very entertaining, especially as tess, the female lead bends the rules as she sees fit and challenges the ways men and women are supposed to beha3.5/5
very entertaining, especially as tess, the female lead bends the rules as she sees fit and challenges the ways men and women are supposed to behave. but as with all of elliot's novels, this one as well is overwhelming in its length and (for me somewhat exhausting in) narrative. skipped the lengthy (boring) parts with charles/marcus's pov....more
taylor oh is one in a long line of cursed oh descendants. she can see ghosts. if one such ghosts touches her skin, she has to avenge its death by tra
taylor oh is one in a long line of cursed oh descendants. she can see ghosts. if one such ghosts touches her skin, she has to avenge its death by tracking down the killer and transferring the 'mark'. and do it fast. because otherwise the darkness will come for her and take her life instead.
"anubis is meant to be the reason for all this. my ancestor was a member of an expedition of ... i suppose you'd call them tomb robbers. they found nefertiti's tomb but it wasn't empty." [arc, 37%]
besides worrying about bullies like justin, who seems to have a special grudge against her. keeping up her grades and her constantly worrying wheel bound, widowed father. taylor has to be on the lookout for murderers and it's definitely a struggle, because time is running out and she never has a moment for herself.
life isn't easy being a non-caucasian girl, especially not when you are cursed on top of that. when justin, the person she hates most is dead .. she has to find his .. killer? taylor and justin team up and the closer they get to the truth, the closer the killer gets to making her his next victim.
where was justin hargreaves? why would he have run away? had something sinister happened? only i knew that he wouldn't be coming back. and i very much needed to speak to the dead bastard.
first things first. i can't write about the weight of souls without mentioning the fabulous cover. i mean, how many times have we seen a cover where a non-caucasian played the main lead and we actually get to see his/her face, but only parts of it or it's silhouetted?
yes, i thought so.
i love how the cover artist included relevant elements. and you can enjoy and bask in its glory too, because it's not an embarrassment to trot about with the book.
our female lead, taylor oh, is half-chinese. people take notice and there's always someone who has to make some oh-how-original-joke. but the author sadly didn't explore this aspect a bit more. it is mentioned that taylor oh is of chinese descent, but to quote s.e. smith & nijkamp: "it never comes up again, depriving characters of cultural context [..] i’d love to see fully developed characters, whose [ethnicity], while informing who they are, isn’t their only identifying marker but part of a complex set of characteristics."
suggestively he adjusted the crotch of his baggy jeans. "hey, look, it's lucy liu, innit? come for some real man, lucy liu?" [arc, 1%]
the narration is pretty clunky in that it contains a lot of info-dumpy inner monologues and extracts from the 'book of oh-fa' an ancient sort-of memoir of one the ancestors detailing the curse background (snooze). another quibble is the characterization, secondary characters needed more fleshing out, for me to actually believe they were more than cardboard characters:
"oh gawd, look who it is." the familiar drawl penetrated my eardrums like a dental drill. it was tamsin harper, she of the faux us accent, the fake blond hair and the fluffy angora jumpers. [arc, 4%]
i feel that there is just so much unmet potential, because it's not like the author infused the characters with pure evil. there were definitely moments were the characters showed remorse or at least other emotions than glee, hatred and malice. which brings me to the next point. we are told that taylor is sixteen, as we experience the unfolding events from taylor's pov, you can get a taste of how young she sounds and it reads like the account of a thirteen year old girl. and honestly i would've thought it was a middle grade book were it not for the book description that clearly states otherwise.
alas, it's just not a book that sticks and that is ultimately what bothered me the most. because the problem wasn't that it was bad. just mediocre. even for all the bad things i've listed, i can tell you that it has its moments of triumph and merits as well. i don't want to keep anyone from reading this. it has popcorn-entertainment value to be sure(view spoiler)[, though i skimmed a lot of the 'book of oh-fa' extracts because they were just so Zzzzzz (hide spoiler)].
random quotes: on the one hand i didn't know what was waiting for me but on the other, i had nowhere else to go. [87%]
(view spoiler)[i caught my breath. i ... liked justin. i explored the sensation as if i was probing a broken tooth with my tongue. [arc, 72%] (hide spoiler)]
arc was kindly provided by strange chemistry/angry robot through netgalley["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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
“You’re all younger. Children, every one of you, running around like crazy so you won’t notice how soon you’re gonna die.” Max took a silurban fantasy
“You’re all younger. Children, every one of you, running around like crazy so you won’t notice how soon you’re gonna die.” Max took a silver case out of his jacket, opened it, and selected one of the cheap cigars he liked to poison the air with. ‘Take the way you idealize truth—telling it, finding it.” He snorted. “Finding it! As if it were lying around somewhere, waiting for you to pick up. Childish. People live by stories, not truth. What you really want are answers so you won’t have to figure things out for yourselves.” He pulled out his lighter. “I admit, thinking takes time.”...more
4 stars for intent and basic plot 1.75 stars for actual execution
a girl goes to the netherworld to rescue her best friend who committed suicide. it is4 stars for intent and basic plot 1.75 stars for actual execution
a girl goes to the netherworld to rescue her best friend who committed suicide. it is not overly original, nor very complex. but it lured me with its dark undertone and setting while the female lead deals with the fact that she lost a friend and also that forgiving others is hard, but forgiving yourself more so. and that sometimes people do not want to be saved -- how much strength and tears it costs to let go. when done right, those kinds of stories are the best ones with a lot heart and gritty storytelling that lingers long after you have finished them. alas, this was not the case here. regrettably.
when a man calls a woman "baby", i sneer. when it is a woman calling another one that way, i cringe. every time the foster mom (diane or diana?) called lela (female lead) "baby", i was wrenched out of the narrative. i enjoyed the fact that the main lead and a lot of the secondary characters were non-caucasians, but the dialogue was poorly written, lacked the necessary character developement to make me care for them and also suffers from the insta-love trope with lots of melodramatic elements thrown into the mix.
main leads were likeable (though the female lead was a cross between tough and damsel-in-distress). the book itself was often cute, but then more o2.5
main leads were likeable (though the female lead was a cross between tough and damsel-in-distress). the book itself was often cute, but then more often than not too corny. unfortunately, the excess of drama that was thrown into the mix, existed just for the hell of it. had it been toned down a bit, i would've gladly rated the book somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. as it stands, fans of the movie legends of the fall or maybe even little house on the prairie might like it, though! it's got civil courage, horse breeding, racism against native americans, parent-child-conflicts etc. etc. [ recommended by katrina lumsden ]
*********************************************** "i could have explained." "maybe you would have if i hadn't been so busy calling you names." anne's voice was a husky whisper. "i'm sorry, really. i wish i could promise it won't ever happen again, but i can't even do that. i'll try. trusting seems to be the hardest part."
everything is fine and dandy for mel. she has good grades, a supportive family and two best friends to share everything with. that is, until a vampireeverything is fine and dandy for mel. she has good grades, a supportive family and two best friends to share everything with. that is, until a vampire --the first ever-- decides to attend their school. everything changes and there is nothing mel can do about, or is there?
where vampires and mel are, disaster follows and hilarity ensues thereafter. as a rule the sidekick character most commonly fills out the goofy and/or supportive role for the main lead. in team human the american born chinese (!!yay!!) sidekick already is the main lead and oh, what a treat! not only is she witty and loyal, she's sensible to boot too. one of her best friends strongly believes herself to be in love with the aforementioned vampire (francis) after only a few days and is ready to be transitioned into one herself at the age of 17, mel is understandably upset about this revelation and fights tooth and nail to prevent this from happening. because even though as a vampire one is granted immortality and eternal youth, sunlight will be an aspect you will never again be able to enjoy and also .. vampires cannot laugh o.0 (yes, therefore they can only brood and meet the criteria of the "brooding" vampire).
a world were humans and vampires more or less peacefully cohabit a planet, but still prejudiced against another, might as well be a placeholder for lgbt or non-caucasian people. poking fun at familiar ya tropes, team human is a delightful combination with food for thought and a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, keeping the reader entertained from the first to the last page.
p.s. also, am i the only to draw character similarities between pride & prejudice and team human? p.p.s. my first book ever to read on a (sadly only borrowed) kindle touch!
------------------------------------------ team human | pride & prejudice ------------------------------------------ cathy <----> jane francis <----> darcy
****** ******** ********* *********** ******** "look, mel. can you admit that you might be a tiny bit biased against vampires? don't you feel that you might have judged them a little quickly? what if i asked you to learn more about them?" "we could read a book about them together if you wanted," i said, with visions of highlighting all the bits that said POTENTIALLY FATAL. cathy smiled. "you know how i love books. but i was thinking about a more hands-on experience." "you want me to put my hands on francis?" i made a face. "isn't that kind of a best friend no-no, cath?"
****** ******** ********* *********** ********
"no problem," i said, patting him below the knee. he shot me a strange look. "um, no," i told him. "my touching your knee does not mean i want to have sex with you." kit blushed. "i didn't--" "you know, when you're a vampire, you won't be able to blush anymore." he went even redder.
****** ******** ********* *********** ********
"your family's not that into soccer?" "well, no," kit said. "not that we don't do activities together. francis taught me how to waltz." i burst out laughing. "i'm sorry -- what?" his voice warmed. i could imagine him being delighted he'd made someone laugh, even over the phone. maybe not just someone. maybe delighted he'd made me laugh. "yes, well. at first he tried to instruct me and mom together, but mom said she'd never liked waltzing much herself [..] and in the end francis said that we were all impossible and nobody was properly dedicated to the child's education or ever thought about how i would conduct myself in society and how it would reflect on them all. so francis ended up waltzing with me himself." "are you a credit to francis?" i asked, solemnly. "oh, i'm an excellent waltzer. sadly, i don't actually know how to lead ..." i thought of several excellent jokes about kit's first ball gown and also his dance card, but i pulled myself back.
3.5/5 really, really different. original. bit too corny, but cute nonetheless. how she finally seperated her strings to her father (view spoiler)[by tel3.5/5 really, really different. original. bit too corny, but cute nonetheless. how she finally seperated her strings to her father (view spoiler)[by telling him she loved him. (hide spoiler)] as simple and difficult as that.
glory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carnegglory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carnegie hall and across the globe. brilliant and lonely, glory is drawn to frank, who moves in next door frank becomes glory’s connection to the world—and her escape from reality. before long, glory is unable to play anything but the song "chopsticks"; f and g notes moving closer together, and farther apart.
artsy people will probably find the aesthetics to their liking. i know that is what drew me to this book.. what makes this different from other novels isn't the story but its execution, which ranges from letters, doodles, notes, instant messages, post cards, invitations, newspaper articles and music/music sheets depicted in photo format. an intimate snapshot of two desperate teens. [ video ][ chopsticks app ]
it's great actually having a girl of color on the cover. but the cover, unfortunately is horrible (view spoiler)[well, slightly less horrible th2.75/5
it's great actually having a girl of color on the cover. but the cover, unfortunately is horrible (view spoiler)[well, slightly less horrible than the first one (hide spoiler)] and probably scares away a lot of its potential reader (who'd enjoy it were it not for the cover). so sad. but what it lacks in the visual book design department, it makes up with a feisty ((view spoiler)[finally a (hide spoiler)] non-caucasian!!) female lead and lots of twilight/fallen/hush hush/[etc] bashing.
despite the temptation to strangle him right now, i couldn't let a moment go by without touching him, to remind him that his pleasure, as well as his discomfort, was mine also. i tipped his chin to look at me. "you do realize this is a serious problem in our relationship? i can barely go a day without seeing you, but we're talking long-term commitment here. what if you become a jerk in ten years? he scowled. "you're one to talk." "and if i get really nasty and super fat?" "hey, more cushion for the pushin'." he took a huge bite of his candy. i rolled my eyes. (-- %18)
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"(..) how long have you been following me?" "since you left your house this morning. i got bored and wanted to talk to you." "you know that's called stalking, which is illegal in all 50 states and all u.s. territories, right?" (-- %43)
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i took a moment to observe his appearance, the even brown complexion, the thin layer of waves on top of his head, the broad, slightly flat nose, and the full, sculpted lips. the resemblance was uncanny, and no one could tell the difference. but i know, and i silently grieved for such wasted beauty and unmet potential. (-- %43)
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"i don't think you understand how dangerous it is for us to be together." "dude, what is your problem? i'm not deaf. i heard you the last 3 times you told me. how about you follow your own advice? stop chasing me around, quit spying on me from across the store, and take your emo ass home! you're not even scheduled to work today. why. are. you. here?" "i needed to see you," he answered simply. (-- %88)