The writing, in third person, was refreshing and lyrical and descriptive. It felt like it was pulling me through the story, guiding...moreWhat a lovely book.
The writing, in third person, was refreshing and lyrical and descriptive. It felt like it was pulling me through the story, guiding me along, and I felt swept away in it.
Black was great at putting her stamp on the characters. Vanessa, the main character, meets a lot of people at her Ballet boarding school and I was never once confused as to who anyone was.
The suspense in this story, by far, the best suspense I've read in a book this year. I had no idea what was going on until the end when it's revealed. In a way, the prologue shows you that something paranormal is going on, which was a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I wished I hadn't known it, because it would have made the storyline more intriguing. But at the same time, it kept me looking out for paranormal clues.
This was a fresh spin on the premise. The author definitely must have studied ballet or did a whole lot of research. I always find it incredibly hard to describe dance in books, but Black was superb. I could picture the dancers and the moves in my head, even though I've never done ballet before.
I do wish the book had delved into the appearance complexes a lot of ballerina's go through while learning. And I'd have liked to know more about the different hobbies or interests the characters had not to do with ballet.
There was a love triangle, but it only ever had one possible outcome. At first, I was on one team, and then I firmly changed my mind. It wasn't done in a cliche way and it fit the story perfectly. At times, Vanessa seemed a lot younger than her years. Naive and innocent. Then other times she was strong and brave. But she was very realistic and human.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this. I loved the cover and I was excited when I was sent the book for review.
At first, this was a great read. I lov...moreI wasn't sure what to expect with this. I loved the cover and I was excited when I was sent the book for review.
At first, this was a great read. I loved learning about the town enclosed by a wall where boys are taken at 18 and escape leads to death. There was a great mysterious atmosphere where the main character was trying to figure out what the Heist meant and why he seemed to have beaten it.
And then the book changed. It went from being something original and unique to your run of the mill dystopian's. The mystery of the town took a back seat and it turned into a story about corrupt government leaders and unveiling the secrets behind that.
Then it changed once more! It went from the dystopian community to escape and training and war.
It felt very unstructured, all in all. Just when I started getting used to one plot, it changed to another. This felt like 3 books in one and because of that I felt that a lot of questions weren't answered and plot holes were just quickly half filled. I wanted so much more from this book, which I thought we could have got if this hadn't have changed so quickly. It didn't feel natural or smooth.
I was also unconvinced by the main character. I liked that it was told from a male POV. I even liked that he was a black sheep and despite not being as good as his brother, still managed to succeed. He was stubborn and rash and rude. But there was one scene at the start which meant I couldn't fully get behind him, and then again at the end.
It is NOT okay for him to attack a woman. It isn't. This was one of the first scenes in a book. He pounds upon a girl who is taunting him and he isn't the least bit sorry about it either. And then towards the end of the book he plays with one girl's feelings for him to make another jealous. But he does it in such an awful way. To purposefully almost have sex with a girl on the other side of the fire to the girl you're in love with. Not cool.
So yes, I was torn about this book. Because despite all the bad points I just wrote about, I tore through the book hoping for something that wasn't there. I did enjoy reading and the pace was fast. But I think I wanted this to be something that it wasn't.
For some reason, I thought this was going to be more fantasy based, with a whole new world created. But this was set in the everyday world, just with...moreFor some reason, I thought this was going to be more fantasy based, with a whole new world created. But this was set in the everyday world, just with a new twist on zombies, which for the record I loved.
Alice has lived all her life thinking her dad is crazy. He believes there are zombies out there that only he can see and they will devour you if they catch you. But they only come out at night. Which means once darkness falls, none of Alice's family are allowed out. On Alice's birthday, she manages to persuade her father to attend her little sister's ballet recital and that's when it all goes wrong. There's a car crash, zombies attack and Alice is the only survivor.
The traumatic event leads to Alice being able to see Zombies and with the realisation that her father wasn't insane, Alice finds others who can also see Zombies and joins their Slayer organisation. But the Zombies seem to be attracted to Alice and no one knows why. And can Alice master her Slayer abilities before she's devoured whole?
There was a fantastic voice in this book. Seriously fun and entertaining. I found myself laughing along with some of the banter between the characters. It was so refreshing to see a main character have just as much personality as her bubbly best friend. Some of their dialogue was a little overboard, but mainly it was great.
The chemistry between Alice and the love interest, Cole, was steaming. He was a little aggressive (okay, a lot) and sometimes came across quite rapist like. But it wasn't serious and I knew it was all banter. I do think his personality is going to rub a lot of readers up the wrong way though.
There was a few things I couldn't quite find believable. Alice's family are all killed and she goes to school a few months later and barely thinks about it again, except as 'motivation' to join this Slayer organisation. Her grandparents were a little too out there, and rather than find them funny, I felt myself rolling my eyes more often than not. The 'friends' weren't really moulded too well either (except Kat) and they really didn't need to be there much. I had no idea what any of the friends looked like.
But what I did like was that Alice suffered. People died. She got injured. Though she was all powerful and special, she struggled and she struggled a lot. Not everyone warmed to her right away and she continuously needed to prove herself with witty and condescending comments. I didn't quite buy her tough girl act. I mean, she's used to be locked up in her house and won't stand up to her parents but she can rage war on the most feared girl at her school?
The beginning of the book didn't match the middle of the book (with almost different characters!) but I did really enjoy this and was entertained from start to finish. I would really recommend this book to urban fantasy lovers out there because it's refreshing different and has great characters. 5 stars.(less)
A fast paced, exciting read that'll have you caught in it's thrall from start to finish.
The story is based in a world where everyone is born with two...moreA fast paced, exciting read that'll have you caught in it's thrall from start to finish.
The story is based in a world where everyone is born with two souls. Eventually, the older you get, the recessive soul fades away leaving only the control of the dominant soul. In the cases where this doesn't happen, people are named Hybrids. They're feared and locked away. Addie and Eva are fifteen-year-old Hybrids. But no one knows, not even their parents. They go to school. They paint. They do homework and hang out. All under the name of Addie. No one knows Eva is still there, weak and unable to take control of their body, but there. And then one wrong move lands Addie/Eva and their hybrid friends locked away in a rehabilitation centre where new testing could not only remove one of their souls, but kill them both.
The story really picks up when they're locked away. At first, Addie is pretty weak. She's used to not drawing attention to herself, but she pretty much does nothing. She plods along and is barely even living. I hated that Eva was tied to her. But then she begins to come into her own more and I began to sympathise for them both. Imagine being stuck in your body while someone else controls it and you can see, feel, hear, experience everything but can't control it? Horrible.
There were some really creepy scenes too. Not creepy as in ghosts, but real. Broken children and adults who like to watch experiments with an empty face. Makes me shudder to think about it. The character motivations and development were great, with the exception of Devon/Ryan who I couldn't get to grips with. He felt like a cardboard cut out of a love interest and had no page presence or chemistry with Eva.
All in all, I enjoyed this a lot. I tore through it and now can't wait for the next book (if there is one - there is, right?!). I'd recommend to dystopian lovers out there, though I'm not sure what era this book was set in considering everything was pretty much the same except you had to be rich to afford a computer?(less)
At first, it felt like wading through a swamp. You were eager to get to the other side, see what the actual plot wou...moreI liked but didn't love this book.
At first, it felt like wading through a swamp. You were eager to get to the other side, see what the actual plot would be, but first you have to trample through a very hard to get through beginning. When I say hard to get through, I mean it was pretty boring. Sometimes I found Amelia hard to read through. She didn't have any great personality traits and I wanted things between her and Joshua to be a little steamier. I mean, they're the main point of the novel, right? The ghost in love with the Seer? But things were lukewarm between them. Not because they had lukewarm feelings, but because they were written that way.
I almost gave up and didn't finish. The beginning DRAGGED and I thought I'd never reach the middle, but when I did, things began to get interesting. Very interesting. From them on out, I was hooked and couldn't stop reading. Major things happen to Amelia, and she and Joshua go through some relationship changes. I think maybe why I liked the middle to end part of the book was because Joshua wasn't really around. Amelia got to find her ownself and actually discover a personality. I liked who she was when she had a friend, not a boyfriend. I worry that the third book will go back to the way the novel started, though because of the way this one ended.
There's an interesting plot development that arises (see what I did there!) in this novel and I can't wait to see how it's later developed. But at the same time, I'm a little concerned that the third novel will go back to the ridiculous and slightly boring love angst between Amelia and Joshua. If it does, I don't think I'll be able to keep reading.
There was a great introduction to new characters, which was very refreshing. I enjoyed reading about them and especially watching Amelia interact with them. Although I did guess the real identity of one of the newbies pretty much straight away.
All in all I give this a 3.5 out of 5. I'll attempt the next book, but I fear for where the author will go with it.(less)
This was a great action packed novel, set in the 1800s. I loved learning about the culture and the society back then. Especially how women are regarde...moreThis was a great action packed novel, set in the 1800s. I loved learning about the culture and the society back then. Especially how women are regarded etc. And the language was very cute and realistic.
I didn't expect the novel to be set in this era, but I found it really worked and made me enjoy the novel more. Eleanor was a great female character. A little spoilt, a little demanding, and very brave. And what I loved even more was that she suffered as a result of her actions. The end of the book didn't end with lots of roses and happy bunnies. She had great consequences of her will to stop the Dead.
The book was a little on the long side, but I was never bored. The chemistry between the characters was great to read about. They were all written very realistically too. I could see and hear them perfectly in my mind. With quirks and little ways of speaking.
The sexual chemistry between Eleanor and the love interest was great to read. It developed at a nice pace, to the point where I kind of just wanted them to stay bickering. Very entertaining. Though this was happening, there was still a lot of action. A lot of Dead to get through, and a lot of secrets to uncover.
A great, fast paced debut that kept me on my toes throughout.
In Callie's world, a war led to am airborne virus that only the elderly and the young we...moreA great, fast paced debut that kept me on my toes throughout.
In Callie's world, a war led to am airborne virus that only the elderly and the young were vaccinated against. Without parents or grandparents, these kids were left to fend for themselves, hiding away from the marshals who arrest and take these kids to horrible institutions. With no money, and a sick brother, Callie knows she needs to do something to keep him safe so she signs up a body bank that allows old people to take over young bodies for a while to relieve their youths. But when Callie's donor chip malfunctions, she wakes up back in her body but in someone else's life, in the midst of an assassination plot.
There were a lot of things to love about this book. Firstly, Callie was a great character. She was brave, and strong and she was realistically motivated. She felt guilt when she needed but she didn't let it eat her up. She knew there was a job to be done. In fact, she acted pretty realistically as a whole. There wasn't a time I can remember where I shook my head in shock at her. And not in a good way, either. When Callie was on a mission, she was on a mission. Her love for her brother was wonderful.
The plot was great too. There was never time to get bored because we, as readers, were constantly taken on a rollercoaster of a ride. One chapter we were in a calm, normal scene and then BAM! We're flipped to a car chase, or gun wielding, or prison break outs. It was great. Lots of intense chapters and ass kicking moments.
I enjoyed the rags to riches aspect of the story too. The mystery and the twists. They were great too. No one is who they seem...
I did have a few questions, though. Like how comes there are NO adults. Surely the scientists would have vaccinated themselves and the rich powerful people would have got vaccinated too. Why were no adults give priority? Like the ones with low immune systems or the mayor/president etc?
My only problem with the book, which isn't really a problem, is that SO much happened and it felt like about three books worth of plot happened in the one. I would have liked time to get to know the characters and digest what had just happened. Sometimes I wanted it to slow down so I could really get to grips with it, but we flew through everything. It was all very fast paced.
Overall, a great debut and a series that will appeal to a lot of readers. 5 stars.(less)
I think 2012 is definitely the year where fresh, great books make a comeback. And this book falls into that category. I devoured this today after...moreWow.
I think 2012 is definitely the year where fresh, great books make a comeback. And this book falls into that category. I devoured this today after starting it a few days ago and getting hit with edits. It was absolutely fantastic. Definitely worth more than 5 stars.
I don't know where to begin really. The setting of the book is set in a city filled with absolute despair. After a horrible plague has wiped out most of the population and forced people into wearing special porcelain masks, there is no hope left and rather than living, most people are merely surviving.
Enter Araby. The daughter of the man who made the masks. She's empty of positive emotions and filled to the brim with survivors guilt. Her twin brother is dead and she feels like she shouldn't experience anything he'd want to experience but never got the chance to. Which made for a very frustrating excuse when she pulled back from two deliciously, equally tempting boys.
This was probably one of the best love triangles I have read about in a long time. Because I just couldn't decide. I thought I was Team Will, but then I became Team Elliott, and this went back and forth for the whole novel. I think I know who I want to win Araby's heart fully now, but no doubt this'll change in the next book. The well developed love triangle is just one testament to Griffin's talent as an author. Her characters felt so real and so did the story itself. Like I could imagine that happening some day soon.
There was a great adventure throughout and I enjoyed spending my time with Araby as she learned which side she was on and what part in all of this she and her family played. There were a few twists, and some deception, and a horrible ending where I actually shouted out "No!" because I couldn't believe it ended there. Griffin's writing was beautiful, simple, and descriptive. It wasn't filled to the brim with purple prose, but there was a beauty in it that flowed well.
I recommend this to all readers who want to read a novel that crosses genres. This can be post-apoc, dystopian, adventure, steampunk, romance...the lot! Seriously, I dare you to read this and not enjoy it. Even if you only read it to spend time with Will and Elliott. 5 stars.(less)
This book starts with a bang. I felt like I was on a roller-coaster of emotions as I read this. Sometimes I was excited. O...moreAnother amazing 2012 debut.
This book starts with a bang. I felt like I was on a roller-coaster of emotions as I read this. Sometimes I was excited. Other times I was frustrated. Other times enthralled. Other times anxious. It was great!
Under the Never Sky is told from dual POVs. Aria, a girl born and raised in a highly tech filled Pod created to protect the citizens from the lethal Aether polluting the air outside. And Perry, an Outsider who hunts and lives in a world filled with tribes and enhanced senses. When the two collide, there's definitely good and bad fireworks.
At first, I was more interested in reading the chapters from Aria's POV. I found her world and her take on the world to be easier and better to read. Perry's chapters were a little slow and a little full of angst. His devotion and care for his nephew was sweet, but at the same time, not too interesting to read about. However, the plot definitely starts to take off when his nephew is kidnapped and he is forced to work with a shunned Aria to get him back.
The book wasn't too long, and didn't read long. But there was so much that happened in the pages that it felt like two books worth of development. Which is good. Rossi manages to realistically develop her characters and their relationships. I love when two characters start off hating each other and then the feelings start to change. It was wonderful to read about. It was also very intriguing to read about their journey and learning things as Aria does. This world was a fascinating one.
The writing itself was easy to read and lovely to picture. Everything was described well, and I had a real image of everything happening. There were certain things I'd have liked expanded upon. For example, the tribe locations and the Aether. There were also a few characters I would have liked expanded upon too. Vale for one. Marron, as another. And definitely Cinder - who was named rather appropriately. Currently, it seems his only purpose was to save the duo in impossible circumstances and to prove that Perry wasn't the Savage Aria thought he was by helping Cinder when he was injured.
All in all though, I really enjoyed this. I cannot wait for the sequel and feel very proud to be part of the Apocalypsies with Rossi! Definitely pick this one up if you like sci-fi dystopians with a well developed romance.(less)
So I'm not sure what to say about this book except that I really enjoyed it!!
Delaney Maxwell is a kind of anti-heroine. She's called beautiful by a fe...moreSo I'm not sure what to say about this book except that I really enjoyed it!!
Delaney Maxwell is a kind of anti-heroine. She's called beautiful by a few guys, but she doesn't see herself that way. Instead, she's a nerdy girl whose clothes are too small and whose waist keeps expanding. She's also a girl who has a crippling over-protective mother. But if your daughter almost died, I'm sure you'd be over-protective too.
The book starts with Delaney waking up in hospital. She remembers how she got there. The first few chapters are very fractured (see what I did there?). She's waking up from a coma. She's learning that she should be dead. She's remembering why she should be dead. She's having lots of conversations with doctors etc. To be honest, the hospital scenes were not my favourite. I felt the story spent too much time there, and once it moved out of the hospital THAT's when things started looking up.
Enter Decker. Delaney's best friend. Her next door neighbour. I loved him. She loved him, just didn't want to admit it to herself. It was his fault why she was on the ice in the first place. He left her to walk across alone and she slipped - the clumsy girl she is - and the ice cracked. While she drowned, their friends held Decker back to stop him trying to save her and drowning too. Until they finally found a rope and Decker made it to the hole where he fell, got dragged back by his friends, Delaney's dead body in tow. Decker is Delaney's hero. Her saviour. It's him who doesn't leave her side at the hospital. Him who sticks by her and cares for her. Him who saves her time and time again. He was the best part of this novel.
There's a big moral dilemma that occurs in this book. If you know someone is going to die, and it's probably going to be painful, do you try and help them die peacefully? Do you try to save them or warn them, even if the end result means the death is worse than it maybe would have been? Or do you stand by and do nothing? Let nature take its course. The same dilemma occurred in The Mark, but wasn't executed nearly as well as here.
I kind of liked Delaney. And I kind of didn't. She was weird, and not in a quirky way. In a socially awkward, emotionally messed up, unfriendly and unsympathetic way. She was selfish, mostly. Her mother and father struggled to help her and she didn't make it any easier. She wouldn't come out and tell Decker how she really felt about him, even though she knew he needed to hear it. She used Janna to help her study and then wanted nothing more to do with her. Despite all of that, I wanted Delaney to do well and survive and be safe. Miranda did a good job in making me feel very conflicted about her characters, because I also liked/disliked the mother and Troy - but he's something else altogether.
All in all, a great read. I devoured this in a day and couldn't put it down. The book dealt well with the moral dilemma and didn't make it come across like being in a philosophy lesson. The relationships were all very realistic and there was enough action, mystery and suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat. I was desperate to see how it all came together, and was not disappointed when it did.
5 stars. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys a contemporary read with the right about of suspense.(less)