**** 3.5 stars **** Melissa Grey's debut tries very hard to be "Daughter of Smoke and Bones", which it certainly isn't on any level: The writing, the**** 3.5 stars **** Melissa Grey's debut tries very hard to be "Daughter of Smoke and Bones", which it certainly isn't on any level: The writing, the characters and their ability to move your heartstrings, the depth of the world-building, its uniqueness, the complexity of the depicted relationships, the grittiness of real war and so forth are not to be found in this story about a human orphan girl who has one of her feet firmly on the inside of the magical world, hopping from one exotic sounding place to another by means of borrowed magic to do shady deals or flashy heists for her paranormal guardians.
But reading Echo's saving-the-world-while-falling-in-love story has been great fun nonetheless - in spite of the otherworldly, insanely gorgeous, immortal guys, the love-triangle, the rather creepy difference in age and life experience between her and her potential lover and the dangling threads of unfinished thoughts.
I can even imagine reading the sequel when it comes out next year....more
His curls are a dark jungle, bis black jeans (extra-extra-longs) are grubby, which is perfectly normal, but now he's wearing a khaki T-Shirt two sizesHis curls are a dark jungle, bis black jeans (extra-extra-longs) are grubby, which is perfectly normal, but now he's wearing a khaki T-Shirt two sizes too small. The front of it reads Jesus loves you - Everybody else thinks you're a wanker.
Although I don't exactly know what I had expected - apart from great chemistry, extra-ordinary writing and mystery, because no other than brilliant Cath Crawley! blurbed the young adult Aussie Sherlock Holmes retelling, I can safely say it wasn't this.
My main problems consists of the two main characters. I don't get them, I don't get their relationship, I don't like them. James Mycroft (I know the original Holmes isn't particularly endearing either) even repulses me somehow. His slobbery, pig-style method to eat with his hands, his dirty clothes, his chain-smoking habit, his conviction that if you small-talk to the bus drivers (view spoiler)[ or any people in the service providing industry (hide spoiler)] often enough, they gratefully feel your friendship and let you hop on for free, his aloofness that borders on stupidity. When I entered his room, Christmas twinkle lights and all, together with slightly childish, neighbor-besotted heroine Rachel Watts (Watson), I had the strong nasal impression that it must smell unbearably rancid and sweaty-socked. That multi-sensual picture firmly settled itself in my mind before the teenage hobby detectives stuff the rest of the dinner Mycroft had dragged his greedy fingers through into a container or bag to offer their homeless friend in front of the zoo. It turned out to be so off-putting that I have a faint reminder on my palate a day later.
Strangely the ripped jugular of the victim and the consequent gut-spilling did not effect me at all. I repeat: The problem is the characters. Relatable characters are the most important thing for me in any book, chicklit, crime story or dystopia.
There is no way I am going to fall for the duo in the course of this story. Thus I stopped reading at the 17% mark and deleted the sequel from my electronic TBR pile.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Meanwhile I'd spent the whole week fighting the flutter in my stomach that started when he sat next to me in sociology class. I've just read the sneakMeanwhile I'd spent the whole week fighting the flutter in my stomach that started when he sat next to me in sociology class. I've just read the sneak chapters (21 pages only), which is a thing I rarely do, but I had a strangely uneasy feeling concerning the question whether the book and I would fit.
Well, we don't. Right in chapter one the reader is forced to meet that insanely attractive, new, mysterious guy who occupies the heroine's every thought - in spite of her plans to stay attachment-free because of her mother's - who is one of those mostly absent and selfish mothers the YA reader is supposed to hate with passion - habit of spontaneously calling the movers for a van because of her job in the military and in spite of some obvious weird tendencies of Mr. Tattooed-Forearm, like dropping pictures of prickly heroine Avery he shouldn't have in the theater room or speaking about her as being of first level priority to someone on his cell.
I guess the real posh Cinderella-of-a-powerful-family-setting is going to be bomb-dropped on the reader around prom-time, meaning the please-stay-in-because-I-tell-you-to-evening that should start on page 22, but I already know enough to do a brisk U-turn: Unlikable main and side-characters, a strong focus on bad-boy-romance with a second extra-mean, but well-dressed jerk peeking or leering around the corner, an unconvincing writing style and a strong vibe of business-as-usual-YA....more
The writing struck at once a chord. It's quite beautiful, really.
Plus, the comprehensive gothic manor-house-package including grinning porcelain dollThe writing struck at once a chord. It's quite beautiful, really.
Plus, the comprehensive gothic manor-house-package including grinning porcelain dolls, chambers full of one-of-a-kind clocks, hidden rooms, cobwebby nurseries, draughty chapels, squeaking trapdoors, ambivalent housekeepers and mute little servant boys has really been polished to a shining perfection.
On top of that, I had already warmed up to the reluctant, but bright and sassy, Cinderella-style heroine, Katherine Tulman, with her astute views on her money-hunting aunt and her toffee-addicted cousin by page six.
Unfortunately all that brilliant brightness seems to have deserted the seeingly sharp girl's head like warmth deserts a cottage through a cracked window by the time she drinks her first cup of sugared tea in her dusty room: (view spoiler)[ This is coincidentally the second book in a row which displays the main character being repeatedly suddenly dizzy or almost drunk and oblivious to things that happened the previous night without realizing that somebody is systematically drugging them. How very, very cumbersome and annoying for the reader to witness the characters being clueless and only marginally concerned. (hide spoiler)] How could she not investigate the matter, when staff members accused her of having been drunk or tipsy on evenings she had no recollections of? Soon I started skimming Katherine's strange dreams and almost everything that happened after lights-out, because those parts appeared to be pointless and avoidable. The second unforgivable piece of the plot was part of the climax.(view spoiler)[ There was really some kind of stupor befalling me, when I noticed that Davey had really drowned in the canal. I certainly expected him to turn up after the chaos of the flooding had been sorted out. (hide spoiler)]
Those little - but in the large context important - details were more or less responsible for my spoiled enjoyment of the cliffhanger-adorned gentry thriller.
I did not choose to read the book for its romantic parts of the plot - I swapped it on a sudden whim without having heard anything about it before - but I cannot complain about them: The love interest is prickly and moody most of the time, but he has certainly every reason to hold back: Katherine has come to the estate to declare his employer insane and thus to turn him out of work and on the street. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I had sampled the first 25 pages in March and I still was not really sure whether I'd like to read Mim's roadtrip-to-Cleveland story or not. Some elemI had sampled the first 25 pages in March and I still was not really sure whether I'd like to read Mim's roadtrip-to-Cleveland story or not. Some elements were kind of huh?-wacky. But some parts were beautifully phrased. Six weeks later the impressions the chapters had made on me faded and faded and faded ... Not the slightest curiosity remained. I can safely say: I do not need to read it. I won't miss anything life-changing....more
I stopped reading around the 20% mark. Don't bother, Nomes, really . Sometimes I do wonder what publishers are thinking, when they decide to acquire a I stopped reading around the 20% mark. Don't bother, Nomes, really . Sometimes I do wonder what publishers are thinking, when they decide to acquire a manuscript that finally results in a book like 'Breakfast Served Anytime'.
- Four certified brainiac kids visiting a dinner and ordering breakfast, but only one of them has thought of bringing a wallet. - Brainy, I-am-not-so-young-anymore-that-you-would-catch-me-eating-fudgecicles heroine planning to not accept a perfectly good university scholarship, because she wants to experience New York preferably in form of a steep acting career alongside her ballet dancing BFF - without realising the financial strain her preference would place on her single father. - Childish wanna-become-actress choosing a mysterious course about the importance of the written word at the Kentucky gifted-kids resort instead of pursuing something that would add some substance to her daydreaming. - Genius girl hating a hat-wearing boy on first sight just because he had the nerve to grin and bow. - Ehhh ...
Letting the readers watch a character grow up in front of their eyes doesn't mean the character has to be a silly-beyond-her-peers, rhino-skinned, dense and altogether unlikable member of her species first. We readers also notice the fine differences. We are tuned to supple signs and tiny, realistic changes that mean so much. No need to hammer it home by blowing everything out of proportion....more
*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alr*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alright and recommendable apocalyptic read got unexpectedly lost during my perusal of “Part 2”.
I really enjoyed the writing, especially Daisy’s genuine voice. Sometimes I even thought that she talked a little like I do – stringing too many words together to clumsily form a noun, for instance. And her complete lack of worry at the beginning of the – far away – bombings and water poisonings in the promising light of a task-free and adult-free (view spoiler)[ - Aunt Penn is stuck in Oslo when the international airports are closed, but manages to give the kids access to her local bank account - (hide spoiler)] almost-holidays with her cousins felt refreshingly realistic for a fifteen-years-old heroine, who has just fallen in love for the first time.
Unlike some other not quite satisfied readers I did not see anything icky or strange in cousins entering a sexual relationship. I have married first cousins among both my relatives and my friends. I rather got a bit anxious because all the talk of rampant sex never ever included any means of contraception. (view spoiler)[Later Daisy explains that her anorexia had put an end to her bleeding. But until then I unconsciously held my breath for an announcement of an undernourished baby to be born out in the woods. (hide spoiler)]
The big obstacle shadowing my path of enjoyment was the following: The believable war time scenario featuring the British military pocketing usable buildings and spreading rumors, terror and chaos in the name of the greater good changed into something rather bizarre with one single telephone call at the end of “Part 1”, which was quickly succeeded by unexplained events happening at lightening speed and an awkwardly dumped blob of passed time that culminated in a knotted bundle of stickily bittersweet soul-mate melodrama. Rating down seemed to be the inevitable consequence. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I know, I KNOW that 16% reading progress is not much and probably too early to throw the towel for good and to say that I do not believe in being ableI know, I KNOW that 16% reading progress is not much and probably too early to throw the towel for good and to say that I do not believe in being able to change my mind. Should you be outraged about my audacity to rate my meager reading experience, just squeeze your eyes tight and open them after my lonely star has passed you by.
At first the delectably time travel aspect in combination with the first gushy-mushy, over-positive reviews somehow failed to persuade me that I should wish for the book to appear in my hands. I have no explanation whatsoever for my lack of reaction.
Then, when I decided to join my friend Teccc in a spontaneous buddy-read (the Kindle edition is attractively cheap), I had mixed feelings during the first scenes in the prison, because the story and the heroine made no immediate beeline for my heart and I kept picturing Juliette and Adam and their world in earlier-consumed Shatter Me and wished for the writing style I encountered then (not the book’s or author’s fault). The heroine’s unfounded obsession with opening that drain appeared to be a little off and absurd to me – although I understand that time spent in isolation can do a lot of unsavory things to the human mind.
The time machine throttled towards its destination and I spluttered into a scene full of girls I instantly hated (view spoiler)[I guess M...arina and e...M will turn out to be the same person. So hating the former would not have turned out good for my relationship with the book (hide spoiler)], two boys I felt indifferent about (view spoiler)[although one of them, the overlooked one, seems to develop into the blue-eyed hero (hide spoiler)], and a plot that bored me from paragraph one. As M...arina left with the not-yet-replaced boy of her dreams for a fundraising event I decided to leave her universe. And exhaled long and luxuriously in relief. That’s it.
Please read and adore this time travelling romance. You are not me. Apparently.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more