I really wanted to like this book. I really love the cover so I had very high hopes for the book. Normally I would have purchased this book in hardcov...moreI really wanted to like this book. I really love the cover so I had very high hopes for the book. Normally I would have purchased this book in hardcover because of how stunning that cover is, but thank goodness I'm poor and couldn't buy it because I would have been pissed about the total waste of money.
Teenage Violet and her teenage brother, Luke, live alone in a big marble-y house in a foggy sea-side town. They live alone, even though they are teenagers because their bohemian artist parents have gone to Europe and left them behind with a grandmother who has since died. The two have run out of money to survive, because, you know, they're teenagers, so Violet decides to rent out the guesthouse. Teenager River rents the guesthouse. River has a secret mystery surprise about him that makes him different from other teenagers. In true YA form Violet falls deep for him right away despite all the weirdness and badness that surrounds him.
There are some things that I really did like about this book. I loved the grey, gothic, atmospheric tone that the book took on. The eerie elements were done super well. The book had great imagery, mood, tone, atmosphere and great writing, but not much else.
It felt like there was no real plot. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it never really did. Even the "action" parts were boring and unbelievable. The story didn't flow very well, it felt very disjointed. With a cover and a title like the book has, I expected it to be really frightening, but it wasn't scary at all, it was just silly. There is a sequel, but there really doesn't need to be. Tucholke could and should have ended it with this one, but choose instead to write a "cliffhanger" that may be wrapped up in the next book(s)?. The world building seriously lacked as well. Even after suspending my disbelief, I still couldn't buy several aspects of the book (like the romance and teenagers being left to live alone with no one stepping in). I had heard this book described as a "mystery" but there was no real mystery and there was absolutely no build up to the "plot twist".
The characters were really flat. Violet annoyed me. She was a typical YA protagonist. After knowing River for less than a day she had let her guard down and already "fallen for him". I am a firm believer that females in YA literature need to be strong, willful characters that teen girl readers can admire and look up to. Violet was not that character at all. I wish that she would trust her instincts and stand up for her self more. She was very reminiscent of a complacent, needing the guy to save her, Bella Swan. Violet wasn't the only character that I took issue with though, each and every one of the characters weren't believable or likable.
Overall I gave this 2.5 but rounded down to 2 stars. If I had to, I would recommend this to YA readers who enjoy a moody, atmospheric tale. I would hesitate to recommend it though, instead I would say try The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey for a good gothic tale. (less)
Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Freya and Ingrid, live in a quaint coastal town in New York. The three women seem to lead average lives yet th...moreJoanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Freya and Ingrid, live in a quaint coastal town in New York. The three women seem to lead average lives yet they actually harbor a long-standing secret: they are powerful witches who have been banned from using their magic. Over the course of the book events happen that slowly encourage all three women to break the rules and begin using their magic again to unlock a centuries-old secret. I really liked this book. I found it to be very reminiscent of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman which is one of my favorite books of all time. It was a fun, fast-paced and compelling read. Over the past few weeks I had been sliding my way into a reading slump. I was not enjoying anything that I was reading and I was not excited to start anything new. I realized that I was craving something in the paranormal/fantasy genre and this book hit the spot. I liked all of the characters in the book. I especially enjoyed the three Beauchamp women and I really related to Ingrid. I felt like all of the characters were fully fleshed out and i am excited to see how they will continue to develop over the next few books. This book series has been turned into a TV show on Lifetime. I started watching the television show which is actually pretty different from the book, at least it is different from this first book, but the show is still good in its own right. I liked the beginning a lot more than I liked the ending. It took a weird spin towards the end that I didn't enjoy. There were too many references to events in the previous lives of the women that didn't get fully explained or resolved which was confusing and annoying. This was especially true in the last 1/3 of the book. I am excited to read the rest of the series and to start De La Cruz's Blue Bloods series as well. I would recommend this book to fans of witch stories, fans of paranormal books and to both young adult and adult readers. 4/5 stars (less)
Starters is a very well written debut novel from a new dystopian author. The book centers around Callie who along with her younger brother has been orp...moreStarters is a very well written debut novel from a new dystopian author. The book centers around Callie who along with her younger brother has been orphaned from a futuristic Spore War that killed off all people between the ages of 20 and 60. Now Callie and her brother, Tyler, along with her friend Michael are living on the street in a daily struggle to survive. When Tyler becomes ill, Callie decides to undergo a process of renting out her body to an Ender- a person over the age of 60. Something is not quite right with one of her rents which sends Callie on an adventure to get to the source of the trouble and to save many other Starters in the process. I loved the characters. Usually in these YA dystopian novels the female protagonist finds some way to aggravate me whether it be from stupid decisions or from a failure to observe the obvious. I found myself really respecting Callie. She is the kind of person who would go through a horrible procedure like the rental process just to make a better life for her younger brother. Her main concern throughout the novel was for her brothers safety and that was a very admirable characteristic for such a young protagonist. I really enjoyed the beginning, but I was disappointed when I felt the book taking on a slower pace in the middle, but then I was pleased when it picked back up again towards the ending. I found the overall book to be at a somewhat slower pace than most dystopian/sci-fi novels. The ending felt a little bit too rushed and a little too neatly wrapped up. The writing style was good; it flowed well and I really appreciated the fully explained mechanics of how it wall worked. I wasn't confused at all about the how and just like many of the characters, I was longing for an answer to 'why'? I am excited to read the sequel, Enders. I hope that there will be more build up and development of the two main boys in the novel, Michael and Blake. (less)
A cute, fun choice for my first ever manga. My non-manga reading mind got some of the characters confused at first, but watching the anime helped stra...moreA cute, fun choice for my first ever manga. My non-manga reading mind got some of the characters confused at first, but watching the anime helped straighten that out. What's up with the author including blurbs about her (his?) own life at the beginning of each chapter?! I'm a fan. 4/5 stars
I really liked Insurgent, despite being confused out of my mind for the majority of the book. I was so confused at the start of this book that I had...more I really liked Insurgent, despite being confused out of my mind for the majority of the book. I was so confused at the start of this book that I had to view Roth's blog post: But I Read Divergent A Year Ago! which was super helpful in reminding me how Divergent ended since it had actually been more than a year since I had read it. Once I read her blog post I had to start the book over and re-read the first 40 pages, this time with a little less confusion. The characters were still really awesome and we got to see a continuation of character development with our main cast in this book. I really liked the majority of the characters and I thought that they all fit into their roles perfectly. I was pretty pissed off at Tris at several points in the book, and especially at several of the choices that she made and a lot of her reasoning behind her actions and decisions. She is Dauntless after all, though, so I suppose I can't stay too mad at her for too long. I liked how we got to see the humanity of Tris in this book. She is a Dauntless girl in the middle of a factions war, and yet she still spends a great deal of the book feeling guilty about killing someone who was threatening her life. I appreciate Four for the role that he plays. He does a great job as the male lead. I do hope that we get some more from him in Allegiant. I want to know more about him, his back story and his inner thoughts and motivations. Even though I loved the main characters, one of the most annoying things about this book for me was the secondary characters. Roth included an enormous cast of characters in this book and I found it incredibly difficult to keep track of all of them. I wasn't sure who was good and who was evil and who I was supposed to root for and who I was supposed to thumb my nose at and who was born into what faction and who switched to what faction and why. Too much! The pacing of the book was excellent. This is a long book (525 pages) but it passed very quickly and I was genuinely surprised when it ended; I had thought I had at least 100 pages to go! I did read this book on my Nook so perhaps that helped quite a bit with my not realizing how long it was. Despite the actual length of the book, it flew by and I think that this was mainly due to all of the action that took place. It seemed that every time I sat down with the book there was a battle scene resulting in an emotionally heavy outcome. These books are dystopian done well and Roth continues the excellency of the world building. There did seem to be some redundancy of action to me which only added to my confusion at times. I feel like perhaps those extra scenes could have been left out. It was still a fabulous book that I thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend. I viewed the second teaser trailer for the Divergent movie on YouTube last night while G was in the computer room and he watched it over my shoulder and he seemed really intrigued. I think it might have gotten him thinking about reading the books before I drag him to the movie. The trailers look great so far and I highly approve of the casting for this movie. I can't wait for March! Oh, and I decided I'm pretty sure I would be in Amity, even though they do dress like Ronald McDonald.(less)