I like quirky books. I really like character-driven stories. I find myself really admiring authors who create many characters in one world, but give tI like quirky books. I really like character-driven stories. I find myself really admiring authors who create many characters in one world, but give them each their own story…their own personality and life. Matt Haig did this for me in The Radleys.
I’d randomly surfed across this book one day on Goodreads, and from there knew it was a book I needed to read. I don’t know how many of you have ever had this experience, but it happens to me on occasions. I find books through searches--and then I can’t stop thinking about them until I get my hands on them. It’s as if my subconscious knows it’s meant for me to experience. And I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to pick this one up because I absolutely loved it.
This is probably not a book everyone will love. There will be a particular audience that adores it, and perhaps an audience that doesn’t quite find it so appealing. The thing I’d like to say though is that first and foremost, look past the word “vampires”. It’s so much more than that. Yes, it’s about vampires. There’s some dark humor sprinkled throughout, a bit of an adult cross-over parody at times on the take of modern vampire fiction, but through it all, it’s more than just a vampire story.
The chapters are rather short, sometimes only a page in length at times. If you’re bothered by short chapters, then this feature may be aggravating to you. Personally, I’m not bothered by chapter length as long as it works properly to the flow of the story. It did here, so I found it fitting.
What I really loved was the focus on the family. Who knew that even a family of vampires could have as much drama as a human family? I commend Matt Haig at making such a realistic family with real problems (bullies, etc.) that draw a reader right into the story. I sympathized with the characters.
It’s intelligent and witty. Sometimes frightening and dark. Quirky and unexpected. Even if you’re out of touch with the whole vampire thing nowadays, I’d recommend this for the theme and the depth of the character building. I really quite enjoyed reading The Radleys and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for the opportunity to read Shattered Dreams!
Shattered Dreams was unique and fascinating. It’s not too often that I pick up a book in this genre where the MC isn’t some supernatural creature. Instead, just a human with special abilities. Clairvoyance to be precise.
Did you know that it’s been said that every human being has some kind of mental capability of clairvoyance or sensitivity? Just not many people know how to “tap” into it so it lies dormant and that’s why it seems like such a rare gift for those who can. That’s a bit off topic, I know. And something like that might even start a debate, not sure. Just a little piece of information I thought I’d share. :P
Anyways, I really liked this one because of the difference among most others. It was unique and enjoyable. Highly engaging and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
I just had a few minor problems with it. At times, I got a bit annoyed with Trinity and how her reactions played out with certain instances. I also didn’t like the insta-love with Trinity and Chase. I’m all for romance in a book most of the time, if it’s done well and not too quick if you know what I mean… and I really felt that the relationship build-up between the two was just not greatly executed. These were minor annoyances though that I overlooked easily since I enjoyed the story so much.
Also, loooovee the setting! New Orleans! I’ve never been personally, even though I only live five and half hours away or so, but I would love to go. I also tend to like settings around the southern parts like that. It makes me feel like I know more since I know the basic area. Haha!
A misunderstanding I seem to have is that this says it’s going to be a series. I don’t see it. The first book ended on a note that could have left it completely as a stand-alone. Not everything has to be serialized, ya know? But I guess we’ll see where this goes from here. I enjoyed Shattered Dreams so much, I would definitely read the next book, either way.
Good read. I definitely recommend, especially if you’re looking for something different and away from the usual Paranormal.
For most of us, September 11, 2001, is a date that is etched into our memories. We remember what we were doing that morning, where exactly we were at, and when the news hit, how we reacted. With the tenth anniversary of that sorrowful day approaching, there’s going to be a look back into this day as I’m sure we’ll all dredge up old memories and our own stories. This is one such story of looking back and remembering that day, the impact it had on one person's life, and the events that unfolded around him. Even for those who weren’t there, it was an impact on the entire country and we all were affected in some way or another. Whether it be that we looked at life a whole new way, lost someone we knew, fought in the following war, or whatever it may have been. Life for many of us wasn’t the same after September 11th.
I remember I was in high school still. I had just arrived to my first class, Yearbook/Newspaper, and was in a great mood because the previous day I had been named Editor of both productions. But the smile instantly faded when the teacher switched on the television to the news because she had received word from another staff member to turn it on right away, and we usually watched the news in that class anyway. The images I was seeing were frightening, confusing… and I cried throughout the day for everyone there. The victims and the endless support of the police and fire department. My father had just passed two months prior to 9/11, and I remember (very guiltily) thinking, “I’m kind of glad he’s not here to see this horror.” It was awful of me, I’m sure, because at the same time I wanted nothing more than to have him there. He was a military man- and would have been quite comforting. Then I remember my fear and confusion turning to anger… and finally it turned to pride. Pride for how everyone joined together in that extreme time of need.
When Mr. Artie Van Why asked me to read and review That Day in September, I admit I was hesitant. Not because I feared it would be a bad read, but because of the subject matter. How can I possibly rate someone’s personal account of what they went through on 9/11? It was sad as I read along, recounting the memories with him- most particularly during the portions of the people jumping from the buildings. I remember being horrified and crying just seeing that on television that morning. I couldn’t even begin to imagine seeing it through his eyes.
Mr. Artie Van Why’s story takes you through his experience of 9/11 and how he faced life afterwards. There’s a few instances that jump back and forth between past and present- so that he allows the reader to get to know him a bit better and what eventually led him to New York in the first place. I’m not entirely a huge fan of “time-jumping” but I found these areas interesting since I was getting to know the author as well- making me capable enough to sympathize, instead of just reading about the event he witnessed. In the end, I found myself finishing quickly, a few tears in my eyes.
While this is not a long, drawn out story of the day’s events- it’s a personal one. It’s chilling and emotional. It reminds us all that we can certainly move on with our lives without forgetting. And we shouldn’t forget.
Thank you Goodreads' Giveaways. While I marked this as read (only to take it off my to-read list from the giveaways section), I have to say that I didThank you Goodreads' Giveaways. While I marked this as read (only to take it off my to-read list from the giveaways section), I have to say that I didn't make it past the first thirty pages or so- it's a DNF for me. Not that it was really terrible, just not my style in reading and I couldn't get into it. However, I have passed it along to my mother, who is a nurse and has been for 35 years, and she's already enjoying it very much since it's more up her alley. Haha. I'm glad it went to a better home then. I tried, it didn't work, but it's still being read! Haha!
I haven’t read a great historical, thrilling mystery since The Da Vinci Code. Sure, I’ve read some good ones- some I’d recommend- but absolutely brilliant, fantastic, hold-your-breath and put you on the edge of your seat type story that may have even put Mr. Dan Brown to shame? No. Not until I picked up The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman. This was YA, too, and by the time I finished reading, I was smiling like an idiot… As if I had found a lost treasure among a mysterious city that I had magically been transported to. And I'd like to make a small note before I continue, I was in no way trying to put down The Da Vinci Code. I really enjoyed that book when I had first read it, too. But I liked this one much better if you had to make me choose.
How often does a reader get to sit down a say, “I’ve discovered something magical”? I know I don’t get to do this very much. I’ve had the most wonderful reading year, finding some great reads along the way and proudly saying that I haven’t had too many disappointments. Now I sit here also proclaiming that I’ve found one of the best upcoming 2012 compelling masterpieces that you really do not want to miss given the chance.
I was instantly hooked from the first page and stayed engaged until the last-- not once wanting to stray from the story, and always wanting to know more about the magnificent characters and amazing history that Robin Wasserman created. I was driven by a number of emotions: sorrow, shock, tenderness, happiness, anger… and the twists and turns kept me constant on my toes, begging me to always keeping the pages turning. The mystery was believable. The horror was awful (not meant in a bad way). And the details were immaculate but not so overdone that you were left with your own imagination, too. I felt an attachment through it all. When the end came, I still wanted more.
I must read more of Wasserman’s writing now.
Treasure hunting, history, foreign locations, romance, mystery, suspense…. This has it all.
I don’t give this rating too often, but The Book of Blood and Shadow certainly deserves it:
When I first picked up Escape From Verona, I admit that I was one nervous reader. This was due in part because Romeo and Juliet is my all-time favoritWhen I first picked up Escape From Verona, I admit that I was one nervous reader. This was due in part because Romeo and Juliet is my all-time favorite Shakespeare play. And I’m a huge Shakespeare geek. I own his entire collection (as well as a lot of double copies because I like to collect some just strictly for the covers or editions). So, going into this story I was nervous to see how it would play out. How well the characters would continue on AFTER. And it astounded me.
The amount of detail and research that was put into this novel was phenomenal and so well-crafted. I read through this with such ease and I thoroughly loved every bit of it. To see things with Romeo and Juliet, a life between the couple on the run after faked suicides was excellent. I can honestly say that if Shakespeare were alive today, I think he’d be very proud if he read this.
Romeo was a bit annoying to be honest. Haha! And I felt that the brief sex scenes (though few and far in between) weren’t really all the necessary and didn’t HAVE to be included or detailed but that’s just my opinion. But I really liked how the characters were developed for the readers. We see some interesting sides to them all. I loved the inclusion of characters from other plays!
I definitely recommend this if you’re a Shakespeare fan. Especially if you like Romeo and Juliet. I know I’ll probably be rereading this one!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for the opportunity to read Drink, Slay, Love!
Drink, Slay, Love was down-right fantastic. Going into it, I thought it would be cheesy, but it took me completely off guard and I had so many laugh-out-loud moments as well as just overall thoroughly enjoying the whole story. Sarcastic, witty, well-written and pure fun, Drink, Slay, Love is a vampire novel that you do not want to miss.
Even to the readers who may be a bit tired of the whole “vamp scene” (and to make a side note here: I’m not, I still love my vamps!), you will love this outrageously fun-crafted tale of a vampire who gets staked by a unicorn. That’s right, you read correctly. Staked by a unicorn! The premise sounded so crazy and quirky to me, too, but I dived right in only to be blown away, and I completely adored the humor tossed in throughout. The Twilight jabs: hilarious! Of course, no offense to the Twilight fans, but there were some great jokes here.
Pearl was my kind of character. Sassy and sarcastic. I loved the narration and learning about her. It was particularly interesting reading through her “transformation”.
I admit now that I haven’t read a lot of contemporary romance in my lifetime, YA or Adult. I tend to lean toward the fantasy side and always have-- perhaps because I like the world building authors create for that material. We all have our preferences, right?
It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy something different on occasion, though, and I certainly enjoyed Virtuosity on levels that surprised me since it was outside my usual reading genre. Before I continue, I should tell you that I do have favorite books that I will reread countless times in my lifetime that aren’t fantasy in the slightest, so this isn’t a first reading a contemporary anyway.
I loved the musical theme behind Virtuosity. As a fan of classical music myself, it was nice reading of a character who centered around that interest. The violin is a beautiful instrument to listen to, although I’m preferential to piano as cliché as that may be. It was interesting following her path. I never realized how strenuous classical training could be if one was extremely serious in the lifestyle and the author shows the reader this. Martinez creates a believable story with real characters and problems in an everyday world.
So, what was my problem?
The romance. Once again, I’m faced with a potential excellent piece that can blow me away, but the romance almost kills it for me. I didn’t find it satisfying or realistic in this aspect of the story. It happened all too quickly as is often the case in a lot of the literature these days unfortunately, and I only wished these two main characters would have progressed a bit more slowly in their affections toward each other. However, I’m at a crossroads at the same time since they both had a common ground and he brought on a lot of self-awareness for Carmen.
The ending almost sets a tone for a sequel, but I hope not. This was just fine as a stand-alone and I really don’t see a need for a sequel at all. It would only drag out.
Good writing and it kept me engaged throughout. I must say that at least it may get me into more contemporaries in the near future so that is a bonus.
Before I say anything too much, I am a big history geek. Whether the material is fiction, based around a historical time period or culture that I just happen to enjoy or a stronger route with characters based on real historical figures but in a more fictional story setting. I even have been known on numerous occasions to “study” for fun by reading quite a bit of non-fiction on my favorite subjects.
Ladies in Waiting was something I looked forward to for history, background, and characters. Having already experienced Ms. Sullivan’s writing before, I was excited to read this. It was also different from what I had already read from her writing as well so it was new.
I felt this was a fresh YA historical that was very character-driven and realistic. I had some slight issues though. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the story, because I did. It was something I read easily and was entertaining-- a fresh face into the YA genre where readers are normally bombarded with creatures like vampires and werewolves. I liked the smoothness of the words and imaginative details throughout. Each character had a unique personality, yet they blended well amongst each other.
So my problems were that I just didn’t feel a great connection with most of the characters other than Zabby--who seemed to have the most interesting story for me. Or maybe it was just me, I’m not sure. Yes, I felt the characters were developed well and each had their unique personality trait… but when it came to presenting their “stories”, their POVs, I just didn’t seem to connect with them so well other than Zabby. I just didn’t care about the others too much or whatever happened to them. And that can be a hard thing for a reader. I love connecting with the characters. At least I connected with one of the important ones here though.
At times I felt a little drawn back from the story because I didn’t feel any action. This isn’t really an action piece or any kind of novel I feel that has some kind of heavy agenda. To simply put it, it’s about three unique ladies in waiting to Queen Catherine and their changing lives-- it can be a bit slow in some parts, but I did find it really interesting otherwise with their stories. It was realistic. There are some shifts so that the reader can get to know a bit about each girl and I particularly liked that. It was just unfortunate like I said before that the only one I felt the most connection with was Zabby. I would have liked to know Eliza more, she was the playwright. :)
The ending took me by complete surprise. I don’t want to give anything away because I don’t use spoilers in reviews, but it will take you a bit off guard. It’s not an ending that I really expected-- I can’t honestly say yet if it’s good or bad, I’m still thinking it over. That was another thing I did like about Ladies in Waiting, it made me think a bit at the end of it.
In my honest opinion, I thought “Brightwing”, written under Laura Sullivan’s pseudonym, Sullivan Lee, was more of a favorite compared to Ladies in Waiting. Which did surprise me a bit because I’m more of a YA reader than adult in most cases.
All in all though, I did enjoy this and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to read. Thank you.
Where do I even begin with my review? There’s so much to say!
I have an extremely hard time truly getting into the Fallen scene most times. I’ve liked Where do I even begin with my review? There’s so much to say!
I have an extremely hard time truly getting into the Fallen scene most times. I’ve liked a few books that I’ve read around the theme, but they haven’t astounded me--perhaps with the exception of the vampire/fallen theme that Melissa de la Cruz has with her Blue Bloods series. I think it’s difficult in the genre because there’s so much background to build in a lot of cases, and a person’s tastes varies too.
Another thing is I picked up a copy by word of mouth and so many recommendations by other blogger friends. After others kept begging me to read, I grabbed it and did. Boy, am I glad!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone absolutely blew me away. This was one of the best reads of 2011. I feel like shouting it from the rooftops and I tell everyone I know that they just have to read this book if they’re going to read only one book this year.
The places that Laini Taylor will take the reader through her words are enough to take your breath away, let alone the characters that capture your heart from the first page. I was transported through her imaginative and detailed writing. Here I found romance I adored, I rooted insistently for. I could not tear through the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next. Oh… Akiva…I felt so much of the pain and beauty. Ms. Taylor had my imagination running wild.
This took me on such an emotional roller-coaster ride. It really is hard for me to put all of my feelings out other than I just truly loved every bit of this book and can’t wait until more. Everything was mystifying and gorgeous until the last page.
One of my favorite quotes:
"He can't see it. It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him."
Shatter Me was a book that I went into with not only high expectations, but knowing ahead of time that it was going to be in a different style that IShatter Me was a book that I went into with not only high expectations, but knowing ahead of time that it was going to be in a different style that I normally would find. It’d been on my wish list a long time so I was excited to finally get it. I’d read several reviews beforehand, so I knew about the strike-outs and the disjointed narration, so I wasn’t taken by surprise by it. Honestly, it wasn’t entirely a new style or unique to me because I’d read a book called Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson a couple years ago--and the style was almost similar in some ways. However, it was a slow start because at times I felt the descriptions were a bit too fluffy and flowery, or over-done maybe (sometimes, I feel like they didn’t even make much sense even)… a bit much, and the story progressed a little slowly too. It took a little while for me to pick it up and learn what exactly was going on and for the action to start.
Some of my biggest problems though were with the romantic side. I had a few frowns whenever Juliette thought about how “gorgeous” Warner was, despite his cruelty. I know that my own common sense would tell me that no matter how good looking a guy is, if he’s cruel, he’s completely ugly and I’m not interested. Maybe that’s just me though. I didn’t like the idea of a possible building love triangle, and I can certainly see it building by the end of this first installment. Though, I’m sure I’ll get the second to see where it’ll go from here. I didn’t always feel it between her and Adam either. It just felt all over the place with the romance at times. A lot of ups and downs in that area.
I felt a lot of questions were still unanswered, but hoping they’ll get answered soon.
Once Shatter Me picked up, I did find myself unable to put it down, and the descriptions became smoother and easier to read throughout. I also liked the building relationship between Juliette and Adam when they were in the asylum. I really look forward to seeing where this continues and more of this world in the next installment. Glad that I had the opportunity to sit down and finally read this one!
A big thank you to Quirk Books for sending me a copy for review. This of course does not influence my opinion whatsoever, and my review is completely honest.
Gee thanks, Ben H. Winters, for not only creeping me out, but now my fear of all things “creepy-crawly” has probably become even more phobic, if that’s even possible. I already hate bugs enough as it is. As if I needed this book to remind me how high my level of fear was already. Ha. I couldn’t read this without feeling like I had something crawling up my own legs and arms at the same time, and that was down-right WEIRD. I believe I even checked my own bed a few times before allowing myself to climb in. Ha!
I like good, old-fashioned style horror thrillers. The type that make your heart race along with the characters, the story of the couple moving into a house with a mysterious story, and twists and turns that leave you guessing and flipping pages until the last one. Bedbugs delivered that classic style that I love and adore anytime I pick up a book in this genre.
The characters were very likeable and well-crafted. Because of this, I was happy, in the simple fact that I didn’t want anything bad at all to happen to them. I say this for reasons in part that I’ve read other horror books before in which I just didn’t find the characters likeable, or undeveloped, so I didn’t care at all if they “got the axe”. Not in this instance. With every turn of the page, I was almost nail-biting it, hoping that when the end came, the family would all make it out okay. Did they? I can’t say in the review or not. I promise never to give out spoilers in my reviews so you will have to read to find out for yourself.
The ending was crucial and shocking. I admit to predicting some of it ahead of time. Namely because I’ve seen the “cliché” before. However, it was pulled together fantastically. It was a heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat, spine-tingling nail biter!
I really enjoyed this book and breezed right through it, despite the creepy-crawlies.
Maybe it was just me. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Insurgent didn’t captivate me the same way DivergenYou can read more of my reviews at The Bookaholic
Maybe it was just me. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Insurgent didn’t captivate me the same way Divergent had. And that made me so terribly sad. I struggled to get through the first 250 pages or so. While I read Divergent in a day, it took me almost two weeks to read Insurgent.
Let me make a note here too: I did start off reading Insurgent with a goal in mind to read it slower than Divergent because I wanted to savor it. But I didn’t really think it would end up going that slow either. I’d assumed that I would draw it out for only a few days.
My biggest problems were that there were so many secondary characters this time around to keep track of, that seemed to have larger roles than before, that my head spun a bit. I felt a little lost at times honestly trying to figure out who was who and why they were an integral part and what stood out. In the end, I even asked myself “How did she come up with so many names?” haha. But these were minor. I didn’t hate Insurgent. I still enjoyed it for the most part. I just couldn’t bring myself to love it as much as the first. I think I have a tendency in most cases with series to not like the sequels as much anyway. Is anyone else like this?
Tris and Four/Tobias, please stick with calling him one of those names, seemed different in this installment. Tris was sometimes bitchy. I don’t remember her being that way in the first book. Maybe I need to reread it? She still has that strong-willed determination that I love though, and I’m glad that didn’t falter. Four was the biggest change for me though. He had moodswings I couldn’t comprehend the reasoning behind, was whiney at times, and other times too dependent of Tris (sure he’s in love, I get that, but I’m trying to get a different point across with that one. Sorry, having a hard time explaining.). I thought in Divergent he was such an amazingly crafted character that showed intelligence and power, but here he didn’t seem to display that much. He had his moments though, and in those rare moments, I caught glimpses of my favorite version of Four and I wanted more of that.
What I most particularly liked though was that the start of Insurgent begins right where Divergent left off. There’s not some “Two months later” thing and then a bunch of backstory to catch up on. It just starts BAM right back on the train from where we were left at the end of Divergent, and I really quite liked that. Not many sequels start this way. And for that I’m grateful.
There were more twists and turns and an outrageous ending that still has me reeling. In a way, now I’m glad it took me some time to finish. It may not feel like such a long wait until the third installment this time around the way the wait felt with Insurgent. This book was probably one of the most anticipated sequels of the year and I completely understand why. The world that Ms. Roth has crafted for this series is unusual and strange--not always believable--but entertaining and addictive.
I look forward to seeing what happens next, though I'm not in a big rush.
edited: After time passed, my thoughts have altered some. Though I would gladly say that I still like Divergent, I just wasn't impressed with this second installment. It disappointed me from the characters and action. Hopefully the next can pick it back up for me. ...more
I may have been one of rare ones in my Lit classes that always enjoyed it when it came time to studying Beowulf. It's one classic piece I've always haI may have been one of rare ones in my Lit classes that always enjoyed it when it came time to studying Beowulf. It's one classic piece I've always had a love for. Peaceweaver reminded me of that love through its classically written story and beautiful elements. I absolutely loved every minute of reading. It was full of high fantasy, adventure, well-crafted characters and amazingly descriptions. I was on the edge of my seat, riveted with emotions as I scrolled through the pages.
Peaceweaver is said to be a companion novel to Ms. Barnhouse's "The Coming of the Dragon" but I had no troubles reading it as a stand-alone (as I hadn't read the other unfortunately). However, now knowing just how creative and masterful this set is, I will have to go out and get the other book most definitely.
Normally, I'm honestly not one to read a lot of high fantasy such as this style but I have my moments where I may pick them up on occasion. Anything revolving around mythology would be an interest-- and Beowulf world-style literature such as this certainly would, too. I am so ecstatic that I requested this title! I will be recommending this to many!
An imaginative, breathtaking, and compelling read.
It took me a lot longer than I wanted to get through this one because it was on my Kindle app for my phone. And believe me, it's a struggle reading frIt took me a lot longer than I wanted to get through this one because it was on my Kindle app for my phone. And believe me, it's a struggle reading from a phone--much more so than on a computer. Anyways, at least there was something about it that held my attention to keep going back to it and not give up, right? I did find it quite entertaining. The characters were fun. But maybe not a huge wow factor for me. I think I went into it with my excitement level a little too high because I'd been waiting soooo long to read this one. Either way, I liked it and would recommend it to those looking for a fun read full of mythology, mystery and action (I do love my mythology, too).
Also--totally awesome that I share my last name with the character, Grace. ^^
There were quirks, though, that I guess you could say bothered me. Most of all, it was the changing view points between each sister--and one of the sisters wasn't even introduced until almost halfway into the book. It's rare that I like a book with constant character view changes, and even more rare when it's all in first person point of view. This just didn't suite my reading style and I'm sorry to say that it distracted me from the entire story. Although the overall story was unique, I couldn't get into the characters and that was the downfall.
In the end, SWEET VENOM was still an engaging and fun read. I can see the appeal. I wish I'd read the physical copy instead of the e-book... and the cover is quite beautiful. I'd rather have held this book. :)
Ward Against Death was fun and unique! Upon picking it up, I didn’t know what to expect really. But to my surprise, I enjoyed the ride! It’s an edge-of-your seat experience that fills you with mystery, fantasy, and intrigue.
It even starts off with a bang! No slow start like some reads do! It will grab you in immediately.
The characters were exciting, and world building was amazing. Edward and Celia are two characters that I will be sure to remember for quite some time. I loved the personalities that Ms. Card created for them and how well crafted everything was. I adored it all and so very well done. I certainly look forward to the next installment of this series.
This is labeled YA, but a cross-genre of sorts because it can live and breathe well in both YA and adult paranormal fantasy worlds.
I was provided a copy for review by publicity personnel affiliated with the author. This does not affect or influence my opinion in any way.
Shadow of a Dead Star shocked me. Not in a way that it was bad, but good. I didn’t know what to expect going into it really, and soon found myself reading a cyber-punk science fiction piece. This is a genre I don’t think I’ve ever really dived into, but may perhaps have to start looking at a bit more often now because it was entertaining.
Honestly, I’ve never been real attracted to the whole technological science fiction genres (space, futuristic/weird, robotic, etc.) and have always found my science fiction liking to be more geared toward steampunk, dystopian sub-genres, and general styles that don’t involve as much science perhaps. (Irony maybe that they’re classified in Sci-Fi but not as much “science” within the text?)
Michael Shean probably changed my mind a bit, though. I may have to start looking around and see if I can perhaps pick up some more of these types of reading materials in the distant future because I thoroughly enjoyed this. The world he created was fascinating and the story was fast-paced and action packed. I loved the technology and the twists and turns that were presented throughout. It started out a bit slow, to be honest, but once I got over the small hump and got into it, I read through it rather quickly. What I also liked about this was that it was a crime thriller and detective story. The reader, if you highly enjoy cyber-punk and science fiction- as well as crime stories, will get the best of both worlds when reading Shadow of a Dead Star. So, while it was one of my first forays into cyber-punk, it was an easy transition due to the crime story as a backdrop, I believe. The thing is, though, if you look at the bigger picture of the story, I feel that it’s more focused on humanity rather than technology. The future of the world Shean created for Shadow of a Dead Star is a dark one- certainly one I hope to never see.
The characters are well-crafted and details done just right enough for good visuals throughout.
This isn’t your everyday science fiction, either way. I enjoyed it- and that’s a bonus for sure because it’s hard to get me to truly enjoy a hardcore Sci-Fi. Ha.
Original, compelling, and one not to be missed.
I recommend it to all lovers of Science Fiction, Cyber-Punk, and Crime Thrillers/Mystery.
I enjoyed the characters of Coffee at Little Angels. They were all crafted so diversely and unique in each their own way. I really disliked a particular few, and then really connected with others in a way that I didn’t want to see them go.
The opening is a real hook that pulls you right into the story immediately. Attention-grabbing!
My only complaints are that at times, mostly the ending, I felt incomplete or detached. Phil’s accident was a mystery but no one was bothering to find out what happened or to try any attempt at justice. The ending was a bit abrupt and left me wondering what was going to happen with some of the characters and their futures maybe, and a certain question that had been hanging in the air the entire time was never answered for the reader. It wasn’t a particular major problem in the end- but a slight annoyance anyway.
However, it was the amazing characterization that flowed seamlessly that redeemed the entire story. Sometimes it was hard keeping tabs on everyone since there were so many characters, but once I got the grasp of it, I started picking along my favorites and my least favorites. I very quickly hated Melanie. And very quickly loved Maxine and Grant.
It was a fun read, even for a genre that I normally don’t find myself reading much. This brought back a lot of memories for myself of old high school friends.
Coffee at Little Angels was entertaining, tender-hearted, and character-driven.
Thank you NetGalley and Angry Robot for the opportunity to read.
This will perhaps be one of my shortest reviews I've probably written. There's not reThank you NetGalley and Angry Robot for the opportunity to read.
This will perhaps be one of my shortest reviews I've probably written. There's not really much to say about this one other than I just didn't connect with Darkness Falling as much as I had hoped I would. I usually enjoy a zombie tale, but there was just too much going on here at times that my head spun. While it wasn't bad, for once, I should say in my honest opinion I thought that this felt more... scripted... than anything. In other words, I felt like I could easily enjoy the piece more as a movie rather than a book. Perhaps due in part with all of the action, tension buildup, and characters going on, if I saw it I would have understood it better. Oftentimes, I just didn't feel it although it does hold some promise.
Oh, Shadowspell… How you disappointed me. It wasn’t bad, just average. A quick, entertaining second installment to the Faeriewalker series, but I had issues. The first one I really enjoyed, and in most cases for me, a series usually gets better with each book. When reading a book that gets an average rating, it’s hard to review. Yes, I enjoyed it in some ways-- but there were also a lot of nitpicks at the same time.
Unfortunately it didn’t get better with the second book (and I loved Glimmerglass!). I suddenly got disconnected and lost. The action felt forced and the romance (what was it? A love triangle, quadruple? I don’t know.) got a bit cheesy. I read it only a week and a half ago or so, and I’ve already forgot most of what happened, so that says it really didn’t make a lasting impression on me.
There was one event in particular that I felt was completely unnecessary to write. Not because of it being a YA book, but for the simple fact that it was poorly written, insane, and off-the-wall. The reactions afterward of Dana’s worries were also ridiculous.
I love the writing style and some of the characters are very entertaining to read, but there’s just situations/events that really had my eyes rolling. In the end, however, it was still good, and I’m still likely to read the final installment-- hoping it’ll be much better than Shadowspell, and as good as Glimmerglass was.
Good, but average. If you’ve read the first book, I might recommend reading this just to see your own thoughts.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was not what I had expected when first going into it. I thought I was going to get a creepy, haunting tale of ghosts and monsters and things that go bump in the night, but instead something entirely different. Perhaps I had assumed too much from reading the synopsis and making accusations from the cover. This wasn’t a bad thing, though. The story I did end up getting was quite an unique experience overall and adventure. Even better, the ending left on a note to tell me that this is going to be a series and there’s going to be a sequel. I’m looking forward to it.
What I most particularly liked was the history put into it. The backdrop of World War Two that started many of the story’s events. With the history alone, I would have been satisfied and wouldn’t have needed the tagging pictures scattered here and there among the pages whenever characters made reference to something. In the beginning, I liked the pictures. They were fascinating, vintage, a bit of an experience to look at. But the feelings of them didn’t last too long. In fact, toward the end, I admittedly started getting a little annoyed with the photos and the occasional “looked at the picture and saw such-and-such”, then having to turn the page to see it. At times, I felt it detached away from the good story that I was reading.
The characters were wonderful. I loved the sarcasm and wittiness some of them displayed. I had some laugh-out-loud moments. I loved how the author told the POV through a male perspective, too. We don’t see this too often in YA as you all know, and when we do, it can still be hard to come across properly. Ransom Riggs did fantastic in my opinion giving a sixteen-year old male POV. Which of course, he should have, because I’m sure he was sixteen once, too. Haha!
While I wasn’t a big fan of the romantic interest in this one, it was subtle and very light. It’s possible that it could grow on me within the sequel, too.
As I was reading this, I kept thinking to myself: This could probably make a good Tim Burton film. It passes for that kind of “good-weird” that I like.
Cold Kiss was intoxicating, riveting, and a delight to read.
I adored this hauntingly beautiful story of romance and tragedy. The characters had depth and life. I had some minor annoyances, though. There were some unresolved questions left hanging at the end. I don’t want to bring these up in the review as I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I’m just saying that I felt the ending left a few questions unanswered. Does this mean a possible sequel? In a way, I would hope not. Cold Kiss stands fabulously on its own and shouldn’t require a sequel or series. I don’t see where a sequel could even come into play after the ending here.
If there were a sequel, I might look into it out of curiosity. I just feel it’s not necessary. Everything could have been wrapped up and resolved nicely all in Cold Kiss, leaving the readers with a stunning stand-alone novel for our shelves.
Nonetheless, all that aside, this was a visually expressive and beautiful story. I found myself wanting to know more about the powers that Wren possessed. I was drawn to Gabriel and liked his protectiveness, as well as his charm.
I adored that Amy Garvey used the old-mythology zombie, more like the Haitian Voodoo Zombie, instead of the traditional that readers are more used to. It was so unique and kept me intrigued.
I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I ended up doing. It cast its own spell on me.
Contemporary. Modern. Shakespeare. Hamlet re-telling. I thought of all of this before going after Falling For Hamlet, and while I was wary, I just hadContemporary. Modern. Shakespeare. Hamlet re-telling. I thought of all of this before going after Falling For Hamlet, and while I was wary, I just had this intense desire to read it. And in a way, it’s funny because out of all the Shakespeare plays I’ve read through the years, Hamlet is probably on my low scale. I was never a big fan of that one, and honestly couldn’t tell you why. It’s not like it’s too much different from some of the others-- what, with the countless tragedies and betrayals and all -- but I guess it’s the characters.
Anyway, so when I’d first heard about Falling for Hamlet, there was something about it that caught my interest. I had some worries about how this could’ve turned out. Believe me, I’ve read some attempted Shakespeare re-telling before and it was craptastic. I just didn’t think the idea of mixing modern culture in with a Shakespearean story could’ve worked out… but I still wanted to see for myself. I wanted to be proven wrong… And thankfully, I was.
This was so good that I almost gave it five stars. It was just that good. It’s not light and fluffy (as it shouldn’t be since it is Hamlet after all) and sometimes it moves a bit slowly along through the story. However, I must say that Ray did a fantastic job brining it to life into the modern world, as well as the characters practically staying authentic-- except now they use cell phones, drive cars, and watch television. There’s also a simplicity in the storytelling with the interviews and then the flashbacks, but I liked the pacing of how it all went. Hamlet’s madness. Ophelia’s madness. Tension. Tragedy. Bravo, Ray, for making it feel realistic… rather than something unfitting to the current time and plot. When a re-telling makes me want to go back and read the original again, I know that it’s done its job wonderfully.
Here’s the stitch: I’ve been hesitant for some time to pick up on anything True Blood due to the insane craze wrapped around the series, both television and books. Yes, I was interested in reading the books, and even slightly interested in seeing the show when I first heard about it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pick any bit of it up for awhile because I was honestly scared I would be let down. It’s happened before. I didn’t want to go through that again, getting myself all hyped only to be disappointed.
Lo and behold, one of my best friends just would not give up on me. She insisted. A huge fan of the show, she constantly bugged me with, “You seriously need to try it” peer pressure and constant nagging. Knowing that I’m more of a reader, she suggested that if I wanted to ease myself into the “craze”, maybe try reading the books first, and then I can come over to her house later for a True Blood watch-party. Haha!
Finally, I caved. I couldn’t pass it up anymore. I knew I wanted to read it. At least to see what the big hype was about, anyway. And well, now I may just go total fan girl on all of you because I absolutely fell head over heels IN LOVE with it! It was sexy, dark, and gripping! The characters were entertaining and fun, and I absolutely loved the world that Ms. Harris created. I could not put it down, and finished quickly with so much excitement.
Why, oh why, did I wait so long to read? I’m ashamed of myself for that now. No matter, I will be buying every book over the next several weeks, and I will be taking my friend up on that offer of a True Blood watch-party so I can see the show, too.
Of course, I see why there’s the craze now, and you can bet I’m on board as well!
This book surprised me! It was fun and cute. As a Shakespeare fan, I was completely grabbed by the story. Afterward, I wanted to run to my bookshelf and grab up my own copy of “Romeo and Juliet” to re-read for the millionth time. This was such an interesting, imaginative, modern idea.
However, I don’t give it the highest praise it could have received. Why? The characters bumped it down a notch for me. I wanted to see more from them as well as the romance. The idea, while absolutely fantastic, just didn’t live to the FULL potential because I felt the characterization wasn’t fully developed. The romance felt slightly cheesy at times (I‘m also not a fan of quick fall-in-love plotlines when the reader barely even knows the characters themselves), and I got a bit annoyed with the MC’s ignorance. I feel if the characterization had been built just a bit better, the story could have been even greater.
Still, The Juliet Spell was imaginative, fun, entertaining and cute. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it!
This was a short story, told in the point of view of Puck, of an adventure that he and Ash take to repay a favor to The Exile Queen, Lea. The events hThis was a short story, told in the point of view of Puck, of an adventure that he and Ash take to repay a favor to The Exile Queen, Lea. The events here take place after The Iron Queen so it's recommended to read this after that installment or you may meet some spoilers here, and perhaps reading before The Iron Knight. Very enjoyable to read from Puck's POV and the fun that takes place here. I also really liked the witty dialogue between the two guys. I think deep down despite the past fallout, they'll always have a small friendship bond and I can sense it through their exchanges while reading in this piece. I actually wished it had been longer, so I could have read more to everything that happened after. But alas, only a short story. :) Still such a great read for a fantastic series, which has become one of my favorite series.
I am "Team Ash", but will still always love Puck as well.
Jam packed with action, Brightwing wasn’t at all what I had originally expected. Initially going into it, I didn’t think know what to think of the whole premise, but I found it a unique idea. From someone who doesn’t read crime novels too often, I can say that this took me by surprise and became one of those on my list that I enjoyed in the genre. In fact, it’s became apparent that I’m rather enjoying this genre the few times I’ve read in it.
Brightwing was different. The characters are well-crafted and developed through, and honestly I have to say I didn’t like them. But this was a rare case that not liking the characters didn’t pull me away from the story- rather it drew me into the story instead. They were intriguing in a sense. Criminals that in the real world, a normal person would be screaming for justice, not wanting to see their freedom. Reading this brought on a lot of thoughts and questions on behalf of the characters in this situation. Do I want to see them go free or do I want to see them punished?
Lucy brought on waves of curiosity. I loved reading her legends and the interesting life style of hers. Native legends and history in general have always fascinated me. To see it crafted through the story was very nicely done.
Brightwing brought on emotion, too. Disgust, hate, anger, joy, love, heartache, and more. I liked that. I liked being emotionally drawn into a story, despite feeling a bit withdrawn from the characters due to their actions. It kept me reading, and the action was high and nail-biting.
So, Nevermore isn’t a newer book. It was published a few years ago, and anyone who reads a lot of YA has probably either read it or at least heard ofSo, Nevermore isn’t a newer book. It was published a few years ago, and anyone who reads a lot of YA has probably either read it or at least heard of it by now. I’d actually been interested in picking it up for quite some time, but decided to wait. Something wasn’t really clicking with me every time I read the blurb and I knew it was going to be one of those books I had to wait until I was in the mood for it.
So, a little over a year passes, and after passing it for probably the thousandth time in the book store recently, I decided to get it finally. The mood struck and I started reading as soon as I was home.
The good thing is I didn’t go into this book with exceedingly high expectations right away, despite the numerous amount of high ratings and rave reviews across Goodreads and other book sites. I admit I’d read a few reviews beforehand, a few of my blogger friends had read the book and it came highly recommended from them, but I still refrained from allowing the expectations to go high when I started. This helped a lot in the beginning because I fear if I’d started it any other way, it would’ve been a DNF before getting through a hundred pages.
Nevermore has a lot of your typical YA clichés from the start with some refreshing new mix-ups that Kelly Creagh crafts well along the way to make it more of a stand-out. In the first hundred pages or so, the reader is introduced to Isobel (or Izzy), Varen, and some of the other characters that should be a bit understood: Nicki, Brad (the boyfriend, ex-boyfriend), and a little later-- Gwen.
My biggest issue here were the group of “friends” in the beginning and how Izzy was randomly mistreated. I felt like it was a plot device to move the story along and make this book longer than it really needed to be. I lost count of how many times I wanted to put this book down and forget it because of these characters in the beginning. She was assigned a class project by the teacher. Being partnered with Varen was because of the teacher. FOR A GRADE. But yet, the second it happens, her friends begin treating her like dirt--like it’s her fault for being paired up with the “outcast” they don’t like?? Her boyfriend in the beginning, Brad, even goes as far as bullying Varen because of the class assignment. Come on…really??! Her parents--mostly her father--try to make her forget the assignment because they don’t want her working with Varen. Her father blows up about it and grounds her…I just really found this all unrealistic in this section.
When it takes almost two hundred pages for the story to start picking up--for me to become invested in the characters and what’s going on--it’s not a good sign usually. But, Creagh can write. Oh she can. Once I reached this certain point, I didn’t put it down. I was really interested to find out what was going on, and I found the world-building to be detailed and imaginative. I adored Gwen as Izzy’s new quirky friend. She gave me some laugh out loud moments, and really ended up redeeming a lot of the beginning because of that. The romance between Izzy and Varen felt a bit rushed, maybe insta-love, but it wasn’t as crazy as some I’ve read before. I put it into consideration that they have been going to school together for some time after all--and Creagh does create a decent timeline between the two. It just would’ve been nice to see more of a development between the two perhaps? It was weird when one of Izzy’s ex-friends, Nicki, makes a remark that she can see her feelings for Varen (when Nicki hasn't even been around since the whole bullying scene in the beginning), but Izzy doesn’t even realize her feelings until that moment. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about that romantic development--but it wasn’t bad enough to turn me off.
The best parts of Nevermore were the detailed descriptions and dream sequences. I really enjoyed the ending where it becomes dark and creepy--full of Nocs (creepy little creatures) and a painted world that reminded me of Poe’s Masque of Red Death. Everything allowed for easy visuals throughout, and I was turning the pages rapidly by this point to find out what was going to happen next. The further along this book got, the darker it became, and I enjoyed that. I was heartbroken by the ending, and still will definitely be reading the next book. I’m left having to read the next because Nevermore leaves on the cruelest cliffhanger I’ve encountered in quite some time. Here’s another thing: I’m still thinking about it, even after it being almost a couple weeks since I’ve read it, and that just means it made that much more of an impact. The writing alone is inspiring and mind-boggling. And of course, it made me want to pick up some classic Poe afterward for some rereading.
I almost DNF this one, but I’m glad I kept reading. Nevermore is an entertaining and creative read.
I don't know why, but I couldn't get into this one as much as everyone I know it seems. I think it's simply because I'm normally not big into this kinI don't know why, but I couldn't get into this one as much as everyone I know it seems. I think it's simply because I'm normally not big into this kind of steampunk, and while I thought I'd give it a try, it didn't wow me like it did so many of my other blogger friends unfortunately.
So why the three stars? Well, the writing was good. And I quite liked the illustrations. Along with the time period. That's what initially attracted me to the book in the first place. But I had a few nitpicks. It felt a bit young-ish for my usual reading tastes. Sure, I've read middle grade, and this is a step up from that, but I would put this in more of a young teen. No problems with that. I love Harry Potter, of course. My problems stemmed in the area that if the characters were 15/16, why did the illustrations and context make them appear to be more around the ages of 12-13? Or so it seemed to me. Just my thoughts.
Other than those small nitpicks, I found it pleasantly surprising and entertaining at least. Maybe I'll give the sequel a try sometime soon. :)
I hope I’m not the only one, but I still think The Iron Fey rocks more than The Immortal Rules. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I’ll change my mind once II hope I’m not the only one, but I still think The Iron Fey rocks more than The Immortal Rules. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I’ll change my mind once I’ve read this entire series, you never know. Not that it wasn’t good, of course. I mean, after all, vampires are back--and they’re back with a proper form. No more sparklies. This is how it’s done, people.
Julie Kagawa has certainly proven herself capable of writing more than just fairies. And I admit that going into this, I was wary about how it’d turn out. How does one explain a world so crafted to detail? Well, she didn’t have a problem at all, I can tell you that much. I was drawn in from the beginning and held onto until the last page.
I felt sympathy for Allie as both human and vampire. Each character felt individual and unique. I liked that most. Sadly, I didn’t quite connect with Zeke at times, maybe because he felt so weak in comparison to Allie. But that could have also been on purpose. After all, he’s human. I rather liked Kanin a lot, though…and it was just completely disheartening to have him seemingly disappear from the plot entirely halfway through, despite that he had been a key character in the beginning. He better be in the next installment, and I sure hope there’s not some love triangle coming later (though I can safely say for now there’s not). There were some heavy religious undertones that made me a bit uncomfortable to be honest, but I don’t know if it was the intention of preaching to the reader or just the character’s personality. After reading, I believe it was the latter, though still a bit annoying. I can safely say he was one of the characters I didn’t like, too, and I believe that was Kagawa’s every intention as well. I really loved that when I wasn’t supposed to like particular characters in the book, I really didn’t. Kagawa did an excellent job with the characterization.
When Allie meets Zeke, she became stronger in my opinion. Already a very strong and likeable heroine, it’s surprising to find the changes she goes through to fight for her new life. The action is powerful and well-paced throughout the story, and I couldn’t put it down. And the ending…grr…I don’t want to wait so long for the next installment!
Overall, I completely loved The Immortal Rules and highly recommend it. If you think you’ve read it all when it comes to vampires, think again.