In Daimon, the short story prequel, Alex’s mother was killed by a group of Strigoi daimons, but Alex was lucky enough to escape. At the beginning of H...moreIn Daimon, the short story prequel, Alex’s mother was killed by a group of Strigoi daimons, but Alex was lucky enough to escape. At the beginning of Half-Blood, she is found by Dimitri Aiden and other Guardians Sentinels and returned to the Covenant, where she hopes to continue her education. However, the dean is none too happy with her. She has lost three years of training and he thinks she shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin her classmates. Instead, he wants to give her the elixir which will turn her into a mindless slave for the Moroi Pures. Of course, Aiden steps up and offers to train her in his free time and because of his words, Alex is given a chance to prove that she can become just as good as the others by the end of the summer.
Relationships between Pures and Half-Bloods are strictly forbidden. Alex is a half-blood, try guessing what Aiden is! If they end up together and someone finds out, nothing will happen to Aiden because he’s a Pure, but Alex will be forced into slavery and will probably have to be a servant in her stepfather’s (who also happens to be a very powerful politician) house.
I think this book was some sort of an experiment: how much can an author take from another author and avoid being sued for plagiarism?! Jennifer Armentrout crossed the line considerably if you ask me. It’s true that we are used to YA paranormal literature being formulaic, but that’s not what this is about. Armentrout wasn’t just following the usual formula - more than half of this book is flat-out stolen. Far too many characters and situations were just copied from the Vampire Academy series to Half-Blood for it to be an accident. I can't help but wonder what this woman was thinking. She had too know how obvious it'll be.
Under normal circumstances, Half-Blood would have been a solid 4-star book for me. The characters are interesting enough, the world is well built, the plot is compelling and the writing itself isn’t half bad. But I can’t bring myself to reward Armentrout’s actions. If I do, if we all do, where will it end?
There are some differences between Half-Blood and Vampire Academy, especially in the second half. But by the time I reached those parts, I was already going back and forth from depressed to angry and I just couldn’t find it within myself to care.
Vampire Academy fans should read this out of sheer curiosity. I recommend borrowing it from the library or something because buying it means encouraging other thieves authors to do the same. I really don’t want to see The Panthers of Hope Falls on some shelf next year.(less)
Usually when I intend to review a book, I choose to wait a while, gather my thoughts, decide how I really feel and then start writing. Rose’s story wa...moreUsually when I intend to review a book, I choose to wait a while, gather my thoughts, decide how I really feel and then start writing. Rose’s story was overwhelming and I need to review it right away or I'll never sleep again. Somewhere around 70%, I fell in love with this book. Not that I didn’t like it before, I was pretty much drawn to the story from the very beginning, but that was when I decided that Anna Sheehan is a very, very good writer.
I think you all know the story by now. Rosalinda Fitzroy wakes up in a stasis tube in which her parents placed her 62 years ago. She is the sole surviving heiress to an interplanetary empire, a princess really, but that doesn't provide much comfort when everyone she ever knew, including her wonderful boyfriend Xavier, is dead. A few decades ago, during the Dark Times, the population was decimated by a plague indirectly caused by her father. The technology has advanced while she's been stassed, and everything else has moved forward as well, but Rose is still a just a frightened 16-year-old girl.
I’m sure hardcore sci-fi fans would find a million things wrong with Sheehan’s world, but I thought it was compelling and new. She gave us just enough information to provide a solid background and make everything function in a satisfactory way without including unnecessary details. She was able to focus on what I consider to be more important: her characters.
Rose is a very flawed character, especially at first. If you somehow manage to get past all the substantial but excusable character flaws, some of her actions will probably still drive you insane. Who leaves a dog alone for two weeks with an open bag of food “knowing that he can drink water from the toilet”? Most of her choices were maddening and she was infuriatingly selfish, but then she got close to Otto, a genetically engeneered, blue-skinned half alien, and my feelings for her changed. She obviously wasn’t too self-absorbed to recognize in him the need for understanding and acceptance and to give him that and more. In fact, all the problems I had with the first half of the book were successfully resolved in the second half. Instalove – properly explained. Rose’s self-deprecating attitude – justified.
At the risk of sounding prejudiced, I have to admit that the ending creeped me out a tiny bit. Up until the last few pages, I was pretty sure that my rating would be 4.5-stars, rounded up. But I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the way Sheehan decided to end some things, even though I should probably rise above my small-mindedness and accept it. It's probably me, not her. :D
I have a question for those of you who’ve read the story: am I the only one who kept picturing Arnold Schwarzenegger as Plastine?! He was very Terminator-like!
And finally, favorite quote, uttered by Otto in the middle of a very serious situation: Thank every god ever invented. (less)
487 pages of pure torture! What Alice Forgot was not at all what I expected. That should teach me never to read a book that hasn’t been rated by at le...more487 pages of pure torture! What Alice Forgot was not at all what I expected. That should teach me never to read a book that hasn’t been rated by at least one of my trusted friends. You see, I thought this would be a well written, intelligent, heartwarming story about a woman who loses ten years of her life, but finds some other, maybe even more valuable things instead. Obviously, I was very wrong. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t normally mind reading the Aussie version of a Maeve Binchy novel, but I DID mind reading a boring Aussie version of Tara Road.
In the beginning of What Alice Forgot, Alice is lying on the gym floor (Gym?! What's she doing in a gym? She hates that sort of thing!), surrounded by strange people who are asking all kinds of silly questions. The whole situation is pretty surreal since Alice has no idea how she got there in the first place! However, it takes more than that to upset her these days: she is only 29, she has a new house, an amazing sister who also happens to be her best friend, a baby on the way and a husband who tells her things like: “Don’t be ridiculous, you goose, you know I’m bloody besotted with you.” when she’s feeling insecure. One of them will surely arrive soon to take care of her. Now, if only these people around her would stop acting like they know her! The person they’re talking about can’t be Alice, because Alice is not having her 40th birthday party in a few days, she is not obsessed with exercise, she doesn’t have three children and she most certainly isn’t getting a divorce any time soon! Why would she? She and Nick are so happy together! Only half an hour later she’s in a hospital, her sister refuses to answer her calls, Nick is yelling at her from Portugal and a strange boy is calling her Mum. She has carelessly misplaced a decade of her life!
Sounds interesting, right? Yes, I thought so, too. Maybe it would have been if Liane Moriarty knew when to stop. 250 pages would have been more than enough for this story, the other 237 were completely unnecessary. I could go into details, but the thought of wasting another minute on this gives me a headache. I was just checking the other ratings for this book. It has 4.02 average rating so I guess that makes me the odd one out for wanting to give it one star. I only added the other one for those few laughs Moriarty managed to squeeze out of me.
This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting fo...moreThis is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue.
Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not. Not. I still don’t understand why these Guardians, werewolves, warriors, whatever you want to call them, would answer to a group of witches, allowing themselves to be controlled in such a horrible way. They can’t be dominant, Alpha, and submissive at the same time.
I love my shapeshifter books as long as they don’t break one simple rule: the author needs to explain clothes right away or I’m done. I don’t care what the explanation is: the clothes can magically appear, they can be hidden somewhere or people can just walk around naked, but I need to know. For the longest time in Nightshade, Calla kept changing forms in public without any mention of clothes. It was explained eventually, but by then I was too angry to even care.
You know how sometimes it seems, especially in books with a really strong plot (view spoiler)[think The Hunger Games(hide spoiler)], that the love triangle was thrown in afterwards, probably to satisfy the publisher’s demand? Well, in this case, I’m betting there was an editor somewhere along the line who said: “Wait just a second, Ms. Cremer. This book needs an actual plot! It can’t ALL be just Calla going from Ren to Shay and back.” And so she was forced to add this plot she probably deemed unnecessary and even damaging to her beautiful love triangle drama.
The love triangle was painful to endure. Calla is a terrible, selfish character with double standards, Shay is mostly just pathetic and Ren is blind to it all. Of course, if I had to choose, I’d choose Ren in a second because he has that sexy name going for him and he occasionally shows some backbone, which is more than I can say for either Calla or Shay.
As Lora pointed out in her comment, the ratings are all over the place. It’s quite possible that some of you will find this story interesting and enjoyable. Many of my friends did. But if you don’t like love triangles, stay far, far away from this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm very, very sorry, my dear GR friends. I had every intention of finishing this book, if only to be able to write a decent review. But I would rathe...moreI'm very, very sorry, my dear GR friends. I had every intention of finishing this book, if only to be able to write a decent review. But I would rather eat it than listen to another minute of it. I think it just might be the worst book I've read (or tried to read) this year.
Now, I know there's been a lot of talk about plagiarism and stuff, but I don't care about any of that. I don't even see most of the similarities people keep pointing out. I was actually looking forward to this book! I thought the first three books were readable and even enjoyable at times. But CoFA is not readable, it's terrible!! Clary doesn't have a personality, Jace has developed a martyr complex, and Simon is the biggest coward in the whole wide world. The plot is nonexistent. They all just keep making seroiusly stupid choices and avoiding each other in the process.
A song kept playing in my head during this torture. It was Serve the Servants by Nirvana. Remember that one?! Teenage angst has paid of well. Now I'm bored and old. If you Google it, you will find thousands of discussions on the real meaning of those first lines, but Cassandra Clare is the only one who took them literally. Kurt Cobain's voice probably haunted her after she finished her trilogy and she suddenly decided she didn't want to be bored and old any more. She chose to milk the same cow a little while longer, so she wrote a fourth book in the trilogy (view spoiler)[I know it's ridiculous, believe me. But at least she stopped calling it a trilogy! (hide spoiler)], not caring at all that she would make a complete fool out of herself. We, on the other hand, have proved once again that we are her humble servants. She served us a pile of crap and we bought it. Literally.
What it comes down to is this: I can say anything I want about Cassandra Clare and City of Fallen Angels, but I paid good money for this audiobook so I guess the joke is on me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's very hard to like a book when you hate the main character. Joseph O’Loughlin is a shining example of everything I despise. He is self-centered, w...moreIt's very hard to like a book when you hate the main character. Joseph O’Loughlin is a shining example of everything I despise. He is self-centered, whiny, deceitful, unprofessional and weak. In short, he’s a lying, cheating bastard.
Postmodern fiction is full of antiheroes, but most of them have one redeeming quality you can hold on to. Joe has none. Robotham stripped him of anything a reader could like. The only thing left is the fact that he has Parkinson’s desease. I’m ashamed to admit there were times when I thought he deserved it.
The killer was pretty much clear all along, but his reasons weren’t, and that kept me guessing the entire time. I must have changed my mind a million times. The twist ending came as a bit of a surprise – I knew there was a second killer, but I had no idea who it was.
This would have been a solid four-star book for me, except that there were times when I couldn’t concentrate on the mystery because I was busy imagining hundred different ways to hurt Joe O’Loughlin! That’s also the reason why I won’t be reading the rest of the series. I just can’t force myself to spend another minute with the man.
(view spoiler)[I was SO angry with Joe’s wife for taking him back in the end! She should have thrown his self-indulgent ass out! Not only did he cheat on Julianne, but it was his stupidity and cowardice that got poor Elise killed. (hide spoiler)]
Read-along adventures with 365andMe are always so much fun! Thank you! We should do it again real soon. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later: an Aussie YA novel I didn’t enjoy at all! In fact, if not for my two wonderful readalong partners who ma...moreWell, it was bound to happen sooner or later: an Aussie YA novel I didn’t enjoy at all! In fact, if not for my two wonderful readalong partners who made the experience not only bearable, but extremely fun, I would have given up after a hundred pages or so.
Ava’s parents are supposedly very liberal, and her girlfriend Chloe has an owerpowering personality. Together they’re pushing Ava into an alternative lifestyle she secretly hates. Oddly enough, all Ava wants is to wear pink and sing in a musical. She decides to move to a new school, where she plans to find a way of joining the in crowd, or Pastels, as she calls them. However, that doesn’t turn out so well for Ava. Instead of getting the role she wanted in the school musical, she ends up working with the stage crew, a group of misfits led by a boy named Sam. She ends up balancing three different lives and three different personalities, none of which are compatible with the others.
Characterization is where Wilkinson failed spectacularly. Having read A Pocketful of Eyes first, I knew that she was more than capable of creating more interesting and complex characters, which is why I have to conclude that she did this on purpose. But why? Every character in Pink is a walking stereotype: we have Ava’s intellectually snobbish girlfriend Chloe, playing the role of a lesbian feminist; Ava’s parents, so obsessed with being tolerant that they end up not tolerating anything mainstream; Alexis, the shallow blonde, perfect in everything she does; a gay friend, a secretly gay friend, a friend embarrassed by his rich parents, and in the end, Ava herself, completely devoid of personality.
Ava is one of the most self-centered, infuriating characters I’ve ever stumbled upon. The series of disastrous decisions she made in such a short period of time nearly drove me insane. Stories about personal growth by definition introduce a character that makes poor choices at the beginning, but finds a way to redeem himself/herself by the end. After one particularly bad decision, I’m afraid Ava reached the point of no redemption in my eyes.
Unfortunately, I doubt that I’ll be reading any more of Wilkinson’s novels. After reading two of them, I can honestly say that she’s not an author whose work I enjoy. (less)
I believe that, consciously or unconsciously, every author has a list of priorities he/she keeps in mind when writing a book. I know that ev...more2.5 stars
I believe that, consciously or unconsciously, every author has a list of priorities he/she keeps in mind when writing a book. I know that every reader has priorities/expectations/preferences when choosing what to read. Unfortunately, Moira Young’s priorities and mine are very, very different.
To be perfectly fair here, she didn’t write this book for me. She wrote it for teenagers who have a hard time focusing on anything for too long. And I have to give it to her, the book is an attention gripper from start to finish. It will entertain you as long as you don’t think too hard about it. Because once you start thinking, it all goes down the drain. I also think that Blood Red Road was written for people who need to visualize something clearly in order to enjoy it. I’m not one of those people. I have to feel and then feel some more, and the only thing Saba made me feel was annoyance.
There were so many inconsistencies in Saba’s character. Her life was described as completely isolated, from when she was born until the men showed up and took her twin brother away, shortly after their 18th birthday. Her mother died giving birth to her younger sister Emmi, and for the first 18 years of her life, the only people Saba ever talked to were her father and her brother Lugh. She mostly ignored poor Emmi. Knowing that, her understanding of people’s nature and behavior later in the book really bothered me. She was too insightful for someone who had no experience with other people. I thought about it a lot last night, and then this morning, entirely by accident, I stumbled upon a blog post written by Ann Aguirre in which she addressed this very issue. Her character Deuce (Enclave) also grew up pretty isolated, in a small community that lived underground. Ann was asked about the much hated love triangle she included in the book. This was (part of) her answer:
Her (Deuce's) emotional intuition is pretty close to nonexistent, and she misses cues that seem obvious to us because she's very underdeveloped in that regard. Yes, it's obvious to us that Fade digs her and that Stalker does too, and that by training with him, she's making Fade think she doesn't like him. But Deuce doesn't think in those terms. Stone and Thimble were her closest friends in brat-hood, and she never encountered an either/or situation with them. And that's really her primary source of social experience. She has no romantic history whatsoever.
And that's why Aguirre is one of my favorite authors. If an author wants me to really understand the character, he/she must do the same first.
I know many people had problems with the dialect that was used in this book, but for me, that was the best part. It was extremely well done, very consistent, and it made the rest a little more bearable.
I can’t really recommend this book, but considering how most of my friends rated it, I can’t not recommend it either. All I can say is that I won’t be continuing the series. (less)
First of all, let me just say that reading this as an ebook is a crime against literature and should be punis...moreEach time someone dies, a library burns.
First of all, let me just say that reading this as an ebook is a crime against literature and should be punished as such. The edition I’m holding resembles a diary with its worn cover, wonderful illustrations, little handwritten notes, blue ink and a rubber band holding it all together. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the prettiest book I’ve ever seen. If you can’t get your hands on a paper edition, wait until you do or you’ll be robbing yourself of the most wonderful experience.
Second, I think it’s safe to say that this book isn't for everyone. The mixed reviews have already proven as much. Many of you would probably be severely irritated by this dreamlike experience. Besides, a lot of people find Lennie to be quite unlikeable and I must admit that I can see why. She makes so many horrible mistakes. She is lost, insecure, her actions can often be interpreted as selfish and she is very skilful in telling lies. If that’s all someone can see in her, there’s no reason to even try to like her. But I saw a different layer of her character, one that is confused, scared and alone and it didn’t take long for her to win me over.
I put aside for a moment the fact that I’ve turned into a total strumpet-harlot-trollop-wench-jezebel-tart-harridan-chippy-nymphet because I’ve just realized something incredible. This is it - what all the hoopla is about, what Wuthering Heights is about – it all boils down to this feeling rushing through me in this moment with Joe as our mouths refuse to part. Who knew all this time I was one kiss away from being Cathy and Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet and Lady Chatterley!?
Writing a plot summary or trying to explain The Sky Is Everywhere in any way would probably do more harm than good. If I tried to write about Lennie’s story, about her sister Bailey who died of arrhythmia while rehearsing for the role of Juliet, I’d be running the risk of making this book sound so ordinary. The Sky Is Everywhere is nothing short of extraordinary in every way that counts.
Joe… must I go there?! I’m trying to be an adult here, a serious, calm, respectable adult. But Joe can take that away in a second and turn me into a useless, gushing teenager with his joeliciousness, his musicality, his gentleness, his humor, his boldness and his Frenchness and those damn eyelashes. Bat. Bat. Bat. *swoon*
The secondary characters are just as amazing: the hippie Gram who grows flowers famous for their aphrodisiac powers, the five-times-married-five-times-divorced uncle no woman can resist and the sweet and charming brothers Fontaine. They all had a huge part in making this story so special, so unlike any other story I’ve ever read.
And Jandy Nelson, where on earth did you come from?!? Your writing is like this huge energy ball that found its place in my stomach and just exploded over and over and over again, making me cry, laugh or jump with excitement, turning me into whatever you wanted me to be at that particular moment. You had a remote control for my moods and you weren’t afraid to use it and for that you have my eternal love and respect. Yes, I had a Maggie-sized hole in my heart and yes, I thought you might fill it for a second, but instead I ended up with a Maggie-sized hole and a Jandy-sized hole right next to it. You are nobody’s replacement, lady. You are far too good for that.
I will shut up now and try to preserve some semblance of dignity.
Oh, but I forgot my favorite quote: This is our story to tell. He says it in his Ten Commandments way and it hits me that way: profoundly. You’d think for all the reading I do, I would have thought about this before, but I haven’t. I’ve never once thought about the interpretative, the storytelling aspect of life, of my life. I always felt like I was in a story, yes, but not like I was the author of it, or like I had any say in its telling whatsoever. You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It’s your solo. (less)