This was a fun sequel to Cinder that I found just as compelling as the first book. It was particularly clever in the combing of the CinderelRating 3.5
This was a fun sequel to Cinder that I found just as compelling as the first book. It was particularly clever in the combing of the Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood stories, and it worked surprisingly well.
The good things were the progression of the story, getting more answers that were left out of the first book, and the addition of some great characters (Carswell Thorne, I'm talking about you).
Some things I didn't love -- still not a lot of world building or explanations of this futuristic world. The plot moves us to France and introduces an American character. Yet somehow, they all speak the same language (although there are a few French words and phrases thrown in here and there). So . . . is there now a common language for the whole world? In fact, I wondered that during the first book when the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth (future China) has several meetings with all the leaders of the world's nations, and there is no explanation of language translation or communication. And the queen of the Lunar nation on the moon -- what's her deal? Do they also speak the same language even though they aren't a nation, or even colony, of the Earth?
Also, while I loved a few of the new characters, I didn't particularly love Scarlet (Little Red), the protagonist of this installment. She made some pretty stupid choices for no apparent reasons, and then failed to even learn from those stupid mistakes. (view spoiler)[Let's see, they tricked you into thinking you were seeing your grandmother, but it was just an illusion. So then when you see your grandmother again, you don't even question that it might be a trick again? (hide spoiler)] And frankly, she just wasn't particularly likable. I have no patience for characters who are angry, angsty, whiny girls losing their tempers all the time but without actual reason or motivation, and who actually fail to show any positive characteristics -- but then somehow the hunky male character just can't help but fall for her. Maybe if her character had been given more depth than just love for her grandma and disgust for her father?
To be honest, while I really enjoyed reading the book -- it was fast-paced and entertaining -- it felt like a place holder to finally get things going, to advance the plot to where things actually start happening. Finally Cinder makes the decision she's needed to make so everyone can start doing something and revelations can be made.
But yes, I'm definitely invested in the series and looking forward to seeing how Meyer will finish the story she started with Cinder in the next two books. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of those books, for whatever reason, I kept putting off reading. I'd heard mixed reviews about it, so I just couldn't decide ifRating: 3.5
This is one of those books, for whatever reason, I kept putting off reading. I'd heard mixed reviews about it, so I just couldn't decide if I wanted to spend time on a series that wasn't all that great. Finally, at the prompting of some friends, I decided it was worth a try. And I'll tell you something -- it was totally worth it! I have to give credit to Marissa Meyer for some serious creativity here. I thought the idea of a cyborg Cinderella was just too weird and sci-fi-ish for my taste, but not so, my friends! This was a really interesting and compelling take on the old classic, but with enough twists and new concepts to make it fresh and entertaining.
The only drawbacks were the lack of real world building and character development with true depth. If Meyer could have just give us more of what she started, it would have been fantastic. She's clearly a talented and creative writer, but I was left wishing I knew more about this world and how it came to be. Honestly, it took me a while to realize that the Eastern Commonwealth was a futuristic China. Even with the city named New Beijing, I kept wondering if it was in America (because China took over the world?) or in Asia, or what? There really wasn't any sense of the setting here. Same with many of the characters.
Another bummer was how predictable it was. I mean, okay, yeah, of course it's easy to see where the whole Cinderella storyline is going to lead, but even the "mysteries" and unknowns of the plot were easily figured out. From the moment they were introduced, even.
Having said that, though, I will say that I was thoroughly entertained and quickly acquired the second book to see where the author was going to take it, and how the Cinderella story would meld with the other fairy tales it seems Meyer has taken on in the rest of the series....more
This is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really donThis is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really don't want it to end. I can tell. Okay, no big deal. Let's just . . . slow down. No need to gobble it all up at once. Just savor it a little. Maybe you could interest yourself in this magazine for a bit? Or this other book that . . . No? Okay, fine, let's just read it all today then."
I really connected with Demetrios's writing style, but it was much more than that. Her characters -- an 18-year-old girl who grew up in a trailer park with alcoholic parents (one who died in a drunk-driving accident) but is determined to get out of her small town and go to college, and a 19-year-old boy (we can't really call him a man yet, can we?) who is already a war veteran with one leg blown off by a bomb in Afghanistan -- are so real and funny and awful and wonderful. They make bad choices and good ones. They build real relationships and real friendships. They have to learn how to deal and cope with terrible things. And they're just trying to figure out life, like we all are.
I think what I liked most about the main character, Skylar, was that she was actually likable! She wasn't one of those whiny, always angry, condescending girls that I've become so tired of in books lately where I'm left wondering -- and this guy likes her WHY? Sklyar, on the other hand, is funny and kind, and sure, she can be a bit rough and even get angry -- but only when (strangely enough) she actually has reason to be.
And while I have labeled this book as "young adult," it definitely has some very adult themes and situations. But since the main characters are very much in that transitional stage between young-adulthood and adulthood, and as they were forced to face incredibly adult problems from young ages, it all worked to create a great story.
P.S. Dear Goodreads, Just a small request -- Is there any way, do you think, that drafts of reviews could be saved automatically as we write them? You know, so that when you suddenly, for some reason, find your screen has disappeared and the review you spent the last ten minutes writing disappeared with it, you don't have to curse the internet gods (and Goodreads with it) for hating you so very much, leaving you devoid of any motivation or memory of what you just wrote? Just a thought.
Don't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the covDon't be suckered in by the lovely cover like I was, my friends. The writing is juvenile and the characters maddening. Very little, other than the cover, was worth the read. I'm also very unimpressed by the behavior and harassment of the author and her agent toward other GoodReads reviewers. (See Wendy Darling's review.) I have no interest in supporting this author.
Oh, and if you're just looking for pure entertainment, read Victoria's review of this book. I promise you that (unlike The Selection), it will be worth the read!...more
Fairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plFairly fast-paced and interesting story. The writing itself wasn't phenomenal, and there were many times while I was reading that I had to overlook plot holes or contradictions, or just things that didn't quite make sense, but I liked it enough to want to finish the series. ...more
I was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was aI was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was a little disappointing. The main character was kind of annoying. I really liked the setting -- Embassy Row in the fictional country of Adria. And even the other characters were interesting and mostly entertaining. But Grace herself was such a drag, and I couldn't figure out why the other characters not only liked her, but were utterly devoted to her and her nonsense, some of them after knowing her for only days.
I probably would have only rated the book 2 stars, but the ending really did redeem it quite a bit. And I'm telling you, I was ready to be pretty frustrated. It cleared some things up about the mystery (AND made it much more interesting since it felt like there really wasn't a mystery for most of the book), although it was rather sloppily done.
So while I wasn't feeling the magic like in Carter's other books, after reading the book's ending, I liked it well enough to want to read more from the series. I have a feeling things will get much better from here. ...more
This was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the maThis was a really lovely debut novel by Carol Rifka Brunt. The setting is 1986 New York City when the AIDs epidemic was really getting bad, and the main character, 14-year-old June, must deal with the fact that her beloved uncle is very sick with the virus. The writing itself was so well-done, and the understanding that the characters come to about themselves, the world, and each other were all developed remarkably. I especially loved the relationships between the characters and how they came to understand how much they needed each other -- that life really wasn't meaningful or fulfilling without those relationships.
The setting also worked very well. I like when an author can place a story in a time period (particularly one that's not so far away) without cramming it down your throat that is really IS the 80s! When an author just wants to prove it -- Hey, look at all the things I remember from the 80s! In Brunt's case, it all worked organically in the story, and there was no awkward placement of 80s-specific items, music, etc. It reminded me a bit of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in its skillful use of the 1980s as a setting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Everything was just so well-written and beautifully told. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry several times . . . but that may be more a reflection on me than the book. I love a book that makes me cry!
Well, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of bWell, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of books on my nightstand, just waiting to be read.
As I'm tired and just don't have a lot of time to review this, let me just give you a quick (and most likely unintelligible) run-down on how this book went for me:
Love the beginning. Love the quirky characters. Heart is breaking a bit for Eleanor and her situation (creepy, deadbeat/abusive step-dad and doormat mom--thus Eleanor and the rest of the kids are basically starving all the time because there is no money for food, or anything else, for that matter). Love the character development and the relationship development between Eleanor and Park. Love the middle. Hold on. What's happening here at the end? I do not like where this is heading, but I will trust Ms. Rowell to get us where we need to be. Um, Eleanor, what the freak is wrong with you? Get your act together! Hating, hating the end. Seriously, this ending sucks. Oh, wait. Last paragraph redeems the ending. Beautiful.
I didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heardI didn't know what to expect with this book, not having read very many graphic novels in my day, but I've been interested in reading it since I heard the author speak at a conference recently. It was definitely a very different format--and not because of the graphic novel design. It was basically three different stories told alternately, that all came together in the end. I loved the way each story (and each character) helped explain and develop the others. When it was all revealed at the end, though, I did wish there was a little bit more explanation about the Chin-kee character and his role in Jin's life. Otherwise, it was a great book, and I would definitely recommend it to any of my students....more
I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-written, carefully constructed, original take an interesting plot idea. But these last two books I've read have just fallen completely short of any of the expectations I've had.
I will refer you to the review of Emily May as I strongly agree with her assessment of this book and why it failed where Before I Fall succeeded. ...more
This was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you jusThis was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you just can't wait for that next book. Until, of course, you read the next book. Then you usually feel let-down and disillusioned with the world in general. Things tend to pick up with book 3, but still, it just can never recreate the magic of the first book.
Not so with the Under the Never Sky series. I thoroughly enjoyed each book, I liked the character and plot development in each installment, and I felt the ending of the series was both fitting and satisfying. Rossi definitely has a lot of talent, and I look forward to reading more of her books. ...more
A modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary stoA modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary story. I'm only about halfway through, so we'll see how it all pulls together.
Well, I finished the book pretty quickly, which I consider a good sign since I was drawn into the story and invested in its ending. Although, to be honest, a lot of my interest was in seeing how this re-telling paralleled the original. And while the plot and characters leaned toward the melodramatic, I'm not sure how to retell The Great Gatsby without some melodrama. The fact that the characters are spoiled, rich teenagers probably also lends itself to that tendency.
Overall, the characters were interesting and the modern adaptations were fairly clever. And I don't think I'm revealing anything here by saying that the ending (view spoiler)[is pretty much dead-on with the original, with just a twist at the very end. And I think this is what I liked best about the book. Because perhaps the most bothersome thing about The Great Gatsby is how Daisy literally gets away with murder and faces absolutely no repercussions (at least external ones). In Great, however, there is a revenge on the part of Jacinta's (i.e. Gatsby's) character that I thought very fitting and satisfying. (hide spoiler)].
For more conservative readers, the fact that "Gatsby's" character is a girl, may be a little disturbing, but I thought it actually worked really well. Probably better than a teenage boy, to be honest, because I can't see a teenage boy today (even a rich one) throwing lavish parties and going to such extremes to get the attention of a girl. And there wasn't any sort of dwelling on a lesbian relationship, so it just didn't bother me.
But speaking of lesbians, the one character who I just really couldn't stand was Naomi's so-called best friend, "Skags". She was an absolute nightmare, and every time she entered a scene, it was like nails on a chalkboard. SO condescending and irritating. I think I would just edit her right out of the book.
Now was this book the modern equivalent of The Great Gatsby? Of course not. But surely no one is expecting the quality of that classic. It is, however, an interesting and compelling read, particularly for those who are familiar with the original.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Wow, every time I pick up a book by Laini Taylor, I'm completely blown away. I mean, this woman can really write! And seriously, the way her mind workWow, every time I pick up a book by Laini Taylor, I'm completely blown away. I mean, this woman can really write! And seriously, the way her mind works? Her creativity seems to know no bounds. She really took on some serious mythology here, developing what she'd started in the first two books to even greater depths (which I wouldn't have thought possible), and she completely pulled it off. I'm a little sad to see an end to this series, but it was all done so well that I was left totally satisfied to be given a glimpse of the characters' future without everything tied up in a neat little bow as if the end of the book was the end of their story, which of course, it shouldn't be. Beautifully done....more
I'll be honest, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking forward to reading it because I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall so much,I'll be honest, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking forward to reading it because I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall so much, but Panic just didn't live up to my expectations. It's not that Oliver isn't a skilled writer, but many parts of the plot were so far-fetched or unrealistic or, even worse, felt forced or too convenient simply because they needed to happen to move the story forward. I wasn't really enamored of any of the characters either. The choices the main character made were confusing and overly dramatic.
If you're a fan of all of Oliver's other books (personally, I wasn't completely crazy over the Delirium series), you may still enjoy this, but otherwise, you may want to give this a pass. ...more
I find the second book in a trilogy tends to be a little . . . I don't know, anticlimactic? Maybe it's because it usually seems to just be a vehicle tI find the second book in a trilogy tends to be a little . . . I don't know, anticlimactic? Maybe it's because it usually seems to just be a vehicle to get to that final book -- the big, exciting finish. Not so with Through the Ever Night, though. I have been impressed that Rossi has managed to create books that have their own specific stories despite being part of a trilogy. And while this second book is definitely a continuation of the first, it was exciting and interesting in its own right.
Well-written and great characterization. Can't wait to read book 3!...more
Seriously enjoying this book so far. I don't want to put it down!
This book was so much fun to read. The narrative voice was great. I work with teenageSeriously enjoying this book so far. I don't want to put it down!
This book was so much fun to read. The narrative voice was great. I work with teenagers everyday, and Audrey and her friends reminded me so much of some of my favorite students. I will admit that Audrey and her usually charming voice got a little whiny at the end when, as her friend Victoria points out, EVERYTHING was about Audrey. Luckily, that didn't ruin the book for me, and Audrey redeemed herself at the end. I'd love to read something more by this author....more
While I felt like this book had a lot of potential, much of it fell sort of flat for me. Maybe it was the writing style? Maybe it was the fact that noWhile I felt like this book had a lot of potential, much of it fell sort of flat for me. Maybe it was the writing style? Maybe it was the fact that nothing seemed to happen for a very loooong time? Which is weird considering that something pretty exciting happens in the first few pages.
Or maybe it was just that nothing felt fully developed. Even though the focus was on these four Victorian-era teenage girls and their burgeoning relationship, I never felt like I actually knew or understood them. Or even particularly liked them. And what about Gemma's special powers as the "portal"? What was that all about? I don't know. Because it was never explained or developed further than to just say that she had power to get to the realms and that her powers were particularly special . . . in some vague way.
And the magic itself? While interesting in its premise, it was never very clear what it was or why/how it worked. The Order? What's their deal? And why is Kartik's group so against it? And my biggest question upon finishing the book was, so what was really going on with Gemma's mother? Was that really Circe the whole time? Or just at the end? The author refers to Gemma's mother's sacrifice to stay in the realm to help her, so . . . it really was her mother? But Gemma says it wasn't, that her mother was dead and that wasn't her. Um . . . you can see my confusion here.
Overall, I'd probably give the book 2.5 stars. As I said earlier, it had the potential to be a very interesting and creative story, but it just fell short. I'm not sure I'll go on to read the next book....more
Loved it! I've been looking forward to reading this for a while, and it did not disappoint. I loved the concept of the magic, or "curse working," espeLoved it! I've been looking forward to reading this for a while, and it did not disappoint. I loved the concept of the magic, or "curse working," especially because Black integrated it into actual U.S. history so that the story feels contemporary. I also found it intriguing that anyone who chose to use his/her magic would be victim to "blowback." This meant if you were a Memory Worker and used your power to altar someone's memory, you were also susceptible to losing part of your own memories. I liked the idea that using magical powers has consequences.
The main character, Cassel, was funny, quick-witted, and very likable. I enjoyed the mystery of the story and the process Cassel went through to solve it even though his own memories had been altered. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the series. ...more
I've long heard many people love Juliet Marillier's books, and I've been meaning to pick one up for sometime. Shadowfell just happened to be the firstI've long heard many people love Juliet Marillier's books, and I've been meaning to pick one up for sometime. Shadowfell just happened to be the first one available for me to download on my Nook from my digital library. And here's the thing: I liked it just fine. Was it amazing or life-changing or hilariously funny or devastatingly sad, or anything else that makes a book just plain great in my eyes? No, not really. But Marillier is definitely a good writer, and I'd like to try some of her other books that seemed to be more well-received.
Maybe it was that while I liked the characters, there just wasn't enough to them to really love them or become invested in their fates in a way that makes me want to read more. Maybe it was because that although the whole book was made up of a sometimes really interesting journey, mostly, it was just a lot of walking. Or maybe it was because the story felt more juvenile than I wanted it to be.
Whatever it was, it wasn't enough to make me want to read more in this particular series, but it was enough of a taste of Marillier's writing to know that I'd really like to try some of her other books and see if she manages to capture what was missing in Shadowfell....more
Light and funny, with a dash of mystery, this was just a great read! What I liked best about this book was getting to see simultaneously (in alternatiLight and funny, with a dash of mystery, this was just a great read! What I liked best about this book was getting to see simultaneously (in alternating chapters) the two paths Addie could have taken and what happens to her, depending on an important choice she made to either stay with her mom or move to another city with her dad. It was an exciting ending and left me guessing until the end. Can't wait for book 2!...more
I usually think that the first book of a trilogy sets up the story, characters, and over-riding conflict of the series. But in this case, the first boI usually think that the first book of a trilogy sets up the story, characters, and over-riding conflict of the series. But in this case, the first book, Sabriel, could pretty much be a stand-alone, while the second book, Lirael sets up everything for book three. In fact, books 2 and 3 were pretty much one book broken up into two parts.
And I'm okay with that. I mean, the explication process in Lirael was a little bit drawn out and tedious, especially for a second book in a series, but Nix made up for all of that and more with Abhorsen. I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book. But what I really liked about it was that it was more than just a thrill ride, jumping from one near-miss to another -- it was also interesting. The mythology, the characters, the whole magical world felt authentic. I was fascinated and intrigued while I bit my nails hoping the characters would manage to escape one more time. And Nix is effective at resolving everything nicely but somehow still leaving it open-ended at the conclusion, which in my mind, made it even more authentic.
As with any good series, the end leaves you satisfied, but still wanting more. I definitely want more....more
Ok, to be honest, I wasn't feeling this one at first. I wasn't super happy that the characters from the first book barely an appearance, and I wasn'tOk, to be honest, I wasn't feeling this one at first. I wasn't super happy that the characters from the first book barely an appearance, and I wasn't crazy about the new cast in book two. Sam is irritatingly annoying and whiny. Lirael is better, but it took a while for even her to grow on me. This book just had a much slower start, too, so I wasn't as invested in it as I was in the first book. It definitely had its exciting and intense moments, but it took longer to get to them.
The positives: The writing was still excellent. I grew to like the characters, even whiny Sam (mostly). I really liked the Disreputable Dog (although I thought it was kind of a stupid name), and I liked learning more about the Clayr, a group only introduced in book one. It set up a very intriguing plot.
The negatives: It only set up the intriguing plot. To get to that plot, I'm going to have to read book 3. This book was mostly a vehicle for the two main characters to figure out who they are and what their roles are for the future. And it was also a bit predictable.
But for now, I'm okay with that. Probably because I've got book three sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to pick it up. Let's just see where Nix decides to go with it now that he has us primed for something big. Personally, I'm hoping for more of the fabulousness of book one. ...more
I'm a big fan of E. Lockhart, and while this certainly wasn't my favorite of her books, it was definitely worth the read. This was just a very differeI'm a big fan of E. Lockhart, and while this certainly wasn't my favorite of her books, it was definitely worth the read. This was just a very different type of book than I was used to from this author. What I have loved about Lockhart's books in the past is the witty and smart humor of the characters and the story lines. We Were Liars is a very interesting, but very serious drama. Actually, I would really tag it as a dramatic mystery. The writing was excellent, and the characters and mystery drew me in to the exciting conclusion and revelation. ...more