My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Story Fischer is shopowner who is also dabbling in beekeeping. Her beekeeping mentor is murdered, honeybees...moreMy four-sentence or less take on the plot: Story Fischer is shopowner who is also dabbling in beekeeping. Her beekeeping mentor is murdered, honeybees are implicated, and Story and her ex-husband are both potential suspects.
What worked: I liked the beekeeping concept--it was different, which is saying quite a bit in the cozy mystery world.
What didn't: I hated (HATED) the bulleted points that are sprinkled throughout the book. It also felt like I was reading a guidebook about Wisconsin at times. I expect to learn during a cozy mystery but I don't expect it to be so obvious. I know the character of Story's mom was supposed to be off-putting but she was so incredibly unlikeable it was distracting. The cheating ex-husband in a small town trope is getting pretty played out in cozy mysteries.
My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Danice Carter is a lawyer who is strong-armed in to hunting down the missing daughter of her boss. McIntyre...moreMy four-sentence or less take on the plot: Danice Carter is a lawyer who is strong-armed in to hunting down the missing daughter of her boss. McIntyre Callahan is a half-Fae private eye. Events occur.
What worked: This is my first DNF review, so not much.
What didn't: Danice is an incredibly stupid character. She makes stupid mistake after stupid mistake in this book. People tell her to be quiet in front of fae royalty, instead, she constantly shoots off her mouth. Mac spends a lot of time trying to convince Danice not to be an idiot and, yet, it doesn't seem to ever work. And, of course, Danice and Mac have to have frequent magical sex. Apparently this book is a reworking of a erotic short story written much earlier in Warren's career and that is exactly how it reads.
Keep reading? I just ordered the recent book off of Paperbackswap for some reason.(less)
My four-sentence or less take on the plot: Josie Marcus, a mystery shopper, is evaluating a lingerie chain, in which one of her old high school teache...moreMy four-sentence or less take on the plot: Josie Marcus, a mystery shopper, is evaluating a lingerie chain, in which one of her old high school teachers now works. Of course, she is immediately embroiled into a murder investigation when she stumbles on a corpse in the toilet.
What worked: Not much in my opinion. Even the characters are starting to get pretty repetitious. I like Viets Dead-end series much better.
What didn't: Look, I can suspend disbelief while reading a book. I can believe that detectives wouldn't get incredibly suspicious about a person who always "happened" to be around dead bodies. I can even take the "cops find it helpful that I'm investigating" bit. But WHY would anyone accused of murder ask a mystery shopper (not a cop, not a PI, not even a reporter) who they haven't seen in about 15 years, to look in to the murder they are getting charged with? It defies belief to an extent that throws me right out of the book.
Keep reading? I'm not sure. Probably give it one more shot.
My four-sentence or less take on the plot: When Molly is 12-years-old, she performs an embarrassing poem that ends up getting her sent away to a stric...moreMy four-sentence or less take on the plot: When Molly is 12-years-old, she performs an embarrassing poem that ends up getting her sent away to a strict boarding school, as well as getting family friend Harry sent in to the military. They consider themselves enemies. When Harry is pulled into a stupid little game of the Prince, he commandeers Molly (who he found running off to Gretna Green with a milksop employee of her father) to pretend to be his mistress for a week. As this is a historical romance novel, hijinks ensue and they fall in love.
What worked: The characters were definitely likable. You absolutely got the feeling that they got badly screwed by the sort of stupid thing that tweens do all the time (which seemed realistic to me). I'm very impressed that Kramer even gave the villain a good reason to be villainous (something that romance writers usually forget to do).
What didn't: Come on. A virginal relatively young member of the ton masquerading as a mistress? Who would believe her? Why wouldn't she be recognized in the future (I realize they didn't have Google and tabloids but they had eyes)? It seemed even more unrealistic than your average romance novel.
Keep reading? I was actually halfway through the next book in the series "Dukes to my left, Princes to my right" when I started this book, so I suppose so.
My take: I had the exact opposite issue with this book as I had with "Glimmerglass"--I don't like Rachel Vincent's adult series. In fact, I think Fayt...moreMy take: I had the exact opposite issue with this book as I had with "Glimmerglass"--I don't like Rachel Vincent's adult series. In fact, I think Faythe, the protag of that series, is one of the least likable characters in UF. So I didn't know what to expect from this book.
I was pleasantly surprised! The main character, Kaylee, is living with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, a family in which she isn't very accepted, which leads to excellent conflict. She finds out the hard way that she is a banshee (bean sidhe), which is a nice departure from the average fae, when she starts screaming when she sees a death and is placed in a mental institution. I know there is a prequal to this book that was free on Vincent's website and I'm actually glad I didn't read it before reading the book--I think it gives away a major plot point that I liked not knowing until it was revealed in My Soul to Take. I was genuinely surprised by the ending of the book, even though it was set up perfectly. I recommend this book.
My take: This book was incredibly boring. I'm actually not sure how I finished it. The book seems to be based on a sort of X-Men meets "The Lord of th...moreMy take: This book was incredibly boring. I'm actually not sure how I finished it. The book seems to be based on a sort of X-Men meets "The Lord of the Flies" approach, which I would have expected to be a lot more interesting. It was spectacularly predictable. Obviously, I am in the minority, because most of the Goodreads reviews rate the book very high.
Read more? Heck no. I probably wouldn't even see the movie that is bound to be spawned from this series.(less)
My take: I didn't know how I was going to feel about this book because several friends told me it wasn't very good. I imagine they were comparing it t...moreMy take: I didn't know how I was going to feel about this book because several friends told me it wasn't very good. I imagine they were comparing it to the Harry Potter series and didn't realize that The Olympians series is Middle Grade (ages 7-12) rather than Young Adult.
The book is definitely a middle grade book. That being said, I really liked it! Percy is a likable hero who just wants to save his mom. Percy is the son of Poseidon (and, thus, is a demigod) and is sent on a quest to find Zeus's lightning bolt which has gone missing. If the bolt isn't found it will likely cause a war between the "big three"--Posiden, Zeus, and Hades.
I'll admit, I was that dorky kid that was really in to Greek and Roman mythology but I like Riordan's spin on ideas like the Lotus Eaters, who now run a high-end hotel in Vegas, to the idea of Percy being able to talk to Zebras because his father created horses, to what he does with Procrustes (which is pretty accurate to the original myth). I also appreciated the update of the gods--Poseidon in bermuda shorts for example or Ares riding a motorcycle. The secondary characters were interesting too. And it's a rare first novel that actually manages to have a story of it's own in addition to setting up the rest of the series. A minor quibble: It's hard to imagine a group of children being able to transverse the country while "Wanted" ads are being posted for Percy and not get stopped, I still liked the ride.
The lines that made the book for me: "Be honored, Percy Jackson. Lord Zeus rarely allows me to test a hero with one of my brood. For I am the Mother of Monsters, the terrible Echidna!" I stared at her. All I could think to say was: "Isn't that a kind of anteater?" She howled, her reptilian face turning brown and green with rage. "I hate it when people say that! I hate Australia!..." I actually laughed out loud at that exchange.
Keep reading? Absolutely! I have the next two on their way to me as we speak (...type...read...)(less)
My take: I loved this book but it's possible my standards were slightly lowered by all the dreck I've been reading. I was optimistic because I really...moreMy take: I loved this book but it's possible my standards were slightly lowered by all the dreck I've been reading. I was optimistic because I really like Jenna Black's adult series but you can never tell if an adult writer can write young adult books or vice versa.
1. I like novel Fae creatures outside of the norm. Spriggans, for example, are interesting and unique to me and much more interesting than the trolls or imps that show up in every fae-type novel.
2. The interaction between Dana and her dysfunctional family felt very real to me. Her love-tempered disgust with her drunk mom, not knowing how to deal with the father that she never knew--it all seemed realistic.
3. Although Dana makes the inarguably stupid move of flying across the world to meet a father she's never met and didn't know she existed who lives in a half-fae, half-human town (and a man her mother has warned her about), she is generally pretty smart and logical. A nice change in YA books where the heroines often fall in to the too-stupid-to-live trope. And what teenager wouldn't want to escape normal life and meet their unknown father?
My take: Read another paranormal YA book. This one is seriously boring. The writing is of the "tell, not show" school of thought. The lone item I like...moreMy take: Read another paranormal YA book. This one is seriously boring. The writing is of the "tell, not show" school of thought. The lone item I liked--the main character is the daughter of a horror movie director and his muse. I could imagine if Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter moved to New England and how their kid (who, in this case, is far more interested in shopping than paranormal activity) would fare. This book was a "Did not finish" for me. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't very good either.
Keep reading? I'm not sure if this is a series or not but either way, no.
My take: I didn't know what to expect from this book, although it has been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time. I had read both good and bad re...moreMy take: I didn't know what to expect from this book, although it has been sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time. I had read both good and bad reviews of it over the last year. I still don't know what I think. I liked all the characters from Meghan to Ash (and especially her little brother--the "death" of his stuffed bunny was actually one of the more upsetting deaths I've read in the last year). I think in some ways this is the "set-up" book, setting up the series for future books. It seemed to be more about introducing the characters than about actual action. I thought the idea of the Iron Court was truly novel and interesting--worth a star totally on it's own.
I liked the mixture of Shakespeare (Puck--a very Shakespeare Puck rather than the Puck of other UF) and Alice in Wonderland (there is no way to mistake that the basis for Grimalkin was the Cheshire cat). But I don't really like when a love triangle is set up before you even care about any of the characters--I can't be on Team Ash or Team Puck because I don't really care about either of them so far.
My take: Honestly, this book has one of the best covers I've seen in years. It totally drew me in from the minute I started to see the book reviewed o...moreMy take: Honestly, this book has one of the best covers I've seen in years. It totally drew me in from the minute I started to see the book reviewed on blogs. I was absolutely judging the book by it's cover. Once I read about the book on blogs, I knew I wanted to read it.
I was disappointed. The book is has some great ideas--a town that is both grateful to and terrified of the sidhe. The main character, Mackie, being unable to be around blood (a concept I haven't seen explored before but which makes perfect sense because of the iron). The idea of a changeling being totally accepted (and eventually loved) in a family. But it was a slow book. A really slow book. Most of those ideas were not fully explored. The "Underworld" portion of the town seemed remarkably cheesy to me and not nearly as scary as it was obviously supposed to be. Mackie was hard to relate to for me and kind of bland. I actually think secondary characters like Mackie's sister Emma, crush Tate, and friend Roswell were more interesting than the main character--never a good sign.
Keep reading the series? No. I will admire future covers though.