First Line(s): "This looks promising," my mother said, eyeing the dormitory's ivy-covered facade.
I first heard about Sarina Bowen when an author friend recommended a title of hers called The Understatement of the Year which is the third book in Bowen's Ivy League series. As I've mentioned a time or two I like to read a series in order and as this author friend also said the others were worth the read I decided to just go ahead and buy the whole lot and started reading the first book, The YEar We Fell Down.The Year We Fell Down is the story of Corey Callahan and Adam Hartley (called Hartley by friends throughout that you pretty much forget his real name) and takes place over the course of a year at their school, Harkness University (Read: Yale without being Yale). Corey is a Freshman and is starting off school relearning how to walk after a freak Hockey accident several months prior. Hartley is also recovery from a hockey injury but his was the result of male stupidity that leaves him with a broken leg. They are neighbors and are instantly attacted to one another but there are several obstacles in their way. Queue up ALL THE CLICHES!
First there is the biggest hurdle, Hartley has a girlfriend. A long time girlfriend who is pretty and rich and is conviantely away for the semester in France. She is also a royal b*@#& and no one likes her, not even Hartley most of the time, so it often baffled me why he was even with the girl since all he did was point out all the things he disliked about her and the things he did like was that she was pretty and had money. (Head desk. Repeat.) Then there was Corey with her typical heroine hangups of how she's not pretty enough and the added issue of her handicap which she thinks will prevent her from ever finding love. Especially with Hartley as he is just so handsome and amazing and just perfect in every way. (Head desk. Repeat.) But where Corey bugged me the most was her use of the phrase, hope fairies. It was childish and overdone and I swear my eye started to twitch be the end every time her internal monolgue went there.
For me, The Year We Fell Down, wasn't a bad book but it wasn't super great either. There were typos and continutiy errors and random name changes throughout the book. There were some unbelievable bits and the fact that it really just barely didn't cross the cheating line. Any regular reader knows that cheating is a big bookish turn off with me and has killed a book or two for me. There are books where there is mutal attraction but the one who is taken doesn't actually cross the line but its a very fine line and there have to be other elements in the story that wow me enough to pull my brain away from fixating that character x is not single. The Year We Fell Down didn't have enough of those elements and so every time Hartley was focusing thoughts on Corey in a romantic way (and vise versa) I kept yelling at the book "He has a girlfriend!!" It was a frustration and totally took away a star from my rating.
The Year We Fell Down wasn't a train wreck though and I did really enjoy the secondary characters in the novel and I did like the school setting where it took place. While I think that Bowen's writing needs a little polish and that this story could use another round of editing or two to clean up some things there is enough promise to it all to keep me reading the next books in the series. Plus, I did already buy them all so there is that as well.
3.5 stars...liked this one but felt the ending was a bit rushed and details glossed over. Not really looking forward to the next book, but will probab3.5 stars...liked this one but felt the ending was a bit rushed and details glossed over. Not really looking forward to the next book, but will probably read it....more
***As Originally posted on my blog tickettoanywhere(dot)net***
When I first heard about Angelfall by Susan Ee I was very skeptical of it. First it had***As Originally posted on my blog tickettoanywhere(dot)net***
When I first heard about Angelfall by Susan Ee I was very skeptical of it. First it had angels and I am not a huge fan of that growing genre and second it was a self-published book....and we've all witness the horrors that can occur with self-published authors. But two bloggers, Po(sey) Sessions and YA Librarian Tales, whose opinions really matter to me kept insisting that this was one book that I really had to try. Yes, it was about Angels but it was about the scary biblical ones of old and it was more of a dystopia than not. And yes, it was self-published but it didn't read like one. And since it was only 99 cents on BN.com I crumbled under their praise and purchased this book.
This is a purchase that I don't regret as I really enjoyed Angelfall. I loved the world building of this post-apocalyptic world and I loved that we had a history of how it all came to be. We weren't just tossed into the ruins of America and told to just accept it without question of how society crumbled. I also enjoyed how angels weren't given a white washing and made into benevolent creatures. I liked how they were cold and hard and scary. Anyone who has every read the bible knows the power of angels and it was a bit terrifying to see it on the page.
Penryn's voice was also very strong and realistic. She didn't always make the wisest decisions but she always followed her heart. There were several times when she walked into danger knowing that she could have turned a blind eye and been safe. But she didn't. She took risks and dealt with the consequences of her actions. Learning a bit more about herself in the process. I also enjoyed her interactions with Raff, the angel she rescues and makes a pact with to try and save her sister. They had a funny banter and I enjoyed seeing them learn to cope with the other and learn that the other race may not be as bad as initially thought.
The problem that I had with the book was that just as the action really started to heat up, the story ended. And not just any ending but an ending with a cliff hanger. One that forces the reader to go and read the next book if they want to know what happens. I am filled with series fatigue and while I want to know what happens next a part of me is a little resentful that the only way to know is to keep reading.
Overall though, Angelfall is a solid addition to the dystopian craze and it might even be better than some of the other more popular dystopian reads out there. Its a solid world with a gripping plot line that will keep you on the edge of your seat as Penryn and Raff journey to across California. Its a book that will make your heart race and then break it a little over the course of Penryn's journey. Its a book where the choices aren't always easy but they are ones that need to be made. And for all of my series fatigue I really do hope that book 2 is available soon so that I can devour that one as quickly as I devoured Angelfall.
***As Originally posted on my blog tickettoanywhere(dot)net***...more