this is another little book that's hard to find. most stores have the later books in the series that nobody else wants to read, but the first five? go...morethis is another little book that's hard to find. most stores have the later books in the series that nobody else wants to read, but the first five? good luck with that punk. so you can imagine how happy i was to find this in the FREE bin!(less)
imagine, if you will, a precious emo girl high school student who fancies herself a write...moreyou can read more reviews at my blog, the armchair librarian.
imagine, if you will, a precious emo girl high school student who fancies herself a writer because she got an a in a creative writing class. her favorite books are white oleander, interview with the vampire, and twilight (although she would never admit this).
now you have an idea of what the main character of this book sounds like. and since it is written in the first person, there is no escape.
i usually like alice hoffman's work. she has a wonderful vocabulary and can write beautiful descriptions. blackbird house, incantation, and practical magic were all pretty good - so i figured green angel would be as well. apparently hoffman is not so good at writing modern ya. she tries too hard, and her magic-realism metaphors and symbolism become forced instead of natural. rather like the narrator herself.
also, the main character is just such an unlikable whiney little hag. i wanted to slap her in the face. her family dies (spoiler! - just kidding it happens in chapter one) and what does she do? sew rose thorns into her leather jacket and tattoo herself because it hurts so good with ink and pins. um.
how about no?
who'da thunk that such a short and small book could be so unbearable?
I won this via the first reads giveaway! I'm so happy I won this, because my mother absolutely LOVES Swedish/Finnish mysteries but they are hard to fi...moreI won this via the first reads giveaway! I'm so happy I won this, because my mother absolutely LOVES Swedish/Finnish mysteries but they are hard to find in the U.S. The last one I got for her was also from GR and called "The Viper," which was pretty good. Once I read and reviewed it as per the contest agreement, I gave it to her--and she loved it too! I can't wait to tell her I won another! She shall be the envy of her friends. :)
05/08/13/edit//: IT CAME TODAY! I READS NAO.(less)
First, let me say that I am not actively religious, so this book review is being written...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
First, let me say that I am not actively religious, so this book review is being written from that perspective. I don't normally broadcast my religious views, but since christian theology plays a pretty heavy role in this book in this case I feel it is relevant.
Original Sin was an interesting book. I actually considered buying it before because of the intriguing title and cover, but ended up dismissing it after reading the back. Of course, I went home and immediately changed my mind, but when I went back to the used bookstore it was gone; it had become the Book That Got Away.
O woe! O misery!
When I went back to the used bookstore recently, I saw a copy sitting in the exact same place, mocking me. Well, I wasn't about to make the same mistake twice, no sir. I bought that bitch.
This book deals with magic in an interesting way. Our main character, Moira, is a witch, but she has been indoctrinated into a Catholic school (Olivet, I believe), to train on demon-slaying. She represses her powers, even though she could give Hermione Granger a run for her money when it comes to witchcraft, because Magic is Evil.
But seriously, all magic in this world is Evil. Even if you're trying to use magic for Good, since magic is Evil you will end up corrupted by it anyway, and either get your fool-ass killed or become corrupted and/or possessed by a demon. I don't really get the point of this, since it's pretty clear that their holy water and prayers don't work too well on the demons, but whatevskis.
Moira is pretty stock as far as characters come. Her mommy is the grand-high-witch equivalent of "Mommie Dearest." As if that weren't enough of a filial fuck-you, Moira's sister, Serena, is helping their mother. Oh goody. Skye, the police sheriff in the town where this story takes place, is a bit more interesting, but she's a stereotype too. Cop with Heart of Gold Willing to Break Rules for the Greater Good. She's dating this guy named Anthony who is a total douchecanoe, and for some reason has it in for Moira. (There was a lot of backstory missing. If I hadn't already looked this book up on Goodreads, I would have thought that maybe I was reading book #2. Nope.)
Bee-tee-dubs, they have a pretty interesting sex scene. Let's just say that I was beginning to wonder if Skye had gotten herself possessed by the demon Lust, because damn.
The demons themselves were pretty neat--and scary. When people in town started dying, with only mysterious marks to link their suspicious deaths, I was like, "Oh shit, things are getting real!" Even the christian stuff wasn't too over-the-top. I thought it was interesting how Brennan tied it in to Celtic folklore, and managed to create something pretty unique from an overdone genre.
My complaints are that the book was a little slow to start, and that the author could have given us more back story to work with in the beginning. I spent most of the first 100 pages shaking my head and going, "Who the hell is Rafe? Why is Fiona trying to kill Moira? Why does Anthony hate Moira so much that he's willing to get her killed? Why is everyone in this book such an asshole?" The dialogue was a little wooden in some places, and a lot of the "oh no! what's going on? witches! GASP! to the spook-mobile!" stuff was really repetitive and annoying. This wasn't a long book by any means but it took me a long time to read because the action was spread too thinly.
This was far better than I thought it was going to be, but I can also see why many others found it to be a bore. If you don't mind waiting a bit for your exposition, check this out. If not, don't.
Back in high school I was a huge anime addict. Before anime was cool. In fact, I liked it...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.
Back in high school I was a huge anime addict. Before anime was cool. In fact, I liked it right at the time when liking anime was considered lame, so all you wanna-be hipsters out there, you're looking at the GENUINE ARTICLE. Yeah. Snap.
Even though I got over the craze a while ago, I still read the occasional series. Like any genre of fiction, there's a lot of derivative crap you have to wade through to find the series with genuinely fleshed-out characters and unique plotlines.
I'm sorry to say that Blood-C does not meet my standards.
Our main character, Saya, is a Sue. She is a likable Sue, but she is still a Sue, and this makes it hard to relate to her because it is hard to relate to someone who is Perfect.
She is late to school every day because she always has to stop and help little old ladies cross the street, clean up garbage she sees on the ground, rescue little animals, etc. etc. Her mother is dead, so she is super attentive to her aging father. She's a miko at her family's shinto shrine, a good student, everyone likes her, etc.
Oh--but she's also a Slayer.
That's right. Her family's super-sekrit occupation is slaying the Ancient Ones, or the People Eaters. The demons are quite strange, like a cross between Black Bird and Inuyasha.
There are also traces of Twilight in here, too. New boy in school takes strange interest in her right away. Acts like she smells bad. Has strange eyes. Avoids her, but saves her at the crucial moment.
I did like the fact that she had glasses. I guess the stigma against girls with glasses isn't as common in Japan as it is in the United States, because there are quite a few cute girls with glasses. I also liked the fact that all of her friends are nice (so far), and she doesn't have any of those catty frenemies meant to stir up drama by being two-faced (Sae from Peach Girl) or slut-shaming (anyone with boobs in Hana Yori Dango).
Blood-C isn't a bad manga, but it isn't a good one either. It can be summed up in one word:
Also, what's up with that creepy scene when Saya's female teacher tries to seduce her?
I don't know about you, but I was a nobody in high school. I was on the honor roll and wo...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
I don't know about you, but I was a nobody in high school. I was on the honor roll and won awards in community service and music, but nobody knew who I was. In my senior year, there were still some people I'd been to school with since middle school who still didn't know my name.
With my own ten year reunion approaching in a couple years, I was intrigued by this series. It's a pretty nifty idea, actually: a series based around what really happens to all those people voted "most likely to..." Is there any real correlation?
The two main characters are Kelsey and Nathan, who were lab buddies in high school. Kelsey had a crush on Nathan, but Nathan just thought of her as a friend. But now both of them are omfg! smoking hot! Dun dun dunnnnnnn.
Part of the reason I picked this up was because Carina Press recently auto-approved me. So, of course, having no idea what the word "moderation" means, I was naturally like, "READ ALL THE BOOKS!" *massive downloading spree-a-thon* Now I just have to read and review them all. o_e
Most Likely to Succeed is only about 70 pages, so since it's the shortest of the lot I started with that one first. The sex was incredibly well-written, and I was pleased that Davies made such an effort to have it be both safe and consensual. Some people argue that condoms make sex unsexy. Kate Davies is only too quick to point out just how wrong that is.
That said, I think it might have been better either a) left as a one-night stand or b) padded into a full-length novel, because the shallow characterization was...annoying. Nathan was fine, but Kelsey, I feel like the author was trying to make too many apologies for Kelsey. All she did was bitch and whine about how being self-sacrificing for her mom ruined her future omfg.
Um, no. You volunteered to give up your full scholarship to Stanford(!) to help out your mom at the florist shop. And it doesn't even sound like she was particularly grateful or in need of it, so you are not allowed to keep using that as an excuse to feed your own vanity.
Second, the way she treats Nathan when she finds out he was trying to help her get a better job was just so revolting, I actually lost a star in enjoyment because of that. Not only does she read his text message (she claims it was an accident), she's also like, "I trusted you with my secrets! How DARE you betray me by trying to fix my problem!" Ummmm, because he wants you to shut up without actually saying "shut up" because he's so freaking nice?
So yes, that was annoying. I'd consider reading another book in the series though, particularly if it featured a less repulsive female protagonist. I wouldn't mind a Nathan of my own, though. ;)
I received a free copy of this book for review. The author is my friend, but that doesn't...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
I received a free copy of this book for review. The author is my friend, but that doesn't impact my opinion. (No, seriously; I'm such a bitch, I give some of my friends 1- and 2-star ratings. I'm not sure why they keep coming back for more....)
The Athena Effect was a pleasant surprise for me: the story is polished, features some remarkable character development, and manages what I always thought impossible for YA fics: it features a heroine who is naive without being TSTL.
I know right?
Caledonia is the daughter of two very intelligent but mysterious individuals. Her parents are brilliant but have severe psychological problems that result in seizures and paranoid delusions. The three of them live off the land in the wilderness, because they are afraid that someone will steal their daughter.
This isn't as unreasonable a fear as it sounds: Caledonia has psychic powers that manifest themselves in synesthesia. She can see and taste auras, and is learning how to project her own emotions onto other living creatures in order to manipulate them--usually for the good.
When Cal's parents die in a car crash, she is sent to live with her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend Phil in California. Her aunt is a nice but easily swayed woman, who is rather too quick to believe her pedo-boyfriend's lies. Cal is instantly miserable.
Meanwhile, down the street is a house always surrounded by motorcycles. One day, when walking around at night to avoid Phil, Caledonia encounters a boy in the middle of some trouble. She fights off his attackers with a knife. That boy is Calvin (Cal and Cal!), our womanizing love interest.
One thing I really loved about this story was how hard Calvin had to change before Caledonia would accept him. His "you're not like the other girls," and "I don't like it when you dress like them," don't work on Caledonia. She doesn't let herself love-love him until it's quite clear that he's learned how wrong it is to use women the way he does. I really appreciated that.
I also love how bad-ass Caledonia was. A lot of stories, it seems like only bitchy women can be self-sufficient. But Cal is a sweetheart, and she knows how to compartmentalize. She can be girly and sweet, but when it's time to kick-ass she takes no prisoners. I really liked that a lot.
Nice girls don't have to finish last!
Add to that witty dialogue, a really believable and sweet romance, and a very evil villain, and you've got a pretty wonderful story. I'm surprised this doesn't have way more reviews than it does.
One of the questions that I get as a reviewer that annoys me the most is, "If you didn't...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
One of the questions that I get as a reviewer that annoys me the most is, "If you didn't like the book, why did you read it?" First off, the order of cause and effect in this question is totally off. You can't find out whether or not you'll like the book UNTIL you read it. Unfortunate, but there you go.
Another question, which often acts as a corollary to the first question, is, "If you didn't like the last thing you read by this author, why on earth would you read them again?" Honestly. And you're calling me closed minded? Not all works are created equal. Authors learn from their mistakes and, as they find their comfort zone, develop their talents to best showcase their nascent abilities.
I recently read another book by Matt Kindt, called Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes. There were a lot of things that really irritated me about the storyline, including but not limited to: vague characterization and jerky streams of consciousness.
Mind MGMT is a totally different kettle of fish.
MM is about a true crime writer named Meru struggling to make ends meet. Her last best-seller peaked in popularity two years ago, and her editor is starting to lose faith in her ability. If you've seen the movie Sinister, she is in a very similar position to the author character in that movie. One day she happens to be watching TV while a documentary comes on, talking about a mysterious accident that happened on the very same day several years ago.
On an airline flight, all the passengers contracted a mysterious and permanent bout of amnesia. Families were torn apart when they could no longer recognize their children or spouses. The pilots had to phone in ground control to help them land the plane, as they no longer remembered how. The only passenger unaffected was a small boy--and a mysterious "missing" passenger that no one has been able to find. Meru has found her story... or so she thinks.
Her quest for answers leads her all over the world, from Mexico to Zanzibar to Guangzhou to Shangri-La. She meets strange people with even stranger abilities: writing advertisements that have the power to wipe minds; empaths so strong they can soothe a war-torn nation, or have them tear one another to shreds; people who can talk to and control animals, even forcing them to kill themselves; and people, called Immortals, who will never, ever die.
I loved the Heroes/X-Men sort of angle, and how well it was played out. I also loved the government conspiracy angle, because hey--who doesn't love a good government conspiracy? In terms of content and plot development, Mind MGMT reminded me a lot of another espionage-themed graphic novel I had the pleasure of receiving from netgalley, called Think Tank by Matt Hawkins.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would happily review the second, as well, should I chance upon it. I suppose it just goes to show that it pays to be open-minded...
I grew up on the original 1980s My Little Ponies show, and a lot of the subsequent adapti...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.
I grew up on the original 1980s My Little Ponies show, and a lot of the subsequent adaptions totally made me angry because they were lame. All that changed with Friendship is Magic.
There's a reason it's an internet meme.
Our story begins with the three itty bitty baby ponies, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Blossom camping out in Fluttershy's backyard in an attempt to get their cutie marks. But then something sneaks up on them in the woods and when the Mane Six wake up the next morning, they are shocked to discover that the whole town, baby ponies included, have turned into zombies!
That's because the Evil Queen Chrysalis has come with her army of changelings to take over all of Equestria and steal Twilight's powerful magic! If the Mane Six can't stop her, all of Equestria will fall into loveless, friendless, zombie-ful ruin!
One of the most amazing things about this series is how many pop culture references are in it! Like Disney, the new My Little Pony series has managed to capture a mood and setting that appeals to an audience of all ages and genders. Some of the references in this book were: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Indiana Jones, IT, The Shining, and so much more!
Also, the three baby ponies cracked me up with the way they irritated Queen Chrysalis with their mindless babbling. I have to say that the way their expressions were drawn totally made the comic. Pinkie Pie has some of the best faces in here--and a canon, and a giant costume of herself, and a song about fire, and a cake that... well, I'd rather not think about where she was hiding that.