Crusade (Book 1) Author: Nancy Holder (Website) and Debbie Viguié (Website) Release Date: 9/7/10 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Age Group: Young Adult (14Crusade (Book 1) Author: Nancy Holder (Website) and Debbie Viguié (Website) Release Date: 9/7/10 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Age Group: Young Adult (14+) Source: Bought (Borders) Go Buy It! Amazon/Borders Rating: ☺☺☺☺☺ -Absolutely phenomenal. Mind-boggling!
"The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.
For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain's Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.
Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself—and her heart."
Plot & Ending: Whoa. My mind is still reeling. Let me just say, that I have never in all my years read a novel quite like Crusade. Absolutely never. I loved Wicked, I did, I have it sitting on my book shelf also, but this...wow.
The novel begins with a journal entry written by Jenn Leitner, the heroine. In this opening chapter she explains two key things: (1) The vampires in the world have emerged unexpectedly and are slowly taking over the world, influencing several countries and (2) Jenn Leitner, and her team, are a group of hunters whose mission is to destroy the Cursed Ones, or vampires.
Readers will be thrust into a freakin' intense, ass-kicking fighting scene that blew me away. The characters introduce themselves as well.
After each section of the book, my mind was thinking at a pace of a million miles a minute and my knees were shaking. When I'm reading, I'm known to talk out loud and vividly express myself. Reading Crusade...my mouth did not form a single syllable. I was so completely, utterly engrossed in this new world, I didn't even notice my surroundings. Once I surfaced after reading a section, it took me a moment to realize just where I was.
The thing is, what made the world of Crusade seem so real was the vampires' effect on the various governments, especially the United States government. I felt like I could be any one of those civilians Holder and Viguié wrote about, dealing with this new, frightening threat.
Again, 'whoa' for the ending. While I expected what happened to Jenn's sister in the end, it did not take away from the impact of the situation. There's so much death in this novel, a lot of sadness and betrayal. Not that it's morbid and dismal necessarily, but it's definitely...gruesome, I guess.
I absolutely, 100% recommend this book. Especially if you liked/loved Wicked. Otherwise, you'll be missing out on a great novel...though if you can't withstand the...creepiness of it, then I would advise you not to read this alone, in the dark, or right before you go to sleep, because it will certainly give you some interesting things to think/dream about.
Characters: Holder's and Viguié's characters are fathomless. Each one of the main characters is haunted by something. Could be the past, a secret, or what they are. There's so much feeling involved. One thing I delighted in, even in Wicked, is the varying backgrounds and eccentricities behind each character. I adored each one of them, even Jamie.
"It is a crusade, at least for most of us. A holy cause. We are dedicated to it. We will give our lives for it. We fight for the idealism of the young and the struggle with the emotions and confusions of growing up at the same time. For us love and hatred can spin into life or death, especially for me, Jenn Leitner.
And for some of us, death can never come. Which means this war can rage on...forever. --from the diary of Jenn Leitner" --Jenn (356)
Cover: Oh my gosh. This cover *lovingly caresses the front of purchased copy* ...it's beautiful. Look at the gate, the intensity of the tableau behind it. If I had just walked into a book store and walked passed this book, I would've stopped to check it out under the impression that the book would be awesome. Oh, goodness, and the blood. It makes an impact, I tell you. I'm so very, extremely ecstatic about having this book on my shelf. And you can too. Go buy it and read it! You'll see what I mean.
my thoughts in a few sentences: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf was a striking surprise, a contemporary reRating: Sud-Kissed Source: NetGalley
my thoughts in a few sentences: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf was a striking surprise, a contemporary read that reaches in and filleted my heart with slashing memories and circumstances that aggravate frustrated tears until they were falling everywhere. Have you ever watched the movie for or read the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson? The searing frustration on behalf of Melinda directed at the few people in her life who judge, mistreat, and refuse to believe her came rushing back to me in Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf. Allie’s telling quiet, instinctive flinches, and disloyal "friends" and family who have looked the other way while she was cut down and broken up in so many ways ignited my already boiling emotions to brimming. A gripping story with an engaging mystery, rending moments, and precious characters, Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf is a wonderfully-written and brutal tale of secrets refusing to stay under and a girl with nothing left but to move forward.
my thoughts in a few sentences:Shadow and Bone is the book I couldn’t get out of my headRating: Special Shelf Source: NetGalley/Requested Physical ARC
my thoughts in a few sentences:Shadow and Bone is the book I couldn’t get out of my head once it arrived on my doorstep, the one I badly wanted to read, and all others I had tried to start suffered because of this hunger for a story that was not them. Finally, I gave up reluctance and waiting and picked it up on a late evening, and my eyes were dry, sore, and brutally red, but firmly aware, by the time I looked up from the final page only to note that dawn was coming. My internal clock didn’t feel the blows until long after because the story, even after the pages relented and Bardugo’s own siren song buried in her beautiful story, which had called me back, faded, my mind was still trapped in the memory of absorbing the events on each page. I haven’t been so thoroughly captured in a long time.
My Thoughts: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* Dead Beautiful truly lives up to its name... The story itself is fascinating, ingenious really! I lovedMy Thoughts: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* Dead Beautiful truly lives up to its name... The story itself is fascinating, ingenious really! I loved learning about Gottfried Academy, the myths, the history behind its founders and the reason for its opening... Basing the story around the Latin language, referring to it as "The Dead Language" and its significance to the story was intriguing in itself... Fitting the pieces together that make up the story was a fantastic process, simply because while you thought you pieced the whole big, seemingly unsolvable mystery behind the plot, new variables and uncovered information popped up, preventing the reader from truly grasping the entirety of the puzzle before the author was ready. Woon's descriptiveness, her imagery evoked wonder and amazement, granting me a clear picture of all that surrounded Renee. But, that was where my fascination ended...
Renee as a heroine didn't bode well with me. There was no connection between her and I. She didn't provoke any feelings of sympathy, happiness, or any real solid or tangible emotion. Instead, she basically annoyed me. She was really all about herself: finding out more about Dante, spending time with Dante, discovering the secrets lurking behind her parents deaths and the correlation to other student's deaths who died similarly. Never once did she show genuine concern about her other friends, the ones back home or the new ones she made at the academy. They were more like her personal walking sound boards, where she could dump her feelings and thoughts on them, but never consciously willing to return the favor. I'll be honest, that alone annoyed the hell out of me. The fact that her parents died right in the early chapters of the story, and that she was the one who located their bodies, didn't make me feel sorry for her, upset, or any other emotions really. Because there simply was no connection. Zip. Nada. I didn't get how she was feeling, being that I couldn't relate to her, and ultimately couldn't form a relationship with while reading as her story unfolded.
And Renee wasn't the only character I felt a sense of disconnect with. Her other friends, Eleanor, Nathaniel, and Annie, didn't scream, Know me! Love me! Hate me! When I meet new characters, I like to feel something for them. Anything. (Apart from annoyance, obviously.) If the bad guy's bad, I want to dislike him/her, get angry at him/her. And vice versa. And like with Renee's friends, I couldn't care less about the bad guys because of that automatic detachment. Worse yet, I didn't care too much about the good guys, so why would it matter if the villains hurt them? I didn't feel attached to any of them, so why be upset if something goes wrong for the good guys? So, while the cast in this book was developed, I wouldn't sat they are enjoyable or necessarily fun to read about.
Even Dante, while ethereally beautiful, sadly, was not everything I had hoped. And I don't think he did anything wrong... But, again, there was this disconnect from me the reader and him. I didn't really learn about him, there wasn't much of a personality to him to fall for. So, I guess that explains why I didn't fall head over heels for him like I was so expecting to! Many times, when I read, there's that magical, instant love that takes place between the two main characters. And while that's fine and dandy, and I believe it exists, I want to see these characters fall for what's inside too. Know each other. Talk to each other. Connect. And even though along the way they might have in the array of conversations they have that the reader isn't privy to, that's just it. I want to be aware of them getting to know each other. That's probably the best part of a romance. It's definitely great to read about the mind-boggling, soul-searing kisses/makeout sessions/hot embraces, but in reality, a full on relationship doesn't last, doesn't survive on that alone... I need a little realism to my romance, so sue me!
The ending was... really bizarre. I must admit I'm at the point of confusion intermingled with dissatisfaction. (SPOILERY!) So, Dante could resist kissing Renee, but she can't? And he wants to die for her, wasting the soul she just went through serious pains to give? Seriously?
I mentioned that Dead Beautiful firmly lives up to its name. Because it did. While the plot and the storyline were fantastic and beautifully written, the other aspects of it that would have made it great were flat, rendering it an okay read.
"'Why do you keep staring at me?' she muttered under her breath. Her voice was soft and low, and I was surprised by how forthright she was. How could I not stare at her? Even here, the afternoon sun shone through the glass ceiling, illuminating her face in a warm, rosy light, as if she were an otherworldly being, something sent to me by fate. No, she could never know that I had watched her, wanted her, loved her from that very moment" (448).
Too perfect. Those are the best two words I can muster to summarize the whole experience. And, unfortunately, that did set me back some. The lack of tToo perfect. Those are the best two words I can muster to summarize the whole experience. And, unfortunately, that did set me back some. The lack of true conflict in the characters, the almost cliche character growth, and the instalove romance, while adorable, the chemistry basically believable, has a giant absence of real turbulence in the relationship, which morphed this story into a mostly surface read, a cute romance to warm the heart that missed the mark in being genuinely, unquestionably profound. And that struck me as Blue Sky Days' biggest issue. Although, Blue Sky Days has select scenes that properly evoked emotion (I mean, I cried), there isn't a natural flow that creeps into the heart and grants a full-on picture of raw and true emotion. Landry had the pieces, but I kept feeling as if they didn't quite fit in that beautifully, just-right sort of perfect way that makes a novel a grand addition to our bookshelves.
We sense emotions whipping and tumbling under the surface of the main character, Emma, and through her inner turmoil, it's easy to become sympathetic to her plight. However much we've been exposed to it in other main characters we've run across before. But from the moment Emma walks through her Aunt Daisy's door, there never seems to be that required authenticity to make every character entirely believable. We have a difficult time buying into everyone's endless easygoing nature, because, let's face it, we all have bad days. That's what makes us human. Instead, we are merely given simple characters that don't quite leap off the page. Mild interest is sparked when we meet the remaining cast members of the book, as we know that we're not going to receive any reactions and encounters and emotions true to human nature. And while we may fall in love with Noah, the romantic lead, he too never strikes us as anything other than imaginable. A product of pure fiction too perfect to ever really exist. Where are his flaws?
The conflict of cancer is a scary leap in the story. Though, the characters handle the ensuing events with equally scary grace that doesn't feel very genuine or completely suitable to the situation. Even as we pour tears for Nicholas' fate, we wish to feel a deeper pain, one that rips us of our hearts and shatters us as powerfully as the other novels who've tackled the same plot dilemma. And with a sweet, however predictable ending, Blue Sky Days is another novel that perfectly depicts the true meaning of its Guilty Pleasure rating. A novel that needs much more substance, Marie Landry's Blue Sky Days is a better start to a writing career than most, but failed to incite spectacular emotion and a memorable aftertaste.
I can't believe how disappointing this book was for me. Maybe I'd let my expectations run a little too high, but what I thought was going to be an innI can't believe how disappointing this book was for me. Maybe I'd let my expectations run a little too high, but what I thought was going to be an innovative and incredible Arthurian-based story turned out to be about a "forbidden love" that made this book into a forgettable, unpleasant read. This book focuses on an instaluv romance that did nothing for me, and instead furthered my dislike of this book. I felt deceived by the time I was done, frustrated and baffled. The Forest of Adventures has the potential to be a great story had the author paid more attention to exerting the world-building she'd done beautifully, thoroughly, and the development of the characters. The Forest of Adventures is alternatively just another insufficient romance-driven novel.
I can't tell you how let down I felt by this book. In the occasional faerie books you get mentions of King Arthur, his court, and his knights, but rarely a well-done story that focuses primarily on that. So when I happened upon this book due to a friend, I was excited as hell. Then reading the book I found out I was disillusioned all along. This opening book has nothing whatsoever to do with the legend itself, apart from the related world-building and side characters, but the MC's "love" for one of the Arthurian Knights. *head-desk* I confess, I was bored out of my mind. All Mina thinks about is how beautiful and gorgeous he is and blah blah blah. Mina herself treats her so-called best friends and boyfriend like crap, utterly carelessly as soon as this Blake character waltzes into her life. I could detest her for her narration and actions.
But, really, who the heck is Mina Singer?
Even in light of the first-person POV I had absolutely no freaking clue who she is, apart from her Bella Swan Obsession with Blake. Other than her innate jerkiness, I discovered nothing about her, made no connection with her. Same goes for Blake. So he's an Arthurian Knight descended from a rather famous one, travels through the Realm, and lives with a *SORTA SPOILERY* contemporary depiction of The Lady of the Lake. But who is Blake the person? Other than Mina's constant reference to his good looks and some of his evident humor in the dialogue, Blake Beldivere is a relative stranger. So how could I have been expected to fall in love with this guy, this romance between two strangers who barely know themselves?
Random and oddly placed moments in the book where some Arthurian-ish scenes take place aside, there is nothing very relevant to what's described in the summary. Then, the villain, oh the villain. Morgan le Fay has such promise. She's a dark, twisted character and could have been EPIC. But, no, alas, she's only a magically-inclined, vindictive woman hell-bent on making Blake hers. WHY? Maybe it's just me, but I've always felt that Morgan In The Legend was a Take Over the World Like Voldemort kind of person. John's depiction did little for me, and that glimmer of coolness in the character that I saw in the beginning of the book slowly fades away as it progresses, which ended in me shaking my head in distaste.
The ending may have actually been the worst part for me. I was confused and irritated. And frankly, I didn't care about the characters so why would I care how it ended?
So, plainly speaking, I really did NOT like The Forest of Adventures, as it's a flavorless Arthurian adaptation starring a flat heroine who engages in a poorly drawn out, detestable instaluv-esque romance that only serves to promote disinterest and failed to motivate me to read the rest of the series....more
If the Capulets and the Montagues had been mobsters or thugs, and these mobsters were the political superstars of Manhattan, we would've instead had tIf the Capulets and the Montagues had been mobsters or thugs, and these mobsters were the political superstars of Manhattan, we would've instead had the Roses, a family to which Aria Rose belongs, and the Fosters, the family of her alleged long-time lover and present fiance, Thomas. The problem with that last bit is that Aria wakes up one day and remembers nothing. She has a giant hole in her memory spanning who knows how long and has been told that she underwent a procedure to save her from ODing on a special mystic drug. Only, when she meets Thomas, a seed of doubt is planted, because her feelings for him are nothing like she imagined they would be. Even more suspicious is that the families' feud--which had been underfoot for generations--has now ended... over her romance? Forgive Aria (and myself), if she's a little wary and suspicious.
And that was the biggest draw. The Romeo and Juliet undertones, the big mystery overlapping the plot related to Aria's lost memory and her real secret lover. The mystics and their desire to be treated as equal, and the magic that is associated with them. A near-apocalyptic New York in a city called Aeries floating over a futuristic Manhattan.
Where things got screwy was about halfway into the book. Initially, we are introduced to Aria's enigmatic rescuer after an attempted assault in the ghetto of her world. And he seems like everything I'd want in a love interest, striking, flawed, sexy, and, of course, mysterious. He even ACTS the part. And then when next we meet, his personality is totally different and he's abruptly at ease with Aria with no explanation. Of course, we've already pieced together his true identity and connection to Aria's life, but his character is so inconsistent. Add to that, the romance had to be one of the cheesiest I've read. Cleverly, Lawrence tries to escape the trap of instalove by eventually giving us their history. But this fails, because Aria and Hunter aren't a lovable pairing, where we bask in their chemistry and come alive reading their kisses. And, to top it off, it's Romeo and Juliet-themed, a romance (if you could call it that) I was never fond of. Ultimately, there was just no substance to it, and though the mystery of Aria's secret love began as intriguing, the romance fit in kind of randomly.
The one thing this book had going for it is the world-building, though I wish more of it had been explained. Still, it's magical and vibrant for the imagination. And the rift between the mystics and the higher-ups, the Foster supporters and Rose supporters, has a palpable effect, riddled with tension. If this aspect had been the main focus, and Aria wasn't so dense as to piecing together the truth, I might've enjoyed this book a lot more.
That being said, I had no real feelings toward Aria. I neither liked nor disliked her. I could only feel occasional irritation at her sappy comebacks with regards to the romance and her slow revelations about the loss of her memory. The only detail we really received about her personality is her compassion, and even that feels like just a move to make her likeable instead of feeling natural and innate.
MYSTIC CITY by Theo Lawrence didn't lose anymore stars because, in spite of all that I disliked about it, I still felt compelled to finish the book and mildly interested in the direction of the overarching plot of the series. However, I'm sorely disappointed with this book, and I don't think I'll be continuing the series.
Rating: Eye-Catcher Source: Won from publisher via Goodreads
A ridiculously pointless story
You guys, Drain You by M. Beth Bloom is four hundred pages ofRating: Eye-Catcher Source: Won from publisher via Goodreads
A ridiculously pointless story
You guys, Drain You by M. Beth Bloom is four hundred pages of wasted time. And you know how sometimes when you’re doing pointless, wasteful things you’re pretty entertained but you also know that you could be doing something way more useful, interesting, and fulfilling with your time? That’s exactly what reading Drain You by M. Beth Bloom felt like. At points, there are moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, but mostly it’s a silly, structure-less story with a rather disturbing main character, bland love interest, and an even terribly stranger slew of secondary characters who are supposed to act as friends and family. At times it was easy to get confused by the overly expressive writing style that talked about too many things at once.
At the root of it all, Drain You by M. Beth Bloom is a dated paranormal book with awful Twilight qualities. It’s a useless, meaningless story that gave me a few laughs, sure, but bored me to skimming for most of it. I had to take several breaks from the story and then talk myself into jumping back in to the ridiculousness of the whole thing.
Some people might enjoy it
Let’s get something straight—I’m an avid paranormal romance reader. Vampires, witches, faeries, you name it, I’m excited. I’m also REALLY into Twilight—ask anyone that knows me. So of course I was thrilled to see Drain You by M. Beth Bloom pitched as a cross between a popular 90s show and Twilight, and yet it seemed to have taken characteristics of both and created a horribly unusual mess with them. The story is a pale, ludicrous imitation of either reference. Drain You by M. Beth Bloom is one of those novels that can force you into being tired of the vampire trend, that reminds you why you despise instalove (James is DEFINITELY not Edward Cullen material). It seems as if the story was written in the moment as a way to pass the time. There’s no structure to the story, everything is as lax and disjointed as the main character, Quinn, who disturbed me and annoyed me more than anything else.
But, if you’re into the kind of a story that has pops of humor and has no sense of order to the plot, then this might be more your style. Drain You by M. Beth Bloom basically chronicles Quinn hanging out with herself, odd people who eventually become her friends, and the romance—if you can actually call it that—between her and this mysterious (creepy) vampire who strolls into her life at random moments.
Some may like Quinn, enjoy her humor and appreciate her oddness. I, however, was frustrated with her as well as the rest of the senseless story.
It was a VERY impressively difficult struggle to get through this book. What’s more intriguing about this, however, is how and why I actually managed to completely read it. I will cop to skimming several pages at a time, but not enough where I missed out on something major—which, to me, demonstrates how unnecessary a lot of the story is. But, yes, I finished this book and it’s still a bit of a shock to me, because normally reads like this are quickly and happily DNFed.
And yet, I can’t explain what propelled me to continue. Maybe it was because of the humor or maybe simply because I didn’t want to stop after getting so far into it. Or maybe it did hold some level of interest for me. Ultimately, though, the ending is as disappointing and pointless as the rest of it. I unrepentantly declare Drain You by M. Beth Bloom a giant waste of my time.
Faster, Less Detailed Review: Misguided Angel is an intense fifth installment to the Blue Bloods Series, filled with new dilemmas; lRating: ☺☺☺☺- Intense!
Faster, Less Detailed Review: Misguided Angel is an intense fifth installment to the Blue Bloods Series, filled with new dilemmas; lots of suspicion; answer-seeking missions; significant legacies; dangerous, abrupt murders; seven demon-proofing gates of Hell; and...the Petruvian Order. Fans will love this severely action-packed fifth book and the blend of old and new characters coming forth, and will find that that Melissa De La Cruz did not disappoint. Summary of the book☆Blue Bloods Site☆Analyze Your Blood Quiz As an avid Blue Bloods fan, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of it's fifth successive novel. The first thing I said when I gazed down at the book in my hands was, "Oh, the cover! I could cry!" It's so, so pretty. I love when angel wings are placed on a cover; I just have this thing for 'em.
Reading the Blue Bloods series has always proven to be an adventure for me. I never know where Melissa De La Cruz is going to take me next! And to me, unpredictability is a good thing. Her plot lines are always intricate, yet somehow they are all braided together, and you can find their shared connection easily. It all goes back to something, some mystery or unanswered question.
Opening up with Jack and Schuyler was perfect! I utterly adore this star-crossed couple. The first chapters display their current relationship, how they are working things through, and how much they still need to work out. And, more importantly (at least for some), the status of Schuyler carrying out the legacy bestowed to her by her grandfather, Lawrence Van Allen. To see their struggles so early in the book grabbed me and pulled me in to the story.
Seeing Mimi and all her selfish, superficial glory was wonderful! I love Mimi, surprisingly. I don't typically like her kind of character. You know, the gorgeous, shallow, blond goddess of society type. But, despite the flaws in her personality, I think she's probably one of the best, one of the most well-developed characters of the story. She has so many layers. She can be cold and mean. Or genuine and kind. Selfish or caring. It all depends with Mimi. It's like rolling di, you never know what digits you're going to get. Then, most unexpected is her ever-growing friendship with Oliver, of all characters! I thought they would forever be at each other's throats, so it was quite funny, for me, to watch that change, watch a bond of friendship be formed, especially considering their circumstances with Jack and Schuyler respectively. (Spoiler Alert: I was so happy when I discovered that there is a possibility that my beloved Kingsley will be coming back soon! *squeals*)
And meeting Deming Chen was a surprise and a pleasure. First off, it was nice to see a new face after tagging along with so many familiar characters. Readers will know virtually nothing about her, as it happened with me. To gradually unravel her character and still not completely get to her core, the core of who she is, felt good when reading about her and what she was there for. *spoilerish* Not to mention the possibility of her twin showing up! I just can't wait!
The mystery of the new, arising problems over-shadowing the Blue Bloods Coven, more particularly in New York was eerie and disturbing. If you've read Melissa's earlier Blue Bloods books, you'll know that she writes, in between chapters, little snippets of the past that tend to relate to what is going on while you're reading (which is awesome). I'm dying to know what it's all leading up to, though I do have a teensy-weensy bit of an idea. By the end of the book, I had been breathless, as though I had just run a two-mile marathon in twenty minutes (except I read this in one sitting of about 3.5 hours, but you get the idea)!
If you're the kind of person who likes a big mystery with a supernatural flair (the whole ex-angels turned blue/silver blooded vampires concept) plus a large mesh of several different relationships (friendship/romantic), then you'll find something to like/love about the Blue Bloods series, including its fifth installment, Misguided Angel. ...more
INITIAL REACTION: Gah, why is it over?!!! *wails* A whole 'mother fucking year ahead. Fuck.
AFTER COOLING DOWN: The Ot4.25 stars / Special Shelf series
INITIAL REACTION: Gah, why is it over?!!! *wails* A whole 'mother fucking year ahead. Fuck.
AFTER COOLING DOWN: The Other series is so dependably wonderful. It never strays from the elements that brought me into Written In Red and kept me captivated until I was desperate for the second book. This third book continues to reinstate my love for these characters, their world, and the way Bishop cleverly weaves everyone's threads into an alarming, intriguing, and gratifying tapestry. There is something so powerful about rooting for a species with territorial rights to the earth that come from their blood and bone, about snarling and cursing your own species for their foolishness and their greed and being reminded that this perception of human beings is based on reality. There are a few lanterns burning strong while all the rest is shrouded in darkness; those good humans make me proud, and that pride comes from being exposed to the disappointment of witnessing the heinousness of the bad ones. And it's downright inspiring to see Burke, Monty, Kowalski, the police officers, Meg's human pack, and Meg herself interact with the Others. They are vessels of hope instead of just the clever meat, and that makes all the difference, as the fire that has been crackling in warning all series long is raging sky-high, ready to destroy. With danger looming in the distance between the Courtyard and the wild country, it's going to be... an intense next couple of books. I, honestly, can't fucking wait.
Back in May, I read While He Was Away by Karen Schreck, which fit in with the military/war/death book tr**More like a 3.5**
A MUCH better military book
Back in May, I read While He Was Away by Karen Schreck, which fit in with the military/war/death book trend going on this summer. Prior to reading While He Was Away, it seemed, on the surface, to be a fabulous, relaxing, interesting summer read and I was letdown on all accounts. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is my second time venturing into contemporary romance centering around similar themes as Karen Schreck’s While He Was Away and I felt it was executed loads better, with a much more exciting romantic spark and an intriguing, sympathetic male narrator and main character. It accomplished everything that was lacking in While He Was Away, and I barely fought back the overpowering relief—Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is one of my most anticipated books of this year, and a top contender, as far as anticipation goes, in the contemporary romance genre.
Despite my liking Something Like Normal by Trish Doller much, much more than the similar titles I’ve tried beforehand, I was still MARGINALLY disappointed. It’s that kind of vague disappointment that makes you feel crappy for feeling that way, particularly because Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a GOOD book. It’s insightful, informative without being stuffy, and sweet. Authentic and raw. My expectations reached higher than what I got, and that’s mostly on me.
~A few minor problems~
My favorite aspects of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller all relate to the main character, Travis. I like books with male narrators if I can get my hands on them, so that’s a major plus for this story. I had no doubts that I was reading from a male point of view, and I loved that it still had a relatability to it despite the fact that the story IS told from a guy’s perspective. It’s always interesting for me to enjoy the way guy’s perceive things, the jokes, the sex and attraction, the more straightforward approach to their introspective inner monologues. Added to that, his flashbacks of his mind-numbingly terrifying and surrealistic time in the Middle East—I feel like I have a better understanding of what sorts of horrors are experienced there more than I ever did before. These moments are vivid and cutting, and it’s perfectly reasonable to expect Travis to have these kind of anxiety attacks over what has happened to him. Throw in grief over the loss of a best friend, and my sympathies were quickly evoked.
However, there are parts in the dialogue I couldn’t fully appreciate because of the not-always-realistic tone to what is said. It could get stilted and unrealistic to what adolescents like he and his friends say. Most, though, don’t have as much of a problem with that as I do. Then, there’s Harper. I enjoyed her role in Travis’s life and emotional recovery, and yet there’s this recurring issue I have with books told in the male perspective—I can never fully connect and appreciate the love interest, especially the female love interests. They aren’t written as in-depth as I’d like and so I can’t fully grasp why the main character ends up falling in love the way they do. Harper seems like a sweet-natured, strong young woman but they also strike me as only surface qualities more than anything else.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a well-written, interesting romance read that is more character-driven than anything else. Even so, the plot still managed to be engaging, and, I think, due to the page length more than anything else, feels paced quickly enough to drive away any impending boredom.
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is focused on the internal battle waged by Travis against some of the more horrendous memories during his time abroad and the grief and guilt he feels over the death of one of his comrades. There’s romance and some limelight on the workings of familial relationships. Overall, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller is a quick indulgence that’s honest and ultimately happy about an appealing guy trying to take back his normal, and I enjoyed most of it, down to Doller’s soft, simple prose. Definitely suitable for summertime! ...more
Took me a while to say I finished this one because I was too busy DYING INSIDE AND WATCHING LEAVES BURN AND ANIMALS SCREAMING AND THE WORLD WAS ENDINGTook me a while to say I finished this one because I was too busy DYING INSIDE AND WATCHING LEAVES BURN AND ANIMALS SCREAMING AND THE WORLD WAS ENDING FOR A SECOND, PEOPLE. ...more
I was thoroughly disappointed with this book, as it happens. I was expecting this book to be more. Filled with emotion and depth. It isn't. THE BEAUTII was thoroughly disappointed with this book, as it happens. I was expecting this book to be more. Filled with emotion and depth. It isn't. THE BEAUTIFUL BETWEEN has a nice synopsis, and a potentially good story, were it not for the many, many, many things that bothered me about it. While it's still saddening, and holds a touch of sad emotion, there's nothing about it that screams authenticity or amazement.
First, the heroine fell flat to the ideal heroine. This story is supposed to be more of a character-driven tale, in which the heroine develops, but that isn't what entirely happened. Sure, Connelly learned a little about herself and others, but she doesn't strike me as this amazing heroine because she's... well... boring. I couldn't get into her - her habits, her flaws, her insecurities. The only thing that made me feel a twinge of sympathy is the loneliness and isolation she feels because of her caring, yet distant mother. The mystery of her father's pronounced death didn't make me all that curious to know what was going on. And I felt bored along the way, trying to hang on until things started to pick up.
Things did not pick up.
Even worse, there was no burning desire to get to know the other characters. Jeremy is weird, in my opinion. I don't find him attractive, more I find him to be odd. Not exactly the ideal popular prince of the school, though granted he is going through some major familial issues. Then there's Kate, Jeremy's younger sister, whose character was about the only one I adored. She's sweet, kind, and intuitive, even for one so young. And about the only time I got emotional in the novel pertained to my liking her. Other than that, the characters did nothing for me.
It was clear, after I reached the climax, that I wasn't going to be entirely fond of this book. While I had good expectations, perhaps even high ones, THE BEAUTIFUL BETWEEN isn't at all what I had expected or had intended to read.
This Scene- "Yeah, sure!" The words were just spilling out of me. "If you've been trained for your life as a time traveler only half as thoroughly as♥ This Scene- "Yeah, sure!" The words were just spilling out of me. "If you've been trained for your life as a time traveler only half as thoroughly as Charlotte, then you've had no time to make any friends at all, and your opinion of what you call average girls comes from observations you made when you were standing about the school yard alone. Or are you telling me that the other kids at your school thought your hobbies, like Latin, dancing the gavotte, and driving horse-drawn carriages, were really cool?" Instead of being insulted, Gideon looked amused. "You left out playing the violin." He leaned back and crossed his arms. "The violin? Really?" My anger had gone away again as fast as it had come over me. Playing the violin! Honestly!
I don't know if I was supposed to love this book as I much as I do, but there it is. Ruby Red and I fell madly in love and are currently planning our honeymoon to 1890 (my favorite time period ever). With this book I've discovered my love of time travel. Sure, I liked the concept, I enjoyed it immensely in books like Timeless and Warped, but now I truly love it. And Ruby Red really makes you think about all that goes into it, makes you see how much thought and care go into the whole thing. It's not as easy as just flying back in time with nothing but the clothes on your back. Oh, no. If you intend to make a visit into the past, you have to be conscientious of clothing, speak, skills, etc.
And Gier couldn't have picked a better place to set her ideas loose--London, England! I find this so cool because I go crazy over how English people say things, like Mum instead of Mom, for example. (After reading this book, I proceeded to drive my mom crazy for a few minutes of her life by calling her Mum over and over and ov... Well, you get the idea.) The world-building and history that went into this whole story dazzled me. I hungered to know more about these families of time-travelers, their secret societies, prophecies, and so on. I couldn't get enough!
And instead of dampening this bedazzled setting and extraordinary plot to go with, the characters helped build up my awe of this book. I loved Gwen! The seemingly ordinary, sort of wide-eyed, bona fide teenage heroine. There was a point in the novel where it was necessary for her to learn a special password, and throughout the entire second half of the book she could not remember it for the life of her, mixing up the words repeatedly. Oh, no. What was that stupid password? Qua thingummy thingsitis. (197) (Other variations: Quark edit bisquitis, Qua nesquick mosquitoes. Actual words: Qua redit nescitis.) I thought it was cool how she didn't want to accept her... special talents and wanted to revert to normalcy, yet she also found herself plagued by curiosity. The pull of wanting to stay away versus the allure of learning the ever-guarded mystery. A realistic struggle.
Her relationship with other characters endeared her to me further. She depends on and loves her best friend, doesn't refrain from telling her the big Daunting Secrets. (Notice how tons of heroines do that--leave out the Daunting Secrets with their best friends.) She isn't afraid to ask questions. And she somehow manages to break through others' resolves against her, and charm them. All by being authentically her. Even better, that doesn't exclude the audacious and judgmental Gideon (love that name!) de Villiers, who she's constantly engaging in a battle of wits and sarcasm. These two, from the moment they meet, have it out for each other. And I can't tell you what I love more than watching these two types of characters take the Big Fall. Though, I can guarantee it'll be awhile before they'll admit it (to my chagrin). Still, their slow progression in the falling in love aspect of their relationship is, simultaneously, another tasty element in this book.
Amazing adventure, winning characters, and beguiling secrets that pique the curiosity until stopping becomes impossible, Ruby Red is the kind of book I won't ever get tired of and will find myself wanting to re-read. It's been AWHILE since I've had the good fortune to find That Special Book I('ll) Repeatedly Go Back To. I want to be there when the bad guy gets taken down, when the secrets behind Gwenyth's birth are unveiled, and when Gwen and Gideon finally admit the depth of their feelings for each other. This book has a good grip on me and I'm holding on tight, more than willing to ride out the rest of the series and read the end of this fantastic quest for answers into the past to save the present and future! I can see why this is an international best-seller! Count me in for Sapphire Blue!
I have to admit, when I read the synopsis for Rockoholic by CJ Skuse, I wasn’t struck by the uniqueness of the premise, but more I was drawn to the shI have to admit, when I read the synopsis for Rockoholic by CJ Skuse, I wasn’t struck by the uniqueness of the premise, but more I was drawn to the sheer unlikelihood and craziness it mapped out. I love those adventurous stories where so many funny, bizarre situations crop up in the main character’s life. While meeting a celebrity isn’t a new concept in fiction, wacky situations and the general hilarity that ensues makes for a very fun, energetic, and oftentimes introspective read. On that note, these kinds of books can make you wonder what exactly you’re missing out on in life. Although I did get that sense once I was done reading, outlandishness included, there’s all this predictability in the story line and, most aggravatingly, I couldn’t dig the main character, Jody.
Rockoholic by CJ Skuse kicks off with letting us know Jody’s got a problem—an addiction to a popstar that borders pitiful. While her obsession is just that and can get a little… out there, it’s quite believable. It’s Jody’s constant whining and selfish attitude that got my goat. Or maybe that’s not quite right. It is the lack of personality beneath those aspects that bothered me. Wait, that’s not quite right either. It’s really the lack of a personality I liked. I could deal with Jody’s Kicked Into the Dirt self-esteem, melodrama, and absurd infatuation with Jackson Gaitlin. And I liked that, by the end, she developed from these traits and issues. But, underneath Jody isn’t the kind of person I’d want to befriend, much less talk to. Girlfriend’s got enough issues, flaws, and vulnerabilities to make me reach for a glass of chocolate milk. Never once, though, did I think, Hey, What a Lovely Person. She’s complex, certainly, and definitely gets a medal for Doing Stupid Shizz, Especially When Left Alone. She’s kind, a bit naïve, and she’s grieving, I get it. But, the aforementioned drama set the tone for our relationship, which didn’t improve very much.
What I did enjoy about Rockoholic by CJ Skuse had nothing to do with Jody and everything to do with Mac, our protagonist’s fearless, talented bff who puts up with her batshizz, Jackson, the depressed, messed-up rockstar taking refuge in Jody’s garage, and all the silly obstacles that crop up to make this whole hot mess a smoking catastrophe. I wouldn’t say that it’s easy to laugh at every scene, but there are random moments that make the atmosphere lighter and inspire some chuckling. And, of course, the romance makes an awesome highlight of the book. It’s predictable in its direction, but the way it’s written isn’t, and that’s what made it loveable for me.
While a bit of a disappointment, I still enjoyed the second half of the novel which saved it from being a fail of a whale. And if Rockoholic by CJ Skuse has taught me anything, it’s this: don’t ever, ever offer a Curly Wurly—which is not sex slang for something—to a doped-up celebrity with a hallucination problem. Shenanigans will ensue. Or maybe that’s what you’re after. I still wouldn’t suggest it though. ...more
my thoughts in a few sentences: I’ve got a thing for zombies and the Victorian era. Put thRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
my thoughts in a few sentences: I’ve got a thing for zombies and the Victorian era. Put the two together and I possess the inexplicable urge to magically produce rainbows or Lucky Charms. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel was my last indulgence in this area, and though it was satisfying in many areas it missed that crucial opening hook and didn’t suck me in until a hundred pages or so. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard is almost a hundred pages shorter and it managed to do what DD could not: hook me INSTANTLY. By the first line alone, I was sitting back with a happy grin on my face, eager for the next thing lying in wait. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, thankfully, has a gorgeous cover to match the story it wraps.
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last peopleMr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious...
I can never fully express to you how deeply I regret not embarking on this series sooner. I'm so late! Now the movies are over and its less likely I can parade my enthusiasm and the sheer joy I got from reading this. From the first chapter alone, it became increasingly obvious as to how J.K. Rowling ended up a millionaire (or is bigillionaire...?). I'd always been a BIG fan of the movies, but I didn't read the books based on my pre-Reading Obsession years when I didn't very much enjoy them. I realized, though, that at the time, I didn't have it in me to appreciate this series. Now, I do. Boy, do I! This book incites the fan girl (or boy) in you!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is full of magic and adventure, sparkling story-telling, and is the embodiment of nearly every child's dream to run off to some foreign, magical place where excitement and danger is around every corner to chase off the boredom. What is so purely great about this first book (and I'm sure the others as well) is the effortless world-building that mirrors our own world in past and present spaces in our history. Nothing is over-done and it's plain how deep Rowling's knowledge of the world runs. From wands and cauldrons to magical beasts to wizarding sports, The Sorcerer's Stone will fascinate you at every plot turn and through every character. It ensnares your attention and leaves you craving the next book!
I loved Harry. His book portrayal made me much more sensitive to his circumstances and feelings. Gosh, I can't tell you how many times this boy succeeded in making me cry! The cruelty of his care-givers had me fuming and crying all at the same time. And the feeling of loss for his parents strikes you throughout the course of the movie series, but it hits much harder after reading the books. Growing up with the movies, the movie adapted characters stuck with me while I was reading. I saw Emma Watson when I read Hermione, and Radcliffe and Grint and so on. It honestly made me love the book that much more!
I appreciated the Big Mystery, and it was nice to go through the motions of unraveling it, because I had forgotten almost everything from the first movie. It was like starting fresh, and as I read the book I slowly began to recall what was going to happen. Strangely, that made it all the more exciting.
Perhaps it is because Harry Potter has been dear to my heart all this time, being apart of the Harry Potter generation, that the entire book captivated me from start to finish, but I can truly say, without bias, that The Sorcerer's Stone is an enthralling, unique, and astoundingly overwhelming read! I can promise that I was as bewitched as Harry when, together, we stumbled upon the wizarding world, and absolutely guarantee that my friends will be finding the Harry Potter books in my bag until I'm done with the series!
Thought up by the lovely Small Review, Special Shelf books are unforgettable books that hold beautiful stories inside and characters you will forever be in love with... (My Rating System In-Depth)
"FRED, YOU NEXT," THE PLUMP WOMAN SAID. "I'M NOT FRED, I'M GEORGE," SAID THE BY. "HONESTLY, WOMAN, YOU CALL YOURSELF OUR MOTHER? CAN'T YOU TELL I'M GEORGE?" "SORRY, GEORGE, DEAR." "ONLY JOKING, I AM FRED," SAID THE BOY. (92)
"HAS ANYONE SEEN A TOAD? NEVILLE'S LOST ONE," SHE SAID. SHE HAD A BOSSY SORT OF VOICE, LOTS OF BUSHY BROWN HAIR, AND RATHER LARGE FRONT TEETH... "OH, ARE YOU DOING MAGIC? LET'S SEE IT, THEN." SHE SAT DOWN. RON LOOKED TAKEN ABACK... "SUNSHINE, DAISIES, BUTTER MELLOW, TURN THIS STUPID, FAT RAT YELLOW." HE WAVED HIS WAND, BUT NOTHING HAPPENED. SCABBERS STAYED GRAY AND FAST ASLEEP. "ARE YOU SURE THAT'S A REAL SPELL?" SAID THE GIRL. "WELL, IT'S NOT VERY GOOD, IS IT?" (105)
HARRY GRIPPED THE EDGES OF THE STOOL AND THOUGHT, NOT SLYTHERIN, NOT SLYTHERIN. "NOT SLYTHERIN, EH?" SAID THE SMALL VOICE. "ARE YOU SURE? YOU COULD BE GREAT, YOU KNOW, IT'S ALL HERE IN YOUR HEAD, AND SLYTHERIN WILL HELP YOU ON THE WAY TO GREATNESS, NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT--NO? WELL, IF YOU'RE SURE--BETTER BE GRYFFINDOR!" HARRY HEARD THE HAT SHOUT THE LAST WORD TO THE WHOLE HALL. HE TOOK OFF THE HAT AND WALKED SHAKILY TOWARD THE GRYFFINDOR TABLE. HE WAS SO RELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOT PUT IN SLYTHERIN, HE HARDLY NOTICED THAT HE WAS GEETTING THE LOUDEST CHEER YET. PERCY THE PREFECT GOT UP AND SHOOK HIS HAND VIGOROUSLY, WHILE THE WEASLEY TWINS YELLED, "WE GOT POTTER! WE GOT POTTER!" (121-122)...more
How truly beautiful and passionate and world-loving this book is. I don't know of many other books whose words enraptured me so. This book is4.5 stars
How truly beautiful and passionate and world-loving this book is. I don't know of many other books whose words enraptured me so. This book is about a book, about sorrow and light, past and future, about redemption and restitution, love that transcends worlds, magic that springs hope, beauty that lives in life.
I will never forget this book. Never.
It is a book I hope to share with the many, and the children I may have one day in the future. They should know the language of The Book of Atrix Wolfe. As for yourselves, maybe it's time to consider learning something new.
"Who else have you got to listen to you up here?"
"Why do you want to listen to me?"
"Because I don't want to make your mistake."
"But I made something else… Where is it?"
They looked at him, wordless again. Burne spoke at last. "There was nothing else," he said. "There was only you."...more
my thoughts in a few sentences: Although Under the Never Sky is not that outstandingly special storyRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: Ebook Purchase
my thoughts in a few sentences: Although Under the Never Sky is not that outstandingly special story I would clutch to my chest and never want to pry myself away from, it is a spectacular story! The unsettling alliance made between enemies who seek beyond their differences and discover the truth of their soft hearts and strong wills, the action that can range from vengeful cannibals, assailing wolves, and escaping violent storms, and the circle of varying dynamic characters all make this incessant life-or-death run of a story so unbearable to put down.
my thoughts in a few sentences: What to say about The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, that hasn’t been said aRating: Perfect Bed Partner Source: Gifted
my thoughts in a few sentences: What to say about The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, that hasn’t been said already... First and foremost: don’t go looking for the Iron Fey series in Kagawa’s own vampire addition. I don’t mean expecting Puck or Ash to round the corner, but don’t anticipate the light, dreamy writing and lack of true harshness in her storytelling that is familiar to us, because The Immortal Rules is a sharp turn in the opposite direction.
Out of all the bros, including hot sexy older Michael—because whenever I think of him, I f**Really more like 4.5 stars**
Vlog Review Transcribed a Bit:
Out of all the bros, including hot sexy older Michael—because whenever I think of him, I for some reason, imagine my Dimitri Belikov—what’s that Dimitri, you want to marry me?—Gabriel is actually my favorite. Kememrerer, I hate to play this card, but, uh, I’m a really big fan, and I know this is crazy, but here’s my email, so have Gabe email me, maybe? *laughs nervously* Seriously.
Gabe is definitely the hand that flew off the handle. He’s a handle flyer offer. But, underneath that are all these churning emotions. He actually feels very DEEPLY and takes a lot of self-blame, doubt, and guilt onto himself. But that also means that he feels the good stuff too (he really FEELS IT *wink-wink*).
But, really, love, affection, acceptance, loyalty—he’s a very fierce FEELER. His emotions are erratic and dangerous and consuming but not so that he’s a psycho. He’s just really conflicted.
As much as I love the unrepentant douche bags with no redeeming qualities you love anyway and probably because they’re such jerks, I really FALL FOR the ones with one vulnerable centers. Because there’s a core of goodness in him. To me, bad boys are optimistic treasure hunts set in a fiery pit—you know you’re going to get something good once you face all the tools of your doom.
PROS: 1 How Brigid takes twists from the previous book and expands on them. Makes it so that you don’t know who to trust or who and what to ignore.
2) Gabriel’s character growth is so empowering. Because even though the world keeps bringing him down to subzero levels, he picks his ass up and gets ready for another fight. Blow after blow, even cracking under pressure and emotional burns, he comes back harder, sharper—he he, wicked laugh again—and angrier than before. He also has to come to terms with himself as a person when he’s not being compared side-by-side by his goody goody twin. He revels in his strengths but not his weaknesses, and, EVENTUALLY, he comes to attack them and use those flaws as a kind of strength in itself, controls those darker urges that comes with his gift. He learns to accept that he’s going to eff up and that’s ALL RIGHT.
3) The soft and growly sexy side of his leaps out when pretty, shy Layne slides into the picture. They are total opposites—brainy girl whose always managed to achieve invisibility and the less academic jock with a bit of a rep—and yet they complement each other so well. I guess it’s because at their core, they’re both guilt-ridden, insecure but not in the ways you would expect, and they both underestimate themselves. They understand what it’s like to have complicated family ties and really hard painful drama in their relationships with their families that they have this unspoken kinship about them.
Plus, it’s so hot when opposites attract. Let’s be real here.
Cons: 1) I wasn’t that impressed with the Turn of Events by the end. I felt like it was a bit anti-climactic and I was expecting as large of a twist as what I got in Storm. But, you can’t have everything.
Overall, I’m just glad that the author managed to steer clear of the Sucky Sophomore Syndrome, or as you may know it, the Second Book Curse.
In fact, I dug Spark a lot more than I liked Storm. WHICH IS, of course, ABSOLUTELY AWESOME.
Flames engulfed the boat, and my lungs ached as dark, noxious smoke filled the air. I struggled off the dirty makeshift bed and shuffled across the flFlames engulfed the boat, and my lungs ached as dark, noxious smoke filled the air. I struggled off the dirty makeshift bed and shuffled across the floor, the cable ties binding my hands and feet making my progress slow...
I could not, for the life of me, figure out WHAT WAS SO SPECIAL about this book. The pacing is dreadfully slow, and I struggled to finish it. It's like this giant tease. One minute something interesting started to grab hold of my attention, and then it let go. And I'm bored again. But the reason why this didn't totally suck for me? There's an addictive quality, that, despite my reluctance to continue with it, kept me from dropping the book and chalking it up as a Total Waste of Precious Reading Time.
The sad thing about Carrier of the Mark is that it had so much potential! It has an interesting concept at its base, one that I wouldn't mind exploring further. There were just so many directions Fallon could've mapped out for this book that, when it didn't deliver, it turned out to be a giant disappointment. It's a little difficult to write this review about a month later because I can barely remember anything other than the notes I wrote down to remind myself. A book's memorability is a great indicator of whether the book is worth a person's time.
Megan Rosenberg is a relatable yet boring heroine. She acts as a typical teenager in mannerisms and thoughts, but as far as personality traits she's less than average. At least average people have interests! This girl is all sorts of bland, dull, and paranormal romance books, in my opinion, need a hearty, strong heroine who is remarkable and makes an IMPACT. I should admire her and ogle her bravery. Instead, Megan comes across as irrational and totally (annoyingly) impulsive - especially when it came to the "romantic lead."
The biggest defect though? The instaluv romance *head-desk*. How many times must I read the same exact formula for teen romance (which really feels like a slap in the face - I mean, are all of us really that shallow?!), and how many times must I groan and whine and gripe about it before I get a thorough, well-written one? And then to throw in the Forbidden Love angle ON TOP OF THAT? Can this "romance" get anymore predictable?
You see, without giving away spoilers, Megan and Adam are unmistakably and irresistibly drawn together (enter Bella Swan!) and the author presents what I'm sure SEEMED like a logical explanation, one where she could get away with writing this. But rather than be fooled, what was supposed to be dramatic and romantic just came off as selfish and foolish. How are these two perfect for each other? And couldn't Megan end up with the cooler of the two brothers, Ryan? I'd date a hot-headed flame-thrower (in spite of possible deadly explosions and random burns) over a perty water user anytime anywhere!
Where it actually went right... The magic and the mythology were awesomesauce! Not to mention the setting! I really enjoy reading spin-offs of Irish mythology and I find their stories some of the most fascinating. Still, even this is hampered by the lack of real action, despite the promise of dastardly enemies coming to rain hell down on everybody. And this, ultimately, is why I struggled so much with Carrier of the Mark. There wasn't much motivation (other than, for me, meeting the bad guys) to get engrossed! Will I read the sequel (is there one??)? Maybe, just for the sake of the mythology. Other than that, no, I wouldn't.
my thoughts in a few sentences: While Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown drifts away from tRating: Guilty Pleasure Source: Random House via NetGalley
my thoughts in a few sentences: While Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown drifts away from the bubbly, lighthearted, and frivolous mermaid books that are better at giving you warm and fuzzies than all sorts of chills, I wasn’t utterly impressed. The mermaids are vicious, yes. The lore intriguing, certainly. However, after the first half of the novel, the plot started leaning toward predictable, the romance crossing into the been there, read that region to the point where I was more turned off than I expected. Powering through that last half took a lot of patience, and, once I was finished, the conclusion didn’t quite fulfill my needs. Although I won’t be returning, or, more reasonable to assume, eager, for the sequel, Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown definitely deviates from the quintessential carefree, happy mermaid tales and goes somewhere delightfully dark and practical.
Ridiculously charming. I certainly can't get enough of these characters, these houses entrenched in Southern history and the mysteries that go along wRidiculously charming. I certainly can't get enough of these characters, these houses entrenched in Southern history and the mysteries that go along with them. Add the paranormal flair possessed by the main character, with all of her endearing anal retentive behaviors to boot, and you've got a Special Shelf series in the making. I am reserving my judgement until I continue with the series.
There were a few, though very few weak moments for me. It took me a little while to get into the first chapter but it picks up rather surprisingly and its a breeze reading from that point on. I think the only major (if we could call it major) thing that bugged me was Jack's reaction to something he learned about his past. I felt like it was too simple of a brush off for something I had been expecting to make a major dent in his relationship with Melanie. There were other similar, though smaller moments of the same throughout.
Nonetheless, I can't wait to continue! I'm debating if I have the patience to wait for the next three books to make it to my home or if the wait is so unbearable Its necessary to resort to ebooks... Must continue! ...more
Le sigh. I tried so desperately to love this book, I think my efforts might've been part of my overall frustration with this book. You know how when yLe sigh. I tried so desperately to love this book, I think my efforts might've been part of my overall frustration with this book. You know how when you try at something a little too hard, it can zap the joy and fun of what it is your doing? Yeah, that may have been part of the problem here. And again, I fell prey to my own impossibly high expectations and was let down brutally.
Velveteen implies that we readers are going to get a story of creepy bloodthirsty revenge, and while I'm not much of a horror fan myself, I totally grinned when I read that synopsis. My dark side sort of reveled. And let's face it, any fan of Revenge knows that a story of betrayal and plotting and evil is automatically built to be something fascinating. And, though I was having a difficult time falling into the story, that fascination held for the first few chapters. But, as the story progressed I noticed how distant from the story I felt. And how painful trudging through Velvet's odd story was.
Velveteen by Daniel Marks heads off in a promising direction, but then veers into another that's jarring and hard to keep straight. Constantly confused, very much irritated by Velvet's whole demeanor, and totes unimpressed with the romance (though I do have to hand it to Marks for some impressive make out scenes), the struggle grew heavier with each passing page, until I felt sufficiently bored and annoyed enough to just stop all together. And a part of me wants to jump back in just to finish it, so that I can say I did and have something to show for the several slow hours I spent trying to immerse myself in this book (I was completely conscious of how much time was passing, and how much I was wasting on this lifeless--ha ha--read).
But, I finally gave up about 75% of the way in, because the hour was growing late, my feelings weren't changing, and I had had it. Clearly, if the four and five star ratings are any indication, this book is MADE for some people. But for someone like me who have a supremely difficult time enjoying a confusing read with bland characters and a slow-paced, strangely-put-together plot, Velveteen by Daniel Marks isn't an ideal way to spend precious reading time. ...more
Graffiti Moon is like a dream that entraps your consciousness and urges you to leave reality, and all it's difficulties, behind. Crowley's soft whimsiGraffiti Moon is like a dream that entraps your consciousness and urges you to leave reality, and all it's difficulties, behind. Crowley's soft whimsical flow of writing are luminous clouds in a bright blue sky, something beautiful that, when you stop to pay attention and really look, sweetly lulls the mind and heart. It's as if Crowley took the world we live in and put it behind another pair of lenses, granting us a heartachingly wonderful view of the same place only with infinitely more color and vibrancy, a precious place that we wish we didn't have to abandon for our own. For the first time, things cease to seem ordinary and the characters are little points of light that stand out even among all the charm already present in the fancifully written setting. They are weird and fascinating and dazzling, and they never give us a reason to want to escape them. They are open books themselves that constantly tug on our sympathy and ignite our smiles, leaving us with a burning need to see them all happy by the end.
Lucy wants Shadow. Once, Shadow had wanted her. She just didn't know it then... Lucy and Ed can be so opposite yet they share similarities that aren't easily observable, to us and between each other. Lucy is strong-willed, dreamy, optimistic, and even naive, and grabbing the events of the story and trying to focus in on them through her eyes is definitely a fun adventure. Lucy has this way of making us laugh even as we feel something profound, has the ability to cut through the BS and see into the other side. That's what gravitates to her interesting people like ourselves and Ed, the extreme loner-looking guy who has all his words shut in but all the pictures of his thoughts and memories dripping out of his fingertips. Not only is he very cute, but he appreciates art and most of its many faces, has a keen sense of loyalty and a hard strategy on how to show his feelings to others. Lucy and Ed couldn't be a better suited match. The problem? The fact that their first date dropped into a new level of hell and Lucy ended the night in a way that left Ed in pieces of doubt and chunks of disappointment. Their reconnection after these past couple of years is a syrupy progression, with sticky areas of discussion and a slow melting quality.
The other characters were just as thickly characterized, with so much going on inside, and Crowley writes little to let us know it but shows us so much about each person. It isn't a far stretch for us to fall in love with each face and attitude we hang with throughout the novel. The predictable plot was successfully carried out and never once fell and cracked to reveal a familiar dull story. Graffiti Moon is a clever interpretation of a place and storyline we may have seen before, and is also one that's more alluring and beautifully devastating and warm than any I've ever found and enjoyed. Crowley truly has to hatch another sweet, romantic idea told in an equally mesmerizing way as Graffiti Moon.
Cute. There was something about the romance that I wasn't really digging. The male lead was both adorable and off-putting. I was more interested in thCute. There was something about the romance that I wasn't really digging. The male lead was both adorable and off-putting. I was more interested in the main character's growth.