Such a unique book, I loved how everything came together to tell a story that was mysterious, exciting, and romantic all at the same time. The transcrSuch a unique book, I loved how everything came together to tell a story that was mysterious, exciting, and romantic all at the same time. The transcripts, chat logs, graphics, memos--all of it came together. It wasn't perfect (the YA romance was a bit cheesy at times although it added a personal touch to everything) but it was a lot of fun to read....more
3.5 stars Very important book, with a lot of hard hitting themes like grief, alcoholism, racism, and growing up different. I loved learning about life3.5 stars Very important book, with a lot of hard hitting themes like grief, alcoholism, racism, and growing up different. I loved learning about life in a reservation. I found Junior's voice endearing at times, and others it was a bit confusing. I know he's 14, but he reads younger throughout most of the book (around 11-12), so it threw me off sometimes when he cussed or talked about sex. Still I enjoyed the story as a whole and found it refreshing to read a story from the point of view of an Indian living in one of the many reservations around the US....more
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