I've always loved historical fiction, but this was unbearably slow. The premise sounds intriguing, but there is so little about Leah actually using heI've always loved historical fiction, but this was unbearably slow. The premise sounds intriguing, but there is so little about Leah actually using her special ability to find gold. It's just another "crossing the plains" story, and unfortunately, not a very good one. Every worn-out pioneer predicament and cliche you can think of is in this book. The author should have sped up the westward journey and actually had the characters spend some time in California instead of dragging this out for a sequel....more
There was an awful lot of smirking in this book. I wanted to love it, but it took me FOREEEEEVER to finish it. The pace was so slow, and the characterThere was an awful lot of smirking in this book. I wanted to love it, but it took me FOREEEEEVER to finish it. The pace was so slow, and the characters were super moody, even from sentence to sentence.
And frankly, I didn't really like Mare. At all. There, I said it....more
Wow, after all that hype, I was really expecting something more. So underwhelming. I knew exactly what was going on as soon as the Liars (view spoilerWow, after all that hype, I was really expecting something more. So underwhelming. I knew exactly what was going on as soon as the Liars (view spoiler)[didn't email her back. I will never fall for that Sixth Sense nonsense again (hide spoiler)]. What a downer of a book....more
I have LOVED all of Kasie West's previous books, but unfortunately, The Fill-in Boyfriend isn't one of her best. The characters and the way they handlI have LOVED all of Kasie West's previous books, but unfortunately, The Fill-in Boyfriend isn't one of her best. The characters and the way they handled situations felt very immature and shallow. I know the story is supposed to be about Gia finding herself and growing up, but then it felt like they were all back to their games at the end of the book. Way too many petty scenes of people trying to make other people jealous.
I love escaping into some YA light and don't necessarily need a lot of depth in the novels I read, but this was like kiddie-pool deep.
Kasie West and her books are awesome, but read On the Fence or The Distance Between Us instead....more
I REALLY, REALLY wanted to love Defy and it showed so much promise in the beginning, but this premise has been done before and done much better. TamorI REALLY, REALLY wanted to love Defy and it showed so much promise in the beginning, but this premise has been done before and done much better. Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet was one of my favorite book series as a teen. Tamora Pierce's characterization, plot, intrigue, and romance were all spot on. But with Defy, there's a point in the story where the romance starts to eclipse everything else, and it all goes downhill from there. Way too much, "Which guy do I like more?" and not enough plot.
This is not one of those YA novels that can be enjoyed by adults in my opinion. I would say it would work better for the youngish teen crowd, but then there are some serious subjects in it, too, so I'm not sure who it would work for! For those looking for a well-crafted YA fantasy novel, I would recommend Pierce's series beginning with Alanna: The First Adventure, Rachel Hartman's Seraphina, or Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series (suffer through Throne of Glass so you can get to Crown of Midnight because it's ah-mazing!)....more
First off, this has got to be one of the most ridiculous book titles I've ever seen. I was so embarrassed to be seen reading this boWhat a SOAP OPERA.
First off, this has got to be one of the most ridiculous book titles I've ever seen. I was so embarrassed to be seen reading this book with a title like that.
And then there was the plot. It's a deranged love square filled with lust, seduction, jealousy--you get the idea. Lots of scenes of a sister walking in on the person she loves kissing her sister. Every man is portrayed as weak and lust-driven, and what's with all these men forcing kisses at every turn? I'm sorry, but that's just not hot. Not at all. This read like those romance novels from the 80s where it was supposed to be romantic that the hero is so incapable of control that he forces the heroine to kiss him even after she says no and tries to push him away. NO MEANS NO, and I'm disgusted that it's portrayed as romantic that both Collin and Mitch keep forcing Faith to kiss them.
The relationship between these two sisters is one of the most despicable I've ever seen. I have sisters. I LOVE MY SISTERS. I can't imagine sisters EVER acting towards each other like these two. Charity is one of the most loathsome characters I've ever seen, but Faith's not that great either. Sure, Faith preaches and prays and acts pious, but beneath that righteous facade is a hypocritical person who is selfish and jealous and uses people just like Charity.
I can't imagine that if these relationships were real, any of them would turn out okay. There's just too much poison and betrayal and history for any of these people to be happy with each other. Could you honestly forgive either of these girls if they were YOUR sister and did these things? Maybe eventually, but why in the world would you want to be with the offending guy after something like this?
What can I say? This family must sure have some great Thanksgivings and Christmases in store with these two girls and their future husbands sitting across from each other at the table....more
Karen Witemeyer has written some of my favorite Christian historical fiction novels, but this isn't one of them. It was like the book couldn't decideKaren Witemeyer has written some of my favorite Christian historical fiction novels, but this isn't one of them. It was like the book couldn't decide if it was going to be a western or a regency romance and smashed the two genres together. I like a sweet love story as much as the next woman--and I obviously realize this is fiction--but it was just too unrealistic for me and dripped with wish fulfillment. The main characters were too perfect and the plot riddled with too many seen-it-before elements all crammed together. I also like quite a bit of build-up in my love stories--which Karen Witemeyer has done quite well in other stories--but it seemed like all of a sudden these two were in love and thinking marriage out of nowhere.
AND SO. MUCH. MELODRAMA.
I highly recommend Witemeyer's Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher, but Head in the Clouds is too desperate for my taste.
This premise is just bursting with potential, and while Pivot Point was fresh and addictive and funny, I kept feeling that Kasie WSO. MUCH. POTENTIAL.
This premise is just bursting with potential, and while Pivot Point was fresh and addictive and funny, I kept feeling that Kasie West could have done so much more with what she'd created. She could have dug so much deeper and taken this to an entirely new level in terms of plot and character development because what she's written is GOOD. Really good, actually, and it could have been AWESOME. Her dialogue is snappy and entertaining, and I stayed up way past my bedtime to see how it would end. I hope Kasie West just goes for it in the sequel and takes this there because she has created so much to work with here.
I needed the sequel to this yesterday. Seriously. I haven't read a book in a long time that I immediately wanted to pick up the sequel, but I'm dying for this one....more
The title of this book needs spoiler tags on it. The mystery would have had much greater appeal if I hadn't known exactly the motives of an importantThe title of this book needs spoiler tags on it. The mystery would have had much greater appeal if I hadn't known exactly the motives of an important male character based on this title.
I love a good, clean romance, but seriously? Not a single kiss even at the end? These leads had ZERO chemistry.
Usually, with a short story or novella, I wish there was MORE...more depth, more plot, more entanglements. With this story? You could cut 3/4 of it and still get to the same end because there was so much meandering and so many unnecessary details.
Update: I have been informed by the author (in an unprofessional manner) that this book is not self-published.
Update 2: The author has apologized forUpdate: I have been informed by the author (in an unprofessional manner) that this book is not self-published.
Update 2: The author has apologized for her email, which is appreciated.
I read a lot of self-published work (oh, my cheap-Kindle-book-buying addiction!) so I'm used to the grammatical errors and typos found so frequently in works like these. However, the writing in this novella felt very choppy to the point of making it almost unreadable. Obviously, it's okay to have incomplete sentences for impact, but this writing technique was so overused that the entire book felt like a mash up of two- and three-word blunt partial sentences. It was hard to feel a flow in the writing with such choppiness.
And what was that ending??? It was so abrupt! After such build up, I was hoping for a bit more resolution....more
Wow, this took a long time to finish. The fantasy elements were well done, but all of the issues with body size overwhelmed the story at times. We areWow, this took a long time to finish. The fantasy elements were well done, but all of the issues with body size overwhelmed the story at times. We are constantly reminded that Elisa is fat and hates her sister because she is thin and beautiful. But then Elisa becomes thin (not by her choice but because of circumstances foisted upon her) and then she becomes a strong heroine ready to lead a kingdom and attractive to all kinds of men. I don't get the "thin=strong heroine" connection. It would have been more powerful if Elisa had come to accept herself and learned to love herself how she was and then became this super smart, confident strategist leading the resistance. One chapter even ends with Elisa forgetting to eat dinner (and says it like that's a good thing). ...more
What this story lacks is DEPTH. This book is a quick read (I read it in just over an hour) which hinders the story. It just needs MORE...more chara2.5
What this story lacks is DEPTH. This book is a quick read (I read it in just over an hour) which hinders the story. It just needs MORE...more character development, more plot development, more complexity. The writing felt a bit amateurish at times, and several phrases were overused.
The premise has a lot of potential, but the writing needs to delve deeper and increase the complexity and further explore what's been created.
If you're looking for a moving story about abuse, I'd recommend Cindy C. Bennett's book Heart on a Chain. It had me crying and swooning all at once....more
This premise is bursting with potential, but these characters need a big dose of likeability. While I commend Knight for his bold choice to w2.5 stars
This premise is bursting with potential, but these characters need a big dose of likeability. While I commend Knight for his bold choice to write from a female POV, Ash's voice needs some work. The dialogue and narrative is littered with crude words and phrases that I'd venture to say many (most?) females just don't use. It's like the Beautiful Creatures syndrome in the inverse.
However, there is simmering potential in both the premise and writing, so I'll definitely be checking out the sequel.
(But what was with that ending? I kept swiping my finger at the screen trying to turn the page, thinking my iPad had frozen or something. Nope. That was the last page.)
And can I just say, that is one GORGEOUS cover.
Side note: Anyone else notice that this takes place in the same small town as Aprilynne Pike's Wings series? Who knew there were fairies, trolls, and goddesses all hanging out in the same small town of Orick, CA....more