Elsie Chapman, I bow down to your spectacular writing. From the concept, plot, action, ch...moreI received DUALED by Elsie Chapman via NetGalley.
5 of 5 stars
Elsie Chapman, I bow down to your spectacular writing. From the concept, plot, action, characters, and suspense, you nailed it. Books like this one are one in a million.
Let's cut to the chase, shall we? Would I recommend this book? Yes! Especially to fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT. Even lovers of zombie books would enjoy the non-stop, heart-pounding action. This intense story will keep you flipping pages long past your bedtime and into the wee hours of the night (in my case, the late afternoon).
West Grayer is not your typical 15-year-old and neither is the society she lives in of kill or be killed. It's not even about survival in this tale, because running from your Alt--practically your twin in every genetic way--will only result in both of you dying. Only one can live or no one can. And West does what she must to survive when the order to kill her Alt and be worthy, or die like a weakling is issued.
What I liked most about this story were West's struggles--with losing her family, her friends, being forced into a world of violence. Internally she's just as jaded as anyone going through such things would be, but on the outside she comes off as cold and calculating. And what was most inspiring about her was that she (mostly) dealt with this on her own, pushing everyone aside, even Chord, her (view spoiler)[dead (hide spoiler)] brother's best friend who promised to stay with her when the time came for her to kill her Alt. Though she loved Chord, she knew the best way to keep him safe was to stay away, even when he made it nearly impossible.
What would you do if you had to kill the person who looked just like you?
I can't wait until this book's release so I can buy a hard copy and put it on my shelf.
If you haven't already, add this book to your to-be-read ASAP pile.(less)
I received A SHIMMER OF ANGELS by Lisa M. Basso from NetGalley.
2 of 5 stars
While reading reviews of other angel books, I noticed more and more readers...moreI received A SHIMMER OF ANGELS by Lisa M. Basso from NetGalley.
2 of 5 stars
While reading reviews of other angel books, I noticed more and more readers were being put off by this fascination with angels in recent YA literature. As an author who has written several books with angels (Adult, not YA), this has certainly upset me. In my quest to figure out why readers are automatically putting angel books in their Do Not Read pile, I've taken up reading other books with angels in them. Now I'm starting to understand the new trend to ditch the angel books.
A SHIMMER OF ANGELS has a fascinating premise. I was particularly interested to see how Basso would deal with the mental illness the main character, Ray(na), had. It's always bothered me when a character finds out about the supernatural in a book and doesn't question their sanity. Not just question it as a throw-off line, but REALLY question it. I was completely on board with Ray thinking she was insane. Totally. However, the author clearly didn't do her research into the establishment and procedures of mental institutions. From personal experience with a dear friend, it's hard to have someone committed, even when they SHOULD be. Despite this flaw, I continued reading.
Ray, for understandable reasons, is a bit skittish, but it's to the point that it's annoying. She's jumpier than a pedophile in a bear costume at a kid's birthday party. On top of that, her friendship with Lee was never really established. His part in this story was more of a subplot that could have easily been replaced with another subplot that had more to do with the angels and their background. The story would have been fine without Lee's character.
Insta-love with new angel boy at school, Cam(ael), stumbled out of the gate and later fell so flat I'm sure an iron--or an anvil--was involved. Basso does well with "showing not telling" in her writing. However, forcing Ray's emotions caused the supposed love connection with Cam to be a spectacular flop. He did nothing to win her affections, and when she needed him--was literally calling out for help--he turned around and walked away. Just left her without a second glance. Mind=blown. WHAT? I find Cam's character to work well as an angel who isn't allowed human emotions, which is why there was NO CONNECTION between the two characters. None. So while Ray is all "feeling" these emotions between them, the reader is left scratching their head, wondering why.
Of course there is a weird little love triangle in this book (isn't there always?). "Bad boy" Kade is a Fallen angel who isn't really all that bad. HE is the reason this book is receiving two stars. His character was the most fascinating and intriguing. What I don't understand is why Ray treated Kade so terribly. He broke her out of the mental health facility when Cam walked away, he took care of her, flew for her (which apparently is precious, and an angel can only fly so many times--don't understand this), and risked his life for hers. So WHY does Ray even give Cam a chance later? *shakes head* It made no sense.
Okay, okay. At this point, I'm trying to understand how such a fascinating premise with all kinds of possible plots (especially at the beginning with the suicides) turned out to be such a let-down.
The plot was iffy and a bit ridiculous, I was left with more questions than answers, most of the characters were simplistic to downright insubstantial, and Basso clearly failed to do her research. Even though this book was received from the publisher via NetGalley, which means it's an ARC and is not the final draft, the grammar, punctuation, and bizarre prose was horrendous. As an author, one should know where to place commas and what the differences are between perfect and simple past tense. It actually amazes me that this story was picked up by an agent and/or publisher with that many errors, let alone get through 1st pass. (Examples: distain instead of disdain was used several times; bore instead of bored was used often, even though the chapter was written in past tense; commas where periods should be, commas where they shouldn't be, and no commas where they should be.) I really hope this book reaches an editor before publication. On top of that, I'm not impressed with the poor graphic design on the cover. Since the author has nothing to do with that, I can't hold it against her. Still, there is no creativity, and the artist probably slapped it together in an afternoon.
In conclusion, I was wholly not impressed with this book nor would I recommend it. I just hope readers understand that not ALL angel books follow this same plot path. I also hope major revisions are made before this hits print. Books in the YA genre, in particular, should use proper grammar because they're more of an example to young people than adults books are.(less)
I received ENTANGLED by Nikki Jefford from Net Galley and went into reading it without expectations (I didn't even peek at the summary). When I first...moreI received ENTANGLED by Nikki Jefford from Net Galley and went into reading it without expectations (I didn't even peek at the summary). When I first began reading, I was rather irritated with the strain between Graylee and her twin sister Charlene because I had yet to unravel the dynamics of their entangled relationship (get it, entangled? haha). Everything in the beginning had the air of being asinine and petty, all the way down to the magical side of it (turned out this was a vital part of the story). For whatever reason, I kept reading because--and don't laugh at me for this--the grammar and stellar punctuation.
Side note: Lately I've been forced to turn to audiobooks just to enjoy a story because of how atrocious editors (and authors too!) have become with proper grammar and punctuation. It's sad.
Anyway, back on track . . . I was absolutely delighted to realize when I was a good 10% into this book that I'd yet to be wrenched from the story because of bizarre comma placement or perplexing and poorly written prose.
I'm pleased I didn't stop reading ENTANGLED. The character buildup and the sudden and swift change in the storyline made me give a quick "thank you" to the book goddesses in the publishing world. Already I was thrilled ENTANGLED didn't follow the tattered and worn plots that the YA genre continues to spit out with over-exuberant glee, as if the readers are too dim-witted to see all they did was change the characters' names. Nikki Jefford broke through the copy/paste mold to create a world of magic and consequence.
Graylee's character had passion, intrigue, and heart. She had SUBSTANCE! She didn't just fall into a guy's lap; she kept her head on straight and made decisions based on evidence as it was provided to her. That I had to appreciate, as it is another plot-device authors like to write way too often. Raj, Gray's love interest and thought-to-be bad boy, was not who I expected him to be. Though I had a feeling he'd redeem himself, it turned out there really wasn't anything he needed to be redeemed for. Which brings me to why this story received 4 stars instead of 5.
The end of the book was a disappointment. Not the plot or story, which, don't misunderstand, I loved, but the way it was written could be compared to riding a jackhammer through an earthquake. I'm not sure if Jefford felt rushed or became bored with the book, but the last few chapters seemed like several important scenes were strung together without rhyme or reason. As soon as the story hit its plateau, I just knew I would be in for a wild ride down the Conclusion Slope. Instead, it was the bumpy road of "why am I being jarred out of the story because I'm afraid the ending chapters all coalesced into one big blob of Hurry Up and Finish?" Not cool. There was so much more that could have been added at the ending--so many things that should have been addressed so the reader wouldn't feel so lost and disillusioned. If the author would add to the end, I'd absolutely read it again just to get the satisfied feeling I expected to have.
In conclusion, I would recommend this book to readers of YA Fantasy. It's an enjoyable story with an unexpected plot. However, I give this recommendation with a warning about the end. It's a bucket full of cold water. Prepare to have the illusion of being in the story shattered right about when Raj goes to his mother for help.(less)
Shannon Delany weaves a cunning tale of magick so electric and magnetic that you'll practically feel the dynamic forces of the weather. Prepare to be...moreShannon Delany weaves a cunning tale of magick so electric and magnetic that you'll practically feel the dynamic forces of the weather. Prepare to be shocked.(less)
I had randomly chosen to listen to this book on my Audiobooks.com account after coming across the summary. Honestly, I wasn't sold but gave the book a...moreI had randomly chosen to listen to this book on my Audiobooks.com account after coming across the summary. Honestly, I wasn't sold but gave the book a chance anyway. I'm so glad I did. S.J. Kincaid constructed an entire believable scifi world with likable and funny characters as well as ones I hated. For fans of SciFi, dystopia, and YA: this is the book for you. Trust me (you know I have no problems telling readers exactly how I feel about books).
To end this short review, I give you two words that'll make perfect sense once you read this book . . .
Wish there was less narration of the narration, though sometimes it was funny. And I was hoping for even the tiniest bit of romance. Overall, the book...moreWish there was less narration of the narration, though sometimes it was funny. And I was hoping for even the tiniest bit of romance. Overall, the book kept me entertained and was interesting and fun. I found myself chuckling quite often, which was necessary after intense scenes. :)(less)
Not normally the kind of book I would read, but the premise sounded interesting, so I took a chance. It was better than I thought. Something about a h...moreNot normally the kind of book I would read, but the premise sounded interesting, so I took a chance. It was better than I thought. Something about a hunky hollywood star meets normal chick and falls in love just appeals to me and my fangirl fantasies. :P(less)