more like 3.5, but I'm going to round up. Interesting development and ending, but definitely a case of middle book syndrome. Felt like a transition bo...moremore like 3.5, but I'm going to round up. Interesting development and ending, but definitely a case of middle book syndrome. Felt like a transition book, not a unique story. There's absolutely no refresher on who people are and what they're doing at the end of divergent, so I really had a hard time connecting to the characters. I kept thinking, "who was that again?" Also the transitions between scenes were extremely choppy and hard to follow. There seemed to be a lack of editing in terms of continuity and flow.(less)
Nevermore is an interesting love story that starts off as more of a contemporary romance where opposites attract and ends in a crazy paranormal advent...moreNevermore is an interesting love story that starts off as more of a contemporary romance where opposites attract and ends in a crazy paranormal adventure that will leave the reader more than a little freaked out but still begging for more. Nevermore is a dark romance inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's life and writing that creates a unique and inventive novel.
My favorite part of Nevermore was the characters Isobel and Varen. I loved them on their own and I loved their relationship. I really liked Varen because he wasn't a perfect protector that loved Isobel to the point of being a freaky stalker. He was mysterious and sexy while still being real. There was no pretense that he was some amazing god-like savior and his attraction to Isobel was genuine without being melodramatic. Once he starts to let Isobel in you realize that a lot of Varen's scary goth exterior was more of a front and he had a very shy and sensitive personality. Plus I think goth boys are pretty sexy. I also really liked Isobel who was smart and independent and actually took action and tried to get some shit done. So many "heroines" in YA paranormal romances are damsels in distress who can barely stand up without the support of their heroic man. I loved how she did what she thought was right and didn't give into peer pressure even though it might hurt her social status.
The writing in Nevermore was very well done, especially the romantic tension. All of the buildup throughout the book was well executed, but I wanted more kissing! There was NOT ENOUGH making out for my taste (and we all know how much I love a hot make out session lol).
I really didn't like Isobel's family, especially her dad. He was really cool and normal except when it came to Varen. I didn't understand why he was so cool with her jerk-off ex boyfriend but immediately hated Varen when he didn't even know him. That drove me more than a little bonkerdoodles. I also didn't like the cliffhanger ending. Things took such a crazy turn in the last quarter of the book that I felt like there needed to be more of a well rounded ending so I wasn't left confused about what just happened. There's a difference between a cliff hanger ending that leaves me wanting to read more because I loved the book so much and a cliff hanger ending that leaves me wanting to read more because I had no idea what was going on for the past fifty pages.
Overall Nevermore is a unique love story that morphs into a very creepy paranormal adventure. Inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Nevermore is a Gothic romance you are sure to never forget.(less)
This review will not contain any spoilers for Deadline OR Feed because I could never ruin such an amazing book for you!
OK guys, you know how much I lo...moreThis review will not contain any spoilers for Deadline OR Feed because I could never ruin such an amazing book for you!
OK guys, you know how much I loved Feed. Seriously, Feed is probaby one of my favourite books of all time. I could not put that book down, and I was still thinking about the plot and the characters months after finishing the book. So I think it's pretty obvious I had monstrously huge expectations for Deadline, and while the book was enjoyable, it fell far short of the ridiculously high bar it's predecessor has set.
One of my biggest problems with this "zombie" book was it's distinct LACK of zombies! There's some running away from zombies, but they only actually encounter zombies like, two times. I wanted a little more suspense and action! Lots of Deadline was spent in conversation. The characters spent way too much time talking about what they were going to do, rather than actually doing it. These conversations wouldn't have been too bad, but we switch narrators from Georgia to Shaun, and his inner monologue is very repetitive and gets rather annoying after a while.
I also am missing the love that I had for the supporting characters. I loved Buffy and Mahir in Feed, but I didn't feel the same love for Becks, Alaric, and Maggie. In general I just wasn't nearly as committed to Deadline as I was to Feed, which I think is pretty apparent considering it took me almost 6 months to read!
Deadline is a good follow up, but is missing a lot of the magic of feed, which is one of the best books I've ever read. I'm not as big a fan of Shaun as I was of Georgia, and none of the big plot twists seemed that shocking. I am still very excited for Blackout, and I think it will be awesome based on the ending of Deadline. (less)
I have a confession. I love Jersey Shore. I mean, freaking LOVE it. I don't know why, but I can't get enough of this fist pumping, hair poofing, GTL-i...moreI have a confession. I love Jersey Shore. I mean, freaking LOVE it. I don't know why, but I can't get enough of this fist pumping, hair poofing, GTL-ing mess of a show. If you're like me and have no idea why you love Jersey Shore as well, then A Shore Thing will be a great summer read for you.
A Shore Thing may be a fictional story starring Gia and Bella, but it reads like any episode of Jersey Shore starring Snooki and J-Woww, the obvious inspirations for the characters. In A Shore Thing Gia/Snooki and Bella/J-Woww get a house on the Jersey Shore for the summer to party and hook up with hot guido gorilla juice-heads, but nothing ever goes smoothly for these two. I had a lot of fun reading about all of the crazy antics Gia and Bella got up to and I also loved how they were able to charm their way out of pretty much everything.
A Shore Thing isn't a perfect book by any means, the plot is ridiculous at times but always predictable, the writing can be a little clunky, and let's be real this isn't going to be winning any great literature awards anytime soon, but it does address topics like confidence and body issues, friendships and healthy relationships, and what it means to be independent women, and it does it a lot more smoothly than I expected. If you're looking for a funny summer read with a heart A Shore Thing may be just right for you. (less)
Much better! Told the story well, I really liked learning a bit more about Kazuo in this one. And there was no gross sexual predator stuff so it was a...moreMuch better! Told the story well, I really liked learning a bit more about Kazuo in this one. And there was no gross sexual predator stuff so it was a lot better.(less)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is the first book written by the duo Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and it has a witty, punk rock feel that makes...moreNick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is the first book written by the duo Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and it has a witty, punk rock feel that makes it a quick yet poignant read. It has that same kind of teenage expectation and excitement you get from The Breakfast Club and My So Called Life. (For serious though, there's enough angst to fill the grand canyon and ride a boat across it). There's plenty of teenage antics and some sexy times, but there's also a deeper context too. It's a story where two strangers can come together and have an immediate connection and share parts of themselves that they usually keep bottled inside. It's about letting go of the past and realizing that this time, with this person, it doesn't have to be that way again. (less)
I was really excited to read the maze runner after having met James Dashner at a book signing for his newest series, The Infinity Ring. He had such en...moreI was really excited to read the maze runner after having met James Dashner at a book signing for his newest series, The Infinity Ring. He had such enthusiasm for writing for kids and encouraging them to read that I wanted to read all of his books right now! However, I was really disappointed with a lot of what happened in The Maze Runner. (sad panda!)
The one thing that got really old with The Maze Runner was the withholding of information from Thomas just because "you don't need to know that right now greenie". UGH WHATEVER! I hate books that try and create tension by purposefully keeping the main character in the dark. It's one thing if the character has amnesia, that I don't mind, but it's when they ask a specific question and are told "you don't need to know that" or "I'll tell you later". No. NO! TELL ME NOW!
This is especially true in a dystopian type setting. Like ok, if it's a contemporary and the reason you don't want to tell the main character something is because you have too many feels and you're just not ready yet or whatever ok. I get that. BUT in a dystopian kind of setting information is how you survive! Why would you with not tell someone some vital information for no reason other than you think it doesn't matter or they don't need to know? That's crazy talk! And yet this went on for pages and pages during The Maze Runner.
However, a pretty interesting story did develop. While I wasn't a huge fan of the majority of The Maze Runner I like where it's going. I was really drawn into the story in the last 25% of the book, so that's where the 3 stars came from. So while the second book, The Scorch Trials, isn't very high on my TBR pile, it's in there. I'm not giving up yet! (less)
City of Glass my be the most frustrating book of the entire series. There are so many cool ideas in this novel, but it's like the interesting aspects...moreCity of Glass my be the most frustrating book of the entire series. There are so many cool ideas in this novel, but it's like the interesting aspects of the world building and plot were rushed or pushed to the side so we could get to the stupid angst and drama going on with Clary and Jace. And there is a lot of drama, but sadly not much else.
My biggest complaint with City of Glass is the writing style and choices. A lot of the plot developments (what happened to the wizard Ragnor Fell, what happened with Clary's mother, what happened with Isabel and Max, ect.) happened "off screen". Clary wouldn't be present for the actual event, she would just be told about it later. There is a lot of truth to the "show don't tell" style of writing and we do not get shown much. I also have to point out the horrific overuse of similes in this novel (and in Clare's writing in general). Now, I'm not inherently against similes, when they make sense. But when you start comparing every single characteristic a person or building or event has to something else seems just lazy to me. My personal favorite, "There was a crash—the sound of shattering—and a sudden spray of broken glass like a shower of jagged stars." What does that even mean?
I found the plot to be very predictable (in fact I was predicting the events of this book at the end of City of Bones) and the amout of drama and angst surrounding this very obvious plot made me roll my eyes and shake my head a lot. And it's just so disappointing because there really are a lot of cool ideas in this novel that I don't really want to to mention specifically because I don't want to spoil, but they are all so clouded by Clary's inner monologue stuck on her Jace obsession that it's just painful.
Let's talk really quickly about the ending (no spoilers, promise!) The final battle is just a huge disappointment. After being stuck for over five chapters waiting around for the battle to begin, it barely lasts 5 pages! I want some bloody action! And the resolution with Valentine was a huge let down. The whole ending was so anti-climactic and then everything is wrapped up in one convenient little bow. I hate endings like that, I like it when character are actually affected by the events of the novel and they don't come out perfectly squeaky clean (ie Mockingjay).
I honestly just don't get what people see in this series. I think The Moral Instruments is a weak collection of fantasy tropes that are done much better in other series such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (less)
I don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridicu...moreI don't know how to rate this book. I love the cover, so it gets at least 2 stars for the art alone. But then it loses stars for the completely ridiculous science/economic/social inconsistencies that make the premise for the life of the characters. But then it gains stars for the characters themselves, which I really loved. It also gains stars for the descriptive and impressive writing style. I'm torn!
*********UPDATE WITH SPOILERS*********
ok after much consideration here's how the star math goes. (Don't read if you don't want spoilers)
+2 for the cover art -1 for the illogical end of the world scenario -1 for the illogical "virus" that comes from genetic manipulation +1 for pretty dresses (whatever, don't judge) +1 for addressing polygamy in a way that isn't 100% vile +1 for a female character sticking to her ideals -1 for not consummating the marriage (doesn't make any sense) +1 for Jenna being a bad ass prostitute +1 for elements of subterfuge and conspiracy theory (just what exactly was going on in that basement?) -2 for then not answering questions raised by said subterfuge and conspiracy theory. +1 for making me want to read the next book in the series.
TOTAL= 3 stars
Overall, this book is an awesome romance/stockholm syndrome book, but a really shitty science ficiton book. However, I think the positives of the narritive outweigh the pretend science.
***UPDATE re-read 6/25/2013***
I Just finished re-reading this after 2 years and I still agree with my original review. The writing is very well done, but the science fiction and dystopian society is inconsistant and really takes me out of the story. Also (view spoiler)[ I forgot that then went to the movie theater at the end of the book. I do NOT understand that in the slightest. You've spent 300+ pages trying to escape and the chances of you getting caught (and killed) are really high so you decide to hang out at the movies only a couple of miles from your captor's home? DOES NOT COMPUTE. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Red Tent is an interesting perspective of one of the most know stories from the Bible. The story of Jacob and his many sons, in particular Joseph...moreThe Red Tent is an interesting perspective of one of the most know stories from the Bible. The story of Jacob and his many sons, in particular Joseph and his "Amazing Techno-color Dream Coat", have been told in many movies, books, and even Broadway musicals. The Red Tent tells the same tale but from the woman's perspective; a side that is sadly under represented in the Bible.
I really loved this book. Like REALLY loved this book. I absolutely loved the tribe aspect for the women. I think in modern times we look at ancient tribal cultures and see the women as repressed "possessions" of the men in the tribe. This book really shows how the women have their own culture, support systems, and contentment with their woman-ness. They aren't meek submissive pets. They stand up for themselves, are shrewd business women, and sexual beings aware of their bodies and the natural cycle of life. Being on their period wasn't the curse so many women complain about today. The Red Tent was their retreat, their place of solace where they could congregate and share in each other's wisdom.
There are a lot of people who dislike this book, and I think it's largely the people who cannot see history as any way other than what is exactly in the Bible. The idea that the "heroes" of the Bible may not be so heroic after all scares them because it causes them to question their faith. I think that it's very important to not read the Bible as literal fact for modern times. It has to be looked at within the context of a two thousand year old nomadic nation and that the Bible was written two thousand years ago in ancient Hebrew. There's bound to be some things that are lots in translation and through cultural evolution. For example the word "rape". Was Dinah raped in a modern sense, with violence and anger, or was she raped in an ancient sense, as in having sex out of wedlock? The same word but with two very different meanings and implications.
Overall I think The Red Tent is a very important book for women's spirituality. It presents the story of one of the most under represented figures in the Bible and gives her a voice. It never strays from the original backdrop of the Biblical story, but expands on this untold story with grace and beauty. (less)
OH. MY. GOD. What a beautiful cover!!! I am SO in love and it fits the end of Anna Dressed in Blood PERECTLY!!! Holy crap this is so awesome, can I ha...moreOH. MY. GOD. What a beautiful cover!!! I am SO in love and it fits the end of Anna Dressed in Blood PERECTLY!!! Holy crap this is so awesome, can I have it now please?(less)
The first 100 pages of this book are pretty rough, not gonna lie. I was expecting a lot more with the winter court, like what we experienced with the...moreThe first 100 pages of this book are pretty rough, not gonna lie. I was expecting a lot more with the winter court, like what we experienced with the summer court in The Iron King. It felt choppy and rushed, like we were trying to get to the "good stuff" as quickly as possible.
once we got to Leanansidhe's house though, the book really took off. The story got super interesting, the romance spiced up, and I found the magic I fell in love with in the first book of the series. Ironhorse and Grim were awesome (as usual), Puck really stepped up his sexy, and Ash was his usual brooding (and hothothot) self. Leanansidhe was an excellent character, I really hope to see more of her. There were also some very interesting things foreshadowed about Meghan and her magical abilities, and I think I might know who the "Iron Queen" is, and if I'm guessing right I'm SUPER excited for the next book.
The ending wasn't nearly as cliff hangery as The Iron King, so I have no idea what will happen next. I'm looking forward to it though!(less)
Butter is the story of an obese boy looking for acceptance and normalcy. It's a story about how tough high school can be if you aren't perceived as o...more Butter is the story of an obese boy looking for acceptance and normalcy. It's a story about how tough high school can be if you aren't perceived as one of the perfect popular crowd.
I could completely relate to Butter and his struggle with depression, self loathing, and his addiction to food. I think that people try and self medicate in a lot of different ways, and for a lot of people food is their security blanket. It's what they turn to when they are sad, lonely, bored, or scared. Butter just wants acceptance, I think he's afraid to allow himself to be happy. He eats to create a literal barrier between himself and other people because he's afraid to let people in. His weight stops people from trying and he doesn't have to worry that they might get to know him and not like him for who he his, not just his appearance.
I've read some reviews that say that Butter's classmate's reaction to his suicide plan as unrealistic. Well, I disagree. Maybe I have less faith in today's youth but it wasn't long ago that I was in high school and I could totally see my classmates egging people on. I was an outcast too, and I could completely see someone doing anything to get the popular crowd's attention, and in turn the popular crowd taking full advantage of that.
Butter is an extremely difficult book to read, and I think it will strike a deep chord with any person who as ever felt desperate to fit in. It is equal parts heart warming and breaking, but handles some extremely sensitive topics with care and grace. (less)
I'm sad to say I came away from this book pretty disappointed. There was a lot of hype around this book so when I received an ARC I thought I was in...more I'm sad to say I came away from this book pretty disappointed. There was a lot of hype around this book so when I received an ARC I thought I was in for an interesting and unique read. Instead I found myself reading yet another unoriginal paranormal romance info dump.
The first third of the book was Twilight in Ireland. New girl at school who makes instant friends and then fall head over heels in love with a guy who treats her like smelly garbage. The middle of the book is insta-love and a massive info dump. Seriously page after page of "oh you must be confused, here's tons of information about our secret powers. Come back tomorrow for more and more pages of information". I didn't think it was well written at all, and there was a lot of potential for Megan to discover this information in much more interesting ways, not just being told in one big conversation. And then because this magical family decides they can trust Megan, the boy who was treating her like disgusting trash for the first 100 pages is suddenly madly in love with her. That doesn't make any sense!
The final third of the book we read about all of this drama about why Megan and Adam can'tbe together and how their love may not even be real, but just their powers being drawn together. I actually really liked that idea and I hoped the book would explore this more, but pretty much the characters went "Nope, we're actually in love" and that was the end of it. The whole mythology behind their powers was very weird too. It wasn't explained well and had an awkward incestual tone lurking around it which I just couldn't get over.
There were some good parts though. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Ireland. I've never been there so it was fun to read about the towns and the marina. The setting was very well described and very interesting to read. I also thought there were some cute moments between Adam and Megan. I liked the small moments when they weren't acting like their love was this magical destiny and were just joking around. The book only got bad when it started to take itself too seriously.
Overall Carrier of the Mark had an interesting premise, but fell far short of my expectations. It seemed like a weak mashup of Twilight and any book series with elemental powers such as House of Night or Vampire Academy. (less)
Hush, Hush is an ominous and titillating tale of forbidden love at dangerous stakes. Nora is attracted to Patch for all of the wrong reasons. She thro...moreHush, Hush is an ominous and titillating tale of forbidden love at dangerous stakes. Nora is attracted to Patch for all of the wrong reasons. She throws caution to the wind to find out the secrets of the boy she cannot ignore. Hush, Hush is full of conflict for the protagonist, who must decide between the safty of ignorance and the danger of knowing.
The best parts of this book were the suspense and sexual tension scenes. The writing during these parts was fantastic, and drove me to read more. The pacing and timing of the conversations was well executed, especially on the parts of Vee(the funny BFF) and Patch (even though he has a really stupid name). I also really liked the lore behind the fallen angel, where they come from, what they can do, and what are their goals. The ending was well done, there was enough resolution to complete the book while still giving enough new information to make me want to read the second book, Crescendo.
However, I did have some issues with the main character Nora. At first she is presented as a very intelligent and independent girl who is hoping to get into an ivy league school, but as soon as Patch comes along we seem to loose all sight of that girl. Nora is very illogical and impulsive at times, while at other times she was so cautious she was teetering towards prudishness. There were times where she was afraid of Patch, and rightfully so as he is not a peaceful character to say the least, but she still goes with him or does what he says. She flip flops between being suspicious of him and being lustfully attracted to him. Nora is the girl you scream at during horror movies, the one who goes up to the attic in her underwear with a dead cell phone and a broken flashlight.
Sadly there are many similarities to Twilight. The overall plot is pretty much the same and the relationship between the main characters is very similar as well. I was disappointed because I was looking for something different and never got it. I am hoping that in Crescendo the focus will be on the angel lore and less on the chaotic relationship that has no real logic and borders on abusive. (ok often dives head first into the abusive pool).
Overall, Hush, Hush has an interesting conecpt but got lost in the need to have a mysterious and dangerous love affair. There are enough redeeming qualities for me to want to read the next book, but not enough for me to feel any urgency at getting to it.(less)
Catching Fire is the second installment of The Hunger Games trilogy that introduces new characters and even deeper conspiracies and conflicts. Katniss...moreCatching Fire is the second installment of The Hunger Games trilogy that introduces new characters and even deeper conspiracies and conflicts. Katniss has more struggles than ever and doesn't know who to trust or what she should to to protect those she loves. In Catching Fire there is a lot of what everyone loved from the first book, The Hunger Games. There is crazy fight scenes, government control and rebellion against it, and angsty love triangles.
Catching Fire is a difficult book to review, and I think this is because it feels like a transition book, not a novel in it's own right. Many of the plot devices seen in The Hunger Games were repeated in Catching Fire. Yes there were different with some of the specifics, (who was involved, how things were set up, ect) but the main events were almost exactly the same. This really bothered me because I think that in a series there should be a large story arc that spans all of the books and ties them together but each individual book should be it's own story with a unique beginning, middle, and end and Catching Fire was lacking that individuality.
I will say that I did enjoy all of the new characters, the arena setup was fantastic and very creative, and I LOVED the ending which was very exciting and did a great job of setting up the final book. I liked learning more about the overall political climate in Panem and the impact that Katniss's actions will have on the future of all of the districts, not just her family and friends. The action sequences were well written and very exciting and I really appreciated that evolution of Katniss's romances.
Overall Catching Fire is a continuation of the story that provides details about the conflicts with the government on a world wide scale but does not stand as it's own distinct novel. Catching Fire is still a very exciting book that continues the story well and should not be missed.(less)