There's just not a lot of good things to say about Need. The characters are flat and the story doesn't flow well. I've read this story many times andThere's just not a lot of good things to say about Need. The characters are flat and the story doesn't flow well. I've read this story many times and seen it done much better....more
This was a fun novel. I really enjoyed the concept of telling the novelist's life story as well as their novel. I did find myself more interested in DThis was a fun novel. I really enjoyed the concept of telling the novelist's life story as well as their novel. I did find myself more interested in Darcy's life, but Afterworlds had a fantastic beginning and ending. I also really appreciated all of the minorities, we have prominent Indian and gay characters and that's awesome.
I did have a few issues with the overall writing though. After the really fantastic beginning, Afterworlds really lagged for me. I don't think the underworld was presented in a very interesting way and as I got further into Darcy's life I found it hard to figure out if the novel was pre or post edits. It felt like it was pre edits and I found myself wishing Nan's comments were incorporated. I honestly would have liked a little less "YA hotness" and a little more death cult/serial killer. (view spoiler)[ Although I suspect this novel is way self aware of real life YA paranormal romances and I think he purposefully used tropes of the genre to influence Darcy's story. But even if his intentions were to have commentary on current YA trends, I still wanted Afterworlds to be an interesting book in it's own right, and unfortunately that wasn't always the case. (hide spoiler)]
I thought both relationships to be very insta-love (though it was worse in the novel) and that made them very unbelievable. I really had issues believing Darcy's relationship because she didn't really have any inner turmoil over it but she'd never really thought about it either. Everyone in her life was totally ok with it too, and I wish there had been just a little more introspection and discussion. And Darcy never really had any major conflict with people in her life, she just stressed about writing. I really liked the writing world stuff, especially as someone who has followed the YA publishing world very closely for 4+ years, but I would have liked more general life growth as well.
Even though I had some issues with the execution, I loved the concept of Afterworlds and I'm really hoping we will get a sequel. I personally would love to read Pyromancer and I hope that happens.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is just good old fashioned horror fun. One of my favorite things to do is pick a random horror movie off of netflix and just dive in, and that'sThis is just good old fashioned horror fun. One of my favorite things to do is pick a random horror movie off of netflix and just dive in, and that's what this book felt like. There's not a lot of character development or deep meaning, but honestly I didn't want that.
I thought The Merciless did a great job of keeping me guessing. I couldn't tell for a long time if this book was going to have some sort of paranormal element or if it was going to be a case of revenge gone wrong. Both are really awesome horror stories, and I would have liked either path. I really did like the way this one turned out. The only aspect I didn't like was the fact that this is going to be a series. I think it would have been a better stand alone with slightly different pacing. However I will be picking the next one up, but I really hope they don't change the covers (seriously, this cover is so perfect I love it).
I would recommend The Merciless to anyone who enjoys possession based horror movies. It's a little like The Craft meets The Exorcist and I really liked it....more
This was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book wThis was quite the ride. I really enjoyed the writing style, even if I did find it a little heavy handed at times. I thought the mystery of the book was well paced, with just the right amount of clues and red herrings to keep you guessing. I did spoil myself for this book, because I'm a idiot, and I would recommend resisting the urge. It is best to go into this one with no expectations. I know that will be hard because of all the hype....more
I enjoyed Fangirl a lot. I really related to Cath, especially in the beginning. I remember calling my mom the first week of college and crying about hI enjoyed Fangirl a lot. I really related to Cath, especially in the beginning. I remember calling my mom the first week of college and crying about how I wasn't making friends and that I felt left out and lonely. And, like Cath, that alone-ness was really self inflicted. I just wasn't giving people a chance.
I had the biggest problem with the ending which felt really rushed. I felt like a lot of things were glossed over or not fully addressed. Namely what happened with Cath and her mom's relationship as well as finishing up Carry On and the fiction writing assignment. Those were three huge parts of Cath's life and they didn't get any resolution.
Overall the writing and character are adorable, but it needed some plotting work.
Oh and did anyone else find Simon Snow WAY lamer than Harry Potter? Because I did....more
I think I've discovered a genre love I never knew I had. I love reading contemporary YA with a male protagonist. Some of my favorite books such as JohI think I've discovered a genre love I never knew I had. I love reading contemporary YA with a male protagonist. Some of my favorite books such as John Green's Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, Jesse Andrew's Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Evan Roskos's Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets feature hilariously awkward and endearing main characters. I can now add Andrew Smith's Winger to that list. Ryan Dean, the main character, is charming and vulnerable and very authentic.
Winger tells the story of Ryan Dean, a 14 year old kid who has the book smarts to already be a junior at a private boarding school, but still has the street smarts of a 14 year old kid (ie, not many). This leads to some hilariously embarrassing interactions because all of his friends are 2 years older than him and are often exasperated at his antics. His immature 14 year old mouth often gets him into trouble. Even though Ryan Dean spends a lot of time thinking that he's a loser, don't believe him. He's athletic, smart (maybe not the most wise but what 14 year old is?), and very charming. He is a complete joy to read.
I really loved the character Joey. He was like the great voice of reason with Ryan Dean. Ryan Dean would go off on some crazy tangent or get himself involved in some crazy scheme and Joey was there to slap some sense into his head. I absolutely loved the friendship that developed between these two characters, it was so endearing and cute and (without spoilers promise) made the ending even more sad.
I am very excited to read this for a second time. There is a lot of subtle development underneath all of the jokes about balls and I'm really excited to re-read it and see what I can catch. It's very artful storytelling and I think the words chosen are a lot more deliberate than they seem. That's very difficult to achieve, and I think Andrew Smith is brilliant for it.
So overall I loved Winger. It's funny and touching and has a great balance between poignant moments of friendship, love, and personal growth and jokes about balls. I highly recommend Winger and I think it's a perfect addition to your YA collection. ...more
I recently watched a really great video from Daniel Marks about Propping. Propping is basically when book industry consumers who also have some sort I recently watched a really great video from Daniel Marks about Propping. Propping is basically when book industry consumers who also have some sort of media outlet (youtube, blogs, twitter, ect) get caught up in the hype of a book regardless of it's quality. I feel like The 5th Wave falls into this category. People hyped the shit out of this book, it was the BIG RELEASE FOR SUMMER 2013!!!!! So I had high expectations....and The 5th Wave fell far short of them.
I feel like I'm the only person who thinks like this, but I was very unimpressed with The 5th Wave. I think my main complaint is that at the beginning of the novel Cassie goes on and on about how the alien invasion was like nothing we had ever imagined, we were dead wrong about how it would happen, we could have never predicted it ect. Instead what we got were many common tropes seen in a variety of science fiction.
***slight spoilers ahead for the different waves. I won't talk about what happens to the characters, just the general world building***
Wave 1 - EMP takes out all technology. As seen in The Matrix or War of the Worlds and in lots of modern warfare type video games.
Wave 2 - Natural disasters that cause tsunamis that take out most of the coasts. As seen in The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact, 2012, and loads of other disaster movies.
Wave 3 - Terrible virus/disease that wipes out 95% of the population. As seen in Contagion, Mask of the Red Death, lots of episodes of Star Trek, and a ton of video games such as Mass Effect and Deus Ex.
Wave 4 - Alien silencers (who look like humans) sent to root out survivors. Reminds me of Animporhs mixed with Terminator mixed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There are also floating eye machine things that made me think of the attack drones from Oblivion (that recent Tom Cruise Movie) and Portal's Wheatley.
Wave 5 - I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that it didn't seem all the original (and not very logical on the part of the aliens.)
Can you see my frustration? Each wave didn't seem unexpected because I've seen these same tropes pop up again and again! It felt like The 5th Wave was trying to be all of the things all at once, and I would have preferred just picking one and really supporting it or having the waves be things that I had never seen before. This felt too spread out and too stuck in the same old sci-fi genre.
I also had a very hard time connecting with Cassie, especially when she teams up with Evan. I felt like I was reading what an author thinks a teenage girl would feel or say, and not what his character would feel or say. The romance was incredibly awkward and just didn't really work for me. My biggest problem is that we get a very short chapter from Evan's perspective that reveals that he is in fact a silencer (at least that's how I read it) so when Cassie is doubting him and his intentions, we already know. It completely took out the suspicious tension for me and made their whole romance just unbearable.
Now, with that said, the reason I gave The 5th Wave 3 stars was because I really enjoyed the ending. I liked it when all of the different perspectives came together for the final show down, it just took forever for them to get there. I am interested in continuing the story and seeing how they will deal with wave 5 (even though I don't really understand why the aliens would even bother at this point, but who knows. Maybe we'll get more insight later on in the series).
Overall The 5th Wave was a disappointment. I was expecting a fresh and exciting adventure and instead I got cliche tropes told through a lot of info dumps. While I am interested in reading a sequel, it is not high on my list. ...more
I liked Eleanor and Park, but it needed some serious editing in the plot department, namely that there wasn't much of one. This book was more like twoI liked Eleanor and Park, but it needed some serious editing in the plot department, namely that there wasn't much of one. This book was more like two completely different books, one quirky romance between two oddball kids and one gut wrenching story about family drama and child abuse. The two stories, instead of blending together, seemed to compete for screen time.
While the romance was initially cute, it got very repetitive about half way through. Every romantic interaction would basically be like, cute stuff happened but then Park put his foot in his mouth and Eleanor would get mad/flustered and leave and they would freak out the the other was going to break up with them until they saw each other again and the cycle would repeat. Too much time was spent doing the same basic scene in a different location. That time could have been spent developing Eleanor's relationship with her family or Park's personality outside of his infatuation with Eleanor. Also I can't even begin to count how many times we were told Eleanor was FAT and Park was ASIAN. Ok, we get it, can we get to know them as people now?
Even with that said I enjoyed the book up until the very ending. I know this was set in the 80s so cell phones weren't a common thing, but seriously Park I'm sure your parents would have been cool with you driving up to see what was up with your girlfriend after not talking to her for a year. Also Eleanor is a pretty shitty person, just because you move a few states away doesn't mean you get to decide to just end a relationship and not even talk to your partner. If she cared at all about Park she would have at least given him the common courtesy of a phone call. I understand that first loves and young loves can feel huge in the moment but then fizzle out pretty fast at the first real obstacle (ie distance) but come on. And we get almost no resolution with Eleanor's family which was so frustrating. I was especially interested in the development of Eleanor's mother and she was basically flat for the entire novel.
OH and I have a major issue with their last "intimate" moment (view spoiler)[ I HATE HATE HATE that Eleanor was all, "this is our last chance, I don't care that you don't have a condom and that I might get pregnant". WHAT THE HELL. I hate that mentality, it is stupid and irresponsible. Don't have sex if you don't have protection. Period. (hide spoiler)]
BUT with all of this ranting there were some really good parts to Eleanor and Park, in particular Park's mom. I love her so much, she was so supportive of Park exploring his own interests and not pushing her own gender expectations on him.
I have conflicting emotions about this book, parts of it were great, parts were terrible, and parts were meh.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more