Okay, so I liked this one a tad more than I liked Wake. But only because it actually had some semblance of a plot and the writing was a bit tighter.
I...moreOkay, so I liked this one a tad more than I liked Wake. But only because it actually had some semblance of a plot and the writing was a bit tighter.
If only the plot wasn’t so fucking ridiculous and outlandish. I get that this is a paranormal book, so some disbelief is required, but it is just so far removed from reality.
(view spoiler)[Police work is left up to a teenage couple that operate solely on hunches and instinct. Dreams are accurate, relevant, and are counted as evident. Teachers are able to have annual bacchanals with students, without the students ever breathing a word. Every male teacher is a fucking rapist. I just….I just…no. (hide spoiler)].
And there was no suspense. McMann really needs to learn how to employ a red-herring every now and again. It got to the point where I thought the actual bad guy was the red-herring just because it was so boringly and straight-forwardly him.
And Janie and Cabel need to take a chill pill. My God, you would think with all their responsibilities they would be a little less moody. Well, at least there isn’t a love triangle.
I am not exactly looking forward to the final one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When I read Derting's The Body Finder, I was not impressed. After reading the start of her second series....I am still not impressed.
The marketing is...moreWhen I read Derting's The Body Finder, I was not impressed. After reading the start of her second series....I am still not impressed.
The marketing is all there. Gorgeous cover, creative dystopian premise, the promise of romance....All of this is very in right now. Unfortunately.
The weakest part of The Pledge was the world-building. As a dystopian, it was very weak. There is no reason for this world, no how, no why. Supposedly, it was set sometime in the future, as it alludes to current cities, but no world I know would end up like this. This world has magic powers, evil queens, lost princesses, and hidden princes. Sounds like a fantasy, right? Perhaps thats what it should have been: a fantasy. As a dystopian, there are too many logic gaps, which Derting doesn't even begin to explain. Where do the powers come from? What's their purpose? Why the matrilineal monarchy? It's possible she'll get around to it later, but I doubt that. I believe she's hoping we'll just close our eyes and go along with it.
What originally was an intriguing concept, the idea of languages being barriers, soon got mushed into typical YA tropes. The book was basically set up for a romance, one I didn't particularly enjoy. The main character, Charlie (love that name for girls, btw), is a level-headed enough girl in the beginning but quickly dissolves at the first sign of a hunk. It goes as far as there is bombs going off, and Charlie doesn't know if her parents are alive, but all she can focus on is being jealous of some innocent hand-holding. Really, now. And sure Max is good-looking, but he's borderline stalker, and he always tries to get the narrator to do things she doesn't want to do because he wants it for her. And his only excuse for this is he finds her "beautiful and intriguing." Charlie overall isn't particularly special, sure she's got powers, but she doesn't have much personality besides. Her most admirable trait is how much she cares for her sister. But I feel like whenever authors have a lack-luster character, they just make them caring or self-sacrificing, as if that's going to make up for a lack of personality. Derting's other characters were equally flat. They all had one, maybe two good traits, but they didn't feel like real people. Some characters were practically just names on the page.
The plot and writing was easy to slip into, and this book makes for a quick, absorbing read. The plot, while not entirely predictable from the get-go, had twists that smelled from a mile away. Still, it was satisfying to see my predictions come true. It makes me feel ahead of the game. Now that I look back on it, the book was fast-paced, but it wasn't particularly exciting and didn't have much action. The ending was also rather abrupt. As the pages drew closer to the end of the book, I was like "How is Derting going to finish this? We haven't even reached a climax yet..." Then it was over. And I was like "...that was it?" It just wrapped up rather quickly and safely, but there is more to come, this being a series and all.
And on a side note, I was immensely amused that the Queen, an elderly woman, had Darth Vader choking powers. I just wished she was more intimidating.
Hannah spends the first few days of her summer vacation before her senior year crying her eyes out and eating ice cream after she catches her boyfrien...moreHannah spends the first few days of her summer vacation before her senior year crying her eyes out and eating ice cream after she catches her boyfriend, Sebastian, making out with some girl at a party. Not exactly an auspicious start to a summer. What makes it worse is that Hannah's best friend, Ava, is totally ditching her this summer to become a camp counselor in Maine. Hannah, in an effort just to get her ass out of bed, gets a job in a diner along with Ava's boyfriend, Noah, and a hypochondriac redhead named...(crap, I forgot her name)....Lacey? The job at the diner is exactly what Hannah needs to get out of her funk, but things become tricky again when Hannah starts to develop feelings for Ava's boyfriend, which become more and more substantial as the summer goes on. Opening up on the dramatic first day of senior year, the truth about what exactly happened over the summer is revealed, changing the friendships and relationships of the characters forever (or at least a teenage version of forever).
Okay, I forced myself to write that painful, badly-written summary because I didn't want this review to be entirely consisted of ranting. I need at least one semi-pleasant paragraph so I don't seem like a raging bitch.
So now that that's over...... I FUCKING HATED THIS BOOK.
Sorry, I cuss when annoyed.
I have decided Barnholdt is not my cup of tea. This is the second book I read of hers, and both of them have received one star and a punch in the face. Maybe, one day, I shall read one her books again, if her main characters ever grow a brain and if the writing ever evolves from 'LIKE TOTALLY OHMIGOD'.
This book has 34 updates from me. 34 times when I absolutely could not take it anymore and had to publicly announce the stupidity of this book or else my brain would explode. I wish 34 was just the number of times I was annoyed with this book. That number is more like 1, 150, but I could not drag the book on any longer.
Hannah is an idiot. A self-absorbed, worthless idiot with no common sense and no interests beyond Starbucks and her love life. I swear, this girl was depressed about one guy or another for literally 90% of the novel. I have no patience for worthless teenage girls. I am a teenage girl, and I encounter idiots every day. But my god, this book makes it seem like being an idiot is a happy normal thing to do. Sure, everyone is gonna have some drama or another, but it is not the basis for their existence. Hannah was a boring, stupid character. I can't believe some of the things she said. It was like HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO FUNCTION, YOU DUMB TROLL. My god, get a LIFE, girl.
And honestly, she deserved every bit of what was coming to her. Her sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend (the goodreads summary says it was just a "passionate kiss" but it lies) was a long time coming. She could feel herself developing feelings for him and she purposely sought him out. For all the hell her ex-boyfriend put her through, you would think she would have better sense than that. It's not like she didn't know it was wrong, her endless fretting made it clear she knew it was wrong, but she let herself do it anyway. It's kind of like my banana complex. That probably sounds really dirty, but let me explain. *clears throat* I run into bananas. In MarioKart. I can't help myself, I drive right frickin into them. It's not like I don't see them, it's not like I don't want to win (several broken Game Cube controllers over the years can attest to how badly I want to win). But I run into them anyway. One time my brother asked me why I do it, and I didn't even have a response. The reason is probably very profound, or its something as stupid as thinking its fun when my car spins in circles.
So yeah, the whole situation between Hannah and Ava and Noah is kind of like that. But I hate that fucking saying "sometimes it happens". How horribly cliched and pussy-footed is that? "Oops, sometimes my best friend's boyfriend's penis just ends up in my vagina. It just happens.' BULLSHIT. SOMETIMES MY FOOT JUST HAPPENS TO GO UP YOUR ASS. At least, Hannah or Noah never tries to justify their actions, but they still piss me off. I felt like it all was handled in a light sort of inconsequential way. Yes, there was a scream-out in the hall and a fight in the diner, but those didn't seem like long-lasting consequences. There should have been more emotional turmoil than just Hannah moping endlessly. I don't want to get preachy about high school romance and infidelity either, so I'll end it here. But cheating still sucks, no matter how old you are or how serious the relationship is.
I just felt that everything about this book was poor quality. The writing felt like it came from the brain of an illiterate 14-year-old with no real problems except if she'll be home in time to watch Jersey Shore. The characters were either tremendously flat or tremendously annoying or both. The plot was predictable and pretty eventless.
And to top it all off, the main character thought Sting was Bono. WHAT. THE. HELL.
I think I'm done with this book now, guys. I'm just done with it. (less)
15-yr-old Caitlyn Monahan is bored with her life in rural Oregon. She's interested in classical music, art history, period novels, not pop culture and...more15-yr-old Caitlyn Monahan is bored with her life in rural Oregon. She's interested in classical music, art history, period novels, not pop culture and boy drama. When she is offered a full-scholarship at a boarding school in France, she leaps on it. Anything that might introduce her to a more exciting life and a chance to meet her Prince Charming. However, life at the Fortune School isn't as idyllic as she would hope. Caitlyn has always been plagued by frightening and realistic dreams, which she thinks are the result of having a prophetic mother. Now her dreams are becoming more and more intense, immersing her in a world 400 years in the past, a world where powerful women are burned at the stake and young men wear armor on horseback. Caitlyn is thrown into a mystery involving the Fortune School, the de Medicis, and a handsome young man named Raphael.
I think this book is marketed poorly. Its portrayed as a ghostly romance story, but its really not, at least for the first two-thirds of the story. For the majority of the book it is a historical mystery, something I particularly enjoyed. I can see how it might be boring though, to those not interested in the genre. The novel also didn't follow the stereotypical girl-goes-to-boarding-school-finds-out-she-is-special story line. Yes, there were elements in there, such as the smug bitchy girls, but for some reason it just didn't read like standard YA. The tone was different, and it definitely held my interest.
I did not like Caitlyn, however. Her whole thing was "No one understaaaaaands me. I'm too original. I shop vintage!". She is exactly the same as every other frighteningly dull teenage girl, except her taste in music and clothing was "cultured". She was not anything special, and she lacked spunk and (to play off the book's French setting) joie de vivre. Boohoo boohoo, Caitlyn, go whine up someone else's tree. Oh, and I also didn't like how her one main goal in life was to get a guy. Realistic to a vapid teenage girl, perhaps, but it still made her seem shallow. I mean, she's going to live in fucking France and her main concern is finding a hot guy? Remind me, why is she the heroine again? Oh, cuz she is the one thats gots the powahs. Got ya.
Actually, pretty much all the characters lacked life and dimensionality. The most likable for me anyway was Naomi, but that is not saying much seeing as she was also as flat as a penny on the railroad tracks. And the romance between Raphael and Caitlyn was ehhhhhhhh. At first I was like, are they actually going to take it slow for once? How can THIS BE? And then before you know it, they were all up in each other's personal spaces saying how they can't live without each other. Damn, I should have shut off my sarcasm valve. I think I jinxed it. And then Caitlyn got all depressed and shit when she thinks Raphael dies (slight spoiler here, but whatevs). Its like YOU MET HIM LIKE THREE TIMES. And you didn't even know if he truly existed for most of them!! Way to be a Bella, Caitlyn.
Also, I felt like Caitlyn either was slow on the uptake or jumped to miraculous conclusions given few facts. Are you a genius or TSTL? Decide.
Overall, it was different but at the same time painfully disappointing. It has a different vibe from the other YA paranorms (even if this review provides examples to the contrary), but it still wasn't that great. The best aspect for me, easily, was the de Medici/Templar/historical mystery thing. I like me history. (less)
Summer has always been in the shadow of the sister she never met. Shannon was perfect, beautiful, and ambitious, but she died unexpectedly the first d...moreSummer has always been in the shadow of the sister she never met. Shannon was perfect, beautiful, and ambitious, but she died unexpectedly the first day of her senior year. Summer was born not long afterwards, as a sort of a replacement for dead sibling, but she never fully lives up to her sister, not even bothering to try. Shannon never seemed like a real person to Summer, she was just a face in a frame, a name on a plaque, a forbidden topic for her parents, and a burden over her shoulders. That is, until Summer's aunt gives her the journal her sister kept the summer before she died. Summer finally has a chance to get to know her sister, but is it a chance Summer is going to take? It becomes clear from the first page that Shannon isn't the person she thought she was, and Summer isn't sure she's ready for her sister to become a real being.
Then I Met My Sister is a good story about impressions. We all judge people based on a glance or an assumption. Sometimes its easy to think of people in a superficial way, rather to than to acknowledge their secrets and thoughts and feelings. Summer is content resenting her overbearing mother and her meek father, and doesn't really want to see them any other way, which Shannon's journal is forcing her to do. Summer thinks she is beyond judging people, when she hides behind it herself.
This is a pretty average YA novel, although it does have more substance than most. The topics, although not edgy, are not completely light-hearted either. The book makes you think, makes you acknowledge that your parents aren't just parents, and siblings just aren't siblings, they are people. They make mistakes and they can surprise you. (less)
Are you surprised by the three-star rating? Are you that amazed that I actually enjoyed a summer romance book? Well, I kind of surprised myself.
I am...moreAre you surprised by the three-star rating? Are you that amazed that I actually enjoyed a summer romance book? Well, I kind of surprised myself.
I am not a sappy-sap type. Saccharine romances annoy me to no end. And trust me, this book had some gag-me-with-a-spoon moments. And it was certainly frilly. Nothing too deep or controversial. No excessive cussing, no sex, just kissing and hurt feelings. It should have been quite boring actually, added on to the fact that there were no surprises in this book. It was simple and predictable.
So what made me enjoy this book? The atmosphere, mostly. Dalton did an excellent job in creating the feel of a small beach town. The town was close-knit, with everyone knowing everyone else's business. Anna had an expected feeling of claustrophobia in her desire to leave her town and build a new life for herself in a bustling city like New York. Yet, she never was bitter about it. She understood that despite small annoyances and gripes, her town was her family. She loved her life, and she made the reader love it too. Anna appreciated the quirkiness of her town and knew it was special. I loved the setting, from the sticky counters of the icecream shop to the feeling of cool sand on a summer night. Dalton truly invoked the experience of summer.
Also, I did not mind the characters. While they were not particularly memorable, they acted like teenagers. When realistic fiction books portray teenagers, they usually go for the edgier stuff like drinking and sex. Dalton portrays the opposing side, the side that is still awkward and childlike in so many ways. Not all teenagers are jaded and miserable, and Dalton's characters are refreshingly sweet. Anna and Will are cute, to say the least. Their first date was so painfully realistic from every misplaced phrase and awkward silence. Most dates in generally are not suave and sexy, they take a whole lotta work and a whole lotta fretting (at least from my experience). Anna was in puppy love, and understandably so. Will was an attractive, nice guy. The perfect first boyfriend. And their relationship was a healthy one, and even though it seemed doomed, I thought the ending captured the feeling of summer perfectly. Kind of like icecream, it's delicious, but can't last forever. That what makes it so special and bittersweet.
Overall, a cute summer-y read that has me wishing I was out on a beach somewhere. God, I miss summer. (less)
Damn, I haven't written a review in forever. Seriously, I am like 13 books behind or something. So, I am going backwards, reviewing the freshest ones...moreDamn, I haven't written a review in forever. Seriously, I am like 13 books behind or something. So, I am going backwards, reviewing the freshest ones first. Here goes.
This is my second Simone Elkeles book. I read Perfect Chemistry, and enjoyed it, but for some reason it took me two years to pick up another Elkeles.
I'm not sure if How to Ruin a Summer Vacation was the right one for me. Young Adult books are supposedly marketed for teenagers, but I'm not so sure about that one. Just looking at my friends here on Goodreads, most of them are women who love YA just for the escape it provides from life. Even as an honest-to-goodness teenager, I know very few of my peers actually read YA for fun. I am truly an anomaly. Maybe not here on a book site for nerds, but in real life, definitely. Anyway, what was my point?.....oh, yes. To me, Amy was annoying and stereotypical as a shallow, overdramatic American teen girl. Mehbe to "older" readers of YA (I'm not calling you guys old...just more matured), Amy provides a sense of humorous nostalgia. "Ah yes, I remember those days when I would freak out on people for absolutely no reason and cause people to cry for my own twisted sense of self-satisfaction!" But, gah, Amy was annoying She was almost a caricature, her emotions and reactions were so exaggerated. My God, my mother has my permission to beat me down with a hose if I ever acted that way. Don't get me wrong, I am pretty over-dramatic, but I don't assume I am getting drafted into the Israeli Army just because my father is taking me there on vacation. And she was so bitchy and moody and selfish and self-absorbed and lots of other whiney bad things!
Anyway, besides my intense dislike of Amy, I will grudgingly admit, there were some funny parts, and I was grinning through a lot of it. The romance was pretty heated towards the end, even though I cannot see the reason why anyone would want to kiss Amy apart from finally getting her to shut up.
It wasn't a bad book. I learned a little bit about Israeli culture (my public education failed me in that regard). The star reduction was entirely because of Amy. If you can stand her, there is a good chance you will love this book. (less)
This may be the most perfect fluff novel I've ever read. This book takes everything I hate about sappy, cotton candy novels, and does them...more4.5 stars.
This may be the most perfect fluff novel I've ever read. This book takes everything I hate about sappy, cotton candy novels, and does them right.
This book is effing hilarious. When I wasn't laughing out loud, I had this ridiculous grin on my face that just wouldn't go away. I must have looked like an idiot. But a happy idiot.
Anna was just.....awesome. As far as teenagers go, she really is nothing special, but its this averageness that makes her so great, relatable, and funny. In real life, I would want to be her best friend.
St. Clair was...........St. Clair. In real life, I would want to get in his pants.
Yes, this novel consisted of a teenage girl fretting about her love life. But its just awesome. Trust me. Just read it. Please.
Verse novels are really tricky for me. Either I think them beautiful and haunting (Glimpse and Sold), or gimmicky. This one kind of straddled the midd...moreVerse novels are really tricky for me. Either I think them beautiful and haunting (Glimpse and Sold), or gimmicky. This one kind of straddled the middle.
I was so routing for Amber in the beginning. The writing was beautiful, and her backstory was revealed slowly and delicately. Interspersing Amber's musings on the "day before", were notes and letters from her family that allow the reader to examine Amber's situation.
I even liked Cade in the beginning too, when he was just a cute, mysterious boy with a chip on his shoulder. But as the book progressed, I liked Amber and Cade less and less. The poems turned to topics like kissing, and Amber and Cade fell for each other, in my opinion, way too fast. I understand they were both emotionally desperate and stressed, but I think their romance detracted from the better self-discovery aspects of the novel.
Amber began the novel on a solitary trip to sort out her feelings and deal with her problems, but all too quickly, the book just turned to be about a boy. And the world does not need more of those.
I am a girl and I love fantasy and I love strong heroines. Do not ask me why it has taken me this long to read a Tamora Pierce book. Could it be that...moreI am a girl and I love fantasy and I love strong heroines. Do not ask me why it has taken me this long to read a Tamora Pierce book. Could it be that the first book of all of her series are mysteriously missing? (Seriously, this always flippin happens). But one day, I saw this and leapt on it before the magic fairies could whisk it away again (Not as seriously).
In the Tortall world, this is an odd place for me to start. Most of everything has already happened. Although, it wasn't impossible to catch up and keep the facts straight, it wasn't too easy either. And I kept feeling like I was missing something. Some of Pierce's characters from her other Tortall novels kept making cameo appearances, and I felt left out, like I should have been more enthusiastic. (The Lioness, woohoo!). I know how excited I get when Sarah Dessen leaves me with one of her little Easter eggs, so who knows how excited I would be if I had at least read the Alanna books first.
The writing was clunky and serviceable. Not gorgeous prose or elaborate descriptions here. Just phrases like "Nawat picked up his bow and went to patrol the perimeter." (This excerpt is not an excerpt at all, but a random sentence I just pulled out of my butt). It also seemed a tedious sometimes. Some paragraphs were more of a list than anything else. There is just so much information Pierce wants to share with her reader, but she doesn't always do it in an intrinsic, natural way. Even with the prologue-thing that set up the story, there were times when a situation would be created just for the purpose of info-dumping.
The politics were intriguing, but made my head spin. There was a multitude of characters, while mostly flat, they have potential, and I hope to delve more into their personalities with the following book. Also, the girly, romantic side of me wants more romance. More romance, please! And I am reallllllyyy looking forward to Aly's identity reveal. I kept looking for opportune moments in this book. I would imagine situations in my head where Aly reveals her identity to her charges, and was frustrated that it hasn't happened yet. I know I am a mega-dork. I know.
Overall, this will certainly not be the last Tamora Pierce book I read. A good fantasy for those looking to get out of a paranormal rut. (less)