The beginning of Moon Spell was without a doubt incredibly intriguing and mysterious. I wanted more and more of the storyline and the secrets revealedThe beginning of Moon Spell was without a doubt incredibly intriguing and mysterious. I wanted more and more of the storyline and the secrets revealed. You can tell that there are so many secrets that will keep you guessing even after only reading a few pages. I felt bad that Caia knew so little, especially when it came to things that pertained to her. Usually this would bother me since those with the knowledge are keeping it hidden for the character's 'own good' and this drives me batty. Moon Spell was just so densely completely woven with secrets that I never minded, I only wanted to know more as soon as possible!
“Yvana,” Lucien’s voice rumbled darkly in warning. Caia had never heard him use that tone before, but she was still too shocked by Yvana’s reaction to look at him. She was caught in this woman’s bleak gaze. What had she done to her? “Griffin died because of your parents... because of you.” Yvana was standing up now, trembling with anger and grief.
I loved Moon Spell's lore and how it incorporated the Greek gods into the supernatural. It was such an interesting idea and I love stories that involve mythology in any way. Young didn't just adopt them into the lore and then drop them either. Caia regularly used them in her language like how normal teens would use 'oh my god'. I found that to be extremely clever and well done.
No. Uh-uh, Haaades no.
Caia is really hard to describe personality-wise. As far as paranormal goes, she's the first character I've read about that isn't hotheaded, brave, dangerous... some mix of typical werewolf, vampire etc traits. Caia is quiet, unassuming, a loner (but not in an 'I hate everything' kind of way, more of a peace seeking type). To be honest I thought she was completely without personality at first. She goes along with everything, she doesn't make waves, she wasn't expected. I was wrong though, she doesn't need to be loud and constantly in the midst of the action to be her own person. As Irini said, Caia is gentle.
“According to our spy everything’s going perfectly well. She’ll be sending the information we need over the next few weeks.” “And Caia?” “Integrating into the pack. By the time we get the little bitch, the pack may actually mourn her.”
The multiple points of view (Caia's, Lucien's and the villain's) were a welcome surprise. I really liked getting into Lucien's head since Caia knew so little about what was going on. I also liked the quick glimpses into what was going on on the 'other side' too. I enjoy knowing what villains are up to and thinking but it's always ridiculous when they have a long monologue explaining everything at the end. Doing brief section in their POV was a great idea.
Something inside Lucien split open. With a shock of awareness that set him back on his heels, Lucien realised that all he wanted in this life … was to melt into the darkness with her.
Lucien was completely adorable, delicious, swoon worthy... I was so excited when Moon Spell even started hinting at a romance between him and Caia. It was a relief that his point of view was included because Caia is so unsure of how the pack operated and where she stood with Lucien that I would have worried for her otherwise. Instead I could just bask in all the sweet moments.
I loved, absolutely positively loved Moon Spell until the ending. I really don't want to give anything away but at the same time I could write out a page long rant. Why, Young?! Why would you do this to me!!?
When I first read the summary for Stained I was surprised by how similar it sounded to the CW's Supernatural (demon kills the parents in a house fire,When I first read the summary for Stained I was surprised by how similar it sounded to the CW's Supernatural (demon kills the parents in a house fire, character goes looking for vengeance and kills lots of demons along the way etc). That said, Stained and Supernatural do have those bare bones in common but they're completely different.
He got out when she’d been tear-free for a few minutes and approached warily. “Feeling better?” he asked, in a low voice that carried a hint of some distant, not-Southern accent. She nodded quickly, blinking away more tears. “Good.” Cayne nodded down at her, water rolling down his gorgeous chest. “’Cause I was thinking…”
I understand that Julia is a hormone driven teenage girl whose foster parents of several years just died but I got emotional whiplash in the beginning of Stained. One second Julia is bawling her eyes out and the next she's ogling Cayne's jade eyes, black vans and ...'statuesque' figure. I really liked Julia despite this though and she does settle down after a while. I found her power of healing to be interesting and her tragic past fit really well in this story. I wish the beginning hadn't been quite so bumpy with her but it wasn't anything that damaged her character or the book.
Other than Cayne's initial unwillingness to tell Julia anything about what was going on, which drove me up the wall but definitely tethered my interest because I needed to know what was happening, I loved his character. This is the first time I'd read about a character with the power of suggestion which was exciting for me. When the TV show Heroes was on I remember thinking how interesting it would be for a character to struggle with that power - whether it was morally right to use it, if they were evil how it'd be used etc. Stained didn't delve too much into it but I was still pleased to see something of that nature.
Cayne jerked as a bullet exploded out his back. Julia ducked as a second blast knocked him a step back. He didn’t let go of the gunman. Instead, his grip tightened, and the man’s neck snapped with a horrifying pop.
I wasn't entirely on board with Stained until the first real action scene occurred where Julia and Cayne are getting along and working together. James' action writing was superb. It was fast paced, perfectly staged so that I could picture exactly how things were happening etc. I'm glad that Julia reacted believably to the first few incidents but wasn't too dramatic about it. I hate it when characters, especially in YA, go from being regular people to action heroes as if it were nothing. Once things start getting explained (Cayne telling Julia about himself and more about what Samyaza is up to was revealed) the book was impossible to put down; it was just too exciting and addictive.
I was extremely unhappy with the ending of Stained. I can't even call it a cliffhanger, it was more like the book was left unfinished. I've said this more times than I'd like to but it applies here especially. I have no problem investing time and money into series; however, I'd like it to be out the series' own merit. I want the books to be so good that I need more. I don't want to buy the next book because the first one wasn't finished.
Catherine is a modern day retelling of Wuthering Heights. It has been 15+ years since I read Wuthering Heights so I read a complete summary of it. I rCatherine is a modern day retelling of Wuthering Heights. It has been 15+ years since I read Wuthering Heights so I read a complete summary of it. I remembered it being convoluted and depressing though; lots of people not marrying who they wanted to and living with the consequences. I don't believe I liked it when I originally read it. I'm a happily ever after sort of gal but I do have a fondness for classics so I was willing to give Lindner's retelling a shot. My review and rating aren't entirely fair to Lindner since, as a retelling, she's got a framework to work from. I can't fault her for sticking to unfortunate moments because they're important to Wuthering Heights but it doesn't change the fact that I disliked them again in her version. This would be the same case for anything. For example I could read the most beautiful and brilliant retelling of Old Yeller and I'd still want to tear the book apart and scream when it ended badly.
Knowing things didn't end well for Hence and Catherine before I began reading their chapters was one thing but actually suffering through them... it was miserable for me. Because of how the book was written (alternating points of view between Chelsea and Catherine), you know how bitter Hence is and that Catherine is missing and presumed dead from the get go. It was impossible for me to enjoy the blossoming friendship/relationship from Catherine's point of view knowing for sure what the outcome was. It would have been awkward but I wish that Catherine had been told more along the lines of the original, where the first part of the book is all one time period and then part two is jumped to the next.
“You should cut him a little slack. He may not be the easiest person in the world, but he’s earned the right to be a little moody.” A little moody? For a moment or two, I couldn’t speak. “Why?” “He’s a genius, for one thing. Riptide was one of the most important bands of the whole post-post-punk New York music scene. No—one of the most important bands in the history of rock music.” The passion in his voice startled me.
Chelsea's side of the story was difficult to read as well but for very different reasons. Every chapter was the same thing over and over for a large portion of the novel. Hence is so angry, don't upset him. Chelsea uses the internet to find answers. Cooper says he'll help but does a whole lot of nothing and somehow manages to take up several pages. It was frustrating to read.
Perhaps reading Wuthering Heights before reading Catherine would have made the book much better because I really liked the scene with Chelsea and the ghost which is one of the few specific scenes I remember from the original. Had I not directly remembered this scene from Wuthering Heights... I don't think I would have enjoyed it because of how out of place a ghost was in the modern story. This made me wonder how many of the other scenes that I judged harshly were actually direct adaptions from the book. It could be Brontë (and my memory) that I was most disappointed in.
This has to be a dream, I told myself. It can’t be real. But knowing that didn’t make me feel any less petrified. She wanted something—the girl at the window. Somehow I knew it was a she. The face drew back so that I could see her large desperate eyes, her untamed hair, and her moving lips, enunciating three syllables I couldn’t make out at first. But she repeated them over and over until I got it and said them along with her: Let. Me. In.
I don't like depressing, unhappy books. Color me confused when I found myself enjoying Catherine when things went horribly wrong near the end. I don't consider it spoilery since you know from the beginning that Catherine and Hence don't work out but as soon as Catherine and Hence started fighting and modern day Hence started losing it at Chelsea, I liked the book. I couldn't stomach the previous parts of the book because I knew nothing would come of it but I didn't expect to find myself enjoying the destructive aftermath of both situations.
Meyer has created such a unique blend of genres with her Lunar Chronicles series. It's truly amazing that everything works seamlessly together. The QuMeyer has created such a unique blend of genres with her Lunar Chronicles series. It's truly amazing that everything works seamlessly together. The Queen's Army was a wonderful example of this genre blend.
His breathing was becoming more and more difficult to soothe. “What’s going to happen to me? In the next . . . eight to twelve months?” She flashed a braggart’s smile. “You’ll become a soldier, of course.” She held up the small device again. With a tap, a holograph emerged, showing two rotating images. One, a young male, perhaps in his late teens. The other, a white wolf.
I was disappointed that The Queen's Army didn't return to Cinder as the narrator since the next novel, Scarlet, also focuses on another character and I'm not quite ready to give up Cinder's view point. The Queen's Army was quite interesting though and I really enjoyed a direct view of what the lunar queen was up to.
Z was an interesting mind to get in to. I couldn't help but feel for him and his plight. The one thing he wants is to never become a monster and yet... I really enjoyed the ending of the short story and I'm even more pumped to begin Scarlet.
A woman appeared inside the doorway, belting a quilted robe around her waist. “Girls, don’t suffocate your father. He’s had a long trip.” “Don’t listenA woman appeared inside the doorway, belting a quilted robe around her waist. “Girls, don’t suffocate your father. He’s had a long trip.” “Don’t listen to your mother, just this once. You can suffocate me all you like.” He kissed his daughters on the tops of their heads, then stood, keeping a firm grip on their hands. “Would you like to meet your new sister?” he asked, turning back to face the hover. He seemed surprised at the empty pathway behind him. “Come on out, Cinder.”
Having already read Cinder, Glitches was quite the treat. I absolutely adore Peony and was glad to see that she was always a sweetheart to Cinder. It's amazing how much these characters tore at my heart within only a few pages. It has been about a year since I read Cinder but they've all stuck with me. Just seeing Iko's name (the adorably personable android) made me grin.
“You won’t have to worry about me, then. I don’t think I can cry anymore.” She hesitated. “Maybe I never could.” “Is that so? How peculiar. Perhaps it’s a programming glitch.” She stared down into Iko’s single sensor. “A programming glitch.”
...Wow, simply wow. I was completely taken by surprise by Glitches. I was expecting a short read with nothing much going on. Glitches was... intense and contained so much of everything. To be honest I think Meyer broke my heart again from sadness and pure joy.
The beginning of Burning Blue was a little rough for me. I really liked Jay as a narrator – he was interesting and I loved his voice - but the way heThe beginning of Burning Blue was a little rough for me. I really liked Jay as a narrator – he was interesting and I loved his voice - but the way he told the first events as if he were there was distracting. He starts off by saying "From what I heard..." then goes on to say students were drenching Nicole in water after the incident, what the exact words she said were etc. I'm glad we got a clear picture of that huge moment considering acid being thrown in Nicole's face is the jumpstart to Burning Blue but it didn't make logical sense to me and it put a wedge between Jay and I. To be honest it made me suspect that he attacked Nicole which might have been Griffin's intention. I also wasn't a fan of Jay's 'future narrating' either. To me it's like giving spoilers away, it does nothing for me in the sense of heightening the anticipation since I find it so annoying.
"I had the opportunity to see him in action—see him by proxy rather, but I’ll get to that, to him, later."
"I should have figured it out right there. Nicole’s secret. Looking back, maybe I knew."
I really enjoyed that the attacker was communicating through email and that Jay was an adept hacker. Despite my slight narrating misgiving when it came to suspecting Jay, I liked that he seemed to be piling evidence against himself to start with (tech savviness, borderline obsession with Nicole, black outs, etc). Definitely enough to make you wonder if Jay is a lying narrator... haven't had one of those in a long time.
I absolutely loved how Griffin flawed and built his characters. A lot of the time, especially in YA novels, I find myself put off by the more flawed characters because they're often harsh stereotypes (for example a goth girl who no one understands with stringy dyed hair, loads of piecing, combat boots etc.) or just generally obnoxious. Griffin amazed me with his ability to skirt those stereotypes and actually create unique, flawed, believable teens.
Nicole's journals provided wonderful insight into her mind. It was really interesting to see her from Jay's point of view and then get into her own mind. I'm actually not crazy about multi-point of view books when there's a mystery involved but choosing to show Nicole's thoughts via her diary entries kept me in Jay's presence while giving me Nicole as well. I really liked that.
I'll admit that I picked this up after seeing a few people label it as romance. I'm a huge sucker for YA (non-angst) romance. I'm not sure I would haven given Burning Blue that label but the between friendship and romance relationship shared between Jay and Nicole was immensity satisfying and beautiful to follow.
The mystery... I loved how Griffin ended Burning Blue. The mystery was wrapped up beautifully with the perfect culprit. I never expected it but it made so much sense and I couldn't have been happier with how it ended. I feel a little guilty saying that but as a mystery lover it was just so great.
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 1½ stars.
Aint liking way book been written. Willo's 'voice' took me a very long time to acclimate tReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 1½ stars.
Aint liking way book been written. Willo's 'voice' took me a very long time to acclimate too and I'm honestly not sure I ever truly fell into the book like I feel like this writing style intended. I found myself constantly rereading things because I didn't understand what was trying to be said. I'm really torn on this; I can appreciate Crockett's choice to write the way Willo thinks and speaks because it feels more authentic, but I didn't enjoy it. It's like how people see movies that were nominated for Oscars and think 'yeah, these are amazingly well done' but no one enjoys them.
I think this book will be hugely popular for the right niche. I can't stand the books selected for Oprah’s Book Club, but tons and tons of people obviously do. After the Snow would actually fit nicely as one of those books. I guess a better way to describe it is by comparing After the Snow to five star restaurant food; it's exotic, rich, probably amazing to people with refined taste. However, I'm an unidentifiable meat kind of girl; give me a bologna and cheese sandwich and I'm happy. After the Snow has literary merit and will probably win some crazy awards but I just didn't enjoy it. It wasn't fun for me to read. After the Snow reminded me a lot of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, which I found to be an powerful read but didn't enjoy a single moment of.
Willo and I had a love/hate relationship going. Most of the time I couldn't connect with his character at all. Willo struggled with emotion, big time. He couldn't identify what he was feeling and often times decided that it didn't matter or that he felt nothing. This was a problem for me when he mentions his 14 year old sister having a child with a creepy old man and when he stumbles upon two starving children who have someone he believes to be their father dead in the shed. I liked seeing him eventually struggle with both of those issues but because he originally didn't care, I found myself hating him. Willo also wears a dog skull on his head and the dog 'talks' to him. Most of the time I found this disturbing but a few times the dog ended up being my favorite 'character'. Willo is also incredibly bloodthirsty and not just for revenge against Geraint and the government. Willo constantly talks about his knife, killing animals and how much he wants a gun so that he can kill more. This is obviously a trait due to circumstance but it still upset me as someone who goes out of their way to help any and all animals.
The third and final part of the book almost made up for the first two. It was intense and interesting. Full of deception, betrayal and action. It broke my heart too. I knew the book would depress me after reading the very first chapter but I still had a smidgen of hope. I won't say anything more because there's plenty of different things I could be sad about and I don't want to spoil the book but I do want to say that the depressing, ominous feeling you get at the beginning of the book stays with you and you aren't wrong. You're right, horribly right....more
Intense... addictive... aliens! Obsidian quickly turned my brain into mush from sheer awesomeness. All I wanted to do was sit and read. Feeling thirstIntense... addictive... aliens! Obsidian quickly turned my brain into mush from sheer awesomeness. All I wanted to do was sit and read. Feeling thirsty? Psh thirst is for sissies. Must. Read. Faster!
Daemon glanced over at me, his lip curling. If I still held the spade, I might've chucked it at his head. “They're your friends, Dee. They’re like you. You don’t need to be friends with someone…someone like her.” I’d kept quiet up to that point, because I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t want to say anything that might upset Dee. Dickhead was her brother, after all, but that— that was way too much. “What do you mean, someone like me?” He tilted his head to the side and let out a long breath.
I absolutely adored Dee. I hate it when the main character's friends end up as stereotypes or live to serve the main character and have no lives of their own. Dee was so full of life. She was a blast to watch in action and I loved reading about the reactions and emotion she pulled from Daemon. Daemon made quite the initial impressions. To be honest I love it when relationships start off with 'hate' or annoyance (as long as it doesn't last too long and isn't deep seated). I found him to be amusing the majority of the time but further into the book there were a few instances where Daemon's hot and cold actions bothered me (couch scene, anyone?). I understand that he has stunted boy feelings (ha!) as well as emotional alien and family reasonings but some of what he did was bordering on cruel.
Within a second, his hands wrapped around my throat and he squeezed. Before I had a chance, the last breath that I’d taken for granted was cut off. Panic clawed through my chest as I tried prying his fingers off my neck, my legs kicking out in a vain attempt at freedom. His grip dug into my fragile windpipe.
So... what can't Armentrout do? I'm madly in love with her characters and writing style. I can't get enough of the premise and story itself. How about the action scenes? I was on the edge of my seat and holding my breathe for each and every one of them.
I wanted to shrug off the nagging feeling that they were hiding something. I hadn’t forgotten Dee’s weird aversion to me going to the library. Or the strange light I’d seen outside the library that reminded me so much of the light in the woods, when I’d seen the bear and passed out, something that I’d never done before in my life.
I really enjoyed the mysterious quality to the start of Obsidian. I'll admit that I can be impatient and prefer it when authors jump right into letting their characters know 'the good stuff' but Katy's suspicions and deductions were really well done and fun to read about. I also think that keeping the mystery to Dee and Daemon allowed them to be more than just their 'species'. We were able to learn their personalities instead of just what they can do.
YA and I have a love/hate relationship. I was never a 'teen girl'; I never participated in drama, cattiness or any shenanigans like it. So many YA books with amazing stories are ruined for me because I hate the angst and headaches that come with their characters. I keep on giving them a chance though because there are some seriously amazing YA novels out there, in fact many of my favorite books are YA. I will be eternally grateful to Armentrout for Katy. We saw some drama with the secondary characters but Katy handles everything so well that I just wanted to maul her with hugs. I loved that when she felt hurt by something Dee did she just talked to her about it. Plus one for maturity!!
The plot for Obsidian was fabulous. I really don't want to write much about it since specifics aren't revealed until much later in the book but I did was to say that the story definitely wasn't neglected. It was amazing, stand out, intense... all those good things and more.
From the very beginning Brightest Kind of Darkness reminded me of a way better version of FReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
From the very beginning Brightest Kind of Darkness reminded me of a way better version of Final Destination. They aren't even similar in the beginning, at all. However, just one thing Nara said got the comparison stuck in my head and I was unable to let it go. Nara mentions trying to alter what happened in her dream when she was young, a girl breaking her arms on the monkey bars, by inviting her to play with sidewalk chalk. Instead of the broken arm, the girl ends up with a blood clot from a rogue baseball. Changing fate is a dangerous thing and yet Nara knows she has to risk it again in the opening scenes of the novel. Because of this past horrific experience, I was so proud and endeared to her from this moment on because reporting a bomb should be an obvious choice but Nara knows first hand that it isn't. I don't want to say too much, but I was so pleased with myself when Nara made a discovery a little more than halfway into the book. My stupid comparisons are genius.
Nara was such a refreshing teenager to read about. She was genuinely a good person; it's so rare to read about a character like her especially in YA. She wasn't sickly sweet or full of fake kindness either. I like realistic characters and as someone who is kinda sorta prone to grudge holding, I find those types characters easier to identify with. Nara was effortlessly easy to sympathize with and understand, and she was real. Her volunteering at an animal shelter is what helped me make that special reader-character connection. I volunteer with horses and handicapped kids/adult so I have a special respect for others that donate their time. It's not easy and it's usually thankless; if you only do it for yourself, you won't last more than a few weeks before it burns you out. I don't like saying it because it always annoys me when it is or isn't attributed to a celebrity, but I have to admit that Nara is a great role model. She's certainly someone I admire.
For quite a good portion of Brightest Kind of Darkness I had no idea what to make of Ethan. We're given little snippets of information that all contradict what Nara seems to be feeling. For example we see his drawings of a demon eating flesh and he's described as a troubled loner. All of Nara's first descriptions of him had me feeling pretty blah about him, I'll admit that I can be shallow when it comes to heroes though. However, Nara tells us she feels safe around him etc. I liked having conflicting feelings about Ethan instead of being pulled into an instant love situation where I've either got to love him along with the heroine or else the book isn't nearly as enjoyable.
Brightest Kind of Darkness is an amazing, intense read. Even when it was 6AM and hadn't slept yet, I couldn't seem to put it down....more
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Sylvie Davis went from living her dream as youngest principal dancer ever for The AmericanReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Sylvie Davis went from living her dream as youngest principal dancer ever for The American Ballet Company to recovering from a career ruining injury at her cousin Paula's home in Alabama. The family home isn't exactly what Sylvie had been anticipating. For one, it's in the middle of nowhere, certainly not the New York City lifestyle she's used to. It's also more of a mansion and is in the process of being turned into a bed and breakfast. Sylvie's quiet 'planned' vacation gets disrupted when she discovers she'll be sharing the house with many other people including two men who've caught her interest which is a first since The Accident. Normal problems aren't all that Sylvie has to deal with, however. She's convinced she might be going crazy, or at least has an overly active imagination, when she keeps seeing and hearing people that aren't there.
Sylvie was dealt a shitty hand, what with her leg breaking which prevented her from her greatest passion, her mother's recent marriage to a shrink, being shipped off to a relative she doesn't know etc. It was difficult listening to Sylvie’s pain and unhappiness but Clement-Moore gave her a subtle strength that, while I could never pinpoint quite where I felt it coming from while reading, was always enough so that I never felt myself being brought down by what Sylvie has gone through. Instead I felt hopeful knowing that she would make the best of things and triumph. I'm the biggest baby when it comes to depressing or angsty subject, I try to avoid them as much as possible because reading to me is always for pleasure. I liked that I was able to visit darker topics and be touched by them in The Splendor Falls yet remain optimistic. It was very clever writing on Clement-Moore's part and I would be more than happy to read other books from her solely because of this writing.
The Splendor Falls is riddled with teenage problems and familial dysfunction, two topics that I almost always find annoying despite its omnipresence in young adult fiction. For once I wasn't even slightly irritated to find them present. Instead I was so involved in Sylvie’s voice and story that they became new challenges, challenges that I didn't mind and enjoyed seeing our heroine fight against as well as learn to adapt to. Clement-Moore wrote the topics perfectly to my tastes, almost as if she altered them specifically for my reading. Not once did I eye roll or groan out of frustration. I was instead flipping pages and devouring the book as quickly as possible, not once letting teen specific issues and family problems hinder my enjoyment.
I really enjoyed the Rhys and Shawn 'struggle' throughout the book. I hate love triangles, I swear their sole purpose is to annoy me. That said, there's a huge difference between love triangles and love rivals. Rhys and Shawn are love rivals. To me the difference between the two is very clear. Love triangles are about the will they, won't they tension, the infatuation and attraction and pretty much the drama of who to choose. Love triangles often aren't necessary to the story and are almost exclusively found in young adult novels, which is fitting as it isn't mature. Love rivals on the other hand are about the characters and usually aids in character growth and self 'awareness' for the main character. It is also typically integral to the story because one of the rivals is either motivated by something involving the plot or whatever happens between the three characters causes some shift in how the plot flows. Wow... anyway that's the end of my rant on love triangles and rivals. I'm so glad The Splendor Falls received the rivals treatment.
I very much enjoyed reading The Splendor Falls. I thought contemporary and history were woven together beautifully with the paranormal binding them. Plot-wise the book could probably have been cut in half but I actually enjoyed how lengthy of a read it was. I found the level of detail and some of the more mundane events to be very fitting to the story. When I think of the south, I think more laid back and easygoing. I believe how this story was told represented that quite well, especially when you know the characters. If Sylvie and Clement-Moore has shared only the fast-paced version, it would have felt rushed and wouldn't have worked nearly as well as how it was actually told. Also the ending was superb, more powerful and satisfying than I could ever have hoped for....more
Cinder had one of the most exciting, interesting and unique opening lines, chapter... everyReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Cinder had one of the most exciting, interesting and unique opening lines, chapter... everything that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. If the first chapter didn't suck you in and swallow you whole, maybe you were reading an imposter because I was utterly powerless to resist. And I actually did try to resist. I bought Cinder but planned on reading another book first. I only wanted to take a peek into Cinder... annndd instead I ended up reading the whole thing as soon as humanly possibly.
I loved all of the new twists and turns that aren't in the Cinderella I'm familiar with (Disney, anyone?) but also loved the hints at the original story. Iko as Cinder's 'helper mice' was my favorite. The plague was an especially interesting addition and gave the story an even grittier feel than it already had as a cyborg living in a post-war world. I also liked the cyborg draft that came with that and Cinder's conflicting emotions because of her sister. It definitely made the reader have to step back and consider that gray area between right and wrong. The draft was horrifying, especially the public's reasoning behind it, but at the same time we are left with the question 'does the end justify the means if it saves the lives of so many dying people'.
I fell madly in love with all of the characters especially Cinder, Iko and Kai. I liked how strong and distinctive they were. They were actually real; they had fears and doubts and wishes. I really enjoyed how were we never told 'who' these characters were explicitly, but by the end of the book 'knew' them completely. Cinder is one of the best female heroines I have ever read about. Her 'making' her own magic was especially important to me, as was the fact that she relied on herself rather than sit and cry like the Disney version.
I loved the ending. Normally I hate cliffhangers but I found Cinder to be tied up just enough to satisfy me yet make me long desperately for Scarlet. Don't pick up the book and expect and quick, fun read. I loved the book to pieces but certain parts destroyed me. I cried several times, I got so angry and was ready to bite off the heads of anyone who dared interrupt my reading etc. Cinder was a very powerful book. I enjoyed it immensely but I don't think I could ever call it a 'just for fun' read....more
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Sam can't believe his eyes. One moment he's daydreaming about surfing while his history teReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Sam can't believe his eyes. One moment he's daydreaming about surfing while his history teacher drones on and on then the next moment, the teacher is gone. Poof. Sam's sure that he's imagining things until he finds out that everyone over the age of fourteen is gone. Sam has much more to worry about than missing adults and older siblings though, he's concerned that he might be the cause due to inexplicable mutation he's undergoing and what happens when he turns fifteen in less than two weeks. Bullies have taken over and he knows that if anyone found out or even suspected what he was capable of doing, they would kill him because he wouldn't be the first death or the last.
Gone was nothing short of an amazing, adrenaline fueled read. There wasn't a single moment of downtime for the characters I came to love. Every character, even the minor ones who occasionally got their chance to tell the story (loved that!), was a unique individual with their own flaws and problems. I knew all of the characters like they were kids I'd gone to school with. I've never read a book where I knew the thoughts, motivations, feelings of so many characters. I also loved that every one of them had realistic reactions to the crisis yet they all reacted differently.
Gone was constantly surprising me in all aspects. It would have taken a psychic to be able to guess what would happen in this book. I loved being taken on this ride and not knowing how it would end or what would happen along the way.
I'll probably sounded disturbed when I say this but I loved the violence in this book. I think the violence is what will make or break Gone for you. If you have a weak stomach or want sunshine and rainbows, this read is not for you! Imagine having scenes of limbs being sawed off or a description of gangrene setting in because tissue is dead. Yeah, they both happen and I was cringing the whole time but I couldn't get enough. Grant wasn't afraid to force the reader to see the reality of a situation like this, and I couldn't love him more for it.
I only had two minor complaints and they're personal issues for me that you may actually like or at least not mind. The dorky cool slang made me roll my eyes every time I encountered it. It didn't add to the believability that these were kids who talked like kids because I often found myself thinking 'who in their right mind would say that?!' Slang was mostly confined to the beginning of the book though. The religious talk and allusions also bugged me. This is a YA/MG/children's lit pet peeve of mine. I don't like adults who foist their religious beliefs onto impressionable children. Grant isn't doing that in Gone but it still managed to push my buttons a little bit.
Gone was a better roller coaster ride than I could ever hoped or asked for. I've already got Hunger ready to read and I hope my fingernails survive the saga....more
I was really worried right from the start of Six Moon Summer. Rylie is staying at a three month long summer camp where she has no friends and has no iI was really worried right from the start of Six Moon Summer. Rylie is staying at a three month long summer camp where she has no friends and has no interest in making any. In general I hate boarding school stories because of how much drama and cattiness they breed; summer camp has the same feel as a boarding school. There's enough angst in real life, I don't have much interest in reading about it in depth. That said, the story started off with me worrying and finding it angsty in another way. I didn't know Rylie well enough to like her but I felt intense pity for her in the beginning. Rylie's parents are in the midst of a divorce and my impression is they want her at camp to keep her out of the way not to spare her any of the ugliness.
Rylie considered the words with a frown. Camp could be interesting, I guess. Maybe if I see it as a learning thing instead of a punishment for the divorce...?
At about a quarter of the way into Six Moon Summer, I still had no idea how I felt about the book up to that point. Rylie was... unlikable. I originally felt sorry for her and I understood where her anger and hostility came from (her situation and the oncoming werewolfism). However, she was just as drama seeking and petty as the other campers that she hated. She was constantly nasty and feeling sorry for herself yet they were situations she'd gotten herself into. I found myself enjoying the idea of the book a lot but it wasn't going to be enough as the story continued.
Why had Rylie, of all people, been bitten? She was going to become a wolf at the end of summer, and she hadn't done anything to deserve it.
He nodded. “The library is in the back room. Kids aren't allowed.” "No wonder, if they've got stuff on werewolves,” Rylie muttered. “How do we get in?”
I did a whole lot of my own suspension of disbelief in Six Moon Summer but was too farfetched. I love paranormal/fantasy so the werewolf aspect wasn't my issue. I had a problem with the counselors having secret werewolf books, Seth being the one to guide her and always showing up at exactly the right moment/knowing everything (some of the Seth stuff eventually gets explained but it doesn't change the fact that it was 100% ridiculous and unbelievable until you get to that point and Rylie eats it up), Rylie's constant rule breaking and general obnoxiousness not getting her kicked out or some sort of real punishment until far down the line... I couldn't immerse myself into a novel when I don't find anything believable.
I was not a fan of how werewolves were tackled in this book. I like books where werewolves are the dark heroes typically, but them being evil is okay too. In Six Moon Summer they aren't really either... they're rabid animals. This is very much a personal preference thing. Reading a different take on werewolves was refreshing and interesting but it wasn't something that I enjoyed.
Rylie was horribly whiny, constantly feeling sorry for herself when she was the cause of her problems, and frankly she wasn't a nice person. I don't see how any of her 'friends' liked her. She claims Cassidy was a close enough friend to risk getting into trouble by sneaking her out yet all I saw was her avoid Cassidy in a mean way and use her.
“That’s not fair!” Rylie complained. She never got to see Seth unless something was wrong. She wanted one chance to have fun before the summer ended. Her chin quivered as she tried not to cry. “Everyone else gets to go!” *She stole the counselors' car which resulted in privileges being taken away*
I actually liked the ending despite its bittersweet quality. I will probably give the next book in the series a try before I decide whether to continue on or give up.
This review was a little harsher than I intended it to be. I definitely didn't hate the book but Rylie pressed every button I have and apparently I had a lot to say about that. I would recommend Six Moon Summer to readers who like lots of action and can forgive a whiny heroine. Reine kept the book fast paced with very few quiet moments.
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 2½ stars.
I trapped myself when I read Frost. I went in knowing that I dislike boarding school atmosReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 2½ stars.
I trapped myself when I read Frost. I went in knowing that I dislike boarding school atmospheres and overly dramatic characters/plots but the idea of a YA psychological mystery that is possibly paranormal made me throw caution to the wind. Sadly, my frustration with aspects that I knew were going to bother me overshadowed everything else. I believe that readers who enjoy cattiness, drama and angst will love every page of Frost. Every little bit of it had me tearing hair out though which isn't fair to the author at all. Baer is a wonderful writer and had Frost not included everyday teenage behavior, I would have loved the book. I completely recognize that I'm putting the author in an impossible situation: no drama makes it not a believable boarding school and including drama drives me batty.
Celeste was an engaging character. I've definitely never encountered another quite like her. Some things about her were just so far out there, like the cockroaches, that I'd consider her ridiculous for a moment. Then Baer would do a complete turn about making Celeste completely believable and real like when her father is mentioned. I enjoyed that not only was Frost a psychological book on Leena's end, but psychology, illness and just plain eccentricity were included as well.
I thought it was amazing how well written each character was, especially Leena. None of the characters were similar to me or made choices that I would have in their situation but I could still sympathize with each of them. There were several times where I wanted to shake Leena for doing or saying something but after it was said and done, I felt sad, frustrated, upset etc. right along with her instead of my previous annoyance at her decision. A few times I even wished I had been there to defend her because her hurt was so palpable.
I wish Baer had chosen something else to make the spooky, haunted place other than the closet of Leena and Celeste's room. Every time something odd or frightening happened I would just eye roll away because, come on, it's a closet. Smelling like death, the door randomly shutting or it seemingly whispering to you would have been eery occurrences if not for it being a closet. They're cliche but I would have preferred a basement, attic or hidden trapdoor or room. Some of the things Leena did, like how she would just stand in there, made the closet even more silly....more
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Han is struggling to leave behind his past lifestyle because his place as streetlord of thReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Han is struggling to leave behind his past lifestyle because his place as streetlord of the Raggers was putting his family in danger. He now works much harder for only a fraction of the swag and is constantly taken advantage of and in danger himself. His only safe haven is Marisa Pines, or at least it was until three underage and untrained wizards set fire to the forest and he found himself face to face with them. Now members of a rival group are turning up tortured and dead and the Queen's Guard is convinced he is behind it. Han can't help but wonder if the amulet he took from the wizards might have something to do with what's going on. Meanwhile Rasia, the princess heir, finds her name day, the day in which she will be eligible for marriage, quickly approaching. As her gilded cage begins to fall away, Raisa is faced with the reality of her future queendom and the possible conspiracy of the High Wizard's increase in power.
I loved how this story was told. It was genius of Chima to contrast such unique and different point of views of a naive future queen and struggling, street urchin-esque boy. Their stories would still have been interesting but the differences in their lives and perspectives made a huge difference in my feelings for each character. I fell for Han from the start. He had a wonderful voice and his experiences were so gritty that it was impossible not to be drawn in. I have the world's biggest Robin Hood crush/fetish/obsession, whichever you want to refer to it as, and I couldn't help but compare Han to those legends even though they really aren't that similar. There were enough similarities that I could have forgiven Han's character for anything though. Raisa was just okay in the beginning of the book. I feel like I'm always reading about her type of character in fantasy, stubborn and naïve yet thinks she knows best then ends up getting everyone but herself hurt because of it. Despite my misgivings with her, I really enjoyed the story she told. And around the middle through the ending of the book, I liked her sooo much more.
I don't usually mention 'themes' in my reviews because generally I couldn't care less but I really liked how this book used choice and freedom. Both characters struggled with choice and freedom and I thought seeing this from both of their vastly different POVs made this book unique. Both felt they had no choice or freedom and that the other had it. I think this will be interesting to see in future books especially when they learn that their view of the other is wrong.
The Demon King is an exceptional piece of YA fantasy. It had stunning worldbuilding, an intricate plotline, magic, forbidden romance, crime, adventure, murder... everything and more that a wonderful fantasy needs. I don't particularly like it, because honestly who would, but I thought Chima's use of character death elevated her story and made it something more. The ending, while completely satisfying because it completed the book's plot, was more like the beginning of the sequel. Many aspects become tied off but then the opening for the next book occurs. The next 20 or so pages felt like the preview for The Exiled Queen. This would normally bother me because it's forcing you to continue on the journey but this type of thing, while frustrating, is typical of series fantasy and for once it actually didn't bother me because I was so hungry for more....more
I meant to read Beautiful Creatures for ages but never seemed to get around to it; toting around a 550+ page book is just as inconvenient as it soundsI meant to read Beautiful Creatures for ages but never seemed to get around to it; toting around a 550+ page book is just as inconvenient as it sounds. Now that there's a movie, I knew I needed to quit procrastinating and just read it. Every book lover knows the book needs to be read first. Beautiful Creatures sounded like something I would enjoy and I was excited for a film adaption even if I'm not crazy about southern accents.
Beautiful Creatures has been reviewed to death so this review isn't in my typical style. I would consider this to be more of a 'general thoughts' post.
The beginning of Beautiful Creatures blew me away. Amazingly enough I didn't know much about the book when I began reading. I had no idea it was told from a male point of view which I love in general but Ethan was especially a pleasure to get in the mind of. I loved it. The setting was perfect. I thought the ominous quality was brilliantly written. I actually loved the writing style itself too. It flowed much more smoothly than some of the other PNR YA I've read.
I was sixteen years old, I was falling in love with a girl who didn’t exist, and I was slowly losing my mind.
The characters were so refreshing. Ethan was utterly adorable and I had so much fun watching the female character get to be the mysterious one. Maybe I'm just picking all the wrong books but I rarely see the ladies as paranormal beings. They're almost always the weak human damsels in distress. Lena was still a damsel in distress to a point which put her more on even footing with Ethan but she began coming into her own by the end of the book.
I turned to Mrs. Lincoln and looked her in the eye. “‘Good for you, Ethan.’ That’s what my poor mamma would’ve said. Ma’am.”
I liked Ethan's character a lot but the moment of a true choosing of sides in Gatlin... I could have hugged him to death. I can't imagine how difficult small town life must be but to stand up against popular opinion as a kid? Definitely a character worth admiring.
“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.”
Overall I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the premise. I was disappointed with the ending though. It felt contrived, like a cheap trick to get out of making a choice. Perhaps I will feel differently as I continue on in the series. I felt a little cheated though.
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother duReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother due to a haunting family tragedy. Her world gets tipped upside down again when two new students make an appearance on the same day, both of whom can't seem to leave her alone. Chase takes on a role as her knight in shining armor while Dougal gives her the creeps. I don't want to give anything more away because a lot of my enjoyment in reading this book was finding out all of its secrets, but I do want to say that this is a paranormal like none I've read before. You won't be getting vampires, werewolves, or witches in this book. In fact, fantasy romance might be a more appropriate category.
I really enjoyed this read. Once I got started I couldn't seem to put it down. The story and characters' uniqueness is what really sucked me in. If you're a jaded paranormal reader and are tired of reading the same plot line with new characters, give this book a try. I bet you haven't read anything similar.
I think the book was written perfectly for teen enjoyment. I'm a little older than the target audience but I never found this detracting from my own enjoyment. There were no eye-roll moments or frustrating (as an older reader) scenes which are most often my problem with YA books. I found all of the situations and emotions relatable and believable despite the fantasy elements.
I completely adored Chase. It took a while for him to grow on me because I was convinced he couldn't be as wonderful as he seemed in the beginning but Maddie is definitely a lucky lady. Chase was literally my perfect YA hero; protective without being a caveman, caring, chivalrous, handsome, funny etc. I'm so glad the book split the POVs in half between Maddie and him with a few guests thrown in. I loved having a chance at getting into his head.
I only had one issue while reading The Key. The very beginning, first two or three chapters (there are nearly fifty so it's not very much of the book), was rough going for me. I think it's because I was confused and there was a POV change, which was a little too soon for me, or maybe it was because I was simply acclimating to the characters and story and couldn't appreciate the book yet. Either way, I reread that section after finishing the book and found I loved it just as much as the rest. I wanted to mention that though for any future readers who might have the same experience. Stick with it, it's not a very long patch. The book gets wonderful really quickly and you'll come to appreciate the introduction of some great characters....more
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
On their own, Rhine and her twin brother must take any chance at making money that they caReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
On their own, Rhine and her twin brother must take any chance at making money that they can. Rhine, however, faces the very real threat of the Gatherers, men who kidnap teen girls to sell to rich young men as wives. The Gatherers exist because science and genetic perfection have brought disastrous consequences, men dying at twenty-five and woman dying at twenty. Rhine finds herself taken by the Gatherers and sold along with two other sister wives to Linden. Her fate is marriage to a man she hates and her sole purpose in life is now producing children and entertaining Linden. As terrible as that is, the women who weren't selected as wives faced a much worse fate, being shot to death and then discarded like trash. Rhine cannot accept her new life even if Linden treats her well and seems to love her. She needs to escape, she needs to return to her brother.
Rhine was a wonderfully unique narrator. Her voice was very odd but after a little adjusting, I loved it. It did slow down my reading, however, not that I minded. The way Rhine thought and spoke was just so distinctive, it's one of the things that really stuck out to me while I read the book. When so many YA books are replicas of others, a fresh voice is something to truly appreciate.
It's been a while since a book totally wrecked havoc on my emotions. One moment I was loathing someone or something then a few paragraphs later I was suddenly questioning what I'd previously felt. It was like a tilt-a-whirl ride, I never knew how I felt or what was going to happen and even when the ride ended, I was still experiencing the emotional confusion. Good confusion though. I loved that DeStefano was able to draw those emotions and reactions from me. Usually I'm set in my opinions and feelings about characters at at least the halfway point of the book but while reading Wither, I was constantly adapting and changing my perceptions.
Wither was so much more creepy than I'd expected. It was creepy as hell at certain points. I enjoyed the creepiness but there were a few things that I honestly found just a little too disturbing for my tastes (mainly the young pregnancy/polygamy, so just personal preference aspects not anything gore/violent/etc related). I did think that everything worked very nicely with the dystopian world created though. That said, I wouldn't recommend Wither as a starting place for people looking to try dystopian. I think it's a wonderful representation of the genre and a fantastic book but for readers unaccustomed to the genre, I think they might not enjoy Wither as much.
Wither isn't just about the story and Rhine's struggle to be set free. It's about relationships and that little gray area between right and wrong. Wither draws you so far into the book that you'll be left feeling the aftershock of the experience days later....more
Trella, a scrub and Queen of the Pipes, has agreed to humor her only friend another time anReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Trella, a scrub and Queen of the Pipes, has agreed to humor her only friend another time and listen to a new prophet babble on about Gateway in hopes that she can prevent Cogon from getting into trouble. Only this time the prophet doesn't seem to be a Pop Cop ploy or completely delusional man. The prophet asks Trella to break rules restricting the scrubs to the lower levels and steal back important computer files, files that possibly prove Gateway's existence. If Trella gets caught or it turns out to be a trap, she faces death but hope in the lower levels is something worth fighting for.
If you like Maria V. Snyder, read this book. If you like dystopians, read this book. If you like young adult, read this book. Hell, if you even sorta kinda find reading a little bit fun, read this book! If I hadn't already been a fan of Snyder's Glass series, there is no way you would have been able to convince me that she hadn't been writing YA dystopians her entire career and this was simply the pièce de résistance. As soon as I finished Inside Out I checked to make sure my local bookstore had the sequel in stock for pickup later that day.
I don't want to say much in this review as I don't want to spoil anything for future readers. I will say that this reading this book has resulted in dystopia being my favorite genre and in having a new book that I plan on irritating all my friends until they read. Often times I love a story for either their characters or the story, I fell in love with both of those in Inside Out. I fell in love with the cleverness of the writing, the emotional response each page drew from me and the sheer pleasure of reading. Inside Out will be something I reread every chance I get....more
Silly teen drama and angst wear on me very quickly making this book a difficult read. I havReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 3 stars.
Silly teen drama and angst wear on me very quickly making this book a difficult read. I have no issue with emotional characters but when the heroine of the story is constantly feeling depressed and alone, it really brings me down too which smothers any enjoyment I might have had. This is very much a personal preferences thing though, I have trouble with anything over dramatized (Gossip Girl, for example, drives me batty).
I enjoyed the lighter/fluffier scenes, any mystery scenes (stuff that added to the plot) as well as Anges's diary entries a lot. The book probably would have gotten a 4.5 rating from me if it had only those elements. The other parts of the book were just too much for me to stomach and quickly made reading become tedious instead of a pleasure.
Despite the book being nearly 400 pages long, I didn't feel like we really got to know any of the characters besides Evie. We're given backgrounds to these characters and they pop in and out of the book yet they all feel hollow and seem to be nothing more than props to move things along.
I really liked the pseudo-relationship Evie and Agnes formed. It was a lot of fun reading Agnes's diary and seeing Evie make the same choices then have history and present collide at the end of the book.
I will read the next book in the series, mostly because the ending of this book isn't really an ending... so I want to know what happens. Thank you goodreaders for preventing me from reading Betrayal. I like a HEA and that book would not have been for me....more
Let me start off this by saying that I don't like science fiction in general (tv, movies, bReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Let me start off this by saying that I don't like science fiction in general (tv, movies, books... yuck), it just doesn't hold my interest and more often than not it makes me think 'what complete trash.' That said, I adore X-Men. I only picked up this book after seeing the trailer for it on TV which made me compare it to my favorite superheroes. I'm really glad that I did buy and read the book. And I'm even more excited to go see the movie now.
The beginning of the book started off rough for me. The writing was awkward and robotic. Four was sorta lame and the book clearly has an environmental agenda (not a bad thing but I don't think it was well done in the beginning). I kept trucking along though because I hate not finishing books. Then suddenly, a little less than halfway in, the book became intense and a million times better, I couldn't put it down. I read over 300 pages in one sitting.
The ending... I'm not sure what to say about that and the preview for the next book really worries me. I don't want the next book to be from the POV of another character. There were many loose ends left with Four, I want to see those tied up first....more