Ignite Me was 100% perfect. Everything I could have asked for. It was thrilling, intense, amazing, and theOh. My. Gosh.
Are there even words for this?
Ignite Me was 100% perfect. Everything I could have asked for. It was thrilling, intense, amazing, and the character growth was spectacular. And of course, Tahereh Mafi’s writing was fantastic.
Ignite Me is the best book in the trilogy. And the Shatter Me series is one of the best series I’ve ever read. No other series has gripped my emotions the way this one has. It’s complex, romantic, fierce, and adventurous.
I laughed, gasped, shouted, and ached for the characters in this installment. My breathing sped up, my heart raced, and there were some moments I had to put it down. Reading this series is almost more intense than riding on a roller coaster the way it gripped me and affected me.
I won’t spoil the book. I won’t spoil any details, even though 50% of me is so eager to shout everything from the rooftops and scream OMG I KNOW RIGHT about each scene. But I suppose it’s a good thing I have so many friends who read. SOMEONE PLEASE FINISH THIS SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT OMG.
And wow. Warner. Was everything I ever thought he could be. *sigh*
Juliette surprised me and I was so proud of her. I never would have imagined she'd be where she was in Ignite Me when I first picked up Shatter Me. I think it's awesome....more
I’ve wanted to read this book for ages. The cover is beautiful and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. I was in the mood for an awesome fantI’ve wanted to read this book for ages. The cover is beautiful and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it. I was in the mood for an awesome fantasy, so I decided to set aside time to read this book… finally. Unfortunately, it was an agonizing read and I didn’t enjoy it at all.
The main character was utterly ridiculous. Until (literally) 50% through the book, I had a very vague idea of the world I was in, the other characters, the way things worked, or what the plot really was. But, oh my gosh, I knew how much Elisa ate, how much she hated herself and her appearance, how her legs ached after long walks, and how much better suited her sister was for being a queen. I am in no way exaggerating, either, unfortunately.
If you can somehow manage to get through the first half of the book without wanting to stab your eyes out, it does get better. The plot starts to go somewhere, it just took Elisa losing weight and working hard and gaining confidence. Suddenly, she’s the main star, the hero, and the woman behind the awesome plans and schemes. Underneath all that self hatred was a girl who was absolutely brilliant. Some people may find this to be awesome and redeeming, but I thought it actually made the book even more ridiculous. I don’t believe a young girl who was literally sheltered her entire life would be very good at anything involving war schemes without making tons of mistakes along the way. And suddenly, she was.
I usually don’t mind being thrust into a story without detailed world building. I like to find things out and let the setting and the way the society works slowly unravel, but the world building in this book was virtually nonexistent. I still don’t really know what the world is like. I am used to fantasy novels being very pious and having tons of religious references, plots, and themes that are strongly tied to religion. But I thought this book was really over the top with the God’s will sort of message. I wasn’t sure I really liked the overall effect.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, based on synopsis, should have been the perfect read for me and my mood at the time. (I thought) I had all the right expectations. But it was absolutely terrible and agonizing to read. Not because of all the reasons a lot of fantasy books are deemed agonizing, like wordiness, length, and details, but because of the weight obsessed main character, her naivety, the absurdity of her sudden transformation into war hero, and the LACK of world building, details, actual plot, and complexity.
I would not recommend this book at all, unfortunately.
I liked loved this book. I thought the plot was incredibly interesting. I loved the way it was written and thought it was unique. The synopsis doesn’tI liked loved this book. I thought the plot was incredibly interesting. I loved the way it was written and thought it was unique. The synopsis doesn’t say a whole lot and the book starts out with Juliette in an institution. She narrates and continuously crosses out things she doesn’t mean to say. The reader gets pieces of the situation and must figure out what happened – to the world and to Juliette. Her narration left a lot of room for questions, which I liked. I don’t like when dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels have characters that know too much without legitimate reasons for knowing how it all works and Juliette was not like this. She really didn’t know what was going on, either, and I believed her point of view. I loved Juliette. Immediately, I was hooked on the story and was trying to figure out what exactly happened to her. Although the crossed out sentences and words could seem gimmicky, I thought it added to my overall reading experience and helped me understand her.
“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they're always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors. I am a raindrop. My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.”
Although Juliette is a depressing narrator, I liked her because she seemed real. When people touch her, bad things happen, so no one touches her. I imagine that a life of being inside an institution, forgotten and left behind by anyone who ever knew her would lead to a somewhat sad view of the world. I didn’t expect her to be strong after having the world beat her down for so many years. I didn’t expect her to be comfortable with her surroundings or trust people easily or be skeptical of the right people right away or any of that. Had she been super badass from the start, I would have been irritated because it wouldn’t have made sense. I’m all about awesome chicks in screwed up worlds, but I think it’s ridiculous that anyone would expect a character like Katniss in The Hunger Games to be in every novel. Warning: If you, however, prefer all your female characters to be totally awesome and strong no matter what, then you probably won’t like Juliette.
As the story goes on, the plot thickens and things start to happen to Juliette and she starts to grow and understand herself and the world around her. Without giving anything away, my overall impression of the book is that it was intense. There were so many intense moments and scenes that made my jaw drop or I gasped. I wish I could say more and I wish I could explain Adam’s character more, but I feel like I would be giving too much away. There’s definitely romance in the book, though it’s mainly tension, for obvious reasons. I liked the entire dynamic of it all.
“You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. Please touch me, is what I want to tell him.”
“His lips soften into a smile that cracks apart my spine. He repeats my name like the word amuses him. Entertains him. Delights him. In seventeen years no one has said my name like that”
I liked the way the story progressed and the way it ended. Other reviews mention that the ending sort of left something to be desired, but I thought it was fitting, especially as the first book in a series. Not a whole lot happens regarding the state of the world, but Juliette grows into herself and understands a lot more and I thought it was satisfying. Of course, I can’t wait to get my hands on book two!
Shatter Me is a dystopian novel, but it isn’t quite like others I’ve read. It deals a lot with internal conflict and focuses less on external conflict. It makes the story seem slow and it feels like not much is happening, but it’s because it’s all happening to the character. It’s less action packed and more about the growth of the characters. Also, there’s a lot of focus on romance. I feel like this is all part of Juliette’s growth, but I imagine that people looking for something more about the state of the world will not enjoy this book. I included a few quotes in this review to provide examples of how the book is written. While I absolutely loved it, the negative reviews I saw all hated the writing and thought it was pretentious and terrible and trying too hard to be poetic. I think it all adds to the progression of the characters and makes sense, but it is wordy and won’t appeal to everyone.
I would definitely recommend this book to others as long as they heed my warnings about the main character and the writing and are prepared for it. ...more
Unravel Me was absolutely spectacular. There aren’t enough words in the world to convey the amount of awesomeness that Unravel Me was. Shatter Me flooUnravel Me was absolutely spectacular. There aren’t enough words in the world to convey the amount of awesomeness that Unravel Me was. Shatter Me floored me and left me wanting so much more. Destroy Me made me ache in ways I never imagined I could. Unravel Me blew me away so much, I’m surprised I’m still rooted to the Earth.
This is one of those virtually impossible reviews to write because I’m stunned. I’ve already read Unravel Me twice because I had no words the first time I finished. I thought I needed to reread it in order to organize my thoughts, but I’m still rendered a bit speechless. But I will try…
First, Unravel Me was utterly unpredictable. In fact, I thought I knew too much going in because I waited so late after the release day to read it. I already knew all about the glorious Chapter Sixty-Two and I hated knowing that because I thought I would be ruined by the information. I imagined a handful of different scenarios that could lead up to what I knew was inevitable and not one of them was even remotely similar to the actual events in Unravel Me. It defied all expectations and was a thousand times more imaginative that I thought it could be, and I had pretty high hopes considering I’m a huge fan of Tahereh Mafi’s imagination.
I’ll never stop being amazed by the author’s writing. I love every single word and every scene. I love how she writes and it makes the story flow in such a way that I’m affected each and every time something happens. Nothing is trivial or explained away lazily or quickly. Everything is steeped in detail, emotion, and importance. And the coolest part is that even though I’m getting Juliette’s point of view, which can be complete tunnel vision-ish and skewed, I can still see around her a little bit and imagine how another character might view the same scene and then I’m just amazed at the entire thing.
Juliette grew so much in Unravel Me. Her thoughts and actions were intriguing and there were moments where she was so badass, my jaw dropped. The rest of the characters were equally interesting. Kenji was much more than he was in Shatter Me, with a lot more depth and insight into things than I ever would have imagined. All of the Omega Point citizens were incredible.
Of course, both Adam and Warner were present in Unravel Me. I don’t want to give anything away, especially considering it’s hard enough to avoid Unravel Me Love Triangle Spoilers. I am definitely Team Warner for a thousand reasons after reading Destroy Me earlier in the year and I love how the conflict played out in Unravel Me. The series is so intense and emotional and wrapped up in feelings, but the conflict is so real and challenging and interesting. I find myself more invested in Juliette’s relationship choices than I’ve ever been about a fictional character. And arguing valid points about deep things like character and integrity and challenges (instead of the traditional, but X is so hot! or Y is obviously better kind of arguments that love triangles bring about). It isn’t a love triangle in the traditional sense at all. It’s so beyond hormones and hotness and intrigue.
Chapter Sixty-Two, since everyone talks about it, is worth every ounce of hype. The way it was written and executed is so unique and somehow the way it should always be. The author has such a way with words… It really doesn’t matter if you’re familiar with the series or not, it’s worth buying the book just to read that chapter so you can walk around knowing that 1) not all steam needs to be specific or graphic in order to be effective and 2) you’ve read the best thing ever and 3) you have now lived a full life and can die happy. lol
The external conflict in Unravel Me was also incredibly interesting. A few negative reviews about the series mention the uncanny similarities between it and X-men. But I feel that it is entirely different. There are many similarities that I see, but they all exist for different reasons. The conflict is different, the enemies are different, the entire world is different, and the development of extraordinary abilities has a completely different reason for manifesting. And, of course, the characters are so different, even if some of their abilities might resemble those in the X-men series. And if the ending of Shatter Me reminded people of X-men, I thought Unravel Me and the direction it took was unique enough for me to feel like it’s not the same thing at all. I loved getting to see a little more of the world in Unravel Me, though it was executed like no other dystopian setting I’ve seen. I loved the author’s amazing comparisons and references about war and fighting and killing.
I would love to go into intricate detail about everything and I have so much to say, but I refuse to spoil anything in the book. I loved having no idea how the story would go and how I would feel about anything and everything. I’ll save my thoughts for discussions with friends and fellow readers and leave my review as spoiler free as it can be.
I highly recommend the Shatter Me series. I can’t get enough. I’ve reread the series more times than I’ve reread ANY recent series/novel. I don’t have TIME for rereads, but this series is unavoidable for me. I want to spend so much time in the world of Shatter Me that the time I do spend there never seems like enough. Already, I want more. I want more books, I want Unravel Me scenes in other character’s perspective, and I want more of Juliette and her evolution from cowering girl in the corner to the badass girl who can punch through anything and fight for what she believes in. I love the series.
There’s a million reasons why some people won’t read this series. I hear things like, “But I don’t read dystopians, YA, love stories, books with love triangles, science fiction, etc” ALL the time. And typically, I realize that people have different tastes and won’t like something and dismiss it. But the Shatter Me series is so unique that I think most people will end up loving it, regardless of their preferences, so don’t let your preferences or assumptions about what kind of book it is stop you from trying it!
I absolutely loved A Court of Thorn and Roses. It was magnificent, as wellReview originally posted at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
I absolutely loved A Court of Thorn and Roses. It was magnificent, as well written as the Throne of Glass series, and in some ways, even better. It was a mixture of fantasy and fairy tale. Not only did it involve Faery legends, it was somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast retelling at the same time. I loved that it combined various aspects, making it a unique and tantalizing novel.
I admired Feyre and loved her as a character. She was ruthless and cunning, but she was out of her element in beyond the gate in the world of the Fae. There was so much she didn't know about it. The legends and her life on the other side did not prepare her well for the types of people and creatures she met.
I really liked Tamlin and Lucien. As each bit of information about them was uncovered, it was like peeling layers back. Tamlin was a multidimensional character with problems of his own. He was unable to express those problems to Feyre for multiple reasons. I wasn't expecting the story to follow the arc that it did. Other fairy tale retellings would have stopped with a happily ever after once the heroine discovered she had feelings for the beast, but A Court of Thorn and Roses did not take that route. And that is what puts it above and beyond other retellings!
As I said, the novel is unique and full of various aspects. The story took an unexpected turn. Things became dangerous, complicated, and terrible for the characters. I loved the twist and I enjoyed being to able to see Feyre fight for everything she believed in against all odds, further molding her into a complex person and favorite character. She was awesome.
However, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel now. I am terrified of the sequel and what will happen. I have no idea if the author will turn things into something I don't want to see happen... but at the same time, I'm trying to be open to the idea. Sarah J. Maas is an awesome author who has created a roller coaster of emotions for me with this series as well as the Throne of Glass novels, so I have faith that the series will continue to be awesome.
I highly recommend A Court of Thorn and Roses, especially if you're a fan of Throne of Glass because Sarah J. Maas writes awesome books. I think it's different enough to not really compete with it. In some ways, it's better because I felt like there was more romantic tension, but obviously there are things I prefer about Throne of Glass. This is definitely a must read whether you like fantasy, Fae legends, or fairy tale retellings because it combines them all into one awesome story! I can't wait for the sequel....more
Ok. Let me start from the beginning. I let this book sit on my shelf because I was afraid to read it. I was afraid, especiaOMG! Wow. That was amazing.
Ok. Let me start from the beginning. I let this book sit on my shelf because I was afraid to read it. I was afraid, especially after reading Heir of Fire in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas that she would somehow create this love triangle and I wasn’t ready for that. While I fully support the love interest shift in the Throne of Glass series, it was something I also wasn’t ready for and fought against at the time and later realized it made so much sense, but I swore that it would make no sense for Feyre to shift her allegiances. I mean, Feyre literally gave her life for true love, right? How can you just ignore that and have another love interest? I was so afraid because I didn’t want a story I loved so much and an author I love so much to go the stereotypical YA fantasy route.
I could not have been more wrong about everything. I worried for nothing. This is mother flipping Sarah J. Maas we are talking about. Did I REALLY think she would let me down? Of course she wouldn’t! She would NEVER made Feyre the idiot bumbling YA heroine we are all used to seeing. She would not let Feyre (or any of her characters) blindly follow some dark and handsome hero just because OMG he’s like, hot. So, if you were in the same boat as I was, don’t be afraid to pick this up.
A Court of Mist and Fury was so well done. It was brilliant. It weaved a story that didn’t ignore the emotions, the trauma, the rage, and the predicaments that Feyre experienced. I feel so stupid for ever thinking the author would let Feyre treat love like it was nothing. In fact, while I wasn’t wrong about there being another type of love interest, it came in another way.. the way that it was handled was one that explored the darkness of stifling relationships, the trauma of being tortured and the aftermath of what that torture does to people. It was so well developed.
Feyre was changed after her time in the mountain. Quite obviously, she was no longer human. But more importantly, she was a different person who went through certain experiences that altered her. And she was stifled. So her story took a turn that maybe we weren’t expecting a Beauty and the Beast type of retelling to go. But it took a turn into the dark and violent world of the Fae and Feyre was no longer the heroine with the happily ever after, but the fierce and powerful defender of the realm.
I loved Feyre’s transformation. She made her own friends, she learned her own lessons about the world, and while she did get help, she was no one’s pet and no one could stop her.
It is difficult to review the book because I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s over 600 pages, so a LOT happens and I’ve felt a million different emotions after finishing. What distressed me and impressed me and made me scream or cry and shut the book before finishing because I was scared to continue and then frantically read the next page because I just had to see how it would turn out… Or blush and feel my cheeks heat with the knowledge of what would happen next or when my eyes widened in surprise when something was revealed just when I thought I knew what was happening.. Those things are all based on other things that may or may not be spoilers. But I can tell you that I did all of those things and more when I was reading and I lugged this giant hardcover to the beach where I was terrified I would ruin it but the option of taking another book was UNacceptable and I just had to take this one.
A Court of Mist and Fury is a million times better than A Court of Thorn and Roses. I know that the Throne of Glass novels do the same upward arc where you can’t even believe that the story could even GET that much better, but it does with each progression. Sarah J. Maas is a goddess of fantasy and a strong writer and I love her stories. I can’t believe I ever doubted that this book would impress me. It blew me away and I highly recommend it.
Dark Tide was a suspenseful novel involving death, romance, and a secreReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Dark Tide was a suspenseful novel involving death, romance, and a secret life. Genevieve started her dream of living on a houseboat and making it her own after saving a ton of money. The book toggled between the present day, with her in her marina on her houseboat and her past, where she worked as a salesperson and an exotic dancer. The body of someone she knew turned up by her boat the day of her houseboat-warming party and the police started to get involved.
The plot was interesting and I loved getting to know who Genevieve was and who she used to be. She wasn’t a dancer for any reason other than knowing it made her a lot of money and genuinely enjoying dancing, but it was something that had an effect on her safety. Her work associates from her day job had no idea and she tried not to let it clash, but she angered some pretty important people by leaving.
I really enjoyed Into the Darkest Corner from Haynes, so my expectations were really high. Into the Darkest Corner was one of the best stalker type of books I’ve read, but Dark Tide was a much more forgettable suspense novel that didn’t really wow me. It was a good story and well written, but I didn’t connect to the character or the gravity of her situation the way I did with her other novel.
If you enjoy romantic suspense, thrillers, and mysteries, Dark Tide is decent and if you can find a cheap copy, it’s certainly entertaining and worth the read. However, I would recommend Into the Darkest Corner as a MUST READ and if you could only read one, Dark Tide is the one you should skip....more
Behind Her Eyes was a thriller guaranteed to have a twist I wasn’t goinReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Behind Her Eyes was a thriller guaranteed to have a twist I wasn’t going to see coming. I love mystery/thrillers, especially ones that aren’t so straightforward, so I couldn’t wait to dive in.
I enjoyed Behind Her Eyes a lot. The set up was one that seemed familiar, but one of those situations where any number of things could blow up in everyone’s face. Louise, a single mom, met a guy in a bar for the first time and actually made a connection. She completely and totally hit it off with the guy, shared a kiss, and left feeling pretty good about herself. Until she realized the guy was her new boss. Her new married boss. Shortly after, Louise bumped into a girl who was new in town, Adele, and they seemed to hit it off as friends. Except Adele was her new boss’s wife.
So many things could’ve gone wrong and kept me guessing, but the characters themselves were just as captivating as the obviously precarious ledge their situation was teetering on. David seemed so cool and down to earth, but he had fits of rage and pure coldness radiating off of him at times. He seemed to have a drinking problem. Adele was so sweet and encouraging, helping Louise get some of the life back she lost after losing her husband. But she freaked about missing David’s daily calls, seemed scared and behaved like a battered wife. Louise grew to care for them both and couldn’t seem to lose either one of them.
There were a few twists and few things I wasn’t quite sure about. Louise suffered from night terrors and Adele was in a facility for sleep issues and shared some of her tricks for controlling dreams, which seemed to help, but cause Louise other problems. What happened to Adele in that facility? What happened to her friend? Why couldn’t she sleep?
I don’t want to give too much away, but I completely understand why some people didn’t like the end. I loved it, but I love reading books that aren’t straightforward and hover in between genre lines. I think that’s as much as I’ll say so I don’t give too much away. There are people who won’t enjoy the end, but I think, with an open mind, it’s actually a pretty interesting book that surprised me in a lot of ways. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did whatsoever and it completely gave me a chill!
I highly recommend Behind Her Eyes! It was my first Book of the Month Club book pick and I think I chose well. ...more
Neverwhere was Gaiman’s first solo novel, an urban fantasy taking placeReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Neverwhere was Gaiman’s first solo novel, an urban fantasy taking place in an alternate London, underground, called London Below. Richard was ordinary, average, and kind of doormat. Until, for some reason, he decided he had to take action and help a wounded girl on the street while being berated by his controlling fiancé. His decision led him on a wild adventure underground once his life above was stripped from him, rendering the already slightly invisible Richard, totally invisible.
I really enjoyed Neverwhere. It was such a fun adventure, dark in all the right places, full of darkness, puzzles, and intrigue. The villains were oh-so-perfectly villainous and it was an overall awesome fantasy adventure. There were twists and turns in the plot, betrayals and deaths, and Richard discovered he was a heck of a lot braver and more capable than he’d every imagined.
In a lot of ways, Neverwhere read like a middle grade or young adult novel, because it deals with coming into yourself and discovering who you can truly be, but it’s even better because it’s a tad dark and Richard is older and I think adults sometimes need a good kick in a butt to realize we are just living in a routine. It was simple to read, but it was complex in just the right ways. I think it’s perfect for adults who love urban fantasy and somewhat dark, Tim Burton-like stuff. There is a ton of coming of age fantasy for kids and young adults and I love that this one features an older, but just as out of place protagonist finding his own Narnia wardrobe of sorts.
It’s safe to say I am definitely a Gaiman fan. I can’t wait to dive into more of his books. I still think American Gods is the best, but this is a great book and one that helps bridge the gap from Coraline or The Graveyard Book, which involve child protagonists, and American Gods, which is wholly adult. ...more
I’ve been wanting to read Exit, Pursued by a Bear for some time and I finreview orignally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog
I’ve been wanting to read Exit, Pursued by a Bear for some time and I finally bought it over the holidays and decided to read it shortly afterwards.
The book is a YA contemporary involving rape, which I knew going in and caution anyone else about so they can decide if that’s a subject they prefer to read about. I didn’t have any real expectations, though I have to admit I did expect a somewhat dramatic novel due to the subject matter.
Surprisingly, the book was not the dark and turbulent novel I was expecting. Though Hermione did have to deal with being drugged, raped, and the aftermath, the book wasn’t focused so much on the darkness of the subject, but rather the support she received through her friends, family, and even her cheerleading team. Hermione was fortunate in many ways to have a support system and it changed how her story of survival went. Results aren’t typical for many people, but I was grateful for the unique perspective. She did not want to be a victim, a cautionary tale, or anyone’s object of pity, and she did whatever she could, with the help of her support system to maintain her normal life and recover.
There are a few negative reviews, admittedly among a sea of very positive ones, that mention how unrealistic the book is and how Hermione’s situation is an insult to real victims. I think there are hoards of rape stories from many perspectives and many, if not most, have fairly dark and awful truths, a lot of struggling and depression and blame going around. A lot of people don’t have support systems and most works of fiction involving the subject matter reflect that. They have to fight tooth and nail against legal systems, families, friends, social groups/towns, even religious groups, to be believed and heard and may not ever get any closure. It may ruin their lives in more ways than one and they remain victims of more than just the rape at that point. But one person’s experience (even MOST people’s experiences) does not negate the experiences of others. Hermione’s tale may not be typical, but it doesn’t make her story any less relevant or realistic. People with wonderful lives, friends, families, etc still get raped and have to live their lives after that. They have to deal with the situation, make tough decisions, and move on in whatever way works for them, through trial and error, with or without breakdowns. In fact, Hermione even mentioned to her therapist that she felt like something was wrong with her because she didn’t feel anything because she didn’t remember. I feel that Hermione’s determination to not be victimized by the situation was an attitude I admired, even though I realize it’s not that simple for most rape victims.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a story about a teen girl who was drugged and raped at a cheerleading camp and the events afterwards. She had a wonderful support system. No one really doubted her, the legal system did what they could to pursue the case. But even still, she had some tough and awful moments. She faced a decision about whether she’d have to terminate a pregnancy as a result. She lost time due to being drugged and struggled with waking up in the morning because she didn’t know where she was. She couldn’t remember the event, which halted her ability to really “deal” with the events because she had nothing to relive, no emotions to work through, until pieces of her memory were recovered after being triggered by certain smells, sounds, etc. Her lack of emotion regarding her own circumstances concerned her, since it felt like it had happened to someone else. In a small town, she also had to do her best to avoid being the tragic case for everyone to remember. She wanted to remain herself and hold onto the wonderful life she knew she had. But her support system made all of these things a million times easier than they are for many people and her friendships strengthened her.
I’d recommend this book. I recommend reading it for various reasons. As a person who has not experienced what Hermione has, it was helpful because I was able to see how much a support system matters and how not to treat victims, how to be sensitive without pitying, how to be compassionate without making the victim feel fragile, how to be a friend to someone who has had this terrible thing happen to them and be a good one. The book even talked about slut shaming, victim blaming, and the way society still places a portion of the blame on the victim by asking questions like, “what could you have done to prevent it” without even realizing how screwed up that mentality is. I don’t think all stories involving rape need to be focused on being a victim. I thought this book was refreshing because, in an ideal circumstance, despite the awfulness of the situation, Hermione could overcome the events that might have otherwise further impacted her life. It’s not always simple to decide not to be a victim, but her attitude and her support system allowed her to do so. Still, if you feel that it’s a negative thing to have a character not be defined by her situation or if you feel it’s unfair to showcase a victim’s perspective when they had it relatively easy, then this is NOT the book for you. For others, including myself, it’s a refreshing point of view.
Side note: Hermione does release a breath she did not realize she was holding. *That phrase does not bother me, but if you’re already on the fence about the book, you might not like the writing. ...more
I skipped the August 2016 Owlcrate box and missed out on this book, so I decided to borrow it from the library. I’m a huge fan of Kasie West novels and I couldn’t wait to dig in!
P.S. I Like You was such a cute contemporary story. It featured a quirky guitar player and songwriter and her awkwardness. Her best friend kept trying to set her up with people and double date. She couldn’t seem to talk to her crush at all. Her family life was a whir of chaos. And she had weird taste in music that no one in her immediate circle seemed to identify with.
In chemistry class, she somehow bonded with a stranger over desk graffiti and started passing letters. She knew the person had chemistry before her and sat at the same desk, but she didn’t know anything else. She thought it was a girl and it was revealed later that her mysterious pen pal was a guy. They had the same taste in music and Lily started to think maybe she was falling for the stranger. But who was he? Was he the guy her best friend kept setting her up with on double dates? Was he Lucas, the hunky boy she kept her eye on and had a massive crush on? Or someone else?
I loved not knowing and I loved watching the whole thing unfold.
I figured out who the letter writer was long before Lily and I was right, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all, in fact, I think it might have been more entertaining because I wanted to know if I was right and what Lily would do when the truth came out.
Kasie West writes adorable contemporary novels I can’t help but love. Most of my go-to contemporary authors are deep and dark and make me cry, but Kasie’s like a breath of fresh air and I know I’m going to sink into a well written and cute romance instead of something designed to torture my soul. I highly recommend the book and if you haven’t read her other books, just grab them all. I have yet to be disappointed!...more
Sad Perfect was spectacular, emotional, and completely addicting.
I sat down to read it one evening, fretting a little about the deadline because the book came later than expected due to some snow in my area and I don’t like deadlines. However, I didn’t need to worry because I devoured the whole thing in one sitting. I didn’t even have time to grab a bookmark. Everything I needed to do I was going to do “after this chapter” and I just kept going until the book was over. It was that engrossing.
My favorite thing about the book was that it was a contemporary romance and a contemporary “issue” novel at the same time without being too much of either one. It was perfectly balanced. It was hard hitting in terms of the issue it dealt with, but it wasn’t a dark and torture-filled novel that makes you want to either crawl into ball of negativity or roll your eyes at the dramatics. And it was definitely a romance between Pea and Ben, full of the sweet moments I love in a good YA contemporary romance, but it wasn’t just a fluffy and cute contemporary romance, either. I loved the balance and how the book wasn’t inherently dark or, the opposite: light with the main issue totally glossed over. Ben didn’t waltz in and save her from her demons magically, but he wasn’t a dark and negative influence either, and I feel like either situation could’ve happened in an “issue” book. Sad Perfect was balanced in a great way, as the title kind of makes it seem.
The book was written in second person, which could be off putting to some but I think it worked very well. Second person is not a popular POV, nor one that you’d typically expect. It made me a bit apprehensive at first, but I think it only took a couple of paragraphs to get into the groove. I think second person narration works when it’s executed well and the author certainly did a wonderful job. The POV sucked me in and might even have had something to do with how compelling the story ended up being in the end. In some ways, it was even more engrossing than first person POV. The book was tough to put down: so tough that I didn’t even actually successfully put it down. I tried once to go do the dishes and then decided I could just read another chapter and we all know how that went… I read all of the chapters!
I highly recommend Sad Perfect.
For contemporary romance fans, it’s satisfying and full of those amazing moments and interactions between two people who are so connected and in sync with one another.
For fans of books dealing with major disorders or teen struggles, the book does a great job of taking you through what it’s like to deal with a disorder.
It was educational. I didn’t know that there was an eating disorder that wasn’t somehow connected to body image. I also admit that I totally judge people for being picky eaters and I got schooled about a real problem I never knew about. I’d heard of people not liking textures, especially in the autism spectrum, but this disorder, ARFID, was something I’d never heard of. I felt that it was introduced and described in a way that was easy to understand and I felt like I was getting a firsthand account of what it was like to live with it through Pea.
On top of the actual disorder, Pea also dealt with a couple other issues, some related to the disorder and some just a part of being a normal teen. Because of her weird eating habits, the family dynamics were also impacted. I enjoyed exploring all of that through the book. Even if you aren’t struggling with anything in particular or looking for a book to explore a specific topic, it was also a book about a teenager dealing with parents and siblings, rumors, social media, friends, and new love.
Sad Perfect is the kind of YA contemporary that works for everyone, no matter what aspect of contemporary novels draw you in.
I cannot gush enough about how much I enjoyed Sad Perfect. I sat down and opened the book just expecting to get a feel for what the book would be like and figure out if I could meet my reading deadline and if it was something I’d like and.. next thing I knew I was finished reading and totally amazed. I love when a book makes me lose myself a little bit and get sucked into the pages.
I feel lucky and honored to have gotten an early copy (in hardcover, even!) because I would’ve bought the book (it was on my radar already) and then probably let it sit for ages because that’s who I am as a person these days with a never ending TBR. The blog tour forced me to pick it up the day it arrived in the mail and I loved it. I needed a book to sweep me out of my life for a few hours. It came at the perfect time and it was so good. Buy this book! Do not let it sit on your bookshelf. It’s a quick and engrossing book that you won’t regret picking up....more
I purchased Rebel of the Sands after seeing it win the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 category for the Best Books of 2016 on Goodreads. I’d seen the book around beforehand, but never picked it up. I read a lot of books each year and 99% of them I buy myself. I’ve been burned by new releases so many times, so I’ve been relying on reviews, overall star ratings, and things like “Best Book of the Year” awards to help me decide what to pick up instead of buying random books at the bookstore.
Rebel of the Sands was a blend of cultures. I expected Arabian/Eastern type of desert mythology, but I got a bit of American West at the same time. Amani’s life resembled that of the American West, a desert town full of guns and liquor and people who didn’t trust one another. At the same time, the creatures in the desert and the political setup resembled the East, a bit of Arabian Nights, with Sultans and harems. I don’t know that I’ve read a book that took place in the desert and combined Eastern and Western settings. I feel a little conflicted because I thought the combination was unique, but I wish there was an explanation for it. The author isn’t American, otherwise my first thought would be that she wanted to stick with her own comfort zone and she did that by including the American West, but that’s not the case. It’s just a little weird as I’m not sure those two things really go together.
Regardless, the book was compelling and I read it quickly. I liked Amani. I felt like she was a tough heroine who wasn’t afraid to try dangerous things. She wanted out of her life in a town where her gender determined whether she was listened to. Her uncle was going to force her to be one of his wives, but she needed to leave with money if she was ever going to get out of her town. There was a war going on and a ton of conflict, but Amani didn’t need to get involved until it showed up on her doorstep. Her path crossed with a mysterious foreigner and she was off on an adventure she wasn’t quite sure about.
A lot of reviewers have mentioned Amani’s lack of direction throughout the book and how she had no real purpose once she fled Dustwalk. What was she doing out there? Why was she so content to follow Jin? I understand the frustration when we are so used to heroines having something to focus on, even if it’s just revenge, but I liked that Amani didn’t really know what she was doing because I think sometimes that’s how life is. I get frustrated when heroines discover their strengths and somehow know exactly what to do to tear down some awful regime. I like that Amani knew what she was good at and every step she took lead her to discover the world she dreamed of wasn’t anything like she expected. Maybe she could escape to that city her mother came from, but then what? Why not just follow Jin and see what tricks are up his sleeve? At least by his side she could use her guns. She wasn’t trying to rage against the government or anything crazy. She just wanted out of her life and had no real other plan.
I do love that eventually Amani figured out what Jin’s whole deal was and found a bigger purpose. I liked that she didn’t just immediately jump on that bandwagon and that she stayed conflicted at first because it fit with her whole lack of direction. I don’t want to give too much away, but I liked how it all ended and how she ended up finding her place in everything.
I can see why Rebel of the Sands won the category for Debut in 2016 on Goodreads. It was an interesting book and it was certainly unique. I also like that, while it is part of a series, it didn’t end with some crazy cliffhanger that makes me regret reading it so soon before the sequel’s release. It was satisfying, but there’s still so much more that can and probably will happen. I definitely recommend the book....more
Wolf by Wolf was such a great book! The premise is what hooked me at thReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Wolf by Wolf was such a great book! The premise is what hooked me at the bookstore. I don’t read a lot of alternate history, but the idea intrigues me, especially when it comes to WWII. I love stories about Hitler, the Holocaust, and the various assassination attempts.
This book rolled all of those ideas into one. In Wolf by Wolf, the year was 1956 and the Nazis won World War II. The Axis powers were ruling most of the world. Each year, the motorcycle race celebrated their victory. The year before, Victor Adele Wolfe stole her brother’s racing papers and entered the race as him and won. Instead of being mad, the Third Reich celebrated her victory. This year, Adele would compete again, but not as herself. Yael, a death camp survivor and experiment, had the ability to change her appearance. She studied Adele, practiced everything she’d need to know and do, and took her place in the race. If she won, she would be close enough to Hitler to execute him.
The book took history and fact and morphed it into a thrilling alternate history story involving a little bit of fantasy, since Yael had such a unique ability. I loved the mixture and I loved being thrown into the chaos of the race. Yael occasionally thought about her past and we learned a lot about her as a character, her mission, and the importance of it all. We also got to know Adele, despite her not actually being in the race, because of the interpersonal connections between her and her brother, her and Luka, and even some of the other racers. Yael was a little out of her element because no amount of studying prepared her for the possibility that there were unreported incidents between her and the other racers and she had to struggle to maintain her identity and be believable as Adele.
I thought Wolf by Wolf was the perfect blend of history and imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to pick up the conclusion, Blood for Blood. I highly recommend Wolf by Wolf. It ends in a satisfying way so that I crave the sequel, but don’t feel like I got a cliff hanger ending or anything, which is always a plus. It was imaginative in a realistic way. Despite Yael’s ability, it felt like a believable story. I could tell the author was well researched based on the setting he weaved. And while it wasn’t the first book to pull off a What if the Nazi’s won the war train of thought, it was unique. The motorcycle race was fast paced and ruthless, giving a little grit to the story. It was well done and I can’t wait to see what happens next....more
Worlds of Ink and Shadow was a fictional story involving the Bronte sibReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow was a fictional story involving the Bronte siblings and the worlds they created before some of them became published authors. In the book, their fictional world of Verdopolis was a place they could visit through a doorway of sorts which allowed them to be a part of their world. I received the book in an Owlcrate box, but I’ve left it sitting on my shelf for awhile. I’m not a huge fan of the Bronte sisters and their literary works, so I was afraid that the story wouldn’t interest me.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow is great for fans of the Bronte sisters and those unfamiliar with them. While the story does involve the siblings and the actual works of fiction they created and historical fact, aside from those details, the story was just an interesting blend of fact and fiction and the author took liberties with the characters and created a great world.
I can see why Owlcrate chose the book. It was unique and interesting. It was a bit like the Inkheart novels and Narnia in a way because the siblings jumped into a fictional world. I think I would have appreciated the book more if I was more educated about the Bronte sisters and if I enjoyed Jane Eyre a little more. I could see the way that Roque related to Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, but a lot of the Jane Eyre connections were kind of lost on me. As far as the idea of having a fictional world, being able to step into it, and having to pay a price to be there, I thought it was an awesome idea but the execution wasn’t as interesting as I felt it could’ve been. I think other books do it better and perhaps the biggest reason for that is that those books weren’t worried about tying history in with a fictional plot.
I recommend Worlds of Ink and Shadow, but it wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped. It is a great book and if you have it on your shelf already, dive in, because it’s short and a standalone, and quite fun. I just don’t necessarily recommend seeking it out on purpose....more
The Problem with Forever was another gem from Jennifer L. Armentrout! IReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
The Problem with Forever was another gem from Jennifer L. Armentrout! I typically love most of her books with the exception of a few, so I grabbed this when it went on sale on Amazon. I picked it up when I was in the mood for a nice contemporary romance with a little bit of grit and it did not disappoint.
The book was similar to the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry as far as dealing with damaged youth, broken homes, and characters a little more rough around the edges. Like McGarry, Armentrout handled it well, made the characters believable, and did not rely on tropes and stereotypes to get her points across. I really felt like I knew Mallory and Rider and that they were realistic characters. It also felt original, despite McGarry having a few stories in her series involving the same kind of characters. This story felt similar in theme, but I didn’t feel like I was reading something that had “been done before” or anything.
I loved seeing Mallory grow as a character from the meek Mouse stuck in the past to someone who could argue an entire paragraph when she felt confident or passionate enough. I loved that the love interest, while still maintaining the whole tough and brooding persona was genuinely caring. I sometimes think we don’t see the softer side of guys in YA romance without losing the whole alpha male protector aspect. Armentrout gave us a character who was both in a way that really worked.
I flew through the book in just a matter of hours over a snowy Saturday! I highly recommend it. I don’t know that I’ve read any similar books by the same author. She writes YA and paranormal/fantasy romance under Jennifer, but also New Adult contemporary romance under J. Lynn. This book, while contemporary, felt completely different from her J. Lynn books. I don’t know how she does it, but she keeps pumping out some quality stuff!...more
I’ve been eyeing Tell Me Three Things for awhile, but hardcovers are exReview originally published at love literature art and reason book review blog.
I’ve been eyeing Tell Me Three Things for awhile, but hardcovers are expensive and I almost never fork out book money on hardcover YA contemporaries because I read them so quickly. And to be honest, I love waffles and I wasn’t quite sure if I only noticed it because of the waffles on the cover. I mean, that’s not a great a reason to pick up a book. I’ve been burned before by enticing covers. But when the kindle version went on sale over the holidays, I snatched it up. I’ve been in the mood for a nice contemporary that wasn’t totally dark or sad, so I finally picked it up and read it.
Tell Me Three Things was so good. I absolutely loved it. I flew through the book in an evening because I just couldn’t put it down without knowing who SN was. (See what I mean about how quickly I read contemporaries?)
Jessie’s life was completely upside down. Her mom died, her dad got remarried, they moved across the country, and Jessie ended up in an LA private school with a bunch of rich teenagers. And that was pretty much just the first paragraph. I hated being the new girl, so her situation was something I totally got. And while I fortunately have both my parents, I did have to deal with step parents and step siblings as a teenager, too, so I even understood that. It’s tough, and it’s even tougher when you have to also deal with grief. I knew I was settling into a book that hooked me.
After a rough first couple of days at her new school, Jessie received an email from SomebodyNoboby (SN for short) who offered to help her navigate the wilds of her high school. It was just the rope she needed to help keep her afloat. Here was a guy who really got her, but who was he? She took the help and ended up having some pretty meaningful conversations and he gave her some great pointers.
With SN’s help, Jessie was able to make some friends. She started working a project with a guy in her class and started to develop a bit of crush on him, but she was also desperately trying to figure out who SN was. She started a job and ended up working side by side with a guy dating one of the girls who was mean to Jessie, which created some drama for her. It was a complicated mess she was trying to navigate, while also trying to manage her home life. Her new home was huge, came with a flamboyant stepbrother who refused to talk to her in school, but was at least opening up a bit at home, a “helper” who made all of the food and made Jessie a bit uncomfortable, and a stepmom who was practically a stranger. The LA lifestyle was an alien world and Jessie was trying to figure it all out and still maintain her friendships back in Chicago.
I can’t really give anything away, but I loved the book so much. I loved the build up to the big reveal, the complicated boy drama, and the coming of age, figuring out who you are and how to be a better friend and forgive your parents. It was cute, but with just enough seriousness to balance it all out.
I loved the end so much I reread it a few times just to experience the moment one more time!
I definitely recommend Tell Me Three Things to fans of YA Contemporary. The book is every bit as delicious as the heart shaped waffles on the front. ...more
Crystal Storm was full of twists and drama between all of the characterReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.
Crystal Storm was full of twists and drama between all of the characters, which is quite honestly the main focus of the book. If I could describe this series in a few words I would call it a soap opera YA fantasy. It’s back and forth with the villain of the story changing and teams coming together, breaking apart, and unlikely allies form. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a little aggravating that each book introduces major plot twists and unlikely partnerships and crazy news and there’s never any actual closure with anything.
I think this book is on par with the other books in the series, so if you’re been enjoying the series so far, then I definitely recommend this book.
While I don’t really understand a lot of the hype or the comparisons to Game of Thrones, I will give the series credit for being so deliciously entertaining. It’s still not the best written or most complex or even well developed, but it’s addicting enough to keeep me hooked. I already can’t wait for the next book. I flew through it and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I feel like Crystal Storm was a roller coaster when I really wanted the story to wrap up, especially after the last book. It feels a little frustrating because even more major surprises were revealed and I think some of the characters keep flip flopping and forming new connections and, while it’s always happened, I guess I was hoping we’d finally settle down, get the teams formed, and battle for the future of Mytica instead of more back and forth. I can see why the book has some mixed reviews, so I’d warn anyone invested in the series.. it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon and this book is another sequel, not a book that brings any sort of closure yet....more
I was kind of drawn in, curious to see how the story would go. It seemed obvious to me that this would involve the infamous cult we all know about and the hints in the beginning seemed to indicate that. And then, I realized that the author used almost all the of the same details and just changed the name of the people. I don’t know why that bothered me so much. It’s so obviously about the Manson girls. But instead of just being about them and being a cool fictitious “maybe this is how it was” type of story, it backed off and was a “different” cult. I’m frustrated. If it was going to be about a different cult, do your own thing. Own the Manson thing or do your own, but don’t just stay in between like you are really writing about the Manson girls but not really because his name is Russell and it’s just sort of the same. I really don’t know why I’m so bothered by it, but it just seemed so.. lame.. like how commercials use a bland extremely similar logo as the competitors when we all know what brand they are really talking about.
I think perhaps I’d feel a little less bothered if the story was at least satisfying. There was so much build up. I wanted to know what would happen to Evie, how the experience would impact her, how she felt about her part in the cult… it was an interesting portrayal from someone who seemed far removed from worshipping Manson (I mean Russell *rolls eyes*) and I wanted something to matter in the end. Instead, we got this whole intriguing set up and it just fizzled into nothing.
I wanted this story to be so much more than it was. I almost feel cheated. Like the author couldn’t even come up with her own cult as a backdrop in the first place and then she couldnt even figure out what to do int eh aftermath so the book just sort of ended unceremoniously. If she had this brilliant idea to take this POV and run with it, why didn’t she.. really run with it? She brought nothing new to the table. In this case, the documentaries and the novels and true crime accounts of the Manson cult and/or murders have been far more compelling. In this case, truth was stranger than fiction. This book simply didn’t do anything to warrant being written and it was so close to being better had it just had more of a purpose or plot.
Still, the writing was good. It was beautiful, actually, and compelling. Evie was a character I wanted more of the entire time. There was certainly something to the novel that made me wanted to keep reading even though nothing was happening. It wasn’t the complete waste of time I might have made it sound like it was....more