While I enjoyed the premise of PIVOT POINT very much--I loved the idea of a secret city housing a mentally advanced population with X-Men-esq...more2.5 stars
While I enjoyed the premise of PIVOT POINT very much--I loved the idea of a secret city housing a mentally advanced population with X-Men-esque abilities--I found it ultimately lacking in execution. The plot was buried for nearly 80% of the book, focusing instead on Addie's relationship with two different boys, and football conspiracies. I kept waiting for the actual story to start, but I suppose in the end that WAS the story--just not the one I was expecting given the summary, or frankly, would have ever chosen to read.(less)
I wasn't really sure what I was in for when I started Mind Games. I'd only read the first in Kiersten...moreThis review also appears on The Midnight Garden.
I wasn't really sure what I was in for when I started Mind Games. I'd only read the first in Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series, and while it was cute with great world-building, it wasn't enough to get me invested in finishing the rest of the series. Evie just felt so young. (You know. Like how young sixteen year olds are, compared to a wizened spinster of 30...)
But, you guys? Fia is no Evie. Not even close.
"The moment he bends over to help the sorrow-eyed spaniel puppy, I know I won't be able to kill him.
This, of course, ruins my entire day."
Sophia (Fia) is a trained assassin. A spy. A thief. She is whatever Keane needs her to be; an indentured villain with perfect instincts she doesn't always understand, but always follows. And she will never, ever be able to escape.
Because if she tries, they'll hurt Annie, her sister who is blind to everything but the future. Her sister who is the reason they're trapped in the Keane Foundation anyway, whose abilities were the reason they were invited to the school after their parents' death. The reason they stayed even when Fia's instincts told her to run fast and far away from it.
So, she has to kill this boy. Adam. She has to do it or they'll hurt her sister. But she can't. She can't kill the boy who is sweet to a puppy, who looks at her like she's a real girl without blood on her hands. Like she's clean and sweet, and maybe he wants to touch her.
He wouldn't want to touch her if he knew.
She can't kill him. So she follows her perfect instincts to hide him instead. And...well, that's about all I can tell you without spoilers.
But I can tell you it's twisted and dark. It's sexy and violent--much more so than I would have previously expected from White. And it's sad. What impressed me the most about Mind Games was Fia's pain. Her absolute self-loathing and reluctance, even when she is vicious and ruthless. She hates herself, and part of her hates Annie too, but she'll do anything--anything--to protect her sister.
I think some might be turned off by the structure and style of this book, though I happened to really enjoy it. It's told from both Annie and Fia's point of views, shifting back and forth from past to present. Fia's narrative style is a bit stream-of-consciousness-ish, which can be hard to follow, but I found it a perfect representation of how unhinged she is.
And for me, Fia's borderline insanity is what makes the story live up to its title--well, that and the ending. Which was less a mind game and more a mind *expletive*.
Mind Games was a fascinating and frenetic read, and I can't wait to see what White has in store for its sequel.(less)
I picked up Wraith thinking I was in for a creepy story about a girl driven to madness by the haunting presence of ghosts. And while that wa...more3.5 stars.
I picked up Wraith thinking I was in for a creepy story about a girl driven to madness by the haunting presence of ghosts. And while that was true in a sense, the overall story was much different than I expected.
And I kind of loved that.
Jane Watts is an outcast at her new school, all because she got into a very public fight with her best friend, Evan. Normally, that kind of public display would blow over in just a couple days, except in this case, Evan’s dead, and no one can see him but Jane. Her outburst in the hall earns her a permanent Freak label, as far as her classmates are concerned.
But Jane’s okay with that. Mostly. She has Evan, after all. The sweet, protective ghost who lives in her room, and seems to want nothing more than to be her friend. She’s even learned to control her reactions to him when he visits her in class. Despite being a complete pariah, Jane’s settling into her new anonymity at her school.
That is, until Connor shows up.
“He looked in my direction, but not at me--not exactly. His eyes were glued right behind me. To the seat I knew was technically empty, the seat of my best friend and current tormentor.”
Back from a recent stint in juvie--or so the rumors say--Connor is everything Jane doesn’t need. A cocky bad boy who may or may not be a delinquent... and oh yeah, he can see Evan too. Connor warns Jane that Evan is there for a reason; he needs something from her before he can finally be at rest.
Jane is torn between wanting to keep her best friend, and the need to help him. Together, she and Connor try to uncover the secrets of Evan’s past, and in the process put themselves in Evan’s murderer’s crosshairs.
Wraith was less creepy than I envisioned after reading the summary, but I found I didn’t miss the shivers. (I’m kind of a wimp, I’ll be honest.) Though the story was somewhat straightforward and predictable, it was an interesting twist on the usual paranormal.
I loved the growth Jane demonstrated throughout the story; she begins as a defensive social outcast, completely dependent on her secret best friend, to someone determined and confident, and open to making new friends. Lawson really shines in her character development with both Jane and Connor.
And I especially loved that there was no love triangle set up between Jane, Connor, and Evan.
Wraith is a solidly entertaining paranormal, with humor, mystery, and heart.
This was Angel Lawson’s debut novel. Its sequel, Shadow Bound, was released in December, and is only $3.99 on Kindle and Nook. (less)
Mia and Sam are one of my absolute favorite couples Nora Roberts has created. I loved the sharing of power and the overarching theme of forgiveness. A...moreMia and Sam are one of my absolute favorite couples Nora Roberts has created. I loved the sharing of power and the overarching theme of forgiveness. And young love lost then found is kind of my jam.(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.
**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)
I give Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly 3 out of 5 stars.
Angel Burn started strong for me; I loved the concept of angels as malevolent parasites, infiltra...moreI give Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly 3 out of 5 stars.
Angel Burn started strong for me; I loved the concept of angels as malevolent parasites, infiltrating earth to feed from humans. It is an interesting and unique take on angel lore, and Weatherly's world building was very well done.
Willow was an interesting and complex character. Her psychic ability was not overdone or cliched, and presented in a unique light. Her true nature, while predictable, gave an interesting spin to the angel genre. I love that she was never relegated to the role of the cowering simpering female; she embodied strength and conviction throughout the story and was a very engaging character.
Likewise, Alex's character, a young--and presumably the only--Angel Killer (those with the sight and the training capable to kill angels) was just enough Bad Boy With a Dark and Painful Past to make him intriguing without being cliche.
However, the romantic aspect detracted from the storyline for me. Though I liked that their burgeoning connection, the tone of the novel shifted once they became a couple. The romantic dialogue felt flat and awkward, and nearly always pulled me out of the scene. I was never again fully invested in the story line, which was a shame as I do think from an objective standpoint it was quite good.
I am looking forward to the next book in the series, with the hope that I find the relationship between Alex and Willow less trite and more genuine. (less)