I think I liked this one even less than Cinder. I just find this whole series so juvenile. I think the problem might actually be with the narration ofI think I liked this one even less than Cinder. I just find this whole series so juvenile. I think the problem might actually be with the narration of the audiobook. Rebecca Soler is a good narrator in that she keeps my attention and gives each character a distinct voice and personality. But she's too good at sounding like a teeanger. Her heroines all sound like annoying little twits and I can't decide if the fault is with Meyer's writing or Soler's narration. I will say, though, that Soler's Scarlet has the weirdest accent. I think she's supposed to sound French, except she just sounds like she has a speech impediment that comes and goes.
I'm assured that Cress is far better than the other two, so I'm going to give it a chance (also because I've already bought it). But I'm going to read it instead of listen to it. Maybe the girls won't be as annoying in my head as they are in my ears....more
2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because the audiobook kept me entertained while I cleaned.
I recently admitted to YA romance being a bit of a guilty pleasure2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because the audiobook kept me entertained while I cleaned.
I recently admitted to YA romance being a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. And usually, it is. But there's this thing that some YA authors do where they make their heroine such a Special Snowflake that the hero can't help but fall in love, and flirts with the Special Snowflake, who has absolutely no idea why said hero is paying them attention. These Snowflakes are Special, and they are dense.
Cinder may be the Specialest Snowflakiest of them all. She's a cyborg. But wait! There's more! She's also (view spoiler)[ Lunar (from the moon)! But not just any Lunar, she's the FREAKING PRINCESS HEIRESS SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE! Only she can stop the evil Queen Levana from taking over the world! Only she holds the key to curing a worldwide plague! Only she can make the Prince swoon (hide spoiler)]! I marked that as a spoiler even though anyone with half a brain can see it coming from light years away.
I know this book is YA, so my next comment may seem really obvious, but I found this book so juvenile. I've read a lot of YA fiction that didn't seem so childish to me. I actually pictured this in my head as a Saturday Morning Cartoon, like Pokemon or Power Puff Girls. I pictured the android servant as Rosie from the Jetsons and Prince Kai with spiky hair like a dark-haired Link and Peony with big anime eyes and a Sailor Moon hairstyle.
Also, it's set in "New Beijing" but other than one part where they eat dumplings with chopsticks, there is nothing Asian about this. It's very, very Western in feeling and another reviewer hit the nail on the head when she said that Meyer missed an opportunity to delve into the sociopolitical ramifications of all of Asia becoming the Eastern Commonwealth and being ruled by a Chinese emperor. WWIV is alluded to, but no word on what caused it or who exactly the vitors were or how they won.
Still, I give points for the originality of the concept. Cinderella as a cyborg who loses her bionic foot instead of her shoe is actually pretty clever.
I'm told the books get better as the series progresses so I'm willing to stick with it, but this is low on the list of best YA series for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ok, I'm about to let you in on a secret. I'm a sucker for teen romance. It's my guilty pleasure. Not the sparkly-vampire-romance, but the John Green/ROk, I'm about to let you in on a secret. I'm a sucker for teen romance. It's my guilty pleasure. Not the sparkly-vampire-romance, but the John Green/Rainbow Rowell types of romance. There's just something so sweet about the innocence of first love, when holding hands and kissing is a big deal.
This is a book of three interconnected short stories, each by a different YA author. The first was cute and sweet, the second was as good as any of John Green's full-length novels, and the third was the weakest of the three but tied them all together in what felt like a rushed ending.
Easter egg: In John Green's story, when Tobin says his one book to bring on a deserted island would be The Book Thief. John Green and Markus Zusak are good friends and it's adorable to see how they support each other.
3.5 stars. Could have been 4 if I had liked the last story better. ...more
I really liked this book even though I found the ending implausible. It's nice to believe that kindness would win in the end, but middle school rarelyI really liked this book even though I found the ending implausible. It's nice to believe that kindness would win in the end, but middle school rarely works that way....more
This story is, on the surface, about a nerdy girl who finds love. But really, I think it's about more than that. It's about how we cope. Cath isn't aThis story is, on the surface, about a nerdy girl who finds love. But really, I think it's about more than that. It's about how we cope. Cath isn't a Simon Snow nerd just because. She writes for the same reason her twin sister drinks: escapism. Her mom left her when she was 8, and her dad is bipolar, and writing about Simon Snow and his world is a way for her to escape all of that. Cath shows some signs of mental illness as well. She suffers from severe anxiety and fear of abandonment which manifests in social awkwardness, food issues, and even some OCD-like syptoms (like getting up in the middle of the night to check that the front door is locked).
Some reviewers have complained about how fandom is portrayed in this book, saying that she's a caricature of nerdy girls because she is so socially awkward. But I disagree. Cath isn't awkward because she's a nerd, she's a nerd because she's awkward. Her mental health issues come from her childhood trauma, and the fangirl nerd thing is just how she copes.
I really liked the characters - especially Levi - but this book isn't without its flaws. The Simon Snow stuff was really awful. Like, seriously bad. There is no way that would have as big a following as Harry Potter. The spells aren't spells at all, they're adages. It was clever how Rowell nods to both Harry Potter and Twilight, and the whole fanfic subculture of straight girls writing about gay heroes (Draco/Harry, Harry/Ron, Sherlock/John, etc.). But the Simon Snow stories themselves were just crap. Skip 'em, as they have nothing to do with the actual plot. And pray that Rainbow Rowell doesn't ever write fantasy. Stick to squishy teen romance, Rainbow! That's your strong suit!
Other than that, though, I really liked it. I hope these semi-resolved endings aren't a regular thing for Rowell, though. It would be nice to actually know what happens to people sometimes....more
I see what you did there, Tim Tharp, by writing a first-person POV wherein the protagonist's problems are obvious to everyone - including the reader -I see what you did there, Tim Tharp, by writing a first-person POV wherein the protagonist's problems are obvious to everyone - including the reader - but himself. It almost reads as a "what not to do" manual. But the book, the story, and the connection of the characters are just blah. Instead of rooting for the lovers to live happily ever after, I kept wishing Aimee would get some self respect and a personality of her own rather than becoming the female Sutter....more
Full disclosure: I did not finish this book. But I listened to about 40% of it on audio, and that was enough for me to tell it was time to move on.
SamFull disclosure: I did not finish this book. But I listened to about 40% of it on audio, and that was enough for me to tell it was time to move on.
Samantha Shannon has been touted as The Next JK Rowling, and I do not think that comparison is fair. True, both women created new, fantastical worlds and my understanding is that The Bone Season will be a 7-book series, but that is where the similarities end. One of the things that worked so well with the wizarding world Rowling created is that it is seen through the eyes of a Muggle-born. So everything new and unfamiliar is explained to the reader, and exposition feels natural and necessary and not forced. In the world of The Bone Season, however, no explanaitons are given to the reader to set up this strange alternate Earth where clairvoyance is common, oxygen is the only legal drug, and spirits are used and seen by half the population. Where there are flashbacks and exposition, it seems to explain the wrong things. We learn about when Paige discovered her powers, for example, but not how she received them or why anyone has powers at all.
I'm also bored to tears with the Byronic-bad-guy-who's-so-mean-but-so-good-looking-and-his-little-woman-that-he-must-protect-and-so-now-he-isn't-so-bad-after-all-and-we-all-fall-in-love-with-him trope. Another reviewer referred to Paige as the "Special Snowflake" and that was spot on.
Obviously, since I couldn't finish this one, I won't be continuing with the series. I'll be returning it to Amazon immediately....more
I devoured this book. Five stars aren't enough. I could give it seven. I loved Park and my heart broke for Eleanor on every page. The teenage girl inI devoured this book. Five stars aren't enough. I could give it seven. I loved Park and my heart broke for Eleanor on every page. The teenage girl in me loved their love story, but what really made this book sing for me was Eleanor and her siblings. I loved it so much. ...more
A nice little supplement to the Delirium series. It doesn't really add a lot to the story until the last sentence, but it's a good set-up to the finalA nice little supplement to the Delirium series. It doesn't really add a lot to the story until the last sentence, but it's a good set-up to the final book, which Hana is in. ...more
This book is not bad, but it's not great, either. It isn't as good as Pandemonium. And the ending is terrible. It isn't really an ending at all, actuaThis book is not bad, but it's not great, either. It isn't as good as Pandemonium. And the ending is terrible. It isn't really an ending at all, actually. It just stops in the middle of the action. Blah. Also, it is an easy read that still took me a week to get through, because I kept getting distracted by shiny things. ...more
After having finished the book I can understand why the main character, Charlie, is emotionally stunted. But I still didn't care for his voice. I feltAfter having finished the book I can understand why the main character, Charlie, is emotionally stunted. But I still didn't care for his voice. I felt that he sounded and wrote much younger than a boy of 15 and 16, even an emotionally immature boy. I also, as I said in my status updates, didn't think that a boy of 16 would be so naive and innocent about sex.
I also had a hard time believing that this kid was growing up in 1991. I would have been just a year behind Charlie in high school, my freshman year being 1992/1993. And I can tell you, very few kids listened to The Smiths. The reference to Nirvana was appropriate, as was the almost god-like reverence people paid to Kurt Cobain, but I think Charlie's muscial tastes were meant to be another thing that showed us how "special" Charlie was. We did, however, go to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I give this book three stars because of the issues it raises about how we become who we are. There are several characters in this book who've experienced abuse, whether it was having a parent who hit them or an adult who molested them, and each character seems to "turn out" differently as a result.
It's like when my doctor told me the story of these two brothers whose dad was a bad alcoholic. One brother grew up to be a successful carpenter and never drank. The other brother ended up being a drinker as bad as his dad was. When they asked the first brother why he didn't drink, he said that after he saw what it did to his father, he could never bring himself to even try it. When they asked the other brother, he said that he guessed he learned how to drink on his father's knee. So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them....more
The thing is, I don't really care about Four. That isn't what makes these stories interesting for me. I know this was just written as a marketing toolThe thing is, I don't really care about Four. That isn't what makes these stories interesting for me. I know this was just written as a marketing tool for Insurgent, but I thought it was unnecessary and uninteresting. ...more