I actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my...moreI actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my interest and I was surprised by how things turned out for some of that characters.
Best enjoyed the way you would a historical romance. Don't expect it to be deep, but it is very entertaining.
I...am not a fan. This book didn't work for me on any level, from the silly science to the cartoony characters to the broad humor to the painfully obv...moreI...am not a fan. This book didn't work for me on any level, from the silly science to the cartoony characters to the broad humor to the painfully obvious romance. I basically enjoyed one scene in the book and that's it. And don't get me started on the whitewashed cover, ugh.
2.5 stars I was pretty determined to not compare this book to Marissa Meyer's fairy tale scifi series as I read it, because a. it's hardly the first t...more2.5 stars I was pretty determined to not compare this book to Marissa Meyer's fairy tale scifi series as I read it, because a. it's hardly the first to do a mash-up of genres and b. books deserve to be judged on their own merits. But it's pretty impossible not to see the similarities in Stitching Snow's tone and a few other elements to Cinder, except with characters and relationships that aren't quite as compelling, and a story line and dialogue and romance that don't really spark. It's going to be interesting to see how Meyer's fourth book Winter, which is also loosely based on "Snow White," compares when it comes out next year.
I really dislike "Essie" as a name, but I did like her as a character, though she's really the only one that's really of any interest. I think Kip could have been interesting, and maybe Laisa, but neither they nor the perfectly-fine-but-forgettable love interest Dane really ended up doing much for me.
I think this one's probably best suited for die-hard fairy tale retelling fans, or those who haven't yet read Meyer. Sorry for repeated references to the other series, but we do respond to books in the context of other things we've read, no? And unfortunately, for me, this one pales in comparison to The Lunar Chronicles.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.(less)
3.5 stars Confession time: as someone who is still suffering from Archer withdrawals a big fan of the first two Hex Hall books, I was a little nervous...more3.5 stars Confession time: as someone who is still suffering from Archer withdrawals a big fan of the first two Hex Hall books, I was a little nervous about the prospect of a spinoff series. I'm happy to report that School Spirits finds the author back in fine form, this time with a character that was introduced in Spell Bound.
Remember the girl who talked to the Torin, the guy stuck in the mirror? Izzy Brannick is now fifteen, and her family has a long history as hunters of supernatural creatures. After she and her mom move to a new town in Mississippi, she starts to investigate mysterious hauntings at her high school under the guise of membership in the PMS (hah!) or Paranormal Management Society. The problem is, this case is more complicated than it initially appears--and it doesn't help matters that Izzy has no idea how she's supposed to fit in and be a "normal" teenager.
Written with the author's signature bouncy prose and effervescent humor, School Spirits is presented with more of a traditional mystery framework than the Hex Hall series, which really helps with driving the story forward and keeping the plotting clean. Izzy's Nancy Drew shenanigans are well-balanced with her family life, her relationships with her new friend Romy, and her relationship with her mom. I also liked Dex, a highly amusing fellow who charms Izzy with his witty quips and flamboyant personality. He makes for a rather unconventional love interest, and it's going to be interesting to see where that story arc goes next with the various complications thrown in their way.
You will have to suspend a certain amount of disbelief with how things end with the two of them, by the way; and after setting up such a good pace for the story, the ending also felt a bit rushed to me. But this series is definitely off to a fun start, and Izzy is a heroine who's easy to root for. Will she find out what happened to her sister Finley? What's really going on with Torin? I MUST KNOW. It's vexing to have to wait a year or more to find out these answers, but with such a cheerfully brisk narrative and colorful array of characters, you can be sure I'll be among the first in line for the next installment in this series.
2.5 stars Great opening chapter, but a plot that quickly devolves into a cable movie of the week thriller with flat characters and an uninspired story...more2.5 stars Great opening chapter, but a plot that quickly devolves into a cable movie of the week thriller with flat characters and an uninspired storyline that primarily involves various uninteresting but "hot" boys. Most of the scenes that were well done felt as though they were lifted from action/suspense films, including two of the biggest twists--one that comes early in the story, and the other at the very end. You aren't given time to process/question that last one, either, since the book ends literally right after the reveal. (I realized after finishing that there is a #1 after the title--must everything be a series now, really?)
If you're paying attention, though, you probably guessed what the big secret was anyway. There are pretty obvious hints throughout, as well as a big spoiler (view spoiler)[in the title (hide spoiler)]. The same idea written with a bit more flair, finesse, and feeling would have been much more interesting.
Am guessing this may appeal to readers who liked Gretchen McNeil's Ten, or other YA thrillers that are more focused on action and thrills than pesky things like character/plot development. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
3.5 stars This was not quite what I expected. The best way I can describe it now is that the first book, FALSE MEMORY, was like the awesome aerial bat...more3.5 stars This was not quite what I expected. The best way I can describe it now is that the first book, FALSE MEMORY, was like the awesome aerial battles and other tense action sequences in the Battlestar Galactica reboot. The second book is like the parts of BSG that focused more on overarching mythology that expands beyond scifi. It's an interesting direction for this series to take, though I'm not quite sure how I feel about it.
Some things I really liked about this, though, including an awesome almost-end. Although I wish--call me cruel if you like--that this were the only sequel, instead of being a trilogy. I would have loved the ending if that had been the case.
A bit of a longer review to come, once I've had a chance to sort out my feelings. (less)
This is the type of book that usually never works for me in YA, but this one totally did. Sure, I guessed the secrets ahead of time, but honestly I li...moreThis is the type of book that usually never works for me in YA, but this one totally did. Sure, I guessed the secrets ahead of time, but honestly I liked the voice/characters enough that that didn't even matter.