Angelfire was one of those books that literally didn't leave my hands until I was finished reading it. I was captivated by the story from the very beg...moreAngelfire was one of those books that literally didn't leave my hands until I was finished reading it. I was captivated by the story from the very beginning and it just got better and better the more I read.
I'm a sucker for angel stories. Always have been so I was pretty sure I was going to like Angelfire. What I wasn't expecting was the complexity of the story. Ellie's life, or I really should say, lives, lead to so much back story. So many layers to uncover and I loved how Ellie was as unaware of her past as I was. I loved the discovery of it all. Knowing there was so much more going on. It really was fascinating.
Now, I have to say, I don't often swoon over a male character in a YA book but Will? Oh my! He could protect me any day! And! It rarely happens that I find no fault in the romance aspect of a YA book but Angelfire was pretty spot on perfect to me!
Final verdict: A refreshing YA paranormal read. Having read an e-galley, I'm very much looking forward buying a shiny copy for my shelves.
So so glad this one's the first in a trilogy! I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading about Ellie and Will. Individually, they are both strong, powerful characters. Together? They are fierce! Angelfire is a book I can see myself reading for a second time. Not many books fall into that category :)
I highly recommend Angelfire to fans of YA paranormal stories. I think you'll be captivated as much as I was.
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)
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)
My Thoughts: Overall the story told in Darker Still proved to be a bit too word...moreFrom my review at Red House Books
Overall Feelings: A little underwhelmed.
My Thoughts: Overall the story told in Darker Still proved to be a bit too wordy for my taste. Also, I'm not very fond of stories told as diary entries. And I have no idea why the heroine was mute. And there were a few other bits and pieces that didn't really fit together for me.
So did I like it? I did but not overly so. The story was a good one, if you can ignore the similarities with The Picture of Dorien Grey, which I never much enjoyed. The characters are interesting but since the story is told from the point of view of dairy entries made by Natalie I never felt like I got a really clear picture of anyone else.
I also wasn't really on board with the romance. Too insta love and it didn't really seem to be based on much. Lots of 'we were meant to be' and 'something brought us together' - very unrealistic.
The tale is a thrilling one - lots of danger and mystery. But since everything is told after the fact the suspense factor is very low.
I knew Natalie made it through whatever peril she happens to be in at the moment because she was writing in her diary telling me about it - after it happened. I also felt like she used way more words then necessary. It being 1880 does lend itself to more verbose language then I'm used to in my readings, but still, I felt it was all a bit too much. Especially because I didn't feel like much of anything really happened. I pretty much had the story figured out from the first couple of chapters.
Will I Continue the Series?: As the first in a series, I'm not sure I can say that I will pick up book 2. I would rather have liked the story to have ended. While I can see how the storyline could go on to explore more of the secrets hinted about in Darker Still, I can't muster up much enthusiasm as to what these secrets are or what untimely happens to the characters. (less)
I was: A little underwhelmed by the adventure but curious as to how things will turn out for Eve and her friends.
My thoughts: A dystopian world on the...moreI was: A little underwhelmed by the adventure but curious as to how things will turn out for Eve and her friends.
My thoughts: A dystopian world on the edge but on the edge of what, I'm not quite sure. A confusing description perhaps, but Eve was a bit of a confusing read for me. It's dystopian world lacked some cohesion. I'm still not quite sure exactly what’s going on or rather, I was confused by the actions of those in power. There is this force driving society but it isn't really explained. I can only assume more answers will be revealed in book 2 but even knowing a book is the first in the series, I still expect some closure at the end. Have to say, at the end of Eve I wasn't very happy at all.
That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the story. Eve herself is an interesting character. She starts off very naive about her world - very much in the dark about her place and purpose. I liked the fact that she is thrown into things and has to adapt and change her way of thinking very quickly. I didn't like how it happened however. I didn't feel like I got enough information about where Eve came from and I didn't understand the place she was hoping to find. Some things are explained as the story progresses but it still very much felt like a book 1 with too many holes in the story.
Will I read book 2? I think yes. Even though I didn't fall in love with the characters or the setting of Eve, I did feel invested in the story and I really do want to know how it turns out. I do have to say though, that ending really had me. I very much felt like I was missing a page or two. There is this build up to a climax that doesn't really happen and for me, I'd have to say Eve suffers from Titanic movie ending syndrome aka make room on the damn raft for him already!
Click for a spoiler filled explanation on what I mean:
(view spoiler)[So Eve and Caleb makes this perilous journey to...San Francisco was it? In any case, they travel long and hard and they face danger and they are pretty much in love with each other. So they get where they are going and Caleb is hurt and the rulers of the sanctuary they seek are all like 'sorry, no boys allowed' and Caleb's all like 'it's cook, I knew' and Eve's all "oh..ok...well don't die! I'll see you soon right?" - What? Why did she leave him? Why did she go with these strangers and leave her friend alone and hurt and possibly dying? Make room on the damn raft for him! Or rather, don't go with the creepy man hating strangers - find some other way! (hide spoiler)]
End spoilers...and mini rant :)
Again, I hoping things will make a bit more sense in book 2.
Final verdict: Don't let my lack luster review steer you away from Eve. Overall, it's a book I'm happy to have read. If dystopian is your thing, I think you'll enjoy Eve's story. If series books aren't, you might want to skip it.
There are a few very specific questions I'm really looking forward to have answered and I'm really curious as to how they are going to be answered. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(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)
Angel Burn's take on angels is very different. They are paranormal creatures but not heavenly. They aren't from our world, at least I don't think they...moreAngel Burn's take on angels is very different. They are paranormal creatures but not heavenly. They aren't from our world, at least I don't think they are, and the world they come from isn't explained very much. I don't really know what this world is but it's not heaven and God doesn't live there. And angels are really more like life-force sucking demons then harp playing embodiments of all that is good.
So! From the very beginning, Angel Burn, like I said, is different! I happen to like this. I liked the evil angels aspect, I liked the characters and I enjoyed the story.
The complete lack of mainstream thoughts on God or religion did confused me a little. There is no talk of heaven or God in Angel Burn and for a book focused solely around the existence of angels that was a little weird. And it's not like the term angel was given to these creatures and they are in fact something else paranormal. They are presented as being actual angels. The same angels that humans have been writing about and believing in forever.
Then there is the romance between Willow and Alex. Have to say - it wasn't what I expected. It actually wasn't love at first sight, I can't possibly live without you even though I just met you love. It was more then 300 pages into the book before they admitted to even liking each other. So, that was refreshing. But then, things progressed a little fast. I didn't mind because I really liked Willow and Alex as characters and I thought they were actually very sweet together. AND! No love triangles!
Angel Burn was hard to put down at times and I have to say, I didn't quite see that ending coming. As the first in a trilogy, I'm very excited to see what happens to Willow as she discovers more of her past and tried to make a future for herself. I'm a big fan of fantasy and paranormal angel stories and I wasn't disappointed with Angel Burn. A great YA paranormal read and I wouldn't have any problems recommending. (less)
If you're browsing through a bookstore or library and you see Wonderstuck on shelf, you might be tempted to pass it by. It's a hefty looking tome. 600...moreIf you're browsing through a bookstore or library and you see Wonderstuck on shelf, you might be tempted to pass it by. It's a hefty looking tome. 600 + pages and a hardcover to boot! However, you should, under no circumstances, walk away from this book. I assure you, once you have it in your hands - once you see the very first page - you will not be putting it down. You won't have a choice. It's coming home with you and you're going to read it all in one sitting. I promise you!
Wonderstuck is a visually stunning book with a powerful story to back it up. Not that the illustrations need any back up! They can very easily stand on their own. There are 2 stories being told here - one with pictures and one with words. It isn't until the end that everything is brought together. Such a heartfelt story with so much emotion behind every picture and every word.
A fantastic journey of the senses! If you've read Brain's previous book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, you should have a feel for what I'm talking about. (And if you haven't read it - do it now!). The same beauty exists within the pages of Wonderstruck. I found the same sense of awe and amazement and I loved it!
Final verdict: Wonderstuck isn't a children's book or a young adult book it is simply a book. A book I would recommend to everyone as it should be read by everyone. I dare you to give it a try and not be affected. (less)