Admittedly I can't help but feel that this book suffers from that not unlike Kristen Simmons "Breaking Point" does- second book syndrome. While whileAdmittedly I can't help but feel that this book suffers from that not unlike Kristen Simmons "Breaking Point" does- second book syndrome. While while I read it it felt as if a lot was happening, after I finished it and sat back and considered it I realized that not all that much did- essentially the characters traveled from their home in the Maritimes to Toronto with very little difficulties, all things considering. I can't help but wonder how Megan is going to fully wrap up this series in one more book, this series being a trilogy- it feels to me that we could have at least another handful of books until we finally saw the end of the virus.
Furthermore, while I was a large fan of the characters, Kaelyn, Drew, Tessa and Gav, in "The Way We Fall", in this book I felt that all but Kaelyn didn't make all that large of an impact upon me. Drew and Tessa played very little roles in this book, while Gav bordered on being a possessive boyfriend, at times. However, I was quite impressed with Kaelyn- she continuously grows as a character and never loses sight of the end goal- finding a cure and making it widely distributed. I also did like the character addition of Tobias, however, I am uncertain about how I feel about Leo being fully ingrained into this story line. It's obvious that Megan is hinting at a story line between Kaelyn and Leo and I can't help but feel that it is far too forced- in my opinion the best romances are those that sneak up at you and are understated.
That being said, I really liked that this book wasn't told in the same format that it was in the previous- that instead of being written as a journal/ diary it was written as an ordinary narrative. I thought that this was much less flat and one-dimensional than the previous, and therefore even more of a "pageturner".
All in all, despite my complaints I did enjoy this book and I will be continuing on with this series- I think that fans of the first will be more than happy with this installment (perhaps even liking it more than the first!) and curse the year or so that they will have to wait for the third, and final book, in the series. ...more
I have to start this review by thanking author Marissa Meyer- thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. It has been SO LONG since I have felt THE FEELS and SQUI have to start this review by thanking author Marissa Meyer- thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. It has been SO LONG since I have felt THE FEELS and SQUEEd over a book, so long so that I had come to think that the heart-pounding/ bubbly chest feeling that I experienced when reading something so good, so cute, so flaily, and so forth, was just a figment of my imagination. You, Marissa Meyer, were able to do something that so few authors have been able to do for me and I cannot thank you enough.
As becomes evident, I LOVED this book. After finishing it I had a large smile on my face and happy tears in my eyes. Not only is this one of the best sequels that I have ever read before, but one of the best books overall. I honestly cannot think of a single complaint about it- not for lack of trying. While I had found "Cinder" to be fairly predictable, correctly guessing the entire plot within the first couple of pages, I was sitting on the edge of this seat the entire time while reading this book, never quite knowing where Marissa was going to take it next.
Additionally, going into this book I was quite concerned about how Scarlet and Cinder would compare and how they would meet up- both were flawless. While both girls have big personalities, and are physically, emotionally, and mentally strong, they are each their own unique person- Cinder quite literally trying to discover where she fits in our world (or beyond) and Scarlet doing everything in her power to protect those she loves. Furthermore, their meeting felt so natural and seamless, not jarring or obvious in the slightest.
While I loved both girls I also loved Wolf- I love that he wasn't like any other bad boy I have ever read of before. He was just so subdued and understated. While I do, for instance, find Jace Wayland's arrogance, cockiness and charm to be swoon-worthy, I also found Wolf's quietness, thoughtfulness, and childlike innocence to be swoon-worthy. Furthermore, I liked seeing Kai really step up to the plate, assuming the role that he was born for. AND I LOVED Captain Thorne. He was just so over the top that you couldn't help but fall for him (in fact, I think that I may like him even more than Kai)- I think that him and Cinder compliment one another well (just as friends though, of course)- with her dryness and his head almost as big as his ship.
All in all, as becomes evident I loved this book- "Cress" and "Winter" have quickly raised in the ranks of my "Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2014 and 2015". I highly recommend this series to everyone- with memorable characters, a flawless plot, and feelings/ emotions like no other, you can't go wrong! ...more
They say that an author should write every chapter of a book with the intent that it will further the storyline, however, I found that to be anythingThey say that an author should write every chapter of a book with the intent that it will further the storyline, however, I found that to be anything but the case for this book. The first 160 pages or so there was party after party after party, almost none of which furthered the storyline. Furthermore, I found that very few of the differing perspectives of this book (I lost track of how many there were since there were SO many) added anything to the storyline- there are better ways of exposing the background of a storyline without explicitly showing you, "Oh, hey, here's this characters perspective of something that happened sixty years ago." Additionally, while I appreciate the fact that Libba took the idea of "show, don't tell" to heart, it was just so tiresome (I have learned from this book that there *is* such thing as too much detail)- I'm fairly certain that I can paint a picture of the back alleys of New York or the speakeasies better than I can the home that I grew up in. I think that if Libba had reigned in some of her descriptions she could have easily cut the book back by a quarter.
Not only did I have a problem with the pacing of the story, but I also did with main character Evie. Personally I couldn't connect with her on any level, I found her to be quite superficial and selfish. I'm kicking myself for thinking that she might redeem herself at the end of the novel- she didn't, she just further reiterated the fact that she will do anything and everything to further herself, with no regard to anyone else. Additionally, I thought that Evie's feelings for one of the male characters somewhat sprung up out of nowhere- I thought that her feelings would be directed towards one boy, with their playful banter back and forth, but they weren't, rather being directed to the stoic character with more skeletons in his closet than personality.
That being said, I did quite like the secondary characters, Henry, Thea, Memphis and Sam. I thought that each of them really brought something to the story- Henry, a humbleness and generosity like no other, Thea, a role model of sorts, making the most out of the crappy hand that she was dealt in life, Memphis, the love for his brother tear-jerking, and Sam, the best personality of the bunch.
All in all, despite my complaints this book was entertaining in that it helped to pass the time. Additionally, the storyline is quite unlike anything I have ever encountered before- which I greatly appreciated as I find that I am having an increasingly difficult time finding unique YA's. Furthermore, despite said complaints, I will still continue on with this series just to find resolution with everything. ...more
While I oft SQUEE about books, it isn't often that I feel what could be considered legitimate emotions of a book (RE: not superficial emotions- such aWhile I oft SQUEE about books, it isn't often that I feel what could be considered legitimate emotions of a book (RE: not superficial emotions- such as "OMG HE IS SO SWOON-WORTHY!"- about a book) and I almost never have a physical reaction to a book (aside from a few teary moments here and there, again, usually superficial teary moments)- however, that was the case whatsoever when it came to this book. I cannot recall ever having been so emotionally involved in one before. At times while reading it I became concerned that I was joining Emerson in her psychotic break and because of all of the continuously changing emotions that I was experiencing while reading it I developed a stomachache. After finishing it I was legitimately emotionally spent- despite it fairly early when I finished this (around 4 PM), all I could do was veg out on the couch for the rest of the night as I was too tired to do anything otherwise.
This isn't your typical YA contemporary, something fun and lighthearted in the vein of Stephanie Perkins. It's raw, emotional, and heavy- I would go so far to say that it is not for the faint of heart (because as mentioned, I, who has quite a strong stomach, even developed a stomachache from some of the scenes- some of which involved blood, others of which involved emotional and mental turmoil like you wouldn't believe).
Echo and Noah are quite literally unlike any characters I have ever read before- like the book both are so raw and emotional, but even more than that they are broken. Being as such they are potentially the most relateable characters I have ever encountered before, Echo who is quite literally trying to figure out where she belongs in life, not to mention piecing together her past, and Noah doing everything in his power to ensure that what little family he has sticks together. Furthermore, the secondary characters were bar none some of the most complex I have ever read of before- from Echo's mom and dad, to her stepmother, to Noah's brothers foster parents.
All in all, this is one of the most stunning debuts I have ever had the pleasure of reading before. I have no doubt that Katie has an amazing career ahead of her- I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in "Dare You To", a companion novel to this book told from Beth's POV....more
As I have said time and time again, it is very rare for me to like female characters- especially when compared to their male counterparts. I feel likeAs I have said time and time again, it is very rare for me to like female characters- especially when compared to their male counterparts. I feel like the male characters are so built up, that we, as readers, know everything about them, from the differentiating flecks of colour in their eyes, how their hair falls just perfectly over their forehead, how the one corner of their mouth quirks up, etc., whereas the female characters are often just shells that female readers can insert themselves into- that is, until I read this book and met its three main females- Michiko, Nellie, and Cora.
Each of these girls is so dynamic, multifaceted, insert adjective of that nature here (and with such BIG personalities)- but best of all, I think it darn near impossible to pick a favourite out of the three as they each bring something unique to the table- from Michiko's understated strength and elegance to Cora's intelligence and witty comebacks to Nellie's charm and just overall likeability. They are some of few characters that I know that I will never tire of revisiting.
Another element of this book that really stuck out to me was the setting- a sort of Victorian-era setting with a Steampunk vibe. While I have read many books of this nature I have only found one to be truly successful in carrying it out before- Lia Habel's "Dearly, Departed", again, that is, until I read this novel. In fact, I think that the setting of this book may be even better than that of Habel's as I find the Steampunk to be not so glaringly obvious (ie. almost as if it is just thrown in there for the sake of being there), like Michiko's understated strength and elegance the Steampunkness is, too, understated.
While I know that some will have complaints that this novel isn't historically accurate, that the characters speak in too modern of a manner, etc. I personally really enjoyed that aspect- I found that it made the book much more fun and lighthearted than books of this nature typically are- much less heavy than usual. Plus, I feel like I could relate to them more as the way that we think is very similar.
All in all, I believe this to be a stunning debut from author Adrienne Kress- not only can I not wait to see what she has in store for us next, but I will be adding a finished copy of this to my shelves! I highly recommend this for those looking for memorable characters with a fun (not to mention sometimes flirty) storyline!...more
I must admit that I really quite enjoyed this book, despite feeling conflicted by a number of different things. I think that I enjoyed it so much wasI must admit that I really quite enjoyed this book, despite feeling conflicted by a number of different things. I think that I enjoyed it so much was because of outside factors influencing my opinion of it (after having read a number of heavy dystopians it was nice to read a lighter/ fluffier read).
One of the things that I can't help but wonder is whether this book would have been published had her mother not been world-renown author Jodi Picoult/ had her name attached to it. Overall I found everything about this book to be quite young and juvenile (I would personally recommend this book more so to MG readers than YA readers)- from the writing, to the characters themselves, to the clipart circa 1995 graphics contained within it (though I do believe the hand-drawn illustrations were beautiful and brought something to the book).
From a writing standpoint I have read numerous breathtaking written books by young authors (ie. authors under the age of 20) and I am afraid that this is not one of them (as mentioned, I found the language to be too juvenile and everything, from the plot to the characters, was quite underdeveloped or too melodramatic). But from the story itself standpoint I do think that it is an interesting concept- I think that all of us have at one point or another wondered what our favourite characters do when we close the book or how they would be in real life (not unlike how we fantasize what it would be like to be locked in a store/ mall without any adult supervision a la Emmy Laybourne's "Momument 14" or what our toys do when we go to bed a la "Toy Story"), so I found it nice that someone actually gave those fantasies of ours a voice.
All in all, despite my complaints I do think that Samantha Van Leer should be commended for penning a novel at such a young age, it is an arduous task that few her age (or heck, people even a decade or more older than her) would be able to accomplish. I am very curious to see whether she continues to pursue a writing career in the future. ...more
Expect the unexpected. Truer words have never been spoken that are applicable to this book- not once did I expect the outcome of Daemon healing Katy iExpect the unexpected. Truer words have never been spoken that are applicable to this book- not once did I expect the outcome of Daemon healing Katy in "Obsidian" to be what it in in this book, not once did I expect to see Daemon being more than his douchy yet utterly swoon-worthy self, and not once did I expect to be introduced to the specific character that we are at the end of this book. What all of these surprises result in is this book being, without a doubt, the best sequel, if not the best book, that I have read this year (and what is truly exceptional is that this is only one of two sequels that I haven't been disappointed in some way, shape, or form by this year- this and "The Golden Lily" by Richelle Mead- Veronica Roth and Cassie Clare truly have nothing on JLA).
Typically I am one who loathes things coming out of the left field in a book- for instance, something that is casually mentioned, with seemingly little thought, in the first book in a series which later plays a significant role in the second book (if not solely defines it). However, I didn't have a problem whatsoever with this book (in the case of the impact of Daemon healing Katy)- I thought that it was one of the best executed instances of this occurring I have ever seen before. As such the results of the healing almost seemed believable (I cannot wait to learn more about this revelation in "Opal") and it fit almost seamlessly with the overall feel of the series (seriously, just when you thought that a YA series about aliens, of all things, couldn't get more unique JLA does *that*).
Prior to reading this book I was already head over heels for Daemon and therefore I didn't believe it possible to fall even more so for him- was I ever wrong (seriously, Jace, Four, Adrian, and the likes of, y'all really need to step your game up because Daemon Black is here to stay). While there was admittedly many douchy Daemon moments in this book there were even better moments- many of which took my breath away- romantic Daemon moments (Did y'all think that Daemon could dish out the romance as easily as he can dish out the snark? Because I sure as heck didn't). It becomes clear in this book that there is so much more to Daemon than a pretty face.
That being said, while I LOVED Daemon more so in this book than I did in "Obsidian" I was admittedly a bit on the fence about Katy. On the one hand I think that it was great that we saw actual character growth, on the other I thought that she was far too pigheaded for much of the book (I mean, how many times does a boy have to apologize for you to get it through your thick skull that HE IS SORRY?!?). That being said, I am happy to say that, like Daemon being able to hold his own with the likes of Jace and Four, Katy would also be able to hold her own against Clary, Tris, and Rose by the end of this.
All in all, it becomes evident that JLA grows as an author with each passing book as this one is hands down her best book to date. This book is the epitome of a pageturner/ jam-packed action and adventure/ will keep you on the edge of your seat/ all of those other cliche-ish book-related sayings. I truly cannot stress to you how good it is, all I can do is recommend that you rush out and purchase a copy. I very highly doubt that you will regret doing so! ...more
When I first received this book to read and review I was beyond excitement because I think that this book is one of few books being released this fallWhen I first received this book to read and review I was beyond excitement because I think that this book is one of few books being released this fall/ winter that has had a ton of hype surrounding it- everywhere I turned person after person was raving about how amazing this book was and how it would grace their "Top Tens of 2012" lists, but after reading it myself I honestly cannot think of why. This book has been one of the more disappointing ones I have read in quite some time.
While there were many disappointing elements of this book the most would, by far, be the melodramatics of it. There were countless instances where all I could do was shake my head or roll my eyes at what came out of the characters mouths- from declarations of insta-love (not unlike 'Twilight's" "I'd rather die than live without you") to talking about the "seriousness" of their relationships at age 14 and 15 (something along the lines of "When we were fourteen we were so in love"), to just general angst-iness (not the good kind of angst- I mean, Jace Wayland is my favourite character so you know that I love angst- this was "grates on your nerves", "sets your teeth on edge" angst).
As I found the book overall to be quite melodramatic I obviously found the characters to be as well. Being melodramatic and, frankly, immature (think of the most immature high school student you know, amplify them, and you have these characters) I had an extremely difficult time relating to them. In fact, if I were asked right now to describe the characters, mere hours after finishing it, I don't think that I could as they made so little of an impact upon me. Additionally, I found that there were a lot of characters and many of them had similar names- Beetle, Roach, etc.- that made it difficult to differentiate between them, especially in action-packed scenes where all of them were congregated in one place.
That being said, I think that the concept of the novel was extremely inventive and quite unlike anything I have ever seen in YA before. Furthermore I think that the twist was quite well done- I thought that I had it all figured out and it turned out that I was (partially) wrong. Finally, obviously the book does have a readability factor as I did finish it, rather than DNFing it- it's the sort of book that you can't not finish as you do need to know how it all ends.
All in all, admittedly I am on the fence about whether or not I will read the last two books in this series which is quite surprising as I am the sort of person who must finish a series no matter how much, in that moment, I may hate myself for doing so (ie. with the "House of Night" series and "Morganville Vampires"). I think that this book had a ton of potential but that it didn't live up to it in the slightest. That being said, I think that those occupying the younger end of the YA spectrum (13-16 years old) would really enjoy this book- especially fans of the aforementioned "Twilight" or "Romeo and Juliette" retellings. ...more
While I was a fan of "Wither" (not a super fan like some, just a fan, fan- while I did enjoy it there were a number of things about it that irked me)While I was a fan of "Wither" (not a super fan like some, just a fan, fan- while I did enjoy it there were a number of things about it that irked me) I WAS NOT a fan of "Sever" (I couldn't, for the life of me, get into it, with the crazy carnival, Rhine continuously going in and out of consciousness, and so forth), and, as such, I was quite hesitant to read this book. That being said, after finishing it all I can do is shake my head at my earlier stupidity- it was as if this book took all of my favourite characteristics from the previous two books and increased them by tenfold.
My most parting prominent thought about this book is, "Wow, Lauren knows how to write." I know that that may sound silly, her being an author and such, however, it wasn't until I read this book, really read it, that I understood what people are talking about when they say that an author has beautiful prose. Lauren? She haz it. And then some. Lauren is to make the most simplest of thing beautiful, all while not overwhelming the reader, making them feel that her writing is too heavy or detailed. Furthermore, the thought processes that Rhine goes through are second to none.
My second parting thought? "HALLELUJAH! WE HAVE CHARACTER GROWTH!" While I did like Cecily, to a degree, in the earlier books, it was nothing compared to this. While Lauren has beautiful prose like no other, Cecily has strength like no other. Numerous times while reading this book I forgot that Cecily is only 14 years old because she exuded such strength and maturity (as icky as I feel like writing this, I do truly believe that having a child was the best thing that ever happened to her). I also really, really, REALLY liked Linden in this novel. I loved that he saw the light and assumed responsibility for his father's actions in this novel.
That being said, like the previous two books I do also have a few problems with this. Namely, I find the ending to be quite a cop-out. Rather than the characters truly getting the opportunity to take control of their lives that, which they are so deserving of, fate intercepted, ripping it from from them. I feel like there was such a build-up of epicness and that the ending fell flat. However, as becomes evident from my 5 star rating, that fact didn't wreck this book for me as the other elements were able to make up for it.
All in all, I think that despite its ups and downs this is overall an enchanting series by Lauren. I personally cannot wait to see what she has in store for us with her "Internment Chronicles" series, slated to be released in 2014! ...more
I am the sort of person who can finish at least one book a day- once I start a book it is near impossible to tear me away from it, essentially I willI am the sort of person who can finish at least one book a day- once I start a book it is near impossible to tear me away from it, essentially I will neglect EVERYTHING once I start reading a book. Furthermore, it is EXTREMELY uncommon for me to not finish a book (since I started reviewing books, almost two years ago, I have read and reviewed EVERY book which has come my way- in fact, I can't recall the last DNF I had). So how do those little facts relate to this book? This book was BY FAR the biggest struggle I have experienced since I started blogging- with every fiber of my being I wanted to not finish this book but I forced myself to (in all honesty I only finished it because I requested the book from the publisher and I would have felt guilty for not having read and reviewed it). This book took me almost two months to finish as I could only read ten or so pages before I would become overwhelmed and would have to set it down for the day. There were a large accumulation of reasons why I struggled so much with this book which I will elaborate upon below.
I must admit that I never fully understood what people meant when they said that in a book an author "showed rather than told", that is, until I read this book. I found the writing of this book to be too, "He did this and then he did this and then he did this", there to be very little description and depth to the dialogue and little to no emotion to the storyline of the book, nor the characters. I never experienced that heart-pounding feeling you get when one of a book's characters is about to experience something horrific or that "Awwwwwww" moment when two characters you have been rooting for the entire novel FINALLY come together- essentially everything was EXTREMELY flat and one-dimensional.
Furthermore, I found all of the characters to be quite undeveloped- after reading the book I don't feel like I truly know any of them. What I do know is that the main character, Sam, and the love interest, Daphne, are quite unlikeable- Sam being not only quite close-minded but oblivious and gullible the entire novel and Daphne who, in my opinion, showed very few, if any, redeeming qualities (I am seriously baffled by what Sam saw in her. Oh wait, her looks. But seriously, can looks balance out being a big booger?).
And as for the storyline itself, I found that there was WAY too much stuff going on (someone asked me to describe this book to them and I told them that it was "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" meets "Harry Potter". On acid)- from the zigzag trees, which moved when people walked by them, to the echo flies, which mimicked a person physically and determined their worthiness, to gumptius, a game not unlike arm wrestling, though which magic is used, to baubles which would come out of a fish's mouth to be used as mouth wash, to sheep-like creatures whose wool would be consumed not unlike cotton candy- plus all of the magical stuff going on like the Veil, second-skins, etc.That being said, I do applaud author Daniel Cohen for his originality- as become evident from the aforementioned examples he has one of the most creative minds I have encountered in quite some time.
All in all, while I REALLY wanted to like this book, I was unable to. Furthermore, I unfortunately will not be continuing on with this series (which is uncharacteristic of me as I am the sort of person who NEEDS to finish a series, no matter how much I may dislike myself for doing so *Cough, cough, "House of Night" series and "Morganville Vampires"). That being said, if you are looking for a book that which has amazing world-building then this might be right up your alley! ...more
My first impression of this book when I held it in my hands was, "Whoa, this is a BIG book"- and it is, clocking in at over 500 pages (549 to be exactMy first impression of this book when I held it in my hands was, "Whoa, this is a BIG book"- and it is, clocking in at over 500 pages (549 to be exact). While in the past I was quite hesitant to read a book of this magnitude (I mean, why read a single book which was 500 pages, when you could read two or three 200 page book), I wasn't in this case thanks to Veronica Roth's "Divergent", which was also of a similar page number. I thought that like Veronica's book I would fly through this book, be captivated the entire time, and the whole nine yards, however, I must admit that I didn't fly by as much as I was hoping for, primarily because of the political intrigue that was marketed so much? I unfortunately didn't find it all that intriguing. I wish that either the writing had been more succinct- eliminating much of this aspect of the storyline (I think that in doing this the book would have been shortened by at least 200 pages), or that the romance aspect of the storyline had played a larger role (what can I say? I am a hopeless romantic. I think that a romance can make even the worst of books tolerable).
That being said, I enjoyed each and every character of this book, even the villains, which I believe is a testament to Robin's talents- as I can recall very few villains that I have actually liked over the years (Snape from the "Harry Potter" series, Valentine from "The Mortal Instruments" and Warner from "Shatter Me"). Why I enjoyed each character because I found them to be so finely crafted- from Ismae, who was able to prove her worth over and over again to those who doubted her over the years (and who looked pretty bad-ass while doing so, RE: the small crossbow), to Duval, a person who despite his somewhat prickly exterior has a heart of gold, to Anna, who never let her age deter her from what had to be done, to Beast and DeLornay, who brought much needed comedic relief (and in the case of DeLornay, swoon) to the book.
All in all, if I had to sum up this book in a few words I would describe it as being "The Game of Thrones" meets Tamora Pierce's "Trickster's Choice" series- I think that fans of either series will gobble this book up in a heartbeat and promptly ask for seconds. I think that Robin has a real knack for writing YA and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us with"Dark Triumph" (and I don't know about y'all, but I am really hoping that the knight that Sybella has to rescue is Beast). ...more