Puppet by Pauline C. Harris promised a fantastic concept, but theThis review and others are also available to read on my blog Diary of a Teen Writer.
Puppet by Pauline C. Harris promised a fantastic concept, but the majority of the novel fell awfully flat. I really wanted to like it, and there were parts of it that I enjoyed, but overall it didn’t reach my expectations. I have to admit that I was definitely curious about this novel from the get go considering the author’s young age. That and I love retellings.
I’ll start off with something positive: the author’s writing is wonderful. I’d probably read another book of the author’s based on that alone.
The first issue I had with the novel was the limited worldbuilding. I was confused as to what sort of world the author was trying to get across — sci fi? Dystopia? I wish this part of the story had been fleshed out more, so I could actually picture the world. The sci-fi “cell manipulation” talk in the novel seemed rather forced to me, as if the writer didn’t really know what she was talking about and was making it up as she went along. I’m not scientist, so perhaps I can’t judge accurately, but it all seemed very vague and confusing. In order for a science fiction-esque novel to feel real, explanations need to be somewhat understandable to the reader. A lot of it was glazed over, and only explained when absolute necessary — which may not be a bad thing, exactly, but the explanations given felt rather flimsy. If the novel’s world had been explained more, I think it would have been much more enjoyable to read, as well as creating a vivid, intriguing world.
The characters, too, felt pretty flat, and perhaps this was because the novel itself was very short? I thought the author had more room to elaborate on character motives, especially when it came to the villains of the story. I also wanted to know more about Jed. In saying that though I did enjoy the romance between James and our main character, Pen, and there were some interesting twists and revelations at the end which kept my interest.
Overall, Puppet was an interesting concept. I also enjoyed the “gender-bending” aspect of it all — something I wish I saw more in YA. I wish I could have said I liked this more, but there were just too many elements of the story that I felt needed to be revised before publication. ...more
This was one of those reads that were free on iBooks; so, essentially, I didn't expect anything from it. Self-published, New Adult, I didn't think I wThis was one of those reads that were free on iBooks; so, essentially, I didn't expect anything from it. Self-published, New Adult, I didn't think I would enjoy it at all. (I should point out that I don't have a problem with self pub'ed books, however I have personally found there is definitely a difference between the quality of editing between self-published and traditionally published novels.) Also, my experiences with New Adult books haven't been good at all.
First off, I'd like to say I don't believe this novel falls into the category of Erotica, as I've seen it shelved on Goodreads. While I'd say the sex scenes are fairly graphic, the story does not centre around the sex. It's an adult romance, yes, but threads of mystery and thrillers are twined throughout the story--and it's not as shallow as some of the other novels I've read.
Yes, there were errors. It could've done with a better edit.
But you know what? It's not a bad novel. I liked it. ...more
Confession: Years ago, when Matched was firThis review and others are also available to read on my blog Diary of a Teen Writer Diary of a Teen Writer.
Confession: Years ago, when Matched was first released, I read it, enjoyed it . . . but never picked up the rest of the series. Why, do you ask? Presumably because I lost interest in it. If I had really liked the first book, I’m sure I would have picked up the rest, so I think it’s safe to say those books weren’t for me. And, after reading Atlantia, I can also say that this was not for me, either.
There is something just very . . . mermaid-y about that cover, don’t you think? The cover, the title, the colours. Man, I really wished this was about mermaids. I really did. But that’s enough of me lamenting over the book I thought it was, and time to start reviewing the book it actually was.
This is a story about family, sirens (NOT mermaids), and the Above and the Below.
The family aspect of it was one of my favourite parts, because despite the fact that I was disappointed with this novel, that element of the story was done well. [MILD SPOILER OMITTED; SEE BLOG LINK ABOVE AND HIGHLIGHT OVER TEXT TO VIEW IT.] The relationship that Bay and Rio shared, though, was done so well. There should be more books revolving around families in YA, I think! But, well, that was really only my positive thing to say about this. I suppose it was nicely written, too, but the plot failed to hold my attention. It was one of those books where I keep looking through the pages to see where the next chapter would occur, and flipping through to see how much of the book I had left.
Additionally, the worldbuilding was a little . . . confusing. There is the Above (our world, I guess you could call it, but a more polluted version), and the below, Atlantia. And that was as much as I understood of it, really. I wish that more about the Above had been explained; there was a distinct lack of history there that bothered me, though perhaps I’m alone in sharing that opinion. I’ve quite some quite positive things about Condie’s worldbuilding — but for me, it didn’t hit the nail on the head quite as I would have expected it to have.
You should read this. You’ll probably even like it.
But I did not. It was not for me. The siren concept of the story was interesting, I’ll give it that. But everything else, save for the family aspect of the story, did not hold my attention....more
Ever since I read Echoes of Balance, also pThis review and others are also available to read on my blog Diary of a Teen Writer Diary of a Teen Writer.
Ever since I read Echoes of Balance, also published by REUTS Publications, I’ve had my eye on this publisher. They release fresh, new, and intriguing ideas into the YA paranormal market . . . and The Rose Master was no exception. Despite the fact that I’ve classified this as Historical Fiction, I wouldn’t let non-historical fiction fans to drive you away — no, the historical setting was merely a backdrop, a setting, for the greater story.
Also? Kudos to the cover artists and designers over at REUTS Publications. Seriously. I don’t think there’s one cover of theirs I don’t like.
I did have a few issues with the story itself, but overall, it was a solid read.
What I loved so much about the story is the way it was written. Valentina Cano’s writing style is brilliant — and I would easily read another novel of hers again. Descriptive, elegant writing, combined with the first person prose gave the story and old-fashioned, poetic ring to it. And I loved it. The writing and storyline held my interest from beginning to end, though the ending itself does leave room for a sequel. Because of this I felt the story to be slightly “unfinished” and as I’m not sure whether this is a standalone or a series, I’m not sure I can criticise that part of the novel.
In saying that though, I wish the ending had been fleshed out some more. More detail and explanation would been good. The ending whizzed past, and I felt it to be rushed and not completely finished.
This leads me to my next point. For me, the story took quite a while for things to properly get started. Anne is a maid, so naturally, a lot of her job includes cleaning. And, well, while the writing style was beautiful, there is only so much dusting I can read about before beginning to tire of it. So I felt those parts dragged, whereas the ending could have been lengthened and expanded upon some more.
The romance, in The Rose Master, does not play a central role, for which I was grateful. It developed slowly throughout the story, but I still wish I knew the characters better. Augustus and Anne, out two main characters, felt slightly . . . pale, to me. Especially Lord Grey. Though I do believe that both of their characters could have been shown more.
Despite all this, though, it was a very enjoyable read.
If you’re looking for a good YA Paranormal with light historical undertones, a dash of magic, and a touch of romance, then The Rose Master is for you.
Thank you to REUTS Publications and Netgalley for this review copy. ...more