Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards is a book I probably would enjoyed more in my teenage years. That’s not to say I still don’t love revenge storiesGone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards is a book I probably would enjoyed more in my teenage years. That’s not to say I still don’t love revenge stories – I do – but if I’m going to love the plot now, there needs to be a very good motivation for the character(s) to want revenge and the victim(s) must truly deserve it.
That wasn’t the case in Gone Too Far, though it did acknowledge that there’s a person behind a label and that not everybody within a certain clique is the same. The motive of the person responsible for exacting revenge (and later blackmailing Piper) was extremely weak, and Piper herself voluntarily became a co-partner because she hadn't stood up for Stella and had been bullied herself by the popular kids. Thankfully, over the course of the novel, Piper slowly becomes more uncomfortable with her role in the take down of some students and realizes that part of the reason she’s in the mess that she’s in is due to the fact that she’s very judgmental. However, trying to get her anonymous co-partner to stop seeking retribution is another matter altogether. ...more
Although I’d never checked it out, Cinda Williams Chima’s The Heir Chronicles was a fantasy series that I’d heard a lot about in the past. With the reAlthough I’d never checked it out, Cinda Williams Chima’s The Heir Chronicles was a fantasy series that I’d heard a lot about in the past. With the release of the newest book in the series, The Sorcerer Heir, however, I figured I’d give the first book, The Warrior Heir, a try.
Though I found The Warrior Heir to be an okay novel and thought the worldbuilding was pretty solid, the story just didn’t grip me. Not only was The Warrior Heir quite predictable, but its pacing was slow and the characters were sort of boring. Ultimately, I think my younger self would have enjoyed this book a lot more....more
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen was a book that began with a compelling first chapter. However, as I further delved into the novel, theThe 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen was a book that began with a compelling first chapter. However, as I further delved into the novel, the main character began to annoy me and the premise that the book was built upon became confusing.
Despite the mean pranks that Alex pulls, I initially liked Alex because her confusion about her visions and desire to be normal felt very realistic. Over time though, it became clear that Alex is very much ruled by her emotions, which makes her prone to not making wise choices. For example, during one of her visions, she goes against her mentor’s wishes – which she does constantly – to come back to her Base Life in order to spend more time with a guy. It drove me crazy to see how attached she becomes to a guy after knowing him for less than a day!
Another issue I had with Alex was that she made generalizations about all girls based on her experience with just one girl. This quote, for example, really irritated me: “Jensen, if you haven't figured out by now that most girls are shallow, shallow creatures, then there's no hope for you” (97% in my Kindle).
Furthermore, the meandering plot relied very much on Alex being kept in the dark. As such, when explanations were provided, they were given in info dumps and made little sense in the grand scheme of things. In spite of all the terminology thrown around, I’m still very fuzzy on how time travel works in this book and remain clueless as to how Porter, Alex’s mentor, knew in which body Alex would be reincarnated in in Base Life. ...more
Although I haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels, the fact that Jaclyn Dolamore’s Dark Metropolis was compared to her books meant that I had prAlthough I haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels, the fact that Jaclyn Dolamore’s Dark Metropolis was compared to her books meant that I had pretty high expectations for it. For a multitude of reasons however, I ended up being disappointed by Dark Metropolis. Firstly, while reading the book, it was hard for me to get into a rhythm because it kept switching perspectives between different characters, all of whom I found rather dull. On top of that, Dark Metropolis then featured two bland romances, – one heterosexual, one homosexual, – both of which were insta-loves. Finally, I found the worldbuilding to be pretty vague as many things were either explained only briefly or alluded to. ...more
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch was a book that ended up on my radar because of its interesting premise. Unfortunately, the execution was lacking, andPerfected 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"]>...more
Back when I reviewed Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King, I was told by a number of people that I should continue on with the series because it gets better.Back when I reviewed Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King, I was told by a number of people that I should continue on with the series because it gets better. Perhaps the later books do, but that was not my experience with the sequel, The Iron Daughter.
I can’t quite remember if I found Meghan annoying in The Iron King, but I really wanted to punch her after reading The Iron Daughter. It just felt like she was either sobbing or obsessing about Ash throughout the entire book.
I’m still puzzled as to why people have fussed so much over the romance, which continues to feel very forced to me. It’s pretty clear that Ash isn’t over Ariella, but if Meghan’s fine with that, well, there’s another reason that I find her pathetic.
Seriously, if it wasn’t for Puck, Grimalkin (who always seems to conveniently appear to bail Meghan and her friends out of trouble), and Ironhorse, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to finish The Iron Daughter. The question now remains: To read The Iron Queen or not? ...more
When I saw the summary of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn, I thought it sounded like a fun summer read. Unfortunately, wWhen I saw the summary of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn, I thought it sounded like a fun summer read. Unfortunately, while it was pretty easy to breeze through Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend, I found the plot twist to be very predictable and Gemma to be incredibly naïve! Considering that she had been lying the whole summer, how on Earth could that she think that her apology would be accepted as heartfelt?! I also wasn’t thrilled by the ending because I assumed this was a standalone – and there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been one – and so was surprised to find a cliffhanger ending which promises more petty drama for the future. ...more
Since I enjoy reading books that deal with mental issues, Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson was a book that I was looking forward to reading because itsSince I enjoy reading books that deal with mental issues, Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson was a book that I was looking forward to reading because its main character, Caddie, has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to finish Don’t Touch than I expected due to my difficulty in connecting with Caddie. I suspect part of the reason why is because of how much she kept talking about her similarity to Ophelia – something I honestly couldn’t care about.
I wasn’t a fan of the romance either. Considering that Caddie was always acting weirdly and/oe freaking out around Peter, I didn’t find it very believable that he would be attracted to her. I also find it very surprising that people took so long to notice Caddie’s aversion to touch, and just accepted her wearing gloves and constantly being covered at all times as a quirky habit.
What I did like, for the most part, was the depiction of OCD in Don’t Touch. For example, Caddie is quite aware that the thoughts and deals that she makes with herself are illogical, yet she still can’t help engaging in the compulsions that she has. I also liked that Wilson addresses the fact that OCD often runs in families and that its symptoms can wax and wane.
However, I wasn’t too happy with Wilson’s portrayal of the way that Caddie’s OCD is treated. The book makes it seem like OCD is easily cured by a few conversations with a therapist and making the choice to resist one's compulsions (view spoiler)[(as witnessed by Caddie’s miraculous ability to suddenly make out with Peter) (hide spoiler)]; whereas in real life, OCD is typically treated with a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural therapy. As well, those who suffer from this mental disorder are never completely cured as stress often re-triggers the obsessions and compulsions. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Kiersten White's Illusions of Fate was a book I was enticed into reading because of its beautiful cover. Once again though, I got burned for judging aKiersten White's Illusions of Fate was a book I was enticed into reading because of its beautiful cover. Once again though, I got burned for judging a book by its cover.
Although it wasn’t as completely fleshed out as I would have liked (e.g. the rules of magic were slightly confusing, the politics of Alban weren’t completely clear, etc.), the worldbuilding was probably the most enjoyable aspect of Illusions of Fate because it can elicit a discussion about colonialism. Unfortunately, the plot’s main focus was on the insta-love romance, which I could have cared less about.
I also thought that the characters weren’t completely developed. Finn, for example, was one of those characters that you know you’re supposed to swoon over, but I couldn’t muster up much emotion for him because I still felt like I barely knew him by the end of the novel. I did like Jessamin a bit better due to her attempts at trying to be an independent woman. However, her efforts at being indifferent to Finn didn’t last very long, and her tendency to focus on his collarbones was downright annoying! ...more
In comparison to Eileen Cook’s previous books, I’d have to say that her latest novel, Year of Mistaken Discoveries, is probably the most serious in toIn comparison to Eileen Cook’s previous books, I’d have to say that her latest novel, Year of Mistaken Discoveries, is probably the most serious in tone. The subdued humour wasn’t what I was expecting, but I appreciated that Cook decided to try something new.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get fully invested into the story because it involved more telling than showing. We also don’t get to know Nora very intimately, and so her death had little impact on me.
Furthermore, I couldn’t connect with Avery or Brody. In the case of Avery, I think this can partly be attributed to the fact that she herself doesn’t know who she is. Brody, on the other hand, seemed like a guy that I would easily like since he was sweet and honest … but, something just seemed to be missing to make him come alive off the pages.
I really liked the last few chapters of the novel however. Although Avery’s search for her birth mother progressed easily and in an unrealistic manner, the result of her search was unexpected and made her – and the reader – reflect on the definition of family....more
I normally tend to complain if a novel has too much drama, but in the case of Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin, I was mentally preparI normally tend to complain if a novel has too much drama, but in the case of Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin, I was mentally prepared for it. How could a book not be full of drama when the main character’s ex has written a song about her?! Sadly, Another Little Piece of My Heart didn’t live up to my expectations.
I think the lack of drama in Another Little Piece of My Heart can be attributed to the writing style, which forces the reader to spend large chunks of time in Claire’s head. As a result, you get a lot of Claire reminiscing about her past – and thereby, lots of telling rather than showing.
This wouldn’t have been such a big issue if I had liked Claire more. Unfortunately, I found Claire to be whiny, and disliked that she blamed others for making her miserable instead of reflecting on how she herself is partly to blame for her situation. For example, she spends quite a bit of time regretting her breakup with Jared and blames her parents for this decision. Sure, her parents may have disapproved of Jared, but it was her decision to ultimately break up with him!
I also didn’t understand why Claire was still pining over Jared after he wrote a song about her. I know that the two were attracted to each other because of their shared love of music; but besides that, I have no idea what other things they had in common. It would have been nice if their relationship had been more fleshed out so that I could see why no other guy was worth Claire’s time.
Note: I only found out that Another Little Piece of My Heart was a retelling of Persuasion after I finished it. If you’re looking for a great retelling of Persuasion, I’d recommend reading Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars instead. ...more
When I saw the synopsis for Ali Novak’s My Life With The Walter Boys, I expected a light, breezy read. Thankfully, I got that because My Life With TheWhen I saw the synopsis for Ali Novak’s My Life With The Walter Boys, I expected a light, breezy read. Thankfully, I got that because My Life With The Walter Boys was just so full of drama – so much so, that I laughed at times because I couldn’t believe anybody saying or doing anything similar in real life.
There isn’t much of a plot in My Life With The Walter Boys. Instead, the book relies on the reader getting emotionally invested with its characters. For me, that didn’t happen to the degree that I wanted it to.
I’m not sure why some of the Walter boys were so interested in Jackie because I just couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. A couple of characters described her as a goody two shoes, and I think that’s an appropriate description since she was so boring and uptight. I did like though that she refused to be a doormat and let Cole walk all over her.
I also found the romance quite dull, particularly because neither guy appealed to me. Not only did Alex and Jackie have nothing in common, but they had no chemistry whatsoever either. As well, I didn’t like how Alex kept emphasizing that Jackie was his girlfriend because it made it seem like she was simply a property to own.
On the other end of the love triangle was Cole, who I thought was a major ass. Basically, I detested him for the way he treated girls and the way he acted towards Jackie and his brothers when he didn’t get his way.
The other Walters had equally distinct personalities, and I liked the way they interacted with each other. I also found their reactions towards Jackie when she moved in with them to be very understandable. As for the rest of the secondary characters, they were girls whose sole purpose seemed to be to gush over Cole or be one of his hookups.
Ultimately, I don’t think My Life With The Walter Boys and I were a great fit because the book seemed very juvenile to me. Novak apparently wrote My Life With The Walter Boys when she was fifteen, and I find that shows in the book not only through her writing but also because her characters – who were supposed to be older than her – didn’t act like their age....more
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 tSince 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!...more