So Juliette can hurt people when she touches them. The nature of her power is not really explained, nor what exactly her power does to her victim. The...moreSo Juliette can hurt people when she touches them. The nature of her power is not really explained, nor what exactly her power does to her victim. There's just pain. And she accidentally killed a child and so was locked up in a medieval prison for almost a year.
Then she's suddenly out and there are two men in her life. The whole book revolves around these two guys and how much they want her. Why do they want her? Well, because she's beautiful and kind and powerful, of course. At least that's what we're told. Really, she didn't have much a personality, other than how these guys fell over themselves for her. And, miraculously, both of them turn out to be immune to her power! What luck! What a twist!
The villain (one of the two men, of course) was laughable. He throws around cliches like "seize her" and evil laughing. And rather than just take what he wants, he professes his love for her and puts her in pretty dresses. This guy needs to go to villain school.
This book is so awful. So awful. I haven't even touched on the bad, hyperbolic writing, or all the freakin' strikethroughs, or the strange punctuation. The hyperbole was so bad that it was distracting at times.
I only continued to the end because I'd heard it got a little X-Men; it did, for about 5 pages at the very end of the book, when she meets a guy who can moves things with his mind and then gets a snazzy little jumpsuit. (Never mind that Juliette's power is extremely similar to Rogue's in the first place.)
I checked this book out because it was supposed to be dystopian, but it was just a really crappy teenage romance. It saddens me to think that this author not only got a book deal, but managed to squeeze a whole series out.(less)
After her family is killed, Liesel is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Munich, Germany. She soon discovers a love for books, and steals th...moreAfter her family is killed, Liesel is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Munich, Germany. She soon discovers a love for books, and steals them when she can--including out of piles of burned books. Then, when her foster parents hide a Jew in their house, Liesel really learns what the war is all about.
I enjoyed Liesel's journey and her love of books, but it about ends there. This story was told in such a fragmented way that I found it hard to follow and get into. The author kept trying to foreshadow events, but instead of building up the drama, I just found that it ruined any surprise that might have come later. The timeline also jumped around too much for my liking. Considering how little substance there is to the grand story, the book is just way, way too long. Still, there were some nice moments in the book, and occasionally the writing would be beautiful.(less)
Ellie is the police chief in a small town where nothing happens. One day, a "wild child" appears from the woods, unable to speak and lacking in all so...moreEllie is the police chief in a small town where nothing happens. One day, a "wild child" appears from the woods, unable to speak and lacking in all social interaction. Ellie calls in her sister, a world-famous psychologist that has recently been disgraced when a young patient snapped and committed murder. Now they are hoping to teach the young girl how to communicate with the outside world, and tell them where she's been.
Once again, the author builds a compelling story. I certainly wanted to keep reading. The town was adorable and I loved how they all got behind the little girl. There were far too many romance subplots, however, and they added nothing to the story, except perhaps add the notion that these sisters needed love and men to round out their lives.
I've done a lot of reading on "feral" children, Genie (from the 1970s) and Danielle (aka The Girl at the Window, from 2005). Genie learned some speech before being abused and traumatized back into silence for the rest of her life. Dani has yet to learn how to speak. Children need a lot of interaction and attention in those first formative years, and lacking that, they never recover. While the author captures some of the essence here of a feral child, I feel like she presented an extremely optimistic view of how well the little girl would recover--it actually distracted me from the story. But if it's your first time reading anything about a feral child, it gives a good place to start.(less)
Kate is a straight-A student who is wrapping up high school. Her college plans involve only MIT, and refuses to accept any reality where that might no...moreKate is a straight-A student who is wrapping up high school. Her college plans involve only MIT, and refuses to accept any reality where that might not be the case. But then her neighbors' house burns down and they move in with Kate and her family, and things just turn into chaos.
I didn't really care for this one. It didn't even get somewhat interesting until over halfway though. Mostly there was a lack of character development, because I didn't care about most of the characters and they all felt the same. (less)
Meredith and Nina Whitson have never really had a relationship with their cold, Russian-born mother, Anya. But when their father dies, he begs his wif...moreMeredith and Nina Whitson have never really had a relationship with their cold, Russian-born mother, Anya. But when their father dies, he begs his wife and daughter to rely on each other, and to make Anya tell a fairy tale that she has kept to herself. As the women slowly coax the story out of their mother, they begin to form the relationship that they never had.
This story moved somewhat slowly for the first half, but the second half of this book was absolutely riveting--I'm so glad I had stuck through it. I'd had little interest in the fairy tale at first, but soon it becomes the most fascinating part. There is a lot of emotion in this story, and it's easy to feel for and with the characters and all that they go through.
I also appreciated the author's imagery. Gardens, cities, and life and death are vividly described.
Due to the slow nature of the first half of the book, I'd probably give this book 4.5 stars, but since I can't do that, I'm giving it 5 because I enjoyed the second half so much.(less)
Taylor's father has only a few months to live, and he wants to spend them with the family at their old lake house, which they haven't visited in 5 yea...moreTaylor's father has only a few months to live, and he wants to spend them with the family at their old lake house, which they haven't visited in 5 years.
I loved this book. I'm apparently enchanted with this author. I loved the descriptions of things, of the idea of spending my summer in a small lake town with old friends. It made me dream of doing that one day in Maine, of having friends that I could reconnect with year after year. The book makes you appreciate who you have in your life and think about our interactions and what's important.
The entire time, you know what's coming. The dad only has a few months to live. He's not going to get better. And yet when it happens, it still hurts. I cried. (less)
It's been six months since the volcano erupted and Alex has been staying with his relatives as a permanent winter appears to have settled in. However,...moreIt's been six months since the volcano erupted and Alex has been staying with his relatives as a permanent winter appears to have settled in. However, there has been so sign of Alex's parents, so he's determined to head out and find them.
I didn't like this book quite as much as I liked Ashfall. Alex was far too impulsive here, and kept doing really, really stupid things. Someone was constantly getting hurt, and it actually became boring in that regard. I didn't care at all for the new character, Ben. But that said, the book was still really interesting, and it seldom fell into a dull period. I really appreciated that, especially for a second book.(less)
So we're back in Monument, Colorado. A bus full of kids is heading toward Denver, while a small group is left at the store.
I gotta admit that I rememb...moreSo we're back in Monument, Colorado. A bus full of kids is heading toward Denver, while a small group is left at the store.
I gotta admit that I remembered very little from the first book, so there were all kinds of "oh yeah I forgot that" moments. There was a really small reminder of the people in the first part of the book, which I very much appreciated, but the details of their circumstances were left for me to remember as I went along.
The narrative was split in two here. It was needed, but POV of Alex didn't really work for me. It felt completely unnatural, and it was a lot of telling and not showing.
The problem of too many characters continued, as no one really had bunch of a personality. The female characters felt particularly weak--none of them had any purpose! Astrid, in particular, was very frustrating.
The ending was surprisingly satisfying for a middle book.
All in all, I feel like this book was rushed and time wasn't taken to build things out. It was good, but it could have been better.(less)
"The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn't taken our humanity. No, we'd given that up on our own."
T...more"The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn't taken our humanity. No, we'd given that up on our own."
Teenager Alex is alone for the weekend at his home in Iowa when it hits. The sky darkens and ash falls from the sky, cutting off all electricity, phones, motor vehicles, and warmth from the sun. Now he must travel to Illinois to find his family.
So often when a book takes place in a world following some sort of post-apocalypse, it describes the apocalypse part in just a few paragraphs. But I find the description of the collapse of society to be fascinating, and I love it when an author takes the time to write about that part. It's somewhat terrifying to imagine what might be.
The author spares few details in his writing, even when it comes to some gore; I appreciate that kind of detail, but not everyone will. It balances this with some shining moments of humanity.
I haven't enjoyed a post-apocalyptic book like this since Life As We Knew It. That trilogy went out with a whimper; here's hoping that this one can continue to live up to my expectations.(less)
This book is a memoir of Brent Jeffs, nephew of Warren Jeffs, and his story of growing up in a polygamist family.
If you want a true taste of life in t...moreThis book is a memoir of Brent Jeffs, nephew of Warren Jeffs, and his story of growing up in a polygamist family.
If you want a true taste of life in the FLDS, this book isn't the place to find it. Brent's family didn't grow up in Hilldale and the family seemed a bit more progressive; the family was also excommunicated early in Brent's life. If you want to more of an idea of FLDS life, the books by Elissa Wall or Carolyn Jessop are a better place to start.
However, the author of this book does give a good idea of how sequestered these young people are. Once they leave the only life that they have known, these lost boys are forced into a world with people that they have constantly been told are evil. Their education is only what their religion has afforded them, so math and science are severely lacking. Unfortunately, the world is not very welcoming to these young boys, so they end up becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Brent was raped by his uncle when he was 5 and hoped his testimony would put Warren Jeffs behind bars. Our legal system couldn't really do it, though, and it was Elissa Wall's testimony that ultimately landed the sicko in prison. Still, I admire Brent for telling his story.(less)
Tess is hired as a maid by Lady Duff Gordon shortly before the departure of the Titanic. Tess is an aspiring dress maker, so she is excited to have an...moreTess is hired as a maid by Lady Duff Gordon shortly before the departure of the Titanic. Tess is an aspiring dress maker, so she is excited to have an opportunity to work for the renowned Duff Gordon. After arriving in America, she is given the chance to work on a dress for the upcoming fashion show.
There is supposedly so much going on in this book. There's the story of Tess as she embarks on her new "adventure," and the two suitors that are head over heels for her. The story of the Titanic's sinking and the trials and media whirlwind that occurred afterward. There's the scandal of the Duff Gordon's and the preparation for a fashion show. There's Pinky the reporter. Even a little women's suffrage. So with all these things, why is nothing really memorable or interesting? The story of Tess is dry, her suitors are boring, and I have no idea why these men are remotely interested in her. The sinking of the ship passes quickly, which is fine because it's been done a lot, but the trial drags on with no answers and no emotion from anyone. Everyone moves on from this traumatic event as if it's a footnote in their lives. The fashion show and the events leading up to it are boring, and there's so little emotion in the making of the dresses and that I'm not sure why the author chose Tess to be a dressmaker to begin with. Pinky's story is thrown in there for an inexplicable reason and added nothing to the story, except maybe a "yay" for equal treatment for women.
Anyway, I'm disappointed because this story could have had so much more--more passion with the men, more intrigue, more traumatic memories, more glitz and glam.(less)