I was actually really excited to read this book of poetry. Some of the poems were very good, but I'm afraid I just didn't like too many of them. I fel...moreI was actually really excited to read this book of poetry. Some of the poems were very good, but I'm afraid I just didn't like too many of them. I felt like there was an attempt to bring out a raw quality to the poems that ended up looking sloppy instead of raw.
the Psychiatrist can sign you away the Psychiatrist can give you a script or several pills depending on the diagnosis
I like a lot of factors to this poem - that the only real punctuation is in the capitalisation of Psychiatrist, and I get what he's trying to say. But that last line of the above quote totally broke me out of the poem. there's a lot of lines like that in this book.
Nobody whistles in the dark and Jack, the Moon were the poems I liked the best. The poems where he's not beating you over the head with his meaning - that are more subtle and powerful in their language.
"Blood lithium free and cycling machine gun thoughts, all buttons pressed at one"
It just makes more sense to me, fulfils the preconceived notions of what poetry should be like the Psychiatrist didn't.
RSVP just made me laugh.
A lot of the poems dealt with mental health, which happen to be my favourite kind of poems. the moth's song was particularly good in that regard.
Over all, a decent set of poetry, I'd like to read more of his stuff, even if I don't like all of it.(less)
It’s always intimidating to review a book so loaded by high fan expectations and low critic opinions. This book is DIVIDED, my friend. It will turn hu...moreIt’s always intimidating to review a book so loaded by high fan expectations and low critic opinions. This book is DIVIDED, my friend. It will turn husband against wife, brother against sister, dog against cat…wait. Well, you get the idea.
So let me break down what I liked and what I didn’t like so that you can decide whether you want to read it for yourself.
I liked… Celeana. This is not a common thing, apparently.
Isn't Celaena the ditziest, most incompetent assassin ever? :D She's all "ohhh, candy! ohh, Dorian's smile. ohhh, ball gowns"
She was arrogant, vain, narcissistic, flawed and I loved every bit of it. I loved her love of pretty dresses and candy. The girl was in a death camp ffs! She can enjoy anything she wants. I love her love of food I loved watching her make friends, I loved her blood thirsty, ragey nature that was sometimes comical. But it’s okay not to like those things. It’s easy to remember she’s an 18 year old girl and easy to forget she’s an assassin in this book. Because she doesn’t do a whole lot of any kind of murdering.
I really just needed her to kill someone…Just one person!
The plot made it hard to show off any of the best ideas about this book because it mostly revolved around the romance between Celeana, Dorian and Chaol. Something of which I had absolutely no investment at all. In fact, the narrative would SKIP over the tests and the gory deaths of people just so that we could see more of these two dudes skipping around mooning of Celeana who is, sorry, about a million times more interesting than either of them. *Cue angry fan reactions*
The plot didn’t do Celeana justice because she was always like:
And I SO wanted to believe it, but why should the reader believe these claims of how badass she is, when you can’t see her doing any badass stuff. Just a lot of prancing around and promises to kill people. Promises, may I add, that don’t get fulfilled! Can you tell I’m a bloodthirsty wench since I wanted a little stabby stabby so bad?
The writing was perfectly serviceable and most parts, I don’t have many complaints about that. I just wanted to not be bored. I wanted it so bad. But I was. Hopefully, the second book will make me fall in love.
I received this book for free from Book Expo America in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It should probably be illegal to keep reading an authors work when you’ve so thoroughly panned it twice before but, you see, I was curious. Take away...moreIt should probably be illegal to keep reading an authors work when you’ve so thoroughly panned it twice before but, you see, I was curious. Take away the horrible plotting and burdensome story of The Goddess Test, could Carter write something I liked, because I always suspected she could. If Pawn had continued in quality from the first half into the second, then I’d probably be giving it four stars right now.
Pawn started out very promising indeed. Kitty, ranked a three in a society that lives and dies by rankings, has two choices. Shovel shit in a far off city away from her beloved boyfriend, or take to prostitution. Figuring prostitution is temporary, she chooses option B but is quickly given a third option. Become the body double of the newly deceased princess.
Kitty, living as Lila Hart, still isn’t safe. She knows her days are numbered and the only way to survive is to play the game and hope she can outsmart the other players. Pawn is really well written and well actualised up until roughly this point. The players are all there, you can see the intrigues and alliances and power plays are all ready to be explored.
Where Pawn lets you down is that they aren’t explored at all. Despite Kitty’s plan to try and outsmart the others, despite the myriad references to a chess match which spawns the title of the book, Kitty does not play or dalliance in any kind of battle of wits. She is a very reactionary character, making decisions and acting on the spur of the moment, often to her detriment. This would be okay, except the other characters fare little better in their plotting. Eventually it becomes a jumbled mess with too many plot holes and not enough sense to see it through to a satisfactory end. I don’t think any characters knew what the fuck they were doing. It kind of feels like the author just kind of went with whatever plot twists occurred to her at that moment.
Which means that I want to be annoyed, but I’m not. I’m relatively impressed with this offering from Carter, but still disappointed at the wasted potential. The writing has improved, as has Carter’s use of characterisation and gender roles. Plotting and plotholes aside, the writing and pacing of this book was pretty good – a definite improvement!
This is the third Carter book I’ve read now. I want to read the sequel to this, but doesn’t that constitute some kind of cruel and unusual book reviewing behaviour? On one hand, if I’d hated this book, I’d be like:
But I didn’t hate it, and I doubt many readers will despite its faults. It’s a pretty endearing novel and I’m glad that I read it. So onto the next one for me!
Even if maybe, at this point, Carter is like:
This book was given to me for review purposes. No money was exchanged for this review though, ya know, that would have been nice for me.
The only thing you need to know about this book is that it is adorbs. Totally, utterly, sweetly adorable. It will give you all the cute feelings and m...moreThe only thing you need to know about this book is that it is adorbs. Totally, utterly, sweetly adorable. It will give you all the cute feelings and make you want to hug both protagonists. Anyone who doesn’t agree?
Anybody who doesn’t finish this book wanting to hug everyone involved has no soul. NO SOUL, I SAY!
Do I still have to review the rest of it? I do? Okay. Fine. The writing was fairly good. There were a few times where the characters were stuck having conversations that clearly became lectures from an author mouthpiece. But, you know what? I don’t even care because: adorbs.
The relationship between Aleks and Ethan was intensely sweet and surprisingly physical given the age of our protagonist. And by physical, I mean, I had to stop a couple of times to swoon.
It’s the characters, though, the whole range of them, that’s going to make you love this book. From Aleks himself who is brilliantly written in a teenage voice, to his parents and brother and Ethan himself. I love them all. I just want to HUG them all. Awkwardly. For an indecent amount of time.
The richest part of the story is Alek’s Armenian heritage and the foods that are richly described in the story. We actually went to an Armenian restaurant that evening to eat the food because it was described so beautifully in the book.
There’s not much more to say. This book is perfect if you’re in the mood for lighthearted fun and a sweet story.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Did you know this book is shiny? Just look at its cover! So shiny! Gloriously, gloriously shiny. You know how some people are beautiful on the inside...moreDid you know this book is shiny? Just look at its cover! So shiny! Gloriously, gloriously shiny. You know how some people are beautiful on the inside and the outside? Well the great thing about this ponderously big tome is that it is shiny on the outside and the inside. Rather like a phosphorescent jellyfish, it shines even if you cut it open and play with its splayed tenders.
How is it shiny on the inside, Kat? You ask because you like things to make sense.
Cat scientists are only marginally more terrifying than real scientists.
Everything inside this book is just so good and pure and awesome. Maggie is one of those unusual YA protagonists who actually moves the storyline along herself. She doesn’t wait for anyone to strike. She’s beautifully flawed, fatally flawed but you just can’t help love her. She has a goal, a job to do and she’ll manoeuvre people into position to do it, even to her own detriment.
The game she plays with Quentin is gripping and the romance between the two characters makes me want to drink a bottle of wine and present a ring to this book if only to keep it with me forever. Maggie’s pro activeness in everything drives the entire book. From plot and pacing to character reveals and the thrilling end.
In fact Maggie stalked me until she found out about that time I killed a old man over half a pickle sandwich.
Then she threatened to expose me unless I wrote a favourable review of this book.
Now she’ll probably discard me once I’ve become useless to her in her grand scheme to bring down a multibillion dollar corporation that controls the world.
I both fear and love her. Part of me respects her and I absolutely can’t wait to see how this series ends.
This review appears on my blog, . I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. (less)
The book started off okay but then became annoyingly rapey. With an over the top alpha male who was just boring and a storyline that was blah. Predict...moreThe book started off okay but then became annoyingly rapey. With an over the top alpha male who was just boring and a storyline that was blah. Predictable, boring, same-same. If you've read more than a couple of PNRs in your life, then I guarantee you've already read something exactly like this book. Probably even better.(less)
Someone much crueller than me would describe this book as a Survivor Reality show meets YA. Giant race, one winner, only instead of a cash prize and n...moreSomeone much crueller than me would describe this book as a Survivor Reality show meets YA. Giant race, one winner, only instead of a cash prize and not-so-eternal glory, the winner of the Brimstone Bleed gets a cure to save their dying relative. That’s the situation every contestant, including Tella our protagonist, is in.
With only their Pandoras to rely on, each contender has to run the game with no rules and make it to the finish line first to claim a prize. Fire & Flood covers the first two locations, half of the race, and follows Tella as she tries to survive the harsh conditions to save her brother. Clearly my first thought was to seriously consider whether I would do such a race for either of my brothers.
Should have let me play with your lego, asshole!
Honestly, I’m joking. Pretty sure I’d do this at least once for each of my brosephs, but maybe that’s because I think I could probably survive this whole experience a bit better than Tella who has exactly no survival skills. Tella, I love you, but you roll a leech off. Don’t pull it! Basically, the only thing stopping me from winning this race would be my appalling sense of direction.
Scott had completely won me over with The Collector, so I was pretty excited to read this. It is a massive departure in style, story and thematically which is brave of Scott as a writer to embrace. I have a lot of respect for authors who can branch out and try new things. This book mostly worked for me. I didn’t absolutely love it, but I quite liked it.
The positives are what Scott brought to the table in terms of characterisation. The book is very character driven when not drowning you in suspense and walking. The survivalist aspects of the novel are a major selling point if you’re into that sort of thing. But I would have liked to have seen more development in the romance. What did Guy like about Tella? What made them click other than throbbing hormones and the safety net he provides her? I couldn’t say. Not that I didn’t like Guy but that their relationship made little sense to me.
The Pandoras are a great addition to the novel, providing much of the moral quandary and entertainment for the reader. Scott has pulled all out to build up not just the cast, but their Pokemon sidekicks too, in order to enrich the novel. Downside is that the story just didn’t make much sense. The eventual explanation for the race was something of an anticlimax, leaving me scratching my head and wondering how this event has stayed so incognito. There’s a lot of questions and not nearly enough answers.
All up it was an enjoyable novel and I look forward to the sequel. Even if I could beat this book in a race.
Otherwise known as Tumble & BORE (sorry, I hadn’t seen anyone use that pun yet). Tumble & Fail: the most boring apocalyptic b...moreTumble & Fall
Otherwise known as Tumble & BORE (sorry, I hadn’t seen anyone use that pun yet). Tumble & Fail: the most boring apocalyptic book ever. A gentler, kinder soul might say that it’s a character-driven novel exploring the way three teens face the oncoming apocalypse. That gentler and kinder soul would be wrong. The apocalypse is treated like background radiation. It keeps getting mentioned, but it’s hard to see what the hell it’s got to do with the book. Honestly, you could remove it and most of the book would scarcely be affected which is problematic considering how much the book rides on that concept.
This book is made even more boring since, for a bunch of people about to possibly die, and have everyone they love die, these are the most disaffected people ever. No joke, the first hundred pages or so of this novel is people standing around going:
“Hey, heard about that apocalypse thing?”
“Yeah, sucks. Wanna make out?”
There you go. If you were interested in Tumble & Fall, you now have a basic grasp of the plot – times three! This is possibly the most disconnected and emotionless novel I have ever read. Even Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality was more interesting because at least it was funny! Zan gets the closest to some kind of emotional impact, but it’s over a boy who died 10 months ago. Where’s the examining of one’s life, the search for the meaning of it all, the desperate despair at an uncontrollable fate? If you’re writing a story about the oncoming apocalypse, here’s a tip, why don’t some of the characters spend some time actually agonizing over it. This novel spends so much time trying to be cool, yet fails to be anything other than frustrating.
The writing is abysmal, especially when it’s trying to be clever.
“Two things people make time for at the end of the world: Free food and a party.”
The two things everyone cares about is sex and doing all the illegal shit they couldn’t otherwise do unless the world was coming to an end. End times babies and our inherent affinity to breaking shit is proof of that.
Free food and a party? Don’t get me wrong, I will eat ALL the things if I know the end of the world is over. I’ll probably have cans of whipped cream on tap just so I can constantly be injecting it into my mouth. But a lame community center party with cocktail wienies? WHO DOES THIS?! You have a week to live people! It’s like you don’t even know how!
Here’s a tip:
-Big ass speakers and a base.
-A packet of condoms (safe sex, kids! Even at the end of the world!)
-an enraged badger
-a bag full of feathers
-enough PVC glue to fill a vat
-a pool filled with corn flour slime
-inflatable pool filled with jello
-clothing optional policy
I don’t know about you, but that party sounds like it’d be totally illegal in at least 49 states but totally awesome in every single one of them! Boom. I should have written this novel.
Most of the time, unless I paid attention to the chapter header, it took me awhile to figure out who was who. I only figured out the difference between Zan and Sierra because one of them was constantly moaning about a dead boyfriend that I honestly couldn’t have cared less about. And the only thing that marks Caden’s chapters differently is that he’s checking out girls instead of boys and being even more disaffected than the other two characters. Which frankly seems like he bends the rules of the time space continuum to achieve.
What I want to know is, end of the world, why did Coutts pick the three most boring teenagers ever, living at the most boring place ever, to write about?
I stretched my brain to think about three characters I’d be even less enthused to read about and this was all I could come up with:
1. Someone whose goal is to document the full life cycle of the Boletellus obscurecoccineus fungus family before the end of the world. 2. A man desperately trying to convince family and friends to legitimately convert to Jedi-ism before the end of the world to save their mitochondrial souls (because he doesn’t really understand the force). 3. A mime trying to send a message of peace to the entire world through silent body motions – only to realize, sadly, that nobody cares. Because everyone hates mimes. Everyone.
Actually, I take that back. Those three people could actually manage to be more interesting.
This book was given to me by the publishers for the purpose of an honest review. As you can see, there's no reason they would give me money, gifts or favors for this kind of stuff.
The later books in this series go a long way toward making up for the rapey first few books. But I still don't know why I'm reading them. WITCH! She's...moreThe later books in this series go a long way toward making up for the rapey first few books. But I still don't know why I'm reading them. WITCH! She's a witch! May we burn her?(less)
Adams has written a total psychopath, and sometimes I’m kind of worried because he doesn’t seem to think this character is necessarily a psychopath. O...moreAdams has written a total psychopath, and sometimes I’m kind of worried because he doesn’t seem to think this character is necessarily a psychopath. Or maybe he’s fooling us. See, I interviewed him about this terrifying character and this was his response:
“I loved writing X because he doesn’t see himself as a bad guy at all. And maybe he’s not. What he has is a plan to save the world and the power to put it into action even though his means seem ruthless. But, like he tells Danby, God didn’t say to Noah, “Hey, beardy, get all the animals” – he said get two of each. X thinks it’s important to save people with skills to rebuild the world rather than try to save everyone. I think if you got access to government emergency plans, they’d have similar sort of ideas on the books. If you’re an author, sucked in. If you’re an engineer, we’ve got your Ark berth all made up. X’s point is also that circumstances have allowed him and Danby to create a new world from the ground up. There are no billionaires or politicians or celebrities to get preference over ordinary folk. Being able to explore his complexity – and Danby having to admit that he makes sense – made him feel very real and their relationship a joy to write. Those themes are picked up in the second book. Danby might not be as all-knowing as she can think she is. Or is she? Whaaaaaaaat?”
No, Adams. You’re a tops guy and I can’t wait to chug back beers with you one day (Editors note: OMG. We are so goddamn Australian it hurts), but no. He is eviller than someone who doesn’t like My Little Pony (the worst kind of evil).
I say this because The Last Girl is the best kind of Apocalypse book around. Not only original, but an actual apocalypse. With a lot of apocalypse books, you tend to see things just after the world has gone to shit. The story starts with a survivor, just after most of humanity is lost. The Lost Girl doesn’t shy away from all that, and Danby is in a situation where she has to choose who dies and who lives. Who she can save and who she has to abandon. That’s pretty intense. And that’s also hard work for a writer, thus why a lot skip it over in preference for getting down to the fun carnage bits. Believe it or not, it’s kind of hard to orchestrate a believable end of the world, from a writerly point of view.
Doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Mainly, it’s biggest issue is me. Because I’ve read so many bloody apocalyptic novels that they all tend to blend into each other. However, for someone mostly new to the genre – this would be a good place to start. Think John Marsden meets Pyscho, though I’m not sure Adams meant it to be this way. The concept is original, Danby is cool, but the set up isn’t. Love triangle, psycho boyfriend, only one girl who can save them all. It’s pretty run-of-the-mill stuff in Young Adult Landia. Shatter Me did the psycho boyfriend better, but since The Last Girl doesn’t have the horrible purple prose, it wins on all other accounts. And the setting in Sydney is refreshing to the usual middle America. Writing is pretty good.
It took me a while to get into this book. The love-triangle thinggie didn’t help, but then things get full on scary and that’s when the book gets good. The first half of the book is a 2.5 star read for me, but the second half was a solid 5 star because it gets suspenseful as all hell. The narrative itself feels kind of critical of social media, and Adams seems to be aware of that. Is constant connectivity a good or bad thing? I feel like that’s what The Last Girl is really asking. And it’s answer is that we don’t really want to be connected to everyone at all times, we only think we do. We want everyone to know that we’re eating a cake in the shape of Steampunk Harley Quinn’s face for our birthday party, but not that we think anal beads would be a fun thing to try this weekend. And that’s an interesting distinction, one it pays to wonder if future generations will have to struggle with more than us. The line between our real selves and our online selves becomes increasingly blurred. And what if we stop knowing the difference? The implausibility of the story vehicle aside, The Last Girl asks a lot of questions. Ones I’d be happy to answer as soon as I’m finished looking up pictures of cats who like cheese burgers and can’t spell.
I have no complaints, people. I’m putting this on my Christmas List Recommendation Guide Thinggie for Teenagers. I guess I’m just waiting for book #2 to come out to see if it can really deviate into amazing territory, and if Adams can keep up the momentum from the second half of the book. It seems to me, his strength lies in the psychological thriller side, which the second book seems to promise a lot of.
Until then, peanut butter jelly time! (Because I’m shallow and all moral quandaries result in the celebration of useless memes.)
This book was provided to me for review purposes. Nobody paid me for it and I received no favours or gifts for it. This is a problem. Where's my goddamn pony?! I was promised a pony! Can someone get back to me asap with my pony?!
I described this book to my mother. “It’s about a chef who gets kidnapped by pirates. He has to cook a gourmet meal for the pirate captain once a week...moreI described this book to my mother. “It’s about a chef who gets kidnapped by pirates. He has to cook a gourmet meal for the pirate captain once a week. And this pirate captain, mom, she is AWESOME!”
My mom smiled knowingly, “Oh. And then they start getting it on like rabbits!”
I faltered for a moment, stalling while trying to explain. “No! It’s not a romance-romance. I mean, they do develop a relationship but it’s…not a focus in the novel.”
My mom seemed to understand, giving a confident nod. “So how does a teenager become a pirate captain?”
My brain stalled again. “No, um, the chef and Mabbot are middle-aged.”
This time, it was my mother was the confused one. “What are you doing reading this?”
She has a point. This isn’t my usual blog-reading fair. Not romance and no teens? Yet as soon as I saw this book on the publishing line up, I couldn’t resist getting it and I’m so glad I did.
This book was amazing. No-holds-barred, completely fantastic. I loved every minute of it.
No detail is spared and the level of research used in this novel is astounding. Obviously the biggest fascination for me was the seemingly-insurmountable task Wedge is faced with once a week. Preparing a gourmet meal on a pirate ship where food is scarce, basic and the kitchen rudimentary at best. Yet Wedge is a genius and his resourcefulness both in cooking and trying to escape was more than admirable. It was fascinating!
But obviously the biggest draw for me was the construction of the characters. Wedge, a pudgy, middle-aged, chef pitched against Mad Hannah Mabbot. She’s brilliant, fiery, passionate, endlessly-capable, fierce, blazing, outlandish, charismatic. If you can tell I loved her, good. Kids, when I grow up, I want to BE The Shark of the Indian Ocean, Mad Hannah Mabbot, Back-from-the-dead Red. I seriously need to start working on a badass pirate name like that. The journey they go through as Captain Mabbot chases The Fox, the King of Thieves, and evades the grimly determined Laroche while aiming to bring down the Pendleton Trading company is action packed, blood-soaked and utterly enthralling.
The writing is detailed and so incredibly nuanced. Wedge’s personality shines from every page as the fussy, prudish, cooking-obsessed Catholic man who has the world and his Regency-era appropriations torn down around him. The result is a much better person. Don’t be deceived. There are no alpha-males with rippling muscles, or chest-heaving women needing to be saved. Captain Mabbot would kick an alpha male in the teeth, tie him over a churning ocean and laugh madly while she robbed him blind. Wedge can only really beat a steak into submission, but he’s smart and passionate and lovely. Eli Brown has given me everything I wanted in a novel. A diverse cast, a delightful, realistic break from traditional gender roles and a gratingly beautiful human touch.
This book eats lesser pirate tropes for breakfast. Respect it’s authoritah or Captain Mabbot will have you keel-hauled.
This book was given to me for review purposes. I received no gifts, favours or money for this because why anyone would want to pay money for my reviews in beyond me.