I'm not a huge short story reader, but I really enjoyed this collection of holiday YA stories. The romantic stories are either fantasy or realistic fiI'm not a huge short story reader, but I really enjoyed this collection of holiday YA stories. The romantic stories are either fantasy or realistic fiction, although the majority fall into realistic fiction.
My favorites were David Levithan's Your Temporary Santa for the humor (he always makes me laugh out loud) and Laini Taylor's The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer for the fantastical elements and wonderful writing. Most of the stories are pretty solid, although the one clunker for me was Ally Carter's Star of Bethlehem. I usually really enjoy her books, but her short story had an over the top villain and some unrealistic, oversimplified elements.
Just a heads up that every story (except Rainbow Rowell's) mentions a sad and/or dysfunctional family situation, including divorce, dead parents, parents in prison, or parents who have abandoned their kids. Since this is a romance collection though, the stories all end pretty happily. Only exception to this is Jenny Han's story, which was more bittersweet than happy (but still good)....more
As other reviewers have noted, this is a good starter point for K-pop newbies. Very visual (although image quality varies) and it covers a good amountAs other reviewers have noted, this is a good starter point for K-pop newbies. Very visual (although image quality varies) and it covers a good amount of popular groups.
However, people have also pointed out some issues, most notably the strange omission of member changes or scandals, especially with groups from SM Entertainment. Turns out, it's not a coincidence. The author wrote about this issue on his blog, and he acknowledges that certain info had to be tweaked to get label support. ...more
**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars - I enjoyed it, but I was slightly unsatisfied when I finished reading it.
The Good: - Actual horror and gore in a vampire**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars - I enjoyed it, but I was slightly unsatisfied when I finished reading it.
The Good: - Actual horror and gore in a vampire book, not just sparkles! - Interesting, diverse characters. I generally liked everyone and thought they were well developed. Main character Tana is strong, intelligent, and funny, and I liked Gavriel's backstory, mannerisms, and craziness. I also appreciate that the author included a diverse cast of LGBT and racially/ethnically diverse characters. - Enjoyable premise, although some elements didn't feel original. The vampires as celebrities concept has been explored in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels, True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse, etc. - Standalone novel/not a series. The author has no current plans for a sequel, and it wraps up everything enough that it wouldn't need one. This is a major plus for me, since I have series fatigue.
The Meh: - Romance between Gavriel and Tana seemed extremely underdeveloped to me. They shared a hot kiss or two, but I never felt like they were in love. I would have liked it more if their relationship had been more ambiguous (no love declarations at the end) and the reader was just left with the possibility of love developing. Honestly, I would've been fine with no romance. - Lucien's death was anticlimactic. Dude got stabbed by almost vampire Tana, but after living for so long, it seems like he should've been stronger (or at least smarter). I also feel there should have been bigger repercussions to him dying, but it happened at the end of the book, so I get why it was probably simplified. - Also underdeveloped - the idea of vampires getting stronger when killing other vampires (AKA in my mind as Highlandering each other). Obviously Gavriel powered up after killing the Spider, but since he was basically a vampire assassin, shouldn't he have been incredibly strong before the Casper Morales escape? I guess he was up against other vampire assassins, but I'm surprised this wasn't explored a little more. Why don't more vampires know about it? Wouldn't Lucien have gotten a little power boost from killing Elizabet? Is it just no one knows and you have to kill a ton of vamps to see a difference? I'm probably just overthinking a somewhat trivial plot point....more