I came into The Moment Collector, also known as The Vanishing Season, knowing that it's subpar compared to Tiger Lily, so it reallyActual rating: 4.5
I came into The Moment Collector, also known as The Vanishing Season, knowing that it's subpar compared to Tiger Lily, so it really surprised me how much I ended up loving this novel. Tiger Lily will always be my favorite book from Anderson but The Moment Collector is definitely beautiful in its own right.
“This is what I think the world is showing me. We are souls at a common cause. We are only here to love. That was my great story all along. We are here to take chances, and fail, and keep trying.”
Words are failing me right now. I don't think my review will give this book the justice it deserves, but I'll try my best, and I will start with what everybody should know by now: Anderson is a wonderful writer. I've always loved her writing. It has a languid quality to it that will enfold you and ease you right into the story. I am so glad this book came at the right moment, right when I'm looking for a novel that will leave me an emotional wreck.
The Moment Collector introduces us to Maggie, Liam, Pauline, and the lonely ghost that watches over them. These characters had somehow managed to steal pieces of my heart right under my nose. It seemed impossible at the beginning but something clicked along the way, and I was swept up by the three of them and if I only knew what was coming, I would have kept my heart heavily guarded.
This is not a ghost story nor it is a mystery novel and many will grumble and find themselves disappointed that this novel is marketed as such. If anything, the seemingly misleading blurb became a diversion, cleverly blinding the readers' eyes from the bigger picture. I was intrigued all throughout, trying to find scraps of clues that never came, only to be blindsided by something that never even entered my mind in the first place. The Moment Collector is a character-driven story. It depicts real characters in real situations with real relationships. I am aware that this would not appeal to all readers, but when it does find its rightful reader, it will resonate and leave a mark. I know, because it did for me.
"We're like two angels floating over heaven. It's our perfect moment, and it never disappears. Even now, I can see us, even long after the moment is gone. Love can't be taken back once it's given.”
I'm actually crying as I'm writing this review, something I haven't done in a long while and I am at a loss as to what to do first: Should I clutch my heart to help ease the pain or should I wipe my tears away because it's blurring my vision? The Door County became my home. Hesitantly at first, but just like Maggie, I felt like I lost something in the end. For a short while, Maggie, Liam and Pauline became my persons and I just know I will read this again, maybe tomorrow, next week, a year after today, and I'd willingly get my heart broken once more.
Nothing ever really happens in The Moment Collector but this could be the best book I will read all year. Without any doubt, Jodi Lynn Anderson has earned a special place in my heart as one of my most favorite authors.
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
“It's only been a year and some change since Joe. And now, here I am again, waiting, trying to stop hoping. And drowning in what I could have done to
“It's only been a year and some change since Joe. And now, here I am again, waiting, trying to stop hoping. And drowning in what I could have done to save someone I love.”
Words and their Meanings is a tough book to read. It's a kind of story that pleads silently for any comforting gesture but lashes out at the slightest of touch. It has sucker punched me in all my vulnerable places and I have no idea how I've survived it. Reading this book trapped me in an awful, depressing bubble that I don't know how to shake away, even now. I feel like doing my own coffin yoga, practice my own blank stare, and will away my existence, even just for a short while, because feeling all these feels is hurting me.
“You can't let emotions consume you.”
— Ha, book! Are you referring to me?
Grief is the weirdest thing. I've seen it time and again. From people I don't know, from acquaintances, and from people who are close to me. Everyone reacts differently. Coping varies from one person to the next. One thing is a constant though, it never fails to make itself known. It might hit you the way a raindrop casually falls from an oncoming downpour or it might felt like being ran over by a bulldozer. In Words and their Meanings, I've suffered both and I am still not sure how and why.
“What I feel is not in the human vocabulary.”
Its intensity and rawness is unflinching in its pain. Its words carried a weight that begs to be endured and understood and absorbed. I cried—no, I leaked. My unrelenting tears was a direct result of the emotional gutting I've received from this sad, sob-fest of a story. But the most surprising thing was underneath the crushing waves of agony and sorrow, it was punctuated by tiny nuggets of hope and healing for these characters, which comes unexpectedly in hilarious moments. A minor respite but enough to fill me with optimism that they could come back from all these, stronger as a person and tighter as a family than ever.
“How do I say Mateo reminds me of the poem that cut deepest? The one so full of fear that one break in stillness is enough to bring joy and hope and life?
I feel obligated to talk about the characters' humanness, fragility and realness. I feel like I need to discuss the genuineness of the friendship, the family dynamics, and the wonderful portrayal of love and its complexity. I feel like I need a separate section for Mateo alone, or for Joe, or for Anna, or for Anna's parents or her Gramps, or her sister or her bestfriend. But I won't try. I don't have enough in me to try. But I was there for them and I hope that's enough.
“Think about how weird it is to feel broken and mended all at once. Sad and happy. Sappy.”
— Tell me about it, book. *sniffs*
I felt so drained. So emotionally exhausted. So wrung out. This book scared me with its darkness and pain. My head hurt, as what happens, when I cry too much and I don't think I could ever go through this again. But I might, I might just have to, because if every reread is equivalent to a pat on the shoulder, or an embrace, or even a simple nod of understanding, I'd do it all again for these characters and their story.
“Everyone gets one last line. But first lines, stories of love and loss and hope floating on backs of paper cranes? We choose how many of those we get to tell.
All we have to do is breathe deep. Breathe life in.
My eyes slip closed, and I do. I breathe. I breathe. I breathe.”
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. __________________________ I need a moment of silence.
AS I REREAD THE HELL OUT OF THE LAST FEW PASSAGES, THIS WILL MORPH INTO DENIAL
YOU CAN ONLY BE IN DENMY INITIAL REACTION AFTER FINISHING STORM SIREN:
AS I REREAD THE HELL OUT OF THE LAST FEW PASSAGES, THIS WILL MORPH INTO DENIAL
YOU CAN ONLY BE IN DENIAL FOR SO LONG BEFORE ANGER SETS IN...
This book is so so so so so good. I might not be able to review this properly because of its epicness but I shall try slave about it. I will just need to go through the grieving process first and recover.
Send help. *** Obviously, I never got to the bargaining phase because there's nothing left to bargain for. Mary Weber made sure of that. Nothing's left to bargain for. If that didn't give you any indication how crueltastic this book is, I don't know what will.
I went on straight to depression, as people do, because that's where I excel at and the grieving process is not the freaking Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. You can skip if you want to and Maslow can't say anything about it.
I lounge around in this limbo for a short while (read: 3 days), thinking acceptance felt like a long way away. Like the distance from L.A. to Tokyo.
Because Ariana Grande clearly needs to have her presence known. Oops, wrong artist.
I do think I'm in the acceptance phase right now but NO ONE DARE TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS BOOK'S ENDING BECAUSE I'M GONNA CLAW YOUR EYES OUT BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN SHOUT CRAZY.
I lied. I'm still in the anger phase.
Let's pretend I'm not at all unhinged while I prattle about why I'm shoving STORM SIREN up your body holes. First off, this is not a siren/mermaid or any other sea-hoopla book. I'm actually kind of happy it's not the case because mermaid novels tend to sink, pun intended, real fast.
“I think some have to fight harder to choose good over evil because the evil's got it out for them. And maybe it's because those're the ones evil knows will become the strongest warriors, recognizing true wickedness when it rears its head ... Maybe the ones who've struggled with true evil are the ones meant to make the biggest difference against it, you know?”
In a nutshell, STORM SIREN is about an orphan slave girl suddenly thrust in the middle of a long waged war between two kingdoms. She was bought by a batshit crazy slave owner as a pawn and a weapon to end this war once and for all. She must prove her worth and learn to control her abilities or she would be hanged for the abomination that she is.
Nym is a lost, broken girl plagued by guilt, grief and self-loathing. She sees herself as nothing but a monster cursed at having an ability that could kill anyone that gets too close. Cheeky and cynical, it's equal parts exasperating and empowering to see her come to terms with what and who she is. Is she a monster that brings only havoc and destruction or is she the savior that will ultimately save her kingdom?
Eogan, her ability trainer, is mysterious and frustrating. Hot and cold, his attitude inconsistencies drove me crazy. But it is not without good reason and glimpses of his true feelings showed that he cares and understands Nym more than he will ever let on. He makes her feel visible and safe, feelings that Nym tried to hide with indifference. I ship these two so hard. It was hard work and I totally have to beg Mary Weber to finally make my ship sail and when it did, it was unfrakingbelievable.
“I stare back, as if to defy him and whatever his problem has been. Except something hungry stirs behind his gaze, and the next thing I know he's taking my heart for a thirsty-leap into green depths, and I'm drinking him in as fast as I can, excruciatingly aware of how parched I am.”
— Goodness. *fans self*
But Eogan is not there merely to make us swoon because he is definitely a character in his own right and plays a bigger role than being Nym's love interest. And guys, Eogan is a person with color! I don't even want to make a big deal out of this because it shouldn't even be a deal in the first place, but he is, and my heart is so happy. And since we're talking about not your usual run-of-the-mill characters, we have here a bald, well-muscled flirty guy and a sassy blind friend. Even Nym has a mishappen hand.
Like I said, the romance was perfection for me. There were gazillion chances for Weber to go for the love triangle route but she didn't. The romance, while one of the best aspects of this novel, is just an excellent backdrop as it was supposed to be, because this story is most importantly about Nym's journey to self-discovery and self-redemption.
But what is a fantasy novel without a solid worldbuilding?
I am greatly delighted to say that the worldbuilding here was off the charts. It's bursting at the seams with its commitment to geography, language and social structure. The steampunk-esque details and magic system were also interesting. But what I admire the most was how Weber handled the enslavement aspect. It was not swept aside and used simply as a means to make Nym's history colorful but it was treated as a real problem that needs resolution. I hope in the next installment Weber will give focus on the perverse nature of some men in this novel because they really irked me out.
“...But instead of my power exploding like a thunderstorm, it comes as a gentle tide. A heart surrender. Almost painful in its approach, beckoning tears to my eyes as it renders my defenses nonexistent. And suddenly I can't remember why I ever needed them anyway because the very power I've spent my life cowering from is, at its core, pure.”
The prose was simply lovely. No matter how eager I was to turn pages after pages, I had to pause once in a while so I can reread some passages that were just beautiful. This novel made me come alive with its electric magic and the come down from the high was pretty agonizing. There were plenty of WTF moments, swoon-worthy moments, hair pulling moments, awe-inspiring moments and gasp-inducing moments. The ending was all of these combined and it was brutal. In truth, Mary Weber has a dangerous persona that concerns me, yet I'm beyond excited to read the next installment.
Highly unpredictable, imaginative and vividly woven, this book is the reason why I am reading fantasy novels. STORM SIREN rocked my world from the very beginning and left me reeling as I turned the last page. Mary Weber has truly written a wonderful, riveting debut novel and it's definitely one of my best reads this year.
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
Excerpt:“I've loved him my whole life, and somewhere along the way, that love didn't change but grew. It grew to fill the parts of me that I did notExcerpt:“I've loved him my whole life, and somewhere along the way, that love didn't change but grew. It grew to fill the parts of me that I did not have when I was a child. It grew with every new longing of my body and desire until there was not a piece of me that did not love him. And when I look at him, there is no other feeling in me.”
Ohmygod. My heart.
I seriously got worried about myself after I read this. I think I had been staring into space for quite some time before I snapped out of it and started clutching my chest instead. I've never been truly heartbroken but I think this must be what agony feels like. Can somebody please let me know when the numbness would take hold?
Nowlin chronicles the lives of Finny and Autumn in an almost quiet, subdued way. It's nothing splashy nor fabulous but it's remarkably real. Didn't we go through all those while growing up? I, for one, grew up surrounded by kids my age, playing together and vowing that we would all do this and do that.
Finny and Autumn are childhood friends and somewhere along the road they just grew apart. Before they're inseparable but now they couldn't even look at each other and talk about non-superficial topics. They have tons of memories together but they experienced a lot of things apart too owing to them having their own circle of friends and relationships.
If He Had Been With Me is a story of love and friendship. A love that's so encompassing, it surges out from every page of this book. It's so palpable I couldn't help but ache for Autumn and Finny and felt extremely frustrated on how they insisted on keeping themselves apart. I must've shaken the book and shouted at them several times thinking that it could compel them into being sensible and make them stop skirting around each other. I guess every reader would feel like The Mothers in this book.
It's almost a story too conventional to stand out among the rest of the books I've read before. So ordinary that even though I knew where this would inevitably lead up to, Nowlin had lulled me into a sense of complacency causing me to delude myself into hoping that maybe somehow it wouldn't end that way. That somehow she wouldn't dare. That somehow she wouldn't be so cruel.
But she is and it happened. She is cruel and brutal and she just maimed me. Nowlin had been building up into that one single painful moment and I can't even...
Hate is...it's too easy. Love. Love takes courage.
Speechless spoke to me in so many levels. IThis review is originally posted at Smitten over Books.
Hate is...it's too easy. Love. Love takes courage.
Speechless spoke to me in so many levels. I believe this is one of the strongest contemporary novels I've read to date.
Chelsea, for a lack of a better word, is a blabber. She's a gossip starter and she couldn't care any less whatever her gossiping might bring to the persons involved. She's doing it for Kristen, her supposed-to-be best friend and the most popular girl in school, and she's doing it for her social status. But everything went horribly wrong when the latest secret she shared almost cost the life of someone. She ended up telling what happened to her parents, cops were called, news spread out, and just overnight, her social status came crashing down.
At first, I thought I wouldn't like Chelsea. I thought she was conceited and self-involved. But boy was I wrong! Not only did I love her but she and me connected in a way I never thought we would. I love her voice, I love being inside her head, and I love hearing her thoughts. When she took the vow of silence, she didn't know it yet but this showcased her strength and character.
It's not an easy process, though. I saw her struggle to maintain her vow, how confused and frustrated she was that Kristen didn't take her side but only made her downfall worse. But with these came the realization that what she and Kristen had was an unhealthy relationship. New friends came along the way and she understood the true value of friendship.
In the end, Chelsea became one of my most favorite characters. Her resilience is commendable and I admire her for growing up, owning up to her bad decisions, and learning to forgive herself.
Speechless is my first Hannah Harrington novel and it definitely wouldn't be my last. I am very much looking forward to reading her debut novel, Saving June, and her future works. Speechless is out today. Don't forget to grab yourself a copy, I assure you it won't disappoint.
**An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
I never thought I'll be finishing this book in a heartbreaking note. For a book that seemed so magical and lightweight, it packed quite a melancholicI never thought I'll be finishing this book in a heartbreaking note. For a book that seemed so magical and lightweight, it packed quite a melancholic atmosphere and emotion. What a fantastic read!
**This review focuses more on the feelings I had in Code Name Verity rather than about the characters. This waOriginally posted at Smitten over Books.
**This review focuses more on the feelings I had in Code Name Verity rather than about the characters. This was intentional to keep myself from giving away major spoilers.
Excerpt: "All I have done is buy myself time, time to write this. I haven't really told anyone anything of use. I've only told a story. But I have told the truth. Isn't that ironic? They sent me because I am so good at telling lies. But I have told the truth."
Code Name Verity was one of a kind. I believe it was the first book I ever come across that did not make any sense, well at least to me. Everything I read was pure technical, war details, pilot stuff and I couldn't care less. I was ready to drop this and just get on with my life--I was bored, in short.
But there was something really compelling about its narration. Told from two perspectives, you just want to find out what would happen next and even though you know that freedom is next to nil, you still wish for it.
Verity is a British spy. When she made a seemingly minor but fatal mistake of blowing her cover by looking at the wrong side of the road, she was arrested and held as a prisoner of war. This started her confession and she was then branded as a collaborator.
She started this confession by saying, "I am a coward." I believed her. She was indeed a coward but what I did not realize was she was brilliant and cunning. If only I knew how good she was as a spy, I would've prevented the inevitable. Before I knew it, I was cradling my heart like a broken limb suffering from what I called the book-heart attack. That "KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK" wrecked my heart in two. *sobs*
It amazes me how Wein managed to snagged my heart where it mattered. She planted tangents and those tangents knitted itself together taking the story with it. As I was reading, I thought I have no idea what the characters were talking about but I kept guessing correctly at everything!
Don't be fooled by Code Name Verity. It is not solely a novel about World War II. It was the undercurrent, yes but Code Name Verity is so much more. It is a novel about friendship and loyalty, how you will do anything to save someone precious to you. It was everything the book cover was trying to sell.
It is so hard for me to write this review, more so in rating it. Logically, Code Name Verity is a book I would not like. It was slow and it does not make any sense half of the time. But the saving grace of this book definitely overshadowed its weak points. Code Name Verity made me feel so much. There was just too much conflicting emotions running around inside of me that I simply do not know what to say. But if there was one feeling that stood out from the rest, it would be heart ache. I was heartbroken, crashed and trampled upon by this heartrending tale of friendship and sacrifice.
Resilience and patience pays in the end my friends, and I was definitely glad I decided to finish this book.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
Excerpt: "Don't you know the first thing about fairy tales, Mirabelle? No one is going to sOriginally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual rating 4.5.
Excerpt: "Don't you know the first thing about fairy tales, Mirabelle? No one is going to spoon-feed you the answers. A curse is as much about courage as it is about growth. They're one and the same."
It's been a long time since I came across a book that gripped me from its first page and that book cover could never be more appropriate for this mesmerizing novel.
"Girls became victims and heroines. Boys became lovers and murderers. And sometimes...they became both"
Kill Me Softly revolves around Mirabelle, an orphan. Her parents had died in a tragic fire at her christening party so she lived with her two loving godmothers. She always dreamt of visiting her parents' grave but her godmothers won't allow it. So on her sixteenth birthday, she runaway and went to Beau Rivage to look for her parents' resting place. But Beau Rivage was not really a regular town and she was introduced to people whom she thought only existed on children's books and bedtime stories.
She met Felix and she fell in love with him despite the many warnings of Blue and others. She knew what was coming, but she gave in to the temptation to know more about him. She thought she was special, the sole exception to all that he was capable of doing. She believed what she wanted to believe and that was Mira's mistake and it almost cost her life.
Mirabelle or Mira was by no means perfect. She was stubborn, hard-headed, and sometimes downright rude. But what really got to me was the insta-love. I almost hated her for it but I do think she couldn't help it. Felix was magnetic and enthralling because it is in his blood--or in his curse to be alluring to girls who are vulnerable. He might seemed perfect but he was dangerous. Blue, Felix's younger brother, tried to ward her off through unconventional deed. He share the same curse with his brother, but whilst Felix is charming, Blue is exasperating.
One of Mira's weakness was plunging blindly to love so quickly. By running away, she was finally able to stand on her own because although her godmothers love her so much, they shielded her too much and she was sicked with all the rules. The do's and dont's were just too suffocating. That's why when Blue kept on warning her, she was fast to stay on the other path, the wrong direction which made her all the more naive and trusting to the wrong person.
Felix was undeniably, a gentleman. I liked him, although I was a bit wary with all his perfectness and smoothness. But like Mira I did not believe Blue because he was, in a lack of better word, a jerk. He drove me nuts with his mixed-signals, inept warnings, and unwavering cockiness.
The characters although not without weaknesses and imperfections were impressively apt for the setting Cross was trying to build. Her version was not conventional wherein everything just fit perfectly into place. In Kill Me Softly, there is no guarantee that you will have your happy ending. But you were a pawn, nonetheless, because you are a character in a story that has already been written. So Cross needed her characters to stray afar from the goody-two-shoes act. She need them to rebel even if fate could just thwart their efforts.
The other characters were also very interesting. I kept guessing who's who. The modern versions of the fairy tale characters we loved like Snow White, Beauty while greatly different from the ones we're familiar with are surprisingly fresh and fascinating.
But what really captivated me was the retelling itself. If the book cover was any indication, Cross did not choose to pattern her story with the usual "cheery" versions. It was the Grimms' version she picked, the version where The Little Mermaid did not get his Prince and became a sea foam, where Cinderella's stepsisters cut their toes to be able to fit into Cinderella's tiny slipper. It was the mixing and incorporating part that held my attention.
"She'd never looked more beautiful, more perfect, than she did when she was dead."
"I held her life in my hands. And then I took it away from her."
"I lost her. I destroyed her. But I never forgot her. I never let her go."
I hated the weakness of Mira, the insta-love, her indecisiveness and impetuousness. I almost gave up reading this. But Kill Me Softly has its moments, and when it has it, it was glorious. The little snippets of a story within chosen chapters were haunting but incredibly enchanting. The Bluebeard tale depicting that of the curse of the Valentine brothers (I am not really sure if this was adapted) was extremely well-done and perfect for the scene. The little details made the whole novel much more whole and solid: the animal magnetism, the taxonomy of curses, Jewel coughing up gems, Viv savaged treatment to apples, Henley's obsession to Viv, Freddie's obsession to swords, Blue's hair color, Felix bloody chamber, the razor blade necklace. It was full of everything and I would have smacked myself if I gave up on it because of its flaws and setbacks.
Kill Me Softly was an exceptional take on fairy tales. It was a whole new dimension of retelling and it was anything but fluffy or light. It was original and the plot was cleverly woven. It amazes me that beneath all the dark and twisted layers, the core was really about hope and love. If you want a leap away from traditional happily ever afters, then you do not want to miss this brilliantly executed novel. I love retellings and Kill Me Softly did not disappoint.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
Stormdancer has all the merit, the grace, the freakingThis review is originally posted at Smitten over Books.
Let me take a moment to wipe my tears.
Stormdancer has all the merit, the grace, the freaking epicness. I AM IN AWE. I AM STUNNED. I AM AMAZED. My jaw is somewhere in the floor of my dormitory struggling to close itself and to recover from the awesomeness of it all. There are no words to express how much Stormdancer touched me. There are no words. No words.
Oh come on guys. Do I really need to spell it all out why Stormdancer rock so hard, it made the ant hills tremble in fear for their existence. It made thunderstorms cool. It made you want to have a Kenning. This book is so good, I have to stop for a while, wide eyed and slack jawed, look at my surroundings and remind myself that I'm not Yukiko. It's a shame really because I want my own Buruu. I want my own arashitora!
I swear to you, I was grinning, smirking, giggling all by myself in class with my professor in the middle of her lecture about peritoneal dialysis and epidural anesthesia. Nothing else mattered at those times. NOTHING ELSE. I was thoroughly sucked in and I could care less with anyone. Anything is nothing compared to this. SHALL I CONVINCE YOU MORE? Because I can, I could go on and on about how freakingtastic Stormdancer is.
Honestly, I was well-prepared for anything. Those early reviews of those lucky reviewers about Kristoff's writing being so...overwhelming. Indeed it is, in a good way. I loved it. Every word is chosen carefully to add more conviction, to provide more weight in a situation. I appreciated how he string words together, how the words become lifelike, how it showcased his creativity, how it become an art, a written painting. Everything was so vividly described and characterized, even the slightest details were beautifully crafted. Kristoff's writing made my senses alive.
For those of you who might've problem with that kind of writing, do not give up. The last thing you would ever want to do is give up. I swear it will grow on you and you will love it. If not, then something's really wrong with you. Nah, I'm just kidding. Or am I? But seriously, you wouldn't meet Buruu. The glorious arashitora whom everybody loves right now. Just do it for Buruu. ALL HAIL BURUU!
Yukiko, the bearer of the kick-ass sash and the winner of the badass trophy. You just have to hand it to her. She's fierce yet compassionate. She's just a young girl task to start a revolution, to change everything, to inspire people to see through the haze of corruption, the heat of oppression, to save what there's left to be save. She was an enigma to behold.
The romance. Oh how I giggled. Buruu can be such a tease sometimes. I think it effectively added another side to Yukiko. There was also Yukiko's relationship with her father. She hated him for all the thing she thought she lost because of him. Only to find out that he gave it all up just for her. In his father he learned forgiveness and sacrifice. Her father once said to her, "One day you will see that we must sometimes sacrifice for the sake of something greater". And her father do held to this until the very end.
Kristoff's Stormdancer is my first steampunk. It reminded me why I love reading in the first place. It's because I want to feel so much, I'm going to be so close to exploding. It's because I want to be mindblown. I want to be transported into a completely different world that only amazingness awaits me. GAWD. JAY KRISTOFF remember this, if I see you someday I will...cry. YOU ARE JUST...My heart just bursts with admiration for you.
It's been a long time since I fell madly in love with a book I'd sell my right kidney just to..I don't know..spread the love? It's packed-full of adventure with solid characters and important and relevant themes. It was about everlasting bond and friendship, unconditional love, sacrifice and reconciliation, and family. It was incredibly outstanding, marvelously superb and everything in between. It was love.
If I had a love jar, I would certainly be broke by now. But yeah, I still want my own Buruu. Dibs.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley. ----------------- *squeeeeeee*
This review is originally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual score 4.5.
Warning: This review was done immediately after finishing the book...at 4 AM.This review is originally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual score 4.5.
Warning: This review was done immediately after finishing the book...at 4 AM. Needless to say, I'm still gathering up my brains on the floor, I think I stomped on it a few times.
So what to say? First of all, I think I really need to say that this was one of the best dystopian books I've read for a while now. I was mindblown by everything, but let's backtrack a little shall we?
In Kira's world, no newborn survives.The RM virus made it that way. In an Isolation war fought over by humans and Partials--genetically engineered superhumans, America won but the world was destroyed. The RM virus was deployed, millions died and only thousands of people survived. Now living in a world post-Isolation, The Senate does it best to strive against the slowly dwindling population by the Hope Act in which they established a certain age for females to reproduce.
It's 11 years now and it's still not working. A civil war is brewing because of the Voice and the people are getting restless due to the attacks from them. Kira is a medic and has seen enough newborns die. When one of the most important person in her life got pregnant, she vowed to find the cure for the virus to save her baby before it's too late.
Crazy plan, dangerous undertaking, one epic capturing after, and we found ourselves a one heck of a YA dystopian novel.
You know what I liked about Partials, there was no "romance-ing" that happened here. Sure, Kira has a boyfriend in the persona of Marcus, (which by the way totally has a rocking sense of humor, most of my snorts came from him) but it was almost an afterthought. The story doesn't center from it at all.
So you ask, what made this story incredible then? Well I don't know about you sister, but if the medical stuff, crazy adventure, great bunch of characters, dash of political intrigue, and kick-butt heroine, didn't make it for you, I don't know what will. Because I'm telling you, it was like the whole book was rigged with C4 explosives and every end of the chapter was the trap button.
Being on the medical professional field myself (well, I'm still studying), I was really engrossed by the whole virus thing. I could really relate and I even got a few I told you so on the first few chapters.
Partials has the aura of Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant minus the zombies. The twists and turns just keep coming left and right, you just have to hold on to keep from being overthrown into a sea of nothingness. It was packed-full of action, mystery-driven, and it will keep you up at night. I know I need to sleep but I seriously need the next installment right now.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more
Excerpt: “The future is never ours alone. Without others, our destiny could never be fulfilled. CouldThis review is also posted at Smitten over Books
Excerpt: “The future is never ours alone. Without others, our destiny could never be fulfilled. Could you imagine Superman trying to fulfill his purpose if there weren’t people to save? He could never do it. And so we must be aware of those around us and never shut the door on opportunities that help us to grow and learn, no matter how difficult they seem. Only by doing this will we be able to live to our full potential.”
From the moment I read the prologue, I knew I was going to love Fractured Light. And I'm happy to say my expectations were greatly exceeded. This book was awesome! It has the right amount of love, thrill, and adventure.
Ever since Llona's parents died, something inside her died as well. She blamed her parent's death on their kindness and vowed that she would never make the same mistake. But goodness is innate in her, because like her mother, she's an Aura and an Aura's purpose is to bring light and comfort to those who need them. When she settled at Bountiful, Utah all her survival plans starts to crumble. She started making friends and opening up. But everything has a price and if she's not careful the same enemy, who had killed her parents, might claim her life as well, along with those she loves.
First, I’d like to say that Llona is amazing. If you define a heroine that kicks butt, she would definitely fit the bill. Here's why:
1) She's independent and brave to the point of foolishness but you'll love her for it because it just makes everything more exciting. 2) She knows what she wants and fights for what she believes in. It does make her seem selfish at times but that's also where she truly shines. As Auras, they were raised not to fight but she defied the rules to protect everyone she loves. 3) She's a survivor. You'd think by all the crap-ola she's been through, she would complain but nah she never whined. Plus, she's hilarious.
And there’s Christian, the endearing knight. Half of the time I love him, half of the time I want to punch him for being such a stickler to rules.
I was also engrossed by the guessing game McClellan skillfully created which is to guess who is Mr. Lurking Evil. By the time of the big reveal, I was suspecting half of the characters. Although, I have a pretty good hunch that it was that someone, I couldn't exactly pin that someone down because the guilt-o-meter is wildly pointing at different directions and everybody was equally suspicious.
And when Mr. Lurking Evil was finally revealed, it did confirm my guess but it didn't lessen the intrigue factor. What it actually did was heightened it! I think a stupendo was warranted here. So there you go, stupendo!
Another thing that's really commendable about Fractured Light is the humor. Sometimes I think authors forget about them thinking intense world-building would suffice. There’s also the suave storytelling which has the right balance of everything. From the story of Light vs. Dark, to the suspense and mystery parts, and to the love aspect. She also injected just the right amount of information to grip her readers and not bore them. And when the story grips you, it wouldn't let go. Every end of the chapter was like a mini-cliffhanger which made this book very un-putdown-able.
And the ending, oh the ending! McClellan took my heart out and squeezed it just a little. And who would have thought first kiss could ever be that sweet?? Just thinking about it makes me swoon.
One of my favorite reads this 2011, I couldn't say enough how much I adore Fractured Light. The ending left me with a silly grin on my face, but with all the seriousness I can muster, I am highly recommending this book and you MUST get a copy when it comes out on February 2012. I couldn't wait to know more about Auras and Vykens and I am definitely looking forward for more sweet kisses. Kudos to McClellan for a job well done!...more
Excerpt: "The music defied classification. If I had been writing a review ofThis review is originally posted at Smitten over Books. Actual rating: 4.5
Excerpt: "The music defied classification. If I had been writing a review of the show, I would have labeled it progressive, guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll. But the guitars made sounds guitars didn’t always make. Symphonic sounds. Sacred sounds. The music dug in so deep you didn’t hear it so much as feel it, reminding me of a dream I used to have when I was a kid, where I would be standing on a street corner, I would jump into the air, flap my arms, and soar up into the sky. That’s the only way I could describe the music. It was the sonic equivalent of flight."
So this was the first book I finish this summer vacation, and I couldn't pick up a more deserving book. To be honest, I've been reading this for a while now and only got to finish it today (Apr 1). I'm really surprised that even though days and weeks had passed before I continue reading, when I did pick it up I was still so into it, it seemed like no time has passed since the time I put it down.
It must have been the humor, the characters, the romance, the betrayal, the sick twist in the end but this book is in Paul's fashion of saying things is one "goddamn" of a gem.
Music and rock 'n roll is a huge part in the story and although I'm no rock star, the magic connection was still skillfully created between me and How To Kill A Rock Star. When Eliza described the music I'd give anything just to hear what it sounds like for real. It sounded so beautiful and it feels like I'm hearing it in her eyes.
Bananafish is a struggling band, with Paul Hudson as the lead singer and the Michaels. Between having crappy part time jobs to pay for rents and whatever there needs to be paid, their time revolved around having gigs wherein only the deemed "loser bands" played. Then came along Elisa Caelum, the sister of one of the Michaels and she became the roommate of Paul.
I've never felt chemistry so palpable like between these two. Their attraction to one another is undeniably thick, it could have zapped a fly if there ever is one between them.
I mean, Paul was no heartthrob, he was pale, skinny, has a nose that defies the proportion of his face (I still don't know how that looked like), has the optimism of a frog which is saying a lot. But goodness, I do like him. Not in the crushy-sort of way but to really root for him to make it in the business. And him with Eliza was like reading something that's really worthwhile.
And no, this book was such a success not only because of the romance but because of the passion just right underneath. The music was such a big part of their lives, you can just feel the passion and the grit.
The other characters were not just characters, but people who made the story really worked. Loring, who was the real heartthrob in the story, was in all sense the catalyst of all the screw-ups. But calling him a jerk would really end up with me being the jerk not him.
And you know what, if I haven't implied it enough, the dialogues are to die for. They were witty. It will have you snorting and giggling on any vehicle anywhere, everywhere (I know I did), but boy when they got serious, it passes right through your heart, sits on your brain just for laughs and really messed you up. You were laughing one minute, and then this horrible feeling of sadness will just creep up on you without you even knowing.
The shocker twist was just too much as well. I was sobbing like crazy. I was devastated, heartbroken and trashed. I remember wailing, "How can a book that started so hopeful, end up so tragic?" But if you think that was the end of all ends, then you're in for a treat.
DeBartolo did really well in fleshing out her characters. She made them vulnerable, relatable and human. That is why they will be forever immortalized in my mind. I probably didn't give half the justice this book rightfully deserves, but I'm telling you, if the title How To Kill A Rockstar, didn't draw you in or at least put this book into your radar, then I will not be in the least bit surprised that you might be one of the "heathens and pagans" Paul keep mentioning about.
**** You should know that while coming up with a review for this book, the first thing I wrote was OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! Yeah, like a noob.