(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled...more3.75/5
(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled for now. (hide spoiler)]
every year they come out of the sky at the same day and same time to take people.
this understandably scares the shit out of people. pastor warren takes it upon himself to soothe people and point out that those beings coming to take people away are indeed angels sent from god. and that the town was blessed to be chosen. riley thinks it's all bullshit and shoots the "angel" in the face when it comes to get her. and this, people, is where all the fun begins! (not telling anything more for fear of spoiling the book)
i didn't have any expectations whatsoever concerning this book, which is why i was able to lay back and enjoy the ride all the more (even at scenes that had me scratching my chin). outcast is so much fun to spend time with and really you do NOT want to miss out on reading this! the main lead tends to be a bit mary sue-ish, but it can be forgiven. and all the other characters, take lacy for example, who starts out as the clichéd popular, bitchy cheerleader and gets so much more developed as the story unfolds.
what was crazier was that she seemed to love being this stereotype. even more than that, no one else seemed to notice what a stereotype she was. it was like no one else in my school watched movies. [arc, 15%]
how lacy coped with living her life as a barbie doll i had no idea. then again, maybe she just had no concept of irony. or maybe this was all meant to be ironic? [arc, 20%]
in one short bizarre (view spoiler)[drunken (hide spoiler)] conversation with a cheerleader my entire perspective on life had changed. well, on cheerleaders at any rate. who the heck was lacy green? who the heck were any of them? (..) i'd grown up with them. i knew them as lists of features, but that was it. i didn't know them at all. not really. felt kind of stupid about that. kind of bad. [arc, 26%]
that leads me to the swearing in the book with all its shits, hecks, shut ups. i love it when the author doesn't shy away from language. more please. moar! the ending is obviously (thankfully) a set up for the books to come, as it leaves space for a sequel with unanswered questioned. outcast is a gem among stones. it has some really interesting conversations about bible interpretations and questioning faith in general and i sincerely hope to read more of that in the future. allow me to conclude with a smirk-worthy scene:
"thank you for choosing us, and in your glory we ask that you continue this gift. we thank you for sending us guidance to steer us into your love, and we thank pastor warren for taking this burden unto himself. thank the angels." "thank the angels," repeated the fold. i wondered if pastor warren ever said the thanks, and if he did, if he had to thank himself:"we thank me for taking this burden unto myself .." [arc, 37%]
this copy has been kindly provided by diversion books 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"]>(less)
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 vampire...moreeverything 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.
in comparison to eagar's other novels saltwater vampires lies smack in the middle. the author's undisputed #1 being her debut raw blue, saltwater vam...more
in comparison to eagar's other novels saltwater vampires lies smack in the middle. the author's undisputed #1 being her debut raw blue, saltwater vampires is slightly better than eagar's newest work night beach.
what eagar always gets right are the character studies. saltwater vampires' protagonist, jamie mackie struggles with guilt, shame and self-hate over how he left one of his friends alone when he was needed the most. nice also, was the way the author played with various vampire clichès.
the end scene where jamie and his group of friends (view spoiler)[ finish off the vampires and thus enable both jamie and dale to regain their mortality (hide spoiler)] will either lead readers snorting in disbelief or make them succumb to nostalgia with its buffy/charmed-esque scene:
he heard screams that weren't human, noises that sounded like they'd been wrung from hell. then there was a loud whoosing noise and he was pulled forwards (...) high above, the four vampires were trapped in the still centre of a vortex, a tornado of air spinning around them, lifting them up and up, sucking at their hair and clothes, blurring their movements. the pull of the whirlwind was so great it crinkled the air around it, creasing the fabric of the night. (...) the vortex seemed to swell and buckle. then there was a phssst noise (...) the centrifugal force of the vortex was destroying the vampires. (...) the vortex exploded with a deafening cracking noise that had jamie covering his ears. it sounded like the sky had been split apart. then shining specks of gold showered down out of the darkness, extinguishing before they reached the ground.
jamie's eyes snapped open. there was no pain. he felt good, but he felt different too. something had changed in him and he knew what it was even before he placed his hand on his chest. he had no heartbeat. he knew then what a heart really is: the clock that counts away the moments of a life. without a heartbeart, you are dead. or you will never die.
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps jus...more2.5/5
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps just by looking at this cover.
story daphne (daughter of lilith and lucifer) and a mortal boy, truman meet in hell, because he tried to kill himself. but circumstances allow truman to return to earth. daphne stays in hell. when her brother goes missing, she leaves her home behind to find truman, the last person to see her brother. one thing leads to another and they find out some surprising things..
the good, the bad & the ugly the story read nicely, although sometimes a little stiff.
angels aren't all downright good or evil, more like somewhere in between, just like the demons who are in hell. that added a nice touch. i like my characters with shades of gray. there are even some horror elements (that's a plus point, btw!) (view spoiler)[a baby who can talk and doesn't need food for a month with pointy metal teeth (flashbacks to angelfall) (hide spoiler)]
there's no love triangle (hooray), there were some nice and touching moments and dialogues between the lead characters, but overall it still wasn't enough. maybe i'll feel differently at some point, but right now? nope. also the secondary characters like lilith or beelzebub (view spoiler)[In later Christian and Biblical sources he appears as a demon and the name of one of the seven princes of Hell. [ article] (hide spoiler)] or obie (her brother) were underdeveloped. i wish the author had polished the characters a little bit more, to give them a little shine.
the showdown wasn't much of a showdown. it was pretty ... anticlimactic to tell the truth.
quotes daphne & truman: "I have a toothbrush,” I tell him, trying to make him feel at home. “You can borrow it, if you like.” He just looks at me. Then he smiles a little, shaking his head. “Toothbrushes aren’t the kind of thing people usually share.” “I know. I haven’t used mine yet though, so it’s new. It could be yours instead.”
beelzebub: “What you have to understand is that this is his life, and he’s the one who has to live it. People make decisions, and maybe you don’t always agree, but those choices are still their own.”
flashbacks to daughter of smoke & bone: All I know is that demons are born from chaos. They’re born from rage or blood or fire, or ruined holy water. They’re born from eggs. They come into the world as wisps of smoke or in grotesque forms that splinter off and multiply. There are all kinds of origins, all different ways to be born [..]
love is a bitch: (view spoiler)[I remember kissing Truman on the balcony, and maybe he never said he loved me, but he meant it anyway. And there’s my mother, shrieking in pain when she thought something had happened to her son, and Myra with her sly smile and her dead eyes, grieving for Deirdre in the only way she knew how. My father, holding the razor to Beelzebub’s throat, telling him that it would all be over in an instant. (hide spoiler)]
moloch & truman: “I’m not a holy man,” Moloch said from behind his hand. “I’m not pious, and I’m not good. But if I were, your penance would be to start reaching for the things you want and giving up the things that will destroy you.”
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on th...more3.75/5
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on the porch with), i'd have liked him, but as a serious love interest, he was .. bleh so far.
notes on two problematic things: one: female protagonist, miranda relies on male counterpart (whether it be a friend or father figure) for her hap...more1.5/5
notes on two problematic things: one: female protagonist, miranda relies on male counterpart (whether it be a friend or father figure) for her happiness. she defines herself dependent on males (due to her own family, marak, but also herself). it remains this way till the end, with no change in her nor does she gain much on self-confidence.
two: miranca inflicts injuries (view spoiler)[dunkle mentions it a couple of times (hide spoiler)] on herself when she's (a) lonely, (b) waiting for marek to shower her with attention and heal her, (c) both. okay, got it ... but why didn't dunkle touch upon this issue further? this is a young adult book, as such i'd have hoped that the aspect of miranda participating in self-mutilation would have been addressed at least in the end. what happens? will she continue to inflict injuries or not? does she at least seek help? the reader has no way of knowing.
is god a man? or a woman? or a fish? or a goat? is god old or young? fat or thin? [..] is god invisible? out to lunch? listening caref...more2.5/5 who is god?
is god a man? or a woman? or a fish? or a goat? is god old or young? fat or thin? [..] is god invisible? out to lunch? listening carefully? or just a very silly idea?
does god live in heaven? on a cloud? somewhere in outer space? in our heads? in the bible? or no place at all?
maybe god is a toad. or a crow. or a dream. or a tree. or an idea someone thought up ten thousand years ago. or all those things. or none of them. why not? no one can really tell us who or what god is, or even if god exists at all.
some people think that god created man. some people think that man created god. some people think that their god is the only god. some people think there are lots of gods — hundreds of them! some people would kill anyone who disagreed with them about exactly who or what god is. some people are absolutely positively 100% certain that there is no god. some people just….aren’t….too….sure.
maybe god is a feeling. a good feeling that makes you feel safe. or a horrible shouting feeling that says thou shalt not do this, thou shalt not do that, thou shalt not have any fun at all!
maybe god is the voice in your head that tells you not to hurt other people. not to steal or kill or lie to yourself. or — remember to put the top back on the mustard.
maybe god is like nature. like a sunny day or a wave in the ocean or an owl flying over a field [..]
maybe you only see god when you need to see god. or maybe god isn’t there after all. maybe the absence of god is god.
maybe we are all god. maybe there is no god.
no one can tell you that your god isn't the right god, or that your idea of god is the wrong idea. you don’t have to believe in god. god doesn’t have to believe in you. it's your decision. and you can always change your mind.
i found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, grippi...morei found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, gripping, weird, magical & creepy. written in a beautifully refreshing narrative style which emphasized the story (and ultimately its narrator as well), --sometimes easy, often difficult for me to follow--, it is about a girl trying to find a place in the world... in a story centered on (fallen) nobles & all the other people serving those nobles it has many intrigues, conspiracies, playing off people against people and so on, but with lots of space for world building & character development.
since i wasn't able to understand many of the things that happened, i wasn't sure how to rate the book. 2.5 stars for not understand all of it & thus also not being able to enjoy the story in its entirety? or 3.5 stars for being utterly fascinating, never mind I didn't grasp the whole book? my conscience battled throughout the night and decided to settle on ... ~~ dramatic music ~~... 3 stars.
conclusion quote it is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. it is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. we can never be gods, after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease. still… I could not help drinking in the view. it is important to appreciate beauty, even when it is evil.