I love Karou: her eccentricities and her secrets, her bright blue hair and her drawings of mo...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
I love Karou: her eccentricities and her secrets, her bright blue hair and her drawings of monsters. She is the exact opposite of those spineless heroines who act like doll-puppet hybrids and follow whatever the guy counterparts tell them to do. Karou instead attacks her guy counterpart with Chinese crescent-moon blades. The difference is obvious, yes?
Then there is the fact that the book centers around Prague. Prague! Some place that is not the US or England or France. Do you have any idea how refreshing that is? Although Karou zooms in and out of this city -- this reality, even -- throughout the novel, we still get to catch glimpses of lovely Prague and its “ghost tours” and cathedrals.
And of course, the plot is deliciously twisted and full of so many weird elements that they all somehow come together and successfully contribute to the novel’s uniqueness. There are rooms filled with nothing but jars and jars of teeth. There are scuppy necklaces that give you teeny, tiny wishes. There are puppet masters and dressed like the reflection of moonlight across the water. Really, I have never read anything quite like Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It’s just so strange.
I love its strangeness.
This novel also features a wonderfully done star-crossed romance. Who knew that was even possible in YA? It’s a dark romance, too, full of sacrifices and misplaced trust. But it was also sweet and oh so satisfying.
Although the ending of Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not a cliffhanger, per se, I still want more. Now all I can do is shake my fists in the air and implore Ms. Taylor to publish the sequel as soon as possible. Or maybe I’ll take the less violent route and just read this book again. And again. And again.
Willow has always been psychic. Simply grasping someone’s hand will give her access to a...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Willow has always been psychic. Simply grasping someone’s hand will give her access to a person’s possible futures, which Willow views as branchings off a tree. When her classmate Beth unexpectedly asks for a reading, Willow is plunged into a world of deadly, human-consuming angels and slowly begins to understand the intricacies of cattle farming -- or human aura trafficking, whichever term you prefer. As the angels become aware of Willow’s existence and decide that they want her dead, Willow is whisked off on a daring escape plan with angel assassin Alex, and the two set off on a road-trip to save themselves and perhaps the entirety of humankind. It turns out to be a trip filled with deception and gun chases and auto theft; after all, these aren’t peaceful little fluffy-winged angels we’re talking about here.
Angel Burn contains a set of very untraditional angels and two extremely cute main characters -- and here, I seriously stress the word cute. The evil angels’ background acted as a great hook, and the author knows exactly how to create enough suspense to prevent the reader from putting down the book. The alternating perspectives are slightly disjointed at times, but overall it succeeded in portraying the feelings of various characters. Willow is the only one honored with first person, and in my humble I’m-not-an-editor-but-it’s-ok opinion, the author would have been better off simply keeping her in third person like the rest of the characters.
Kudos to Miss Weatherly for giving Alex and Willow time to get to know each other before proceeding to the lovey-dovey stage. However, once they got to that stage, the cheesiness began to overwhelm. Now, I am generally a proud enjoyer of cheesy romance novels; still, there were some scenes that morphed my aww, they’re so adorable into an ugh, guys, please stop before I start puking rainbows.
All in all, this novel was a surprisingly great read. I am looking forward to the sequel, Angel Fire.
Book Source: ARC from Candlewick Press via NetGalley(less)
Having read a bit of Alyson Noel’s paranormal series The Immortals before, I started Radiance...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
Having read a bit of Alyson Noel’s paranormal series The Immortals before, I started Radiance with expectations. The beautiful pastel blue cover and the rolling field of blue flowers were undoubtedly attracting factors. However, Radiance proved to be less gorgeous than its cover -- far less. After the first few pages, it became just another one of those mediocre what-life-is-like-after-you-die YA stories. For me, this type of plot is either a hit or a miss. Radiance was a miss.
A round of applause goes to the protagonist, Riley Bloom, for securing a spot on my characters-I-would-like-to-maim list. Seriously, has there ever been a more annoying 12-year-old girl in the history of YA lit? Since the story is in first person, the reader gets treated to 24/7 updates on Riley’s feelings as she complains and worries and complains and worries some more. The puppy love set up in here was also totally unnecessary. If the romance doesn’t aid the plot or spice it up for the reader, why bother putting it there? The entire book read like a novella, with barely any build-up of tension and a climax that was not climatic at all.
There was one line in Radiance that really got me, and not exactly in a positive way, either. So Riley, who just so happens to be complaining about the lack of fashion sense of a particular guy, remarks: “Just close your eyes and ask -- What would Joe Jonas wear?
OK, mentioning the Jonas Brothers (who I just so happen to dislike immensely) is called failure. Failure failure failure… Alyson Noel also mentions good ol’ Robert Pattinson, to which I responded with headKindle -- banging my head frustratingly on my Kindle to relieve stress.
I always prefer to end reviews on a positive note, so here it is: Radiance used the word “discombobulated” twice. I think this is the first time I’ve seen that delightful word in a published book!
Will I be picking up the sequel Shimmer? No. But I do feel that this book was geared toward younger teens. Maybe kids below the age of 13 would gobble this stuff up like pie...
June 2, 2011 Ugh, no. Did I really give this a 3.5 back in November? How naive I was...
November 5, 2010 Heaven and Hell are both vying for the same thing -- Frannie Cavanaugh, the one girl that can tip the scales and change the world forever. Luc is sent from Hell's Acquisitions, and Gabe is dispatched from Heaven. Their tasks are simple: to tag Frannie's soul for their own side before the other succeeds. A love triangle forms as the two boys gradually begin to understand the girl they were ordered to retrieve. But this girl has secrets of her own.
Told from the points of view of Frannie and Luc, this novel was an undeniably addicting read. This human and demon had completely different voices, and the author executed that well with the implementation of the two first person perspectives. The writing itself, while not exactly the most eloquent, was effective and managed to convey the meaning well. Although the relationship between Frannie and Luc could have used a bit more development to raise the authenticity level, it was acceptable. This applies to the interactions between Frannie and Gabe, too.
Fans of the Twilight saga would definitely enjoy this book, as I did notice a few similarities between the two character-wise. Overall, a solid debut by Lisa Desrochers.
As an angel-blood, Clara has a purpose in life—the sole reason she exists on earth in th...moreThis review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.
As an angel-blood, Clara has a purpose in life—the sole reason she exists on earth in the first place. With nothing to guide her but visions of a boy in a forest fire and the annoyingly confusing comments her angel mother tells her, Clara and her family move from sunny California to snowy Wyoming in an attempt to complete her purpose. It is there that Clara comes face to face with Christian, the boy in her dreams, and delves into the complicated world of high school love and Nephilim war. As circumstances become even more perplexing, Tucker appears in Clara’s life. Fun, normal, dimpled Tucker. Clara is the one who must make the decision, for who else can do so for her?
Cynthia Hand’s debut, Unearthly, was gorgeously written. She managed to depict an authentic teen voice without going overboard with the standard ALL CAPS to express emotion and the internet slang (ie. OMG, LOL, WTF) that has infused itself into the world of teenagers. To say that I flipped open this book with skepticism would be an understatement, since I’ve had almost traumatic experiences with YA angel books before. Surprisingly, Unearthly proved to be different from the rest. Unlike the clichés that are prevalent in other angel books—the dark and brooding fallen angel who falls in love with a human girl—this book delivers a unique twist that left me flipping the pages one after another deep into the night.
Of course, we also encounter the infamous love triangle here, but the author handled it well, and I thank her for not following the conventional route most other YA books do. There is actually a development in the boy and girl’s relationship—a concept often lacking in YA fiction. Instead of love at first sight, a steady build-up of attraction occurs that seems real instead of crafted. I especially adore the ending, oh how I grinned like a maniac at the book in my hands when Clara finally makes up her mind.
This is the beginning of a great series, and I will definitely be on the look-out for future works by Cynthia Hand.
To say that I started this book on the wrong footing would be an understatement.
1) For some peculiar reason (curiosity?), I decided to read the status updates of this review before I started. Very bad idea. -.- 2) I've also always been under the assumption that City of Glass would be the end of The Mortal Instruments, but well, you know, I guess not... 3) I read the last TMI book in 8th grade, which wasn't that long ago. It is, however, long enough for me to have read a ton of other books and realize that maybe this series wasn't that amazing after all.
My experience in a nutshell: It felt like Ms. Clare was grasping at straws in this book. I liked the first 3 books well enough, but City of Fallen Angels had a messy plot and a too convenient resolution. I will be gritting my teeth and finishing the entire series (which has now been extended to 6 books) since I always feel inclined to finish series that I've gotten into... Overall, enjoyable read.