Allie has been a bit of a troublemaker since her brother Christopher ran away. Now she has been arrested for the third time this year and her parentsAllie has been a bit of a troublemaker since her brother Christopher ran away. Now she has been arrested for the third time this year and her parents have had enough. They ship her off to board at Cimmeria Academy for the summer term where she has no access to phones, stereos, computers, or the outside world at all. The rules are incredibly strict and then there is also the Night School classes that other students are not allowed to know about or watch. When Allie is attacked one night, it begins a string of events leading to a death during a dance and secrets around every bend. When it seems like everyone is lying, she must find out who she can trust, and quickly, before the danger catches up with her.
I want to say first, that this book is incorrectly shelved on Goodreads. Its listed under Paranormal and Vampires, and there are, regretfully, neither within it's pages. Seeing those shelves and then reading the summary, especially the part about the Night School had me super excited thinking that the story was going to be similar to Vampire Knight. As I met the characters (Especially Sylvain) I got more and more hopeful so part of my disappointment may be based directly on the book being mishelved.
The characters were fine. There are a few side characters that you feel might have more importance but end up fading away into the background. Others are kept so mysterious that it makes them poorly characterized. Allie drove me a bit batty. She starts out so troubled and sarcastic and then she flipflops as soon as she is in the academy and is suddenly a good student. Her panic attacks are random and some of them quite uncalled for. Its like the author has no knowledge of such things but wanted to make her more broken and added them in anyway. Having Carter tell her about his old attacks was just pointless. It was a "too little, too late" characterization. Then, Allie's lack of thinking about her family and old friends was misplaced and random. Its almost like the author went through and thought "Oh! I havent had her think about her parents in a while *adds in passing*. Oh! This person needs a bit more characterization *adds randomly*".
The story focuses too much on the love triangle. The anger/hatred/jealousy between Sylvain and Carter is too unexplained. There wasnt enough tension in the triangle and so the whole thing falls apart. You start out adoring Sylvain and then he becomes a wanker and you just fall into Carter the same way Allie does. Its like, why even have bothered with the triangle at all? Then, as things go by and Sylvain apologizes for being a wanker, Allie just ups and forgives him without worry. She still trusts him and its misplaced.
Because of the love triangle being so forefront, the story itself lags. The climax happens incredibly late and its horribly anticlimatic even then. You can tell that this was meant to be a series. The author wanted to make you asks tons of questions and give you few answers but in the end she makes you ask your tons of questions and gives you no answers. Nothing is cleared up or properly resolved. Everything is just swept under the run until company leaves, obviously to be tackled in the next book, which is always a poor idea. If you wait to tackle all the questions in the next installment you end up forgetting things or dragging on the story and annoying your readers.
Regardless of all the bad, I still enjoyed it. It was an enjoyable read with a frustrating ending is all. I think if the next installment were already out then I would have much warmer feelings for this novel....more
Tomboy Ellie has always been "one of the guys", not the type of pretty girl the guys flock to like her sister AngeOriginally posted at arielavalon.com
Tomboy Ellie has always been "one of the guys", not the type of pretty girl the guys flock to like her sister Angela. So when Seth moves in across the street and starts giving her all of his attention, she is more than suspicious. When girls in surrounding areas start turning up dead and they all bare a striking resemblance to Ellie, she starts to freak out. Her parents start blaming puberty and hormones combined with her crush on the model-hot boy across the street. Ellie sees it for what she thinks it really is, drool-worthy Seth is a serial killer, and she is next on his list!
This book was wonderful! First things fist, you know Seth isn't really the serial killer. That isn't the way Young Adult books work. You know that it will end up with Ellie being paranoid, but oh gosh is he a legit suspect or what!? You know he won't end up being the killer though. That cute cover and the easy-going likability of the writing style spoils it from the first chapter. There is no way the author will let poor Ellie fall in love with this perfect boy just to shatter her heart like that. Sure, there were A LOT of times where I had to question that belief, but it was the stance I stuck to while I was reading. I wasn't going to let go of my faith that it would turn out alright and they would end up together.
The characters are fantastic! Ellie is perfect, even though I don't understand tomboys being a girly-girl myself, I still adored her. Her reactions and the way she handles herself around her friends is just perfect. She is so confident and knows herself so well. Even when things are changing and she is falling in love for the first time, she doesn't become this whiny heroine. Does she maybe need anger management? Possibly, but she is a tomboy. Boys are like that, tomboys who have to hold their own against the real boys have to be worse. It makes sense. Angie can be a bit annoying, but she really did try to help even when she was messing things up. Travis was a complete jerk, ugh, I remember guys like him from high school. I made him my number one suspect through things. You get to hear about Ellie's best friends the J's who are at camp through things, but I would've liked to actually see more of them. For them to be her best friends it felt wrong for them to be so detached from the story. Seth is so perfect. Sure, he is intense and a bit creepy, but when his story comes out it all falls into place and you can't help but fall as much in love with him as Ellie had.
The writing is smooth and light. I like that. I like that it wasn't trying too hard but it wasn't totally intense either. It was a perfect flow to let a romantic mystery exist without freaking you out. I don't like overly suspenseful novels, so I appreciate that. The plot has twists and turns. I NEVER expected the killer to be who it ended up being. It all clicked in my head just before it became wicked obvious in the novel and I felt stupid for not seeing it. It made so much freaking sense but I never saw it coming. Love that! I love when a novel takes me completely by surprise.
This was a fantastic read. If you like a romance with some murder-mystery elements to it, this is a fabulous choice. Recommended to all!...more
Review copy was provided by the author for an honest review. Review originally posted at arielavalon.com
Rain Ramey has spent her life thinking she wasReview copy was provided by the author for an honest review. Review originally posted at arielavalon.com
Rain Ramey has spent her life thinking she was one person, just to learn she was kidnapped shortly after birth and belonged in a whole different world. Desperate to know why she was kidnapped, firmly believing that the Ramey's weren't bad people, Rain jumps into an investigation to learn more. Enlisting the help of the handsome and brooding River Scott, they begin to uncover a few truths and see there are more lies under the surface.
The very beginning of the story was hard to get into. The first few pages begin slowly, agonizingly slow. Once Rain makes it to Sloane Academy, it begins to pick up, but not a whole bunch. Her time in school starts off with her crossing the resident mean girl. Once the plot really begins to pick up though, this book becomes something you cannot put down. On the brightside, it's short. On the downside, it's short! The writing is really nice. There is a general flow about things that I found comforting as I read. There were little cliffhangers at the end of a lot of the chapters and some scenes that worked, but got a bit annoying after a while. It almost made the book feel like it was a read meant for a younger audience than it is.
The characters are nice and engaging, though some are predictable. Tom? Totally predictable. Owen, I think he is going to be predictable also, but that will need to be seen in a different part of the series. Rain was a nice heroine. I really did like her. She tried to adjust to things and she didn't come across as very whiny. I would have liked to see her make up her mind about her love interest a little bit. River I adored from the beginning. I love everything about his character.
This was a wonderful beginning to what looks like will round out to be a fabulous series. Highly recommended....more
This review was originally posted at arielavalon.com
Rain is firm in her belief that River did not kill Lauren like everyone says. She is determined toThis review was originally posted at arielavalon.com
Rain is firm in her belief that River did not kill Lauren like everyone says. She is determined to find a way to prove his innocence. She just isn't expecting to become a suspect herself, or to find out that her world is about to become even more drama-filled.
This book was amazing. The same quirks as the first one were still present, the little cliffhangers in various chapters and scene ends, but the story is fast-paced and keeps you hanging on for dear life. The twists and turns are amazing and well thought out. Some things you see coming, but a lot of it is just tossed at you out of nowhere. The Von Sheltons have so many skeletons in their closet.
Other than a severe lack of River and the awful cliffhanger at the ending, this book was fantastic. It hooks you in and keeps you there. Great continuation to this series....more
Rain has figured out who really killed Laurel, but this is only the beginning. She very quickly finds thatReview originally posted at arielavalon.com
Rain has figured out who really killed Laurel, but this is only the beginning. She very quickly finds that the Von Shelton's own her, and when they want secrets to hide, they stay hidden. Rain has a plan, she will see to it that River will not ever see trial, no matter what.
I cannot tell a lie. I thought this series was a trilogy and now I am horribly disappointed because I blew through this book in the small span of a morning and now I get to play the waiting game. Sure, the cliffhanger was missing this time around, but there are still so many twists, so many secrets, and so many confrontations that have yet to be seen.
The first two books were full of twists and turns, but they had nothing on this book. The characters are still their same fabulous selves. There was a lot more River in this book, love that. Sawyer is so many different kinds of messed up. He's one of those characters that I want to like, but I hate him too, so I am left feeling horribly sorry for him. He is just so unbalanced.
This series is strong, mysterious, and addicting. Go read it!...more
***IMPORTANT*** Although this is listed as book #0.5, DO NOT READ IT FIRST!! It will RUIN the whole series for you. Read it after book #8. That is a go***IMPORTANT*** Although this is listed as book #0.5, DO NOT READ IT FIRST!! It will RUIN the whole series for you. Read it after book #8. That is a good place for it.
Seriously, the more of these I read, the less I like them. This was just, boring. I don't feel like I learned anything new. Perhaps it was meant to make you like or understand Ali and her motives more, but it only made me dislike her more. ...more
The time has come. After sitting patiently in her jail cell for months, Rain's trial is about to begin. After mRead this and other reviews at my blog.
The time has come. After sitting patiently in her jail cell for months, Rain's trial is about to begin. After months of plotting and planning, she can finally gain her freedom. Or can she? Surrounded by all the lies, she is left wondering if Asher will really try to get her off, or if she is walking right into his clutches once again. But Rain has her own plan, and if she gets her way, her life will finally be hers to control.
This book was perfect. I was so nervous for Rain. I was a little afraid of who was going to get happy endings, and how things were going to pan out in the end. The writing lovingly holds your hand and leads you through the story.
The characters were all the same as they have been. A few bonds are formed, a few bridges burned, but things all play out for the best with the friendships. I was very pleased at how things ended with everyone. Hard to say much on them because of a spoiler risk, but things are good. I am pleased.
When you begin reading, you are filled with so many questions. You are anxious and just burning for answers. Varden tosses you a curve ball right from the start by making things almost boring. This is not a bad thing. You start off seeing some of the day to day life that Rain spends in her cell. It calms you. Your questions go to the backburner. You are certain they will be answered, but you have to learn patience. This book was all about Rain showing that she herself had learned patience, so teaching it to the reader is brilliant. Then the trial begins. I cannot lie, the trial is dull! The court proceedings are written brilliantly. The courtroom is stuffy, dull, drab, and very true to life. It was all captured so fantastically. It is really a brilliant writing technique. It slowly builds up, you almost feel like you are right there in that boring courtroom along with everyone. When the Defense begins their case, you can tell the climax is coming.
Then you get another curve ball. You learn about two things that had happened in the shadows, and things fall into place as the world tumbles down for some and rights itself for others. I remember my jaw dropping and a smirk taking over my face. It was brilliant. I wish there was a better word to describe it, but there really isn't. Then you get to see the aftermath as everyone puts their lives into the new shells that are created for them.
(view spoiler)[Rain obviously gets off. I mean, it's her story, she can't go off to jail. You get to see her as she continues the friendships that matter, as she returns to school, as she deals with the grandmother she hadn't met before, and as her and River figure out their relationship. (hide spoiler)] It was really wonderful to watch it all.
Judgment was a fantastic ending to an amazing series. Loose ends were tied up, lives were changed, and justice was served. I am so happy to have been exposed to this series. Highly recommended to all. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Skye is a bit of a wallflower, a shutterbug who prefers to see life through the lens of her camera instead of fRead this and other reviews at my blog.
Skye is a bit of a wallflower, a shutterbug who prefers to see life through the lens of her camera instead of from the center of the action. When a student is found dead at a party Skye attends and she knows who might be involved, she has to deal with the idea of being an accessory to murder. As relationships shift and change around her, Skye starts to really take a look at her life, and she doesn't like what she sees. Can she really change herself now, or will harboring her secret destroy her first?
While not as good as Tempestuous was, Exposure was another great retelling of an old classic. Macbeth is probably one of Shakespeare's more difficult stories to try to modernize. While subtle, the homages to Macbeth were cleverly woven into each page. If you go looking for a flashy retelling, then you might be disappointed. Exposure was written in such a way to make a Shakespeare buff smile without alienating someone who has never read Macbeth. I believe that it was done well enough to make it easier to understand if you can match these new characters to their old counterparts.
The characters weren't as nice as I wanted them to be. Skye felt unlikable to me. For her to be "stunning" and not know it, and for her to be so tall and people to just overlook her, it didn't feel realistic. If you are "stunning" and tall and have model potential with a little bit of makeup, then how do people not notice you? Skye actually asks this same question in the book at their Prom. Everyone kept telling her how she was so beautiful and how they didn't recognize her, but what, she was ugly the day before? It's one thing to be withdrawn, but she just didn't feel as realistic as I wanted her to. She was also really hard to like. It wasn't until well into the story that I started to like her at all. I didn't understand what she saw in Craig. Not once. From A to B, I never saw Craig's appeal. Beth was seriously unbalanced. The rest of the characters were just alright. They didn't hold enough importance for me.
The story was nice. It held mystery and did well at capturing the essence of Macbeth as it went along, but the plot was lacking. Or maybe it just fell for me. I feel like most of the elements in the story served very little purpose, and yet I enjoyed every page. I loved the whole story and everything that happened. I just couldn't see the point of many things that happened and it left me uninvested in the story. It all wraps up in the end. The ending is unsettling. It isn't tragic by any means, but it is a bit of a downer. There is promise for joy again, but it's left on enough of a downer to leave you upset with things. Not enough to rage or cry, but enough that you might be disappointed.
While not as great as it's predecessor, it was still a good read and I did enjoy it. But if you are looking for warm fuzzies, look elsewhere. ...more