Imposter is a step up in the Slide series, but only slightly. I still feel that the writing is, well, a little basic; it gets the job done, but that'sImposter is a step up in the Slide series, but only slightly. I still feel that the writing is, well, a little basic; it gets the job done, but that's about it. The main plot is an interesting idea that entertained, yet wasn't used to its full potential. I expected it to be darker and for there to be more peril involved, what with an "imposter" involved (imposter is a bit of a misnomer, it's not quite the term I'd use), but it never got close to that point. If there had been more grit and danger, the book could have been a killer sequel instead of disappointing. However, on the plus side, the mystery is tighter and better constructed, and I couldn't say for certain that I had figured it out, but I did have an idea (I so smart. Not.). The other plots are fine, somewhat predictable or didn't go as deep as they could have, but they were alright. All the plots are tied up just a little too neatly at the end, not that there isn't enough of the sliding power to be utilized for future books, but everything ends a little too rosy for the circumstances. Oh well.
In Slide (the first book), I found Vee to be a rather shallow characterization and dim as far as picking up on clues. I'm happy to say that changed in this book. Sure, she said/did stupid things, not because she was dumb, but because people do say and do stupid things, no matter their intelligence. It's a fact (okay, my fact, but it still counts). For most of the book Vee spent a lot of time having a snotty, self-absorbed, "woe is me" attitude, which might annoy some people, but made me believe her as a teenage character. Face it, most teenagers can act like that to some degree or another (I sure know I could be!). I'm not quite sure where the sliding power is going, if I like where it's gone, or if there's even going to be more books in the series, but it is an idea that has many possibilities. I'm just not positive that it'll ever get to them. Overall, a decent book that passes the time, but nothing spectacular that'll blow your mind (maybe, I could just be assuming things again).
Random notes: This series sure has many awesome covers. What is with YA books featuring a female protagonist "borrowing" some of Veronica Mars' back story? This is the second one I've come across. O__o...more
Short synopsis: A deejay, Cilla O'Roarke, in Denver starts getting calls from some creepazoid whose threats intensify with every phone call. The policShort synopsis: A deejay, Cilla O'Roarke, in Denver starts getting calls from some creepazoid whose threats intensify with every phone call. The police enter the scene, one of which is Boyd Fletcher, who immediately falls for Cilla. So begins the romance.
Written for Silhouette's Intimate Moments line, Night Shift is an early Nora Roberts' romance and the first in the Night Tales series. While I didn't expect to be blown away by the story, I was hoping to be passably entertained. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed fairly early on. I got a little taste of what was to come in the second paragraph of the first page:
"Her voice was like hot whiskey, smooth and potent. Rich, throaty, touched with the barest whisper of the South, it might have been fashioned for the airwaves. Any man in Denver who was tuned in to her frequency would believe she was speaking only to him."
Commence internal groaning and eye-rolling. So yeah, that didn't bode well. Still, I surged on, believing that Nora Roberts could make something out of the formulaic plot. Again, I was disappointed. If the focus had been more on the suspense part and less on the "romance," it could have been an okay read. Instead I had to suffer through Cilla's lame hang-ups and excuses for why she can't be in a relationship. All of which could be remedied if she'd just take the time to see a therapist. The only thing that bothered me more was her utter stupidity. She continually left out much-needed information that could help the cops figure out who was behind the threats to her life. Instead, her constant excuses were, "I didn't think of it" or "I didn't think it was important" or other such bullcrap that made me want to slap her silly (if she wasn't already that way). Boyd wasn't bad but he didn't really make a lasting impression either. From the physical description, it sounds like he might have been molded after Clint Eastwood in an homage to Play Misty for Me, but maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there.
Needless to say, the romance wasn't very interesting and bored me more often than not. Boyd pursues and Cilla wiffle-waffles throughout the whole book. She's healed after one night in Boyd's bed and then remembers her "reasons" for not getting serious. He's in love with her after one day (I exaggerate, but only slightly), when they hadn't even had very many conversations to get to know each other, which I suppose isn't very important if, I don't know, you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Not to mention, I never got the impression that Cilla was ever in love with him, even at the end. So much tell and no show. The only thing of note were two secondary characters, Althea Grayson and Natalie Fletcher, partner and sister of Boyd, respectively. I'm hoping, if I decide to read them, that their books will be better. Otherwise, this is wholly forgettable and makes me wish for my time back. Read: June 23, 2013 Reviewed: July 5, 2013...more
A cute look-back at not only graduating year, but the first three seasons the Scooby Gang (known as Slayerettes early in the series) spent at SunnydalA cute look-back at not only graduating year, but the first three seasons the Scooby Gang (known as Slayerettes early in the series) spent at Sunnydale High (R.I.P.). There are different categories dedicated to student life (activities, clubs, sport, etc.), the faculty, an actual (smallish) yearbook picture section, a memorial for both students and staff who've lost their lives, and more, plus two eight-page sections featuring full-color pictures of the stars and letters from both the mayor and, even better, ol' Ratface himself, Principal Snyder. A fun little memento for anyone who loves BtVS....more
The first few chapters of MItW started off well enough, the author captured the coastal town atmosphere perfectly, however, after that it got a littleThe first few chapters of MItW started off well enough, the author captured the coastal town atmosphere perfectly, however, after that it got a little, okay at times a lot, cheesy and eye-roll-inducing. Romances don't have to be that sticky-sweet. What was different and interesting is that the narration was mainly told through the male lead instead of the female; there's not too much of that in romances. The only downfall to the story being told this way was Damon waxing poetic about Sarah the Mysterious, Sarah the Magical, Sarah the Magnificent, Sarah, She Who Walks on Water - seriously, what a Mary-Sue. I'm surprised people didn't address her as Saint Sarah. Everyone in town follows her "advice" (basically she tells them what to do in a roundabout way and they listen), seeks her out to magically fix all their problems, act like she's a goddess, combined, this all made it ten times worse. They just follow her like brainless zombies and never get upset at her poking her nose in their business (not that they all don't do the same in everybody else's). Even though all of that was nauseating, she wasn't the worst Mary-Sue I've run across (Why o' why are there so many of them? Is there a writer's manual on how to write a paragon so that everything they touch, everywhere they go, everyone they meet, they're held up as a supreme being? I wish I was perfect too. :P) and she had magic, so that makes it all the more unfair. Although, who is Sarah besides the saint of this small coastal town? I have no clue, she was never made real, I actually envisioned a golden aura around her like she's some sort of angelic being or something, which is at total odds with her tough defender super hero side. Some girls have all the luck. She has magic, she's as kind as can be, she's perfect in every way (except she's not conventionally beautiful or something, the description was kind of unclear), so of course everyone loves her, she's peaceful and she gets to kick a** like she's Buffy? No freaking way. Where can I sign up?
Another annoyance was "painfully shy" Hannah, one of Sarah's six sisters. Hannah is apparently a model who travels the world, is on magazines, goes on talk shows, etc., even though she is painfully shy. Hey, I can believe someone famous has trouble like that, my problem comes from her "condition" being described as "painfully shy" all the time. It is mentioned in that exact same way, it's never really shy, very shy, extremely shy, or even just plain old shy, no it has to be "painfully shy." In truth, it was only said three times (that I noticed), but in a story that is only around ninety pages, it really sticks out, especially since it was awkwardly brought into the plot. I have a hard time believing this is only shyness, try social phobia or at the very least, some anxiety disorder. Why hasn't she had psychological care? The only remedies mentioned are magical spells and whatnot. While I'm on the subject of Hannah, of whom I know more about personality-wise than Sarah, I might as well mention the jeering and taunting between Jona, the town sheriff, and herself. These interactions are so over-the-top and obvious; we all know where this is going to lead in a future book. And not one of the sisters or Damon notices what is right in front of them. How can they be so imperceptive? What are they, seven? Although I have to admit I'd hate to be called "Baby" or "Barbie" doll too, but then again, I don't look like a Victoria's Secret model, Hannah does.
As for the plot, it was barely there, more time was spent on introducing the sisters, their legacy, characters that went nowhere, and having Sarah sit on a pedestal. Damon would have been more interesting if this had been made into a full-length book - I like the idea of a scientist being confronted with magic - but there just wasn't enough there for a cohesive story. I usually don't write much about short stories but had a lot to say about this one. Obviously. I'm interested in the sisters' stories, I try not to judge authors solely based on a short story, so I will check them out, especially Hannah's. As someone who's been "painfully shy" (couldn't resist) her whole life, my interest has been piqued to see how the author develops Hannah and her shyness in that installment of the series.
I was thinking of giving this an average rating but after writing my review and thinking back on the story, it's just not that good. 2/5 stars...more
I never got around to writing a review, but I found this list lurking in my drafts, so I'm just going to leave it at that.
Likes: *A solid dragon historI never got around to writing a review, but I found this list lurking in my drafts, so I'm just going to leave it at that.
Likes: *A solid dragon history and world-building. *Each dragon has their own colors and specialty. Neat. *It was a nice change of pace that Sara accepted the unbelievable when confronted with it, although at the same time I felt she fell into it a little too easily. So I guess that's a bit of a con as well. *The fight scenes were well-done and quite gruesome. Kudos! *Sophie, the Wyvern prophetess. I liked her and hope she gets her own book.
Dislikes: *Two sensible, logical, practical (as I was excessively reminded) people in a relationship kinda make for a boring read. *Sara: She sounds good on paper, but I always found her somewhat off. Like there's something not quite right. One thing I found odd was no mention of friends. Not even a "I was such a workaholic as a jet-setting accountant that I never had time for friends" throwaway line. Her past was glossed over so whatever Sara either mentioned or thought had no emotional impact. It was all weird. I just never felt she was real so could never emphasize or care much about her. In some ways she was perfect and I can't even recall one flaw. She always had the solution to a problem and was the one that pointed out the obvious, leaving everyone around her amazed at her insight (seriously). *rolls eyes* She is the Seer after all. It's rather annoying really. *The firestorm idea was confusing. Sometimes it seemed to be a mating call type of thing, then at others, more like an event. Maybe it's both, I'm unsure. *How big are the dragons exactly?
I'm not so interested in book two's dragon-shifter Donovan, but Erik, Rafferty, Niall are all promising characters. Besides, Niall's dragonform colors are amethyst and platinum, which are so my colors (Yes, I really am that shallow. :P)....more
The Christmas Killer (aka The Dream Killer) was a Point Horror book I missed out reading when I was younger, so decided to pick it up to enjoy this hoThe Christmas Killer (aka The Dream Killer) was a Point Horror book I missed out reading when I was younger, so decided to pick it up to enjoy this holiday season (yes, I am sick). Rosecleer Potter is a normal, everyday fifteen-year-old girl who has a twin brother, Jerram, and loves to dance. She also just happens to have developed the ability to talk, through dreams, to the recently departed, which starts when an acquaintance disappears and whose body turns up murdered in the woods. Now, as the body count rises, Rose has to figure out how to use her power before the killer gets to her.
The first paragraph almost caused me to rethink my expectations of enjoyment I'd get from the book. The sentences were short and choppy, and if the whole book had been written this way, I don't think I'd have managed to get through it. Fortunately for me, it didn't turn out that way at all. Although there were more short, fragmented sentences, they were few and far between and seemed more of a style choice than anything else.
Rose was a good choice as a lead and had both positive and negative attributes to her personality. She was generally nice but could have moments of cattiness or where her temper got the best of her, which made her more believable. I can't say any of the characters are over-developed, but they are described enough to get a rough sketch of who they are as a person, and there are moments of truth in many of their actions, e.g. the mother's freaking out, the father's clamming up, and the brother's withdrawal and secretiveness. The atmosphere is done extremely well. Even though I don't remember many actual descriptions, I got the feeling of a small town, its claustrophobia, and sense of impending doom all the same.
I have to admit this book surprised me. I went in expecting more of the slasher-type YA horrors I read as a youngster, and was handed a more mature, psychological suspense horror read instead. The plot flows well and has enough clues and red herrings to keep most readers interested. As someone who has read a lot of mysteries, I did figure it out, but it could have gone many ways and still have been satisfying. The ending is the only weak point as it was a bit abrupt and maybe too open-ended, but that's a minor niggle and didn't affect my enjoyment much. As far as I've been able to tell, there is no sequel, which might be for the best. The Christmas Killer was a quick and easy chiller that kept me entertained throughout and I'd recommend it for those who like creepy teen reads.
Originally Reviewed: December 29, 2012 Received: Library...more
Epitaph for Three Women turned out to be far less about these three women than I was led to believe by the book's description. Broken into th2.5 stars
Epitaph for Three Women turned out to be far less about these three women than I was led to believe by the book's description. Broken into three parts titled Katherine of Valois, Joan of Arc, and Eleanor of Gloucester, only Joan, or Jeannette rather, has an actual story that follows her path in life. The other two are background players to the politics going on at the time, especially those concerning the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester and England's fight for France. Whenever Katherine enters the picture, it's all light, airy, and extremely romanticized, especially in regards to Owen Tudor. For most of the book they live a totally idyllic life that doesn't feel realistic in the least. Eleanor Cobham is portrayed as a scheming, crown-hungry social climber who proves far too trusting of witches and soothsayers. Isabeau of Bavaria fares even worse and I got tired of the constant references to how whorish she was. Since this was written, historians have looked into the accuracy of her reputation and dismissed certain facets as untrue. Still, this isn't a completely bad book. Putting aside Katherine's storyline where she only made cameo appearances anyway, I enjoyed the first part the most. Not knowing much about this period, the history was fascinating. The second featuring Jeannette was my least favorite, but I lay full blame at my feet because I have just never cared for Joan of Arc's story, so found most of this part boring. While there was some interesting information in the book, I didn't love the book but it's an easy introduction to this particular time.
For more information on Eleanor Cobham, I recommend Susan Higginbotham's guest post at Madame Guillotine.
Originally Reviewed: October 17, 2012 Received: Local Library...more
3.5 stars Short synopsis: Rock star falls for doctor. Rock star writes song for doctor. Rock star then is in plane crash and is claimed dead. Rock star'3.5 stars Short synopsis: Rock star falls for doctor. Rock star writes song for doctor. Rock star then is in plane crash and is claimed dead. Rock star's brother enters picture. A love triangle and drama ensues as the rock star's sleazy former girlfriend slash back-up singer tries to claim song as her own and does everything she can to get her evil mitts on it. Duh duh DUH....
I first read Sara's Song as a young teen and found the story so romantic that its basic plot has stuck with me since. Being so young, I was able to look past, or more likely didn't notice, the writing, specifically the stilted dialogue. It's so clunky and awkward sounding, everybody talks as if they have the dread virus Verbal Diarrhea where they ramble from one topic to the next and back again using short, choppy sentences. Rather akin to riding a random thought roller coaster, I'd say. After a while the dialogue either became better or I became used to how it was written. There's also some odd adjectives used a couple times (loose-limbed for one) and other words and phrases used too often. One phrase in particular that I've always hated: "It is what it is." Shameful language in (non)spoiler. (view spoiler)[No shit, Sherlock. This is surely one the stupidest expressions I've ever heard and want to punch anyone in the face who uses it (anger issues? Me?! Never!). Of course it is what it is, what the fuck else would it be?! Okay, calming down now. (hide spoiler)] Anyway, seeing as the plot is rather implausible, I'm willing to forgive a lot, it is fantasy after all. Although, I find it very hard to believe a nurse can go from working at a hospital to working at a veterinarian's office. Humans and animals may have similarities but they are different species. There's no way I'd want her to touch my cat without first going back to school and studying to become a veterinary technician. I came across some typos and mistakes while reading the Kindle edition, such as incorrect word usage and random periods thrown into the middle of a sentence. I assume the latter came about through the transfer from paper to digital, but not too sure about the others.
With all that said, I still managed to become charmed by the story, flaws and all (and there are many), and had a hard time putting down the book. That tells a lot, seeing I have the attention span of a fruit fly. Even though this is technically a romance, not a lot of time is spent on developing much of a romance between Sara and Dallas or Sara and Adam, but there's enough that I didn't have a problem. However, what I did have an issue with was timing; I never knew how much time had passed in the book to gauge exactly where Sara and Dallas were in their relationship or how long the duration was between Dallas' "death" and Sara and Adam's attraction, mostly everything appeared to happen far too soon, but it's hard to tell for certain. I liked the characters, they're not anything spectacular or deep for that matter, but basically regular people who talk in an inhuman way. Dallas made some odd decisions that might rile or confound some people but I think that's because (minor spoiler, but nothing integral to the book's plot) (view spoiler)[he obviously suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell out of the tree at age eight. While the book makes no claim of the kind and just waives it off as dyslexia, poor eyesight, and being half-deaf. None of those would explain some of his choices like a brain injury would. (hide spoiler)] But that's just my hypotheses.
While this technically doesn't deserve more than three stars and most aspects could have been stronger and employed more depth, I enjoyed reading the book and was able to get lost in the story of love, loss and happily ever after.
Originally Reviewed: November 9, 2012 Received: Digital copy borrowed from library["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Beautiful imagery and illustrations. Almost made me wish I hadn't seen the movie growing up. Almost. Bradbury has a real respect for the holiday and iBeautiful imagery and illustrations. Almost made me wish I hadn't seen the movie growing up. Almost. Bradbury has a real respect for the holiday and it shows. Halloween has never been about celebrating evil and more people need to realize that....more
Oh boy, where to begin.... I've enjoyed Heather Graham's books in the past as the fun brain candy they can be, sadly this wasn't one of them.1.5 stars
Oh boy, where to begin.... I've enjoyed Heather Graham's books in the past as the fun brain candy they can be, sadly this wasn't one of them. I can't say it's a terrible book, but it's far from good. Everything is just so lifeless, the characters, the mystery plot, the romance, everything was lame and weak. Which brings me to the dialogue which is clunky and often awkward. At one time, Nikki, the main character, had just come from her best friend's funeral and is now at the after-service gathering, where she proceeds to remark to another friend that she and her boyfriend are good for each other. What? How? Who? Who does that? How could you even think of anything else at a time where you're crushed at your friend's death? Totally strange and was one of many instances that took me out of the book. The romance, oh the romance. We get these two supposedly perfect people who both have the personality of a wet rag on a good day, aren't very bright, more so on Nikki's end, don't know each other, never seem to have any conversations, and definitely have no (none! nein! zilch! nada!) chemistry together. Oy vey. Looks really aren't everything. Okay, so the ghosts are a bit more interesting but that's not enough to save the book. Come to think of it, they were actually more alive than the living characters. Ha! Too bad the book wasn't told from their view.
I had issues with the constant PC (politically correct) references throughout, mainly when someone would use the horrific, scarred-for-life-if-uttered I-word. *whispers* Indian.Sarcasm Alert! OMG, did someone just die? I'm so sorry, I meant Native American! Talk about annoying, there were at least three instances of that, one especially stupid. Believe it or not, but there are actually those who prefer to be called (American) Indian rather than Native American.
I don't know if Ms. Graham was going through something or if this was a rush job or what, but this was one boring book filled with boring people who lead boring lives where boring situations may or may not happen, all of which leads up to an absolutely dumb ending to the book's lame plot. It's so dumb I don't even want to think about it anymore. The only thing saving this from one star is that I didn't hate the book, it just didn't inspire me to care one way or the other about anything or anybody in the story. Thumbs down.
Originally Reviewed: October 4, 2012 Received: Digital copy borrowed from my library...more
The Wicked and the Just doesn't have much in the way of a plot, it more focuses on the everyday lives of two very different girls in 13th century WaleThe Wicked and the Just doesn't have much in the way of a plot, it more focuses on the everyday lives of two very different girls in 13th century Wales, one who's English and lives inside the walls of Caernarvon, the other a Welsh servant, who lives outside the walls, than on any particular focal point. This changes in the latter part of the book when an event that has been gnawing at the fringes suddenly erupts.
My first impression of Cecily is that she's a colossal brat. She's English, thinks she's better than the Welsh (while also fearing they're going to kill her) and her so-called "betters" as well, pouts and connives to get her father to do as she wants, complains...a lot, and doesn't seem to like anyone other than the friends she was forced to leave behind, her father (sometimes), and her dog. But can you blame her if that's how she was raised and didn't know any better? My feelings about her ran the gamut, as did her behavior, it had its ups and downs as does just about anyone. She can be quite funny with her sly remarks or thoughts, but she can also be cruel, kind, loathsome, understanding, and pathetic. Everytime I thought I was about to like her, she'd do something terrible and I thought her lower than dirt, then she'd have her eyes opened to see her surroundings and then she didn't seem so bad. It went like that quite a lot, and by the end, I felt quite bad for her. Gwinny, on the other hand, though while I didn't like her exactly, I understood her right away and sympathized with her position. She is one angry and vengeful person, who through sheer willpower, somehow manages to hold most of it back. The sections told through her eyes are usually shorter than Cecily's, but they get right to the point and have enough information that I didn't feel anything necessary was excluded. The interactions between the two girls are fraught with dislike, loathing, and begrudging understanding, before it all starts over again. Until the last section the characters are the main plot, where after that point the story really explodes into a fast-paced, suspenseful read, which I'll not spoil if you're not familiar with that part of history (I wasn't). You couldn't tear this book from my hands during these last sixty pages if you tried, I was absolutely riveted. The emotions were high, the situations scary, and more than anything it made me grateful. Grateful to have a roof over my head, grateful for the food I can afford to eat, just grateful all around that I don't have to live as the Welsh did, as many others did in the course of history. A word of warning, as with changing circumstances in life there is no concrete ending to the story, which suits the book well. It ends while just beginning and I can't think of a more fitting finish to the story. A good, solid, thought-provoking novel that has a possible crossover appeal to both history-loving teens and adults.
Originally reviewed: September 10 Received: Amazon Vine...more
Marketed as a paranormal romance, A Blood Seduction is much closer to the genre of urban fantasy with strong romantic/lusty elements (there is only onMarketed as a paranormal romance, A Blood Seduction is much closer to the genre of urban fantasy with strong romantic/lusty elements (there is only one instance of "doing the deed" and that is very close to the end of the book). Quinn Lennox is the lead, and while she might not be the usual kick-ass heroine usually drawn upon in this field, she is far from the weakling I've seen others refer to her as. Face it, she was in way over her head, there's no way in hell she could ever be a contender against these vampires, at least not in this particular book. Heck, I bet the indomitable Buffy would have had trouble. She could be smart and she made the occasional dumb move, who hasn't? I like the fact that she isn't perfect. Okay, she has to be saved, a lot, and she doesn't have the most memorable personality, but this is only the beginning of the series and there is plenty of time for her to grow and come into her own. I rooted for her all through the book. I wanted Quinn to save her brother Zack and his friend/potential girlfriend, Lily, I wanted her to be able to use her magic, and I just wanted her to succeed and become even stronger as a person.
The world is well drawn, mostly on account of it being a magical copy of Washington, D.C. circa 1860, but with some modern conveniences thrown in as well. Okay, so I did groan at the name Washington, V.C. (Vampire City), it is a bit cheesy, but luckily it was usually called either Vamp City or V.C., which both fit the atmosphere of the book much better. Parts of the city are abandoned and decaying, others a thriving compound for the different vampire families, called a kovena. The vampires themselves are killer, quite literally. Gone are the pantywaists of recent ilk, we're going back to basics (mostly) here. Not only do they feed on blood, but some also have to feed on either fear or pain as well. They go from zero to sixty in about a second, have super strength, mind control, slaves who adore them (called slavas), and boy, are they are mean. But hey, it's just in their nature, they can't help who they are, except maybe for the love interest and possible future heroes depending on how the series goes. For those who are fainthearted, this ain't the book for you. There are numerous disturbing scenes that depict torture or gore, I can handle it, but not everyone can. Ye have been warned.
Speaking of the love interest, Arturo "Vampire" Mazzo, he was, well, certainly mysterious. Due to his unswerving allegiance to his master, Cristoff (who I pictured as (view spoiler)[a 25 year old Lucius Malfoy played by Jason Isaacs, with a black goatee: (hide spoiler)]), Arturo would turn his back on Quinn, yet the further on the harder it was for him to do so. His loyalty was being tested because of his feelings for her. Just to make things clear, this is a messed up relationship, some may not like that, but I thought it added a dose of reality and interest to the circumstances. Sure I felt like Quinn was an idiot at times to be attracted to this untrustworthy vampire, especially the very first scene that just didn't work for me in context, but overall the relationship works for the book. My absolute favorite relationship is the sibling one between Quinn and Zack. I thought the author did an awesome job conveying just how much Zack means to her. Basically he is everything to her and all she has. Her father may be alive but he was never there for her, he always sided with her stepmonster (Zack's mother) instead of his firstborn. Creep. Anyway, despite her stepwitch's hatred of Quinn, Zack adored her from the time of his birth, and vice versa, he's always been there for her, even when she was being punished, and after high school he even moved to D.C. to be closer to her. It's really a sweet and respectful relationship. She'd do anything to save him and she tries like hell all throughout the book, which doesn't always work out so well. To me that shows Quinn is strong. It's not weakness to keep fighting in adverse situations, it's strength of character to keep going even when losing is more likely.
This is definitely the start to a series, and while there is an end to the book, there is still much to be told. In the fates of Vamp City, Quinn's sorcery, the relationship between her and Arturo, plus much more I don't want to give away. I'd recommend that if you're looking for a romance to go elsewhere, but if you're a fan of evil vampires, darkness, don't mind abnormal relationships, and just want to have a bloody good time, then what are you waiting for?!
Originally Reviewed: September 20, 2012 Received: Amazon Vine["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Slide features an intriguing idea though the results left me with mixed feelings. The concept is awesome, but the execution? Yeah, not so muc2.5 stars
Slide features an intriguing idea though the results left me with mixed feelings. The concept is awesome, but the execution? Yeah, not so much. The writing is serviceable, neither bad nor great and it didn't draw me into the story straightaway. Both the way it is written and the storyline reminds me of some of the books I read as a pre-teen/teen way back during the Pleistocene epoch, otherwise known as the 1990s, with authors like Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Diane Hoh, Lois Duncan, Richie Tankersley Cusick, among others. It especially seems to fall right in between Pike and Stine. While the writing is more mature than Stine's, it's not quite as sophisticated as Pike's. The mystery is weak, and by the end, seems pointless as it's totally anti-climactic, over in a flash, like it was written just to finish the book up, and absurdly contrived. The whole ending is totally ludicrous and unbelievable. The clues leading up to it are obvious and not incorporated into the story well at all. These clues were so glaring they all but had a flashing sign pointing to them in cartoon-like fashion whenever they fell into the main character's path. Sylvia a.k.a. Vee wasn't written as a dummy, at first, but boy she was an absolute idiot about those clues and putting two and two together, or really much of anything until it slapped her in the face. While Vee is sympathetic, I can't say I felt much of anything for her, and even less for anyone else in book because of their lack of depth. No one is explained in any detail, either personality or looks, motivations, or whatever. Just a brief shallow summary if lucky. Speaking of.... What has happened in books today where there are no descriptions of how anybody looks, except "I have pink hair," "his blonde hair," or some other toss away adjective? I've seen it over and over again and all I'm left with is the visualization that these people have no faces, much like that episode of Doctor Who (The Idiot's Lantern). Frankly it's all rather creepy.
I feel like this could have been a great book if it was longer (the copy I read is only 250 pages of at least 1.5 spaced lines) and had much more depth. Add in a couple more suspects, motivations, etc., and maybe a little more information on Vee's "sliding" powers. Unfortunately it's only an "okay" read that's easy and moves at a rapid pace. I didn't hate the book by any means, it's just not one that'll stick in my head for more than a few days. On the plus side I love the cover composition and colors, so kudos to the artist(s). This works fine as a standalone, but is now part of a series, for some unfathomable reason. Frankly, I'm getting sick of every book that comes out, most usually in the YA genre, becoming a series. It's ridiculous how few standalone books there are anymore. Still, even with all my grumbling about the numerous series and everything else, I think I will check out Impostor, the second book in the Slide series, as it sounds interesting. Who knows, this might have just been the stepping stone to bigger and better things. Although if Vee is as stupid as she was in this one, I'm outta there.
Originally Reviewed: October 16, 2012 Received: Amazon Vine...more
As I started reading Team Human, I couldn't help but feel this was written as a good-natured poke at Twilight and all the vampire ridiculata left in iAs I started reading Team Human, I couldn't help but feel this was written as a good-natured poke at Twilight and all the vampire ridiculata left in its wake. However, the story leaves its parodying fairly early on and becomes a book in its own right, with characters who have flaws and an interesting world with its own set of rules. All the while written with wit, feeling, and reality.
Mel Duan is the protagonist of the book, who is full of character flaws. She is prejudiced against vampires, rude, thinks she always knows the right thing to do, and is a big buttinsky (I call her Meddling Mel). She's also caring, loyal, helpful, well-meaning, funny, and charming in her own way. Basically, Mel is a real human being. There are two main storylines in the book, the first one about her BFF, Cathy, and her relationship with an uptight vampire. The other dealing with a mystery involving another close friend and her parents. Both are incorporated into the story well, as are the smaller B-plots. Mel doesn't always come across in a very good light, which helps me fall into the world and believe it could be true. Nothing takes me out of a story more than an unrealistically perfect character. Not one of the characters in this book is like that, even Cathy, who does come close. I also love the fact that Mel would typically be the sidekick in any other story and Cathy the main character who falls in love with a vampire. Instead it's the other way around, so we see the over-the-top relationship from the outside, and also from Mel's rather small-minded point-of-view. It's a great idea that luckily works thanks to the talented authors.
The book moves along nicely without seeming hasty, it has lessons that aren't heavy-handed, it features love aspects but it isn't a love story, and most importantly, it has character evolution and believable characters, mainly Mel herself. In the end I was surprised that I had gotten so caught up in outcome of the story and actually cared what happened to these people. Kudos, I'll definitely be reading more from both Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier, and can only hope they conspire to write another book in the future.
Originally Reviewed: February 20, 2013 Received: Amazon Vine...more
3.75 stars Once upon a time there were three beautiful girls who went to the best schools (and speakeasies), and they were each assigned booze and clo3.75 stars Once upon a time there were three beautiful girls who went to the best schools (and speakeasies), and they were each assigned booze and clothes that are the cat's meow. But the flapper lifestyle took them into different directions and now they work to find out who they are and what makes them truly happy. My name is Vixen.
And so you've been introduced to the first installment of The Flappers series Charlie's Angels' style (the best I was able to come up with anyway).
Meet our Angels Vixens: Gloria - She's the one who has it all: the name, riches, looks, clothes, a handsome fiancee, everything comes easily to her, and everybody seemingly loves her. But this poor little rich girl isn't so happy after all and so she begins to rebel. Clara - Burned by her former flapper lifestyle, she's now trying to start over as "Country Clara" without her sordid past coming to light. So has she turned into a goody-two shoes or is it just part of a grander scheme? Only time will tell. Lorraine - Jealous of best friend, Gloria, she's desperate to step out of Glo's shadow to become the center of attention as an individual.
Before getting to my review, there are a few questions that should be addressed: Is this great literature? No. Will this book change your life? No. Will you learn anything from reading this book? No. Well, maybe some twenties' slang. Is this book accurate to the period? No, there are some liberties, but it's good enough as wallpaper to the players and scenes. Is this book entertaining beyond belief? A resounding YES!
VIXEN is very easy to read and captured my attention from the first page, and while it may not be the best book ever, I had a lot of fun reading it. While there's nothing glaringly obvious anachronism-wise, I did question some word choices, phrases, and actions, but overall they were easy to overlook and I likened it to watching A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger. Written in third-person, each chapter focuses on one the three girls' point-of-view, starting with Gloria and continuing with Clara and then Lorraine, throughout the book until the end.
As for the characters, Clara (named after Ms. Clara Bow?) was definitely my favorite to read about, she's recovering from the aftereffects of her life in New York City (which includes a boy, of course), and is trying her best to leave the past behind and move on with her life. Her story had a lot to offer and she felt like a real person who had made mistakes and was now left dealing with the repercussions. Lorraine was a trainwreck you can't take your eyes off of, and while I can't say I liked her, I felt sorry for her. She tries way too hard to stand out and ends up making herself look pathetic; if she keeps it up she'll turn into a very ugly person whom everyone hates. Forget Gloria, Lorraine is the "real" poor little rich girl of the book. She's in the middle of making all the wrong decisions and we're along for the journey, which made her multidimensional and interesting to read about as well. Gloria was my least favorite, mainly because I don't think the author knew quite how to write her. At one moment Gloria seemed like a good girl rebelling, but then there would be moments where she was a real bitch and those two aspects just didn't gel into a cohesive whole. Now if she was seemingly sweet on the outside and really was a conniving bitch underneath, then I'd be on board or at least would get it. But she wasn't that type of bitch and she wasn't Alexis Carrington-bitchy (or insert less-dated reference here) either. How she was written made her look more like Sybil and didn't render me to sympathize with her at all. It didn't help that I felt she was too close to a Mary-Sue for my liking. I don't like perfect or near-perfect characters, they're boring and so was she. What was her motivation for anything, such as singing? Was that always a dream or did it just now come about? Is her recent behavior only happening because she's unhappy? Sorry, but there's just not enough there to make me care about this character. Gloria needed to be more fleshed out to make her feel like a real human, with real thoughts in her head and real feelings, and not a cliched cardboard cut-out.
The love aspects of the novel were fairly glossed over, mainly Gloria and Jerome's story, and felt more like teenage hormones than actual real love. "I don't know you but you're hot and I love you." "Nothing will keep us apart!" "We'll be together forever!" Which is too bad because I like the idea of an interracial romance taking place in the 1920's, it could have been fantastic, but instead was tepid and generally unromantic. It didn't help that half the duo was boring old Gloria and the other half never developed beyond the fact that he's a black musician who's forbidden to her due to the color of his skin. I wished for more impact and still hope for that in the next installment of the series. Clara's budding relationship with Marcus was far more realistic because they actually had conversations *gasp* and was well-paced. The relationships between the girls were touch and go, sometimes they felt authentic, then at other times interactions appeared too advanced to where the relationship had last left off; it was like there were scenes edited out in chunks. The same could be said of the developing romance between Gloria and Jerome.
So a few things bothered me in the book, such as the issue I had with every girl who wasn't one of the main trio being cattily described, i.e. eyes are close together, that color makes her look sallow, etc. Can we get over doing that already? That's not encouraging good behavior. A little more positivity would be a refreshing change. Another thing that annoyed me was at one point, the crap hit the fan and *minor spoiler* (view spoiler)[Gloria's career as a torch singer, which she's naturally perfect at (of course), came out into the open. So who does she immediately blame? Her best friend, Lorraine of course, whom she slaps! And who to this point Gloria had no provocation to even think it'd be her who had spilled the beans. Lorraine had not done anything to deserve Gloria's wrath, or at least nothing she knew about yet, so I don't know if the author had forgotten that fact or what. It did not make any kind of sense because there were other people who knew what Gloria was up to and others who could have easily found out. To me it was sloppy writing. What kind of friend does that make Gloria anyway? Not one I'd like, who always thinks the worst of her best friend without any miniscule proof of guilt. Told ya she was a bitch (hide spoiler)]. There were some minor editing inaccuracies, such as when Gloria's dress goes from gold sequined to red in less than a page (pages 74-5) but nothing too overt to jar me out of the book altogether. Lastly, perhaps there was a bit too much twenties' slang that wasn't always incorporated into the text as smoothly as possible.
Overall, the plots were well-done and moved along at a brisk enough pace that I never got bored. The ending unfolded so that it tied up the multiple plotlines while still keeping plenty of loose ends for the sequel. So, a lot of the book is superficial, in some cases there are caricatures instead of characters, and it is a shallow interpretation of the Roaring Twenties, I don't care, the book is just plain fun and sometimes that's all I need. And while I can't say I loved this book and it totally lived up to its beautiful cover (seriously that dress is gorgeous, though I could do without the pit shot), I was suitably entertained and will read the sequels to find out what happens next, while I keep up the hope that Gloria will turn into a real, live girl.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more