This book really was amazing. Best zombie book I've ever read. But there's so much more to it than zombies.
Awkward cover art aside (the one eye zoom aThis book really was amazing. Best zombie book I've ever read. But there's so much more to it than zombies.
Awkward cover art aside (the one eye zoom always freaks me out a bit), this is one of my favorite books this year. Rot & Ruin goes beyond the idea of “Ahhh! Zombies are trying to kill us!” to take us inside a small community a few years after the ‘end of the world’.
I feel like I’m not going to do a good enough job convincing everyone in the world to read this book, regardless of how you feel about zombies. The reason I feel so strongly about Rot & Ruin is because of how Jonathan Maberry slowly reveals the world in which Benny Imura was raised. Benny’s state of mind when the story begins is vastly different than how he thinks at the end, and the events that lead him there are some of the most riveting and insightful glimpses into post-apocalyptic psyche that I’ve ever seen.
The book is told through Benny. I think that’s another reason why I liked this book. It was written by a guy, which added to the realism of Benny’s voice and thoughts, especially when it came to girls. There’s a great bit in the story between Benny and this girl. Benny’s thoughts during the entire thing had me giggling. He’s so adorable.
There’s so much about the characters and this world that I want to talk about, but at the same time, I don’t want to spoil anything. Like with Tom. Oh, Tom! *sigh*
I will say this, though. Once you start this book, expect to not put it down until you’re finished. I was thoroughly engrossed in Benny’s story after he decided on a vocation, to the point where I forgot to eat dinner. And I need to tell y’all that I teared up a little toward the end. It’s a very emotional story, one that I found to be a bit sad with just a dash of hopeful. There was some closure, but really, so many more questions were raised during the last chapter that I’ve been dying to read Dust & Decay the second after I finished Rot & Ruin.
Overall, I consider this a MUST READ book. The world and the characters make this one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent YA books I’ve ever read. ...more
It’s been almost a year since I first heard about Forbidden. It was released in the United Kingdom last year and a couple copies of the book made itsIt’s been almost a year since I first heard about Forbidden. It was released in the United Kingdom last year and a couple copies of the book made its way over here, but the official US release date wasn’t set until June 28th. I was lucky enough to win an ARC from Goodreads (I love Goodreads), which was the best news EVER because I desperately wanted to read this book.
The first thing you need to know about Forbidden is that it covers a very touchy subject. It’s going to be controversial and when people hear what it’s about, they’re going to argue about their kids reading it, especially since Simon & Schuster is aiming it at teens age 14 and up.
At first, 14 seemed a little young to me to read this book, but then I thought about what I was reading at 14, blushed, and said, ‘To each, his/her own.’ If you think you or your child can handle the material, then go for it. Because honestly, this book was one of the best I’ve read this year. It flew to the top of the charts after I finished it.
So, let’s talk about it, now that I’ve set it up.
Forbidden focuses on 17-year-old Lochan and his sister, 16-year-old Maya. They’ve always felt like partners, rather than siblings, having to raise three younger children while their dead-beat, alcoholic mom neglects them in favor of booze and men. Having that level of stress in their lives brings them close, much closer than normal siblings, to the point where they fall in love. They know their love is wrong and impossible, but they can’t stop.
Do you see now why this book will be controversial? Incest isn’t something brought up very often in YA lit. In fact, the only other books I can think of were between cousins, never brother and sister.
The way Tabitha Suzuma wrote about Lochan and Maya’s feelings for each other, switching between their point of views every couple chapters, was subtle at first. They know it’s wrong, but they love each other too much and they’ve never felt like brother and sister toward each other. They’re best friends and partners in the fight to keep their family together.
I thought the whole thing was done very well. Tabitha draws you into their world and lives, makes you care about them as people and then hits you with their feelings. At no time was I disgusted with Lochan or Maya. I felt frustrated at times because of how hard they fought it, but I understood why they did.
I loved Lochan. Honestly, the entire book could have been written in his point of view and I would not have minded in the least. His struggle was more potent than Maya’s when it came to making me care about their situation. He made this book for me.
I loved this book. I cannot stress how much I loved this book. There isn’t a word yet to describe how much I love this book. By the end, I was sobbing so hard I couldn’t read the words. I had to cry myself out before I could finish and then that just set me back to crying again. Needless to say, it was a very long and emotional night.
I urge you to read it before drawing your own conclusion about the subject matter.
And should Tabitha ever make it over to the US for a book signing, you can bet I’ll be there with multiple copies of Forbidden for her to sign. ...more
Yes, the beginning is confusing, but stick with it because eventually it becomes clear. And yes, you will cry at the end. Just accept it.
When you're dYes, the beginning is confusing, but stick with it because eventually it becomes clear. And yes, you will cry at the end. Just accept it.
When you're done reading this, read Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock and become a Melina worshiper like the rest of us. We're planning a pilgrimage to Australia soon so we can stalk... I mean, meet her....more
Holy crap, that was an emotional ride. It took me 50 pages or so to get into it and at times, I questioned Melina's plot decisions, but now that I'veHoly crap, that was an emotional ride. It took me 50 pages or so to get into it and at times, I questioned Melina's plot decisions, but now that I've reached the end, I bow to her.
Wow. Just wow. Hands down, my favorite Elizabeth Scott book to date. It's like nothing you've read from her before.
Let me start this review by saying,Wow. Just wow. Hands down, my favorite Elizabeth Scott book to date. It's like nothing you've read from her before.
Let me start this review by saying, what you think you know about this book is probably wrong. I read the blurb, saw the cool cover and was all happy because it’s the second new Elizabeth Scott book this year and I like Elizabeth Scott. Her books are usually contemporary and cute and involve guys I wish were real. So when I started reading this book, I thought it would be similar to her others. But then the more I read, the more I realized this was completely different from her other stuff. And it was absolutely brilliant.
Unfortunately for you, dear reader, I cannot completely reveal why this book is brilliant. I will say that the thing I’ve been wanting more in YA is in this book. It was a surprise (a very welcome surprise) that you have to work out with the narrator and when I figured it out, I frakkin’ celebrated. I want more books like this. (Please, please, authors, write more books like this.)
Okay, let me tell you what I can. Ava is the narrator. She wakes up and knows absolutely nothing. She doesn’t know who she is, where she is, or what is happening around her. It reminded me, in a way, of The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, which is also a brilliant book with a mystery behind the narrator’s amnesia. The more Ava interacts with the people and places around her, the more she remembers… a different place, which is where the mystery really kicks in. What’s caused Ava’s amnesia? What’s real? Who are these people Ava sees in her visions/memories/episodes and why do they look so familiar?
From the beginning I was spinning theories of what I thought was going on. Most of them came from TV or books I’ve read, but nothing I thought of completely fit the situation, which is great. I love not being able to figure out what’s happening until the end, or near the end as the case may be.
The part I couldn’t get to fit until the end was the boy Ava sees the most in her visions. He was an anomaly who played a large role. I loved everything about him. At first you have no idea who he is or how he connects to Ava, but after a while, it doesn’t matter.His relationship to Ava is the central point to this book and what pushed it over the edge from brilliant to I-will-tell-everyone-about-this-book brilliant.
I will warn you, though, that Elizabeth does not give you all the answers. I still have questions about the ending and what really happened and how it happened and what happens next and OMG SHE NEEDS TO WRITE A SEQUEL. *takes a deep breathe* I’m better now. But seriously, Elizabeth Scott, you need to write a sequel, or a short continuation. Something, anything. Please.
Yes, it’s that good. And yes, I recommend it to everyone. I don’t care if you’ve read her books before and they ‘weren’t for you’. I don’t care if you don’t like mysteries or books where the main character can’t remember anything. Whatever excuse you have, I don’t care. You’re reading this book. The day it’s released. Add it to your to-be-read lists, mark September 15th down on your calendar, and set a reminder alarm to visit your local bookstore because this is a great book and you should read it. And once you’ve read it, you can join me in stalking Elizabeth Scott and constantly asking her to please, please, if you love us at all please, write a sequel....more
I was really excited for this book before it came out, mostly from the cover. It’s a gorgeous cover. Then I read the summary and I knew I had to readI was really excited for this book before it came out, mostly from the cover. It’s a gorgeous cover. Then I read the summary and I knew I had to read it. It just struck too many chords with me to ignore. After the first chapter, I knew I’d picked correctly because this book, guys, was amazing.
The first thing that comes to mind when I read that summary is the Caste System in India. It’s so against the ideas America was founded on, where someone from the poorest circumstances can become whoever they want with enough work and smarts, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know a thing or two about classes here. If you think about it, really think about it, this could one day happen in the US. We could be divided by classes and forced to only interact with our peers. It happens to a certain extent already, which you know all too well if you’re in high school. Scary thought, right? But with enough power, a small group of people could make this happen.
Charlaina Hart (aka Charlie) finds herself having to navigate a very slippery path because she can understand all the languages. Tensions are extremely high as the threat of rebellion against the Queen and the class system increases daily. Checkpoints every 100 feet, constant need for paperwork at the ready, alarms going off at night… basically, everyone’s really jumpy. So I don’t blame her for going to a club with her friend for a night of dancing and hanging out with a cute boy she just met. It’s also not her fault for accidentally getting entangled with some sketchy people and doesn’t know who to trust.
We get several POVs throughout the book, which gives us several insights into the political and socioeconomic status of Ludania. Charlie’s is definitely my favorite, but getting the occasional Queen’s point of view was interesting.
There’s a definite supernatural element to the story that I won’t go into because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but it’s good. And kind of cool. Also, I’m pretty sure the Queen is a Sith Lord. You’ll understand why when you read.
Mystery boy was a definite mystery. I wasn’t sure about him until near the end. Oh! I also really liked Charlie’s sister, Angelica. She was a sweetheart and you really got the sense her and Charlie had a tight sister bond, of which I was a little jealous.
Overall, it was a fascinating read. You do get a sort of conclusion at the end, which was nice since I was fully expecting the ‘big event’ to be dragged through to book two. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next book, The Essence, which comes out (sigh) next January. What a dreadfully long time to wait. In the meantime, all of you can read The Pledge and then we can commence speculating on what will happen next....more
I can't believe Ally was able to hold onto the excitement and Kat's voice with this second book. But it was just as good, if not better than Heist SocI can't believe Ally was able to hold onto the excitement and Kat's voice with this second book. But it was just as good, if not better than Heist Society because there wasn't as much set-up since we already knew the characters.
I am amazed by Ally's talent and her ability to write a book so compelling, to the point where I couldn't put it down.
A third book isn't needed, but it is very much wanted. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next....more
Yes, yes, yes! It was so good. I can't wait for the next one.
This book was reviewed by myself and Caitlin, a fellow reviewer on Whatchyareading.net.
CaYes, yes, yes! It was so good. I can't wait for the next one.
This book was reviewed by myself and Caitlin, a fellow reviewer on Whatchyareading.net.
Caitlin: CHRISTINE!!!! We finally got it and read it and loved it and Adrian! And Sydney! And it was soooo good! And I laughed…a lot.
Christine: I KNOW! I can’t believe I’ve already read it. I want to read it again. And then I want the third book sent to me so I can read that one as well.
Caitlin: I can’t read it again because you have my copy. It’s a good thing we have a give and take relationship where books are concerned.
Christine: Yes. And I did thank you for sending it to me, right? If I didn’t, thank you. This book was so good. It didn’t fall into the second book purgatory that most follow-ups have done before. The Golden Lily starts almost exactly where it leaves off in Bloodlines and from the beginning, I was completely invested in Sydney, what was happening around her, the few glimpses of Dimitri we got, everything about Adrian, and have I mentioned this book was AMAZING?!
Caitlin: Okay, I know I may get tarred and feathered for this, but I think I like Adrian better than Dimitri. Because..because…he’s just so funny. Dimitri is all tall and handsome and intense, sure. But Adrian makes me laugh with almost every single thing that he says. And when he’s not making me laugh, it’s generally because he’s being cute. And I just love everything that happens between him and Sydney in this book. Everything. Single. Thing. I really, really wish I could spoil it because there are so many things I want to bring up. The car! The dress! The martial arts class!
Alas. No spoilers.
Christine: Oh, I love the car part. And the dress part. Also, it’s easy to like Adrian over Dimitri in this series because, as I said before, we’re seeing everything through Sydney this time around. We see ‘serious business’ Dimitri who doesn’t let his guard down in this book. He’s not like that with Rose, at least not at first.
Caitlin: True. But….I don’t know. Adrian is still funnier. Just saying.
Christine: Of course he’s funnier. He uses sarcasm and banter to deflect any real interactions with people. He’s rather superficial, which is why I like him when he’s around Sydney. Even though it’s only been, what, three months since Lissa became Queen and a month since he’s been around Sydney long enough to get to know her, we (through Syd) are actually learning personal things about him. He’s opening up more. He’s not so flippant. I like this Adrian more than the one we see in the Vampire Academy series. He wasn’t like this around Rose.
Anyway, all that to say, yes, I like Adrian more in this series, but for those reasons. Dimitri is still the guy I’m going to sigh over and get really girly about and high-pitched squealing might ensue whenever I see him on the page.
Caitlin: So, if this were a love triangle, WHICH IT IS NOT, we would be on different sides and could argue it out. That’d be fun.
But, anyway, I agree that we are seeing more sides of Adrian in this one. Which I love! Because it shows how much Rose was right when she said they weren’t good for one another. He never really did show her more than his flippant, sarcastic side. We get that with Sydney, I especially loved when he conned her date into saying she looked like a prostitute, but we get so much more as well.
I loved that even though the book is from Sydney’s point of view it was very easy to see Adrian’s feelings change and grow and such toward her. Sydney was oblivious to it, but it was still clear to the reader. And Sydney’s obliviousness didn’t feel contrived. I really, really liked that.
Christine: Yes to all of that. I adore Sydney, which is strange to say since she’s so against vampires and magic and basically everything to do with Adrian’s world, but I think she’s realizing blatant stereotyping of a race or group of people, like what the Alchemists do, isn’t the way to approach life. She’s finding out Adrian, Jill, Dimitri, etc, they’re nice people. Loyal. Funny. They’ve become her friends, which is a BIG no-no in the Alchemist world. Syd’s going to have some tough times ahead, I fear, because of this. She’s going to have to make some hard decisions, which will probably end up gutting us, since that’s Richelle’s style.
She’s very much going through an existential crisis in this book. She sums up her feelings throughout this book nicely when she says, “Everyone thought I was so amazing, so responsible and controlled. But if I was so amazing, then why was I always so unsure if I was doing the right thing?”
Caitlin: I love how Sydney is basically living a double life. The Alchemists think she is the model of anti-vampire behaviour. The vampires and dhampirs she works with think she is a good friend and confidant. Sydney herself doesn’t seem to know which one she actually is. I love how her assignment is becoming a family and her family is becoming this annoying thing in the background. Her alchemist family anyway, not her mom and sisters.
I’m really hoping that we are going to see the fallout from this in book three. There’s been so much build up about the re-education centers that if Sydney doesn’t get sent to one I’m going to be highly disappointed.
Christine: What about the guy Clarence keeps alluding to? I have a feeling he’s going to become a more prominent player in these books. Maybe the two things are connected. Of course, I don’t want Sydney to go to one of those places. Did you see Keith at the beginning of the book? I don’t want that to happen to Syd. I like her. Think of the fallout. How would Adrian take it? Oh. I think I just came up with a side-story for the year we have to wait for the next book. *plots*
Anywho, can we talk about the ending? I promise not to spoil anyone.
Caitlin: We can, but first I just wanted to say, that in my head Sydney gets sent to one of these places and then Adrian/Eddie break her out and this is how she is ultimately disillusioned with the alchemists and etc.
The ending…wait, which part? The part that parallels the ending of Bloodlines but…with…more…uh….stupid spoilers.
Christine: Yes! The part I read multiple times because it’s completely warranted. I need MORE of that. I’m probably going to read it again when we’re through with this review. Why do you do this to us, Richelle? Why do you make us go through such torment and suffering? *cries*
Caitlin: I read that part multiple times as well. I think I read it on my way to the post office to send you the book. I knew I was going to miss it. I love that she called him on the car thing. And his “badass lily” that was OBVIOUSLY supposed to be her. *is vague on purpose*
I also loved how willing Sydney is to compromise for the people she cares about. Magic goes against everything she was raised to think and believe in but when someone is in danger, she is more than willing to use it. I think this is really who Sydney is. A badass who uses magic to save people.
Also, she was hilarious in this book. I do not remember her being so funny in Bloodlines, was she? I don’t know. I think I laughed at her more than I laughed at Adrian in this one. Adrian has been a good influence on her sense of humour.
Christine: The book was funny. I think all of her awkward interactions with a boy really helped boost the hilarity. Those two kids were the most awkward of all awkward social situations ever. It was like watching Sheldon Cooper date. Clearly, he was not the right boy for Sydney.
I just… I want someone to have a happy ending already. No one in this book is happy about their relationship status, except for Dimitri and Sonya, but those were already established before this series. I know it’s only the second book and there are four more to go, but SOMEONE should be happy. Why can’t it be Adrian? Doesn’t he deserve happiness by now? :sigh: Poor Adrian.
Caitlin: I’m actually enjoy all the angst. Though I really hope Eddie’s relationship drama ends the way I want it to and not the way it’s going as of the ending of this book.
But I figure all the angst now means an even happier ending later on. Richelle hasn’t let us down yet....more
Caitlin: I feel like I waited forever to read this book. I’m not even sure why. It isn’t as if Darkness Falls ended on a cliffhanger or anything. Or tCaitlin: I feel like I waited forever to read this book. I’m not even sure why. It isn’t as if Darkness Falls ended on a cliffhanger or anything. Or that there is an over-arcing plot that needed to be wrapped up. I just love these books and these characters and needed more for the simple pleasure of having more.
Christine: Well, that’s not entirely true. The romantic plot needed to be wrapped up because we all needed more Reyn. Much more Reyn. Actually, could we just get a book about Reyn?
Regardless, that needed to be dealt with because I was wholly unsatisfied with how things were left between him and Nastasya. And how things turn out… well… let’s just say, you want to read this book.
Caitlin: Yes! More Reyn! Can he just be in every book? I particularly loved the part where he randomly had a sword in his truck. He’s just the type of guy who would drive a beat up farm truck…and keep a sword in it.
I loved how much of this book was about the two of them. The series is very much about Nas discovering herself and I enjoyed how the third book was about her finding herself in relation to the people around her and her relationships. And Cate Tiernen did promise us, on Twitter, that there would be “much de hot Reyn,” and she did not disappoint.
Christine: I will say that the start of the book was very promising, and then I wasn’t sure everything was going to turn out alright. Plus, River’s brothers kept showing up and trying to threaten Nas to leave and it just wasn’t looking good. I did like all the Reyn moments (of course), and the truck scene where he randomly pulls a sword out of the cab. It was nice to see them interacting with each other without all the animosity they usually had. ALSO, I wanted to snuggle with every scene involving Reyn and his puppy.
Caitlin: Yes! I just love Dufa! And I was so glad that Devil Chicken was back as well. And there came a point where River’s brothers showing up and being disapproving of Nas just became hysterical and I wished she’d had more brothers.
But all the goofy stuff aside, and Nas excels at goofy, I also enjoyed her revealing moments. Like the day when people kept thanking her and telling her what a good thing she was doing for the town and everyone and she got so uncomfortable and just ran away to the barn. I liked that she wasn’t just immediately “cured” after the events of the second book.
Christine: The character development for Nas was done well in this book. I could actually see her “growing up” and accepting more responsibility and actually working on her relationships with people.
And the ending? It was rather sad. I wasn’t expecting it to be sad since you’re dealing with immortals and shouldn’t have to worry about any of the characters dying. But you know, now that I think about it, for a series about immortals, quite a lot of them don’t make it. Which surprises me a bit.
Caitlin: Well, that was the whole point of some of the plot. The immortals like to kill each other to steal power. Well, the evil immortals not any of the ones we liked. I will say, there was one death at the end that hit me pretty hard. I was just really starting to like that character and then…sigh.
I do think there was a scene missing from the ending but I can’t really explain why without lots of spoilers. Lets just say that I thought we needed to see a discussion that we never got to see.
Oh, and Reyn’s bromance! That was the best thing ever.
Christine: I forgot about the bromance! It was pretty epic. And yes, I would’ve liked to see that discussion as well, but the jump forward wasn’t that bad. I did read it several times before giving the book back to you. In fact, that’s probably going to be the first thing I read when I get my own copy.
Caitlin: You didn’t give it back to me. I haven’t seen my baby in months. *glares at Kate*
The ending, I think we can all agree was cute and satisfying in more ways than one. And I liked that it was about River and Nas’ relationship just as much as it was about Nas and Reyn.
I wish there was going to be a fourth book. Alas....more
I don't know what it is about this story, but it never really leaves me. I find myself re-reading it every year or so because I've started to forget wI don't know what it is about this story, but it never really leaves me. I find myself re-reading it every year or so because I've started to forget what takes place, and in doing so, get drawn back into the characters and their world.
Maybe it was because I read it at a young age or maybe because it really is that good, I've always considered this as one of my favorite books....more
Reading Cath's story was like reading a bit of my life in college, which is when I got really into fanfiction and even writiTHIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK.
Reading Cath's story was like reading a bit of my life in college, which is when I got really into fanfiction and even writing fanfiction. And I loved that she had a supportive group of real-life people who didn't think her writing fanfiction was weird or unhealthy or something she needed to stop doing. College was also the time when I started having serious relationships and figuring out how they worked and how I worked inside a relationship, which is part of growing up, but also scary and nerve-racking. Reading about Cath was like a spotlight into my soul and there aren't words to how insightful the entire experience was to me. Just knowing someone else out there gets it. Like, really GETS IT. I think I might start crying.
Ugh. The things I loved about this book would just be me reciting the entire book to you, so I won't do that. I'll just say, 'READ IT'. That's it. Read it. As soon as you can. You can thank me later....more
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH <-- That's literally the noise I heard in my head while reading this from all the stress of wanting everything to work outAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH <-- That's literally the noise I heard in my head while reading this from all the stress of wanting everything to work out.