It took forever to read this book. Okay, that's a lie, it only took six months. But in my opinion, that's 5 months and 28 days too long. All I can say...moreIt took forever to read this book. Okay, that's a lie, it only took six months. But in my opinion, that's 5 months and 28 days too long. All I can say is that Libba is a wonderfully descriptive writer, filled with creativity. But the way she stings her sentences together exhausts me. What good does an interesting character or plot do a girl if she can't muster up the fortitude to sludge through the pointless detail that Ms. Bray seems determined to include in every book she writes?
I'm hard pressed to deconstruct the plot due to the fact that there were so many detours and winding tangents, no doubt added to set the tone for the sequel, that I often struggled to understand what I was supposed to be reading. It's as if Bray included every tidbit she felt could turn into a story, even though it hasn't yet revealed itself to her, and chose to leave it in hoping that she could connect the dots in subsequent books. I find such reading experiencing frustrating. However, I am well aware that some individuals thrive on books that take them down windy paths that may only lead them to nowhere. Therefore if you have read and truly adored Ms. Bray's previous books, I'm sure you will equally delight in this one. I desperately wanted to.(less)
Some books touch you without explaining why. How to Save a Life was one of those books for me. I suppose there is something about trudging through lif...moreSome books touch you without explaining why. How to Save a Life was one of those books for me. I suppose there is something about trudging through life’s curve balls that calls to me. As I’m sure it does to several others as well. It’s inspiring to see people pick themselves up, dust themselves off and find a new semblance of strength and happiness.
How to Save a Life isn’t the most authentic book I’ve ever read. The ending is much too happy, the characters forgive too easily, and come around all too quickly. Nonetheless, it’s a touching story. More importantly, it contains two fascinating main characters. Love em, hate em, love to hate them, or plain ol relate, I’m sure there is at least one aspect to each of their personalities that will beckon you, or a portion of their life story that you will have experienced for yourself.
This isn't just a story of a pregnant teen, or one mourning the loss of a parent. It's a story about finding a sense of belonging, listening to the truth of one's self and trusting your instincts. So if you are looking for a book to curl up with. One that won’t leave you sighing in exasperation, give this one a try. I don’t think you will regret it.(less)
I doubt I will be able to produce an adequate review of this one. It’s been nearly 18 months since I read Rebel Heart’s prequel, Blood Red Road. I hav...moreI doubt I will be able to produce an adequate review of this one. It’s been nearly 18 months since I read Rebel Heart’s prequel, Blood Red Road. I have a feeling this fact may hold camp in Rebel Heart’s favor. I’m foggy on some of the details of book one and as such, I don’t dislike some of the characters in a way that I feel I probably should (DeMalo), and I didn’t miss those main characters who were decidedly absent (Jack).
Rebel Heartbegins several months (or weeks?) after Blood Red Road ends. We find Saba wandering in the desert with Lugh, Emmi and Tommo(who would name someone this?) while searching for the great valley, or whatever it is they call it in this book. The trip isn’t going well. They are lost, Saba is seeing dead people and Lugh is acting like an ass (which he does throughout the entire book, btw). Meanwhile, Jack has set out to find Ike’s long lost love, Molly, to deliver the news of his death in person. This creates what I assume will be an extremely aggrivating plot device for most dedicated readers of this series as it prevents Jack’s presence throughout 95% of the story. As I mentioned, I can’t recall being particularly swayed by his charm to the point of his character being burned into my brain (which most swoon worthy hero’s are) so I wasn’t perturbed by this. When Saba receives a message that indicates Jack might be in danger, she sets out to save him. Of course this message is delivered after some witchy voodoo transpires (don’t ask, I don’t entirely understand it) and naturally, Saba’s irritating family and surprisingly possessive Tommo come along.
What transpires on this adventure was entertaining, and just a wee bit confusing . Without being too spoilery, Saba acts extremely out of character when faced with what I believe was once a sworn enemy (DeMalo), but I for one am intrigued. Unlike Jack, DeMalo has my attention. He sort of creeps me out, but I think I may like him.
At any rate, if you were particularly attached/invested in this series, I think you are going to be mad at this one. However, if you are like me and only remember that you really enjoyed book one and have to dive into book two to recall the details of Blood Red Road , you might like Rebel Heart as I did. Maybe. But I think you have to like bad guys.(less)
This one wasn't nearly as adorable or delicious as Anna and the French Kiss but it was still enjoyable and managed to make me swoon, granted the swoon...moreThis one wasn't nearly as adorable or delicious as Anna and the French Kiss but it was still enjoyable and managed to make me swoon, granted the swoon didn't occur until the second to last page, but it happened. (less)
I shudder at the term chic-lit. It implies that because a book is female centric it somehow isn’t a valid, worthy read, but rather a taint upon the li...moreI shudder at the term chic-lit. It implies that because a book is female centric it somehow isn’t a valid, worthy read, but rather a taint upon the literary scene either because it is poorly constructed, poorly written, mindless, or all of the above. Anna and the French Kiss is none of these things, yet it is and will continue to be classified as chic lit. I blame the title. It’s terrible. Will reading Anna and the French Kiss change your life? Doubtful. But Moby Dick didn’t exactly push me into the thralls of an existential crisis.
Having said that, Anna and the French Kiss engaged me in much the same way as the movie “Midnight in Paris”. It’s fun, quirky, atmospheric, romantic, and delights in all things Parisian. What’s not to love? Reading Anna and the French Kiss had me whipping up chocolate croissants and looking at airfare to Paris. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and would recommend to anyone looking for an escapist type read with a bit of substance. (less)
I was a bit weary of This Is Not a Test after having read and disliked Summer’s previous works. However, I am hard pressed to pass up a zombie thrille...moreI was a bit weary of This Is Not a Test after having read and disliked Summer’s previous works. However, I am hard pressed to pass up a zombie thriller, especially within the YA genre. All in all, this teen zombie adventure flick was a fairly entertaining reading experience, a solid 3 stars from me.
Like most books, there were flaws. Readers will be dropped into this story with no introduction to the zombie mania. Worse, we are given this story through the eyes of a most annoying, and unreliable narrator, which, is about par for the course with this author. Much like her previous works, This Is Not a Test is a bit angsty and filled with characters who have a significant amount of melodrama. But the setting lends itself well to the personal struggles of these characters and prevents it from falling victim to their less redeeming qualities in addition to ensuring the pace doesn’t become too sluggish. If you are looking for an entertaining YA book that is neither supernatural or non-descript, this would be a decent pick, but if you are looking to assuage an action packed dystopian read craving with zombie flavor, you would be better off reading Allison Hewitt is Trapped. It was a much more pulse pounding book, imo, and the heroine was awesome. (less)
As a Poe enthusiast, I was a bit diffident about reading Masque of the Red Death. After all, I had read Nevermore which proved to be sham of book, imo...moreAs a Poe enthusiast, I was a bit diffident about reading Masque of the Red Death. After all, I had read Nevermore which proved to be sham of book, imo. Never the less that lovely cover called to me, and in spite of the fact that pretty covers have often proven to possess ugly innards, this book at least proved to be the exception to the rule.
Masque of the Red Death tells the story of Araby Worth, who lives in a world plagued by contagion and death. Bodies fill the streets as cities slowly disintegrate along with humanity. Death is emanate, except for those lucky few who own ceramic, air filtering masks. But even those who have been lucky enough to survive thus far have few things to live for. As a result, many individuals, including Araby Worth, spend their days seeking oblivion in night clubs, chasing highs to escape their lows. It is in such a club, known as Debauchery, that Araby meets two individuals who will change the course of her life.
While I’m sure that the summary may sound trite, rest assured that Masque of the Red Death didn’t befall to the typical YA pitfalls. There is so much to soak in while reading this story. It is gloriously atmospheric. I was wholly entrenched in this plague ridden universe. I had a clear mental image of dress and those coveted, life saving ceramic masks. And there were many times I wanted to jump into the shower as I read of plague and puss. Moreover, I loved each of the characters. They were such a refreshing change of pace with their drug habits, manipulative cunning, and most importantly, desperation. Even the love triangle, which would typically create an impulse to bang my head against the wall, was exceptionally well done. It wasn’t forced, and made perfect since for each of the characters. My only regret is that I read this via an ARC. Now I have to wait even longer to begin the next installment. (less)
Oh what a reading experience Froi of the Exiles has been. I loved it, hated it and sometimes loved to hate it. Its books such as these that make me aw...moreOh what a reading experience Froi of the Exiles has been. I loved it, hated it and sometimes loved to hate it. Its books such as these that make me aware of how much I revel in reading the depravity of life with all its desire, love, violence, heartbreak and suffering. This beast of a book took me three days to read, once I finally resigned myself to reading it, and that was with me reading it from the moment I got home on into the wee hours of the night, and okay, maybe I snuck in some reading time at work as well. I couldn’t help myself! This story grabbed me by my hair and wouldn’t let go until I turned the last page and now…now I am left feeling dazed, confused, distraught, angry, you name it, I’m feeling it. And can someone, please punch Isaboe in the face?!
With that out of the way, I’m going use this “review” as a way of hashing out my thoughts, so there will be no summary here. Too many better reviewers have done so already and frankly, there is too much story to recount, I wouldn’t know where to begin or what to include. Therefore, I will forewarn you now, there will be spoilers ahead.
I’ll begin with the plot. I love Froi, Lumatere loves Froi, who doesn’t love Froi? I had high hopes for him. He came from wretchedness and I wanted to see him settle into Lumatere, find redemption for his past deeds as well as a place among the people there. Preferably one that would allow him to shine. He had so much of himself to offer. I’m glad Marchetta knew better. He doesn’t belong in Lumatere, in a land now filling with light. He would always feel separate. And of course he needed to fall in love with a mad princess. He is half out of his mind most of the time as well. Leave it to Froi to show us all the beauty a person can posess, even in wickedness. I was touched by his draw to Quintana and while I was initially saddened that he couldn’t have been loved by a “sane” woman, I quickly changed my mind. The bond he and Quintana share frees them from shame and I don’t think they would have found that with anyone else. And as wrong as this may be, I adored this scene…
“What are you doing?" she asked, trying to raise herself. "First, I thought I'd show you what a pity it would be if they cut off my wicked tongue.”
Personally, I think cunnilingus should be mentioned much more often in literature. Marchetta is a woman after my heart, and Froi is a wise man indeed.
Subplots. One I loved, the other two I could have done without. Its not that I dislike Beatriss, it’s more that I didn’t see how her story enhanced the overall story at hand. Yes, it demonstrates the long road to healing, but everyone else’s story was depressing enough without her drama and frankly, theirs were more interesting and demonstrated the same point. Then there is Isaboe. I couldn’t stand her in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi’s installment didn’t do much to improve my feelings toward her. Just when I found her bearable, I got the end, and now I’m back to loathing her. And while I have no idea why Marchetta chose to discuss breastfeeding, I’m going to chime in on these characters debate of Isaboe insisting that her two year old suckle her breast. If a babe can ask for it, it shouldn’t be getting it. Ahem. Luckily there was a third subplot, one that charmed me from the onset. We knew at the end of Finnikin of the Rock, that Lucien would have much to prove. And while he hasn’t done much yet, I believe he is well on his way. This is in large part due to his new wife, Phaedra. She brought out the worst in him, but also the best. Their story was one i silently adored. I often caught myself smiling during their exchanges.
Overall, there were certainly things that could have been omitted from Froi of the Exiles, there was a lot of traveling, and sitting about waiting for fallout, yet I felt like I was given a treasure. I deeply regret waiting so long to read this installment. It is nothing like the first. It is so much more dark, humorous, wretched, long winded, exciting, sad, sexy, more. In reading Froi of the Exiles, I not only became more enamored with characters we had met in Finnikin of the Rock, I also fell in love with the new additions, namely Quintana, Phaedra and Arjuro. I hope with all my being that they receive a happy ending that would most benefit them. I know Marchetta won’t let us down. If there is an author who can paint a perfect character and display their many facets, it’s her.
P.S. Anyone dying to discuss spoilers, please do so in the comments, I have so many things I want to jabber about!(less)
I feel as though I should write something poignant about this book given it's subject matter, but I'm tired, and Downton Abbey is about to start....so...moreI feel as though I should write something poignant about this book given it's subject matter, but I'm tired, and Downton Abbey is about to start....so if you want to revisit your quarter life crisis and be reminded as to why you should be grateful to no longer be within it's clutches, this is the book for you. (less)
I gave serious thought to not reviewing this book given it's ability to so consistently evoke my anger while reading it. Ranting about it just seemed...moreI gave serious thought to not reviewing this book given it's ability to so consistently evoke my anger while reading it. Ranting about it just seemed like a waste of my time. But when I couldn't let the irritation go nearly a week after having finished it, I couldn't not say something. However, before I say anymore, I want to note for posterity, that I'm certain many readers will read this book and love it. To which I say, good for them. I just wasn't among them. Here's why.
The implausibility of the human intelligence. I'm not referring to the patials when I say human intelligence either. I can completely buy that human beings could create a super race that consisted of the best genes and was void of the worst. After all, we can already select the gender of babies, along with eye and hair color as well as identify genetic markers for illnesses of all kinds. Creating super beings could be a very real possibility. But what isn't a possibility is a human's ability to learn information and practice it the way Kira (the Mary Sue) heroine of Partials does, at least not without some genetic modification of her own. Perhaps my inability to digest her supreme intelligence was hindered by the fact that I have grown up in a family filled with healthcare practitioners and I myself work with them on a daily basis. But I think even if I hadn't, common sense would still have caused me to call bullshit on Kira. For those of you who haven't yet read Partials, Kira is a 16 year old girl that posses the following skill sets: a Ph.d level knowledge in microbiology, the ability to perform and understand an o.b ultrasound and currently works as a nurse in a labor and delivery unit. Best part, she learned all these skills in a 2 year standard medic program. This pisses me off because it shows that while the author has a somewhat sound knowledge of biology, he didn't do a lick of research. Frankly, I don't think an author has any business writing science fiction if he or she doesn't do research. To obtain a Ph.d knowledge, you actually have to put in years of study. Not because it takes fools that long to learn about such things but because the science is so complex and unknown that it actually takes that long to start making educated guesses. 2 years in a medic program is wholly insufficient, even with super machines. And having a Ph.d in microbiology doesn't make someone qualified to be a nurse in a L and D unit, or a nurse period for that matter. Being a nurse in a labor and delivery unit requires an RN certification that at best can be achieved in 2 years, but that has to be expanded upon by working at least a year rotating in a variety of other units in order to be able to provide total care and even then a RN couldn't work with a patient in labor and delivery unsupervised for at least another 6 months to a year. As for the ultrasonography, that requires two years of training as well, but those two years focuses only on that skill, and even after two years, I still wouldn't want someone right out of school performing my o.b ultrasound as it is one of the most complex and requires a certification all on it's own. The fact that Mr.Wells wrote a 16 year old girl in possession of the skills that even trump experts within this story made me want to scream at his rudeness, and ignorance.
But as much as the crap research irritated the piss out of me, what really chapped my ass was the inclusion of the "Hope Act". This is a fictional act created for the purpose of this story, that mandates that any woman aged 18 or older is required by law to become and remain pregnant throughout her life. Now, I'm aware that this theme has appeared several times in books, especially of this genre. And while it is an annoying topic for me personally to read, I appreciate it's merit, when done properly. It was not done properly here, IMO. Perhaps this is unfair of me, but I don't think men have any right to weigh in on this topic regardless of what side they fall on. Last I checked, men don't have a uterus and they can't carry a baby. They can't experience all the physical, mental, emotional or economical effects of pregnancy, thus their opinion on whether or not to become pregnant is moot. Yet Wells presumes to write about how a woman would feel to be required by law to become pregnant. To say he does it poorly is a understatement. When a man can experience what it's like to have his moods go haywire because there is a baby in his womb, when he has to purchase an entire wardrobe because his clothes don't fit because of the baby in his womb, when he can experience swollen ankles, stretch marks, widening noses and hips, lower back pain, a baby kicking the crap out his internal organs, sleeplessness, labor pains, recovery from having birthed a baby, craziness induced from erratic hormones caused by there no longer being a baby in his womb, boss prejudice because you now have a baby, etc. then, men can weigh in on how it would feel to actually be forced to have a baby. Until then, I think they should shut it.
Aside from my above qualms, there wasn't anything about Partials that held my attention. The characters and the world were poorly developed and many creative minds have done this better.(less)
Good Oil is the perfect read for woman-kind as I imagine it will speak to us all in distinctive ways. My reading of Good Oil took me on a trip through...moreGood Oil is the perfect read for woman-kind as I imagine it will speak to us all in distinctive ways. My reading of Good Oil took me on a trip through memory lane, yet many of these character's frustrations haunt me still. Womanhood/adulthood is a juggling act after all.
[Book:Good Oil] introduces us to Amelia, a fifteen year old store clerk navigating her love/obsession for her 22 year old Co-worker Chris, while trying to cope with the injustices inflicted upon teenagers everywhere. With her sharp mind and keen observations, Amelia provides readers with a lovely, and some times cringe worthy glimpse into her fictional world that is doused with so much authenticity that I felt as though someone had stolen my own diaries. Nevertheless, Amelia wasn’t the only character who struck a chord. Just as Ameila spoke to my 15 year old self, Chris wispered to my 22 year old alter ego. His indecision, fears and heart break reminded me of a not so distant past where the tethers of childhood could no longer hold me steady, yet the oppressive fear of the great un-known had the undeniable ability to hold me back.
Filled with insightful musings on family, friendship, feminisim, literature and more, Good Oil made for an all together perfect reading experience. One that I plan to revisit many times over. (less)
There is no good way to say what I have to say about Night Beach so I’m just going to spit it out. If pretentiousness had a name, it would be Night Be...moreThere is no good way to say what I have to say about Night Beach so I’m just going to spit it out. If pretentiousness had a name, it would be Night Beach. It is a shame. There was so much potential here.
To give credit, where credit is due, the blurb was outstanding, and the first half of the book… well it kind of rocked. Abbie’s freaky stalker ways made my skin crawl, and frankly, had Eager simply explored the insanity that was Abbie’s obsession with the ass that lives downstairs, I have no doubt this would have been a spectacular book. Eager has an uncanny talent for writing the human condition. But…I do believe Eagar bit of more than she could chew. Not only is this book about compulsive teen angst, but also the artistic process, the derivative of the creativity that feeds it, and some supernatural mumbo jumbo that frankly was too weird for words.
For those who loved this work, I’m glad you were able to find love for it. I mean that truly. But for those that didn’t, take heart, you aren’t “missing anything”. The disorientation is normal, and the confusion evoked by Abbie waxing poetic about her dad and scrambled eggs most likely exists because the author lost her way.
Much like the art of Abbie’s fellow students in this purple beaut, I thought Night Beach was full of posturing. Thankfully, art is subjective. So while I may not find a photo of a surfboard locked in a cage a staggering work of art, I respect the right of others to call it such. Thus, though I may not have been memorized by Eager’s ability to spin pretty words into a tale of crazy, I appreciate that others might. To each their own. I may have to accept that her style is simply not for me. (less)
As a lifetime nerd, I love meeting and/or reading about individuals who are not afraid to raise their nerd flag and fly it around. The best type of pe...moreAs a lifetime nerd, I love meeting and/or reading about individuals who are not afraid to raise their nerd flag and fly it around. The best type of people are those who are not ashamed to be who they are, imo. And no one, I mean no one, has that issue in Past Perfect. I loved so many things about this book; I’m not sure what I loved best, that is how much I loved it.
As a southern girl, I am all too familiar with visiting historical homes/villages. We Southerners are all about our history for some reason. I don’t know why, it’s just sort of ingrained in us. I can’t tell you who my mayor is, but I can tell you the story behind every plantation within 3 counties. For me, the ability to recall such seemingly inconsequential facts about my home just lets me know that I am in fact home. And my boyfriend must agree, because every year he participates at the reenactment of Stones River. Southern history is simply a part of us and knowing about it, remembering it, and reenacting it, ties us to our home. It doesn’t mean that we agree with past events, we just respect the fact that our history happened. So it may go without saying that I squealed with delight over the colonial reenactment village setting of Past Perfect. After all, I dreamed of wearing hooped skirts that squished out my boobs from age 6 till, well…sometimes I still do. However, for those of you who are not southern, and who may not be able to find any love for history, take heart. I’m certain you could still find some love for Past Perfect. If On the Jellico Road ever decided to breed with the Georgia Nicholson series and produce offspring, Past Perfect would be what sprang from their loins. It has fantastic characterization, numerous humorous bits of dialog, witty observations and is just plain fun to read.
A special thank you goes out to my friend Tatiana for recommending it to me. I LOOOVED it! (less)
I'm growing concerned that authors I once viewed as infallible are disappointing me and those that I eschewed with a firm hand have me so wrapped up i...moreI'm growing concerned that authors I once viewed as infallible are disappointing me and those that I eschewed with a firm hand have me so wrapped up in their current series that I can hardly contain my eagerness.
I don't think anything has changed with Marr's writing per se. I believe I have just outgrown it. It's minimal, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, except when it involves the subject of love. Nothing is minimal about that emotion. Lust, yes, love...nope. Love requires nuances and this collection of short stories written by Marr didn't fit the bill.
Her Wicked Lovely series is still near and dear, but I believe this is where I bid Marr farewell.(less)
Meh. Time has been kind to my opinion of White Cat, but I’m still not over the moon for it as so many other readers/reviewers seem to be. I can’t real...moreMeh. Time has been kind to my opinion of White Cat, but I’m still not over the moon for it as so many other readers/reviewers seem to be. I can’t really put my finger on what’s missing, there’s just this general hum of something lacking. Given that, I suppose I can only provide my pros and cons list and let you readers decide for yourself.
Strong points: 1. The concept. It’s unique, interesting, and really, never before seen in YA UF, which makes it fun and fresh. 2. Cassel. He makes for an interesting, albeit unreliable, narrator. 3. The mystery. It lures you in. You want to shake Cassel for not piecing things together more quickly, and you become curios as to how he is going to exact his revenge.
Weak points: 1. Cassel. As interesting as he was in this installment, I have no doubt that my interest in him was due to the fact that he is shrouded in mystery. Otherwise, he is/was very average. Not particularly witty. Marginally intelligent. He’s just a run of the mill dude with a super-power. 2. Those pesky sub-plots. Sam and Daneca were very dull and I found myself skimming through sections in which they were mentioned. 3. The pacing. Vati was it brutal. White Cat is not a very large book and yet it took hours for me to complete. This is a shame as the mystery and concept really are top rate. 4. The lack of revenge exacted by Cassel. I can’t help but think this was done purposefully to further the series. I could have very easily have been a stand alone.
Overall White Cat made for a pleasant enough way to pass the time. I’m glad I gave it a second go as I am now interested to see how the story develops. I’ll just be taking my time between installments. (less)
I was prepared to like The King of Attolia, even love it. What I wasn’t prepared for the feelings that occurred while reading it. I was constantly dou...moreI was prepared to like The King of Attolia, even love it. What I wasn’t prepared for the feelings that occurred while reading it. I was constantly doused with a sense of anticipation, giddiness and frustration. It made me want to simultaneously devour this book and draw it out.
Having read predecessors The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, it’s safe to say that I was fairly engrossed in the world Megan Whelan Turner has created prior to reading this installment to her series. I have come to know the kingdoms of Sounis, Eddis and been privy to glimpses of Attolia. I’ve learned about their mythology and religion, and remained in awe of Turner’s ability to create such an intricate world filled with multi-dimensional characters. I even came to care and root for a character that I initially found arrogant and a bit annoying (I’m talking about you Eugenides). But even though Turner was able to implement all these success into enjoyable reads, I still doubted her. I doubted her because she included a romance that I couldn’t fully buy into and it wasn’t until I was mid-way through The King of Attolia that I realized that I had been had. I couldn’t believe, that I, a fairly astute reader, had been played, just as many of the characters in this series are played, and you know what? I loved it! I loved that Turner built in a plot point that would allow readers to feel exactly as so many of the characters often feel within this story, not through them, but with them. If that isn’t brilliant writing, I don’t know what is.
I’m not going to summarize the plot, the blurb and several other better reviewers than I have already done so. All I’ll say is this….Megan Whalen Turner is an author to respect, this series is one to read and re-read. These characters will engrain themselves into your heart and you will burst with pride at their successes. Everything about this series is clever, intricate and wholly entertaining. Read it, I promise you won’t be sorry. (less)
Actual rating 4.5 stars It’s been nearly 24 hours since I completed reading The Queen of Attolia. My mind is still in a bit of a fog and my eyes remai...moreActual rating 4.5 stars It’s been nearly 24 hours since I completed reading The Queen of Attolia. My mind is still in a bit of a fog and my eyes remain exhausted. I simply couldn’t bare to part with Gen’s story once it began. And what a story it is!
Told in 3rd person, The Queen of Attolia picks up where The Thief left off, with Gen sneaking about and getting himself into trouble for the sake of Eddis. Yet, the stakes are higher. Gen is no longer seen as a lowly, albeit competent, thief able to steal expensive baubles. He is a political threat and as such, Gen has garnered himself a few powerful enemies. When Gen is caught thieving in Attolia, the Queen exacts her revenge and sets an unexpected chain of events into play.
Though I enjoyed The Thief very much, I feel as though The Queen of Attolia is the better book. With the change in narration, we are treated to so many more points of view, adding many delightful layers and perspectives to this ingeniously crafted world and its perfectly imperfect characters. It truly is a joy to read, although a heavy one, as there really isn’t any “breathing room” built into this installment. I’m sort of wishing I had spread the reading of it out a bit. But I digress. There is a mile long list of this book’s attributes, none of which I will be able to do the least bit of justice. The only reason I didn’t give The Queen of Attolia five stars was the unexpected romance that I’m afraid to say, I felt was too unbelievable to buy into. Regardless, The Queen of Attolia blesses every page it was written upon and I would proudly recommend it to anyone. (less)
Everneath proves you can’t judge a book by it's cover. By chapter 14, I was cursing myself for not adhering to my 50 page rule. I wasted a precious re...moreEverneath proves you can’t judge a book by it's cover. By chapter 14, I was cursing myself for not adhering to my 50 page rule. I wasted a precious reading hour in the vein hope that the story before me would live up to the lovely cover. Alas, it never happens.
Judging by the cover, I was expecting and wanting Everneath to contain the following: -a story told with a fair amount of purple prose that would hopefully not delve into corny territory -a tormented hero with a hidden heart of gold, or a heart sputtering good guy that of course would be incredibly hot since all guys are -have some sort of unique supernatural element -contain a mary sue-ish character that would hopefully not piss me off too awfully bad
It’s my opinion that it is not a high bar that I set, and yet Everneath managed to fall beneath it. Beyond the marketing genius (pretty cover and prolog), there is nothing to see here. There is never any true insight to be given about any of the characters. We are told that specific characters were best friends, but never shown any proof of such a friendship. We are told that the narrator is lucky to be loved by the school’s man whore, but never shown a reason why. Needless to say, there is a whole lot of telling in this book and none of it is interesting. And Mary Sue be damned. The narrator (I keep calling her that because I have already forgotten her name and am too lazy to look it up) was worse than a Mary Sue. She was a sheep and a dull one at that. Even worse is knowing that she is pursued by what I am assuming was meant to be the alluring bad guy, not because she was oh so perfect in her plainness, but because she made for a perfect victim. CREEPY!
Everneath not only failed to deliver my brain candy order, it somehow made my skin crawl, and not in a good way. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to make eye contact with it again. (less)
I’ve been wracking my brain all morning trying to write an apt summary...moreSome books leave awesomeness in their wake. Under the Never Sky is one of them.
I’ve been wracking my brain all morning trying to write an apt summary to describe what transpires within this book. The one provided by goodreads is just as chaotic as Under the Never Sky’s first chapter. Filled with names of characters we don’t know, discussing a world we don’t understand. Yet I’m going to try anyway. I don’t want readers to give up on this book two chapters in as I thought of doing.
Under the Never Sky takes place in the distant future. Our world has been ravaged by atmospheric storms, forcing individuals to live in self sustaining nuclear proofed structures called pods. These individuals, referred to as dwellers, are not accustomed to life outside the pods and do not leave their premises. To ensure quality of life, and attempt to strive off insanity that coincides with self-imposed confinement, the dwellers have created virtual worlds, known as realms in which they can enjoy entertainment, adventure, mundane activity and even sex. Naturally, if a dweller were to leave the safety of the pods, death would seem immanent given their lack of survival know how. Yet pod living is not the only lifestyle that exists in the world of Under the Never Sky. Others have managed to survive the storms, and have chosen to live outside the pods, as nature intended. These others are known as savages. Unlike the dwellers, their access to technology is limited, but they aren’t exactly void of perks…
Under the Never Sky tells the story of Aria, a dweller girl, and Peregrine (aka Perry), a savage boy, who meet under coincidental circumstances, and are bound together by a chain of events resulting from their first encounter. Filled with action, friendship, love and adventure, Under the Never Sky makes for an enchanting reading experience. Just stick it out through those first few chapters. I promise goodies lie within, including a horrendously embarrassing period lesson and some sexy time. Kudos to Rossi for adding both elements into her story. She is a literary badass. (less)
Fellow readers, do not consume a grande mocha whilst reading Anna Dressed in Blood. Absolutely no good can come of it. When nature calls at 3a.m., you...moreFellow readers, do not consume a grande mocha whilst reading Anna Dressed in Blood. Absolutely no good can come of it. When nature calls at 3a.m., you aren’t going to want to make the 10ft. journey to the bathroom. Granted, I had to drink copious amounts of coffee while reading Anna Dressed in Blood, as I found it an overall boring read. But I will not deny that I was checking for a murderer behind my shower curtain before I answered natures' call.
So…needless to say Anna Dressed in Blood freaked me out. It’s creepy. Ghost stories play tricks with your mind. Make you feel as though you aren’t alone, or are being watched. At least that’s what they do to me. What’s interesting about Anna Dressed in Blood is that I wasn’t particularly aware of being un-nerved until it was time to turn out the lights. The book is gory, in much the same way that shows such as Criminal Minds, or even Vampire Diaries are gory, but overall, I don’t think it contains anything that readers can’t handle. After all, it’s not the violence within the book that will get to you, it’s the thoughts evoked by elements within the book. I can’t divulge more, as it would be spoilerish, but if you read it, you’ll understand. And you should read it, well, if you enjoy being spooked. Otherwise, I’d say take it or leave it.
The premise of Anna dressed in Blood is a great one. It possessed a good enough main character that I found to be realistically crafted, or as realistic as a ghost busting teenager can be. There were also good, albeit standard, secondary characters as well. I simply wasn’t invested in any of them, and for that, I blame the “love story”. It was ludicrous, and detrimental to the story. Anna Dressed in Blood would have been so much better had the love element been omitted, and instead focused on Cas and his quest for vengeance. The love element could have been infused in later books, over time, but as it stands, it’s too far fetched and under developed for his character to react as he does. Thus, what began as a great, chilling story, took a nose dive into the realm of cheap paranormal love ploys. As it stands, I could care less about reading future books in the series, which is a shame as I think Blake is talented.
I remember going on a date in college to see Kill Bill Volume 2. I was on said date with a guy that I had been crushing on for a few months and was on...moreI remember going on a date in college to see Kill Bill Volume 2. I was on said date with a guy that I had been crushing on for a few months and was one of those dates that you know you should say no to, being last minute and all, and to partake in viewing something you have no interest in or knowledge of no less. But you say yes because crushes make you stupid, and some idiotic thought inspires you to believe that the glory of some dude you barely know will radiate so much awesomeness that viewing a crap movie for 2 hours won't suck. Anywho, my memories of the date and guy are a bit foggy, but I distinctly remember the awkwardness that bloomed as I tried to hold in my laughter when Keith Carriden played the flute while speaking of death and mayhem. After all, I wasn't sure if I was meant to laugh. That awkward feeling was exactly how I felt while reading Grave Mercy.
I knew, without having ever viewed her author profile, that R.l.Lafevers had to of been a children's author as soon as I began reading Grave Mercy. It has a childish simplicity to it that prevented me from ever fully investing into it as it lacked the necessary detail. This very simplicity often set my teeth on edge as the story was not improved by it's oh so special/perfect/intelligent/ insecure/yet cocky heroine/narrator. It's only saving grace was it's easy readability which only took a few hours to burn through in addition to the fact that I felt bad about giving it a 1 or 2 star rating. It would be like punching a child in the face. And truly, I knew before I began that it was about assassin nuns, what was I expecting?
P.S. I am now enthralled by both volumes of Kill Bill and delight in them whenever I find them on TBS.(less)
I made a vow at the start of 2012 to reserve scathing reviews for only those books that truly piss me off. My feelings towards this novel however were...moreI made a vow at the start of 2012 to reserve scathing reviews for only those books that truly piss me off. My feelings towards this novel however were so blah that I can hardly claim to be angry at it. It was a wet blanket reading experience.(less)
I don’t know whether or not I should be delighted or dejected at having read what I consider to be a 5 star worthy book. I’m overjoyed at having inves...moreI don’t know whether or not I should be delighted or dejected at having read what I consider to be a 5 star worthy book. I’m overjoyed at having invested my time and money so wisely, as Legend is filled with so much win that it’s very pages practically bleed awesomeness. And yet I’m left with this nagging suspicion that none of the predecessors will live up to this installments glory. I hope that I am wrong, as I am already wringing my hands together in anticipation of what will happen next.
So what’s so glorious about this book?
The story, which is told in present tense. Oh how I heart present tense when used in dystopias. It fosters that break neck pace that I so love to dwell in whilst reading this genre. Even better, Legend offers alternating points of view, eliminating that unreliable narration crap that makes me want to grit my teeth. The characters may be left in the dark, but the readers are not.
The characters. I couldn’t find a single thing that I didn’t like about either Day, or June. Not one thing. Never happens. Ever. June is a brilliant, capable military genius and Day is a hot, futuristic Robin Hood out to protect his family while striking down the evil Republic. What’s not to like? A worthy heroine and hunk. Yes please. Added bonus, we get not one, but two and possibly three characters that we all will love to hate.
The world. It actually made sense without overwhelming my reading experience with un-necessary detail that I could do nothing with until the very end. I knew everything I needed to know as I needed to know it. Sure, I have questions, but they aren’t being asked because I don’t understand the world in which this story is set, rather I ask because this book is a conspiracy theorists dream, and as such, we readers, along with the characters, have to unlock the mystery.
The writing. It’s precise and perfectly sparse. Not a word is wasted and not a sentence over done. The editor deserves a gold star.
The only thing I would change about this jewel is the fact that it is a first installment of a series. I’ve only met one series that hasn’t let me down, and that’s because I stopped reading it after I felt it was concluded. So please, please, Marie Lu. Worthy writer that you are. Please do not destroy your perfect story. Allow Day and June to retain their hero status. Bring a feasible, realistic resolution to this series, while letting them save the day. I beg you.
I am unapologetic about my enjoyment of this book. As per usual, I was lured by the lovely cover, and was not disappointed by it's content. After all,...moreI am unapologetic about my enjoyment of this book. As per usual, I was lured by the lovely cover, and was not disappointed by it's content. After all, not every book can be five star worthy gem. But this book was everything I thought it would be. Cliche, unrealistic, and fun. I have a few qualms with it (mainly the tacky sexual innuendoes and cliff hanger ending), but overall, I enjoyed the 4 hours spent reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I’d compare it to Hush Hush only Mara didn’t annoy me and I didn’t want to punch Noah in the face.
The story begins when Mara wakes up in a hospital bed to discover that her boyfriend, best friend and frenemy have been killed whilst trespassing in a condemned mental asylum which collapses. Mara miraculously survives, albeit with no memory of the events leading up to the accident, or the accident itself. Given these circumstances, Mara is soon diagnosed with PTSD. As a way of avoiding any additional stress, Mara’s family decides to move to FL to give Mara a much needed fresh start. However, it doesn’t take long to realize that Mara hasn’t gone entirely unscathed. She’s seeing her dead friends everywhere she turns, is blacking out for various periods of time, and people are beginning to turn up dead not long after she imagines them doing so. Terrified that she is going insane, Mara keeps the majority of these details to herself, but her odd behavior is difficult to hide from her ever present family as well as her new classmates, including the “bad-boy” dejour, Noah Shaw.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer hooked me from the start. Much in the same way as show's such as Vampire Diaries and Glee hook me. With a promise of more melo-drama yet to come. And I'll admit, there is something terrifying about the thought of losing one’s mind, as Mara assumes she is. It was enough of a creep factor to keep my interest. Granted, what we later discover to be the cause of Mara’s circumstances is somewhat less creepy and tad bit ridiculous, (hence the three stars) but I’m willing to overlook it pending the next installment to the series. Which I assume I will read, but won't anxiously await.
As for the "love story", I'm on the fence. I found myself smiling at most of the interactions/exchanges between Mara and Noah. However, there were several sexual innuendoes that I felt cheapened what could have been an otherwise sweet little romance. But I was able to look past them, as even had they been omitted, the entire concept would still be unattainable in the real world. Luckily, in a world of fantasy, such as the world of Mara Dyer, bad boys can be good boys if the girl is strange enough.
So, if you are a fan of YA paranormal romance, where the bad boy turns out to possess a hidden heart of gold, you should find enjoyment in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. The suspense element is rather entertaining as well. Damn Cliffhangers. (less)