Even though the premise was very intriguing and the there was some thought-provoking passages, it really could have been executed much, much better. I...moreEven though the premise was very intriguing and the there was some thought-provoking passages, it really could have been executed much, much better. I felt the plot moved at an uneven pace; some events were given a lot of unnecessary time, while others were just skimmed through. It was an OK read, but nothing more.(less)
.:In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And...more.:In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family:.
I thought I would really dislike this book, it had the vibe of being one of the hated "I don't know you at all, but I'll give up my whole life for you because I love you"-thing. It wasn't. Sure, when Anya did get together with the love interest it was mostly about that for a time, but she never put a boy in front of her family or values - I respect that.
Story-wise I thought it was somewhat... Lacking. Many events are just recapped in a few short sentences (even when she gets together with the boy it is summarized in one or two paragraphs! The kissing, everthing! Oo). To be honest I can't really say what the plot was about - so many things happened, and at the same time, almost nothing happened. She went to school, met her friends, talked to her family... I thought this book was supposed to be about a mafia-daughter, so why doesn't she do mafia-related things? At least it did not end on a cliff-hanger I guess.
So why have I given it three stars if I did not like the story? The characters. Yes, I did care and like most of the characters in the book. Ironically, the single person I disliked was Ms Anya herself - I found her annoying, condescending and quite preachy. (And I do believe she indirectly called me a slut on several occasions. Thank you for that. So nice.) Apart for Anya, however, the supporting cast was really nice. I adored Leo, and kind of hated Anya for talking down to him, when he obviously wasn't as stupid as she made him out to be. (Yes, he is the one on my guys-i-want-to-sleep-with-shelf. So Anya, tell me; how much of a slut does that make me, hm?) I also liked Scarlet, Natty, Yuji and Win's father (he was awesome in my opinion!). Win was okay, I liked he was not the strong-silent-tortured-angsty-type, but actually very sweet and well, nice! But I did think he was somewhat of a wall-flower at times...
Overall, the book earns its three stars by the supporting cast alone! I might even read the sequel. (less)
I feel like I should clarify my low rating (as I write I, along with only 3 others have rated it a two - no one has given it lower).
This book is abou...moreI feel like I should clarify my low rating (as I write I, along with only 3 others have rated it a two - no one has given it lower).
This book is about a sea-witch who, out of revenge after a childhood of ridicule and alienation, conjures up beautiful women from the sea. These women capture the eyes of all the men on the island, destroying families in their wake.
I honestly don't know what I really felt about this book - at times (most of the time to be honest) it was a struggle just to finish a single page, but other times, at the end especially, I had finished fifteen without even noticing. Overall I did not care much for the writing I guess; I'm not a fan of switching first person point-of-views - I much prefer third person when dealing with multiple people's viewpoints in a book. I did recognized some truly beautiful prose in it (when I'm not as lazy I'll look some of them up), but for me it was too much. Too heavy, too melancholic, too poetic at times. Not much happens in the book; everything just slowly spirals down until everybody is miserable. None of the characters seemed to ever be happy.
Speaking of the characters, I did not really like anyone of them. The only one I actually rooted for was the girl at the end, Lorna (?) and little Daniel Mallett, the others I just did not care about at all. Misskaella, the sea-witch, was petty and vindictive - and I don't think her upbringing justified her behavior during all those years of misery and witchcraft.
The story was interesting, but I think it was a bit too... Strange (this comes from me; self-proclaimed lover of freaks and supernatural happenings in books and movies. I'm ashamed of myself) for my taste. I never understood how the magic worked; was it common in the world? Did it work the same for everybody? Why did Miskaella take on an apprentice if not to teach her to bring forth more sea-wives? Was this apprentice (unfortunately, I don't remember her name) even magical at all? Why didn't Misskaella's children survive when everybody else's did? So many questions!! Where are my answers??
No, this book was not for me, it's as simple as that. But pretty much everybody else loves it, so give it a try and see for yourself. It might be a new favorite of yours.(less)
Zooey is seventeen years old and pregnant after being brutally raped during a night partying. Since the rape she has been able to read minds, and the...moreZooey is seventeen years old and pregnant after being brutally raped during a night partying. Since the rape she has been able to read minds, and the explanation to that comes almost five months later when her grandmother comes for a visit; Zooey is a faerie and the heir to the Winter Court. Now she must juggle two guys vying for her attention, her new found status as a princess, her scheming grandmother - and of course the small matter of being pregnant at seventeen.
I've been dreading writing this review, but I feel I have to justify my rating of only one star. A rating I actually feel pretty bad about giving.
This book was a mess, I'm sorry. I noticed numerous spelling- and grammar mistakes, there were missing commas, missing words, "I" instead of "a"; the list goes on. The perspective shifted between several different first person point of views with seemingly random intervals. It could change from Zooey to her main love interest Tristan's POV from one sentence to next with no explanation, or reason, at all - it made for a really confusing and awkward read. If you want to show your story from different perspectives use third person singular, or if you really want to use first person; at least use some kind of divider when switching between the perspectives. Switching in the middle of a conversation is not the best way to go about things.
Editing aside, the story in itself felt very rushed. All the events happened with not nearly enough detail to any of them. There are two major battles in the book - battles that start and finish within 500 words each. The story as a whole would have benefited tremendously with more descriptions of... Everything really! In the end I didn't feel like I knew what anything looked like except for maybe Zooey (we are told, repeatedly, she is 4'9 with waist-long, dark, curly hair) and Tristan.
Sadly, there were also events that baffled, and almost outraged, me. Not too long in the book Zooey's mother is physically abused by her husband and no one does a thing about it, even though they are all witnesses. Instead they jump in a car, drive away and tell Zooey to console her (and I quote): "'[...] Faeries cannot die,' he remarked. 'Annan will be fine.'" Annan being her mother they just left behind to be a human punching bag. Then it's not mentioned again. Really? Really? (And the faeries can't die part? We'll later discover that's a lie. And these faerie are supposed to being unable to lie. I'm confused.)
Don't even get me started on how they handle the rapist when he shows up in the story again...! You'd think people would be beyond pissed and haul his ass of to jail or beat the crap out of him, right? Nope, no such thing. To be fair, some did try to hit him (and rightly so! I'm not even a violent person, but even I have my limits...), but no one actually REALLY told him what he'd done was despicable and wrong - it was eerily accepted as something that had happened and that was that. Wow...
I don't want to spoil too much but there are also killings in the story - with no consequences at all. No bad conscience, no nightmares, no reprimands, nothing...
I do feel I have to mention the sex as well. Yes, there is sex and ironically, the sex is actually described in detail. A lot of details. My problem is not with Zooey having sex, not at all! I actually found that very refreshing, because (hold on to your seats!) teenagers today do have sex. They do and as long as they do it responsibly and not too early in their teenage years (in Sweden the legal age of consent is 15 if the partner too is between 15 and 18. Otherwise it's 18 for both parties.) I have no problems with it. I didn't have a problem with the multiple sex partners either (hell, I've had one-night-stands, who am I to judge?). BUT, and here's the deal, no one ever mentions anything about any kind of protection. Sure, she's already pregnant; BUT THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING YOU SHOULD PROTECT YOURSELF FROM! I get it, birth control is unsexy, and mentioning it during/right before the act is not fun, but taking the possible consequences are even less fun I would imagine! It just... It bugged me a lot.
Zooey as a character didn't do much for me. She was either acting like a brat or a doormat, sometimes minutes within each other.
I have more to say, but I think this is long enough as it is. The story could have been better with a good editor, as it is right now... I'm sorry. It wasn't for me.(less)
I have this theory, well it's actually more of a fact, a theofact (?) or a factheory (?) if you so will. Here it is; if you read a book from cover to...moreI have this theory, well it's actually more of a fact, a theofact (?) or a factheory (?) if you so will. Here it is; if you read a book from cover to cover, it will always be perceived as better. I have not read a single book in one go that I did not end up liking. Well, duh!, some of you might think, why would you ever read a book cover to cover if you did not like it? Simple. Necessity.
On the train.
On a bus.
A long trip.
You are home alone at night and the only way to keep ghost-you-do-not-believe-in-but-hell-if-it-is-not-scary-when-it-is-dark away, is to read.
Dark Inside, if you could not guess, was my salvation from the dark. Pretty ironic, huh? Since the book probably fueled my fear more than help me out, but whatever. By the time I had finished it was almost light out, so mission accomplished!
My point (if there even is one), is that I am certain I would not have liked the book as much if I hadn't read it in a single sitting. It alternated between four different characters, and I know I would have had trouble remembering who was who. The writing in it self wasn't superb either, but the action and fast pace more than made up for that, I guess. It was, on the whole, highly entertaining. So... 4 stars it is!(less)