I was so surprised that I loved Under The Never Sky as much as I did. I was wary to pick this one up, though excited because it sounded just so unusuaI was so surprised that I loved Under The Never Sky as much as I did. I was wary to pick this one up, though excited because it sounded just so unusual. I think a lot of my problem was that at the start of the year when it was first released, I’d been beyond ecstatic. I wanted the book. I wanted it bad. But as the days and weeks and months flew by without me still not having read it, and reading a few of my friends’ reviews on it, the wariness crept in and I held off from reading for a little while.
I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi. I think we’ve all learned that by now through the last year and half of my blogging. And while this is clearly a dystopia, it has its sci-fi elements and technology mixed throughout. Sometimes, I find my hidden gems though, and Under The Never Sky was one of them for me.
I think my only biggest problem with this read was that I felt like there wasn’t enough background to the world. I really would have liked to learn more about the history and how things came to be for the world and the characters. Instead, the reader just jumps right into the story and this strange new futuristic place with unusual happenings, and not really much of any explanations or back story. This bugged me over all, but it didn’t yank me away from the story either.
I found the new developments of humans really interesting. About like evolution. And in a way, I think it could be quite realistic. Our own future humans down the line may live to be 150 or longer at the rate science is developing. Sight could possibly become perfect for everyone--another science development already in the works. It’s a possibility anyway, and I liked seeing it cross-over into the characters for Under The Never Sky and show through their own varied specialties. Once again, another area where I would have liked to know a bit more background information because it was so fascinating.
Now, on to the R word. Not that word, sillies. I hate that awful word. For this one, I’m talking about: Romance! *breaks into Lady Gaga song*
Normally I’m not all gushy over romance in most books. I have my favorites, of course (Hello, Adrian Ivashkov?). But it’s always a struggle for me to get into a book that focuses heavily on romance and love, and even the minor characters show their struggles with that pesky emotion. I like the romance to be more the backdrop, rather than the focus. But Rossi…oh, you adorable author you, has done a fantastic job with the budding couple of Aria and Perry. Their romance started a little rocky, I’ll admit. I liked that, though. It immediately let me know it wasn’t going to be some insta-love let down. And it wasn’t. By the end, I was yelling at my book and the characters, and smiling and gushing and swooning. Nevermind. I’ll just say AWWWWW instead and be done with it. Needless to say, I adored the romance. The characters. The building tension between them. Very nicely done.
There were also a few unexpected twists here and there. And to catch me off guard is a great thing. I always seem to guess the twists beforehand. I didn’t here. Boom. Extra half-star points for that.
Really, I just found myself enjoying a great story with some absolutely fantastic characters and beautiful writing. If there’d been a bit more information perhaps to the background, rather than leaving questions hanging in the air, I’m almost sure this would have been a quick solid five stars. Either way, I highly recommend it.
Tempest had been on my TBR list since the first day I heard about it… and that had been quite some time ago. So, when I received my copy--won through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers-- I was completely ecstatic and dove right into reading it the day it arrived in the mail.
Something felt just a little off, though. It wasn’t disappointing in the slightest, and I really enjoyed reading this action-packed romantic adventure. But… still, something felt… off. It took me awhile to figure it out, and I finally did. I had a bit of a struggle to keep focused and I kept putting the book down. No matter how much I enjoyed, I still always found myself laying it down after reading a couple chapters and going to something else. It wasn’t boring in the least. There was just a lot going on and information that I felt I had to absorb before I could just keep reading in my normal style. What I liked most particularly was the unique trait--time jumpers. I’ve heard of these abilities before with characters, but Julie Cross made this her own and it felt like it could be realistic. Especially when throwing a science geek into the mix who had his theories. I also really liked the male perspective and hero. This isn’t found as often in YA, and in my personal experiences, haven’t been done too well whenever they are or a connection isn’t found for me. But in the case of Jackson, I liked him. His character was driven and charming. You wouldn’t even know the author was female writing the male character. She did a fantastic job creating his personality and made him come alive from the pages.
I liked both Hollys in different ways. I’m not going to say much on that statement because you should read it for yourself. As you are aware from the blurb, his girlfriend of present (Holly) gets “hurt” and he jumps back in time. There’s an entirely different, younger Holly there to say the least that he meets up with… but I enjoyed that character in a different way for other reasons as well. Cross was great at integrating everything, past and present, and the visualizations for me were easy to come by.
So, rumor has it that Tempest is already in production to be a movie, or about to be? If true, then good. After finishing, I saw this easily becoming the “next big Hollywood film”. Not just for the audience, but for the action, adventure, and romance. This will intrigue both genders of all ages, I’m sure of it. I can’t wait to read the next installment.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
I was a bit at a loss of words, and still probably do not have all my thoughts together properly, after reading Drowning Instinct. It touches on a subjI was a bit at a loss of words, and still probably do not have all my thoughts together properly, after reading Drowning Instinct. It touches on a subject that while it was once very taboo… it may not be quite as scandalous as it once was. Why? Because in all honesty (and it’s a sad realization), we see this type of affair in reality so often in common life and it’s become a point now where it’s just not that shocking anymore. A teacher and a student? Do we gasp in surprise like we used to when stories come across the news of this nature nowadays? I don’t.
Perhaps this was why I was so in tune with the story, though. It was real and striking and it makes you think long after you finish reading.
This story touched on many social and life issues and it makes for a bit of an emotional ride. My only complaint is the characterization of the parents that seemed a bit under-developed. I kept wondering what it was exactly that made her call him “Psycho-Dad”. I wanted the author to show me more to back up this claim but I felt a bit lost in the translation and didn’t get the effect of it. There were unanswered questions left at the end as well that made me want more to the story… not exactly meaning a sequel, but the questions that were left hanging open that I felt should have been answered for less confusion.
Personally, I liked “Ashes” by Bick much better- a post-apocalyptic dystopian zombie type tale, but that is my own personal tastes really. I don’t normally read a lot of contemporary/social YA. I did find this engaging and I kept hanging on to her every word. The narration was stylistic.
A Temptation of Angels started off with a bang. I was instantly drawn into the story and wasn’t released from the enchanting tale until the end. Before I picked it up, I was a bit wary. I haven’t always had pleasant experiences with storylines that involve angel type creatures and the like--but Michelle Zink gives the reader something unique and new in this twisted and wonderfully written story. I really loved the development of the characters--most particularly Helen who starts off a bit timid and shy, and by the end grows into a girl of courage and charisma.
This was my first time reading anything by Michelle Zink, but it certainly won’t be my last. I adored the details and the setting. The characters are a great bunch of different, individuals--well-rounded and three-dimensional. While there is a love triangle, I found it surprisingly fresh and exciting.
Perhaps my only complaints for A Temptation of Angels would be the dialogue felt a bit choppy in areas and maybe too modern for its time. For example, there was an instance that one of the characters used the word ‘awesome’ and I just felt it wasn’t fitting for the time period…a bit out of place. But that really was my only biggest complaint. Otherwise, this was a most excellent read that I found engaging and captivating. I loved both Griffin and Raum. I couldn’t choose between the two honestly. Haha. I soared through these pages with ease, not wanting to put it down, and sad when it came to an end.
A Temptation of Angels is a perfect blend of Historical, Paranormal, and Romance.
Hold onto your tights, everyone! Scarlet is going to be one of the must reads of 2012!
In all fairness, this is coming from someone that could never gHold onto your tights, everyone! Scarlet is going to be one of the must reads of 2012!
In all fairness, this is coming from someone that could never get into the whole Robin Hood scene, too. Sure, I enjoyed the legendary story that was taught to me as a child about the infamous thief and his merry men. I enjoyed it for its lessons and the characters, and the history. But through the years, I practically grew to despise every film and story retelling/remake because I just thought it was outdated and overdone. Yes, I even hated that crazy Disney cartoon as well. Don’t get me started on that.
Perhaps it was my decision to steer clear of most of this that had Scarlet completely floor me from the first page through the last. I wasn’t going into it already overwrought with the storyline, but still knew the characters and background enough that I could enjoy the beauty and wonderful tale.
In no time at all, the action starts and you’re along for quite a rollercoaster ride full of emotional, thrilling bumps while reading. Yes, there’s a mild “love triangle” and while they tend to annoy me at times, the one here was written expertly and didn’t detract from the story at all. I found the romantic elements throughout realistic, gorgeous, and creative. Each character had a personality of their own, and they leapt from the pages as I read, showing me their world and themselves with their depth and the crafty details.
Scarlet is a strong, confident woman, and while at first you might think she won’t have much more to grow with-- by the end, you’ll find that she’s a different woman. Deeper. More connected to others. A sense of life about her. All the while, still retaining the strength and confidence that she’d held in the beginning.
I read through the story quickly, unable to put it down. It’s written in an old-fashioned classic-type feel and I adored the style of it. The narration of Scarlet’s voice was executed very well done. I also really hope there’ll be more… a sequel, a series… something!! I want more Scarlet and Rob!
Thanks to Scarlet, it’s made a fan out of me again for Robin Hood. And if you’re like me, and never were much of a fan of the Robin Hood stories, I believe you could still enjoy this tale just as well. Highly engaging, great action, and wonderful romance to be sure. Most definitely recommended!
Well, it’s official. I have a bit of a soft spot for some YA Contemporary now, though I’m still a bit nit-picky and it’s hard for me to get into it all of it. Baby steps, people, baby steps. At least the few contemporaries I’ve read this year haven’t been disappointing, and they’ve only had me wanting to read more into the genre.
Fracture wasn’t all contemporary. It had a slight paranormal edge to it, but not in the creature kind. More in a mental kind of way-- clairvoyance, perhaps? A psychic ability of some sort that Delaney developed. I really liked how the author described Delaney’s senses during moments. The emotion was chaotic and realistic, and the writing was smooth. I read through Fracture in less than a day because I absolutely could not put it down. It’s one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat and you constantly want to know what’s going to happen next.
I had some minor nitpicks though. I didn’t like how Delaney’s mother was characterized. There was something just… off… about her quite often. I understood her issues and all- but I didn’t get the whole sudden mood shift from caring mother to depressed/neglecting/angry and then back to caring. It felt forced and in a way, unrealistic to the storyline. I also saw the ending coming a mile away. Maybe too much foreshadowing.
Nonetheless, I was engaged thoroughly, intrigued, and enjoyed it. It’s refreshing to read a stand-alone that doesn’t feel like it’s left an open-ended ending with well-crafted details and characters. Fracture is definitely one to look for in 2012.
Let me start by saying Anne Rice was one of the first “adult” authors I began reading as a preteen, around the age of eleven or so, along with Stephen King. It was then I found my love of paranormal and horror reading and never stopped from there. But I’m not a religious person. Of course, I respect everyone’s beliefs as long as mine are respected. So, when Ms. Rice seemed to have left the genre I loved and went to Christian fiction, I stopped reading her material. It wasn’t an outcry or protest. It wasn’t me saying that I hated her writing. It was just simply the fact that I don’t read that genre and I couldn’t bring myself to read her new material. I wasn't interested. I was more sad than anything and afraid I’d never see her paranormal side again I guess.
You would not even believe the excitement that filled me when I heard about The Wolf Gift coming out. I craved for a copy as soon as possible just to see if she was “back”, and boy am I glad to say that she is. It does get a bit preachy at times, but I found myself easily overcoming that with the beautiful detailed writing that Ms. Rice has always been known for. It has slow, melodic, poetic pacing that moves you along through the story smoothly-- however, let it be noted that I don’t think it’s a fast read. It wasn’t for myself, and in my opinion, I believe it’s meant to be savored. Yes, savor it. Her words flow like fine classical music.
I’ve never been a big fan of the werewolf creature/myth. I have a hard time enjoying them in a lot of books really. It dragged sometimes for me here, but I learned to appreciate the creature a bit more--and maybe I’ll read more werewolf-themed books now.
With all this said, I still think it wasn’t up to par as her earlier works (most notably Interview with a Vampire). There was a certain… finesse… lacking at times. I missed the tortured hero. And the detail and religious preachiness did get to be a bit toooo much during moments that I felt unnecessary.
Ms. Rice is an excellent storyteller though. I really hope to see more work again in the near future.
I hate having to write bad reviews. Really, I do. But I’m not going to be dishonest either when it comes to something I just didn’t like. And it wasn’t the fact that it was just terrible-- The Gathering Storm was written beautifully, in an elegant style with such an intriguing premise and crafty characters. Not only that, I adore Russia: the literature, the history and the legends.
So, what was my problem?
It was just too much and all over the place. There were too many people to try and keep up with… it was slow and drawn out, and often I felt really disconnected. I got lost and twisted around so much that a few times, I even had to reread some parts-- and that just annoyed me beyond words. There seemed to be way too much telling for my liking and not enough “showing” if you can understand my meaning on this. I felt overwhelmed and disappointed, despite the beautiful style of writing and unique premise. This review is genuinely hard to write because The Gathering Storm just didn’t impress me personally. Yet it doesn’t fall into the category of “bad reads” either.
Of course, these are only my own opinions. Many others so far seem to be enjoying it quite well and I can certainly see the appeal. Unfortunately, I didn’t find is as great as I had hoped.
Pure was strange and imaginative. I had a hard time getting into the characters, but the story itself was engaging and unusual--oddly descriptive and visual. There is a bit of a slow start in the beginning, and a struggle to understand the world at first, but once I got into it, I found myself breezing through the pages. Excellent world-building. Nicely developed and I felt it was believable, despite the odd details.
I would hate for this to occur to our world--and after reading, the idea does scare me. Of course, I don’t like getting all political. Haha.. But Ms. Baggott will really get you to thinking after reading this about the state of the world and crisis events that really can happen. It’s not a pretty picture, that’s for sure.
I really loved the poem, it was a bit creepy-- and the whole story in general was a bit Tim Burton-esque with the descriptions. You know how “Ring Around the Rosie” was originally made? I loved how Ms. Baggott created the poem for Pure out of a tragedy, a new creepy rhyme, that children grew up singing in this new world.
“Burn a Pure and breath the ash. Take his guts and make a sash. Twist his hair and make a rope. Use his bones to make Pure soap.”
What I really liked most that it wasn’t heavy on romance for a YA. This one moreso focuses on the world-building and characters and I believe it’ll appeal to everyone, male and female, especially the older market.
Please note: I have been an Adrian fan girl since his first appearance in the VA series (VA #2, Frostbite). Sure, Dimitri is awesome. So don't get mePlease note: I have been an Adrian fan girl since his first appearance in the VA series (VA #2, Frostbite). Sure, Dimitri is awesome. So don't get me wrong there. But if you asked me to choose, I wouldn't hesitate. In a heartbeat, I'd pick Adrian. Mead has crafted such an amazing character with him. It's kind of crazy to be such a fangirl over a fictional character, but I don't care.
I wasn't initially a fan of the idea of a spin-off of the VA series. I also wasn't a fan of the ending of the VA series (despite that it's probably one of my all-time favorite series) but that was due to reasons of how things worked out. Things felt rushed and unresolved I guess. Anyways, when the announcement was made that there would be this spin-off, I was a bit wary. When the second announcement came that Adrian was going to be the main focus, I changed my mind. I want to see him get his happy ending. Bloodlines took me by complete surprise and I loved it. I remember saying in my review that there may even be a possibility that I could end up liking this series more than VA eventually. I'm going to repeat the same thing now after having read The Golden Lily, which I felt was even better than the first. I was sucked in from the first page and held on through the last. I stayed up through the early morning hours devouring this book--smiling and laughing out loud (oftentimes at Adrian) and pleasantly surprised at some of the interesting new twists. Sydney has grown a lot on me too, and I'm really liking her voice--along with the inner struggles she is constantly having to face in her position.
I don't want to say too much in this review for fear of spoilers since it's the second installment. Just know that I loved it. I'm already craving the next. It's going to be an insanely long wait. If you haven't read the VA series and you're interested in this one though, I always highly recommend reading it first before this spin-off. There are events and characters throughout that are easier to understand if you've read VA first.
Absolutely fantastic. Always action, amazing detail, dialogue, and intense character development that I love--this is why Mead is one of my inspirations and one of my favorite authors.
When I first participated in the cover reveal of Chosen Ones and read the blurb for this upcoming YA DystYou can also find my review at The Bookaholic
When I first participated in the cover reveal of Chosen Ones and read the blurb for this upcoming YA Dystopian, I had a deep sense that I was going to like it--it was just a gut feeling, I guess you could say, and it held high expectations from that point on while I eagerly awaited to read.
It did not disappoint. Not only did it meet my high expectations that I had established from the blurb and excitement for wanting to read this story, but it went above and beyond them. I’m completely speechless as to how I’m going to go into this review to be honest without sounding like a giddy fan girl…Okay, so maybe I already do, it’s cool though, I should get that right after having read something so fantastic.
I haven’t exactly been secretive about my disappointments with a lot of my reads so far this year. At best, most have just been average--not quite memorable--with only one or two exceptions. Thanks so much to Tiffany Truitt and Chosen Ones for finally turning that around and giving me one that I can say I will remember for sure come the end of the year and it was such an amazing read that had me turning the pages so fast, my ereader didn’t have the need to recharge before I finished the book. This is what I deem “un-put-down-able.”
When is the sequel coming? Agh, I’m already craving it!
It’s not short on the details at all--allowing easy visuals, sometimes a bit gruesome--and an intriguing backstory to the world building. How the chosen ones came to be were an interesting piece of information to story and I really liked the author’s take on the ideas. What also particularly struck me was that while it does play around with the whole “forbidden romance” theme, it’s not cheesy in the slightest and executed in a nicely done manner. I like the romance that builds between them. I adore it. I found myself smiling like a goofball in a few places. The character growth in Tess is developed with grace and dignity--after starting out so cold-hearted and shy. By the end, I was near in tears at her devotion and courage.
Chosen Ones packs a powerhouse of emotions and eerie intrigue. It stole my heart.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Masque of Red Death, and perhaps I’m the only one who just wasn’t as wowed by it as everyone else. I liked it, but iThere’s a lot of hype surrounding Masque of Red Death, and perhaps I’m the only one who just wasn’t as wowed by it as everyone else. I liked it, but it’s probably not quite a favorite for this year.
Outwardly, I adore the cover and the binding (if you’ve seen the hardcover, the pages of the actual book are just as gorgeous too). It makes me want to sit and admire the book alone without even opening it. Haha. Anyways, I found the story unique along the lines of this future world where everyone has to wear masks due to the outside air and a plague. This intrigued me. But my problem was that I struggled a bit picturing this. Maybe my imagination was malfunctioning that day? I’m not sure.
I also struggled with coming to terms on how this world came to be exactly. As a reader, I went into this story directly from the start but I felt there was a major slack in the back story. Of course, it being the first book, more of the back story could be explained later in the series…but it would have been nice to have some of it here as well. I was insanely curious about the virus and the setting and Prince Prospero.
So, I had a few nitpicks. It was still a fantastic read. Bethany Griffin knows how to write. I went into this story expecting something else, and instead I got an entirely different story than I thought. Yes, it’s based on Poe’s title, but it’s fresh and new and entrancing. It was dark and gritty…and I loved it. You know what, I can see this becoming a movie. And I hope it does. Hear that Hollywood? Quit making remakes when we have all these fabulous authors already writing amazing books that could make movies. Got it?
The love triangle? Yep, there’s a love triangle. But here’s my take on love triangles: I don’t have a problem with them. I never have. Sure, I’m getting a little tired of them. I also have found that sometimes it’s unnecessary to have them just to try and please readers. If they’re fitting to a story line, and they don’t feel forced, cheesy, or no insta-love, then I don’t generally have a problem with them. With Masque of Red Death, it was mild. It didn’t detract from the story, and I actually liked both guys that Araby had an interest in. Though, I believe I would have to say I like Elliot best. He just had the spunk I liked.
Ms. Griffin is a well-crafted writer and built an astoundingly believable world for readers to experience. The reading experience was a little creepy at times, but that’s what I really enjoyed.
I think audiences that are fans of paranormal, dystopian, and steampunk will love this book.
I did not hesitate to review The Thorn and the Blossom after reading the premise and seeing the unusual binding of the novella, and in the end I was nI did not hesitate to review The Thorn and the Blossom after reading the premise and seeing the unusual binding of the novella, and in the end I was not disappointed. While it was a quick read, short and sweet, I adored the accordion style binding and romantic backdrop for the characters. I read each Evelyn’s side first before reading the other. Sometimes whenever I finish a novel, I’ll wonder what the story would be like in the other character’s POV. I loved how Thorn and the Blossom gives you this vision. Admittedly, it would have been nice to see more detail, perhaps a longer story for the characters, but I guess that’s just because I was disappointed it had to be so short and had to end.
The case and binding for this story is so beautifully crafted and unique, I would recommend not to get this as an e-book if you’re considering reading. You should experience it first-hand with a lovely hardcopy. Clearly though, up to the reader on that.
Also don’t forget to join me Wednesday, January 25, for The Thorn and the Blossom Blog Tour, courtesy of Quirk Books!