Mclean had moved from town to town with her father, never staying at one place for too long. And with each move comeReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Mclean had moved from town to town with her father, never staying at one place for too long. And with each move comes a new identity. She was Liz, Lizbeth, Eliza. A popular kid, a studious girl, cheerleading captain, it was different every time. She's been on the road with her dad ever since her parents ugly and very public divorce. Basketball and cooking were her world once, but all of it was destroyed when her parents split up. Now she's in a new town where she finds herself being just her, Mclean, no pretenses, no new identity. But who really is Mclean?
All the right ingredients were there for me to love Mclean. Smart, albeit a little bitter. She's a skeptic and cautious of relationships. But in truth she was just a sad girl who longs for her family to be whole again, to feel like she's part of something, to be loved. Basketball was her entire life, her dad was a former player and she was named after a great Defriese coach who passed away. A new coach arrived and everything fell apart. She woke up one day and found her mom cheating on her father, with the NEW Defriese coach, getting pregnant shortly after. Now all the things she loved were a painful reminder of her mother's betrayal.
I will be honest here. I hate Mclean's mom. I have something against people who wreck marriages and families, they're the worst kind of people, and maybe that personal experience made me skeptical of her all the time. Whatever Mclean was doing to hurt her mom was wrong but it felt right for me. She deserved that pain and suffering. And though Mclean was with her dad all the time, she wasn't as better off with him as she was with her mom. They weren't the best of parents, that's why Mclean became who she was, someone who reinvents herself every time she gets, longing for a fresh start, a clean slate, because what she has was something crappy and irreversible.
What made me loved this story were the supporting characters. Opal and her struggles with a dying restaurant chain, Deb, the pretty helpful girl in school who nobody wants to hang out with, Heather, Riley and Ellis and their weird, quirky personalities, and Dave, the super cute, super smart boy who, with one mistake, was seen as a delinquent who lives next door. They were perfect examples of people who are so different, but ended up being a part of each others' life because of Mclean. Dessen's other books were not without romance, and What Happened To Goodbye had only a few short moments of those, not enough for readers to be tickled pink and be giddy over. But I am glad that whatever bitterness, tragedy and pain and disappointment the characters went through at some point, they were able to find happiness in the end.
Is it really that easy to talk and treat each other like nothing happened when you've been through a very public divorce? It's one of the things that confused me in this book. It felt forced, like it was easy to forget the hurt and pain they all went through. I was unconvinced with that part. But setting aside that confusion, and all my disagreements with it, What Happened to Goodbye was worth all my brooding and going emotional over, and I couldn't help ending up loving it.
What Happened to Goodbye is contemporary at its best. It's a raw, unflinching, powerful portrayal of one girl's pain and struggle. Of Mclean finding out who she really is after she had been someone else so often. Values and lessons about family, friendships and love can be learned from reading this wonderful story. If you aren't a Dessen fan just yet, pick up a copy this book and you will fall in love with her writing after you finish reading this....more
Futuristic Sydney is unlike anything anyone expects it to be. Because of Global Warming, The Wall has been built. WaReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
Futuristic Sydney is unlike anything anyone expects it to be. Because of Global Warming, The Wall has been built. Water levels have been rising, quakes happen, temperatures rise everyday and nothing's been the same in Lily's life ever since the Wall has been built by the Committee 12 years ago. Blacktroopers are everywhere and forcing people to take pills, her parents could care less of her, her twin brother's sick and she has never set foot out of the house in three years. All hell broke loose when her brother was taken, and Lily knew she will be taken next. Why? For what purpose? She had to find out and fast, before she disappears next, before her younger sister was taken too.
Welcome to the future. A horrible nightmare filled with teenagers being "harvested" and uncaring parents who'd do anything to defy the natural course of time. It's the evil face of science taking over this story. Vanity and cruelty go hand-in-hand in this scary tale. I think the tagline "As the world grows older, it's dangerous being young" pretty much sums up what this book is about. I was very horrified with lengths parents go through for their own selfish reasons and what the teenagers had to experience in turn. It was disgusting and even disturbing when I've read of what happened to Lily's younger sister Alice. Can people really be that selfish, to the point that they give away their own children for something unnatural?
Lily comes from a wealthy family, thus she's been living a sheltered life. All of that changed when she started questioning everything. The Committee, the pills, why her twin bother never seemed to get better. She comes off as a strong character at first, her love for her siblings evident all throughout the story. But Lily's persistence in rescuing her siblings came to a point where she became very irritating. That single-minded reason and purpose turned me off a little bit, but for all the horrors she had been through, unloved and suddenly alone, she's brave, though at times a bit impulsive and stubborn. It touched my heart that despite the tragedy that seem to constantly surrounds her, she found something worth living for when she crossed over that wall. I love how empowered the teens are in this book, although it's because of very grim circumstances.
I am so glad this book has a bit of romance in it, though very sparse and clearly it wasn't the intention of the book to be a romance novel, but it's a brief respite from what the book is really about, which was Lily breaking free of the fake life she's been confined to, and trying to get her family whole again, or at least those that matters to her. I got swept in too much emotions that I didn't care much how Kieran and Lily just seemed to be together. But I guess even in the midst of despair and devastation, that's when people see clearly how important love can be.
So many aspects in Days Like This can be seen even today. The great divide between the rich and the poor, the thirst for power and man's desire to never grow old, maybe to live forever, trying to deny themselves what was supposed to happen. We live and then we die, and if humans so much as try to disrupt that simple but natural truth, the consequences can be fatal. Man's tendency to be evil to get what one wants is depicted in this book in vivid, frightening detail. It's very unnerving, but I think that just gave this book so much appeal.
Days Like This will shock you, scare you and most of all, make you reflect just how much a society can deteriorate and become as terrifying as Alison Stewart's first novel turned out to be. It's a novel that will bring you to an edge of your seat reading experience, bleak and dark and filled with doom, but it's one that you won't be able to put down until you reach the ending....more
With an action packed storyline reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments and a sassy, determined heroine just like AriReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
With an action packed storyline reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments and a sassy, determined heroine just like Ari of Darkness Becomes Her, Jana Oliver has rewritten a gem of a novel so entertaining you wouldn't even notice it's 400 pages long. It's THAT addicting.
Readers are thrust into Riley's world, where stoplights don't serve their purpose anymore, people can barely afford to buy cigarettes (for $100 a piece), and Holy Water was made by the tanks, blessed, manufactured and are the main weapons of a small band of people hunting Demons for a living.
Recently having lost her mother to a painful bout with cancer, Riley was gearing up to follow the footsteps of her father, one of the best Master Demon Trappers in the world. She's got the attitude and though still a newbie, she's got potential. Then things go wrong, and Riley finds herself struggling to get through a familiar world alone, and it's proving to be difficult. She refuses to get help from Beck, her father's apprentice, she's slowly pulling away from her friend Peter, and she meets a stranger who seems to like saving her. Oh, and there is Simon, the NCB (Nice Christian Boy) who she likes. Very much.
I tend to get addicted to books having well-crafted, solid descriptions and Jana Oliver gets a big thumbs-up from me for her brilliant world building. We get to know what it's like to navigate Riley's distant futuristic world as we learn about Geo-fiends, Pyro-Fiends, Demons of different levels and how everything goes in the world of Demon trapping without it being boring or overly lengthy. Personally, I think Magpies were cute, and Biblios are a big pain in the butt. And the best way to get out of a succubus trance? Humming Taylor Swift's song, which I find highly funny and amusing.
Before I knew it I was fully immersed into 2018 Atlanta and was gasping at every single Demon encounter Riley was getting herself into, cringing at the way they clean up afterwards, feeling sad for all the trials Riley's facing, and then cheering her on as she stubbornly refuses to give up, not wanting to be pushed over by anyone and is determined to carve a path of her own as a Demon Trapper. Who cares if she's a girl? She knows she has a lot to learn, and she knows she can do it.
There were plenty of drama and conflict going on that it was easy to ignore how much questions seem to be popping up instead of getting answered as I progress through the book, but it was a welcome distraction. Readers won't be able to get enough of the tangled mess that was Riley's life and the growing threat of the Demons. Jana Oliver was able to bring out a lot of very interesting characters and managed to keep us all intrigued and eagerly anticipating for the sequel as we all await the answers to the riddles peppered throughout the story.
Why do the demons know Riley's name? Why is a Geo-Fiend, level 5 demon after her? How did her father get re-animated? And who is Ori? Again, personally, I am more interested in finding out who this mysterious "stranger" is, because my mind's already putting together possible plots and surprises trying to solve the puzzle that is Ori.
When it comes to the romance, we get a bit of it in the story, but I have to say I am putting up Team Beck banners. Riley's and Simon's relationship seemed a bit rushed for me, lacking in intensity, and I think her chemistry works best with Beck. Beck was there for her when times were rough, and though he seems to be always misunderstood, he does the sweetest things for Riley and she doesn't even know it sometimes!
Overall, Jana Oliver created a wonderful story, giving us a taste of her wonderful writing and a small sneak peek of what's to come in Riley's slowly shifting world. Filled with action and breath-taking suspense, Forsaken is a thrill ride through a dark, fantastic story. Readers won't be able to get enough of everything they'll discover in this wonderful book!...more
What made me interested in this book was the fact that the writer is a guy. Who says the paranormal genre is only foReview posted at Amaterasu Reads
What made me interested in this book was the fact that the writer is a guy. Who says the paranormal genre is only for women? M.J. Hearle is a guy who wrote a book through the point of view of a girl, Winter. And he does it so well you'd never guess the difference if it was a man or a woman writing this.
What started out as a typical love story transformed into something unique. Until now I'm still not sure just WHAT exactly Blake is. He's a different paranormal being, behaving in a way where people becomes naturally curious to find out just what he is. Attractive, dark, with dangerous secrets he'd die to protect, his life changed when he tried to change what was supposed to happen to Winter. Our female lead, who is no stranger to death like Blake, tries to get by everyday, grieving for her recently deceased parents. Withdrawn and naturally reserved, Winter's life changed when she met Blake, and along with discovering Blake's secrets, she found out some about her own as well. In a race to save herself from strong forces out to get her, love blossomed.
Let me just say, I will never look at cats the same way again. Another interesting portrayal of the felines will be seen here in Winter's Shadow. If only Nefertem can talk, Grimalkin of the Iron Fey series will have a fierce competition from this tabby.
Evil took a new form in this book. If you think vampires, werewolves are monsters to be frightened of, you have to be prepared to encounter a new type of dangerous creature in this book.
The shift from the present to the past was handled nicely in this book. Most books tend to be careless in writing flashbacks, but not in Winter's Shadow, as it greatly helped piece together the entire story. The past completed the present, and the story maintained an ominous, dark vibe throughout the entire novel.
Winter's Shadow is a story about star crossed lovers, two tormented souls, both having experienced painful losses and finding their way to each other. Danger was always present, as both characters are a constant threat to each other, and yet they just heeded love's calling. I loved how the story started out slow, allowing time for the characters background to be establish and develop, and ending into a wild rush of action that led to the partial conclusion of Blake and Winter's story.
Gripping, intriguing, and deliciously dark, Winter's Shadow is a great start for author M.J. Hearle! The ending was very promising and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel of this book! ...more
R is a zombie, and thus he eats people in order to survive. Strangely enough, he hates doing it. The world hasFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
R is a zombie, and thus he eats people in order to survive. Strangely enough, he hates doing it. The world has died along with countless people and became like R. He doesn't remember much about his past, or his name, just that he's there, a zombie. The moment R ate a boy named Perry's brain, everything started changing. Suddenly he was saving Perry's girlfriend and he was starting to... feel. For Julie. It was like he's starting to live again.
This book is definitely out of my reading comfort zone, and I had reservations when I started, but I came to love it as I flip through page after page. R is a character I have not encountered before. Highly unusual and very intriguing, he's a character I'd love to read about over and over. How is it that Isaac Marion was able to create an undead who felt more human than those still living? R's journey back to humanity is a ride filled with emotions, interesting characters and chilling moments, but I loved every moment of it.
Isaac Marrion painted an undead world not much different from those of the Living. R had a "life" in the airport. He was "married", had a wife and kids to look after. They have elders. Zombies were still trying to copulate, undead children are being taught how to "live". R had a best friend named "M". Readers get a glimpse of a new, yet familiar world through R's life as a zombie. A lot of trivial, yet highly amusing things still happen even to those devoid of life, yet R still craves the one thing he doesn't have. Humanity. Life. And he was slowly gaining it back through Julie, with an occasional kick and pat from Perry and his memories. If anything, it was Perry's memories and thoughts who helped R understand what was happening to him.
Warm Bodies is highly addictive and fascinating. Seeing the world in the point of view of the undead like R puts a new perspective on how the readers view zombies. In Warm Bodies, they are not merely flesh eating undead. They are changing, and this new and very fresh portrayal of the undead we fear is something I've never seen before. I have not read much zombie books, and I might not have enough knowledge about it, but Warm Bodies tops my list of the best zombie book for this year effortlessly. Emotions were put into R, and I can't help but sympathize with him. And though I care for the surviving humans, it's the zombies that I loved in this book. Sometimes I even forget that R is undead. Sometimes I think what really the difference is between the dead and the living? Is it just the state of being? A state of mind? R challenges a lot of ideals and concepts just by being who he is.
Julie's story arc provided the piece of the puzzle that will complete this terror filled future world. Through her point of view we then see what it's like for the surviving humans to live, all secluded in a dome, fighting to stay alive by ridding the world of the undead. But Julie starts to question all of the efforts the remaining survivors were doing once her paths crossed with R. She was realizing a lot of things the more time she's spent with R. I just love how her character seems to fit perfectly with R's, and despite the obvious and glaring difference between them (one was dead, the other was living), the unlikely bond they have and their love for each other is so touching.
Dark yet enjoyable, Warm Bodies paints a familiar and scary world readers couldn't help but be curious about. Hats off to Isaac Marrion for creating such a great novel. Moving and hopeful, Warm Bodies is definitely not another zombie novel. Though Isaac Marion's story is not without fault, it's a very entertaining read with a gripping storyline that a lot of readers will enjoy. This book stays with you long after you have finished reading it.
Warm Bodies is definitely a recommended read!...more
This book is a thoroughly delightful mix of a unique culture, teenage angst, humor and romance. You want a realFull review posted at Amaterasu Reads
This book is a thoroughly delightful mix of a unique culture, teenage angst, humor and romance. You want a real protagonist with real life problems? Jazz is here. It can't get anymore real than what Jazz went through in this book.
For once I am glad I am brought up the way my parents did. They're strict most of the time, but as I grow up, I learned that whatever they were doing is for my own good. Jazz learned that lesson the hard way. She's a member of the advance program in her school, bullied because of her intelligence when she was younger, and along with the impeccable school record comes the expectation for her to be the perfect Indian daughter as well, which she is so not.
I guess when you knew what it feels like to have total freedom, you'll probably want to feel it all the time. The restriction Jazz feels and experiences comes from her very own culture, deeply rooted in her family's ways and tradition and its not something bad. We readers are given a taste of how life is as an Indian girl growing up. I guess you can call me old fashion, but I agree with a lot of what her parents said and did. Family pride and honor is always important, and you can't blame Jazz's parents for trying to protect it. However, I do not agree with the "guided dating" though. Ask anyone you know and you wouldn't want your parents to guide you in your relationship every step of the way.
Jazz's journey is insightful and eye-opening. It's eventful and filled with lessons that has shaped her in ways she can never imagine. Like searching for "The One" and realizing that it's never easy, like what happens in the movies or what's written in books. She's also in the age where teens "rebel" against anything and everything their parents say or want them to do. I was once like that. It's normal. And like all other teenagers, Jazz's journey into discovering that is special and unique to herself.
Jazz is a very lucky girl, having very supportive friends who will be there for her no matter how much crazy schemes she comes up with to help her aunt find romance. I would love to be supported and surrounded by all of her friends, who are as much integral part of the story as Jazz is. I adore Mit. He's gay, he's different, and we get to see how difficult it is for him to live the way he wants to because of his heritage. I love the advices he gives to Jazz, and he's there when she needs him the most.
Mit, afraid at first to show what he really is, gradually came to realize that its important to be honest, and no matter what the consequences was, he wants to be himself. It's what's important.
I don't think I can blame Jazz for her choice in guys. I guess we don't get to choose who we love, and even though she know that its wrong in so many ways, she loved Tyler. Even when he's such a jerk, but he's the one who makes her feel that way. In a way, she was also honest with herself.
I never liked it when she was gradually changing to be the person she never really liked in the first place, (a bindi-bo) but I think it was necessary for Jazz to discover that she's not just Jazz, the smart FSL student. That she can also be wild and spontaneous at times, that she can be Baby J, and Jassy at the same time too. And even if I don't like Tyler, I guess he gets the credit because he helped Jazz realize that.
I was really rooting for Jeeves though. But he's the "safe" choice compared to Tyler. It's sad that Jazz had to lose her parents trust for her to realize all of this, but like she said "what was broken could heal". That after all that she had done, her parents finally saw that she's not really the perfect daughter. That she can make mistakes and sometimes screw up too. I'm just glad she got something out of all the crazy things she did.
Overall, Jazz In Love is a heartfelt read about a teenager's life we all should be able to relate to. It's a well-written portrayal of Jazz, a slice of her life, her coming of age, witty, funny and engaging!...more
Meg and Shar are frenemies. The bickering, I'm prettier than you type. Why not when they're like the opposiOriginal review posted at Amaterasu Reads
Meg and Shar are frenemies. The bickering, I'm prettier than you type. Why not when they're like the opposite ends of the teenage spectrum? Shar is the perky, cheerleader looking type, blonde and likes all the sparkly things in the world, while Meg likes everything black, a style that clashes with Shar. When Shar asked Meg to go shopping, they thought everything will be okay, until they found a guy who they both like, and a pair of shoes they'd kill for. Literally. So when "Sweet Jeans" a.k.a. the guy they both liked ended up dead in the subway tracks, the Lord of the Underworld comes swooping in, cutting them a deal. Bring him a soul whose contract is up and he'll make sure they don't go to jail. So they became Sirens, armed with loaded credit cards, a luxurious apartment and powers. But it turns out that Sweet Jeans was the assistant of the man they should usher to the next life, and Hades wasn't exactly telling them everything about their deal...
I haven't laughed as much as I did until I've read this book. It's not that the plot doesn't make sense, it's just that every single character in this book tickled my funny bone, may they be saying sarcastic things or just being unintentionally funny like Meg and Shar. They thought they had it cut out. How difficult can it be? Luring a fashion tycoon to a portal to Tartarus using gifts like enticing men by simply speaking or by looking at them. They had the proper tools. But Meg and Shar didn't know how to use their powers properly, and they didn't know that every time they use it, they turn into Sirenz, with wings and beaks.
The portrayal of Gods and Goddesses couldn't be more up to date than it is here. They are even using modern technology! An iPhone loaded with apps on how to be a Siren? Hades and Persephone on speed dial? The authors attempt to put a modern spin into Greek mythology worked very well in this book. The Gods are their usual playful self, just being a God, trying to take control of what they think is theirs, belittling humans. I think it's more truthful, the way they behaved here, selfish, controlling and being all high and mighty. Those were the qualities of Gods that I'm familiar with and it's nice to read of them again.
Considering how they are frenemies, Shar became an understanding friend to Meg. I loved how they transformed from being a problem child to the best of friends. I'm all for friendship and no matter how hilarious their experience were, Shar and Meg were no fools. Granted, the Gods made them pawns in another game, they were trying to take charge of their own lives, which is difficult to do.
Sirenz is a lighthearted tale of friendship formed between two unlikely teenagers brought together through the selfish, shallow whims of divine beings. If you like reading about Gods being God-like, selfish, regal, beautiful and all powerful, this is the book for you. Add a dash of fashion, a drop of quirky side characters and a funny storyline, Sirenz is a read you shouldn't miss!...more
I have not, in fact, read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I'm vaguely familiar with the book since its a classic,Review posted at Amaterasu Reads
I have not, in fact, read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I'm vaguely familiar with the book since its a classic, but I dived in head on into this book with a vague familiarity of Jane Austen's famous work.
Needless to say, even with my ignorance, I enjoyed reading Prom and Prejudice. You do not need to be well-versed with Austen to enjoy this fluffy and light hearted novel.
Prom and Prejudice might be a re-telling, but for someone like me who knows very little about the book it was based on, I enjoyed reading it a lot. It came off as something separate from Pride and Prejudice for me, and I have said this countless of times before, I love authors who can write a novel based on something else and make it completely their own.
Darcy must be one of the most popular male leads that Austen has created. The Darcy in this book is lovable too! Will is gorgeous if not a bit brooding and didn't know the right things to say to Lizzie most of the time, but even with his withdrawn personality I'm pretty sure readers would love him. He's very sweet too. No wonder people who've read Pride and Prejudice swoon over Darcy!
Lizzie is a simple yet a strong character. She reminds me a bit of the female protagonist in Nodame Cantabile with her passion for playing the piano. I felt sympathy for her quite a few times but the torture she receives from school didn't stop her from doing what she sought out to do in school, and for that I admire her. On the other hand, I think Lizzie should learn to stop judging people from the moment she meets them because that's where the entire conflict in the story revolved. Her own prejudice.
I love how Elizabeth was able to incorporate the prom into this book. Making it one of the central themes of the book made it easier for me to grasp the story further, and it definitely helped modernized the re-telling.
The other characters were also a delight to read. Jane and Charles are both adorable! Though Lydia irritates me, Jane more than made up for her sister's behavior. Jane and Lizzie's friendship is very admirable as well.
The only thing that prevented me from giving this a full five star rating was the romance. I really wish it could have progressed further, because I was really looking forward to knowing how Lizzie and Will's relationship will turn out to be.
I had a huge grin on my face when I finished reading this book. I was pulled into the story right from the first page. I loved how it was easy to get immersed into it and I enjoyed reading it a lot. Sweet and cute, Prom and Prejudice is an excellent way to introduce readers to the book it was based on. I tell you, you won't be able to put down this book once you start reading it!...more