There are a few spoilers ahead, though not really if you already know the Psyche/Eros myth.
I have been trying really, really hard to finish this, sinc...moreThere are a few spoilers ahead, though not really if you already know the Psyche/Eros myth.
I have been trying really, really hard to finish this, since Psyche and Eros is my other favorite Greek myth. But, as Meg Cabot butchered the Persephone/Hades myth with Abandon, so it is with Harrell and Destined. Unlike Cabot, however, Harrell doesn't even try to reinvent the myth. There is nothing fresh or new brought to the table here, unless you count a modern way of speaking, which just comes off as odd in an Ancient Greece-style setting.
I'm confused about why Eros fell in love with Psyche. He did nick himself with his own arrow, but then he goes on about her goodness and heart and says he loves her every other line or so. He actually says, "The depth of your heart is what drew me to you," which would be fine, except there is nothing in the text to suggest Psyche has any heart. I mean, she's not off doing charity or anything. All she does is stand at her window while people admire her, moan about having to marry, mouth off to suitors, etc.
When she goes off to live with Eros (not knowing it's him, of course), she doesn't get any more likable. Eros appears to her as a black cloud with eyes. She starts falling for him (presumably because he fawns all over her and they share a couple of good kisses). She can't seem to decide whether he's hot or a monster beneath the shroud that serves to disguise his identity. It just depends on who's trying to convince her of what. At one point she says she knows "flawless features" are hiding beneath the shroud, though how she comes to this conclusion I have no idea. Later she says his face is "perfect-feeling." What, exactly, does perfect feel like, I wonder? Then she calls his shroud a "black mask of perfection" and I was just like . . . um, what? He's a cloud with eyes, for crying out loud. Then he goes back to being a "grotesque monster", which apparently is the only alternative to perfect and beautiful.
The reason Psyche decides Eros is a monster again is because her sister came for a visit and talked some shit (because she was bitter, it turns out). She now knows Eros is a monster, and her evidence amounts to nothing more than her sister convincing her the prophecy that led her to this place was right, even though Psyche already knew the prophecy to begin with. So, of course, Psyche decides to kill Eros. Good thinking. Anyway, when her plan goes awry and Eros realizes what she tried to do, he starts blaming her and acting all high and mighty, even though he's the creep who jumped through all sorts of hoops in order to get her to the palace, where he basically holds her captive. He really just comes off as a controlling freak whose love seems more like creepy obsession.
Aside from that, there seemed to be some format errors in the ebook, as well as obvious misspellings (definately, solice, errupt, and "insights gossip"). There were other issues too, minor ones that I don't even feel like dissecting here. The one good thing I can say about this book is that I only paid $0.99 for it. Too bad it wasn't free.(less)
I don't really know what I want to say about this book.
I guess I liked it in a general sense. The writing was decent, although the sentences tended to...moreI don't really know what I want to say about this book.
I guess I liked it in a general sense. The writing was decent, although the sentences tended to be WAY TOO LONG and so jam-packed with unnecessary description it felt like the whole book was just . . . crowded and crammed together. After a while it got to be too much. There was no space to, like, breathe.
The plot was all right, but I never felt an urgency to find out what happens. (view spoiler)[I didn't believe in the appeal the Lumen Dei apparently had for these people. Maybe it's just me, but who gives a crap about a machine that lets you see God? Especially when it makes you melt. Whoops! (hide spoiler)] I didn't like or dislike the characters. I didn't really sympathize with them.
I know a lot of people will like this book and even love it. It's different from other YAs. It's set in Prague, for one. It's academic. There's a lot of Latin and code-y stuff. In my opinion, though, this would have worked better as an adult novel. It could have been longer, more in depth. Maybe with alternating viewpoints instead of long letters that didn't seem to mean much even though they provided clues.
The book should have been freaking amazing but the whole thing was just so . . . meh.
I'm wavering between two and three stars. Or no stars. This book is one of those that I can't make myself even rate, because that's how little it meant to me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was skeptical of this book while at the same time anxious to read it thanks to all the great reviews. I did enjoy this one despite the ebook format,...moreI was skeptical of this book while at the same time anxious to read it thanks to all the great reviews. I did enjoy this one despite the ebook format, of which I'm not a fan (though I can't really argue with the $0.99 price tag on many of them). I thought the story was interesting from the beginning, yet I found it slow and for me it didn't get really exciting until about two thirds of the way through. One minor gripe I had was the chapter endings, which sometimes were awkward and not very tense. Like they should have ended at some point in the following chapter, maybe. But it was a very minor issue, as I said. I also wished we'd been given more of an idea of why the apocalypse happened, especially since it was different than the biblical apocalypse. Sometimes the time line was confusing; I kept forgetting that it had happened only two months before. It seemed longer, and I can't see a particular reason that the time between it and when the story takes place was so short.
I liked that Ee used traditional angel names and appreciated that her angels weren't do-gooders trying to achieve some elusive purpose. Like Raffe said, "Even in your Bible, we're harbingers of doom, willing and able to destroy entire cities. Just because we sometimes warned one or two of you beforehand doesn't make us altruistic." I don't know if any other YA books have portrayed angels this way, but definitely not any of the ones I've read. Biblical angels are some fierce meanies. So, points to Ee for that.
Anyway, this was a great debut and I'm looking forward to the sequel.(less)
The thing I enjoyed most about this book were the 80s song chapter titles (see status updates for details), as well as the reference to the movie Laby...moreThe thing I enjoyed most about this book were the 80s song chapter titles (see status updates for details), as well as the reference to the movie Labyrinth (I mean, what other author would have one character call another one Bluto?). Unfortunately, my enjoyment of these things far overshadowed my enjoyment of the story itself. The dialogue was sometimes awkward. I didn't get to know the characters as well as I would have liked, despite their backgrounds and struggles. The villain was creepy but at the same time . . . not creepy. There were no positive female characters other than Venus.
I do think this could have been a great story if the author worked with it a little more. I didn't love the book, but I didn't hate it either. I was more disappointed than anything.(less)
I found this mildly enjoyable. There were a few grammatical errors and perhaps one captive scene too many, and it could have used some refining, but o...moreI found this mildly enjoyable. There were a few grammatical errors and perhaps one captive scene too many, and it could have used some refining, but overall it was decent. I don't know if I'll be seeking out more of Young's work, but I think she has some talent.(less)
There are a lot of things to like about this book. I found Sherry, the heroine, believable as a naive—and at times slightly annoying—fifteen-year old...moreThere are a lot of things to like about this book. I found Sherry, the heroine, believable as a naive—and at times slightly annoying—fifteen-year old girl. The love interest, Joshua, was comfortably gruff and reticent. Their romance had only a miniscule amount of angst. They were both rather refreshingly different from the usual YA leads.
I didn't much care for the similarities between the Weepers and zombies. They basically were zombies. I felt the author should have done a little more to give the Weepers their own characteristics beyond beastly forms and weeping eyes. Another thing I didn't like was that I never felt much suspense while reading, even though there were several action scenes. I just never really cared about what happened next.
Overall, this was a decent story, if not terribly exciting.
Thank you Net Galley for the chance to review!(less)
In the beginning, I was actually skeptical of this book and really thought I wouldn't like it. While I do think it could have used more development al...moreIn the beginning, I was actually skeptical of this book and really thought I wouldn't like it. While I do think it could have used more development all around—the setting, the characters, motivations, etc.—I found myself getting very interested in the latter half of the book. I really liked how the author brought the story around at the end. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.(less)
If you've read any paranormal YA at all, you've probably already read this book. I mean, not this book, but the books like it that have been written a...moreIf you've read any paranormal YA at all, you've probably already read this book. I mean, not this book, but the books like it that have been written a thousand times. It's about angels—big surprise there—and an ordinary human girl who may not be so ordinary (or so human). The romance was pretty angst-free for the first half of the book, but once the inevitable triangle appeared, there was discord! I found nothing particularly interesting in any of the characters, except maybe Vine's hair. (And his name, because WTF?) They were all rather cardboard-ish. Anyway, the plotting moved along at a slow pace while the characters got to know each other and secrets were revealed and whatnot. (view spoiler)[And suddenly Nikki is drawing with her spirit or whatever. (hide spoiler)]. The writing was decent, if a bit cliched, with some pretty nice descriptions (I did appreciate that even though the characters were "perfect" and "beautiful," they were described in more detail than, say, Edward and Bella). To me, this was pretty similar to Angel Burn and Unearthly, and I can see fans of those books or similar ones liking Halflings.
Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to review.["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I thought this was a pretty good read. It was interesting, although it lagged for me a bit at one point, and I was eager to get to the end (in a good...moreI thought this was a pretty good read. It was interesting, although it lagged for me a bit at one point, and I was eager to get to the end (in a good way). While I never felt too attached to the characters, I liked them. I just didn't much care for them on an emotional level. I could picture the characters and the settings perfectly. Despite some semi-heavy themes, I thought the story was cute, fun, and quirky, adjectives I don't apply to books very often. I'm happy with the way the book ended. It seems to be a standalone, which is nice. Overall, this book was satisfying.(less)
This seems like a thoughtful book with some decent insights, but the focus on dialogue with hardly any descriptive narrative is not for me. Unfortunat...moreThis seems like a thoughtful book with some decent insights, but the focus on dialogue with hardly any descriptive narrative is not for me. Unfortunately, I won't be finishing this book.
Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy.(less)
I had a few issues with this book. For one, I didn't quite buy into the world where old people inhabit teenage bodies—I didn't understand why they'd w...moreI had a few issues with this book. For one, I didn't quite buy into the world where old people inhabit teenage bodies—I didn't understand why they'd want to do that even if it meant being "young" again. I don't think most old people would jump at that chance. Also, all the Elders seem to be rich and have limitless resources (at least the ones we're introduced to). This sort of relates to my last issue: Why wouldn't places of business hire teens instead of the elderly? It seemed to me that the promise of money would be a fairly easy way of controlling these street teens. In the story, two characters went to a fast food place where Enders skated around serving food (like at Sonic). Wouldn't teens do better in that type of setting?
However, I ended up really liking the story. Callie was likeable in a Katniss sort of way, I thought. Even though I hate comparing books to other well-known books ("If you like this, you'll love this!"), Starters reminded me of both The Hunger Games and Angelfall as well as the movie Surrogates. I don't know if other people will think of those while reading this, but those are the works that came to my mind. This didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story. While I didn't feel it was developed nearly as much as it might have been (perhaps the sequel will flesh some things out), I thought the ending was really amazing. I didn't see that twist coming. I look forward to reading more of this series.(less)
After seeing some of the awesome reviews for this book, I was excited to read it. I really enjoyed the sort of immersion into backpacking culture. Fro...moreAfter seeing some of the awesome reviews for this book, I was excited to read it. I really enjoyed the sort of immersion into backpacking culture. From glancing at the acknowledgements, it looks like the author has done some backpacking herself, and as a result the descriptions were very well done. That, coupled with what I've seen in movies/on TV, I was able to get a vivid picture of the people and settings. I also liked when Bria talked about her art—it was all so familiar to me. By the time the romance got going, there were a couple of moments that gave me that cute little squishy feeling—I loved that. Finally, it was nice to see how Bria has grown by the end of the novel. This was the kind of book that makes you feel good after you've read it. I'm glad I did.
Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to review.(less)
Apparently I do not like reading about mermaids or other undersea creatures. Looking at the ratings I gave to the few I've read, I found most were two...moreApparently I do not like reading about mermaids or other undersea creatures. Looking at the ratings I gave to the few I've read, I found most were two stars. Only one was four, and I think that one was about selkies or something. I don't know. I can't really remember.
Anyway, I forgot this was told from a male point of view, so during the first chapter I thought Calder was a girl until something was mentioned about him being a boy. It took a while for his boy-ness to become believable to me. His psychotic stalker personality, on the other hand, was all too clear. I guess I don't have a problem with a psycho narrator per se, but when the psycho is a main character in a YA PNR and the love interest hardly struggles at all with the stalker aspect, then it becomes a problem. I'm not saying I can't believe in love happening in a stalker situation, but in my opinion it happens way too easily in YA these days.
I don't know much about Lake Superior, but I don't consider it "unimaginably deep." I didn't buy into the lake mermaid lore either. Oh, there's a character who just happens to be well-versed in this legend (view spoiler)[who also is apparently having a romance with one of Calder's sisters (hide spoiler)]? Yawn. Also, I found myself having issue with Calder scenting things through the water. I'm sure fish can do this, but I think there might have been a better way for the author to describe it. It sounded like he just sucked in a lungful of water like he would air. (Why, in YA books, is there always so much emphasis put on supernatural creatures' scenting abilities? Is it only so the guy can tell the girl she smells like some flower/ice cream/wine or whatever?)
Despite the male point of view and the evilness of the mermaids, to me this was just another YA with [insert supernatural creature here].
I'll have to think long and hard before I pick up another mermaid book.
An ARC copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm a fan of stories with Death as the love interest. Meet Joe Black, Death Takes a Holiday, and Keturah and Lord Dea...moreGood idea. Not so good execution.
I'm a fan of stories with Death as the love interest. Meet Joe Black, Death Takes a Holiday, and Keturah and Lord Death come to mind. Abandon was one I really didn't like, but we won't go there.
Drip Drop Teardrop is one of those stories where the hot supernatural guy shows up and declares his want for the heroine, then gives her a "choice" to stay or go with him to his supernatural realm. In this case the choice was basically "Come with me or I'll kill your dying aunt early." Blackmail, it's so hot. This guy makes demands about her being his "eternal lover", and then when she finally acquiesces, acts like he was only asking her all along.
Avery: "But I don't have to stay with you for any longer?" Brennus: "Not if you think you don't love me."
Think you don't love me, huh? I guess he knows her mind better than she does!
Brennus does a lot of creepy things, notably having the house ready for Avery's arrival: her favorite toiletries in the bathroom (which of course is bigger than her apartment), and the closet filled with clothes for her. To Avery's (and Young's) credit, she does point out how creepy these things are. She accuses him a lot of kidnapping and blackmailing and all that stuff. But in the end it doesn't really matter to her. The guy's hot despite a wicked facial scar, he has a huge house and apparently lots of money, and he's good in bed (the sex scene happens off screen, though). Oh, and he's immortal. What more does a girl need?
There were several typos and grammatical errors that detracted from my reading experience. Mistakes such as "entities" when it should have been "entity's" and "allusive" when it should have been "elusive" were annoying. Also, when people in America eat biscuits it's usually for breakfast, and they're not served with tea. Actually, I can sort of forgive that one because Brennus is originally from London. But since the story is told from Avery's point of view, he would not be wearing a jumper.
Anyway, this ebook was free, so that's good.(less)
I think this is one of the better angel books I've read. I wouldn't call myself an angel fan. I don't understand why the good guys are all so Touched-...moreI think this is one of the better angel books I've read. I wouldn't call myself an angel fan. I don't understand why the good guys are all so Touched-by-an-Angel-y and the bad ones have, like, operations going on. This one was a lot like that, but for some reason I liked it better than others. The writing was good, with nice details, although I didn't care for the present tense (as usual). I didn't quite like Brielle, but she was all right as a heroine. The love interest, Jake, was nice the whole way through, and I liked that he drove a crappy car. Actually, I LOVED that. If I read about one more teenager driving a freakishly expensive car, I'm going to punch something.
Overall, Angel Eyes was a pretty good angel story. I think most fans of angel books will really enjoy it.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.(less)