Lots and lots of build-up to a sort of fizzled-out ending, honestly. Felt like Grisham just got done with the characters and finished it up as quickly...moreLots and lots of build-up to a sort of fizzled-out ending, honestly. Felt like Grisham just got done with the characters and finished it up as quickly as possible.(less)
**spoiler alert** Hoo boy. This is one of those books where if you aren't the main couple, don't you dare have a crush on anyone, even for a second, o...more**spoiler alert** Hoo boy. This is one of those books where if you aren't the main couple, don't you dare have a crush on anyone, even for a second, or you are gone. Yeesh.
Also... Yeah. Sort of saw the ending coming. Though I don't think it was as obvious as it was in The Village film.
I like how Tris doesn't just get over the events of the first book. It is fairly realistic in her struggles. Her inability to hold a gun, her nightmares, recklessness. Yes, it can get annoying, but it makes sense.
Overall pretty good. Looking forward to the last book. (less)
Fairly good last installment of this series. I didn't find the extra stories at the end all that interesting, though. Just felt that they were unneede...moreFairly good last installment of this series. I didn't find the extra stories at the end all that interesting, though. Just felt that they were unneeded.(less)
While I saw the terms of the connection of Dace and Cade a thousand miles away, I did not see the ending of this book. Wow. The next book is going to...moreWhile I saw the terms of the connection of Dace and Cade a thousand miles away, I did not see the ending of this book. Wow. The next book is going to be interesting to read, and I really want to see what Noel is going to do next. This series is an improvement over her last foray into the Teen Paranormal Romance genre, and I'm glad of it.
Starting with the second part of the book, we start seeing the story unfold through both Daire and Dace's eyes. At first I was a bit wary, but it turned out rather well. The epilogue also uses this style, though with characters other than Daire and Dace included.
We get to see some new characters in this book, and I'm interested in seeing where they go, especially Phyre Youngblood, the daughter of a Doomsday preacher as well as Dace's old flame. I didn't see much of a point to her other than stirring up some trouble and taking Lita's old spot from the beginning of the first book as a mean girl type of character, but at the end of the book, we find out that there is more of a purpose to her, and I really hope we delve into that in the next book, as the little tidbit that we got during the epilogue gives much promise for her character.
I'm not quite clear on the whys of the condition of Dace and Cade's odd relationship, why Cade gets all of the benefits and Dace gets all of the drawbacks, and I hope that this is explained sometime in the next book. If not, I will be a bit disappointed.
**spoiler alert** This book was better than I thought that it would be.
I had some issues with the book, such as some typos/missing words, but for a s...more**spoiler alert** This book was better than I thought that it would be.
I had some issues with the book, such as some typos/missing words, but for a self-published book, there weren't too horribly many.
I had issues with some of Andi's personality, though, realized that this really was where a good chunk of girls in young adult fiction are going, and in some ways, sometimes actually act. Andi is one of those guilt-ridden, everything is my fault type of girls. She also has a weird love/hate relationship with her friend Bree, one minute singing her praises and wondering why such a boisterous wonderful person would deem fit to hang out with someone as lowly as Andi, and the next, she feels sorry for her friend, thinking that she (Andi) is her only friend. A little more clarity would be nice?
I do like that there are consequences in this book. Or at least, until the very end... In the middle, where Andi and Riley disappear for a weekend, Andi gets in huge trouble. Some books gloss over the punishment process, having the parents not care due to being extreme absentees or they just plain don't care. In this book, we get to see that Andi's parents do have personalities and care for Andi, and while Andi doesn't always appreciate it, they have her best interests in mind. There are no consequences talked about at the end of the book, when Andi was kidnapped by the cultists however, so, not sure about that.
I will say, the action during the last three or four chapters really made it impossible to put this book down.
Overall, I have to say that this was a decent read. Nothing too spectacular, but definitely a good book to read when you want a break from too much heavy reading. A different sort of young adult paranormal romance. Possibly best enjoyed if you turn off that part of your brain that screams for strong main female characters though.
*Edit: Just remembered a couple of things I had been wanting to say. First, I actually wouldn't mind reading a second book in this series. Again, loved it for the fact that I could just breeze through this and not really put too much effort in it. A good let your brain melt away book and sometimes you just need one of those once in a while.
Also, this might be one of the dumbest things to notice and comment on liking, but I did like that all of the chapters started with the letter 'C'. Do not ask me why.
Lastly, the references in this book. The '67 Impala and the two brothers that own it, the diary with the hole in the middle, the mispronunciation of Azathoth's name, and I think there was one more but I can't think of it right now. I was really not expecting to see a Supernatural reference in this book. I find it highly amusing to think of this story taking place in the same universe as Supernatural, Harry Potter, and Teen Titans. I cannot wait to read the fan-fiction that might spawn from those little crumbs.
**Edit: Another thing I remembered. Near the beginning of the book, Andi had drawn a picture of Riley in perfect detail, even though she can't draw normally. I thought there was going to be more of that in the book. Kind of wish that there was/it had been explained. Instead, it just fell of a cliff and was a dangling thread. *shrugs*(less)
I had so many issues with this book, mainly due to the cliche'd scenarios/descriptions at times and a lot of the relationship with Mels and Matthias f...moreI had so many issues with this book, mainly due to the cliche'd scenarios/descriptions at times and a lot of the relationship with Mels and Matthias feeling like a rehashing of Riley and Veck from the last book.
I believe I've mentioned this before, but I am really getting tired of Jim's obsession with Sissy. I am not interested in this bit of the story at all. I really am hoping that this plot thread will come to an end considering what happened at the end of the book, before the epilogue. (less)
This seems to be set around the same time as Ward's Lover Unleashed, which makes me really want to go back and skim through that book so that I know w...moreThis seems to be set around the same time as Ward's Lover Unleashed, which makes me really want to go back and skim through that book so that I know who of all from that book was in this one.
There were some noticeable typos in this volume, a couple that made me scratch my head, but for the most part, they didn't take away from what was happening in the book too much.
The story was a bit cliche', with some actions being so obvious it was sort of boring to read as the characters jumped through the predictable hoops. (less)
**spoiler alert** June 6 Update: Nope, nope. What started off as a fairly okay book, nothing stellar, but it wasn't all that bad to pass the time with...more**spoiler alert** June 6 Update: Nope, nope. What started off as a fairly okay book, nothing stellar, but it wasn't all that bad to pass the time with, has turned into an irredeemable pile.
The book was fine through the first half. Once Vegas was introduced, that is where the crazy train started and we got into crazy land. With Abby and Travis outrunning mobsters, the only point to that whole side story was to have Travis make a huge mistake and cause drama between the main couple and have Abby leave Travis. That is the only reason why that was introduced.
After that, it has been nothing but Abby and Travis fighting. Abby saying that she can't handle the thought of being the second to money with Travis the way she is with her father. I get that, fine. I understand that it is hard to stay away from someone that you really like even when you should really stay away from them. I know. But seriously? The way that Travis was acting, screaming and yelling and causing a raucous in her dorm and then outside of the cafeteria... how the heck did Travis not get arrested? Why did Abby not get a restraining order on him when he is so obviously stalking her?
Maybe a restraining order would have been too much at the point, but later on, it becomes apparent that that is the only safe way that she could have dealt with the situation.
He continually happens to show up where she is (of course, this is probably the Murphey's Law and Plot Convenience Fairy at work here) and he is always getting her to do whatever he wants. Abby has no freaking will of her own.
I can kind of get her helping out with Thanksgiving dinner after they broke up, it was more for his family than for Travis, but what happened during that visit? No. That was just... That was stupid. And I would have punched Travis in the gut for pulling that crap especially when he broke the conditions of the agreement that she would still help with Thanksgiving.
When Abby and America go to a club with Finch, they find their dance partners mysteriously disappearing. Turns out that Shepley and Travis had been yanking their dance partners by the collars and threatening them to keep them from dancing with "their girls." At this point in the story, Abby and Travis & Shep and America have broken up. They have no right to drag away their dance partners. The girls try to tell this to the guys, but they don't care. They just simply proclaim their love saying that they can't stand anyone dancing with their girl. America and Shep get back together. Abby and Travis do not.
We then go to the Hellerton chapter where Travis interrupts Abby's dinner with Parker. He tells Abby he has a fight and that he needs her there. Abby just gets up and leaves Parker at the table. ... I can't even say anything here, I just.... that's rude, plain and simple. You made plans with Parker beforehand, you don't just ditch the guy suddenly. So, long story short, Abby almost gets assaulted during Travis's fight and the four main characters end up going back to Shep and Travis's apartment. There, we find out that Travis had asked Abby to go to the fight because he wanted to show Parker that Abby was still his. I liked the analogy that Abby used. "I was nothing more than a water hydrant; he had marked his territory, and I had allowed him to do it." (Page 355) She then screams that she hates Travis and throws a shot glass at him.
Then we go to the Valentine's Day dance at the Frat House. Well, of course that will go swimmingly. Abby and Finch get drunk because they never wanted to go to the party to begin with. (Seriously, there is so much drinking in the second half of this book, how has no one gone to the hospital from alcohol poisoning?) As Abby is saying how glad she is that Travis didn't show up, guess who shows up? The Plot Convenience Fairy is at it again! Well, Travis goes nuts, to say the least, and is of course drunk, and he keeps pestering Abby about dancing. Abby is clearly not interested. She just wants to sit in the kitchen and be left alone. She eventually agrees to dance with someone, and then Travis goes nuts and threatens to rip the guy's throat out for dancing with his girl. She gets away from Travis and then starts dancing with other guys. Travis then grabs her off of the dance floor, throws her over his shoulder, with her screaming and yelling for help, and has the designated driver drive them to his apartment as she screaming for him to let her go as he has her wrists pinned and she is screaming to be let out of the car. The designated driver doesn't want to take them to the apartment until Travis threatens to maim him. Once at the apartment, he drags Abby up the stairs as she is still screaming for him to stop and then Travis throws her into his cousin's room. There, she informs him that she does not belong to him. He then screams at her, in all caps "Well, I belong to you!" and then he whispers it. And that is all it takes for her to kiss him.
At this point, I had to keep myself from ripping the book in half. And then tearing out the pages. And possibly setting them on fire.
First off. I love how everyone just ignores the screaming and crying woman who so obviously does not want to be carried off by the complete drunk who has her restrained. A woman who has been trying to get away from a guy all night, and everyone knows it, but they don't care. They even think it is funny. And I don't care. I know Travis is scary, but you call the cops when crap like that is going down and you don't just let your friend be taken away in that situation Finch and America. Even if you think that they have to work it out, you don't let that happen when both are obviously drunk and the guy is giving off serious rape tendency vibes, because that is what I was reading from his actions that whole way through.
Second. The whole attitude of Travis (and later Shep) when it comes to women. When it comes down to it, Travis is treating Abby more like a possession than an actual human being. If it was a choice of either having any male that you talk to beaten severely because Travis gets insecure or a one night stand with Travis where he doesn't give a crap about you the next day and the two of you can go on with your lives, the latter would probably be better. Abby essentially is only allowed to be around Travis's family and her gay friend. Though, at least one of Travis's brothers gets glares from Travis because he remarked that he thought Abby was good looking. Thus, he would beat down his own brother for looking at his girlfriend.
I just... I have Googled this book, and I have seen Travis Maddox appreciation posts and the like and I just... I can't see the attraction. Travis is a complete mess. He is overly possessive and terrifying, honestly.
I'm not saying that Abby is perfect. No. She should have told Travis how she felt after Thanksgiving. If she had done that, all of this stupidity after that would have been avoided. But no, she had to take what she thought was the high route and not tell him that she forgave him for him completely dismissing her feelings on a very serious issue. One that could have very put their lives at risk.
What these two lack very clearly is communication. Their relationship lacks this to an almost cartoon-ish quality.
Some other questions/comments about this book:
Maybe I just went to a very paranoid college, but we had keys for both the dorms and for the rooms. Same thing with a college that I stayed at for an art program in high school. Travis can run into Abby's dorm whenever the hell he wants and no one seems to have a problem with it. How the hell is he always getting into that dorm? Is he just always getting lucky and someone is always leaving at the same time that he is charging in? Once is lucky. Twice is coincidence. Three times, I call bullcrap.
Out of all of these characters, I probably like Kara, the grouchy roommate that no one is supposed to like most of all. She has a good reason to be grouchy. How the heck are you supposed to be able to study when your roommate constantly has this crazy dude breaking into your dorm room? Calling at all hours? Have a little respect for the girl Abby. Just because she doesn't want to be involved in your life doesn't mean that she is scum. It just means that you two aren't going to be best buds. Be considerate.
Anybody else see the parallel's between Benny and Adam in the Hellerton chapter? That was interesting to see. It will be interesting if that goes anywhere. Probably won't, but it would be interesting.
One thing that annoys me: You do not buy someone a puppy as a gift. How did Travis know that Abby wasn't allergic? Or terrified of dogs? Or that she would even be interested in one? You don't do that sort of thing. You ask someone if they would like a dog. If they say yes, you discuss it with them, look at different dogs. Pick one out that fits the person that is going to own it. You don't just pick the cutest little puppy in the whole place for your girlfriend and go "Look! Isn't he cute?!"
Overall, when the first chapter of a book that you are reading is titled "Red Flag" than that is probably a big red flag for you to put down the book and back away slowly. Wish I had figured that out.
Also, the entire back of the book sums up about the first... six chapters? Seriously, by the middle of the book I was just staring at the back cover going "Why didn't this make it into the back cover? I did not sign up for this!"
I am aware that some of this stuff is a bit petty, but I just... This book has gotten to the point where I'm just angry.
I do have to say something positive about this book, though. The author does know how to keep you interested. I have been hooked into this train wreck waiting to happen since page one and even when I found myself cringing beforehand I kept reading because there was always that hook that was dangled out in front of me.
I also can't say that this book is boring. Whether you will be on the edge of your seat in anticipation for the next juicy morsel or in the process of getting up to throw the book down once you finish it, you should not find yourself bored.
June 12 Update: So, finished this a couple of days ago. Just wanted to finish it in one more go because I couldn't deal with dragging it out anymore.
The end of the book... What? I guess the only point of that fire was to get Travis and Abby married, to get Abby to realize that she couldn't live without Travis, thus having her propose to him. I don't understand why they had to go to Vegas to get married. Maybe I'm wrong, but can't you go to a Justice of the Peace or something and have it done just as quickly, without the expensive plane tickets? Could of sworn you could just have a judge or something marry you with just a witness or two needed. Even if it is last minute.
The tattoo that she gets at the end... Well, at that point, I guess I just don't care anymore. I think that it might have made more sense for her to just have Travis's name on him, not Mrs. Maddox. And she pretty much said that she branded herself as his. That sounds more like she is treating herself as property than a human being. It bothers me. It just... does.
So, as I said, I'm pretty much done. It was fine for about the first five or six chapters, but after that, not so much.
I can't recommend this book. I really can't.(less)
I have to say, the beginning of this volume was a little weird with the sudden reveal with Kio. I think I need to re-read the 9th book, but I'm not su...moreI have to say, the beginning of this volume was a little weird with the sudden reveal with Kio. I think I need to re-read the 9th book, but I'm not sure if that will help. XD
There promises to be more stuff going on in the next volume, learning more about Seimei from some new characters introduced in this volume. Hopefully we will learn more next volume.(less)
I really loved this book. The story was well-written and during the climax of the story I was on the edge of my seat, needing to know what was going t...moreI really loved this book. The story was well-written and during the climax of the story I was on the edge of my seat, needing to know what was going to happen next.
De Lint's characters feel natural, like they could jump off the page and be someone that you yourself went to college with or met at the library, so on and so forth. They have flaws, they have regrets, that is one of the reasons I love his characters.
There is a lot of talk about art and writing in this book, which is needed as we go into the main character, Isabelle, apprenticing under Rushkin, a well-known painter in Newford. If the thought of hearing people talk about art and what it means bores you, this might not be the greatest book for you. I think you can still enjoy it, but possibly not as much as I did. I loved this book for that fact, and it really got me into gear to start working on my own art again, but again, everyone is different, and there are times that some of the things argued in this book or some of the ways that de Lint refers to art makes it feel like it is being put on a pedestal. And yet, not, at other times. It all depends on which character is speaking.
The last ten pages of the book had me in tears. Good tears, happy tears, but tears all the same. Seeing the characters through their journeys, and seeing where they all ended up, I felt really happy/sad for them. I was that invested.
Definitely a must-read for a fan of Charles de Lint. If you are a fantasy fan who enjoys art, I think you can enjoy this as well. If you aren't so much a fan of art, but still into fantasy, at least give it a try. It isn't all art, just be aware that there are going to be some conversations about it.(less)
This book has taken me forever to actually finish, partially due to the subject and also the times of very heavy military/political information that t...moreThis book has taken me forever to actually finish, partially due to the subject and also the times of very heavy military/political information that took a while to process.
Massie's approach to this subject was good. He brought the facts but also a human element. The only dry moments were during some of the explanations of the military tactics, but those didn't last too terribly long.
There isn't much to say, honestly. Massie started this project after looking up famous hemophiliacs after finding out about his own son's diagnosis of the disease. He stumbled upon the life of the Tsarevich and he was interest in the family grew from there. His writing gives the impression that he cares about the people that he is writing about and is really trying to understand the circumstances that they found themselves in.
Recommended for anyone interested in the Romanovs.
However, one thing to remember is that this book was published in 1967, and thus some new information has been discovered since then. I believe that Massie has written another book about the Romanovs since this one, so it might be a good idea to check that one out as well.(less)