearing. Others might think I'm a whacked out freak who will end up calling the suicide hotline sobbing about domestic abuse, and I am perfectly fine with that. Just leave me to my own dysfunctionality, and we'll be good.
Barring the fact that I like assholes, the plot of the book was strangely intriguing, too. This is my second alien book, Gravity being my first. And I think I realized with this one how much liberty writing about aliens affords you. I mean, with vampires and werewolves there's all that stuff about sticking to the rules with the bloodsucking and silver bullets and garlic necklaces. But with aliens, all that's really required is that they're from another planet. That's it. They could look like Alex Pettyfer or a half-cooked pig with an apple in its mouth, and nobody would complain. Although I prefer Alex Pettyfer. Anyhow, the plot's not that incredible or special, but it was mysterious, and there are still a bunch of things that haven't been explained fully.
In conclusion, I am so bewildered. Everything inside me is screaming at me not to like this book because it smolders of cliche, but what has made us believe that cliche is bad? If it's written well, why shouldn't I like it? Why should I let the critical reviewer inside me say otherwise? Oh yeah, Katy's a book blogger too. It sort of annoyed me in the beginning, just because she annoyed me and so consequently everything about her annoyed me, but then I started liking it towards the end, especially since I empathize. It's been so long since I've read something that had legit chemistry, I think I'm okay with all the possible problems lurking in the book. I feel quite mellow right now.
If anyone was able to make sense of this garbled review, I applaud you. You guys should be running the nation, not those seat-warming nobodies. (less)
Reading this has given me countless good ideas for a riveting game of Would You Rather. For example:
Would you rather be able to smell pheromones or vi...moreReading this has given me countless good ideas for a riveting game of Would You Rather. For example:
Would you rather be able to smell pheromones or virginity?
Would you rather run the risk of killing someone in Australia or being raped in the Middle East?
Would you rather make out with a ripped African American who goes to Harvard or always only have brief moments with a hot British band member?
Would you rather control lust or adultery?
Would you rather make out in a closet or on a washing machine?
This book made me laugh countless times, just because I couldn't take the plot or the characters seriously. In addition, there are certain words that should not be used in certain combinations, "big sexy boy" being one of them. At some point, Blake called some Spanish friends "Spanish brahs," which only gave me a brief mental image of bras with little Spanish flags on each cup.
Anna is still annoying with her naïveté and fawning over Kai, and there's lots of back-and-forth with them meeting even though they're technically forbidden from it, not that that's ever stopped anyone. There were a few hot scenes, though Kai doesn't really do anything until the second half of the book.
The ideas behind this book are interesting, but so many things don't add up, and there's more telling than showing. Why send your characters to Australia, London, and Syria if you're not going to bother talking about the places they go to?
Anyway, if you're looking to laugh at Kaidan and Anna's sign language lovin' or the strange things that the Neph do to avoid the Dukes, look no further. (less)
I remember a lot of people were raving about it, but the only aspect making this book...moreWhat the hell.
I don't even comprehend the ending of this book.
I remember a lot of people were raving about it, but the only aspect making this book a novelty is the strangeness of the brother-sister bond that it revolves around. I was reminded deeply of Forbidden while reading Flawed, but it possesses none of the depth or profundity that Maya's and Lochan's relationship had. The fact that the author incorporated James's fighting and all the trysts with Sam may have added to the reality, but it also convoluted everything.
Also, I have a serious problem with Sam and Sarah. They barely talk until one night, and then they're holding hands and having sex and kissing? Their relationship never seemed very real to me; more like a cardboard thing that went through the steps of a real relationship. On the other hand, her relationship with James is much more understandable, and it makes sense how James could begin to have such feelings towards her. But the way Sarah handles these emotions and the way they're shown in this book isn't done as artfully as it could be. I feel like the police and other things should've been involved in the storyline because it didn't make much sense for them to be living with an abusive father for so long, even with all the excuses supplied. I got really tired of Sarah's incapability of making a decision, how she so quickly regretted one thing before jumping to another, and how she burst into tears every time she suffered abuse from a male.
What this book has shown me is that every guy is looking for sex and power, and I'm getting tired of being told this over and over again. There just wasn't any variety. Of course all the guys Sarah knows are huge, muscular, and know how to fight. Of course the boy she has a crush on does no drugs and loves his mom and is just so perfect before everything all goes to hell. Of course she ruins everything.
Everything just jumbles together in this book, and the ending was just ugh for me. I guess it provides a sense of closure, and it's better than (view spoiler)[James dying but Sam and Sarah happily ever after (hide spoiler)], but I'm just irritated by the way every character is portrayed in this book. I really need something light-hearted for a change. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I, like everyone else, got pretty interested in the premise of this book. It's always interesting...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I, like everyone else, got pretty interested in the premise of this book. It's always interesting to see how authors twist the whole concept of dreams and how they influence reality. Insomnia reminded me of Wake in the way it makes dreaming a curse. The entire tone of Insomnia is creepy and dark, and it's easy to feel just as confused as the main character, Parker, about who the real victims and instigators are.
The beginning and end of the book were interesting, but I slogged through the middle. I didn't feel very invested in any of the characters, least of all Parker. Johansson was doing a balancing act with making the main character a possible antagonist, and in this case, I didn't think it was very well done. I never really empathized with Parker's situation or wanted to believe that he wasn't the one doing all the stalking and causing all the chaos. Most of the time, I was sick of him being melodramatic and creepin' on other people when I think there could have been more reasonable ways of dealing with his many situations. In addition, his whole issue with sleep isn't clarified enough for me to buy it completely. First of all, why is he still able to function like a normal person and play soccer (minus all the ogling of his co-captain's sister-in-law)? Second of all, how come he can take naps and not have dreams? Some of the stuff just doesn't add up. Or maybe I just missed stuff while being bored.
The other characters are equally flat. I do like the fact that Finn and Addie were so supportive of Parker, but they were just that. Neither of them did anything beyond that, and I just can't shake the feeling that they're nothing but two characters who will help Parker out of sucky situations. Mia, the girl that Parker thinks is his salvation, is nothing more than a girl who had a crappy past that she was trying to run from. In the end, I definitely felt like she didn't deserve any of the stuff that Parker or anyone else did to her, but is that all she is? The engineered subject of our pity? What happened to the spitfire in the beginning of the book, who did have a comeback or two to Parker's? That part of her seemed to disappear the moment a threat appeared.
I guess Insomnia is more contemporary and grittier than I expected, and I didn't really like that. I enjoyed Wake by Lisa McMann more, though, and it was still pretty firmly rooted in reality. Maybe my dislike has something to do with the main character, Parker, who doesn't seem to do much. There is an interesting idea that the next book will hopefully expand on more, but I don't think I'll continue with the series.
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book.(less)
Before this book, if someone had approached me and said that it was possible to write a 350 page...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Before this book, if someone had approached me and said that it was possible to write a 350 page novel that basically revolves around a teenage girl angsting in a forest, I would've called bullshit. But this book proved me wrong. Apparently, teenagers can have a lot of angst. Enough to fill 350 pages. I don't want to blaspheme Lovely, Dark and Deep though, because at its heart, it's a beautifully written book. The writing is poetic and conjures up images in a way that a regularly written script of dialogue and hasty descriptions can't. One of the first things that clued me into the prose was the quote on the front jacket flap:
I came here because it's pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of quiet-noise you need when there's too much going on in your head. Like the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear.
I still can't believe she compared herself to a headstone. She's basically saying her life is a cemetery. This should have been enough of a clue that I was about to venture into depression-land, but apparently it wasn't enough to drive me away.
The entire time I was reading, I kept imagining myself in this silent forest, the kind of forest you find in the east. The trees have heavy snow-covered boughs, and the only sound is silence. Other times, it seemed that this book had submerged me like a rock in the ocean, where everything is muffled but in clarity. This is the world that Wren seems to move through. After her car accident, when she sees her boyfriend die before her eyes, she's lost and can't seem to find meaning in normalcy anymore. The grief in this book is potent, and I had to take breaks from the book because there were times when I thought it would take me under and not let go.
Wren is a tormented character; she takes midnight jogs in the forest and basically wanders around, oblivious to everything around her. It wasn't so bad in the beginning, but as the book went on, I found it really hard to like her. There's an amount of grief that i can deal with, but the way she treated the people around her seemed too harsh. Her decisions were so childish, especially when she decides that she hates Nick, that I couldn't feel sorry for her. She hates quickly and falls in love equally quickly. Cal remains two-dimensional; although his illness gives him character, I never felt like I truly understood him or what he and Wren found in each other beyond their mutual knowledge of what grief feels like.
What I did like, besides the writing, were the side characters, like her father, Mary, and Zara. Although there's not enough exploration into each, their personalities are warm and offset the coldness that seems to surround Wren. When they appear in the book, despite Wren's sulky responses to their attempts to help, they seem to be beacons of hope and recovery. The normalcy they provide becomes more frequent, and I think McNamara did a good job of inserting them into Wren's life slowly but surely. I would've liked her to come to terms with her mother in some sort of way, but I guess the point of that and what happens to her and Meredith are both evidence that there are some circumstances in life that change everything, and there's not much we can do to change it back.
Lovely, Dark and Deep is a heavy novel, but it doesn't have enough momentum and is weighed down by that same heaviness. As I mentioned in my introduction, it's 350 pages of teenage angst. The end didn't seem like an end because the story cuts off, and maybe McNamara intends for us to imagine the rest of Wren's life, now that she's learned to care about others again. At any rate, the story just seems like one prolonged moment, and I have a hard time finding a plot in it. It could have been cut down a lot more so that the sadness was more profound and seemed less like it was dragging on. Also, the fragmented sentences sometimes interrupted the flow of things, especially since the rest of the writing was poetic and smooth.
Well, that's that. I'm exhausted from this book. Time for some Julia Quinn!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for giving me a chance to read and review this book.(less)
Alex FRANKS goes to SHELLEY High. Oh my, could this possibly be a FRANKENSTEIN retelling? Except...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Alex FRANKS goes to SHELLEY High. Oh my, could this possibly be a FRANKENSTEIN retelling? Except now the monster has become a hot seventeen year old boy?!?!?
Joker approves of my superb reasoning skills.
This would've been a great book if it hadn't been so reminiscent of Twilight horrified. Rought had a lot of things going for her. She had a strong main character, a successfully enigmatic male lead, and a plot that any classic/YA lover would be drawn to. I love retellings, and this is the first retelling of Frankenstein that I've seen. In the first couple pages, I rushed through this book. It was exciting, exhilarating, and I wanted to know more about Daniel and Alex and Em. Even though the GR blurb pretty much ruined the big secret for me, I still wanted to get to the bottom of everything and understand it completely. Also, Rought's writing style? Gorgeous. Sometimes it seems to go into the realm of too dramatic, but most of the time, it contributed just the right amount of haunting beauty and really added to the dark tone that existed throughout the book.
There didn't seem to be much going wrong in the first, oh, 100 pages. And I thought this book would be great, but as is the case with my crappy badness-radar, I turned out to be wrong.
Alex Franks was great for five pages. Then his whole mysterious, hood-over-face thing got old fast. It's been done so many times before, and besides his apparent good looks (in which case, why would he need the hood? And if the hood was to hide himself and people had already seen his face, what was the point?), there wasn't really much else he had going for him. I know, I know, he's related to Em's old boyfriend, but despite that, I still felt like she was cheating on Daniel. And this sort of bothered me. Also, what was the deal with Josh? He seemed like such a comical mustache-twirling villain that I couldn't take him seriously. On top of all that, he was a ginger. Figures.
The beginning and end were pretty interesting. There's some action and guts in the last couple pages. But the middle is just mind-numbing backwards and forwards lovin' between Em and Alex, with a couple memories of Daniel scattered in to make her feel guilty. I was never sold on the love. Isn't Rought essentially showing that Em only loves Alex because Daniel's in him? That's messed up, man. What guy wants to be loved because he reminds his girlfriend of her old boyfriend? No one, unless he couldn't get a girl any other way. And given Alex's supposed good looks, I think he'd be able to get someone.
Em is a badass in the first couple pages when she punches people and throws insults, but she softens too much. Sadly, she follows the trend and starts crying a lot. Not that she doesn't have reason to, but sometimes the tears were just unnecessary. I appreciated Rought's integration of Em's mom and dad instead of making her some poor orphan, but I think she really could've done a better job with her characters. None of them really made sense to me.
I recommend giving this book a try, even if it does get redundant in the middle. The end is pretty cliche, but you should just stick with it for the writing style. I think that was my favorite part. (less)
I don't know how Cass is going to stretch this into a trilogy. I honestly don't. Unless this has another beautiful c...moreThis is what the first book did:
I don't know how Cass is going to stretch this into a trilogy. I honestly don't. Unless this has another beautiful cover I can't resist, I'm going to avoid this book like the plague.
Update 7/23 So... I finished this book. It was just as awful as the first, if not worse. It's worse in that it tries to develop a love triangle and makes a bad name for women everywhere. America decides to love whichever guy is in the room and then forget him the moment he leaves it. The book attempts to explain what happened and to contribute to the whole dystopian aspect, but the explanation is extremely weak, given through the ever-cliche diary from a really old dead guy who happens to be very important. I can't say that men are given a very good image either, though. Maxon talks about how much he loves America while consorting with other women and trying to make himself "feel good," which is literally how he justifies it. And of course, we see how he has a troubled past brought on by a violent upbringing.
I didn't find any part of this book enjoyable, but I want to finish this series and find out what the hell actually happens. None of the characters have struck me as anything but fickle and one-dimensional, with the exception of Aspen. He remains constant, though in a very shallow manner. It's not about how the author has been horrible, anymore. This book is bad. Exceptionally bad. If I haven't ever questioned how the publishing industry works, I am certainly questioning it now. The writing style is stilted and sounds as if it's catering to elementary schoolers. The plot is not developed in the least, and the characters have all been built to fit some sort of mold, but they can't even seem to accomplish that. All in all, this series lacks class and cohesiveness, attempting to throw out twists that absolutely contribute nothing. Originally I started reading this to get over the pain that Siege and Storm had instilled in me, but now it's just created this little pit of disgust in my stomach. Bleeech. (less)
I like all the different ways you can spin a contemporary novel. You can focus on only characters...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I like all the different ways you can spin a contemporary novel. You can focus on only characters, and the setting doesn't matter. You can focus on an idea, like a girl pretending to date someone else, and that idea is the overriding aspect of a story. Or you can focus on the way characters travel through a setting. I especially like ones that incorporate something new, be it a traveling circus, a different country, or a high school with strange traditions. The novelty always gives me a rush (haha). And I thought I'd find the same thing with Such a Rush. Sadly, that didn't happen.
I don't have much experience with Jennifer Echols's writing; this is my first glimpse at one of her books. However, I do compartmentalize her with the period of life that I spent reading about melodramatic relationships and sex between teenagers that seemed too fake and too fast. I'm talking books like The Other Boy by Hailey Abbott and The Au Pairs. I didn't read many of those kinds of books, just because I found the material extremely repetitive and shallow. Such a Rush didn't seem like that kind of book, and I found the concept of a girl learning to be a pilot really interesting. It's definitely something you don't regularly see in a book. Also, I can't say no to a sexy bad boy, which is what Grayson is, supposedly.
In the beginning, I got into this book with all the excitement that Leah has on her first flying lesson. I've never read anything that depicted life in a trailer park to the extent that this book did, so it was a harsh glimpse into the way life is for people. However, I did feel that sometimes it was portrayed to the point of overkill because of the number of times Leah mentions the "whores on the beach" or the pitbull. Although Leah says time and time again that she isn't bitter about people having more than she does, the way she flies off the handle every time somebody questions her about her life makes those statements hypocritical. I can't hate her entirely, though; she takes what she has and runs with it. She's exceptionally driven, and I never wanted to strangle her at any time through the book, except maybe when she did that cutting at the throat motion, just because it seemed like a rude and random thing to do.
Now, the other characters. Grayson is a bipolar douchebag. He keeps assuming Leah is a whore, blackmails her into dating his brother for his own purposes, and despite all his sweet words, he still wants her to continue doing what he tells her to do. Alright, he's muscular, has curly blond hair, and always wears aviators and a cowboy hat. That's all really great, but not exactly a good reason for a person to fall in love with him. There is some depth to him, considering how he changes after he almost crashes his plane and after his father's death, but that could have been explored further instead of just being used as an excuse for his assholery. Alec and Molly are equally infuriating. I probably hated Molly most because she dragged Leah to a party even when Leah explicitly did not want to go. Molly is selfish and bitchy, a classic rich girl who puts herself first. Alec is one-dimensional and vindictive. The conflict in the book wasn't much of a conflict, since everybody seemed to already know what the problem was.
My greatest problem with this book is that it seemed supremely unrealistic, both in the way the plot unfolds and in the way the characters treat each other. Sure, Leah might be desperate, but it doesn't make sense that she would befriend people who treat her like trash and rub their richness in her face. There were also periods that Grayson or Leah would say something that was supposedly profound but sounded more like a preachy let-me-rub-a-moral-lesson-in-your-face line. I couldn't connect to any of the characters because I didn't find any of them that likable, and none of them possessed much depth. Also, why is the cover (gorgeous as it is) of a girl with straight hair when Leah harps so much over her curly hair? (less)
I wanted to like this book, mostly because of the blurb that promised a "g...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars
I wanted to like this book, mostly because of the blurb that promised a "girl-using loner bad boy." And I guess I got that, though not in the way I wanted.
The best way to explain my reactions toward this book would probably be in quotes. So. Let's begin, shall we?
Quote #1:In a lightning-fast move, he placed both of his hands on the brick wall, caging me with his body. He leaned toward me and my heart shifted into a gear I didn't know existed. His warm breath caressed my neck, melting my frozen skin. I tilted my head, waiting for the solid warmth of his body on mine. I could see his eyes again and those dark orbs screamed hunger.
Yummy Noah is yummy. I can totally see the dangerous sexiness he's got about him. However, this would have been a lot hotter if it hadn't happened almost in the exact same way several times throughout my reading of the book.
Quote #2:"No apologies. I could kiss you right now." Judging by the look in his chocolate-brown eyes, he meant it. "Don't. I think I'm gonna puke." I loved the way his lips turned up--part mischievous smile, part man of mystery.
Okay, I get that Noah is dangerous and sexy and mysterious. But I don't need to hear it over and over again. The puking part was funny, can't deny that. But I can't handle the redundancy in this book. Especially the parts with Noah always referring to Echo as "baby" or "my siren" or his "cinnamon oven" or whatever it was that he liked about her smell. It got old. And, as I mentioned in my status update, it reminded me of John Tucker Must Die, where I learned that John actually called his different girlfriends "baby" so he wouldn't mix up their names. Not a good sign.
Quote #3:"Yes, but never love. Just girls who didn't mean anything. You..." His tongue teased my bottom lip, thawing my body. "Are everything. I got tested over winter break and I'm clean and I've got protection." He reached to the side of the bed and magically produced a small orange square.
*Cough* *Snort* I think my coffee came out of my nose at this part. I definitely rolled my eyes. Is Noah a magician?
Quote #4:"I made out with Beth." The two of us leaned against the counter and drank our beers.
Do guys tell each other that they "made out" with a girl? I don't know. I just found this scene extremely feminine, for some reason. Except instead of drinking fruity stuff, they're having beers. I keep getting the feeling that McGarry is trying too hard to make these guys seem bad, and it doesn't come off as natural, just stereotypical.
Quote #5:Like everything else in life, if it contained the word free, it implied slow.
Ha! I like that. It's so true. Now here's a little, unique nugget that McGarry lets us see once in a while.
Quote #6:"I wish I could sleep with you," Echo's sexy-as-hell drowsy voice mumbled through the phone.
"Say the word, baby, and I'll rock your world."
*More coughing, snorting, laughing* Who SAYS that? Honestly, if some guy told me he'd rock my world, I'd laugh in his face. It's so cheesy.
Quote #7:"...I added a fucked up thought to another fucked up thought and I created a pile of shit."
Yet another funny nugget in the forest of badly used cliches and sayings. Wooooo. At this point, I just want everything to be over.
Quote #8:I waited for my pulse to stop beating my veins like a gang initiation, for the blood to leave my face and for my lungs to not burn as I gasped.
Errr. Like a gang initiation? What a strange simile. I had to read that a couple times, and I'm still a bit confused. There also is that strange comparison of her stomach butterflies to mutant pterodactyls? The pterodactyl part I can understand, but why are they mutant? Many times, I get the feeling that McGarry is using all these words but not pausing to really evaluate their meaning and what they contribute to the story.
I liked the way that Echo pieces together what happened, but I had to wonder whether it was strictly necessary to have so many flashbacks and so many meltdowns. It felt repetitive after the first two hundred pages, and the last hundred was just overkill, I think. I thought this story could've been a lot more compressed, which would have made the characters much more likable. I didn't really like Echo or Noah, Echo because she angsts a lot, which is obviously understandable given how much crap she has going on in her life. But there are moments where she seemed to acted in a way that was overly emotional, and it just didn't endear me to her. Likewise, Noah's perspective wasn't all that fun to read, either. He uses curses liberally, and normally I don't mind that, except that I think McGarry overdid it again. Also, he acts irrationally, and at the end when he sneaks into Mrs. Collins's office, I don't even get why he did it. It was just confusing to me.
The characters didn't leave much of an impression on me, despite what happened to them. Noah and Echo both have unenviable pasts, and that aspect drew me the most, though McGarry somehow blew them all out of proportion so the emotion seemed more forced than sincere. I don't think I liked anyone, really. Maybe Mrs. Collins, but I hated how she was likened to a dog. All of the comparisons made in this book are overcooked. If we likened this to a dish, I would say it was a delicious bowl of fried chicken that almost couldn't have gone wrong, except in the end the chef got insecure and dumped a bunch of salt in, which completely overcompensated.
NO KISS? I went through this many pages of what-the-fappery and there was NO KISS? Jane Austen o...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
NO KISS? I went through this many pages of what-the-fappery and there was NO KISS? Jane Austen or no, I am angry.
Edit: The blurb proclaims that this book is inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. When I think Austen, I think of witty repartee, handsome gentlemen, and annoying sisters. The third is not necessary, but funnily enough, is the only aspect of this book that comes even close to Austen's writing.
For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian retelling of Austen's Persuasion, but it failed on both parts. I haven't read much Austen, but I did enjoy Pride and Prejudice, and I definitely do not think this book does her any justice at all. It's about a girl, Elliot (had to think for five minutes before I remembered her name), who is left behind taking care of a crumbling estate because her useless father and sister can't do it themselves. While she takes care of the people and dabbles secretly in genetically engineered plants, she also pines after her childhood best friend.
Problem #1: The main character's personality (or lack of one). Elliot was pathetic. Completely pathetic. Most of the book, she's miserable but does nothing about it. She takes all the crap that her father and sister put her through and walks away with her tail between her legs whenever she's snubbed by Kai. She grows some balls about 300 pages in and talks back to him, but then she cries. And cries some more. Elizabeth Bennet would have said something smooth and appropriately cunning. Elliot just runs away with her eyes burning.
Of course, things happen in this book, as they happen in any novel. Though in this one, they happen excruciatingly boringly and slowly. Which brings us to
Problem #2: The nonexistent plot. What was it? Actually, scratch that. I hardly care right now. Who was the bad guy? The father and sister? But no, they suddenly stopped posing any threat at all at one point. The Posts and technological advancement? No, Elliot supports them even though they do experiments on children. Even though she is shocked and disgusted by the fact that Kai has, essentially, been injected with chemicals and become a sort of alien, she still goes abroad with him. So...was the enemy the Luddites and their views against advancement? But Elliot mentions that many of them are becoming okay with technology and wearing the garish clothes of the Posts. They rather reminded me of the Amish, though I'm sure the Amish are lovely people. They definitely aren't hypocritical concerning their beliefs. So...I didn't get what the conflict was. If there's any enemy in this book, that enemy would be Kai.
Problem #3: The male lead's completely unsexy personality. Kai, there are so many things I could say about you. But the main point is that you're a total douchebag. If one of my friends ever had the stupidity to fall for someone like you, I would slap her in the face a couple times for being such a blithering moron. Which is what Elliot is, in all matters that relate to Kai. There is absolutely nothing attractive about Kai. He badmouths Elliot to his friends so that everyone he's acquainted with hates her without knowing her, he insults her in public, and he even goes as far to pretend to be courting and even lay his head in her lap. It's only when he realizes his actions could potentially kill someone does he stop. After all the shit he puts Elliot through, all he has to do is write her some disgustingly gushy and cliche letter, and she goes running back to him.
*cue me sticking finger down throat*
The love story in this book is absolutely despicable. The book is basically just Elliot wearing ugly clothes (ignore the irrelevant cover because no pretty dresses ever enter this book), Elliot pining for Kai, Kai being a douchebag, Elliot pining some more, Kai being more of a douchebag, Elliot still pining, then BOOM happily ever after and everything magically becomes better. Also, a bunch of yawn-worthy info-dump letters that I skimmed.
Why did we need 400 pages for this redundant bullshit?!
Also, remember, there wasn't even a damned kiss.
The only consolation (and the only reason i gave this 2 stars) is that Peterfreund had the decency to write this one book and not extend it into a miserable series. Which she should be commended on, because not all authors have that sort of foresight (The Selection, cough.)(less)
PLANTS GROWING FROM EYELASHES. This is all too good.
I don't quite know what to think of this book. It's a big improvement compared to the previous tw...morePLANTS GROWING FROM EYELASHES. This is all too good.
I don't quite know what to think of this book. It's a big improvement compared to the previous two in regards to Juliette's character development and the way Mafi utilizes her writing style, but utterly disappointing on some points as well. I'll start at the end. To me, it wasn't built up properly or executed well. I didn't get any feeling of finality, and I definitely wouldn't classify it as a climax with how quickly everything happened and how easy it all was. Also, it was nearly all Juliette's doing. Nearly all the characters conveniently disappeared in the end, which I think is bull. The problem with dystopian novels is that there's never a good way to end them, because the world is so messed up by then that there's little that can be done to fix it, and that can't all be conveyed in the last twenty or so pages.
It was still easier for me to get through this book, though, probably because Warner was there. While I think it was a copout to justify all his previous actions the way Mafi did, the way he dealt with situations in such a controlled manner still gained some of my admiration. Also, the way Juliette ogles him is a clear testament to his hawtness.
Today is Tuesday. Which means right now, I'm watching him benchpress three hundred and fifteen pounds. [...] I can't stop staring. I don't think I've ever been more attracted to him in all the time I've known him.
Suddenly imagining an extremely blonde, extremely buff Abercrombie model. I'm surprised by how graphic Mafi was concerning their relationship. Then again, fluffy descriptions of kisses while skipping over the actual sex don't particularly appeal to me either.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the love triangle, we have Adam. He consistently throws tantrums because Juliette doesn't love him, even while other more important things are going on. He continues to snivel and pout, and I don't think that changes, even in the end. I don't remember what Juliette ever saw in him, and I'm glad she nipped that one in the bud. He acts like a child, and we all saw hints of that in the second book, but I don't think I realized how much he'd regressed until this last one. It was probably overdone; just because Mafi wants to be obvious that Warner is the only one for Juliette, there are better ways to do it than reducing her past love interest into a bratty preteen.
I do like the way that she's used her knack for creative language in this book. Especially the quote about quotation marks (so meta), which made so much sense to me. I realized that what I don't like about Mafi's writing is that sometimes she pulls all these random flowery words out of nowhere, and they have no relevance to the plot. They're like mini stories on their own, which only muddles things up. For example, lines like this:
I need a new brain. I need to jump out of a window and catch a ride with a dragon to a world far from here.
Uh, what? What do dragons have anything to do with your brain, besides indicating that you're completely loony?
I feel my face flush so fast that for a moment I'm surprised I'm not standing in a toilet.
Yeah... questionable. Other than that, I actually liked the flow of writing, and this book wasn't difficult for me to read at all. Juliette still bothers me, mostly because her mind is so childlike, and even after her huge transformation into some superhuman who suddenly knows everything, I still think she's mostly the same, except now she's realized that crying and whining aren't going to get her anywhere. Warner needs to learn to use contractions. I'm glad this trilogy is over, just because Mafi has so much potential and I want to see what else she thinks up!(less)
Cons: The crying. Jordan acting like a total girl, and mentioning that Ty is "hot" as an excuse for...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Cons: The crying. Jordan acting like a total girl, and mentioning that Ty is "hot" as an excuse for why she's dating him when she obviously has feelings for someone else. The crying. Tyler being a crybaby...? Mediocre writing that's very choppy at times (One phrase where the coach "stares into" Jordan's eyes, which is a bit weird.) The crying. The fact that Jordan uses Sam's last name, Henry, so much that I completely couldn't connect him to the his first name. And I happen to like the name Sam very much. Lots of welling eyes and pooling tears and however different ways to describe crying. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here, are you?
Pros: Sam and Jordan's friendship. Very sweet, and I especially liked the part with the football charm and how he picked wildflowers for her. Brief moments of hilarity, like when Jordan cries into Luigi's face (what?). The happy ending.
In conclusion: Feelings towards this book are lukewarm at best. All the crying just didn't do it for me. It actually angered me to the point of writing a post ranting about it, which can be found here. Liked the football and the fact that it was contemporary, but I didn't like Ty at all, and I had no idea what was going on with him. He was just there as a catalyst for Jordan's realization that she loved someone else, and after that, he pretty much disappeared. It was all HenryHenrySamHenry after that. And tears, of course. Let's not forget that.
When I was in seventh grade, we had a project where we had to choose some facet of history and do a speech on it. Being the morbid little middle schoo...moreWhen I was in seventh grade, we had a project where we had to choose some facet of history and do a speech on it. Being the morbid little middle schooler I was, I was totally gunning for the Black Plague. I mean, festering sores and blood tainted pus? Who wouldn't want to jump on that? Alas, it was not meant to be. A twerp of a kid named Ryan took the topic, and I was stuck with castles. Which are cool, but not as cool as the Bubonic Plague.
Come speech day, I waited on tenterhooks for Ryan's speech because despite the fact that I didn't get the Black Plague, it was an awesome topic, so of course the speech would be equally awesome. Ryan began to speak, and I waited to be overwhelmed by awesomeness. And waited. It shouldn't have been possible to make the plague that decimated half of Europe's population boring, but that day, Ryan accomplished the impossible. He made the Black Plague boring. When I gave my speech, people actually stayed awake. I was very angry. Angry because I could have done the Plague justice, unlike Ryan, who completely turned something amazing into utter sleep-inducing crap.
This is what The Goddess Test reminded me of. You have the fascinating premise of a girl passing a test in order to gain immortality, along the way falling for the god of the dead. Who isn't a sucker for Greek mythology? Yet Carter somehow manages to compress it into some run-of-the-mill young adult romance. Basically, like Ryan's lame presentation, it failed to live up to its potential.
We have Kate, our Mary-Sue heroine who relies on goodness of heart and blah, blah, blah, and her whole world comes crashing down because after a month of knowing some guy, there's the possibility he might not love her (but he does, obviously). The entire time, Carter gave me the distinct impression that she had bitten off way more than she could chew. The plot in the first half seemed completely different from the second half, and wholly unrealistic. How does Ava go from hating Kate with a burning passion to being her best friend? And how does Henry, who seems to be completely in love with Persephone, go to loving Kate in such a short amount of time?
I get that the mythology aspect and setting might not be realistic, but the relationships between the characters should be. And they are not. The tests are boring, lame, and unoriginal. The plot is a mess and pointless. I disliked Ava a lot (this begs repeating). I had no idea why Kate seemed to love her so much, besides the fact that the way she dies in the beginning is completely pathetic. I liked the risk and implied consequences of Kate's mother dying, but Carter managed to ruin that for me too. I thought Henry had loads of potential. Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing sexier than a dude who rules over the dead, except Henry does nothing of that sort. He's just there to look pretty and make out with Kate. Honestly. He did nothing fitting his role as ruler of the Underworld besides speaking archaically--which was awkward, since all of the others had no problem using contractions--and for some weird reason he could bring Ava back alive but couldn't bring her back a second time but then he did and this is really confusing, okay? Nobody dies in this book, despite the fact that it revolves around the dead. Which is annoying and a total copout.
Overall, a tasteless book that could have been so much better. Just like Ryan's presentation (not that I'm bitter or anything). (less)
Edit: 12/4/12 It will forever confound me why people like this series. It's been a long time since...moreThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Edit: 12/4/12 It will forever confound me why people like this series. It's been a long time since I've read a truly horrible book. The last time was Silence, I think. I just can't fathom why people would like this book. I have to admit that I didn't think it was that bad when I read Hush Hush, or even Crescendo. Then the plot began becoming a clusterfuck of deux ex machina and random characters, and Nora continued her insufferable behavior.
Unlike many of my other wise fellow reviewers, I don't have that big of a problem with Patch. I can understand that he's a depraved character, and he should be thrown in jail for all his rapaciousness. But he doesn't manage to piss me off like Nora does, probably because I'm not following his train of thought. He's just a normal, hormonal male. Which is sexist of me, but what's there to expect when there are authors like Becca Fitzpatrick who write characters who wear all black, drive motorcycles, and kiss with "black fire"? You're just begging me to refer to men as chauvinistic pigs who only want a good lay.
So let's talk about what really pissed me off about this book, and what pissed me off in the last three books, too: Nora Grey. Exactly what sort of character development has she undergone in the past four books? She's the same, immature girl stalker as she was in the first book, except now she's controlling an army. What kind of idiot would give control of his army over to her, anyway? For all his supposed brilliance, Hank Millar wasn't very wise in naming a successor. Nora is exceedingly dull, and I didn't even realize she was a redhead until the last part of the book O.O Somehow, I missed that. Anyway, she uses everyone and is stupidly obsessed with Patch. She even pulls a Bella towards the last chapter by refusing to get out of bed and going into momentary depression because Patch is gone. And Fitzpatrick even draws from Kagawa with the whole vow thing they exchange at the end of the book, except it was way cheesier and vomit-inducing.
Also, authors, please, please stop giving your heroines/heroes a momentary bout of adrenaline that allowed them to defeat the invincible enemy just because one of his/her friends died. It worked before. It made sense in Vampire Academy. It made sense in The Mortal Instruments (I think it happened there...) But here, it was just laughable because of how utterly pathetic Nora was. Her voice was just so... immature. Her best friend, Vee, exists as a way to compare Nora's nice legs with Vee's rotundness (all those donuts that Nora likes to mention, I'd imagine), and PMS is just a way for her to excuse all bitchiness. I couldn't see how any rational human being--or supernatural creature--would ever designate Nora to any big role. She should've just been a dull, sideline character instead of the main event.
I won't even get started on the side characters. They were all almost comically evil, especially Dante. And Pepper. What kind of archangel is named Pepper? It just... Rarely do names bother me enough that I can't read the book, but this one definitely did. I kept thinking of Ms. Pepper Pots from Iron Man. And what role did the Nephilim play? They followed them brainlessly. I would've thought they'd be smarter than that. And Blakely, too... Ugh. I can't even give cohesive opinions on any of them because Nora was whoring up the big screen most of the time. They were all just conveniently there for her to order around. Also, I maintain that demoncraft is the most idiotic plot device ever invented. And now I am done. With this review, and with this entire, STUPID series. I FINISHED! What a bittersweet survival.
Edit: So...what do people think of the cover? The guy, for some reason, reminds me of Elvis. Maybe it's his hair. Actually, this cover seems not to be as dramatic as the other ones (although the black/white scheme changes it up a bit). I think it's because Nora and Patch are on this puny rock, and Nora is trying to jump from the puny rock to commit suicide, but Patch is there, and of course Nora can't think logically when Patch is involved. So they're just standing inches away from each other, holding hands.
I've already gotten this far, I have to know how this ends. Or else none of the suffering was worth it.
Also, FINALE? Come on, Fitzpatrick. You've GOT to try harder than that. Even Adornetto had the sense to keep up with the whole Hades-Heaven-Halo Triple H extravaganza. I thought this was just a temporary title when I saw it, but maybe the truth is Fitzpatrick's as excited for this series to be over as I am. (less)
Have you ever had one of those out of body experiences where you can see yourself stabbing yourself repeatedly, but you can’t stop it? Okay, maybe not...moreHave you ever had one of those out of body experiences where you can see yourself stabbing yourself repeatedly, but you can’t stop it? Okay, maybe not stabbing, but a situation in which you can't seem to stop yourself from doing something self-destructive. That was how I felt while reading When You Were Mine. I knew it wouldn’t turn out well, I had no idea why I was reading it, but I did it anyway. It’s the lackluster story of Rosaline, who, if you remember your Shakespeare well enough, was the chick Romeo had the hots for before he got spellbound by Juliet’s mask. This story is told from her point of view, and I suppose the point is to make Rosaline seem like the victim of Romeo and Juliet’s all-consuming love.
There are a couple problems with this scenario. One, I never really felt that bad for Rosaline. She pissed me off with how obsessed she was with “Rob” (AKA Romeo). In fact, there were many times when I could not deal with how pathetic she acted towards the entire situation. I guess this is a high school thing, but I’m in high school, and it was nauseating even for me. She claims to be smart and a shoo-in for Stanford, and there are frequent mentions of the SATs. Funnily enough, I never get that feeling. Rosaline is incredibly shallow, and though she is heralded to be smart, she never really lives up to it. She’s a complete bitch to Len—I still don’t get why everyone hated on him so much—and she seems like a complete pushover with a lack of personality. Her friends are equally annoying: when Rosaline actually gets in a sticky situation (when she’s looking for a reason to prevent Rob from going to the dance with Juliet), Olivia and Charlie are completely distracted. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, but I think that friends who aren’t paying attention at one of your most embarrassing and helpless moments aren’t very good friends at all. An example: “You smell like a burger,” I hear her say, before they start making out.
Real deep, guys. This book is real deep.
Though I did feel sorry for Rosaline, I also wanted to slap her around a bit and scream at her to get a grip and stop crying. I get it, Rob was her best friend, but if he went drooling after the first pretty girl to come along, he didn’t really deserve any of her endless crying and moping. Yeah. Rob. Perhaps even more pathetic than Rosaline. Also the second problem with this scenario. The original play already has the fault that Romeo and Juliet’s love at first sight thing built itself on extremely shaky foundations. By incorporating this into a high school contemporary, Serle has made it even more ridiculous. I mean, one minute Rob is all over Rosaline, and the next he’s swaying with some random girl, kissing her, and forgetting his best friend? What a dipshit. I have a hard time believing that someone who Rosaline wasted so much time gushing about and reliving childhood memories with would be such an incredible ass. Also, he starts applying early to USC instead of Stanford! He’s definitely a public menace now! Rosaline says at one point, “Stanford is already outdated.” No. NO. Stanford will never be OUTDATED. Stanford is one of the best universities in the entire flipping WORLD. It will NEVER be outdated. Rosaline is such an annoying twit. She doesn’t deserve to go there, not if she’s more worried about the application of a guy who apparently doesn’t care about her at all. This entire book is so simplistic, with its predictable plot and annoying characters. Even Serle’s attempt to make Juliet the good guy is pitiful. The only character I liked was Len, although why he would be attracted to someone as pathetic as Rosaline, I have no idea. Maybe towards the end, Charlie began endearing herself to me more, especially with her reaction to the anticlimactic climax, but that doesn't help the fact that this book is a complete, utter cliche. I would have been an interesting story if it hadn't come off sounding like a poorly written soap opera script.
Maybe I should stop reading these attempts at contemporary young adult and stick to paranormal. But that would be wrong, because there are still little gems like Wanderlove and Anna and the French Kiss, not to mention Sarah Dessen’s books, which give me a little faith that not all high school girls are airheads where boys and life are concerned. (less)
Am I bad for putting this on my TR list after all the negative reviews and rudeness surrounding the author? Yeah. Probably. But I have the obscene des...moreAm I bad for putting this on my TR list after all the negative reviews and rudeness surrounding the author? Yeah. Probably. But I have the obscene desire to find out why books are rated so horribly (this same instinct drove me to read HUSH HUSH and HALO), and safe to say, I will not be spending money to get this book. So I don't feel guilty.
Edit: *SPOILERS BECAUSE THIS BOOK MADE ME ANGRY AND I DON'T CARE WHO I RUIN IT FOR* I'm finally done. Hoooooly. I can't believe I stomached this book after the first 10 pages. If there's any indication that the characters in this book are screwed up beyond repair, it would be the fact that Abby meets Travis when BLOOD from his ILLEGAL FIGHT stains her CARDIGAN. Yes, I am yelling, because I can't get over how ridiculous that is. That's license to stay the hell away.
But no, Abby's stupid.
This book does not deserve to be titled BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. They should just take out the "beautiful" and be done with it.
Let me start with our main character, Abby Abernathy. Abby has had a very veeery troubled past because her dad used to make tons of money, but then she apparently "stole his luck" and now has the capacity to make tons of money. And of course her dad hates her. Fine, fine. I get he treated her badly, but what is this cardigan good-girl shit that she completely failed at pulling off? It was there for like...two pages. And Abby is the most melodramatic whiner I've ever had the dissatisfaction of reading about. Seriously. At one point, she says, "I've never felt so alone." While the guy who loves her is getting drunk because she broke his heart, after she drove off her best friend, and while she's avoiding everyone else.
CRY ME A DAMNED RIVER. I can't believe she has friends. I really can't believe it. She must be one good looking skank.
Which brings me to the next topic. Her skankiness. She basically dances, gets drunk like an immoral high school teenager, and then blames Travis for sleeping with women. Which he does, but she's doing the same thing, isn't she, under the pretense that she's actually being a good person and has noooo idea the effect that her actions have. And she can't leave from sleeping in Travis's bed because of a BET? Okay, if you've got a boyfriend, you can't sleep in some other guy's bed because of a bet. That is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and I can't believe she didn't get it into her peabrain that it was not okay. And for about half of the book, she's so shiny and speshuul because she played hard to get.
WELL. Next time some guy's blood stains my shirt, I'll huff at him and I bet we'll end up married, too!
Jesus. This book reminds me of the stuff I used to read in middle school, with the pathetically engineered attempts to get the boy and girl together and all.
Okay, I haven't ranted nearly enough about Abby, but there are a lot of things in this book that I need to cover. The second topic: Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox. I think that Travis "The Caveman" Maddox would suit him better, but maybe that's just me.
WHAT THE FLYING FLAMINGOS IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY AND WHY IS HE NOT IN JAIL? He fights for money, beats up random people, and gets pissed because his girlfriend wanted to dress up. I can't get over the fact that he does illegal fights. It's just...there is something very wrong when your main character is drooling over a guy who basically bathes himself in blood. I don't respect McGuire at all for attempting this "reformed bad boy" thing because she FAILED SO HARD AT IT. Travis doesn't change at all. He bashes some guy's head into the car window, BREAKS the window WITH THE GUY'S HEAD, and basically glares threateningly at kids when he thinks their snowballs are going to hit Abby.
What century are we living in, guys?!
Also, he admits himself that he has basically pissed on Abby and that she is now his territory. Abby knows this. Abby gets mad about it. Ten minutes later, Abby is happy again and there are peace and butterflies again. Travis does not change in this story, despite the fact that McGuire literally says somewhere that he does. No. Abby changes. Abby decides that it is okay for Travis to do his shit because he loves her.
Seriously, the redundancy? They break up, get together, break up again, get together again, make some bet, Travis gets drunk on whiskey and nearly sleeps with some ho (of course, they always have to be blonde and sneery) but Abby miraculously picks that moment to show up, they get married in Vegas.
Think I'm kidding? Hell, no! Plus, all the events just happened, and then were peacefully brushed aside as mere 1-inch hurdles to Abby and Travis's lurrve. People died, but no, who cares? At least Abby and Travis are together. Look, I just summarized the book for you. Do yourself a favor and don't read it.
Ugh, the last part made me so sick. Here's an excerpt to show you just how bad this book is: "Say it again," he said. "I'm yours," I breathed. Every nerve, inside and out ached for more. "I don't ever want to be apart from you again." "Promise me," he said, groaning with another thrust. "I love you. I'll love you forever." The words were more of a sigh...
Me: *rolls eyes and mimes stabbing self)
I don't know how I made it through this absolute trainwreck. This was probably McGuire's train of thought when she wrote this: Hmmm, I want a bad boy-good girl story. Except not really! I want the girl to actually have this mysterious past. Oh, and I want to add some poker and have a fire because killing people is the thing right now!
Write whatever you want, Ms. McGuire. Just please don't subject the general public to your stories when they obviously came fresh out of the typewriter.
That's my last complaint. The grammar. I'm pretty sure the commas were in the wrong places. There would be parts where there'd be something, like "He said she said blahblahblah," he smiled. Um, how do you SMILE words? That just doesn't make sense. The writing is clunky and awkward, and there were misspellings everywhere. Like...EVERYWHERE. So I can't even advertise the prose.
I can't believe this book has a 4.15 rating on GoodReads. It just goes to show I can't trust the reviews on here anymore. I'd give it 0 if I could, because to be honest, there is nothing redeeming about it. And that's not even counting the author's reaction to the negative reviews.
If you can't deal with negativity, maybe you shouldn't publish your things for the whole world to see. That's my opinion.
Never have I been so glad to finish a book. And never have I skimmed as much as I did with this one.
HALO was an absolute train wreck of teenage melod...moreNever have I been so glad to finish a book. And never have I skimmed as much as I did with this one.
HALO was an absolute train wreck of teenage melodrama. How do I know? Because the main character, Bethany, is so whiny and needy that I wanted to stab her through with a hot poker 10 pages into the story. How did she ever become a heavenly messenger of God if she's so incredibly shallow? I swear there are middle schoolers who have more poise than she does. It takes about ten seconds for her to discard all of her purpose just to pursue some guy with floppy nut hair and blue eyes. Seriously, Adornetto needs to STOP using the word FLOPPY. I hate that word so much. If I see it again, I think I will cry. How many times does Bethany need to describe Xavier's hair, eyes, or smooth tan? I'm so sick of this love for popular guys who somehow always are good people who would protect the girl and blah, blah, blah.
About 3/4 of this book basically is just blah, blah, blah for me. And it's almost 500 pages, so it wasn't exactly easy to finish. But I did it because I needed to see if all the reviews about it were true. If Adornetto is as horrible a writer as people have said. And it's true. Sadly true. Don't get me wrong, I feel like she had so much potential for this story. You can do a lot with the concept of angels, what constitutes sin and salvation. But this book ended up becoming a TWILIGHT-esque soap opera. I felt like the whole angels thing was a sidenote, and the big, brilliant love between Bethany and Xavier whored up central stage. If I have to read about Bethany's "physical ache" every time she's away from Xavier one more time, I think I'll puke. In fact, this entire book made me want to retch, especially the parts with Bethany and Xavier's witty repartee. It was just so horrible, on so many levels. Ivy and Gabriel had more potential as main characters than Bethany. She is nothing but a naive, sinfully stupid high school teenager. This can be seen through the group of friends she joins. Even though all they talk about are boys and acting slutty, and even though Molly is a complete fake who just wants Gabriel's attention because he's hot, Bethany sticks with them anyway. What does she even DO? All she does is sit around and look pretty for the entire book. Even her half-failure siblings do more than she ever does in the entire book.
I hate how Adornetto is just so damned conservative and stereotypical. The Goths are the ones who are dark and disturbed, the mean girls are the ones who dress slutty and go after guys...The way she just put everybody into these categories made me so angry. It was like she didn't even try to make the characters stand out; she just went by the beliefs of everyone else. Even Jake wasn't even that scary. He comes in, like...3/4 into the book, and he isn't even that evil. All I got from his role is that he snarls and smirks a lot.
That's another thing. Adornetto's writing. There are places where question marks should be that have periods, and vice versa. And the writing is so choppy, despite her attempts at purple prose. There are giant blocks of text that are basically just Bethany's thought processes before she "snaps back to reality" or "gets pulled out of her reverie." It's so redundant, and I was done with dealing with Bethany's stupidity the first time she snuck out with nut boy. I don't really care what she thinks about anything.
In the beginning, I was sort of mellow about this book. Like...why are people getting so angry over it? It doesn't seem so bad. Why? Because it had potential. But Adornetto stuck to what she barely knew and even managed to mess that up. I'm pretty sure an angel who falls in love becomes a FALLEN ANGEL. And Bethany is the most useless piece of celestial crap that ever fell from the heavens. She doesn't do anything. And the sucky thing is that towards the end, her siblings actually support her in her endeavor to DO NOTHING. I liked Gabriel and Ivy at first, until they started giving in to whatever sick teenagerish impulses drove Bethany.
As for the entire premise, it was so bad that there is no way in hell that the book could have been okay. Why, of all places, are they sent to Venus Cove, where everyone else is getting along fine? Why couldn't they have been sent somewhere worse? And Bethany goes to HIGH SCHOOL? All she does is go to high school for the whole book. This might as well be called HIGH SCHOOL instead of HALO.
Why is this absolute SHIT being published when there are so many worthier pieces of writing out there? There's this one story on FictionPress called The Story That You Shouldn't Know that is so much better than the shit that HALO is. It actually has a gripping plot and interesting characters. And it had a MESSAGE. HALO is comprised of a nonexistent plot, shallow, cardboard cutout characters, and writing that makes you want to throw the book against a wall. If HALO had a message, it would be to forget all your duties just because some boy with floppy hair and nice arms decided to show some interest in you.
Horrible. I feel like now I've started, I should finish, but I don't think I could handle it. (less)
I feel remarkably underwhelmed. Toy with my feelings once and I'll cry and bang your book against the wall. Toy with them basically in the same exa...more...
I feel remarkably underwhelmed. Toy with my feelings once and I'll cry and bang your book against the wall. Toy with them basically in the same exact way, and I'll just blink and ask you why I should keep reading. Seriously, it was the same old crap inverted. Now, instead of struggling against rules in the "perfect society," Lena's struggling with rules in the Wilds. The switch between "then" and "now" isn't something that I felt was necessary. It didn't really add to the plot, and I think if Oliver had allowed the story to develop in a linear fashion, I would've been more invested.
I don't remember really liking Alex that much in the first book because of his cheesy Dickinson poems and whatnot, but I definitely prefer him to Julian. While I can appreciate the slowness of the relationship between Julian and Lena, and how that differs from how it was with her and Alex, I also don't feel any chemistry at all with the two of them. Maybe it's because Lena is the one always saving Julian and the sad naivety of Julian's state was way too amped up. Whatever it was, I don't feel like this is a relationship between two 18-year-olds. It sounded more like a mother and child one, so you can understand how uncomfortable I was when they started into the kissing.
Anyway, I have Requiem sitting on the table, so I'll read that. But considering the reviews I've seen for it so far and the cliffhanger that Oliver left us on with this book, I'm not expecting great things. (less)
I have to agree with others in the fact that The Mortal Instruments should have ended at CITY OF GLASS. Mostly because after that, I feel like all the...moreI have to agree with others in the fact that The Mortal Instruments should have ended at CITY OF GLASS. Mostly because after that, I feel like all the added drama is unnecessary and too repetitive. There comes a time when Jace's problems are just too much for you, and I think CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS embodies that. I know Clare said there was unfinished business, but I can't stand this excessive torture of Jace and Clary. They, at least, should have gotten a happy ending. A spinoff about Simon would have been fine, but it seems to be the same issue again and again. I know that there are authors who can't resist this--I seem to recall Richelle Mead saying that she'd cause even more harm to Dimitri and Rose if she wrote any more about them. I feel like Clare should have shown some of the same restraint. Also, the plot this time didn't hook me. Maybe because this whole thing is so overdone, or maybe I've gotten used to all the bitterness. At any rate, I only started getting interested at the end because I hoped that Clary would do something like...die. Something that I wasn't expecting, anyway. I was just so bored this time around. Also, there were some info dumps littered throughout that didn't exactly endear me to the story.
That said, I'll talk about the things I did enjoy about this book, because it's not a failure. It's far from that, despite the fact that I really think it's unnecessary. To start, I like how a lot of things from Infernal Devices turned up in this book--it was interesting to see the connection. Also, Clare does have a certain mastery with language that I appreciate. I know there are some people who complain about her overuse of similes, metaphors, etc, but I actually really like the atmosphere that she builds with her figurative language. In addition, I do like the voice she gives her characters. Each one has an individual personality, which I understand is difficult to attain. Though they all have some type of snarkiness, they do possess a level of individuality. It's hard to do that, especially with all the characters that Clare is juggling, but she does manage to pull it off. How the characters act, however, is a different matter. Especially with Jace's self-flagellation and Clary's amazingly pigheaded actions sometimes. The next series should just be about the cats instead.
I do think Clare has great merit as an author, with the views she gives of love, sacrifice, and what exactly your family says about you. Her writing is different, I think, and possesses some level of depth--of course, they're still YA novels, and I have yet to read one that has me blubbering with emotion.
I'm going to read CITY OF LOST SOULS and CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE because I hate not finishing off what I've started, and Clare actually has reasonable gaps between her book releases. And to be honest, I don't hate the spinoffs, even though they bore me occasionally. I'm looking forward to CLOCKWORK PRINCESS because I love the Infernal Devices infinitely more. And I hope the next series she writes will have a love affair between Church and Chairman Meow. (less)