One examination is what it takes to determine the status a person lives their entire life. Numbers 5 and hig...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
One examination is what it takes to determine the status a person lives their entire life. Numbers 5 and higher enjoys a privileged and glamorous life while a 2 or 3 will have to work harder just to eat not including the 1s who are sent Elsewhere because they are categorized as dumb enough to be able to work or function. Kitty knows how unfair this system is when she took her test. Kitty was given and marked a III. Competent to be included in the society but restricted and controlled by the government. When opportunity knocked on the door and the promise for the life of a VII presented itself, Kitty accepted with gusto. Little did she know that the bargain she struck demanded more than she could ever commit.
Dystopian stories are not a preferred genre of mine for unknown reasons. I don’t hate it, its just that Dystopian will not be a first choice whenever I pick a book. But Aimee Carter is one of my favorite author because of her Goddess Tet series so requesting Pawn was a no brainer. I wanted to see if she can deliver a good story as engaging and good as her other works but in a completely different genre. With that said, reading Pawn was harder to digest than what I had expected. I mean this in a good way though so let me explain. The story has its appeal – well crafted characters, engaging storyline and a very dramatic and climatic series of events that will definitely make any reader giddy with excitement. It was one blow after the other and I enjoyed it, but I also had to slow down a pace to brace myself with what’s happening. I wouldn’t say the story was hard to follow either nor was it complicated – it wasn’t. I think I was just too overwhelmed and caught off guard with revelation after revelation.
Speaking of characters, the Harts are definitely a handful. Oh boy, they had more issues and drama than any fictional family I encountered. From Augusta to Lila, they form the family that had soo much issue it comes to a point of exhausting. Augusta, or who I call wicked oldie, was one mean and manipulative b*tch. A very well written and vile character who really pushed my buttons. All that mattered to her was power – it wasn’t about family or “for the greater good”. She is the government regardless who the prime minister was. Daxton on the other hand also pushed my button but not enough to hate him than Augusta. But since there’s another book I think I haven’t seen enough of him yet. The supporting characters were OK but not to memorable to leave a mark. Then there’s Kitty. Strong willed and determined Kitty, I know I’d like her the moment she thought she had more potential that her III. I love a lead character who knows their right to anything. I know I’ll be seeing more of Kitty in the next book especially after what I read from the last few chapters! Ohh things are going to be itty gritty – I can feel it! One last thing to note – I love how the author didn’t build the story around romance or with a love triangle. Woooot! I’ve said this a dozen time with my reviews recently, a book is not incomplete if there is little to no focus on romance especially if its not contemporary – we do enjoy a well written romance but it’s a case to case basis. :)
So I’ve babbled enough so lets wrap things up. Pawn is incredible if it wasn’t obvious yet. I have never doubted Carters gift for delivering a good story and Pawn proved to me as a reader that she has mad skillz. I am definitely looking forward to more. If you are not familiar with Aimee Carter then this is the time and/or the book to start – totally worth it!(less)
What captivated me in requesting this ARC was the cover. I was so drawn to the cover that I immediately clic...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
What captivated me in requesting this ARC was the cover. I was so drawn to the cover that I immediately clicked without reading what the story was about. The cover was just striking and I wished for the best when I started reading it. I know that it’s not a good idea but we all do it once in a while. Anyway, enough about that. Here’s what I got to say regarding The Waking Dreamer.
The Waking Dreamer is first in series so its crucial for this book to be explosive. I believe that for series to be successful an author needs to deliver and be in their A game since book one because unless that happens, who would be enthusiastic and excited in picking the next one? There are exceptions but your story should either be mysterious and intriguing or has redeeming factors that can entice a reader. Without that – you loose your readers immediately. Inline with that thought, The Waking Dreamer delivered – big time! The Waking Dreamer gave me more than what I expected and I finished the book with a big smile on my face.
The Waking Dreamer is a fantasy book with characters who are Bards, Druids, etc who happens to fight against a common enemy that are very creepy I tell you. The story is focused mainly on Emmett who happens to become a very important and powerful player and though I didn’t had the chance to really get to know Emmett, I still connected with the character and he shows a huge potential to be a strong lead partnered with Amala and Keiran who happens to be a great duo. Amala is very powerful and has snakes for what they call a Wisdom (like familiar with witches I believe) and her partner Keiran is a Bard with a very strong character and can be quite funny. Emmett loves to drop movie references so readers who adores pop culture in their read, you’ll enjoy Emmett.
A bit of issue I had with the story was how it was written. Alexander writes very fluidly and richly BUT tends to go overboard with the details resulting in me wanting to skip on some parts of the story. And you don’t want that. I need consistency and enough balance to fully enjoy the world building, progress and the characters as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, the story once it starts is very swift and fast paced. Tons of action, death and nail biting fight sequences but you can get lost with the lengthy delivery of the story and the author tends to kill some characters who haven’t been in the story long enough to leave a mark.
Anyway, overall I really enjoyed and am looking forward to the next installment. Wish that the author tones down or at least shortens how the story is being described – balance the story telling with the other elements and the series will be amazing. I can’t wait for the net book and hoping that I enjoy it as much as The Waking Dreamer.(less)
There’s really no telling how to determine a psychic medium with true abilities. Alexandra King has her stor...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
There’s really no telling how to determine a psychic medium with true abilities. Alexandra King has her stories to share in this department. With all the impersonators running around and doing their theatrics – you can expect that Alexandra King is the real deal. Her abilities as a psychic not only helps her career but it is her life. Recently employed by her good friend Zach, Alexandra is on a mission to find Zach’s missing brother but ends up with something far from her expectations and more.
Reading On The Scent, which was the first book in the series, was so different from Something Wicked. Asides the fact that the main character were both psychic – there wasn’t much similarities between the two but the story line does continue with a different focus. On The Scent was a cute and light read Something Wicked on the other hand was more thrilling. Something Wicked is Alexandra and Dylan’s story line and although there is a focus in the romance department, Something Wicked has an explosive and amazing story (serial killing+ghosts) that readers will enjoy. The romance is also not cutesy stuff, I have to emphasize on that, but the “mature sexy sophisticated” kind. Steamy at some point too! Watch out for those.
I don’t know what it is but I love reading Something Wicked more than I did with the first book. Both are equally good but Something Wicked is better in my opinion. Alexandra is really an awesome woman and has a fabulous character that exudes confidence. She is one tough cookie but she does show her delicate side once in a while. Dylan on the other hand matches the hotness and confidence of Alexandra making them a strong and dynamic combination that elevated the story – they have chemistry and I believed the attraction. Another note that I would like to add is that although Something Wicked CAN be read as a stand alone, I advice you to still read On The Scent just to get acquainted with Hannah and Zach. You’ll enjoy the story better.
Something Wicked is a great pick if you want to read something fast paced with an interesting story that doesn’t only focus on one angle. Something Wicked is a story that highlights more on characters than the plot so I can guarantee you that you will never read a story with flat characters. Campbell also writes does not write with unnecessary flourish and I say that in a good way. She doesn’t need fillers or any tactic with her work because she knows she has a story and she has the talent to deliver. In addition, her works exceeds a readers expectation as what it did to me so yey for an amazing author. Something Wicked may not be as booming and spectacular as some highly praised books but it is a damn good book so grab a copy! Enjoy.(less)
I should have written this review right after I read Paper Valentine – its been a while and I feel like I wo...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
I should have written this review right after I read Paper Valentine – its been a while and I feel like I would not give the proper credit to this book just because I forgot a few details that need to be highlighted but I will try my best. I’ve read Yovanoff’s The Replacement a few years back and love how effectively creepy her writing is. I knew back then that Yovanoff will be an author that I will watch out for in the future. When I saw Paper Valentines, I immediately know I need to read it for myself because Yovnoff definitely knows her stuff. It may not be hardcore scary and creepy but she nails a story good.
Paper Valentines is a crime thriller that dips into a lot more than just solving the mystery. Paper Valentines also has a touch of a lot of everything else that makes it harder to pinpoint where the book really falls into but that is also its strongest trait because you’ll never know what is in store for you. Although the main story is about serial killings, Paper Valentine also explores the bond of friendship between Lillian and Hannah and a start of a unusual yet cute romance between Finny and Hannah – those small details that solidified the story as a whole.
The characters were amazing in Paper Valentine. We have a very strong lead in Hannah who happens to see her dead friend Lillian. Hannah is very timid, down to earth and just lovely. There’s a certain light in her personality that you’ll love though I believe she changed after Lillian died due to anorexia. Lillian is a ghost but Hannah has the ability to sees her. Though that part was never explored, I didn’t have any issues with it because it all worked out perfectly. They both balanced each other plus the bond between these two is so touching and sad yet beautiful. Finny or the male interest in the story is the brooding, mysterious and not the typical boy that everybody is rooting for. The hardass if you will. Though I may never understand how these two clicked, I liked it. Here’s another detail I love about Paper Valentine. It is story that didn’t need romance to sell. I was never the focal point of the story – which again, I loved.
As I said, Paper Valentine is not a horror book. It wasn’t scary or anything but the creep factor was on the right track. The story is very straight forward but there’s something about Paper Valentine that will definitely make your skin scrawl. And that gives you an idea how good Yovanoff can write and deliver her goods. She knows her stuff. Overall, Paper Valentine is a great read and one that I can recommend. It is fast paced, great well rounder characters, a story that is not complicated but has that pull to its readers from chapter one to the last page and it has a little bit of everything from ghosts, serial killers, etc. Perfect fit for any reader. This is a book worth reading no matter what your mood and preference is.(less)
From the first installment, Monster Hunter, to the sequel Blade’s Edge I had been telling you guys over and...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
From the first installment, Monster Hunter, to the sequel Blade’s Edge I had been telling you guys over and over how much I enjoy this series and how it will rock your socks off. This series contains everything that comprises to what a good series is all about: amazing characters, engaging plot line, exciting and gripping action scenes and nerve-wracking cliffhangers that will make you want to read the next installment like it’s the last piece of chocolate bar on earth. Okay,enough – let me tell you reasons why you should pick this series
Plot – any story that engages a reader is definitely and should be on top of a readers list. Apart from well written and developed characters, this is one aspect of any book that impacts my overall opinion of whether I would recommend it. From Monster Hunter up to this book, it didn’t disappoint in keeping me hooked. I enjoyed every word of every page and the excitement just builds up throughout the story without any down time for anyone to get a chance to be bored. Characters – Matt Archer is a very strong and charismatic lead. I love his attitude and chemistry with the supporting characters, even with those that has the shortest life span. He’s easygoing yet very mature and responsible. Very enjoyable to read plus he is kinda cute in spite the scary bad ass knife wielding powers he possess. The loyal friend Will is very entertaining as well. The chemistry between these two just seals the deal. You can see the difference of our main characters from the first book up to now and I love how everyone fits the bigger picture so far but looking forward to what happens next because that last page was definitely a WTF moment in the series.
Pacing – I can definitely attest on how effect Highley’s writing style is. As I said, there were no down time in the book – the pacing was very bam bam bam if you know what I mean. You get one scene after the other so be sure that you do have time to read through because it’ll be hard putting the book down. Don’t worry about the world building as well because the story wasn’t written with a complicated one. It’s very realistic asides e the magic and monsters.
Ending – It’s an OMG, WTF and I-need-to-read-the-next-installment-right-now-or-else moment for me. This is one example of a cliffhanger done right. It was perfect and again, as I said I am looking forward on how Highley will continue with this story because that ending can go different ways from there. My excitement is through the roof and definitely reading the next book ASAP.
So there you have it. If I didn’t express how awesome and amazing this book is, then I definitely and highly advice that you pick a copy of Monster Hunter and thank me afterwards. You’ll never regret it, trust me.(less)
Nazirah Nation always knew where her place was. She is born an intermix – people who are born of different r...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Nazirah Nation always knew where her place was. She is born an intermix – people who are born of different races – but never did she had any qualms with her life. She was happy. Intermix don’t have the luxury as some have but she embraces the life she has. Nazirah has a loving family and everything is perfect until the day that Adamek took it all away. Nazirah is out for blood – no matter what it takes.
Intermix Nation is your typical story with a dystopian centered plot. You have an emotionally charged situation + a shattered yet strong presence from a herione + and the last straw to spark the movement. Nazirah finds herself in the center of it all because her brother leads the rebellion himself but Nazirah’s head is not in it. She is broken beyond repair by the death of her parents and her heart is not in the cause no matter how encouraging her brother is.
To be honest, I wasn’t too invested and connected with Nazirah primarily because she can be a bit self centered and selfish in the first half of the book. It was always about her her her and no one else – that was what ticked me off given that there was a bigger picture/battle than her pain. She did changed in the other half of the book which was great but still her inconsistency and hypocrisy was boarder unbearable. She is strong I give you that but she was not the heroine I had in mind for the story. Adamek on the other hand was a surprise. Initially, I thought I would hate this guy but his sincerity and eagerness to find redemption and forgiveness was very heartbreaking. Adamek is a cold blooded killer. Someone who does not hesitation because he needed to and he’s very good at this missions. This is a character that you would hate right? But there’s something in Adamek and his sincerity in finding forgiveness that touched my heart and believed in the goodness deep within him. He’s very charming too and funny – complete opposite of Nazirah’s gloominess and snark.
The story was very clean and it was easy to follow. I’m glad that the author didn’t sell the book through a romantic plot. The author has amazing writing skills to be able to deliver a story and wrap everything in a single book given that this is a dystopian novel. We all know how many series are out there and some failed miserably. For the first time, I have read a stand alone dystopian and it was pure awesomeness! That alone plus the fact that I didn’t have any major issues with the book overall is a statement of how amazing both the author and her work is. Highly recommended. Don’t miss out on a chance to read this book – it is worth your time!(less)
First of all, fair warning to all the readers who wish to read Vortex. If you are not familiar with the seri...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
First of all, fair warning to all the readers who wish to read Vortex. If you are not familiar with the series, please read/re-read Tempest first – I’m happy that I did as the gap between the books can be quite daunting and can hinder one from following the story smoothly since Vortex picks directly where the first book stopped and the world can be intimidating and confusing. With that said, here’s what I thought about Vortex.
I’d like to start by saying that I can definitely say that reading Vortex is way better than what I experienced when I read Tempest. Characters were stronger, plot direction and progression was better and I got to enjoy it more than I did Tempest. It wasn’t boring t all plus I get to learn more about Jackson without irritation from all the jumps he did in Tempest.
The main issue I had with Tempest was following the complicated world and the idea of the story plus the factor that I couldn’t connect with any of the characters AND the fact that it was heavily centered on the romantic plot of Jackson and Holly. But now with Vortex, Cross really represent and gave me something to look forward to in the story and I was really invested now unlike before. Vortex dabbles more on the plot development and the EOT so expect more action packed scenes that are really gripping and exciting. In terms of Jackson’s time traveling, it was less in Vortex than it was in Tempest – which was really a bummer especially if you don’t understand the world at that point. But now, everything aspect of the story seems to be working.
In addition to that, Vortex introduces new, interesting and intriguing characters that added a different layer to the story although I do miss Adam because he was simply adorable. Again, I am not a fan of the romance. I can do without it and I kind of hate that this series is half about Jackson and Holly. These two just does not work for my taste. Although Jackson is ‘better’ here, Holly remains flat and forgettable. Ohhh and the ending was amazing! Won’t even attempt to talk about it so I wont spill and spoilers.
Overall, Vortex is definitely a good read. Although the series can be quite confusing, reading book two will help you understand the world better. A very well written and engaging sequel that will be enjoyed by readers who craves a challenging story with time traveling aspects. Vortex really helped redeem the series and hoping that the next book does not disappoint.(less)
I’ve read Tempest immediately after I read Tomorrow is Today which was a short novella before this and to be...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
I’ve read Tempest immediately after I read Tomorrow is Today which was a short novella before this and to be honest, I can’t remember everything about Tomorrow is Today or my first reading of Tempest. That doesn’t sound good huh? Now, I needed to read Tempest again for a refresher because I’ll be reading and reviewing Vortex. Remembering and comparing bits and pieces of how I felt about Tempest before I can safely say my opinion did not change much. An OK yet very confusing read that is not recommended to everybody but will be enjoyed by some. Got it? Good, now let us dig deeper. :)
Tempest, or the series so far, is mainly about Jackson and his ability to time travel + he fights bad guys. That’s the gist and core of the story. I know it’s not only that but to simplify it that’s what you should expect. I am very picky with choosing books about time travelling because admit it, it can be very confusing if done wrong and I am not really into them. But I have read good ones so there’s no issue there. With regards to Tempest though I don’t love it to death but I did enjoy reading it enough to finish and be motivated to read Vortex to see what happens next – confusing no?
So let’s start with the characters. Jackson is a teenage boy who lately discovers that he can time travel. There’s nothing that jumps out besides the fact that he can time travel. Then we have his girlfriend named Holly. Again, a very flat character that does not stand out in the story. The two of them in a relationship did not do any good as well as I really didn’t connect with them in any way for a reason I’ll explain in a bit. The other characters in the story were very predictable besides the little girl from the future (who I forgot the name) and Jackson’s dead sister Courtney. Those ladies I would love to read if Cross explored them a little bit more rather than focusing on the romance of our main character.
So the main reason why I did not connect with Jackson or Holly is the fact that the story moved too fast. I felt that I have missed something. It is evident that Holly will eventually be shot and will die but that part was introduced too soon in the story that I did not have any feelings invested or whatsoever. Another factor why the relationship of Jackson and Holly didn’t work for me was because they were boring as individual character and more boring as a couple. In addition to that, I hate cheesy relationships when it is not needed and Tempest had that. I needed more time travelling than Jackson reminiscing future/past Holly.
Here’s a big downer in Tempest – the universe of Jackson and the laws of time travelling created by Cross is very confusing and undeveloped. I had a lot of questions that are left unanswered which made it more difficult to follow the story. Jackson jumps back and forth between past and present time lines but no matter how many times he jumps or whatever he does in the past does not affect the future whatsoever. How is that possible? Parallel universe is talked about but how does it relate to the story – it was never fully sorted out. Even when the characters are explaining half jump, full jump, or the effects or lack thereof of Jackson’s jumps was no help at all. A lot of reviewers explained this better than I am doing so I’ll stop here because this is becoming a rant.
Finally, we have the twist and the big ending. Twist about the dad and the story of his(Jackson) life was very predictable. Now he breaks up with Holly since she becomes a big target unless he does that – nothing new to that as well. There are signs that he’s going to be an agent to fight against EoT too! Ohh did I not discuss EoT? Well there’s nothing much to discuss really asides the fact that they are a group of time travelers who has a different agenda compared to Jacksons group. In short, the bad guys.
I hate rating books lower than 3 stars – there is so little time to waste over books that are not compelling or memorable but we can’t always win every battle right? I believe I would have loved Tempest if the story was more thought out in terms of explaining how exactly time traveling works in Cross’ universe and if the people in the story were written with more character. The romance didn’t help either. Tempest will most likely be loved by readers who devours stories about time travel but it wasn’t working for me.
Now I am very afraid with reading Vortex but I do hope that it gets better! Fingers crossed.(less)
There’s something about Time Spell that caught my attention from the very start. We have a book, a witch and...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
There’s something about Time Spell that caught my attention from the very start. We have a book, a witch and the ability to time travelling. Just thinking about the endless possibilities made me want to read the book instantly. I love the concept of a witch who uses her magic to whip up a story for a book. I was excited to read the first in the series and for most parts I enjoyed Time Spell but it has its holes that I couldn’t ignore.
Basically, Ivy Grace is a witch who traveled back to 1968 in Las Vegas with the quest of finding that perfect story for her book. In a gist, she found that story, wrote and published it which became a smashing success. Ivy Grace’s life couldn’t get more better than this but one day, the inevitable happened an Ivy Grace is faced with a problem that she needed to face.
Time Spell is indeed sassy and intriguing with a very strong female lead however some bits and pieces doesn’t mesh together for me to the story. I felt that there were certain parts of the book that needed more build up and development. For one, I was expecting a story focused more on Ivy Grace’s magic rather than the mystery behind the story of her book. I was expecting more information about her family and her witch-y nature but the information given to me was not enough. I wanted to get to know the characters a little better. In addition to that, I nearly know nothing about the male counterpart in the story – Finn or Jack which resulted to me having no emotional investment in the relationship part whatsoever. Although one can follow the story with ease, the lack of development in the characters just loses the appeal to a reader.
Time Spell is written with a vision and I like the idea of T.A’s story but I needed more. As I said, story is easy to follow as T.A style is not that difficult to adjust to plus the idea of magic in Time Spell is unique but I needed more. I love the idea of magic that can be taught or shared but a witch also has their distinct spell that couldn’t be shared and is particularly theirs. I am interested in learning more of that. Again, Time Spell is an interesting and quick read but I expected more. It has enormous potential and I believe as the story continues, I’ll have a different opinion – story and character wise. It just saddens me that the first book in the series didn’t provide me with the wow factor I was looking for.(less)
When Dianne emailed about Starry Nights, I immediately jumped in to get a chance to review the book. It was...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
When Dianne emailed about Starry Nights, I immediately jumped in to get a chance to review the book. It was everything that enticed me – Paris, paintings, a feminine lead, love and a bit of mythology – well who could say no to that right? It was a definite yes for me any time of day. While I did enjoy reading the book, I find it lacking in a lot of areas which made me a tad sad after I finished Starry Nights and let me explain why.
Let’s start with the setting. Paris! Who doesn’t love reading a story set in one of the most romantic places ever? Paris, though I’ve never been to said place, is a marvel on its own. It is magical and it needs to be explored however in Starry Nights I couldn’t feel the spark of Paris no matter how deep I am in the story. It felt short and flat. Sure it talks about bits and pieces but it was very underwhelming – I wasn’t enjoying how it was portrayed in the story. I wanted and needed more.
The romance was very saddening for me as well. For one, it is instalove. I can and occasionally enjoy insta-love (in rare cases though) but in this story, it didn’t work. You don’t feel the electricity between Julien and Clio. There wasn’t even a sizzle. I think if they were developed properly, it would have worked but as I said insta-love doesn’t always work and most times it kills the story and that’s what happened here.
I may not have rated the story higher in the spectrum but there were parts of the book that made me go on. I love paintings and art history and Starry Nights talks about numerous given that Julien works in a museum. His love of art was very endearing and I love that about him. I am not an art geek or whatsoever but I do love reading about it and visualizing them. The twist that Whitney used for the story is very interesting and I love how the paintings were in the center of it all.
I think the book would be perfect for teen readers who enjoys a cute romantic love story but as for me, I needed more. It is a very quick read though and there is no issue in the pacing or the style it was delivered – it just wasn’t working for me.(less)
Stormdancer – aaah! A book that gave me a major headache as I started reading it but surprised me as I progr...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Stormdancer – aaah! A book that gave me a major headache as I started reading it but surprised me as I progressed and breezed through the pages. To be honest, I had no intention of reading Stormdancer until the series is complete because I am very impatient with series lately. But I went on with it and I am completely torn between liking it or be frustrated about it. I’ll try to be thorough with my reasons so here we go.
The main reason why reading Stormdancer was problematic was due to the fact that the first few pages tends to be draggy. The execution wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it to be and there were a lot of information dumping during the first part of the book which is why it was hard to keep up with what is happening. I was reading the book for 3 days that time and I couldn’t get pass 1/4 of it. It came to a point that I was very confused as to who is who and what happened – it was maddening for me to re-read a page just to keep pace. Another was that sentences would go on and on about the itty bitty things, details that are unimportant for the story as a whole. I am all for flow-y and descriptive writing but Stormdancer gave me a major headache I couldn’t shake. These major issues was the reason why the story wasn’t grabbing my attention and I really wanted to stop reading it but I thought otherwise and I am glad I decided against DNF-ing it.
If you got around the issues of Stormdancer, I commend you. We now come to the goodness of what the other part of story has to offer. Stormdancer is a story that is set in a fantasy world that is heavily influence by Japanese culture – honor, duty, freedom – you’ll get all those goodness. Yukiko is an amazing lead for this story and though at times she can be a bit confusing and irritating – there’s no doubt that she is a good central character. My favorite in the story is actually the arashitora, Buruu. A very quirky and snarky character, Buruu brings out the best in Yukiko. I love the bond between these two and the moment that the arashitora talks, that’s when the fun began. I had a lot of laugh with Buruu and I can’t deny that he made my reading experience more worthwhile.
The ending was very satisfying and exciting altogether and I am thankful to Kristoff for not writing a cliffhanger because that would have been another issue. So as I said, the story picks up after the first few chapters so if you are hesitant to read Stormdancer because of the reviews floating around, don’t be. Don’t be intimidated. Just take your time absorbing the world that Kristoff offers because I can see the potential that The Lotus Wars has to offer and it does have a lot of redeeming factor in spite the issues I had with it. I am actually really excited to read the next book – I just need to grab a copy real soon.(less)
Sam Kingston is a teenager who possesses the 3P of what any high school teen wishes to be – pretty, popular...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Sam Kingston is a teenager who possesses the 3P of what any high school teen wishes to be – pretty, popular and privileged. Sam together with her with her three friends – Lindsay, Elody and Ally – is part of the top tier in their highschool. They are the “IT” group that every girl envies and every boy covets. These girls know how to live and swim in the popularity pool and they know it. One unfortunate day, Sam dies but wakes up relieving the last day of her life over and over seven times. How will Sam accept the horrible truth and what revelations will dawn on her during these last moments?
The story of Before I Fall starts in a heavy tone. We all know that Sam will experience an inevitable demise, that is a fact we all know as we dig into the story, but the story flows on like a walk through. Through the days that we relive Sam’s life we’ll see how the pieces fall into the puzzle and how Sam tries to fight and find a way out. I knew how intense and deeper Before I Fall was when I picked it up but I wasn’t aware at how greatly I will be affected after finishing it.
To be honest, you’ll dislike Sam at the first part of the book as she is very shallow, immature and selfish. She is not the type of teenager that our parents dream we become and she knows it. But the beauty in Before I Fall is how we come to understand Sam and follow her self discovery and struggle to the end. Sam’s friends are no different either. Like Sam, they are very superficial and arrogant. Though each has their own personality, you can definitely pinpoint and differentiate who is who in this friendship. They are great secondary character as they greatly affect Sam through the journey. There are additional characters like Juliet and Kent who drives Sam and who has great involvement in the whole scheme so watch out for them. Please bear in mind that Before I Fall is a book not suitable for younger readers. It includes inappropriate behavior like drinking, sex, bullying and the likes but I have to admit that I would recommend this read regardless the age for a lot of obvious reasons.
Reading through the story, I really have to say that Sam grew to understand that there are more to life than what one undergoes through high school. You’ll see Sam grow and change to someone who is a complete opposite of her former self. Her self discovery and growth is breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time and I love how Oliver wrote the story without straying for the original intention of the story. This is a fast read though the tone might not be light. As I said, I’ll recommend this book to any reader regardless the age just so they can read an astounding story about a girl who eventually knew what it meant to live.(less)
Ariane Tucker is an experiment. Created using human and alien DNA, Ariane knew that her life was in danger a...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Ariane Tucker is an experiment. Created using human and alien DNA, Ariane knew that her life was in danger after the escape in GTX. Ariane has 5 rules to follow in order to remain invisible and unnoticed. Follow the rules and Ariane has the freedom, break them and she loses the life she gravely deserves.
The Rules is a tricky read. It has bits and pieces of different element making the story intriguing as it already is. Theme is mainly focused in HS drama as Ariane experiences life as a teenager outside the lab she grew up in. It is tag as sci-fi due to the fact that Ariane is half human half alien but you wouldn’t fully experience the sci-fi elements to it. I’d say its majority, like 80% of it, is contemporary than the sci-fi you will expect which causes the letdown but this is the first installment so I didn’t mind it all too much. Don’t get me wrong, it is an entertaining story with interesting characters but be warned that this book may not come at level if you expect a heavily sci-fi influenced story – just so you know. :)
With regards to the characters, I’d say that they are better than most. I really can’t say anything bad about them, even Rachel who is the b*itch in this story. Each characters fits the puzzle in the story and played their part effectively. The nature of Ariane really reflects in terms of action and dialogue. You’ll know that there’s something off about the character, being half alien and all, but it wasn’t obvious. I like Ariane in her entirety. Even in solace and isolation, she speaks volume. The love interest, Zane Bradshaw, is such a cutiepie. Makes my heart swell with all things mushy. I love how he complements Ariane without even knowing it and who can resist a charming boy who can make you smile silly?? I couldn’t stop without talking about Rachel. WOW! Just wow. I love how she was written with such nastiness I actually was seething reading her scenes.
Each character has a distinct voice although some more vocal than most since this is a story told in Zane and Ariane’s POV. To be honest, I enjoyed Zane’s parts most than Ariane when it comes to entertainment and story development while with Ariane’s you’ll understand more of how she came to be so you’ll rely more to her when it comes to the back story. I also noticed that Ariane has a lot of mental dialogue that can sometimes come off as rambling and will be boring. In addition to that, the POV picks up right after the other so the pacing is seamless and easier to follow.
There wasn’t a shortage in plot twists in The Rules. Each bomb blowing off one after another though this happens in the latter part of the story. I have stated earlier the focus of the story shifts drastically so it can affect your feelings for the story. You may be reading about Ariane and her alien DNA then the story shifts to being contemporary with the HS drama and all that cliche stuff and then it will shift again to something entirely different. Confusing but oh well. While there’s no contesting that I enjoyed reading The Rules, it does has its flaws that affected my overall experience of it. But that doesn’t lessen the fact that The Rules is indeed a fast paced story with characters that are both likable and entertaining to read. I like The Rules and looking forward to the next installment to the series.(less)
I took me longer to wrap my mind towards Reboot wherein Tintera wrote a world unlike any other....moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm RATING ★★ 1/2
I took me longer to wrap my mind towards Reboot wherein Tintera wrote a world unlike any other. I have to say that it is very fresh and interesting. She used a concept that is written with variety but has proven that creativity doesn’t stop there. Her zombies are a curiosity so I was very excited to start this a week ago. Okay enough, on with the review.
Wren or 178 is the most fierce and feared agent in HARC. 178 is basically the minutes it took Wren to reboot after her death. The concept is that the longer it takes for a person to reboot, the more zombie-like they are. Mindless and follows orders without question, lacks empathy and very robotic like which makes them good agents while numbers less than 50 means they are more human. As a HARC agent, one of Wren’s responsibility is to train new reboots. This is where we meet Callum or 22. Callum is very stubborn, asks too many questions and very loud. He is the very example of an agent that HARC doesn’t need which results to a very complicated and dangerous dilemma. Callum will be terminated if he doesn’t improve. Now it’s up to Wren to save him.
Sounds good right? Well up to the point that Wren met Callum it was – exciting I mean. The chapter opened with an adrenaline induced action scenes that does give us an idea of how badass Wren is but the moment these two meet – I don’t know what happened but it became boring. I think the main issue I had with Reboot is the relationship of Wren and Callum. The development of the world and character clashes making the relationship not very believable and irritating. We are told that the longer one reboots, the less emotion they have but we find Wren developing emotions with Callum faster than expected. Imagine that?! I wasn’t buying the sparkles and romance between these two – I wasn’t even buying the supposed chemistry they have. It wasn’t working at all. This is the reason why some scenes and dialogue became ineffective no matter how mushy or lovey dovey it was written.I wasn’t feeling the love. Although I have to be ecstatic with the fact that its not instalove and there is no love triangle. Woohooo!!
I was looking for a story that focused more on being reboots or a story with killer action sequence but ended up with reading about Wren and Callum and how their relationship blossomed. Granted that we do get an idea of the current state of the world, also hear what are the issues in this apocalyptic story, and see glimpses of what lies ahead I just felt that story was too wrapped around the idea of Wren finding love with Callum. C’mon, this story could have done better than that.
Though the romance drove me away from completely loving Reboot, I was still persistent in finishing and finding out what’s next for these 2 so I finished it. A story with a very creative take to zombies, Reboot shows a lot of potential if only the author decided not to focus on the relationship. Contrary to popular belief, we (the readers) don’t read a book just for the romance. We love badass and intriguing characters who we can root for. We enjoy comedic twists to complicated plots. We love great chemistry with characters that doesn’t have to fall in love. We enjoy a chapter that contains action packed and heart racing fighting scenes. There were many road that Tintera could have taken but ended up with a zombie falling in love. Meeeh!(less)
The idea of clones is very fascinating and the possibilities are endless. When Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
The idea of clones is very fascinating and the possibilities are endless. When Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again sent me an email for the tour, and after reading the synopsis, I knew I wanted in. :) This was a story that seemed too good to pass.
The Originals has a very intriguing concept. We have three girls in the story although written in a single POV – Lizzie’s. The girls live the third of the day each but portraying a single person. Three girls who can pass out as triplets but in reality are clones. These girls has a very meticulous and strict routine that they religiously follow for security purposes. If they are found, then that poses a lot of issues for everyone that nobody wants to undergo.
The girls, although living as one person, all has distinct personalities. Lizzie, Betsey and Ella grew up as triplets but eventually lived representing one person so I can see how they developed their individualism in spite the latter circumstance which helped avoid a flat character and story. The routine runs smoothly without any complications until Lizzie fell in love with Sam. Sam is a very cute and endearing character. Although not as charming and swoon worthy as I imagined him to be, he has his way to Lizzie’s heart. The issue I had with this was the insta-love between these two. I expected something scandalous or more endangering for the disruption of the girls lives than just falling in love with a boy but that’s just me. Maybe I just wanted more drama and suspense in my read. The relationship wasn’t icky or mushy, it was just OK but I could have do without. Not an issue but more like an expectation was to have read more about the “before” of the girls. I would love to have read deeper into their creation and the how and why with regards to their mom but believe me you’ll get enough from The Originals to understand how everything came to be.
I haven’t read anything by Cat Patrick so I did not have a clue on what to expect towards her writing but right now I can tell you that she is good. She has a talent that helps readers to relate to her characters and her story engages readers until the very end. Her style is simple and straight forward and the dialogues doesn’t come off as weird especially when handling teenage characters. The relationship between her characters are dynamic as well. Another great thing about The Originals is that it is a quick read. Read it now and it only takes a few hours to finish. The story picks up easily towards the middle gearing to an heart racing ending that gives resolution and answers to your questions.
I enjoyed my experience in reading The Originals. It is perfect for readers who enjoys great contemporary. It is a good pick for readers who love mystique and suspense in their stories. It is a great choice for readers who loves an engaging story with dynamic characters. A quick pace story that will not disappoint until the last page.(less)
Why We Broke Up is one of those books that was so hyped when it came out it made me want to read it so badly...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Why We Broke Up is one of those books that was so hyped when it came out it made me want to read it so badly thinking that I was missing out on something. Finally, I got the chance to purchase a copy for myself and I was so giddy. The moment I got home and had the chance, I dived in. It took me a few attempts to start this book and approximately 2 months going back and forth – when I was done, I was completely torn between loving it or frustrated against it.
Why We Broke Up is basically a long break up letter by our main character, Min, to her ex boyfriend Ed. A story where Min writes a long winded explanation of why the relationship failed – with pure bitterness and angst I may add. It seemed promising reading the synopsis in the jacket and I was quite intrigued however it didn’t live up to par with my expectations and it left me undecided at the end. Though I may not have hated the book in its entirety, I did have my issues with it.
Min is an OK character but she lacked the appeal to make me invested to her character and the story. She’s quite different and we have to admit that we always root for such characters however I didn’t connect to Min at all. Due to the fact that the story is in Min’s POV, it was severely difficult to ease up to the story.
I enjoy novels with references regardless if it’s a movie, song, literature or whatnot since that’s one way of connecting to the story. I particularly love books with movie references whether it be an oldie or not, but Handler wrote the story with fictional movies that I couldn’t give a fudge about. I see what he’s trying to pull but it didn’t mesh and just left the readers quite confused 75% of the time especially Mins dialogue is populated by it.
Another issue that one may encounter is the lack of fluidity and “relationship” between Min and the other characters. You’ll read a few dialogue exchanges here and there but that’s it. Not much interaction going on. It was Min, Ed and the other characters.
On the other side, Handler captured the emotion any person feels after a breakup. You can feel the angst of a teenager, the hatred, the I-loved-you-once-but-not-anymore phase. You can also see that the breakup letter was written with passion and a broken heart. That was one thing I enjoyed about Why We Broke Up. Not everyone can deliver a letter such as Min, both full of love and bitterness at the same time. Handler has a distinct style in deliverance of a story unlike any other but his style isn’t for everyone. This is a story that anybody can relate, juvenile love, and Handler wrote the good and bad but the progress and the pacing can be really boring sometimes.
On another note though, Why We Broke Up is one beautiful book visually. This is where the praise highly piles up. Handler made the right decision choosing Maira Kalman to handle the visual aspect of the novel. This is one reason why I wanted to finish the story. You’ll be teased with illustrations which aren’t only memorable but also stunning, bold and vivid. Definitely adds emotional depth to the story. :)
Overall, Why We Broke Up is a story that portrays the rawness of the pain from a broken heart but also shows you the beauty of falling in love. A story that shows great potential from a talented author however as I said, it is not for everyone. Majority of the elements in the novel can be hard to adapt and like, but an interesting read. Visually it’s a 10 on the scale, story wise it’s a 5, and delivery and character wise it’s a 2. I may have liked it but I am not over the moon fond of it.(less)
Hannah Harrington will always be one of my auto-buy authors for the sole reason that she rocks. I have been...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Hannah Harrington will always be one of my auto-buy authors for the sole reason that she rocks. I have been enjoying her stories immensely and there has never been a case that she disappointed me to a point that I become skeptical whenever I see her name in a book. Hannah Harrington is awesome and she continues to wow me with her stories that just blow my mind.
Speechless is a very interesting story to start with. We become acquainted with Chelsea, our resident one girl gossip mill in her local high school. Like any normal teenager, Chelsea is self absorb, obsessed with shallowness and very reckless. She opens her mouth and spread whatever gossip she hears without any regard who’s it about or what will happen after. Chelsea doesn’t think twice as long as she stays in good graces with her popular best friend Kristen. One night everything changes. From being miss popular, she loses everything important to her even her freedom. Now she is taking a vow of silence, but until when?
Speechless is a straight cut story. A story about a girl who suffers the consequences of her carelessness and because of that takes a vow of silence. Chelsea eventually went from being the IT girl to being ridicules and bullied by peers. Chelsea is a very interesting character. We have seen a lot of “Chelsea” whether it be in books or movies but I love the fact that Chelsea Knot was written with visible flaws. She is insecure and she does feel inferior especially when it comes to Kristen. Speechless is purely Chelsea’s POV. We’ll see everything through Chelsea’s eyes – it is her journey from being capital bit*h to someone who understands that a pebble can become a boulder in mere seconds. Capital bit*ch she maybe but Chelsea Knot proves that anybody can redeem themselves given time and chance.
but when I said I have something to prove, I didn’t mean only to the kids at school. I have something to prove to myself. That I’m not who everyone thinks I am. That I can stick to this.
Supporting characters accompanying Chelsea were amazing as well. Although the cliche underdogs, the people she became friends were one of the biggest factors for her change to become effective and worth it. Chelsea saw the other side and the receiving end of all the crap she used to do and that gave her the understanding that everything a person does or say matters to somebody no matter how small it is.
Speechless is deep. It contains and talks about LGBT, bullying, discrimination, etc. LGBT is hard to work with – there are only a few authors who can do a good job and deliver a clear message. We all know that LGBT centered in a HS setting will always have discrimination and bullying to boot and just thinking about it makes me queasy and nervous at the same time. I was nervous at how Harrington will pull this off but she did it with flying colors. This is a book that everyone can relate to. Another great book if you have a pre-teen or a teenager in the household.
and it reminds me that my mistake was not in speaking out. No, my mistake was staying silent for too long.
Gabrielle is the Angel of Karma. One of the most powerful in Yahuwah’s army. Gabrielle might be strong but s...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Gabrielle is the Angel of Karma. One of the most powerful in Yahuwah’s army. Gabrielle might be strong but she has a lot on her shoulders right now. In addition to that, the imminent danger approaching seems to be unstoppable. How will Gabrielle deal with the catastrophic future when everything and everyone she loves is on the line?
I love the storyline of Inception and I have high hopes for the book. I enjoy a good angel story, a fascinating love story and who can resist a book with a war between good and evil? Everything sounds so tempting and interesting which is why I immediately read the story upon receiving a copy. For the record, I did like the story but to be honest I was bored 50% of it. Don’t get me wrong, Inception as a whole does have potential however I wasn’t liking how it was executed – it felt like it should have been a 2 parter or written with less narration. My boredom is due to the fact that the story was dragging to a certain point and I just wanted the story to move forward.
The first thing you’ll actually notice in the book is that Haviland knows how to write descriptively. She knows how to help readers picture the scenes accurately. I love how Haviland wrote a story with good characters and a world that is familiar yet different in so many levels. But that strength is also her weakness. It will come to a point that you’ll have enough. The outpour of information was too much for me to handle which resulted to me getting impatient and overwhelmed.
Since I already told you what I didn’t like in Inception, let me tell you what I did. Great part(s) in Inception that is very notable is the 1) Diverse characters, 2) Amazing and promising story line and 3) Great ending. The characters as I said are very diverse and multidimensional. They stand out. They have engaging dialogues and thoughts that add to the story more. Count the drama and conflict and you have a great combo. The story starts off shaky but eventually builds up and continues to be heart racing until the very end – and oh, has awesome plot twists too. Lastly, while I do detest cliffhangers I wasn’t bothered with the cliffhanger ending in Inception.
I maybe undecided on how to feel about the story for now due to the issue I mentioned above but I have to admit it does have some interesting and redeeming points. Inception is not an easy story. It has more to it that is undiscovered yet – more complex than what is expected – but I am excited to read what happens next.(less)
Mirabella Verdi is snarky yet smart. An upcoming freshman in a university, Mira tries to bala...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
RATING ★★★★ 1/2
Mirabella Verdi is snarky yet smart. An upcoming freshman in a university, Mira tries to balance what she wants for herself contrast what her family demands of her. Mira’s life wasn’t as turbulent and difficult as some dysfunctional family however Mira didn’t experience things easy either. Being part of Mira’s family means that you have to appreciate tough love.
Mira has a very strong personality. She’s very opinionated and doesn’t think twice before opening her mouth. She can be condescending, judgmental and offensive – super b*tch to a point however, I knew there’s more to Mira than what she’s showing. She doesn’t have any friends but she likes it that way. Mira has been hardened enough that she finds it better to be a recluse than lose the people she love. No real emotions to invest. When you read Mira’s journey, you’ll realize that there’s more to the story that an angsty teenager. This is what I love most about The Mimosa Tree. You’ll see the change in Mira and the effect it did to her persona. The change may not be extravagant but her transformation was very intimate and beautiful.
Mira’s family is a hard crowd to please. With a dad who doesn’t seem to care, an aunt who’s overbearing with a tough character, another aunt who’s still finding her feet and a mom that keeps the ship intact. Not your merry band of characters. I can see why Mira is the way she is especially with her father and Aunt Via. That combination alone will really shake off some goodness in anybody. To be honest, Via actually pissed me off some parts of the book because she is sometimes such an unbearable teenager but I do understand her position, her family and her burden. Mira’s family is not the showy type who spoils her with nicety but the love is definitely there.
Another character I need to mention is Felicia. Felicia is a great minor character. Not enough exposure in my opinion but enough to make a mark in the story. She’s very sweet and supportive. She the first to believe that there’s more to Mira than what meets the eye. Felicia is the kind of friend that Mira needs and she may not see that at first but these two pulled through in the end. The love interest and another character in the story is Harm. Harm as a love interest wasn’t appealing as boyfriend material and to be honest, I wasn’t paying attention to this dude in any way. For me, the relationship aspect of the novel didn’t advance the plot in any angle – could have done without it. Harm didn’t appeal to me and I wasn’t excited about the relationship either.
The Mimosa Tree is a quick read but mind you it is a book with a heavy subject. It is not only a story of discovery but also of loss and grief. It is a story that makes you realize that you’ll eventually lose something important in your life and the pain will be bearable but life moves on. Though it has potential to make you sad and cry, The Mimosa Tree is also a happy book because it is also a story about love in its entirety. A story about love in any form. The Mimosa Tree gives you the hard truth yet the story also provides the so called rainbow after the rain. The book may not be a fantastical read plot wise like all the big names but it is memorable. Memorable in its simplicity and how beautifully it is written and delivered. The Mimosa Tree is a recommended book by my standards and I am now excited for more Aussie lit!(less)
Mira has been picked to be a Second. A Second to the world’s first ever First, Socrates, is no...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm RATING ★★★ 1/2
Mira has been picked to be a Second. A Second to the world’s first ever First, Socrates, is not only life changing but also a privilege The act of being Absolved and to be able to dedicated your life to whatever your First needs is the highest prestige one can ever hope. To be picked is a chance to be free from being a slave – but do they know what it takes to be a Second?
To be able to live life after another in order to continue the chance of contributing to the greater good. Immortality is not only important, it vital to the cause of the greater good. Over the years, the idea has been taught over and over and no one questions this. But in reality, that is not what it means to be a Second. Being chosen means death and Mira is now close to that reality.
From the first few pages I knew I’m going to enjoy Mira’s character and the unusual relationship between her and Socrates. Mira has spunk. It is evident that she’s a character who can stand on her feet. A character with fight and determination. She’s a solid and strong lead character, but there also comes a point that she can become irritating. Her naivety can be too much and it often contradicts with her strong will. There are a lot of minor character that shapes the story and a number of important character who will change the game. Everything revolves around Mira and I hate to spoil the story for you guys. :)
The only issue I had with First is the lack of a thorough or well put back story as to how this world came to be. I appreciate how the story was written and how it was told, quite quick paced compared to other similar novel, but there’s a big hole in the story. The story builds up pretty fast but then you’ll come to a point wherein you feel somehow it’s missing a big chunk of the story. I just couldn’t shrug that off. This is the first in a trilogy and I think a good and solid back story is important but I may be impatient so let’s see in book 2.
First is written in dual POV, between Mira and Socrates, and it was good. You get to experience what it is feels like to both sides. There’s no doubt that First is a very intriguing and entertaining read. Plot and characters are both engaging making it easier and enjoyable for the readers to catch up but the missing puzzle pieces affects the story overall in my opinion. Filled with awesome plot twists, First is no ordinary story about love and survival – there’s more to what Stafford offered in the first book. Everything changes in book 2 and I am looking forward to how Stafford will play with the story especially with an ending like that. :)(less)
It has been too long of a wait in anticipated to this sequel. I can’t even remember Beth nor Isaiah from Pus...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
It has been too long of a wait in anticipated to this sequel. I can’t even remember Beth nor Isaiah from Pushing The Limits so I dived into the book blind. I knew it’s catered to the YA masses and young at heart so I had my expectations but I wasn’t expected what I felt after reading Dare You To.
To start off, I’d say that Dare You To is an emotionally surged novel between two teen on opposite end of the spectrum. We have the beloved jock and handsome boy named Ryan who has his life planned out for him. He’s the star of the baseball team, good looking and gentlemanly, white picket fence kind of life. Then we have Beth who is broken to the core, no friends per se, has neither ambition nor direction.
As I indicated above, it’s been a long time since I read Pushing The Limits so I can’t remember Beth nor Isaiah on this one so I don’t have any side. I am not pro anybody and I am reviewing this as a standalone. With that said, between Ryan and Isaiah I really felt that Ryan is a good match for Beth. We all know that Beth is troubled and damage and Ryan coming into her life made a change for the better comparing how her life was when she was with Isaiah. Though the focus may not be with Beth and Isaiah you can’t help but compare the two guys. I know ya’ll did. J
There’s no doubt that this book is as addictive as Pushing The Limits though I have to admit that there were times I felt that the emotion in the book was too much for me. The flaw against some of the characters was pilling up bordering to exaggeration but because I really wanted to finish the book I brushed pass those. It wouldn’t hurt if it was toned down though. It surpassed soap opera with all the drama by a mile so if you hate that, you know this is not for you.
Written in alternating POV, you’ll be sucked into the distressing yet interesting life of Ryan and Beth. I was sucked into the story the moment I saw the spark between these two. Their relationship isn’t perfect but they work for me. They complete each other like no one can and they are good with one another – like completing a puzzle. Oh, Echo and Noah fans would also love to know that we’ll see a glimpse of them here and there and yes, they are still happily and heads over heels in love with one another.
Pacing was incredibly fast and you’ll realize that you’re halfway through the story before lunch. Ending was as good as it can get and I admire how the author wrapped the story tightly. I highly recommend this book to almost anybody. Dare You To has proven to be a great story that written with flawed characters who you’ll end up loving. It is not only about love and romance but a journey between two souls in search for love and purpose. For Isaiah fan out there, it’s good to know that the next installment will focus on him so I guess it’ll be another year for that book but hopefully it’ll be as good as the first two. :) (less)
To this time, allow my travel. Take me there, let time unravel.
Gavin is a time traveler. A fact that he just recently discovered but unlike some time traveler though, Gavin’s gift particularly focus on traveling with the use of photos or any image. Gavin didn’t always know about this gift though, but when he found out his life became more complicated than it is. Growing up Gavin’s life wasn’t always as miserable but it all started when his foster mom died. Later on, Gavin endured a life with his foster dad who became abusive and a sister who doesn’t care. Things wasn’t looking good for Gavin until the day he discovered that his biological grandparents are alive.
What initially made me want to read this book was the cool concept about time traveling that Mr. Gonzalez came up. There are numerous twist and varieties in time traveling – and there are pretty good ones too – but I wanted to see how Mr. Gonzalez would make this his own. The concept of time traveling is as common as vampire and angels so I was super excited to read what The Photo Traveler would offer me. Reading the last page, I knew that I would continue to follow the series :)
Although I did love the book, I was hesitant with Gavin and Alanna. I wasn’t too sure about the pair. Their relationship wasn’t believable and it was undeveloped and felt rushed. Although vital and important in the story, the “relationship” wasn’t working at all. Insta-love/their few meetups ending with confessions of love/the son was written too early and hastily in the story. As I said, I immediately knew that this is a big part in the story, especially after reading the ending but it could have been given more attention in terms of development so it wouldn’t come out flimsy. Well, that’s just me so it can be minor.
Gavin was a great character. You can definitely sympathize with this kid with what he’s been through and what is now in his hands. I can see great things to come for Gavin and I am really excited to read what will happen next. There’s much more to explore in this world and I am bursting with excitement for the next installment.
Overall, The Photo Traveler is a great book for time travel junkies. This book can also be enjoyed by any reader who loves a good story with strong characters, fast pacing, solid storytelling and heart racing endings.
Take me home to what is mine. Back to the present, back to my time.
Alienation is book two in the CHAOS trilogy by Jon S. Lewis and it was as good as Invasion.
Funny thing, I’ve read Alienation before I read Invasion thinking it was book one. Lo and behold, I was wrong all along. Good thing though, Alienation can be read stand alone.
Picks up right after Invasion and continues the story as Sam, Oz and Danielle enters as CHAOS agents. Invasion already gives us an idea that these three would be part of the prestigious agency but Alienation solidifies it. After the fall of Trident, our heroines are now faced with the duty to save Earth.
Character wise, I love the development of our heroines. From Invasion to Alienation I felt like they grew up though not much of a difference would be noticed. They just seemed a little wiser, stronger and braver than the teenagers they were in book 1.
Secondary characters were as amazing too. I wasn’t expecting too much from these characters since they are characters who come and go though serves a great purpose to the plot and character development. Some you may love and some you may hate to the core but as I said, just as amazing as our heroines. Watch our for Pierce though, I know he’ll make you irate and cringe but a very effective character altogether.
Plot was very engaging especially since there is the potential and eminent danger from Lobo who we know is Oz’s dad. I didn’t know how Lewis would write the story but I am happy with how Lewis wrote it. The plot thickens and I am seeing a clearer picture of what and where Lewis wants his trilogy to go. The plot and twists was as heart racing as it was in the prior book.
One thing I wasn’t too keen off was the bombarding off technical terminologies that made my brain fart. I get that this is a book that includes gun power and explosion but the technical deets was overflowing bordering to driving me insane. It also resulted to slightly driving the focus out of the story which I somewhat dreaded. I get that Lewis needed to prove that he knows what he’s writing about but it needed a little toning down for my taste.
The ending was phenomenal and now I am gripping my Nook with too much excitement and anticipation on reading the last book, Domination (which I already reviewed for the tour). I’d say that a lot has indeed happened from the first book to this and I couldn’t asked for a better sequel myself.
Overall, Alienation is a great pick for those science fiction quick fix. Very imaginative and descriptive story to indulge readers, young and old, truly any sci-fi buff’s delight. Alienation is a powerhouse sci-fi pick if you want all the action and suspense your heart desires complete with dangerous lifeforms that will make your toes curl. Written by the talented Jon S. Lewis, you’ll definitely love reading it from page one until the last.(less)
A world where aliens are real and the life of millions lies in the hands of a group called CH...moreThis review is originally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
A world where aliens are real and the life of millions lies in the hands of a group called CHAOS. Chaos’ only role is to stop human extinction from happening.
The story is basically about Earth attempted to be dominated and taken over by an alien race called the Thule. Because of this crisis, CHAOS or The Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural was formed to maintain peace on Earth. You couldn’t just apply to be an agent, selection is strict and tedious and only the best becomes one. Sam has a chance to be an agent but will he make the cut?
Sam is our lead character in Invasion and he just turned 16. He’s a geek who enjoys video games, reading comics, surfing and hanging out with friends. There nothing exceptional with Sam on the outside but apparently, life is more complicated than what he believes and secrets will eventually be uncovered. Everything changes when his parents die and he uncovers secrets that will literally change his life.
I like Sam’s character. He is such a kid but you know he’s smart and mature. He’s very daring and brave too but at the end of the day, there’s no changing the fact that Sam is only 16. He has his limitations.
There’s much to learn about his life and what is expected of him. But so far, I like him. I see a lot of potential in this kid. Then we have Oz and Danielle, Sam’s closest friends. The gym buff, Oz, is actually the son of the director in CHAOS’. He’s very outgoing and has this in-you-face attitude but I consider it his charm. His flavor of humor can be a little harsh but as I said, it suits the character and that makes Oz’s character fun to read. He’s the type of friend you would want in a fight too. Very confident and dedicated but headstrong. Danielle on the other hand is Sam’s childhood friend. A video geek herself, Danielle’s ability lies with computers and hacking. What I felt lacking though was a little info on how this girl turned out the hacker she came to be. I felt that her character needed more than what was given for the reader to fully understand her whole persona but she’s definitely a strong secondary character too and an ass whooper.
These three characters has distinctive voices in the story and was given ample parts of the bigger picture. I’d say that they are written well yet needs more development. Well this is the first book so I am expecting more from these three in Alienation which is book 2.
Pacing, story line and world building was very good I’d say. Lewis really does have a vivid imagination for creating such a lush and adventure worthy world for the readers to enjoy. It’s a mix of modernity and science fiction which makes it easy to understand. It is a world where some alien lifeforms in various selection co-mingle with humans against one sole purpose. I am not a science fiction nut and sometimes I hate reading about it but Lewis’ writing style eased up to a reluctant reader like myself which made my experience worth it. I love the descriptiveness of Invasion and that helped in getting me on board with the whole story. Pacing was slow at first but immediately picked up and was way smoother than I expected.
Overall, Invasion is definitely a treat worth the praise. Packed with blazing action scenes, Lewis does have the talent to catch a readers attention. My feelings for Invasion was unexpected and I am ready for more of Sam, Oz and Dani against these icky and creepy aliens who kills everything on its path. Exciting, no? Now I am want more. (less)
“Shark Girl” that is what they call Jane Margaret Arrowood. Its been a year since the accident that changed...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
“Shark Girl” that is what they call Jane Margaret Arrowood. Its been a year since the accident that changed Jane’s life. A year has passed since that dreaded day a shark bit off Jane’s arm. It’s been a year of rehab and refocusing her life after the traumatic event. It’s been a year and people are wondering how Shark Girl is.
To be honest, I haven’t read Shark Girl. I found Formerly Shark Girl and immediately requested it because this is a book that I would enjoy. Without reading Shark Girl I thought I would have an issue reading the second book and I was dreading that. I didn’t want to be lost in the story just because I hadn’t had the chance to read the first book. Surprisingly I didn’t. Formerly Shark Girl can be read stand alone! I jumped right in the story without grasping for straws. As stated earlier, the story picks up a year later of the dreaded accident.
Basically the whole story surround Jane and how she is coping after a year the accident happened. Right from the bat, it was easy to read the story. The writing was very fluid and for a book with a heavy plot, it was actually easy to follow. I felt the raw emotion of Jane’s take on the events. Bear in mind that this isn’t a gloomy book. It wasn’t filled with “pity-me” dialogues so that’s a plus right there. Majority of the time I felt sadness but never pity. I commend Jane’s will to fight, her bravery, her fears and her drive. You’ll definitely come to the conclusion that we have a strong character in Jane – she is a fighter. She is brave enough to face her fears without totally breaking her spirit. Although there are times that she had her moment of self pity and regret the story and Jane didn’t linger on that. Who wouldn’t feel sh*tty if you experienced what she went through? Waking up one day realizing that you are not who you used to be is scary and difficult but Jane had the will and drive to prove to herself that she can do it in spite losing an arm.
With any story, there will always be sympathizers and opinionated individuals. Every story survivor has their supporters. With Jane’s story shared in the news, there were people who wrote her letters. You will read some of the letters in passing and I’ll tell you that these letters, or some of them, were actually sad to read. There’s nothing wrong with giving comfort but it has a different effect for Jane. Some of the letters became a pressure and it impacted how Jane thought and decided. It’s OK to give advice and comforting words but sometimes these words has a different meaning to the receiver. Nevertheless, Jane appreciated the concern and the words shared to her in spite not knowing the letter senders. She handled it better than I expected.
Overall, it was a simple yet powerful read. I enjoyed reading about Jane’s story. It wasn’t as heavy and dark as some story about survival. It was more of a story about being able to overcome your fears and how to handle your life in spite losing something as important as her arm. It was a story that conveyed a strong message that life goes on and you don’t have to stop living just because you lost something. Formerly Shark Girl is written beautifully with a strong message that can give enlightenment for people who undergo situation however grave it is.(less)
The C.H.A.O.S Trilogy ends here. The battle against the Thule is finally near and it’s up to Sam, Oz and Dan...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
The C.H.A.O.S Trilogy ends here. The battle against the Thule is finally near and it’s up to Sam, Oz and Danielle to end the war and save humanity from extinction! Prepare yourself for the adventure of survival.
I’ve followed the trilogy since Invasion and I sang high praises for the books. I enjoyed it not only because it was written well and the story line was super engaging but also because it was a quick read that included well rounded and developed characters. I cannot tell you how good these books are but if I would compare all three, Domination was a bit disappointing and I’ll tell you why.
My qualms in Domination is with the ending and some parts of the book that felt a bit off. Fair warning, this is going to spoil your reading experiences so I apologize profusely. One thing that I didn’t like was how everything was written in a rushed manner by the middle of the book. Domination doesn’t have the full action packed experience that the first two books offered. I felt that there were holes in the story that got kinda lost due to the fact that the story is ending and everything needs to be tied up. By doing so, I believe that Domination was a let down. Another thing, what’s with the attempt between the love angle by introducing other girls that somewhat felt undeveloped. It was like, there’s a new girl, Sam flirts, Sam blushes, new girl giggles and a few lines were exchanged and then nada. That was just plain weird. Lily’s perfect and the minimalist feel in the romance department is just fine. Lastly, the ending. Yes it was frustrating and I was hoping it didn’t end that way since this is the last book. It should have ended with a bang if you get what I mean.
Enough about my issues. The good part of the book was that the love I had for the main characters was in total boom in this book. They are not the innocent teens that we read from books 1 and 2 anymore. I felt that the characters reached their full potential in this wrap up and that made me smile knowing that if the series took a spin off, they are not those unaware kids in Invasion. The secondary characters were as amazing as well – we’ll get to read old characters and be introduced to new ones. Pierce is definitely the punk you’ll love to hate but still a very effective character. Another thing, we’ll get to see more of the academy and the inside of what it means to be part of the prestigious agency.
Domination is a book that will be highly appreciated and enjoyed by teens and sci-fi die hard. I may not be both but the reason why I enjoyed this series so much was due to the fact that Lewis knew his material. He knows how to captivate a readers attention by writing good characters, amazing action scenes and he indeed has a very imaginative and creative mind. I think that came off by being a comic writer so he has the talent and the experience. I would have to mention that Domination is not like Alienation that you can read without reading Invasion. For you to really enjoy and not be lost in Domination, either read Invasion AND Alienation or just start with Alienation. If you ask me, read them all since this is indeed a great trilogy.
Overall, a very enjoyable and engaging story that ends the trilogy that I grew to love. Not a big sci-fi fan but Lewis made a fan out of me and I will look forward to his other material in the future. Didn’t enjoy as much as Invasion and Alienation combined but still a good story ender. Read the series, I promise you you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.(less)
Danger arises in Meridia and the members of the Aulic Assembly has disappeared. Their only...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm RATING 4 1/2 stars
Danger arises in Meridia and the members of the Aulic Assembly has disappeared. Their only hope are the group of kids from Earth but will these kids be enough to guarantee a victory in an epic battle of survival?
The Silver Sphere is a story filled with an adventure of a lifetime. A story written with amazing characters, engaging plotline and numerous exciting and heart pumping battle sequence to indulge any thrill seeker and avid reader. Fair warning though, The Silver Sphere is a hefty read. Hefty in terms wherein you dive in a world that can be overwhelming – I myself listed down all the names and terms just to get by. Regardless this minor setback, reading this story was such a pleasure and too good of a book to pass up.
Its better to start with world building on this one since that is the bigger element for me in the novel. From what I understand, the story focuses on Meridia on the planet Azimut. It serves like a parallel place to Earth although Meridia is completely alien, alike but different in every aspect altogether. Meridia is filled with mythical creatures that are both beautiful and elegant to creatures that are scary and horrific. In addition to that, the terms and the setting is fairly easy to follow once you dig deeper into the story. Once you become accustomed to Meridia and its history, you’re good 50% of the book.
The second hardship you may have, which I did at first, is remembering all the characters. Oh geez! I tried to list down all the significant names in the story but I lost track and I just made a mess so I just went with the flow. If you’re good with remembering names, then you won’t have any issues with keeping track. Character wise, as I indicated above, can be overwhelming but I’ll try to simplify as best as I can. We have 6 members of the Aulic Assembly and they have 6 counterpart or Kin as indicated in the book from Earth.
These 6 kins are our main character focus and they basically drive the story from page 1 to the last. For record purposed the kins are: Zach, Shelby, Riley, Stuart, Max and Emily whereas their Aulic counterparts are Brock Fergus, Bianca Saddler, Rowan Letty, Satchel Spool, Macklan Morrow and Elita Elmer respectively. The kins have fair and equal share of dialogues and presence. I believe that I got to know these 6 individuals with enough focus for me to get attached whereas for the member of the Aulic, I only got to hear Bianca’s voice dominantly over the others. Not much of an issue though so don’t worry about it.
Secondary characters were also amazingly written. I didn’t even try listing them down. From the humans to the creatures, the characters were given fair amount of time to contribute to the story to guide us reader to better understand both the history as well as the situation they are facing.
Pacing was ok, writing style was better than most and for this type of book which is written complexly, I admire the authors ability of writing all the details without boring the readers. Questions and the mystery was answered as we go by and not dumped in the latter part of the story which again I thank the author for doing.
Okay, this review is getting longer than I anticipated. So here’s what you need to know. The Silver Sphere is an awesome sci-fi fantasy story that is packed with engrossing action sequence, well written and rounded characters and world building that will leave you with awe. Kudos to Dadich for writing a multidimensional story and characters with a fantastic and magical world. This book is hard to put down so be aware that once you read the first page, there’s no time do do something else. If you haven’t read The Silver Sphere yet, pick yourself a copy and I guarantee that it’ll be worth every penny. Highly recommend and I definitely want more!!(less)
Life in Outer Space completely blew me away. It was not as I expected and to be honest I really thought this...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
Life in Outer Space completely blew me away. It was not as I expected and to be honest I really thought this was a sci-fi story. A very misleading title indeed. In spite not being what I originally anticipated, it surpassed my expectation by a mile. The characters were amazing, the writing style was easy and light, the story was well written and the ending was just right. A perfect blend if you’re looking for a fun and quirky read.
Our main character Sam is a lovable and interesting young fella. A kid who loves to hang out with his friends, a little aloof and antisocial at times but enjoys a day that is somewhat monotonous filled with movies, eating and WoW. Sam is also an avid fan of horror films. I love the movie references in this book and it made me want to watch those movies again after I read this book. Sam is a complete geek and I love that about him. He has his own personality that reminds you how fun it is to be a kid.
Camilla is a sweet and adorable counterpart of Sam. Just as much lovable as Sam, Camilla is a big bubble of happiness. An easy outgoing girl, pretty and smart. A daughter of a well known journalist, Camilla knows what she’s worth to other kids but she doesn’t mind. She knows how to have fun regardless who’s she with. Her attitude with life is very refreshing too. Anyway, so Camilla transfers to Sam’s school and now both their life’s is transformed bit by bit reflecting a part of each others life as their friendship blooms. The chemistry between the main characters will put a smile to your face. Both Sam and Camilla are very easy to connect with which makes reading Life in Outer Space enjoyable.
Adrian, Mike and Allison make up Sam’s social circle until Camilla came. They are awesome secondary characters. They are a great group I might add. The cliche gay best friend is present in the story but Keil did something right here that made me look away from being irritated. Although the focus of the story is with Camilla and Sam, our secondary character are still given enough exposure to get us acquainted with the group. There wasn’t a shortage in dialogue which makes the three distinct, well developed and rounded characters.
Keil knows how to blend the right mix of characters with emotions that are spot on. Life in Outer Space is a book with overflowing geekiness and tons of movie reference that makes any nerd’s heart smile with joy. I know mine did. It is a hilarious and an easy going story that doesn’t need you to concentrate much on the detail. You just go with the flow, devouring each page at a time. All you need is time and by the end of the book, a smile is inevitable - guaranteed 100%. I highly recommend this story, pre-ordering a copy myself to add in my shelf of awesomeness. Tehee!(less)
In a town where money and power speaks volume, can Casper’s efforts make a difference to save herself and her family? After all the cards are laid out...moreIn a town where money and power speaks volume, can Casper’s efforts make a difference to save herself and her family? After all the cards are laid out, Casper has only one choice and that is to be a part of them. Will she be able to handle what it takes to be inside Kythera?
Casper is a very cultured and down to earth young lady who grew up in the privilege side of town. Her family has money and power that can make anyone jealous. In spite being born with a silver spoon, Casper doesn’t want any of it but her horses. With the recent developments, Casper’s dad decide that a move to Charleston was the greatest business strategy for them. However upon settling in the town, Casper notices things that are a bit off. Bit by bit, Jasper finds out about Kythera and what that word means in Charleston.
My experience reading The Kings of Charleston resulted in mix emotions. I love the mystery evolving Kythera and the people involved however there are certain parts of the story that is lacking – character development for one but I’ll go into detail in a bit. Let’s talk characters.
Casper, as I mentioned earlier, is a privilege and polished lady. She’s very likable and her charm is evident. She’s not your typical snobbish rich kid who flaunts what they have. She’s not very sociable though but she likes it that way. She’s quite unlike her parents who are social animals and I love her shy and down to earth demeanor. Her love interest on the other hand, Cal was structured to be the handsome playboy type of guy but apparently he’s not. He’s very charming and also likable but there’s something deeper than what meets the eyes. Honestly, I don’t have any qualms with these two but their relationship. I wasn’t buying the chemistry between them. The attraction between them needed more than just a few stolen dates and walk in the park.
The whole idea with Kythera was good and the mystery around it was written strategically There were instances that I became a little impatient and wanted to know what’s up already. The story wasn’t rushed and Clayton took her time developing her story around it. The issue I had however was how the pieces was put in. There were times that I thought I reached the highest point of the story but apparently I didn’t. Confusing but I understand as this is the first book in the series. The story was build up to a certain level then it all eased down going to the net part of the story which I believe should have started on book 2. I wouldn’t mind if this had a cliffhanger ending or if bits were taken off. I just felt like the story wasn’t cut at the right part – if that makes sense.
The Kings of Charleston is indeed an engaging story but I needed more, character and story wise. I love the mystery and how Clayton writes. Te series has a potential but I needed more with this installment so I have high hopes for the next book.(less)
After faking their death, Ember and Chase are with the Resistance to continue the war against the FBR/MM or...moreOriginally posted at The Solitary Bookworm
After faking their death, Ember and Chase are with the Resistance to continue the war against the FBR/MM or the law in this dystopian world. They continue with their pursuit in taking down the Moral Militia but things get tricky after an announcement of Ember’s name in connection to the wanted fugitives. There’s only one person who knows about their fake death and that person is now in the Resistance too! How will Ember and Chase continue with their journey as the Resistance encounters constant left and right hits from the enemy?
Book two in the series, Breaking Point is definitely better than Article 5. I had a few issues with the first book but upon reading the first few pages of Breaking Point I know that I’ll enjoy it compared to Article 5. It has sooo much better, character and story wise.
I didn’t hate Ember in Article 5 but I had issues with her character. Her selfishness and naivety got into me which resulted to me not being able to connect with Ember. However, the character development with Ember was really obvious now and I am loving where the author was going with it. She is stronger and more vocal. The fact that now she has reasons to her actions is proof of that and she’s thinking of the bigger picture counting all the people who will be affected. In contrast to Ember, Chase was a bit stiff here. I do understand that Ember is the love of his life but throughout the book that’s all I got from Chase. His undying love and constact protectiveness. I just felt that Chase was written to be Embers boyfriend and protector and that’s it. I enjoyed reading Chase in Article 5 but somehow along the pages of Breaking Point his appeal sizzled out on me which makes me sad because I do love his character.
In a nutshell, Breaking Point was focusing more on the Resistance and rescuing Rebecca. There were a lot of fighting, running and explosive scenes in Breaking Point. Simmons’ didn’t think twice in upping up the suspense and ass kicking scenes in this book and that’s one reason I enjoyed it so much. There were a lot happening and putting the book down is not an option. Ohhh and they did achieve their mission of getting Rebecca out (sorry for the spoiler) but there’s a twist that will make things a bit difficult for the bunch. I wasn’t expecting that twist and I am definitely on the list of bookworms who anticipates the next book.(less)