A quick read that dug at some heavy issues: child abuse, rape, domestic violence, isolation . . .
Ultimately full of hope, but was restricted by...more3.5/5
A quick read that dug at some heavy issues: child abuse, rape, domestic violence, isolation . . .
Ultimately full of hope, but was restricted by the fact that the story plays out in verse. The end seemed a little more open-ended than I'd have liked, but that was obviously Chaltas' intention. I also wish that the characters had been better developed, but this could also have been down to the structure, as well as the limited view that the protag. herself had on those around her.
Won this as part of GR's First Reads feature. Sounds pretty interesting. Hope I enjoy it! I seem to win a lot of books from SCRIBE, not that I'm compl...moreWon this as part of GR's First Reads feature. Sounds pretty interesting. Hope I enjoy it! I seem to win a lot of books from SCRIBE, not that I'm complaining. Lots of fun!(less)
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. Because this book is affecting and even after the last page has been turned, I continue to let thoughts of...more4.5/5
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. Because this book is affecting and even after the last page has been turned, I continue to let thoughts of the implications of what happened to Charlie and Vera, and how that also impacted on how Vera and her father dealt with Vera's mother's leaving them (and vice versa)- run through my mind. Only really special books are able to have such a running effect on me, and I just could not put this book down! I'm not good at reading for long amounts of time, but I read the last half in one sitting- I just had to.
PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ is about an 18 year old girl, Vera, whose best friend has recently died. She should be sad, but considering he completely screwed her over during the last months leading up to his death, she's not entirely sure what to feel. Relief comes to mind. And so Vera continues to juggle her pizza delivery job and maintains her straight-A, invisible student reputation while she forgets everything that ever happened. But Charlie is following her everywhere she goes, because she's the only one who knows why he died. Which also means she's the only one who can clear his name.
So that's the overall arc of the book, but you'll see there's so much more to it. A.S. King is such a genius, in case I didn't notice this the first time around when I read her debut, THE DUST OF 100 DOGS. She keeps it real. Nothing fluffy, or lightened so that it won't get banned or have controversial themes running through it. In this book there's death and drugs and alcohol and swearing, creepy guys and talk of sex and other things that make people squirm. I knew going in to this that King would not treat her readership with ignorance. If you're looking for the real deal, this is it. Dark, gritty contemporary YA with underlying messages and a complex story to tell.
Vera Dietz is our girl here. She's witty, sarcastic and has slight trust issues. The more she says (since this is written in her voice), the further into her mind we go. I absolutely loved her. King's got a real knack for writing complex and fully-developed characters. Not only was Vera flawed, she had *personality*.
TO BE CONTINUED.
- I also liked that there wasn't a focus on romance! We need more books where the main character isn't making googly eyes at the hot guy across the cafeteria. - Gorgeous trailer will make up your mind. - The attention to detail with the little designs here and there. This book is broken up into 4/5 parts, and in each part the lighter (shown in the cover) burns brighter and brighter. I thought that was cool. :P - (less)
Didn't like the writing style, was on page 70~, trying to finish the book. Looked at how many more pages (about 300), groaned, put it down, picked up...moreDidn't like the writing style, was on page 70~, trying to finish the book. Looked at how many more pages (about 300), groaned, put it down, picked up another book. Just couldn't get into it. (less)
When I won this one at Cari Blogs, I didn't exactly know how Minder was going to fare with me. Fortunately for me, this on...more[My review c+p from my blog]
When I won this one at Cari Blogs, I didn't exactly know how Minder was going to fare with me. Fortunately for me, this one was pretty good. :)
Kaynak illustrates in her novel a world (within our world), Ganzfield, full of superheroes. The superpowered groups mentioned include: - minders (can read others' minds) - charms (can manipulate others through their charming words) - sparks (can make fires) - telekinetics (can move objects with their minds)
The main character, Maddie, believed she was an ordinary person -- until she blasts out the brains of 3 (?) guys from school who were up to no good. Thus, her normal life is over and she is shipped off to Ganzfield, where she is introduced to a whole other environment. She quickly builds a close relationship with Trevor, the only "mover" in Ganzfield, as her minder powers grow ever-stronger. But trouble is afoot, and outsider forces (threatened by the powers of those at Ganzfield) get in the way...
The descriptions used to paint each scene was so well done and elaborate, but, to me, necessary and not excessively used. I mean, the story is a TAD slow going at the beginning, but as most novels are for me, I tore through the second-half of the novel.
The plot and premise are unlike anything I've ever seen before. After reading Minder, I was left wondering Damn, wish there were a real Ganzfield around here...I came to like the many relationships that Maddie forms with many other characters, such as with her and her mentor (another minder)-- the mentor becomes something of a father figure to which filled that void of her absentee father. I liked her relationship with Grace, a newcomer, a charm, there's that innocent glow of a fragile budding friendship . . . you know the type. Grace appears to be, in Maddie's POV, the only good charm that is worth mentioning individually. The charms are kind of like Ganzfield's version of "the jocks" in high school, though these "students" don't really get to choose their powers.
However, one problem I did have with Minder was that the relationship between Trevor and Maddie was, well, where do I start? It was a bit repetitive in that Maddie's mind continually fills with thoughts of What is Trevor thinking/doing? or Where's Trevor? or I can't hear Trevor's thoughts . . . Also, the justification behind their relationship, the reasoning, it didn't ring through for me. It seemed a bit silly or fabricated. I needed a bit more of an oomph on that part, but that may just be me.
I'd definitely re-read Minder in the future, and I definitely recommend it!!(less)
FIRST DRAFT... Will be published at Words on Paper, along with an Aussie-only giveaway.
US: I really love this cover. The finished copy has th...moreFIRST DRAFT... Will be published at Words on Paper, along with an Aussie-only giveaway.
US: I really love this cover. The finished copy has this colourful sheen to it, as well as a stunning cover image and text.
AU: The cover focuses on the romantic aspect of the book, but also does implicate quite strongly that there is a Greek mythological twist to this story. The lightning also goes really well with the book, which becomes apparent when you read it.
I have no idea what to say about this book. It was really, really good. I think I did let the hype heighten my expectations to unrealistic levels though and for that I ended up perhaps hoping for something a bit more groundbreaking. Well let's just say that I hoped for tears. Not just out of the characters' eyes, but mine. And while I loved the characters I just didn't shed a tear even when tragedy struck.
I was really able to escape with STARCROSSED. Angelini was just really good at creating the settings and the characters and the whole Scions family in a way that engrossed me completely.
For 500 pages, I'm sure any normal (I use this term loosely, given how 'normal' a bookie is, haha) YA reader would find that pretty intimidating. However, once you really get into the book, it's really easy to see why Angelini has written so many words.
The prose has that easy-to-read quality that YA generally pertains to, but the amount of detail that Angelini put into it allowed me to see the scene unfold before me.
As said earlier, the characters as a whole were well developed so that I liked them. I think that the character who did face tragedy (who was supposed to draw upon great emotion to the reader) just wasn't known enough for me to really care about them.
Helen was a great protagonist. While I did find her stubborn and immature at times, I don't think those moments were really unwarranted. She has had to go over a lot over the course of this book. What I did like was that when she made a decision she stuck to it to the end. She was also PRO equality in a relationship, always good to see.
Speaking of her relationship (with Lucas), I think with the AU cover, people will go into the book expecting a lot of romance. It really did take a backseat, or at least in my mind. I liked that the pair thought rationally, that given the forbidden-ness of the relationship they didn't just go full-out and screw everyone over to be with each other.
The actual plot of this book would be really hard to summarise, because it goes all over the place. First the story arc is this, and then that gets solved or is developed further, and so on. Every aspect of Helen's life is explored - her family and school life, her future, her past, her gifts and training and heritage. Her new family, the situation at hand, and so on.
STARCROSSED is a great start to a new supernatural series that throws Greek mythology into modern day. The ending strongly leads up to the next book that I will not hesitate to pick up when it does release itself into the wild. I implore anyone who is interested in Greek mythology, supernatural powers and/or epic romances to check this one out. (less)
EDIT: If any Aussie resident wants to read this book I'm more than willing to get rid of this book. PM!
I'm giving up on posting a review on my blog. I...moreEDIT: If any Aussie resident wants to read this book I'm more than willing to get rid of this book. PM!
I'm giving up on posting a review on my blog. It's been months (actually like 14/15) and I just don't know how I could go about it. I'm also giving up on this series. It's just not for me and I can't bring myself to continue...
3/5 Recc. Ages: 15+ [moderate-severe swearing, violence and sexual scenes/references]
Michelle Hodkin manages to work a beautifully crafted writing style into the capturing of a blood-curdling, spine-tingling mystery in her sexy and delectable YA debut novel. THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER hits the ground running for the planned mystery-supernatural series; this book presents enough questions to keep you guessing, several "WHAT?!" moments to get you screaming in befuddlement, and many many high school moments that gets to the heart of teen drama.
To be honest, I'm still sketchy with some of the things that happened in this book (like the ending, and Joseph & the swamp). It's not by any means an easy book to read, but it is one that really captivated me. Another of those "Just one more chapter . . ." books. The ending does have a cliffhanger-type thing, that strongly suggests that there will be a second book (that and the fact it's written "end of volume one").
I'm not even going to attempt writing a synopsis for this book--the official one is pretty good.
BLEHEHEHEHEHHHH it's Christmas-time, I'm not in a very writing-y mood at the moment. I'll continue this one later. I've got heaps of time--I'm planning to post this on the blog in January, and it'll be with an Aussie-only giveaway.
ARGH!!!!!! This is so frustrating! I'm changing my mind about ANOTHER book. I just don't know...
Edit: CRAP. I'm slipping... because I DIDN'T like the romance. I hated the guy. He's kind of a creep. And the thing of it is I can't remember much more than the romance aspect of it! That is NOT GOOD! *sigh* So I don't know what I should do. I want to try a reread of this, but I'm not sure if I'd have the time. It's really nagging at me that I can't remember anything about this book other than the romance.(less)
First off, I think I like the UK cover (pictured) than the US cover. The UK cover portrays the idea of poison more coherently, and definitely emanates...moreFirst off, I think I like the UK cover (pictured) than the US cover. The UK cover portrays the idea of poison more coherently, and definitely emanates a darker idea of the novel. Plus, the colours are really cool. The blue/green, and then there is the gold...the contrast is nice. It is one of my favourite UK covers I have on my bookshelf right now.
The story that Maryrose Wood introduced me, was one with wonder and was of a complete different place and era entirely. The beginning is pretty slow, like, the first few chapters felt like a fricken' memoir to me! However, when Weed, with whom Jessamine becomes attached to, comes along; that's when the story becomes interesting and actually dared me to continue reading on.
There are few main characters, which is good for this kind of novel, given its short length. It allowed for focus on each character, and also explored each character's personality and mannerisms thoroughly. I liked the relationship between Jessamine and Weed. It was slow-moving, like a real relationship should be, which added more realism to their devotion to one another in the second half of the novel. Also, upon reading the novel, the family secrets uncovered are just DELICIOUS, HEARTBREAKING, SHOCKING . . ., and ultimately, left me upon reflection on my own family.
However, I was unable to LOVE any one character. I was, in honesty, detached. This may be told in first person, but since it is written in a form of "diary" narrative, I still felt like I was on the outside. Which is fine...but I just didn't have a side to root for when the time called for it. It left me pondering: when one has an aim, can the means by which that aim is sought over really justify all that has been done? It was thought-provoking, which I believe is a good thing. :)
I like the plant allusions throughout the novel. It was fresh and different. I had never read any flower or plant novel before, so this was a nice change from my normal reads. Also, that each plant held a different personality gave the novel a richer taste as a whole.
Lastly, the ending was a bit abrupt, and left me with lingering emotions. Gosh, it's really really good! In that, it makes me want to read the sequel, I hunger for the sequel! I wish it were out now, but dreams are often left unfulfilled when in the bout of a selfish person, so I shall wait it out.(less)