In order to save his career Detective Travissi sign on the lead the Enhanced Unit for Homeland Security. The implantation of the P-Chip allows his to...moreIn order to save his career Detective Travissi sign on the lead the Enhanced Unit for Homeland Security. The implantation of the P-Chip allows his to access information in a way that previously has only been dreamed of. Crimes that would've taken months, if not years, to solve are now taken care of in a couple of days. Sounds fantastic, until Jake starts experiencing some pretty vivid and horrific images. As he continues his work for Homeland Security, he realizes these may not be random images and he discovers a conspiracy that goes deeper than he (or the reader) could've possible imagined. This book takes place in 2030. Since that is less that twenty years away, a number of the characters were alive in our current time period. As a result there are a number of references to current pop culture (ex: Lady Gaga's Poker Face is referred to a cheesy oldie). I found these references a little silly and unnecessary. I also found that they took away from the futuristic setting the novel takes place in. Thankfully, however, as the plot thickens these references seem to stop and it becomes much easier to get lost in the story. The story centres around Jake Travissi, a man that fulfils all the characteristics of an everyday man turned hero. Though he's not perfect you find yourself rooting for him and hoping he discovers the truth in time. His fellow agents – Parks and Koren are also excellent characters, relate-able and engaging. Alternatively, the “bad guys” don't have as much depth as the aforementioned characters so they feel interchangeable and dispensable. It would've been nice if a little more time had been spent developing them and their motives. Though a long time science fiction fan, this is really one of my first experiences in the cyberpunk genre and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are quite of few turns and surprises. Make sure you're paying attention because it would be easy to miss some important clues. The depiction of our future, though extreme, strikes a few familiar cords. The eerie world, in which technology rules, seems to fit with the current way our society is heading. It makes you question how much faith we put in technology and how much we're willing to give up our free will and decision making power to “the machine”. (less)
The premise of this book is solid. Your traditional coming of age story, a boy torn between his parents, his friends and his struggling with his own e...moreThe premise of this book is solid. Your traditional coming of age story, a boy torn between his parents, his friends and his struggling with his own emotions and opinions. What makes this story unique is that it's sets against some strong themes of environmentalism. Sam (the main character of the story) is surrounded by some excellent and hilarious characters who both aid and impede his development. The main conflict is what to do over the ever growing deer population. The deer are reproducing at an uncontrollable rate and the town is divided between a scheduled hunt to thin the herd and those who want to protect the deer at all costs. Sam isn't just divided because the community disagrees but because his parents do as well. Having the rallying point be the deer herd seemed a little odd at first, but it worked. Who doesn't love Bambi right? Many of the characters in this book are hilarious. Situations often reach ridiculous proportions that you just can't help but laugh at. In particular I loved Sam's mother, a die hard, middle aged hippie, his high school girlfriend Megan, a know it all with rich parents and delusions of grandeur and his friend Ryan, an amateur activist with a flair for the dramatic. Many other characters, however, fall flat. Most are based on common archetypal characters and their development doesn't go far beyond these basic traits. They fit into their roles exactly, usually at the expense of their personality and originality. Overall this book is a easy going, fun read. Sam may not be Holden Caufield, but he is your average teenager, trying to find his place in the world. The characters are basic, the plot is simple but it makes you laugh and it gets the point across.
Back before our current species existed there lived two races, the Maurians and the Vurvee. The Maurians were the so called advanced of the two, hunti...moreBack before our current species existed there lived two races, the Maurians and the Vurvee. The Maurians were the so called advanced of the two, hunting and living off the nearby, peaceful Vurvee. This was the way of their lives until Blisfur (a Vurvee) and Kurk (a Maurian) fall unexpectedly in love. Around the same time a Maurian scientist is experimenting with Maurian and Vurvee DNA and produces Trebel. And so begins the demise of the status quo as they know it.
Originally I was really excited for this book. A little bit fantasy, a little bit speculative fiction. Sounded like a good time. Never did I expect to be so confused. First of all, there are way too many characters. Characters (Maurian and Vurvee alike) are thrown at you left, right and centre. Some of them relevant, most of them extras who are featured to prominently. This is only exacerbated by the vocabulary used to describe the strange world of Mauria. North has created his own language to describe many of the customs, philosophies and surroundings of Mauria. This normally wouldn't be a problem except that many of them are thrown in without context or definition and some are used once and never seen again. Sometimes the language just seemed lazy, for example MauriaYear, forehair, waisthair, WeatherSensor, and using “Mr. Sir.” when referring to people of authority.
I still think the premise of this book is interesting. I like the Vurvee and I really like Trebel. She's an important character and their should be more focus on her. She's the first person from CityMauria to break out and survive in the wilderness like the Vurvee. She's strong, naive and likeable. There needs to more Trebel!
My copy is the advanced review copy, so who knows some changes could be made. From my perspective the book just needs a good stylistic editor to go through and fix it up. So I'm going to hold off recommending this book. Maybe one day there will be a revised version and I'll try reading it again. Until then get your fantasy fix elsewhere.(less)
Bess Gray never thought she'd meet the man of her dreams. She had a great job, good friends, a nice apartment, but still thought it would be nice to round it all out with marriage and maybe a family. She had almost given up hope by the time of her thirty fifth birthday when she met Rory. An Irish immigrant, fiddle player and computer specialist. Sweet, funny, sexy, everything she had been looking for. Everything was going along perfectly too, until he asked her to marry him. Because with that proposal came the revelation that he had been married before. Not once, not twice, but eight times before. Now as she hears out his explanation she has to decide, does she really want to be wife number nine?
The Ninth Wife was a nice, relaxing, fun read. Rory is so lovable. As he tells the stories of each of his wives you find yourself really feeling for the guy. This book isn't poking fun at marriage and the ideals that generally go with it. Rory really believes in love and marriage. He falls in love to easily and wants to make people happy but is just lacking some good common sense. Bess on the other could get on my nerves. Sometimes her reactions were just too much. I realize this is an extreme and unusual situation but sometimes you just need to take a few breaths and relax.
This book is coming out just in time for summer and it will be a great beach read. It's light and refreshing and it'll make you laugh. There aren't any great revelations about life and it's not an English language masterpiece but sometimes you just want to have fun when you read. In this way The Ninth Wife delivers.(less)
Luke Findley is just settling in for another boring night, working the midnight shift at the local hospital, when the police bring in a young girl completed covered in blood. If that wasn't interesting enough she's also just confessed to murdering a man only hours before. Luke is shocked. Most of the time all he sees at the hospital are hunting accidents and cases of domestic abuse. For someone that has just murdered another, however, she seems quite calm. In fact she's barely spoken a word since they picked her up.
That all changes once alone in the exam room - she begins to open up. She begs Luke to help her escape, claiming she's not like other people. To prove her point she grabs a scapel and slashes herself right across the chest. To Luke's amazement, instead of bleeding, the wound magically begins to heal itself right in front of his eyes. Luke agrees to help her as long as she tells him who she is and so begins an adventure that has spanned centuries and will show Luke a world that he's never imagined.
The Taker is an interesting cross between a paranormal novel and a historical fiction novel. I often find this can be a dangerous line to walk; it's so easy to cross over into the land of cheesy writing. Thankfully The Taker steers clear. I found it to be engaging and exciting. Due to the nature of the myserious girl's...condition...the reader isn't limited to only one time period. The story sweeps you from place to place and you just get lost in the stories and the settings. I loved the variety of historical settings and how well each of them were represented.
I have read a number of reviews and articles about this book that mention it being a vampire story (I even read this is Shelf Awareness). I would like to set the record straight and say there are no vampires in this book. There is no biting, or blood drinking and everyone functions during both day and night. I can't go into too much detail of what actually happens without getting into spoiler territory but there is definitely some unique and interesting paranormal twists going on in this novel and though I do like my vampire stories I found this a refreshing change.
I really enjoyed the detail of The Taker, It really did feel like I was being swept away to the different places. The characters were interesting and I could feel myself hanging onto every word, unable to stop reading. This is a great book for fall. Perfect to read outside, once it gets a little cooler and the leaves begin to turn.(less)
The Chemical Garden trilogy continues and without a doubt it is better than ever!
Now if you remember my review of Wither, I wasn't overly sold on this trilogy. Primarily because the hype monster built this book up to such outlandish proportions there was almost no way it could live up to its reputation. Because of this I went into Fever with my expectations lowered. I was happy to find that I enjoyed the story of Fever significantly more than that of Wither and noticed a significant improvement in the quality of the narrative and characters.
For starters, I loved the conflict and imagery in this story significantly more than the last. Wither was limited to the world of Linden's mansion and while it was an interesting setting there was only so much it could do. Fever opens up a whole new world for the reader - exposing the reader to the dysoptian setting Rhine grew up and helping us learn more about what the world has become. This did more than just create a more dazzling world to read about, it also helped explain many of the motivations of the characters, which is something I'm always obsessed with.
I also felt like Rhine has significantly grown as a character. In Wither I found her kind of flaky and always in need of saving. In Fever she was stronger. She took action for herself. She become a force to reckoned with and I finally felt myself bonding with her. Unfortunately, however, my feelings towards Gabriel remain the same. I find him a complete blank slate and he spends much of Fever out of the way. Further proving to me that he really doesn't need to be there.
I still gave so many questions - particualrly about this virus. How does a virus target by age/gender? Is it really a virus in the traditional sense? etc etc. But I'm hoping questions like that are addressed in book three (which I am now eagerly awaiting). Just like Rhine, Lauren DeStefano has really grown with this book. She's had a chance to stretch her creative muscle and the results are something to be admired.(less)
The story is set in London, back in the Victorian age. But this is by no means your typical Victorian tale. This rather large novel is actually a compilation of three, intertwined stories. The thread that connects them? H.G. Wells. It is not long after the release of his insanely popular book, The Time Machine and the idea of time travel has become incredibly popular. Everyone's looking for it to become the answer to all of their problems. Three people in particular, however, think it already may be the answer and enlist H.G. Wells to help them on their respective quests. As a result Wells finds himself knee deep in a number of mysteries including, tracking down Jack the Ripper, nurturing a romance between a young girl and a warrior from the year 2030 and saving future literally classics like Dracula and Turn of the Screw. Not exactly what he had in mind when he wrote his fictional novel.
I found these stories to be incredibly well written and woven together in an almost seamless and magical fashion. The characters just amazed me. Andrew Harrington is the very first character you meet in the book and I think he is by far my favourite. His is just such a beautiful story. A young, well off gentlemen, he falls in love is a White Chapel prostitute. If that wasn't bad enough, there is the ever present threat of Jack the Ripper stealing her away from Andrew at any given moment. There's was such a heart-wrenchingly beautiful love story and it was made all the more unique by the presence of H.G. Wells and the use of time travel.
For the most part the beautiful writing and magical ideas put forth were consistent throughout the whole book. The only fault I really found was that the pacing was really slow. I don't just mean this in the sense the book is long I mean there were times where nothing was really happening and these moments seemed to drag on forever. I could have done without these sluggish parts but overall the book was still very enjoyable and the rest of the writing was superb.
All in all my favourite thing about this novel was that it is literature that draws on other literature. That meant it combined all the best elements of steampunk and fantasy and gave book worms (like I know many of you are) a little something extra to get excited about it. I remember there were a few times while I was reading that the pieces started coming together and I got really excited about the references to some of my favourite books. The Map of Time a beautifully constructed book, filled with amazing adventures and just that little bit extra for book lovers. Definitely one to cozy up with.(less)
What to say about Fateful by Claudia Gray...Quite honestly when I heard it was about werewolves on the Titanic I was instantly determined that I must read this book. And I'm pretty sure that, for many people, that's all it's going to take for them as well.
For those of you who aren't intrigued by the synopsis of this book, well you're probably not going to like it. It won't be for everybody BUT if you're one of those people who though “Werewolves? Titanic? Sign me up!” then here's what I have to say to you. Read this book and enjoy!
Werewolves aside, Claudia Gray has written a wonderfully descriptive historical fiction novel. I really don't think there are enough novels written about the Titanic. It's an incredibly interesting piece of history, just sitting there, waiting to be written about. I for one am very happy that Claudia Gray chose to take it on.
In addition to the history, there is of course the werewolves. I am not the biggest fan of werewolves but I did love Alec. Friendly, thoughtful, caring (he reminded me of Alcide on the television version of True Blood). Tall, dark, handsome and a nice guy! How can you go wrong with that combinations? He really is a charmer and I think that he is one of the best parts of the book.
Like I said before, this book is one to be simply read and enjoyed. It's a lot of fun and Claudia Gray is most definitely a talented and creative writer. If the sound of werewolves on the Titanic appeals to you than I highly recommend this book. Go forth and see what all the fuss is about!(less)
Mara Dyer was a pretty average girl. That is until she survived a freak accident, that killed three of her closest friends. Now she's suffering from post traumatic stress and amnesia. She can't remember what happened that night and what she does remember comes to her in horrible visions. It gets so bad that her family decided to move to a whole other state to get her away from the memories. Despite the move, however, Mara is still haunted by visions and strange things seem to happen where ever she goes. She begins to wonder if she'll ever feel normal again.
Let me start of by saying this is one creepy creepy book. I started reading it before going to bed and then couldn't put it down, and even though I knew I should go to sleep and get some rest every time I tried all I could think about was the craziness that is Mara Dyer. It ended up being 3:30 am when I finally finished the book and even then, despite my exhaustion, I needed to leave the lamp on. This book will rattle you.
There are a lot of things I want to tell you about but I just can't because it would give too much away and the less you know about this book before you begin the more exciting it's going to be. So instead I'm just going to talk about Mara and Noah. Before the accident Mara seems like your average teenage girl, a little curious, a little insecure. Just trying to figure herself out. After the accident she's a little pouty (which you just can't blame her for) but she has a whole new level of determination. You've got to admire that in a character who has been through hell and back.
And then there's Noah. Bad boy, rebel without a cause. There's been a couple of reviews that have called him a douchebag. I don't know if I'd go that far. He certainly does think highly of himself and can get a little annoying but I don't think he was overly mean. I hesitate to call him swoon-worthy but he is definitely an excellent lead male character and he really cares about Mara, which is always a plus in my book.
My only complaint is that sometimes things seemed to happen a little to easily. At over 400 pages you wouldn't expect a lot of easy resolution. At least I don't. If I'm reading something that's over 400 pages I want depth, I want layers and mysteries. There were also a couple of loose ends and unanswered questions, but this book is set to have a sequel so I'm assuming they'll get answered there. My final verdict: a suspenseful and creepy read, that will have you up all night but is easy and fun to read.(less)
Thousands of years ago when the Romans invaded Jerusalem a small group of Jews escaped to the mountain fortress of Masada. There they lived as a community, as the war raged on below them. From the little we know, when the Romans finally managed to conquer Masada they found everyone dead except two women and five children. A true historical mystery.
The Dovekeepers tells the story of four women who survived the hardships of the desert and found themselves amidst the challenges of fortress life. Yael, a rejected daughter, whose skin is marked with blood, Revka, who witnessed her daughter's murder, Aziza a young girl with a warrior's spirit and Shirah, the community witch and medicine woman. Together they care for the doves, keep each other's secrets and do what they can to survive.
The book begins “We had been wandering for so long I forgot what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night. In that time I lost all that I might have possessed if Jerusalem had not fallen: a husband, a family, a future of my own. My girlhood disappeared in the desert. The person I'd once been vanished as I wrapped myself in white when the dust rose into the clouds” From the moment I read these lines was hooked. The writing in this book is so beautiful. Steeped with emotion and incredible detail is was so easy to get lost in the story. You can tell Alice Hoffman put a lot of time and effort into researching this books. I can picture the world of Masada and the desert perfectly.
Though I loved all four women I think Yael and Aziza are my favourite. They are the youngest of the four but I think they are the strongest and the bravest. In many ways both are alone and instead of giving up or giving into despair, they hold on. In the face of adversity they push forward. They are continually evolving, trying to find themselves in the midst of chaos, and I find them admirable.
This is an incredible piece of writing and it is truly Alice Hoffman's masterpiece. It is the perfect book to curl up with and just let yourself get lost. If you're a fan of historical fiction or are simply looking for a beautifully written and tragic story, The Dovekeepers is one you won't want to miss! (less)
Nine students are brought together for a very special class. An English class, taught by a former professor, now serving a prison term for the murder of two students. The class is called Unraveling a Literary Mystery (which could easily be the subtitle for the whole book) and it is taught by Richard Aldiss. Aldiss takes the students on a journey to discover the true identity of the author Paul Fallows. Unorthodox, to say the least, he teaches using mind games and puzzles, forcing the students to find out the truth for themselves.
Fifteen years later, one of the nine (Michael Tanner) is murdered and they find themselves together again. Anyone could be a suspect. Everyone IS a suspect. The murder looks like a copycat and the former students find themselves sucked back in to Aldiss' mind games and riddles. But now it's about more than just an author's identity, it's about saving their own lives.
Dominance is an incredibly exciting book. Switching back and forth between the night class and the present murder investigation, it reveals information slowly and carefully. I found myself eagerly turning the pages, wanting to know what happens next and if my guess was the right one. I loved that the students were involved in a literary mystery. It was the type of class I wish I could have taken in University (minus the murderer as a teacher).
This book was very much plot driven. The characters are simply pieces in a game. With the exception of Richard Aldiss and Alexandra Shipley, none of the characters really stand out. In fact I often forgot who was who when it came to the other students in the class. The exceptions, however, were great characters. I loved Alexandra's determination and intelligence. And Aldiss is definitely the creepiest professor I've ever come across. I imagine Richard Aldiss is what Hannibal Lector would be like if he taught English Literature.
Dominance is described as a “puzzle thriller”. One that will keep you guessing. It gives you pieces little by little and they begin to fall into place. It is creepy and at times down right frightening. I loved the alternating view time periods. They worked well and complemented each other nicely. There are actually two mysteries in this book – the identity of Paul Fallows and the murder of Michael Tanner and though they are connected, neither answer is revealed until the last possible minute. Definitely an example of some great writing. Dominance is a game and you, the reader, are its player.(less)
What sets this book apart from others in the Iron Fey series is that it is told from Ash's point of view, not Meghan's. I was a little wary at first. I like when Meghan tells the story. Over the course of three novels we've really seen her grow as a person and I was worried that the Iron Knight just wouldn't have the same feel without her. Well all my worrying was for nothing. Julie Kagawa does an amazing job of shifting the viewpoint. It doesn't feel forced, it feels natural, like Ash has been telling his story the whole time.
This story is incredibly well put together. Not only does it tie up all the lose ends of the previous books it also goes back and fills in some earlier details. In particular we get to find out more about Ariella, her relationship with Ash and their friendship with Puck. I don't know about the rest of you but I was always curious about Ariella and wondered if she was always going to be the elephant in the room, so to speak, for Ash and Meghan. All of those questions and more will be answered!
This is also an incredible book for character development. The first three books are all about Meghan (as they should be) but this one really focuses on Ash, and to a lesser extent Puck. We really get to know them and their history and you're really able to connect with them on a more personal level. Whether your Team Puck or Team Ash doesn't matter so much in this book. You'll be cheering them on and easily fall in love with both of these amazing boys.
Overall this is a beautifully written book and the perfect end to the series. As always Kagawa weaves together an incredible fantasy land, where magic and mystery exist side by side. The characters are lovable, creative and full of life. It's a bittersweet moment when a series you love comes to end so perfectly. You want it to keep going but you know it's right just the way it is. (less)
Ms. Mafi you have taken my breath away. This was an amazingly beautiful novel. I'm still in shock that it's a debut! The writing was beautiful and artistic. Whenever I find a passage in a book that really strikes me, I mark it with a sticky note. My copy of Shatter Me is now COVERED in sticky notes. I usually don't quote the ARC, because you never know what's going to change, but I just wanted to give you a taste of how poetic the writing is. Here is one of my absolute favourite passages:
"Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds. I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.” Here's another one: “The soldiers stomp stomp stomp through the rain, crushing leaves and fallen snow under their feet. Their hands are wrapped in gloves wrapped around guns that could put a bullet through a million possibilities.” This is the type of writing that really sucks me in. It makes me hang on to every word and hold my breath until the scene is over. If for no other reason, you should read this book because of the quality of the prose.
That being said, however, there are still plenty of other reasons to read this story. Generally labeled a dystopia, Shatter Me is so much more unique than that. Part action/adventure, part superhero fiction, part romance, part everything! I was easily sucked into the story; had my heart broken at the tragic moments, felt my blood boiling when things weren't fair, had a huge smile on my face whenever things did go their way. Oh and have I mentioned the steamy scenes? *fans self* Tahereh Mafi really knows how to tap into each and every one of your emotions and doesn't hold anything back.
One final thing I really like about this book was the way the ending was set up. Yes there is clearly meant to be a sequel, but it didn't end in a dramatic cliffhanger right in the middle of the story. I hate that! It's like when they split up movies that clearly don't need to be in two parts (I'm not naming names...). Even though there is more to come from Juliette and Adam (and thank goodness for that!) I felt like the general conflict of Shatter Me had been resolved so we can move on to the neext part of Juliette's saga.
Make sure you go and pick up Shatter Me tomorrow (or pre-order it via the link above). It's an amazing story, with great characters and beautiful writing. Be prepared to block off some time to read it, as you are not going to want to put it down.(less)
Every so often a book comes along that is so amazing that you want walk around thrusting it into everyone's hands. The Night Circus is one of those books. I want to go around and convince everyone they should read this book – friends, family members, complete strangers on the subway.
The story is one of two young magicians – Celia and Marco. As children their eccentric guardians binded them together in a life long duel. As they aged, unbeknownst to them, their duel encompassed all that they did and all those that they knew. Their stage was the Night Circus. A mysterious and magical circus that traveled the world and only opened after dark. Everything has been set up perfectly but their was one thing their guardians could have never expected. - that Celia and Marco would fall head over heels in love.
Everything about this book is absolutely beautiful. There is no place that sounds more magical and more enchanting than the Night Circus. Erin Morgenstern has really drawn on all your senses when crafting this beautiful setting. It really feels like you are right in the middle of the circus. If you close your eyes you can picture the gorgeous black tents, the smell of the concessions, the sense of awe that would radiate through the crowds.
In addition the setting it is also completely effortless to fall in love with the characters. Just like the circus themselves they all exude magic and mystery. Celia is particular is my favourite. As the circus illusionist and a true magician there is never a dull moment. She has an absolutely charming personality and she is the definition of a pure character – guided by love and dedicated to the Circus and all who reside within it. I found the relationship between her and Marco inspiring. All odds were against them and it thrived despite everything their guardians did to stop it.
This is one of the most beautiful books that I have ever read. I got so swept up in the story and the characters and the setting that I missed my subway stop...twice. Erin Morgenstern`s skillful writing will transport you to a world you never imagined existed. Sure you've been to the circus before, but there's never been a circus like this one. The magic and mystery isn't just brought into the circus, it's woven into every tent, every piece of popcorn every spark of the bonfire.(less)
After a scandal that rocks their small academic community, Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, are forced to start over. Thankfully, Frank's aunt has left him a home in the small town of Whitbrow. Eudora is able to find a job teaching at the local school house and Frank can use this time to finally write the book that he's been thinking about for years. Things in Whitbrow aren't what they seem on the surface, however, and before they know it Frank and Eudora stumble across the town's biggest secret and a curse that's haunted the townspeople since before the Civil War.
I didn't really realize what I was in for and how creepy Those Across the Rive was going to be when I picked this book up to read one afternoon. I expected there to be a little mystery but this book delivers so much more than that. There are some major twists and turns and you really have no idea where the story is going to take you next. I was genuinely shocked by a number of developments in this novel. This is one of those books that's better the less you know when you start reading.
Good points aside, however, there were a few problems with this book. First off I found that the time period wasn't very clear from the beginning, which led to some fairly confusing moments later on. I think it would have really enriched the reading experience if I had a better idea of the setting right from the get go. It wasn't a huge problem but a bit of a distracting one.
I also think that Frank and Eudora could have used a little more character development. Though they both have a detailed back-story I felt that I didn't really know them as people and as a result they kind of fell flat for me (Eduora especially). I get that this book is more about suspense and thrills but a little more character development (like the setting) would definitely have enriched the reading experienced.
It's not a perfect book by any means but it is a fun one. There's a few things that I would have liked if they were done differently but I still enjoyed reading this book. As this is Christopher Buehlman's debut I look forward to checking out what he writes next.
Those Across the River is going to be excellent to read on a fall night, when it's a little colder and windy. It will provide the perfect thrill.(less)
Susan and Alex have just moved into their dream home. Sure it has a few quirks, what place doesn't, but it's beautiful, has lots of space, and even an extra room for Susan to do her painting in. The landlady is a little eccentric but she seems dedicated to the place. What more could they reasonably ask for? After a couple of days at the new place, however, Susan realizes it may have more problems then they expected. She is convinced that the place is infested with bedbugs. She sees them out of the corner of her eye, she wakes up in the morning with fresh bites. They must be there somewhere. Her situation becomes more and more desperate, however, when no one else can see the bugs and no one else is getting bitten. Unable to sleep, eat, paint or function at all like a normal person, Susan (and everyone around her) is convinced she is going mad. There is one thing she knows for certain – the bugs are there and they have her trapped in her own personal hell.
Considering that I just moved to a big city and that bedbugs are a growing problem all over at the moment, I don't think there could have been a more disturbing book for me to pick up and read before bed. I mean I expected it to be creepy – it is after all called Bedbugs. But I did not expect to be up half the night finishing it and then spend the second half of the night wide awake staring at the ceiling.
The pacing in this novel is perfect. Everything is unraveled slowly and methodically. It really gives you the feeling of dread that just grows and grows as the story continues. It really says something about the writing when a novel can keep the same level of dread/anxiety throughout the entire work. There was not a single point during this book that I got bored, or that my mind wandered or that I even thought about putting it down.
Ben H. Winters weaves together a plot that is full of twists and turns. It will have you biting your nails in suspense. Bedbugs is dark, creepy and it will keep you guessing. As freaked out as I was I really enjoyed reading this book. It's like watching a horror movie – it scares you but you keep coming back for more. I recommend this book to all who are looking for a good scare every once and awhile.(less)
Emily finally knows what it's like to be in love. Unfortunately for her she's in love with Zach, her best friend, Gabby''s, boyfriend. And now Gabby is going away for Christmas break, leaving Emily and Zach all alone. The temptation is too great to resist.
They're not the only one's succumbing to temptation. Chase has done something really terrible. A really cruel trick, which he justified as payback. Neither Chase and Emily could have ever imagined the real repercussion of their actions but their actions have been noticed. Three mysterious and beautiful girls have set their eyes on Chase and Emily and it's only a matter of time before their punishment is delivered.
Fury is based on a really interesting premise. That there's a set of mythical beings going around determining that people should be punished for their actions. In a lot of ways I can see the attraction. We've all been hurt/betrayed by someone and we've all wished that they could know how it feels. It seems from a lot of reviews I've already read that I'm not the only one who see's this appeal. A lot of people like the Furies (the three mysterious girls). Though I understood this admiration (for lack of a better word) I am not one of those people. I, in no way, condone Emily and Chase's behaviour but they don't live in isolation, does their actions mean the innocent people in their lives should also suffer? What about their friends and family members? Why should they be punished?
But anyways I digress. Regardless of whether you side with the Furies or not this book is fast paced and intriguing. It draws you in. I started reading it at 10 pm and stayed up all night finishing it. I was dying to know what happened and what nasty tricks the Furies had up their sleeves. In addition the setting of this book was absolutely perfect! Middle of winter, often at night – it was very much like the Furies, dangerous, harsh and unforgiving. There were times the vivid descriptions of the snow and ice would make me shiver and pity the poor people stuck in the middle of it.
Your Fury experience will be a matter of perspective. You may love the Furies or you may pity Chase and Emily. The beauty of this book is that it can go either way. No matter which side you fall on you'll still enjoy the story. This is a great debut from Elizabeth Miles and I can't wait to find out what happens next!(less)
Earth is no more. We've depleted our resources, our cities have collapsed, there's nothing left. The human race's last hope are the large ships – the Empyrean and New Horizon - bound for New Earth. The ships are mini-civilizations themselves, with governments, agricultural land and scientists. Everyone working together to secure a better future for themselves and their children. Everything is running according to schedule for the Empyrean but something strange is going on with the New Horizon. It's slowed down. It's basically stopped moving. All the Empyrean knows about them is that their captain is dead and they're coming over, whether they want them to or not.
The back of this book claims that it will be the “most riveting series since The Hunger Games” that's a pretty big claim and I'm not entirely sure it lives up to it. I will say though that it is definitely an edge of your seat read. A lot of things happen to the characters of this novel and these things happen very quickly. You find yourself just coming to term with the horrible event that has just occured and then BAM, it just gets worse.
I found that the back cover and other marketing for this book is really trying to push the romantic angle and while that is an element I wouldn't pin point it as THE element. I can't say too much without giving away some of the major plot twists but I will say this: there are some very serious and very intense issues raised throughout the novel. Stuff gets real for many of these characters and I was surprised by how serious this book turned out to be. It was a good surprise. It was one of the main reasons this book distinguished itself from so many other YA dystopian/science-fiction novels recently. Not only was it exciting and riveting but it really made you think and it really made you question what humanity would do in a similar situation.
Glow is an incredible start to what I can only imagine will be a great series. If you're a fan of dystopia then you should definitely be adding Glow to your to read list. There were a few times that I found characters and their motivations to be a little unbelievable but those moments were few and far between and they didn't take away from the general quality of the book. It's hard hitting, action packed and intelligent. Perfect for young adults and adults alike. (less)
I wanted to read this book form the moment I read the following description “ The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Dorian Gray and Jekyll & Hyde are two of my favourite books. Plus the inclusion of Pride and Prejudice indicated a classic love story was hiding in this book too. After hearing this phrase I could not get this book out of my head.
When I was finally able to dive into it, I was understandably nervous, what if all those months of thinking about this book only led to disappointment?
Thankfully this was not the case. It's true that this book does have elements of Jekyll & Hyde and Pride & Prejudice but it's real inspiration is The Picture of Dorian Gray. If you were a fan of Wilde's classic you are going to want to pick up this book. All my favourite elements of that novel were here, the mystery, the dangers of desire, the supernatural – all of these things made sure I was good and interested in the story. Leanna Renee Hieber then took all of those elements and added a beautiful romance and a strong female figure. It were those elements that really got me hooked.
Darker Still is told in the form of Natalie's diary. I thought this was a strange choice at first because it provides such a narrow perspective for such a (figuratively) large story. However, as the story progressed I understood that this was the right choice. The setting is grand, and the story is enchanting but this book is really all about Natalie. She's the heroine and she's pretty darn awesome! She's brave, she selfless, she can cross into other worlds (I can't do that, can you?). Having the story come out in the form of her diary really helps the reader connect with this amazing girl. You know everything she's thinking and feeling, it's very intimate and I think it works perfectly. Oh and as a nice twist, she's mute, which provides a nice break from the typical, perfect-in-everyway female protagonist.
This book will be enjoyable for a variety of readers. It has so many elements. Dorian Gray provided the perfect foundation, but Darker Still takes on a life of it's own. Romance, mystery, intrigue, magic, adventure. It's all here! I think this is a start of a series you won't want to miss!
As in many of Sara Shepard’s books, the story begins in a quiet, quaint small town. This town is filled with “average” people. They go to work, they come home, they raise a family. Most of these people have quite a bit of money to their name and spend a good deal of time worrying about their reputation. This worrying is often because of some secret(s) that they don’t want getting out. However, unlike many of Sara’s other books, like the Pretty Little Liars series or The Lying Game series, these secrets are crazy, over-the-top, hard to imagine secrets. They are regular old secrets that anyone could end up with depending on the choices they have made in their life. For me this was the charm of this novel, just how…normal it was.
I really liked how realistic all the characters felt. I truly felt like they were “real” people and I was reading their story. The character development never felt forced. They all changed and developed (as people do) but there wasn’t some big “ah ha” moment, after which everything was completely different. I just don’t think those come around as often as fictional writing has us believe, so it was nice to see an author go a different route.
I should mention that the story itself was interesting. Accusations were flying, plans were set in motion. It was all very dramatic. But it wasn’t the story that sold it for me. If you haven’t already guessed from the previous two paragraphs, this novel is all about the characters. You get invested in them. You hang on through the slow parts because you want to know what will happen. I particularly like Joanna. She seemed so lost, yet so determined to find herself. I respect that. She’s made a few mistakes along the way, but we all make mistakes. It’s human.
What it comes right down to is that Everything We Ever Wanted gives you a glimpse into a very intimate part of people’s lives. But it isn’t about what’s going on in that moment, but how that moment affects the people involved. It's about how it relates to their humanity and their ability to adapt. And it shows you all this in a way that is subtle and unobtrusive. You can’t help but admire it. Sara Shepard has already shown that she is able to write stories that have deep dark secrets, crazy rumours and lots of suspense but now she has proven that she can write the serious dramas that make us question who we are as individuals and how other’s affect our development. She is most definitely a multi-talented writer.(less)
This book was described as The Hunger Games meets The Handmaid's Tale which gave me high hopes, as those are two of my favourite books. And for the most part I did find the premise of this book intriguing. The best way I can think to describe it is, The Handmaid's Tale out in the wild. Books like this really make me question what would actually happen if most of the population was wiped out. What would the attitude be towards re-population? Eve does an excellent job of raising some key questions and made me stop and consider the rights and responsibilities of women in such a scenario. What would happen to our freedom? (Heavy stuff I know).
Premise aside, however, I was a little unimpressed with some of the other elements of the novel. For one thing the pacing just didn't seem right. Everything happened too fast, and not in an "edge of your seat" kind of way. There wasn't enough time in between major events to really digest them and really have the characters react to them. Sometimes the reaction to a scene is just as important as the scene itself and I felt like I was missing out on that. In addition to the pacing I also found the ending a little off. I just don't buy the way things happened, it wasn't rational! I'm dying to talk to someone about it (maybe they have a different take on it than me) so if you've read Eve and want to talk about it then please contact me!! Bring on the book discussion!!
This book is the first in a planned trilogy, and I intend to check out the sequel because, as I mentioned the premise interests me. So who knows maybe the kinks will be worked out in the coming books. I sincerely hope so. Otherwise since there are so many other similar books, Eve might just fall through the cracks. I'm not willing to write off this series completely just yet and sometimes I just need to look at a book in a different way to really appreciate it. So if you have a different take on Eve please share!(less)
After her dad gets a new job, Megan has to move to a new town. This isn't the first time she's had to move because of her dad's work but this time is different. To start off her new home is in Ireland and once there she finds herself drawn to the tall, dark, and handsome Adam DeRis. Maybe this move won't be so bad. However, the longer she stays there and the closer she becomes to Adam, the more she realizes things aren't exactly “normal”. Instead they couldn't be any further from normal. Turns out Megan has some very strong supernatural powers. They're part of the reason she's so drawn to Adam. Though her new powers are amazing, they are also dangerous and highly sought after. Not exactly what she had in mind for her first time in Ireland!
To be quiet honest I had mediocre expectations for this book. It sounded like so many other books I've read this year. But let this be a lesson to me! Expectations can be wrong. This book was so fun and unique and I absolutely loved it. In fact I ended up loving it more than many of those “similar sounding” books. Here are some of the reasons it really stood out for me.
First of all it's set in Ireland. Sorry to all my American readers but as a non-American resident, sometimes it gets frustrating when every story is set in the U.S. Having The Carrier of the Mark take place is Ireland was a refreshing change. Plus Ireland is amazing. It's beautiful, it's got amazing history and culture and the book is full of neat little nuances and sayings that make you wish you could head over to the Emerald Isle yourself.
In addition to the setting I love the way this book draws on nature. I can't tell you exactly what the supernatural powers are in this book but there are many references to the elements and I love this. I saw one review that said it made them think of Captain Planet! I love that description! I think Megan has a kick-ass superpower and that makes her pretty darn cool in my book!
Finally I loved Adam. Seriously, could this guy get any more sweet? Though I also love the rebel without a cause thing, that many leading men in YA tend to emulate, it's nice to come across someone like Adam. Someone who doesn't play games and get angry at every little thing. There's no stupid little arguments, where one (or both) characters stomp off and don't talk to each other (quick tip – this is not the foundation of a solid relationship and is no way to solve your problems!). Instead Adam and Megan face things together. They're a team and they care about each others well being. I think this sends a positive message to readers of every age. My only complaint, however, is that this book falls into the trap of insta-love. I'm sorry but you just don't fall completely “head over heels – I'd do anything for you – we're going to be together forever” in love, after only a few days. You just don't. I just wish there was a little more relationship building instead of just jumping right in.
To sum up, this book totally exceeded my expectations! It has an amazing setting, a unique plot and the love story is adorable (although a little cheesy). I am now one of Leigh Fallon's dedicated fans and I am certain I will not be the last. The Carrier of the Mark is a great read and I hope you pick it up!(less)