Let's try this again. My first attempt at reviewing The Girl in the Park seems to have vanished from my drafts. Fail.
The Girl in the Park ended up being completely different from what I had expected it to be...but in a totally good way. When I first started reading The Girl in the Park I knew it was going to be a mystery about the murder of Rain's former friend, Wendy. What I was not expecting was a cast of complex characters whose stories pulled me and left me wondering if what was going to happen to them in the end, especially since some of them had reason to want her gone. Even though I did not like some of the characters that were in the book (namely the rich girls and the bad boy whose name escapes me), I thought all the characters were written quite nicely.
What did I think about the mystery aspect of The Girl in the Park, it was good, but I had the motive and killer pegged early on. Even though I figured things out pretty early on in the book I loved the way the plot thickened with each day that passed as more reasons and potential suspects came to Rain's mind.
At first, I was not sure I was going to like Rain, but as the book progressed and she started to push for answers about what happened to Wendy I could not help but like her. While she at first she was shy, to the point were others took advantage of her, I found her character to be one of the best in the book. I liked how she finally found herself and the courage to stand up for herself and to find out what happened. Wendy, the party girl with an unhappy home life. Her story was perhaps the saddest...and not just because her life came to a brutal end. It was just sad, and I won't say anymore because my thoughts on her are kind of spoiler-ish.
So, what made The Girl in the Park such an excellent read? Well, that would have to be the way the story was laid out and how you got to learn more about Rain and Wendy through short recollections of the past. I thought it was interesting was to show the connection between Rain, Wendy and the rest of their classmates, as well, as the little insight it gave in to why Wendy died and who could have killed her. It was just very well done and definitely gave an interesting view on the way things were in the book.
If I had to name one thing that I did not like about The Girl in the Park, it would have to be that the beginning was a little slow and it took a bit to get to the meat of the story. While the beginning was a little on the slow side, Ms Fredericks' writing is captivating and will keep you invested till things really start.
Final Verdict: The Girl in the Park, the perfect blend of flawed characters and suspenseful mystery.
The Girl in the Park earns 5 out of 5 pineapples. (less)
When I first heard about Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen I knew that I would have to read it. Mainly because it sounded like something I would absolutely love, and boy was I right in my guessing because I could not put Scarlet down until I had read every last page.
I really loved that the sense of action and adventure was present in Scarlet from the very beginning, and did not let up until the end. This book had me on the edge of my seat as Scarlet, Robin, and the rest of the cast tried to assist the residents of Nottinghamshire survive the Sheriff, as well as keep out of the clutches of the vile Thief Taker, Lord Gisbourne. I thought that the author did an excellent job of balancing out the different aspects of the book-the action/adventure mixed with the secrets that the characters kept as well as adding an emotional element to the book. I thought that it was all handled quite well and done in such a way that it just blended nicely together.
One of the things that really pulls this book together, at least for me, was that it was not a walk in the park. It was dark, a little gruesome at points, but pretty much nothing was held back or softened and that just made it such an addictive read. On the other hand, I liked that there was minimal swearing and nothing that left me wanting/needing to skip paragraphs or pages.
Scarlet has to be one of my favorite characters of late. One of the things that made me like her so was that she was a force to be reckoned with. One of the things that drew me to Scarlet's character was that she was not the damsel in distress and that she could pretty much hold her own (and some time surpass) the male characters in the book. I also liked how as the book progressed you began to see that there was more to her story then you see at first glance, as well, as the way that her story unfolded throughout the book. The Thief Taker, may just be the most vile villain to cross my reading; as well as the Sheriff. I loved that the villains of Scarlet were ones that truly deserved the title of "villain" and that there was no gray area where they were involved. While they both made for great adversaries for the heroes of the book, Lord Gisbourne took the cake. I thought it was intriguing that he and Scarlet had had a few run-ins before he showed up in Nottinghamshire, it definitely added something to the plot when he made his first appearance. I liked that Robin's told was more of a secondary character and that he did not end up stealing the show. I also liked how there was a little more story behind his actions and that he came across as a pretty stand-up kind of guy (even when he tried to be cruel I still liked him).
What made Scarlet such a great read is that it grabbed me from the very beginning with the superb writing and story-telling of A.C. Gaughen, and kept me reading late into the night even though I had to be up early the next day. It was just one fantastic re-imagining of the classic Robin Hood story...you just have to read it for yourself because words cannot describe how good it is.
While this book was absolutely brilliant, I do have just one itsy-bitsy complaint...the end. While the end of the book was good, it left off were Scarlet could be a stand-alone but also left room for the story to continue in another book and I need to now if this is the end of Scarlet's tale or if there will be another book about her. So the end, good, but I was left with a few unanswered questions that I would like to see answered (will have to see if this is truly the end).
Final Verdict: Scarlet one incredible re-imagining of the classic tale of Robin Hood. A must read.
First Sentence (ARC): In the busy airport, baggage turned slowly on a carousel.
After recently finishing my first Adam Rex book, The True Meaning of Smekday, I thought there was no way Cold Cereal was going to beat it. I was wrong. Cold Cereal was brilliant and could barely peel my eyes from the page-even considered missing sleep just to finish it.
Part of what makes Cold Cereal such a win in my book is that it has both an element of mystery and fantasy in the storyline, and that it is a quick and fun read. I loved how Mr. Rex blended the fantastic (leprechauns, faeries, and unicats) and evil plotting of Goodco Cereal Company to make one addictive read that had my eyes glued to the page. Yes, it was that good.
One thing I am definitely looking forward to in the next book is finding out more about Goodco;'s scheme and what Scott and friends are going to do to stop them. Also looking forward to seeing how some of the unanswered questions from Cold Cereal are going to be answered, like, maybe a little more about Erno and Emily and their past and how they came to be in the care of Goodco. What am I saying! I just cannot wait for book two because I want more Scottish and just more of the world and characters.
Okay, I admit it, I loved Scottish Play Doe (and the story behind his name). I thought it was kind of interesting that in the beginning of the book Scott did not realize that what he took for hallucinations were actually there...only problem, must people could not see what he could. Scott was just a great character and I cannot wait to read about his next adventures and where it will take him and the story. Erno and Emily, were definitely an odd pair. There actually so much I would like to say about the two of them, but sadly everything I want to say would be one humongous spoiler. All I will say about them is that I have a feeling that the next book will have the two for them playing an even bigger role in things to come. Ah, the baddies of Cold Cereal all I am saying is that Mr. Rex out did himself in this book because the villain(s) of this book are pretty crooked and I do not think that we've seen the tip of their crazy iceberg.
If I had to name one point as my favorite from Cold Cereal it would have to be how well Mr. Rex's writing is able to pull the reader in from the very beginning. His writing managed to blow me away yet again in his latest book, plus I totally loved the characters, story, and setting in this book-fun, thrilling and full of adventure. This just ended up being the perfect read when I was under the weather and not feeling up to much. Will definitely have to get my hands on a finsihed copy of Cold Cereal when it comes out.
Having read an ARC of Cold Cereal, my only complaint would have to be that a lot of the art shown throughout the book was either not final or not there at all, and that was kind of disappointing because the ones that are shown are absolutely stunning. I would have definitely liked to have seen all of the artwork for this book.
Final Verdict: Cold Cereal brilliantly funny, and filled with action and awesomeness.
I wasn't thinking of falling in love the day I met Danny Greer.
I almost marked Cold Kiss as a fail, and it was about ten pages (90 pages in) away from being DNF'd when I finally got in the story that Ms. Garvey had laid out in it and ended up unable to put it down.
I'm thinking that this will be an interesting review since I went from not really liking it at all, to unable to put it down. Well stay tuned and I'll fill you on how exactly that happened.
The main reason I kept reading, even when I thought I wasn't going to finish it, was that I was really enjoying Ms. Garvey's writing. Even though it took me what felt like ages to get into Cold Kiss I'm glad that I didn't give up on it because the writing is what will definitely have me checking out whatever Ms. Garvey pens next.
For most of the book I didn't care for the MC, Wren. I know she was going through a very tough time having lost her boyfriend, but she annoyed me because she was just so selfish. I know that's how she was supposed to come across, because let's face it she did the unthinkable by using her power to bring someone back from the dead and while that made for an interesting plot point, it also made it hard for me to like her. But I will say that she annoyed me less when she finally started down the path to setting things right.
The part of the book where I really began to get into the story, just so happens to be my favorite part of the book as well was when Wren finally began to admit to herself that the Danny she brought back was in no way the one that she knew. I liked this part the most because Ms. Garvey did an excellent job of portraying the roller coaster of emotions that Wren went through, and it just made for some great reading.
What very nearly turned me off on finishing Cold Kiss was that it took forever to get going, like, 100 pages forever. But once you hit the hundred page marker things begin to really pick up and get interesting, especially since that's about when things begin to truly unravel for Wren. So worst thing about this book is the slow start, but after that it’s a really good read.
I also have very mixed feelings about how Cold Kiss ended. I felt that one aspect of the story was just left too open ended and that all of the questions that were posed throughout the book were not answered, like, where and why did Wren's father leave, and why did her mother suddenly turn against the power that they have. I would have liked to have seen a little more of a definite end to that part of the story line.
Content (will contain spoilers): Let's see, underage drinking (done by Danny and one of his friends, which was also the cause of the crash the killed him). It's hinted at throughout the whole book that Wren and Danny slept together, but isn't actually mentioned until the near the end of the book. There is also some swearing.
Final Verdict: Cold Kiss a fairly powerful read about loss, grief, and how what we want isn't necessarily what we really need.
Sadly I was kind of disappointed with Frost. When I picked it up I was expecting a bone chilling psychological thriller that would leave me unable to sleep at night, what I wound up with instead was a book that just fell flat and that didn't quite live up to my expectations. I will try my hardest to explain just why this book did not work for me and what I did and didn't like about it.
While it may not have been my cup o' tea Frost isn't a bad book and Ms. Baer's writing is really good. It just had a few elements that kept me from enjoying it as much as I thought I would have.
One of the things that disappointed me the most in this book was the main character, Leena, I just did not like her and could not bring myself to feel anything more then pity for her. The main reason I didn't like her was that she didn't seem to have much self-respect for herself and that her character was maybe just a little too emotionally scared, cold, damaged whatever you want to call it. She just had too many issues to make for a believable character.
My other complaint about Frost would have to be the instant luv factor between Leena and David. Sure they don't get together till pretty much the middle of the book, but the fact that she thought she loved him from pretty much the first time they met was kinda of irksome because how can you love someone that you don't even know, the answer is you can't.
I found that Frost was a bit slow when it came to getting to the actual plot line, because it felt like over the half the book had come and gone before any of the characters (Leena and Celeste) seemed to even consider that some of the happenings at Frost House weren't exactly normal. I think if things had picked up a little quicker that I could have easily been pulled into the story, but most likely my opinion of Leena would not have been any better.
The one thing I did really enjoy about Frost was Ms. Baer's writing. Her writing was my absolute favorite thing about this book because she did an excellent job of adding a sense of paranoia to the book. If I hadn't enjoyed her writing as much as I did, in all likelihood I would not have finished reading Frost. I (with probably no surprise to you the reader) liked the fact that when Leena screwed up, and boy did she on multiple accounts, that she didn't just get a slap on the wrist for what she did.
Content (will contain spoilers): Leena and David fooling around (no sex, but still being a bit inappropriate), talk of suicide (one by overdosing on pills, the other by cutting *I think*), addiction to prescription pills/stealing others prescription pills. There is also some swearing, mostly mild swear words though.
Final Verdict: Frost unfortunately the story just didn't work for me. Although I did enjoy Ms. Baer's writing style and will definitely try another book by her.
Even though I've only been able to read the second and (now) third book in Jesss Haines' H&W Investigations, I have found them to be quite enjoyable and quick reads.
Deceived by the Others picks up just just weeks after the end of Taken by the Others, and throws the reader straight back into Shia's dangered filled life, which was cool that there wasn't this giant lapse of time between books. While I was really excited about getting to read DbtO I was sceptical, why, because the main premise of the book was Chaz and his pack of weres. Admitally, I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to werewolves, I don't know why but I generally don't like werewolf characters. With that in mind, I liked their role in DbtO because I felt that their presence did wonders to ratchet up the aire of danger and tension.
What really drew me into the DbtO was the writing and pacing (even though it started out a bit slow). I feel that this book is one of those that while it may start out slow, is one that by the time you get to the last page will leave you wishing it hadn't flown by so quick. Ms. Haines' writing is just as sharp and hard hitting as her MCs, Shia's, tongue when she uses barbs to hide her fear. While this is an amazing read, I warn you that the ending is a MAJOR cliff-hanger that will ahve you wanting the next volume aat hand as soon as you finish.
There are few characters that I am able to say that I absolutely abhor, but after finishing (actually before I even finished it) DbtO Chaz quickly climbed his way near the top of the list. Gosh, I just wanted to kick him somthing fierce (his personality is the perfect example of why I don't like weres).
This might sound weird, but my favorite scene in the Deceived by the Others was when Shia was laying into Chaz and totally chewing him out. The reason that's my favorite scene was because I was glad that she stood up for herself and wasn't going to let him get away with what he did. I totally have your attention now, don't I? Too bad, so sad that's all your going to hear about this from me. *laughs evilly*
Content wise (or least favorite thing about Deceived by the Others):I only had to skip maybe a page and a half in DBtO do to some...well scandalous behavior. There was also a lot of swearing, but I don't think nearly as much as in Taken by the Others.
Final Verdict: Deceived by the Others was a gripping page-turner (I probably looked very intent as I read it...in public).
Deceived by the Others earns 4 out of 5 pineapples. (less)
So The Emerald Atlas had been sitting on my TBR for maybe two months, and with its release date coming up I decided it was high time that I got around...moreSo The Emerald Atlas had been sitting on my TBR for maybe two months, and with its release date coming up I decided it was high time that I got around to reading it.
Since it sat for sooo long on my TBR, I had plenty of time to forget everything I've heard about it that way I could start off reading it without any expectations at all (I hate it when I have high hopes for a book and then it falls flat).
I think the author did an excellent job with setting the story up in the prologue by giving the reader just a glimpse into how the children ending up in their current situation, plus it totally gave the book a whole mysterious air and helped to set the tone and pace for the remainder of the book.
One of the reasons that I enjoyed The Emerald Atlas so much was that it kind of reminded me a bit of The Chronicles of Narnia (which I absolutely love) and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Although it brought to mind both series of books, it didn't detract any from the actual story or its originality.
I loved the depth that each of the three children, Kate, Michael and Emma, had. I really liked getting into the heads of the three kids and how as the book went along you learned more about each one of them and their little quirks; along with how well the author was able to describe how broken each of them were. So good.
My favorite part of The Emerald Atlas would have to be the writing. It just completely swept me in from the first page with how well-crafted the world and characters were.
Either I took too long to write this review and do not remember if there was anything, I did not like about the book...or I just really liked it and have no complaints. I leave that up to you the reader to decide upon.
Final Verdict: The Emerald Atlas is a terrific MG thrill ride that will most likely entertain even the most reluctant reader. With so much left unfinshed at the end of book one, I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series whenever it comes out.
It has a fair amount of action violence, but no swearing or adult situations.
The Emerald Atlas earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.(less)
After reading so many glowing reviews of Half-Blood and people consistently talking it up on Twitter, I just had to know what it was all about. My biggest fear though was that it would live up to all the hype that seemed to surround it; rest assured fellow readers Half-Blood was simply amazing (and I only read an ARC of it).
I loved how Half-Blood starts off with a bang and that it threw Alex right into the thick of battle for her life, and how the book had such a quick pace. One of the things I liked best about Half-Blood was the world that Ms. Armentrout created and the back story for it. I really liked all the little details that she added into the story because it just made that much better and gave it more depth. There's this one part of the book where things began to get extremely complicated for Alex because who/what she is, and man I just loved how it it totally made things so much harder for her (I know, I mean to characters). I liked that bit because it gives you a little look into what will be happening in book two (Pure), and also that I had kinda of guessed but was thinking to myself that that couldn't possibly be so and then it was.
I generally liked the main character, Alex, in Half-Blood, and for once didn't feel like she was a character that needed some sense knocked into her. The reason I liked her so much was that she was such an interesting, strong character; plus I liked that fact that she could could take care of herself in a fight.
As for the Daimons, oh my gosh, that has to be one of best things in the book. How they became that way and what they do to those of the Hematoi was just brilliantly done...even if it was slightly creepy, but still oh so good. What really makes Half-Blood so hard to put down is the writing and how with each successive chapter you find that there is so much more to the story then what you read in the synopsis.
What I really liked best about Half-Blood was that Alex, the main character, wasn't a total pushover. I liked how she was a strong character and wasn't about to go along with what everybody had planned for her future. I thought that she was a pretty well rounded character who had just the right mixture of bravado and vulnerability. While I loved reading Half-Blood there's just one minor detail that derailed my absolute love for this book.
That would be the non-relationship relationship between Alex and Aiden (she's a half-blood, he's a pure you do the math), now before you all go getting your feathers ruffled hear me out. What I didn't like about it was how they very nearly wound up sleeping together it just didn't really seem to fit the moment. While that one instance nearly made me quite disgusted with both of them, especially with Aiden because he seemed like a nice guy; although he kind of redeemed himself at the end of the book. I won't tell you how I went from feeling kind of meh about him to thinking better of him (it would give entirely too much away).
Content (may have spoilers, highlight to see): Some underage drinking (at a party), one instant where Alex and Aiden nearly end up having sex, and if I'm remembering correctly there is some swearing..
Final Verdict: Half-Blood an absolute page-turner.
So I pretty much finished She's So Dead to Us in one day. It was an okay read, but I didn't love it. It's also the third book by this author that I ha...moreSo I pretty much finished She's So Dead to Us in one day. It was an okay read, but I didn't love it. It's also the third book by this author that I have tried and I'm starting to think that maybe her writing isn't for me.
My biggest problem with She's So Dead to Us would have to be how shallow all the cresties were and how they acted all...entitled. I just really don't care for books like that, I find them to be overly cliché; along with the overuse of profanity by the male characters.
The only character that had any redeeming qualities was the MC Ally. I thought she was a fairly interesting character and I liked how she finally started sticking up for herself. I was a bit worried that she would be some spineless girl would do and take anything just to be back within the good graces of her former friends. I was definitely glad when she decided that she was longer going to let the cresties push her around.
The thing that kept me reading She's So Dead to Us was the mystery aspect of what happened to Ally's dad, and if he was going to go back and make amends for the mistakes that he made and damage that he caused everyone.
While it kept me reading, it just wasn't enough to sell me on the book because on a whole I found the characters to shallow for me to truly enjoy it.
What I liked best about She's So Dead to Us would have to be how Ally was an athlete. For me it made her more likeable, especially since most books with rich kids (or formerly rich kids) the characters seem more interested in...shopping and such things like that.
Least favorite, that would have to be the chapters told from Jake's POV. I just didn't like him or his family (especially his social climbing mom). I felt like the author had the character swearing too much just so readers could tell that yes this is a male character. His chapters just made him seem to cliché.
I also didn't like the cliff-hanger ending because it just left things to wide open, which means that you would have to read book two for the rest of the story.
Final Verdict: While She's So Dead to Us is an interesting read, it’s just a bit too cliché and shallow for my taste. But I encourage you to give it a try, who knows it might just be something you'll like.
She's So Dead to Us earns 3 out of 5 pineapples.(less)
I know the year has only just begun, but Angelfire has to be one of my favorite reads so far this year. Courtney Allison Moulton's writing just comple...moreI know the year has only just begun, but Angelfire has to be one of my favorite reads so far this year. Courtney Allison Moulton's writing just completely blew me away, and the story was absolutely captivating. I confess, I have a supreme love for books that have angels in them. So far I haven't come across one that I didn't love, and Angelfire was no exception to that list.
I was a smidge worried when the first chapter was kind of slow, but by the second chapter I was so absorbed that I didn't want to have to put it down.
I really liked how I didn't have to wait till the last fifty or so pages for the actual storyline to come into play. Because frankly I get a little bored when it takes over half a book for the premise of a book to come into play, but Angelfire gets right down to the bones of the story, and then there's my favorite part... What did you really think I was going to tell you? I'll just say that I went back and re-read that part just to make sure I read it right.
One of the things that made Angelfire such a great read was Ellie, the main character. I loved how she was such a strong female character, which made for a really refreshing YA read (so glad to have found an action book with a female character that kicks-butt). I also loved how sarcastic she was.
I loved reading about the bond between Ellie and Will; it gave both characters more depth with how easily they seemed to be able to read each other.
So my favorite scene in Angelfire happens to be one that I CANNOT tell you about because it would giveaway entirely too much (plot twist!), but I will say that scene just completely blew my mind. My least favorite thing about Angelfire would have to be that I don't own a finished copy yet and it doesn't come out till the 15th. :(
Final Verdict: Angelfire is a great action packed debut with thrilling writing. Bonus, it has minimal swearing and will be released in a matter of days. I'll also be posting a content rating on Rating Reads later this week.
After re-reading both of Robin McKinley’s Damar books (The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword) I was wondering how on earth Pegasus was going to ho...moreAfter re-reading both of Robin McKinley’s Damar books (The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword) I was wondering how on earth Pegasus was going to hold-up to two of my favorite fantasy reads… and then I got into Pegasus which completely blew my mind it was so good.
I must admit that I was a bit worried when I first heard the title of the book (Pegasus), and that they would play quite a big role in the book, but my fears were banished pretty early on in the book. Now I cannot imagine what it would have been like without the connection between the humans and their Pegasus. Pegasus isn’t your typical fantasy book where the MC ends up going on an epic quest that usually ends up with them fighting in some huge battle it definitely has enough internal subterfuge to leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. If I had a list of favorite fantasy heroines, Sylvie would most likely be at the top of my list. It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly I liked about her without risking giving something away, so I’ll just leave it at she’s a fantastic protagonist and I would love to run across her in another story. This time I’m going to pass on telling y’all what my favorite part in the book was, and instead tell about my two favorite things about Pegasus: 1.) I loved how vivid the descriptions of everything was. They just brought the book to life without overshadowing the story. 2.) I loved the relationship between Sylvie and Ebon; I would rank them as one of my favorite friend duos. I can hear it now y’all are waiting for to hear what’s was my least favorite part of the book. Well prepare to be disappointed, I loved every single bit of the book and couldn’t find a single thing that I didn’t enjoy about it.
Final verdict on Pegasus: I loved it and plan on buying a finished copy as soon as it hits the shelves. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, and a bonus to it being a great read, it’s a very clean read.
Pegasus earns 5 out of 5 pineapples for being made of awesome. (less)
I was a bit nervous going into reading Taken by the Others, because it was my first review copy, but it was an absolutely thrilling read an...moreARC Review:
I was a bit nervous going into reading Taken by the Others, because it was my first review copy, but it was an absolutely thrilling read and I cannot wait to get my hands on the first book in the series to see how it all started.
One of the things that fascinated me the most about the story was how the Others presence were known by everyone and knowledge of them wasn’t just limited to those who either hunted them or had a run in with them at some point. Plus it was interesting to see them given rights and protected by the law, it definitely made things more complicated and opened up the story a bit.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Taken by the Others is how the suspense slowly built up throughout the book. Let’s just say that by time I hit the middle of the book I was so averse to putting it down because I wanted to know how it was going to end and whether or not they were all going to make it out in one piece.
Definitely one of the best points in the book was getting a glimpse into Shiarra’s head during the fights and hearing her thoughts on what she’d just done. It was also interesting how she wasn’t this fearless let’s run right into danger unprepared kind of character, yet she wasn’t going to back down and let someone else fight her battles for her.
I really liked the main character Shiarra; she had just the right amount of stubborn, pigheadedness, but my favorite thing about her was her sarcasm and the witty banter that went on between her and Royce and Devon.
The one thing that I really liked about Taken by the Others was that there was absolutely no questionable content in the book at all, which I found to be quite refreshing to not have to skip pages due to content I’m uncomfortable reading.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was all the swearing. I felt that the characters just threw the f-word around too much, but other than that I don’t have any complaints about this amazing book.
Taken by the Others was a truly thrilling experience and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the H&W Investigations series.
Taken by the Others earns 4 out of 5 pineaaples.(less)