What I enjoyed: 1. Trollus sprang to life from the book's pages and enveloped me within its cavernous depths throughout, refusing to spit me out rig3.5
What I enjoyed: 1. Trollus sprang to life from the book's pages and enveloped me within its cavernous depths throughout, refusing to spit me out right to the very last chapter. Where do I sign up for daylight withdrawal support?
2. The plot. Sure, it was a little predictable - girl forced to marry villain who turns out to be more heroic and charming than she expected, and they eventually (but still seemingly at a breakneck speed) fall in love. So what's new? Nothing major but thankfully Cecile has a backbone and a clever ind to go with her pretty looks and "voice of an angel".
Tristan, however, reminds me a little too much of Elder from Across the Universe. Handsome, brooding dude who isn't above manipulating the people he's sworn to protect for the woman he loves. And that isn't a compliment. Nuh-uh.
Which brings me to...
What I could do without: 1. Lovesick puppy insta-love. The whole I love her/him but I wish I didn't so I'm going to write her "love notes" and leave presents/sing or play the piano because I know he can somehow hear me quickly became frustrating rather than romantic. Oh, throw in a sexy, utterly gorgeous vamp (whoops, sorry, troll) who hangs onto his every word (and other body parts) and you've got a classic set-up for jealousy and misunderstandings. Yay.
2. Descriptions, descriptions. I love you, you know I do. And you've done a great job fleshing out characters and describing the world they eat, live and breath. But oh, if only you weren't so lengthy when it really isn't utterly necessary. I glossed over and skipped through a few paragraphs from time to time because it was getting late - I just couldn't stop reading, that's how captivating this book was - and I badly wanted to get to the end. The journey to get there was definitely a little too windy for my taste. But maybe that's just me....more
Steph Bowe's earned a solid place in my list of authors whose works I'll pick up in a heart beat, no questions asked. Girl Saves Boy is that good, andSteph Bowe's earned a solid place in my list of authors whose works I'll pick up in a heart beat, no questions asked. Girl Saves Boy is that good, and perhaps even more. I wish I'd written it in my teens (Steph was 16 when this book was published), but I would have certainly lacked the skill and maturity to produce something of this calibre.
Often, after reading a brilliantly constructed, incredibly breathtaking passage, I'd pause in wonder - not just at Steph's age, but for the fact that many older authors I've read aren't half as elegant. And Steph hits the nail on the head too with many of her observations on society, living, and life at large. Her's is the sort of talent many authors twice her age would kill to have.
I could even overlook the insta-love bits, which to me seemed a lot less contrived upon taking into consideration Sacha (view spoiler)[(childhood leukaemia, anorexic mother who died of a heart attack, gay father who's dating his art teacher from school, suicidal and dying) (hide spoiler)] and Jewel's (view spoiler)[ (brother dies partly of her doing, parents split up atrociously, shipped off to stay with her grandparents for 10 years, carries the dreadful burden of guilt on her shoulders) (hide spoiler)] devastating circumstances.
When two people who have been through so many personal tragedies meet at the hands of fate, you don't really have to scrutinize too hard or question too much the whys and hows; they just become. In a way that somehow, strangely, feels right.
For a meatier (and more coherent) review, Shirley Marr has written a fantastic one here, which pretty much echoes what I think of the book anyway.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 stars. A decent read which got off to a thrilling start, but I felt increasingly lost and overwhelmed by the mishmash of various religious, cultur3.5 stars. A decent read which got off to a thrilling start, but I felt increasingly lost and overwhelmed by the mishmash of various religious, cultural and occult references. It got to the point where I stopped caring about the dark magic bits and read on just to root for Natalie and Jonathan's budding relationship.
I'm still undecided if I'll be reading the sequel....more
I love the whole concept of going on a road trip... at least the ones where parents are not invited. Most of the road trips I've been on involve familI love the whole concept of going on a road trip... at least the ones where parents are not invited. Most of the road trips I've been on involve family, and I certainly don't mean siblings or cousins who are close to my age.
But there's something wildly exiting about packing up, hopping into a car - or a van, in this case - and taking off with the whole world ahead of you, metaphorically speaking. Often, it's not the end destination that matters but what you see and experience on the way.
Unfortunately for Reunited, like a bumpy ferry ride during high tide, I sorta wish we would arrive by the time we made it pass the halfway mark. There's only so much bickering and walking on egg shells that one can take, and like Alice, I'm not really the sort that craves conflict and long-drawn friendship wars.
There were some charming bits however, which saved the book from a mediocre two-star rating, and I absolutely love the ending. It's just getting there that takes some patience and will power. ...more
Reading the Across The Universe trilogy is sort of like dating a popular bad boy people either love or hate. You know it won't be a smooth ride and itReading the Across The Universe trilogy is sort of like dating a popular bad boy people either love or hate. You know it won't be a smooth ride and it could end in tears, but you persist anyway for that heady YOLO thrill.
I had my reservations about Shades of Earth, mostly because I've never liked Amy and Elder. What I really like about the series is Beth Revis' world-building, story concepts and immaculate execution.
For the sole reason of having - needing - to know what's on Centauri-Earth and how the frozens and shipborns deal with the alleged threat of 'monsters', I couldn't bring myself to resist this book's siren call.
Turns out it wasn't such a good idea for my blood pressure. Is it possible to hate a fictional leading lady so much you kinda wished the author would go on and kill her off already? Totally. I hated Amy for every selfish decision and 'triumphant smile' she flashed at Elder. Condescending, much?
(view spoiler)[She's so single-minded as to shut out the carnage and despair around her when Godspeed crash lands on Centauri-Earth, focusing instead on unfreezing ALL those in the cryo chambers, despite Elder's fear they'll just add to the chaos. This girl is unbelievable. I want to slap her and knock her head against a very hard surface kind of unbelievable. (hide spoiler)]
After two books and a half, she's still a self pitying boo-hoo-I'm-so-tragic-everyone-must-revolve-around-me prick who, now that her parents are around, hopes they'll help solve her problems. THANK ZEUS she does grow up eventually, which makes the last few chapters a lot easier to swallow.
But too bad, at this point I'd rather plan her demise and never hear about her again. Then there's Amy's equally condescending, selfish, single-minded father (I see who she gets it from now) to have murderous thoughts about. Yay. And I just don't buy into the Amy-Elder relationship.
(view spoiler)[Beth wants to convince us that Elder is Amy's soul mate, but my inner cynic can't help wondering if they're together because there aren't any other suitable guys around Amy's age who isn't a. shipborn or b. from the first colony. Elder seems like a much nicer, relaxed person around Bertie; when he's with Amy, I'm seeing echoes of lovesick Edward. That's so not attractive. Or healthy. (hide spoiler)]
All that aside, which is nevertheless a lot to swallow, it was a blast signing up for the action-packed tour of Centauri-Earth. (view spoiler)[But really, alien dinosaurs?? Say what?! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I enjoyed reading Decked with Holly, I really did. I just couldn't put it down from the moment I started on the first sentence. So why the 3 star ratiI enjoyed reading Decked with Holly, I really did. I just couldn't put it down from the moment I started on the first sentence. So why the 3 star rating? Well, if it were possible to award half stars I'd give this three and a half, but since Awkward fell a little short of a full 5-star rating from me - and Awkward is, I think, the better book - I had to score this a little lower.
Now don't get me wrong, Marni Bates is a very delightful writer to read. I LOVE her dry wit and conversational writing style, which really helps to make her characters likeable and all the more real. Holly though... rubbed me the wrong way at times. I agree with Nick/Dom that she's a tad annoying but what irks me the most is how she's such a pushover. Yes, I get it, she loves her grandfather and doesn't want to ruin the occasion for him. Still, why does she let her family step all over her??!!
Which brings me to another problem I have: Why doesn't her grandfather intervene when Holly's other relatives bully her? Sure, he helps her out in subtle ways but that's hardly enough! No wonder her aunt and cousins think she's easy prey.
Plus, I personally have an issue with girls who rely on others to raise thier self esteem. What? She thinks having a rock star boyfriend's gonna help her solve her confidence issues? That it's gonna tell people she's worth something? Please. You just sound desperate. It's not so bad coming from a 15 year old, but she's 17/18 for goodness sake. Thankfully, Holly does develop as a character - she becomes more assertive and less concerned about what others think of her.
That aside, the story's premise seems like something straight out of fanfiction land. Ordinary girl meets extraordinary boy, they land themselves in a compromising situatiion, get swamped by crazy fans and the press... but amidst it all develop feelings for one another. It's a testament to modern technology that questionable YouTube fame (a la Awkward) seems so much more attainable than landing in the suite of, say, that guy in One Direction whose name you can never remember. Still, I guess stranger things have happened in real life. ...more
Wow, just wow! It's as if Michelle Hodkin's took note of what people were saying about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (all of it - the good, mediocre andWow, just wow! It's as if Michelle Hodkin's took note of what people were saying about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (all of it - the good, mediocre and ugly) and sought to remedy the bad as well as heighten what actually did work in the first story. The result is a second effort that's even more goosebumps sort of creepy, way more disturbing, and a lot more focused.
Mara actually grows as a person and grows a backbone this time round (you go girl!). She's a lot stronger mentally, more in control of the situation now that she's almost sure what's happening isn't all just in her head, and she's definitely a lot more assertive. Especially when it comes to a certain hot love interest named Noah Shaw.
Yes, our lovey dovey pair's hormones are still raging and Mara is highly dependent on Noah, but the damsel in distress shows she is capable of taking matters into her own hands. As she begings to truly understand Noah (the pitfalls of instalove; you find out more about a person after you've chosen to love them like forever), she recognises his weaknesses and she's able to say no to him now.
(view spoiler)[In one tense scene she tells Noah he can get out when he threatens to leave her because she wouldn't listen to him. That's the way, you can't let him treat you like a vulnerable puppy dog to play god with all the time. (hide spoiler)]
Another significant improvement in book 2 is the semblance of a plot and a clearer indication of where Mara's story is headed. Yup, something big's definitely brewing. I didn't see that twist coming. Oh, and supporting characters are a lot more fleshed out; they're no longer just there to fill out the landscape.
Personally, what I was really glad to see a lot less of was Mara's struggle in book 1 to determine what's real. I agree it was important to drum up the mystery and uncertainty over Mara's mental state (is she going crazy? is she really just hallucinating?) in the first book and it worked for a spell, but devoting almost one whole book to this conundrum with little else to go on? Not so great.
Anyone who loved The Unbecoming, had mixed feelings about it, or even just plain hated it has to read The Evolution. It's mind-blowing.
Mara Dyer has truly evolved. 1 up! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more