Out of all the contemporary books Kasie West has published, this has got to be my least favourite. WhyThis review can also be found at The Twins Read.
Out of all the contemporary books Kasie West has published, this has got to be my least favourite. Why? Maybe because the character is boy obsessed? She's more concerned with appearances which makes her come off as really shallow. And don't get me started on her obsession with social media and the validation of strangers. The number of likes your photo on Instagram or that picture you tweeted of your hipster coffee does not make you.
These are the characters I cannot relate to. I just can't wrap my mind around not ditching people who aren't good for you or for being too concerned about what other people think. I'm super chill, I don't get worked up over boys and what people think. I don't find myself losing sleep over tossing toxic people to the curb or for not being on top of the social hierarchy. I couldn't relate to the obsession with social media too. I'm known to delete photos on Instagram though, not because of the number of likes but because of the overall quality of the photo. (Sometimes I don't because I'm lazy and I have way too much nail ideas.)
So maybe this is why as I was reading the book I found that it contained way too much unnecessary drama. Also the whole fake boyfriend trope isn't really my thing. I hate it with a vengeance. And Gia's friends - all I have to say is what kind of friends are they? I'd insert a few cuss words here but I'm not allowed to swear. Pffffff.
That's not to say the book was a total disappointment. I did finish it in one go and while the romance wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst too. After reading The Distance Between Us and On the Fence though, I kind of expected more from Kasie. I did notice that there was more character development in this book seeing as how Gia goes from shallow, flighty popular girl to someone more mature. Not perfect, never perfect, but way better than how she was at the beginning. And as for the fill-in boyfriend? Cute. He's probably my favourite out of this cast of characters. Different from the type you normally find in contemporary novels.
Overall, in my opinion, this isn't one of Kasie's best works. A bit of a let-down but that doesn't mean I'm giving up on her books. If you want to try her contemporary books may I suggest The Distance Between Us? That one was so cute I find myself reaching for it from time to time when I'm in need of fluff in my life.
Thank you to Harper for an advanced copy of this book....more
It's time for the hunted to become the hunter. Meg is sick and tired of living in constant fearThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
It's time for the hunted to become the hunter. Meg is sick and tired of living in constant fear and worry, she's determined to put an end to the man in the clockwork mask's diabolical scheme and his reign of terror.
Let's cut to the chase. The ending? Lacklustre. Anticlimactic. I seriously did not expect it to end this way. The villain turned out to be textbook, a little boring and one-dimensional. I mean having read the first two books and finding myself quite invested in the story, this is just incredibly disappointing.
The romance? Meh. The truth is, after the first book the romance kind of just sizzled out and I couldn't bring myself to cheer for the Meg and Will any longer. It was like now that they're together the tension and sparks and heat between them just disappeared. Woohoo! Together forever, who cares about keeping the sparks/love/lust alive? Don't get me wrong, Will is Meg's rock, her pillar of strength, but he kind of had more similarities with a rock than with an actual human being. He was that boring! I can't even remember what role he played anymore.
The characters? I would have liked them to be fleshed out more. I mean it's the last book in the series! Better end it with a bang, right? But as I was reading this, I found myself slowly losing interest in everyone.
One thing I might have slightly enjoyed were the twists the author introduced in the story. And the battle scenes. Although truth be had the battle scenes were kind of wrong, like they didn't quite fit the story. It's like when you're playing tetris and you get the Z shaped block and you're going all "This should fit here but somehow it doesn't ohmygosh I don't get it!!!!" Well. That's just me probably but seriously there was just something strange about the battle scenes, like they were somehow forced so characters could be killed off and voila! They lived happily ever after.
So to sum this review up -the last book in The Secret Order series was very disappointing. I wish it would've ended with a bang, but I guess not. The characters were boring, the villain was textbook and everything was wrapped up in a cute little bow. ...more
Seriously, guys, I have not read anything as cute as this book. It's told in fourteen differentThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Seriously, guys, I have not read anything as cute as this book. It's told in fourteen different points of view, none of them in our lead characters' voices. You would think that it would be incredibly confusing, but it's not. This book was an absolute blessing, I was craving a light, fluffy contemporary to read -because it was almost Valentine's Day - when this fell into my lap. It had been collecting dust on my bookshelf for some time and I thought I'd save it from its misery.
I find that I need to repeat that this book so disgustingly cute. We get to see Gabe and Lea's love story through the eyes of the different people they come across in their everyday life. Friends, teachers, the bus driver, the baristas at Starbucks and even a squirrel and a bench. How fun is that? Gabe in particular is crazy adorable, and so awkward it made my heart melt. I loved his conversations with his friends and the way he pined over Lea and got so flustered when they engaged in conversations. I just wanted to smush their faces together.
You know what's unfair though? That this did not happen to me in the four years I was in college. I bounced from clique to clique because I'm picky with my friends, met a lot of new people which was fun, but not once did I meet a guy who gave me the butterflies. Obviously, I was meant for greater things like fictional boys.
Anyway, another thing that I like is that despite being awkwardly cute characters, Lea and Gabe don't fit into any pre-designed molds. Gabe is an athlete, a sort of jock, and he has his own issues - like the trauma he suffered from his car crash. Lea is not your average bookish, good girl type, she parties and has a penchant for stalking Gabe. (I feel for her, I used to do this in college too) They are the recipe for ultimate cuteness. It's insane! I couldn't put this book down mainly because I couldn't wait for them to get together and every time something got in their way it was just SO. FRUSTRATING. Just kiss already!
In a nutshell, this book is basically the epitome of CUTE. Really, the next time someone asks me to gift them something cutesy I am so giving them this book. Read this if you're looking for something light and fluffy and oh so very romantic with a different writing style. For an added bonus, it has the POVs of a bench and a squirrel....more
Nym is a slave facing her fifteenth auction. Technically, she shouldn't even be alive since sheThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Nym is a slave facing her fifteenth auction. Technically, she shouldn't even be alive since she's an Elemental and her kind are usually killed at birth - and are usually male. She's kind of an anomaly of sorts. But a slip-up at the latest auction has her catching the eye of a court adviser who seeks to hone her into a weapon to use in the war and Nym isn't sure if she can, or wants, to be the weapon they need.
I love this book. I like Nym and how she's, basically, a tortured girl who's got powers she can't control and carries around a whole lot of guilt in her heart. She copes through self-harm and I like how Weber tackled this subject in the book. I also like how Nym treats her disfigurement - she doesn't go around throwing pity parties for herself but accepts that that's what she has and just goes with it. I mean what's a disfigured hand compared to her powers which have killed people? Some tell her she's special but she just doesn't buy it, doesn't believe she is and wishes she weren't.
I loved the romance too. How could I not? Eogan was just about perfect and I loved his relationship with Nym - kudos to the author for not letting the romance take over the story. Even if I wish there were more kissy scenes, I'm perfectly okay with the way Weber wrote this.
Another reason I enjoyed the book was the prose. Weber's writing was so beautiful and lyrical, I couldn't help myself, I had to keep on reading. The world she built was amazing too with the magic and the steampunk-like elements in the story and the way she doesn't gloss over the hard stuff like slavery and Nym's self harm.
But the most amazing thing about this book? The way I got blindsided. You know how you're near the end of the book and everything's coming to a close and it all points towards a happy ending? Yeah. Then when you get to the end it's like BAM IN YO FACE. I never expected it an I had to reread a few times just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I'm not even kidding, I even checked to see if my book had missing pages. It was incredibly painful and I stared it it for a few seconds in open mouthed shock before cussing it out and rereading again.
Safe to say I am looking forward to the next book because I have this desperate, all consuming need to know what happened. WHAT HAPPENED???! And every time I see my copy of Storm Siren I end up feeling so frustrated so I legit need the next book. Looking for your next fantasy read? This. You need to pick Storm Siren....more
I never really expected to like this book, I don’t really do well with books tackling suicide bThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
I never really expected to like this book, I don’t really do well with books tackling suicide but I have to give credit where it’s due. Amy Zhang’s Falling into Place is an incredibly heartfelt and poignant story written in a nonlinear fashion that tells the story of one Liz Emerson’s life - the small seemingly inconsequential instances and the heartbreaking events that led to her decision to kill herself.
There is no doubt that I love this book despite the fact that I am not a fan of the main character. Which is surprising because Liz Emerson is NOT in the least bit likable. I get that she’s got her issues and she’s got a lot to deal with, depression is no laughing matter, but I never really understood her. I never really GOT her. I felt for her, I really did but she was just really unlikable and mean and a general b-word I just couldn’t! It was hard because she was a terrible person who was doing crappy things to people and ruining lives and bullying, bullying, and bullying. But she continued to do what she did despite the fact that she admitted to being a horrible human being and continued feeling sorry for herself. Rinse, lather repeat.
I may not like Liz Emerson but I have to admit that Amy Zhang crafts incredibly realistic characters. And Liz, despite all her negative points had the potential to be something more. Julia and Kennie were also very strong secondary characters and it was fascinating to see how they affected and influenced Liz and vice versa. Then there’s the boy who’s been crushing on Liz from afar, Liam. His story was quite surprising since he was a victim of Liz’s scheming and yet he managed to find it in himself to forgive her, to understand her.
There’s an air of suspense to this book, like as if at any given moment everything could come crashing down. Zhang’s book is a definite recommend although if you’re in the market for something light and fun this isn’t it. Falling into Place is like a slap to the face, a reminder of how the littlest of actions can cause a ripple the results in a tidal wave and because of this book I feel like I should be better. Could be better. Will be better....more
Run, survive, repeat - that's all Meira's ever really known. Training to be a warrior to reclaiThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Run, survive, repeat - that's all Meira's ever really known. Training to be a warrior to reclaim the lost Winter locket and help rescue her people and reclaim Winter to its former glory. When word reaches her of the locket's location she jumps at the chance to do something for her people. But a mission gone awry leads to a different destiny - something she could never have imagined.
Snow Like Ashes came as a surprise. I started this book late last year, reached a couple of chapters in and quit it. I was in the midst of a crazy book slump (also known as the quarterlife crisis) and couldn't bring myself to read anything. Thankfully I managed to score an actual copy of the book and hooray! So. Good.
Meira is a strong character. Fierce and strong-willed. Which was probably why being stuck in camp drove her stir crazy. But I found her actions to be a little selfish sometimes - wanting to go on missions just so didn't go crazy in camp? She wasn't even any good with hand to hand combat. But I get it, I understood her need to prove herself to Sir and Mather but she could be a little rash.
As for Mather, well, despite the summary claiming that Meira was desperately in love with him I just couldn't see it. I mean they could be really good friends but that's the extent of their relationship. The pretty boy I wanted to see Meira with though was Theron. Yes guys, there is a love triangle but I'm not complaining because in my eyes Mather doesn't stand a chance. Theron is the Cordellian prince and he fits Meira. He's stable and calm and he sees her eye to eye and their chemistry was just...mmmmmm. Yes please. Can I also add that he has a wonderful physique and wields weapons masterfully? Oh, Theron.
Raasch does a good job with the world building, it gets a little confusing at first since there were eight kingdoms to keep track of but you get the hang of things soon enough and it's an enjoyable ride from there on out. The magic is a little difficult to understand, initially, but as the story progressed, I got a feel for how things worked.
The ending was done beautifully, enough to give readers satisfaction but with room for more. Can more be scenes of Theron with his shirt off? ...more
I was hesitant to pick this book up mainly because of the reviews it got over on goodreads. PeoThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
I was hesitant to pick this book up mainly because of the reviews it got over on goodreads. People had a love or hate relationship with this book and it got me scared. So I need to take a moment and thank Sab for gifting me this book because I love it. If you can get over the world building, which I will get into later, it's an interesting book and it helps that the men who make up Kelsea's guard are a bunch of hunks.
On her nineteenth birthday, the men who comprise the Queen's Guard whisk Kelsea away from her quiet life in the forest and thrust her into the role of Queen - into politics and lies and deceit. Her first actions as monarch, though brave, incite the anger of the Red Queen and puts her kingdom into peril. Danger is around every corner and the fight for the survival of her people and her kingdom has just begun. Dodging attacks on her life and fearful magic, Kelsea has to find a way to secure the future of her kingdom and be the queen they need her to be.
One reason to love this book is Kelsea. She's an incredibly strong, good character (righter of wrongs, our Kelsea) but also very much relatable. In the book, people have a tendency to comment on her looks - she's plain-looking - and I wanted to give them a good slap because plain or beautiful, it was obvious that Kelsea had the guts and the resolve to maneuver through all the nasties that her uncle, who ruled while she was away, had done to her kingdom. She's intelligent and witty and that's what counts, because how is beauty supposed to rule a kingdom?
Another point for this book is the lack of romance and abundance of possible romantic interests. Okay so maybe 'interests' isn't right, but when the men who make up the Queen's Guard are all incredibly fine specimens of the opposite sex, I couldn't resist. It also helps that they're pretty well nuanced and interesting characters. Lazarus, for example, whom Kelsea's makes captain of her guard. He's a fierce warrior and acts as a sort-of-but-not-quite father figure for Kelsea. Then there's the Fetch who is equally mysterious and fierce. He's got a vested interest in seeing Kelsea rule the Kingdom right for reasons unknown. It makes me a little suspicious.
As for the world building it was, admittedly, a little strange. It's like a dystopia combined with historical fiction with magic for added flavor. They referenced J.K. Rowling's books! A little weird but truthfully, I found that I didn't mind at all but i can totally understand why people have a bone to pick with the worl building. I just hope that we get a little more backstory in the next book. It would be good to finally understand what actually happened that Kelsea's forefathers felt the need to establish a new world.
I also enjoyed Johansen's writing. Loved how she plotted out the story, the twists and turns and secrets that just so happen to be everywhere. Don't people know it's not smart to keep secrets from the Queen? How is she expected to rule a kingdom and save it from its enemies when all the cards aren't on the table?
This book is definitely heavier than other YA books, is it even YA? I would recommend it to older teens though since there is a lot of nasty that happens in this book. Lots of rape and violence and yeah. But I loved it and I seriously cannot wait for the next book....more
Nothing screams good girl like singing church solos, babysitting your nephew and staying out ofThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Nothing screams good girl like singing church solos, babysitting your nephew and staying out of trouble. At least that's what Amber's definition of good is supposed to be. Good girl Amber also has a dream to sing on bigger stages and become a superstar. When auditions for an art school are dangled in front of her face she grabs at this chance to a new life. But in the span of a few bad decisions, Amber's whole world comes crashing down and she's torn between the good, the bad and everything in between.
I am not a fan of Amber. She's the supposed good girl - singing in church, hanging with friends, doesn't get into any trouble. But then from the get-go she was portrayed as sort of a party girl. She hangs out with hikers in the hopes of getting hot and heavy with one - because no regrets and they're out of town, who's going to spill her secrets right - smoking weed, doing drugs. She came off as a hypocrite and that didn't endear her much to me. The secondary characters weren't any better.
I did not like the plot. It was confusing and messy and I didn't really feel like the story was going anywhere. Amber also makes a lot of stupid decisions that puts people she cares about into trouble. It's incredibly annoying. I wasn't a fan of all the cheating too. It happened again and again and again which made it incredibly hard to finish the book because it was just so...stupid! Add to that the endless stream of pointless drama and I had to resist banging my head up against a wall.
Time and time again we hear about how Amber is such an amazing singer and she is always put on the spot. You know, I got it. She's a great singer. So? Doesn't mean I'll like her any more what with the incredibly asinine choices she's made and, because I'm petty, the overalls she always sports. Her signature, psh. Sure.
All in all, No Place to Fall just wasn't for me. The plot is incredibly slow and nothing really happens throughout the whole book. The whole incident that would supposedly change her family's life was rather anticlimactic and boring. The cheating was a definite downer and Amber is a huge hypocrite. ...more
The Perilous Sea begins at the end of summer holidays. Titus and Iolanthe, who thought they wouThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
The Perilous Sea begins at the end of summer holidays. Titus and Iolanthe, who thought they would be spending it together, are finally reunited and are more determined to bring down the Bane. Their plans get messed up when Titus makes a surprising discovery in his mother's diary that makes him question her prophesies and drives a wedge between him and Iolanthe. But prophesies are prone to misinterpretation and is Titus willing to deviate from what has been foretold and try to forge his own path?
What's different about this sequel is how Thomas writes two separate timelines at the same time and does it well. It was not confusing and the point where the two timelines converged was surprisingly seamless and natural.
If you've bothered to read my review on the first book you can see that I was generally okay with it - a little slow, way too perfect characters. But things have changed in the second book and Titus and Iolanthe have done a little growing up and their relationship is one I am totally rooting for. (more kissy scenes in this book people) What I liked about these two characters was their resilience in the face of intense hardship. A lot of things didn't go as planned and they had to find a way to either deal with it or risk getting smothered by defeat.
Thomas also puts more emphasis on the secondary characters and did a really good job with their personalities. Her characters all had roles to play and when unveiled left me rather surprised - in a good way.
The pacing in the first book was rather slow and only seemed to pick up halfway into the story. The second book is totally different seeing as it offered up plot twist after plot twist tossing Titus and Iolanthe into a variety of difficult situations so much so that defeating the Bane seemed pretty much hopeless at one point.
The ending? Epic. This is one of those rare sequels that manages to outshine it's predecessor and fans of The Burning Sky will be more than pleased with this book. I cannot wait for the next book and I can only hope that it's even better than this. ...more
A Thousand Pieces of You was released earlier in the Philippines because of the signing that haThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
A Thousand Pieces of You was released earlier in the Philippines because of the signing that happened on the 21st of October.
Marguerite's life has been turned upside down thanks to the murder of her father by the hands of someone she has always trusted - Paul. Before authorities can apprehend him, Paul nabs her mother's latest invention, the Firebird, and leaps to another dimension. When Theo, another of her parents' brilliant students offers Marguerite a chance to chase after Paul she jumps at the idea of vengeance but leaping into different dimensions and meeting different versions of Paul has her doubting his guilt and she's quick to realize that what happened to her father wasn't as clear cut as it seemed.
Before I start the review can I just say that this has to be one of the most beautiful covers out there. And despite giving the book a three rainbows, how could I NOT do nail art for this pretty? Probably one of the most detailed nail art sets I've ever done too. I especially love the watercolor background for the Russian skyline.
Gray managed to make inter-dimension travel easy to understand which is a total relief. No convoluted plot lines and hard to understand talk of equations and math and physics. And it just so happens that those are the subjects I'm really bad at so I feel for Marguerite. Her characters are decently written and I didn't find myself overly irritated by the love triangle plus it helps that the world building was really well done. I love how Gray managed to give each dimension it's own personality and identity despite similarities.
But you see, I expected a chase across dimensions for a killer and I was really into the bok the first hundred pages until I hit page 107. You see that page is when my rating started to slowly decrease. That was when the book asked me to suspend a ridiculous amount of belief because how can she go from suspecting someone from being a killer, even if he was like family, to not? I mean all the evidence was there and Marguerite is refuting that based on the emotions she claims to see in someone else's eyes? I couldn't wrap my mind around that but I suspended belief and went on with the book.
Speaking of hunting killers, the story went from that to a forbidden romance set in Russia. Oh yes and after a few chapters, boy and girl were proclaiming their undying love for each other and it was so weird because it was like a little bit of insta love but at the same time it wasn't since we're dealing with different versions of one character. Leaping across dimensions must be tough on a girl's love life.
Overall I can't say I was impressed. I mean I didn't hate the book but it's not exactly something I'd recommend my friends either. But despite that, having met Claudia during the blogger's forum I can definitely say that she's really nice and super funny. I might pick up the second book because I'm interested to see where the story will go....more
A girl wakes up with no memory, watching a train hurdle towards her. She's got a tattoo on herThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
A girl wakes up with no memory, watching a train hurdle towards her. She's got a tattoo on her wrist, money in her bag and instructions to call an unknown number while dodging the police. All she knows is that she's being hunted and she'll have to find a way to clear the blocks in her memory if she wants to survive.
This book had such an interesting premise so I thought I'd give it a try. Mind you, I wasn't a fan of Carey's previous series but I thought I'd give her another chance. Well, it obviously wasn't for me seeing as I'm giving this book a really low rating.
First of, I wasn't a fan of the second person point of view. And yes, I did check out Carey's reasons for writing in this POV but I'm sorry because it didn't work for me. It felt stilted and unreal. The atmosphere felt flat for me and the action? I was't amused. A lot of scenes seemed way too fortuitous for the protagonist. And the story basically felt way too unreal. How lucky is she that she has built in survival skills. Pick a lock? No problem! Run from the cops? Easy.
The other annoying thing in this book was the romance. What are the chances that the girl bumps into this dude in a grocery and he ends up being her love interest and the dude who shows interest in her because she's different and not like all the rest? I don't get why he wasn't the least bit cautious. I mean yeah, you bump into a girl who's got a nasty cut on her arm and it's natural to worry about her but to the point of actually slipping her your number "in case of emergency"? For all that idiot knew she could have been a serial killer. An escaped convict and a myriad of other nasty things.
All throughout the story there are snippets of memories and I wasn't surprised when it involved a guy too. I bet there's a love triangle in the works. Which is very, very irritating because she's got no memory, she's being hunted and all she can think about is kissing a boy? How about saving herself first, huh? I mean it's gonna be hard to kiss a guy when she's dead.
Frankly, I'm not sure how I managed to finish this book but I did and I'm patting myself on the back right now because of the effort. Just so you guys know, I was as confused as the protag for most of the story and until the end I couldn't even begin to picture her in my head - her personality, her character, nothing. So, even if the story might have picked up towards the latter portion of the book, it wasn't enough to redeem the overall. The ending had me wanting to slap someone....more
Normally, I wouldn't even bother to pick a book like this up. The cover wasThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 4.5/5
Normally, I wouldn't even bother to pick a book like this up. The cover wasn't exactly the most appealing and the genre? Contemporary. I rarely read contemporary. So I'm really thankful to whatever force made me download a copy off of Edelweiss because this book was amazing. I couldn't put it down (I tried) and read it late into the night. It was worth the loss of sleep.
Sam McKenna is incapable of turning down a dare. Especially not when it's the last one her brother will ever give her. So she packs up and hauls herself over to a prestigious military school, becoming one of the first girls to join the ranks. She's a military brat so she's expecting long grueling hours of rigorous training. What she didn't expect was the hostility towards her, the brutal hazing and the taunting coming from some of the cadets who think that girls don't belong in military school. Add to that her startling attraction to her drill sergeant and uncovering a secret society determined to force her out, Sam isn't sure who to trust and she's got to make it through the year.
I love this book to bits. Sam and I could not be more different but it was the easiest thing in the world to connect with her character. She's physically and mentally strong with a terribly pragmatic mindset. I loved her tone of voice and the glimpses of femininity that pop up once in a while. She might be in a male-dominated school but Sam can bring it just as much as the boys. When all that hazing started and some idiots started picking one her I just wanted to tell them all to stop. When she was left all alone, wondering just how she was going to push through I wanted to tell her that I was cheering for her. And that she should totally smack those boys around because I was pretty sure she could have taken them.
Then there's Drill. The totally swoon-worthy drill sergeant whom Sam can not have a relationship with. He's the one person she can truly trust and they're so perfect for each other that sometimes I just wanted to reach in and bump their heads together and scream 'KISS DAMN IT. KISS.' The story isn't romance driven so savor the moments guys. Savor. Them. Also, while Drill may be macho and definitely alpha, he's no douche and he respects Sam's strength and determination and admires her for it. He doesn't treat her any different than the other guys.
You know what else I love about this book? The secret society. It didn't sound like a bunch of utter bull and Hensley managed to seamlessly weave it into the story which made it seem believable and totally creepy. The hazing was brutal too and I'm pretty sure I couldn't have survived that, even if I wanted to.
So I'm giving this book a 4.5 and I really recommend this to everyone. I'm practically shoving it in people's faces. The book practically oozes tension and suspense, boasts a protagonist who's got a great character arc and the pacing was just perfect. I'm really, really hoping a second book happens because while the book ended well it's just one of those books I wouldn't mind seeing more off. Girl power please.
Can't wait for my own physical copy of this book and I'm buying anything with this author's name on it, no questions asked. You have totally restored my faith in contemporary. ...more
Davis is a ballerina. Genetically enhanced since birth like all Priors are, she's smarter, stroThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Davis is a ballerina. Genetically enhanced since birth like all Priors are, she's smarter, stronger and basically just better than the Imperfects. Or Imps as they're called. She's about to qualify for the Olympiads and nothing will stop her from becoming a renowned ballerina like her mother. Until she meets Cole. Unbeknownst to her, Cole has another reason for bumping into her one night at a party - to sabotage her father's campaign through Davis. They never expected to fall for each other. Never expected to unveil secrets that the government is desperate to hide.
I have a bone to pick with this book. Truthfully. It has a gorgeous cover which I love love love but's basically a romance in a dystopian setting. Oh sure, there's a deadly virus sweeping through the Priors and Cole's attempted sabotage of Davis' reputation but it really just focuses on the romance. It's not the swoon-worthy kind of romance too, it's instant love. Th kind where a connection between them is forged through subtle glances and the mystery surrounding Cole's persona and the fact that he's major eye candy. Sometimes I'm okay with instant love. Sometimes. This is not one of them.
It doesn't help that Davis was a damsel in distress kind of heroine. She has zero self preservation skills. When Davis and Cole first met he was a major creeper. I mean if a guy just so happens to put his had on my bare back at a party I'd run screaming for the other side of the room or maybe just hide behind my friends. Don't get drawn in by a pretty face and a grin. Seriously. Davis' friendships also seem superficial. I couldn't get a feel for the connection between her and the best friend.
And you know, I might have forgiven the insta-love if the focus of the story wasn't on that. I didn't want to read about Davis wondering about Cole. Didn't want to see her swoon, or look forward to when they were gonna bump into each other. People are dying Davis, people you know. You should be scared.
And if that wasn't enough, the world building for Feuds was just...shoddy. There wasn't enough back story. Not enough details on their society. Like why the divide? Priors and Imps? Technology? Barely there. I want the details, the little things that come together to give me an image of what their society is like. It's supposed to be futuristic but the thing is, aside from the social divide? There's nothing here that really screams that. Aside from genetically modified human beings who are immune to all kinds of sicknesses.
Half baked world building and forgettable characters? Not my thing. And while I do like my fair share of romance I expected this book to lean towards the sci-fi side more. My mistake. Looking for sci-fi that's actually science-y and believable? Try Insignia by SJ Kincaid or Proxy by Alex London. ...more
Lia flees on her wedding day with a bundle of stolen documents and her maidThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 3.5/5
Lia flees on her wedding day with a bundle of stolen documents and her maid. She doesn't want to have any part in the arranged marriage she's forced into and throws duty aside in favor of her freedom. But Lia never really thought of the consequences that would surely follow her shunning of an arranged marriage with a possible political ally and she's going to have to man up and figure out how to fix the mess she's created. Runaway princesses, assassins, princes and a war that's just waiting to happen.
When I first started the book I was like well, okay. I can't begin to understand the pressure that comes along with an arranged marriage so let's give Lia the benefit of the doubt. It's not hard to imagine yearning for a life elsewhere when you're forced into marrying someone you've never met. It was kind of annoying that she'd shirk duty over the chance of finding love but hey, I'm not going to judge. Much.
Things started to get annoying when the love triangle was introduced. Enter Rafe and Kaden. One's a prince and the other assassin. Lia doesn't know who they are and assumes that one is a merchant and the other a fisherman (if I'm not mistaken). She spends an inordinate amount of time brooding over which boy she wanted and this goes on for around half of the book. Dances, boys, working at the inn, boys, getting attacked by a bounty hunter, more problems with boys. Ugh. She spends a lot of time complaining about being loved and wanting to love and finding love. Please. Stop.
Also might I add that Lia is kind of an idiot? When she manages to meet up with her brother and he tells her of the trouble brewing between Morrighan and Dalbreck and the marauders who want to conquer the two kingdoms she responds with surprise. SURPRISE. I mean did she not stop and think that maybe there was a reason for the political marriage? That maybe it was a way to get two kingdoms who were at odds with each other to form an alliance against the invaders? I mean Lia! Come on! And all for what? An imagined love?
Thankfully, somewhere along the latter half of the book Lia grows a spine, realizes that she's a princess and she has duties to her people and her kingdom and finally -FINALLY- gets with the program. Better late than never. This is where things also started to get exciting and it got back to being FANTASY. Because really mooning over boys and watching them wrestle on logs over mud was kind of boring (and stuff like that doesn't only happen in fantasy books). I wanted action and angst and epic battles and magic! Maybe there wasn't exactly much of an epic battle but at least the latter part of the book rekindled my faith in the story with the twists and turns it took and that ending! Mmmmm.
I'd have given this book a higher rating if the first half was as exciting as the second but I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. Hopefully it gets better and Lia puts away boys for a moment and focuses on saving her kingdom first. What's the use of boys if you're all dead....more
This is it, the final battle, the moment that will decide whether Eleanor mThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 3.5/5
This is it, the final battle, the moment that will decide whether Eleanor manages to win against the evil that took her mother, her brother and now her friend Jie or ultimately lose everyone dear to her. Eleanor travels all over the place in this installment, from Paris to Marseilles and then to Egpyt, if I'm not mistaken, trying to stop Marcus and hoping to save the life of her friend.
The final installment of this series is...I can't. It's killer. As in when I read...THAT PART (no spoilers) I had to do a reread because why why why why why. Cue ugly crying people. Ugh. On to the review.
Eleanor's control of her powers is getting better but her powers and her demon companion still cause strife between her and the Spirit Hunters seeing as how they're totally against her necromancy. I'm glad that Daniel and Eleanor's relationship actually progresses in this installment and Eleanor does grow as a character. I mean sure sometimes her decisions leave me baffled but Eleanor's a smart girl and fearless too and she always manages to push through. Sometimes I wonder why Eleanor's so afraid of her magic but then I realize it's not exactly unicorns and rainbows when it comes to raising the dead. Dead is dead and zombies aren't pretty.
If you've read the second book you'll know that Eleanor and Oliver are not on good terms but I like how their friendship doesn't just disappear and they manage to bridge the gap between them. He's the one who always urges Eleanor to hone her powers and free him from their contract. And despite his anger and hurt he still cares.
Strange and Ever After is hard to put down, Eleanor encounters trouble every which way she turns to the point that it looks like she just can't win. And when all was said and done, the ending was terribly poignant. It's one of the more conclusive endings I've read, with all the loose ends tied up. It was sad but Dennard managed to make it hopeful so while I might have thrown a little tantrum I got over it quickly enough. I'm satisfied and I will definitely read the next book the author releases.
Thank you for this series Susan Dennard, it was wonderful....more
I could not resist buying this book. A retelling of The Wizard of Oz that puts a totally new spThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
I could not resist buying this book. A retelling of The Wizard of Oz that puts a totally new spin on the characters? Yeah, dude. Count me in.
Amy's spent her whole life stuck in a trailer with her alcoholic mom, stuck in a school where she gets teased all the time and where everyone is against her. She just wants to leave it all behind her. Little does she know that her yearnings would all by answered in the form of a tornado that sweeps through town, lifts her trailer up and dumps her in the middle of nowhere where she's faced with an odd, crumbling yellow brick road.
I love how Paige took the original story and warped it into something wicked. Dorothy who's now the power hungry monarch ruling Oz in her tiny cleavage-bearing dresses and high heels? A little disturbing. The Tin Man's got a crush on Dorothy and acts as her bodyguard, the Lion's been turned into a gruesome beast who sucks the soul out of hapless munchkins and the like. And the Scarecrow? He performs despicable experiments on flying monkeys and turns people into walking weapons. Literally.
Amy, the heroine, is incredibly real. She doesn't want to be the hero, doesn't want to be the one to kill Dorothy. But what choice does she have when the witches who saved her from Dorothy's clutches claim she's the only one who can? Her emotions are all over the place but really, mine would be too if I were in her place. She can be nasty sometimes, and kind of whiny and maybe a little stupid but that's what endeared her to me. She's genuine.
Going up against Dorothy and her magical red heels and clothes in that awful blue and white checker pattern? No thank you. Imagine that pattern on leather and try not to cringe and shudder in despair. (Has turning evil somehow screwed with Dorothy's fashion sense?) She's forced to train with the witches and earn her magic but she also has to deal with Nox; infuriating, handsome, standoffish Nox who teaches her combat skills and takes her to mountain tops to look at the stars. Nox who looks at her like he sees her and tells her he likes her hair. I couldn't exactly get a read on him and I'm pretty sure there's more to Nox than his combat skills and dedication to the cause.
Dorothy Must Die is an incredibly imaginative retelling of the original Oz but you don't have to be familiar with the original story to follow this. It's dark and dreary and gory but wholly entertaining. Oh and did I mention that this is Danielle Paige's debut book? So rad. If you're a fan of Oz, of retellings, or maybe just on the lookout for your next read why not pick this book up? ...more
Just when I've been about to turn my back on dystopians this book comes along and manages to reThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Just when I've been about to turn my back on dystopians this book comes along and manages to rekindle my love for the genre. With wonderfully nuanced characters and crazy plot twists I found myself engrossed in a world where the rich (Patrons) have everything and the poor are burdened with debt.
Enter Knox, born to one of the wealthiest families he wants for nothing. He has money, looks and a Proxy to take all his punishments for him. He's all up for causing chaos because he knows he won't ever be blamed. But when Knox crashes a car and kills his passenger, his Proxy is set to die in his place. Syd, the Proxy, won't stand for it and runs. Caught in this tangle of lies and deception, Knox and Syd form an unlikely truce because to get out of this alive, they'll both need their wits about them.
Proxy is told in the alternating voices of Syd and Knox. Knox is your typical rich boy, spoiled, uncaring, entitled and always after his next conquest. Let me add that he's also an excellent hacker despite blundering about in school. He's the type of character I usually hate but London's characters aren't one-sided and being a spoiled brat isn't all Knox is. He's got issues with his father and the events that led to the death of his mother and his growth later on in the story is admirable. So while I did want to punch him in the face I as wanted to give him a hug and tell him that things'll get better.
Syd is Knox's Proxy. Every blunder and every mistake Knox commits, Syd is there to take punishment. Being a Proxy is a way for the poor to pay off their debt (school, medical bills, the like) and Syd was just the unlucky boy who got picked. Did I mention that he's also gay? I love how London didn't make such a fuss about Syd's being gay. It's not an Issue book, it's definitely a sci-fi/dystopian where the protagonist just so happens to be a boy who likes boys. Syd's also a special little butterfly - there's something in his blood that might just put an end to the social divide but he's going to need the help of the rebels to figure it all out.
London has created such a great book. It's got social issues, the divide between the poor and the rich is glaringly obvious; well crafted actions scenes and a bunch of cool tech that I wouldn't mind playing with. His characters are multidimensional, not flat paper dolls to be jerked around. The plot's all twisty and focuses on the unwitting friendship (sort of) between Syd and Knox. The ending was a surprise. I never expected the book to close on that note and I'll admit to feeling a little bereft after finishing the book. Do I recommend this book? Yes. YES. Pick up Guardian while you're at it....more
After saving her city, Audrey's all set to explore a relationship with LeonThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 3.5/5
After saving her city, Audrey's all set to explore a relationship with Leon and, with the appearance of her new ability, she's all about lending a hand in the fight against Harrowers despite the naysayers (mainly her mom and Leon). But when a new threat in the form of a vicious Harrower named Susannah appears, determined to end the Kin, it's time for Audrey and her gang to once again step up to save the world. Sort of.
I just love the superhero theme going on in the books. It's way too much fun. Add to that the super cute romance between Audrey and Leon, a few bad guys who're out to rule the world and a crazy dude fixed on vengeance and getting himself killed and you've got yourself a winner.
Frenette has a cast of wonderful characters. Audrey is terribly pragmatic and while some girls swoon at the thought of a guy willing to risk his life for hers because it's oh so dramatic, Audrey is afraid. She's scared and terrified and while I don't really approve of the way she distanced herself from Leon, I understand why she did that. Leon's got a protective streak going on and Audrey isn't exactly an ideal body to guard. She's also got a whole lot of things to deal with; like her best friend's boy problems, the nasty nightmares that torment Gideon and the fact that she and Leon have never gone out on an actual date. Oh and let's not forget the murderous Harrower who's hell-bent on annihilating them. Superhero stuff.
This series is seriously addicting though what with all the twists and turns and action scenes that Frenette doles out. It never got boring. And while the book is light-hearted and humorous at times, don't let that fool you because there's some serious stuff going around here. The relationship with Audrey's mom and her dad? Ugh. So. Painful.
So anyway, I'd definitely recommend this series and I would like to see more Leon and Audrey kissy scenes in the next book. PLEASE. If you haven't picked up this incredibly fun series yet, well, what are you waiting for? ...more
When one of Dusty's friends is attacked and accusing eyes are cast on residThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 3.5/5
When one of Dusty's friends is attacked and accusing eyes are cast on resident jock Lance Rathbone, Dusty is doubtful of Lance's participation in the heinous crime. She's all set to find out who the real perpetrator is but it's not as easy as it seems. The dreams she shares with Eli are no help either seeing as how they're more nightmare than prophecy. To complicate things even more Dusty's ex-boyfriend is back and he's all about trying to get back into Dusty's good graces just as Eli's all set to capture Dusty's heart.
The Nightmare Dilemma is as entertaining and enjoyable as its predecessor. The summary might be a little misleading. With Paul making an appearance you'd think that a love triangle is in the making. Fear not because nothing really ever happens between Dusty and Paul, aside from making Eli jealous. Which is good, jealous Eli amused me.
Dusty is still as funny as she was in the first book. She's developing her powers as well as nurturing her budding relationship with Eli. It was glorious, really. I ship them so hard. Dusty is an amusing character, she's also real and human (as human as a nightmare can be) and she doesn't have a hero complex going on. She's got rad powers and wields a super sword but that doesn't mean she's going to jump in headfirst into danger, totally disregarding her life. No.
In the second book she also has to deal with Eli and Selene keeping secrets from her. Selene and her nightly forays and Eli with his hot and cold attitude towards their relationship. It's pretty obvious that Eli wants her too. You're not fooling anyone Eli! Paul too is trying to get Dusty to trust him again. After the events of the first book, it's hard to not cast suspicion on everything Paul does but I feel like he's genuinely remorseful about his actions.
The pacing of the book was great with decent helpings of mystery and romance. But that ending? The way the romance was heading has me worried. Don't do anything to ruin my OTP please. I beg of you. All in all The Nightmare Dilemma is a solid sequel and I cannot wait for the next installment....more
Okay so I tried Sophie Jordan's Firelight series and I hated it with a vengeance so I was relucThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Okay so I tried Sophie Jordan's Firelight series and I hated it with a vengeance so I was reluctant to try Uninvited. I don't know what pushed me to buy this book but I'm glad I did. It's waaaaaaay better than the other series. On to the review then.
Davy's the perfect high school senior but the moment she's diagnosed as a carrier for "the kill gene" her life starts to spiral out of control. Her best friend turns betrays her, her boyfriend turns his back on her and Davy is shunned. She is uninvited by the prep school she attends but what's worse is the fear in her parents' eyes when they look at her. And when people start to turn on the so called carriers, what's Davy to do?
I can't help but compare this book to Firelight. I'm sorry but Uninvited has better characters. Davy isn't an annoying lovelorn twit but rather a smart, talented girl who's thrust into a problematic position. She's adapting and struggling with the loss of her friends and the change in her family. Sure there's a guy; a dangerous, cute guy but Davy knows he's dangerous but at least she's not diving into any kind of relationship eyes closed. She might be a little spoiled and a special little butterfly but she's real - just a normal girl who's caught in unfortunate (hah! unfortunate) circumstances.
Davy's ex-boyfriend and best friend were annoying. Seriously. I mean what douchery was that? It's kind of sick that they were capable of doing that to someone they love. Seriously. I mean they made me want to give up on being human. Just ugh. But fear for carriers has been ingrained in society and to them it's probably normal to shun people who have been diagnosed positive.
The thing with Uninvited is that it has action scenes and they were well written. They had a cinematic feel to them and I liked reading them so much. The only thing was well, the things were a little too easy for Davy in the end you know? And I'm kind of hoping that it's a set up for the next book. Please.
Anyway I'm just really glad this didn't turn out like Firelight and I'm really sorry but I can't get how much I dislike that book out of my head. Uninvited restored my faith in Sophie Jordan and I'm definitely going to grab the next book....more
Mala is in denial about her powers. She's been trying to escape her whole life but finding a deThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Mala is in denial about her powers. She's been trying to escape her whole life but finding a dead body floating in the bayou near her house puts all those carefully crafted notions out of her head. Landry has always had his eye on Mala - hanging out where she works, looking at her, staring at her when in school - but when Mala is the one who discovers his sister's body floating in the water he's not sure what to think anymore. Satanic rituals? Hoodoo? Can Landry put his trust in a girl who's painted as a witch involved in blood rituals? Can Mala figure out what the malevolent spirit wants before she gets consumed by her own budding powers?
It's told in the alternating voices of Mala and Landry. Mala is a sort of pariah seeing as how she's a descendant of witch women and people with all their prejudice and preconceived ideas concerning witches treat her like she's got the plague. Mala's used to it though and spends her time at the police station helping out. She's over-dramatic sometimes and a little naive at others. She's also part of this confusing romance and torn between two boys - George and Landry.
George doesn't really have that much of a presence in the book. He's just this guy who Mala works with and fancies. He kind of sees Mala as this little girl or damsel in distress who needs to be sheltered and protected. I have no idea what Mala sees in him because aside from the pretty face there really is nothing to write home about.
Landry on the other hand is crazy. He's always had a crush on Mala but never really had the guts to go talk to her. When he finds out Mala's the one who finds his sister's body he is easily persuaded into believing that she's performing crazy blood rituals and his sister is an unwitting victim. And he expects Mala to fall at his feet? Expects that they could actually have a relationship together? From their first confrontation to their following interactions, Landry is either hating/angry at her or flirty and charming. Maybe if he were a little less psycho they might have a chance.
I did like the atmosphere of the book. It's creepy and mysterious and I don't know how I made it through because I am not good with ghosts. I mean just mentioning ghosts makes me feel tainted. I just kind of wished that instead of focusing on the romance because all that messy drama overshadowed the good horror/mystery vibe the book had going.
Nevertheless I'll be checking out the second book, mainly because I want to see where the author takes this series and also because Mala's powers are growing and I want to know if they're going to driver her crazy in the end. And Landry too because crazies also deserve a happy ending....more
Anna Van Housen managed to escape her dreary - sort of - life in New York bThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual rating: 3.5/5
Anna Van Housen managed to escape her dreary - sort of - life in New York by scoring a spot on a famous European tour. She gets to move to London with the handsome Cole and gets to perform her illusions for all the world to see. Everything's perfect until she meets the secret society Cole is a part of - Sensitives are disappearing and turning up dead and the society is in chaos. Secrets are uncovered and revealed and Anna's plans and her relationship with Cole is shot to hell. Her powers are starting to unravel her and Anna has to find the killer before he finds her.
It's London, Anna should be having the time of her life performing and pursuing this relationship with Cole. But instead she's got to figure out why her powers are going haywire and why in the world this new killer is targeting her. She also has to deal with this pretty boy who seems to have his eye on her and discourage his charming advances. Love triangle? Not really. Don't worry guys. Cole gets jealous and all and I kind of liked seeing him that way. It was fun, made him seem less perfect.
Like the first book in the series, the sequel has the same feel to it. Mysterious, eerie and charged with magic. Brown's writing was as good as in the first book, her characters are just as wonderful and easy to fall in love with. Like saying hello to long time friends I haven't seen in ages. Brown also introduces a new cast of characters that serve to make things more diversified and interesting.
The thing about this though, is that the book felt a little flat. I mean add a pretty boy who fancies Anna to cause strife between the two? Yeah. I did like the tension that arose thanks to the issues with the secret society of Sensitives and the craziness that seemed to follow Anna around. The ghost part was really creepy but truth be had, any mention of ghosts is bound to creep me out.
All in all a decent follow up to Born of Illusion, a sort of paler imitation but enjoyable nonetheless. The writing is still as good and so is the world building. I'm definitely picking up the next book to see where Brown will take us next. Also note that it's set in JAZZ AGE LONDON. ...more
Harper Price is perfect. She's homecoming queen, captain of cheer squad andThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual Rating: 3.5/5
Harper Price is perfect. She's homecoming queen, captain of cheer squad and her boyfriend is the hottest guy on campus. Nothing can go wrong. That is until a run-in with a strange man who imbues her with Paladin powers and puts her in charge of her nemesis David Stark. The David Stark who mercilessly makes her life a living hell and the boy she might be falling for (gasp!).
This book was so much fun. Harper is an adorable heroine, a little bit of an overachiever but totally likeable, smart and funny. She's also a prude - PDA is vile and she does not cuss. If she were a real person I don't think we'd get along very well. David is the anti-hero. He's moody, insufferable and wears really tight pants (he's a hipster and of course that disturbs Harper's delicate sensibilities). He's also nephew to the school principal and editor on the school paper.
I had a lot of fun reading this book despite the fact that the ending was sort of rushed and the bad guys felt really random. You know, like, toss a bad guy in just for kicks. The book also seemed to put a lot of focus into Harper's messed up love life. Ryan aka The Perfect Boyfriend on one hand and David the Archnemesis on the other. Normally I'd be irritated by this but not this time. Rebel Belle was just too much fun. And you just know that Hawkins is totally setting readers up for the next book with the way Rebel Belle ended. Oh what a fine mess our adorable heroine is in.
Let me just add that the secondary characters were boring too but eh, who needs them. David and Harper were my sole focus so I couldn't really care less. And nobody needs a bunch of cheerleaders with super powers please.
Anyway I'd definitely recommend this to readers looking for a light, fun urban fantasy. Also suitable for those who'd like to ease themselves into the genre, I think. ...more
I read this book right after Crown of Midnight (thank the universe I gave the series another chThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
I read this book right after Crown of Midnight (thank the universe I gave the series another chance). I was in my give-the-sequel-a-chance phase and thought why not. If you've seen my review of Rush you'll know that I'm not a fan but to my surprise Push is actually a touch better than its predecessor.
It's a mess. After the events in the first book there's no time for Miki to get her emotions sorted out as she's thrust right back into the Game. She has to deal with bloodthirsty aliens, teammates she can't trust and her growing worries about the Committee. Her feelings must not get in the way. But when things start to unravel and lines start to blur it's all or nothing for Miki and her team because survival is of the utmost importance and things just are not what they seem.
Miki does a little growing up in this book. I'm still not a fan but I can at least give her that. Jackson is still Jackson and I there's nothing about him to write home about. He's still a douche and I doubt that's going to change no matter how sweet he is on Miki. And yes, he's alive, he's okay and did we really doubt that he was going to be anything but? (Fans of Jackson please don't pelt me with rocks, who'll paint fabulous bookish manicures when I'm gone?)
One good thing about Push is that we get a little more info about the Game. Oh it's still convoluted and messy but at least some things are starting to make sense. I guessed that there was something going on with the Committee and I was right. Miki sees Jackson's sister in the Game and they brush it off and the Drau are winning. Let's face it, a bunch of teenagers against vicious aliens out for blood? If I'm being truthful I think the human race is doomed and the odds are not in their favor.
All in all fans of Rush will likely enjoy the sequel. I feel like something more should have happened and there is a cliffhanger in case you guys are wondering. I'll probably be reading the next book because I'm a glutton for punishment and I'm quite curious to see how the author will wrap this series up. So much questions left unanswered and all that....more
After escaping New Hope, it's back to the good old days for Amy; surviving on her own with nothThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
After escaping New Hope, it's back to the good old days for Amy; surviving on her own with nothing more but the weapons on her back and her wits about her. That is until the tiny earpiece in her ear crackles with the voice of her former teammate warning about the dangers Baby is about to face. Baby is Amy's whole life and knowing that her only chance to save Baby is in Fort Black, Amy is willing to do whatever it takes to save her.
The second book starts with Amy wandering the wastelands alone going stir crazy. She has no one to talk to and it's driving her mad, until Kay sends her off to Fort Black in search of her brother Ken who just might be able to rescue Baby from the evil Dr Reynolds hands.
Lunetta does a fair enough job of describing to readers the setting in Fort Black. It's a prison filled to the brim by criminals and ruled over by men who think women should be claimed. If a girl isn't claimed it's a free-for-all for all the smarmy bastards who live there. The stink of desperation and starvation permeates the prison and it's not a fun place to be in.
So remember Rice from In the After? Yeah. Barely. Apparently there's a love triangle going in this book. Amy reaches Fort Black and the cute guy who's around her age with tattoos on his body instantly latches onto her and 'claims' her. Which is good for her because he's nephew of the prison Warden which means he has status and a modicum of protection in Fort Black.
I wasn't a fan of Amy in this book. I get that she's all macho and she can kick Florae butt and the thought of being 'claimed' by a man irks her to no end but come on! She's in a prison run by men whose morals are shaky at best, the least she can do is play along and pretend to be a claimed woman and not do stupid things that endanger herself and Jacks and put a kink in all her plans. Amy obviously doesn't know how to play it smart, all the drugs given to her in New Hope must have fried her brain. I know it chafes sister, but suck it up. I also hated how Amy could not resist diving headfirst into trouble without thinking things through. There's reckless and then there's Amy who is just plain stupid sometimes.
I won't elaborate but the ending was kind of rushed. Sure we kind of figured out the Floraes and what in the world they are and all but the ending was kind of...for lack of a better word YOLO. Yes, I went there. Amy does her rushing into things, people get killed, people get saved and voila. She also makes a choice between the two boys pining after her and I approve. There is hope yet for the human race....more
I'm going to start off this review by saying that this was better than expected. My forays intoThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
I'm going to start off this review by saying that this was better than expected. My forays into the New Adult genre have always flopped and that made me afraid to give this book a go. But I believe in second chances, and thirds and fourths and so I joined the tour. This book gets an instant 3 stars for the mention of Anberlin and all the music references. I love them so much so forgive me for being a little biased. Heh.
Maddie Taylor's about to take up an internship with the LA Philharmonic despite the fact that she secretly plays guitar and has rock star aspirations. As fate would have it, Jared Cross, lead singer and guitarist of Villain Complex catches her rocking out and invites her to join the band because they badly need her so they can join The Sound, reminiscent of The Voice, a reality TV battle of the bands kind of thing. Of course, once on set Maddie realizes that Jared isn't all about flirting and girls and doing the nasty. He's actually kind of a geek and kind of an okay guy. How is Maddie supposed to resist?
Truthfully? I was never fond of rockstar romances but this book made it okay, less cringe-worthy. Maddie is multi-talented; she plays guitar, piano, sings a little and does a little clarinet. She's a decent character, a little shy, a little relatable, a little annoying with how she put Jared so high up on a pedestal.
Jared on the other hand is typical of YA/NA. The tortured artist, the guy who leaves behind a trail of broken hearts, the one all the girls pine over. I mean he's a geek and I suppose that added a bit to his charm but still, as sexy as he is I don't know if I want to touch that with a ten-foot pole. He has big issues and out of control hormones but that's not to say that he wasn't a decent character. He was. He's just...typical of the genre.
So basically this book is like The Voice except it's The Sound and instead of singers they feature bands. It's like one of those reality TV shows except in text format but probably way more entertaining. It's got drama, romance, music and kissy scenes that lead to more kissy scenes if you know what I mean.
If you're looking for a romance that features hot musicians and fluff then this one's for you. A quick read that will definitely satisfy and this book gives me hope for NA. (Or maybe it's just really my bad luck that all the NA I've ever tried was just....no.) So thank you Elizabeth Briggs. I'm looking forward to the Hector Novella set in Comic-Con....more
Sol Le Coeur is resigned to her fate, working at the factory and flunking sThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Actual Rating: 3.5/5
Sol Le Coeur is resigned to her fate, working at the factory and flunking school. She's classified as a Smudge, and in an America divided into Night and Day it means that she lives, reads, works and basically comes alive during the night. She's fine with that. What she isn't okay with is her grandfather dying without ever seeing his granddaughter. So brave, impulsive Sol hatches a crazy plan that involves maiming herself, getting dragged to a hospital then snatching her brother's baby. Her plans are derailed when the Ray - it's what the day people are called - who treats her reports her to the authorities. That same Ray, named D'arcy, helps Sol run from the authorities and they find themselves uncovering a government plot to control the Smudge population and the conspiracies start to unravel.
I've never actually read Elizabeth Fama's other work, Monstrous Beauty, but I do own a copy of the book. (Hello, book hoarder.) So I was eager to start on Plus One.
I liked Fama's characters. Sol is good-hearted, if a bit rash and naive. The plan she made up to steal her brother's baby wasn't exactly well thought of and I wasn't so keen on the way she was so cavalier about caring for the kid. It's a baby. You don't run around with a baby stuck inside your shirt. But I get that Sol was desperate and fueled by the love she had for her grandfather.
D'arcy is a Ray and the one who treats Sol when she accidentally-on-purpose maims herself as a way to get into the hospital. I liked the romance between the two, it was slow and well developed. I'm not gonna say anything more for fear of spoilers but D'arcy and Sol do belong together. There was a huge amount of uncertainty on whether their relationship would ever go somewhere because of the rules set in pace by their government. Ray and Smudge relationships are rare and it kept me on the edge because I was totally cheering for them.
I also enjoyed Fama's writing. She takes time with her world building and while I wasn't that keen on the plot seeing as how it revolved around babies - swapping babies, kidnapping babies - I was overall okay with it. I was able to predict some of the things that happened but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book.
I'd recommend it to fans of dystopia. Oh I know, there is an abundance of YA dystopia out there and most of them blend into one another but this book manages to stand out somehow so give this pretty a chance....more
It happened so suddenly, on a day like any other, They came. Ravaging cities and towns; decimatThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
It happened so suddenly, on a day like any other, They came. Ravaging cities and towns; decimating the entire human population save for a few stragglers. Amy is one of them. She's been surviving and hiding from Them for years now, along with Baby, a toddler she rescued from certain death. But a series of events lead to her capture, or rescue rather, and takes her to New Hope. It's like a dream; food and safety for all but underneath that pristine exterior, New Hope's system is far from perfect. Run by a man who wants everyone brainwashed to his cause. And unless things change, Amy's future is at stake.
Now I like the first half better than the second. It's grittier, darker and more thrilling. Amy's got no one to depend on but herself and Baby and each time they venture out of their house for supplies is a risk. You see the aliens that attacked earth? They're very sensitive to sound and Amy had to learn to keep very quiet or die. The thrill was there, the fear of the unknown and it was dangerous. Oh was it dangerous. I liked every second of it.
Upon entering New Hope though, things start to change for Amy. After years of being on her own it's not the easiest to be stuck in a compound bound by a set of rules. There are a few surprises along the way and romance. The romance was not for me, but I understood why Amy developed feelings for the boy. Even if he is called Rice. If I remember correctly, it's short for Richard? But yeah. After being alone with Baby for so long I guess that seeing a cute boy her age kind of got her hormones working again.
Here's where we figure out what exactly is annihilating the human population outside of New Hope. The origin story for the aliens is frankly, something new and I've never really come across something like this before. It's a little disturbing though, not to mention horrifying but deliciously so.
I'm not giving this book a 3.5 mainly because of the second half. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting and all but there were so many things wrong with the rules set in place. So wrong in fact that it seemed unbelievable. Laughable. But nonetheless, oddly enjoyable.
For those who like their sci-fi fast-paced and bloody and gritty then try this. I'm sure it won't disappoint. Last thing though, I'm really not fond of the name Baby. It's just. I don't know. It doesn't sit well with me....more
In seven years Ryla's will take her father's place as President of Neress. Until then, she's suThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
In seven years Ryla's will take her father's place as President of Neress. Until then, she's supposed to ready herself to ascend with meetings upon meetings and press conferences and lessons with her tutor. That is until she meets her tutor's son and he opens her eyes to the truth about their seemingly perfect society. No citizen shall be left behind. That could not be farther from the truth.
One thing I liked about The Polaris Uprising was the dynamic between Ryla and her sister Alana. It was obvious that they could not be more different but their love for each other was obvious. Ryla was her father's chosen, the more outgoing of the two. Alana, despite being the elder sister, was deemed unfit to succeed. It didn't seem to cause any strife between the two sisters but it was pretty obvious Alanna wondered why she wasn't worthy and yearned for her father's acceptance. Polaris Uprising is told in dual POV and it was interesting to get into their heads although I have to admit that I preferred Ryla. She was spunkier and more reckless.
Let's not forget the romance, Alanna was betrothed to Owen, son of the security minister. They've known each other since they were children and I found their romance rather boring. I mean Owen was cute and rather charming but it just didn't work for me. They might be betrothed but Alanna was oh so lucky to actually feel something for her future husband. Ryla, on the other hand, fell for her tutor's son Tyson. Their romance was too fast and Tyson, despite being anti-government got over his prejudices fast stating that Ryla was different from other government cronies.
I wasn't too fond of the pacing, everything just seemed to happen so fast. And I get that it's war and time is of the essence but left and right people were making snap judgments. Where was the strategic planning? And Ryla joining the rebellion? Done on a whim. Oh she saw her father's grievances against the people, saw the lies their precious Neress was built upon and bam! The rebellion got the President's daughter on board. Instant spy. It was messy and not well thought of, it lacked planning, but I suppose Ryla is still a teenager and bound to be a little rash.
As for Alanna? She was quick to defend their father, unwilling to open her eyes like her sister. Maybe it was because she has always wanted her father's acceptance. Maybe she was too afraid. But she was quick to reprimand Ryla without hearing her through. (Why Ryla insists on keeping her father's secrets is beyond me). But I suppose it's all politics and it's not surprising at all that they ended up on opposite sides of a war with secrets left unsaid between them.
I'm okay with character death, I approve of it actually, but for this book? What was the point? (And no, I won't tell you guys who died.) Was it to push Ryla to finally choose a side to fight for? As if the death toll wasn't high enough.
The Polaris Uprising is all in all a good book. Decent characters, sufficient action, and a little romance to top it all of. I'd recommend it for those who want a quick dystopian read and I might read the next book. A little sibling rivalry is always interesting, especially when they're fighting a war on opposite ends. I especially can't help but think Alana has always wanted to be President. But that's probably just me....more
Callum and Wren have finally escaped HARC's clutches and run North in searchThis review can originally be found at The Twins Read.
Callum and Wren have finally escaped HARC's clutches and run North in search of the Reboot Reservation. Enter Micah, leader of the reboots at said reservation, he's out for blood with his made quest for retribution. He expects Wren to lend a hand in this bloody crusade but isn't quite prepared for her reluctance. When they butt heads and Micah ultimately betrays Wren, boy is he in for a surprise because nobody underestimates 178. Nobody.
You know what I love about Rebel? It's told in dual POVs. Yes! Alternating between Callum and Wren, I just loved seeing things from Callum's perspective. How he manages to read Wren so easily, how emphatic he is and how much he wanted to help. Can I just mention that he and Wren are perfect? He totally adores her. It's too cute.
Wren and Callum's relationship is something to behold. It's wonderfully mature but not without its ups and downs. They both have different viewpoints, Callum's more in touch with his feelings while Wren, who is just learning to deal with her locked-away emotions, is more pragmatic. It causes some conflict between them but it's totally nothing to worry about. I love how they're both just sure of each others feelings, without all the drama and fuss and mess in most romances. Thank you.
Another thing about Rebel is how much Tintera's characters mature. Wren's coping with her emotions, she's smart, sensible and she actually thinks before she acts. She doesn't want to fight in the war but in the end she makes a choice to do what is right. Callum on the other hand, who was against violence and any sort of death and dismemberment in Reboot, is now forced to change his standpoint. He's caught in the middle of a war and he can't always count on Wren to hit someone for him and getting all physical is sometimes a must when you're being hounded by crazy HARC agents and a crazed reboot out for blood.
Rebel is also delightfully action-packed. Nothing wrong with liking a little violence in my books right? The action scenes weren't over the top and Wren is as kick butt as always. The pacing was just right, Tintera took her time building up the tension in the reboot camp, to stir a little trouble in between the reboots and finish with altercations between HARC and the reboots with a smattering of humans on their side.
This book is a satisfying end to a wonderful duology. Fans of Reboot will surely love this sequel. Looking for your next dystopian read? Check these books out. They will not disappoint. As for me, I am definitely looking forward to Amy Tintera's future work. ...more