I believe this is my favorite ARC since The Hunger Games. Do with that what you will. (In part because: the biggest problem with ARCs is that you are...moreI believe this is my favorite ARC since The Hunger Games. Do with that what you will. (In part because: the biggest problem with ARCs is that you are then faced with an even longer wait than usual for the next book to come out, especially if you are not lucky enough - or the series is popular enough - to get another advance. Life is rough, etc.)
It's not very often that I only need to hear two words to add a book to my to-read list. But "nun assassins" pretty much fit the bill.
(After some thought, other two word combinations guaranteed to make me read a book: space Austen, ninja librarians, free drinks, invisible barista, Canadian pirates, and, of course, Kevin Youkilis. Have you read one of these books? Have you written one of these books? Please advise, because they sound awesome.)(less)
Let's be honest, here: I will never finish this book. As much as I enjoyed saying mean things about it for, like, 100 pages, I really don't see us for...moreLet's be honest, here: I will never finish this book. As much as I enjoyed saying mean things about it for, like, 100 pages, I really don't see us forming a lasting relationship.
Summary: this book is terrible, please don't allow impressionable teenage girls to buy it. We will not have this one in store.
Caveat: this book had the misfortune of showing up at the same time as Grave Mercy, which kept me up unil 2:30 one morning trying to finish it. Because, when you have to choose between medieval nun assassins vs. cheesy maybe angels, it's not really a choice, is it?(less)
Telling, not showing. Incredibly stilted and unrealistic dialogue. Weird, trite, preachy BS about girl power (apparently pink hair he...moreBad. Really bad.
Telling, not showing. Incredibly stilted and unrealistic dialogue. Weird, trite, preachy BS about girl power (apparently pink hair helps!) and the straight-edge culture. And one of the least interesting and most grating main characters I've encountered in a while.
The writing style reminded me of some of the early readers I've been reading for the Book Shop, only this is a young adult book. For teenagers. Who are probably looking for prose that doesn't have much in common with the Magic Tree House series.
I liked it - quite a bit actually. I can't say it was the best written book I've ever read (spoiler alert: it wasn't), but the story was a good one, a...moreI liked it - quite a bit actually. I can't say it was the best written book I've ever read (spoiler alert: it wasn't), but the story was a good one, and touched on some tough issues.
Bobby Steele has had a rough year, and is spending the last couple weeks of summer wasting time at the local IHOP with his friends until it's time to go back to Riverview High. Until they decide the best way to spend one afternoon is filling out an application to Whitestone Academy, the local prep school. An application for Rowan Pohi, who doesn't exist.
Fletcher uses the prank that creates Rowan Pohi as a way to explore identity and names, and what they mean to Bobby Steele, son of Bobby Steele, a man who everyone in town recognizes. He takes a terrible (and terribly realistic) situation and makes it very human, very grounded.(less)
I don't know what to say about this one. Nothing cohesive, unfortunately. So, instead:
1. I liked that each chapter started with a college essay prompt...moreI don't know what to say about this one. Nothing cohesive, unfortunately. So, instead:
1. I liked that each chapter started with a college essay prompt. (This is based on the assumption that they were real prompts, which I am fairly certain they are, and that Schreiber didn't make them up. If he made them up, I no longer like the concept, because talk about a cop out.)
2. I didn't like that this is basically a book about the boring white teenage boy who I am supposed to strongly identify with and the manic pixie dream girl with weapons who saved him from his daddy issues. Because that's pretty much all I know about these characters.
3. Unrealistic kick-ass-chick aside (and, really, that's pushing a lot aside, as I'm fairly certain Gobi said it took her three years to go from small town Eastern European girl to world class revenge-driven assassin), the hardest thing to buy about this book is that 24 year old Gobi, who is driven and smart and hot and all-around ridiculously badass, would end up with the hots for aforementioned boring, privileged, whiny, daddy-issue-laden, 18 year old Perry. Based on either 1) he was distantly polite to her while she was undercover as an unattractive geek, 2) he was unable to successfully turn her into the police despite repeated attempts, or 3) she sort-of Stockholm Syndrome-d him over the course of the night with her... hotness and badassery.
4. I wasn't wild about the gratuitous violence, but in a book about a semi-professional assassin, what else did I expect? And I'm willing to chalk it up to personal taste in this instance.
5. I can't really recommend other people read this one, because it wasn't that good, but I can certainly see some teenage boys really enjoying this one because there are car chases and hot chicks. So: if you are going to buy it from your local independent book store, buy away. Otherwise, don't bother.(less)
This one caught me off guard. I was on vacation, and the stack of advances sitting on my shelf had finally worn me down. So my plan was to blow throug...moreThis one caught me off guard. I was on vacation, and the stack of advances sitting on my shelf had finally worn me down. So my plan was to blow through them, because I was going to be on the beach for most of it anyway.
I went into it expecting your standard young adult fantasy, and while it certainly didn't rewrite the genre, at least this one wasn't about vampires (or wizards!). Instead, it's a take on Irish legend, which I know exactly nothing about.
It was fun, full of action, and by god, Finn is dreamy. It was a fantastic beach read, and I'm dying for the next one. What more do you need to know?(less)
**spoiler alert** For a ghost story, it wasn't particularly scary. Now, it is a middle reader book, so take that with a grain of salt, but: I'm a huge...more**spoiler alert** For a ghost story, it wasn't particularly scary. Now, it is a middle reader book, so take that with a grain of salt, but: I'm a huge wimp. Huge. Usually children's-book-scary is about as scary as I can take.
The actual ghost bit was pretty standard: cold spots, the feeling of someone watching you, weird whispers. But then Hahn lost what little creepy factor she had built up, because the ghost was a bratty, spoiled little girl with a mean streak.
Altogether, the book seemed disjointed. In a failed attempt to create suspense, none of the characters wanted to tell our heroine Florence (and thus the reader) how Sophia had died, just that it was a terrible accident, and that her brother James somehow felt responsible. Then we arrive at the climactic scene, and the three of them are up on the roof, and there was an info dump: they were on the roof a year ago today and Sophia dared James to walk the roof line but he said he wouldn't unless she did and she fell and died so she's haunting him because she's mad she died instead of him because she's so much cooler than him so she's decided she's going to make him walk it now because if he dies she'll come back to life and everything will be just like it should have been originally. (whew!)
And the ending... My best guess is that Hahn got bored halfway through writing this one, and figured "Eh, close enough. I'm Mary Downing Hahn, they'll read it anyway. Now, I'll just tack on a sentence about how my villain probably isn't defeated yet, and THE END! Writing!"
Hmmm... This review is probably a pretty bad representation of how bored I was reading this, huh? Let's try again: Florence is lame, Sophie is a psychopath, James is 6 and not in the fun way, and everyone else is vague and creepy in a way that only characters in bad horror stories are vague and creepy. THE END!(less)