Good faerie story - mediocre romance. Maybe, if I had not read the exceptionally wonderful "Shiver" before, I would have liked "Lament" more. My expecGood faerie story - mediocre romance. Maybe, if I had not read the exceptionally wonderful "Shiver" before, I would have liked "Lament" more. My expectations have been too high, I guess.
I liked the concept of those evil faeries, inhumanly beautiful, powerful and always enjoying to toy with human prey. The connection to Irish folklore and Irish traditional music was well crafted. The suspense factor was also really high.
What did not reach my heart was the supposedly romantic atmosphere - though a lot of tense and love-filled situations occur. I did not really warm up to the main characters, Deidre and Luke. (I think, I liked best friend James best.) At one point I thought: If Luke is saying one time more "Pretty girl", I am going to barf. In addition those parents of Deidre are such an unbelievably stange set: So enormously distant and cold and always pressuring their daughter to play at weddings and such and telling peolpe beforehand, that she will have to vomit because of the stress.
I liked the second half slightly better than the first. So it's three stars in the end.
I am not sure, if I want to read Ballad sometime. There are still so many other promising faerie stories around. ...more
Sad, funny and very realistic (no high-school fairytale) Underprivileged high-school senior Ashley Hannigan tries hard not to drop out of school duringSad, funny and very realistic (no high-school fairytale) Underprivileged high-school senior Ashley Hannigan tries hard not to drop out of school during the last months. She has more detentions lined-up than days left to sit them off, works her butt off at a pizza parlor in a Romping Rat costume, lives with three siblings and another in the making in a house that is constantly under repair, because her dad has more enthusiasm than time or money, and dates bass-ass TJ, who is not allowed to show himself on school-grounds anymore, but is proud to have secured a one-room-flat with a curtained-off loo for himself and the woman of his dreams. Ashley's best friend is Natalia, daughter of the Russian immigrants next door (Nat's grandmother as well as Ash's mother's numerous sisters provide the light and hilarious moments during the story's course) and head of the prom committee. When the prom is in danger of being canceled, because a teacher stole the prom money, Natalia is devastated and Ashley - prom hater superieur - finds herself up to her neck involved in reorganizing a cheaper alternative - just in order to fulfill her best-friends dream, her life and her attitude towards herself and her future slowly begin to change. The story about a normal kid, bored, down-to-earth, without big dreams and almost no chance against a prejudiced vice principal, touches a core, when that kid decides to get her friend a night to remember no matter the hardship. I can understand that reviewers say Ashley is a heroine, who is hard to like. I liked her nevertheless. But she is no princess, even if her father calls her that. She is an underdog. And I was very pleased to see that things turned out realistically fine for her....more
A satisfactory angel / soul-reaper / paranormal teenage story ... sporting a fantastically cute side-character: Tiny guardian angel Grace (G.R.A.C.E.SA satisfactory angel / soul-reaper / paranormal teenage story ... sporting a fantastically cute side-character: Tiny guardian angel Grace (G.R.A.C.E.S, Guardian, Reaper-Augmented Cherub, Extinction Security, 1-70-6). So sweet and tongue-in-cheek and always making up annoying Limmericks fitting the current situation....more
Working in a Winter Wonderland (Friedman) = 4 stars. I liked that one best - even if it was pretty cheesy. But at Christmas (and at Hanukkah too?) somWorking in a Winter Wonderland (Friedman) = 4 stars. I liked that one best - even if it was pretty cheesy. But at Christmas (and at Hanukkah too?) some kitsch should be allowed. Have Yourself a Merry Little Breakup (Abbott) = 4 stars. Super cute couple. I also understood that sad feeling of fading friedship with former high-school-friends. Stories from a Cinematic New Year's (Malkin) = 2 stars. I didn't like that über-macho, self-centered actor and that slangy language - although the hero emerges somewhat "reformed" from the end of the story. The Christmas Choos (de la Cruz) = 3 stars. Fairly nice contemporary adaption of a well-known classic short story. One of the negative points: I thought more that once "Does she have to through around brand-names all the time?" It was made perfectly clear almost by page one that all the kids in school were rich and snobby whereas the hero and the heroine were working-class with their hearts in the right place. But maybe without all the brand-names the story would not have met the number of required lines. Who knows? ...more
Exactly as stated on the backcover, but different from what I expected. Dumb of me, I know. The story deals with sophomore Frankie Landau-Banks, who aExactly as stated on the backcover, but different from what I expected. Dumb of me, I know. The story deals with sophomore Frankie Landau-Banks, who attends a posh preparatory boarding-school, and her evolution from a mostly overlooked, harmless geek living in her sister's shadow to the successful undercover leader of the all-male secret society "The Bassets", all the while trying to be acknowledged for her exceptional brains instead of for her cute figure and other characteristics that are obligatory for being Matthew Livingston's girlfriend. This was clear to me, somehow before reading the book, yes. But - how can I say it - the story turned out to read less than a story and more like a psychological analysis of the involved characters as props for real-life people instead:It's like these moral tales written for young people a hundred years ago (but rolled-up the other way). Pretty-wrapped into a story are hidden theories on how girls behave when trying to keep a boyfriend, who likes to brag and keeps attending boring drinking-parties (You can almost see the check-boxes: Dear reader, in which category do you sort yourself?), on why guys become members in all-male-secret-societies and do useless stuff there anyway, on why girls are always expected to be non-competitive and so on. These musings are not uninteresting, but they are offered under the pretense to tell a story, they have an academic, almost clinical, by-taste, which keeps the reader from getting close to Frankie and they are simply too many. And - even if it is always made clear, that small-time guerrilla Frankie does not fit any category - often enough I glimpsed a raised finger indicating, what a modern, feminist girl is supposed to think, to do, to feel concerning her place in this world. Maybe it is an age thing. But I did not like it. In addition the so-called story ends with Frankie being unsatisfied with herself and being misunderstood by everybody. Ahh, the burden of a genius. Or what?...more
The best woman-on-board-story since "Pirates" by Celia Rees. A lot of interesting historic details, a captivating story, a slowly maturing heroine, aThe best woman-on-board-story since "Pirates" by Celia Rees. A lot of interesting historic details, a captivating story, a slowly maturing heroine, a little bit of cross-dressing and a nice love story with a swashbuckling bosun's mate....more
What does an urban-fantasy-love-story addict need more? Nothing really – apart from a good story line, carefully built-up suspense, changing points ofWhat does an urban-fantasy-love-story addict need more? Nothing really – apart from a good story line, carefully built-up suspense, changing points of view between the two main characters who should get dear to the reader faster than a heater warms a car’s interior in a Minnesota autumn. Shiver has all that – and more: friendship, mistakes, the pain of growing up, savouring the time you’ve got, desperately wishing for miracles, pounding hearts, not letting go and letting love win, a lot of insight into what it is that makes us human and poetry. What I liked about the werewolf concept was that the shapeshifters shed their humanity completely when becoming wolves: They weren’t mythical in-between-beings. They were wolves. They thought in pictures, lost memory of their names and their past and depending on whether they liked their own human selves or not, they welcomed the obliviation or tried to fight it. Instead of immortality they got animal-sized lifetimes with human summers that shortened from year to year. A wonderful set-up for a werewolf falling in love during his last summer with the girl he saved six years ago from an attack by his pack mates, don’t you think?...more
Surprisingly good. Out of the five stories I liked four. That's good for an anthology. In contrast to others, I enjoyed the Westerfeld-story the most.Surprisingly good. Out of the five stories I liked four. That's good for an anthology. In contrast to others, I enjoyed the Westerfeld-story the most. But I have to admit, it stands out a bit, because it is the only Science Fiction story in the midst of urban fantasy: In a future classroom students attend "scarcity class" and have to chose a self-experience project lasting for two weeks. It is a future in which hunger, illness, long-distance between places, exhaustion and other problems have been successfully solved, but teenagers are expected to understand what ailed their ancestors in old times. So some try out classics like influenza or old-fashioned transport (boats), but the heroine takes on going without hormone stabilizers and and the hero tests what it is like to sleep. I don't know why, but I liked both the setting and the couple immensely. The second best story in my opinion was the selkie-themed love-story by Melissa Marr....more
After reading "Seventh Heaven" I resolved to put a lid on ploughing through Princess Mia's diary which had become extremely difficult to bear. Those lAfter reading "Seventh Heaven" I resolved to put a lid on ploughing through Princess Mia's diary which had become extremely difficult to bear. Those little faults of Mia that made her so endearing in the first volumes wore my nerves thin when they became more and more pronounced instead of maturing off. In addition there was all this worrying about staying a virgin until graduation and finding out whether Michael loved her or loved her not - and what about his virginity... Now I was given volume 10. And I thought: well, mightn't it be nice to know the end of all the struggle. So I skipped volume 8 and 9 (which has proven to be a good idea: I missed two years of depression, therapist sessions, novel writing, I-hate-Mia-Campaigns made by Lilly and smooching the horrible aristocracy leech Jean-Paul Abernathy IV) and got to read a highly predictable, only moderately annoying, but rather satisfying end of the series....more