This book is, at its roots, a YA sci-fi novel but the actual science in it is given very little attention so it ends up reading more like a YA PNR. Th...moreThis book is, at its roots, a YA sci-fi novel but the actual science in it is given very little attention so it ends up reading more like a YA PNR. This is a shame as the sci-fi aspect of it is what really drew me to the book in the first place. There is, after all, plenty of PNR out there aimed at YA readers, but much fewer books that focus on our present day society with a sci-fi flare.
The story is an odd mix between fast-paced and dragging. That is to say, for a long time we’re caught up in high school woes. There’s the best friend who’s desperate to get an in with the popular crowd (Jenna), the queen bee who rules the school with an iron fist (Rachel), and the popular guy (Zane) who for some reason has taken an interest in the quiet wallflower (Ariane). Cue the main cast.
Ariane has been trying to fly under the radar for the past ten years, since her escape from the local laboratory where she was submitted to inhumane testing for the first six years of her life. She’s trying to live life by the rules her saviour, the man she now calls her “father”, set for her, which essentially revolve around her not drawing any attention to herself. All that goes out of the window when Rachel targets Jenna as the butt of a mean joke and Ariane stands up for her friend. Cue Arian losing control of her spiffy alien powers (which she can’t usually access due to a traumatic event during her time in the lab). Cue an electricity surge and the unwelcome attention of her former captors. They don’t know who she is yet, but they know she’s close. All she can do now is attempt to disappear back into the woodwork. Something easier said than done considering Rachel has now targeted Ariane as well as Jenna.
There are alternating PoVs in this book: Ariane and Zane. I’m not always a fan of dual narration, especially if there’s not enough of a difference between the first person voices, but in this case I think it was necessary. Ariane tended to either focus on only certain things or waffle aimlessly whereas Zane allowed for a more rounded picture of the events taking place. It also allowed me to get to know him better as Ariane certainly didn’t know him well when she decided she was falling in love with him! It’s worth noting that the whole of this book took place in a span of about five days and Ariane and Zane hadn’t really communicated much in the past. This fact did detract from the “epicness” on their love (for me).
I want to mention the rules themselves as well: they didn’t full sit well with me. Why not? Because Ariane was six when she was saved from the lab and who tells a six-year-old that it is imperative she never allow herself to fall in love? Seems a bit OTT to me.
So eventually things moved beyond the high school drama and moved into the realm of sci-fi conspiracy. Unfortunately this isn’t until the last 75 pages or so. By this time I just wanted it to be over so I could start on something new. It felt to me like there were a number of long passages – even whole chapters at times – that were not entirely necessary to the story and just served to beef it up. It was an odd mix of short spikes of action intermingled with long lulls of reminiscing. I enjoyed the story but not as much as I was hoping to. Despite this, I’ll still be reading book 2.(less)
It started out as this really cool thriller that was spooky cool, if not explored to a deep level... but then it turned into this p...more***MILD SPOILERS***
It started out as this really cool thriller that was spooky cool, if not explored to a deep level... but then it turned into this paranormal thing with religious influences. No!
The idea of this game was so, so cool. Someone is stalking you, calling you endlessly but there's no record of these calls, they take everything you own (your house, your car, your bank account), they take your best friend and frame you for murder. Scary stuff! It all builds up to the "ultimate reality game", the one all Americans want to watch.
But the game itself lasted hardly any time at all! Then there was this huge turn around as the book focused on a paranormal twist that took everything towards a bigger "game", but one that is orchestrated by the guy upstairs. Not interested.
I was really frustrated and felt let down by the time I got to the end of the book. It doesn't help that the writing is still more on the tell side than show, and that a lot of things are rushed rather than being explored in some detail. Like the other people stuck in the game - as soon as it's over they're never mentioned again!
All in all, a good start let down by a bad end.(less)
There's some seriously clunky prose going on in this book. Here are a few examples that I highlighted:
My lung and throat feel like their bruised. So a...moreThere's some seriously clunky prose going on in this book. Here are a few examples that I highlighted:
My lung and throat feel like their bruised. So apparently she only has one lung, as well as the incorrect use of their.
His eyes amplify. Huh?
His blonde hair glimmers in the sunlight and hands in his ash eyes. I'm not even sure what this is supposed to mean.
His eyes enlarge. I get what the author means with this, but bad word choice.
His voice perpetuates my body with heat. Again, the word choice doesn't make sense. Perpetuate means to prolong the existance of something, and I'm not sure how that fits here.
"Did they have black-winged feathers?" Black-winged feathers? Or black-feathered wings?
Cameron's voice intervenes my thoughts. Again, bad word choice.
Like a shadow, he transpires in the doorway with the light of the house shining behind. Again, transpire is the wrong word choice. It doesn't make sense in this context.
He conceals his body over mine and my words evaporate into the night. Conceals his body over mine? Conceal is synonymous of hide. He could conceal her body under his, but not his body over hers.
These are just some examples. There are plenty more in the book. In fact, at times it felt like it was overflowing with words used incorrectly, like the author had used a thesaurus and just picked whichever word looked good to her. It was most off-putting for me as the reader because I kept having to rebuild her sentence structure while reading.
As for the story itself, it was ok (hence the 2 stars). It was a bit on the obvious side though, with no unexpected twists or turns. The best friend was more like a frenemy than a friend; the was a double dose of love/lust at first sight (one of my pet peeves); the sex scenes were on the clunky side and just didn't work very well for me...
At the end of the day I'm not really sure how I feel about the story. I want to read the next installment, but at the same time I'm not sure I feel particularly fulfilled by this one. (less)
A short while before this book was released, I read a few of the early reviews by some of the GR reviews whose opinions I respect. The consensus was n...moreA short while before this book was released, I read a few of the early reviews by some of the GR reviews whose opinions I respect. The consensus was not great. By this time I already had the book on order, so when it came in I put it to one side for a couple of months. Yesterday I decided to give it a go, even though I still had the faint echoes of these bad reviews rattling around in my head. Consequently I went into the book with some trepidation.
I was pleasently surprised.
It should be said that I have times when I'm more open and accepting than others. Right now I'm fairly open and willing to put my prejudices aside. Depending on my mood, I'm looking for different things in a book. Sometimes I'm looking for the world building, sometimes I'm after a mystery I can't unravel on my own, sometimes it's all about the characters, and sometimes I'm just after a believable romance.
Right now, I appear to be in the last category. It's in the story's interests that I am.
Had I been after world building, Indelible would have fallen pretty flat. There's plenty of world there, but it's not really built, it's just presented as it is with little-to-no explanation for why it is the way it is. Case in point: there are some great "Folk" depicted in the story, very scary, but I'm not entirely sure how they fit into our world.
The mystery aspect isn't really all that prevalent here. There's not much of a plot to the first half / two thirds of the book. It's more about the introduction to the world next to ours as well as a large focus on the interactions between Joy and Ink.
Characters are there, with Joy, Ink, Inq, and the Bailiwick being the driving focus of the story, but there are sacrifices made with the other characters. Take the best friend's boyfriend, for example. He's mentioned a lot but is never actually an active player in it all, so I don't care about him. Take Joy's mother & her toyboy, James, Shelley - even Stefan and Joy's father to an extent. I got the feeling that the author wanted to present both sides, but had to choose one over the other and so sacrificed the more human side of things.
The romance, however, is very clearly present. It's fairly slow-burning and involves some passages that were very moving in their own way (the inspection of an ear has never been so erotic!). I was very easily caught up in their young love, their urge to learn not only each other but also how to act in the new roles they've taken on with regards to one another.
I liked the descriptions of the "Folk" (most of whom are pretty much on the monstrous side of things) and felt it added to a tense atmosphere as things were just starting to kick off. Additionally there were some very well-depicted scenes. I recognise that there were areas in the narrative where things started to drag, but it didn't get to the point where I was starting to feel said drag.
There were a few cases where the incorrect word was used in the sentence and I had to stop for a minute to puzzle out the real meaning of what was being said.(I'm afraid I didn't stop reading to take down any examples)(less)
I was going to say that this book really frustrated me as I was reading it but that's not true. It was Magnolia's character that really got on my nerv...moreI was going to say that this book really frustrated me as I was reading it but that's not true. It was Magnolia's character that really got on my nerves. I just couldn't click with her at the start of the novel and then things didn't improve from there on in.
There's a limit to how powerful you can make your characters before the book becomes a form of wish fulfilment instead of an interesting story, and Magnolia is far beyond that limit.
She's got all the basics: super strong, super fast, super senses. Beyond this she's also got in her bag of tricks: invisibility, telekinesis, telepathy, super sexiness (everyone lusts after her), the ability to dig thoughts out of others' minds or force her own thoughts into their minds, healing (both herself and others)... And all this in just the first 5 chapters. There are plenty more abilities that crop up later on too.
She's just too much! I think the final straw for me was when she healed another character by just breathing on his wounds. No, just no. When no one else, except her family, have any powers - and even her family's abilities are nothing next to Magnolia's - she's so overpowered that I couldn't bring myself to accept her.
Things were going wrong at the very start of the novel - her personality didn't appeal to me - but I decided to give the book a fair chance. It didn't pick up for me and the more I read, the more I found myself nit-picking it apart...
For one, this girl has supposedly been held hostage in her family home and tortured beyond the brink of death (her healing powers are so powerful that she can heal herself from every injury) every day of her life for 22 years. This girl would be completely off her rocker!! Instead she's not only socially adept, she's even got slang going!
It's a shame because a number of the supporting characters were quite interesting, though none developed to their full potential. Had Magnolia been more believable, the story could have had a great premise.
As it was, I just went from frustration to frustration. I am in no hurry to follow more of her adventures. Unfortunately this turned out to be a very frustrating read for me.(less)
I felt vaguely disappointed by this one. Book one was fabulous. This one felt a bit like filler to tide readers over to book 3 (which isn't out for an...moreI felt vaguely disappointed by this one. Book one was fabulous. This one felt a bit like filler to tide readers over to book 3 (which isn't out for another year).
I missed the presence of the ghosts. They didn't play as much of a role in this book. When the idea of Bedlam was introduced, I thought "wow, this is it - crazy ghosts! - let's ride this rollercoaster!"... only this rollercoaster turned out to be a fairly uninspiring sidethought at best.
I missed the friends at school. These characters all played a much more important role in the first book. Here they're just kinda in the background. You're aware of the fact that they exist but fairly little attention is paid to them. A few names were thrown around but it's been a while since I read book 1 and at times I couldn't remember who was who anymore - the characters just weren't fleshed out enough to help jog my memory. Jerome is supposed to be her boyfriend and even he gets a pitiful amount of on-page time. It could never have been more obvious that he was just a means to an end for the author. I like that Rory's relationships don't have to be true love - physical attraction is enough and it's portrayed as such - but still, a boyfriend should receive more interest than was given to Jerome here.
I missed Boo. She's another character who plays a much reduced role. In the first book she stood out because the author made an effort to translate her character's urban speech style to the page. This didn't reappear in book two.
I even missed the interactions with Stephen. Rory's still interacting with him but I didn't get the same feel from them as I did in the first book. I felt that book two didn't really manage to recapture the spark.
A lot of the book focused on Rory's PTSD, which was interesting enough and something I could recognise from the times I've been left with something similar... however, it was not enough to carry the whole story on its own but it was still left with all that weight on its poor little shoulders.
There's a number of new ideas put in place at the end of the book that will carry everything over to book 3. Had book 3 already been available and I could have just jumped straight in, I might not have the feeling I have now. This was definitely filler and it was a let down after an awesome first book. Hopefully book 3 will return to the awesomeness that was present in book 1.(less)
First of all, what a setting! I love the Scottish islands: they’re picturesque, they’re remote enough to each have a very distinct personality, and they’re the perfect getaway. I’ve been to several of the Scottish islands (Colonsay, Jura, Mull, and Islay) and my memories of them are all of a rural paradise, the kind that you don’t tend to find very often in Britain nowadays (though the beaches leave a lot to be desired). The author shows an obvious passion for her setting and managed to create that isolated island feeling that is just so important (in my opinion) in such a story. I felt that she did her setting justice. I hope that inhabitants of these islands would think so too.
Though perhaps not entirely original in subject matter, the story is definitely one of the more interesting paranormal romances that I’ve read so far this year. There was just the right balance of romance and action that I needed – one didn’t outweigh the other and there was no getting bogged down in the details to the point where I just lost interest in it all. Beyond this, as the character herself is not actually initiated into this supernatural world that she’s a part of, the reader was able to follow her baby steps. Isla is unaware of her heritage as a witch and so it never felt like she was taking the time to break away from her story in order to explain her world to me. I was able to discover everything alongside her and I felt that this gave the story a much smoother and more authentic feel.
There is one character, Marduk, who is quite the funny guy. I’m not as sure about the quotes he spews as you have to be aware of the general culture they come from in order for it to really work. This means that anyone not entirely familiar with Hollywood won’t connect with him as well. It really dates the story more than any other aspect of it. Some people like this but I’m one of those who are wary of it. Despite this, he was a great character and one of my favourites!
The romance did advance possibly a little on the fast side, but whirlwind romances do happen like that (my own included, so I can’t judge). I did have some issues with passing time on occasion – the narrative would tell me that X time had passed but I didn’t get the impression that it had been that long while reading.
The witches were fabulous. I’m particularly interested in witches right now (along with ghosts) so any book set on a Scottish island (part of my childhood) that adds witches (part of my paranormal preferences) is a definite hit for me before I’ve even cracked it open. There are other paranormal creatures also present and they're just the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed them all, even the ones that I'm usually not that big on in this genre.
What’s more, the characters caught my interest and they didn’t let go, each developing at a believable rate, allowing me to connect with them and really come to root for them in their fight against the evil demons. This is just what I look for in a book. Obviously this one turned up to be just my cup of tea.
I will definitely be tuning in for book two!(less)
As soon as I read the synopsis for this one, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more and so when the promo tour also offe...moreFull review can be found here.
As soon as I read the synopsis for this one, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more and so when the promo tour also offered six review copies, I immediately signed up for one of the six. I didn’t actually receive my copy until after the promo post (here) and I had a couple of other blog tour books to read before I could crack this one open, but I had itchy-finger-syndrome when it came to this one.
I cracked it open for the first time after having just finished another book of a very different genre. In hindsight, that wasn’t the best idea ever. I should have given myself some time to unwind from the first book before I cracked open this one. I also only allowed myself the time to read the prologue and things might have been different had I been able to immediately continue on to the first couple of chapters. The consequence of not doing so was that the prologue left me thrown and not entirely enraptured. This is my own fault, of course, and I suspect that my experience of starting the book would have been very different had I approached it differently.
It doesn’t help that I’ve been very busy recently, which meant that for the first few chapters I was only managing to snatch a chapter or two at a time rather than sitting down and reading a large chunk all at once (which is my preference). As a result of this style of reading, the story felt very slow-burning to me. This is not at all a bad thing. The author took her time to present each part of the story just as she wanted it to be presented, taking the reader down a dark path of confusing twists and turns and more than a few dead ends rather than rushing in to things head on.
There were certain things that were certainly confusing. At times I could tell that the person Tandie, the main character, was interacting with was not of our time. In fact, it seemed odd that she herself didn’t stop to question why on earth these people would be wearing period dress rather than jeans and a t-shirt. At other times I couldn’t figure out whether she was interacting with someone living or with one of the dead. These sorts of scenes really leant to the spooky feel that was gradually being built up in the story.
Right now I have a thing about ghosts in my paranormal / urban fantasy stories. They’re not as used and abused as vampires and werewolves (yet) which gives the author a little more leeway to make their ghosts relatable characters who are still unique in their own way. I liked all of the characters but one of the ghosts in particular (not naming names so people can deduce which of the characters are ghosts on their own should they choose to read the book). She was a chilling but fabulous character, very complex.
Though I had some reservations to begin with, the story soon smashed them all apart and turned out to be a gripping thrill ride. Well, I say thrill ride but I want to stress that it is slow burning. Things come together very slowly, but once all of the pieces are in place, it is definitely worth it! I really enjoyed the book.(less)
Murder on Spyglass Lane mixes cosy mystery with a touch of the paranormal (in Sarah MacDougall’s visions). The story ope...moreFull review can be found here.
Murder on Spyglass Lane mixes cosy mystery with a touch of the paranormal (in Sarah MacDougall’s visions). The story opens with Sarah suffering the effects on the onset of one of these visions and I’m afraid that for whatever reason most of it just went over my head to the point where I found myself put on my guard. I don’t know whether I wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was reading or whether I missed out on something important in the narrative or what but it actually took me a while to even realise that this was an onset of a vision and not just Sarah being really peculiar.
I warmed up to it all after a little while but I’m not sure I ever really got over that original guardedness regarding Sarah’s gift and how it’s used in the story. The gift itself, though she often bemoans it and its effect on her life in general, is actually very fortuitous as it hands Sarah and Raven (the requisite male with a background that permits him to help out the female amateur investigator present in all cosy mystery novel) several answers that they’d never have got without it. That said, I’m happy that it has a negative effect on her rather than just handing over all the answers with no outward consequences.
Sarah’s amateur sleuthing is joined by the professional sleuthing of her neighbour, Raven DeVille, an insurance investigator, when she comes across the body of a prominent member of local society buried in the sand dune of the golf course just behind her house. There was a slight romance subplot between these two characters throughout the novel – one that I have to say didn’t seem to be all that based on anything. It wasn’t explored enough for me to really be invested in it. The style of the narrative, despite it being in Sarah’s first person voice, didn’t really let us into her head when it came to her interactions with others, which obviously had an adverse effect (for me) on the portrayal of this burgeoning relationship. I often found myself wanting to know Sarah’s reactions to Raven’s actions /words but instead it usually went straight to Sarah’s own vocal response. In short, the narrative didn’t really give me an adequate basis to accept this relationship from either party. I wanted to be shown more, to be led to root for this potential romance.
A huge portion of the story seems to revolve around Sarah walking her dog, Sparky, or thinking about how she should be walking him. This turned out to be quite the culture shock for me as my dog (in France) gets walked once a day and the rest of the time she’s just permitted to wander at will. Then again, our property opens onto unused pasture land, not a golf course, and we have foxes, badgers, deer, and wild pigs hiding in the shadows rather than alligators. I did enjoy the descriptions of Sparky tapping his way around the house, though – my dog’s nickname is Click-Click for a reason!
The mystery itself was a tad on the too direct side. The characters had unravelled it well before the climax – it was more a case of proving the blame than uncovering the culprit. I tend to prefer uncovering the culprit personally, preferably via small hints throughout the story. I also prefer it when the culprit is operating in plain sight but the author has weaved their mystery so tightly that I’m not certain which of the characters it is. Neither of these is present in Murder on Spyglass Lane with the direct style soon leading the reader to a direct answer.
Nevertheless, it was an easy read for a lazy summer afternoon that kept me entertained and didn’t lose my interest at any point. My personal favourites of this book were Sarah’s three golfing buddies – they reminded me of the interactions between my gran and my great-aunt so they immediately appealed to me!(less)
I admit that when I picked this book up, I did so with trepidation. When I came to read it, I’d just read another book t...moreFull review can be found here.
I admit that when I picked this book up, I did so with trepidation. When I came to read it, I’d just read another book that tackled religious views and that had succeeded in offending me. So, knowing that this book was going to tackle angels and demons, I figured that there would be some form of religious background to it that might turn my pre-existing spark of frustration into something more. Luckily, I had absolutely nothing to fear.
Michelle Rowen tackles the concept of angels, demons, Heaven and Hell admirably. I think that this is the first time I’ve ever read a book about angels where there wasn’t a specific religious ideology behind it. It was set up perfectly so that there was no clear cut line between who gets to become an angel in the afterlife and who becomes a demon. In fact, it’s presented that there’s an eternal war for soul currencies between Heaven and Hell, which is rather a unique twist on things, in my opinion, and serves to blur the line between good and bad.
It was the idea that you could have your soul sucked out of you via a kiss that caught my attention with this one. It seemed so tantalisingly good! The story completely lived up to the fabulousness behind the concept. My emotions were pulled this way and that as I lived through the torment of being soulless right along with Sam. Rowen’s style was so good that I could feel the desire to feed, to drain others of their souls as it battled with both Sam’s and my sensibilities of right and wrong. Add Sam’s best friend Carly to the mix with relationship issues of her own and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a wonderful best friend relationship to build these teens’ lives from.
The angels and the demons added to the paranormal fun set in motion with the soulless kissers. I liked the concept of angels and demons working together and Kraven, one of the demons, in particular made for a fantastic character. In fact, he often outshone the romantic interest, Bishop, but that could have been just because his personality was much better developed. The remaining angelic / demonic characters were a bit flat, though, and I found it hard to really get a grasp of a distinguishable personality from them. This is in part due to how little “on page” time they receive compared with Kraven and the angsty love-inspired scenes between Bishop and Sam.
The romance wasn’t really what I go for in a relationship in my fiction. The love word is thrown around but the characters don’t know each other well enough, in my opinion, to be able to move beyond the lust stage of the relationship. A lot of the time Sam and Bishop would either be arguing or talking about the big bad behind all the soulless “grays” (as they’re termed) running around town. They didn’t really get to have any conversations that allowed them to get to know each other beyond the basics. As I mentioned, I think Sam gets to know Kraven better than she does the guy she’s supposedly in love with!
Despite this, the plot advances at a swift enough pace to not let the slightly disappointing relationship get the better of it. I was happy with it as it was and I found that I wanted to keep reading before bed to find out what would happen next – always a good sign, though bad for my concentration levels the next day if I give in to the urge!
Dark Kiss leaves things in such a place that things can only get more intense in the second book. I certainly hope that certain devastating events can be resolved somehow and look forward to meeting a particular demonic character with a vested interest in Sam.
It may have been superficial at times, but in the long run I found that I really enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to seeing where things will be taken from here in the sequel.(less)
This book left me feeling torn on two very important levels. I say very important because that’s what the story focused...moreFull review can be found here.
This book left me feeling torn on two very important levels. I say very important because that’s what the story focused on. The main idea behind the plot was fabulous. Books about witches have not really stormed the market yet so it’s still possible to come up with an idea and have it be very original. I found that to be the case here and I loved how witchcraft was presented. I especially loved how red herrings were put in place to lead you on a wild goose chase about the internal structure of the convent that features as a driving force behind events here. On the other hand, the romance was far too in-your-face for my tastes. I’m going to start by addressing why the romance was not for me.
The best kind of romance, to my mind, is one that evolves slowly. The two characters get to know each other, a kindling attraction becomes something more, and when it is finally acted upon you feel fulfilled as the reader. That was not the case in this book. In fact, here it was completely the other way around. When Jewel first laid eyes on Chase, it was so transparent as to be laughable. Of a group of youths, he is the only one to be described. The next day she catches sight of some other guy and again it’s lust at first sight. I’m not a fan of insta-love at the best of times but for it to be used in tangent with a love triangle already means that the romance aspect won’t appeal to me. This was reinforced by the fact that both attractions were based on nothing more than how “hot” each guy looked. Trust me when I say that each and every time that either of these two boys comes into the story, the word “hot” will be in there too. Sometimes it’s even about how “totally hot” they look. At the best of times, “hot” used as a term to describe someone’s physical attractiveness does not appeal to me, but when overused as it was here it got to the point where I wanted to remove it from the author’s vocabulary.
Beyond this, both romances never get anywhere beyond shallow. Jewel manages to witter on about them to some length, but Chase always seemed like a third wheel to me, and never really seemed to serve a purpose other than that of being “the other man”. He did play a small role in things in the second half, but that could easily have been filled by a different character who wasn’t a romantic interest. Roman had absolutely nothing substantial backing his supposed love for Jewel. Sure, I remember being a teen and living on attraction pushed upon me by my hormones, but this took things to a whole new level.
Balancing this out was my interest in the actual plot. I really liked the basis for this story and how Jewel managed to go from a character knowing nothing about anything to one who was strong in her own right and managed to uncover the answers using her own unconventional means. Occasionally she did border on being a bit too stupid for it to really sell me – like jumping into a car with a stranger while being stalked by some other stranger – but I was able to look past these small moments.
The witchcraft was what really sold me. I’ve always preferred witches to vampires and the lore behind the story did not disappoint here. The author started out with a good idea and she wove a strong plot from it that was kept going at a fast pace as Jewel uncovered more secrets about her identity, heritage and role in wiccan society. The witchcraft was not too far-fetched as to make it unbelievable and my initial reaction to how certain abilities were obviously far inferior to others was proven completely wrong when the author completely blind-sided me with how powerful these seemingly boring abilities could be.
Jewel, if you overlook her occasional moments of stupidity and the lack of vocabulary to be able to describe a man’s attractiveness beyond “hot”, was a good character who didn’t rely on others to get her where she needed to be. She discovered a fount of independence within herself and though she was in a sticky situation, she never gave in. What’s more, her pure and tender love for her little brother was so endearing that it made the character just that much more realistic and endearing to me in turn. Jayden was quite possibly the best character in the whole book!(less)