It's been a couple weeks since I've read this book, so my review might not be perfect and in depth.
The one thing that absolutely stands out about this...moreIt's been a couple weeks since I've read this book, so my review might not be perfect and in depth.
The one thing that absolutely stands out about this book is Logan. Oh my goodness. Hello, Logan! He is the definition of sexy. And he had this bad boy attitude, yet with a sensitive side that he tried to hide at all possible times, that built him up that much more. I thought that his relationship with Tate could be a little awkward at times. That's probably because I didn't overly love Tate, though. Discounting that slight hiccup, Logan made this story.
On a negative note, it seemed pretty far fetched for Tate to all of a sudden realize that he was gay. No, that doesn't sound right when I read it on the screen because that sort of stuff does happen. Let me rephrase: It wasn't far fetched that Tate realized he was gay so late in life, it was how quickly he acted on it after being so against it for like a week. I would have liked to see more of a building chemistry romance between Tate and Logan. Their actions and routines started to get repetitive within the story. Some editing and character building would have fixed that right up.
Another thing is that I thought there could have been more of a plot. Don't get me wrong, the sex was hot, but I really wanted to see more cute moments between Logan and Tate. Since Logan was such a strong character, I really wanted to see more of his vulnerability and more moments that made me want to grab my heart and swoon. There were moments like that! I just wanted a little bit more to the storyline.
Overall, I actually really enjoyed this book. I can't wait until the second book comes out this summer. It's definitely a hot and powerful read, and I dare you not to fall in love with these men!
I originally picked up Dark Companion for two reasons: the gorgeous cover, and the comparisons...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
I originally picked up Dark Companion for two reasons: the gorgeous cover, and the comparisons to Jane Eyre. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy some parts of the book, I was left mostly underwhelmed.
Things I liked:
The writing! It was really lovely and well-done, and had very Gothic, dark tones which appealed to me a lot. The book could definitely be a little creepy (and weird) at times, especially when the author was describing the gloomy, dreary school, but it worked. Sometimes it risked feeling a little too gloomy and drab, but all in all, the writing was a plus.
I also really enjoyed reading about some of the characters, with the exception of a few. Jane herself was kind of hit-or-miss with me…sometimes I felt myself empathizing and cheering her on, and sometimes I wanted to slap her upside the head (especially the way she let some of the others treat her). The best characters for me, however, was her best friend, Mary Violet, and the love interest, Jack. Mary Violet in particular was hilarious, with her quirky poetry and odd way of speaking/behaving. Jack was kind of an oddball, and while I’m not sure he’ll go into my list of favorite book guys, he was interesting and well-developed enough.
Things I disliked:
Lucien, or Lucky as he was called. Oh my gosh. He was so creepy, so abusive, and so weirdly possessive. I hated the way he treated Jane, and even worse, I hated that she let him! For a good chunk of the book she practically worships him, which I absolutely couldn’t stand, especially when his brother Jack was clearly the better choice.
Speaking of Jack, the romance wasn’t all that great either. Jane spends most of the book fixated on Lucky while ignoring the obvious signs that Jack is into her, in a kind of forced love triangle that didn’t really work (mostly since Lucky was a creep and clearly not a viable choice). And then when she finally does open her eyes and realize that Jack has been there all along…it feels really sudden and rushed. There was definitely some sweet moments between the two of them, but I just wasn’t feeling it, despite really liking Jack’s character.
And lastly, I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but basically the plot gets really weird really fast at a certain point, once Jane starts to figure out what Birch Grove’s big secret is. It was a little (okay, a lot) strange and I’m just not sure how much I’m willing to roll with it. Especially where Lucky is concerned, yuck! Again, I can’t say much…but I will say that it was definitely a little disturbing.
All in all, while there were some aspects of Dark Companion that I thoroughly enjoyed, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was a little too creepy in some parts and a little too bland for the rest of it. Some people might totally love it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.(less)
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. H...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
I’ll be the first to admit it…I haven’t been the hugest fan of Maggie Stiefvater in the past. Her Shiver series just didn’t do it for me, and I didn’t really enjoy any of the standalone novels she’s written either. So despite ravings on Tumblr and Goodreads about how amazing The Raven Boys was, I went into it pretty hesitantly and with low expectations…which were completely blown out of the water!
The Raven Boys is a pretty intricately woven story about a girl named Blue, a non-psychic born into a family of psychics. And for as long as Blue can remember, she’s been told that when she kisses her true love, it’ll kill him. That’s when she meets Gansey, along with the rest of his friends. He’s rich, a little condescending, and everything Blue despises, but something about him makes her want to know more. And then the adventure really begins, as she’s drawn into the crazy world of the Raven Boys, full of long lost kings, ancient Welsh mythology, psychic magic, leylines, and some unexpected romance too.
In case you couldn’t tell by the description, this book was like NOTHING I’ve ever read before. Props to Maggie Stiefvater, because she’s officially converted me to her side. There’s so much goodness about this book, I don’t even know how to begin.
I guess I’ll start with the characters! As the narrator of our story (somewhat, it’s told from multiple perspectives), I adored Blue. She’s feisty, quirky, sharp-tongued, and smart as hell. I think the best way to describe her is prickly, but with a heart of gold. The thing I loved the most about her was how she’d call people out on their BS…she didn’t take crap from anyone, no matter who you were. And the rest of the cast was just as flawless. The boys themselves each had such vivid, well-woven personalities that practically leaped off the page. They felt like real people to me, which was so wonderful. Adam was the most precious (and heartbreaking) character I’ve ever read about…he was so bitter and resentful, but so sweet and gentle at the same time. Ronan was fierce and cruel, but you could practically feel his dedication and protectiveness of his friends. Noah was so quiet that he practically became invisible among his boisterous friends, and I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket.
But oh my gosh, you guys. Gansey. Gansey. I’ve never loved a fictional character as much as I loved him. And I know I say similar things a lot, but I mean it this time. You know how sometimes you just connect with a character on such an emotional level? That was me and Gansey. I felt his pain, I understood what he was going through with his own internal demons, I cried over him. He was rich and privileged and a little bit oblivious to his own occasional tendency towards being condescending, but he meant well. He cares so fiercely for his friends and wants nothing more than to keep them all together and happy. He’s charming, smooth, but somehow down-to-earth at the same time. God, he’s just fantastic. He’s so incredibly real…but all of them are, really, and that’s what makes this book especially stand out.
The plot itself was the only tiny downfall. While it was fascinating and I had no idea what was going on…that was also the problem: I had no idea what was going on. Not for all of it, mind you, but there were definitely parts where I was like…umm…wait, what just happened? The thing was, it was so complex with so many different storylines that at times it felt like a bit much. BUT, by that point I was already so invested in the characters and the story that I didn’t even care!
All in all, this book is amazing. It’s hugely character-driven, which normally I don’t like, but you can’t not get invested in their lives and backstories. It’s also told from multiple points of view, which I also normally don’t like, but it worked in The Raven Boys. Please pick up this book immediately, guys, you won’t regret it! The plot is unique and full of magical goodness, the characters are utterly real and layered, and the writing is beautifully lyrical and sweeps you away.
This one is worth buying!
Look for my review of the second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, coming soon!(less)
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess tells the story of Ileni, a young sorceress who once was the most po...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess tells the story of Ileni, a young sorceress who once was the most powerful in all of the Renegai, but has begun to slowly lose her powers. Deemed somewhat useless by her society, she is sent to become the new magic tutor for a clan of assassins that live deep within the cavernous mountains of God-knows-where. Her goal is to find out what happened to the last two tutors before her time runs out, and despite the trauma of losing, essentially, her identity in the form of magic, she’s determined that only her own death will stop her from solving the mystery.
I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Death Sworn is ‘hmmm’. I’m kind of conflicted, because this is one of those books where 75% of it was fascinating and suspenseful, but it then kind of takes a nosedive in the last quarter. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I wish that it could’ve finished off what started as a very strong run a little stronger.
Not a whole lot happens in the plot itself, which takes place entirely within the labyrinth of caves where the assassins live and train. I mean, stuff happens. And it’s definitely exciting and full of action! But sometimes it felt a little less like a complete story arc and more like a bunch of disjointed events as Ileni struggles to stay alive among the assassins from day to day. Still, it was interesting enough, and I devoured the book pretty quickly. Plus, when the killer was finally revealed, I’m happy to say that I definitely didn’t see it coming!
The characters themselves were decent, but nothing special. Ileni was most definitely a very strong girl, both mentally and physically. She did whine a lot, but to me it felt less like whining and more like a young person going through the traumatizing experience of losing something that was once a part of her soul and identity. Still, there were times when I wished she would maybe just…not lament over it quite as much? And on top of that, she could be SO fickle, oh my goodness. I couldn’t even count how many times she went back and forth between being certain that Sorin was going to kill her and being certain that he’d never touch a hair on her head. Ditto between having a death wish and not caring whether she lived or died, and deciding to seize the day and live life to the fullest. Also I still wasn’t sure at the end whether she was still in love with Terris, the guy she leaves behind, or not?? His entire role in the story felt a bit useless and unnecessary, honestly.
As a male lead, Sorin was okay, but I couldn’t help but feel that their romance seemed a bit sudden in some parts. There’s definitely no insta-love or anything like that, but the shift from “We are enemies, though admittedly I am starting to care for you” to “You are a babe, let’s make out” seemed a bit quick. And then ugh, don’t even talk to me about his character development. I had so much hope! He started off as a killer with zero remorse or feelings, and it was so sweet watching him gradually start to think for himself and open up with Ileni…but then the ending happened and I just…ugh. I liked him, don’t get me wrong, but there were a few parts when I wanted to bash my head into the wall.
All in all, my feelings are pretty mixed about this one. I think it definitely is worth a read, just because the world-building is pretty awesome and it’s full of enough fast-paced action that you’ll get sucked in pretty quickly, but it probably won’t be going into my favorites list.(less)
Have you ever been around a handicapped person (either mentally or physically) and felt nerv...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
Have you ever been around a handicapped person (either mentally or physically) and felt nervous? Uncomfortable? Frightened? Disgusted? Maybe a little bit ashamed of yourself for feeling that way? If you have, don’t feel like the worlds worst person in the entire world. Chances are that most people have felt that exact way at least once in their life. The main character in Summer on the Short Bus, Cricket, feels that pain when she gets shipped off to a summer camp for handicapped children. To say she is uncomfortable and slightly disgusted is an understatement, and if she has her way she’ll be on the next ride out of freaksville.
Over time, Cricket begins to learn that being a little different doesn’t make you a freak or a weirdo. Yes, the kids at camp look different than she and the rest of the camp counselors do, but they are no less loveable or wonderful. They’re just like her on the inside. So what if they look different on the outside? Summer on the Short Bus is an eye opening novel that details just how important every human being is, whether “normal” or “abnormal”, and brings about the growth of one ignorant little girl and turns her into a believer.
This book….my goodness…….hmm…..powerful. That’s the word that I want to identify with this book. IT IS POWERFUL. And so freaking true! I’m ashamed to admit it (see first paragraph) but I also felt a little uncomfortable during my initial stages of this book. I felt uncomfortable reading about handicapped children. How awful of a person does that make me? The one thing that spurred me on and made me feel less like an asshat from Hell was Bethany’s constant message in this book that being afraid or uncomfortable around handicapped people does not make you a horrible person. It’s normal behavior. Quite frankly, it’s normal behavior because most people don’t experience that on a day to day basis. To put it frankly, handicaps are abnormal in today’s society as a whole and people fear the unknown. I’m happy to admit that I eventually grew to love every single member of that camp and wanted to hug every single one of them. It didn’t matter that they were handicapped or a little different! And that was the message that was constantly thrown in my face during this book. Those kids were normal people with a different outside. And I loved them. I loved this book. I loved the messages. Now look at me rambling.
The one thing that I wasn’t a big fan of (I lied, there’s actually two things) is the relationship between Cricket and Quinn. This book really didn’t call for a romance, and I felt that that whole thing kind of took away from the book. Not only were they super insta lovey, but I hated Cricket for 80% of the book (until she stopped being an utter bitch) and didn’t want to see her happy AT ALL. Their relationship took up a big chunk of the book that I thought should have been dedicated elsewhere. Another thing I didn’t overly like was the mystery that starts coming up toward the last half/end of the book. Again, it wasn’t really necessary and took away from the book. I thought that the whole thing should have been dedicated to the campers and Cricket’s growth. There were just a few too many different things going on in the story.
Summer on the Short Bus is a book that I would hand one of my students in a hot second. I think that it’s a book that every child should be forced to read for their own personal growth as human beings. Have you seen the way kids treat each other? Have you seen the way kids treat people, small or large, that have handicaps? HORRIBLY. That’s how they treat them. Believe me, kids will laugh at the handicapped children in this book at first, but they NEED to read/hear the messages that are repeated over and over in this book. This book is, yes, powerful. It’s also something that our society needs to read about. I loved this book. Screw the things I didn’t like….I just loved the overall message. More please!(less)
Despite the buzz that this book has begun to generate, I’m not going to lie…I was a little wa...moreOriginally reviewed on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Emma.
Despite the buzz that this book has begun to generate, I’m not going to lie…I was a little wary to pick up a copy. I haven’t had the best luck with angel books in the past, and I was concerned that this one wasn’t going to turn out any better. But you guys, I was SO wrong. Angelfall is honestly THE BEST book I’ve read in a really long time, and is now one of my all-time favorites.
The story is told from the point of view of Penryn, who’s living on the street with her crazy mother and disabled younger sister, trying to survive in a world destroyed by angels. Except these angels aren’t the caring, pious kind. Nope, these ones are savage, cruel, and honestly terrifying! They end up taking Penryn’s younger sister (for reasons unknown), and Penryn spends the rest of the book fighting tooth and nail to get her back, along with the help of an injured angel that she grudgingly forms a partnership with.
What really makes this book amazing is the perfect weaving of a dark and gritty apocalyptic world, combined with a cast of well fleshed-out characters. Penryn has got to be my favorite heroine, ever (yes, including Katniss!). Things are pretty grim for her with her sister kidnapped, her mother a little bit crazy, and her world destroyed, but she doesn’t complain. Not once. She knows what needs to be done and she does it, kicking major ass along the way. She’s definitely a tough cookie, but she doesn’t come off as a caricature either…she has her moments of weakness, which are both realistic and heartbreaking. But the best part of Penryn is that she doesn’t let a guy get in the way of saving her family. For once, this girl’s got her priorities in order. Saving her family, keeping herself alive…and then romance waaaay later. There’s no insta-love here. Her relationship with Raffe is a slow build, but oh man, that doesn’t mean there’s not lots of tension between the two of them!
And as for Raffe, the fallen warrior angel…oh my gosh. You will fall madly in love with him, guaranteed. He’s powerful, he’s strong…and he has a corny sense of humor too? Yeah, he was a surprise. I went in expecting a typical YA bad-boy type, but he absolutely blew me away. He’s snarky without being an asshole, dark without coming off as brooding, and just all around awesome. Ugh, Raffe.
All in all, guys, this book is an absolute must-read. The plot is incredibly unique and gripping, and trust me when I say that there’s a few things near the end that you will NOT see coming at all. It’s tragic, dark, gritty, humorous, and a little bit romantic. Susan Ee is a genius!
Go out and buy your copy of Angelfall immediately!(less)
What a cute contemporary read! Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas is filled of nonstop high school...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole
What a cute contemporary read! Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas is filled of nonstop high school drama, twists and turns, and adorable friendships and romances. It is the PERFECT read for contemporary lovers. I was a really big fan of the main character, Heart. She made me laugh out loud several times and just gave the book a laid back, snarky feel. It was definitely a relaxing and entertaining read! The supporting characters were equally as entertaining. I really felt like I was at a high school prom watching all of these unique personalities play out in front of my. Ask Again Later has a sort of Pivot Point by Kasie West feel in the sense that it goes back and forth between two different paths that Heart can take. For the most part I really enjoyed that, but there were times that I was like UGH…just stick to one path! It got kind of confusing at times, but it was fun to go back and forth of what could be. The relationship between Heart and Schroeder ( I think that’s how you spell his name) was absolutely stinkin adorable. I was a BIG FAN of that relationship. They were just so flipping cute! I can definitely see him making it on to top boyfriends lists at the end of the year. For me, personally, Ask Again Later was maybe a bit too young for my taste. The characters seemed a little younger than they were actually portrayed, and I often thought that this was more of an MG title than a YA title. I think it’s actually kind of a mixture of both. If I compare it to contemporary YA books as a whole, then I have to admit that Ask Again Later is definitely on the younger side of YA. It’s something that I could see younger kids and huge fans of contemporary YA reading. Ask Again Later is a book that could be read in an entire setting. It’s addicting and a feel good type of read. Definitely a book that sparked my interested and is making me say hmmm….maybe I’ll just pick up more of Liz Czukas’ books in the future!(less)
It really upsets me that I didn’t end up liking this book. There really wasn’t anything wr...moreOriginally reviewed on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
It really upsets me that I didn’t end up liking this book. There really wasn’t anything wrong with it story and writing wise. My problem lied with the kids being the main attraction of the story and the haunting truth behind human behavior. As an adult, I was beyond freaked out at the harsh abuse that these children were exhibiting. It was even more creepy with the thought in the back of my mind saying that kids really would act like that in that type of situation. It’s only human nature. It was just too harsh for me, though. I found no enjoyment from reading this type of series. Most of all, I found it to be really upsetting and disturbing .
I can definitely see why this series is so beloved and talked about. Grant’s writing is both powerful and moving. There really wasn’t anything to complain about writing or style wise. It really just came down to how much I could personally handle.
The characters were interesting, but I didn’t really latch on to any single character. I only made it 35% into this book before I had to stop so there was still a lot of time for character development that I just didn’t get around to see. Around the part that I quit reading there was a no twist being introduced that I think might have definitely increased the entertainment level.
One thing I did enjoy about this book was the take on powers and an almost Harry Potter vibe with kids and magic. I think that I would have responded to that twist better if I hadn’t already been so upset with the book. However, the powers themselves seemed to lead to even more destructive behavior between the children, which automatically turned me off.
In my personal opinion, this is a book that is going to appeal more to younger readers than adults. I only say that because I don’t think younger readers will be so terrified at the actions of the children like an adult will be. However, I’m looking at my Goodreads page and I see a ton of people LOVED this book. Maybe I’m the only wimp around here. It’s not a book or a series that I will be continuing, but I would definitely recommend that people check it out because of how powerful the writing is.
Fans of the TV series Under the Dome should give this series a chance!(less)
I HATED Anna. HATED HER! She was such a goody two-shoes. She was SO against drugs and alcohol and doing anythin...moreDNF. This book was absolutely horrible.
I HATED Anna. HATED HER! She was such a goody two-shoes. She was SO against drugs and alcohol and doing anything bad. Honestly, it felt less like I was reading about the character and more like the author was trying to set an example for younger kids. There's nothing wrong with that message, but it was over the top.
The book was also super religious for my taste. Again, nothing wrong with that, but that's not something I want to read about.
Kaiden was interesting, but I found the whole sex thing going on with him kind of intense and weird. I also didn't like the chemistry between him and Anna, probably because I couldn't stand Anna. So maybe I would have liked him more with someone else.
It doesn't shock me that I didn't like this book, because I have the biggest problem with angel/demon books. I thought that it was way over the top and choppily done. I quit reading around 40% of the way through. (less)
When I first started reading Sing Sweet Nightingale, I was on the fence. The whole concept o...moreOriginally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.
When I first started reading Sing Sweet Nightingale, I was on the fence. The whole concept of the main character, Mariella, not speaking and traveling to a dream world run by demons every night was a little odd. It definitely took me awhile to decide what I thought of it. Honestly, I wanted to DNF it at first, but I’m glad I didn’t! After I pushed through 50 or so pages of weirdness it actually started to get pretty good!
I enjoyed the adventure and slight paranormal aspect to Sing Sweet Nightingale. I like Hudson’s character most of all and how he was sent to save Mariella from this dream world. I didn’t overly love the concept of “boy comes in to save the day and rescue girl” but I enjoyed how it played out at the end. I wish that there would have been a slightly bigger paranormal theme going on. Maybe some mystical powers or a couple more bigger showdowns would have really brought the book to life.
Another thing that I enjoyed about Sing Sweet Nightingale was the lack of romance going on. I found it refreshing that it wasn’t all about Mariella and Hudson getting it on from page one. Really, there was barely any romance going on throughout the whole thing. I did find the ending a little odd with Mariella and Hudson. Where did THAT come from? But I enjoyed the chemistry between all of the characters and the overall fun quality to it.
The dream world that both Mariella and Hudson traveled to was beautifully unique. It takes quite some talent to create the visuals and coolness that Cameron created. Again, it was a little weird to read about, but I was a big fan of it! I found that world to be very interesting!
Overall, I did enjoy reading Sing Sweet Nightingale. Again, I wish there would have been a slightly bigger paranormal theme going on, but I found it to be a fun read. I’m interested to see what Cameron will come up with next!(less)