Waterboarding babies. Shit. I’m not a parent but in that moment I doubt a person could feel anything but a strong urge to protect and defend. Highly d...moreWaterboarding babies. Shit. I’m not a parent but in that moment I doubt a person could feel anything but a strong urge to protect and defend. Highly disturbing. I was reminded of Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority figures and the Stanford prison experiment, both very famous psychological studies about the pressures of conforming to a specific role, whether dominant or submissive and highlights the extraordinary strength it takes to break away from it. If the mother of that baby refused to obey by not drowning her baby in ice-filled water, the consequences could’ve been dire.
In the minds of those living in the compound there's this life and nothing else. They refuse to believe that life outside could be any better than the life they’re living now, even when that means torturing and killing your own children or handing them over to paedophiles and rapists. Frustrating, but then they've been indoctrinated from birth, raised not to question the order of things and are told to believe everything is "God's Will".
Very few are strong enough to refuse to continue with the farce that rewards a handful of old lecherous men and condemns everyone else, especially the young and defenceless. If you rebel, you'll be lucky to receive a quick death, if you’re really lucky you get married off to a nice man with only a couple of wives, and if the universe is smiling down on you and the planets are in alignment you might escape with your life and live to breathe another day only to look over your shoulder for the rest of your days.
I’ve noticed that in some of the negative reviews of this book people expected or wanted a realistic depiction of polygamy and that’s not what this is about. The Chosen One reflects the sensational, the newscaster’s dream: the paedophile cultists e.g. Warren Jeffs, sociopathic religious extremists who warp the media’s perception of this way of life so people wrongly come to automatically associate the word “paedophile” with “polygamy”.
Polygamy is not inextricably linked with religion and paedophilia, it is simply, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time." That is all.
If you want a more modern and realistic view of polygamy then this isn’t for you, watch HBO's “Big Love” instead.
Despite this, the book does bring up some important positive and negative points concerning polygamy, for example, more caregivers to bring up the children, sharing a husband can lead to tension and jealousy, etc.
Also, the choice of not using any form of contraception lead to Kyra's 3 mothers having had 19 children, meaning that each child has less one-to-one time with a caregiver and everyone having little-to-no alone time, with the older children forced to act as parents themselves. (On a personal note, I find having so many children incredibly selfish and irresponsible in this day and age where infant mortality is now quite low.) Add to this the overcrowding as each mother has one small, decrepit trailer to house their growing number of offspring. Unless of course their husband happens to be an elevated elder or an Apostle or the Prophet, in which case they'll have a luxurious mansion.
I did, however, wonder how everyone’s fed, clothed and sheltered. Where did the money come from? Who was footing the bill for the land devoid of condoms, and therefore an ever increasing population? They do keep costs down by leading rustic and prudish lifestyles with few mod-cons by making their own clothes, growing their own food, etc. but that only goes so far, at some point you've got to spend some money. For example, the trip to town to buy fabric and afterwards having lunch in a restaurant.
This book covers a number of distasteful topics which some readers may want to avoid:
Forced marriage, Paedophilia and Rape, of unwilling wives. (Forced marriage is illegal in the UK whether the marriage is to take place here or abroad, the law protects the victim no matter their age.)
Blackmail, of those who disobey or their relatives. Husbands can be forced to leave the compound and have their wives and children given to other men who are encouraged to treat them like shit.
Beatings, as a means of control and punishment.
Murder, of runaways, those that attempt to rescue anyone on the compound, those who disobey, and of disabled babies -very Spartan of them.
Incest, not a routine part of the compound. It seems it's more to satisfy Kyra's 60 year old uncle's lust for her 13-year-old body.
One of my favourite parts of this book was Joshua's admission to wanting Kyra and only Kyra for his wife. How romantic is that? Aww.
My rating is 3.5 stars because although we were given a look into what life might be like for those oppressed and used in the cults that make the headlines the writing wasn't as emotive as I would expect it to be apart for the baby torture. This book had the potential to bring me to tears but it didn't quite do it even with the desperate way it ended.(less)
Strange, my copy is called Diary of a Crush: American Dream. I loved this when I read it as a young teenager, so much so that I wanted to go on a road...moreStrange, my copy is called Diary of a Crush: American Dream. I loved this when I read it as a young teenager, so much so that I wanted to go on a road trip across the States too.(less)
I like the character development in this one. None of them are perfect, even Maya and Daniel. Sam is my favourite with no filter on her mouth, willing to say what she really thinks of you to your face and doesn't apologise for it. She's gutsy and I like it. She also happens to be gay, not sure if that's stereotyping but anyway I sympathised with her back-story. Kenjii, Maya's dog, was also a comforting presence throughout -fiercely loyal and protective, the perfect scout when it came to detecting nearby cougars.
I wasn't as frustrated with this book as I was with The Gathering however, I still cannot stand Rafe. I wanted him out of the picture entirely and at one point I was cheering because I thought I'd got my way, then groaned. I don't understand why Maya constantly forgives him. Animal magnetism isn't enough. He may be doing the best he can under the circumstances, was even willing to sacrifice his life but his methods...he just rubs me up the wrong way.
Whilst Rafe was gone we got see how well Daniel and Maya worked together, how much they trusted each other and managed to care for and lead the group. And I don't think I was imagining it this time: Daniel has a thing for Maya and I think if Maya opened her eyes she might feel the same way, if it wasn't for Rafe. Even Sam noticed and almost outed Daniel's feelings. I hate love triangles but this is one of those extremely rare once-in-a-blue-moon moments where I'm hoping there is one. The only thing wrong with Daniel is his inability to tell Maya how he really feels about her and trying not to stand in the way of her and Rafe even when he gets bad feelings about him (his superpower, and he's usually right). He wants her to be happy.
This was a quick and easy read but I'm definitely not loving this trilogy as much as the first. I don't feel as sell-my-own-mother desperate to get my hands on The Rising as I did with The Reckoning. I can wait a year for the conclusion, even knowing we'll be seeing Derek, Chloe & Co. again. The plot and these characters just aren't as compelling.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The first book, The Fallen had potential with a good idea but the characters were transparent, they were so thin. We were never with the characters lo...moreThe first book, The Fallen had potential with a good idea but the characters were transparent, they were so thin. We were never with the characters long enough to truly care about them so that when they died I felt nothing and wondered why it took so long for Aaron to get angry about this when generally he was short-tempered anyway. And why did it take him so long to embrace what came with his anger, his angel heritage, his power which could've saved them?
Verchiel as an adversary was so blind to his own madness it was comical at first until it became inexcusably pathetic. He knew what he was doing was his will, not God's and yet he continued with every goal he tried to achieve only hastening his own failure. Could he not get a clue from that alone that God was unhappy with him? Plus, I don't understand how his blasphemous actions: hunting, torturing and killing innocents in the name of God -haven't seen him lose his wings (literally and figuratively). All he received was a lousy lightning strike which may have cooked his ass but didn't kill him. I don't get it. Please let me in on that piece of reasoning. Others have Fallen for a lot less.
Aaron's yellow Labrador companion, Gabriel was mildly amusing and it would've been nice to see more of Zeke (Camael was a poor substitute in my opinion -very wooden) but the budding attraction between Aaron and Vilma although forced was also sort of sweet and realistic at the same time. However, the language created a very slow pace so that there was no immediacy to any of the action. 2 stars.
The second book, Leviathan was meaningless trash. B-movie stuff which reminded me of old movies like The Blob or a weird non-episode of The X-Files. I skimmed my way to freedom. There was no way I could read every word without my brain exploding in revolt. 1 star.
I doubt this book will charm the Hush, Hush crowd though it might snag the interest of young boys of about 10 who are easy to please with monsters and fire and swords, oh my.
I give up. I'm tired now having stayed up most of the night to finish this rubbish and feel I'm turning into a vindictive b*tch so I'm going to stop writing now. (less)
We’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that peop...moreWe’ve all tried to lose weight at some point in our lives but this is different. Within the first 10 pages I was both appalled and horrified that people suffer so much from these eating disorders. And it’s not described to purposely shock, it is shocking. It’s part of their lives. It is their lives.
On the very first page we witness seventeen year old Lisa’s suicide attempt after fighting with her boyfriend, feeling depressed after her former friend Suzanne tells her she’s anorexic, realising she’s angry and her feeling of emptiness all lead her to feel that life isn’t worth living anymore. She just wants it all to stop.
Something as simple as licking a tear from the corner of her mouth has her thinking it’s okay to do so because it’s calorie-free. When faced with food, every bad ingredient is rattled off by the Thin voice in her head followed by the number of calories they contain and the time required to burn them off on her exercise bike. Her obsessive compulsive actions lead her to eat little and exercise to exhaustion, and what she does eat is the epitome of health. No junk food. She even agonises over eating a simple French fry.
And Misery loves company. Lisa’s anorexic but her best friend’s bulimic. Tammy reinforces her twisted relationship with food as Lisa feels like a failure for not being able to throw up on command and is in awe of the fact that Tammy can ‘bring up a doughnut in thirty seconds’. Sadly, she thinks this is apparently something to be proud of.
Lisa’s struggle to become a better anorexic is downright scary. Her need to control every aspect of her body, frightening. But in her pursuit of this goal she fails to realise that her body is crying out for sustenance. Her confusion and trouble remembering things that only happened the day before and the absence of her period which at first she mistook for a pregnancy scare, then later believed it was just down to stress.
As Lisa describes her dream in which she’s told she is the new Famine, Tammy calmly tells her: “Your own personal Columbine. That’s what your Famine is. Your subconscious just wrapped the rage up in a food image, instead of a freak-with-a-gun image. You relate better to food, that’s all.”
An anorexic who chooses to not eat becomes Famine, something that means that choice is taken away is an interesting idea, it’s what drew me to this book in the first place. Well, after seeing the beautiful cover, anyway.
I enjoyed the symbolism of the Scales of office and the need for balance between being starved to doing things to excess or gluttony, and how one can counteract the other but it’s all down to perception. Lisa’s perception that she’s fat when everyone around her believes she’s too thin, being angry at those who eat to excess and feeling guilty for depriving herself of food when others don’t have a choice but to go hungry.
The horses made interesting supporting characters, seeing things from Midnight’s point of view as an immortal guide to their ever changing riders. Even War’s perspective helped me to see the change in Lisa, how her role as Famine had an impact on how she approached life. The riders all contributed: Death with his strange sense of humour and philosophical musings, Pestilence with his philanthropic way of seeing things and War with her bloodthirsty and forthright anger.
I couldn’t help but wonder if her meeting with Death and the other horsemen, and her role as Famine was real or imaginary though their role in her journey obviously helped her. You wouldn’t think it would considering they’re harbingers of the apocalypse.
After reading about Lisa’s disturbing thought processes and observing her behaviour, I had a fervent wish that please god, let this girl be okay. When she is confronted again by Suzanne and her boyfriend James, she is so distressed at them calling her anorexic that I had conflicting thoughts on whose side I should be on, when sanity told me to be on the side that makes her seek help.
Then finally we hear the three words that I’ve been desperate to read: “You’re too thin”. They come from the most unlikely source. Then again this person was so straight talking and direct, and the truth hurts.
I find that YA rarely touches upon such serious topics and I’m very glad that the author was brave enough to share some of her own experiences as she explains in the Author’s Notes at the back. I’m not certain why I’m not giving this 5 stars because it’s definitely something I’d slip to a friend with similar troubles, hoping it would help them in some way.
eBook received for review courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.(less)
To all those that are ignorant of or don't care for their own safety: READ THIS BOOK!
Surprisingly this is a teenage book, and I can see why. Descripti...moreTo all those that are ignorant of or don't care for their own safety: READ THIS BOOK!
Surprisingly this is a teenage book, and I can see why. Descriptions are well...not descriptive, everything is left to the imagination. Acts are implied but not described in any detail. I expect teens these days will understand this book but I also feel it's a warning to them that paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes, that you'll never know who can be one. You may think that weird old guy across the street is one but really it could be anyone: young, old, fat, thin, gorgeous or ugly. Male or female. And their hook to reel you in could be anything, not just the cliched sweets/candy or puppies.
Perhaps I've watched too much 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' because what shocked others didn't shock me. Of course, I raised an eyebrow or two here and there (I am still human after all) but what struck me the most was 1) the social commentary, 2) the psychology of the broken spirit, and 3) the psychopathy of the paedophile/kidnapper/murderer.
The author brings attention to society's perception of the victims of abuse and of the way people will ignore the signs (claiming they're minding their own business) while spouting things like "Why didn't you say something? That's all it would've taken for someone to help you." Sort of a mixed message there if only certain people will be willing to take notice and then take action on your behalf. To help and not hinder.
Alice2.0's thoughts and behaviours were shockingly real. That she would abuse/groom others, even young children, if it meant it would lessen her pain was completely understandable. Yes, it's despicable but in that situation can you honestly claim that you'd do any different?
Overall, this is a horrific but thought-provoking tale of tragedy that acts as a warning to those that are unaware of the risks they take with their own safety and a reminder to watch out for others'.(less)
Beastly is a modern teenage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast told from the Beast's point of view. This tale is of Kyle who pre-transformation...moreBeastly is a modern teenage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast told from the Beast's point of view. This tale is of Kyle who pre-transformation was a shallow, popular and very mean 16 year old and his growth afterwards as Adrian the Beast.
As the Beast he goes into deep philosophical thought over the meaning of beauty and truth, and finally learns to appreciate the simple things in life that he formerly took for granted. He becomes thoughtful and caring when he realises that he needs those around him, giving them the respect they deserve but also looks back at the person he was and the people he once chose to spend time with, deciding they never were his friends.
He uncovers the true people behind their online personnas which is a lesson to everyone especially the YA audience this is aimed at, that the nice 18 year old you met online could easily be a 12 year old school girl, a thirty year old cop or even a 50 year old man!
I love the cold reality of this book. The desperation of Kyle/Adrian's situation is fully realised when his thoughts turn to very dark possibilities. His father's selfishness and utter abandonment of his son even before his transformation and Lindy's father's drug habit and the lengths he goes to, to feed it are all very realistic.
After all my praise you're probably wondering what the reason is behind my two-star rating, which would be Adrian's developing love for Lindy. I didn't believe it. They seemed more like friends. I couldn't believe that their love would be enduring. After a gritty beginning, Adrian suddenly became very sappy and using the corny language from Lindy's favourite books. Considering that the relationship is a big part of this fairy tale, I found it lacking and extremely disappointing.(less)
I clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper....moreI clearly watch too many sci-fi TV shows. Reading Birthmarked was like watching an amalgamation of specific episodes of those shows play out on paper. In black and white, not full and vivid HD colour because very little of it felt new and fresh, shocking and memorable. One scene and one scene only (view spoiler)[when Gaia rescues and revives the unborn baby of an executed couple (for mostly unintentional incest) (hide spoiler)], is a time where I could say this book made an impression on me.
Don't get me wrong, the world described within these pages is very detailed, I liked the reproductive rights theme vs. the incest dilemma, and I know the codes would've required time and research to create, I appreciate that but it didn't inspire strong and lasting emotions in me or give me something wholly captivating and original to hold up and say to others "You must read this. It's brilliant because..."
I couldn't connect to Gaia. She was a brave, motherly figure much like her mythological namesake but it was difficult to feel her pain when her parents were taken away because we didn't know them or the state of their relationship. Later on, we saw them in her memories but by then it was too little, too late. The characters in general didn't appear to have distinctive personalities, instead they were classified by two characteristics: the brave and the submissive sheep. They could be in either camp, switch between the two or somehow straddle the fence. That's it, that's all there is to them. One exception is Myrna -my favourite character, an imprisoned doctor, locked up for doing her job but unfortunately we don't spend too much time with her.
Supposedly uneducated in almost every way bar midwifery, Gaia was surprisingly intelligent enough to solve a code in hours that top scholars couldn't crack in weeks. I'm not buying that. Neither am I convinced of her developing romance with her jailer. It's very thin and I'm surprised Leon took to her so easily, risking his life for her when they've only had less than a handful of conversations.
Also, all that running for their lives with a newborn baby in her arms -tricky. I kept expecting it to either cry non-stop or for Gaia to look down and find it dead from suffocation because she was clutching it too tightly in the rush.
I didn't hate Birthmarked, the world-building is good and the lesson "the grass is not always greener on the other side" is a classic but I do question the 'baby quota'. It's tough for me to imagine many women, or men for that matter, would give up their children without a fight no matter what the cost. The bond is too strong. I'm also surprised so many are willing to bear children knowing the risk of losing them. There should be good trade in birth control methods.
Perhaps if the characters were more developed and the book was written in first person I would feel more involved and connected to the action. I'm curious about what life has in store for Gaia next but having read the synopsis and a couple of reviews of Prized I'm not overly enthusiastic about finding out.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As a cross between TV shows Six Feet Under and Dexter for a YA audience (hmm, really?) this was a fascinating and insightful look into the sociopath...moreAs a cross between TV shows Six Feet Under and Dexter for a YA audience (hmm, really?) this was a fascinating and insightful look into the sociopathic mind of a fifteen-year old boy as he attempts to take down a demon serial killer that goes on a rampage in his small town. Strong stomachs are required for this gruesome psychological thriller with undertones of black humour. Or a sick bag.
First off, I must say, sociopathy is becoming popular, is it not?
I referenced Six Feet Under for the family-run mortuary and black comedy, and Dexter for the serial killer with rules but I noticed the one thing they have in common: Michael C. Hall. He stars in both shows. Is he Dan Wells? If not, he must be a fan because the similarities between the TV and book are uncanny. This is good by the way. I loved both.
Anyway, I digress.
Named after the actor and consequently a serial killer, and a weapon, John Wayne Cleaver struggles to appear normal in his quest to not let his inner monster out. In order to succeed he studies what he doesn’t want to become: The Serial Killer. He knows about them all: number of kills, technique used, forensic profiles -the lot. You see, if he understands their motives, what makes them tick then he can create rules for himself to prevent him from becoming...Just. Like. Them.
John as an adult?
His obsession to the outsider is unsettling as it appears he idolises and wants to imitate the killers. He talks about it to anyone and everyone, even submitting school reports on them:
”The project I did last year was on Jeffrey Dahmer,” I said. “He was a cannibal who kept severed heads in his freezer.” “I remember now,” said Max, his eyes darkening. “Your posters gave me nightmares. That was boss.” “Nightmares are nothing,” I said. “Those posters gave me a therapist.”
John comes clean with the therapist for the most part but because he’s under 18 his issues are discussed with his mother. She doesn't understand, instead she gets mad at him for things he can’t (or is desperately fighting to) control.
You see, he has many of the predictors of becoming what he fears: he’s an intelligent and insightful sociopath who’s studied human behaviours in order to understand and emulate them, he works part-time in a mortuary run by his family (helping with the embalming process so he’s constantly surrounded by death, natural and otherwise), and he’s killed and cut into animals with no human victims. Yet.
Throughout, John’s level-headedness cons you into believing he isn’t really a bad guy. There’s nothing wrong with him. He's just your typical teenager. That is until you witness one of his outbursts when he’s pushed to breaking point. The monster comes out, and he ain’t nice. It’s quite shocking as you begin to understand what John has to contend with in order to remain part of society without giving into his urges. It's a chilling reminder that he is not an innocent hero even though you're rooting for him.
In a way Wells addresses the subject of vigilantes:
’I wasn’t sad, I was thoughtful; I didn’t feel bad that ________ was dead, just guilty that I hadn’t been able to stop his killer . I wondered then if I was doing all of this because I wanted to save the good guys, or if I just wanted to kill the bad guy. And I wondered if that made a difference.’
Does it matter his intentions, altruistic or not, as long as he disposes of the murderer? But then what do you do with the one that did the murdering? You still have a killer on your hands. He may hurt someone else, perhaps a completely innocent person -a conundrum.
My favourite scene was the ultimate comeback to a bully’s comments at the school dance. John made it into a personal threat so that not only was it scary but 100% true which made it all the scarier. In Max’s words “that was awesome”. It totally was. :D
I Am Not a Serial Killer was incredibly realistic. There were moments that really resonated with me -a testament to Wells' research and a great understanding of the human psyche. Everything was so well-developed, the characters and the dysfunctional relationships all realistic, and here’s the But.
(view spoiler)[The demon. (hide spoiler)] It was so out there. The setting of the book was in the real world, nothing paranormal about it and all of a sudden we have this (view spoiler)[hideous beast (hide spoiler)]. Huh? I wasn’t quite sure if he was real or a figment of John’s imagination. Was he beginning to lose his mind? Hallucinating? Is he schizophrenic? Was he the killer, projecting what he was on to someone else? This is what studying psychology does to you. You can’t take anything at face value. Eventually I was left with a final question: Was it going to be a Sixth Sense twist ending?
Which leads me to the different ways certain aspects of this book can be interpreted. On the surface, instead of teen angst we get a fight to remain "normal", to fit in with everyone else, to be accepted by society –all classic signs of being a teenager. Perfect stuff for a YA novel, right? Sneaky.
A 15-year old taking on a serial killer is perfectly normal in the real world. It happens everyday. Maybe not. John tries pointing the good guys in the right direction. It was lambs to the slaughter. Cannon fodder. "Messy" doesn't quite cover it. So it was up to him, as an expert on killers and with an inner demon of his very own he understood how this one worked. Unfortunately he has to sacrifice his hard won control in order to fight the demon. And once the cat’s out of the bag, he can’t shove it back in. Eep!
Is it cold in here?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The strapline: 'It's all in the blood' is spot on and has more than one meaning. As does the title Crave. This book...moreWarning: Major cliffhanger ending!
The strapline: 'It's all in the blood' is spot on and has more than one meaning. As does the title Crave. This book twists things with a human heroine who needs blood to survive and a vampire who seems more vulnerable and human than most humans, rather than a monster.
Seventeen year old Shay defines herself as others do, as The SickGirl. The SickGirl can't do normal things because she has a rare blood disease that leaves her physically weak and receiving regular blood transfusions with numerous stays in hospital. Her mother has dedicated her life to finding treatments and possible cures, even marrying Martin, a wealthy award-winning specialist in Leukaemia. He's abandoned his prominent career to help her.
Everyone treats The SickGirl as delicate: the other students, the teachers, even the principal. No one dares yell at her or upset her for fear of being seen as mean. Everyone cuts her a break even when she doesn't want or deserve one. And almost everybody has difficulty when she just wants to be "Shay".
During new blood transfusions Shay finds herself in the body of Gabriel who she comes to realise is a vampire. She witnesses events from his life and doesn't know where these visions are coming from and worries it's her over-active imagination but they also inspire her to live her life the best she can because she knows that even though these new transfusions have given her strength, she's dying and it's only a matter of time before she takes her last breath.
Her new high-on-life attitude sees her taking risks, sometimes stupid ones, that shock and upset her friends and mother. They blame it on the new treatment instead of realising Shay's need to catch up on all the normal rites of passage that teenagers experience like first kisses, running, going to parties, getting drunk and generally having fun.
Then she has a Gabriel-vision of her step-father's office. She breaks in to find that Gabriel is real and chained up. At this point we're halfway through the book. From here the adventure begins. Shay is horrified her step-father could do such a thing and Gabriel is furious and wants vengeance so he kidnaps Shay and escapes.
Both are confused by each other. Gabriel's used to seeing humans as the enemy but Shay is different, her visions of his past upset him but he's drawn to her unusual but familiar scent, and refuses to see her as The SickGirl and demands she never uses those words again. She's also kind to him, generous and unafraid of his vampire-status but Shay finds it difficult to reconcile her growing feelings for vision-Gabriel and the Gabriel right in front of her who seems more cold and cut-off from life.
I loved the first 80% of this book and remember thinking it was a brilliant original story but that last 20% was rushed and started to echo other YA books. Plus I'm a little miffed that it ended on a whopper of a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers!
If you're a Roswell (TV show) fan then you'll see some similarities in Crave as the authors were both writers for the show and the accompanying books. As a result, the book could easily be transferred to the screen.
I regret not getting this in paperback, instead I bought the ebook because I couldn't wait for physical delivery. The cover guy, Gabe I'm guessing, is hot with his blue eye and phoenix tattoo and his beloved sunset in the background.
I'm interested to learn why Gabriel feels so guilty about Sam (hopefully it's not the most obvious conclusion) and wonder what the truth is and what the effect will be when Shay finds out. Unfortunately, I have no idea when my curiosity will be satisfied because there's no information on the sequel but fingers-crossed I won't have to wait too long.
I can't give this 3 stars because that would be a slap in the face for the authors who've managed to portray the SickGirl and the psychology behind her situation and behaviour so amazingly well that I wondered if one of them had actually lived this role but neither can I give it 5 stars because of that last 20% so 4 stars it is.(less)
I'm disappointed by this sequel. I don't feel I should be. Objectively speaking, the plot is a good one. It's based on an ethical dilemma with no obvi...moreI'm disappointed by this sequel. I don't feel I should be. Objectively speaking, the plot is a good one. It's based on an ethical dilemma with no obvious answer and where gaining advice is problematic. The struggle, Bryn's journey as alpha is what this is about but I just couldn't seem to care. It was slow for the most part and I became bored.
Despite Lucas's situation being a sympathetic one, I didn't like him. I didn't necessarily want to see him dead but I needed a reason other than his ultimate death to care about Bryn helping him at the possible detriment of her pack.
I'm also disappointed that Barnes didn't use this sequel as an opportunity to bring depth to certain characters, Chase in particular. He was the main reason I didn't give Raised By Wolves a higher rating, simply because he was an unknown. We knew nothing about him and I was hoping his story would unfold here. It didn't. I know little time has passed between books and Bryn is busy caring for the pack but they still spend time together, mostly in silence which was maddening.
The part of the book that I found intriguing was the ending simply because it meant Bryn was forced to make a life and death decision, and she chose death. It was the right choice but it was a painful one which resulted in the loss of a valuable pack member.
Callum's warning in the form of a horse carving meant nothing until the end so I understood Bryn's frustration with him even though his hands were tied by fate and politics to do more than he did to help.
I am glad the Bryn has acknowledged the need to one day become wolf because even though she is strong as human, she's vulnerable, too.
Overall, I believe the writing lets this book down. Trial By Fire could've easily been a five star read if the writing had been tighter, faster paced with more character development. I'm not eager to read the next book but if my library order it I probably will in the vain hope these problems will be addressed.(less)
My utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed with...moreMy utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed with them. In just a small amount of time an original species and history had been born with an adrenaline pumping opening scene but as soon as Jacinda, her sister and mother left the draki community it fell off a cliff.
Not only did it turn into Evernight with Jacinda inexplicably falling for her hunter but her mother and sister were unbelievably harsh. They showed little sympathy for her and at times were downright cruel. I could almost understand this from the sister’s point of view having to live as an outcast for the past few years due to her inability to shift but the mother’s? For someone who claimed to love her daughter and did this risky thing to protect her, she refused to see how much she was hurting Jacinda with her words and actions. Telling Asking her to kill her draki when Jacinda had come to love that part of her and then travelling to a place where the choice would be taken away was monsterous.
However, this wasn’t my only gripe. The romance. What romance? Jacinda, draki girl meets Will, human hunter and an instant yet powerful connection is formed. Ugh. Although the connection was later explained, and being around Will reinvigorates her draki, their constant yearning for each other was supremely annoying.
And why did Jacinda always put him before her family and their safety? She made dangerously unwise decisions, took risks she shouldn’t all because of her passion for this boy whose hunter family (who’d most likely murdered her father), if they found out about her nature, would turn around and kill her and hunt down her mother and sister. A heavy price to pay to keep her draki alive.
'Can't she understand? What good is safety if you're dead inside.'
'To keep that part of me alive, I have to be close to that which kills it.'
'A sad realization. To know the ones you love will be better off without you around.'
And then Cassian arrives on the scene, ready to drag Jacinda home, even offering to let her family stay. At first I saw him through Jacinda’s eyes, an arrogant heir pursuing her for her rare ability to breathe fire, to own her instead of loving her for who she is, but then as he spoke, I came to cheer him on.
A Blood and Chocolate ending would be the best I could hope for, which would mean picking Cassian over the human…and oh no, it’s a trilogy. We’re left wondering how she’ll fare with Cassian after a dramatic incident.
"You did this!" "Not on purpose. But I am glad I ruined your little romance with that murderer? Hell yeah. You bet."
No doubt Vanish will be full of pining for her lost human love and glowering at the intriguing Cassian despite his best efforts to help her and of course, woo her. And if we’re really lucky as the third book is being written we’ll hear this trilogy has turned into a series.
And yet…and yet, I’ll probably continue reading. Despite my pessimism I’ll hope for the best now that she’s away from what I see as the negative influences in her new “human” life: Will and her family.(less)
Wow, I never expected such a great YA book! The story was so intricately woven with enough action to entertain even with the world-building necessary...moreWow, I never expected such a great YA book! The story was so intricately woven with enough action to entertain even with the world-building necessary for a first book.
My only real complaint was that there's so little interaction between Bryn and Chase. I was dying to know more about him and was desperate to see some "padding" in their relationship other than the basic connection they formed. The one-word sentences between them in animal-instinct-language weren't enough and to be honest became irritatingly repetitive after a while.
My feelings about Callum swang in different directions throughout the book but by the end they'd done a complete 360 degree circle. His life is tough. Navigating through the endless decisions he has to make and the resulting outcomes is an impossible task, and takes an incredible strength to cope with such a responsibility. I couldn't help but respect him but being on the receiving end of his manipulations probably doesn't feel good so I could completely identify with Bryn on that.
After such a strong start, I can only hope the sequel is as great. 4.5 stars.(less)