There were some really sweet stories in this collection, although a few I felt missed the mark. My favorite were Kiersten White's story and StephanieThere were some really sweet stories in this collection, although a few I felt missed the mark. My favorite were Kiersten White's story and Stephanie Perkins' story, but generally most of the collection consisted of cute Christmas-themed romance stories that were perfect for the holidays....more
I felt it was over-dramatic, dull, slow, and just a bit too much.
First of all, Cassia and Ky are supposed to be teIt was a chore to finish this book.
I felt it was over-dramatic, dull, slow, and just a bit too much.
First of all, Cassia and Ky are supposed to be teenagers. So why do they both talk/think like 43-year-old hipsters looking back on the good ol' days? I cannot tell you how many times I was shaking my head at the dialogue or just the basic thought process coming from these two.
This entire book basically covers three events: Ky and Cassia leave their provinces, meet up at the Carving, and then go find the Rising. What happens in the other 300 pages is anyone's guess. I forced myself to finish this book only because I'm actually trying to get through books so I can get at least somewhat close to my yearly challenge.
There are no revelations in this story. No mysteries uncovered. NOTHING HAPPENS. It was all so boring and it made me just not care. Even Indie, who rubs me the wrong way from the very beginning, ends up doing nothing. She was the perfect opportunity to have something actually shock me into interest. But Condie dropped the ball.
Matched and Crossed should have been one book. There just isn't enough to go on to separate the book.
Also it is so hard for me to care about Cassia. For some reason I just do not care what happens to this girl. But the same goes for Ky. I don't care what happens to him either. In the end of the book, when Ky has to make this ~big choice~ I found myself asking what Xander would do. Because I sure don't care what these two decide.
In short, I was underwhelmed. I will not be picking up the third book....more
I felt Pandemonium was a huge step up from Delirium. Oliver can write very beautiful prose, there is no denying that, however prose on its own is notI felt Pandemonium was a huge step up from Delirium. Oliver can write very beautiful prose, there is no denying that, however prose on its own is not enough to make a book shine.
Things I Loved About This Book:
- The writing. Like I said above, Oliver can definitely write. Her writing is not perfect (at least, in my opinion) however, I did find myself sometimes rolling my eyes at her cop-out uses of "Suddenly I realized..." and "All of a sudden I felt..." phrases. They were annoying, but I don't think it took away from the story.
- The character of Raven. I feel Raven is the only character that Oliver felt like exploring a little deeper. Obviously she plays a critical role in the story, but I feel the same could have also been done for Tack, Hunter, or Sarah. Yet we only get glimpses of them. With the exception of Julian characters weren't really fleshed out everyone is kind of in the background playing minimal roles.
- Having the chapters being divided into Then and Now. I really loved how the chapters were broken up and I felt it added a bit of mystery and suspense.
- Fast-paced plot and an interesting twist at the end. Oliver doesn't really wait to roll out the plot in this book. It's there from the beginning and it remained fast-paced until the end.
Things I Didn't Like About This Book
- The love story. I did not get it at all. I felt it was forced and juvenile and I could not believe how Julian would just drop everything and convert to the resistance in only a matter of days. A friendship would have been more believable in my opinion.
- The whole deliria world. I just have trouble believing the deliria illness and the whole controversy. I think government removing all emotion from its citizens to keep everything "clean and purified" makes a lot more sense than just eradicating the ability to love. Not being able to love doesn't mean that you won't have to deal with all other difficult emotions that drive people to do harmful things, ie: jealousy, selfishness, anger, greed, shame, etc.
That's really about the only issues I had with the book, which is nice.
Overall it wasn't a life changing read or anything, but it was an interesting story with an intriguing plot that provided some good light reading. ...more
After struggling to finish this book, all I can say is: I am disappointed.
I really wanted to love this. I felt the characters were interesting and theAfter struggling to finish this book, all I can say is: I am disappointed.
I really wanted to love this. I felt the characters were interesting and the plot had potential. But I found myself struggling to finish this out of pure boredom.
A few issues I had with this book:
- The character of Barrington Whelk. I hated his backstory, felt he was an unnecessary addition to the story, and honestly wish he had never been included.
- Gansey's bipolarness. Gansey was possibly the most frustrating character I've ever loved to hate. At times I really loved him, and at other times I felt like he was the ultimate hipster/emo persona. If you were to ask me who he really truly is as a person I wouldn't be able to tell you. There's being interesting and multi-faceted, and then there's being a completely different person depending on what scene you're in.
- Blue's father. Towards the end of the book Blue's mother shares a theory she has for his disappearance, but it's never explored. Here is a woman who spent the entire first half of the book being secretive about asking her friend to find Blue's dad and when she finally tells Blue all about it, nothing comes of it. Really?
- Noah's big reveal and the boys' reactions. I just couldn't believe how no one was sufficiently freaked out about this.
- Ronan's issues. In the beginning of the book it's clear that Ronan has issues. With his dad's murder, his schooling, and especially his brother. During the middle of the book Ronan's brother disappears and we never hear about him again. There's no resolution to their issues as a family or even with Ronan's grief. He just adopts a baby raven and calls it a day. I was really disappointed with this.
- Blue's deathly kiss. WHY BRING THIS UP WHEN NOTHING HAPPENS?! You're such a tease, Stiefvater.
- The ending. The end was frustrating, lackluster, and disappointing overall. When there finally is some sort of resolution, it's glossed over or passed on to someone else to fix or deal with (Whelk, Neeve, Adam, etc.). Adam is one of my favorite characters, and in the end all we know is he went through some inherent change and moved out on his own. So I'm guessing he's happy, but I don't really know for sure. It's beyond frustrating. I NEED SOME CLOSURE, STIEFVATER.
However, not everything was awful. There were some positives I noticed:
- Different characters narrating the chapters. I like when Stiefvater does this, I feel like she has a way of varying the narrating so that you know it's someone different talking.
- The three psychics. Calla and Persephone were my favorite characters in this book, hands down. They added some humor to the story and had a lovely dynamic between them, I loved them.
- Blue wasn't an idiot. At least, I didn't feel she was, and that's such a rare thing in books like this so kudos to Stiefvater for not writing a character that I immediately wanted to choke to death.
Unfortunately the cons outweigh the pros by a wide margin in this case, so I had to give this three stars, but I'm sad, because a lot of people loved this and I really wanted to as well. It just didn't work for me in the end....more
I was a bit disappointed with Fire Study. While Snyder is a skilled writer, the plot in this book was so disjointed and all over the place that I feltI was a bit disappointed with Fire Study. While Snyder is a skilled writer, the plot in this book was so disjointed and all over the place that I felt it hard to keep up. And sometimes, I didn't even want to.
As with the other two books there is an underlying Big Issue that Yelena is trying to overcome that sometimes takes a backseat while other minor events go on. The difference with Fire Study is that these minor events that were sprinkled throughout the story were either completely pointless, hurried, random, or just plain confusing. Most of these plot points didn't affect the Big Issue or have anything in common with it.
I kept feeling frustrated reading about all this other stuff that didn't really matter in the end. It sure as hell didn't help Yelena come closer to finding out how to overcome the difficulties she's encountering with her magic.
I also felt that her character development skills slipped here a bit, especially with the characters of Cahil and Marrok. Too much has occurred with these characters. I don't understand exactly how Yelena can just hope to "work things out" and "teach things" to them. Cahil himself should have died twice in the series. I also kept thinking back to Cahil and Yelena's earlier almost-romance that never happened. The Cahil that showed up during that time was never seen again.
The romance between Yelena and Valek was a bit more refreshing however. I didn't particularly care for it in the second book, but I enjoyed their romance alot more in this one than in Magic Study.
Overall, this was a great series and the ending was satisfying. I felt Yelena grew a lot during her journey and became a well-rounded individual. Her position as liasion between Sitia and Ixia is a perfect fit for her. I just wish Fire Study would have focused on two or three main ideas instead of multiple mini-stories. I felt it would have made for a more conclusive novel and the quality would have remained consistent somewhat....more
I've really been enjoying this series by Maria V. Snyder. The plot, the characters, the magic aspect of it all feels really fresh. The main characterI've really been enjoying this series by Maria V. Snyder. The plot, the characters, the magic aspect of it all feels really fresh. The main character Yelena is self-sufficient, intelligent, and brave without feeling unbelievable or forced. Do you know how rare that is?
In Magic Study, Yelena is coming to terms with relocating to a new place, reuniting with her parents and her brother, and beginning a new journey with her recently discovered magical abilities. It's a lot to take in, a lot of changes at once, but the difficulties don't end there.
While she struggles to understand her identity she is faced with additional challenges: 1) her brother Leif will not accept her as his sister and has some sort of hateful grudge against her, 2) Cahill, a young man raised specifically to take over the throne of Ixia, kidnaps her for information, 3) Goel, a guard of Cahill vows to take revenge against Yelena for making him look foolish and incompetent, and most importantly, 4) there is a man who possesses magical abilities and is using them to abduct young girls, tortures them, and then steals their souls. So a lot is going on.
The plot is fast paced, intriguing, and unpredictable (at least for me). The only disconnect I had with the story was the relationship between Yelena and Valek. For some reason I just love them both separately but not together. I can't really explain it, because it's not like Snyder doesn't know how to tie in romance, but I just didn't 'feel it' in this book. Hopefully in the third installment, Fire Study, I can either come to terms with this romance or just ignore it. Because honestly, the rest of the plot/characters/development makes up for it....more
I know a little bit about grief. Conor's grief and the conflicting emotions he's grappling with are feelings that I myself hThis book hit home for me.
I know a little bit about grief. Conor's grief and the conflicting emotions he's grappling with are feelings that I myself have been through these past four months. When I lost my father to cancer in late August, I felt many things. Pain, grief, anger, hopelessness, and guilt. A lot of guilt. I believe guilt and grief coincide and I believe that's the message in A Monster Calls. It's not about fear. And it's not about death. It's about guilt being wrapped up in pain. Conor's truth is revealed late in the game, but it's made clear that he's known this truth all along. And it's eating at him.
I know a little something about guilt. It consumes you little by little and continues to eat at you until you reach deep down into yourself and face the truth. Forget the five stages of grief--I was feeling everything at once and in no particular order. But above all there was the guilt. I wanted all of it to just go away. None of it was fair. I didn't want to wait around in the hospital seeing my father waste away day after day (I'm going to remember him this way), I didn't want to have to say good-bye (why am I saying good-bye?), I didn't want to deal with the aftermath of people sympathizing (you have nothing to be sorry for), I didn't want to bury him (so final). And every time I thought these things, I would feel guilty immediately afterwards. After all, it wasn't my father's fault or the hospital's fault that this was happening. There was nothing anyone could do. This wasn't planned and it wasn't a consequence of some mistake. I had no one to be angry towards (and that angered me in itself). I had no one to blame but chance. To describe it as hopelessness is not doing it justice and there is no quick cure for hopelessness.
Letting go is the ultimate act of courage. There is nothing like it, and you will not understand how difficult it is until you have to do it yourself. Reading about it, seeing someone else go through it, is not enough. Life can sometimes throw something at you so scary, so incomprehensible, that you do not know how to deal. There is no way to prepare. Your very first instinct is to hold on hard, no matter what, because doing the opposite does not make sense. Conor has trouble with letting go, because above all there's that fear of the unknown. What will happen when the worst thing we can imagine does happen? Will I be strong enough to deal with it? Will it kill me? How will I cope? The fourth tale deals with this. It's a reassurance for Conor. He's going to be okay, and while the future looks a little bleak, he's strong enough to pull through.
I've let go of my father. I know I will survive the unknown. I know my truth. That's not to say days aren't hard, because they are. Sometimes my heart feels so heavy and there's a void so large that I wonder if anything will ever fill it again. I have days when I question fate, when I wonder how things might have been. But I feel a sense of peace. Wherever my father is now, he isn't in pain. He can be his true self. He's home. And while he's not here I have memories to take with me no matter where I go. When you are ready to say that final good-bye, to your anger, to your guilt, to your pain, but most of all, your fear, only then will you know the peace that comes with letting go. Conor has found this peace, and so have I. This is the cure for hopelessness and the one thing that can propel us forward. I am ready for the unknown....more
This book was infuriating. I really love a good zombie story and the idea of a fenced in village while the walking dead are a constant threat is greatThis book was infuriating. I really love a good zombie story and the idea of a fenced in village while the walking dead are a constant threat is great material. And well, that's about as coherent a review as you're going to get.
This time I did something a little different. I made notes while I read, and jotted down questions that I had while reading. Below is a play by play account of my random thoughts in chronological order.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
I open The Forest of Hands and Teeth on my Nook and settle in for what I hope is a wild ride...
- Hmm. Just a few pages in and Mary becomes an orphan. I'm feeling for her but I feel strangely disconnected, as if my pity for her is only superficial. Maybe I just haven't gotten used to her yet? I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.
- I already hate Jed. He feels like a complete stranger rather than a brother. And he really needs to lighten up, shit ain't gettin' done if you're moping around.
- Damn. My hatred is now reaffirmed. So much for family. Mary is now stuck with the Sisters for life, something I'm sure won't last.
- A love triangle set up. Disappointing, but this is a YA novel so I'm willing to overlook it.
- A forbidden relationship as well?
- And a mysterious guest.
- This book would have made a fantastic Lifetime movie, the type where actors can't help but overact every single scene they're given. You know the kind.
- As if that's not enough, Mary now has to marry someone else while brooding over her one true love, who we know almost nothing about except for the fact that they grew up together and he likes hearing her stories. It's difficult to believe they were Meant2Be.
- I'm starting to get pissed off. There is just so. Much. Drama. It's overkill. And this is someone who grew up watching Spanish soap operas.
- Mary gives it up to Harry. Feeling truly bad for her at this point.
- How many times will Mary wake up to a siren/commotion/yelling? Not every chapter has to begin like this, Ryan. It gives a cheap feeling to your writing. I'm hoping this isn't your first time?
- Finally some action. Not gonna lie, kind of rooting for Mary to make it out alive even though I have yet to connect with her enough to give a shit what happens.
- Well there goes the village.
- More drama.
- Shut the fuck up Cass. I get that you're a frail little butterfly but jesus, can you keep it together for more than five seconds?
- SO MUCH FRUSTRATION. The plot has taken a nose dive and I'm struggling to keep up with the story. I just don't care what happens to these overly dramatic idiots.
- The Harry/Travis "love" triangle feels like a pathetic attempt to create some angst and tension and Ryan failed horribly at it. I was actually cringing during certain scenes. None of it is believable, the lines feel forced, and actually, now that I think about it, this reminds me of a rehearsed reality show. The Hills and the Zombies.
- Wait a sec. Mary gives up Beth, essentially shoving a knife into her brother's back, she's killed, and no one confronts Mary about it? YOU MUST BE JOKING. All this whining, complaining, about mundane shit and when something serious actually happens everyone turns a blind eye? GTFO.
- Wait, what did the Sisters know? Were they in on some secret government operation or something? What's with the book with the notes in the margins? I need some answers!
- Jed is psychotic. And possibly bipolar. One second he's choking Mary to death and the next he's acting like nothing happened? Um, no.
- I really should stop reading at this point.
- I don't understand why Mary has a death wish. She needs to be kept away from the fences permanently. Or just let her die, I'll be okay with either.
- Cass. Really. Shut the hell up.
- Interesting, an empty village. I wonder what they'll find–-oh. Unconsecrated. And the group is split up (WHY) to create a little more drama. Of course.
- This whole relationship with Travis feels like an old marriage. So much cringing.
- GO TO THE DAMN SEA, THEN, MARY. NO ONE'S STOPPING YOU.
- So wait, how much time has passed since they've been to this new village?
- Oh, Cass is a mother now. Really, Ryan? That's the best you could do with this character? You might as well have killed her off back at the fences.
- I find it amusing that Mary has almost as many questions as I have. The only difference is that it looks like I'll never get any of mine answered.
- My eyes are starting to glaze over.
- This book had so much potential.
- Goddammit, Travis. Just had to be a hero, huh? Just had to go ahead and sacrifice yourself when you would have been A LOT MORE HELP ALIVE.
- Finally Mary can escape and stop whining. I'm fed up with her constant ~inward battle~ between what she should do. This is a highly intense situation where time is a gift. You can't just waste it pondering.
- WHAT HAPPENED TO JED? What was the point of him following Mary and being the big brave bro?? And why did he go through such a miraculous transformation only to be cast aside? Also, why wasn't his death confirmed?
- "Am I responsible for the fall of mankind?" She can't be serious. Is this an actual question?
- Just 30 more pages. You can do it, Sarai.
- THERE'S THE SEA, MARY. WADE IN ITS BLUE DEPTHS. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?! (Just kidding, Mary will never be satisfied. With anything.)
- Oh sure, just go with the complete stranger that we've only known for five paragraphs while the world goes straight to hell and your brother is missing. Makes sense.
- Wait, what happened to Harry and the others?
- The end? What? That's it? No answers at all? Thanks for NOTHING, Ryan. DFJLSDKLFJKDJF.
The above is not an exaggeration of my thought process while reading this book. Because of the rave reviews on GoodReads, I had high hopes for this and it just fell flat, which is a shame because like I said before, the premise was awesome. This could have been an amazing read and I'm just disappointed that it didn't live up to my expectations....more
Reading this book took me back to those days when I was in middle school and would curl up with a good book right before bed. I wish I would have readReading this book took me back to those days when I was in middle school and would curl up with a good book right before bed. I wish I would have read this when I was younger, I feel I would have appreciated it so much. Sara Crewe is a bit of a Mary Sue, but in a very charming way. I would recommend this book to any young girl growing up, as I feel the message is very important, and the ending is heartwarming....more
This was written beautifully. The cover doesn't do the story justice in my opinion. Taylor created a world completely new to me as far as tRating: 3.5
This was written beautifully. The cover doesn't do the story justice in my opinion. Taylor created a world completely new to me as far as the angels and the chimaera goes. She managed to weave magic and fantasy in this world effortlessly. However, the plot was very basic. Unrequited love between two lovers who are enemies since birth. The male love interest in the story is beautiful beyond words, physically perfect but with a dark past. A mentor who delivers tough love but has his reasons. A jealous sibling who wants what they can't have and betrays their loved ones. A big mistake that threatens to change everything. I felt like I'd heard it all before, and that's why this didn't get a full four stars. I give Taylor credit for writing and crafting a beautiful story, but I wasn't moved.
The mystery of the teeth, Karou's childhood, and the reason for the burning of the portals kept me hooked on the story. I had a thousand questions, but Taylor answered every one, taking her sweet time revealing the different pieces of the puzzle. Of course, near the end she forced me to ask some new ones, but I can't fault her for it. Speaking of the ending...
The ending had a great twist, one that tied in greatly with the story and the magical aspects of it. The strange attraction Akiva and Karou feel for each other from the beginning was later justified by a nice turn of events so I thought it was a satisfying ending, even though it was a cliff hanger. I'm eager for the next one. ...more