Sometimes there are things where you read them or watch them or listen to them and you cannot quite figure out why you liked it as much as you did. FoSometimes there are things where you read them or watch them or listen to them and you cannot quite figure out why you liked it as much as you did. For me, TOUCH OF FROST is one of those books. Many of my fellow bloggers had issues with this book. Several did not finish it. Meanwhile, I loved it. I know where people are coming from when they cite several issues with the book – an unclear plot, choppy dialogue, cliché characters and settings. For some reason, my love of this book and the fact I find it an ooey gooey fluffy pile of goodness transcended those issues and I came away from reading Jennifer Estep’s first foray into young adult fiction feeling very, very happy.
TOUCH OF FROST follows Gwen Frost, a loner/outcast who has recently come to Mythos Academy in Cypress Mountain, NC (aside: Cypress Mountain = Biltmore Forest, NC, no?), a school for Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons, and Spartans, among other supernatural creatures. They’re training to be warriors and defend the world from Loki and his Reapers, and poor Gwen doesn’t fit in yet again. Gwen’s gift is psychometry, reading the history of an item (or person) with just a touch. When a popular classmate is murdered and an artifact stolen, Gwen is the only one who cares to investigate.
So, what does TOUCH OF FROST have? Superpowers, mythology, an academy for teenagers born to be warriors, an outcast girl with a taste for comic books, and a murder mystery. And it also is not the most thought-provoking or original or anything story on the block. What it does have going for it is a fun story that is quick to read and amusing. And if you know me, you would know I am a big fan of quick and amusing and fun. This won’t be for everyone – if you are looking for something completely serious, you will be disappointed. TOUCH OF FROST is a fun book that you will devour with its wittiness, cute scenes, hot love interest (Logan Quinn is a very interesting bad boy that I can’t wait to get to know better), and great narrator in Gwen.
It isn’t the most original plot ever and does rely on tropes often, so I cannot give it a full 5 stars in actuality. But since I don’t give half stars, I will be rounding this up to five. It’s enjoyable and fun. If you are in the market for a fun read with mystery, romance, and intrigue, you should check out TOUCH OF FROST. It’s probably right up your alley.
VERDICT: While not very original, TOUCH OF FROST makes up for its cliché plot with fun characters, a great bad boy love interest, and a narrator you can’t help but root for. Definitely pick this one up....more
RIPPLER by Cidney Swanson is one of those interesting cases in books to me. On one hand, it was boring and implausible. On the other, it was interestiRIPPLER by Cidney Swanson is one of those interesting cases in books to me. On one hand, it was boring and implausible. On the other, it was interesting and kept me thinking and waiting for more. Let me preface this review by stating that my rating is skewed up because of circumstances even I don’t understand (actually, I’m feeling nice today), but this book is the type that will split reviewers down the middle between love and hate. I find myself on that fence, leaning one direction or the other depending on the moment.
The story is a first person past tense narrative of Sam, a girl living in California who suffers from a disease that causes her to disappear for a few minutes at a time. Needless to say, this is not convenient, but mysteriously she finds that one of her friends and cross-country teammates is very knowledgeable about her condition. In fact, his sister researched it with a scientist and he knows all about it and how dangerous it can be. Not the disease itself, which is actually REALLY awesome, but the people who are going to want to hunt her down and study her. Dozens of people with the disease have already been murdered, and Sam appears to be next on their hit list.
So you want to know why I was iffy about this story? I’m going to make a list and in making this list, I might start swaying back towards a lower grade.
1.) The disease is one giant superpower with no drawbacks. Slight spoiler, but Rippling is not just turning invisible. Nope. It’s turning invisible, going intangible, super speed, halted aging, and telepathy. And once Sam is shown how to use it, she’s basically an expert overnight. No limits to use, no disappearing fingers or toes. Her hair gets stuck in a wall once but that just blows the wall apart. Not a big drawback. 2.) The characterization. The characters…fall flat. I liked Sam to an extent, and Mickie as well, but Will was just blah. His role in the story was love interest and companion. His personality was just meh. 3.) The writing. Well, not much of an iffy, but it was just okay. There were things I wanted to edit out but luckily the story was otherwise well edited and composed.
So what did I like? I enjoyed the premise, the setting, and the action. I wanted to know more about the villains, but that is what book two is for, right? I will give this book one thing that helped the grade go up. The last 20% of the book was where everything really happened, meaning the last 20% was actually pretty awesome. We meet the villains, there are problems, there is stupidity on the part of the characters. It sets up a second book nicely and really makes up for the 80% of randomness and stodgy pacing. This book would have been rated solidly higher if the last 20% had carried over into the rest of the book.
This book needed a heavy dose of more action and less “OMG this power is AWESOME!” We are told it’s something that people will kill over yet all Sam does is play around with her power and use it recklessly many times, just because. So does the other character we find with this same power. It’s somewhat dull, but I did like the ending.
VERDICT: With a solid and engaging ending, RIPPLER goes into book 2 well situated, but the series begins rather haphazardly with a clunky beginning and lots of implausibility. A good book. 3.5 hearts rounded up....more