This is one of the few cases where I'd say the book and movie are equally amazing, each in their own way. They're almost completely different monstersThis is one of the few cases where I'd say the book and movie are equally amazing, each in their own way. They're almost completely different monsters, but each a joy to watch/read....more
I'm really torn on what I think about this book, which is often the hallmark of a good book: it makes you ponder what and how you feel about the charaI'm really torn on what I think about this book, which is often the hallmark of a good book: it makes you ponder what and how you feel about the characters and plot. The reason I give it 3 stars is because of several weaknesses in the characterization of Scarlett, but many of them could be easily overlooked by someone who really enjoys the story.
The sisters' bond actually creeps me out. I read several reviews where it was mentioned that the relationship between the sisters was great and beautiful. I saw it more as an unhealthy possessive and controlling one. Scarlett saved Rosie's life when they were young. Because of that, both of them have come to the conclusion that Rosie should and must devote her life to Scarlett's obsessive need to kill wolves. Throughout, Rosie feels like she's betraying her sister when she even considers having her own life and falling in love.
I actually liked Rosie overall, and Silas was a good guy, so they made an excellent match. That was actually the most enjoyable part of the narrative for me. I loved how two childhood friends went from that to romance, especially with the awkwardness of realizing it and moving from just friends to boyfriend/girlfriend. The author did an excellent job conveying those emotions. I'd actually say that it was the biggest strength of the story and something that the author should explore. The paranormal action wasn't as convincing. I'd love to see Jackson explore writing contemporary YA romance because I suspect she'd be much better at that.
The problem I had through the whole book was with Scarlett. She was so single-minded and driven that she came off as almost one-dimensional, but not completely, if that makes any sense. I didn't enjoy being inside her head and would have much preferred that the story be told exclusively from Rosie's perspective instead of flipping back and forth between the two. Scarlett isn't a very likable character, but watching her and her passions from another person's viewpoint would have softened that tremendously.
I predicted the ending at about 1/3 of the way into the book, even before clues started to be dropped, which is highly disappointing. Other reviews mentioned the twist at the end, but I see it as more of a copout. The story would have been more satisfying and realistic had the author taking the hard path. The fact that it all ties up so neatly is something readers of paranormal romances will love, but it's just not reality.
All of that said, it's definitely an interesting read and one that I would recommend to others. The writing is clean and not wanting for change, but the repetitive nature of several scenes made me wish for they had been trimmed from the manuscript. I did skim the last third of the book because I'd already figured out the big secret and I just wanted to see how the book ended.
So long review summed up: a good read but nothing extraordinary.
I really enjoyed this story, especially all of the twists and turns that kept me questioning what I thought who was doing what to whom.
For some reasoI really enjoyed this story, especially all of the twists and turns that kept me questioning what I thought who was doing what to whom.
For some reason, this book feels like a 4-star book. The writing is fine, but it didn't strike me as stellar. Also, the dynamic between Isabel and Rokan didn't feel as natural or smooth as it should have been. I'm not sure what it was, but something was slightly off. Otherwise, it's an excellent book. If someone can point out what may have been missing, I'd love to hear it. I'm still confused as to why I wasn't completely drawn in....more
An enjoyable book, though the writing could have been better. It felt like an early version that after several further drafts could have really shinedAn enjoyable book, though the writing could have been better. It felt like an early version that after several further drafts could have really shined. It is the author's debut, so I'm hoping later books will be more refined and polished as she improves her writing skills....more
I didn't really like the 50s voiceover style of narration in the book. (If you don't know what that means, watch a classic movie from 50s or similar tI didn't really like the 50s voiceover style of narration in the book. (If you don't know what that means, watch a classic movie from 50s or similar time period like Psycho or How to Marry a Millionaire, and listen to the narration at the beginning of the movie and sometimes throughout.)
But a friend loved the book and its narrative, so it's a split decision on this one....more
The only word I can think of that captures the feel of Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss is delightful. ThisOriginally posted at Libri Ago .
The only word I can think of that captures the feel of Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss is delightful. This isn't serious fare, but it's not meant to be. It hits the intended mark perfectly: a light, fun, romantic tale of a teenage girl falling in love. Teen chick lit at its finest.
At about a third of the way through the book, I had to put it aside for a week because the temptation to jump on a plane back to France was too much for my weak francophile heart. (Why did Delta have to send me an email that day announcing a European fare sale?!)
The problem was with Perkins' descriptions of Parisian life; the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of that glorious city. She captured the ambiance and feel of the city so well, I craved to be back at an outdoor cafe, watching Paris flow by as I nibbled on some quiche Lorraine and perhaps a raspberry macaron or tart au chocolate. The fact that I've only been back from France four months is not lost on me. If Paris weren't so expensive, I might never have come back. I'm exaggerating. Sort of.
Tragically, I didn't find my own Étienne, despite spending two months in France. Hmm. Maybe I should take another look at those airfares. I could do with a hot American/British/French boyfriend right about now....more
Talk about traumatizing. Grow up thinking you're one thing then being told you're another while being forced from yourOriginally posted at Libri Ago.
Talk about traumatizing. Grow up thinking you're one thing then being told you're another while being forced from your home and replaced by the "real" you . . . Yeah, I'd be a little upset. The False Princess gives us just such a situation with the unfortunate was-a-princess-but-not-really Sinda.
In what could have easily been a run-of-the-mill princess story, O'Neal steps it up a notch about halfway in with a twist and some added development. I'm not talking about the not-a-princess thing. That happened right at the beginning. Instead of sticking with a rather cut-and-dry plot, the author changes things up, thus adding depth and complexity to the characters and the entire plot.
While I appreciated the surprising plot, the writing felt like it needed a little bit more development. The pace was on the slow side and I found myself skimming large chunks of Sinda's thoughts. Explaining events or situations the reader should—and probably did—figure out on their own made the narrative cumbersome.
Another area that wasn't fully developed was the magic system in the book. In any fantasy world there is generally a) magic, b) its own mythology and hierarchy of gods, or c) both. It is vastly important to create a clear and solid system for those elements because everything in this world affects how people act and interact within their own community and society as a whole. People who possess magic act differently than someone who lives in a world where magic doesn't exist. Cultures that worship multiple gods will work differently than those that are atheist.
The False Princess is that this world has magic and deities, but we're never given a clear understanding of how that works. Yes, there are oracles who prophecy future events, but where do they get their power? Was there only one in the whole world? How were they chosen?
Even more important, who is this "Nameless God" mentioned throughout the book but never given any other thought? You can't offer such a tantalizingly named deity without giving us more. Why is he nameless? Does someone know his name? Do the other cultures pray to the same God? The fact that the Nameless God was mentioned but didn't do anything in the book left me more than a little disappointed.
I would have to say the book's biggest flaw is moralizing, with the overdone symbolism of Sinda going from princess to commoner, and being mistreated by the crown throughout. The idea of royalty not caring for the common man has been done before. Quite a lot, actually, and done very well. In The False Princess, it comes across forced and a little heavy-handed. As a reader, I want a good story, not a lesson in ethics.
All that said, it's a nice book and one that I'd recommend for a light read. Since this is a debut, I hope the author's next work comes out a bit deeper and more polished....more
I'm a huge fan of mythology. All of them. I really am, so when I see a book that has an interesting take on classic myths, I'm very interested.
In The Goddess Test, we get a modern girl who is thrust into the Persephone situation: six months in the mortal world, six months in the underworld. But the spin Carter places on these gods takes them from an essentially Greek mythology to a more universal one. (By that, I mean that these gods are portrayed as more overarching than for just the Greek world, the same but with different names in different cultures.)
It's a rather light, enjoyable read, and the fact that I stayed up until 3 am reading this in one sitting should say something. Also, I figured out most of the twist at the end, but some of it still surprised me. While it's not high literature, it's a fun way to spend and afternoon (or evening until early morning, like I did).
PS I love the cover of the sequel. The retro-70s vibe is awesome. The first cover is gorgeous, but I'm really digging the next.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for an advance copy of the book....more
I wish I could increase the stars on this book, but as many reviewers have previously mentioned, Roberts spends way too much time detailing how to traI wish I could increase the stars on this book, but as many reviewers have previously mentioned, Roberts spends way too much time detailing how to train dogs and the step-by-step process of using search-and-rescue dogs. If you cut 90% of that description out, the book would surely drop 100 pages and be much better for it.
It's a nice read, and I really like the characterization of Simon. He is a straight-talking, no-nonsense guy who says exactly what he thinks, with most of it unflattering to the heroine. For some reason, it strikes me as honest and authentic, and I adore it.
Unfortunately, Fiona comes off very controlling and boring with the insane tendency to treat the whole world—family and friends included—as dogs to be trained. Normally I wouldn't mind, but the overanalyzing thoughts bog down the narrative and make the character flat, though not quite unlikable.
Otherwise, an enjoyable story. So to be fair, it's more of a 3 1/2-star book, though it still misses out on its full potential....more
As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, even when it scares the schnikeys out of me. The Restorer is one of those creepily good stories that goes for the perfect chilling factor.
Book one in the Graveyard Queen series (doesn't that just sound so awesome?) introduces us to Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. These aren't Casper-friendly ghosts, either. These are scary, wet-the-bed nightmarish ghosts, so Amelia has held to her father's edict to never let ghosts know she can see them. She's done a good job—until now.
How could a ghost story get even better? Add in genteel Southerns entrenched in secret societies and sacrificial murders, plus a handsome potential love interest with a mysterious past, and you've got a realistically fright-worthy read.
While this book is published by Harlequin, it focuses more on the mystery than the romance, which I really appreciated in this story. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy. ...more