Up until a few months ago, Cassel Sharpe has spent his whole life feeling ordinary and inferior in a family full of powerful workers. Now he knows the...moreUp until a few months ago, Cassel Sharpe has spent his whole life feeling ordinary and inferior in a family full of powerful workers. Now he knows the truth: he is the most powerful of them all. He is able to transform anything- including people- into anything else with a single touch of his hand. Cassel is still struggling to extract the truth from a life-time of lies when the Feds come to Cassel with the news that his eldest brother, a notorious hitman, has been murdered, and they need Cassel to help find the killer. Cassel isn't so sure he wants to help the police, however, because doing so would put him in a direct collision course with the area's most dangerous crime lord, who also happens to be the father of the girl he is in love with. Soon Cassel will discover the web of lies is thicker than he ever could have imagined, and he will have to use his Curse and his skills to determine the truth in a world where no one can be trusted.
This second installment in the Curse Workers series is just as good as-perhaps better-than the first. The twists just kept coming! Every chapter did that shoulder-tap thing, where they would tap me on one shoulder, and have me look like an idiot when I would glare at empty air. "Haha, gotcha!"
And the plot is intelligent too. Its not just a romance with some conflict thrown around it. Cassel is actually smarter and more informed than his reader, which as how it should be. There is nothing worst than waiting for a narrator to figure something out that you figured out 5 chapters ago.
The characters were complex, and multi-layered. I didn't exactly feel for them, but they sure were interesting. I really am starting to warm up to Cassel, though. Holly Black has succeeded in making a believable male narrator, which is often difficult for female authors to do.
I also love how original and refreshing this book is. There is no other fantasy book out there like it, I'm sure. I love how the magic has consequences, and isn't just limitless power. You wanna erase someone's memories? Say goodbye to a few of your own. You wanna kill someone? No more thumb for you. You wanna transform things? You spend a minute or two in shape-shifting hell.
I like that.
However, I still feel like something is missing. I cannot think of anything wrong with the book exactly, but, yet, it remains off my favorite shelf. Who know? Maybe the third one will break that wall.
I can't wait until the next one!!
Oh, and I love the Jace cameo, Holly. Really subtle. *winks*(less)
I have determined that I will never love Gayle Forman as much as everyone else does. While I appreciated both If I Stay and Where She Went, I never ha...moreI have determined that I will never love Gayle Forman as much as everyone else does. While I appreciated both If I Stay and Where She Went, I never had anything but lukewarm excitement about either of them.
Forman does not tug on my heartstrings, she has never invoked the slightest of tears. This may be because I have never liked her characters. I do not like Mia. I do not like Adam. Adam is pretty much as emo as you can get. Yes, I get it. He's been through pain. If this novel were about something else, and the pain was just one aspect on the book, perhaps I could sympathize. But it was entirely about Adam wallowing and that wasn't entertaining to me. I had the same problem with If I Stay. It just wasn't entertaining to me.
There are a million reviews out there singing this novel's praises, for I am severely in the minority. Really, this review (however imprecise and concise it may be), is nothing more than my informal opinion of it. Do I think this is a bad book? No, I think it has substance and the prose is poetic. But did I enjoy this book? Not really. It couldn't engage me and I will most likely forget about it in a matter of weeks.
Go ahead, love Adam. I won't be joining you. (less)
I'll tell you one reason why this book got 4 stars: Alan. I know y'all like Nick and his rippedness, but Alan is by far the better brother. For instan...moreI'll tell you one reason why this book got 4 stars: Alan. I know y'all like Nick and his rippedness, but Alan is by far the better brother. For instance, he has a soul (even though he doesn't always act like it), he's good-looking and red-headed, and his smart and dangerous. Half the chiz that goes down in this trilogy is because Alan double-crossed someone or made a secret deal. He is just so bad-ass.
So I definitely liked this book being in Sin's perspective, because not only was she an interesting character, I gots to see lots of Alan. It was also interesting to see the core group and their complicated dynamic from an outsiders perspective. Although I understand the gripes that Sin was removed from the plot and the action because it didn't fully concern her, I enjoyed her own personal plot as well as the story more integral to the group. I wouldn't as fully enjoy a book in Alan's perspective, because then how could I be surprised every other chapter when he did something I didn't expect?
I'm not a humongous fan of this trilogy, however. It took me a very long time to catch onto the magic system, and there is still a lot of questions I have. The humor, although hilarious, sometimes distracts from the action. It'll be all serious and revelation-y, and then here comes Jamie with his faithful quirky quip. Sometimes I appreciated that, sometimes I didn't.
Overall, this trilogy is a solid one, one I recommend trying out. It's refreshing, if anything, and it doesn't pussyfoot around. It's honestly surprising and suspenseful and unique, with a cast of character you will grow attached too. And it has Alan. He's my backup fictional husband, after Peeta (less)
Sarah feels like an outcast at her new school, a feeling only exemplified when her science class goes on a field trip to the Everglades. So when a loc...moreSarah feels like an outcast at her new school, a feeling only exemplified when her science class goes on a field trip to the Everglades. So when a local boy named Andy offers her an unauthorized airboat ride, she jumps at the chance to get away from her snarky classmates, and pretends to be sick so she can sneak off. Andy takes her to the heart of the swamp, but once there a horrible accident occurs. Their boat sinks. Now stranded in the middle of the Everglades, surrounded by gators, poisonous snakes, and miles of swamp, these two teenagers will have to wade across the river of grass if they want to survive.
This book taught me a few things: 1. I would not last five minutes in the Everglades 2. Spam isn't all that bad when you are starving 3. Don't let the boy hold the gatorade 4. I'm a cold-hearted person because I would have let that little duck die 5. The difference between the kingsnake and coral snake 6. Gators dig holes 7. 13 yr old girls are dumb
This whole book is because of a pretty poor decision. No, not the one made by Andy, because he forgot to do something to the boat which caused it to sink, but the one made by Sarah. Now, in what universe is it okay to go off with a boy you don't know in the middle of the wilderness without telling anyone else where you are going? Hmmmm? Even aliens ain't that stupid. But she is only 13, and lonely, and she was kind of smart the rest of the time, so I'll let this one slide. But let this serve as a warning. Go off alone with a boy and you will get eaten alive by mosquitos.
Anyway, this was a quick read, and a refreshing one. It was a good ol' fashioned book about survival, and not one about surviving the end of the world, or something like that. This book is a good one for people looking to get away from the vapid drama of most YA novels. These kids here got some real problems.
There were a few other little things that annoyed me besides the blatant mistake of the narrator. First off, Livestrong bracelets? Soooo 2005. Second off, the short (thank heavens) conversation about smoking pot was painful to read about. I think the author should stick to writing adventure novels and never foray into contemporary YA lit. And lastly, I had no idea the main character was black. Was this mentioned in the beginning of the novel and I missed it? I was imagining Sarah as some fair-skinned, blonde girl, but nope. In the last chapters she was all like "I'm black!!" It just threw me off that the picture I made through out the entire book was wrong.
Overall, not something I would usually pick up, so it was different. it reminded me off all the survival books I had to read in sixth grade (Julie of the Wolves, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain), and its nice to see the genre isn't dead.
Thank you Netgalley for letting me view a copy!(less)
I think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the front...moreI think that the marketing of this book is extremely misleading. It looks like a young adult book, with the intense, older-looking model on the front cover, and the synopsis does not mention that Irene is only 13. Once you open up the book, however, it is clear that Irene is young. I would not have read this book if I knew Irene's intended age, because realistic middle-grade fiction does not interest me. This book is just another example of that.
Everything I Was is about loneliness and figuring out that your parents are real people after all. When you are a kid, your parents are infallible. They are always right and do what is right. Then come the moments when your realize that they make mistakes and have faults, just like everyone else.
Irene's father has just lost his job, and they are forced to live with her grandfather as they are no longer able to afford their Manhattan penthouse. Irene's mother can't seem to grasp that they aren't rich anymore, and continues to spend and spend, making excuses up as she goes. Irene sees what her mother is doing is hurting the family, causing tension between her mother and her father, and she hates her mother for it. Irene leaves her grandfather's country home as often as she can, making friends with a family with kids her age. She finds this family remarkable, the way they laugh together, play together, how they can own so little but have so much. With a crush on the oldest boy and friends with the older girl, Irene is sure this is where she wants to stay. But when Irene's mother tries to get them to move back into a stuffy Manhattan apartment, Irene must not only face her mother's faults, but challenge them head on.
This book would have made a good YA book if all the kids had their ages bumped up and if the content was a bit edgier. I mean, if you are going to market it as a YA book, why not?
Two stars, because it was not anything special, but it wasn't terrible either. (less)
This book should be the chiz, right? Gorgeous cover, intriguing premise, and interesting title. But no. No. Not at all.
I took me a couple months to re...moreThis book should be the chiz, right? Gorgeous cover, intriguing premise, and interesting title. But no. No. Not at all.
I took me a couple months to read this book. DOS MESES. I had to force myself to read it, and I insisted on finishing it. This book was a test of my endurance, and I was not going to let it win.
This book was just a hunka hot mess. The prose was off and stilted. Mitchell tried to hard to sound like a Bronte or Jane Austen, but it just made the prose convoluted. I had NO IDEA what was happening most of the time, or who was speaking, because the vocabulary and sentence structure would be so jacked up. That is the opposite of what writing should do. I got a bad taste in my mouth from the very first sentence.
And nothing freaking happened in the book! Just Amelia and Zora being all dramatic and giggly. I hate dramatic gigglers. The cover has the girl running from something with this fearful look on her face.....yeah, nothing like that. Like I said, maybe it did, but I couldn't tell because the writing was so effin horrible.
And what was with Nathaniel? He was the wind or something? He was so creepy. He would just pop in, say something dramatic, touch Amelia's face, and then vanish. I don't get the romance.
I really, really, really, don't understand the the point of this novel. The reader knows the ending before hand, which makes the whole thing (why was it so long! It could have been 4 chapters, easy!) doubly pointless. Just a big anti-climax.
HOW THE HECK DOES SHE HAVE HER POWERS ANYWAY? That was barely even touched upon! Amelia was more concerned that some boy passed a freakin pencil to her cousin in school (since when do Victorian age ladies have co-ed classes!?), then these mysterious visions that foretell people's death.
Gah, so histrionic.
Dislike. Dislike. Dislike. If this book comes near me again, I will burn it. That's the most action it will have ever seen. (less)
17 yr old Maddie lives in the year 2060, where everything, from dating, schooling, and going to the movies, is done online. Ever since her disastrous...more17 yr old Maddie lives in the year 2060, where everything, from dating, schooling, and going to the movies, is done online. Ever since her disastrous rebellion two years before nearly caused her and her father to go to jail, Maddie has lived compliantly with this life, never complaining or yearning for actual physical contact. One day Maddie meets a boy online in school chatroom, and he invites her to actual go to a real tutor session. Maddie agrees and that is how Justin enters her life. Justin is wild and unpredictable, being here for one minute and leaving the next. He hates everything about society nowadays, and embraces actual social interactions. Justin shows Maddie that the best things in life aren't behind the computer screen. Maddie can feel herself falling in love with Justin, even though her father, the founder of Digital School, forbids it. Maddie is torn between doing what is right for her family, and doing what might be right for the world.
This was a good piece of YA dystopian fiction. The world-building was excellent, probably because it is not too hard to imagine a world like Maddie's, seeing as society seems to be heading there anyways. I know I am lazy. I know I depend too much on my cell phone and my laptop. I know that's bad for me. But unfortunately, one of things I disliked about this book is it preachiness. I felt I was getting beamed on the head with my Mac. COMPUTERS BAD. PHYSICAL EXPERIENCES GOOD. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. At least I've seen fire and live music and I have real trees unlike Maddie SO THERE. It's kind of ironic though, because I was reading this book online.....
Maddie was a good narrator. She actually had some hutzpah and wasn't some passive, dependent troll. She actually proved she was intelligent instead of just reading Wuthering Heights for the four billionth time, like that means anything. I liked Maddie. Justin.....eh. Yeah, he was hot, I guess, but most of the preachiness came from him. If he goes on a rant one more time....I also didn't like that he had "I will be aloof to the woman I love because I am not good enough for her" syndrome. Dude, come one. Have some respect. I don't like it when protag love interests think that they know what is better for the protagonist more than the protagonist does.
I really liked the first half of the book, but something threw me off about the second half. It's like someone poured cold water on the book and yelled WAAAIIITTT. I think the sexual tension between Maddie and Justin was drawn out too long. Every time they walked away kiss-less from each other, I let out a frustrated sigh. The second half of the book was mostly on Justin/Maddie romance, and that was Maddie pining for Justin most of the time. The final action scene also felt really contrived.
And guess what! There was a character named Clare that I didn't hate! I'm improving!
Overall, a decent YA dystopian fiction. I wanna know what happens next realz bad.
If you ever read a Jodi Picoult novel, you know the drill. Multiple perspectives, courtroom tension, controversial topic, a little twist, insightful l...moreIf you ever read a Jodi Picoult novel, you know the drill. Multiple perspectives, courtroom tension, controversial topic, a little twist, insightful little quotes here and there. Lately, though, I haven't really liked her novels, the more of them I read, the less I like them. However, this one wasn't too bad. It wasn't my favorite by any means, but it wasn't her worse either. It divulged into corniness sometimes, but there were some humorous moments that, in retrospect, I really wish I had written them down.
My main complaint of this book is Picoult's one-sidedness about the topic at hand. Usually she is very good at maintaining a sympathetic POV on either side of the case, but in this book it is clear she favored one side. On one hand, we have the religious zealots who will do anything to prevent gay marriage, and on the other hand, we have a lesbian couple just trying to get a baby. Just from that description, you can probably tell what side I favor, and it was just as obvious in Picoult's novel. Her treatment of the Christians in this novel was just so harsh. She portrayed all of them as obnoxious, oppressive fanatics, who hide their fear and hate behind the Bible. There was no one in the book that was mildly religious, just obsessively so. Even though I have been confirmed as a Catholic, I don't really practice any faith, but I still felt kind of offended bythe stance Picoult took. I know she was being sympathetic to the defense of gay marriage, a cause I am all for, but she risked being offensive towards religious people, which I did not like.
A minor complaint, but I also felt the timeline of the story was bit rushed. So all in a period of around six months, the principle character, Zoe, has a miscarriage, gets a divorce, has a new best friend, falls in love with the best friend, embraces lesbianism, gets married, decides to have baby, and gets taken to court............gah. Know what I have accomplished in six months? Poo. All that has changed is that my Senioritis is reaching its boiling point.
Overall, I liked it. Even though my review is mostly criticism, I really liked the book. Enough to give it four stars immediately after reading. In retrospect, perhaps it deserves less, but I will leave it as is. A solid Jodi Picoult. A good transitory novel for readers looking to get into Picoult, as well as a solid read for fans.
Thanks, SImon & Schuster for letting me read an advanced copy. (less)