Half-Blood is a book I wish I had had the time to read in one sitting. I really did not want to put it down! Drawn into the story from page 1, I soon...moreHalf-Blood is a book I wish I had had the time to read in one sitting. I really did not want to put it down! Drawn into the story from page 1, I soon fell in love with the characters and really just could not get enough of the world Jennifer created. I'm writing this after just turning that last page and I wish I had book 2 in my hands already.
Paranormal elements that were new and fresh and a setting that felt very much real. You might be reminded of other paranormal YA books while reading Half-Blood - the boarding school like setting, the hidden family secrets, the ridiculously hot guy(s?) that aren't as out of reach as they should be - BUT - the story itself and the characters were very unique. I never felt like I was reading the same old thing and I was never bored with the story.
I was engaged as a reader and I fell for the characters very quickly. Nerve racking at times, not sure who's side I should be on, full of mystery and hidden meanings; rules that just beg to be broken and characters that you will not be able to stop thinking about, Half-Blood is a thrill ride of a tale that fans of YA paranormal romance will absolutely love! (less)
Flyway is a dramatic contemporary story that I pretty much read in one sitting. It was very easy to get sucked into Stevie's life and story and it was...moreFlyway is a dramatic contemporary story that I pretty much read in one sitting. It was very easy to get sucked into Stevie's life and story and it was very hard to push her to the side, even for a short time. She's a pretty demanding character. Full of issues and really not sure of herself at all, I found myself liking her, even though I really didn't want to.
Stevie has a life that nobody would want. Her mother is a drug addict and Stevie worships her. She would do anything for her mother and at times this was frustrating. She made excuses and she covered things up because all she wanted was to have her mother home. I wanted her to get mad, but she never did. I wanted her mother to have to pay for actions but that doesn't really happen either.
When it comes down to it, Flyway is about a young girl's struggle with addiction - even though it isn't her own. There is no real redemption for Stevie's mother but this isn't her story - it's Stevie's. We view everything through her eyes and even thought she fillers a lot of her life, it's hard not to feel for her in the end. I wanted to scream at her for her tolerance of her mother's behavior but at the same time, I wanted someone to be there to take care of her.
A really good read for me. I can't say I loved every character (Stevie's aunt got on my nerves) but I very much enjoyed the story as a whole. I'm not at all familiar with drug addiction and how it affects families so I can't speak to the accuracy of the scenarios but I can say that the depth of feeling that these characters experiences felt real to me. (less)
My thoughts: While at times I felt that the story was a little drawn out, overall I enjoyed Spellbound. Suspenseful and engaging with a cast of charact...moreMy thoughts: While at times I felt that the story was a little drawn out, overall I enjoyed Spellbound. Suspenseful and engaging with a cast of characters I found easy to like, I didn't love every aspect of the story but it was a enjoyable read.
Emma is s strong character that stand up for herself and the people she cares about. She's a very real character. She's scared and self conscience but she also knows what she wants and isn't afraid to fight for it. Her swooning over Brendan was a little over the top at times but her feelings for him did seem genuine.
The background mystery of Spellbound was a little far fetched. Soul mates and ancient curses and natural born witches. At times it was a little hokey but again, overall it kind of worked for the story.
A few 'what were you thinking' moments, a few unrealistic social settings and a lot really sweet moments. Emma and her family, Emma and Brendan - there were more then a few sappy scenes but I really liked them all!
Final verdict: A paranormal tale with heart. Nothing too over dramatic and very enjoyable to read, Spellbound has a few very important things going for it. Realistic characters that I felt connected to coupled with a storyline I couldn't help but be drawn into. AND as a bonus, NO love triangles!
I really feel like Spellbound would be perfect as a standalone. Meaning, I'm not sure I'll read book 2. While I like this world, I wasn't completely draw into it. We'll see though!(less)
A great read for me. The post-apocalyptic world Jeff has created both thrilled and terrified. It's harsh and there are so many unknowns it's amazing t...moreA great read for me. The post-apocalyptic world Jeff has created both thrilled and terrified. It's harsh and there are so many unknowns it's amazing that anyone can survive. Society hasn't yet reformed itself, and it's questionably if it ever will. There is no known governing forces, the landscape is bare and desolate and the people who inhabit it aren't quite old enough to have forgotten how it use to be. It's a world trying to reform and still so very close to imploding.
This world in which Stephen lives is also very real. The remnants of the way things were are still fresh - I could see our world in Stephen's and this was not comforting at all. But, it was this realism that added a thrill to the story for me.
Alongside this scary, untamed world there is a cast of characters that I really enjoyed. Some really got to me and others didn't make much of an impression but it was a good mix.
Overall, I pretty much enjoyed every aspect of The Eleventh Plague and I'm very excited for whatever Jeff has planned next!
The Eleventh Plague is a great read for anyone but I really think younger boys will really be engaged by this story. The bleakness of the society combined with characters that are easy to relate to, in my opinion, makes this a perfect read for reluctant and avid readers alike.(less)
I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up Shatter Me. I've heard a lot of really great things about it from readers that I trust so I had s...moreI really didn't know what to expect when I picked up Shatter Me. I've heard a lot of really great things about it from readers that I trust so I had some pretty high expectations. I'm not sure it quite filled all of them but I do have to say, Shatter Me was a fantastic read.
A dystopian world that didn't always follow the rules - A romance that I felt like I was walking into the middle of before it really got started - Characters that didn't fit any norm that I had a hard time making sense of. You would think these factors might make for a less then enjoyable read but you would be very wrong! Tahereh combined everything so perfectly, making for a seamless dystopian adventure story filled with characters you won't soon forget. Especially Adam! He's almost too good to be true.
So hard to actually classify this one. Dystopian, yes. But there is also something perhaps paranormal going on? Or maybe it's entirely normal but we just don't have all the pieces yet? I really just don't know! But I loved the journey of this book. I loved watching Juliette and I loved learning about her world with her.
Final verdict: For a dystopian novel, Shatter Me is up there among my favorites. The romance felt true, with no clichés or love triangles. A lot of memorable characters and a world that has a lot more secrets to offer up. A fantastic debut!(less)
Such a fantastic read for me! I've always been a huge science fiction fan and recently I've discovered my love of dystopian stories. Nick combines bot...moreSuch a fantastic read for me! I've always been a huge science fiction fan and recently I've discovered my love of dystopian stories. Nick combines both these elements perfectly so it was pretty much a win win situation for me. What really drew me in was how easily these two worlds fit together.
Jesse Fisher lives in what was once The United States of America. After a devastating attack, Earth has been rendered almost inhabitable. The government has reformed and priorities have shifted. It's only been through the saving grace of Pearls that so many people have been able to survive. These strange and powerful orbs began falling from the sky soon after the attack. Seeming to be made of pure energy, each Pearl can power a Chosen city or a Skyship for months. These Chosen cities and floating Skyships are havens where, for the right price, people can live in safety and comfort.
As with a lot of dystopian tales, there are many layers to the new world we find our characters in. Jesse has to contend with the world of the surface and the world of the sky and things aren't always as they seem. Also, in true science fiction fashion, the Pearls also have some secrets of their own. I really can't say much more without giving away too much! Definitely a book that you do not want to see spoilers of.
I really loved the characters in this book. Jesse isn't the strongest or the best at anything but he doesn't let that stop him. Cassius finds out that being the strongest and the best doesn't mean all that much if you've been lied to your entire life. As for other supporting characters, some seem pretty black or white, good or bad...but I have a feeling I might be wrong about them. There is just so much mystery to this story it's hard to tell who's going to come out on top in the end.
This strange world full of floating cities, barren landscapes, magical Pearls, lies and mystery got me hooked from page one. A fantastic debut and I'm supper excited for book 2!(less)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book unlike any other I've read. You'll have to forgive me if this review is a tad short as there is ve...moreWow. Just wow.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a book unlike any other I've read. You'll have to forgive me if this review is a tad short as there is very little I can say without giving away Mara's secrets. It is the secrets of this story and of it's characters that makes it what it is. And what it is, is the best book I have read in a very, very, very long time.
From hearing a few tidbits from those who read it and also from hearing Michelle herself speak of it, I knew there was going to be something different about this book. It was pretty hard for Michelle to even give a brief synopsis without revealing too much and now I understand why.
I was captivated and draw into the story from page 1 and it was very hard for me to put it down. I lost sleep and I was late for work because I just couldn't not read one more page! Michelle has a way with words and such a firm grasp on her characters, especially Mara. I felt what she felt and I questioned what she questioned. At no time did I feel like, as a reader, I knew more then she did about what was happening to her. This level of depth was fantastic and opened up the door to so many possibilities -- loved this!
And wow again - that ending! Shock and fright and amazement -- so did not see it coming and it was brilliant! I'm almost sad that I read this one early -- it means waiting even longer for book 2 and man! I need book 2 like yesterday!
A fabulous debut for Michelle and I can't wait to read more from her. As one of the best books I have read this year, I highly recommend The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer!!(less)
My thoughts: Bumped is...well...it's different. It's nothing like any young adult book I've every read and it's really nothing like current dystopian b...moreMy thoughts: Bumped is...well...it's different. It's nothing like any young adult book I've every read and it's really nothing like current dystopian books flooding the market these days. And...well...I'm not sure this is a good thing.
In Bumped, the entire human race as lost it's power to procreate after the age of 18. No reason for this is given, aside from it being a virus so that was a little frustrating. For me, the best type of dystopian stories are ones with a believable and solid catalyst. Something that turns the world as we know it on it's head. And while the world of Bumped is surely turned very upside down...there is a lot to be desired in the dystopian department - for me at least.
Another reason I never really warmed up to this book was the overall loveless and degrading nature of the society portrayed. So humans can't conceive after the age of 18. Ok. But to go from that to girls as young as 14 'bumping' for profit? For such things as amateur (will sleep with anyone to get preggers) to professional (will only have sex under contract) 'bumpers'? For there to exist absolutely no room for the love a mother should feels for her child -- one she 'bumped' herself or bought? And I'm still unsure if any teenagers are allowed to keep their babies. It seems like every child is bought and sold - no matter what. Whoa. Feel like we missed a few crucial societal, civil and human degradations to drop us down to this level of depravity.
I've seen reviews that bash Bumped for a lot of the same reasons I've listed above. The bashing, I do believe is unwarranted. While, I did not enjoy this book, I think I get what the author was trying to say. I mean, everything (EVERYTHING) is so over the top, in your face, sex sex sex sex sex! That is has to be satire? Right? I honestly don't know but, I don't think Bumped was written to offend - I say this because I do believe a lot of people will find Bumped very offensive. And, have to say, it's a little hard to argue for Bumped when it contains such dialog as this: (taken from finished copy)
"Hey, there's nothing wrong with humping when you're bumping. Raimundo and I went at it like crazy for the full forty-two and my first pregg didn't come out all cock-knocked in the head."
Yeah…most of the book isn't this bad but yeah…
Final verdict: So, was Bumped for me? No. And not because I was offended by it's overly sexual and degrading content. I didn't enjoy Bumped because it wasn't a believable dystopian story. I never connected with any of the characters and the added addition of the religious elements really just didn't work for the story -- for me.
Would you enjoy Bumped? Go into it with an open mind but if you don't enjoy reading about sex then do not pick this one up. AND - the story doesn't end. No cliff hanger really - felt more like I was missing the last page - or chapter. I read an e-galley but I don't think the finished version is any different - someone please correct me if I'm wrong.(less)
My thoughts: From the moment ARCs starting falling into eager reader's hands I have heard nothing but good things about Divergent. Lots of fangirl exci...moreMy thoughts: From the moment ARCs starting falling into eager reader's hands I have heard nothing but good things about Divergent. Lots of fangirl excitement, lots of people lost for words at how very excellent they thought this book was. The hype was (and still is) HUGE!
And you're wondering…..was it warranted? I say - "Oh hell yeah!"
I love this book. I love it for it's characters, for it's dystopian world, for it's emotion - both of love and of hate. Best of all, I love it for it's simplicity. Dystopian tales run the risk of being too messy. Too many factors at play at once with too many possibilities. Not so with Divergent. It's dystopian playground is clean and believable. The world is different from ours today but it's still very much our world. This makes the actions of each character vivid and real.
And the characters! I really did fall in love with every one of them. Very believable and very enjoyable to read. Especially Tris. She is just a strong person, both emotionally and, she discovers, physically as well.
Again though, it was the dystopian world that Veronica created that kept my attention. It's a little strange and pretty harsh but it makes sense. The rules that govern society are logical and the characters actions fit exactly into the molds they should fit into.
That's not to say there weren't any surprises because there were but they were very welcomed and enjoyable to read!
Final verdict: Divergent is a book that stays with you for a while after you turn that last page. I find myself wondering just what faction I would choose!
I'm very excited there will be more book in this series because I feel very invested in Tris's story and even though a lot of things were worked through in Divergent, there is the potential for a lot more to be told.
I highly recommend this book to fans of dystopian YA stories - I don't think you'll be disappointed. (less)
One of the things I loved best about Fury was the way in which the paranormal elements of the story were introduced. As a reader, I knew what was goin...moreOne of the things I loved best about Fury was the way in which the paranormal elements of the story were introduced. As a reader, I knew what was going on but the characters I was reading about didn't. I could scream at them all I wanted to 'not open that door' or to not 'run up those stairs' but in true horror movie fashion, they never listened. They were in the dark and even though their sleepy little Maine town was neck deep in some pretty freaky paranormal trouble, they never saw it coming.
The characters in Fury were interesting. Em is a pretty average high school girl - complete with flaws that most people, regardless of age, possess. We don't see much of Gabby, Em's best friend, even though she plays a huge part in what happens to Em. And the parts I did see of her, I didn't like much. It was hard to envision her and Em being as close as they say they are. But I could understand why they were friends. How they played off of each other and when it came down to it, they were there for each other. Zach is an ass and it got to me how neither Em or Gabby can see this about him. I also had some issues with what exactly happens (and doesn't happen) to him...but you'll have to read Fury for yourself to know what I'm talking about :)
There are a lot of other characters involved in the complex story behind the strangeness going on. I loved how every character has a purpose. Everyone was important and people were connected in ways that you didn't always see coming.
The entire concept of Fury was new and intriguing to me and once I really got into the story, I found it a hard book to put down. There were a bunch of unanswered questions for me and I'm really interested to find out what happens next.(less)