I think I had a fairly good run. I managed to read two whole books before becoming once again severely put out with/by Mercy Thompson. This at least,...moreI think I had a fairly good run. I managed to read two whole books before becoming once again severely put out with/by Mercy Thompson. This at least, lets me know that it was not my finicky mood that caused me to dislike Moon Called rather, there are honest to goodness irritants imbedded in Mercy’s character description and narration that annoys this shit out of me.
First let me state how appalled I am by the fact that Briggs allowed her rapped heroine to have sex only a week after her rape. WTF? Second, Briggs wrote far too many inconsistencies for me to believe that Mercy was either traumatized or healing from her rape. One minute she is having panic attacks, the next she is wagging her bare ass at her dull lover as he looks on from across the room. Again I ask, WTF? And further shame to Briggs for dragging out a sex scene between Adam and Mercy for four books, only to have it fade to black. At least own it if you are going to include it. Christ. I’m going to stop now because I’m working myself into a heated frenzy just thinking about it. You annoyed me Ms. Briggs, and this was your second chance. I doubt there will be a third.
*Side Note* Stefan, I still love you, even though you suffer in poor taste, given that you are in lurve with Mercy and all, but I forgive you as I suspect you are merely a casualty of piss poor character development. (less)
Jury is still out on this one. The writing has once again progressed, the mystery element was a surprise, or it would have been had I not skipped to r...moreJury is still out on this one. The writing has once again progressed, the mystery element was a surprise, or it would have been had I not skipped to read the last page about halfway through and seen the name of the villain, and I enjoyed the character development. I may have even finally taken notice of Adam’s hunk potential. I just had one tiny problem…*spoiler*….Mercy gets raped!
Does such a serious issue belong in urban fantasy/paranormal romance where there is no doubt that it won’t be fleshed out properly? I’m not sure. I feel like a wretched person because 10 pages after Mercy’s rape I found myself getting all squee-esque at the mere thought that she and Adam would finally get it on, it’s been three books for Christ’s sake! That’s like an eternity in human years, but then I had to check myself because SHE WAS RAPED. I’m sorry, but thoughts of schmexy times do not follow sexual assault. But then, I kind of admire that Patricia Briggs had the cahones to have something as devastating as rape enter her beloved characters life. So many heroines never have anything awful happen to them in spite of the supposedly dangerous, supernatural elements being afoot in their universe.
Even so, I’m glad that Mercy has finally chosen between Samuel and Adam, and I couldn’t be happier that Adam was the victor. I was equally pleased to see that we readers finally understand what lies beneath Ben’s hardass exterior. But…I remain unsure about the direction of this series. I’ll reconvene after completing Bone Crossed.
*side note* Did karate suddenly become cool while I wasn’t looking, or is Briggs trying to restore this blessedly lost art? It is very difficult to maintain a proper air of menace when picturing this…
I love verse style writing, it conveys thoughts and feelings very well, imo, especially grief. But no matter how hard I tired, I couldn’t stir up any...moreI love verse style writing, it conveys thoughts and feelings very well, imo, especially grief. But no matter how hard I tired, I couldn’t stir up any emotions for this one.
You Are Not Here tells the story of Annaleah, a teenage girl who has just lost her quasi-boyfriend, Brian. At the age of 17, his un-knowingly defected heart gave out on him. Now Annaleah is trapped in grief and has no one to share her pain with. No one who knew Brian even knows she exists.
While I was certainly touched by this book, it wasn’t due to Annaleah’s loss of Brian. I could hardly feel sadness at losing such a worm. Rather, my heart broke for Annaleah’s longing for someone who clearly didn’t love or respect her. Here we have a girl who feels as though she has lost the love of her life, when in all actuality; a breakup between these two individuals was a long time coming. Brian was just a guy, one of many who will undoubtedly break her heart. We see Annaleah frustrated by the fact that she will never receive answers from Brian regarding his true feelings for her. And we see her mourn him, when I’m certain he wouldn’t have done the same for her. I wanted to shake her and tell her that even had Brian lived, those answers would have been held beyond her grasp. He is one of those boys who owe nothing to anyone but himself, move on!
Overall, this story better serves as a cautionary tale about giving your heart and body away to someone un-worthy of it as opposed to a tale about loosing the love of your life. Nonetheless, it’s a good quick read that will give young readers food for thought. (less)
Simply put, Zombies vs. Unicorns is made of awesome. Personally, I never gave much thought to who would win such a contest. I have however, spent many...moreSimply put, Zombies vs. Unicorns is made of awesome. Personally, I never gave much thought to who would win such a contest. I have however, spent many hours debating who would win Smurfs vs. Gnomes. For start, Smurfs are blue, 10 pts. right there. But on the other side, Gnomes have that magical cotton ball that cures anything from starvation to maiming by animal trap. I think that earns at least 10 pts. as well. I suppose I could designate a winner based on who was the best dressed, but again, how do you choose? The Smurfs are very aesthetically pleasing; after all, they match their hat to their pants. [image error]
But the Gnomes have those fantastic cone hats… [image error]
But I digress. You want to know about who would win in the show down between Zombies vs. Unicorns. Personally, I’m Team Zombie.
Team Zombie had a weak story or two, but even the weakest of the zombie stories smite Team Unicorn. I guess age is against me, as my “My Little Pony” stages have long since past me by, so I may have begun a wee bit biased. But corniness aside, Team Unicorn simply didn’t bring anything new to the table, bestiality aside, whereas most, if not all, of Team Zombie added a fresh new twist on Zombie lore. Nevertheless the Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier managed a feat I have yet to see in the reading realm…they compiled an anthology that didn’t suck. (less)
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is a cute, quick and pleasing enough of a read. It definitely evoked holiday merriment and these two writers swapped POV...moreDash and Lily's Book of Dares is a cute, quick and pleasing enough of a read. It definitely evoked holiday merriment and these two writers swapped POV's very well. I liked both Dash and Lily as characters, though I enjoyed the former much more than the later. Levithan is certainly the more talented writer in this duo. Nonetheless, neither of these characters would ever pass for being 16. I don't know any teenagers that speak or act this way. I don't even know many adults who speak or act this way. I'm sure they are out there, but they are few and far between. So when I feel compelled to retrieve my Oxford Dictionary in order to decipher the meaning of words used in dialogue contained in a YA book written in light hearted holiday fun, I get a bit irritated with the pretentiousness served along side my Christmas cheer. All in all, it’s not a complete waste of an hour or two to sit down with Cohn and Levithan’s latest creation, but you won’t miss out on anything if you let it pass you by either.(less)
Marchetta’s seqway into the fantasy genre is seamless. Her talent translates. Reiminisent of childhood favorite Robin McKinley and newcomer Kristin Ca...moreMarchetta’s seqway into the fantasy genre is seamless. Her talent translates. Reiminisent of childhood favorite Robin McKinley and newcomer Kristin Cashore, Marchetta reminds me of why I love this genre. I enjoyed my time spent with Finnikin of the Rock. The world was imaginative and complex without being elusive. The characters were multi-deminsional and the magic was present, but didn’t bombard the text. With that said, there were a few flaws that prohibited me from giving it a high rating.
Spoilers ahead…. While I will never say that this book is poorly written, I will say that much of it was unnecessary and defied logic. I know, I know, it’s a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy containing human characters and there were times these characters behaved as something other than human. I’m referring mainly to the characters treatment of Evanjaline and she them. Evanjaline/Isaboe is a detestable character. I just know I’m going to get flack from my fellow readers for saying that, as many people seemed to love her, but, well, I thought she was an arrogant asshole. And yet Finnikin fell in love with her. How? She betrays him, lies to him throughout the story, and yet he pines for her. Bullshit. If someone threw me in prison, regardless of their well intented albeit secret, agenda, and left me to rot, there isn’t a chance in hell I’d like them, much less love them. Finnikin spends the entire book doubting and distrusting Evanjaline, and rightfully so, and yet we are to believe he loves her. Were there is no trust, there can be no love. Its that simple. Lust, sure, but love, I think not. If Evanjaline had simply been crafty, I would have liked her. There is no denying she is the epitome of a strong, resourceful female, and she outbests all the men, I should have loved that. But her character was off putting. You can’t treat people as she did, with so little regard and get pissy when they don’t like or trust you. But I digress, what irked me more than Evanjaline’s deplorable character was the simple fact that I couldn’t fathom why she needed to hide who she was to Finnikin, Sir Topher and Travanion. Why didn’t she tell them? I didn’t make any sense. She made things harder than they needed to be by not telling them who she was, and they would have done exactly what she had wanted if she had trusted them with the truth and yet she lies, repeatidly. Why? The only reason I can think of is that more than half this story wouldn’t have occurred without the lie, and therin lies my issue. While I enjoyed the ride, when I wasn’t gritting my teeth, there really wasn’t nearly 400 pages worth of story here, more like 150.
The words flowed, I even enjoyed a majority of the characters. The world Marchetta built was captivating, but at the end of the day, the plot had a huge gaping hole in Evanjaline, one that I couldn’t look past. (less)
Saving Francesca is still my favorite Marchetta book to date, but Looking for Alibrandi comes in a very strong second. Regardless of how drastically...moreSaving Francesca is still my favorite Marchetta book to date, but Looking for Alibrandi comes in a very strong second. Regardless of how drastically different Marchetta’s heroines are described, I always identify with them. They are so wonderfully complex, yet simply described. I want to befriend them, at times I wish I was them. I love reading their stories as they go along their respective journeys, which are always emotional and strife with life lessons on love, fate and family. I may even be a wee bit envious of them as they are extraordinarily clever, especially given their age.
I’m not nearly gifted enough to pay Marchetta her due praise, so I won’t try to summarize this glory of a story. But if you’ve read and loved Marchetta, this will only inspire further fangirl worship, and if not, you really need to get on it. (less)
I’ll begin by saying that I did enjoy my time spent reading Post Office. It’s undeniably humorous in its, dry, snide, arrogant way. But once you look...moreI’ll begin by saying that I did enjoy my time spent reading Post Office. It’s undeniably humorous in its, dry, snide, arrogant way. But once you look beyond the humor, there isn’t much to see. Yes, there are some off handed remarks that I’m certain ring true for many people, myself included. But for a man who notoriously saved “the best of himself for paper” this book is surprisingly soul-less. Or perhaps his soul was just black.
Henry Chinaski is a man filled with want and laziness. He is forever seeking something more than his lot, but lacks initiative; therefore his search is and ever will be, fruitless. Henry obviously possesses an awareness of himself and others and yet for all of his insight, he doesn’t appear to understand much of the world or the people in it, although he would claim otherwise. Henry respects no one, not even himself and I get the impression that he doesn’t place much stock in the human race as a whole. He squanders through his existence by drinking, gambling and screwing and somehow deludes himself into thinking that he is above it all because he doesn’t con himself into believing that there is more to existence than meaningless misery. I say don’t be so passé with your self reverential cleverness. Here we have a man that shouts about women only being good for a piece of ass, people being duped for valuing hard work, as they must surely be unoriginal to subscribe to such a virtue, and believes himself to be the intellectual superior of others because he lives a life filled with absence. I can’t help but feel that while he surrounds himself with the philosophy that most people suck hard, he secretly hopes that someone will make a believer out of him. What’s truly ironic is there isn’t much that separates Henry from those that he snubs, just drive and enthusiasm.
Many have said that you will either love Burkowski, or you’ll hate him. For me, it’s neither. I respect him for his self divulged honesty as seen here: “I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.".
And I admire him for his ability to eloquently pen unexplored thoughts such as these: "I felt like crying but nothing came out. it was just a sort of sad sickness, sick sad, when you can't feel any worse. I think you know it. I think everybody knows it now and then. but I think I have known it pretty often, too often."
I won’t deny that Burkowski was an undeniably gifted writer, whose musing I can relate too, as we all can. But ultimately, I feel sympathy for anyone who wasn’t inspired to live outside of their own head. (less)
One of the things I love most about Maugham is how well he portrays the human condition. Even the shallowest of characters are richly rounded. In my m...moreOne of the things I love most about Maugham is how well he portrays the human condition. Even the shallowest of characters are richly rounded. In my mind’s eye, The Painted Veil captures the human capacity to love what is not good for them, scoff at what is, and allows us readers to see first hand how incapable many of us are at coping with the realities of life. How wonderful life would be for us all if it were fiction.
The Painted Veil tells the story of Kitty Fane, a simple minded, vein, and frivolous woman; and Walter, the man who loves her. Though Kitty does not return Walter’s love, she agrees to marry him as it seems her time in society has quite run out. Walter whisks her away to exciting Hong Kong, where he is stationed in a government funded lab. It is here that Kitty meets Charlie Townsend, the lawyer dejour. The two begin an illicit affair. However, as it always is with such things, the two are found out when Walter makes an unannounced visit home to deliver Kitty a gift. What follows is one of my top ten favorite bits of dialogue in literature to date.
"I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor."
It amazes me that anyone can wound so deeply simply by admitting their own defeat. Needless to say, this is where Kitty’s life of luxury comes to an end. Rather than cause a scandal, Walter affords Kitty a choice. She can convince Charlie to leave his wife and marry her, in which case, Walter would agree to divorce her quietly, or she can accompany him to cholera stricken Mei-Tan-Fu where he has just volunteered to work. Kitty, in all her naïveté beseeches Charlie, believing that he meant all the loving things he said to her over the course of their affair. Naturally, Charlie lives up to his cowardly nature and refuses Kitty, leaving her with no other course of action than to leave with Walter. It is here that the true gloriousness that is this story occurs.
With the blinders of Charlie’s true nature finally off, Kitty continues to love him. I suppose this is where many readers become fed up with Kitty, but I rather admired her for allowing herself to continue her feelings for a man that will inevitably disappoint. It is tragically human of her and is the one trait that binds her to Walter, for truly, isn’t he guilty of the same crime? Though Walter never again looks upon Kitty with affection, I can’t help but feel that he loved her until the end. Or perhaps he felt towards Kitty the same pity she felt towards him. His last words implied as much. (In case you are wondering, his last words were “The dog it was died” and just in case you don’t know what that means, here is the poem he was referencing)… An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog
Good people all, of every sort, Give ear unto my song; And if you find it wondrous short, It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man, Of whom the world might say That still a godly race he ran, Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had, To comfort friends and foes; The naked every day he clad, When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found, As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound, And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends; But when a pique began, The dog, to gain some private ends, Went mad and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets The wondering neighbours ran, And swore the dog had lost his wits, To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad To every Christian eye; And while they swore the dog was mad, They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light, That showed the rogues they lied: The man recovered of the bite, The dog it was that died.
Just as we can never be sure if Walter’s last words were his way of expressing forgiveness or his way of casting his final stone, we will never be certain of Kitty's transformation. It’s my opinion that the shallow Kitty died with Walter and the book ends at the start of her awakening. Nonetheless, this is a powerful and lovely story that will certainly get the emotional and mental wheels turning. (less)
If anyone had asked me two months ago if I had heard of Nick Cave, I would have said no. After listening to several of his musical offerings I can say...moreIf anyone had asked me two months ago if I had heard of Nick Cave, I would have said no. After listening to several of his musical offerings I can say that while I appreciate what he has to offer, he doesn’t appeal to my particular taste. The same can be applied to his first foray into the literary realm as well.
And the Ass Saw the Angel often reminded me of Cave's songs, as it seems to extend the themes that are expressed within them. Cave consistantly creates a dark world, containing a mighty, sometimes wrathful God, who is just as likely to trip you up as dust you off.
And the Ass Saw the Angel is the story of Euchrid, a hillbilly outcast who has been denied personal rights, respect, love, and a voice. In spite of his muteness, readers are treated to Euchrid’s inner voice as he narrates his story through his own personal language of southern style dialect, meets bible speak with a bit of gutter slang thrown in for good measure. We watch as Euchrid sinks further and further into the trappings of his own mind, slipping into madness, rivaling that of the town with which he lives.
Euchrid exists in a hard, malicious world containing heinous religious zealots that commit unspeakable acts of cruelty in the name of righteousness. Born to a raging, alcoholic mother and what can only be described as a psychopathic father; it is no wonder that Euchrid has become unhinged. But ultimately, I feel as though it is Euchrid’s inability to communicate that eventually drives him to despair. I can’t imagine leading such a traumatic existence and not have the ability to communicate my thoughts, fears, or pleadings. Perhaps as a means of coping, Euchrid has created a mythological world complete with angelic revelations. As the story progresses, and Euchrid sinks deeper into insanity, the more violent the revelations become, resulting in vengeance.
This story is bleak, depicting a world where humans only display the worst of themselves. There is nothing lovely here. The ugliness doesn’t shine, it festers. I felt as though I should have been handed an anti-depressant before being given this book. Cave has obvious talent, that I’m certain will appeal to his fans, but this is simply not my cup of tea. (less)
How does one pen a review for such an exquisitely layered work of art? Revolution reads like sadness feels. It’s throbbing, aching, raw, desolate and...moreHow does one pen a review for such an exquisitely layered work of art? Revolution reads like sadness feels. It’s throbbing, aching, raw, desolate and poignant. In short, it’s lovely and extraordinary in scope.
Revolution is a juxtaposition between two 17 year old girls set worlds and over two centuries apart. Nevertheless, these girls are bound by their love of music and a tangible guilt they both feel as a result of their own perceived selfishness. Andi and Alex each provide an astonishing portrayal of a haunted soul struggling for redemption.
Andi lives in present day Brooklyn. When her grief for her deceased brother, Truman, isn’t coercing her to numb herself with anti-depressants, Andi struggles to keep her head above ground and her suicidal thoughts at bay. If it weren’t for her guitar, Andi feels as though she would cease to exist. When news that she is failing school reaches her noble prize winning father, he whisks her away to Paris. He hopes the time away will provide Andi with a revived sense of direction. If nothing else, he will be able to keep a watchful eye on her to ensure she completes her senior thesis. It is in Paris that Andi discovers an antique guitar case, complete with a secret compartment containing the long lost diary of a girl who calls herself Alex.
Alex lives in Revolutionary France. As the daughter of a poor, unknown playwright, Alex must earn her way by reciting Shakespeare, Virgil and the lot. A simple twist in fate secures Alex the position of caregiver to the dauphine, Louis-Charles. However, the country is in an increasing state of unrest, and Louis-Charles is the very representation of power and oppression. Struggling with her own desires and the ever increasing love she feels for the dauphine, Alex will have to make a choice that helps change the course of history.
Andi blew me away with her unapologetic tale of self-destruction. Her loss touched my heart, and her love of music was palpable to the point of becoming its own character. All the same, it was Alex’s story of betrayal and redemption that kept me turning the pages. Each of these girl’s lives are filled with loss. They have been exposed to the volatile and often brutal side of human nature, and yet each continues on without knowing what they move toward. Revolutionis vibrant and surprisingly candid. Filled with dozens of tiny little nuances, it dazzles the mind with its vivid and seamless depiction of a disheartened modern day girl who collides with the all too distant past. There is undeniable beauty in the gutter, as Donnelly shows us all to well. Meticulously researched and thoughtfully penned, Donnelly proves herself to be a truly gifted writer. All in all, this was a wonderful book to get lost in. (less)
The Sky is Everywhere is a bit of an oddity. I can’t pinpoint how it made me feel to read it, and I think that may be why I liked it.
Lennie, aka John...moreThe Sky is Everywhere is a bit of an oddity. I can’t pinpoint how it made me feel to read it, and I think that may be why I liked it.
Lennie, aka John Lennon, is struggling to cope with her sister Bailey’s sudden death. At 16, Lennie has never been the sole focus of her own life. She’s always been eclipsed by the vibrance of her older sister, or so Lennie thinks. Nevertheless, Lennie has always adored Bailey, just as much if not more than anyone else. She simply doesn’t know how to be without Bailey’s bright light guiding her. Lost in grief, Lennie closes herself off to everyone, with the exception of Toby, Bailey’s fiancé. Its Lennie’s belief that Toby is the only other soul who’s life is now as bleak as her own, whose loss is as comparable to hers. In her mind, she and Toby made up Bailey’s whole heart, and thus these two reach out to one another in some vague hopes of bringing back any semblance of what they have lost. But the arrival of Joe Fontaine makes Lennie question what kind of life she has always led, and for the first time, she begins to imagine what her life could be.
Lennie is a hard one to describe. She might just be one of the most authentic characters I’ve read in a long while. I say this because there are no handful of words to describe her. She’s complex, incredibly hormonal and her actions often defy logic. How human of her!
Like many readers of this story, I wanted to scoff at her relationship with Toby, especially when it so quickly turned physical, but when I took a step back, it made a weird sort of sense. Grief can overwhelm a person and cause them to reach out to those who wouldn’t normally be a beacon in ways they wouldn’t usually consider. These two characters were tied to one another by love and I suppose expression of that love was bound to occur. And I’ll admit I got some enjoyment out of reading the steamy scenes. They accurately depicted the illogical actions that often accompany lust. But my enjoyment of these scenes aside, I was a champion for Joe. Toby and Lennie’s connection was based entirely on grief of what was lost, whereas Joe brought light and possibility into Lennie’s universe. Again, I was momentarily deterred when these two were so quick to consider becoming physical, but that’s about how it works isn’t it? Love and lust are inextricably linked and when one is “in love” lust undeniably follows. It was the most honest portrayal of modern relationships I’ve read in this genre to date. Because let’s face it, teenage boys, and girls for that matter, aren’t usually content with kissing and solving one another’s emotional problems. Their heads are in the clouds and they want to do everything. Kudos to Jandy Nelson for baring it all in a no holds bared way.
Additionally, there are some truly beautiful thoughts and emotions afoot within this book. And I’m sure that any music lover or creative soul will have a bit of a soft spot for this one. It’s a bit unnerving to read, but it’ll suck you in. (less)
After devouring Mind Games, I was eager to jump into the second offering in the Disillusionist trilogy. It didn’t disappoint per se, it just wasn’t ne...moreAfter devouring Mind Games, I was eager to jump into the second offering in the Disillusionist trilogy. It didn’t disappoint per se, it just wasn’t nearly as alluring as the first.
Justine has continued her work of disillusioning known criminals. With the assistance of Packard and his group of disillusionists, Justine is working to rehabilitate and release the felons that the Mayor of Midcity, Otto Sanchez, has incarcerated using his Highcap abilities (Don’t ask. I don’t understand it either). Although Justine remains on the fence about the morality of her position, she persists in doing it, if only to relieve the cranial pressure that plagues Otto, and to ensure Packard’s present freedom is not revoked. Nevertheless, when Justin is assigned to disillusion a captive dream invader, she begins to suspect not all is black and white when it comes to those that Otto has imprisoned and many may actually be innocent. To further complicate things, a small group of serial killers, the Dorks, are picking off Highcaps one by one. As a result, Otto, Packard, Justine and the rest of the disillusionist gang must work together to end their reign of terror.
The world and plot are certainly intriguing in their own right, but I won’t deny that I get a special satisfaction in reading the charged, albeit antagonistic, relationship between Packard and Justine. These two ignite the pages in spite of the fact that more often than not, they mostly misunderstand one another. Justine has yet to trust her faith in and feelings for Packard. Moreover, Packard, being Packard, does nothing to inspire her faith or encourage her affections. Mostly, he presents himself as an uncaring ass with words and proceeds to prove otherwise with actions. The mixed signals are all a little too much for Justine at present. After all, she has the swoon-worthy and honorable Otto Sanchez showering her with adoration. Not a hard call to guess who she chooses to invest in. Or is it?
Double Cross certainly had its grand moments. I was properly chilled with a scene or two, and properly revved with a few others (Packard is truly glorious) but I can’t help feeling that this installment left something to be desired, until the last 50 pages that is. It was paced well and can boast of being better than many other urban fantasy picks out there, but it had so much potential to be more than it was. Crane had several intriguing angles to explore that she just sort of touched on all of them as opposed to fleshing them out in depth. Perhaps she will pick them back up with the final installment which I will surely be reading.
I would like to note that while I am giving the over-all story 4 stars, the last 50 pages are 5 star worthy. I did not see that twist coming, at all. Well played Ms. Crane. (less)
Let’s call a spade a spade, and add Impossible to the ever increasing list of YA books that lead young girls astray by glorifying harrowing life alter...moreLet’s call a spade a spade, and add Impossible to the ever increasing list of YA books that lead young girls astray by glorifying harrowing life altering situations. Like Stephanie Meyer before her, Nancy Werlin is flaunting teen pregnancy as a shortlist way to a happy ending with your very own prince charming. Worse, she piles on rape for good measure. I’m appalled.
No one can accuse me of not being able to suspend my reality. Present me a book containing a malicious, wanting fairy, who curses a long line of women out of spite, and I will buy into it tenfold. I can even accept a heroine who doesn’t find it difficult to suspend her own belief when presented with said fairy, but what I do find difficult, nay impossible, to accept is that an intelligent, logical, 17 year old girl, with a bright future ahead of her, not being devastated by being raped. Lucy doesn’t hole up, doesn’t act out, doesn’t shy away from physical contact, nothing. She even immediately expresses forgiveness for her rapist. Furthermore, she is immediately accepting when she discovers only weeks later that she is pregnant. Never once does she express one iota of blame, shame or guilt, all of which are standard emotions for rape victims to express. Never once, does Lucy display contempt for what was done to her, nor does she ever consider, even for a fleeting moment, not having the baby, and I’m sorry, but that is just too much. What we have here is blatant agenda pushing, and it makes me want to vomit. Sadly, this manipulated characterization isn’t even the worst fallacy contained in Impossible.
I wanted to rip my hair out when this tragic event was used as fodder for an ill-illusioned love story. Blasphemous. How many 19 year old boys would have it in them, not only to cope with a raped best friend, but a pregnant one? Not only does Zach cope, he proposes marriage. This dumbass actually believes that it is intelligent to marry someone he hasn’t even kissed, so that he can make all her worries (about the evil fairy, not being a pregnant teenager) disappear. A 19 year old, who is just completing his freshman year at college, with only a part time construction job to his name, is going to marry this burden. Yeah right. Sadly, for the intents of this story, Werlin not only paints this as a romantic gesture, but as a wise decision as well. Show of hands, how many of you know a professor who miraculously decided to spend a year abroad and therefore, is willing to loan you his house free of charge? How many of you have been able to secure a car loan with no credit, school loans, and only a part-time job to your name? Lucy even mentions being on her foster parent’s insurance, so we readers are supposed to assume healthcare isn’t an issue either, however, what Werlin fails to mention is that since her heroine has decided to get married, any help that her legal guardian’s could provide on that end ceased the second she said “I Do”. Granted, legislature has recently passed allowing any dependent 26 or younger to remain on their parents insurance, even if they are married, but that lovely bill won’t take effect until 2011. And what mid-wife mother, foster or no, sends a new co-worker to fetch her raped daughter’s prescription for Plan B? This book is just chock full of bullshit!
I just don’t have it in me to express proper contempt for this story, but publishers of such works should be ashamed. There is nothing romantic about the emotional hardships, prejudice, and financial struggle that Lucy and Zach will face were they actual people rather than characters in a charade. This book is disturbing on so many levels, ugh, just ugh. (less)
According to traditional belief, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person, thought to be capable of appearing in visible form or otherwise m...moreAccording to traditional belief, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person, thought to be capable of appearing in visible form or otherwise manifesting itself to the living. Ava is of the living. At the age of 15, she has loved and lost the love of her life, Jackson Montgomery and therefore must find her place in this world without him, sort of.
Jackson is of the dead, but some unknown force tethers him to Ava. Like Ava, he isn’t ready to say goodbye, yet. As Ava struggles to meander through her now seemingly meaningless existence, she discovers Jackson’s lingering presence. He communicates with songs that instantaneously blare from her boom box or with subtle, nearly non-existent mental messages. At times, Ava can even smell his sandalwood aftershave, or catch a glimpse of his face as she looks in the mirror. In the throws of her grief, Ava originally finds Jackson’s presence comforting, clinging to the moments when he can appear to her in unexpected ways. But as Ava slogs through her grief and guilt over Jackson’s death, she discovers there are some things worse than physical dying.
I Heart You You Haunt Me was beautifully told. Schroeder creates a powerful story, filled with some well drawn characters to have worked with so little. While I initially chalked the verse-like style up to laziness, by the end of the story, I felt it was fitting. There are no amount of words to describe a grief so devastating or a love so transcending, making it best to use as few words as possible to express that which can’t be said. (less)
I'll admit it, I was lured into reading this one due to the oh so lovely cover as I'm a huge sucker for pink. Luckily, Evie, the narrator of Paranorma...moreI'll admit it, I was lured into reading this one due to the oh so lovely cover as I'm a huge sucker for pink. Luckily, Evie, the narrator of Paranormacly, shares my enthusiasm for the rosy hue. However, that's about all we share aside from our love of shopping.
I'm contemplating joining a YA paranormal support group. More often than not, these reads fail to deliver. I need to cut the ties that bind and admit this genre is no longer what it once was. Or perhaps I've matured as a reader. But seeing as I bought this book for the pretty pink cover, I rather doubt it. Nevertheless, the books within this YA paranormal genre are no longer up to par. I wanted to relish in this one, hoping against hope that it would be as funny as the blurbs boasted. I had myself convinced that Paranormalcy would be similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a bit of Georgia Nicholson thrown in for good measure. Alas, thou hast been deceived once again by duplicitous marketing genius.
I should have known that if several authors I have no respect for thought this was “The sexiest, scaries and funniest new addition to the paranormal genre” that I need to turn tail and run. This book is about as sexy and "scary" as "The Little Mermaid, and let's face it, "The Little Mermaid" was much more humorous. In fact, "The Little Mermaid" was a bit more menacing when I think about it. The sea witch had me going for a minute there, and at one point I was terrified that she would marry Prince Eric and Ariel would be trapped forever as a mute without her fishy friends to keep her company, but I digress.
As I mentioned, this book lacked humor, I didn't laugh once, not even an internal chuckle. Evie simply isn't intelligent enough to be witty, nor is she ridiculous enough to laugh at. I'm a bit confused as to what exactly I was meant to find humorous. Worse, there wasn't a single moment of swoon. Did I mention that I used to have a raging crush on Prince Eric? I used to dream I could be turned into a mermaid with a singing voice, just so I could become mute in order to be made back into the human I am. Oh the glories of being 5 years old! See what I did right there? I compared the maturity level of this 17 year old narrator to my 5 year old self, *sigh*. Speaking of sighs, brace yourself, because this book is chalk full of them. People are sighing all thie time up in this tome. Now I know what you're thinking, you can't believe that a book lacking in maturity or humor couldn't at least boast of having a hottie. Well, let me tell you, don't believe the dust jacket. The dust jacket claims that there are two guys vying for Evie's affection, insinuating a sordid love triangle that those of us with wavering reading morals live for. Sadly Evie hates one of these mentioned studs, with good reason I might add, and the other is just so ordinary and innocent that I hardly had to catch the drool. There simply wasn't any angst, anywhere.
Read for brain candy if you must, but I for one, recommend you waste your hard earned dollars on something a bit more entertaining, like "The Little Mermaid". (less)
Well….after fourteen sometimes funny, occasionally trite, often steamy and always relatable books, I feel it is time to bid farewell to Stephanie Plum...moreWell….after fourteen sometimes funny, occasionally trite, often steamy and always relatable books, I feel it is time to bid farewell to Stephanie Plum. I know there are two more installments left to go, and who knows how many will be published in the future but Janet, my friend; thou hast beat your literary horse with a wooden mallet, repeatedly.
Stephanie is no longer funny. What was once endearing commitment phobia, now reeks of egotism, selfishness and just a wee bit of sluttiness. After fourteen books and God only knows how many years, Stephanie should be able to recognize and want at least one of her leading men, exclusively. Furthermore, she should have this bounty hunter business under her thumb. How many times can I read about her getting chased by dogs, tackling, and yet being out-bested by criminals who are constantly constructed as dim witted? If they are dim witted, what does that make Stephanie as the idiot who can’t out smart a well known dumbass? And Lula, bless her, she could have been a rock star, and she, along with Morelli, are the only reasons I made it this far into the series.
I wish I could say more, but my mind is drawing a blank. I feel as though I just finished watching hours of TV. static, you know, the kind with the colored bars that make some muted, yet high pitched keening sound? At any rate, it’s been fun, but now I’m over it. (less)
What began as a three star read somehow reduced me into a weeping mess. At present, my eyes are puffy and slightly bloodshot. My sleep was besieged wi...moreWhat began as a three star read somehow reduced me into a weeping mess. At present, my eyes are puffy and slightly bloodshot. My sleep was besieged with anguish and I kept fighting with the covers. My mind is befuddled due to lack of sleep. In short, How It Ends messed with my mind and toyed with my emotions. I ADORED it.
I’m not an adequate reviewer and will in no way be able to do this book justice. I don’t have the words to properly convey the thoughts that will pilfer through your mind as you immerse yourself into Hanna’s and Helen’s story, although I can list out a few of the many emotions that coincided with such thoughts. Frustration, annoyance, giddiness, understanding, compassion, sympathy, love, sorrow, joy, triumph, anger, fear and hope, most certainly hope.
How It Ends tells the intertwining story of Hanna, a 15 year old girl equipped with a compassionate heart, taste for rebellion, and a destructive crush on a senior man whore named Seth; and Helen, Hanna’s elderly, childless neighbor and stand in Grandmother. Hanna has always enjoyed spending time with her grandmother, listening as she would weave tells of happily ever afters as they walked the woodland estate and nursed lost or forgotten strays. In Hanna’s mind, her grandmother’s home is a wonderland and Helen has always allowed for the indulgence. But when Helen is stricken with a debilitating illness, she begins to understand that her good intentions could also be Hanna’s undoing. In an effort to right some wrongs, Helen is determined to tell Hanna the truths she has kept hidden most of her life and so begins the agonizing sub-story to How It Ends.
In present time, Hanna stole this book. Her voice was typical, and yet endearing. She’s so ordinarily flawed that you can’t help but to root for her, become angered by her, etc. With that said, it was the story of Helen’s past that truly broke my heart, leaving me both devastated and joyful.
The writing is vivid, thoughtfully described and possesses a host of characters that are so chalk full of life they practically walk along side you as you embark on their journey. HowItEnds is a remarkable story that I couldn’t forget even if I tried.
Hanneybean, thank you for the recommendation. You are an evil genius. (less)
When I picked up Not that kind of Girl, I was expecting light and fluffy. After all, the cover boasts a young, pretty couple in the throes of what loo...moreWhen I picked up Not that kind of Girl, I was expecting light and fluffy. After all, the cover boasts a young, pretty couple in the throes of what looks to be a sweet, affectionate kiss. Naturally, I assumed this book would contain a three star YA romance albeit with some added teenage emotional drama for added conflict. In other words, I was expecting a Dessen novel, but what I got was so much more. While I was anticipating a cutesy romance, I received a wonderful tale about what it means to be a teenage girl. A girl who thought she had it all figured out and is now discovering herself for the first time. Sounds cliché I know, but at 25, this book somehow managed to give me some food for thought.
Natalie is a senior in high school. She has spent her school years buried in books and community service in hopes that she can gain entrance into a top college. She has one friend to her name, Autumn, who was ostracized by the remaining student body freshman year after an unfortunate boyfriend fiasco. Most would find Natalie’s world empty and boring. She never goes to parties, has never had a boyfriend or even a first kiss. Her experience has been limited, but that hardly prevents her from having a world view. You see, Natalie learned a great deal from Autumn’s traumatic experience. Boys can’t be trusted, and nothing good can be gained from attempting to earn their attention. Natalie has it all together, she’s pretty, intelligent, accomplished and assumingly intuitive. Never for a moment has Natalie considered the fact that she could be wrong, that being attracted to someone and wanting to be attractive to them in return is the natural order of things. Never has she considered that there could be such a thing as genuine jocksters. But this year, there’s a new freshman girl in town, and she, along with the good looking senior jock, Conner, are about to open Natalie’s eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities.
Not that kind of Girl taps into the very essence of a battle that all young girls face throughout their lives. There’s a fine line between prudishness and whorishness. Women often walk a tightrope on their journey of self discovery. What’s sexually empowering, when does it become slutty, when do we lose control? And how to we maintain that control while delving into our own sexuality? This was a brilliant story that fully encompassed the awkwardness, the impotence, and uncertainty that accompanies our teen years. I felt as though I had been thrown back into high school as the portrayal, verbage, etc. was spot on. I felt Natalie’s joy, fear, pain and frustration and was glad to see her finally come to terms with a very valuable lesson. Siobhan Vivian has written a wonderful story that I would recommend to women of any age. (less)
**spoiler alert** I hereby induct thee, Richelle Mead, into the Epic Fail Hall of Fame. Thou hast slaughtered the written form with the skill of your...more**spoiler alert** I hereby induct thee, Richelle Mead, into the Epic Fail Hall of Fame. Thou hast slaughtered the written form with the skill of your counterparts Stephanie Meyer, Maggie Steifvater, L.J. Smith and Co. We readers weep at your ability to break cannon, glorify illegal relationships, demonstrate character regression, and introduce random individuals into your story in order to further your ill-fated plot. For this and all of the other little nuances that have momentarily escaped my notice, we curse you. You have truly boggled the mind, and ruined leather dusters henceforth. With that said, Last Sacrifice did make for a lovely wreath, and just in time for the holidays!
This review contains spoilers, by the way, so consider yourself warned…
Just mustering up the details of this book in order to write a synopsis takes extreme effort. After reading 600 pages of this mess, I’m not sure I have it in me to recount everything, actually, I know I don’t, there is simply too much that happens and yet none of it was worth reading. This is what you need to know.
Lissa, Abe, Christian, Adrian, Eddie, Mikhail, and Dimitri break Rose out of jail. Rose then escapes court with Dimitri where they latter meet up with Sydney who is being blackmailed by Abe to assist Rose and keep her hidden until he, Lissa, Christian, Adrian, and Co. can clear Rose’s tainted name.
While Rose, Dimitri and Sydney stay hidden, Rose manages to do the following things (aside from lusting after Dimitri while mentally telling herself she is over him): • Dream walk with Victor. Naturally, Rose being an impulsive dumbass, tells him her exact location, plans to find the last Dragomir (Lissa’s half-sibling) and later clues she has uncovered about said half sibling. • Find Sonya Karp, her former teacher, who turned strigoi in order to stave off the effects of spirit, as she supposedly knows the identity of Lissa’s long lost sibling. Sydney discovered this while searching bank records. • Now that Rose and Victor are bosom buddies, Victor has his brother Robert heal Sonya with spirit to turn her back into a Moroi so that she will have to tell them the secret identity of Lissa’s long lost sibling. • Rose and Co learn that Jill is the long lost sibling. They go to find her, and Victor, true to form kidnaps her. That was a huge surprise…..not. • Rose rescues Jill and kills Victor, and then proceeds to feel very bad about it, but only for three pages. • Rose and Dimitri do it, while she is still with Adrian I might add, but don’t worry, it isn’t cheating, because she mentally dumped Adrian before she dropped her knickers.
Meanwhile, back at court: • Lissa has been nominated as a candidate to become queen. • She takes a series of tests to become queen, which we are privy to via Rose’s ability to snap into her mind. Naturally, Lissa passes all of them. • Lissa and Co. play detective, questioning Ambrose and a few others. They uncover a series of very lame clues, that all point to the red herring, Daniella, Adrian’s mother.
With Jill in tow, Rose, Dimitri, and the now reformed Sonya Karp head back to court, where Rose exposes herself, Jill’s identity and the name of Tatiana’s murderer, who is revealed to be Tasha Ozera, Christian’s aunt. Naturally she does this in a crowded room, because heaven forbid she find a thoughtful way to break the news to her best friend that her dad was a cheating feign who spawned an illegitimate sibling or to her best friends’ man, that his aunt is a murdering loon? But tactful as ever Rose breaks this gut wrenching news as eloquently as a charging bull, and everyone takes her word for it, because who wouldn’t trust a lying, conniving, impulsive 18 year old girl? Tasha of course goes on a psychotic rampage, even though her character has been thoughtful and intelligent thus far, and attempts to shoot Lissa. Luckily Rose jumps in front of her just in time. * It is here that I paused to pray that Rose would die*. Sadly, my prayers were not answered, Rose lives, and as an added benefit, her “bond” to Lissa is severed. Rose is now her own person, no longer linked to spirit. I don’t understand how or why, but there ya go. In the last few pages, Adrian confronts Rose for being a cheater and basically calls her a manipulative, lying, user and abuser, and wishes her a life of misery, after all, because of Rose, Eddie may never work again, Jill is now bound to court politics, where her life will be in constant peril, and Sydney is now locked in alchemist prison. In spite of the carnage, Rose believes Adrian’s accusations are unjust, and paints his willingness to cast himself in the role of victim as the cause for his outburst. I will say this, I envy Rose for her ego. Lastly we learn that Rose has been assigned as guardian to Lissa, who is now queen, and Dimitri will be guardian to Christian. They all live happily ever after.
Qualms: • The consistent break in cannon. Rose was able to communicate with Tatiana while in jail at court through the spirit ether, when in previous books; court was her only relief from the spirit induced hallucinations due to its heavily warded state. • Tasha Ozera as the killer. Come on, talk about a bitch move on Mead’s part. The woman’s got a burnt off face, a tainted family name, and lost the man she loved to a spoiled, whorish-17 year old. • The lack of Christian, or even Eddie for that matter. Characters who weren’t introduced until book 4 play a larger role than these fan favorites. Probably because Mead lacks the skills to write such a convoluted, wonky story with the characters she already had in place. • The ease with which Rose discovers Jill’s identity. Seriously, it took all of ten pages when you cut the filler. That’s bogus. How would such a lame cover up have survived 15 years? And if it was that easy for Rose, why wasn’t it that easy for queen Tatiana, who had endless resources? • Rose and Dimitri’s relationship. Seriously, it was bull shit, all this, I love you but can’t be with you because I used to be evil crap. Then Rose later pretending she isn’t obsessed with Dimitri while obsessing over Dimitri. Not to mention that when the relationship started, it was illegal in most states. • The inclusion of the Keepers, who’s purpose to this story remains to be seen, yet they take up at least 100 pages of this book. • Mead’s inability to further mention Dimitri’s family, who were made oh so important in book 4 only to never be heard from or seen again. • On that note, there was no mention of Mia either. • Or those pesky tarot card readings that seemed so like portents… • And I have yet to decipher who or what the last sacrifice was…Tasha maybe? She was certainly thrown under the bus. • Last but not least, Rose the Harlot. Not only did this asshole of a character fail to develop, she digressed to the lowest of the low, and yet we readers are supposed to think she is fantastic. I’m at a complete loss as to why this deplorable character has so many fans. She complained for 5 books about how much she secretly resented Lissa’s dependence on her, and when Lissa exerts her independence to not only take care of herself, but Rose too, Rose complains. Then there is her treatment of Adrian. Adrian risks his life to protect her, and when she has the opportunity to tell him the truth about her and Dimitri, she doesn’t, why, because, and I quote “I might need him later, but soon, I’ll do the right thing soon”. Oh Rose, how noble you are to do the right thing only when it is convenient for you.
At this, I will cease my rant, because truly, I’m not sure it will ever end. (less)
Once again writing duo Ilona Andrews has knocked one out of the park. Their work is like written gold. Their characters are complex and unique, the wo...moreOnce again writing duo Ilona Andrews has knocked one out of the park. Their work is like written gold. Their characters are complex and unique, the world building is interesting and intricate and the dialog is always spot on, realistic, and entertaining.
Bayou Moon tells the story of William, a changeling, who now resides in The Edge while working in The Broken. Though he is a native to The Weird, his court martialed status lent him to exile. But when an old enemy stirs, William’s expertise are sought by a Weird black ops team known as The Mirror. William’s assignment, should he choose to accept it, is simple though deadly, kill the villain known as Spider and all will be as it was. In William’s mind, he has no choice but to accept and thus he enters into the deep swamps of the Edge know as the Mire, to track down Spider and smite him from their world. Of course, fate is about to grant solitary William a boon in the form of Cerise.
Cerise Mar has just been made head of her convoluted, albeit talented family. She has two lost parents who’ve been stolen by The Hand and a bevy of relatives depending on her. To make matters worse, a centuries old family feud has reared its ugly head, leaving Cerise with yet another battle to fight. Luckily for Cerise, fate is about to hand her a gift in the form of the hunky William.
When William and Cerise meet, sparks fly, bonds are formed, and a pulse beating adventure begins. Complex and compelling, these two characters will keep you turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. It’s with bloodshot eyes that I type this review!
Like Kelley Armstrong, Ilona Andrews writes animals well. I simply adore reading characters whose personality traits are laced and interwoven with their animal instincts. William is adorable, while retaining a menacing, alluring appeal. And Cerise, well, she is his perfect match. Independent, intelligent, and a bit wild in her own right, these two stand on their own while standing together. No corny romantic fluff here, though there is romance, I can assure you.
If you are already a fan of Ilona Andrew’s work, this book adds yet another wonderful story to sink your teeth into, and if you’re not, you soon will be. (less)
Along for the Ride is a typical Sarah Dessen read. Very formulamatic. Emotionally damaged young girl meets an equally emotionally damaged boy. She is...moreAlong for the Ride is a typical Sarah Dessen read. Very formulamatic. Emotionally damaged young girl meets an equally emotionally damaged boy. She is either cold hearted or anti-social, no doubt because of some trauma inflicted upon her by her parents. Over the course of a summer, usually the one following senior year of high school, Girl begins to spread her wings for the first time. Though she somewhat enjoys herself, but remains socially awkward and uncomfortable, basically failing to connect with anyone in any real way. That is, until the mysterious and equally damaged boy comes along and treats her with patience, and inhuman male attention (meaning he isn’t staring at her boobs, doesn’t hit on her, basically fails to acknowledge that she is female and keeps his perving to himself). Naturally, the girl thinks they are “just friends” and is 100% okay with this because she isn’t looking for a relationship (Pulease!). Then they start to fall in lurve, but the girl, being emotionally damaged and all, effs it up because she doesn’t know what to do when someone gets to close. So she blows the gorgy, mysterious, inhuman boy off, goes on with her life, tackles whatever emotional issues plagues her on her own, then seeks out the damaged boy, who has also been using the time apart to address his own emotional shortcomings. Girl begs for forgiveness, and naturally it is granted, and the book ends on some vague high note.
I was going to use this section to summarize Along for the Ride but I feel as though I just did, so I’ll skip it. In a nutshell, reading a Dessen book is much like watching a romcom. You know from the start what will happen, they remain fairly shallow, unrealistic, et al, but you can’t help from enjoying them every now and again. The word “cute” comes to mind. A worthy read for a slow Sunday, snuggled on the couch or a sunny day by the pool. Just don’t expect it to rock your world or pull on any heartstrings. As it is, I’m blanking on tortured dude’s name.(less)
The verdict is still out on “Nightshade”. I’ll begin with the positives.
Pro: I burned through it in about three hours so it certainly can boast of pos...moreThe verdict is still out on “Nightshade”. I’ll begin with the positives.
Pro: I burned through it in about three hours so it certainly can boast of possessing and addictive like quality that makes it difficult for the reader to cast it aside. It’s also very well paced, which again, prevents the reader from willingly throwing the brakes on the story. There really isn’t a stopping point. Once you start, you have to finish. As a devourer of books, I like to be that consumed by a book, regardless of the reasons why.
Pro: I loved the twist on werewolf lore. The story reminded me of “Blood and Chocolate” in fact, it’s almost exact and I’d be willing to bet it was the inspiration for “Nightshade”, but the lore was unique. Well, sort of. The lore also reminded me of the movie “Rise of the Lycans”, but in “Nightshade” werewolves are the guardians of the Keepers, powerful sorcerer types that are in a war against the Searchers, also powerful sorcerer types, only for the side of evil, or so the Guardians are told.
Pro: The plot. It wasn’t complex, but it did boast something slightly new to the standard YA paranormal romance. Calla is an alpha guardian of the Nightshade Pack soon to celebrate her 18th birthday on All’s Hallows Eve. Ren is also an alpha guardian, only of the Bane clan. He too will celebrate his 18th birthday on All’s Hallows Eve. However, Calla and Ren will be participating in another sort of celebration on the day of their adulthood, their union which has been planned by the keepers since their infancy. Together they will complete a trial, and form their own Pack which they will rule side by side. Calla has always been prepared for her destiny until a twist of fate presents her with a chance encounter, a human boy named Shay. It is through Shay, that Calla learns just how much the ties that bind, chafe. But Shay is not all that he appears. Surrounded by secrets and forbidden knowledge, Shay and Calla set out to find the truth about the world around them. As a result, their lives, and the lives of those whom Calla loves, will never be the same. Sounds interesting right?
Pro:Ren. I’m not going to lie, I found Ren appealing. I think it’s that whole alpha male, morally ambiguousness thing that gets my blooding boiling.
Con: Aside from Ren, the characters were made of dull and fell flat. What’s with the onslaught of heroine’s who hate being feminine? Most females like clothes. That doesn’t equate vanity or clothes obsession, but I think that a majority of the female population at the age of 18 like to be a bit girly, even when they have non-girly interests and pursuits. I’m over reading about females that encompass such a small percentage of the population. Give me a break.
Con: The love story between Calla and Shay. It lacked substance, was instantaneous, you know the drill. Again, I say give me a break. You can think a guy is hot and want to jump his bones, but if you have an equally handsome guy, who’ve you’ve known your entire life and are meant to be with, chances are you aren’t going to drop him for a hot piece of ass you’ve seen all of one time.
With that, I have given away a spoiler, but it isn’t as if the writing wasn’t on the wall from the start. “Nightshade” doesn’t contain anything spectacular, but it has a slight edge over a majority of the books in this genre. If you’re addicted to the YA paranormal genre, I’m sure you’ll be content to add this new series to your shelves, if not; you may or may not enjoy your time spent with “Nightshade”. I’ll probably follow it, but it isn’t a release I would be on edge about.
Several terms come to mind when describing Jellicoe Road, but perhaps what works best is clever. Melina Marchetta has a masterful way with words. Her...moreSeveral terms come to mind when describing Jellicoe Road, but perhaps what works best is clever. Melina Marchetta has a masterful way with words. Her writing is simple and yet effective. She’s down to earth, whilst being thought provoking. Lamb dressed as mutton. I could go into a plot summary for you, but I think it would ruin the experience; therefore, I’ll say this:
There is a story within a story that inevitably intertwines the past to the present, and both are vivid and remarkably told. The dust jacket and/or blubs will present this book as a mystery, but to be frank, that’s a bit false. All mystery dissipates 150 pages in, with the first 50 pages being a bit of a confusing mess. I’ll admit, I had my doubts about Jellicoe Road in the beginning. The narrative hops around way too often, in no seeming order, and there were times when I had no idea who was speaking. But I pressed on, hoping that the story would reveal itself in time if I could only endure for a little longer. I’ll note here that Marchetta has this way of luring you in against your will. In this instance, I was compelled by Taylor Markham, even though there were times that I was a bit put out with her. She’s just so lost, so solitary, so angry and she’s been so betrayed. You want to slap her, then give her a hug. Though, as Marchetta has proven with her other works, her narrator is never the only character to shine albeit they shine through a rain cloud as her characters are almost always emotional train wrecks. Nevertheless, everyone is complex in their own unique, intriguing way. You get the sense that these people exist, somewhere along the Jellicoe Road. Their stories begin to feel like your experiences, their pasts become your memories. You can’t help but fall a little in love with them.
All in all, Jellicoe Road won a Printz Award for good reason, and if you can just stick it out for 50 trying pages, you will be more than well compensated. (less)
Reread: First I must begin by thanking my amie T for recommending this jewel of a book. Melina Marchetta is on par with our beloved E.Lockhart and I o...moreReread: First I must begin by thanking my amie T for recommending this jewel of a book. Melina Marchetta is on par with our beloved E.Lockhart and I owe you for introducing her phenomenal writing to me.
Francesca’s life leaves a lot to be desired. She has just begun her junior year, attending the recently defined co-ed school St. Sebastian’s. She, along with 29 other unlucky sods are now co-existing with a bunch of hormonal, testosterone fueled blokes who are under the misapprehension that by divine right of possessing a penis, they are somehow superior. To make attending a new school with a bunch of sexist, flatulent filled pervs worse, Francesca isn’t sure of which of the females in matriculation she should adopt as her fellow females at arms. There’s Tara Finke, the feminist dejour, who always has someone to chastise and who might as well call herself a lezzie and be done with it, or Siobhan the slut who spends her weekend hooking up with losers only to end up drunkenly crying into the toilet, and then there is the accordion playing Justine that practically has nerd stamped across her forehead. These facts alone would make any normal, insecure female fraught with discomfort and turmoil but as life would have it, things can always get worse. And for Francesca they do when her rock/nag of a mother decides to not get out of bed one morning, or the day after.
Saving Francesca tackles what happens when a lost girl is forced to come to terms with who she is while simultaneously tackling life’s many dramas. Francesca’s forced to come into her own and find her path, while struggling to maintain some semblance of her family intact.
Marchetta has created a beautiful book that addresses everyday personal issues on life, love, friendship, depression and more with a flawless grace interwoven with a remarkable humor. I laughed till I cried and sometimes I just cried, but overall, I enjoyed every word told in Francesca’s voice.
This book inspired me to be a Roller Derby girl. Strike that, it inspired me to attempt long boarding, which was great fun, but not something I think...moreThis book inspired me to be a Roller Derby girl. Strike that, it inspired me to attempt long boarding, which was great fun, but not something I think I have any business doing. Anywho, onto the good stuff.
Bliss hates her life. She is an emo punk rocker, minus the rocker skills, stuck in small town U.S.A. No one except for her nerdy best friend Pash understands her and her mother seems hell-bent on tormenting her with her intense desire to turn her Goth obsessed daughter into a superficial beotch, I mean beauty queen. *gags*. Thankfully Bliss shares my sentiment on such things.
Bliss wants to break away from her shit hole of a town, where small minds rule and vanity trumps intelligence and insight. But life changes for Bliss when a fateful trip to and Austin vintage shop uncovers a world where women not only reject ribbons and lace, they rip them to shreds, and mock them mercilessly.
Bliss enters the world of Women's Roller Derby and quickly joins the Hurl Scouts, adopting the derby name of Babe Ruthless. I would have gone with Dolly Spartan myself, but who am I to judge? It is in this world of hard core roller mashing that Bliss discovers her inner fire if you will and ignites.
WhipIt is a great coming of age tale for any of us females with snide humor who prefer live outside of the box, are in possession of musical taste and wouldn't mind befriending women who can kick are ass while boasting names such as 5 Scar General and Emma of the State. (less)
Reading and reviewing Linger has made me empathize with Aron Rolston all the more (for those of you who don’t know Aron, he is a mountain climber who...moreReading and reviewing Linger has made me empathize with Aron Rolston all the more (for those of you who don’t know Aron, he is a mountain climber who had to cut his own arm off while he was literally trapped between a rock and a hard place). As many of you who have read my reviews know, there is no love lost between Shiver and I, and one would presume that my extreme dislike, nay loathing, of said book would have prevented me from reading book two. But alas, my damnable curiosity got the better of me, and damn it all, if I didn’t hate Linger nearly as much as its predecessor. What has caused my stickage (stickage as a word, yes?, no?) between my proverbial rock and a hard place is the suckage that is the first and last third of Linger. Allow me to demonstrate.
*Please note that I did not include every error contained within Linger. I simply don’t have that amount of time to waste. I just picked a few of my favorites.
Page 4: Shit, we have a song lyric. “Gift of time in me enclosed, the future suddenly exposed”. What the fek does that mean? Is Sam pregnant? That would explain his “leaky womb” comment in Shiver. Also, Sam has accused Isabel of violating his tea, how exactly does one go about violating tea?
Page 4 Cont.: Wait a minute, now the tea is being described as untouched. Which is it Sam? Did Isable rape your tea or not? If you’re not careful, I’m going to think MaggieStiefvater can’t write 4 pages without pissing of RAINN advocates and incorporating an inconsistency into her story.
Page 5: Great now Sam is quoting from some obscure writer, probably a poet since Sam has deluded himself into thinking he is one. Show of hands, who has heard of Mandelstam? I didn’t think so. T, you don’t count because you are Russian. (Side note: Sam later references all the poets he had mentioned prior as German, however, according to Wikipedia, Mandelstam is in fact Russian. In my opinion this is a demonstration of piss poor research on the author’s part).
Page 6: Lovely, Sam knows the various pronunciations for the word foyer and thinks he is a mighty man for saying the French version “foi-yay.” Congratulations Stiefvater, you just castrated your leading man. And they had probably just descended too.
Page 20: Grace has just dreamt of turtleneck sweaters. My God, even her dreams are dull.
Page 54: Sam’s eyes have smarted. For the love of Christ, can we drop the cerebral, step away from the thesaurus and just say “Sting”?
Pages 67-69: Am I the only one who finds the following sentences awkward and/or annoying? “Then mom said, not in a nice way, “Bye.”” “Sam agreed, his voice a bit mournful.” “He said, a little hesitant…”
Luckily for those of us who have read, or will read Linger we are granted a reprieve around page 80 (This is when new character Cole is introduced and the actually story begins). That’s right, it takes 80 feckin pages. Most of you will give up before the story starts, I know I wanted to.
Page 83: (Keep in mind that a very gorgy looking Cole is naked in this scene, woot woot) “he reached up and held the shower rod behind him with both hands, stretching himself out rather beautifully as he studied me.” Um, yowza. A methodical hottie aware of his own allure, sign me up!
Anywho, as I was saying, this is the portion of Linger actually has some substance to it. The little land mines that were so prevalent up to page 80 or so, seem to disappear, and believe me, I had my eye out for them. Furthermore, the characters of Sam, Cole and Isabel come into sharp focus, each struggling with inner demons that haunt their present. Sam tackles his parents murder attempt, even reliving it as in one scene, Cole literally pushes him into a bathroom. We are also introduced to Cole, who chose to turn into a wolf in order to escape the guilt that plagues his thoughts. Then there Isabel, who is finding it difficult to overcome her grief and self-reproach over her brother’s death, for which she feels responsible. Each of these characters’ suffering was very well written and rather compelling to read. I find it interesting that most reviewers hate this portion of the book, as I feel as though it was the only segment worth reading. Steifvater struck gold with these three. Unfortunately, she destroyed it with the ending.
*Spoiler Alert* Turns out all the plot holes I noted in Shiver were intentional. *Pauses for the sound of my eyes rolling* As Cole, the junkie/flunkie, points out with his bad science, the weather doesn’t cause the Mercy Falls’ wolves to shift, it’s merely a catalyst. Apparently, wolf bites are poisonous (yeah, we figured) and anyone who is bit, shifts to eliminate the toxin, and for some reason, these shifts align with the weather. Any questions? Makes sense, right? Yeah, it didn’t make sense to me either. So once again, the “science” that is pivotal to the plot isn’t explained properly. There are loads of gaps in logic, not to mention it’s a direct contradiction to the “science” of Shiver, leading me to believe that the creator of this series doesn’t have a clue about her series or where it is going, only that she is taking it somewhere. What is it with these authors’s desecrating their cannon? But I digress.
So I suppose you can see where all of this is going, but if not, I will tell you, because I believe that writers should explain things properly. Since the whole “weather logic” of Shiver has been blown to hell, thus has the cure. Meaning Sam isn’t really cured, which means Grace isn’t cured either. This would explain why Grave has smelled like a festering dog throughout this book( I apologize for neglecting to mention that earlier) and has had excruciating headaches and depilating fevers. Her body hasn’t shifted in nearly a decade, which supposedly eliminates the toxin, meaning the toxin has built up in her body and is now killing her. What the weather has to do with it all this remains at large. Now, I’m sure you want to know what happens next, but I’m not going to tell you….unless you really want to know.
*Double Spoiler Alert* Grace gets re-bit and turned into a wolf, leaving still human Sam all aloney on his owney and vowing to search for and find the real cure. Its vair sad.
Final rating, 2.5 stars. The beginning was an excruciating torment to read, and the end blew hard with its unexplained crap science that basically massacred everything said and done in Shiver. This is a major writing faux pa. But…I’m going to add a star and a half to its deserved one star rating because of the pretty cover and font in addition to some truly brilliant passages in reference to characters Sam, Cole and Isabel. There was rather touchy subject matter at play here and I thought that Steifvater addressed it honestly and poignantly. It’s a shame she butchered it with the actual story. (less)