Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs was a book that started off great, but could have used a little more clarity towards the end. Here’s what I...moreGreta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs was a book that started off great, but could have used a little more clarity towards the end. Here’s what I liked and disliked about the novel:
Pros: - One of two female bounty hunters in the story, Greta is a likeable protagonist who’s quite capable of taking care of herself due to her career choice. However, she also displays moments of physical and emotional vulnerability. For example, having been stuck in Mylena for the past four years, she desperately wants to return home yet also wonders how she’ll fit in once she gets back. - There’s plenty of action in Greta and the Goblin King. - Mylena has tons of fantastic creatures. - I liked the allusions to Hansel and Gretel.
Cons: - I didn’t really enjoy the romance between Greta and Isaac. At the beginning of the novel, Greta is angry at Isaac for manipulating her; but midway through the book, she suddenly starts feeling differently and begins making out with him. The change in heart was way too fast for me! - The attraction between Greta and Isaac stems from their first meeting – a meeting that Greta keeps referring to. However, we’re never given a proper flashback of it, and so I couldn’t really understand why Greta found Isaac so appealing. - There’s a love triangle. Unfortunately, Greta comes to care about Wyatt pretty quickly too. - I felt the ending was slightly rushed and so was left a little confused by the time story wrapped up. (less)
Although Conjure by Lea Nolan is a YA book, it can easily be read by older MG readers because its tone felt a bit younger, particularly since the main...moreAlthough Conjure by Lea Nolan is a YA book, it can easily be read by older MG readers because its tone felt a bit younger, particularly since the main character, Emma, was only fourteen and repeatedly thought about how dreamy her crush was. While I liked Emma, I found her twin brother Jack to be whiny and kind of selfish. To me, the most interesting and unique thing about Conjure was the incorporation of hoodoo. I’m not going to lie: before I read the book, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between hoodoo and voodoo. Not only do I know the difference now, but I actually felt like I learned quite a bit about hoodoo from reading Conjure. It’s very clear that Nolan did a significant amount of research on the topic!(less)
When I first saw the synopsis of Cecily White’s Prophecy Girl, I got excited about reading the book because it reminded me a little of Richelle Mead’s...moreWhen I first saw the synopsis of Cecily White’s Prophecy Girl, I got excited about reading the book because it reminded me a little of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Jennifer Armentrout’s Covenant series, two of my favourite series. Unfortunately, after reading Prophecy Girl, I can say that it is nowhere as well written as the previously mentioned series. The worldbuilding wasn’t fully fleshed out, the plot ended up thoroughly confusing me, the characters were hard to care about, and the romance wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be.
Let’s start with the worldbuilding. When we first meet Amelie, she’s out demon hunting with her friend Lisa. Considering she’s a Guardian, I figured we’d eventually learn all about the different types of demons in her world – kind of like with Jana Oliver’s The Demon Trappers. Instead, the demons in Prophecy Girl appear to be mere distractions that crop up once in a while to supposedly show off how badass Amelie is. Another thing, for example, that was hardly touched upon in Prophecy Girl was the angel bloodline. It appears that a Guardian’s bloodline isn’t based on genetics, but we aren't told what it’s based upon nor is there a clear reason as to why it couldn’t have been based on genetics. We’re also not given much information about the benefits or drawbacks of having one bloodline as opposed to another.
Initially, the focus in Prophecy Girl was on why Amelie’s instructors at school were dying. Later on though, the original conspiracy turns out to be part of a greater plot to cause problems with other Crossworlders – namely, vampires and werewolves. By the end, I had no idea how White made everything tie together as I was just waiting for the book to be over.* I did however accurately predict who the villains would be.
In terms of the characterization, I found most of the secondary characters – Luc was an exception – to be unmemorable. Meanwhile, I thought Jack lacked complexity – oh, and he wasn’t Amelie’s trainer; thanks a lot misleading synopsis! – and disliked how Amelie became more and more special over time, especially since she was so foolhardy.
Although I disliked Amelie and Jack as individuals, they were even worse as a couple because Amelie kept throwing herself at him and he kept giving her mixed signals. As well, the romance was a total insta-love situation despite the author trying to make it appear not as such.
All in all, an incredibly frustrating read!
*Sidenote: The climax was absolutely ridiculous! (view spoiler)[ We of course can’t have the romantic lead dying so Amelie is able to save Jack with her super special abilities. The problem is that for her to give life back, she has to take a life. But, that would mean that our main character is now the one who’s dying and we definitely can’t have that! Luckily for Amelie, Jack has a vampire friend who can prevent her death. Problem solved! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Darker Days by Jus Accardo was a light, entertaining read featuring a feisty heroine and a great mother-daughter relationship. I do think however that...moreDarker Days by Jus Accardo was a light, entertaining read featuring a feisty heroine and a great mother-daughter relationship. I do think however that I was in just the right mood for this novel as I wasn’t as bothered by certain things that typically annoy me (e.g. insta-love).
The main character, Jessie, was someone I liked. Although her choice of curse words was a bit strange, she was relatable for the most part. I also found her to be snarky, loyal and very determined.
Another thing that I liked was the close relationship Jessie had with her mother. It was nice to read a story where the main character not only had good rapport with her parent, but more importantly, idolized them as a role model.
As much as I enjoyed Darker Days, I wish that Jessie and Lucas hadn’t fallen in love so fast. I also found that despite being the personification of Wrath, Lucas was remarkably in control of himself most of the time. It would have been more interesting to see him lose his temper a few more times to remind us that he’s not a normal guy.
The first book in The Darker Agency series, Darker Days wraps up satisfyingly, without a cliffhanger.(less)
Since I haven’t read too many books about witches, I was interested enough by the synopsis of Danielle Ellison’s Salt to give it a try. I also liked t...moreSince I haven’t read too many books about witches, I was interested enough by the synopsis of Danielle Ellison’s Salt to give it a try. I also liked the idea of a witch trying to get her powers back from a demon because it suggested that there would be quite a bit of action in the novel.
While I did get my wish of some action in Salt, I never really got the feeling that something terrible would happen to Penelope or her friends. As well, I wasn’t too thrilled that the action sometimes occurred as a result of dumb decisions made by Penelope.
Despite her tendency of being occasionally stupid, I thought Penelope was a decent character overall. She wasn’t as funny as she thought she was, and fell fairly quickly for Carter; but I liked that she knew she what she wanted and was determined enough to do whatever she could to achieve her goals.
I think where Salt could have been vastly improved was with its cast of secondary characters. Aside from Poncho, I felt that the secondary characters faded into the background, more or less. Even Carter wasn’t as interesting as I thought he would be!(less)
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch was a book that ended up on my radar because of its interesting premise. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking, and...morePerfected by Kate Jarvik Birch was a book that ended up on my radar because of its interesting premise. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking, and more depth was needed from both the characters and the plot.
It was really hard for me to care about what happened to the characters because they had such little personality. Ella, for example, doesn’t even think about how limiting her life is until she’s told so by an activist ... and then continues to make no attempt to change her way of living. Only when her romance is threatened does Ella decide that she wants out.
I found the romance to be cheesy and totally insta-love. (view spoiler)[What seventeen-year-old would give up family, money, and security to be with someone who’s illiterate and knows nothing about the real world?! (hide spoiler)] It also needed more clarity because it just seemed that out of nowhere, Penn went from not being able to stand Ella to being in love with her.
The worldbuilding could have been expanded upon as well because there was no context for how and why the United States would pass laws allowing people to own genetically engineered humans as pets. Nor did I think it was a very realistic idea because why would anybody spend so much money to take care of someone who contributes nothing to society!
A story that ultimately fell short of my expectations!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)