Steampunk novels are such a rarity in the Young Adult genre. I don't think I've read many, but it is one of those sub-genres that has so much of poten Steampunk novels are such a rarity in the Young Adult genre. I don't think I've read many, but it is one of those sub-genres that has so much of potential because of the creative possibilities. That's the one reason I decided to request Ticker, along with that pretty cover. With a story about a girl with a clockwork heart, I was sure that I would completely love this book, I had some minor issues with it that prevented me from completely enjoying it.
The story opens up with an explosion at a factory where our protagonist, Penny's, brother worked. From the very beginning, I knew that Penny would be an interesting character. She was funny, sassy and all kinds of entertaining. She was the perfect kind of heroine for this kind of story; brave and admirable. Penny was also very devoted to her twin brother and it was clear that the two of them shared a strong bond based on love. I really did enjoy Penny's character although towards the end, I thought she became a little bit reckless. Still, her sass made her a likeable character. Ticker also had some interesting secondary characters. I especially enjoyed Penny's twin brother, Nic's character. Penny's love interest, Marcus, was a sweetheart, but I found myself wanting to know much more about his personality. I certainly felt like he was a little bit underdeveloped and sadly, in the end I just thought he was bit lackluster. I wanted to learn more about his background and that never really happened in this book. This was definitely more of a plot-driven story than a character-driven one. I did, however, really enjoy the role of the villain in this book. I thought he was well-written and his crazy nature was nicely portrayed. This book would have been great had their been chapters in his POV as well.
The plot in Ticker was action-packed. From the very beginning the book was intense and kept me flipping through the pages. It revolved around the villain kidnapping Penny's parents in demand of some documents that could extend the average life of a human. I'm usually a fan of books that involves chases after chases, so this was fun for me. The world building, however, left a lot to be desired. Quite frankly it was weak and the little bit that was present was confusing. Ticker's world building definitely needed to be polished further, especially because the steampunk elements were not really explained throughout the book. It definitely needed more meat to make Ticker a more enchanting story.
Overall, while I wasn't entirely impressed by Ticker, I still had a good time reading it. It was a the kind of mindless read that I enjoy reading in between heavier books!...more
Jen Frederick's Woodlands series is one of my favorite NA series. I was so happy to see that she was writing the couples' kids stories as well, so I w Jen Frederick's Woodlands series is one of my favorite NA series. I was so happy to see that she was writing the couples' kids stories as well, so I was quick to grab The Charlotte Chronicles when it became available. Plus, this was a childhood romance with a second chance romance, so obviously I needed it in my life.
Charlotte and Nate's romance was my favorite part about The Charlotte Chronicles. Theirs was a relationship that made me go through a rollercoaster of emotions from the very beginning. We get to see Charlotte and Nate's story's start from the beginning and it was just so sweet. Of course, it was also rife with emotions especially stemming from Charlotte's sudden illness when they were still very young. I really loved watching these two kids slowly fall for each other and acknowledge their feelings. It was truly adorable! It was also really painful to watch them have to go their separate ways after an incident in the book, but I thought it was necessary to allow them to really grow as individuals and figure out what they wanted out of life. There was no denying that the chemistry between Charlotte and Nate was explosive! Sparks would fly whenever they would be in a scene together. This chemistry especially intensified when they reunited years later.
It was also really great getting to see the older couples from the previous books. I loved how involved the parents were in their kids' lives and just how supportive they were. I think I was the happiest when Bo made appearances! There were also some great secondary characters. My favorite was Nathan's brother and Charlotte's best friend, Nick! He was a sweet guy to Charlotte and I loved how protective he was of her. Plus, the author showed that a platonic relationship between a girl and a guy can be possible without it turning into a love triangle, so that was refreshing! Additionally, Jen Frederick also portrayed male rape in The Charlotte Chronicles and I have to applaud her for that. I only wish we had gotten to see more severe consequences to the violators.
All in all, The Charlotte Chronicles was a sexy and romantic read that was addictive from start to finish. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series! ...more
It's always so hard to say goodbye to a series because it's like saying goodbye to group of friends you have gotten to know over the course of the boo It's always so hard to say goodbye to a series because it's like saying goodbye to group of friends you have gotten to know over the course of the books. It's especially bittersweet to say adieu to the Hemlock trilogy because it's one that I started very early during my blogging years. While I may be upset, I firmly believe that Kathleen Peacock gave readers an ending that was hopeful and memorable with Willowgrove.
Like I said, I have grown very emotionally attached to these characters. I've watched them go through one obstacle after the other, but I am so proud of them for everything they have accomplished. Mac, as a main character, has especially grown throughout this series. In Willowgrove, you could tell that she was no longer that sad and grieving young girl that she was in Hemlock. She had found a positive outlet for her grief over her best friend's murder. I truly admired her for her resilience and her positive attitude through every hurdle she had to jump over. Kyle, her love interest, continued to flourish as a character as well. I loved he too had become tough and had accepted who he was at the core. We saw him struggle considerably with his identity over the past two books, but in Willowgrove, he was a different person, tenacious and secure with what he was. Kyle has always been a sweet guy and he never wavered from that personality trait. You can't help but fall in love for this beautiful boy and his kind heart. The secondary characters too really shined in Willowgrove. I was especially impressed by the development of Serena's character. She had gone through hell in the second book and she was still fragile from the events, but with the help of Jason she slowly started to get on her feet. Speaking of Jason, he was one character I struggled with a few times during the series, but he too has grown to become a much more decent person and I was proud of who he had become.
The plot in Willowgrove took some time to gain its momentum, but once it did, it was fast-paced, gory and terrifying. Kathleen Peacock really did not hold back with the deaths and bloodshed. My heart was racing so fast throughout Willowgrove, worried about what would happen to these characters I had grown to cherish so much. The author did manage to punch me in the heart multiple times and it left me teary eyed. We also learn a lot more about the lupine disease that struck the town and there were some horrifying moments. Never have I hated the villains so much as I did with this series and I wanted nothing more than to watch their downfall. The romance between Kyle and Mac was super sweet as well. It was one that grew slowly in the first book and while it's had a few down moments, Mac and Kyle have been supportive of each other and they have worked together to jump through many of their problems. There were times during this series where I worried that a love triangle would pop up, but Peacock makes sure to eliminate every doubt in the first book itself. Kathleen Peacock is a really talented author and she has the ability to write some very compelling stories that grab your attention from the very start. I also really liked how she was able to put real life themes into this book, primarily discrimination, and she tackled them very aptly.
A werewolves story that is compelling and gripping in multiple ways, the Hemlock series is not one to be missed out on. As a trilogy ending, Willowgrove was satisfying in every way. I can't wait for more by Kathleen Peacock....more