I was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in spI was instantly enchanted when I first read City of Bones, and that enchantment still holds four years, and at least half a dozen re-reads later in sptite of the fact that I'm older, wiser, and should know better. I've also read countless reviews, both adoring and loathing and have come to the conclusion that this book does not garner any type of middle ground, you either love it or you hate it.
I'm glad that I get to love it. What else can I say? [image error]
For me, this book shines, and to those of you who loved it, I imagine you are a bit like me. You found yourself immersed in a world where demons roam the night, weres run a bar, vamps occupy abandoned hotels, warlocks cast spells while rockin glitter in their hip hugging jeans, and the law is upheld by Shadowhunters, a race of humans blessed by the angel Raziel. Hokey? Sure. Rockin like a unicorn adorned bike? Hell yes! Even the setting, NYC, was so palpable; it became another character in this vibrant story. I thought the Shadowhunter world was funny, sleek, dark, sexy and hopeful. More importantly, the characters came so alive for me that they jumped off the pages. I felt as though I were in the story with them as opposed to merely following along in their journey.
Regardless of the types of books you prefer to read, or the characters that endear themselves to your heart, I think we all read to for some type of enjoyment. What evokes that enjoyment varies from reader to reader, but I still find excitement within these pages. To me, that is the mark of a fantastic book.
I am in awe of this author’s talent. I hated this book, and loved it. It’s cruel, and frustrating, unfair, and yet it’s also sad, and hopeful, and honI am in awe of this author’s talent. I hated this book, and loved it. It’s cruel, and frustrating, unfair, and yet it’s also sad, and hopeful, and honest and authentic. I’m not sure how everyone else feels about their High School experience, but I despised mine. You couldn’t pay me to go back. However, this story was so vivid, that I felt as though I could smell the grease from the cafeteria, feel the rough tile on the bathroom floor and the chill of that cold fateful night. I even cringed at the hurt that all these characters so casually inflicted upon one another, so I guess I went back after all.
Sam is not a nice girl. In fact, she is a bit of a bitch. Scratch that, she is a bitch. She doesn’t set out to maliciously attack anyone, but she doesn’t stand against it either. She won’t instigate the chant of “psycho” at the school outcast, but she shouts it just as loudly as her group of popular she witches. Worse, she actually believes that others should just accept the way they are mercilessly attacked because she was once mocked in the third grade for blushing, as if blushing were the equivalent to being called a whore, who bared the goods for grass when the person at the butt of that malicious lie doesn’t smoke or has even been kissed. Naturally, when Samantha meets an unfortunate end after forcing us to spend a day in her insipid world, I hardly felt bad for her. How sad is that? A teen girl dies tragically, and I thought she got what she deserved. Thus is the beauty of this book.
Told in seven chapters, each representing the same day, Before I Fall tells the story of a typically popular girl, who gets six days to right some wrongs. Make no mistake. I hardly think one day is sufficient to mend the hurt that these girls created. It in no way rectifies the things that Samantha has done, but it’s a start in the right direction. Rather, I felt this story allowed readers to realize that there is depth to us all, even the bitches and we all have thoughts that should shame us. The character development of all the characters was astounding, and the character growth, drastic though it may be, was entirely believable. ...more
It has taken me a small eternity to write this review. I was down a hand for I had to use my left index finger to clamp down on my left eyelid in ordeIt has taken me a small eternity to write this review. I was down a hand for I had to use my left index finger to clamp down on my left eyelid in order to stop the twitching that began around page 65 of Beautiful Creatures. Meet the culprit.
“As I lay down, she sat up, I sat up, she laid down, I laid down. Awkward.”
Hell, now the right one is doing it.
To quote Hawkeye, from the 1991 movie version of Last of the Mohicans, Beautiful Creatures is “a breed apart and makes no sense” therefore making it nearly impossible to describe. It’s a contradictory mess and filled with 600 pages of driveling, hyperbole, that attempts, and yet fails miserably, at being cerebral. I’ll take it from the top.
Ethan. Who knew that 16 year old boys had so much in common with my great grandmother? Big granny could tell you everything there was to know about Southern style architecture, felt the world would end if she ran a few minutes late, and loved Gone With the Wind. Coincidentally, she and Ethan could have been soul mates. Even more amazing, Ethan is popular. Had he gone to my school (which was in a small southern town I might add) he would have been beat, both before and after school, and mocked mercilessly during class.
Lena. Can’t really say anything about her, she is that flat and dull.
Amma. She must have fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. She would dominate at a staring contest, could probably teach me a thing or two about setting the eye on someone, and if I ever needed to intimidate a guy by sharpening my pencil, she’d be the first person I would call. But as a character, she sucked arse.
Plot. Can’t say much about it as there isn’t one. I’ve seen it mentioned more than once in various blubs, that Beautiful Creatures is a memorizing Southern Gothic tale. To be frank, these women would be hard pressed to describe a south that didn’t appear in Gone With the Wind. This was truly driven home when another granny in the book stated that she wanted to be buried with her Bible so that she would have something to read once she passed. Any southerner worth their salt knows that statement would never be uttered south of the Mason Dixon line for two reasons. One, we all know that you will your battered family Bible to the least liked family member so that they are coerced by post mortem guilt to display it among their treasures once they have written your death date in it with a 10 cent pen they find buried in the back of a drawer and second because grannies don’t read Bibles, they just quote from them in order to brow beat you into submission. Basically, this entire book spits out clichés, cites works of literature that far surpass this one, Lena worries that she is evil, and she and Ethan hunt for a book that is rendered useless.
I wish I could have told Lena not to fret, because the real spawn(s) of Satan are the people who are responsible for publishing and/or advertising this book. Beautiful Creatures was blogged, blurbbed, and podcasted for at least 6 mos. prior to its release. I’d given them props if I weren’t so mad at them for their treachery. Had I been in their shoes, I would have quoted Bill Nighy from Love Actually, “Please boys and girls, buy this festering turd of a book so that someone can finally knock Stephanie Meyer off the best seller list.”
Lastly, for those of you who read my review thus far, I must apologize. I have pulled a Garcia and Stohl and have gone on too long. I bid you my blurb.
“Beautiful Creatures is freakishly weird, nonsensical, and plot-less tome that will leave your eye twitching long after you have turned the last page.” ...more
How do I begin to convey my disappointment? I suppose it all comes down to expectations and as mine were not met, I feel vastly underwhelmed, and a liHow do I begin to convey my disappointment? I suppose it all comes down to expectations and as mine were not met, I feel vastly underwhelmed, and a little bit devastated. When I read HungerGames, I was enthralled. I thought Katniss was intelligent, resourceful, and displayed tremendous strength in character. Moreover, Katniss’s arc appeared to parallel with the overall arc of the story/series. As Katniss grew more bold, so did the remaining characters and the uprising initiative. I expected this to continue in Catching Fire. However, Katniss appeared to stagnate, whereas the remaining characters and overall story arc continued on without her. By the end of book 2, Katniss was still in “survivor” mode, and failed to deliver anything beyond demonstration of those already proven survival instincts that we readers discovered in book 1. Nonetheless, my love for HungerGames left me with hope that Katniss would finally step into her role as not only a symbol of hope and rebellion against tyranny, but as a leader in an uprising that opposes oppression, and emboldens freedom of choice and will. Much to my dismay, it never occurs.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I was under the impression that this series was meant to be about revolting against a corrupt, freedom suppressing government and replacing it with a new government that not only condones freedom in all its forms, but fosters it, allowing it to thrive. For this to be an achievable story arc, Katniss has to develop into something more than a resourceful hunter, shooter of arrows, and unpredictable pawn. She has to embolden herself, as the districts have had to embolden themselves, grab her title as MockingJay by the balls, and make her own choices, cut her own path, and shoot down those who stand in her way literally and figuratively. Otherwise what is the point of revolution if the very person who made it possible doesn’t follow through?
But in MockingJay we don’t get an emboldened Katniss, we simply get more of the same, actually, we get less than the same. When Katniss isn’t hiding in closets, passed out from injuries, strung out on morphine, or walking around the compound in a near catatonic state, Katniss will exert herself in her typical yet unpredictable brash reactor form, always manipulated by those around her. She still lacks control over her life. She isn’t a warrior in the rebellion, she is a weapon, a tool, a pawn. Other times she is completely useless all-together. She is dictated to and she may or may not deliver. Where did the potential leader go I ask you?
This late in the game, Katniss needed to grow as a character, to complete the story arc, if not her own character’s journey, properly. Katniss has been used to spur the other districts into revolution because she is supposed to possess strength in character as seen in the Hunger Games. She is now the face of the revolution, whether she meant to be or not. The districts have become inspired by the ball busting Katniss they perceive her to be, and it’s a lie. Turns out she isn’t opposed to being used as long as it’s people she knows calling the shots (District 13). I would have been fine with this course of events had they appeared in CatchingFire. But by the final installment, Katniss needed to be in charge of her own fate, to understand her role, to be a role model. Instead I felt as though I was reading the POV of a mentally unstable drug addict.
Then there is the rebellion itself. I was expecting carnage, war, suffering, and terror seen through the eyes of our previous heroine (Katniss) and hero (Peeta). Instead we suffer through ad campaigns and one unnecessary adventure that doesn’t occur until the last portion of the book, and even that is unsatisfying with all its useless deaths (Finnick and Primm). Frankly, Finnick was the best part of MockingJay and I couldn’t even mourn him properly as his face time was so minimal and his death so swift. But back on point, what was the purpose for Katniss’s man killing mission? Is she really so daft that she can’t see the bigger picture? Can’t she rise above baser human emotions, and the events that pertain only to her? Can’t she at least attempt to be worthy of the responsibility that has befallen her? Can’t she at least strive to earn it? And what’s most pathetic is that the revenge attempt that cost the lives of Finnick and Primm was all for nothing. Snow lives, until TB takes him. At least that’s what I assume happens, it never is very clear on how he died.
But my biggest question is, why does Collins hate Peeta? When she wasn’t making him an invalid in books 1 and 2, he shined. Now in book 3 he has forgotten his love for Katniss and has been programmed by the Capital to kill her. What the hell? Why? Why not let him finally prove his worth, achieve his greatness? Why did she have to make him someone’s bitch?
This book is a sham. A cop out. And it destroys the integrity of the previous books in the series. The characters fail to develop and even digress into wretched states. The ending is a crap shoot, and that epilogue was bullshit. I’m Team Peeta through and through, but I feel ripped off. Katniss didn’t choose him, she resigned herself to him because he was the one who came back for her. There was no declaration on her part, no acceptance or confession of her feelings. Peeta deserved better. We readers earned better.
To those of you reviewers who will scoff at my review, claiming that this book was perfect because it was "realistic", I say give me a break. This series was never meant to be a war documentary. It is a Young Adult Sceince Fiction book. This book contains mutant animals and insects for Christ's sake. In what reality other than "make believe" does a teenager fuel a rebellion? Millions of girls adore Justin Beiber but he isn't going to become the next president. We didn't wait on pins and needles for realism. That's not why readers devoured The Hunger Games. We fell in love because the plot grabbed a hold of our minds with an enthralling story filled with worthy engaging characters. Sadly, somewhere along the way, Collins lost track of the story she was telling and got off course by deciding to get preachy. I didn't want a victim for a heroine, I wanted a victor.
After two rather epic books, I expected more, these characters were worthy of more. It’s terrible what was done to them and to us for having to read it. While reading MockingJayI felt like Katniss, a pawn. ...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**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. ...more
At first I was a bit put out with this book. I don’t know what it is about male authors, but they can be down right infuriating. Men truly do think onAt first I was a bit put out with this book. I don’t know what it is about male authors, but they can be down right infuriating. Men truly do think on a different wave length and speak another language than women. I was becoming rather frustrated with the lack of information being given, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to endure that sort of aggravation for 300 plus pages. Luckily around page 60 or so, Dashner hit his stride and I became enthralled with this story.
It’s so difficult to write a review that divulges information about the plot without simultaneously giving the plot away. Dashner mastered the art of dolling out need to know information in spades while maintaining an air of mystery that keeps you immersed in the story, craving for more.
The Maze Runner begins with Thomas finding himself memory-less, surrounded by teenage boys of varying ages, in a strange place called the Glade. Thomas immediately begins asking questions, attempting to get his bearings, though answers aren’t forth coming, and the Gladers are none to helpful. Nonetheless, life doesn’t seem too shabby in the Glade. There is a homestead, crops, barns filled with livestock, the sun always shines, and various supplies appear in “the box” each week upon request. There even appears to be order within the Glade, though it is filled with nothing but testosterone fueled teenage boys. There appears to be only a handful of rules, 1. Never threaten your fellow Gladers, 2. Everyone must pull their weight, 3. No one is allowed in the Maze aside from runners, 4. No one is allowed in the Maze after dark. Though the rules are rather self-explanatory, their necessity becomes all to clear once Thomas is allowed to know what lurks behind the stone walls protecting the Glade. While no one knows how they came to arrive in the Glade, why they were sent, or who sent them, they all strive towards a common goal, solving the Maze and leaving the Glade. But once the first ever girl arrives into the Glade, a trigger is pulled, and the stakes for survival are raised.
Despite the fact that I didn’t have an emotional reaction (crying when it was clear that I was meant to), I couldn’t set this book down. I wasn’t scared for any of the characters, my heart didn’t race, but I desperately wanted to solve the freakin mystery. Luckily, there is a conclusion of sorts; however, this is clearly a series as you gain new information that tickles your intrigue before coming to a major halt. Grr. So like all the other suckers, I’m sure I’ll be reading the sequel. ...more
After what feels like an eternity, I finally concluded this book, so help me God. I'm a lover of paranormal fantasy, but has anyone aside from me andAfter what feels like an eternity, I finally concluded this book, so help me God. I'm a lover of paranormal fantasy, but has anyone aside from me and my amie T noticed the recent downward spiral of this genre? What is the deal? More importantly, how are these crap writers getting published with such subpar themes/ideas?
I selected this book for reading torment due to the same reason most individuals pick up these crap books…We are suckers for those damn marketing schemes that promise writing styles, plots or characters similar to those that we most treasure. Raised by Wolves is supposed to be along the same vein as Bitten, a book I simply adore. Same vein my ass.
Bryn is a rebellious (If you can consider talking back a rebellious trait, otherwise she is made of dull) human girl, living amongst a pack of werewolves. Apparently Bryn’s family was killed by a rapid were, and she has been the adopted daughter of the Pack Alpha, Callum, ever since. While Bryn has a metaphysical connection (Please don’t ask me to explain this, I don’t understand it either) to the Pack, she keeps it clamped down so that she is not susceptible to the allure and demands of the Pack. But when everyone around Bryn begins to shield her from something unknown, her damnable curiosity inevitably gets the better of her. After a rather pathetic escape attempt, Bryn uncovers the hidden secret that no one wants her to know. Naturally this secret is in the form of a hot, newly turned werewolf boy named Chase. At this point I’m sure you can see the writing on the wall, these two losers form a bond that is so intense that Bryn forgoes years of rejecting the Pack connection in order to get closer to Chase. Chase must be one fine piece of arse, because no way would I do something that stupid for anything less than an Alex Pettyfer look alike.
At any rate, I simply can’t bear to continue summarizing on, reading it the first time was hell enough without having to repeat it. For those of you who are trolling for spoilers, I will say that Bryn is beat, betrayed, opens a can of whoop ass, and then gets a happy ending. For those of you who are reading this to hear the truth about what lies between the covers, let me enlighten you. The writing grates like sand-paper on bare ass. There are numerous one word sentences such as, “Survive.” “Trapped.” “Kill.” “Rabid.” that made me wonder if Bryn possibly suffered from an undiagnosed birth defect. Consequently, when we aren’t reading mind bunnies we are stuck reading the point of view of a naively innocent, and rather idiotic, idealistic teen girl who has no business being a character in a story, much less narrating it. If I were Kelley Armstrong, I ‘d be pissed that such an inadequate writer was skirting on my coat tails, but that may be just me. Patricia Briggs probably has reason to be annoyed as well seeing as the Pack of Raised by Wolves screams “I was hijacked from Mercy Thompson!”.
So for those of you who love books such as Beautiful Creatures or Shiver, this one will be right up your ally. But for those of you who share my sentiment on the aforementioned piles of literary le poo, it would behoove you to resist the subliminal messaging from all those marketers and pick something else to torment yourself with. ...more
It’s nearly impossible for me to write a review for books that I love. I’m never able to do them justice, but I’ll give it a whirl. The Reckoning is tIt’s nearly impossible for me to write a review for books that I love. I’m never able to do them justice, but I’ll give it a whirl. The Reckoning is the final installment to Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers Trilogy. If you haven’t read The Summoning and The Awakening, I would advise you not to read this installment until you have. The Darkest Powers’ world is constantly evolving and Armstrong doesn’t waste her time catching readers up to what they should already know, which I have to admit, is part of what I love about her writing.
I devoured this book. Read it in one setting even and I was glad to see The Reckoning took us back to The Summoning eerie roots. To a place meant to be a sanctuary, but is eerily much more similar to a prison, where the do-gooders may pull a Judas, and the menaces make for the best allies. While this series may have a red-herring or two, I was so caught up in these characters and their journey that I didn’t even notice them until I had read the last page. In my mind, that is a testament to good writing, to see a flaw, and not register it or care because the story is just that good.
Chloe is equally impressive. She has shown tremendous growth and has somehow avoided the Mary Sue pitfall. It seems as though writers pen two types of heroines, the uber sweet, oh so pretty girl, despairing over her shortcomings as a mortal, who somehow rises to the challenge and smites everyone, becoming the bestest superhuman ever and miraculously saves the day or the oh so snide and cynical girl, jaded by everything and everyone, who has a hard edge, but somehow softens and like her counterpart, rises to the occasion and saves the day. Both types are cliché, neither apply to Chloe. Chloe is a necromancer, but as she often admits, isn’t of much use unless there is a corpse nearby. She is petite, but not overly pretty, or exceptionally smart. The word that comes to mind is average. And yet, Chloe doesn’t despair over things she lacks, nor does she turn into Chloe, Necromancer Goddess, though she is an extremely powerful necromancer. Rather, Chloe does what she can, and admits, that sometimes the best she can do is keep out of the way, and let those with more suited gifts run the show. Can we say refreshing?
I’m also enamored with Derek, who like his leading lady, avoids the stigma attached to leading men. He doesn’t kiss Chloe’s ass, nor is he mocking. He is honest and frank, protective and insecure, yet confident in his abilities. I appreciated the fact that Armstrong allowed him to lay into Chloe when she had made a mistake, and didn’t then force him to grovel as though honesty were a sin. And I’ll admit, I think Armstrong might lace her books with a bit of magic, cause she made me lust after someone, who upon first description, is very physically unattractive. That is simply unprecedented.
But what ultimately garnered my attention is the stereotype that Armstrong herself manages to bypass with ease. She can write and adult series, filled with some of the best steam I’ve read, and then turn around, write a book about supernatural teens, whose scenes together are so freaking sweet and endearing, that my stomach flips. Kudos.
All in all, a great non-ending to a series. While there was certainly a conclusion to the trilogy, Armstrong has left Chloe's story fairly open ended to allow for more adventures with Chloe and Co, and hopefully, we’ll see her again, in Women of the Otherworld. ...more
As my fellow readers well know, I adore Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series with unrivaled passion. After all, Jace Wayland is my fictional huAs my fellow readers well know, I adore Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series with unrivaled passion. After all, Jace Wayland is my fictional husband, it’s only natural I would want to devour anything written by the woman who thought him into existence. But…when I read the synopsis of ClockworkAngel, I was a bit reluctant to begin another journey that existed in the same world as my beloved Jace, Clary, and Co., even it is set 100 some odd years prior. I intuitively felt that the only way for me to fall for ClockworkAngel was for it to be in the same vein as the Mortal Instruments, which would also be to its detriment. Could it ever compare to COB, COA, or COG? And wouldn’t it make Clare appear as though she is a one trick pony? The answers are no, and yes. Oddly enough, that later answer earned ClockworkAngel an extra star, as it is truly only a three star book.
I will say this, had the Infernal Devices been written and released prior to Moral Instruments, I might have rated it differently. I might have given it a five star rating for sheer inventiveness, but I had read Mortal Instruments, so that was out. However, I also might have rated it lower if it weren’t for my love of Clare, as some of these new host’s of characters fell flat, and as I read for characters, I’m not sure that the inventiveness of Clare’s world would have been enough to eclipse the lacking cardboard cutouts.
The world of ClockworkAngel is set in Victorian Era London, though it reads much more like steampunk than a true reinaction of the day and age. The setting was described well, I felt the rain in my bones, could sense the menace of the Dark Sister’s dwelling, etc, but unlike in Mortal Instruments, the city didn’t “thrive”, it wasn’t another character, it was merely a back drop. I have felt more than once, that had CityofBones and CityofAshes not have been set in present day New York City, it wouldn’t have been as effecting as the city reflected the characters perfectly. London doesn’t provide the same sustenance to the character’s of ClockworkAngel and I can’t help but feel it is lacking something for it.
As for the characters, Will was clearly created in Jace’s image, only provided with brown hair/blue eys as opposed to blonde and golden. Will is tormented, but for the life of me, I couldn’t bring myself to care, it felt contrived because it was obviously meant to serve as some familiar trait seeing as Jace and William are both Herondales. Will was also lacking in wit, which Jace often supplied in abundance. Where Jace had a sarcastic exterior to prevent others from seeing the loving, compassionate interior, Will uses it to hide a core of ugliness. I’m not sure what Will’s issue is, but there isn’t anything endearing about it. He has nothing on Jace. Thankfully, Tessa compensated for Will’s shortcomings. Unlike Clary, Tessa doesn’t need things explained to her. She isn’t at all childlike, moreover, she is intuitive, and it serves her well throughout the story. I enjoyed her voice, felt her sense of loss, was unnerved by the betrayal that befalls her, etc. I certainly want to read more of her, and will enjoy the journey that has been set before her. Then there is Jem. He’s basically a straight, Asian version of Alec. However, there is something appealing about Jem. Like Tessa, he is unnervingly intuitive and is in possession of such a strong sense of compassion, that I want him to find only happiness for what remains of his life. Naturally, it wouldn’t be YA paranormal if that happiness didn’t come in the shape of Tessa, meant to create a love triangle no doubt, a dicey one to boot as Jem appears to be the only person that Will has any affection for. In my reader’s mind, I know I should prefer him to Will. Will is the sort of boy that we are trained to deflect and Jem is the sort of boy our mother’s tell us to marry. Jem is kind, loving, intelligent, etc. and I feel like a very bad person for hoping that Tessa unlocks the doors to Will’s heart.
The plot is well paced, there was plenty of action that will make for an entertaining series arc, but just as the setting, I felt the sense of something missing. It just didn’t grab me. I want to know how it all unfolds, but there was no sense of frustration, excitement, awe. I just felt mild amusement, mild consternation, mild everything. After riding the gut wrenching roller coaster of emotions that Moral Instruments provided, this new series seemed lackluster in comparison. It’s interesting enough to make it above the current YA paranormal par, yet it can hardly boast of possessing the same sense of wonder, love, torment, humor, etc as its predecessor.
I will certainly read book two, I’m sure I will even enjoy it, and hopefully, I will love it, but as of this moment, it is made up of unused potential. ...more
WTF L.J.? Were you high when you wrote this, or do you have so little respect for your devoted fans that you felt you could produce this sack of horseWTF L.J.? Were you high when you wrote this, or do you have so little respect for your devoted fans that you felt you could produce this sack of horse shit and be praised for it? This book read like its inspiration originated from a tree huggers’ acid trip. I have loved you for more than a decade Ms. Smith, but I’m done with you. This book was a travesty.
The first pages set the scene like harbingers of doom, beginning with a cell phone recording/diary entry to bring us up-to-date. This entry serves no other purpose than to prove to readers Ms. Smith has lost her grasp on her characters and reality as well as to inform her readers that the Elena from the previous books truly is dead and gone. In her stead, we get a lobotomized version of Elena who sounds as though she were about 10 years old and obsessed with Sailor Moon. The rest of the book blew just as hard as the start, but like a true schmuck, I finished it. Not even Elena’s lame ass “Wings of Purification” could purge this book of its suckage.
There is no plot, so I can’t recount it for those of you who are contemplating acts of sadism/masochism. However, I hate to see my self-punishment go to waste; therefore, I shall hi-light the basic route markers on this road to literary hell.
1. Elena’s self obsessed, and yet “oh so humble” journal entries that declare her everlasting, undying love for Stefan that casually omit the fact that she has been making out with his brother while also feeding him her blood. Meanwhile Stefan sits in a cold, cruel prison cell, held captive by a very bad bad man. So much for love, huh?
2. The heavy handed metaphors were gag inducing. A little boy chained to the floor…Is it too much to ask for my vampires to not be served with a side of child labor references? Fraggel Rock never included such things.
3. Elena is the “Jewel in the crown of humanity” complete with the ability to weep healing “virgin tears”. Last time I checked L.J.'s universe, blood-letting was the vamp equivalent to sex, and Elena has blood-letted with not one, but two Salvatore brothers. Apparently vampire sex doesn’t count as Elena's virgin tears heal her love dejour, Stefan. Can we say inconsistancy? Or perhaps the real screwing taking place is L.J. Smith's attempts to screw with her readers minds?
4. The inclusion of Lady Ulma and her magical dresses. I lost count to how many pages were devoted to this. Far too many, and naturally, Elena’s is the simplest, but most beautiful of all the dresses.
5. The scene in which everyone ignores an old woman getting beat to death in the dark dimension without anyone batting an eyelash until Elena jumps into the fray. I guess it hardly matters if an ugly old woman is bludgeoned to death, but God forbid and egotistical whench who cries healing virgin tears get bitch slapped. Oh the horror!
If reading wish fulfillment fan fiction written by 12 year old girls is your idea of a good time, by all means, read Shadow Souls. The writing was fraught with flaws, the dialog was unbelievably childish, the characters are cartoonish caricatures of their former selves and for the life of me, and I couldn’t fathom the need for 3/4ths of this book. I would have given it no stars if I could. ...more
**spoiler alert** Finally, after seven books, Stephanie has fornicated with Batman, aka, Ranger. Major kudos go to Janet Evanovich for making my stoma**spoiler alert** Finally, after seven books, Stephanie has fornicated with Batman, aka, Ranger. Major kudos go to Janet Evanovich for making my stomach flip without a whole lot of information. I've never even seen this Ranger, or Joe Morelli for that matter, and yet all I have to do is read a line and somehow they can send heat straight to my doodah, Jesus. I have no doubt that men everywhere would give their right arm for such a skill. The plots remain rather over the top, but I have come to find the ridiculousness endearing. And finally, my fear of geese has been validated. I have long since suspected that they were in fact the spawn of satan and my suspicions have been confirmed. Thank you Janet!
As per usual, hi-lights include: 1. Stephanie's mother kills a rabbit 2. Andy Bender alludes capture, and heists Stephanie's car. 3. Fornication with Batman 4. When geese attack, how Stephanie discovered the power of the Cracker Jack...more
I did it. I know I said that I wouldn’t, but I read Spirit Bound in spite of my boycott. I have no excuse. I’m almost as big a hypocrite as Rose HathaI did it. I know I said that I wouldn’t, but I read Spirit Bound in spite of my boycott. I have no excuse. I’m almost as big a hypocrite as Rose Hathaway. Almost. In my defense, I didn’t decide to read it until after I read every spoiler available via Amazon.com. Therefore, I knew every plot point within this book before I read it, and ironically, it was the very thing that compelled me to read it. Curse my morbid curiosity. Worse, I liked it! I may never forgive myself. Before I say anything else, I have to state this officially, for the review record…I HATE Rose. HATE her. I have resigned myself to the fact that we shall never, ever see any character growth from her, if anything, we can expect consistent digression, but still, this knowledge does not make me hate her any less. She is whinny, self involved, selfish, brash, manipulative, dishonest, and hypocritical. My favorite line to hate from her appears several times throughout this novel…”It was hard, but I pushed the guilt aside.” Hold the phone; I’m supposed to feel sorry for you because you are somehow able to overcome your guilt about destroying the lives of the people who love you while you get innocent people killed for your own selfish gains? Not likely. Even worse, I think I actually saw red while reading Rose's flippant, often condesending treatment of Adrian. Rose doesn’t deserve any of the people who love her, not Lissa, not Adrian, not Christian, Eddie, or the help or respect of any of the people that assist her on her journey. The only reason I root for her is because not rooting for her would be a betrayal to the characters I do love, namely Adrian, Lissa and Christian.
Any of those who know my thoughts on this series know I am team Adrian through and through. He appears morally ambiguous upon first glance, when in fact; I think he may have the strongest moral character of any of them. He may drink and smoke like a freight train. He may even be a bit of a sloth, but there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for the people he loves, even to his own detriment. His willingness to help maybe self motivated, but he has never ever operated under false pretenses, has never lied and never manipulated those he claims to love. Because I love Adrian, I want him to have that which he desires most, Rose. And I was so glad that he has finally been given the opportunity to have her. However, that does not mean that I think he should end up with her. Though for Adrian’s sake I hoped for the pairing, I have always known, and know, that Rose and Dimitri will end up together, as they should. Rose doesn’t deserve Adrian on her best day. Let's face it, I don't even think she deserves Dimtri. But I am so glad that Mead gave Adrian a chance to shine. And this fact along with two others is the only reason I liked this book and broke my vow to not read Spirit Bound. I can turn my back on Rose, but I could never turn my back on Adrian.
Thankfully, Mead also decided to devote more page time not only to Adrian, but to Lissa and Christian as well. These characters are so full of win in this installment that they somehow allowed me to overlook my hatred for Rose. That is a tremendous testament to their awesomeness. I know many people resent Lissa, though I have never understood why, she has always proven her friendship and loyalty to Rose, if anything, I’ve always felt that Rose had something to prove, but once again, Lissa outshines Rose in every way and puts her to extreme shame. *Spoilers Ahead*. I was proud of Lissa for restoring Dimitri, not because I felt that she owed it to Rose, but because if showed Lissa’s immense, all consuming selflessness, as well as her development in the use of Spirit. Lissa is just awesome, in an angelic sort of way. And Christian, oh how I missed him in Blood Promise. Thankfully, he is back on par with his snide antics, shrewd observations, and endless love for Lissa, which is filled with that delicious tension that makes your stomach clench. I ate it up.
As for Dimitri, I have never really liked or disliked him, except in Blood Promise. I clearly disliked Strigoi Dimitri. He was such a forgone cliché as a Strigoi. Nevertheless, I am glad his humanity was restored and even better, he upped the angst ante with his rejection of Rose. Mead may be brilliant at destroying her characters (Seth from Georgia Kincaid series anyone?) as she has proven with Rose, but you can’t deny her ability to rip your heart out. I don’t even really care if Rose gets her happy ending, in fact, I hope she meets a tragic end in the last installment, but even I was in a state over Dimitri’s words in the church. Oh the angst! Rose and Dimitri belong together, even though it makes me kind of sick. I can't help but want it to happen, for Dimitri's sake.
So Mead has redeemed herself a bit in my eyes. I may despise Rose with a fiery passion, but she knocked one out of the park by allowing Adrian and Lissa to surpass the narrator and steal the show and for peppering this book with so much emotional turmoil, deceit, tension and steam, that I couldn’t help but read it and like it. Kudos.
P.S. If Mead turns Adrain into any more of a sacraficial lamb I will be truly devestated. Give the man a break for Christ's sake, he's been through enough already. ...more
Brace yourselves, this review is a bit long winded. I devoured Magic Bites, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about it as a whole, and it's nearly imBrace yourselves, this review is a bit long winded. I devoured Magic Bites, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about it as a whole, and it's nearly impossible to describe.
What I liked: The heroine. Kate has a dry humor, she can even be a bit of a smart ass, but she knows when to hold her tongue and she doesn’t push too hard or too far. She’s an ass kicking, sword welding badass and yet, she is remarkably down to earth. She has an astounding wealth of knowledge about the magic saturated world she lives in, but doesn’t struggle with the urge to prove herself beyond what is required to get the job done. In fact, she works damn hard to disguise her assets, preferring to fly under the radar, and as a result, most people underestimate her. She isn’t power or money hungry and doesn’t want the responsibility of others, she just wants to help when she can and then call it a day. Kate isn’t a doormat, nor is she overly aggressive. She kicks ass when the job requires her to do so, but understands the necessity in allowing others to puff up their chests unchallenged. Basically she is cunning, without being hard edged, and very well rounded. She has a tragic past, though the details remain at large. From what I can see, her only flaw is her belief that she will be able to go unnoticed for any length of time, or that going unnoticed would be to her benefit.
The world. Magic Bites occurs in a post apocalyptic Atlanta. The buildings sit in enchanted ruin, as fluxes of magic eat away at remaining shreds of humanity and civilization. Humans and their technology still exist; however they live much like fugitives and are only mentioned as prey. The Supernatural Rule. Filled with the standard UF races, Magic Bites possesses shift changers, necromancers, vampires, along with a few invented super human species. Ilona Andrews delights with her take on the traditional lore. Vampires aren’t sleek and sexy; they are grotesque and misshapen, blood crazed creatures, lacking any of the characteristics that once marked them as human. Neat huh?
The potential love interest. I say potential because there is no scene within this book that would make me think that Curran loved Kate, or even thought of her as anything other than his link to the Guild and the Order,not that Kate cares. She mainly views Curran as someone to avoid. Nevertheless there is potential for a spark, and I would certainly fan the flames. Curran has a certain something. He’s infuriating, often cruel, but has moments of inexplicable tenderness. He seems to be at war with himself, both in attempts to control his beast and his role as Beast Lord. There is what he must do and what he would want to do if he was free to make the distinction. For the most part he made me grit my teeth, but I like the chemistry between him and Kate.
The plot. The plot was incredibly well done. I bought that red-herring hook line and sinker, and just like Kate, felt stupid for not identifying the guilty party right away. In retrospect its obvious. The writing was fast paced, action packed, and there wasn’t a single scene that slowed it down. Not one scene, where you would be okay with skimming if you were to re-read the book. Each scene is crucial to the plot, and you would be truly lost if you were to skim. You may even be lost if you don’t.
What I didn’t like: The writing style. Magic Bite’s setting is certainly novel and interesting, but it is seriously lacking in detail. Andrews writes on a need to know basis, and as readers don’t need to know all, or hardly any, specifics about the world in which Kate lives or how it derived to move the plot forward, they are omitted. However, these non-details are alluded to so often that it chafes being left in the dark. It makes the random tidbits of information provided during character conversations murky, and leaves the reader constantly fretting over whether or not they bypassed something important, only to flip back, re-read, and discover that this is indeed the first mention of something new and clearly important. Andrews also omits scenes. For instance, there is one section of the book where Kate is hiding out in the Keep with Curran, promising not to leave and the next scene he is jumping down her throat for leaving the Keep and I couldn’t help but think “What? When did this happen? Are pages missing from my copy?” But nope, that is just Andrews writing style and if you are going to read this series, you might as well get used to it. It has its advantages, there is no filler to be found, anywhere, but I’m now beginning to wonder if a little filler is such a bad thing.
So to recap, loved the heroine, setting, potential love interest and plot but have a love/hate relationship with the writing style. It’s a very intriguing series, and I obviously still have an abundance of questions that need answering, preferrably sooner rather than later.
P.S. I think Kate is Roland’s daughter, who’s with me? ...more
I took my time in reviewing Willow. I wanted to be certain of my thoughts on it’s content and the rating I gave to said content. Though the ending wasI took my time in reviewing Willow. I wanted to be certain of my thoughts on it’s content and the rating I gave to said content. Though the ending was satisfying, I can’t deny that for the majority of the book, I was angered, not at Willow, but at the author. Nonetheless, I talked myself out of giving Willow the three stars I felt the author deserved because it felt wrong to punish great characters. But after much thought, I have decided that Willow does indeed deserve a three star rating.
Willow is a senior in a brand new high school. She keeps to herself, avoiding any and all contact with her former friends. The one person she wishes to remain close to is her brother, but after rendering them both parentless in a fateful car accident, Willow can’t bring herself to bridge the communication gap that seems to have befallen them. Willow is convinced that her brother blames her for their parent’s death and that his superficial treatment of her is due to that contemptuous blame. Willow doesn’t blame her brother for hating her. She hates herself. Worse, she envies her brother. Unlike her, he can unleash his grief, sobbing loudly to himself each night while he sits in their kitchen. Willow can’t bring herself to cry. Its as though she has forgotten how. Willow finds her release in the form of a razor. When the sharp steel meets her flesh, Willow can find strength to continue on in her pointless existence, that is until Guy, an intelligent, sensitive fellow senior grants her a potential lease on life.
There was some truly remarkable writing at work in Willow. Such vivid, honest description that I felt wretched for even considering giving it three stars. It somehow seems criminal to do so but…The author of this book is doing a terrible disservice to anyone who truly suffers from this illness or one similar.
While it is wonderful that Willow finally seemingly gives up her cutting, I can’t help but think she never would have done so if it weren’t for Guy. That’s not how it should be. In fact, anyone struggling with an addiction or disease similar to the one that Willow faces within this book are advised by professionals not engage in romantic relationships until they have become self reliant in battling their disease. What would have happened to Willow had she not have had Guy? What will happen to Willow if their relationship were to fall apart? And how unfair is it to Guy to have the responsibility of Willow’s mental health fall on his shoulders? Contrary to popular opinion, I did not find their romance appealing, or even healthy for either party. And I’m sorry, it wasn’t at all realistic. No teenage guy would form a romantic attachment to anyone with Willow’s illness knowingly. The fact that she cuts is the first real thing Guy learns about Willow and yet he pursues her when, let’s face it, most would flee, as they should to be frank. All in all, I can’t help but feel that this author has done an extreme disservice to the issue of cutting as she did not address the healing aspect in a responsible light. Nor was the central relationship remotely realistic. ...more
I am such a sucker. This book is heinously written. I was sorely tempted to scrape it two pages in. The font is bolded, huge and all together overwhelI am such a sucker. This book is heinously written. I was sorely tempted to scrape it two pages in. The font is bolded, huge and all together overwhelming, making it hard to focus on any given page for too long. The writing is overly simplistic, terse, naïve and more than a bit juvenile. The writing style screams 6th grade writing assignment; yet, I kept reading because Becca Fitzpatrick’s blurb included one word sure to garner my attention, make that a two-word hyphenate, bad-boy. So I stuck it out, and as much as it shames me to admit it, I kinda liked it.
Three years ago, Grace’s childhood love, Daniel disappeared for reasons unknown to Grace. She suspects that Daniel’s disappearance is somehow linked to the night her brother, and Daniel’s best friend, Jude came home covered in blood. No one in Grace’s family has spoken of that night or Daniel since. But now Daniel is back and Grace wants answers. Torn between a promise to her brother to avoid Daniel, and longing to protect the boy she has loved all her life, Grace must choose between doing what was promised and doing what is right.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, the lore in this book is ludicrous and nearly beats you over the head with its religious self righteousness. The author is in desperate need of an ancient history lesson as her facts are skewed to fit her world view. The plot is so glaringly obvious that I guessed the “mysterious” events of that fateful night right off. The mystery is as vague as a slap in the face with a two by four. To further detriment, Grace is a walking, talking religious cliché in her own right, though I can somewhat excuse it away as she is a protestant pastor’s daughter. Nevertheless, I’m a bit hesitant to believe that even pastor’s children are this “divine”. Grace is such a goodie two shoes that I found myself recoiling from her train of thought. Her only flaw is that she is so filled with good intentions that they cloud her judgment, can we say Mary Sue? However, in spite of all its failings, I couldn’t cast this book aside. It haunted my sleep once I finally vowed to get some shut eye. Why? Because of the “bad-boy”, who isn’t really bad at all.
Daniel tugged on my heart strings. As children, Daniel, Jude and Grace would spend hours together each day, playing, creating, and forming an un-breakable bond. To the outside world, Daniel is a beautiful and talented young boy. But all is not well with Daniel. His father is abusive and as a result, Daniel is plagued with fears, anger, self doubt, and an intense desperation to be loved and wanted. Of course, when we first meet Daniel, all we see is an apparently confident, abrasive, and rather intriguing guy in a “I’m bad but oh so troubled and sexy” sort of way. However, as the story progresses, readers are allowed more and more insight to Daniel’s past, and discover the depths of his and Grace’s love and devotion to one another. It’s beautiful and wretched to experience their memories. Their past is hardly perfect. Filled with friendship, laughter, childhood adventures and future dreams, it seems as though these two were meant to love one another.
To state things plainly, the writing style is lacking, the narrator is un-relatablly childish and the plot lacks any sort of suspense. Nonetheless, this story possesses a subplot that is intriguing, and worthy of praise. Daniel’s story of rejection, abuse and neglect are palpable. Despain failed on many fronts, but she soared in the tellings of a troubled teen in search of love and redemption with a grittiness and honesty that was surprising to find under so much religious wholesomeness. I rather wish she hadn't bogged her story down with faux religious supernatural lore. She has a beautiful story in Daniel. Therefore, I shall recommend this book to anyone who wants to sink their teeth into a lone, winning character, but discourage those are seeking a "Twilight-esque" romance....more
Before I begin, I’m going to evoke my 13 year old alter ego… Curran loves Kate, Curran loves Kate! Okay, so he didn’t say those exact three words, whatBefore I begin, I’m going to evoke my 13 year old alter ego… Curran loves Kate, Curran loves Kate! Okay, so he didn’t say those exact three words, what he actually said was “As you wish” but he said it after reading The Princess Bride and everyone knows that is how Wesley told Buttercup he loved her. SQUEE!!!
Okay, now that I have gotten out of the way, this book and this series are so awesome! God, I still sound like a fan girl, but it doesn’t make what I say any less true. Look into the eyeballs of my avartar and believe me.
These characters sneak up on you, rip you open, and embed themselves into your heart and mind. I feel like I’m Kate, and that all her friends also belong to me. It is such a blast to lose yourself in a story that way. And what a story it is. Much like some of my other favorite UF favorites, Kate Daniels’s world provides a tons of lore from a variety of sources including Greco Roman, Hindu, and a bevy of others I can’t think to mention. Even better, they are presented in such a unique, exotic magical world that still manages to feel somewhat familiar as this same fantastical world exists in a post apocalyptic Atlanta, GA. Genius.
The writing practically flies off the pages it moves so quickly. Blink and you’ll miss something vital. In fact, I’d say reading these books is much like sex. The beginning is foreplay, turning you onto the story, and then the action starts and provides you with an ending that leaves you feeling tired and satisfied and just blissful. It’s a mental shag these books are. Love em! ...more
The Iron King is a mess of a book, so much so that I don't even know where to begin in reviewing it, my thoughts are almost as scattered as the authorThe Iron King is a mess of a book, so much so that I don't even know where to begin in reviewing it, my thoughts are almost as scattered as the author’s. This book reads like bad fan fiction, borrowed bad fan fiction at that. Riddled with erroneous scenes, lacking in character development, and one incredibly far-fetched villain, it was impossible for me to enjoy. I searched everywhere, but could find nothing to like. I can't even summarize the story as their is simply too much of it, and yet not nearly enough.
Megan was just eh. I didn't care about her enough for her to grate, she was just, well, there. I found it extremely difficult to buy into Megan’s sudden acceptance of her circumstances, only to see her later hindered in the story due to lack of belief. Where was her skepticism when her best friend of 16 years told her she was a faery and needed to go to NeverNever, the magical faery realm, to save her brother? *pauses for crickets* Also, she is a bit stupid. I was going to scream if she promised one more faery a favor, because anyone who dares claim to know anything about faeries knows not to say please or thank you, much less utter the phrase "let's make a deal". Being half-fey, Megan should have known better. But I didn't scream at her even though she did make another favor after my mental sworn promise to do so, because I was just over her, I couldn’t even care if she died. If any of the characters died for that matter.
The love story was sub par, and extremely underdeveloped. One moment she is being hunted by the faery prince, Ash, next she is dancing with him, feeling all lustful, only to revert back to being mortal enemies the next day after he attempts to kill her. It’s during this time that she “makes a deal” with him, literally putting her life in his hands, despite his blatant attempt to end it. Two days into the "deal" that he has spent ignoring her, or looking upon her with disdain and hate, he kisses her, but not in that oh so sexy tension filled way, it simply came out of nowhere. Moments later they are declaring their love and admitting that they will defy the impossible in order to be together. WTF? Ludicrous. Prescribe that faery prince some Prozac and be done with his mood swings.
As for the story, it was strange. As I mentioned previously, there were tons of erroneous scenes that served no purpose whatsoever. As for the villain, lol, I thought I had seen some pretty pathetic villains in my time, but this one took the cake. Machina. That's right, the evil villain was an Iron fey that was described much like the bad guy from Spider Man 2 (cable arms and all), created by the dreams of man in the age of the industrial revolution. One second I'm reading about magical realms with enchanted forests filled with faeries, trolls and such, where technology is shunned, as iron is poisonous to fey, and the next thing I know, the bad guy sends Virus, as in computer virus, to hunt down our heroine. Yup.
Basically, I think this author bit off more than she could chew. I could tell that she wanted to deliver a modern faery tale, but she failed, miserably. She lacked the ingenuity to deliver as this story is so much of everything it is nothing. I won’t be bothering with this author again.
Where to start, where to start? I think I shall devote this review to a bit of fangirl squeeing.
When I finished Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1), I was on the fence about how I felt about it. I needed a nudge to push me past my distaste for the writing style. I'm over it, and that nudge was at the hands of fantastic storytelling laced with blood, guts, cursing, humor, steam and smash hit, winning characters. The world building and plots of these books is incredible. Each book stands alone, presenting a monster of the week type format, while also contributing to an overall series arc. The end result leaves me feeling satisfied, but chomping at the bit for more. The book's plots are original, fast paced, and interesting.
On to the characters. Kate Daniels has endeared herself as my favorite heroine, period. She's intelligent, kind, but can kick major ass and is anything but nice. Unlike a majority of Urban Fantasy heroines, she doesn't suffer from excessive manners. If she wants to kill you, she'll tell you to eat shit and die, then make you eat shit and die. I like that sort of directness in a person, especially in a female. She has a huge capacity to love, but would prefer not to fall in its clutches for no other reason than to spare those she loves from the evil fate that surely awaits her. But what ultimately won me over, was the fact that she doesn't make foolish choices because of this fear. She loves anyway, she recognizes the raw need, and gives into temptation. As a result, I have yet to grit my teeth at her, not even once. That has never happened to me ever. I understand and agree with her every choice. How awesome is that?
Curran, oh Curran, you make me swoon. Like Kate, I struggled with my feelings for him throughout the book. I wondered, "Does he really love her, or is it a game?" So naturally I wasn’t bothered by Kate's reluctance towards him. But the end of Magic Strikes leaves no room for doubt. Curran loves her, and would go to hell and back to keep her safe. How do you resist a hottie that would die at your feet? Yet more than anything, what I love most about Curran, is his subtle charm. He isn't showy about his feelings. He doggedly pursues her, but presents himself in such a way that is endearing, while also leaving you questioning his sincerity. It makes for an interesting, chemistry filled courtship and I am eating it up!
Having two amazing characters is more than enough to make most books float, but this series has them in abundance, which ultimately allows me to look past the bundle of questions I still have. Derek warms my heart and evokes a maternal instinct from me. I want him to smile, be happy and safe. Raphael makes me laugh at his attempts to help Kate provoke Curran,then can make me squee like a love struck girl in his determination to woo his lady love, Andrea, who I also enjoy immensely.
This series just has it going on. It makes no pretenses. The characters don’t contradict themselves by refusing to behave like badasses while being badasses. They embrace what they are. Dark in theme, Andrews doesn’t spare her readers on gory detail, which only enriches the plot, ensuring readers understand the significant danger these characters face. And yet, Andrews expertly weaves these dark themes with demonstrations of love and friendship and humor so subtle that you don’t notice it until you laugh out loud. I cannot wait for the next installment!
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 alterLet’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. ...more
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 ParanormaI'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". ...more
Moon Called is a run of the mill Urban Fantasy pick. It was entertaining enough to keep my attention, but didn’t elicit any strong feelings of extremeMoon Called is a run of the mill Urban Fantasy pick. It was entertaining enough to keep my attention, but didn’t elicit any strong feelings of extreme like or dislike. Initially I thought I would totally dig it. The heroine, Mercy, is a tatted up car mechanic. Talk about an interesting angle. But despite Mercy’s uniqueness in this urban fantasy genre, where more often than not, the females are all articulate journalists or cops and yet complete bombshells, Mercy, with all her otherness, still managed to fall flat. Her personality is so run of the mill and dull that I barely knew she was in a scene, which is odd, as she is the narrator. And did I miss something, or did she pull off a rescue in nothing but a t-shirt, bra and panties? The fact that I have to ask about a detail found in a book leads me to my next qualm.
I don’t usually have to ask about details. I’m an articulate reader with a penchant for detail. I can recall the most mundane facts from a book I read years ago, so if I have to ask myself what’s going on, or be unclear about specifics mentioned within a book, the book is poorly written. Several of the scenes were disjointed and chaotic. I would pause and re-read and still not be clear on exactly what had happened or what was going on.
Lastly, I read urban fantasy to immerse myself in a word of “otherness”. Where menace, and sex, and all things that go bump in the night come out and play in a badass way. However, it’s kind of hard to get the badass effect when the characters say “darn it” instead of “damn it”, “freakin” instead of “fuckin”, um hello third grade. I felt like I could have kicked the bad guy’s asses using only my tongue. I also agree with a fellow reader when she said there were no available hotties. When the heroin is boring, the evil forces aren’t terrifying, and the men aren’t hot, what is the point?
Nonetheless, I was able to read the story and enjoy the who done it plot. I even liked the world Briggs created, just not enough to adopt the series. ...more
There are some books that begin slowly, but the writing is so well done, that you continue on, knowing that anyone who can string words together so maThere are some books that begin slowly, but the writing is so well done, that you continue on, knowing that anyone who can string words together so masterfully will surely create an interesting story. Then there are books that contain a story or characters that are so spot on, endearing, or enticing, that you can’t help but read, regardless of the quality of writing. Jekel loves Hyde was none of the above.
At the story’s opening, we meet Jill Jekel as she attends her recently murdered father’s funeral. Jill’s mother has withdrawn into herself, and as Jill has no friends, she is feeling alone and despondent. But suddenly, the crowd parts, and Tristan, a boy who she has never even spoken to inside or outside of school, strolls up to her, offers her words of comfort and a shoulder to cry on, then walks back from whence he came.
Tristan Hyde is concerned. Prior to his passing, Tristan’s grandfather spoke of a family curse, passed down through the generations, plaguing the men of their family to turn into hideous, killing beasts, waking with no memory of what was done, but haunted by bloodlust. Turns out, what was thought to be a book of fiction, was based in truth, for Tristan is a descendant of the infamous Mr. Hyde.
Jill Jekel, like her chemist father, is a nerd. She has been forbade by her family to open the box residing within her father’s office, for it contains the original experiments created by Dr. Jekel, creator of Mr. Hyde. It has been kept hidden within their family for more than a century, but that is about to change.
Jekel loves Hyde unravels once Tristan learns about Jill’s own, troubled lineage and the knowledge that she secretly contains. Knowledge that could cure Tristan of his blackouts and ever troubling dreams. Knowledge that could destroy everything.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this story more had I liked the work this book was based upon, “Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde". But alas, I thought it was boring, and as such, passed the same judgment upon this book. Furthermore, the characters of both Jill and Tristan are mind-numbingly lackluster. Jill dresses and acts as though she is a long lost cast member of “Little House on the Prairie” and Tristan attempts and fails terribly at being enticing. *Note to the author* Your leading men have to be one of three things: really hot and troubled, really hot and bad, but with a hidden heart of gold, or just made of so much awesome that you don’t notice he isn’t hot. Lastly this book reads like poorly written fan fiction. I say that as someone who has written crap fan fiction. If you are contemplating this book because you loved Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Darkside, as I did, spare yourself. ...more
I'll admit it, Vaughn lost me at the pornstache, but I'll take it from the top.
For starters, her heroine is named after a stripper. Kitty? Are we seriI'll admit it, Vaughn lost me at the pornstache, but I'll take it from the top.
For starters, her heroine is named after a stripper. Kitty? Are we serious? But I could have overlooked that had she not have been so flat, dull, and underdeveloped. Kitty is a werewolf at the bottom rung of her pack. She allows herself to be commanded and screwed by the men of her pack in exchange flickering moments of affection, that almost always occur while she is being pounded, and “protection”, which must have been hidden underneath the life control. I’ve seen several reviews that say this story is about a woman coming into her own after having endured a traumatic and abusive lifestyle, and though I agree that being attacked by a werewolf, and therefore being turned into one would have been traumatic, and the dynamics she faces within the pack are certainly abusive, I can’t say that the reason Kitty is submissive and meek are because of these factors. She had a normal life, with a loving family, prior to becoming a werewolf. She wasn’t abused or mistreated until she enters the pack and allows herself to become so. So really, Kitty only has herself to blame for how she allowed herself to be treated within the pack. I’m convinced that had I been turned into a werewolf and adopted by Kitty’s pack, I would have been dead or high ranking. It is simply not within me to be passive, dictated to or controlled and I would fight to the death before I would let some man “do” me whenever he felt the urge simply because he was Alpha.
Then there is the talk radio format. Reading Kitty’s dynamic with her listeners reminded me of riding in my mother’s Nissan Sentra and listening to Delilah on my way home from school. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Delilah, she is very popular among women who need affirmation from a woman whose voice sounds as though her larynx has been injected with steroids. After Delilah dishes out the least practical advice to her listeners, she then segways into some corny Bette Midler ode. Celine Dion is also popular. Kitty’s advice is just as tragic, but rather than subject her listeners to Bette, she prefers Credence Clearwater Revival.
Lastly there is the supposed love interest, Carmac. He has a mustache. I doubt I need to say more, but I will. He is a vampire hunter/werewolf assassin. His and Kitty’s first encounter occurs when he is sent to execute her. They have one, two second conversation after he fails to kill her and the next thing I know, she is calling him for help and attempting to jump his bones. Um, where did that come from? I don’t even have the heart to flesh out this lack of build up in my review as I see no reason to spend more time on these two characters than their creator.
If you’re looking for a corny read, with no character development, little to no plot, and a submissive heroine, by all means, read this. Otherwise, steer clear of Kitty. ...more
Hmmmmm. My thoughts on this one are a bit flustered, so I’m afraid that my review is going to take the form of a pro/con list. Pro: It reads like a moviHmmmmm. My thoughts on this one are a bit flustered, so I’m afraid that my review is going to take the form of a pro/con list. Pro: It reads like a movie, which is a refreshing treat as I detest slogging through useless detail, description, etc. that is so prevalent among adult fiction. I like to bottom line it, which is why I love most young adult fiction. However, when stories read like a movie, the characters tend to suffer, and as I can read a completely crap book and love it if I can fall in love with a character, I need to have someone in my story appeal to my emotional side. Con: No one in The Strain caught my interest. The were rather flat and dull. If it were me who wrote this book as opposed to Hogan and Del Toro, I would have elaborated on the rocker who’s penis fell off. That was vair entertaining. Pro: The story doesn’t hold back on the blood and guts theme. I just mentioned the shriveling penis and I think at one point the word sphincter was used, causing me to clench my cheeks, no, not those ones, the ones on my face. I appreciate any book that can make me have a physical reaction, clenching, ewwing, et al, as I view it as an indication of good story telling. Con: The vampires or Strigoi rather, are corny as hell. It was just all too Syfy channel. And while I have a secret love for those lame, campy ass movies, I could hardly call them scary. I got the impression that I was supposed to find these Strigoi/zombie whathaveyous intimidating, terrifying, yada yada, but mainly I kept thinking about that thing from the movie “The Snake” something or other. It was all very lame.
Basically The Strain reads like a cross between I Am Legend and the Swamp thing making for an oddly appealing combination, provides a good enough way to pass the time, but you aren’t missing anything if you skip it and you aren’t gaining anything if you read it aside form muscle tightening in select locals. ...more
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 andHow 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. ...more
I hated loving this book. Having read Black's Titheand Ironside, I was none to keen on reading Valiant. Black has a penchant for writing about the scoI hated loving this book. Having read Black's Titheand Ironside, I was none to keen on reading Valiant. Black has a penchant for writing about the scourge of human society, leaving me with a sense of filth, and therefore compelling me to exfoliate. None the less, Black’s writing is so perversely alluring, that she all but grabs you by the neck and drags you into the story.
Val is impossible to describe. She’s a shell of a girl. In possession of one lezzie best friend, a mohawk donning boyfriend, and incredibly vain and insecure mother, Val participates in her life, but couldn’t be accused of living it. When Val walks in on her mother getting it on with her boyfriend, Val flees, going nowhere, and reveling in her lack of destination. She finds herself in New York City, homeless, but free. It is here that she encounters Lolli, a blue haired Never addict, Sketchy Dave, brother to the “sighted” Luis, and joins their trio of loner losers. Val is introduced to a world that will afford you every possible pleasure you care to take, while leaving you living in squalor and slowly choking the life from you, one Never hit at a time. Val drowns in the world of fairie, and yet finds her inner strength, as well as the love she craves. But in order to save herself, and the troll she loves, Val must learn that being free to make your own bad decisions serves no purpose other than enabling you to own your destruction.
The characters within this story suck at life. They make piss poor role models and I hope that younger readers of this book wouldn’t think that Val’s “adventure” is the least bit realistic. Val would have wound up dead, on in the very least, assaulted. These characters run from their problems, steal, take drugs, and engage in casual sex. And yet I loved this book because these characters drop f bombs, filch, become addicts, and engage in casual sex. Life isn’t always pretty, and this book captures the essence of that filth while adding a touch of whimsy, and an acceptable happy ending. ...more
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 looWhen 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. ...more
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 whoReading 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. ...more
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 posThe 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.
A money-grubber equals a person bent on accumulating money; see also, Melissa de la Cruz….
I am not happy.
I will be the first to admit this series is/wA money-grubber equals a person bent on accumulating money; see also, Melissa de la Cruz….
I am not happy.
I will be the first to admit this series is/was mental garbage. However, it was mental garbage that I thoroughly enjoyed. You know what they say; one man’s trash is another person’s treasure. This series was one of my jewels in the literary trash heap. That is until the author chose to decimate what readability this series had so that she could milk her lone idea for all it’s worth.
I read MisguidedAngel in the span of a weekend and decided [image error]
Melissa, Thy ambition, Thou scarlet sin, robb'd this bewailing land. I’m hoping that translates to: “You suck arse for not including the Jack and Schuyler bonding into this installment.”
The series arc is adrift. Not only is MisguidedAngel not the conclusion to the series as we readers were originally told, there appears to be no end in sight. Here we are in book five and new characters and plot points are being introduced. WTH? Worse, the plot didn’t progress. At all. This entire book could have been summed up in a paragraph and yet manages to drag on for 240 some odd pages ad naseum and infinitum. My eyes bleed.
Once I stanched to bloodflow, and my vision cleared, I went on to de la Cruz’s site to discover that she has 4, FOUR!, books coming out within the next year, one of which will divulge the details of Jack and Schuyler’s bonding ceremony, aptly titled BloodyValentine. I understand that Melissa believes that we readers are hooked on her tale of forbidden lurve to the point that we have lost all forms of reason and common sense and therefore, will undoubtly want to read this addition to her series; however, there is just one hitch in her plan that I doubt she anticipated…I can read it for free at Barnes and Noble. Mwaahahaha.