CATCHALL I didn't enjoy A Million Suns quite as much as Across the Universe, but I still really, really, really, love****FINAL RATING: 4.35 STARS****
CATCHALL I didn't enjoy A Million Suns quite as much as Across the Universe, but I still really, really, really, loved it. I couldn't put it down. There was action and romance on every page, leaving me wanting more. It was extremely good and while I think it was a bit slow at some points, in general it was perfect.
THE HERO ELDER I thought Elder progressed and degressed (I think I made that word up) in equal measure in this book. He can be patronizing sometimes, which can be real irritating and got on my nerves a lot of the time. I thought he tried very hard to be a good leader, which was admirable, but he didn't always know what the right thing to do was, which was realistic.
THE HEROINE Amy was stronger in this book, which I really admired. She was a better person in general, I think, too, and also much more relatable. She has struggles that are really reflected in her character but she comes through them very well and becomes a force to be dealt with. Amy is more than just the outsider on the ship now. She's fierce and ready to stand up for what's right.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS VICTRIA Her story saddened me. She has such conflicting desires, an it's really heartbreaking to see that in her. She tries to be a good person, I think, but has a difficult reconciling that with herself and her beliefs. i would have liked to know more about her. DOC We don't actually physically see a whole lot of him in this book, but he is clearly and definitely there. He's a dynamic character, definitely, and a lot of what we learn about him I would have never seen coming. BARTIE He was an extremely intriguing character. I was always looking forward to what move he was going to make next, what he was going to say. In the end, he wasn't so difficult to understand, not at all. In fact, he's an extremely relatable character.
THE PLOT The plot was freaking intense.
Every single page had a new twist or a new but vital scrap of information.
The entire book was thick with anticipation, eagerly awaiting the next radical event.
It was hardly boring, and only flawed but what I felt were a few pointless scenes that didn't progress the story at all, but I concede that they may become important later. Still, I absolutely loved it.
THE ROMANCE The romance in A Million Suns is more prominent than in Across the Universe, but is still traditionally sweet and smooth, not instalovey or rapidly moving. It really develops in a beautiful way and the chemistry between the characters is really palpable. The romance is definitely one of my favorites.
THE WRITING Revis' writing has only improved since Across the Universe. Her imagery is both haunting and provocative, inspiring me immensely. It could hardly have been better. Revis really expands on a lot of the things that were previously unclear in a lovely way, and both Elder's and Amy's voices have grown and matured.
THE ENDING Once again, we have been left with a remarkably cruel cliffhanger and have to wait months to find out what will happen next. It is a wonderful, perfectly-utilized way of closing the novel. It is so very signaturely Revis and I adored it absolutely. The ending left me freaking out, but also many conflicts were resolved or at least partially resolved. The ending was a bit rushed, but overall nearly amazing.
WRAPUP Of course, I am reading Shades of Earth. I have to! That huge cliffhanger doesn't allow for anything less! I am ridiculously excited to read it and am already wondering what is next!
CATCHALL I love a good sci-fi series, especially the wild ones. It's not often we get to experience an entirely new pla***FINAL RATING: 3.30 STARS***
CATCHALL I love a good sci-fi series, especially the wild ones. It's not often we get to experience an entirely new planet, and it was fun to try that in this novel. It's fast-paced, almost a thriller, but doesn't quite reach this level. Even so, it's a major page turner that kept me up late into the night. This last installment was just as brill as the two books that came before. This review kind of makes it sound like I didn't love this book, but believe me, I did.
THE HERO ELDER Elder is okay, I guess. Not the best character ever. I like him more than Amy, which isn't actually saying much but still. He tries to be a good leader, but he's a teenager and we are not the best leaders. He tends to doubt himself when he needs to step up, but he also has no idea when to let go. He's an all right character, but he could have used some improving. I don't hate him, but I have no more real love for him. I used to like him more.
THE HEROINE AMY I'm not a huge Amy fan. She irritates the living hell out of me. She has these ideals and she's she freaking stubborn and her way is the right way and that is that. And we're supposed to just take that. Guys, Amy is what, seventeen? I sincerely doubt that she holds all the answers to the universe in her hands and that is not okay. She is always, always portrayed as being right in this book and she just really got on my nerves like nothing else.
THE PLOT The number one thing that bothered me about this book: It was so freaking ridiculously liberal.
Granted, this is a personal issue. and, speaking frankly, I am a teenager and probably have not settled in permanent political views yet. But I was raised as a conservative, and my parents are conservative, and despite the fact that I am liberal in a few select aspects I am still, at this point in my life, mostly a conservative. So, this did affect me. I was so frustrated by all the things that Amy wanted to do and her ideas to govern the colony. However, those are my personal opinions and this might not bother anyone but me.
So, moving on. Shades of Earth is very, very fast-paced, but at other times it kind of drags. The pacing is weirdly off. It's always fast or slow, and kind of frustrating. I couldn't get a grip on it. I loved when it moved quickly. It was always fun to hear my heartbeat speed up, but that only made it all the more annoying when everything slowed down.
Love the concept, though, and the originality of it. It was fun to explore a new setting. The previous two books took place on the ship, but this one moves away from that. Instead, there's a new planet. New dangers. Unexpected twists. Some things were way too coincidental and unrealistic, but if I let that go and simply enjoyed this for what it was, I had a lot more fun.
All in all, I did love this. It wasn't perfect, but perfection is relative anyway. I truly enjoyed this.
THE ROMANCE I am not necessarily a huge fan of Amy and Elder's romance. I don't hate it, but it's so goddamn boring. They have no chemistry whatsoever. It's sweet but it lacks substance. I was much more willing to ship Amy with the creepy Chris, who I really didn't like at all, which says a lot. Still, if they want to live a passion-less life together I suppose that's their choice. It felt a lot like a first love thing and just didn't have that extra oomph.
THE WRITING Beth has gorgeous writing when it comes to description. She describe Centauri-Earth so vividly that it's almost like we're actually there. There's an incredible level of sensory detail. However, I am not a fan of Amy's and Elder's voice. They just come off to me as so immature and irritating. They've improved since the beginning, but they still needed work. They also aren't nearly distinct enough. I understand the dual-POV thing, but if you're going to do that you need to have distinct, separate voices.
THE ENDING I really think that Shades of Earth reached a wonderful ending. It was far from clean, but it was realistic. There's death and destruction and everything isn't neat. There's going to still be changes that have to be made, and they're going to have to rebuild their lives. But it's not a cliffhanger as much as it simply is an open ending. There's more to come, but for us, the story is over. At least for now. However, I wouldn't object to a novella set in this world in the future.
WRAPUP Not that the Across the Universe series has come to an end, I absolutely cannot wait to see what Beth spins for us next. I'm sure it'll be full of sparkles and romance, and I'm definitely excited. Whether she moves away from sci-fi or stays within the genre, I have high hopes that I'll love it. For old fans of this series, you need to pick this book up ASAP. If you're new to this series, I highly recommend it even if you're queasy about the sic-fi stuff. It's that good.
CATCHALL So, Andrew's first book, which is much lesser known than this one, is called Crossing. I first read Crossing****FINAL RATING: 4.15 STARS****
CATCHALL So, Andrew's first book, which is much lesser known than this one, is called Crossing. I first read Crossing a few years back and I literally fell head over heels in love with it. It broke my heart. It made me feel wild and crazy emotions. It made me cry my eyes out. And I knew then that if an author could make me feel like that, I would follow him wherever he would take me. And though I have taken forever to review this on account of being somewhat lazy, this book absolutely did not disappoint. I understand that it isn't for everyone, but that absolutely did not keep me from loving it.
THE HERO GENE Our hero is Gene, a human in a world of vampires. He is different from most people in the fact that he wants to stay human. I know that that's one of the main places where opinion splits for this book, but I really admire him for that. He doesn't abandon his ideals, and he wants to stay true to who he is and not give into the monstrosity. I also think that Gene's methods of survival weren't always perfect, but he deserves credit for going through it all by himself. I loved Gene's courage, and I didn't find hid choices cowardly. I also think that he had wonderful character growth, and I was pleased to see that.
THE LOVE INTEREST ASHLEY JUNE Ashley June is our love little love interest. At first, I had a really difficult time relating to her. She was almost boring, and didn't seem to have much substance. But as time went on I found myself connecting to her more and more. She didn't choose her place in the world, and in general she does try to make the best of it. She could be whiny, but she could also be strong. She doesn't let people tell her what to do, but she isn't a brat. She certainly isn't perfect, but she has a fiery nature and a good head on her shoulders.
THE PLOT By some twisted mistake, Gene manages to find himself entangled in the hunt, in which vampires track and kill humans for blood sport. But not as a human. Instead, he's on the side of the vampires. Determined to keep his secret and remain human, as well as survival, are Gene's primary goals. He is determined to hold on to his humanity, and so he does his best to blend in with the vampires without becoming one of them.
I thought that is was genius, honestly. In our society vampires are often an overused ideal. In this book, they're not. Sure, there are books that are similar, namely The Immortal Rules, and I'm sure there are others. Even so, there are several defining factors that make it completely unique.
I found the hunt itself to be an absolutely fascinating and horrific concept. It's absolutely disgusting, and it isn't glorified or justified at all. It's simply something awful that is, but nothing that anyone can do anything about. It was really interesting to see the dynamics of exactly how it played out, and to hear Gene's views on it.
I was pleased and surprised by the amount of action. For some reason, I truly was not expecting so much. But I loved action, and I especially love blood (at least when it comes to books) so I was thrilled by this. I loved the way it kept me tense, constantly at odds and never sure what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed the tension and suspense, which added another layer to the story and more excitement for me.
Overall, I totally loved this and absolutely enjoyed it. There are definitely mixed opinions on this, but in mine this was truly fantastic.
THE ROMANCE Romance. Gene and Ashley June definitely have chemistry, but it takes a while for that to become clear. At first, they have a natural mistrust and antagonism, or so it appeared to me, and understandably. But as the time goes on, they find themselves somehow drawn to one another. They can't help the attraction they feel. And as they slowly begin to acknowledge this, the connection between them starts to come out. Overall I feel like there wasn't too much romance here, but I am actually truly looking forward to its continuation.
THE WRITING I have loved Andrew's writing from the first time I read it, and that hasn't changed. It's phenomenal. The amount of emotion that he is able to portray in one sentence in incredible. Anger, desperation, joy, terror…it's all there, at different appropriate moments. I love that he can make me feel the way that Gene does. It makes it very easy to connect to Gene's voice and his story. I also love the way the characters are developed, and I especially appreciated the world-building. It's a unique build for a unique world.
THE ENDING I was actually shocked by the ending, and I didn't see it coming at all. Though the cliffhanger is cruel I also think that the way it was employed is pure perfection. Everything gets drawn together, and a sudden clarity descends upon the entirety of the novel. I really felt that this was the best way to pull everything together, and I like the way that a lot of the conflict is resolved, but there's still plenty to look forward to. It is, essentially, the perfect balance.
WRAPUP So basically, I loved this. I thought it was amazing. It definitely made me think, and I truly do feel like it is different from all the other vampire books out there. There's an more real emotional aspect to it, and there's something in it that feels very alive even amidst all the death. I definitely recommend this, and though not everyone loves it, I know that a lot of people will. I myself will definitely be eagerly continuing this series.
CATCHALL Insurgent was even better than Divergent. I raced through it eagerly, putting aside homework that suddenly*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****
CATCHALL Insurgent was even better than Divergent. I raced through it eagerly, putting aside homework that suddenly seemed unimportant in the face of Insurgent. I actually thought they were sold out of it at my local Barnes & Noble when I went the Thursday after its release. I was horrified. Then I found a single lone copy sitting on the customer service desk. So I took it shamelessly. And I was extremely happy that I did.
THE HEROINE BEATRICE PRIOR I loved Tris so much. She was such a wonderful heroine. She displays many shocking weakness but ultimately comes out stronger for having them. Instead of cowering down, she rises up bravely. Her selflessness will show a bit more strongly in this book than it has before, too. Tris matures in more ways than one, proving herself. I thought she made an even better heroine in the book than she ever did in Divergent. I really admired Tris for some of the choices she made and some of the things she went through.
THE LOVE INTEREST TOBIAS (FOUR) EATON I still think that Tobias is a weird name, but it mostly works on him. I still preferred it when he was called Four. That business aside, he was incredible in this book. And still ridiculously hot. I swear to God, it was all I could do to remember that he unfortunately doesn't actually exist. Sigh. But he was so good and strong and powerful in this book, and it was impossible not to admire that.
I love the other characters, really I do, but for the sake of time and length I am leaving them out of this review…for now.
THE PLOT The plot was freaking epic.
Like really. It was so awesome that there are limited ways to describe it.
It was a total thriller and absolutely lived up to its name. I couldn't fathom what would happen next, and there were so many twists and turns that just when I thought I'd figured it out I turned out to be totally wrong.
I could not help reading this book throughly until I was finished, physically unable to put it down!
It's sad, it's happy, it's moving, it breathtaking, but overall it is mostly just gorgeous.
It was a wonderful, entertaining and fun but dangerous and haunting plot.
THE ROMANCE There's more heart and hurt to the romance than before. It's not always smooth sailing. It is very rarely smooth sailing, in fact. But Tris and Tobias are a wonderful couple and always manage to work through everything as a team. Even when they disagree, they get over it. Their romance also has some sweet and fluffy moments that are impossible not to love and is totally thrilling. It's absolutely beautiful and very, very real.
THE WRITING Veronica's writing and Tris' voice have beautified and matured. The description is absolutely gorgeous, and I can visualize the city. I can map it out even now from memory, thanks in no small part to the attention to detail. It is much improved from her debut novel, but even that was lovely. Still, she's improved and that;s always a good thing to see.
THE ENDING It was a cliffhanger! A cruel, cruel cliffhanger! I absolutely thought it was a brilliant tactic and probably the perfect spot to end it, but oh, the agony! Waiting a year just might kill me in the process. It was incredible and perfect, too, but I only wish selfishly that I knew now what came next.
WRAPUP Well, of course I'm reading Untitled! I personally think it should be titled Resurgent, but then, I will read it no matter what it is called. I am greatly looking forward to it. It should satisfy my cliffhanger desperation and is sure to be a brilliant ending to the trilogy!
CATCHALL Never let it be said that I didn't try to like this book, because I did try. I tried impossibly hard. The cover is sFINAL RATING: 3.35 STARS
CATCHALL Never let it be said that I didn't try to like this book, because I did try. I tried impossibly hard. The cover is shimmery and absolutely gorgeous, and there's so much symbolism I could write an essay on the implications of the cover alone. The book was so promising in the beginning too. I've read so many glowing reviews, but I just didn't feel it. It also felt a bit simplistic and empty; I can't even write a good snark review about it.
THE HEROINE While I've definitely read about worse heroines (Luce, Juliet, Amelia, I'm talking about you) Cassia wasn't my favorite. Not even close, really. She just felt so shallow to me. I know plenty of you will disagree, but I simply did not like her. I din't exactly dislike her, but it was definitely borderline. She was somewhat vapid and I didn't feel like I knew her as well as I should by the end of the book. I thought she seemed rather annoying at times and while she definitely had her moments, I overall didn't care for her.
THE LOVE INTERESTS XANDER Xander was probably the only character in this book I actually really liked. While I do love my bad boys, there's also something about the good ones too. I thought Xander was a good representation of the kind of resistance that most of us would do in such a society; not open disobedience, but not complete conformity. He was so sweet and soft, even. He's so steady and he always seems to be there at just the right moments. Xander has the type of exterior that's marred by a few interior flaws, but imperfection is usually more attractive than perfection. The only thing I don't get is why he would want to be with Cassia. KY There's not a lot to say about him, except that I probably haven't disliked a male lead so much in a really long time, if ever. He irritated me. Looking back, I can't say why exactly. That probably weakens my argument, but it's my opinion. Either way, I disliked him. He felt so shallow and I he seemed condescending to me. I know he's made many young ladies swoon but again, I'm not feeling it. I skimmed more than read the parts where he showed up which were far too many. He bored me and I thought he was rather stupid too.
THE PLOT There wasn't really much of a plot to the novel. It honestly felt like a really long introduction and nothing really happened. Sure, there were incidents, but nothing major. It seemed like the story was basically a dystopian romance. Usually, I wouldn't mind, but liking the romance would involve actually loving the characters. This plot was essentially nonexistent, although I do like the parts about the pills and the Hundred poems, paintings, etc., and the artifacts. Basically, I enjoyed reading about the actual society. Condie has crafted a beautiful dystopian world.
THE ROMANCE That's all this book was about. Romance. Mostly Cassia and Ky. We see a little bit of Xander, although it's obvious from the beginning that Cassia has already chosen Ky. The love triangle feels forced and unnatural. Cassia and Ky's romance is shallow and flat from the very beginning. They have so little chemistry and everything between them feels awkward and feigned. Cassia and Xander weren't much better, although they did seem to sizzle a bit in the beginning. If Condie can capture that in later books, it would really increase my appreciation for her books.
THE ENDING I'm fairly certain it was supposed to be a cliffhanger, but when I finished I didn't get my usual OMGMUSTGETNEXTBOOKNOW feeling. It closed the story better than I had expected but there was no real urgency to it. I liked some of the closing scenes but others I didn't care for. It left me with mixed feelings but was overall not terrible.
THE WRITING Condie has beautiful writing but reading everything from Cassia's P.O.V. somewhat bored me. I didn't care for it. However, like I said, the writing itself was actually pretty good, if a tad simple. It was a bit young for a YA series, but it is a debut novel, so, as usual, I'll cut some slack.
WRAPUP I will be reading Crossed, but without any particular urgency. Still, I'm looking forward to reading it.
CATCHALL This book came out months ago, and I have been meaning to buy it for ages, but have never gotten around to*****FINAL RATING: 4.70 STARS*****
CATCHALL This book came out months ago, and I have been meaning to buy it for ages, but have never gotten around to it. Finally, I put my foot down and forced myself to buy it. I have made few better decisions in my life. This book was totally awesome and I beyond loved it! I simply could not get enough and was literally up all night just because I was desperate to finish it. The characters and plot were incredible, and I was very impressed.
THE HERO ABRAHAM GRISWOLD For a dead guy, he is damn sexy. Actually, screw that. For any guy, anywhere, anytime, he is damn sexy. Seriously. I have no idea how he can be so hot, but he is. I absolutely love Bram. So very, very much. He's freaking amazing, and if you could see me right now I'm doing major fangirling and not ashamed of it in the least. Bram is sweet and protective while at the same time tough. He knows what's what and isn't afraid to stand up for himself or his friends. He's an awesome charter with real substance, and I love him.
THE HEROINE NORA DEARLY I really, really, really loved Nora. She's extremely brave and admirable. I don't know if I could go through all the things that she does and still be sane! But somehow she does, and that's she amazing. I love how she really pushes through everything even when her world is turned on its head. Everything changes for her, but instead of trying to stubbornly hold on she keeps pushing forward.
THE BEST FRIEND PAMELA DOT Pam starts off kind of boring, but she really grows as the story progresses. Instead of melting when Nora disappears, she uses that opportunity to find out what she's really made of. I love how she finds out who she is and steps into an awesome role.
THE OTHER ROYALS ISAMBARD DOT He starts off as a total jerk, but later on I actually came to admire him. He goes through a lot and gets changed because of it, but it's done so realistically that it's believable. I ended up actually liking him and hope to see more of him. MICHAEL ALLISTER He seemed really sweet at first, and gave Pam the attention she wanted. He treated her very well and made her think he cared about her, and then turns cruel and shows his ugly self. I did not like him at all.
THE OTHER WALKING DEAD TOM Tom was hilarious! I absolutely adored him! he provided awesome comic relief, which was great. I thought he was a beautifully developed character and if we see more of him, I will most assuredly be happy. COALHOUSE Coalhouse was interesting. He seems kind of immature during most of the book, but he takes an action at the end that's both shocking and sweet and made me think better of him. I do want to hear more about him, and I'm pretty sure I will. RENFIELD Ren was so awesome! He's really smart, for one thing. Also, he's really smart. For some reason, I also picture him to be hot. No idea why, but hey, it works. I think that I would be really enthused if I got to read an entire book about him and I'm not even sure why, but whatever. CHAS Basically, she was freaking awesome. I totally loved her! She had a fantastic attitude and it was impossible not to admire her.
THE PLOT The plot was awesome! So much action, so much romance. I simply could not put it down! I say that a lot, but I mean it every time.
Seriously, the plot was really original. Part steampunk, part dystopian, part horror, part paranormal romance. I've never read anything even remotely like it. It was totally unique and it was executed so beautifully!
I love zombies, but I don't read nearly enough zombie books. I'm glad that I chose this to be one of them! It only made my love for zombies grow and I was completely in love with Lia's concept of zombies only a few pages after their appearance. It's so unique and different.
This book had a lot of charm! I know that not everyone loves every book and I am totally okay with that, but this is one of those books that I seriously do not understand how everyone cannot love it! Of course, everyone won't, and that's cool. Still, it's really worth a chance at least.
The plot of this book kept me intrigued and interested. I beyond adored it and it really could not have been better!
THE ROMANCE The romance develops sweetly, slowly, but potently. There's real power and love behind it. Nora and Bram have such awesome chemistry, and as much as I love Bram, I also love him and Nora together and I wouldn't want to tear them apart for anything. They absolutely belong together and it should never be any other way. Ever. They are so sweet together, and perfect. The romance feels real and I adored the development.
THE WRITING Lia has absolutely gorgeous writing. I'm so jealous! The story is told from first-person POV, mostly by Bram and Nora, but with a healthy amount from Pam and a few chapters told in the POV of other characters who I will not name. I loved the chapters told from Bram's and Nora's POV above all! Pam's chapters were boring at first but quickly got interesting and captured my heart. The others aren't so interesting, but are necessary to understand what's going on, and I appreciate that. Lia's beautiful writing definitely helps my appreciation.
THE ENDING Dearly, Departed ends on a sad note. It seems like at first they might get a happy ending, but Nora quickly realizes that that's not the way it's going to be. Instead, the battle's really only begun. There's so much more that's going to happen in the next book, but this book ended on the perfect note. It wraps everything up prettily, but leaves enough open for another book, and basically is just perfect.
WRAPUP I love Lia Habel! I will probably read all of her future books, including the upcoming Dearly, Beloved especially. I am so thrilled! Dearly, departed was an absolutely incredible book and one of my all-time favorite reads easily.
CATCHALL If I loved Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved was really something else. It was completely unlike anything*****FINAL RATING: 4.85 STARS*****
CATCHALL If I loved Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved was really something else. It was completely unlike anything I've ever read and completely perfect. I fell in love with it from page one and never stopped. It's easily one of the most amazing books that I have ever read and one of my favorites of 2012 for sure. I almost couldn't believe how awesome it was. It literally and completely blew me away—I mean, it was honestly that amazing. It was totally a different story than the one told in the first book, and yet I loved it every bit as much.
THE HERO BRAM I adore Bram just as much as I did in the first book. He's gorgeous, and brave. I'm sounding like a total fangirl, and to be honest, I probably am. I just love him. He's isn't afraid to stand up for what's right, and he'll do anything to protect Nora and his friends. He usually can see what needs to be done and does it. However, he is not so perfect that it's ridiculous, and of course he makes mistakes that he has to work his way out of. And he never wastes time. He is truly an awesome hero.
THE HEROINE NORA Nora is so sweet, but she's also anything but innocent. She can do things that are brave but rash, and yet the reasons she has for taking such risks always leads back to protecting her friends. She isn't foolish at all. I adore Nora. She's an extremely relatable heroine. It's really easy for me to identify with her. She's every girl. Despite everything that she goes through, she stays strong and doesn't lose herself. Instead of dwelling on the past, she looks towards the future.
THE BEST FRIEND PAMELA Pam bothered me at times, but for the most part I genuinely liked her. She's struggling to fit into this new world, and she's trying to in the only way she knows how. Honestly, it's actually pretty admirable. She's not afraid to get in the action and she's so loyal to Nora in the fiercest yet sweetest way.
THE OTHER ROYALS ISAMBARD Isambard wasn't in this book much, although I do like what we see of him. He's changed a lot, but then in some ways he also hasn't, and that's refreshing. I love the way he's used to represent, and what he's portrayed as. MICHAEL Michael is a jerk, plain and simple, but he makes for a deliciously insane and corrupted villain. It was creepy and yet totally awesome to be inside his head. I seriously, seriously loved it. Watching his character and his anger unfold was remarkable. Also he is a total kleptomaniac, which is just weird, and obviously not right in the head. VESPERTINE Vespertine took me a while to figure out, but I actually ended up really admiring her. She goes through a lot but in the end she tries to do what she thinks is right, even putting herself in danger to do so, as long as she thinks it could help. It's hard not to admire that.
THE OTHER WALKING DEAD TOM I still love Tom. He's such a fun character, but he can be serious when he needs to be. He goes through some difficult things in this book, and yet he tries not to let them bother him too much. He really presses through even when things are tough to help Bram. COALHOUSE Coalhouse was an incredibly dynamic character. He took the sidelines in Dearly, Departed, but in this book her really takes the stage. He wants to get attention for something, to finally do the right thing, and to get praise for it. Yet he's lost and doesn't really know how to go about it. Watching his struggle is heartbreaking, but ultimately gives us an awesome insight into his character. RENFIELD I just love Ren, like so much. He's awesome and brilliant. He figures crazy and insane things out, and contributes some seriously valuable knowledge. He also just seems so amazing. He's another character who really grows in this novel, although honestly, they all do. But still. CHAS I missed Chas in this book, because we didn't really see her as much as we did before. Still, she's just as awesome in this book as she was in the last. She still makes me smile, and se's still totally badass. LAURA Laura is a new zombie who is introduced, who struggles with the new world that she's trying to fit into. Everything is thrown into chaos more than once for her, and yet she really manages to keep her head through it all. She's an essential and really awesome character who I without a doubt adored.
THE PLOT I admit that the plot was actually pretty slow-moving at first. It actually does take a while for it to get into the action. The first hundred pages or so do seem to move pretty slowly. However, I just couldn't bring myself to mind too much. I loved the was the development took its time. It made everything seem that much more genuine. No details were left unseen to. Everything fit into its proper place.
And once the action got started, it didn't stop. There was so much action that it was nearly impossible to believe so much action could be packed into so few pages. I literally couldn't put the book down. It was as if my life depended on knowing what happened next.
Really, I loved it. So much was happening, just like in the first book. And yet it was so different from the first book at the same time. The entire story it centered around was different. It was just as remarkably original as the first and so unique that it has its own claim to fame.
It had everything I look for in a novel. Romance. Action. Mystery. It's all set in an incredible dystopian world that I completely love. I know I keep saying this, but it's just so…awesomely unique, like I'll never get enough of it. I just love it. I love it so much.
So, to sum it all up? Plot=awesome. And that's really all there is to it.
THE ROMANCE The romance in this book absolutely thrilled me, too. It doesn't dominate the novel, and yet it's an important and central part of it all the same. Nora and Bram are perfect together, and yet they have their share of hardships to overcome, too. The romance is sweet, the type that you can't help but smile at. Sparks definitely go flying. I am totally and most definitely a fan of Nora and Bram's relationship! It really feels genuine and nothing like instalove.
THE WRITING Lia has gorgeous writing. I love the way she uses multiple POVs. In this book, we get Nora, Bram, Laura, Vespertine, and Michael. It's totally perfect. It's really great because we get to see into the heads of some many different people. Yet she never gives so much away that the fun and tension is taken away. Getting into everyone's head is incredible. Everything about the world-building is incredible and just continues to grow and grow. I love the dialogue, too—it just shimmers. The banter between certain characters is awesome, too.
THE ENDING The ending was just perfect and sweet and so, so lovely. There's hardly any cliffhanger at all, which of course I loved! There are hints that there might be another book, and I fervently hope there is. Yet this book left me so satisfied that I could be happy with this ending. It made me so ridiculously happy. It's certainly wonderful. The ending is spectacular! I'm really obsessing a lot over the ending, but seriously, it is that good.
WRAPUP Of course I'll be reading Lia's books in the future! With two awesome zombie novels out there, I do hope she writes more. However, I am confident that I'll enjoy whatever she writes in the future. I give a glowing recommendation to this series! The Gone With the Respiration books are honestly some of my favorite ever, and I'm absolutely thrilled for more!
CATCHALL Despite my violent feelings towards some aspects of this book, I actually liked it. I definitely didn't love i***FINAL RATING: 2.65 STARS***
CATCHALL Despite my violent feelings towards some aspects of this book, I actually liked it. I definitely didn't love it, but I thought it was still a pretty pleasant read overall. Even though at some points I wanted to shove the book through the wall, it wasn't as awful as some other books I've read.
THE HEROINE JULIETTE FERRARS She was possibly my least favorite part of this entire book. Juliette was okay for about the first fifty pages or so, and then became absolutely unbearable. I wanted to punch her in the neck. She was whiny and annoying. I didn't like almost anything about her, although I did admire her bravery, I suppose. Juliette was just too typical-irritating-heroine for my taste.
THE LOVE INTERESTS ADAM KENT I actually liked Adam for about the first 150 pages or so. I was like, "Huh, this guy kind of reminds me of my boyfriend. I think I like him." And then after that, I was horrified that I'd ever liked him and apologized to my boyfriend. Adam was so irritating and I started to form a serious dislike for him. He never did anything vaguely interesting and was so stupid and ticked me off so much that I had to put the book down for minutes at a time just to calm down so I didn't start tearing out pages. WARNER Warner I actually liked. I found him to be far more interesting than either Juliette or Adam, which isn't even saying a lot, but oh well. Warner had more of a story and felt more developed than either of them, yet he was developed less, so that's a problem. Still, I did like him, and I really can't wait to hear more about him in the future.
THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS KENJI KISHIMOTO Kenji was probably my favorite character. He has a great sense of humor and is fun and smart, which isn't something I saw a lot of in this book. He's a mysterious character, too, since we don't know a whole lot about him yet, but I think we will soon, so that will be a whole lot of fun. CASTLE I thought Castle was kind of creepy, but well-meaning. Overall, I think he really wants to do the right thing, but he was too over-clichéd for me to take him that seriously.
THE PLOT The plot, unfortunately, was rather anticlimactic.
Not a whole lot of unpredictable stuff happened. I could, unfortunately, generally tell what was going to happen long before it happened.
Some things that I think were supposed to come as surprises were way too obvious and predictable, so that was disappointing.
The plot also moved along really slowly. I got really impatient with it at a lot of point for never going anywhere.
THE ROMANCE Yay instalove!
Because that's all Adam and Juliette's romance is.
Because they knew each other for a long time as children and so now have a wonderful and undying love.
I don't buy it.
I also don't get why she insists on making Warner a love interest, when everyone knows Juliette is going to end up with Adam.
THE WRITING I have some major problems here.
"He doesn't seem to notice me until he does."
Um, no freaking duh? Thank you, Captain Obvious much? Like, what the hell? This line makes absolutely no sense. I told it to all of my friends, and we seriously laughed for like half an hour.
"2 older than me, 2 older than them."
Soooo…all four of them are older than you? Why do we need to know this?
But actually, aside from several flaws, the writing wasn't God-awful. The descriptions, especially, was good without being overly so. It was actually very good, and cutting debut novel slack, even better.
THE ENDING The ending was a disappointment to me. I felt like it was anticlimactic and kind of boring. Nothing really happened, and I felt like it was kind of redundant and boring. It could have been a lot better, in other words. Still, it was somewhat interesting in a way, I suppose.
WRAPUP I think I'm good to read Unravel Me. Shatter Me was awful, and I did like it, and I think that Mafi will improve with experience, though perhaps Juliette and Adam will remain annoying. Still, I think it's a really interesting concept, and, while not marvelously executed, I think we'll all see improvement in her future books.
CATCHALL I wanted to like this book. Obviously, I do not read books that I know I am going to hate. Unfortunately, I stru**FINAL RATING: 1.75 STARS**
CATCHALL I wanted to like this book. Obviously, I do not read books that I know I am going to hate. Unfortunately, I struggled with this one. I didn't hate it, but I didn't necessarily like it either. It was definitely an interesting read, but probably not one I'd repeat.
THE HEROINE EVE I really didn't like Eve. She's somewhat of a brat and incredibly annoying. more than once I felt the urge to smack her across the face. What was her problem? I seriously do not understand how someone can be so ridiculous and improbably irritating. There wasn't much to like about her and she was one of the most disconnected heroines I've ever read about. There was pretty much nothing to admire about her and I really really disliked her. Strongly. Unfortunately, with a complete attitude makeover and a whole new set of values and such, I probably would have enjoyed this book immensely more.
THE LOVE INTEREST CALEB Caleb was probably even more boring than Eve. I couldn't have given less of a damn what happened to him. He had pretty much no personality. I really kept hoping that he would just vanish of the face of the earth, but no such luck. I thought he was the most boring person in the universe. If I'm repeating myself, I don't care. He really was boring and that's why there's not much else to say.
THE FRIEND ARDEN I actually liked Arden. She's plucky and has something of a personality. Of course, she ended up being kind of a liar, which is inexcusable. Still, I guess it's kind of understandable. Well, anyway, she was probably the only semi-interesting character in this entire novel. Still, she could have done with some further development, although I admit that she is vastly more developed than Eve herself, which is poor characterization on Anna's part.
THE PLOT Yikes. They call this thing a plot.
The plot of this book was pretty nonexistent.
It involves Eve on the run. Constantly. Which would be cool if there was anything interesting going on, except that there is nothing interesting going on.
Instead, it's really boring.
There were so many times where I was tempted to throw my ereader and be like, "Something happen already, dammit!"
Unfortunately, nothing ever happened.
It was also pretty predictable and even repetitive. The same things seemed to happen over and over and I was tempted to roll my eyes more than once.
THE ROMANCE Oh my goodness. Instalove from a chick who knows absolutely nothing about love. Jeez, there is no romantic development whatsoever. Eve goes from hating Caleb to loving him in what seems to me to be a week at most, give or take a day or two. It's absolutely terrifying. I understand that she doesn't really seem to understand what love is, but that's still no excuse for the ridiculousness of the speedy romantic development. No one goes from suspicion to love tat quickly. Okay, no one. Case in point: I felt similar to the way that Eve feels about Caleb when I first met my boyfriend, but it took me two and a half years for me to admit I loved him. Not two and a half weeks. Nothing develops that quickly.
THE WRITING Oooh. Anna's writing isn't my favorite. For one, Eve's voice is incredibly annoying and it kind of ruined the book for me. I mean, it might have been better in third person, but it's hard to look past Eve's voice. The description is sadly lacking and the dialogue is far from sparkling. I was so angry about that. Also, it's just not very good. Still, I think that there is definitely room to improve. I do see potential.
THE ENDING Super predictable and boring. Probably bound to happen at some point, but not the best place to end a novel because it was too predictable. Still, I guess the ending could have been worse. I mean, it wasn't ideal, but it wasn't a tragedy or anything.
WRAPUP All in all, Eve was good enough, and I have higher hopes for Once. I think that Anna really has potential and that if the story develops more then it could really be good and I love that. I feel that Anna really can grow as an author. This book wasn't my favorite, but debut novels are tough.
CATCHALL I adored Cinder. It had everything I love: romance, intrigue, mystery, danger. Sure, it wasn't perfect, bu*****FINAL RATING: 4.50 STARS*****
CATCHALL I adored Cinder. It had everything I love: romance, intrigue, mystery, danger. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but it was such an enjoyable read that I had almost no complaints anyway. It was a fantastic read and I genuinely and absolutely adored it.
THE HEROINE LINH CINDER Cinder was a gorgeous, beautiful, and brave heroine. I didn't seem to be able to connect with her as well as I've connected with other heroines, but I liked her well enough. She was intelligent and didn't go around making stupid choices half of the time. She was also real and had feelings that were almost tangible in their realness. Although, she can be annoying and whiny sometimes. But all in all, I thought that Cinder was a very, very good heroine and I look forward to seeing her develop further. (The tab that follows is a legitimate spoiler, so ignore it if you haven't read yet, please (view spoiler)[And it was glaringly, painfully obvious that she is Selene. Why not just paint a gigantic sign on her forehead? (hide spoiler)])
THE LOVE INTEREST CROWN PRINCE KAITO OF THE EASTERN COMMONWEALTH Mmm. I really loved Kai. I thought it was marvelous that some parts of the book were told from his point of view. Otherwise, we would have barely gotten to know him. But this way, we get a genuine look at Kai and the person that lies inside, rather than just the person he is outside. He was a surprisingly deep character and I liked him more than Cinder. I may be biased. Oh well.
THE VILLAIN QUEEN LEVANA OF THE LUNAR Queen Levana was actually a surprisingly complex character. I didn't, however, see anything real about her, and this ruined her for me. Maybe she's a bit overly selfish, but seeing something a bit more human would really have moved me. Of course, she is not human, but, you know. Still. But in general, I thought she was fascinating.
THE STEPMOTHER LINH ADRI This is the point, obviously, but I really disliked Cinder's stepmother. Like, what is wrong with her? She foils Cinder quite nicely, though, I will admit. Also, she's kind of an interesting character. She does seem to have a few layers to her, we simply don't get to see them.
THE STEPSISTERS LINH PEONY Unfortunately, we really don't see very much of Peony. She's a shallow character, true, but she is also very sweet and cares genuinely for Cinder. I admire that in her, and I feel that with a little maturity she really could have grown to be an interesting and wonderful character. Alas. LINH PEARL Brat. Again, that was the point, but personally I felt it was a bit overly done and unnecessary. Still, I loved the dramatic foil and seeing Pearl cast against Cinder, and even Peony, was very interesting.
THE DOCTOR DR. ERLAND Because I forget his first name I actually really liked the doctor, and he might actually be my favorite character. He felt deep on a level that the rest of the characters couldn't quite reach, and felt genuine where sometimes the other characters rang false. I am looking forward to seeing more of this somewhat mysterious character in future installments.
THE PLOT This book kept me constantly guessing (except for one thing) and I could never tell just what was going to happen next. Even though some parts were predictable, it did not detract from the overall anticipation.
Each moment it felt as if something interesting was happening. Some parts dragged, others rushed, but but it all seemed to neatly balance out in the end.
Some events I could see coming, while others were completely unexpected! Cinder managed to keep me on my toes almost the entire time. It had a genuinely interesting plot line.
THE ROMANCE The romance was sweet and not overbearing, and also not the main focus of this book. Au contraire, it is mostly a backdrop for the story thus far. Cinder and Kai definitely have some sparks flying, but Meyer doesn't force the relationship or try to rush them into things. Instead, she's given them gentle chemistry and let it built slowly, slowly, oh-so-slowly. It's beautiful to watch it develop and I am definitely looking forward to seeing more.
THE WRITING I very much love Meyer's writing. It is lush and descriptive. While there is most definitely room to improve, there is also much potential already quite visible. Meyer has a talented hand and her voice is fresh, if a bit young. The amount of technical detail is astounding and beautiful.
THE ENDING I really hate cliffhanger endings that force me to wait months to read the next book. However, I must honestly concede that this one is brilliant! It is absolutely perfect and a gorgeous way to close the book. I am in love with this ending that I hate!
WRAPUP Hello, with an ending like that I have to read Scarlet! I will be greatly, greatly, greatly looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see Meyer grow as a writer and for Cinder to become still more complex. To sum everything up, I simply cannot wait!
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