CATCHALL Actually, this book was much better than Eve. I didn't feel the need to throw this as often, which means I only***FINAL RATING: 2.60 STARS***
CATCHALL Actually, this book was much better than Eve. I didn't feel the need to throw this as often, which means I only wanted to throw it about every other page. Still, not horrible. I enjoyed it more than Eve in some parts and there was definitely more action, which was nice. It had more of an actual plot, which was incredible and really enjoyable. All in all, a more solid book than Eve, although I will still need more if I am to be impressed by the next book.
THE HEROINE EVE I'm not going to mince words here. Eve is kind of a bitch. There were so many moments where I wanted to slap her across the face and yell at her for being an ungrateful brat. She's so selfish and self-centered and never thinks of anyone else except for herself. Even her supposed "love" for Caleb clearly stems from her own desires. I'll cover that more later. Anyway, if I thought that I disliked Eve in the first book, I had no idea what was coming. I absolutely hated her in this book and for good reasons, I think. She has no sense of caring for anyone other than herself.
THE LOVE INTEREST CALEB Caleb also gets even more boring. I really wanted to smack him. Does he have a freaking death wish or something? I love what love is, people. Maybe sometimes love involves risking your life—but not in stupid ways! Not in ways that are almost certain to get you killed! Come on, Caleb, know when to step back! He's kind of an idiot and I felt no love for him whatsoever. The entire book I just kind of secretly hoped he would get his death wish granted. Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious that that wasn't going to happen.
THE SUITOR CHARLES I didn't like Charles, but I didn't dislike him either. In fact, he was pretty much the only character in the book that I didn't mind. I even understood him, in a way. He wasn't some devilish all-bad person, as Eve would like to believe. I'm not saying that excuses everything that he does, but it does make it more understandable.
THE FATHER I forget his name, if it was even mentioned Actually, I didn't like him. But I also didn't hate him. I think I know why he does things the way he does, even if they're wrong.
THE FRIEND ARDEN She's not in the book much, but I was glad to see her back. She has way more common sense than Eve. Unfortunately, she also likes Eve, so, you know.
THE PLOT Actually, the plot of this book was pretty good.
Well, maybe not actually god. But it actually had a plot, as opposed to Eve, which had a nonexistent plot.
Stuff actually happened. Interesting stuff was actually revealed. Moreover, there was actual stuff. I really liked it, actually.
Sure, there were still a ton of times where I was tempted to throw my ereader. And some things were still vastly too predictable. I still could see some things coming long before they came.
However, unlike Eve, Once actually had plot twists. Real, live plot twists. Things I didn't expect.
Overall, the plot of Once wasn't too shabby.
THE ROMANCE Still too much instalove that isn't even love. Love is not being an idiot for someone else. That's called infatuation. Eve makes the most stupid and ridiculous choices based on this moronic "love" that made me frustrated and angry all at once. (See what I did there?) Anyway, the romance has not improved from Eve. If anything, it's gotten worse. I hate the so-called romance in these books. I absolutely hate it. This is the worst kind of instalove.
THE WRITING Actually, I think Anna's writing has improved. It's hard to tell, as Eve's voice is still incredibly annoying, but if I do my best to look past that I can see that Anna has actually gotten better about describing things and such. She still struggles with dialogue, in my humble opinion, but the writing has definitely improved, and I was really happy to see that.
THE ENDING Oh my God. This made the book for me. I thought it would be this predictable little thing, but then Anna really surprised me and I was absolutely thrilled. The ending was completely perfect. I could not have done it better myself. She completely threw me off in a good way, but I was so impressed! The ending made the next book worth reading for me. It's the kind of ending that didn't leave me feeling cheated, but satisfied. Excellently done! The ending was the thing that ensured that I will be reading the next book. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it!
WRAPUP Would I recommend this? Well. I would actually recommend Once, but I have a problem with recommending Eve, the first book. Still, I think that Once is worth reading. I know that I'll be reading the next book in the series, and I should have more to tell you then. Anyway, I think it's worth checking this one out! And who knows? Maybe you could even read it without reading Eve first.
CATCHALL Seraphina was easily one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It deserves every single one of the five*****FINAL RATING: 5.00 STARS*****
CATCHALL Seraphina was easily one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It deserves every single one of the five stars that I have given it. Seriously, it was just…awesome. If I had the words to describe how awesome this book was, I'd happily do so. But there are no English words capable of expressing how truly awesome this book was. I absolutely loved this book. It was not only a wonderful fresh twist on dragons, but it awesome world-building and is seriously unlike any fantasy I've ever read, and I love fantasy.
THE HEROINE SERAPHINA Seraphina is such an incredible and relatable heroine. She doesn't just accept that she's half-dragon. She rebels against it and wants nothing more than to be human. She tries to push her dragon inheritance away and be only human, but she can't. It's a part of who she is, and the way she slowly begins to accept that at a rational and believable pace makes her one of my favorite heroines. She's brave and sometimes a bit impulsive, but no one is perfect, and Seraphina's flaws make her a better character. She's not polarizing at all. She's not even always honest, but somehow she found her way into my heart nonetheless.
THE LOVE INTEREST LUCIAN KIGGS Kiggs is the prince and Captain of the Guard, and a wonderfully developed character as well. He had depth and conflict. He isn't patronizing . He's forgiving, but he also doesn't just go around forgiving things randomly. When Seraphina does something that hurts him, he is angry before he forgives her. I love that about him. Kiggs is a strong character and it's easy to get a read on his personality, but not so easy that it's boring.
THE MENTOR ORMA Actually, I really liked Orma. He's so stiff on the outside, but it doesn't take a genius to tell that there's conflict and struggle with emotions in his heart. He obviously cares about Seraphina, and that warmed my heart. He's definitely not sweet, but he's got a softness to him that I like.
THE PRINCESS GLISSELDA Glisselda was such a bubbly character with such a fun personality that it was pretty much impossible not to like her at least a little. She can be a bit naïve about some things, but it's clear that she's intelligent at the same time. I am looking forward to hearing more about her, and watching her grow into her role.
THE PLOT Seraphina seriously had one of my favorite plots ever. There are so many favorite things I have to say about this book. But I mean them all.
I mean, to begin with, it was incredibly unique. A half-dragon girl? Nothing gets more amazing than that. It's a brilliant idea, and one that is fleshed out beautifully. The entire take on dragons was wonderful. I've never read anything like it. Dragons can take human form and they're an important part of politics and everyday life. Put bluntly, it's unique and awesome. Probably one of the most amazing takes on dragons in existence.
And everything about it flows so smoothly and awesomely and it would have been literally impossible not to fall in love. From the first pages, I was completely drawn into Seraphina's world. Everything is so beautiful and gorgeous.
One thing turns into the next, until there's a long chain of wonderful and connected events. There are so many twists that I never saw coming but absolutely adored. Rachel constantly kept me guessing, never sure what was going to happen next. I was in constant anticipation of the next event. I couldn't wait to finish, but at the same time I didn't want it to end!
Really, I loved Seraphina's plot. It was totally original and such a fresh story. Additionally, it was fun and enjoyable!
THE ROMANCE The romance in this book was adorable, too. It develops slowly, yet potently, and doesn't feel like instalove at all. I loved watching every minute of it. Seraphina and Kiggs make such an unlikely couple, but seeing them interact makes it obvious that they're perfect for each other. The spark between them feels genuine and is obvious from the beginning, yet takes its time to grow. It's actually a little heartbreaking, but and so sweet and sad too.
THE WRITING Rachel has some of the most gorgeous writing I've ever seen. The description is gorgeous and so is the world-building. In fact, it's magnificent. Incredible. Again, I just truly have no words. It's so awesome I can't describe it with words. And Seraphina's voice is so heartbreakingly real. It makes her likable and relatable at once. And the dialogue, too, is beyond gorgeous. I could read writing like this all the time.
THE ENDING The ending of Seraphina left me feeling supremely satisfied. Much was resolved and not dragged out for an unnecessarily long period of time. Instead, it ends at the perfect place, with a stunning revelation that draws everything to a close beautifully. Yet, though the ending was perfect, it left me wanting more! Even though everything closed so flawlessly, of course I wanted to know what happens next.
WRAPUP I adored this book. Not only is it the ideal fantasy, but I really couldn't have asked for more in any book. It's everything a book should be and really even goes above and beyond that. It is without a doubt one of my all-time favorites, and I'll be eagerly anticipating the next book! If it's half as amazing as the first, that will be twice as much as I could want.
CATCHALL Firelight had some problems, but it was new and different and despite its unlikeable cast of characters was a fun a*FINAL RATING: 1.35 STARS*
CATCHALL Firelight had some problems, but it was new and different and despite its unlikeable cast of characters was a fun and awesome read. I enjoyed Vanish much, much more. I gave it five stars. Although honestly, looking back at it, at this point in my blogging career I probably would've given it less. Hidden, sadly, just didn't impress me at all. I really wanted it to, but I just wasn't feeling it. It was an extremely lackluster book for me and an overall disappointment. This isn't a nice review at all. It's harsh. Very. I mean, I ended up giving this book one star in the end, so, you know.
THE HEROINE JACINDA I've always felt Jacinda was on the whiny side, and in this book I felt it intensely. She was constantly second-guessing herself to the point where I wanted to slap her and ask her why she has to be so freaking stubborn in the first place. She constantly feels the need to rehash her feelings to the reader, as if we didn't get everything the first time she ranted. Also, she seems almost obsessed with Will, which is creepy on so many levels that I'm not even going to go there.
THE LOVE INTERESTS CASSIAN Cassian is the only character than I actually like in these books. He's actually very interesting, and he really does seem to care about Jacinda (though honestly I don't know what is so desirable about her). He's a born leader, but he also is vulnerable. And he's just so…I don't know, hot. I mean, he is, and I really love him for it. He'll also sacrifice a lot for Jacinda. He's actually very selfless and clearly has a good heart. WILL I hate Will. I don't believe in mincing words, so I do. I hate Will. He's horrible and creepy and I just hate him. He constantly feels the need to assert authority and is constantly trying to tell Jacinda what to do, which is not cool at all. I feel like he's that kid who thinks he's a hotshot but is really (and pardon my language here) nothing but shit. He's gross.
THE SISTER TAMRA I kind of feel like Tamra is such a random character. Honestly, she never really does anything. She whines a lot. Then complains. Then finds some sort of happiness, but of course at some point she'll just descend into whining again. Frankly, I couldn't stand her.
THE PLOT Ah, the plot.
Well, it starts off pretty interesting, actually. There's this whole thing with the enkros facility, and what's going on there, and what will happen in the future and whatnot. I mean, it was actually pretty interesting, and I was looking forward to seeing where it was gonna go. I was even willing to ignore the gigantic plot holes that were big enough to hide a dinosaur in.
Then it turned ugly real fast.
It was clear by the halfway point that Sophie had no intention of answering pretty much all of the questions she raised in this novel. And she didn't, so I was right. I don't mind some open endings, but if you're going to open a thousand can of worms, you've got to give something. Leaving readers with a million questions generally pisses them off.
It just felt so unnecessary. Why bother to do something like that? Just to be mean? Like, seriously. It just doesn't make any sense.
I just…it made me so angry. It actually started off well, and then it all went downhill. It really did have legitimate potential. And then…ruined. In a moment.
If I talk about this anymore I have the strangest feeling my fist will fly through my laptop, so I am going to top here. Now. And move on to something that will probably also make me angry, but hopefully in a different way.
THE ROMANCE Sophie's brand of romance is just gross. At least, it's inappropriate for YA in my opinion. She also writes historical romance for adults and, um, it shows. There's one particularly awkward scene near the beginning that is basically completely pointless and not sexy or romantic at all, though I'm sure it was intended to be. I'm putting it under a spoiler tab, although it won't really spoil anything. Better safe than sorry. (view spoiler)[Jacinda is about to go into her draki form as part of their plan, and so she gets undressed but then decides that she just has to kiss Will, so she spins him around and kisses him. And then apparently he kind of just kisses her. It's weird and pointless and just disgusting. (hide spoiler)] It was weird and not hot. It was totally unnecessary. And throughout the book, there's just no spark. All they do is act like idiots for each other, and not in a cute way at all. Frankly, I have this romance. I like Jacinda and Cassian together, but, well, you know.
THE WRITING I don't really care for Jacinda's voice, so it was hard for me to appreciate Sophie's writing. Jacinda's voice just doesn't sit well with me and the phrasing is so awkward. Not only that. But the sentences. Are like. Really choppy. And drawn out. Also, the word choice is just weird. Jacinda doesn't talk or think like a normal person. She sounds very unnatural when she speaks and it's hard to reconcile her and her thoughts because of the way she thinks them.
THE ENDING I actually did cry a little bit at the ending, but only for the character I love. By the time I got to the end of this book, I honestly could've cared less what happened to Jacinda and Will and just wanted to finish already. I do like that at least at the very very end of the novel she didn't focus on the romance and focused at least briefly on something other than Jacinda and Will sucking face.
WRAPUP So, I will probably not be reading any more Sophie Jordan books. I don't like her version of a male hero. He just wasn't attractive to me at all. And I think it's fairly obvious that I hated the romance in these books beyond belief. So while this series started off pretty well for me, it fell short in the end. I honestly unfortunately cannot give you my personal recommendation.
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CATCHALL Vanish was much, much, so much better than its predecessor and had a exponentially better ending. I enjoyed*****FINAL RATING: 3.75 STARS*****
CATCHALL Vanish was much, much, so much better than its predecessor and had a exponentially better ending. I enjoyed it very much. The characters were better developed and we saw more of the drake lifestyle and culture, as well as getting to know other characters better.
THE HEROINE JACINDA Jacinda improves marginally in this book, but still, I'm grateful. She is still irritatingly indecisive about pretty much everything. I suppose I've probably gotten used to it, but it still irks me. Ah, well, moving on. I do like her better in this book, as she feels much more relatable. I connected with her and understood her better.
THE LOVE INTERESTS CASSIAN Where we only get teasing glimpses of Cassian in Firelight, in Vanish we get to know him much better. I fell absolutely in love with him. He intrigued me in the first book, and in this book my curiosity was almost satisfied. He is kind and, moreover, accepting. He doesn't push too much and seems to know where to draw certain lines. He seems like an extremely genuine character with feelings. He's sweet and sacrificing. I really enjoyed him in this book and he made it much more enjoyable for me, probably worth at least a few star points in himself. He was also an effective antidote for Will. WILL I have never liked Will. In Firelight he drove to Jacinda's house in the middle of the night because he wanted to see where she lived. Ladies, if you think this is hot, don't. Stalking is not hot, it's creepy. And in this book he only grows more irritating and immature. He's pushy, whiny, and annoying. He wants to do things without ever thinking about the consequences. He doesn't care about anyone or anything except, essentially, himself. He's also a jealous jerk. Again, jealousy? Not. Hot.
THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS TAMRA She was rather annoying as well. She wasn't terrible, but definitely not my favorite. She was overly infatuated, which I suppose she couldn't help, but she could've helped what she'd done about it. I was looking forward to getting to know her, but was disappointed. But, she did score a few points with me near the end of the book. And then promptly lost them. ZARA Jacinda's mother seems so…I don't know, absent. I get that she's depressed, but as a mother, she has a responsibility to her children. She didn't fulfill it, leaving them completely alone. As such, I don't really regret too much what happened to her. MIRAM I din't much like her, but I actually understand her quite well. She's upset and hurt, and so she lashes out at Jacinda. She actually has more depth than it originally seems like. AZ We don't see a whole lot of her, but what we see I like. She feels like a genuine, fun person to be around, the kind of girl you'd like to know. And she doesn't go all forgiving on Jacinda-like a normal person, she needs her time to be angry. CORBIN What a creep.
THE PLOT This book actually mostly failed here. There wasn't a whole lot of plot. Mostly a bunch of what-do-we-do-with-Jacinda-the-traitor stuff. But I do love the view we get of draki life in this book, even if there's no real story to go with it. Still, there wasn't nothing. There was definitely both external and internal conflict, even if the internal was a bit on the melodramatic side. I didn't hate the plot, but I wasn't enthralled. Much of the story is the romance, which I will transition to right now.
THE ROMANCE CASSIAN AND JACINDA Cassian and Jacinda's romance is mostly light but gets a bit heavier once or twice. It seems genuine. Cassian is willing to make sacrifices to show that he really loves Jacinda, which is always beautiful in a romance as long as it isn't over-the-top, which this isn't. He also seems to accept her for who she is and not try and change her. It builds with a charming anticipation and does not disappoint. WILL AND JACINDA They were a bit too heavy with the PDA in Firelight, and it grows so much worse in Vanish. (Sophie, your romance-novel-writing-self is showing. Please remember you're not writing one now.) Frankly, it's DISGUSTING. There is no other way I can describe it. They are just…too gross together. I mean…ick. It's lusty, heavy, stereotypical teenage angst at its finest.
THE WRITING The writing was still. A bit fragmented. But it was a major improvement on Firelight. Jacinda's voice is also more refined. She talks like a normal person would actually talk, but does feel a bit clichéd. Besides being a bit choppy, the writing also lacks a but of detail in some places and has too much in others. But there are also some absolutely beautiful lines I adore as well.
THE ENDING I could predict it long before I got there, but this does not mean it was bad. Just a bit obvious. And it was much, MUCH better than the ending to Firelight. It makes much more sense. However, it does feel rather forced, as if it was simply done to be done, and not because it would have really happened. In fact, it was rather unrealistic. But still, quite nicely done.
WRAPUP Yes, I will be reading Hidden. Which, by the way, is not the best title, and has no cover art yet. But that aside, Vanish ended on far too big of a cliffhanger for me not to continue on, and besides, I'm beginning to genuinely enjoy the story.
Ahh, I did love this book. But there were some things that bothered me, and I do need to go over them.
Okay, the writing was a little bit too fragmenteAhh, I did love this book. But there were some things that bothered me, and I do need to go over them.
Okay, the writing was a little bit too fragmented for my taste. I still enjoyed the book. I understand that the fragments give the book a faster pace, but it's very difficult to keep up sometimes when the sentences go like this: "So I walk." Obviously this is not an actual sentence from the book, just an example.
I liked Jacinda most of the time, but she was a bit too indecisive. Even I am not that indecisive. She was mostly a strong heroine, but that was one of her major flaws.
Will. Hmmm. I actually didn't care for him too much. I found him creepy, and if I'm honest, rather irritating. I mush preferred Cassian, who has that strong dark and handsome thing I love so much going on.
The romance didn't hit home for me, either. It was too broken at first and then too quick paced. I didn't even really feel like it was at all real. I thought, honestly (and I'm not just saying this because I love Cassian and not Will), that the exchanges Cassian and Jacinda share are more romantic than the kisses between Jacinda and Will.
Overall, however, Firelight was a great read that I genuinely enjoyed.