The Forever Song, the final installment for the Blood of Eden series, didn’t give me as much oomph as the first two books-- the second still being my favorite, I think-- and while it was still great, I felt it flat most of the time. I’m also in a terrible reading slump, so most of the books I’ve been picking up lately, I’ve not had much desire to really read anyway (it’s a tragic situation to go through for any reader or book blogger).
**Also, there might be minor spoilers ahead. It's hard to avoid that when reviewing a later installment for a series.**
We finally get Zeke back into the story. Most of my followers and reader friends already know I haven’t been a Zeke fan since the beginning. He was a lot more tolerable in book two… I was even emotionally impacted by the ending there because I finally felt a mild attachment to his character.. But once again, The Forever Song gave me a Zeke I couldn’t like. Much more of an annoyance than anything, to be honest. I get that he’s upset… I just didn’t want to spend over half of the book reading the back-and-forth between him and Alison on this when I felt like there were more important things going around the characters. It wasn’t terrible enough to completely affect my enjoyment of the story, but I could have certainly done without a lot of it.
I particularly liked the further development of Jackal. He became a key character that I got attached to easily, despite his brutal honesty and sometimes hardcore style. Often, I felt like he was much more the type for Alison’s personality. But I don’t remember his description or how “old” he looks. I just have my own imagination when his character is speaking. Haha.
Kagawa also knows how to make you hate a bad guy when you really need to hate one. That’s for sure. Characters are put through some hell and torture, and there’s a lot to endure, and by the end you’re likely to be left saying “whoa.”
I also really liked the attention to details and ideas of family strength. Kagawa painted great pictures for the readers with her words and actions to develop a story about bonding, family, loving unconditionally, and sacrifice.
If you haven’t yet started this series, I don’t know what you’re waiting on. It’s one of the best vampire reads out there. Read it. Come on.(less)
I completely adored the first two books of this series, but couldn't find myself all that attached going into this installment. Maybe it's been becaus...moreI completely adored the first two books of this series, but couldn't find myself all that attached going into this installment. Maybe it's been because of the recent reading slump I've been in--haven't had much the desire to do much reading or anything at all--and it's left me feeling all meh toward this one. My largest problem was the first hundred-fifty pages or so, I felt I was getting too much detail into how Avery felt… I MEAN ALL THE FEELS, Y’ALL… And the action seemed to seriously slack. It left me bored the majority of the beginning, despite the gorgeous writing and tension build-up. Despite how excited I'd been to return back to Snyder's world and these characters.
I also have to be honest to say that I completely missed the ending. I'd been about 60 pages away from it when my e-galley expired. Ugh. So it's definitely going to deserve a re-read either way, and when I do maybe I won't be in such a slump and will have a different opinion about a few things? I was such a big fan since book one, so it was sad that things felt off to say the least at this stage for me.
I'm still not thrilled with how a few things turned out from book two (a few readers might know what I mean-- character 'reunion'/reincarnation thing, ya know? Mixed feelings on this.) and this continued to transition into Taste of Darkness. Would have loved some different scenarios, but things still worked and I enjoyed visiting Avery, the 'Monkeys', the unusual fantasy world, and others yet again.
To see my full review, visit my blog at The Bookaholic since this is not the full-posted review/just an excerpt. I also highly recommend this series if you're a fan of Sarah J. Maas and other like authors. :)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 So So So SO SO glad there was a continuation to Scarlet. Also glad there will be a third book, but hate that I'll have t...more<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 So So So SO SO glad there was a continuation to Scarlet. Also glad there will be a third book, but hate that I'll have to wait. Ugh... the waaaiittt... siiigghhhh..
Excerpt of review: To be honest, I have a hard time reviewing Lady Thief without revealing spoilers or speaking of how much pain it caused. So much happened that I want to gush about or cry over. My poor heart. And then to leave off with that kind of ending? How could that happen?! GAUGHENNNNN!
Requiem was both amazing and frustrating all at once. There was a lot going on. Characters coming together. Reunions that made me rejoice. POV shifts...moreRequiem was both amazing and frustrating all at once. There was a lot going on. Characters coming together. Reunions that made me rejoice. POV shifts I loved and wanted to see more of. Action. Romance. My eyes were glued to these pages for twenty-four hours and I couldn’t put the book down. I wasn’t particularly fond of how the triangle was treated, with Lena toying around with Julian’s emotions to watch and see if Alex would get jealous. I mean, she did have more important things to worry about after all. *facepalm*
However…the closer I got toward the end, the more I realized something was terribly wrong and frustrating. I screamed. I cussed. I almost pulled out my hair. It was nothing I expected. I would expand more on this but it would probably contain spoilers--just know I loved most of every bit of the book EXCEPT the ending. What. Was. That?! So aggravating.
Nonetheless… I still liked it. Maybe I like torturing myself. I don’t know. But I want more. I don’t want this as the end.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn’t the first time I’d read anything by Holly Black. I knew going into this book what her style was like, and she’s be...moreThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn’t the first time I’d read anything by Holly Black. I knew going into this book what her style was like, and she’s been a favorite since I started reading more YA in my early 20s (having read the Modern Fae books first and absolutely fell in love with them). Nonetheless, I also knew that it’s been hard to attach the word “original” next to vampire anything in recent years, so this made me curious. I hadn’t read the short story and didn’t know anything about it before going into it. I was still insanely excited to pick it up and it’d been one of my most anticipated reads of the year.
I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact, it went above my expectations. I stayed up well into the night on the edge of my seat because I couldn’t put this one down, and for days after I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Ms. Black crafted a dark, unique world full of excitement and horror, twists and gasp-out-loud cover-your-mouth OMG moments. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown won me over from the first scene--a frightening heart-racing beginning that started off with a bang--and I wasn’t able to let go of this addictive story or its characters from that moment on.
This book blew my mind. I am mind blown. I am still practically speechless and flustered and I don’t know how I’m able to even write this review properly.
I found Gavriel just as forbidden and charming and mysterious as Tana had. Gavriel is my new favorite hero. Anti-hero? He’s not all fluffy bunnies and flower hearts, that’s for sure. But he does know how to certainly charm some. And while Tana had had it rough through the years since vampires revealed their existence, her character showed so much determination and strength that I just had to love her and hope nothing but the best by the end for her. These characters had spunk and a realistic appeal to them. Though the blurb may make it feel there’s a possible love triangle, there’s not. An awkward ex-boyfriend friendship, yes, and for that I was like “thank you!” Because really, how often do we see that? The romance overall was exciting and different. And I adored it.
I’m curious though: Is this a stand-alone or a series? The ending left off a bit open-ended, though could have been considered pretty well wrapped up at the same time. As much as I love stand-alones (and we all know we probably could use more of them), I’m sincerely hoping this is going to be a series because I want MORE. There are so many feels. And just gah… I need to know what’s happening to Gavriel and Tana and Pearl, and what’s going to go on next in this crazy-imaginative world. Please?!
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is hands down one of my favorite reads, not just for 2013, but in years. Not hard to make that decision. Holly Black has once again delivered a unique cast and imaginative, fresh world not to be missed!
When I entered into the second installment of the Throne of Glass series with Crown of Midnight, I found myself surprised by an entirely different ton...moreWhen I entered into the second installment of the Throne of Glass series with Crown of Midnight, I found myself surprised by an entirely different tone and feel to the story. Maas had transitioned the world easily between the two installments to show how much had changed with the growing conflicts, and Celaena’s new position as King’s Assassin made for an emotional ride not just for herself, but for characters around her. While it started a bit on the slow side for me, it didn’t take long to pick up and take me for the non-stop page-turning just like the first installment had.
There are twists and I admit they were a bit predictable. Did it affect my enjoyment? No. I’d already pretty much figured them out well into the beginning pages of the book I think, so when it came of no surprise, it didn’t really bother me. The ending "reveal and big surprise" that was supposed to be the shocker, I'd already guessed long before as well, but not an issue either. There'd been some speculation from the first installment even, and when little hints started through the first half of this, I was actually rather glad at the direction it was taking. I am certainly fascinated to see how it will play out for the future installments though and what this means for the characters and their world.
I’m torn between deciding if I liked this installment better than the first or not. Now that it’s been a few days since I finished and I’ve had a few days to mull it over, I just don’t know. While the first is where I met and fell in love with all of the characters and the story, the second is where things do start to come into play. I also finally understood what was so evil about the King. Something I couldn’t quite get in the first installment because it was never really touched upon (and I discussed this last year in review and with a group topic on the blog). But I get it now. Instead of telling, it is really shown how power-hungry and evil the man is, and I felt it. The action I felt lacked in some places in Throne of Glass, were prevalent throughout in Crown of Midnight with detailed scenes--some that made me gasp out loud. The romance I felt lacked in areas in ToG, turned into scenes of passion and well-written beauty here.
Be prepared to have your heart ripped to shreds, too. There’s a shocker in there. I wasn’t prepared. And now every time I think about it, I want to start crying again. My heart hurts. But when these turn of events happened, I certainly saw the emotion come out. The anger and hurt. And I learned more about Celaena. It was some of the most emotional reading moments I’d done in some time, and everything was so easily visualized for me that it was as if I was there with the characters in their world, and it hurt me also. Because let’s face it: We get attached to characters as if they’re real people sometimes, right? At least, I know I do.
With all that said, it’s easy for me to say that I adored this sequel and that makes me happy. I usually have a hard time with sequels and I admit to being a little worried before I picked it up. No worries anymore. I know now for sure that no matter what Maas writes, I’ll be grabbing my hands for it.
Once again, I found myself immersed in the world and characters, caught up in a whirlwind of romance, and at times agonizing heartache. I didn’t want to let go when it came time to turn the last page.
Now I have come to the conclusion of the Ashes trilogy. I am saddened by this. I kept my pacing timed so that I could savor the finale. Obviously, you’re gathering from these sentences that this trilogy is a favorite. I don’t think I’ve loved a set of books so deeply in years. And maybe that’s saying something. It stacks against my love of Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Hunger Games, and Wicked Lovely. It’s on my shelf of life-long favorites and there to stay.
I have to admit, though, that this conclusion had bumps in the road and this was where I had no problem with my own pacing goals. These bumps caused me to get a little bored during some moments, to be honest, and some areas I felt like it may have been too much of an info-dump or too much unnecessary detail to just add more pages to the already long (821 pages to be exact) installment. A small issue, but something I thought to mention nonetheless.
Readers who don’t like multiple characters and/or several character view points, might possibly be turned off yet again. To remind you of Shadows: it’d been written the same way, changing up from the way Ashes had been (Ashes having been generally in only or mostly Alex’s POV). However, once again, I adore this style. I love love love the multiple characters and getting to see what is going on with each one after I’ve come to know them. Particularly because Bick gives them life and personality. She makes me loathe some. She makes me love some. One character, that I shouldn’t name because I’m trying to avoid spoilers in this review, is a character that made such a unique impact on me I’m likely to remember that one for the rest of my life.
There’s really so much more I’d like to ramble on and on about but I’m afraid to give away even the tiniest spoiler that those who’ve read even Ashes and Shadows might not appreciate. Shadows had left off with lots of unanswered questions as to character situations, etc. and if I so much as to mention particular scenarios in Monsters, it could give something away unfortunately. Ack. It’s always so hard to refrain from just gushing about books like a starry-eyed fanatic when you really want. The love. THE FEELS IT GIVES ME.
The details are fantastic. It feels like I’m reading and watching a movie right in front of me. After I finished, I was even internally asking “Why can’t these be movies?!” Yes, it gets graphic and gory and like with the last two books I probably cried more for the animals when there was any mention of that (these are zombie-like creatures, so keep it in mind that there is a good deal of death--animal and human--at times) because I always have a soft spot when it comes down to loss of animals in a book or movie. Ack. But the gore in the long run, the “zombies”… it’s not the deep part of the story. There are messages throughout… about humanity and life… and they’re heavy, and make you really think.
At the beginning, it’s an immediate go into the action from the end of Shadows. So if it’s been some time since you’d read the books, you might want a quick little refresher if your memory isn’t quite up to speed with it. That’s another thing I did enjoy… I wasn’t bogged down by a lot of beginning repetitive info that can tend to be tossed in with some series installments. I feel like something like that shouldn’t usually be worried about, and just to go right into the action/story of that installment in most cases. Obviously if the reader is picking up that installment, they’d read the others, am I right? Ha! K, mini rant over. :P
Where I felt the start had been strong and propelled me through well over half of the book (until I hit a few various ‘bumps’ as mentioned above), I found the ending on the weak side--a tad disappointing to be the ending to the trilogy--and left me yelling at the book for MORE. Even though I know I won’t get more. Sad. I still had to take half a star because of the ending though. My biggest reasoning was that the buildup of the big ending didn’t have quite the KA-POW as I’d expected. Lot of tension. Lot of action to get the suspense and excitement built, but when it came to it at the end, it was over so fast. And then some other things felt open-ended, leaving me to thoughts. And I can’t sit here and voice them or ask questions because there would be spoilers! Ah! Otherwise it would’ve been a straight 5-star read. Which would’ve been my first full 5-star set. Ever. (Ashes and Shadows were both rated at 5) No big, of course! It’s still one of my most highest-rated, and I’m usually telling everyone I know to read the books, even when it’s not their thing. =D
Oh goodness. You see? You see what these books do to me?! I can’t stop talking once I start. I love them.
This is one pre-apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic thrill of a ride I’ll never forget.
It’s really tough for me to decide if Quicksilver was better than Ultraviolet or not. Oh my. I’m at a loss of words here really. These two books. The...moreIt’s really tough for me to decide if Quicksilver was better than Ultraviolet or not. Oh my. I’m at a loss of words here really. These two books. The love. The feels I get from them. Yeah…I just speak a bunch of gibberish and fan-girling awe over how much I really love this set. So, you’ll have to excuse me here.
If you weren’t around the blog at the time, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Ultraviolet in summer of 2011. It took me by surprise. That book not only became one of my favorite books that year, but one of my favorites of all-time. And by now, most have already figured out I’m not a big fan of science fiction books. It takes a lot to get my attention in that genre. Well, Ultraviolet took the cake on that.
After an exciting interview with Ms. Anderson later that year, I learned there was going to be a sequel/companion novel, and I’d been waiting since with so much excitement. I never thought waiting was going to drive me so crazy. Haha! Then finally, FINALLY, I had my chance to read it after almost a year and a half of waiting. Thank you so much to Ms. Anderson and Carolrhoda Lab for the e-ARC and the opportunity to read and review.
Let me just take a moment to gather my brain together again. All my words are jumbled up. Reviews like this are so hard to write!
This book. THIS BOOK.
In Quicksilver, the readers are getting a glimpse at Tori instead. Allison isn’t in the picture too much here since this is Tori’s story, and it takes place months after Ultraviolet’s events. I admit, at first I was wary of this, but then it just worked. It was stunning. I loved it. Quicksilver is intense and in your face. I admit that I totally “eeped” out loud at some reunions. Laughed out loud. Gasped. Teared up. I couldn’t stop reading once I started reading.
The writing… Ahhh… the writing. I know why Ms. Anderson has climbed her way toward the top of my list of favorites. She can write. Her words provide stunning visuals and makes you feel exactly what the characters are feeling. There’s plenty of twists and turns, and your mind will be left spinning in amazement.
I may not know which of the two is my favorite, but I do know Quicksilver still wowed me as much as the first did. I also know there will never be a day I turn down reading a book by Ms. Anderson. Every book she writes will be on my shelf. Absolutely stunning.
If you’ve read and enjoyed Ultraviolet, you really don’t want to miss out on Quicksilver.
You can read more on my blog as I took part in the tour: The Bookaholic
Chosen Ones became one of my new favorite dystopias last year, and I sat on pin...moreYou can read more on my blog as I took part in the tour: The Bookaholic
Chosen Ones became one of my new favorite dystopias last year, and I sat on pins and needles waiting for the sequel. I’m excited to say that Naturals was just as amazing and didn’t disappoint, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next yet again!
The world that Tiffany Truitt has built is intense and gritty. It’s in your face from the moment you begin reading. The most noticeable thing in the sequel would be the character changes. Where Tess was a bit naïve and still learning a lot in the first book, by the second, she has developed and grown into a strong and smart character full of edge. At times she felt a bit too judgmental or clingy to things/ideas, and I found this underlying message through this development. Henry aggravated me often and I don’t want to go into detail in fear of spoilers because of this being a sequel review--but I wasn’t a fan of his character. This sequel was more about the character development than the action for me I think, though the action was still there, the details gritty and gripping, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I particularly liked learning more about the wider part of this world outside of Templeton, the Isolationists and their lifestyle, and the dangers that kept me on edge and reading.
Before I begin my review of Shadows, I have two warnings for you:
1. This may be a long review. 2. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers from Ashes, but I...moreBefore I begin my review of Shadows, I have two warnings for you:
1. This may be a long review. 2. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers from Ashes, but I really can’t promise this right now. It’s hard to review sequels sometimes, ya know?
Okay, back to it then.
Shadows freaked my freak. It’s so rare for me to pick up sequels and love them as much as I do the first book. I only have a few authors that make this list actually, and now Bick is on there. I can see where every reader might not enjoy this sequel as much though. It’s quite busy. There’s a lot going on, and many characters, but there was something about it that just kept me glued to the pages. Ashes was one of my favorite books last year. Shadows makes my favorites for this year.
People, I really had nightmares. I quickly discovered I couldn’t sit up real late at night reading this book, because my imagination ran so wild and it went right into my dreams. It was frightening.
Bick has created this post-apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over. The thing is, they’re not your typical zombie. This is a unique new type of species I think, Changed from the EMP event that happened in Ashes. They’re not all mindless, shuffling, groaning monsters. In this world, most are rather intelligent. They handle firearms, travel in packs, have ways of communication amongst each other. It is so creepy and frighteningly realistic that at times I had to remind myself I was reading fiction. What I also really like about this whole series in general so far is that while it fits in YA, it has major cross-over appeal. It is mature, wild, boldly graphic, and raw. I find it incredibly suitable for most audiences, men and women. Fan of The Walking Dead? You just may love this trilogy, too. Though, I’m in no way comparing because I find the trilogy to be a completely unique story in itself to stand out on its own.
Details are graphic, yet well-crafted. They are easily visualized. And damn, Bick is a master at writing descriptions through smells and scents. This might not be a read for someone who has a weak stomach if you want my honest opinion. But my gosh, the action that is put into this. It’s just BAM- in your face. I loved it.
There are many new and old characters introduced in this installment. I’ve seen some reviewers find complaint over the vast amount of characters, but I personally didn’t have a problem because they didn’t blur together for me. The main ones that played the larger roles had their own stand-out personalities and were memorable in their own ways. With Ashes, it was mostly told in Alex’s view if I remember correctly. Here in Shadows, it was told from multiple views so that the reader could get a better grasp of what was going on with some of the various main characters and around them. Again, this wasn’t a problem for me at all, and I rather liked the format of the story. I found it to be broader, and I was on the edge of my seat so much wondering what was going on with these characters and what would happen next. I think in this area, it depends on the reader’s preference.
One of the characters I found most interesting was Wolf. He was a Changed guy and never had any dialogue, but there was something about him that I found extremely Anti-Hero. Sure, he was still evil. He tore people apart. But he held this strange almost protective interest over Alex and I just kept thinking of him as this potential anti-hero that I kind of hope to see more development of in the next installment. I really don’t know if it was Bick’s intention to create an anti-hero out of Wolf, but that was my complete interpretation of him. I’m really looking forward to seeing what other readers think of him, too.
Often times, I forgot this installment took place within months after the EMPs from Ashes. I kept wanting to imagine that it was a couple of years later or more. Mostly because the world I was envisioning was so vastly different, destroyed, or whatever from all of the Changed. I’m curious about big cities. I would be really interested to see some characters perhaps travel through one and see the difference between before and after. The details, however, in the descriptions during everyone’s travels and unfortunate events are astounding. Sometimes extremely graphic, sometimes really sad (yes, some there are some detailed animal deaths, I’m sorry to say, but I expected it for this dark world), and sometimes just horrifying. I found that Bick’s take on the human mentality during chaos was spot on. Humans can be just as evil as the monsters. You have to be careful who to trust. It’s extremely realistic at how much people change, how much of their true nature comes out, and the terrifying thoughts of what kind of power could take control if/when some kind of devastating disaster strikes. While there’s an entertaining and compelling story to be read, underneath, I found hidden messages here and there that really made me stop and think. Once again, not sure if that was the author’s true intention--only my interpretations.
The ending nearly had me in tears. And I was left with yet another wild cliffhanger that tore me to shreds. While I love cliffhangers, I can really hate them sometimes too. Especially when I’m so ready for the next book NOW already. Argh. Another long wait for me again until the next. It’s going to eat me up.
Please, please, please hurry, book three. I might go a little bit insane waiting.
You can also find my review on my blog The Bookaholic as part of the VALKYRIE RISING Blog Tour!
I’ve always been big into mythology stories. Just adore...moreYou can also find my review on my blog The Bookaholic as part of the VALKYRIE RISING Blog Tour!
I’ve always been big into mythology stories. Just adore them. There’s something special about how you can take these amazing legends and stories that have been passed down through the centuries and twist them around in so many different ways. Valkyrie Rising isn’t any different there, and it’s refreshing and beautiful.
Now, I do admit that I’ve never been real into the Norse mythology area. Normally, I like Celtic and Egyptian mythology. I’ve also enjoyed some of the typical Greek mythology--but to be honest, I see so much of that in literature, that I’ve been waiting to pick up something that’s just seemingly new. I immediately felt that with this book and I was smiling like a kid in a candy shop (or maybe just feeling that high you get when you pick up a book you know will be good) from the first page. Paulson has made a fan out of me. I want more Norse mythology now. And after the amazingly gorgeous descriptions, I want to go to Norway SOON.
Ellie and Graham’s sibling bond strikes me to the core. I love, love, love seeing strong sibling relationships in books. I relate to them. I have a brother myself. I felt for Ellie when she was fighting for Graham. I would go to great lengths like that as well, and I’m glad that her reactions to events and emotions around her were realistic. He was always protecting her, but when it came to her turn to protect him, she didn’t hesitate. Ellie was a fighter, confident, and a good leader. Though had her small flaws as well. There were times she wanted to give up. She was scared. She continued to push herself. I also liked that she was hesitant and thought things through first, rather than just constantly jump ahead recklessly. She wasn't a stereotypical female character for sure.
Oh Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. Well…what to say about him? He is exactly the idea of a girl’s swoon-worthy crush. The brother’s best friend. And it just so happens that he travels to Norway with Ellie and Graham, and ends up on the adventure with Ellie. Lovely. Of course, this makes things a bit predictable, but I really enjoyed seeing the relationship slowly build between him and Ellie while they were on the rescue mission for her brother. It’s quite obvious from the very beginning he cares for her, and will protect her, just as much as he cares for his best friend. I liked this development. It wasn’t insta-love because they’d all grown up together. They were starting to see each other in a new light. And in reality, this happens. Paulson did an excellent job developing all of the characters, their traits, and growing relationships. I also really liked Ellie’s grandmother--who was protective and fierce, though gentle and caring.
You guys, I sat down to read this book and I finished within a matter of a few hours because I could not stop reading. I could just talk and talk about this book. I really could. There’s so much I could continue saying.
Like for example: There were these kick-ass beings called Valkyries. Not being too familiar with Norse mythology, I found them extremely fascinating. I think I could compare them to sirens or succubi in a weird sort of way. They attracted young males with their otherworldly beauty and would steal them away. Now I just want more. More, more, more.
There are surprising twists throughout. It’s unique. It’s fantastical.
I think it’s a stand-alone? Which is awesome. I love stand-alones just as much as I do series books. But here's the thing: for once, I really wish there was a sequel in the works for this one. The ending was left a bit open-ended, though well resolved, and could easily turn into a fun and much loved series. I think I just wanted more Tuck and Ellie. Le sigh. Either way, I'll keep my eye out on future work of Ms. Paulson. I'm sure to love anything else. ^^
It wasn’t long enough!! That’s the only thing where I felt like it hurt me. I wanted it to be longer. I know...repeat..but I just can't get over it. I've waited a while now to share my thoughts on it, and since finishing the book, I can't stop thinking about it. It really struck me. I don't find many in this genre that can stick out like that. I remember texting a friend halfway through reading with these exact words: "Holy hell, you HAVE to read this book the first chance you get!"
I loved the romance and the tension and the suspense.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Maria V. Snyder is perhaps one of the most awesome writers I’ve encountered in the last year. And unfortunately,...moreLet’s get this out of the way first: Maria V. Snyder is perhaps one of the most awesome writers I’ve encountered in the last year. And unfortunately, so far I’ve only read this series of hers--but I’m remedying that by buying all of her other works and starting those soon. Touch of Power (book one) is toward the top of my all-time favorites’ list. I love it. I read it just after release in back in January and have been unable to stop thinking about the characters and the world and had been sitting on the edge of my seat all year waiting for Scent of Magic. So, I was pretty excited when I snagged an e-ARC from NetGalley (thanks to Harlequin!) and started reading soon after.
Unfortunately, I felt like it lost some of its magic compared to the first. Maybe it was just me. I’m not sure. I wasn’t a big fan of the switching view points constantly, especially since it didn’t happen in the first book, and while it did help to get to know Kerrick better, I think it made the story weaker in comparison to before. I love Kerrick. He’s rough on the edges, loyal, and determined. I did like reading about his struggles throughout along with Avery’s, but there was a slowness to it and as a reader, I had to be patient at times. I didn’t rush through this one like I had with Touch of Power, and maybe that was a bit of a let down in the end for me.
Also, sometimes, there’s a need for characters to die. And I understand this. It’s an emotional thing, and it carries into the reader. We get attached to these characters. We loved them. We remember them by their deaths. I kind of don’t feel it if they suddenly come back to life. I get this--there’s a story plot here, and something for Avery to work with in the future, but there were times when I wished it had been a different character, maybe a newer character, for the emotional reasons I wanted to hold on to.
The writing is always solid and beautiful and so descriptive I can easily visualize the scenes. And the characters are fantastic. There is no denying that. Each on has their own uniqueness to them.
Once again, I’m left with a cliffhanger (and I hated the cliffhanger) that leaves me nail-biting for the next, too. Scent of Magic was fantastic. I adored it and will be anxiously awaiting the next, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Touch of Power. And I’m really looking forward to reading more Maria V. Snyder.
Go to my blog at The Bookaholic to see my full post for this review. It was part of the Throne of Glass blog tour and a review for the BEA Book Club....moreGo to my blog at The Bookaholic to see my full post for this review. It was part of the Throne of Glass blog tour and a review for the BEA Book Club.
Throne of Glass took me to a new world full of magic, action, mystery, and romance. I could not put this down!
It’s not often that I read “high/epic” fantasy, but I’m proud to say I picked up a gem to add to my list of pleasant surprises this year. What I found really appealing was that it wasn’t a struggle to read, which is usually the problem for me when it comes to this genre. Admittedly, I had doubts before I requested this book due to all the hype and the genre. I’m so thankful I took the chance anyway or I would’ve missed out on this fantastic story!
Calaena is a character worth rooting for. She’s tough, intelligent, and determined. But even with the hard-edged exterior, there’s a softness to her that comes out for the reader to see--a vulnerability--and she has flaws. She starts out as arrogant, sometimes rude and too sarcastic for her own good. At first, it’s a bit hard to like her. Until she proves herself and begins to grow into a more admirable person with certain things she does and says. I loved that development for the reader. She’s also a bit more girly than you’d expect some edgy assassin to be, and that’s what I really loved.
I had some minor issues with the story though. Nitpicks maybe. But they weren’t enough to distract me away from my enjoyment overall. There is budding romance and hints at a love triangle. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle idea. That’s the only thing in the entirety of the story that messed it up a little for me really. I adored both Chaol and Dorian as characters on their own, but throughout the entire story, I had a hard time seeing the romantic interest with either of them for Calaena. Chaol would be her best match though, that much I could pick up on, due to his background and their chemistry. I liked Dorian’s personality better though. Sigh. I felt a bit of a tug of war--maybe my own fictional triangle when it came down to it. Because of the personality and my fondness for him, I think I’ll be Team Dorian. Haha.
I felt the world-building was solid and easy to visualize. I’m such a history geek that even when it comes to fantasy, I like to know the history. There was enough to satisfy my inner nerd here, but I would have been thrilled with even more. I wanted to especially know more about the magic and Wyrd marks. It was fascinating. I became invested in the characters easily. Sometimes there were unanswered questions or areas where I felt could have been worked out some (especially with the king). I’m hoping a lot more will come for the next book.
I’ve said it before. I guess I’ll say it again. I should read more into this style of fantasy. It seems that over the last year or so, I’ve had a lot of luck in this genre and have found some good ones. I really love how an author can pull you right into their crafted world and make you feel as if you’re there with their characters. Maas does this perfectly.
For me, Throne of Glass was genuinely breathtaking. When I sat down to start reading, I had no idea or intention to finish in only a matter of hours…but that’s what happened. I only find books that do that to me a few times a year, so I’m glad this was one of them.
One of my favorite quotes: “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
** I want to thank Bloomsbury Children’s Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review, as well as to be a part of the Throne of Glass blog tour.**
There was no doubt in my mind that Daughter of Smoke & Bone was probably one of my favorites last year. It’s a rare occasion for me to go out and...moreThere was no doubt in my mind that Daughter of Smoke & Bone was probably one of my favorites last year. It’s a rare occasion for me to go out and buy a brand new, just-released book due to hype, but I felt an instant pull to it and I’m glad I’d given it that chance. I think it’s well worth the hype. So, needless to say, I grew antsy the last year waiting for the sequel to come out so I could just find out what’s going to happen to our blue-haired heroine and this strangely unique angel-being of hers. I was nervous. I get this condition I call “second book syndrome” almost too easily when it comes to series. I often find it hard to continue a series because of this, unless the sequel is just as good as the first…or better. And I didn’t want my awe from Daughter of Smoke & Bone to be taken away with a bad sequel. I was terrified of disappointment, but I went rushing right to it anyway.
Days of Blood & Starlight did disappoint me in some ways. Unfortunately, I can’t go into many details. I want to stay spoiler-free, and that can be difficult when it comes to reviewing sequels. I can say this: the writing style felt different from the first page. Perhaps it had a lot to do with the new style in general. Days is told in a few POVs from characters, rather than only Karou’s like it’d been in Daughter. The writing itself is still beautiful and crafty, very visual, but it’s slow. That’s a warning. It takes time and patience with this one before you may find yourself back into the story. It took me almost two hundred pages before I finally started to truly devour the book. I can understand any frustrations a reader might have if their book is slow-going in the beginning. But hang tight. Once it gets there, it really gets there. And then you’re off with a bang into Taylor’s amazing characters and world-building all over again. By the end, I found myself wondering if I liked Days better than Daughter, and I honestly can’t answer the question, even now…weeks after I’ve finished reading. Days felt different to me on some levels, but in a good way. It was thought-provoking. I learned to love new characters. I lost some and felt a deep heartache. I laughed. I cried. I learned.
If you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, don’t miss out on Days of Blood & Starlight. It’s completely worth it.
Immediately from the beginning of Pandemonium, I noticed a difference in the storytelling and tone. I’d gone into the second installment with no knowl...moreImmediately from the beginning of Pandemonium, I noticed a difference in the storytelling and tone. I’d gone into the second installment with no knowledge, managing to stay away from the spoilers (thank goodness), and was pleasantly surprised by the change of setting, characters, and world. Lena felt like a much stronger character. I met new characters I grew to like through the progression of the story, and things happened that felt much more detailed than the first book. It had a heavier feel--with an edge--and I thoroughly enjoyed that.
I’m likely in the minority when it comes to Julian because I just didn’t like him much. Cool character--nice guy, but he didn’t click with me…and I didn’t really feel the chemistry between him and Lena.
The best quality of Pandemonium is there isn’t any sign of some “middle book syndrome”, but it’s even stronger…. Often beautiful and heart-wrenching. And by the end, I was thankful I already had a copy of Requiem because I couldn’t wait a second longer to find out what was going to happen next.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever had to write. Not because it was a ba...moreYou can also find my review at my blog The Bookaholic
This is perhaps one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever had to write. Not because it was a bad read--but because it was such an emotional one that I’m still reeling from it even weeks after reading. The Fault in Our Stars is memorable. The story, the characters…they’re going to live with me forever in my mind.
This was also personal and very relatable. I had cervical cancer--that was treated--when I was twenty-one years old. But it wasn’t even that part that I found relatable with Hazel exactly. It was the thyroid cancer and condition. Since I was eighteen, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease that is a life-long condition. I’m on meds, checked every three-four months with blood work, etc. for threatening signs that include cancer signs. Every other year, I have to get thyroid scans with this weird pill on this crazy machine for extra measure. I’m a “risk”, blah blah blah.
Anyways, not to go off on some long off-topic rant, The Fault in Our Stars hit home is what I’m trying to say. It was realistic. I had it on my shelf for almost two weeks though before I could bring myself to pick it up and read it because I was honestly a bit scared. I didn’t know exactly what it entailed, other than it was about a girl with thyroid cancer, and that the few reviews I had read said it was “tragic” and “heart wrenching”. I kept looking at it and thinking, why do I want to put myself through that?? But finally, I took the plunge, and I’m glad I did.
It’s not all about tears and some sob story that will have you pulling Kleenexes until the box is empty, having wet tissues drowning you on the couch. This is a story about LIFE. Not death. And Hazel and Augustus may just be characters, but they’re inspirations. No matter the situation, the facts, they don’t lay down and wait for it. They live…normally. As if there’s nothing wrong at all. And that’s how it should be.
It’s hard for me to like characters the instant they’re introduced in a novel. Normally, I have to give them a few pages or chapters, get to know them a bit or that sort of thing. I didn’t have to do that here. I liked Hazel immediately during her narration on the first page, and instantly fell in love with Augustus when he was introduced. There was just a connection right away with them. What I also liked is the cleverness and their intellectual conversations. He teaches her new things; she teaches him new things. They both taught me new things. It’s a beautiful, fun relationship that I enjoyed watching blossom throughout.
I was laughing out loud from the first few pages, and from there, many times after. This book brought light and laughter, and so much love. My heart swelled. I don’t care if I sound like some clichéd fan girl right now. I was speechless when I finished--left at a loss of words, and John Green left me hanging at the end too, I couldn’t believe it. I felt it was such an open-ending. I was already crazy with heart-break that I couldn’t believe when I felt like the ending just didn’t seem to…end.
This was my first John Green novel too. I’ve heard many rave on and on about his other work so I guess now it’s time I check it out--because I definitely will. The Fault in Our Stars is on my “Forever Favorites” list officially, and will be recommended to many.
I was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. B...moreI was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. But that’s what made it so intriguing and page-turning at the same time as well. It was unusual in its style--no dialogue tags, and because the MC is the narrator (first person) and she’s not as educated, everything flows in her own voice and language. It does take some getting used to, I must say, but once I did and got into the story, I was bound to it and the world-building.
I didn’t quite get the Hunger Games reference. I hate when people try to compare all the new popular dystopian/post-apocalyptic books to The Hunger Games just because it’s a bleak, future world. There’s nothing else to compare it to other than that and perhaps a strong female heroine. But seriously, the reviews with the comparisons I’ve read just have to stop… it’s annoying. It stands out as its own story, with its own unique characters and world. Just saying.
I really liked the pet crow. Haha. Like our everyday pets now like our cats and dogs, the crow had a personality all on its own. I thought that was beyond awesome--and I normally don’t say “awesome” in my reviews too often, but it really was. The details were nicely done, though sometimes scarce I felt, because I did struggle at times to envision the scenery. It was the emotion that really kept me into the story. A sister/brother bond can be really close, and I felt Ms. Young did exceptionally well at showing this. I would go to the ends of the Earth for my own brother, too.
Maybe I’m just picky, but I would have really enjoyed it more if I’d known what led to this world. There are bits of the old past laying around, and Saba describes it when she stumbles upon it (old airplanes especially perplex her), but I was left wanting to know what had happened to our life. What led to our world to be in this state? Of course, this adds to the mystery of the story, and gives the reader a sense of gloom, I guess…and I can only add more kudos to the author on this building tension. It’s suspenseful and the plot paces nicely. I couldn’t put it down once I was engaged, despite the unique and strange narration that took a little getting used to. In the end, I grew to love the style and felt like I had Saba sitting beside me in person, telling me everything herself.
Pardon my following sentence if you don’t like my language:
Where the hell have I been to just getting around to reading Maria V. Snyder’s work?
Have I been under a rock? Seriously, I think so!
Welcome to 2012 for me! Touch of Power was so absolutely astounding, I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was a fantastic start to the year for me truly and I want to slap myself for just getting around to reading Snyder’s work. I must go out and buy more books… Like. Right. Now.
Lilies are my favorite flower, by the way, but in the world of Touch of Power, Snyder immediately takes this gorgeous flower and turns them into something to be feared. There’s no “Honey, I brought home some lilies from the garden today” in this one. If you come across them in this world, well, you just better back off! And that is what Snyder floored me most about this book-- the unique and imaginative detail, and the emotion.
It was a powerhouse of emotion and rich detail. I was wrapped into the world and characters. I cried (I cried a lot to be more accurate). I laughed. I wanted to hug Poppa Bear! It was magical and compelling and so utterly beautiful, I just didn’t want it to end.
Avry is one of my new favorite heroines now.
Unique and brilliant--I’m begging for more, please!
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 g...moreHold 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!
I’ve read a lot of books in the last ten months. In fact, if you look to my sidebar, you’ll see that I’ve quite surpassed my reading goal by a bit and pushing close to a hundred books already--with a good two and a half months left to the year. I keep telling people that I’ve had a fantastic reading year, discovering some really wonderful books and authors. When I was approached by Big Honcho Media/Scholastic to read The Scorpio Races, I was not hesitant in the slightest. I’d heard so many wonderful things about Ms. Stiefvater’s work, I wanted to see it for myself. Some of you may even remember my Top Ten Tuesday post a couple of weeks ago in which I admitted that I felt like I was one of the only people left who hadn’t read Shiver/The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (and trust me, it has been on my TBR list, I definitely intend to get to it soon).
I jumped at the chance and quickly accepted The Scorpio Races so I could find out what was so special. What was it about the author that had so many people practically shouting her name from the rooftops? Surely it was something. Clinging onto my hope of continuing my good reading streak, I dove right into the book the second it was in my hands….
I barely remember coming up for air.
It was perhaps one of the most beautiful, breathtaking, and compelling pieces I’ve read in the last five years. There was an intensity in the words, the art through the imagery… I can hardly form the words to put together a proper review, I fear. It sang to me. I cried.
I was thrilled with the plot line. Water horses. It’s an old legend, myth, that I’ve always been fascinated in, too. To see it built into a unique story made my heart leap around in circles, just as Corr does. (You would understand this reference of course if you read it.) The characters were driven and inspiring.
This will most certainly be one I could read over and over again--experiencing a new beauty each time in the words, emotion, and pictures I imagine.
I just want to say thanks so much to Sea Lion Books for sending me along a copy to read and review! I'm absolutely adoring seeing Storm Born as a grap...moreI just want to say thanks so much to Sea Lion Books for sending me along a copy to read and review! I'm absolutely adoring seeing Storm Born as a graphic, as it's also one of my favorite series by Richelle Mead. Being able to see all of the action put into some amazing graphics is WONDERFUL. And they're really gorgeous graphics, too!
Issue #3 starts off immediately where #2 left off, and I was excited getting into it knowing I'd get to see Dorian in this one. Dorian is my favorite character. :P Very happy to see him gracing across the pages, and that his personality still popped through just as it did in the books. It's really fun seeing everything, and while I'm normally not a huge fan of graphic novels- I'm a huge fan of this one! Bravo! :)
By the way, even if you haven't read The Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead, there's absolutely nothing holding you back from picking up this graphic series if you're interested. You don't have to read the books first to read the graphics. :) (Although I do recommend reading the book series as well if you haven't! It's great!)
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”.
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...more 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 I...moreShatter 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!
Maybe it was just me. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Insurgent didn’t captivate me the same way Divergen...moreYou 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. (less)
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 had...moreContemporary. 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.