Every once in a while, as story comes along that will completely take me by surprise. That will capture my attention and refuse to let go. Cinder is o...moreEvery once in a while, as story comes along that will completely take me by surprise. That will capture my attention and refuse to let go. Cinder is one of those stories. And I was quite apprehensive about reading it too. What with the fairytale story turned on its head and a cyborg taking the place of the Cinderella we all know and love.
But the thing is, Marissa Meyer isn’t retelling Cinderella at all. This is an entirely different story with some throwback moments to the original. But Cinder stands all by itself as a strong novel with an immensely well thought out plot, characters that are so vivid that you’ll either love and adore them or hate them with a fiery passion, and a setting that comes to life. I loved it!
Cinder is everything a reader could ask for in a heroine. She’s strong, snarky, has quite the attitude, but is also incredibly sweet and loving. She’s a cyborg, but she’s more human than her not-so-nice stepmother. Her relationship with her stepsister Peony is the backbone to the story and Cinder’s love for the young girl comes through in all of her actions.
The plague that threatens Cinder’s home of New Beijing is captivating. The scientists, the research, all of it ties into Cinder’s life and will surprise readers again and again. The growing tension between Cinder’s world and that of the manipulative Queen Levana is palpable from the first page, but the twists thrown in are entirely unexpected and had me unable to put the book down. Readers will be dying to know more about Cinder, about Prince Kai, about Queen Levana, about the plague, and about a past that no one seems to know about.
Cinder will capture all readers, despite it seeming to be targeted towards a sci-fi audience. It is a phenom of a book with so many surprised thrown in to keep readers on their toes, while also adding touches of a fairytale we all know. Marissa Meyer has created the first of what is sure to be an enthralling series that I’m dying to read more of.(less)
The Butterfly Clues begins with a killer opening. . .literally. Gunshots and death kick of Penelope ‘Lo’ Marin’s tale of mystery and thrillin...more2.5 stars
The Butterfly Clues begins with a killer opening. . .literally. Gunshots and death kick of Penelope ‘Lo’ Marin’s tale of mystery and thrilling whodunit. Lo’s brush with death and her subsequent involvement in the murder of the stripper Sapphire drive the entire story. Lo’s need, no urge, to figure out what happened to the girl she didn’t know is unbreakable. As are Lo’s little eccentricities and her OCD habits.
As strong as the story starts off, it does lag quite a bit in the middle. Lo’s habits and urges are interesting enough at first, but I could only take so much tap tap tap, banana-ing. And she does it a lot. And that’s exactly how OCD works – Lo’s debilitating urges are spot on, but when they’re written in a book, they can be too much. I felt like I could never get down to who Lo was and connect with her because all we see are her urges and desire to be someone else. Lo’s OCD took the focus away from the murder and away from the dingy, scary Neverland of Cleveland and the beauty of the sweet boy Flynt.
Parts of the story are also a bit predictable; which didn’t really bother me. For all the parts that were predictable, there were ten other ones that caught me off guard. And even though The Butterfly Clues lags some in the middle, the last third of the book takes off like a rocket. Once Lo starts putting the puzzle pieces together, this complex mystery starts to unravel.
The Butterfly Clues is a mystery novel at its heart. It has a dash of love drama, a handful of family issues, and a whole lot of investigating. It had so much potential to be incredible, but was only just okay for me. I can see many others (and know a good handful of people) loving it though and it is certainly worth checking out.(less)
Embrace has everything a reader could want: a well-executed plot, fantastic characters, a steamy romance, and plenty of action to keep it all going. I...moreEmbrace has everything a reader could want: a well-executed plot, fantastic characters, a steamy romance, and plenty of action to keep it all going. I was instantly enthralled by it and I’m not one to enjoy books about angels. Embrace isn’t like other angel books though because despite having angels in it, the story remains focused on characters, while giving the reader insight about how the angel mythology works.
Violet can be a bit naïve, but she comes across as very sincere and real. She’s not terribly boy crazy or ditzy –though she does have her moments with both Linc and Phoenix; she’s very easy to relate to. Her journey from normal girl to angel is actually exactly how you’d expect it to be. Violet reacts in the right way….but you’ll have to read the book to see what I think the right way is.
Now about those boys: Linc is okay, I guess. That’s the thing with a possible love triangle though. Readers will always pick one that they see as the best. And for me, that wasn’t Linc. I liked him, but he got me quite angry here and there. Phoenix, on the other hand, is sexy and cocky, with just the right amount of sweet. He’s not innocent or all good, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to his darkness. Readers will certainly eat these two boys up!
Embrace takes readers on a wild ride of ups, downs, and startling realizations. It’s the first in a trilogy, so while this one starts the trio off very strong, there is so much more to look forward to. The fighting and action is intense, the smoldering, sexy scenes are as steamy as ever, and the plot will keep you hooked. Embrace will hold up as an easy and favorite read for me…and should for you too. (less)
Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids…they are everywhere, but I can’t complain. Anna Davies’ new tale with the tagline of ‘some things have to be bel...more3.5 stars
Mermaids, mermaids, mermaids…they are everywhere, but I can’t complain. Anna Davies’ new tale with the tagline of ‘some things have to be believed to be seen’ isn’t quite as enchanting as most mermaid stories would seem to be, but that is what makes it stand out and work so well.
From the first page, we meet fun-loving, realistic Miranda. She’s a girl with a great life, despite losing her parents as a child. She lives on the idyllic island of Whym with a wealthy grandma and a great younger brother. She has great friends and a wonderful boyfriend, but small town superstitions run rampant, and when a tragic ‘accident’ causes the death of half of her group, Miranda is devastated.
This mermaid story never truly feels like it’s a mermaid story. Sure, there’s some alluring mermaid and betwitxmen (never heard of them before) lore, but it’s more about Miranda coping in the aftermath of great loss. I could be a little biased here, but I believe the greatest strength that Wrecked has, is that in light of all the fantastical elements, the story comes across as quite realistic; it seems more like a contemporary read than a fantasy read.
All in all, Wrecked has a lot of great things going for it. Miranda is a strong, even though she may see herself as weak; she’s easy to relate to, even though she’s experienced trauma that few ever will. The other, more minor characters are all presented in a very skewed, one dimensional way, but it still works out.
Miranda’s savior and the mermaid element in the story, Christian, doesn’t have quite the depth that is needed to really connect with him; and he brings in that insta-love aspect that so many YA books have, but I got over that easily. Because when he’s around Miranda, he changes her, helping her move past all the terrible things in her life, and I can get behind a guy (or betwixtmen) who can do that.
Wrecked was an easy, enjoyable read, with some new (at least to me) mermaid lore. It’s not the most inventive tale or something full of constant action, but the emotional punch it packed was surprisingly realistic and effective. Regardless of the fact that I really did enjoy it, I have to say that I hated the ended. It felt far too rushed and anticlimactic. Aside from that though, it’s a mermaid story that even fantasy haters will enjoy.(less)
Mermaids seem like quite the hit nowadays and I can’t help but love it! I never imagined myself as a huge mermaid fan, but The Vicious Deep pulled me...moreMermaids seem like quite the hit nowadays and I can’t help but love it! I never imagined myself as a huge mermaid fan, but The Vicious Deep pulled me under its depths (pun totally intended) and I was so taken by Tristan Hart.
Zoraida Córdova has somehow written a believable, fully formed, wonderfully flawed, and realistic male protagonist in Tristan Hart. He’s cocky and self-sure, flirty and devoted; He’s full of jokes and sarcastic comments, but he’s also a genuinely good guy. He cares for his friends, adores his best friend Layla, but is still a teen guy and can be somewhat of an asshat.
The mermaid, or ‘merdude,’ plotline is kind of awesome. It didn’t exactly remind me of any other story I’ve read before, but it still felt a bit familiar. It’s a story that’s easy to read and fun. It has a touch of wanderlust to it, while keeping the reader (and Tristan) grounded in normalcy. Because Tristan is normal…or he was. His new life as part merman takes some getting used to and it lends to some hilarious jokes.
The story unfolds a little too slowly for my liking though. There’s a great deal of world-building, which is done very well, but it takes a long time for something to happen. The story is made up of a lot of character interaction, with some funny jokes that will have readers loving the characters, but I felt like a good chunk of it could have been cut out and the characters still would have translated well.
Córdova is able to pull off a well formed story all the same. The ending wasn’t exactly my favorite, but it left me wanting to see what happens next. I grew attached to Tristan, Layla, Kurt, Thalia, Tristan’s parents, and all the other random characters Tristan met along the way. I was pleasantly surprised by the male POV and how well Cordova was able to channel a male teen character. The Vicious Deep was a long book, but certainly one that I enjoyed reading. (less)
Words cannot adequately describe Harbinger because the book is an explosion of misleading statements and confusing events. The entire time I was readi...moreWords cannot adequately describe Harbinger because the book is an explosion of misleading statements and confusing events. The entire time I was reading it, I was attempting to sort out one clue from the next, constantly wavering between fiction and reality.
Sara Wilson Etienne has crafted an incredible, phenomenal, and radically unique debut that will mess with your mind and open your eyes. It’s part disturbing – it takes place in some future world where cities are full of savagery and scarcity runs rampant – part sexy – Kel is mysterious and dangerous, but definitely has a side of yummy to him – and all-absorbing. Etienne’s storytelling has fast-paced moments, character depth, and a history that is as unpredictable as it is complex.
From the very first page, readers will be taken by Faye, curious about Holbrook, and fearful of what the future holds. The creepy undertones, the nightmares, and looming unknown add this tension to the book that made me furiously turn the pages, desperate for more. The mystery behind Faye and her new Family’s blood-stained hands is ever evolving. One answer only leads to more questions and I was eager to know more.
Harbinger is a bold debut from a hugely talented author. Each and every character has a purpose in the story and wow, is it quite the story! The twists are unexpected and the mystery ever-evolving. Readers will eat it up.(less)