**spoiler alert** So what am I supposed to say about Starcrossed? I really wanted to love it, that I'll admit. It's greek mythology, and I like greek**spoiler alert** So what am I supposed to say about Starcrossed? I really wanted to love it, that I'll admit. It's greek mythology, and I like greek mythology. I like romance novels, too, so that was a plus. Also, it has a pretty cover, and every interview by the author seemed interesting. Josephine Angelini is likable on camera, especially.
Romeo and Juliet mixed with The Iliad is how she described it. Somehow, I just didn't really get that.
Well, actually, I got the Romeo and Juliet thing for the middle part of the book. Then again, that's one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays, and I love Shakespeare. I just always thought that one was way too much lust disguised as love.
Just like Helen and Lucas's relationship, actually.
More on that later.
Things I Didn't Like
First, I want to talk about the mythology in general. And how much it didn't make any freaking sense. First off, I know greek mythology. I started this book expecting to see familiar aspects from Homer's works, but I didn't. I didn't see much in this book that related to what I'd read in The Iliad and The Odyssey, besides maybe some names. Secondly, you just can't mix mythologies. And this book tried to. Warning: Mixing Mythologies Almost Always Fails Miserably. Just don't do it. Simple as that. Atlantis? Yeah, nothing to do with Greek gods. Sorry. Also, don't mess with Atlantis Mythology while I'm around. It's another one of my favorites that I'd prefer nobody screwed with.
Okay, calm now. Let's talk about Helen and Lucas's lust. Because that's really what it was. All the hand-holding and I-can't-sleep-with-you didn't fool me. It was lust anyway. They had no chemistry, and yet the minute they weren't fighting with each other anymore they were claiming they were in love. Um...insta-love alert. Only it didn't really read like love. It read like Romeo and Juliet's lust. Which, maybe, was the point. I don't really know.
One more point about lust, though, before I move on to something else. Helen is supposed to be crazy-beautiful, right? So why aren't the guys as school, or even Hector and Jason, lusting after her too? I mean, I'm in High School, I know how hormonal teenage guys respond to hot girls, and it's not the way they respond to Helen for most of the book.
But, even if I suspend my disbelief on that matter, there's still one more problem I have with Helen and her romantic entanglements.
I call it the Cassandra Clare card.
Yeah, you know what I mean. The love-interests find out they're related - but they're really not - but they don't know that - but the reader finds out - but the characters still don't - and so on and so forth.
Now, I know I seem like the only person on earth who didn't like The Mortal Instruments (because I didn't. No! Don't hit me! I just didn't like them. I'll shut up about it, if it makes you feel better). Still, even then, the we're-related-but-we're-really-not card is already used in popular YA. I hope that matter gets cleared up for Helen and Lucas ASAP in Book 2.
Lastly, Helen herself. Yeah, not catching on fast enough. Sorry. I guess I just like my female protagonists to be brighter.
Things I Liked:
Mainly Claire. Yep, she was my favorite character. Smart girl, short but tough, not afraid to insult people? I relate, so I liked her. She was also the great, supportive BFF for Helen. Even when she was angry, it didn't last long. Their relationship was great, fantastic even. I wish it'd had a bigger part in the book.
And "What the holy hand grenade was that?" was definitely a fantastic Claire line. Also, a Monty Python reference, though I don't think that was intended.
I also kind of liked SOME of the Helen/Lucas moments. Not all, but more some in the beginning. I liked when they fought when they first met. That was unique, and interesting. And the car rides. Most of them were great.
I liked the Aphrodite thing, too. Good twist. Also explains the lust thing, so it negates some of my problem with that. Who wouldn't be filled-to-the-brim with lust if they were related to Aphrodite? I mean, if that particular goddess were set in present day, she'd probably have the same problem, plus more.
I liked Cassandra a lot, too. I liked that she was the youngest in the family, and a girl, and still the one in control. I liked how she got prophesies and such. She was like the batty old psychic figure, without being batty or old. I also liked how she and Helen didn't really get along in the beginning. I found that dynamic to be kind of interesting.
I liked Hector as a character. I loved to hate him for the first half of the book, and learned to genuinely like him later. He was developed well in the storyline.
I liked the genuine, real love relationship between Jerry and Kate. I also liked how okay, and supportive Helen was of it.
I liked the entrance of the Daphne character. But, again, I don't think the faking-that-Helen-and-Lucas-are-related-just-for-Daphne-to-come-to-a-truce-with-the-Delos's-House was a good move.
I might give Book 2 a try. I may even recommend Starcrossed. It was a quick, nice read. I know people who will like it. I know a lot of people will probably like this. People who don't overanalyze will probably love this book. But I'm an English geek, so I overanalyze everything I read. It's just the way my mind works. So yes, if you're thinking about reading this and you generally like fun Paranormal Romances with little substance, you'll like this one. If you tend to analyze mythologies, character relationships, and themes, this may not be the book for you.
If you liked Twilight, then you're definitely not the overanalyzing type and you'll like this one. It's romance-y, so give it a go.
If you liked the Mortal Instruments, you'll probably like this as well.
This wasn't a bad book, by any means. Yes, I would've probably given it 2 stars without Claire, but it DOES have Claire. So perhaps 2.5. ...more
Surprisingly enough, I really liked this book. I know, I know, a lot of other reviews have said it was awful, but I didn't think so. I think Stephen KSurprisingly enough, I really liked this book. I know, I know, a lot of other reviews have said it was awful, but I didn't think so. I think Stephen King was right (in the afterward) by saying that this was basically a like-it-or-hate-it kind of book, with little to no in between.
I've been meaning to read this for a while, but I could never manage to hunt down a copy. It looks to me like it's out of print, but I don't know for sure. Anyways, I couldn't find a copy until a few days ago. You see, I'm in my hometown for the summer, and there's a good Library here. I was in the Library using the WiFi to take an online course, and figured I'd look up Stephen King and try my luck, one more time. If not, there's always the Dark Tower series, which I've heard is good. Lo and behold, I found The Colorado Kid, checked it out, read it, and here I am.
First and foremost, let me start by saying why I read this book in the first place. I like Stephen King, sure, but it's not like I'm an uber-fan. I haven't read all of the dozens of his books (I haven't even made a dent in that). But however much I like Stephen King (and watching the movie variations of his books with my easily-frightened sister), it was actually the Sci-Fi show Haven that made me want to pick up The Colorado Kid.
And no, I'm not calling it "Syfy". Whoever advised the company to change the name is a moron. Do they think people are so afraid of science that they won't watch a channel with "Sci" in the title? Maybe I have too much hope in humanity, or something. Maybe more people watch it when it doesn't mean anything.
That's not the point. The point is that I really like the show Haven, and I wanted to read the book that the story arch was loosely based on. I don't mind that the basis was really, really loose. In fact, I prefer it to television shows that try to be like the book - and then make the characters act completely different (The Vampire Diaries, anyone?). I give up on stuff like that, if I'm a fan of the book. But now, being a fan of The Colorado Kid, I can say I love both the book and the television show.
Why? Because they're both excellently written. That's what drew me to Haven in the first place. It's a really well-written show (with some questionable special-effects). And The Colorado Kid is a well-written book.
Basically, it's about two newspapermen and a graduate student sitting on a porch talking about an unexplained mystery and drinking Coca-Cola. Maybe that doesn't strike your fancy, but remember that Stephen King wrote it. So it's got to be weird. Interestingly weird.
The Colorado Kid was a man who died on a beach with no identification, and with nobody really sure whether it was because he choked on a piece of meat (found in his throat), or because he had a stroke (evidence in his brain). The only thing identifying him is a pack of cigarettes with a tax stamp that says "Colorado". Only, the Colorado Kid didn't smoke (lungs looked fine). There's also the matter of a Russian coin in his pocket (during the Cold War), and the fact that he left Colorado the afternoon before he died. So...how'd he get to Maine so freaking fast, how did he really die, was it an accident, and why is a non-smoker toting around a cigarette pack (with only one gone), and so on.
There are a lot of questions.
There are also no answers.
Okay, fine. I lied. There are a few answers. But not nearly enough. Too many locks, and not enough keys.
And then, Stephen King goes and leaves it that way. A twenty-five (thirty-something by now) - year-old mystery, and no answers. Just a couple of newspapermen telling a twenty-something girl the story - and hoping she asks the right questions.
So, it's a mystery. It's also kind of a test, for Stephanie (the grad-school student), about what it means to write a story, and is she really cut out for the job. ...more
**spoiler alert** I picked up this book because I'm a Debbie Viguie fan, and the premise looked promising. I figured it'd be a nice, action-y read, bu**spoiler alert** I picked up this book because I'm a Debbie Viguie fan, and the premise looked promising. I figured it'd be a nice, action-y read, but I had no idea just how much I would love it. And I do love it. I don't give many books five stars, but this one deserves it.
Crusade revolves around a group of "hunters" in their mission to save humanity from the Cursed Ones. They all have different reasons, motives, backgrounds, and personalities, but I'll get into those in a bit. I don't know whether this book is dystopian or not, seeing as it doesn't take place too far in the future, but it certainly has the same kind of feel, where it's your world - but it's not, so you have no idea what is going to happen next. You just keep turning the pages.
Now, there are spoilers galore in this review - so if you haven't read the book, I suggest you don't read this. The surprises are half the fun.
Plot: Impressive. And by that, I mean that I found it hard to pick out a clear plot. In most books, plot is so structured that I can pretty much figure out what will happen next. And usually, I like that. But here...well, it's much different. The plot for most of Crusade didn't look like your usual structured plot. It just looked as if the characters were living their lives - and their lives brought them into each situation. Sure, the plot got more structured around the climax, but for most of the book it was just their lives. The plot was happening, but it was so well hidden that it didn't look like it was stringing the characters along. The "find Heather" plot-line was more structured, but there were a lot of seeds sown in through the other plots and stories that never found their climax like the "find Heather" one did - because the characters' life problems couldn't be tied up in one climax. I am oh so happy this is a series. There are so many things that I am still wondering about. Some of these not-so-structured plots may have been annoying to some, but I for one loved them. I think all those loose ends are going somewhere, eventually. All in all - the plot, and multiple sub-plots, kept me hooked. Once I was a few chapters in, I literally had to force myself to put this book down so I could eat and sleep.
Main Characters: The Salamanca Hunters are a miss-matched group of people. None of them have much in common, and yet they have to work together for the greater good. And I think it was fantastic that they didn't function flawlessly, and that they had their doubts about each other. It made them all the more real - and more likable. While I've read reviews from people who hated the switching point-of-views, I liked them. It gave insight into the head of all the different characters.
Jenn is the most human of them, and probably the one the reader is supposed to relate to most. She thinks of herself as the weakest link in the group, and that makes her easier to identify with. She's Just Jenn. She's also one of the most emotional of them. Her love for her sister being a huge example of that. And her love for her grandfather (her father-figure) who dies early in the book (which made her even more relatable to me, seeing as I lost my father recently). Plus, there's the fact she's in love with Antonio, despite what he is. One of the things I found most interesting about their characters is that their story here wasn't about them falling in love - it was about them staying that way, and staying together.
Antonio is Cursed, but he's fighting against the Cursed Ones. In fact, he seems to be the only Cursed One who still has a soul. He was studying to become a Catholic Priest when he was unwillingly changed back in WWII, and has been fighting to keep his mind, and sense of good, since. His beliefs drive him. His belief in God, his belief in love, and his belief in a greater good. He's an admirable character, and the kind of love-interest I would like to see more of. The good guy, even though he's in a bad situation.
Eriko is the chosen Hunter - the one who was given an elixer to enhance her physical abilities. I have to admit, in the beginning I wasn't a bit fan of Eriko. She grew on me later, though. Her backstory probably made the least sense, but in the present, she's tough. Tougher than anyone, but has her own problems as well. I'd like to know more about how the effects of the elixer are taking their tole on her, and how she's handling things. Although the narrative switches who's head you're in a lot - Eriko probably gets the least page-time. Maybe there will be more about her in a future book.
Jamie got on my nerves, but I also understood why he is the way he is. But really- did he have to be so nasty to Antonio and Holgar? At least he cares about Eriko. But, he's probably my least favorite team-member. Hence, he gets the shortest paragraph. Although, I did like the insight he gave me into how the Cursed Ones situation made even the real-world tricky situation in Northern Ireland worse.
Holgar, on the other hand, I loved. First off - I love the idea of werewolves. Love them. Just love them. I loved how protective Holgar is of Skye, and how he is wolflike- while still being human. He is a nice guy, but you find out the least about his past. I hope that is flushed out more in a later book too, because this is supposed to be a series. I really want to know Holgar's backstory, and why he came to Salamanca.
Skye was probably my favorite of the team, even though I related to Jenn most. Skye is...interesting. Her backstory was the most clear, besides Antonio's, and made the most sense for her character. It's also probably the most heartbreaking. The man she fell in love with turned out to be evil and chose the wrong side, and has been trying to drag her over the line to the Cursed ever since. He's after her - and there is something that Skye sees toward the end of Crusade that stands as proof that it's not just Skye's paranoia that's making her think so. On a lighter side of things - I will never understand Skye's crush on Jamie. Personally, I'm shipping Skye/Holgar (especially after that scene in the last chapter) - even if I'm the only one.
As a group, the Salamanca Hunters don't trust each other much of the time, but they make a good team nonetheless. And an interesting one to read about.
Other Characters: Father Juan is mysterious. I don't quite know his motives, or what he's after. The reader spends very little time in his head, and even while you're there, you don't learn much about him. But, at the same time, I kind of trusted him. Until, of course, Antonio started having doubts. Also, based on that line in the last chapter that went something like "...longer than anyone else could imagine.", I have one main question. Is Father Juan immortal? Or eternal? Is he literally that saint, or is he the reincarnation thereof. Because there is no way he's a normal person.
There were quite a few side characters, but not many of them are worth mentioning. I started out disliking Heather, but gradually grew to like her, just in time for - well, I'm not going to tell you. This review may be VERY spoiler-y, but I'm not going to tell you that. Michael Sherman was annoying, but I'm still wondering what happened to him. Did he actually become Cursed? Who were the people who took him? What the heck? Then there were the characters we only meet in flashbacks. In which case, I wasn't a fan of Lita, Estefan was just plain scary, Maeve's fate was sad, along with so many other's.
And then there's Aurora. When we first meet her, it's in a flashback, and I felt bad for her. Was almost rooting for her. Which was an interesting way to introduce the main villain - make you see her as a person first. And then, when it jumps back to present-day, and she's all creepy and soul-less. Well...she's just plain scary. But at the same time I still feel like she might be the victim here.
Ending: AHHHHHHH! I need the next book. I really do. I HAVE to know what happens. But, although all the loose-ends are frustrating, I am very pleased with who the new leader of the team is. Plus, that last chapter as a whole made me ten kinds of happy. It was just so...perfect.
Writing: I'll be the first to admit I wasn't a fan of the WIcked series. There was something about it I just didn't like. But, that could be just me. However, I have loved every Debbie Viguie book I've read besides those. I haven't read anything by just Nancy Holder yet, but Crusade gives me confidence that she's also an excellent author. Unlike some co-authored books, this one flows brilliantly, and these two are clearly a good team. Like Salamancans...except without the vampire hunting.
Cover: Okay, so a lot of the visuals on this book seem like false advertising. The summary sure is (the book is not all about Jenn, or her going home, or her relationship with Antonio. That summary really threw me off). The book is also not all about the Salamanca University where they train. By the time this book begins, all six of our core characters have graduated. And the vast majority of the book has to do with things OUTSIDE of the academy. So, although I like the pretty cover with the great color scheme - it's a little bit misleading. But, the thing I really like about it is the mood it sets. Because it's just the right mood for the book.
*edit: The paperback cover makes more sense in the fact that it has nothing to do with the Salamanca University, but having Jenn on the cover leads to the same problems I had with the summary. The POV switches so much in this book that it's impossible to really state Jenn as the main character.
Overall: Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I love this book. I love how it takes a look at good vs. evil - and who is really in the right. I love how it takes a look at faith, and how faith makes you stronger. But it doesn't just look at one faith, but at many in many different cultures. I also love the parallels to WWII - me being a history buff. But more than anything, I loved the characters. And the characters are worth reading about. I highly recommend this book. It's unlike any vampire, or supernatural, novel I've ever read, and it's fantastic. Action, adventure, romance, good vs. evil...and I could keep listing points forever. Just read it. It'll be worth your time.
Now...what am I going to do with myself until the next book comes out?
I, for one, wanted to read Vanished because of how much I loved Cabot's Mediator series. If you haven't read that one yet: It's awesome. Really. And II, for one, wanted to read Vanished because of how much I loved Cabot's Mediator series. If you haven't read that one yet: It's awesome. Really. And I see a lot of the things I liked in the Mediator series in this one, too.
Now, on to the book. Books, I mean. I'm very, very glad this was a volume of the first two books, though, because I certainly wasn't ready to stop at just one.
I should probably start talking about the actual books right about now, shouldn't I? Yeah, probably.
So, I'll start with the characters.
Jessica (Jess) Mastriani is one of Meg Cabot's signature characters. She's smart, strong, witty, and has a short temper. These characteristics remind me a bit of Suze from the Mediator books, but Cabot does an excellent job of making them completely different people, with a few common characteristics. Just the ones that make them so easy to relate to. Jess is, despite her newfound power that I'm sure you read about in the summary, extremely relatable. I mean, who wouldn't at least want to punch the jock who called your best friend fat? I'd have punched him too, so right off the bat I knew that Jess would be a character I'd like reading about.
To sum up all that rambling: I thought Jess was awesome. And the struck-by-lightning = can-find-missing-people thing? Brilliant. And handled pretty realistically.
Rob was another character I liked. Sheesh, does Cabot know how to write a love interest! I lovelovelove Rob, which is saying something, because normally I don't go for bad-boys. Ever. But Meg Cabot did something I haven't seen in a long, long time: She made the "bad-boy" also a hero. I think that deserves applauding.
My one complaint about Rob is that he wasn't quite as three-demensional as I wanted him to be, but I know there are three more books, so I figure he'll get deeper as the story goes along.
I thought Sean was really annoying, but I liked him a little bit more by the end. And I liked Ruth a lot, despite it being "all Ruth's fault". I also liked Douglas, despite the voices in his head. And I liked Mr. G.
I didn't like Jess's mother, though.
Now, to talk about the plot, I probably need to split this bit in two;
***Warning: This Next Bit May Be Spoiler-ish***
When Lightning Strikes: This was my favorite of the two. I liked how everything was introduced really, really well, and how it was all written as Jess's "Statement". I loved how fast the plot moved along, and I loved Jess's inner narrative. Pure brilliance, and really fun to read. Psychic powers, missing people, "closed" military base, great love-interest, fantastic MC, lots of fun side characters, lots of action, and an exploding helicopter? Count me in! Plus, even though I've said it before, I'll say it again: Character gets struck by lightning, and when she wakes up in the morning she knows where missing people are? Brilliantly original.
Did I mention there's an X-Files reference? Am I the only person who grinned like an idiot at that? I love the X-Files. Even tiny references make me happy.
Code Name Cassandra: I liked this one, but not nearly as much as the first one. Personally, Summer Camp and Bratty Kids are two things I don't enjoy reading about, but Meg Cabot pulled it off the best anyone could. Even with my aversion to summer camp and bratty kids, I liked this book. It was fun, and there was more of witty Jess and swoon-worthy Rob, so I was happy. And I really like that Jess can play the flute. I wish I could play an instrument. Sadly, I am musical-instrument challenged. But it was fun to read the little mentions of flute players and music references. For a few hundred pages, I felt very in the loop. And I really, really liked the way this book ended. And the relation to the title, of course.
And Rob pretending he never wanted to hear from Jess again, and then coming back all worried? It made me very pleased.
***Spoilers End Here***
Overall: Great volume. These first two books are great, and I can't wait to hunt down the next three. Meg Cabot is brilliant, and has some serious writing talent. This serious is another great example of that. Did this completely blow me away? No. Was it fun to read? Absolutely. I don't know how to rate this book, though...so I'm going to put three stars. That means "Liked it" or something, right? Oh, whatever. It's the review that matters more than the stars anyway. And even more so: the great book.
Where She Went broke my heart into a thousand little tiny pieces, and then, just when I thought it would leave me that way, and ruined as Adam was, itWhere She Went broke my heart into a thousand little tiny pieces, and then, just when I thought it would leave me that way, and ruined as Adam was, it glued all those pieces back together, better than they were before.
This book was heartbreaking. And then it was brilliant. And then it was wonderful. And then it was the completion of one of the best love stories I've ever read. But no, completion isn't the right word. Mia and Adam are still out there in fiction-space New York, and London, and Korea, and Chicago, and Oregon, living out their lives. Where She Went was the continuation of their love story, not the completion. And it isn't one of those sappy everything-turns-out-perfect love stories either. It's one that rings true. It's hard, and gritty, and shocking, and breaks your heart before it builds it back up, and then does so again and again for good measure.
As much as I loved If I Stay, I loved Where She Went even more. It's always the aftermath that tugs on my heartstrings. It's the aftermath of tragedy, the aftermath of trauma that really cut into me. While If I Stay was about the middle of the trauma, Where She Went is all about the after.
Something about Adam's voice in this book also rings so true. Truer, even, than Mia's in the first book. Adam is so relatable, so honest, so real that I couldn't stop reading, and my heart broke for and with him. Every emotion he had, every thought that went through his head, seemed so real to me. I read this book straight through in an afternoon, because I couldn't bring myself to break away from its world for one minute. It became my reality for those hours I read it.
When Adam was angry with Mia, part of me did the same. The other part, however, understood what Mia was doing. I understood her. While I haven't lost my whole family (my mother and sister are still alive and well), I have lost my father. Something about your whole world changing in an instant makes you want to change the rest of it, for your own survival. I understood that. I also understood why, even when her anger and need to start over dissipated, she didn't go and tell him. She thought he'd moved on with his life. He was the only person who knew that he hadn't.
Adam's love for Mia, behind all the anger, rang truer than anything else. That's love. Not the shiny, sparkly shit you read about in the most popular paranormal romance. Love is hard. Losing love breaks you apart. And losing the kind of love Adam and Mia have, the kind of love she chose to live for, is even more heartbreaking.
The ending, however, makes this book emotional in a totally different way. It's wonderful. It's beautiful. It's exactly the way I hardly dared hope it would end. It's not happily-ever-after by any means, but it's the closest us human souls get.
The little things about the book I loved as well. The songs that Adam wrote, and the title of their album (Collateral Damage is what Adam was, I suppose). I loved every place they went in New York. I've only been to the city a few times, but my father was from there, so it holds a place in my heart all the same. Mia's sentiments about remembering her family, and how they were keeping tabs on her rang true as well. I feel exactly the same way about my Dad.
I loved the scene in the greek diner, the one on the ferry, the one in the secret park/garden. I bawled so hard I could hardly see the pages during the scene on the Brooklyn Bridge. In fact, I cried through a lot of this book, but I don't think I've ever cried so hard for fictional characters as I did during that scene.
The ending of this book is what built all the pieces of my broken, bawling heart back together. It fit so well that it's probably also the reason this book now holds a worthy place as one of my favorites of all time.
Read this. Read If I Stay first, but read this one as well. You need to hear Adam's promise real time in If I Stay before you start Where She Went, but this book is even better. Because "after" is so much more complicated than "during". After is what really breaks people. After is what counts. Where you go in the aftermath determines the real outcome.
And Mia and Adam? They hold first place on my mental list of the most real literary couples of all time....more
**spoiler alert** First off, I admit that my opinion and review of Entwined by Heather Dixon may be a little bit biased, because The Twelve Dancing Pr**spoiler alert** First off, I admit that my opinion and review of Entwined by Heather Dixon may be a little bit biased, because The Twelve Dancing Princesses is my all-time favorite fairytale. It has been since I was really young. Don't ask me why, because I'm not sure I know why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the princesses weren't doormats. Anyway, it's my favorite and I've read it a thousand times. I have not, however, read many retellings of it, because there aren't many. So when I heard that Entwined was a remake of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I was thrilled.
Plot: It's hard to find an original plot in a fairytale retelling, and it's true that the plot of any retelling is going to be predictable. I knew that going in. The key to retelling a fairytale well is dramatic irony. You, the reader, know how it ends, but the characters do not. Heather Dixon does this very well. I knew that the Keeper couldn't be a good guy, because I knew that the twelve girls wouldn't keep going to the pavilion forever. I knew that Azalea would marry Mr. Bradford from the minute he stepped onto the pages, because he was the roughed-up soldier who showed up at the party. I knew that Mr. Bradford would be the one to solve the riddle for the same reason. But amidst all the parts I knew all too well, were new elements. The Parliament, the royalty that was anything but wealthy, the mourning, the sword, the silver handkerchief, they were all things Heather Dixon added, and they all kept me even more interested. The plot moved along at a believable pace, and was resolved in a breathtaking climax.
Main Character: Azalea is anything but weak. Her mother dies at the beginning of the book, but she keeps going (something I found both relatable and admirable). She takes care of her sisters. She has faults, sure. Many of them, in fact, and her grudge against the King before understanding his half of the story is top among them. This is resolved, however, because Azalea is not afraid to change and grow and learn from past mistakes. She's brave, as well, facing up to the Keeper to save her sisters, and to find out if Keeper really has trapped her mother's soul. Her recurring dreams about her mother after the death were realistic (I've had similar dreams since my father died), and her overall attitude worked well in the story. I also enjoyed the fact that the reader is in Azalea's mind the entire story. I wish more fairytales were told that way originally, with a key character to connect to.
Characters: Azalea's eleven sisters were all individual characters (with the exception of the twins, who I couldn't ever get a real grasp on, Hollyhock, who's only defining characteristic was that she lost things, and Ivy who spent the whole book eating stuff). Okay, so most of them were individual characters. Bramble and Clover got their own subplots, and Delphinium could always be trusted to say something snarky about the King or Azalea's love-life. The King was a character who got progressively more interesting and three-dimensional as the story went along. I hated him in the beginning, but learned to like him by the end. And then there were the suitors. Mr. Bradford was perhaps my favorite character, and I'll talk about his romance with Azalea in a minute. I loved how he paralleled the Soldier in the original fairytale, and I loved the whole plot point with his watch. Fairweller was a character I never quite understood, and I never fully got why most of the sisters hated him. Lord Teddie was funny, but two dimensional. But, that can be forgiven because he wasn't terribly important to the story. Keeper was an interesting character, and I suspected him to be the High King from the beginning (or, perhaps, from the blood-drinking tale). The magic, the history of the High King, and all the vows and oaths were unique to the story, and the Keeper sat at the heart of most of them. I hated him, sure, but I loved to hate him.
Romance: Romance is always a key part of a good fairytale, and it surely wasn't lacking here. It wasn't the main point, no, but it was there and I loved every minute of it. Azalea's romance with Mr. Bradford was my favorite, and they were clearly perfect for each other. It's nice to read a story where the MC ends up with he good guy. Their story was one of mistaken identity, crisis, and confusion, and it was a really cute love story. The proposal at the end was adorable. Clover/Fairweller, and Bramble/Lord Teddie were also cute romances, but we didn't see much of those.
Writing: I have great respect for anyone who dares retell a fairytale, and Heather Dixon did this really well. This is now and officially one of my favorite fairytale retellings, and it's of my favorite fairytale. How can I help but like it? I hope we see more from Heather Dixon, and maybe more fairytales.
Title and Cover: The cover is gorgeous, but I'm not sure who's on it. Azalea has auburn red hair. Oh well. It's still a gorgeous cover. And the title!!! Oh, how that leads right into the core of the plot. Entwined is a great title for this novel. And did you see the back cover? With the tower? Pretty! And I love the sparkly silver stuff.
Conclusion: This is an excellent retelling of an excellent fairytale. All the important bits from the original are there, along with the original framework of the plot, but with a lot of new elements and developed characters thrown in. I highly recommend. And did I mention the whole souls theme? No? Well, you'll just have to find out about that for yourself. It's brilliant, really. I'd say this is about 4.8/5 stars. I loved it to pieces, but I would've liked to have seen more of the suitors, and more scenes between Azalea and Mr. Bradford. I also would've liked it if the Wraith Cloak had been a bigger deal, because it was one of my favorite parts of the original. Other than those things, I have no complaints. For a fairytale retelling, and for a fantasy novel in general, it was brilliant. You should read it. Right now.
Song That Played In My Head The Whole Book: "The Art of The Soul" by Anna Nalick....more
**spoiler alert** And Everybody Died. Real or Not Real?
Now, I know what you're thinking. So I might as well spell it all out.
You: Not Real! Indigo, ev**spoiler alert** And Everybody Died. Real or Not Real?
Now, I know what you're thinking. So I might as well spell it all out.
You: Not Real! Indigo, everyone didn't die! Katniss and Peeta didn't die!
Me: Yeah, yeah they did.
You: They did not! What book were you reading?
And I might as well explain that to you. I was reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, and I think everyone died.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a thing. The Katniss we met in The Hunger Games is dead. She is. And I don't dislike the Katniss that replaced her, I just miss the original.
The original Peeta is dead too, along with the original Gale. The characters who started this series weren't there when it ended, and I do understand why. They were all traumatized, I know. But that doesn't stop me from wishing for the first book's characters back.
But, for the sake of organization, I'll break down components.
Plot: Good, for a last book especially. But, unlike the other two books, the plot didn't really take center stage in this one. The trauma did. But most of the trauma had to do with the characters. And the deaths.
Main Character; As I've said, the tough, smart, firey girl that risked her life to save her sister in The Hunger Games died along with her. Or maybe before then. Regardless, she's gone. And the Katniss that replaced her makes sense. She's changed, grief-stricken, traumatized. And mostly broken. The saddest thing about this book was watching Katniss, who barely held on to a piece of who she was before, finally break. And let go. And the woman who ended this book in the epilogue of this last book is not the Katniss we met in the first chapter of this series, but she's someone. She's someone who survived, against all odds.
Other Characters: In the other two books, I was firmly "Team Gale". But the Gale I loved so much is dead, too. And his replacement isn't so likable. He's broken too, and doesn't handle it well. Although, Gale's change in behavior came across to me like an excuse for the author to choose between Peeta and Gale without pissing too many people off. And it worked, pretty much. But I could still see the excuse. Overlooking it wouldn't be hard, though. But, I don't like the new Gale. The man who replaced the boy I liked so much is...hateful.
Peeta is also broken. Oh, and he spends a lot of this book as pretty much a psychopath, and even attempts to kill Katniss. As much as I like Peeta by the very end of this book, and I like the ending, I will never be happy with anyone ending up with someone who tried to kill them, even if he was being controlled at the time. That's not okay. But, by the end of the book, as dead as original Peeta is, the guy who replaces him isn't bad. He loves Katniss, which is good. By the end of this book I was on his side. And the "Real or Not Real?" question was pretty much the base of this book. What was real? What wasn't? I don't know if anybody knew for sure, least of all me. But I liked how it ended. No happy ending, not really. No glitz and glamor, just reality. Just the aftermath of death, and the difficulty that comes with moving on.
A lot of characters I loved really did die, though. Dead and gone, they definitely are. The most shocking of all of them being Prim. And that's what finally broke me. The whole point of the series, the whole point of Katniss surviving was so that she could save her little sister. But Prim dies. And she's gone. So what is Katniss supposed to live for? Maybe that's why she finally let go of the person she was before.
Some side characters survived, but they were changed along with Katniss, Gale and Peeta. Annie was one of them (was I the only person who really liked her?), Johanna another, and I could go on and on.
Ending: Fitting. Realistic for the series. The way it always had to end.
Writing: I might as well mention that I haven't been a huge fan of Suzanne Collins writing. I don't mean anything bad about that, I just haven't enjoyed it. I'm one person. In the grand scheme of things, my opinions on choppy sentence structure may not mean anything. But SHEESH, does this woman know how to pull some heartstrings. I didn't even realize how attached I got to these characters until this book. So WOW.
Climax: Did I mention heartstrings? I did? Okay.
Cover: Looks great. Matches the rest of the series (I love all the other covers too), and has a Mockingjay on the front. But, it looks a little too....happy. Maybe that's the point. A Mockingjay rising from the rubble, or something like that.
Overall: Great conclusion to the series. I wasn't happy about most of it. I wouldn't say I liked it, because it was painful to read. Not because it was bad! It was really, really good. It was emotionally painful. But I think it was supposed to be. And I give Collins credit for making me cry. This book is a lot darker than the rest of the series, but I think it had to be. Suzanne Collins nailed the ending. If I had any misgivings about this series, they're long gone.
If you liked the rest of the series, and care about the characters, you HAVE to know how it ends.
And I, for one, will be remembering this book for quite a while. Real or Not Real?
Oh! I know someone who lived! Buttercup. I like him. (Maybe only because I love cats) ...more
Ah. The Hunger Games. Although I did stall a little bit on reading this one, I didn't stall the mammoth year a**spoiler alert** Catching Fire Review:
Ah. The Hunger Games. Although I did stall a little bit on reading this one, I didn't stall the mammoth year and a half that I did to read the first one. I have, however, been busy. So this one took me a while.
Also, at the time I started, it wasn't what I was in the mood to read. My reading "schedule" (if you can call it that) depends a lot on my mood. But, I want to be one of those people who run to their local bookshop tuesday in a mad rush to get their hands on a copy of Mockingjay.
So, I finally read Catching Fire.
Plot: I have to admit, I'm not as thrilled about this series as some people are. But, I do like it. In this book, however, I found the plot to be a lot slower than that of the previous one. I mean, I enjoyed the part where Katniss went home. I liked the concept of how her home life changed from surviving and being famous, and I liked the idea that she really couldn't go back to the "home" District Twelve was before, because she'd changed, and others had changed. That was great. I also liked the tour. But it dragged a little for me when the real "action" was supposed to begin. Yes, it's exciting that former victors now had to fight again. But it came across just like it was: an excuse to get back to the first book's plot. Which I liked the first time. But now, although I liked many more of the "tributes" this time, it was a little overused. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but it dragged. I did, however, like a lot of the plot in this book.
Main Character: Katniss seems a little weaker in this book (maybe she's just worn out by the effects of the last one), but she's still the strong character I loved. She's strong, and she's clever. Which is a great combination for a character. But, she had a bit of an issue dealing with other people. Others' emotions, specifically. No, this isn't a problem in the writing. It's a character trait. An interesting one at that. Aside from that, I don't have a whole lot more to say about her that I didn't in my The Hunger Games review.
Other Characters: I liked the other "tributes" (former victors) in the Hunger Games. I liked Prim, Madge, and a lot of other characters too. But I don't want to go into a kind of ramble about them. I've read some of those, and you can too, just not here.
What I really want to talk about is Peeta and Gale for a minute.
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't really take to Peeta in book one. But in this one, I started to more understand his side of the story. I'm still not Team Peeta, but I can see why so many people are. He's cute, his nice, and he can bake. What's not to like? I like Peeta. I just happen to like Gale more.
Now, Gale I love. Does he sometimes get annoying? Yes. But everyone in this book does. Katniss gets annoying much of the time. But, I love Gale anyway. And we really got a better look at Gale in this book, instead of just in flashback. He's protective, sweet, and really loves Katniss. And, he and Katniss have a lot in common. My heart almost broke when he told Katniss he loved her, and she didn't reciprocate. And when that government-hired thug beat the living daylights out of him, I was insensibly upset. But the main reason I'm Team Gale is because I think he's a better fit for Katniss. I think he's actually the guy who could spend the rest of his life with her, and knows her better than anyone. I think Katniss should end up with Gale. But, I can see how a lot of you may disagree. And no, I won't flip out if it doesn't go my way in Mockingjay (pardon the rhyme).
And then there's President Snow. Who's breath smells like blood. Yikes.
Ending: Oh! Drama, drama, drama! "There is no District Twelve". Got to love that line. I'm just happy I finished this book only a few days before Mockingjay comes out!
Writing: The same as in The Hunger Games. Did the first-person/present-tense narrative bother me? Heck yes. Did I get over it? Yep. Did I eventually learn to like the constant drama, drama, drama? Yes!
Overall: If you liked The Hunger Games, You'll like Catching Fire. If you've read the first one, you should read the second. Did I like it as much? No. But was it worth reading, to continue the story? Yes. Plus, I really want to read Mockingjay.
I'll check off three stars here, trusting that Mockingjay will be worth it.
Did I mention that Gale makes me ten kinds of happy? Oh, I did? Okay, I'll shut up now.
Outside In is the sequel to Inside Out - which I read and loved last year. And let me tell you, the second book is also amazing. Everything I loved aOutside In is the sequel to Inside Out - which I read and loved last year. And let me tell you, the second book is also amazing. Everything I loved about book one, and more. Plus, I'm a big Sci-Fi fan, so every little Science Fiction aspect I just loved to pieces. Loved so much that I stayed up all of Tuesday night to finish it, even though I had a Mock Trial match the next day. Totally worth it.
Spoilers ahead for those who haven't read Inside Out, and I'll warn you if there are spoilers for Outisde In.
Outside In once again follows Trella, the scrub from Inside, who we found out in book one was the daughter of an upper. I've heard some people say that they found Trella to be harsh and borderline unlikable in the first book, but I disagree. I found her to be incredibly relatable, and I understood exactly where she was coming from, and would have thought the same things. Maybe that just says something about me, but I liked her from the start. So, clearly, I liked her in this book as well. She was just as clever, tough, and resourceful as she was in the first book. She's also self-depricating, distant, cynical, and a bit of a commitment-phobe, but these are flaws I found to be realistic. They're also the flaws that lead her to think she can't be part of government Inside. But I won't give away how she gains confidence in that matter. We also get to see more in this book about how much she genuinely loves Riley, cares about Logan and Anne-Jade, and grieves for Cogon. Trella's trust issues are brought further into the light in this book, as well.
Riley, oh, Riley. He's my favorite character, I think. He's smart, and sweet, and loves Trella, but he's flawed as well. He's paranoid that Trella doesn't trust or love him back (which is probably justified, but only because Trella's not used to showing emotion), he's overwhelmed with how much Inside's new-formed government isn't working, and he's worried that Trella might have a death-wish since her best-friend and brother-figure, Cogon, was sucked into Outer Space. But Riley is a fantastic, three-dementional character, and more than just a love interest, although he is that. After his proposal to Trella at the end of Inside Out (well, Inside's equivalent to proposing - he asked her to be his "mate", which is Inside's equivalent to marriage), we thought their relationship would be pretty simple from there. They'd be "mates" and live out their little married life. Well, maybe we were hoping for that kind of happily-ever-after, but this is Riley and Trella, and nothing is ever that simple. I do love their romance, though, and how they make a fantastic Inside-saving team.
Logan and Anne-Jade are other characters I really love. They functioned as almost one unit in the first book, but here they've developed into completely separate characters. Logan is still in the computer-Tech No zone, but Anne-Jade has moved into Security. This also makes her a bit of a pawn to the new antagonist group, but I won't give that away. I learned to love Logan even more in this book, even though he's a bit of a wuss sometimes. He's a really, really brilliant wuss.
I also learned to like Dr. Lamont, despite how she betrayed our favorite heroes in Inside Out, and their predecessors before the series even began. The common thread in this book seems to be that all of the characters we know and love make mistakes, a lot of them.
There's also new-character Bubba-Boom, who I liked, then hated, then sort of liked, then really liked throughout the course of the book.
Now, we get to the Outsiders. I will tell you that there are Outsiders, on their little spaceship, because they were exiled from Inside a long time ago - for good reason.
The plot in this book is less clear-cut than the one in the first book, but I thnk that's a good thing. I don't want a repeat, I want a sequel. And that's exactly what I got. I loved Trella's new exploring, in and out of the air-shafts, and how every little thing she found related to the plot later on. Besides that, I don't want to give anything more away. You'll just have to read it. And find out what Trella and Co. are fighting against this time.
Have I mentioned that I lovelovelove Science Fiction? Well, I do. And I love the setting Inside. It's a little less claustrophobic than it was in book one, seeing as the Expanse has broadened the horizons, and Trella gets to explore more than she ever did previously. I would try to describe the setting for you, but it would take a long time, and I already spent too long discussing the characters.
Maria V. Snyder is one of my favorite authors of all time. The Study series is perhaps my favorite series of all time, but these books are close too. There are good reasons that I think Maria V. Snyder is absolutely brilliant. You will just have to read her books to find out what these reasons are.
Awwww. I love Riley and Trella.
The reason I stayed up all night reading this book.
I love it! Even more than I loved the first book's cover. When this cover art was revealed, and sent out in Maria V. Snyder's e-newsletter, I spazzed. And then I called Ami on the phone and spazzed. And then there's the titles of both books. I love how literal the titles are. In Inside Out - the people of Inside are trying to get out. In Outisde In - something from Outisde is trying to get in. Brilliant!
Wonderful, brilliant, awesome, exciting, fast-paced, romantic, emotional, suspenseful book. If you liked Inside Out half as much as I did, you'll love Outisde In as well. If you haven't read the first book, you need to read that one first, because it's fantastic, and then after you read it you need to read this one. (There's even a line in the prologue where Trella tells the reader that she's not going to explain the evens pre-revolution, and they need to read the file with the ISBN number of the first book. Clever clever, Maria V. Snyder).
Anyway, this is definitely worth the read. Even if it ends up making you stay up all night before a big competition. It's worth it, really. It's brilliant. If you're a Science FIction fan, you'll love these books. They're Sci-Fi at it's best. ...more
I read Ink Exchange more than a year ago, and I don't remember all the details, but I do remember the basics. Great characters, good plot, fantastic wI read Ink Exchange more than a year ago, and I don't remember all the details, but I do remember the basics. Great characters, good plot, fantastic writing, and pretty much just that I loved it. But, this isn't a love-letter to Ink Exchange (I promise).
So, liking Ink Exchange as much as I did, I was thrilled to find this short-story in the back of my paperback copy of Fragile Eternity.
Stopping Time picks up a while after Ink Exchange ends, and Leslie has moved away from the town where the rest of the Wicked Lovely-world characters live (what's it called? There's one of those things I don't remember. I think it starts with an H though). And there was one of my favorite things about Leslie; She was strong enough to walk away. So many of these paranormal-YA girls have the "Oh, it's so awful but I positively can't leave" and they're really dumb. Leslie is not one of those girls. She knew what she couldn't handle, and she got out before anything caused her permanent harm. But leaving didn't mean she didn't still love Niall and Irial. Meaning, basically, that she's a brilliant character.
This short-story is about what happened after Ink Exchange, and after Leslie left. Irial and Niall still love her (and are okay with knowing the other one loves her. No competition. It's refreshing, actually). I won't give away anything about this short story, other than the fact that it's really, really good. It's the ending I wished Ink Exchange had, but I'm glad it's a separate story. I also lovelovelove the ending of this story. It's perfect. I also love how the ending ties into the title, Stopping Time.
And then there's Melissa Marr's writing, which is always great. She's an amazing story-teller, and the writing is beautiful and flows really, really well. I also find it pretty amazing that she wrote a short-story that was so great, because a lot of novelists can't write short-stories. She obviously can.
True, everything in this story went really fast (like all short-stories) and I would've liked to have seen more, but I think the way it was done was close to perfect. It leaves the reader with only a glimpse of what happened, and with a few hints about how the characters will continue after the story itself ends. I don't really know how I should rate a short-story though, so I'm just going to leave the star-thing blank.
If you loved Wicked Lovely, and, more importantly (for this), Ink Exchange, you should definitely read this....more
Don't get me wrong, What Happened To Goodbye was definitely good. It was just lacking the things I loved so much about some of Sarah Dessen's other noDon't get me wrong, What Happened To Goodbye was definitely good. It was just lacking the things I loved so much about some of Sarah Dessen's other novels. She's an excellent writer, but maybe this one just wasn't for me. I liked it, but it wasn't one of my favorites.
Things I Liked:
- Deb. I thought she was fantastic. And much more interesting than McLean, in my opinion.
- Opal. She's spot-on for a waitress who's set in their ways. She actually reminded me of my sister's best friend. It's always funny to see characters like people you know.
- Luna Blu. I always love stories set in restaurants.
- McLean's clear identity crisis, and how she kept changing her name.
- The way it was written. Sarah Dessen is a fantastic author.
- McLean's name, and its background.
- Jason Talbot turning into a decent person (and, incidentally, a college drop-out. Talk about people changing.)
- References to characters and places from past books. (Even if some of the timelines don't match up).
- Deb. Because she deserves to be mentioned again.
- Lakeview. Because I love Lakeview and I was glad to see it again after spending the last book in Colby.
- McLean's temporary-life kind of house.
- Ume.com. Which McLean uses, and which is also (from Lock and Key) Ruby's brother-in-law's website.
- Did I mention that Jason turned into a decent person? Mind. Blown.
Things I Didn't Like:
- Another book about divorce. Wasn't this just tackled in the last book? It came across as Along For The Ride 2.0 in that respect. I agree that it's a topic that needs to be addressed, but she'd already done it, and it's not like there aren't other teenage issues.
- The similarities in formula to Along For The Ride. Like the issue above. And if you switch out Basketball for Biking, and Luna Blu for Clementines, there are a whole lot more.
- Dave. He was a good enough character, but not developed enough, or interesting enough, to be a love-interest. If you're looking for one of Dessen's romances, this isn't one of them.
- Why on earth didn't McLean just tell her mother that she was pissed off because her mother left her father for the DB basketball coach??? Why does she not just tell her the truth from the beginning? All the conflict would have been figured out much sooner!
- The fact McLean's father doesn't notice anything strange about the name-changing.
- The read-your-journal solution to the name-changing conflict. Why couldn't she just have told them? Seriously? WHY?
- The Riley/Dave storyline. Which, frankly, was a little weird. If I wasn't in McLean's head, I would have been shipping Riley/Dave instead.
- I just didn't connect with McLean.
Despite my complaints (and sorry if they were a little blunt) I did like this book. I just...found the formula to be too similar to Along for The Ride, and I was hoping for a romance I just didn't get. If you're a Dessen fan, I suggest you read this one. If you're not, don't start with this one. Start with one of the others.
My main problem here was that I didn't connect with McLean. I was expecting to, because I had with so many other Dessen characters, but it just didn't happen. And Dave, there was something lacking about Dave.
But I still think you should read it. For Deb. And Opal. And Luna Blu, the restaurant. And because Sarah Dessen is awesome, and there are some brilliant lines hidden inside What Happened To Goodbye.
Awesome! Don't let the three stars fool you (Really, I'm not sure whether to give it three or four. Maybe 3 1/2? Well, the stars don't matter so much.Awesome! Don't let the three stars fool you (Really, I'm not sure whether to give it three or four. Maybe 3 1/2? Well, the stars don't matter so much. What matters is the book). This was a really, really good book about instinct, freedom, and what it means to be family (or not to be family). It's really an excellent book. Did it completely blow me out of the water? No. Was it fantastic? Yes.
Plot: Great. Possibly the best part of this book (and I don't say that often. Normally I'd take characters over plot any day). I loved how every little piece of the story was connected to every other little piece, and how every bit contributed to the final result. And I loved that line at the end...I don't remember the exact quote but it went something like "change one piece of the puzzle and you change them all". I also loved the whole concept of a pack, and making your own. AND! Possibly my favorite part, the lesson that no one has to be dominate over anyone, and that everyone is their own person. Oh! And did I mention the mystery plot? Pure awesomeness.
***I can't promise that there won't be spoilers in this next bit***
Main Character: Bryn was tough, strong, and meant well. She had morals galore, and was admirable. She was also fairly ratable, although there were a lot of parts where I had trouble relating to her at all. Then again, maybe I'm just not an overly Bryn-like person. The few complaints I have about her is that she was unrealistically slow to figure a lot of things out, and that her ego was too big for her sometimes. But, it did make her human, I guess, so I shouldn't be complaining. Don't get me wrong, I did really like her. And I loved how she went from the bottom of the pack ladder to the top. Kind of like transforming from a pawn to a queen (I apologize for the chess references, but that's the reference that came to mind). And she was definitely not a doormat. Thank you, Jennifer Lynn Barnes!
Other Characters: Let's talk about Chase. I have to admit, I didn't like him very much. Sure, he was sweet and utterly convinced he was in love with Bryn, which was kind of cute. And he was protective, which was kind of cute. But, let's face it, he was pretty two-dimensional. And, despite all the time Bryn spends in his head, I never got a feel for his character. At all. Most book characters you can tell what they're going to act like off-page, or after the book ends, and here I have no idea. Who is Chase? I don't know. He was just kind of....there. Also, even when Bryn is in his head, the reader never gets coherent thoughts. I understand that part of him is a wolf, and that maybe a wolf thinks in one-word sentences, but it didn't help the reader understand him. I just...I don't know. It looks like this is the first in a series, so maybe I'll like him more in the next book. Moving on to my favorite characters: Devon and Lake!!! I related most to Lake out of everyone in this book (related to her loads). Plus, I loved her character. She was tough, but vulnerable and emotional, and it made her a well-rounded character. I also loved the dialogue with Lake in it, because she was witty and smart. And Devon!! *sigh*. I loveloveloved him. How many times in books (or real life, for that matter) do you get a straight guy who makes cultural (and Broadway) references, and can sing and do accents? Not often. But here he is. All crushworthy and (sadly) fictional. I loved him all the same though, and I didn't really understand why Bryn never saw him as anything but her friend (seeing as I would've been seriously crushing if he lived in my town), but I guess he's set up to be more of her brother-figure than anything else. Which makes me hope that he'll end up with Lake (Because they were both kind of oddities in the pack, and could have lots in common. I also want to see more interactions between the two of them in the next book) And then there's Callum. Ah, Callum. Callum who has a "knack" and thinks more about the big picture than the people around him. I have to say, I didn't really like Callum either, but I think I could learn to understand him. And as far as minor (or minor-ish) characters go: I loved Ali, Katie, Alex, Keely, Mitch, Maddy, and Lily, and I hated Prancer, Sora (couldn't she have refused an order?), and Shay (and the rest of the Senate for that matter).
***Possible Spoilers over. You can keep reading, now ***
Ending: A perfect fit for the book, and I loved how Bryn turned things around from the beginning, and the relation to the title.
Writing: Really, really good. Flowed nicely, and kept me interested. I also liked that when Bryn was under the influence of the pack bond, the reader almost couldn't tell, because they're in Bryn's head and Bryn doesn't know. Good writing, definitely good writing. Also, the pack bond allowing the reader (and Bryn) to see into the minds of other characters was a good idea. I haven't read any of her previous books, but I guess now I should. She's a seriously good writer.
Cover: Perfect! Do I really need to say more? I love the lighting, the color scheme, the font, the moon, the shadows, and everything. Plus, the girl on the cover looks a lot like how I pictured Bryn.
Overall: Really, really good. In fact, I really ought to change that three stars to four (so please, mentally change it in your head). I definitely recommend. If you like werewolves, complicated plots, strong characters, and the downfall of seriously creepy villains, this is the book for you. I highly recommend!!! (Did I mention Werewolves? Don't you love them?) ...more