Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton is one of the best angel books I've read in years, and I've read A LOT of them. The only other angel book on the...moreAngelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton is one of the best angel books I've read in years, and I've read A LOT of them. The only other angel book on the same level is Cynthia Hand's Unearthly, which is also stellar. With Angelfire, it's like Moulton had a check list of what makes a great young adult book and seamlessly blended all of these components together into this sensational debut novel. I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn't stop reading--it was another "wee hours of the morning" finish because this book was THAT GOOD.
There are so many cliches in young adult paranormal fiction these days, and Moulton has an antidote for all of them. Tired of weak, whimpering heroines? You will LOVE Ellie. She's the perfect balance of mad battle skills and heart. Wondering why every teenager has to have absent parents? Ellie and her mother share a close, loving relationship. Yes, youth of today, it's okay to love your mom. Creeped out by centuries-old guys falling in love with teenage girls? Well, Ellie's soul's pretty old, too. Annoyed by girls throwing themselves at obsessive, stalker guys? Ellie totally calls Will on it and actually shows a healthy level of suspicion. After reading about one too many TSTL heroines this year, Angelfire was refreshing and original.
Frustrated by book series holding their cards too closely and providing no answers? (I'm looking at you, Fallen.) Well, Moulton's perfect mix of answers and mystique creates a well-developed, intriguing mythology for her series. And thank you, Courtney, for NO CLIFFHANGER. Angelfire's ending is my favorite kind for a book in a series--there's a satisfying resolution to this book's conflict with just enough unanswered questions and mystery to have you clamoring for the sequel. AND I AM CLAMORING.
And that romantic tension? You'd need to use one of Ellie's Khopesh swords to slash through it. I was about to say this is where Moulton really shines, but then I remembered her action scenes (which are brilliant, and I don't even really like action scenes), so I suppose Moulton is equally brilliant at writing heart-aching romantic tension and gripping action scenes. Moulton's pacing for Ellie and Will's relationship is fantastic. I loved seeing Ellie fall in love with Will (none of this "I love you for no reason other than I happened to see you from across the hall" for our heroine), and Moulton's use of flashbacks was captivating. This book oozes and seethes with romantic tension, and it kept me coming back chapter after chapter waiting for the moment when Ellie and Will would FINALLY kiss. So, so, so worth the wait.
Although I was a little thrown by the big reveal about Ellie near the end of the book (I definitely did not see that coming and I'm not crazy about that development) I cannot wait to see these characters again. Intriguing mythology, well-crafted characters, riveting action, and captivating romance combine into one thrill-ride of a novel that grips your heart and doesn't let go.(less)
Reading Halo was like drinking straight from the syrup bottle. This book has got to be the most self-indulgent, overworked drivel I've read in a long...moreReading Halo was like drinking straight from the syrup bottle. This book has got to be the most self-indulgent, overworked drivel I've read in a long time. I'm no literary snob, but this book was unbelievably sacchrine and cliche (and this is coming from someone who liked Twilight).
Please, give Alexandra Adornetto a word limit for the next book. There is no reason for this book to be almost 500 pages long. Where was the editor? I think we have a new purple prose queen. This book drips with page after page of overwrought descriptions of places and people of no importance. Luckily, I figured this out about 20 pages in and started reading faster. Trust me--you're not missing anything important if you speed read this. A fourth of the way in, I wanted to scream, "We GET it already! Xavier is perfect! You are so in love! He has almond-shaped turquoise eyes and nutmeg hair! Enough!"
Finishing this book was tortuous...the Beyonce quote on the opening page should have been the first clue.
Cliche, cliche, cliche. From the characters to the plot to even the names, this book is one big cliche. Xavier is painfully perfect, as Adornetto reminds us every few pages. "But wait!" Adornetto might say. "I gave Xavier a flaw! He didn't believe Bethany about the dance!" Nope, doesn't count. She'd already written his character to be too perfect at that point so that didn't even seem believable. Besides, it was resolved five pages later, after Bethany wanted to DIIIIIIIE because her boyfriend wasn't talking to her. And in case Jake's snake tattoo and black wardrobe didn't clue you in, Jake Thorn's going to be bad. Can you get any more cliche?
Please, editor, reign in this self-indulgent writing and make Adornetto actually develop a plot besides Bethany and Xavier's obsessive love (and limit it to 300 pages). The premise is good--I like the whole "good angel trying to help the world and falls in love with a human"--but the execution here...felt like an execution.(less)
Forgive My Fins is the perfect beach read. It's light, fluffy, funny, and quick. I read this in just a few hours and found myself giggling every few p...moreForgive My Fins is the perfect beach read. It's light, fluffy, funny, and quick. I read this in just a few hours and found myself giggling every few pages--from the fish puns (which I personally liked--I know others didn't) to Quince's banter. I can imagine myself on a warm beach relaxing and spending a few hours in this world of mermaids and magic.
Tera Lynn Childs does so many things right in this splashy mermaid tail. (I couldn't resist after all of Lily's fish puns.) First of all, cheers for a male lead who's not creepy! What's with all of the creepy guys lately that we're supposed to think are hot? Quince is a biker boy with a soft side, and I adored his loyalty to Lily. Sure, he likes to tease, but he's not your stereotypical creepy, obsessive, jerky guy that you find in so many young adult books these days. And beneath it all, Quince really does understand love and can teach Lily a thing or two.
Next, Forgive My Fins actually has a healthy teenager/parent relationship! Lily's father is caring and loving, and Lily loves him, too. (Thanks for pointing out to teens that it's okay to love your parents!) And Lily has friends, and the friends are nice and caring! More cheers for a female protagonist who's not a loner!
My only problem with Forgive My Fins is that Lily is so overly shallow for much of the book, but maybe that was the point--so we could see her grow as a character. She was so awful to Quince that at times I couldn't see what he liked about her. I just wanted a few more scenes showing her being a little more considerate and thoughtful to Quince--she uses him and shrieks at him just a little too much for my taste--but she redeems herself at the end.
So next time you pack your things to spend a day at the beach, toss Forgive My Fins in your bag. Nothing too deep here (we're sticking to the shallow end of the pool with this one) but it's a light, fun way to spend an afternoon.(less)
A hidden gem! Adventure and romance combine for an historical fiction thrill ride!
This is a hidden gem of a book. Why haven't we heard more about this...moreA hidden gem! Adventure and romance combine for an historical fiction thrill ride!
This is a hidden gem of a book. Why haven't we heard more about this one? It combines adventure, romance, and a touch of mysticism into a meticulously researched historical fiction thrill ride. I LOVED IT.
I picked up this book on a whim at the library. I was so intrigued by the jacket flap that I found myself glancing through the pages at the red light by the library's parking lot and every red light thereafter. I couldn't put it down! (Yes, I know--totally not safe.) I couldn't wait to get home and immerse myself in this book. This was another "I read it in one night because it was THAT good!" book. IEverlasting felt unique and refreshing. I wish it had a different title to reflect just how special this tale was. The title "Everlasting" makes it seem so generic--too much like every other teen book published this year with all of these "ever" and "never" and "forever" type titles (I can't keep them straight!). This book was anything but generic--it had a riveting plot, steal-your-breath romance, and exceptional characterization.
Angie Frazier's writing and research shine throughout this brilliant novel. Her cast of characters is delightful, from the dashing Oscar with his charm and loyalty to the loveable con-man Ira with his wit and humor. Her settings are lush and enthralling, from the high seas to the Australian Outback. Unlike so many other novels with their "I loved you for no reason the moment I saw you," Angie creates a simmering romance between Camille and Oscar that gradually intensifies throughout the novel. I was enthralled as I watched the romance unfold--the tender moments and little touches and longing looks had me hooked! I love that Angie let the love simmer--it creates so much delicious romantic tension as a companion for all of the adventure.
With equal parts adventure and romance, Everlasting is sensational! This novel is bursting with plot and adventure with just the right amount of romance to spice things up. I felt like I was reading Romancing the Stone and Pirates of the Caribbean mashed into one enrapturing historical fiction gem.(less)
If you're okay with reading page after page about a pining teen girl...
I know I shouldn't, but I kind of liked Fallen in a strange can't-look-away-but...moreIf you're okay with reading page after page about a pining teen girl...
I know I shouldn't, but I kind of liked Fallen in a strange can't-look-away-but-I-know-I-should way. The book is riddled with problems--the plot never really goes anywhere and it turns out to be page after page of a teen girl pining for the "hot-cold-hot-cold" guy (why are there so many of these obnoxious guys in teen literature these days?)--but I found myself devouring Fallen in one sitting. I can't even explain why I'm giving it three stars (because there are so many reasons why it was terrible) except to say that at the end, I felt interested enough to want to read the sequel. I give Lauren Kate credit for an amazing prologue--it had me HOOKED!--and then I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to see what would happen between Luce and Daniel. And then, as I read, I met Cam, and he ended up being the most intriguing character in the book. He was charismatic and charming, and he genuinely seemed to care about Luce. I found myself cheering for him and thinking Luce should just quit her stalker-like obsession with "I'm pretending I hate you but I love you" Daniel and get to know Cam instead! I think Cam's what kept me reading--you know from the prologue that he's probably not going to end up with Luce, but he was by far the most captivating character.
Fallen has a lot of issues--it's a whole lot of teen girl angst and boy obsession, and that's pretty much what happens for 3/4 of the book. If you're looking for a strong plot with lots of action, this isn't the book for you. Read this only if you're okay with a lot of "Does he like me? Does HE like me? He hates me but I love him anyway. I know he's being a jerk to me, but for some reason I can't explain, I just know we're soulmates." Lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat. Luce is pretty weak and love obsessed in the mold of a lot of today's teen heroines (and again in the mold of the previously mentioned heroines, you're left wondering, "Why are all of these guys crazy about her???") but I couldn't stop reading. I am a sucker for a good boarding school setting, but I couldn't figure out WHY these angels were all hanging out at dumpy reform school in the middle of nowhere. Lauren Kate also keeps most the secrets safely guarded, so you're still a little lost at the end about why exactly Luce is so important and how this whole mess got started in the first place, but again, I kept reading. (Do you see a pattern here? I was HOOKED! I'm not sure why--it defies explanation!)
I put off reading Fallen for a long time because of the mixed reviews, but I finally couldn't pass up such a beautiful cover. Do I get all of the negative reviews? Yes! I agree with all of their points regarding the many issues with this book...but again, I kept devouring page after page. It was like bingeing on mint M&M's and knowing it's not good for me but I couldn't stop.(less)
Continuity Folks: Astley's eyes are green, not blue. (I'm so OCD that I even looked up the references in Captivate. Yes, I own that one, too. *hangs h...moreContinuity Folks: Astley's eyes are green, not blue. (I'm so OCD that I even looked up the references in Captivate. Yes, I own that one, too. *hangs head*) Who forgets the correct physical description of their own characters? I thought these imaginery people, like, lived in the authors' head for six months while they write their book. Anyway...
These three stars are all for Astley.
He's the only reason I'm still reading this series. I probably should have given up after Need, but then I read an Astley teaser chapter for Captivate so I'm still here. I want to know how the story ends for him (even though Zara totally doesn't deserve him at this point).
This book is middle-book-in-a-series at its worst. Pure fluff and filler. This book could have been condensed down to about three chapters and stuck at the beginning of the fourth and hopefully last book. Why are they dragging out this series?
The writing in Entice continues to be awkward and clumsy, especially the dialogue. The plot drags. and drags. and drags. Zara morphs into this selfish, self-absorbed girl who will do anything, sacrifice anyone to get her boyfriend back from the dead. I'm feeling a little nauseated right now.
Zara, it's the Circle of Life, honey. (I would write baby but Nick beat me to that word in Captivate a few hundred times.) I wanted to scream at her, "NICK IS DEAD. LET HIM BE. MAYBE HE DOESN'T WANT TO COME BACK BUT YOU DON'T CARE BECAUSE ALL YOU CARE ABOUT IS WHAT YOU WANT."
Let's take a tally of gains and losses. How many people did Zara lose getting Nick back? (view spoiler)[Dad, Mrs. Nix, some pixies (hide spoiler)] How many people did she gain? (view spoiler)[ NICK. Condescending, overprotective, baby-calling NICK. (hide spoiler)] Zara, you are running at a loss right now. You should be fighting your pixie war with Astley right now and actually saving some lives instead of obsessing over your boyfriend.
I'm sticking around with this series for the last book because I'm curious if Ms. Jones will take the untrodden road of picking the obligatory third vertex of the love triangle for our heroine. You know, Guy #2. Have you read a YA book in the past few years (since the dawn of the requisite love triangle) where the girl chooses Guy #2 who isn't even introduced in the first book? Here's hoping, Astley!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Like Beautiful Creatures, this sequel drew me in with the lush, vivid descriptions and fascinating characters. However, Beautiful Dar...moreWHAT ABOUT LIV???
Like Beautiful Creatures, this sequel drew me in with the lush, vivid descriptions and fascinating characters. However, Beautiful Darkness suffers from the same problems that plagued its predecessor: uneven pacing and a confusing ending that solves few of the problems that have been building up for 500 pages. And who am I kidding--I'm knocking off a star for my favorite character, Liv, who really gets shafted in this book.
The delightful supporting cast is my favorite part of this series. These two authors can be masters of characterization. From Amma, Marian, and Macon to Link, Ridley, and Liv, this series contains an impressive supporting cast of witty, brave, and loyal characters. These characters come alive for me, and I look forward to any scenes with them. Where the book struggles is with the leads. Ethan is a sweet voice for the story but perhaps not particularly realistic for a 16 year-old-boy. And I admit--I've never been crazy about Lena. The authors did such a good job having Lena push Ethan away that I didn't WANT Ethan to go back to Lena. I understood he needed to help her and would always be there for her, but I thought a teen paranormal novel would finally break from the predicable relationship pattern and provide a fresh twist...and that brings me to Liv.
I adore Liv. She's brilliant, loyal, and caring, and she could have been the sunshine Ethan needed after so much darkness. By half way through the book, I was completely cheering for Ethan and Liv. I thought, "Finally! We get a unique story where the guy and the girl (Ethan and Lena) DON'T end up together but everyone's still happy and the choices feel real." Nope. I thought for sure the book was establishing that you can find love again after loving someone you can't be with. Yeah, he'd always love Lena (like his Mom loved Macon) but he could find sunshine, warmth, love, and acceptance with someone else. I just loved how Ethan described Liv...how he said it felt like he'd known her forever, how easy and natural it was to be with her, how warm and caring she was. How could he throw that away to jump right back to Lena's cold, dark arms? I was beyond disappointed when in the wrap-up at the end, Liv was relegated to a few quick sentences after she sacrificed so much and had such a natural, healthy connection with Ethan.
Was it just me, or did this book feel like it could have been about 100 pages shorter? I remember feeling that way when I read Beautiful Creatures, too. The world created by Garcia and Stohl is rich, captivating, and original; however, the pacing is uneven with huge chunks of the book that slow to a crawl and delve into talking about the same problems again and again and again (you get the point). And after reading SO MUCH about the problems and conflicts, you expect a little resolution at the end. Nope. Just more confusing, vague endings that aren't really endings at all and more "choices" that aren't really choices. At the end, didn't you feel like you were back where you were at the end of Beautiful Creatures? After 1000+ pages, I really need a little resolution, here, instead of dragging out the same problem for two books.
Will I read the next installment? Yes, but I hope the authors provide a real ending at some point. There's a way to end a book (that's part of a series) where the reader feels satisfied and it feels like an ending, and yet the door is open for sequels. I hope at some point the books in this series can give readers this kind of a satisfying ending. (And here's to hoping Liv gets an ending she deserves.)(less)
I was so excited to read Falling Under after I won a copy on Goodreads First Reads. The concept of meeting a mysterious, "devastatingly handsome" guy...moreI was so excited to read Falling Under after I won a copy on Goodreads First Reads. The concept of meeting a mysterious, "devastatingly handsome" guy from your dreams sounded captivating, but Falling Under was too much of the worn-thin "I'm a jerk to you but you love me anyway" romance, and the parts that were original were too dark for me. I'd recommend Falling Under to those that love the darker side of paranormal fiction (not me).
Theia, Theia, Theia. The author tells us things about her, but Theia's actions show us a completely different story. She puts herself in danger. Again. And again. She's supposed to be this incredible musician and smart and rational, but she makes so many TSTL choices that I gave up. Haden even tells her why he's there--and it involves Theia in a horrible way--and yet she still comes back for more. WHY??? Why can't we ever get a heroine who tells these kinds of guys where they can go? Read the back cover--Theia doesn't want to resist Haden, even if it costs her her soul. Ugh.
And Haden? My tolerance of the "I'm hot so you love me even though I'm a jerk and treat you abysmally" guy must be all used up. (Again, this theme in young adult fiction is getting REALLY old.) The whole "hot/cold" guy thing has been done before and done a lot better. Haden became more tolerable as the book went on, but I wanted to infuse some rationality into Theia for 3/4 of the book for making STUPID, STUPID choices involving Haden. Why couldn't Theia go for a charismatic, thoughtful guy like Gabe?
Falling Under is dark. It has the TSTL heroine, the jerk bad boy, and the idiot parent that we see in so many books these days. It wasn't for me, but if you like dark paranormal fiction with a smattering of Twilight, you may like it.
Meh...this was just okay. I'd heard a lot of hype for Shadow Hills and was excited to read it. While it did have some original paranormal aspects and...moreMeh...this was just okay. I'd heard a lot of hype for Shadow Hills and was excited to read it. While it did have some original paranormal aspects and I usually love boarding school settings, I just couldn't get excited about this one. It felt like lots of elements, plot lines, and characters all mish-mashed together, leaving the story feeling really choppy and chaotic.
Also, Shadow Hills had way too much teenage drinking for my taste. Phe is only supposed to be 15, but she talks about all these parties she went to in L.A. at what, age 13 or 14? Yeah, I know teens drink, smoke, and do drugs, but the book seemed to glamorize these things. I was bothered by all of these 15-year-olds running wild at this boarding school with no real supervision having drinking parties in the woods with no real consequences.
Shadows Hills was an okay read, but nothing I'd recommend to a friend. I don't even know if I care enough to read the sequel, which was so conveniently set up at the end. I know others liked this debut novel a lot, but it just wasn't for me.(less)
I had chills--CHILLS--at the end of Lauren Oliver's Delirium. It was like I could hear Muse's "Uprising" playing in the background as I read the last...moreI had chills--CHILLS--at the end of Lauren Oliver's Delirium. It was like I could hear Muse's "Uprising" playing in the background as I read the last passage. I was unbelievably moved by this resistance movement that will fight for the right to love. I had to read the last page out loud to my non-literary husband (something I haven't done since "Katniss, there is no District 12") just so that I could share it with someone.
Fans of young adult dystopian fiction, rejoice! A remarkable new series has been added to our genre. I've been reading dystopian fiction way before there ever was The Hunger Games, and I was captivated by Delirium. This novel combines so many classic elements of dystopian literature into a moving, heart-rending tale of the ultimate forbidden love--not only is Lena forbidden to chose whom she will love, but she is forbidden to love PERIOD. I saw echoes of so many favorite dystopian works in Delirium (1984, Anthem, and perhaps the first YA dystopian novel, John Christopher's The White Mountains).
I was hooked from the very beginning. I love the premise, and Lauren Oliver really delivered. Although the first quarter of the book drags in places, once Oliver hits her stride, the story grips your heart and emotions and doesn't let go. Oliver takes us on this fascinating journey of self-discovery with Lena, as Lena slowly learns to trust her heart, question the "truths" she's always been taught, and ultimately choose for herself. I loved seeing Lena gradually awaken from the slumber this world places on the mind as Alex show her how to think and feel and LOVE for herself.
And that ending? I was blown away. Oliver foreshadowed it throughout the book, but I was still floored. There are certain events that I REALLY hope are possible for the next book based on that ending, so I read the last few pages several times to see if there's any hope there, and believe there is. Was that vague enough to keep it spoiler free?
Delirium is a thought-provoking tale that had me riveted. It combines some of my favorite elements--forbidden love, dystopian world, resistance movement--into one compelling book that will haunt you well after you've read that stunning last passage. (less)
WARNING: When you start this book, just take the day off from work or get the kids a babysitter. YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was both completely rivet...moreWARNING: When you start this book, just take the day off from work or get the kids a babysitter. YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was both completely riveted and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and yet I wanted to savor every word, every captivating exchange. This is Julie Kagawa’s best work yet, and that’s saying something because I adored The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. Written with equal parts of romance, witty banter, and action, The Iron Queen is a glistening gem of a book. You’ll never look at a “faery tale” the same again. (And did I mention that gorgeous cover? Won’t that look pretty on your bookshelf next to The Iron King and the The Iron Daughter?)
My favorite part of this book? All things ASH. Julie peels back the icy exterior of Ash and leaves him vulnerable and open. In the beginning of the book after their exile, Meghan says she’s getting a glimpse of the Ash she always knew was there all along. As a true Ash fangirl from the first pages of The Iron King, I wanted to cheer and squeal because that’s what us Ash fangirls have been saying about him the whole time. And Julie doesn’t just give us a glimpse of this true Ash—she lets us gaze adoringly for page after page as we truly SEE Ash. He’s tender. He’s devoted. He’s caring. He’s ROMANTIC. AND HE TREMBLES. His love for Meghan tears down the façade, the emotionless mask, and his emotions are laid bare. I cannot wait for everyone to meet the TRUE ASH.
My, my how Meghan’s grown since those first painful pages of The Iron King. At one point, Ash tells her she’s not the same girl he met when she first came to the Nevernever, that she’s changed, and I agree. It has been a truly beautiful journey to see Meghan grow and change over the course of the three books. She’s become a strong heroine ready to face any threat head on, to fight side by side her loyal companions, and to embrace and exercise her immense power. No more will Meghan shy away or cower and hide—as she tells the false king’s messenger, she’s going to take the fight to him.
And the ending? I can’t remember the last time I cried reading a book. It was probably when I was 12 and Beth died in Little Women. Maybe I’ve just read too many books and have become jaded, but not only did Julie have me crying, I was WEEPING. Tears were streaming down my face. Ash’s words to Meghan at the end? Is there anything more romantic in literature? Julie’s writing pulls at all of your emotions.
Stunning from start to finish, Julie Kagawa’s Iron King series is the most riveting, most captivating faery series I’ve ever read (and with the explosion of young adult paranormal romances, I’ve read about A LOT of faeries lately). The concept of the Iron fey is original and compelling, and Julie uses her immense creativity to create a world and characters that draw you in, hold onto your heart, and take you on an awe-inspiring journey. Go on—immerse yourself in this enchanting world.
If you haven’t experienced this series yet, I highly recommend it. And that’s what it is—an experience. It will touch all of your emotions. You’ll FEEL true love, heartbreak, humor, friendship, sorrow, and suspense. I laughed, I cried, and I savored the romance. This book will haunt you…you’ll be thinking about it long after you turn the last page. How long until The Iron Knight is released?
As a footnote to my review, I just want to rave about the sensational Julie Kagawa. She is so gracious to her fans and treats us like true friends. Some authors seem to act like the fans are just a bother, but Julie is so kind and thoughtful to our league of Ash and Puck devotees. I mean, how many authors write an entire novella (“Winter’s Passage”) and let their readers devour it for free??? How many authors post juicy, delightful teasers EVERY WEEK for their fans? Julie Kagawa is full of awesomeness. (less)
Once in a Full Moon was a quick, light read. I admit, I was drawn in enough to read it in one sitting, probably because I kept waiting for the "really...moreOnce in a Full Moon was a quick, light read. I admit, I was drawn in enough to read it in one sitting, probably because I kept waiting for the "really good part". However, the ending was abrupt, and I felt like the two main characters, Celeste and Brandon, were not nearly worried enough about the events of the final scene. The whole book felt underdeveloped and lacking in chemistry and intrigue, but it was a fun, light way to spend an afternoon.
I loved Celeste's voice and her caring ways. I appreciated her attempts to bridge the social gap between the Eastsiders and the Westsiders; however, I think she missed the strongest statement she could have made: publicly announcing Brandon was her boyfriend. I kept waiting for Celeste to show her friends and her classmates that she was going to date Brandon and who cares that he's a Westsider, but all we saw was Celeste defending him when Eastsiders made fun of him. Ultimately, the message of "it doesn't matter where you come from" fell really flat because Celeste was only ready to admit that truth in private to Brandon and not with her public actions. She was so completely and utterly in love with him, and yet she wouldn't even be seen with him at school? I found it hard to believe that Brandon would go along with that--it was like she was too embarrassed or cared too much what her friends thought to publicly acknowledge that she liked him. I understand that she didn't want to lose her best friends, but if your lifelong best friends will desert you over something like dating a Westsider, are those really friends you wanted anyway?
Celeste provided an interesting narrative, but at times, some of the dialogue felt a little contrived and stiff. I can't really imagine teenagers really saying a lot of it. Celeste's volunteerism set a good example, as did her caring spirit, but wow, she made a lot of unwise and unsafe choices to keep seeing Brandon transform when he kept telling her to stay away. She had no idea if he'd turn into a crazed monster, and yet she insisted on staying by his side when he transformed. Not the smartest choice!
All in all, Once in a Full Moon was a light, fun read. Fans of Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series will enjoy it, and hopefully as the series continues, the plot and characters will becomes more complex and developed.
I picked up the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, and I realized I remembered almost nothing from 13 to Life, so I thought I'd read it again. What a mistak...moreI picked up the sequel, Secrets and Shadows, and I realized I remembered almost nothing from 13 to Life, so I thought I'd read it again. What a mistake. Rereading 13 to Life only reminded me of the three things I hated about it when I read the book the first time.
1. LAMEST. PLOT. DEVICE. EVER. Jessie likes Pietr. Pietr likes Jessie. So Jessie "unselfishly" tells Pietr to be with her best frenemy, Sarah, because that's the "honorable" thing to do. What is honorable about telling the boy you love--and who loves you--to be with your psychotic friend and then kissing him behind her back? YA books seem to have to find a way for the lovers to be star-crossed--a reason why they can't be together--but this is the WORST excuse I've ever seen. I can't be with you because my friend likes you. Even though you don't like her. So pretend you like her and I'll kiss you when she's not around. Ugh.
2. The events of this book take place over, like, two weeks. I added up the days the first time I read 13 to Life, and the book spanned something like 2-3 weeks. Love like that doesn't happen in two weeks. I mean, Pietr's passionately kissing Jessie at the football game after knowing her TWO DAYS. The love and attraction between Pietr and Jessie (as claimed by the book) would be much more powerful if the story actually let them GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER FIRST. They meet. They're immediately in love. With barely even any conversation.
3. Pietr's secret isn't revealed until the final few pages, even though it's obvious to the reader within the first few pages. This created really strange pacing. So much of the plot is wrapped around Pietr finally revealing his secret to Jessie, but the author drags this plot point out for the entire book, and I grew impatient. This should have been revealed much, much earlier--the secret is TOO OBVIOUS to the reader, and I grew frustrated with Jessie for not realizing and with Pietr for not telling her. I felt the story couldn't move forward until Jessie knew, but the big reveal didn't occur until the very end. Much too late.
Despite these issues, I will read the sequel. Let's hope the author dumps the sham Pietr/Sarah relationship and moves the story forward now that Jessie knows Pietr's secret.(less)
I have to admit, I'm glad I got this one from the library. I'd heard some buzz about it and was excited to read it, but it ultimately felt really flat...moreI have to admit, I'm glad I got this one from the library. I'd heard some buzz about it and was excited to read it, but it ultimately felt really flat to me. I love a good teen paranormal read, but this one felt underdeveloped with boring characters that I couldn't bring myself to really care about. I found the lack of parental supervision when something so horrific had just happened to be completely unrealistic, and I was bothered that Vanessa, who had never kissed a boy before, went from kissing her friend Simon to sleeping with him in practically the same paragraph. Frankly, the romance was just flat and pretty lifeless.
And let's talk about the ending. It felt really rushed and left me wondering what had just happened. And sirens? I'm still not totally clear on them, either. The mythology was never really explained or developed, so I'm lost there, too.
And just a side note, did anyone who's read Carrie Jones' Need series (which was written first) see a lot of quirky similarities? Both stories had a major character named Zara (an unusual name) with a Grandma Betty (seriously, same name). Both stories had the characters driving a Subaru and a red Mini Cooper, and they were both set in Maine with a main character who's afraid of everything. I mean, lots of stories take place in Maine, but it was strange how the characters drove the same unique cars and had the same unusual names. I know it's minor, but I was just wondering if anyone else noticed the strange similarities.
Anyway, I know a lot of people enjoyed this novel, but for me, I wish I'd skipped it and read something else with my time like Sophie Jordan's Firelight. Now THAT was worth spending an evening reading.(less)