Blue Noise is easy to read, and the protagonists are likeable and easy to relate to. Oswald’s style doesn’t offer any surprises, and I found some part...moreBlue Noise is easy to read, and the protagonists are likeable and easy to relate to. Oswald’s style doesn’t offer any surprises, and I found some parts awkward and infodumpish, but it does have its own charm. There’s a sweet honesty in the idea of teenagers who aren’t rebels, but who display courage in their own, non-earth-shattering ways.
Also interesting is the way Oswald delves into both Ash’s and Erin’s points of view. There’s something here for both male and female readers, including an opportunity to discover that perhaps teenage boys and girls have similar anxieties about themselves and how they’re perceived by others.
I’m not the target audience for this book, but I can see its appeal. Blue Noise isn’t the most sophisticated young adult novel I’ve read, but it has an accessible style and uplifting message that may well suit young teens or older reluctant readers.
I might have enjoyed this story more if I hadn’t already read the many — oh, so many — teen urban fantasy books with similar characters and conflicts....moreI might have enjoyed this story more if I hadn’t already read the many — oh, so many — teen urban fantasy books with similar characters and conflicts. The brooding, I’m-no-good-for-you-so-I’ll-turn-down-your-advances-by-being-rude-and-offensive hero just doesn’t work for me anymore. It got interesting towards the end, but the main characters didn’t have enough shades of grey for me.
There’s something a little Harry Potter-ish about City of Bones. Every time the story talked about Valentine, the evil Shadowhunter, and his followers...moreThere’s something a little Harry Potter-ish about City of Bones. Every time the story talked about Valentine, the evil Shadowhunter, and his followers, I thought of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Each time Clary defended a demon or a mundane (i.e. human), I thought of Hermione defending the house elves. Nevertheless, it's an action-packed story with a sensible heroine and some unexpected twists.
The reasons I picked up my review copy had nothing to do with interest: it was skinny enough not to weigh down my bag; I love watermelons. Seriously,...moreThe reasons I picked up my review copy had nothing to do with interest: it was skinny enough not to weigh down my bag; I love watermelons. Seriously, there’s something delightful about that cover.
This novel doesn’t have much of a plot, but Steven Herrick is such a fabulous craftsman that he manages to connect tenuously related vignettes about teenage life into a story I couldn’t put down. It’s impossible not to be charmed by Herrick’s irreverent narrator, sixteen-year old Darcy. He’s a bit awkward, a bit rude, a little too clever for his own good (and he knows it) and sometimes so funny I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud.
While Darcy is the focus of the story, the supporting characters— Darcy’s parents, teachers and classmates — are just as engaging. Although the male perspective dominates this book, the female characters have very defined personalities and strengths.
This is an excellent book for young teens. The characters continually surprise, and if the book seems relatively thin it’s because Herrick does so much with so few words. Darcy is a witty, wonderful narrator and his shenanigans made for one of my favourite reads of the year.
This was my first foray into the Soul Screamers series. Vincent combines tragedy, humour, despair and hope in a story I consumed during my lunch break...moreThis was my first foray into the Soul Screamers series. Vincent combines tragedy, humour, despair and hope in a story I consumed during my lunch break. Fans of the series who love Tod won’t have anything to complain about.
Good start to the series, with well-paced plotting overcoming the odd clunky prose. The relationship between Kaylee and Nash is bit teen fantasy-ish,...moreGood start to the series, with well-paced plotting overcoming the odd clunky prose. The relationship between Kaylee and Nash is bit teen fantasy-ish, but hey, I’ll take my happy romance any way I can.
The increasing richness of the world building keeps this series in my must-read list. As usual, Vincent sets a cracking pace for the story that it’s i...moreThe increasing richness of the world building keeps this series in my must-read list. As usual, Vincent sets a cracking pace for the story that it’s impossible not to get caught up in Kaylee’s adventures. The prose suffers from some overdone metaphors—‘determination echoed in her voice like a vow sworn in a cavern’—but Vincent makes up for these by getting teen reactions and emotions just right in other places.
This book deals with much more complex emotional conflicts between Kaylee and her boyfriend, Nash. Vincent explores addiction and sexuality through so...moreThis book deals with much more complex emotional conflicts between Kaylee and her boyfriend, Nash. Vincent explores addiction and sexuality through some very clever plot twists. Darker and more graphic than the previous books—my favourite one so far.
Twilight lends itself to the shoujo manga format much better than in prose or in film. Young Kim’s renditions of the characters are disarmingly gorgeous, but even they can’t redeem Stephenie Meyer’s story of destructive co-dependency. And then there’s the font.
Twilight fans will delight in the graphic novel’s faithful depiction of the story and its characters, likely glossing over the god-awful lettering and all that’s disturbing about the story. So long as they’re happy. As for the remainder of us outside the target audience, let’s just say it’s a lot more tolerable than watching KStew’s and RPatz’s vapid faces for two hours.
Who might enjoy it: Twihards and people too afraid to touch the written novel but are still curious may want to try their hand at the comic book instead
Who might not enjoy it: Times New Roman haters, newcomers to comics and graphic novels, and anyone looking for a prime example of a quality comic today
This book might have worked for me ten years ago, but now I’m just left wanting more.The mysteries surrounding the different characters’ abilities were intriguing and kept me invested in the story, despite the many info dumps along the way. And yet I felt that author Kady Cross focused too much on the mystery plot surrounding who The Machinist was and what he planned to do, at the expense of deep and solid world building.
Abilities and talents are revealed piecemeal, which is fine if somehow they’re brought together at the end to serve the bigger picture. It didn’t really work for me; parts of the plot still seemed very vague at the end and left me unsatisfied.
My other gripe is that many of the characters feel derivative. The underworld figure of Jack Dandy seems like a barely disguised sketch of The Pirates of The Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow. Sam, the enigmatic part-automaton, closely resembles Wolverine from X-Men (film). Maybe this is the way the author planned it, but if so, the characters pale against their much more well-rendered film counterparts, and the comparison only highlights the book’s weaknesses.
Having an ensemble cast doesn’t help, as Cross tries to do justice to each one. The effect, unfortunately, is to dilute everyone.
This book was an entertaining if not altogether satisfying read, but it should appeal to readers who are after a bit of adventure and mystery without taking it all too seriously.
An advanced reading copy of this book was generously provided by Mills and Boon Australia.(less)
Marked has an interesting premise, but it’s let down by preachy writing, stilted dialogue and heavy-handed foreshadowing. (But it’s still not as bad as Twilight.)
The promising world building is overshadowed by the characters’ utter lack of charm—not just Zoey, but pretty much everyone in the book. The dialogue between Zoey and friends is painful to read. Zoey’s romance with Erik is pure fantasy. Okay, he’s the hottest guy in the world. But, Zoey, I want to tell her, he has zero personality!
The preachiness, the stereotypes—including the anti-stereotype stereotypes—and the lack of complexity permeate the narrative and the plot. The foreshadowing is none too subtle, which makes me interested enough to look up spoilers online, but not enough to actually read the next book.(less)
A bodice-ripper for the Twilight generation. If you look beyond its uncomfortably age inappropriate start, you’ll find unwanted but undeniable chemistry, highly realistic teenage logic and page-turning mystery.
Who might enjoy it: Fans of bodice-rippers, Lauren Kate’s Fallen series and the Twilight saga
Who might not enjoy it: Readers who hated Twilight, like gentlemanly heroes and expect their heroines to be strong, well-defined, independent and kick-arse(less)