A decent start, I’m looking forward to the next book.
“Gypsy girl” Gwen is the only non-warrior at Mythos Academy. The prestigious boarding school teacA decent start, I’m looking forward to the next book.
“Gypsy girl” Gwen is the only non-warrior at Mythos Academy. The prestigious boarding school teaches the children of warrior families, the mortals that the gods have do their bidding. The goal is to keep one step ahead of the Chaos War. At least that’s what the Battle Royale weapons training gym classes and myth-posing-as-history lessons would have Gwen believe. She’s not convinced. Her life was upended when her mother died, when her grandmother and a professor from the school decided that Mythos was where she belonged. No one’s explaining why and the students are none too welcoming. A girl is killed on campus and it baffles Gwen so much that she decides to use her Gypsy gift, the ability to get information from touch alone, to find out what she can about the underbelly of the place.
I enjoyed the telling of this story once the action or conversations got going. A lot of the book, though, was Gwen thinkingthinkingthinking. And her thoughts were odd and oddly repetitive. It occurred to me I may have been Punk’d for the number of times I read “my mom, Grace.” My thoughts never run away with “my mom, INSERT NAME HERE” stories, so that kept tripping me up. Also, the clichéd violet eyes and the fact that she’s oh so woefully friendless kept popping up in the weirdest places. Often. It flowed a lot better when we got out of Gwen’s head. The warrior action was exciting and easy to follow and I liked the different personalities at Mythos Academy.
The story’s not limited to one set of myths and the war they’re all fighting is classic Good v. Evil, so there’s a lot of history that could color the series. I hope that, with Gwen’s past out of the way, the story will move forward with a bigger cast of characters. It could get pretty interesting....more
I couldn’t remember where everyone was at the end of the VA series, so I re-read Last Sacrifice before picking this up. When I did, I had fond memorieI couldn’t remember where everyone was at the end of the VA series, so I re-read Last Sacrifice before picking this up. When I did, I had fond memories of Rose but decided it was clear that her story was over. I was worried, then, that the same Moroi/Dhampir story would be retold with new names assigned to the same roles. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Sydney’s still atoning for her errors after the conclusion of Last Sacrifice. The Alchemists (read: her father) say “jump” and she jumps. Her new, no-questions-asked assignment has her going undercover to help hide an important Moroi in the desert of Palm Springs. On the plus side, she’ll get to experience high school, something her training prevented her from doing the first time around. Unfortunately, she’ll have to cozy up to Moroi and Dhampirs to do it. Though not at all accurate, she’s trying to live down the “vamp lover” moniker that some of her harsher Alchemist coworkers have given her. Unfortunately, her sneaky and sleazy supervisor on this job is one of the worst.
I’m looking forward to continuing this series from Sydney’s POV. The mix of personable and observant with socially awkward should be contradictory, but it’s fun. I hope it continues to be played up. I’m also glad that Adrian has a chance to be livelier this time around. He and Eddie were bit players in Rose’s story. Along with Sydney, they’re the misfit toys trying to prove themselves without a network of people to fall back on. I hope it works out for them.
I really enjoyed this. I like Richelle Mead’s characters; they have personality and backbone and don’t live in a bubble. I always like the quick pacing and ease of reading, too. I’m excited for this new series....more
I was afraid of this book. It stared at me for weeks from my reading pile before fear of overdue fines drove me to pick it up. Because damn.
Corners arI was afraid of this book. It stared at me for weeks from my reading pile before fear of overdue fines drove me to pick it up. Because damn.
Corners are not cut, nothing is glossed over and that makes this book very, very uncomfortable. And tense. I’m impressed with how it was told, like the author got out of the way and let the story happen. Lochan and Maya know exactly what they’re doing and nothing happens by accident. It’s not covered up with pretty words, but it’s not exploitative either. The story is never dressed up as anything other than what it is.
By no means a romance (just…no), it’s more a story about family (hell. Pretty sure that’s even worse). Most of my emotion while reading this came from all the Whitely kids and their situation, knowing it couldn’t end well. All five were abandoned years ago by a father who left empty promises in his wake and again (and again and again) over the years by their mother to her vices. No one gives a damn about them. But Lochan and Maya get such joy keeping everyone together and managing to get even one to smile. Getting all the younger kids to smile or laugh? Heaven. I loved them for that.
It’s devastating and desperate and hopeless. I had to wonder if reviews included words like “amazing” to justify liking so salacious a book. I didn’t expect it to be so emotional. I didn’t expect to actually find any sympathy and be moved to tears.
I had another book ready to scrub my mind afterward, but there’s no forgetting this story. I thought it was worth it, but deciding to pick it up would have to be at the sole discretion of any reader....more
Enjoyable story, I just wish there was more of it.
Erin’s an aspiring novelist, paying her way through her first semester of college in New York afterEnjoyable story, I just wish there was more of it.
Erin’s an aspiring novelist, paying her way through her first semester of college in New York after being cut off. Her grandmother gave her tuition and inheritance to the one-time stable boy from their family’s racehorse farm. Hunter and Erin were friends once, but haven’t spoken in years. So guess who shows up in her creative writing class on the day she debuts her short story. The work she submitted for her class’ critique is about an heiress’s tryst with the stable boy.
Since this is one of the author’s romantic dramas and not one of her romantic comedies, there is more to the story. Unfortunately, too much time was spent on the part that appears to be a romantic comedy. Erin and Hunter continue to one up each other with stories that hit a little too close to home. They confide in their roommates and try to contain the fact that they knew each other before, and in fact lived on the same farm since they were twelve, from the rest of their class. When they do talk their conversations reveal that they’ve both paid too much attention to the other. All well and good, except that when we get to the drama, the story’s over.
Sure, it got a little convoluted, but it had heart so I feel a little cheated. I liked Erin and Hunter together and their reactions, hers southern spitfire and his southern charm. I also liked their back story and could sympathize with them as kids while they frustrated me as college students. I could have used a few more pages of them coming clean, or at least working through some stuff. I liked some of the secondary characters too, and actually wanted more on Erin and pigheaded Manohar battling it out. And what about Grandmother? I did like that the ending was hopeful. I didn’t like that it was so abrupt. A little more closure leading up to that last page would have been nice....more
Within the first fifteen pages Amy mentions the Luftwaffe, Galadriel, William Wallace in Braveheart, and Monty Python. Just before she gets into a shoWithin the first fifteen pages Amy mentions the Luftwaffe, Galadriel, William Wallace in Braveheart, and Monty Python. Just before she gets into a shouting match with a cow. I rightfully figured I’d like hanging out with her for the next few hundred pages.
Amy and her sister Phin are spending the summer taking care of Goodnight Ranch while their aunt is out of town, so they’ve got front row seats when skeletal remains are found on the neighboring McCulloch ranch. Ben McCulloch would rather they weren’t around, but they’ve been invited by the university team to assist during the excavation. It all seems to be connected when Amy receives messages from a ghost, Phin gets results with her aura camera whatsit experiments, and people in town start to see strange lights and end up hurt. Unfortunately, since the witchy Goodnight name is mud to most in town (and especially to the younger McCulloch), everyone seems to think they’re responsible.
It was all amateur sleuth-y, Scooby Doo goings-on. But I wasn’t too concerned about the mystery, because I was busy enjoying these characters. A cowboy, ghosts, university students, good ol’ boys, an ornery granddad, and a honky-tonk bar scene. The kitchen witch Goodnights don’t really fit in and haven’t gone out of their way to endear themselves to neighbors. Amy is the practical one who gave up all things paranormal as a girl and now spends most of her time doing damage control as the family spin doctor. Ben’s had all levity sucked out of him in the last year as he’s been solely responsible for his family’s sprawling ranch. He and Amy do not get along. The two spend most of their time slinging insults and it’s great. More YA relationships should read like theirs.
It moved quickly, was full of interesting character relationships and quippy conversation. I’ll be checking out the other books by this author because this one was so fun....more
On this week’s episode of Quantam Leap, Mercy wakes up as Carmen. The girl is on her way to a two week stay with a host family for a multi-school choiOn this week’s episode of Quantam Leap, Mercy wakes up as Carmen. The girl is on her way to a two week stay with a host family for a multi-school choir concert. Mercy gets just enough time to figure out her new name before she meets the Daleys, still grieving the two year disappearance of daughter Lauren. She doesn’t know much but decides to help Lauren’s brother Ryan in trying to find the missing girl.
Mercy’s prickly and she doesn’t find a lot to like in anyone. The one person she does like, she does so because of how he looks. He comes at her yelling and she wants to take care of him, something along the line of “shouldn’t boys his age be getting drunk and having fun?” But the people she sees around her that are having fun, she dislikes. She does her good deeds for these girls that she soul jacks and I’m pretty sure the only reason she has a chance to take pity on them is because she doesn’t have to deal with them. And the only reason she ‘helps’ is because past experience has taught her that she’d be bored otherwise. So I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with her.
It’s worth noting that the story is only complete if read with the synopsis. I *hate* that.
There’re tons of possibilities and I’m actually pretty interested in Mercy’s story. So, even though I was bored for stretches of this quick read, I’d like to check out the next book.
(I never knew choirs had such sordid inner workings.)...more
I liked the way the series wraps up with this one, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Demon’s Covenant. It didn’t have as much heart. I think my pI liked the way the series wraps up with this one, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Demon’s Covenant. It didn’t have as much heart. I think my problem was the new POV. The third book is told from Sin’s perspective and she was missing from a lot of the first two books. In this one, she had to constantly overhear or see interactions that she didn’t understand in order for the reader to get the full picture. It put some distance between me and the story....more
Oh, man. This book. “That shit was funny, but it ain’t right.”
We’re introduced to an elementary school aged Davidia. I liked and was nervous for her fOh, man. This book. “That shit was funny, but it ain’t right.”
We’re introduced to an elementary school aged Davidia. I liked and was nervous for her from the start. She was a combination of a Luna-esque loveable weirdo and smelly kid. It doesn’t get much better as we follow her through to high school. The first 70 pages of the book were interesting, but I really started to enjoy the story when she abruptly transforms into Davie. She paints a picture of her new life in LA, complete with new people, covering this new stage in her life. We catch up to Now, where she’s actively involved in her very own Molly Ringwald Ending. Life sucked for a while, then got better, and now has gotten amazing. It’s nothing too fairytale (though there is a meet cute) just a former loser now living a better life.
And then… To backtrack, Davidia was subject to a lot of ridicule as the school/town weirdo (she didn’t talk from the age of six). Her tormentors are actually the reason she left Mississippi on her own as a girl. She may have had some mental health issues and we get that scoop in Part III. At first it was juicy. People are people and you know what? Eff it, sometimes we feel like taking matters into our own, vengeful hands. It’s not right and it’s not good but it feels glorious, so we do it anyway. I was glued to the pages. Then it got freaky. Because along this psycho journey some innocents got ground-into-the-earth stepped on. At this point I knew everyone and had been Davie’s confidant for so long that I was fascinated. It was honest and it was flawed messy, it was awesome. It was all just so fucked up. Truly.
I liked all these characters because they were just that—characters. They were smart, they were pathetic; they were funny, they were heartless. I also liked how the passage of time was noted in small details. There were sprinkled references to styles, songs, technology, or appropriate pop culture. Plus, the book would occasionally hark back to Molly Ringwald’s eighties oeuvre (which I actually kept forgetting was a plot point). The story continually moved forward and I liked the way it was laid out. Very entertaining.
It’s not in-the-grand-scheme-of-things epic, but it is the kind of ‘this girl I know’ epic, stories I would have to phrase that way because I wouldn’t want anyone on the receiving end to judge my good friend Davie. I don’t know that I’d re-read it because stumbling into it unsuspecting was most of the fun, but I’ll be getting my own copy just to keep Davie on my shelves....more
Dying mother. New town, new school. Shocking incident! Fantastical promise and a proposition. And so Kate agrees to a series of tests and the possibleDying mother. New town, new school. Shocking incident! Fantastical promise and a proposition. And so Kate agrees to a series of tests and the possible responsibility of replacing Persephone, of the Persephone myth.
Kate was not my favorite, so I had to work at ignoring her to get to the story. Turns out its Greek mythology veneer doesn’t go very deep. Disappointing. Another kicker was how it came together. Leading up to the fall equinox were just a series of incidents without any story filler. From there, vague characters and exaggerated emotion were tossed together creating situations from nothing. Conversations and actions were improbable with what I was initially given. The idea behind this story could be a very cool thing indeed. Unfortunately, I liked the concept but not much else....more
Lil and her best friend Josh have nothing holding them in town the summer after graduation when an impromptu road trip comes up. IThis was a fun read.
Lil and her best friend Josh have nothing holding them in town the summer after graduation when an impromptu road trip comes up. It’s so rushed in fact, that they stop for clothes and toiletries at touristy places on the way from Illinois to Oregon. Maybe ‘rushed’ isn’t the right word—they need to get outta Dodge to avoid parents, police, and FBI agents and leaving without telling anyone is the best way to do that. Their sorta-friend Penny has staged her own kidnapping, which she happened to mention and confirm to Lillian in what is now the last called logged on the cell phone she left behind (brilliant she is not). Lil and Josh know she has a friend in Portland that she might have gone to, so that’s where they aim. They figure Penny’s fine, if a little unbalanced, and cell reception is spotty in the middle of nowhere which makes it easier to avoid that pesky investigation. So they make a trip of it. It’s Lil’s last chance to see if she and Josh have the possibility of being more than just friends before she leaves for college and he drifts off and does his lackadaisical Josh thing that seems to be his life plan.
I liked Lil and Josh as friends. They were funny and entertaining. Not so great were the snippets from Penny’s POV. I felt bad for her but it wasn’t her story and those bits were odd and off putting. I enjoyed spending time at the Cheese Castle, the Corn Palace, and FantaSuites among other places. For a while I thought the story was going to try to force something, but I was pleasantly surprised at where it did end up. I also liked that this wasn’t some big and improbable love story or even a hint of an issues book (discounting Penny). It was just life—friendship and good times. ...more
Straight up friendship books don’t happen often enough. This one was a little darker than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.
Frenchy and his buddy StewStraight up friendship books don’t happen often enough. This one was a little darker than I was expecting, but I enjoyed it.
Frenchy and his buddy Stewart aren’t really musical theater types. They’re usually more interested in getting enhanced before school than paying attention to what the rest of their class is doing, so it seems like just another prank when Stewart convinces his friend that they need to be in the upcoming play. It messes with Frenchy’s overall vibe when they get parts and have this new responsibility to cast mates, parents, and teachers. Stewart, on the other hand, is a little obsessed with the play. Frenchy’s still waiting for the punch line when it soon becomes clear that Stewart has gone bye-bye.
Frenchy’s perfectly fine being in the background, generally liked, and would rather not get too involved in anything. He’s the sidekick and Stewart is the one planning the pranks. But when Stewart starts acting weird, he’s the first to notice. He’s the only one that sees it’s more than a phase and that Stewart might need some help. When Stewart’s outbursts get more public, everyone expects that Frenchy will handle it. He’s got competitive cast mates, concerned teachers, oblivious parents and a sick friend that he’s now responsible for after years of taking a backseat. It’s a crap position that he’s in and Stewart definitely doesn’t want any ‘help’. Frenchy won’t stand by and make the same mistake he thinks he made last spring when he thought someone else would step in to help his dad. That didn’t end well. It’s hard, but he steps up for Stewart.
Unfortunately, it was well past the first 100 pages before I got into it. After that, I still felt like I was plodding along in places. But Frenchy’s friendship gets five stars. He’s worth them. ...more
So that cover calls out a little soft focus, Glamour Shots 80s-ness. The story inside does not, even though the image has everything to do with the boSo that cover calls out a little soft focus, Glamour Shots 80s-ness. The story inside does not, even though the image has everything to do with the book. (view spoiler)[There is a certain Highway to Heaven, Touched by an Angel je ne sais quoi. BUT, nothing so cloyingly aggressive as either of those. (hide spoiler)] Cover aside, and although I wasn’t expecting to, I enjoyed this.
Charlotte is a scholarship student at a Catholic school. Her best friend Sarah intimidates their classmates and her boyfriend Harlin dropped out the year before. And, yes, he does have a motorcycle. She doesn’t have memories of life before being adopted by Mercy at the age of six, but she’s always had the Need. Charlotte gets sudden and painful compulsions that drive her to help strangers. It’s always for a specific situation and she never knows who, what, or why until she finds what she’s looking for. She’s convinced Mercy, Sarah, and Harlin that she has asthma because she doesn’t want to try explaining the unexplainable. A friend of the family, who is also her boss, might be the only one who can explain it to her.
Based on the characters alone, before the paranormal was introduced, I figured I’d like the book. They all seem good without being goody-goody. Charlotte has an unconventional family (that, huzzah, is just a detail and not part of sad sack back story) and no past. Sarah is a little broken with more bravado than confidence. I like that their friendship feels genuine. There’s whining and harsh truths while still staying us against the world. I thought Monroe might have a cool story, though it never felt like I got to know him. I even like Harlin, and Charlotte and Harlin together to an extent. But they were all just so desperate that I started to feel manipulated. The paranormal gets introduced and I immediately saw where it all was going. But it was different from the norm and it kept me interested. The whole book could have slanted toward goody-goody and I’m glad it doesn’t. Selfish is realistic. I’m equal parts intrigued and wary about where it will go next.
(Again I blame the cover—since I don’t remember much about it except that there were cookies—but this had me thinking about Sati.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Thank goodness, a little funny just when I needed it.
So, Slice really is just that—juicy moments. Darcy’s an entirely average student at a small schooThank goodness, a little funny just when I needed it.
So, Slice really is just that—juicy moments. Darcy’s an entirely average student at a small school. His entire year barely fills a classroom. His slices include drunken parties, run-ins with dumb jock bullies, PE failures, and the girl next door. Oh, and his parents who were worth their weight in gold for the sex talks alone (”Your Mum said I should mention… um… satisfaction.” “What!” “She said young men should know things, should be told things so that the girl won’t be…” his eyes plead for understanding, “… disappointed.”). Seriously funny. Some of that background info seems a little disjointed at first, but there is a story eventually and it’s pretty charming.
It was great getting to hang out with Darcy. He could skate by and have a totally unremarkable life, but he’s got a problem with words bypassing his brain on their way out of his mouth. It gets him into trouble, but it makes him appealing too. My reading had been slumpy for a while, so this was like a palate cleanser in book form (which I mean in the nicest possible way). It was super quick and really enjoyable, the kind of awkward-sweet mix I’d love to see more of. ...more
Still fun, but lacking a little joie de vivre I remember the first book having.
Kat’s back, this time trying to get out of a pickle of her own making.Still fun, but lacking a little joie de vivre I remember the first book having.
Kat’s back, this time trying to get out of a pickle of her own making. Since Heist Society she’s been liberating stolen art and returning the pieces to Mr. Stein, righting past’s wrongs. She’s been going at it alone since this doesn’t really gel with the family’s ideals. Hale tracks her down in time to help out with her latest job, the one that goes all wonky. The name Visily Romani pops up and pretty soon Kat’s crew is coming together to figure this out. There’s a connection to Uncle Eddie’s past and the tiny problem of the target being impervious to cons, having been part of almost every one conceivable. The job was cursed from the beginning.
The wacky is back and still fun to watch. There’s world travel, familiar faces in unfamiliar places, and plenty of on-the-spot BS. I would have enjoyed more time spent on a plausible red herring instead of the sad sack defeat that I guess was supposed to do the same thing. In fact, the same can be said re: my feelings on Kat. I’d like to get to know her better. Still, it’s quick, light and likable—I like seeing the Bad Guy get his. I’ll be checking out what the family gets up to next....more