If you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
*I was sent a copy by the publisher in exchange for...moreIf you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
*I was sent a copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I was interested to read Every Ugly Word since on the surface, it's an average contemporary about a teenager dealing with her tormentors but it has a supernatural? Science fiction? twist.
The concept is super intriguing and I wondered how the author was going to handle the story and if the future self in the mirror was a metaphor or a coping mechanism for Ashley.
Ashley was a fantastic character and I liked her right off the bat and sympathized with her struggles. I didn't feel pity for her, which is important because everyone around her saw her as pathetic and less than and I liked how the author put the reader in Ashley's shoes instead of making the reader see her like the rest of the characters saw her.
Ashley's bullies were terrible as expected, but instead of hating them outright, I felt sorry for them. We didn't learn too much about Finn, Dex and Karyn's backstories, but it says a lot about them that they would consistently bother Ashley all the time.
Ashley mentioned that she changed her phone number twice and they still kept harassing her with text messages on top of bothering her at school. That's a lot of commitment to bother with someone you think is such a loser. Don't they have to study, or go out, or watch the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal or something? Do they have lives at all? They need to do better.
I didn't like Matt at all and while I understood why Ashley cared about him and vice-versa, I think Ashley should have left him in the dust along with her other classmates. Matt didn't deserve her at all after being such a coward.
The different scenes between the present therapy room in the hospital switching over to the past was an amazing technique and the author weaves between them effortlessly. The twist and everything leading up to it was fantastically done, keeping the tension and the pace and while I had my guesses, I didn't guess what was coming.
My only complain (and this might be semi-spoilerish) is that (view spoiler)[the alternate timelines and resulting time paradoxes were a little confusing at first (hide spoiler)] and the origin of the mirror wasn't explained, but I could suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy the story to the end.
*Disclosure: the review above contains affiliate links. Find out more here. Thanks for reading!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
If you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
Saga is one of those rare comics that keeps your at...moreIf you like my reviews check out my beauty and book blog, ReadsByAmanda.com! Thanks for reading! :)
Saga is one of those rare comics that keeps your attention and aren't just entertaining for entertainment sakes but really good. The story is solid and both the artist and writer, Staples and Vaughan, complement one another and work terrifically together.
Seriously. Go. Read. This.
Continuing from Volume Two, Volume Three (which collect issues 13-18) follows Alana and Marko, along with their baby Hazel and their other companions (I'm trying to keep this review as spoil-free as possible, bear with me) to the planet Quietus, where D. Oswald Heist, author of Alana's favorite novel, stays on.
Heist's novel, which was masked as a trashy romance novel, but is actually a commentary/manifesto on the hatred between Wreath and Landfall, Marko and Alana's home planets.
Gwendolyn, Marko's ex, is still trying to find them along with The Will, a freelancer and his partner Lying Cat. I love Lying Cat and the sweet moment she had with Sophie, the former Slave Girl. It was so sweet!
I liked that Gwendolyn wasn't just a vindictive bitch out for revenge and really, all the characters are human (well you know what I mean) and grounded which ties the story together and makes you want to keep reading.
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is about Harper Price, high school Queen Bee, who on the night of homecoming, gets trapped in the bathroom by the school...moreRebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is about Harper Price, high school Queen Bee, who on the night of homecoming, gets trapped in the bathroom by the school janitor (and her history teacher) and her life changes FOREVER!!1!11
Okay, I'm really bad at describing book plots to people, especially if I like the book. I'm being intentionally vague because this is one of those stories where the less you know going into it, the better it will be.
One thing you should know and is vital to point out is that this isn't an instance where Harper is the popular girl clichè. She's not a stupid, walking parody of the trope with a Ken doll on her arm. That was one of my biggest reservations on reading this novel and I would have never picked it up if it wasn't the Booksplosion read-along book of the month (join the Goodreads group here!) and the positive reviews that this novel had. The author recently announced that this will be a series which isn't too surprising considering the ending.
I'm giving this book five stars because it is executed flawlessly. The pacing is strong and steady, never losing its rhythm and we learn everything about the supernatural universe at the right time with Harper, the main character, without it becoming infodump. All the rules and names are easy to follow even if you're not the biggest supernatural reader. The characters are all developed and three dimensional for the roles they play into the story and while the plot isn't the most original, it was certainly fun to read.
I didn't fall head over heels in love with this book since the plot isn't original or groundbreaking for the genre, but it's a fun, lighthearted read, especially for the summer. (less)
Awakening by Robin Wasserman is a fast, and I mean FAST read, introducing us to the brand new world that our main protagonist, J.D....more3 and a half stars.
Awakening by Robin Wasserman is a fast, and I mean FAST read, introducing us to the brand new world that our main protagonist, J.D. has literally woken up too.
The premise is simple enough. Girl wakes up after an explosion at a warehouse in the city. She's pretty much uninjured except for the fact that she has no memory of who she is, not even her name. She sets out to find her true identity and the story takes off from there.
Character development is an interesting notion in this novel. J.D. struggles with trying to find out who she was and going back into her old self and at the same time, coming into her own as an individual.
One of the great things I liked about J.D. is that although the main protagonist is thirteen, I empathized with her and understood her. J.D is smart enough to be wary about the 'happy ending' she's been offered and despite being fearful of who she is, continues forward and refuses to submit, which is always great. At the same time, she wants nothing more than to know who is she is and what happened to her, which humanizes her that she's just a thirteen year old girl in an extraordinary situation.
Daniel is EXTREMELY shady to me. I don't trust him in the slightest and I'm reserving my thoughts of him for my review of the sequel, Betrayal
I'm certain that this series is targeted for middle school readers and it was pretty obvious who the villains turned out being but it wasn't too obvious, if that makes sense. The reader is pretty much relying only on J.D's nightmares but since the hallucination scenes lack really graphic, stark imagery, you feel slightly disconnected from it all.
All in all, a fast read that keeps your attention but if you don't like reading books that are slightly juvenile, I would suggest to pass on this one.
**spoiler alert** Beautiful Redemption is the fourth and final installment in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's paranormal romance series The Caster Ch...more**spoiler alert** Beautiful Redemption is the fourth and final installment in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's paranormal romance series The Caster Chronicles. Reading this series over the past three months has been a fun and entertaining ride. Although there are a few bumps and it doesn't pose any serious questions, I don't think it was set out to be any of that. It's an entertaining series that goes dark but not too dark. Despite this, it's not a sunshine and rainbows kinda story. Garcia and Stohl have no problem wielding death and destruction to their cast of characters. Beautiful Redemption kicks off right after Ethan's suicide to a purgatory-ish Gatlin where he learns that he can come back from the dead and he really doesn't belong there after all. I loved the plot and the fact that it was divided into Lena and Ethan's POV so we didn't miss the action in Lena retrieving The Book of Moons and Ethan completing what was essentially, 'a hero's journey'. My only qualms about this book is that it never explicitly stated why Obias Trueblood added Ethan's death in his page. Was he forced by the Far Keep in exchange for something they had on him or what it for the sake of doing something bad because he's a dark caste. I assume the first option but it was annoying that Ethan and the readers never got a clear answer. Another is that Ethan comes back to the living and says he comes back different, that he's different now. Besides the obvious embracing of his friends and loved ones, and the fact that he can touch Lena without danger, I wish there was more exploring psychologically on Ethan's return and adjustments rather than falling back on Telling Not Showing.
In conclusion I really liked this series and loved more the world that both authors created.
Check out my reviews on the previous books in The Caster Chronicles:
4 1/2 Not doing a long review due to spoilers but it's a great installment to the series going more in depth with the very intensive world that these b...more4 1/2 Not doing a long review due to spoilers but it's a great installment to the series going more in depth with the very intensive world that these both authors have created. Great cliffhanger at the end as well.(less)
Dream Dark is a short novella that takes place right after Beautiful Darkness where Link gets bitten and starts his transformation into an Incubus. It...moreDream Dark is a short novella that takes place right after Beautiful Darkness where Link gets bitten and starts his transformation into an Incubus. It's a good read and was nice to get a glimpse into Link's home life with his controlling mother. The only odd thing was that Ethan was narrating this yet he was only in two scenes and how does Ethan know where Link goes and his conversations and thoughts? It was bizarre and it would have been better if the narration was third person or Link as the first person narrator. (less)
Beautiful Darkness doesn't disappoint. It takes place right after the events of Beautiful Creatures and continues to expand the universe that Garcia a...moreBeautiful Darkness doesn't disappoint. It takes place right after the events of Beautiful Creatures and continues to expand the universe that Garcia and Stohl have created. The mythology of this series is one of the strongest points in the series and is incredibly fascinating while still being realistic to the real world, which is always a plus. The best fictional fantasies are those that balance reality and fantasy and work side by side with each other. I loved Liv, the new character introduced in this book, as the Keeper in training from England.
I have been noticing a pattern with these books. Like the last one, it starts out good and builds wonderfully but then the ending is rushed and badly thrown together. Every.single.time. The middle is always excellent then the climax is confusing and random and barely pulls itself together for the end. Yet the endings are always the calm before the storm and hint at the inevitable. I'm not going to mention spoilers but right near the end when there's a cameo of characters literally coming out of nowhere pulled me out of the rhythm of the writing. This series is interesting and entertaining so in the grand scheme of things, it's a small thing to tolerate.(less)
Beautiful Creatures starts out slow and slowly takes you in into the history of the Gatlin and it's many secrets. There's clearly a lot of...more4 1/2
Beautiful Creatures starts out slow and slowly takes you in into the history of the Gatlin and it's many secrets. There's clearly a lot of mythology going on with the Ethan, the main character's small southern town in the heart of South Carolina and the supernatural history of Lena's family. There's so many ways this story could have gone and Garcia and Stohl handled all the information and the mythology excellently. Learning about the Castors (witches, basically. But they don't like when you call them that.) was really interesting and the roots that pretty much everyone has to the Civil War. I give this book four and a half because from the fight scene to the end, I feel like everything fell apart and the ending was a cop out. I recommend it if you like history and mythology with a slow but steady storyline. (less)
I really tried to like this book. I really did. I wanted to love it, but alas, I...moreCheck out my blog Reads By Amanda for all things beauty and books! :D
I really tried to like this book. I really did. I wanted to love it, but alas, I had to many problems with it that I could not.
Starting off with what Stained is about, we follow the main character, Julia, who's been in the foster care system all her life and for the past few years has found happiness with her current foster family. She comes home to find her home on fire with her family inside and the 'angel of death' (this is the half-demon btw) hovering above her home. She runs away and meets Cayne, a 'mysterious' guy and our story takes off from there.
If you read the paragraph above and found that interesting, well, so do I, but the problem lies when you actually start reading the novel.
The writing is amateur at best, which is something that can be overlooked if the story is entertaining enough, but since there's no description and the dialogue is stiff, all the characters fall flat. Julia witnessed her home burn down with her family inside, and there is no mourning, no guilt, no sadness at all felt with her. She meets Cayne and all of a sudden everything falls by the wayside except for him.
I never connected to Julia and elements such as her powers that randomly happen with no real background and Cayne and Julia's relationship to one another is shallow and I never understood why Julia was lusting over him when she just went through a traumatic event.
I could tell that Ella James had a clear vision in mind, but it was like reading an outline of the story instead of an actual novel.
The positives: The action scenes were surprisingly well done and the pace was good throughout. That's pretty much it.
Shocked. I am shocked. This book was incredible. Where was Melissa De La Cruz and why did she deliver those streaming pieces of crap that was the last...moreShocked. I am shocked. This book was incredible. Where was Melissa De La Cruz and why did she deliver those streaming pieces of crap that was the last two books? Knowing the talent that was delivered in this installment, she could have written the last ones way better. It makes me a little sad reading Lost In Time because if the whole series had the impact and quality that this book alone had, this series would have been INCREDIBLE and not wasted its potential. I'm nervous about reading the finale to this series which is coming out in 2013 because what if he doesn't end with a bang but a whimper like the others? It's a shame because this book was so good and it shows that the author can write an amazing novel but for some reason she struggled with the previous books and this series unfortunately did not live up to the level that it could have become. (less)
I never like stories that include clichés and the jocks and the blond bitches rule the school thing but its simplicity in the setting of the novel and...moreI never like stories that include clichés and the jocks and the blond bitches rule the school thing but its simplicity in the setting of the novel and some of its characters is understandable and doesn't make to much of an annoyance and fuss in the story. Jarrod is so annoying, though.His disbelief was refreshing in a way, i guess, from the usual believing everything and not questioning the paranormal in many novels. It suited his character and her and Kate went really well together and i enjoyed reading their dynamics together and i could feel the subtle connection between them which grew as the story went on. I loved where the direction of this novel progressed. The first chapter is very boring and clunky and threw me off and I've noticed a lot of people say the same thing. Other than that, this was such a pleasurable read and I recommend it. (less)
The writing is a little amateur and defiantly the handicap in the novel. It wasn't jarringly bad but the simple descriptions of the clothin...moreA solid 3.5
The writing is a little amateur and defiantly the handicap in the novel. It wasn't jarringly bad but the simple descriptions of the clothing and brand dropping was just try hard. It reminded me of a 13 year old's first short story. The story though, was great and I found the author's vampire mythology extremely interesting and clever. This is definitely a visual story and I could see this as a movie. Also, if another author wrote this, I think it would have made a BEAUTIFUL novel. Overall, it was the writing more than anything that was wrong but reading the excerpt to Masquerade, the sequel to the series, I think the author's writing will get better throughout. (less)