**spoiler alert** What you need to know: Major plot points are resolved to the degree that it's really easy to understand why I ended up with a phone...more**spoiler alert** What you need to know: Major plot points are resolved to the degree that it's really easy to understand why I ended up with a phone call at 2am asking if this was the last of the Merry books. The sex is down to a scene and a half, which might not actually be a selling point for the Merry series, seeing as it was based on the 'sex first, questions six books from now' philosophy.
Of course, for the first 250 or so pages, we repeat the same scenes over and over again to the point even I found it tedious. The last few books of the series have essentially been filler. We don't need even more before we get to the good stuff.
And yes, Virginia, there is good stuff to be had. If you've been wondering when we'd learn who killed Essus, Meredith's father, you'll be quite the happy camper to find out that in a move that shouldn't surprise anyone not actually IN the book, Cel pulled off that little trick. Of course, the rest of the characters, Andais included, are amazed and shocked. Right, because the psychopath hellbent on gaining the crown is always the last person you suspect when someone in line for said crown is murdered. Right. Sure.
Merry finally gets a handle on her hands of power and does a couple of nifty tricks. Merry is crowned by faerie as queen more than once, and if you've spent the last, what, day in the books' timeline wishing Frost would return, fear not. You haven't seen the last of him.
Really, just about everything you need to be tied up is set up in a pretty, shiny little bow.
The problems, fluff notwithstanding, come with the writing [I admire LKH's ability to come up with two fantastic worlds, but she needs someone to pretty the writing up because the words "thicker things" should not show up twice in the same paragraph, let alone in two back-to-back sentences.] and Merry's pool of kings.
I fear I'm hoping for the impossible when I hope that Merry lets the men she isn't madly in love with [anyone who isn't Frost or Doyle] find someone else, even if they do still get together for good times, because it's terribly unfair to hold onto them when she doesn't love them, she merely doesn't want to let them go. (less)
Return of the Evil Twin isn't nearly as good as The Evil Twin, but it's still good, murderous fun. You've got your crazy Wakefield twin lookalike, onl...moreReturn of the Evil Twin isn't nearly as good as The Evil Twin, but it's still good, murderous fun. You've got your crazy Wakefield twin lookalike, only this time it's Nora Chapelle, from the South, and she's battier than Margo was. Margo was psychotic, Nora is insane. Because in the Valley, everyone from the South is nutsy cuckoo. Anyway, Nora's father has just died, and her stepmonster, Blanche offers Nora an obscene amount of money if she will leave the family's Georgia home and never come back. To sweeten the deal, Blanche lets Nora know that Nora has a twin out there. A twin named Margo.
Nora quickly follows Margo's lead to Sweet Valley and realizes that Margo died trying to take out Elizabeth, so she decides that to make the twins suffer for what they did to Margo, she will follow Margo's evil plan and take one of the twins' place. Then Margo turns up and they decide to off both twins and live happily ever after in their new identities.
Which would be fab, but now both girls want to be Jessica. It never occurs to either one, even as Nora plans all the ways Jessica will slowly change over time if she's 'cast' as Jess, to assume Elizabeth's identity and slowly change her and blame it on growing up. Doubly insane when you realize that Sweet Valley Senior Year does exactly that: turns Liz to Jessica. Huh, maybe one of the Chapelle twins pulled their plot off after all.
It's all down to New Year's Eve and suddenly one of the lookalikes is murdered in Jessica's bed.
I admit it. I still wish they'd done an alternate reality book where Nora and Margo won. (less)
I made it about a third of the way through the book before caving and flipping ahead to the end. I know, I know, I suck. Thing is, unlike most other b...moreI made it about a third of the way through the book before caving and flipping ahead to the end. I know, I know, I suck. Thing is, unlike most other books where I cheat, I finished the book within a day anyway. Usually knowing the end slows me down considerably, not so much for The V Club.
The best part of the V Club is that none of the girls is exactly what you'd expect them to be. You can't truly manage to shove each one under a neat little label and have it be a perfect representation of them, and really, the book could have easily gone that way. I love that the seemingly easiest of them isn't, particularly.
It might not change your life, but it's an awfully fun read. (less)
You know what would work really well for Cara and Steven? Mentioning to one another that Jessica's been itching to break them up again so they'd know...moreYou know what would work really well for Cara and Steven? Mentioning to one another that Jessica's been itching to break them up again so they'd know NOT to listen to any of her schemes meant to "help" them. Oi.(less)
**spoiler alert** Much as I love the Private series, I will admit that Reed tends to grate on my nerves after a short while. Thankfully once the girl...more**spoiler alert** Much as I love the Private series, I will admit that Reed tends to grate on my nerves after a short while. Thankfully once the girl seems to hit rock bottom, she finds she has a spine of her own, and she gets some Noelle worthy snaps.
Most of Revelation revolves around Reed trying to win her way back into Billings as well as her attempts to find out who really killed Cheyenne. I have spent every other book since Sabine appeared shrieking that there's something just not quite right about the girl and this time I spent, literally, the entire book willing Reed to realize that for whatever reason, Sabine was the killer and Reed's stalker as well. I just had no idea why she did it or her connection to the last friend who was secretly trying to break Reed.
The book is so good that once I let myself start it, I had to read straight on until my suspicions were proven correct. Score!
Now, if we could only convince Reed that she should call the cops when people break into her room, we might keep the body count down. (less)
I'd rate it higher, but there's nothing really standout about the book. Enid's grandmother moves in, causes problems, and Enid's mother is really, rea...moreI'd rate it higher, but there's nothing really standout about the book. Enid's grandmother moves in, causes problems, and Enid's mother is really, really selfish but never gets fully called on it.
There isn't even a fantastic subplot to back it up. Liz makes a documentary love letter to Sweet Valley. Wake me when Prince Albert, fresh from the ocean, pounces on Jessica. (less)
As one of the horde who didn't exactly care for the latter portion of the Twilight series, I figured I owed Stephenie Meyer one more book before I dec...moreAs one of the horde who didn't exactly care for the latter portion of the Twilight series, I figured I owed Stephenie Meyer one more book before I decided to ditch her completely.
I'm a sucker for a Sci-Fi slant on a story without it overtaking the entire book, and the same could be said for the romance angle. The book might be billed as love triangle with two bodies, but it's really about Wanderer's search to find a home, to understand her latest host's planet and humanity.
While I could see the end of the book coming fairly soon after Ian was introduced, I was still sniffling a bit towards the end. I liked most of the characters I was supposed to like, I wanted to punch the ones I was supposed to want to punch, and it didn't take much to slip into the world presented.
I will say that Jared bored me most of the time, and I don't know whether there's always going to be the thread of violence between any romantic leads in a S. Meyer book or if it's just that these are the first two stories she's chosen to really flesh out and it's a bit of a coincidence. Ditto to the young girl/older guy angle. It creeped me out in her other series, and it was more than a bit creep inducing this go round as well.(less)
I won't say that I loved each story equally. I didn't. But the big surprise for me was that the authors I expected to love were merely liked, but the...moreI won't say that I loved each story equally. I didn't. But the big surprise for me was that the authors I expected to love were merely liked, but the others were loved more than I could have imagined. (less)
**spoiler alert** There are books that surprise you. And there are books where you know the end the moment the proper characters appear on the page. T...more**spoiler alert** There are books that surprise you. And there are books where you know the end the moment the proper characters appear on the page. The moment Sam arrives, you know he will end up with Emily. There's a moment or two as we head towards the inevitable where you wonder if maybe you were wrong and she'll end up with the Golden God, whose name really shouldn't escape me at the moment, but does [It's Oliver.] because he's just there to represent Emily's idealized version of him. His actual personality isn't really needed until the last fourth of the book and even then, it's not actually required.
Emily is the virgin and there a lot of circular conversations involving her virginity and how positively lovely she is. Truthfully Emily bored me to tears more often than not, and only really seemed to come alive when discussing Saltwater, her dream shop, and occasionally when sparking with Caitlin or Sam. Perhaps that's the point. The only people who challenge Emily to any degree are Caitlin, a friend of a friend, and occasionally Sam, but even that's only by accident. Everyone else kept her in her bubble, where they could neatly keep her pristine and Emily didn't have to do anything but exude her untouched beauty.
I preferred Caitlin and Sam's brief moments in the spotlight. Caitlin managed to buy into the Protect Emily At All Costs mentality while also railing against it. She believed Emily was capable of surviving the heartbreaks that life might throw her way if she'd only step up to the plate, but the moment she realized her plan to hook Oliver, Emily's dream man, and Emily up would be a bad idea because of who Oliver really was, Caitlin seemed to forget the plan behind the plan. Get Emily over Oliver and back into reality.
Caitlin's bit of a subplot about actually liking her boyfriend was interesting, but rushed and at parts seemed at odds with what was actually presented. She wanted to kiss Oliver, but didn't want to be seen as snagging him for herself. Fair enough, that I can see. Oliver kisses her, Leon [the boyfriend] sees, and suddenly she's afraid of losing him? Fair enough in theory as well, but it didn't work quite as well.
Skim the talks about how wonderful Emily is and most of the virginity discussions [they will be repeated, don't worry] and the book is fluffy enough, so long as you don't mind taking the obvious route from point A to Z. (less)
Let me state that I don't really remember any Stevie or Mim chapters. Chapters where something important happens to them? Sure. Chapters from their po...moreLet me state that I don't really remember any Stevie or Mim chapters. Chapters where something important happens to them? Sure. Chapters from their point of view? Not so much.
The Missing Girl comes very close to living up to the promise of the story idea, but alternates between being entirely too short overall and a bit too long in sections. There's a bit of creeping dread in that you know one of them is going to go missing, but they don't know it [obviously] but by the time one of them does, the book kind of runs like crazy toward the end, when it could have put on the brakes a little and drawn out the tension a little more.
Oddly enough, the most satisfying [and creepy] were from his point of view, which is what pushes the book from merely okay to good, and maybe even further than that. (less)
It's always nice to see Susan get a little bit of the spotlight with Molly. Molly and Susan are paired together for a project, but have vastly differe...moreIt's always nice to see Susan get a little bit of the spotlight with Molly. Molly and Susan are paired together for a project, but have vastly different ideas of how to present it.
Molly wants to go with the old standard of reading it, possibly with a timeline that she will then point to during particularly important parts.
Susan, on the other hand, wants to go all out and dress up like George Washington [the subject of their project] and re-enact certain scenes from his life.
Molly is mortified. Everyone will laugh AT Susan, certainly not with her, and after all the humiliation, they'll get a lousy grade on top of it all. No way, no how.
Susan's hurt that Molly thinks so little of her idea and has so little faith in her abilities. Their friendship might just be over if they can't work through the mess.
Very cute. I always wanted to swing more of Susan's way, but I was definitely a Molly. I knew full well the moment you stepped out of the box, you just left more of yourself exposed for ridicule. (less)
Good grief there is a lot of sorrow in the Kirsten [and Kaya] books. Which might explain the love I have. Anyway, Kirsten meets a young boy and promis...moreGood grief there is a lot of sorrow in the Kirsten [and Kaya] books. Which might explain the love I have. Anyway, Kirsten meets a young boy and promises not to tell anyone about him. Problem is, she's not sure how long he can survive without anyone to help him, plus the kid is more than a little violent.
So Kirsten has to decide whether to break her promise or keep it and keep quiet, even if it means something awful happening to the little boy.(less)
Oddly enough, I think this is the one that made me tear up most, simply because when you look at it, up til this point everything Kaya loves seems to...moreOddly enough, I think this is the one that made me tear up most, simply because when you look at it, up til this point everything Kaya loves seems to disappear. So it makes sense that she'd want something as close to permanent as a pet would be.
And of course, since she's Kaya, it doesn't work out quite as well as she'd hoped.(less)