Never in my life have I started a book and not been able to finish it; I'm just not built that way, I need to know how stories end or it drives me cra...moreNever in my life have I started a book and not been able to finish it; I'm just not built that way, I need to know how stories end or it drives me crazy...but this might be my everest. I'd give it 0 stars if it was possible.
I stalled out at 25% into it and was never able to go back. The prologue interested me, but the beginning chapters were so clumsy and predictable that I was instantly bored. And honestly? I'm not much of a snob when it comes to books. There are lots of things I like purely for entertainment/fluff, even knowing they're not the most well-written things out there. This was just... not good, on any level.
(And I feel bad saying that as clearly I am not very well-informed given I only got through a quarter of the book, but the fact that I can't bring myself to finish it is huge for me.)
It is being shelved for now. Possibly permanently--or until my OCD kicks in and forces me to finish.(less)
Found it poorly written overall. One dimensional characters with who, I never became invested--and in some cases, eye-rolled every time they spoke--sl...moreFound it poorly written overall. One dimensional characters with who, I never became invested--and in some cases, eye-rolled every time they spoke--slow progression that then turned frantic in the last few pages. Resolution was clumsy and unsatisfying. What was the point of this book? I still have no idea.
Let's see if I can write a comprehensive review now that it's been a couple of weeks...
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters and the worl...moreLet's see if I can write a comprehensive review now that it's been a couple of weeks...
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters and the world Marr managed to build engaging and original. (Well, I assume original. This is my first book about faeries.) The hierarchy of the faerie world is explained just enough to be manageable and for the reader to become immersed, without being an overwhelming download of information that you know you'll never be able to remember. It was rich and interesting--the lore and behavior similar enough to the basics most everyone knows about faeries to be comfortable and familiar, but with enough twists thrown in to remain original.
The characters, their behavior and their dialogue felt authentic. I fully believed I was reading about a seventeen year old girl, her desires and insecurities, her language and mannerisms all felt genuine. So many times while reading YA I end up making faces at dialogue or reactions--comes off flat and like my mom trying to speak like a teenager a lot of times. This was not the case with Wicked Lovely.
Ash was lovely and strong, and again--an authentic teenage girl, with all the stubborn, petulant and insecure moments to make it feel real. Seth was... I have no words for him. I'm pretty sure Melissa Marr has been sneaking into my spank bank for some sinspiration. om nom nom nom.
Two things I liked in particular about this story:
1) No real love triangle. (At least from my perspective.) Though I feared it would eventually turn out that way, because of the trend I've been programmed to expect, I never saw Keenan as a contender. I never liked him at all, in fact. I was prepared to throw the book and not bother to continue with the rest of the installments if Ash suddenly turned on a dime and decided she wanted to be with him, because it just wouldn't have made any sense.
2) It felt like a standalone book. I'm getting very tired of trilogies and sages, etc. Not because I don't enjoy reading about the same character for greater lengths of time, but because none of the pieces ever make a whole. When I sit down to read a book, I expect a beginning, middle and end--even if the end isn't THE END. I want closure and a conclusion. I want what I'm reading to be a complete story, not merely an extremely long teaser for the next installment.
Also, my perv is showing, but I loved how sexy it was, even within the YA parameters. I definitely got the tingles on more than one occasion. And she said fuck once. I might have clapped.
This might be the least enlightening review ever. Hopefully it teaches me to sit down and do it right away rather than waiting weeks.
I'm really not sure how to review this properly, to be honest. I think this is the first YA novel I've ever read that is really and truly geared towar...moreI'm really not sure how to review this properly, to be honest. I think this is the first YA novel I've ever read that is really and truly geared toward actual young adults and not the growing adult audience in the genre. It was really the only time in the last year I've spent immersed in YA that I've not been able to identify with a main character, simply because I felt so much older and more mature than her.
Anyway, beyond Evie feeling a bit immature--exactly as immature as a sixteen year old should be--I thought Paranormalcy was very well done. Kiersten White built a believable world within a world (IPCA) and the creatures and lore she used were interesting and diverse. I liked Lend, their burgeoning attracting was cute (though didn't give me the tingles) and that it was built upon--it wasn't an immediate ~connection~ born of fairy dust and hand to hand electrocution.
However, Reth was really, really creepy. I understand there is a bit of Team Reth/Team Lend going on and I have to say I don't get it. We didn't know his motivation throughout most of the book, only that what he was doing was against Evie's will and this homie never plays that. We still don't really know his motivations, so he resides firmly in Creepville as far as I'm concerned. Maybe someone else can enlighten me on his appeal.
All in all, it was well-written and well-paced and a book I will have no qualms about recommending to younger family members without feeling a little dirty about it. (less)
I wanted so much more from this follow up to Firelight, which was a lush and refreshing take on YA fantasy. Unfortunately, Vanish suffers from what I...moreI wanted so much more from this follow up to Firelight, which was a lush and refreshing take on YA fantasy. Unfortunately, Vanish suffers from what I hope is merely Second Book Slump and not an indication of the way the third book will go.
Vanish picks up immediately where Firelight left off--as though Jordan wrote them as one big book and split them in half--with Cassian taking Jacinda, Tamra and their mother back to the pride. What follows is three hundred pages of prettily written teenage angst as Jacinda vacillates between her feelings for Will and the ones she's beginning to develop for Cassian.
And while that wasn't unexpected--I think we all knew the love triangle element was going to ramp up in the second book--I certainly didn't expect it to be the only thing to happen in three hundred pages. There was literally no forward progression in the plot. None. All the questions posed in Firelight remain unanswered, and Vanish failed to pose any compelling questions of its own.
Except, of course, Team Will or Team Cassian?
I hope the next book in the series meets the expectation set by Firelight and does not continue in the vein of Vanish.(less)
I was given this ARC free of charge from NetGalley. I'll try to keep my review as spoiler free as possible.
Admittedly, I began reading Starcrossed wit...moreI was given this ARC free of charge from NetGalley. I'll try to keep my review as spoiler free as possible.
Admittedly, I began reading Starcrossed with very low expectations. My initial excitement over the premise dimmed when I read a few preliminary reviews comparing it to Twilight; I went in with my eyeball muscles limbered up, ready to roll at a moment's notice.
I was very pleasantly surprised, and happy to be wrong.
While there are some inconsistencies in the mythology, overall I found it a very engaging twist on what is arguably the most well-known story in Greek mythology. Perhaps those inconsistencies were deliberate; had Angelini followed the storyline to the letter, Starcrossed would have been a very predictable read. I felt it was paced well for the most part, and enjoyed going through the discovery process with Helen.
I liked Helen. I was able to relate to her fear of standing out, of not wanting to be different from her peers (who doesn't have that fear in high school?). I thought she was strong and smart, and loved that she held so much power. My one complaint is that she didn't ask enough questions. Once she discovered what she was, why didn't she push to find out who? When she and Lucas fought, why didn't she push him to tell her why he couldn't be with her? For someone so strong, she was very passive in a lot of situations. I understand that perhaps she was avoiding those questions because they were too much to deal with, but I would have liked to have seen her stand up for herself more. She had so much physical strength, I would have liked her personality and sense of worth to be equal to it.
Though there was some of the magical instant connection happening between Lucas and Helen, it was less jarring and annoying than some other YA stories simply because it worked in context and Angelini backed it up with interactions and revelations that supported and enhanced the connection they shared.
Now, as far as the Twilight comparisons? Sure, there are some similarities, but at no point did I feel like I was reading a Twilight/Percy Jackson crossover fanfiction as some have suggested. Starcrossed is not only its own, unique story, but a much better one than Twilight on almost every level--writing style, plot, pace, characterizations were all leagues ahead of Twilight.
What I'm trying to say is, even if this was a blatant rip off, it's like Angelini stole the pebble from Meyer's hand, grasshopper. Like, if they were in a cage match, Starcrossed would totally beat Twilight with a chair. Or like jump on it really hard. Or something.
And most importantly? The argument closer to all argument closers?
Lucas Delos > the sparkly virgin who can't drive...I mean, fly Edward Cullen.
Overall this was an exciting and intriguing read. I'm looking forward to the next book, and hoping that Helen will evolve into a stronger, more confident person.(less)
Wow. This book was so cool. (I think I repeated that to myself about every chapter or so as I read.) It will be difficult to review without giving too...moreWow. This book was so cool. (I think I repeated that to myself about every chapter or so as I read.) It will be difficult to review without giving too much away, but suffice to say it is a fascinating, many layered story. It sucked me on every level, with each stage fascinating enough in and of itself I never expected another layer to be revealed--but each time the surface was pulled back, I fell deeper into the story. It is the kind of novel in which you feel completely immersed, from beginning to end.
Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.
Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?
Alison has special abilities that have been both blessing and curse for her entire life. (view spoiler)[She's a synesthetic, which means her senses are cross-wired; she can see and taste and feel sounds, letter and numbers have colors, colors have flavors, etc. (hide spoiler)] They were endlessly fascinated for me as a reader to experience through Alison's narration, and I'd have been happy enough if they were the sole focus of the novel. Alison's time in the mental institution, her self-discovery and eventual acceptance and embracing of her differences would have made a fantastic story in and of itself.
But Anderson took it a step further, gave it a paranormal / sci-fi twist that was at once surprising and expected; the set up was subtle enough not to be obvious, but kept the transition from feeling jarring and out of place. It was a transgressional twist, one that changed the whole tone of the novel and made me perceive everything that had happened before differently.
There were two things that kept me from giving this five stars was the pacing. First, the twist happened in the last 20% of the novel, and while it never felt rushed as I was reading it, I'd have liked there to have been more explanation and description. Second, (view spoiler)[the resolution and explanation for Tori's behavior fell flat for me. It was all so coincidental and never rang true to me (hide spoiler)].
As others have said, Ultraviolet gave me the same feelings that A Wrinkle in Time series did as a child. It is a fascinating story, and while the ending tied things up enough for it to feel complete, I do hope there are other books to come.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
“Once upon a time,an angel and a demon fell in love. It did not end well.”
No, it did not. Sigh.
Laini Taylor is incredibly talented. This is the first...more“Once upon a time, an angel and a demon fell in love. It did not end well.”
No, it did not. Sigh.
Laini Taylor is incredibly talented. This is the first time I've ever read her, and I was blown away by the power and elegance of her words and the beauty of her storytelling. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is lush, rich with symbolism without feeling heavy with the effort to be so; each phrase felt effortless.
Karou's story is many layered and endlessly fascinating. I loved her from beginning to end. She is one of those characters who come alive off the page, three dimensional and multi-faceted and you know her and love her even when she doesn't know herself. I felt bonded to her almost instantly, as though recognizing an old friend.
The love story between Karou and Akiva had a kind of sharp-edged beauty to it. At first it felt too much like inexplicable insta-love (just add electrifying fingers!) that permeates YA, but as their story unfolded and I knew the why of their connection, it grabbed my heart in its fist like nothing else--but just when I began to embrace it, it made me bleed. Sigh.
The world within a world Taylor has crafted is complex, but also so simple. And while I think there's definitely a comment on our current world-state buried in the subtext, it didn't feel overdone or as though this was intended to be a story with a message.
The only thing that kept Daughter of Smoke and Bone from being five stars was the pacing, and even so I wish there was a way to give it 4.5 or 4.75 stars. Nearly all the questions I'd asked myself--and Karou had asked herself--for three hundred pages were answered in the last hundred of the book, and as soon as they were, the tone shifted and became something altogether different... and then it ended. I felt as though I'd worked for something all throughout the book, only to hold it for a moment and feel the power of it before it's crushed to dust before my eyes.
That might seem dramatic, but such is the power of Laini Taylor's storytelling.
I didn't know this was the first in a series, and if I had I think I would have read it differently--not been so surprised with the way it ended. I don't consider this an indictment against Taylor or the story itself; I feel sure the next in the series will be equally as rich and fascinating and I cannot wait until I can get my hands on it.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is released in September, and I'd urge everyone to pick it up, even if the summary does not seem like your cup of tea. It's so much more than anyone can explain in a few sentences, more than this rambling review can illustrate. It's the kind of story--like the classic, epic fantasies before it--that is meant to be enjoyed by many, and for many years to come.(less)
I've been trying to figure out how to review this book all day, and I'm still kind of stumped.
Did I like it? Yes. I think so. Eventually.
I think the...moreI've been trying to figure out how to review this book all day, and I'm still kind of stumped.
Did I like it? Yes. I think so. Eventually.
I think the problem I had, why I can't seem to form a concrete opinion, is that while the story itself was well-written and interesting, I never really connected with either one of the narrators. I liked them, sure, but I didn't become immersed and invested in their stories until about three quarters of the way through the book.
It was at 70 pages from the end where their stories really kicked in for me, but otherwise I was just kind of floundering and trying to figure out what amid three hundred pages of setup was going to be important later. Turns out... not much of it was.
I think Stiefvater put so much energy into building the island's lore and creating the atmosphere of the story that she neglected character development. I don't know that I ever really felt as though I knew Puck or Sean, and I certainly never got a clear understanding of Puck's brothers.
While the ending was good and drew an emotional response that had been lacking for much of the previous four hundred pages, overall I found The Scorpio Races to be a disappointing read. (less)
**spoiler alert** I wavered between two and three stars, but ultimately decided it wasn't bad enough to warrant only two.
I really wanted to love Hourg...more**spoiler alert** I wavered between two and three stars, but ultimately decided it wasn't bad enough to warrant only two.
I really wanted to love Hourglass. I'd been anticipating its release for weeks, excited by the time travel aspect as it's not something I've read much, but have always enjoyed when given the opportunity. And while the time traveling premise of Hourglass did prove interesting, it wasn't enough to make up for the inconsistent and somewhat flat characters.
I found Emerson just kind of... empty. For someone who had gone through so much, she rarely exhibited any real depth of emotion. While at times she was snarky and made me laugh, mostly I found her flippant and selfish. She seemed to react to all the wrong things, and make decisions frivolously and for shallow reasons. While I understood her connection with Michael to a point--he was the only one in her entire life who truly understood what she was--she sacrificed nearly every other relationship in her life for him. She constantly blew off her best friend who'd been there for her when everyone else thought she was a freak, and she barely spared her brother or his sacrifices and concern for her a thought.
I liked Michael in the beginning, but the way he constantly withheld information from Emerson 'for her own good' was tired and condescending. And sometimes didn't even make sense. Why did he get so mad when she read the article about Liam if telling her about it was his ultimate goal anyway? Why did he make it sound like their touching would have catastrophic effects when really, he was just trying to keep her from falling for him? And if that was the case, why did he initiate so much between them physically? BE CONSISTENT. Why was he so pouty when Kaleb kissed her? He should have been happy, given what he knew would happen in the future.
And speaking of the outcome, considering Emerson's background, I thought it was a dick move that he didn't warn her in some way of what was going to happen. He was so concerned with protecting her, but didn't give a thought what the aftermath would do to her? Ass.
I'd totally be Team Kaleb, if I thought Emerson was good enough for him. He was the most real character in the entire book. I felt more for--and from--him than any other character.
The actual plot--once Michael decided it wouldn't hurt Emerson's poor little girl brain to know about it--was pretty awesome, though predictable. I liked the X-Men-esque sci-fi elements, and am interested to see them expanded in the second book.
Hourglass has the potential to be a truly engaging and exciting series, if only McEntire can bring more depth to her characters in the subsequent books. (less)
My official rating is closer to 3.5, but I felt it deserved more than just the three star showing for anyone giving my review a cursory glance.
The Nea...moreMy official rating is closer to 3.5, but I felt it deserved more than just the three star showing for anyone giving my review a cursory glance.
The Near Witch is beautifully crafted. From the very first paragraph I was stunned and awed by the poetic way in which Schwab wrote this story. There is a rhythm to her words, a cadence that makes you feel as though you're being read the story out loud by a practiced orator. It reads very much like a fairy tale; though the story is entirely unique, it felt familiar to me somehow, which I think was due to the tone and tempo of the storytelling.
Though for as pretty as it was, and as many times as I stopped to reread particularly gorgeous passages to myself, the story itself failed to engage me. The plot moved slowly without much excitement, and then when tension built it was so short-lived each moment meant to be exciting was merely anticlimactic.
That being said, it was an enjoyable read--just not a particularly engaging one, which was unfortunate as I was so pleased to find something that was different in nearly every respect from the other YA novels I've read.
Another single mom story from Nora Roberts that made me sigh and swoon and daydream a bit. My favorite moment was when Brad asked her son's permission...moreAnother single mom story from Nora Roberts that made me sigh and swoon and daydream a bit. My favorite moment was when Brad asked her son's permission to propose. *swoon*(less)