I'm not entirely sure how to start this review as this left me somewhat torn. I find my reviews on waterstones.co.uk easier because i don't go into as...moreI'm not entirely sure how to start this review as this left me somewhat torn. I find my reviews on waterstones.co.uk easier because i don't go into as much detail. Mainly because im trying to get as much info over as succinctly as possible for people trying to make a decision on whether to read a book or not. On here i can go into more depth and i'm aware that a lot of people loved this novel so i feel the need to justify the loss of 2 stars.
I am going to start with the positives first though, of which there were quite a few. Firstly, the actual concept was fascinating. As an ex psychology student who studied this sort of thing, dreams are somewhat of a fascination of mine and i've always been intrigued as to what they mean, can we change them? and why do we dream anyway? There's so much debate around that area i found this book brilliantly inventive in the way it looked at them. In some cases it would appear dreams are memories long buried, and in other hopes and fears, some of which are clearly not meant to be viewed by a third party.
This book isn't meant to give any definitite answers, more to make you wonder and think about the possibilities of dreams, which is one of the aspects i liked about it. With regards to that, i was also fascinated by how much damage the content of people's dreams can do. Reading about Janie dealing with people's subconcious really made me feel for her situation. As someone who's had their share of nightmares, i wouldn't wish her ability on anyone. However, i did like the idea that she was able to learn to control dreams and help people who were suffering. The ultimate impression i got, in my opnion, was that we are in control of our dreams. We can help ourselves and we do have the strength to overcome terrifying things. And that to me was a very powerful idea.
Now to get to the reason why this lost two stars, and there are a few reasons:
1. The writing style and POV just really wasn't my cup of tea. It's not something im familar with and i felt it translated badly. This seems like such a personal novel that i think first person POV would have suited it better, but then i'm not the author and there's probably a very good reason for it.
2. The way the book itself was set out was also another thing i found a bit odd. Theres a lot of jumping about near the beginning of the book and i found it a bit confusing. And some events seem to pass by so quickly i didn't realise they happened so i had to jump back a bit. Something in relation to this that annoyed was the dates, i didn't honestly get what they had to do with anything at all? I just don't understand that. There probably is a reason but i found them hard to keep track of, or maybe it was just to give some sort of timeline? I'm not sure.
3. The characters are my next point. Don't get me wrong, i loved them all, but i felt as a reader i didn't learn enough about them to get properly involved with how they were feeling fully. Although i have to admit i found Cabel and Janies relationship wonderfully different as they both attempt to overcome there dream/nightmare issues.
Okay, so overall i found this to be an interestingly different read, with some wonderfu events and a different kind of story, but i felt that the writing could have been better. I will read Fade though when i get the chance, because i am intrigued as to what happens next. (less)
This is one of those books you can pick up whenever you feel like it, and continue from where you left off, but i found it so funny i finished it with...moreThis is one of those books you can pick up whenever you feel like it, and continue from where you left off, but i found it so funny i finished it within a couple of days, in which i was off work.
Some of the excuses are so amusing my sides were hurting from laughing and the dating section itself deserves a round of applause. I think i've heard about half of the ending a relationship reasons at some point in my life.
This is an awesome book, it is funny and it's great for conversation starters. My personal favourite excuse for a train being delayed: "The train arriving at platform one is on fire, passengers are advised not to board"
This book is simply short and sweet. At only roughly 196 pages for the actual story it has to be one of the shortest i've read, and i would have loved...moreThis book is simply short and sweet. At only roughly 196 pages for the actual story it has to be one of the shortest i've read, and i would have loved to have had more backstory about some of the characters, but that is my only complaint.
I loved this, the characters were relatable, the plot was engaging and it ended on a fantastic cliffhanger, so much so i want the sequel now. Despite being short, a surprising amount happens, and as the reader i found myself breathless as event after event took place, and i couldn't help but really feel for the situation that Breena finds herself in.
The romance is beautifully told and i loved how the relationships developed over the course of the book, and despite the sheer number of romances i've read, this one really touched heart. There was something beautiful and innocent about it that i couldn't let go of :-)
Anyways, stunning story and brilliantly written, can't wait for the next in the series.(less)
**spoiler alert** Ok to start with, the reason this lost a star was because of some of the messages it conveys and i was left a bit confused. The auth...more**spoiler alert** Ok to start with, the reason this lost a star was because of some of the messages it conveys and i was left a bit confused. The author herself doesn't support the messages but in the way it's written it made me doubt the validity of some of the so called good guys.
Anyway, the four stars i gave this book orginally were due to the quality of the writing (which is exceptional), the plot and the setting. I found the setting an interesting change of pace, having it set in Oklahoma instead of Parthalon was interesting, and it was fascinating seeing what damage rhiannon had done in Shannon's place.
The plot was brilliant (for the most part), it moved quickly and had endless twists and turns that truly made me gasp out loud, and cry in some cases. The ending, however, left me a little bit confused and i don't understand how ClanFintan can be so forgiving. If i'd been cheated on i'd be furious!
Which brings me to the reason it dropped another star and is therefore different to my Waterstones rating. I originally gave this a four, but on reflection dropped it another star because it disturbed me too much. This was for several reasons:
1. The goddess Epona, a good guy, is seen practically okaying rape under certain contexts, and i really felt for Rhiannon. I'm not saying it gave her the right to be a bitch in later life, but rape is never right, even if it is the 'Will' of the goddess. So what if she was supposed to be drugged so she didn't feel it? That doesn't make it better. Thats the equivilant of date rape.
2. The adulterous plotline really made me second guess Shannon. I just don't get how she can see cheating on her husband as ok just because she is told so. Adultery is adultery and i was rather annoyed. I really like Shannon's character, so i found implausible that she would do what she did.
Those two things really bothered me as they twisted to seemingly good characters into something rather, well, nasty. I just didn't understand it.
Anyway, overall, it was a good read, and i will read the next in the series. But the characterisation went very awry, which annoyed me somewhat.(less)
**spoiler alert** Ok, so in my constant effort to do honest reviews i have to admit that i was very aprehensive about reading this book simply because...more**spoiler alert** Ok, so in my constant effort to do honest reviews i have to admit that i was very aprehensive about reading this book simply because i tried reading the House of Night novels, which i got very bored with by the end of the first book. (I gave up half-way through book two).
Anyways, i'm glad i gave this a go because quite simply it's amazing! Whether it's because i found the House of Night books somewhat childish, i'm not sure, but i found this a breath of freshair.
Shannon is one of my favourite lead girls of all time now. For one, she's not your stereotypical teenage character (being 35 and all) and she doesn't have the usual response to things. I loved how she dealt with everything that was thrown at her and her sense of humour was awesome. Also, reading about her with ClanFintan was brilliant (sigh) he sounds like the perfect husband (sigh again). While on that topic, he's another favourite character of mine, and not just because he sounds very nice :-) but because he is an awesome character with many heroic qualities such as bravery, loyalty and his commitment to Shannon was beautiful to read about.
Anyways, on the topic of the general plot. It was full of twists, turns, beautiful romance, action and some very amusing incidents that had me doubled up laughing (loved the vibrator joke!) To sum it up this had a bit of everything i love; a gorgeous romance, wonderful fantasy, some gritty horror, heros, villains and a story line that kept me totally enthralled.
Work of a genius, i've now put Divine by choice on my to-read list!(less)
**spoiler alert** I finished reading this then went to read other people's reviews about this to see if my thoughts were similar, and i've noticed tha...more**spoiler alert** I finished reading this then went to read other people's reviews about this to see if my thoughts were similar, and i've noticed that the very thing that i found off-putting has troubled other readers, so i'm glad i'm not the only one. This main off-putting thing being lack of depth in characters and also the world it's set in, although the character problem was definately the biggest.
Don't get me wrong, there were so major plus's to this story, or it would have gotten the three stars it did, all of which are for plot and originality. The plot itself was really well thought out and there were some amazing twists, not to mention some rather amusing jokes throughout. The ending was fantastic, and i wouldn't have seen it coming even if it had been coming at me like a car with blazing headlights, it was cleverly done. With regards to originality, the author takes old ideas of vampirism and werewolves and gives them a sharp twist, i don't think i've laughed so much as i did at some of the were's in this story!
The problem, as i've mentioned, depth. I didn't feel that there was enough character building and as a result by the end i felt detached from the characters and the ending, though being fantastic idea wise, simply didn't move me as much as it should. Also, Quincie's relationship with Kieren also suffered this problem, as by the time anything happened between them i just didn't feel anything towards them.
Having said that, i still think i'll read Eternal as i'm curious to see what will happen in the rest of the Tantalize series, although i'm well aware that Quincie and Kieren aren't in it. However, if you love vampire/werewolf romances you should give this a go.(less)
To start with, i'd just like to say that i hate giving bad reviews for anything, but i wouldn't be honest if i said this was good. Don't get me wrong,...moreTo start with, i'd just like to say that i hate giving bad reviews for anything, but i wouldn't be honest if i said this was good. Don't get me wrong, some of the ideas were brilliant and there was massive potential for this to be an engaging and exciting read, but to me it just fell flat.
To start with, the story came across as confusing and disjointed, with no apparent direction and it seemed to take forever for any conclusions to be drawn, something that infuriated me to no end.
The characters themselves were another problem, there was a distinct lack of depth to them, as if the reader isn't allowed to get to know them properly or love them. The result? I really didn't care what happened to them by the end, which is unusual for me!
Also some of the things that happened weren't explained properly until further after the event, which i found distracting. I'd be reading about something else on page 200 and something and then something from 100 pages back would be explained. Not sure why really, i spent a lot of my time making 'eh?!' noises.
I do think that if this had been more organised and well written this would have been an amazing book. The idea of the story i don't have a problem with, the writing could definately be improved upon. (less)
Although i didn't find this as absorbing as some fairy tales that i've read (i felt it was stretched out a bit) there is still plenty i loved about th...moreAlthough i didn't find this as absorbing as some fairy tales that i've read (i felt it was stretched out a bit) there is still plenty i loved about this enchanting retelling of the twelve dancing princesses:
1. - The characters had a amazing depth to them, and i felt that by the end of the novel i knew each and everyone pretty well. With regards to the plot, it felt all the more natural with relation to the characters, and i felt more part of the story, caring whether the curse was broken or not. Also, i loved little Pansy and her conversations with the 'good spirit'!
2. - story The plot itself was well woven and the pieces fell into place quite neatly, although as i've mentioned i did feel things were dragged out a bit at some stages, and could have been more succinct, but that's a minor quibble because it was a good story. I found that the elements that were added to the original fairytale were different, but not so different it became ridiculous. The idea of witchcraft and investigations were fascinating, because there would have been consequences to the girls disappearing and random princes dying.
3. - Ending The ending itself was genius, i did expect the fairytale ending, yet something still happened to surprise me (i won't say what though) and it's that sort of thing that makes these books all the more beautfiful to read.
Overall... A fascinating rewrite that, while holding it's own sparkle, doesn't tarnish the magic of the original. I will most definately be looking into more books by this author. (less)
**spoiler alert** The Poison Diaries is best described as a romantic historical and gothic thriller/fantasy. Why? It has all the elements of romance,...more**spoiler alert** The Poison Diaries is best described as a romantic historical and gothic thriller/fantasy. Why? It has all the elements of romance, history and a fantasy world but manages to be as pacey and breathtaking as a thriller, with some twists that left me stunned.
A warning to all who read this, if your looking for a 'they lived happily every after' ending, then don't look for it here because you won't get one (you really should have paid attention to the spoilers warnings!) It's not doom and gloom, but the romantics (like me) may feel a little sad at the end.
With regards to the characters, i loved Jessamine, she was plucky, outright and i truly loved her attitude and her devotion towards her work and to Weed. When she fell ill i actually cared, which goes to show how much i got attached to her. In Weed's case, i wasn't sure at first. His strange relationship with plants took a bit of getting used to, but once the truth came out and he learned to be more human i really took to him. Jessamine's father, however, he was one of the most complicated characters to date, lets just say he's part of a major twist in the story, and i never saw it coming at all. I was stunned!
On the romance side of things, Jessamines and Weed's relationship develops beautifully and the length that Weed will go to for Jessamine was inspiring. The love between them was clear as day, and i found their relationship refreshingly different from others i have read in books. I'm not sure what made it different, maybe because it was historical, or maybe because it wasn't set in a high school as a lot of teen romances are. I just found it a nice change for it to be set in the British countryside, surrounded by beautiful wild plants, instead of bitchy teen girls and guys.
Plot-wise, i found it riveting, complex and completely absorbing. The descriptions of the plants and gardens were beautiful, and the idea of plants having thoughts and being able to think intelligently (as well as plot and plan!) was simply fantastic. There were many lessons to be learned in this. What would we be prepared to do for the ones we love? What things are we capable of when we want something badly? Are we really a sound judge of what is poison and what isn't? These among many are just some of the questions i tried to answer, but never really came to a conclusion on a personal basis, but then it's something that now has me thinking.
The ending was brilliant, and i'd love there to be another book, not because it seemed unfinished, but simply because i would love to know what happens next. What happens to Weed? What Will Jessamine do now? Questions that aren't necessary, but me being me, i'm just very curious.
I seem to have come across mixed reviews on this book, but personally, i found it a charming and original fairy tale. Admittedly, i found the beginnin...moreI seem to have come across mixed reviews on this book, but personally, i found it a charming and original fairy tale. Admittedly, i found the beginning a little slow, but then the story really took off and i loved every second.Namira is brilliant as the young girl wanting to make something of her life, and i really admired her strength in making choices because not many people would take a chance with a person they don't know in hopes of a better job or future.
Erris, the Automaton, was a wonderful character and i loved his method of communicating with Nim, and how close they grew over their conversations. Erris's frustration at not being able to move and speak was clear as day, and i couldn't help but feel for him and Nim as they desperately try to find a way to restore him to his fairy body. Along with the romance between Erris and Nim, there's also quite a bit of action, magic and mystery which, in my opnion, were written brilliantly.
To summarise, this book is emotional, magical, original, romantic and fun, to say the least. My only issue was that it could have been longer and some areas could have been a bit better explained (for example, it would have been nice for a bit more background on the fairy/human wars), but these are minor criticisms, and i for one will definately be looking out for more of Dolamore's writing in the fututre, can't wait for book two!(less)
**spoiler alert** I'm probably going to struggle with writing this review, probably because it was such a good book and i always find my favourite boo...more**spoiler alert** I'm probably going to struggle with writing this review, probably because it was such a good book and i always find my favourite books harder to describe in words. In summary, Leaving Paradise is a love story between a girl called Maggie and a guy called Caleb. The simplicity of your average love story ends there though. The twist? Caleb has spent the last year in juvenile detention for hitting Maggie with a car and leaving her in the road.
Now to most people (myself included) you'd probably be thinking how on earth do those two end up having a relationship and how does the author manage to have this happen without it seeming really unbelievable. The answer? She just does, and it's hard to explain how unless you read it for yourself. Their relationship changes slowly at first and more of their intertwined pasts are revealed as they once again start getting to know one another better. By the time comes that Maggie and Caleb are talking properly again, you can understand how they got there, and i found their relationship believable and understandable.
To me, it made sense in a strange yet beautiful way. If there's one thing a person who isn't understood wants, it's to be understood. In this case, the best person to understand what Caleb and Maggie are going through are each other, however painful it may be for them to admit at first.
This book isn't depressing, as i originally thought it might be. In fact it's rather uplifting, in a sense that's hard to describe. To me it was the fact that both Caleb and Maggie were so low and then to climb back up and become strong, was perhaps the most inspiring thing i've ever read about in a novel.
The romance is well written too. Caleb and Maggies complicated emotions are expressed with amazing clarity and their romance is, dare i say it, one of the most beautiful and meaningful i've read about in a long time. A lot of people like romances because of graphic sex or love scenes, and as much as i read those as well, to me i love the emotional side that little bit more. So for that alone, i found this one of the most believable romances i've read in a long time.
With regards to other characters in the book, i thought each and everyone had their role to play. There wasn't even one character that to me felt like they were pointless filler. I especially loved Mrs Reynolds and i was heartbroken at the end. She taught Maggie so much about life and brought two people together who probably could have hated one another forever. Kendra, Caleb's Ex, is truly the 'bitch' of the novel and as much as i hated her, i have to admit even she played a role, if just to make Caleb and Maggie realise how strong they are in comparison. One of the best lines that came from Maggie was the one when she described Kendra as an 'empty shell' and that, to me, pretty much perfectly summed up the definition of popularity. Leah was also another standout individual, and i found it interesting to see how she handled keeping the secret she had been keeping for so long, considering the consequences it had on so many people's lives.
I could go on and on forever, but i don't want to give too much away. Needless to say it was a stunningly romantic read, with some heartstopping twists that will have you gaping at the pages and some very important moral messages that i feel, make this a must read for anyone who loves romance and likes reading a truly exceptional story of friendship, loss and loyalty. I will definately be reading the sequel when it's released!(less)
**spoiler alert** I have to admit that when i first started reading this, the prologue really got me stuck to it, and it really was a fantastic start...more**spoiler alert** I have to admit that when i first started reading this, the prologue really got me stuck to it, and it really was a fantastic start (and very reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood) but then i have to confess, i found it a bit slow going. Don't get me wrong, by far this book is not a bad novel, in fact for the most part i really liked it, but i did feel that the first part of the book dragged a bit. In my case, i thought i could sense what conclusion the author was coming to (and i turned out to be right) but she drew it out a lot more than was necessary, and i found it a bit frustrating that in some instances it seemed like the hunting wolves cycle was being repeated an awful lot.
Anyways...now i have that bit said, i'll now go on to tell you exactly why i gave this book four stars when i was clearly annoyed by a few things:
1. The characters were original and inventive. I loved the relationship between Scarlett and Rosie. Clearly devoted to one another and yet torn by their differences, watching them struggle to make their own choices made for fascinating and heart-warming reading, as they discover just what they might have to do to stay sisters. (You'll understand once you read it). Silas was another character i loved, and his divided loyalties between being Scarletts hunting partner and Rosie's boyfriend was wonderfully described and explained, and i have to admit he sounded amazing ;-).
2. The plot itself was very unique. Once the story took off, i have to admit i was captivated by the plot and the idea behind it. After Rosie and Scarlett realise what the wolves are after and what marks that thing as unique (trying not to spoil things here) the story really takes off and i couldn't put it down. I personally believe that the slow start was due to the fact it was a first in a series and the characters have to be set up (a pain but necessary unless you want readers to get very confused), and because of that, i have to commend Jackson Pearce for her inventive and original story.
3. Unique blend of genres. I find it unusual that i've commented on this as usually it's not something i think about, but i have to admit i had trouble classifying this as a particular genre, because the truth is it has elements of romance, horror, fantasy, legend, family drama and it's all wrapped up as an original and modern fairytale. There's literally something for everyone (including people who like cats!)
So i'll now summarise. Although the beginning was a bit slow, i have to admit this is genuinely good read with a captivating and inventive plot that will activate the imaginations of the most un-imaginative people in existence. The characters are Kick-ass and are't afraid to get into trouble to do the right thing. I will most definately be reading the sequel! (less)
Having read 'The Lady in the Tower' and 'Daughter of Fire and Ice' i really wanted to read this, and i wasn't disapointed! One of the things that appea...moreHaving read 'The Lady in the Tower' and 'Daughter of Fire and Ice' i really wanted to read this, and i wasn't disapointed! One of the things that appeals to me about Marie's books are that you can read them in any order, there's no undue pressure to enjoy them all as part of a series, and because of this i found it easier to sink into the narrative and know that there's a beginning and an end, with no long waits for a sequel :-)
The general premise of the story was fascinating and heartbreaking. Marianne, whose Mother dies, bids her with her final breath to seek a better life in Skagen, Denmark, where her Father lives. Wanting to carry out her Mother's final wish and to find the only member of her family remaining, Marianne sets out to Denmark, not just in search of her Father but of a new life.
I found Marianne quickly became one of my favourite lietrary characters of all time, she was brave, stubborn, strong and made a feisty protagonist. I was just impressed with the sheer amount of crap she endures and yet doesn't give in. She has a few weak moments and panics a bit, but then what do you expect from someone who finds themself in a strange country with no friends? Other standout characters for me were Mikkel, who i found wonderful as the strangely different guy of Skagen who dislikes fishing. Peter, the romantic interest of the novel, was fun to read about, although his attitude to marianne at some points did annoy me (bear in mind though it is the 19th century!) but he does make up for it later. Christensen was the ultimate sort of bad guy of the book, although by the end i did soften towards him, especially once you hear his story.
I thought the pace moved just nicely, as a historical/romance/adventure should, and it still contained enough twists that left me thinking 'Well, i didn't see that coming!' and believe me, it takes a lot so surprise me in a book.
Overall, i found this a wonderful historical romance with fantastic blended elements of an adventure story, and i loved the way the breathtaking landscapes and seas of Denmark came to life on the pages. Keep writing your wonderful books Marie! I for one will be reading them. :-)(less)