Most of this book is Levana whining. It's nice to understand her better and sympathize with her to a certain degree, but the best part will be seeingMost of this book is Levana whining. It's nice to understand her better and sympathize with her to a certain degree, but the best part will be seeing her get shut up in Winter. ...more
There are so many examples of cliche in this book, it's a wonder that it's able to pass as an original piece of work. The MC aActual Rating: 1.5 Stars
There are so many examples of cliche in this book, it's a wonder that it's able to pass as an original piece of work. The MC and hero meet because she ran into him. Of course he has an 8-pack. Of course, despite the fact that she's innocent and sweet, he's attracted to her completely. Did I mention the reformed ex-player-turned-best-friend and comic relief roommate? The following are also some quotes that made me roll my eyes and regret ever picking this book up:
"I love you too, Little Lamb." "I love you too, Wolf."
"You're my favorite. Out of all the things I could have in the world that would be my favorite, you win. You win all of it."
"Some things..." I tucked her red hair behind her ear, "...are worth fighting for."
"Damn," I said into the microphone. "You're just as beautiful as the first day I saw you."
"Exactly as I'd planned it, the fireworks went off in perfect tune with the song
Beneath Your Beautiful (is that really how it's spelled...?)
Also, I thought part of the book was supposed to be about Kiersten's dark past? What happened to that? Did it disappear in the face of Wes's all-consuming angst? Let's also not forget the miraculous recovery and the dead mom reincarnated as a nurse. Maybe I'm getting too old for this, or maybe this is just what NA literature is. This entire book played out like a badly scripted Sparks movie, and I wish I'd spent my time on something better worth my attention. ...more
I was originally going to rate this book 2 stars, since I save one star ratings for the likes of The Selection and Halo, but Red Queen rapidly progI was originally going to rate this book 2 stars, since I save one star ratings for the likes of The Selection and Halo, but Red Queen rapidly progressed from tolerable to painful-to-read. There's little to no creativity in the plot, vague and holey plot points, a stupid love square, and an even more foolish main character. While reading this book, I was actually constantly reminded of The Selection. A lower-class girl with a weird name who gets thrown into the royal world and faces off with a bunch of bitchy royal girls while gaining the undeserved trust of her bodyguards and maids. There's also a vague war that brought the world to its current state, and the threat of some kind of rebellion. Sound familiar?
As many of my fellow reviewers have noted, there are so many borrowed aspects from other young adult novels that I don't want to waste my breath detailing it all. Let me address the plot. In addition to being uncreative, it's also vague and simplistic. It centers around the main character, Mare Barrow, who is a Red oppressed by the powerful Silvers. She finds out she actually possesses a unique power on national television. What results from that is her betrothal to a prince and assignation to princess status so Aveyard can spend a couple chapters talking about balls and pretty dresses. Seriously? The all-powerful Silvers uncover a powerful threat, and they decide to make her royalty and train her to use her powers better? For such an advanced race, they sure are lacking some brains. In addition, Mare finds out that she can make lightning, not just control it. But is there any demonstration of this ability? No. There are a bunch of discoveries along the way, but they're never mentioned again. The "twist" was way too obvious. (view spoiler)[If the prince, the son of the evil queen, wants to join your rebellion to overthrow them, why the hell would you just spill everything to him without even putting precautions into place or testing his loyalty? (hide spoiler)] For a secret rebellion, the Scarlet Guard seems amazingly easy to join. You just express some interest, and poof! You're in.
Now, to address Mare's stupidity and the equally ridiculous love square. I guess Aveyard wanted to do something where Mare had attractions to multiple different men, but in the end, none of the relationships were fleshed out and Mare seemed like a directionless little girl. I honestly didn't understand what Cal saw in Mare. Kilorn's attachment to her, considering their childhood together, was at least reasonable. But what does Mare do? She runs around getting herself into trouble and betrays everyone she knows off some misplaced sense of duty. When she has that lightning-bolt moment when she realizes Cal is in love with her, I did a double-take. Aveyard spreads herself too thin and wastes too much time on petty drama to focus on her underlying message and three-dimensional characters.
The writing was also cringe-worthy at times. Aveyard uses italicize way too liberally. She seemed to think that she was dispensing nuggets of advice that would be quoted by fangirls, but most of these phrases make no sense. Here are some examples:
A soldier doesn’t blink until the battle is won.
Well, then his corneas would dry up and his eyeballs would fall out of his head.
The world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black and white.
Silver is basically an offshoot of gray. And okay, I get that if it's gray, there's no black and white. That's the definition.
“Sara Skonos can’t speak, Mare.” “At all?"
Is this girl for real? She's told someone is mute, and she has to make sure that actually means she can't say anything at all? Why would she be told that otherwise?!
This is for music, not battle. Life, not death.
I don't even know what to say to this.
He can’t let me die. He won’t. I am the little lightning girl, and I am going to make the world change.
She sentences this guy to his death by involving her in his plan and has the nerve to arrogantly say that he has no choice but to save her.
The writing is pretty bad, which is the cherry on top of this melting cake. There are other phrases like "my mind feels like it's on fire" and "he smirks sadly" that also made me want to throw the book into a wall. I was deceived by the pretty cover, much like it was with The Selection, and I'll probably make the same mistake again. If you must read this book, just do so with caution. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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 lThere 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. ...more
I wrote a really long review for this book, but my internet blacked out and it was all over.
All you need to know is that there are heaping cliches, tI wrote a really long review for this book, but my internet blacked out and it was all over.
All you need to know is that there are heaping cliches, the heroine is a ditz with a retail therapy problem, and the hero is an alpha male who only speaks in fragments. This is a murder mystery romance gone wrong.
Also, all the women have a habit of whispering or hissing, while all the men only clip out or mutter words. There are women in this book who are constantly slut-shamed and called bitches, while the good ones are timid and submissive to the so-called "mountain men," who are constantly trying to assert their dominance by ordering women around. While the dialogue is frequently just fragments, the narrative of the book consists of run-on sentences that they teach you not to write in elementary school.
The book drags on for far too long, and the heroine hears a voice in her head, which either means she is psychotic or has some sort of inner goddess. Either way, it wasn't necessary.
I'm pretty done with romance at this point. ...more
This is my first time reading a Claudia Gray book, and I was actually pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the concept, and I'm not a sci-fi fan inThis is my first time reading a Claudia Gray book, and I was actually pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the concept, and I'm not a sci-fi fan in the least. The dimensions Gray dreams up are pretty creative, and she goes into a good amount of detail about each one. I also really love the fact that the MC's parents are physicists, just because imagining it the way Gray does is so cool. Also, the best thing is that this book actually ends happily, without any idiotic cliffhangers. I'm not very smart, so I didn't predict the twist. In addition, the plot has a way of bringing you into the story and moves fairly quickly. All in all, I like where this series is going, and I'm pretty sure I'll continue, especially if the next cover is as pretty as this one!
The only problem is the main character, which is a pretty big problem indeed. I know people expressed concerns with the focal point that love takes in the story. I like a good love story, but in this case, the relationship between Paul and Marguerite was totally spoiled because Marguerite is an entitled, naive little girl. She mindlessly jumps into alternate universes one day after her father's death without thinking at all about the effect that could have on her mourning mother and sister, in addition to being remarkably blase about missing her dad's funeral. That's not normal behavior for someone who claims to love her family as much as Marguerite. After being trapped in the Russian universe, she moons after Paul all the time, angsting over her split feelings between him and Theo. Theo definitely gets the short stick in this book, the poor boy.
Marguerite was annoying with few redeeming qualities. Once you get past Paul's muscliness and quiet, broody genius act, he gets boring. Still, the universe that Gray has created is doubtlessly fascinating, and I want to see where she takes it. ...more
With each move he makes to pull apart from me, I feel my heart crumbling. I can almost hear us being ripped apart. I can almost hear his heart teari
With each move he makes to pull apart from me, I feel my heart crumbling. I can almost hear us being ripped apart. I can almost hear his heart tearing in two, crashing to the floor right next to mine.
That escalated quickly.
I don't really know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I understand the conflict and I really like how Hoover merged the themes of music and deafness. On the other, Sydney was kind of a bitch. Okay, not kind of. A lot.
I would've liked this book much more if I thought Sydney deserved Ridge, but I don't think she did. Everyone else in the book hyped her up, but I didn't see why. She unnecessarily stereotypes Bridgette, and she says some extremely insensitive things to Ridge during the book. I just never thought she was this ahhhmazing girl, even if she knew how to write lyrics.
Ridge, on the other hand, was a sweetheart. His internal struggle was so real, and Hoover has definitely gotten better at writing from a male POV since the days of Point of Retreat. I liked his POVs much more than Sydney's. I'm a bit annoyed at the ending, (view spoiler)[just because I think Maggie shouldn't have been disposed so easily. (hide spoiler)] It couldn't have ended any other way, but it was too predictable.
Hoover's a manipulative writer. She knows exactly which heartstrings to pull on, and which words will allow her to do so. The general formula of her books involves some I can't do this, a ton of betrayal and hurt, frequent crying, and the occasional terminal illness. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with her books, and I know Sydney's personality in this one really damaged my enjoyment of it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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 doeIf 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. ...more
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 fYeah, 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....more
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;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; 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. ...more
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. ...more
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 viReading 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. ...more
I remember a lot of people were raving about it, but the only aspect making this bookWhat 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"]>...more
Don't you love it when true love triumphs between two inexperienced teenagers who happen to saveThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Don't you love it when true love triumphs between two inexperienced teenagers who happen to save the day because of their great capacity for emotion? It's so precious. It makes me weep.
Don't get me wrong; Paranormalcy isn't that bad. In fact, it can be even argued that it is one of the saving graces of the genre. The problem is that it just isn't anything new. Sure, I laughed, and I felt a little bit when characters died. But my general feelings are ambivalent. And when you read a book, is your only expectation that it not be gruesomely terrible, or even not bad? Especially after reading something like Days of Blood Starlight, I needed something light, and this book did that for me. But I couldn't find any of the sort of depth and humanity that I did in Karou and her friends.
It was just so... meh. I can think of more thinks I didn't like about it than what I did like. For example, I didn't like the main character, Evie. Maybe it's a product of growing up, but I thought she didn't act her age. I can understand that she's been isolated from society, but does that really mean she has to go around calling everything cute and obsessing over pink things? There is this one part I remember where she said, "I even got a cute last name, Green." And the freaking out over lockers and high school things? It was cute (oh God, I sound like her now) in the beginning, but then it just became redundant. I got the fact that she was inexperienced. Also, Easton Heights sounds really dull. I prefer Gossip Girl.
The plot was... nice, I guess. It wasn't really anything new. Reth really interests me, though. He's so cruel yet attractive. Wow, I'm as bad as those Mary Sues. But Lend was too boring for me, especially compared with someone like Reth. If you're going to make one of your love interests a faery, you'd better match up. Lend is interesting, but in the end, if we deconstruct him, he's a teenage boy who reacts to things quite boringly. There wasn't even much wittiness tossed in there. He's supposed to provide a dose of normal, but I didn't quite like the normal that I got. Everything was mostly predictable, although I didn't expect what happened to Lisha.
I've been ragging on the book enough, though. I'm not giving it 3 stars for no reason; I did like some of the things that happened. Although the dialogue wasn't very witty, the way the book was written was very light-hearted, despite all the intense stuff happening. In that way, the normalcy helped ground it. I liked reading about Evie's interaction with the paranormal creatures that she bags and tags; there just wasn't enough of that. As far as supernatural YA goes, this is pretty decent. ...more
Alex FRANKS goes to SHELLEY High. Oh my, could this possibly be a FRANKENSTEIN retelling? ExceptThis 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. ...more
Won this through the First Reads giveaway. I'm so surprised. Of all books, it had to be this one...
Edit: 11/11/12 Finally finished reading this book, aWon this through the First Reads giveaway. I'm so surprised. Of all books, it had to be this one...
Edit: 11/11/12 Finally finished reading this book, and I really don't know how to express my feelings towards it. If I approach it objectively, it's one of those subpar sex-filled run-of-the-mill BDSM romance novels (if BDSM can ever really be run-of-the-mill). Actually, this didn't even have much of that sort of stuff. Mostly just hot, consensual sex. There is some talk of safe words, but they're never used in that sort of context. The female MC, Eva, was actually decent in the beginning. She's pretty gutsy, and the fact that she wouldn't stand for Gideon's "I wanna fuck you now" bullshit was encouraging. However, she undergoes the unfortunate decimation into a jealous, somewhat-pathetic character. The fact that she admits she's like that doesn't help her case. Gideon, of course, is the cool, arrogant man who radiates sexiness and power but has a dark, turbulent past. It's never made quite clear what exactly he's hiding, but what little I did see was pretty disturbing. He also exhibits controlling, stalkerish tendencies, but to a lesser degree than one of our other favorite epitomes of the Hot Male CEO Who Happens To Like S&M.
Speaking of him, let's move on from examining this book to what it really is: a FanFiction of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is FanFiction of Twilight. How meta. What people have said about this is right; it is indeed a better written version of Fifty Shades. But it may just be only that. We have the classic components: the rich, attractive, intelligent, but haunted male who prefers brunettes (this fact is brought up again and again) and the plain but somehow still alluring female with the gay friends and a slightly dysfunctional but still loving family. It's just been done so many times. It's the epitome of cliche, and that's why people lap it up. We all like a good romance, me included. I appreciate the darker tones of this book and the sweet side of it, but when I step back and look at it, I don't see anything redeeming about its characters. I still don't understand why Eva struck such a chord with Gideon, but perhaps I'm not supposed to. My main issue is that this book is almost the same thing as Fifty Shades, with a little less bondage and better writing. If Day hadn't stuck so fastidiously to the old cut-and-dried formula, I probably would've gotten into it with less eye-rolling. ...more
I don't know how Cass is going to stretch this into a trilogy. I honestly don't. Unless this has another beautiful cThis 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. ...more
I wanted to like this book, mostly because of the blurb that promised a "gThis 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 oThis 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.)...more
Cons: The crying. Jordan acting like a total girl, and mentioning that Ty is "hot" as an excuse forThis 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 schooWhen 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). ...more
I think I couldn't enjoy this book partly because I remember next to nothing from Hourglass and didn't have the tiMy only reaction to this book: meh.
I think I couldn't enjoy this book partly because I remember next to nothing from Hourglass and didn't have the time or patience to reread it again, and partly because I didn't much care for Kaleb's character.
Too many rules. There are way too many rules about time traveling, and I couldn't keep all of them straight. For the first half of the book, I was just wondering, Who's Dune? Who's Nathan (actually, I still am not too sure who Nathan is). What's duronium? When did Michael and Em get their rings? Who the hell is Poe? Too many characters, too much going on. Too much of everything, with the exception of an engaging plot. It's a cheap trick, I'm starting to think, to take away lives easily by changing time. It's redundant, and frankly, boring. The same problem can't keep popping up every ten pages; the point of a story is for the people to hurdle barriers and meet new ones. Also, the way McEntire tells the story wasn't particularly interesting, either. The "climax" at the end lasted about five pages, while there were about a couple hundred pages of Kaleb and Lily running around from place to place discovering new things in massive info dumps. Seriously, this is how the climax went down:
Kaleb: He has my girlfriend! I'll kill him! Lily: Aahhh I'm scared. Kaleb: He has my girlfriend! I can actually see it happening now! I'll kill him! Jack: *evil laughter* Kaleb: Ohmygod where did you come from! What do I do now!? Lily: I was too stupid to lie before, but I am now because my boyfriend told me to! Jack: *more evil laughter* Teague: The answer to all your problems--me--is here! Lily: *suddenly gets smart and strikes deal with Teague that Teague is too stupid to see through* Kaleb: We're safe! But Em and Michael are gone :( Em and Michael: We're here! Everyone: Yaaaay!
If you do not have the reaction of "wtf" to my summary of the last part of this book, I beg you to explain it to me. Because I fail to understand what the big deal was, if everyone was just going to magically appear (not kidding, they really do). There is no thought-out resolution. Everyone. Just. Appears. And the cliffhanger? Come on. It's so soap opera-like that I cringed. Jack is a failure of a villain. I mean, "rotten to his core?" Come on. The explanation of why he was doing everything was rushed, so I came away going, okaaaaaaay, and I should care about this why?
Kaleb seemed to be a shortcut of explaining all the emotions of the characters so McEntire wouldn't have to actually describe them. Maybe if she'd bothered to write more according to how the others interacted with Kaleb instead of how Kaleb was feeling what they were feeling (mega-confusion, right?), I would've felt more connected to the story. I didn't like the main character of this story. Not at all. He is, of course, the reformed bad boy with a drinking problem, tats, and piercings all over the place, as well as an unhealthy libido that is what attracts him to Emerson's best friend, Lily, in the first place. He also is so full of rage and desperation that it blocks out anything interesting about him. Half the time, he's ranting about his anger and sadness, and the other half he's waxing poetic about Lily. In other words, he seems like your average teenage girl (minus the lusting after Lily thing).
Don't even get me started on their relationship. Three quarters of it was comprised of Kaleb talking about Lily's smell or how she looked. Their more emotional reasons for liking each other were painfully shallow. Just because a guy is desperate and self-destructive does not make him attractive! If I met a guy like Kaleb who tried to cop a feel when I was clearly uninterested, in addition to his constant rage over everything, I would scream and run. Really. So no points to Lily, even though she was clearly McEntire's attempt at a kickass female character. I totally rooted for her in the beginning, but when she started showing off that lacy camisole and touching Kaleb's face (lots of face-touching), I was out of there.
There's more I could say about this book, but that's it for now. I don't think I really like much about it, although I did enjoy the descriptions of the rips. I love the concept of time travel, especially when the characters go to different centuries or places, but and the series in general has none of that appeal. However, I will say that the characters aren't as stupid as some of the ones I've read. Which is why I gave the book 2 stars. I may also have been so confused by information overload and all the different places they were running to that I might not have even realized they were being stupid.
I think I've given up on this series, but that's no reason for you to! I'm sure if you've read Hourglass recently, this book will be much more enjoyable.
I do love this cover very much, despite the fact that it's very deceiving. It should show Kaleb punching through a door instead.
This review also appears on my blog. Thank you to NetGalley for giving me a chance to read and review this book....more
Edit: 12/4/12 It will forever confound me why people like this series. It's been a long time sinceThis 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. ...more
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 notHave 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. ...more
In terms of problems from ShatActual Rating: 3.5 Stars
What I think of Juliette:
What I think of Kenji:
What I think of Adam:
What I think of Warner:
In terms of problems from Shatter Me, this book still has them. We still have no idea why the world is decaying and why animals are dying. The prose, while not as obnoxious as it was in the first book, is still pretty heavy. I really don't think the strikeouts are necessary. They add absolutely nothing to the plot, and I would've enjoyed the story more if it wasn't Juliette narrating. I thought Destroy Me's prose was actually pretty good, since Warner didn't go overboard with his descriptions like Juliette does. Juliette is still annoying as hell, from her self-pity to her inability to control her own hormones or tears. In addition, she enjoys stuttering uncontrollably and rambling on and on about how she can't speak or how she's in pain. When she was told to interrogate Warner, she barely tried and instead held small talks with him. How fascinating her self-control would be, if only it existed. Now, there are places where her uncontrollable yapping does help, especially in chapter 62. Hot damn.
Kenji and Warner carry this novel all the way through. I was drooling over myself in boredom before Kenji took control of the situation and basically bitch-slapped Juliette in the face multiple times with his words. It was awesome. I can appreciate Mafi's self-awareness in this novel, but I still don't think Juliette changed much. She still whines and cries, despite all of Kenji's attempts to tell her to get over herself. The other characters are explored as well, and I like the insights into their lives that we get. I don't know how I feel about Castle yet; the way he treated Warner did seem kind of brainless, but oh well.
Warner, Warner, Warner. I was bemoaning the fact that I'm starting to crush on the bad guys in books instead of the guys the MCs should end up with to my friend. Warner is dark chocolate. Dark and sinful, with the barest tinge of sweetness. Especially in this book, we see so much more of his humanity and his capability for redemption. He develops into a person who has done bad things, who recognizes how hard it is to feel, and who wants to redeem himself for the people he cares about. Where Warner is dark chocolate, Adam is white chocolate. Not authentic, and so sweet it's liable to give you diabetes. Only good in small amounts. Mafi obviously focused a lot of her efforts on the other characters, but in doing so, she skipped over Adam's character. He makes no progress in this book; the only times we get to see him are when he corners Juliette in dark tunnels and begs her to take him back. I have to agree with Warner when he tells Adam that he doesn't deserve Juliette. While it baffles me as to why anyone would want to deserve Juliette, Adam doesn't accomplish anything. Instead, it seems like he's just there to prove everything Warner says about him correct.
A lot more shit goes down in this book, and the plot actually does take direction. It's an improvement, and I'm really hoping for some more chocolate in the next book, dark or white. But not milk. I hate milk.
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 desAm 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 melodNever 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. ...more
The political intrigue was good stuff. It takes some serious logic to think of all the plots and pitfalls that coOne heart cannot serve two masters.
The political intrigue was good stuff. It takes some serious logic to think of all the plots and pitfalls that come with being a duchess. Although, I didn't really get the duchess. She didn't really do anything useful except be pale yet determined (???) all the time. While we're on redundancy, I have to mention that there was a lot of elbow grabbing and iron grips. What's with that?
In addition, I want to point out that despite the gigantic problems that arose, they were all solved relatively quickly and efficiently. Duchess can't get a good husband? Here comes a man who just happens to have just lost his wife and has both looks and a formidable army! French whore (I don't call her this, the abbess does. Are nuns allowed to call other women whores? Huh.) and her son might be traitors? Just swear an oath and be spared from death (why didn't they do this sooner...?) I just don't think problems that concern a country's future can really be solved so easily. Then again, this IS a YA novel. Can't expect serious fiscal-crisis-stuff. That would ruin everything. Just like it's ruining America now. Ahem. Moving on!
The romance made me roll my eyes a healthy number of times. Example:
Perhaps Mortain knew I could not kill him even if he bore the marque. I cannot kill the only man I have found it in my heart to love
Of COURSE he's the only man. You were locked up in a convent for most of your life until you met him!
Anyway, Ismae sort of bothered me. She was way too good at everything she did, and even though I have great admiration for her collection of poisons and that badass bracelet she uses for strangulation (or something of the sort), there's no way for one person to excel at killing and hiding the way she does. Just... nuh-uh. No way. And that part at the end where she saves Duval? Totally expected something like that. The only problems she seemed to have concerned her angsting over him and the way she completely lost all of her nunnery smarts whenever he came into the picture.
I do have a soft spot for Duval, though. He's way too sweet and smart and perfect, which is how I like my fictional men.
“I know some call him oath breaker, for although the oath he swore to Saint Camulos required him to stand and fight, he turned his back on the fighting and instead carried me to safety. But as he explained to me later, what good is fighting if what you are fighting for is lost?”
Deep stuff. Anyway, Grave Mercy is how I've come to expect all these paranormal/fantasy/whatnot young adult novels to be. Now authors are trying to throw in kickass heroines and swoon-worthy males at an alarming frequency, and I don't think I like it. But you could definitely do worse than this book. Thus, 3 stars. Hopefully, LaFevers gives us something new with Sybella in the sequel. And dare I guess that the third will be about Annith, whose story is woefully forgotten by Ismae as she cuddles with her new paramour? ...more