Argh, so on the fence about this book. On the one hand, The Things They've Taken has a lot going for it. It's equal parts creepy and humorous, the chaArgh, so on the fence about this book. On the one hand, The Things They've Taken has a lot going for it. It's equal parts creepy and humorous, the characters are well fleshed out, and the story itself will keep you reading on well into the night! On the other hand, I'm not a fan of instalove or characters who are overly indecisive. So, again, on the fence! Let me try to break it down for you.
This story starts off at a manic pace, as Lo sets out on her mission to save her mother. I was riveted as she navigated the world of the demons, and learned how to bargain with these terrifying beings. McElhenney does an excellent job of building up the tension and anxiety, even from the beginning, to a point where you're just as worried as Lo is. After all, it's her mom who is missing and she has no idea how to get her back. That in itself is a terrifying thought.
Now let's talk instalove. I know that there are plenty of readers out there who don't mind it, and so I'm here to tell you that this book is definitely well worth your time! Unfortunately, I'm the type of reader who can't stand characters who whine and pine, as I like to call it. So I was a little disappointed that Dolores went that route. She starts out as this amazing character who is tons stronger and I would ever be, in her situation. Then Shaw enters the picture, and suddenly she's an impulsive, jealous and fairly tough to love character. Why is it that hunky paranormal boys tend to do that to YA girls?
The other issue I had, and this honestly bothered me a bit more than the instalove, was the fact that this book ends without tying up all the loose ends. Admittedly, there's a pretty amazing twist towards the end that I didn't see coming, but I really wanted more closure before the story was over. I suppose this means that there will be more of Dolores' story to come, but it's a little frustrating to be left out in the cold like that. Let's hope this isn't over yet!
For the introduction of some great mythos and a paranormal story that hooked me and kept me reading to the end, I'll happily offer up a three star rating to The Things They've Taken. Fans of paranormal romance novels will love this one, and will be pleasantly surprised at how much action actually happens here! If you're a fan of broody and hunky paranormal boys, then this is the book for you....more
Reading more historical fiction was something that I promised myself I'd tackle this year, and so I was very pleased with Kellyn Roth asked me to readReading more historical fiction was something that I promised myself I'd tackle this year, and so I was very pleased with Kellyn Roth asked me to read The Dressmaker's Secret. I love all things with a classic feel, and this book seemed to fall within that realm. As it stands, both the premise of the story and the mystery woven into it were wonderful. I only had a few qualms, which I'll address below.
First off, I must give credit to Kellyn Roth for excellent character building. Although I felt like there could have been a bit less characters introduced, without affecting the overall story, she did succeed quite well in making sure that all of them felt realistic. I felt like I actually knew them, by the time I'd reached the ending. As a reader who always wants to feel invested, I genuinely appreciated that. I also very much enjoyed the atmosphere of this novel.Roth pays homage to the time period excellently. The Chattoways felt perfectly placed in the story that surrounded them.
My biggest issues with this story were fairly simple, the first being the large amount of dialogue that takes place in this book. Although it definitely assisted with my getting to know the characters, I felt like it hampered forward movement. There were large portions of the middle that felt dragged on, due to the dialogue between the characters. The other issue I had was that the plot seemed to rush to resolve itself in the latter half of the book. Things were going rather well at first, but the events that lead to the ending of this book were a bit frustrating to be honest. I felt like the ending was abrupt, and possibly not the best choice for the Chattoway's story. I had enjoyed following them enough that I felt a little let down.
Despite that though, I would definitely recommend this book to readers who are looking for historical fiction that is on the lighter side. There is a good message underlying all of this and, although the time period would dictate otherwise, this book doesn't have much scandal in it at all. It's a rather clean, and quick, read overall. I think Kellyn Roth is just cutting her teeth here, and that's a hopeful thought. I'd love to see what she writes next....more
First off, let me say that The Forbidden Garden is both an absolutely enchanting and effortless read. It's the type of story that a reader can easilyFirst off, let me say that The Forbidden Garden is both an absolutely enchanting and effortless read. It's the type of story that a reader can easily sink into, and wile away the hours with. To me, it would be the perfect outdoor read. Something to spend those beach days, hammock days, or even camping days with. Ellen Herrick has made something beautiful here, and it's honestly rather intoxicating.
As a reader, I tend to gravitate towards character who feel genuine. If the people I'm reading about attract me, I want to keep reading. Herrick has accomplished that handily. Sorrel and her sisters, despite the fact that I hadn't yet read the book they are featured in, stole my heart. Their love was evident, as was the heartache that Sorrel still harbored. When Sorrel, and I at the same time, met the Kirkwoods I was head over heels in love. This family, despite their secrets kept, were just delightful. The romance that bloomed between Andrew and Sorrel especially stole my heart. It felt genuine, sweet, and honest, which is hard to do.
The story itself, that is the plot portion of it, started out really strong in my opinion. The rambling estate of Kirkwood Manor was just as charming as the people in it, and as the history began to unfold I was intrigued. However, as the book neared the mid-point, I felt like everything was being rushed to the conclusion. I would have loved to see more about the research that Stella was performing into the past, and possibly more about the whole mystery itself. The ending just felt anti-climactic, after all the tension leading up to it.
For a beautifully written setting, wonderful characters, and a rather interesting plot, I'll happily offer this book three stars. As I mentioned, it was an effortless and honestly enjoyable read. If you're looking for something light and airy, with characters who will make you fall in love, this is your next read....more