With its creepy cover, Courtney Alameda’s Shutter was a book that I had no plans on reading … until I got a copy of it for review. So, I decided to giWith its creepy cover, Courtney Alameda’s Shutter was a book that I had no plans on reading … until I got a copy of it for review. So, I decided to give it a try, hoping that it wouldn’t be too terrifying.
Surprisingly, I ended up really enjoying Shutter. I don’t generally read horror novels so I don’t know how effective mirrors and cameras are in actually capturing and trapping violent ghosts, but Alameda’s explanations seemed pretty believable to me. I also liked how Alameda incorporated references to Dracula throughout Shutter.
Furthermore, I liked Micheline and all her friends, and thought they had a great group dynamic. In particular, the relationship between Micheline and Ryder as they transitioned from friends to something more was pretty cute and believable. I would have preferred it though if Micheline’s relationship with her dad had been less clichéd and if there had been more females in the novel.
Ultimately, if you loved Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, you’ll probably enjoy Shutter as well. It’s just as violent and gory, but has a slightly more predictable plot. ...more
When I first found out that the release of the final book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, Winter, would be delayed by almost a year, I groaneWhen I first found out that the release of the final book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, Winter, would be delayed by almost a year, I groaned and wondered why I was being tortured. Thankfully, to ease the wait for Winter, Meyer wrote Fairest.
A novel that tells the backstory of Queen Levana, Fairest enables the reader to see Meyer’s villain in a new light. No longer do you just see Levana as some power hungry ruler trying to conquer Earth through biological warfare, but as a more complex character who started with good intentions of wanting to ensure that her home and people prosper. However, years of neglect by her parents, psychological abuse from her sister Channary, and unrequited love eventually cause Levana to resort to any method possible to gain affection. It’s impossible to not pity her by the end of the novel!...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
In Scarlet, Marissa Meyer brings together two separate storylines into one. First, we’re introduced to a new protagonist who is trying to find her graIn Scarlet, Marissa Meyer brings together two separate storylines into one. First, we’re introduced to a new protagonist who is trying to find her grandmother with the help of a mysterious street fighter. A few chapters in though, we rejoin Cinder as she attempts to escape from prison in order to find out more about her past from a woman named Michelle Benoit.
While Cinder won me over in Cinder because she was so different from her fairytale counterpart, I didn’t love Scarlet as much since she was a lot more similar to hers. Thus, like Little Red Riding Hood, Scarlet is rash and willing to trust sketchy strangers. However, I also found her to be loyal, brave, determined and opinionated.
On the other hand, I actually liked Wolf more than Kai. Like Kai, Wolf’s life is complicated; but I feel as if he’s less of a pushover. Plus, Wolf is tough and very protective of Scarlet. I did find Scarlet and Wolf’s romance fast progressing though, and wish that Meyer had given it a bit more time to develop. After all, less than a week passes between the start of the novel and the end.
With the stories of Cinder and Scarlet now overlapping, I look forward to seeing how Meyer will integrate Cress in the next book. With POVs from all sorts of characters in Scarlet, I’m curious to find out whether there will be three main narratives in Cress (i.e. Cinder’s, Scarlet’s and Cress’) and whether Meyer can continue to keep her characters’ voices distinct. ...more
After loving both Cinder and Scarlet, I couldn’t wait to see what Marissa Meyer had up her sleeve with Cress. Originally, I found Cress to be a bit slAfter loving both Cinder and Scarlet, I couldn’t wait to see what Marissa Meyer had up her sleeve with Cress. Originally, I found Cress to be a bit slow, but eventually the plot picked up and I ended up drawn into the story.
Unlike Cinder and Scarlet who were strong heroines right off the bat, Cress starts off very much as a damsel in distress. Having been socially isolated for years, she also made me laugh at her naivete. I found it so cute how she built up this fantasy of Thorne in her head and decided she was in love with him even before meeting him.
I thought Thorne therefore was the perfect romantic interest for Cress because of how he complemented her. Whereas Cress is socially awkward, Thorne is charming and was able to deal with Cress’ crush without coming off like a jerk. In this manner, Meyer also successfully avoided a case of insta-love, which was awesome.
Of course, Cinder's and Scarlet’s storylines are marvelously interwoven; and it’s obvious that the world and characters that Meyer has created aren’t too big for her to handle. Aside from being reunited with everybody, readers will also meet the very intriguing Jacin and get a glimpse into the complex mind of Winter.
With the way things ended in Cress, Winter definitely tops my list of must-reads for 2015!...more
Life Is But a Dream by Brian James was a book that took me a while to get into because of its slow pace, especially in the first half. However, I alsoLife Is But a Dream by Brian James was a book that took me a while to get into because of its slow pace, especially in the first half. However, I also thought this was an advantage because it enables you to enjoy this beautifully written novel and really get into the mind of Sabrina as she slowly starts unraveling again.
When we first meet Sabrina, she’s at the Wellness Center; and her schizophrenia seems to be under control. By interspersing flashbacks throughout the novel, I thought James did a good job of showing the difference in Sabrina’s behaviour and personality in the present as opposed to them in the past.
As well, I found Sabrina’s perspective on her disorder to be pretty interesting. You can kind of understand why she doesn’t want to change and misses her old self, but at the same time, as an observer, you realize just how blurred the line between reality and imagination is for Sabrina when she’s having hallucinations or delusions. For me, reading Life Is But a Dream was sobering and scary because schizophrenia is an actual disorder that makes life very disorienting. James gives you a glimpse of that reality when Sabrina starts having hallucinations and delusions again. This makes her narrative unique, and it's jarring when her flashbacks start colliding with the present.
The romance in Life Is But a Dream wasn’t as enjoyable because it felt sort of fake. I also didn’t like the character of Alec because I thought he was a bad influence on Sabrina and didn’t understand how serious her disorder was. It’s hard for me to understand why a place like the Wellness Center would accept someone like Alec, and hope situations like that don’t occur very often in real life – or if they do, people need to be monitored more....more
Right off the bat, I found myself getting annoyed with Anna Banks’ Of Poseidon due to the characters. I thought perhaps I was being overly critical anRight off the bat, I found myself getting annoyed with Anna Banks’ Of Poseidon due to the characters. I thought perhaps I was being overly critical and so kept reading; but the more I read, the more the characters irritated me. Here are some reasons why: - The book opens with Emma giving an inner monologue that runs a page and a half about how bumping into a hot guy is, like, the most humiliating thing ever. It happens; move on! - Another one of Emma’s monologues that bugged me was when she basically implies that if Galen tells her he loves her, she’ll abandon all her dreams to follow him. The little respect I had for her pretty much went down the drain after that. - Before being killed by a shark and completely forgotten about, Emma’s best friend, Chloe, wears a weave and fake nails to the beach. Who gets dressed up to go to the beach?! - Emma’s mom incorrectly assumes that Galen and Emma are dating and/or have slept together and freaks out. Later however, she’s completely okay with Galen telling her that he wants to sleep with Emma, and even lets the two of them go to Florida together. WTF?! - Throughout the book, Rayna is upset with Toraf because he knew that she never wanted to mate and yet still mated her. The minute Rayna sees Toraf kissing Emma though, she changes her mind and claims that she’s in love with Toraf.
Besides the issue of characterization, I also couldn’t make myself care about the romance, which was an instant love situation. There was a lot of talk about tingles and heat, but I never felt the chemistry between Galen and Emma. Part of the reason may be because Emma’s POV was in the first person whereas Galen’s was in the third person, which made the writing feel a little choppy. More importantly, Galen just seemed to want to control Emma rather than consider her an equal. He even muses about finding a “docile female … who would do whatever he asked [and] never argue with him.”
Of Poseidon wasn’t all bad though as there were some bright spots. The book made me chuckle occasionally, especially during the parts that involved Galen learning more about humans. As well, I appreciated that Banks made the effort to develop and explain the Syrena’s history and current political situation (even if I did find it confusing sometimes)....more
Wholly unique, Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is a re-telling of Cinderella with sci-fi elements. Set in New Beijing at a time when androids and cyborgs are cWholly unique, Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is a re-telling of Cinderella with sci-fi elements. Set in New Beijing at a time when androids and cyborgs are common, a plague known as letumosis is decimating the global population, and the leaders of Earth are more or less united against the threat of the Lunars – a race led by a devious queen (who I found really fascinating); Meyer does a good job striking a balance between describing the world in Cinder and allowing it to unfold in the reader’s imagination.
To be honest, I was never a huge fan of Disney's Cinderella because it seemed like she got everything due to her fairy godmother. That’s thankfully not the case in Cinder – Linh Cinder remains hard-working but is a much more strong-willed and independent character. I also really liked that Meyer made Cinder a mechanic, which is a career you don’t see too many females in.
Although I guessed the major twists early on, it was fun to see how Meyer made this re-telling of Cinderella truly her own. For example, Cinder meets the charismatic and attractive Prince Kai way before she actually goes to the ball; and so by the time the ball arrives, the two are already friends. Thus, there’s a gradual development of attraction and both remain aware that Kai is a prince who is responsible for running the Eastern Commonwealth.
A spellbinding story that will have you craving the next book in the series, Meyer’s debut is not to be missed!...more