Okay, so you know how everyone talks about this book, and you think, "Yeah, maybe I'll read that," but then you fiddle and wait and decide against it...moreOkay, so you know how everyone talks about this book, and you think, "Yeah, maybe I'll read that," but then you fiddle and wait and decide against it because it sounds just a little too weird?
So maybe that wasn't you. But it was definitely me. And finally guys, I gave in waffling and read this. SO GLAD I DID. Should have read it way sooner. It's not depressing, and it doesn't feel apocalyptic, and it's not a "problem" novel. It was hilarious and utterly compelling all the way through. I thought J.Lo sounded silly and he's not; I thought the aliens having won would be sadface, and it wasn't (just a teensy bit at the beginning) and I thought the whole Smekday thing was a bit odd, but the more you read on, the funnier and more complex it gets.
I forgot this book was MG. I forgot it might be weird. I just loved it. And it has one of the best endings ever.
I should add that this reminded me to Savvy by Ingrid Law, but it was perhaps a bit more realistic and mature in the way Tip manages her escapades. Also it was about aliens ;)(less)
My actual rating for this was 4.5 stars. Loved this take on stasis, and really enjoyed the modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty in a SF setting. To be...moreMy actual rating for this was 4.5 stars. Loved this take on stasis, and really enjoyed the modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty in a SF setting. To be honest, I forgot it was supposed to be a retelling; I was caught up in the story.
Though it had a lot of plot (and thanks to the Plasticine, a lot of action!) I think it was actually one of those quieter books like The Adoration of Jenna Fox (which lately I'm comparing everything to, agh!) and also The Different Girl, Melody Burning, etc. It had a lot to do with character development via the plot and reminded me of Altered by Jennifer Rush in that way, too.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, it wasn't a cryo book like Across the Universe (Beth Revis) is a cryo book. It wasn't a sci-fi fairytale retelling like Cinder was. But it was beautifully done, a fantastic read, and it had a great little twist at the end that just gave me that burning sensation of a story living beyond its pages.
But it IS quieter. The first couple chapters gave me problems. I was afraid I already knew how the story would go, and I almost put it down for good, but things picked up again and I was glad I pushed through. If you're the kind of person who pushed through the slow 100 pages of The Host and ended up loving it, or enjoys the quieter, quirkier books like Melody Burning, or who thought Altered was awesome even though maybe you thought it should read like the Uglies series and it didn't*--then you will know how to enjoy this.
*Just a P.S? I LOVE all those books mentioned, both sets of comparisons. I just want to recognize that it's very easy to come at a book with set ideas on what you expect it to be like, and then feel frustrated when it turns out as something completely different. I love both kind of books but it always helps to know which one I'm getting into :)
This is the third book in the Sean Drummond series. This time, Sean's old girlfriend begs him to represent her husband General Morrison, who is being...moreThis is the third book in the Sean Drummond series. This time, Sean's old girlfriend begs him to represent her husband General Morrison, who is being accused of treason and critical information with the Russians. And it gets worse. Sean Drummond is up against his arch-enemy, Fast Eddie - who's had six months to sort through evidence. Hmm. Not looking good. So Sean snags a sexy Russian-speaking lawyer, Katrina Mazorski, to help him with the case (she wears skintight pants and bellybutton rings. tact required.)
Together they begin pawing through the dirt on Morrison. Turns out there's a lot of dirt. Morrison is, of course, looking guiltier and guiltier. Of course, Morrison claims he was framed. In the face of overwhelming evidence, espionage, super geniuses, and muder-by-Bic-pen, can Drummond prove his client's innocence?
I'd have to say this is one of my favorite of the Sean Drummond novels. It's classic. Everything you want or expect is here - the self-depreciating humor, the attempts on his life, the insurmountable odds, and the two or three twist endings that leave you gape-jawed going "whoah..." I can read pretty much any Sean Drummond novel and now matter how sucky things get, I know Sean will seriously one-up the badguys. That's what makes this series so great.
But "The Kingmaker" has a slightly different flavor than the first two books. The ending was interesting, and the romance was refreshingly different than Sean's own little thing. Plus there was a little less talk about how crappy/uptight/hilariously petty Washington can be, and a little more cloak-and-dagger.
Final Opinion: Another fun Sean Drummond novel that rises slightly above it's peers. 4 stars. (less)
When Jamie goes to California with her lawyer mother for an important trial, leaving her best friend Webb behind, Jamie finds herself having vivid day...moreWhen Jamie goes to California with her lawyer mother for an important trial, leaving her best friend Webb behind, Jamie finds herself having vivid daydreams about Webb. At first she thinks that it's just because she misses him. Even though she's made an awesome new friend in California, she feels so lost without Webb. But when the daydreams start making her blackout, Jamie can't deny that something more is happening to her than missing Webb--it's almost like she's been using Webb to protect herself from something that happened the night she met him nine years ago.
This book was not what I expected, in a good way. So many psychological thrillers loose their sense of real life as they explore the craziness happening to the person. In this story, you get swept up in Jamie's crazy, but the story remains so intricate and real. I particularly liked the conversations with Morgan (the new BFF), because then we get to hear Jamie saying how weird this all is, and how she doesn't understand it, but she's trying. Very realistic.
There were a couple of contrived parts, mostly the conversations with her mom. It was always, "Hey mom, what happened to so n so?" And then her mom would answer, "Oh, didn't I tell you this before? I'm sure I did. Let me tell you again." It was one of those times when one character just keeps asking questions, because the writer wants us to know the answers. So that was a little frustrating.
But overall, the revelations were well placed and not overly dream-like, and Jamie's motivations throughout the story were very believable. Nothing seemed cheesy or overdone. This book's final and strongest point is it's a page turner--you don't realize you've been sucked into it because the action isn't so obvious, but when it's 2AM and you've been saying "one more chapter" for three hours, that means the book is a page-turner. It wasn't mind-blowing--but I couldn't stop once I started.
Wow. How did I not realize this was going to be such a kick-butt story? It's seriously one of the most believable modern day fairytale retellings I ha...moreWow. How did I not realize this was going to be such a kick-butt story? It's seriously one of the most believable modern day fairytale retellings I have ever read. I never felt like I was being whacked over the head with the fairytale elements. It was so well balanced. The sister relationship was fantastic--it felt almost like I was reading about twins, not just sisters. And both these two girls were AWESOME. I love how, even though they both kicked butt, we got to see their limitations as well; we got to see Scarlett's insecurities about her looks; Rosie's insecurities about not being obsessed with the Fenris like Scarlett is; their push and pull relationship, how deeply close they are. Silas was the perfect third element to balance them both out. Also? Rosie in the subway? Best escape scene ever. EVER.
This is basically a rave review for me, guys. Loved this book, and so glad I went back to read it after reading Sweetly. (less)
So I tried reading this once before, and couldn't get past the first chapter. But I gave it another try, and boy, am I glad I did. It was tense and an...moreSo I tried reading this once before, and couldn't get past the first chapter. But I gave it another try, and boy, am I glad I did. It was tense and angsty and full of action. Despite the cheesy tagline, Calla's conflict between her pack and Shay were well done and compelling. I enjoyed the pack dynamic far more than I expected--both Calla's relationship with her pack, as well as the shifting relationship with the Bane's as their two packs merge.
This book was basically everything it promised to be, and to my surprise, a bit more. It reminded me a lot of what I'd hoped from Firelight, and Shay's part reminded me a lot of The Wizard Heir. The cliffhanger ending was frustrating, especially since I could tell things were about to get good. I would have liked some sense of resolution there. However, I'll admit, it did whet my appetite for Wolfsbane.
Oh my gosh, you guys. THIS BOOK. This book took me by surprise.
To be honest, I've been feeling a little jaded with a lot of the dystopias* out there,...moreOh my gosh, you guys. THIS BOOK. This book took me by surprise.
To be honest, I've been feeling a little jaded with a lot of the dystopias* out there, and symbol-based covers just don't pull me in the way some other covers do, so I was sort of on the fence about this. I didn't want anything that had been done.
But then! I flipped it open! And began reading! And right away, this was a breath of fresh hair. I kept being pleasantly surprised by so many things here. The relationships start out intriguing, and then they keep digging deeper and deeper; there were just so many characters, from Griffin to Thoms father to Alice to Rose and Dennis, that felt so real and deep and well done. I was able to really connect with every character, even the ones like Alice and Rose who seemingly kept changing. And I just LOVED--well, spoiler--(view spoiler)[that Thom was not the chosen one. HUZZAH! It was so nice to have a hero who was not the chosen one! (hide spoiler)]
There were a lot of surprises you just didn't see coming. That last twist with Dare? Hello. The worldbuilding and explanations about the past happened so gentle and naturally that I found it fun, not overwhelming, to read about.
Though they're very different in plot, Elemental actually reminded me of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, because of the natural way they handle their worlds and characters. Everything felt like a slow, perfectly timed discovery. These characters had quiet lives before, and it's so much fun to see them rise up to the challenge.
Again, I was so pleasantly surprised. Once I started reading I didn't want to stop. I loved Thom and Griffin, I loved the elements, I loved that these kids are running around doing whatever they can to survive, and none of them try to pretend they're adults; they're all just kids, and they know it, and somehow it makes their story that much more believable and strong. If you're on the fence, give this one a chance.
*I know this is labeled as Fantasy, probably because it doesn't read like a dystopia. But it's set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where people have elements, or minor powers related to elements like fire, wind, and water.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Charlie is being punished. His father says that outside is bad, that outside they can get him. And Charlie can't seem to be quiet enough, to obey the...moreCharlie is being punished. His father says that outside is bad, that outside they can get him. And Charlie can't seem to be quiet enough, to obey the rules right. Someday he wants to run in the rain. But now, he waits locked in the basement, until his father tells him the punishment is over, and he can come back upstairs. Except it's been an awfully long time. And he's afraid the spider will spin a web, and keep him trapped in the basement forever.
Then one night Charlie gets locked out of the basement and chased away by the spider. He wakes up in a hospital and wonders, is this another part of the punishment? It doesn't seem so. Here people let him eat and don't care if he makes mistakes. Fathers comfort their sons. And a psychologist is telling him that Father was wrong - Charlie doesn't deserve to be punished. But for some reason Charlie still wants to see him. Wants to go home and finish out his punishment, and be part of the family once again.
Haunted by hallucinations of the spider, conflicted about his father, and expecting punishment at every wrong turn, Charlie learns to let go and embrace the truth about his father, the basement, and Charlie himself.
This is a great story. I was very much inside Charlie's head the whole time, experiencing his paranoia and phobias as if they were really happening. Charlie is a surprisingly strong kid. The simple, solemn prose snagged me right away and kept the story moving along at a fast clip. A couple of problems...one, the story was pretty much in "real time" until the end, so you basically followed Charlie through every experience as it happened. It was okay, but not thrilling or engrossing. Second, the story took a long time to develop the other characters. Every couple scenes a new character came in and the old one faded out. Finally, I thought that the climax was a little underdone, like the gravity of the situation was glossed over. Not bad, just not stellar.Very real about the abuse without being graphic or scurrilous.
I gave this book 4 stars because it's a great little story that follows through on all the plots and doesn't skimp on the struggle. However, I couldn't give it 5 stars because it simply didn't give me the "wow" factor.
Loved this story! A few irritating aspects, mostly due to the character's immense tendency to not talk to people and punish herself for having feeling...moreLoved this story! A few irritating aspects, mostly due to the character's immense tendency to not talk to people and punish herself for having feelings for certain men. But the romance was the single most realistic one I have read about in YA fiction. Really spot on and would reccomend to friends anytime. (less)
I finally, finally, FINALLY finished! See, I started this last summer. I loved it. I was like a junkie. I had no money, so I kept driving to B&N t...moreI finally, finally, FINALLY finished! See, I started this last summer. I loved it. I was like a junkie. I had no money, so I kept driving to B&N to keep reading. I got 75% of the way through, and...
Had to move.
And I couldn't find a single B&N nearby. A single bookstore, for that matter.
Having now, months later, found a bookstore with a copy of Divergent, I have just finished. I'm really sad I waited so long between readings because I can tell much of the built-up energy fizzled out since I was last reading. However, I also know that Divergent was still awesome, up to the very end, and everything that happened there.
Divergent was good, well written, and not only that, it was compelling. If you're on the fence, it's one of those you should check out--because it will very likely sway you.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When Beira, the fey Winter Queen, murdered the Summer King, she didn't realize she bore his son. So she crafted a curse: her son Keenan must find a hu...more When Beira, the fey Winter Queen, murdered the Summer King, she didn't realize she bore his son. So she crafted a curse: her son Keenan must find a human mortal who can lift Beira's staff and not be filled with winter's cold. If the mortal can do this, she becomes Keenan's Summer Queen, and together they will have the power to defeat Beira. If the mortal fails, she will be cursed with winter's cold until Keenan convinces someone else to lift the staff. For nine centuries Keenan has tried - and failed. His Summer fey are loosing hope, and even Keenan is beginning to wonder if he will ever find his queen.
Enter Aislinn. Aislinn, or Ash, can see fairies. She hates them for their savage cruelty. All her life she has forced herself to ignore them and keep from attracting their attention. But now, a fey named Keenan is taking personal interest in her. First he stalks her, then he approaches her in a human disguise called a glamour, then he enrolls in her school. Aislinn is terrified of him. But she's also sick of hiding what she sees, sick of letting the fairies have their way. Keenan is sure that that Aislinn is his Summer Queen. But Aislinn has her own plans, and there's nothing the fairies can do to stop her.
The first half of this story was great. Melissa Marr did a very good job with the fairy culture and with the curse, which was particularly poignant. You really wonder if Keenan will ever find his queen and if Aislinn is the one. Aislinn is a great protagonist: tough, determined in the face of her fear. And the supporting cast is amazing: Seth is like the world's best boyfriend, and Donia, the girl currently cursed with winter's cold, is so very real in her isolation and bitterness. And the plot just sweeps you away. I was ready to give this book five stars.
Then halfway through, something happened. The focus shifted. The whole plot slowed down, and plot events came in the wrong order, so that the story lost all it's suspense. *** SPOILER*** For one, it's basically agreed that Aislinn is the one, taking away all the great suspense that Marr had built up. ***END SPOILER*** After that we're just waiting around for Aislinn to stop ignoring everything and make her decision.
Seth and Ash's side of the story developed a lot, but Keenan and Ash's relationship remained virtually the same for most of the story. She's in denial: he continues to demand the same thing. There was a lot of awkward running around that didn't accomplish much, and then some rather random crisis. When Aislinn FINALLY stops avoiding the problem and makes her decision, we're rushed through what should be the most important scenes in the story, totally shifting our focus away from the curse. Then there's a couple twist thrown in at the last second during a bloody, slightly cheesy battle. Then there's aftereffects stuff - by this point, you're just waiting for it to end - that is so idealistic, so pat, it's frustrating. The real true ending was so idealistic
It was confusing and disappointing. I'm not sure why the story changed focus so much. There was an amazing setup, but then Marr didn't follow through on it, choosing to take some subplots and focus on them instead. And as if to make up for it, she tied it all up with a bow.
In the end I'd have to say this book was satisfying, but nothing more. It had an immense amount of potential and I hope Marr does better in the rest of her trilogy, but to be frank, I don't know if I'll read the other two books.
three stars for disappointment.
(And on a side note, this book isn't really like Twilight. The over-emphasized relationship between Seth and Aislinn did remind me of Edward&Bella for a little while, but the main feel was very different than the feel you get from reading Twilight.)
Vida Winter is a wildly famous author, enigmatic and mysterious, known for her the many false histories she gives herself, and the mysterious thirteen...moreVida Winter is a wildly famous author, enigmatic and mysterious, known for her the many false histories she gives herself, and the mysterious thirteenth tale she never published. Margaret is no one special. She helps run a used-bookstore with her father, writes biographies of little-known dead people, and mourns over he deepest secret—she once had a twin, who died while being separated from her during surgery.
The story begins when Ms. Winter sends Margaret a letter. It seems that Ms. Winter is ready to tell her story—her real story—and she wants Margaret to write it.
This story was definitely a trip. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole time I read it, and even stopped midway to cleanse. It’s haunting…irregular…eerie…but fascinating. Ms. Winter is an unreliable narrator, yet somehow you trust her. It’s part mystery, part ghost story, with an air of small-town-dark-secret overshadowing the narrative. Also, it’s pretty poetic. This is one of those books you read that is sort of like an ode to literature.
The only thing I didn’t like was the final twist, the true identity of Ms. Winter. It somehow seemed a little far-fetched to me. Although it explains everything, I think it stretches the limits of plausibility. That’s about as much as I can say without adding spoilers. Otherwise, the ending was great.