Prophecy Girl has all of the makings of a book that I'd love - initially. Cecily White has a deligh...moreReview originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please.
Prophecy Girl has all of the makings of a book that I'd love - initially. Cecily White has a delightful sense of humor that saturates the novel. It is a paranormal story set in New Orleans that nods to other supernatural works. Amelie Bennett, the protagonist, is snarky, stubborn, and just has something special about her that I cannot put my finger on, but I know that I would like to see it in more heroines. However, the issues that I had with White's debut clouded my enjoyment.
Firstly, let me say that I didn't not like any of the characters. They were just the problem. It was really difficult for me to remember them from scene to scene. I could recall the name of the school's Queen Bee and clique member, but I had a hard time remembering the more important characters and what their roles were. I kept going back in the book to refresh myself on who people were. It is very rare that I have to do this when I'm reading. Prophecy Girl had enough twists that this was a pretty major problem for me.
There was, of course, a romance in the novel. I had some mixed feelings about it, but I think Ami handled it as well as could be expected. She was very honest about her feelings, and she called Jack on his bulls--- when he dished it out. (Why can't more heroines do this?!) I will say that I do NOT like the whole teacher-student romance, even if they are close in age. I think anyone who is in a position of authority over their partner, especially a younger one, creates a lot of issues, and it's just wrong when a teacher is involved. But I won't rant because it wasn't terribly offensive. Jack was a substitute teacher for all of five minutes, so I just squinted my eyes at it a little and kept reading.
Though I had a hard time enjoying the book as thoroughly as I think I could have, it was still a pretty good read. Cecily White is an author that I'll most definitely be keeping my eye on in the future, and I can't wait to read books with her fantastic writing style. I will try to read Prophecy Girl again because the positive aspects of the book are definitely worth it.
- 2.5/5 Stars -
*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an ecopy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.(less)
I cannot get into this book for the life of me, and I liked Splintered a lot. I guess I'll pretend it was a standalone until I'm in the mood for angst...moreI cannot get into this book for the life of me, and I liked Splintered a lot. I guess I'll pretend it was a standalone until I'm in the mood for angst and emotional manipulation.(less)
Dystopian fantasy novel, Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas, is the author's young adult debut. The main character, Beatrice, is a Seer who has been receiving visions of an impending invasion by City's mortal enemy, the Dreamcatchers. As tensions mount and the City goes on high alert, Beatrice starts keeping secrets that could be dangerous to everyone.
Initially, I was not a fan of Luminosity. It is written in first person from Beatrice's point of view, and I was a little confused about the way Stephanie Thomas brought us into the story. For one, I thought Gabe was some sort of guard, and we're told the Keeper is supposed to be intimidated by Beatrice, but I never got that vibe. Despite these things, once I got into the novel, it really began to flow, and I was hooked.
I'm usually disappointed in books that have romance as a major part of the novel because it comes at the cost of world-building, plotting, or character development. However, the romance in Luminosity was not overwhelming and watching Beatrice and Gabe was sweet, though very high school-esque. (Yes, I know this is aimed at a young adult audience.) The only thing I didn't really get was the "falling in love with the enemy" from the book's description. I never got any indication that Beatrice had feelings for anyone but Gabe. I mean, Gabe wasn't my favorite character in the book by a long shot, but at least I understood Beatrice's attraction to him.
Luminosity is an average-length YA book, and I think it was perfect for the story told. The pacing of the novel was really good, and it was packed with action that was well-executed. I think teens will really be able to connect with the book and characters, and I told myself several times while reading it that it's written for teens without being dumbed down. Luminosity had a rocky start for me, but I was impressed by the end. I even look forward to rereading it in the future.
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for reviewing purposes as a part of Itching for Books Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. The advance digital copy was provided to the tour by the publisher, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.(less)
I have no idea why, but one day I decided that I absolutely must read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I don’t exactly recall reading the synopsis or paying much attention to the hype, but one day I couldn’t stand it anymore and preordered the audiobook. I downloaded it the morning it was available, but since I was listening to an audiobook for review, I had to wait to read it. It was brutal because all I could think about was the book that I had found myself obsessing over.
Once I FINALLY began reading, I was immediately drawn into the world in The Bone Season. I was afraid my longing would work against the book (my expectations being so high and all), but it was all that I hoped for. Paige Mahoney was an interesting and tough heroine who would not back down, and the world-building was awesome in every sense of the word, both literal and slang. I want to go ahead and let it be known that I disagree completely with many comparisons made about the book and some other popular novels because too many publishers and reviewers try to compare a writer who is capable of genius world-building with Rowling and anything gritty with The Hunger Games. I mean, maybe the scale of the series may be comparable to the others, but there really isn’t much in the way of other similarities. Samantha Shannon and The Bone Season are forces to be reckoned with on their own.
The world-building and the sheer size of this imaginative, alternate England is what made the book for me. In 1857, there was some sort of event that supposedly created clairvoyance. Paige Mahoney and the people she works with under the radar are all clairvoyants who must keep their talents hidden. To be clairvoyant – called Unnatural – is against the law in Scion London, and bad things will happen. I’m not an expert on paranormal and astrology, so I learned a lot in this novel. (I can’t tell you where what Shannon created and what is a commonly held belief regarding these things meets.) The other races and mythology are woven together very well, and I swear to Bob there will be spoilers if I gush too hard. Just exploring SciLo was a treat in itself and something I hope I get more of in the next books in the series. Sheol I and the æther were also well-done and fascinating.
As for the characters, there are a lot because The Bone Season is a fairly long book. We have the Seven Seals that the series will be supposedly featuring, but they didn’t get as much time on the pages as I expected. Paige, of course, was a badass Voyant that was stronger than everyone imagined. There are other Voyants and amaurotics (non-clairvoyant humans) with her in the penal colony, Sheol I, ran by the Rephaim, but only Liss really stood out to me. I guess it was because I came to a lot of conclusions about her, that all ended up being VERY wrong. Oh, the Rephaim! Well... I don't want to say too much about them because it was interesting to find out about them in the book. (I'm being difficult, aren't I?) Anywho, I will say that Warden is my new book boyfriend. He is such a complex character, and he's very tall. I like tall men.
Since I did listen to the audiobook, I suppose I should tell you about the best parts about. Alana Kerr, the narrator, had a beautiful voice and did a great job with the large cast of characters. I loved to hear her speak as Paige because her very slight Irish accent was so lovely. I didn't realize it until well into the book how much the audiobook helped me through all of the Victorian phrases and obscure names. I've read reviews where many people have had trouble getting past these things, and I barely noticed them. I loved listening to Kerr's performance of The Bone Season, and I hope that she will be doing the other books as well.
The Bone Season is definitely a book well worth the hype, and one that I will be rereading before the next book in the series releases. Both author Samantha Shannon and voice actress Alana Kerr are now on my auto-buy list. I recommend this to anyone who likes alternate history, the paranormal, and colossal world-building. Though this is an adult novel, I think it is fine for older young adults. Again, if you've made it this far in the review - JUST READ THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY!(less)