About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a stalker and a creeper. Second, there was part of him — and I didn't know how potent...more
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a stalker and a creeper. Second, there was part of him — and I didn't know how potent that part might be — that suffered from Manic Depression. And third, I was strangely and unashamedly entertained by it all.
I know what you are probably doing. Right now, you may have your head cocked to the side with your eyes squinted, wondering if you read that last part correctly. I will repeat: I was entertained. First, let me clear the air. I was not entertained by the story or the writing. Shit Heavens, no. For the same reasons why some found Midnight Sun disturbing, I found it unintentionally comical. I can't tell you how many times I snickered or LOL'ed. Well, that's a lie, I probably could, but it'd be an awful long review.
However, I will touch on a few standout parts that really tickled my pickle. OMG, did I really just type that? Project Hindsight is melting brain cells.
Manic Depressed, murderous vamp with feelings:
Like I mentioned earlier, Edward definitely suffers from manic depression. He first starts off as an extremely condescending vamp, but as soon as he lays his eyes on Bella and gets a whiff of her sweet-smelling blood, he quickly becomes a murderous hunter. Now, this I can understand to a degree because vamps, ya know, drink blood and all. BUT, as he is thinking of various ways to murder everyone in his biology class and eat Bella, he starts whining. He literally has a "woe is me, fuck my life!" moment.
Why did she have to come here? Why did she have to exist? Why did she have to ruin the little peace I had in this non-life of mine? Why had this aggravating human ever been born? She would ruin me.
It's all about him, isn't it? He isn't the one who's *thisclose* to being eaten, but here he is singing the, "Why cruel world?!" song. And his bitch fest continues...
Who was this creature? Why me, why now? Why did I have to lose everything just because she happened to choose this unlikely town to appear in?
*sigh* Are you done?
Why had she come here!
Sometimes people move, Edward. It happens! Man the hell up!
I didn't want to be the monster! I didn't want to kill this room full of harmless children! I didn't want to lose everything I'd gained in a lifetime of sacrifice and denial!
I wouldn't. She couldn't make me.
You tell that little human, Eddie. *Pats back* Feel better now?
Then, the next page over he gets back to work plotting Bella's murder. You know who Edward reminds me of best in the beginning of Midnight Sun? Have you ever seen The Smurfs? Remember old Gargamel and how he was always either planning some lame attempt to catch and eat the smurfs or crying from failing so hard?
*Evil crackle* Yessss...I'll get those little blue smurfs! I'll sneak into their village while they sleep and boil them alive! Won't we Azrael?
(view spoiler)[ Hmmm...what a weird coincidence. I found a pic of that on Google... Oh, fangirls. Still feel like swooning now? (hide spoiler)]
Okay, now imagine Eddie just like that while he says,
She would go home to an empty house. Police Chief Swan worked a full day. I knew his house, as I knew every house in the tiny town. His home was nestled right up against thick woods, with no close neighbors. Even if she had time to scream, which she would not, there would be no one to hear.
Conniving little bastard, isn't he? ^_^
Of course, then he runs off to Alaska and throws himself one hell of a pity party. Then, he goes back to Forks and falls head over heels in love with the most "mouthwatering""beautiful""selfless"INSANE girl. This is how I envisioned Edward for most of the partial draft *wink* book:
*sigh* Eddie, Eddie, Eddie. You need help, son.
And there is also another human who had the misfortune to make Edward's personal hit list: Mike. I actually felt sorry for the douche bag in Midnight Sun. If Edward wasn't thinking about eating Bella, gently caressing her lips (LOL, who does that?), or how she looked in that damn blue blouse, he was thinking of "annihilating" the "obnoxious boy." Oddly enough, that too, had me LOL'ing. I know, I know. I'm a strange one. Heh. And when he said, "I wasn't going to stand around arguing with the wretch," I fell out. LOL.
He creeped, He perved, He stalked:
The creepiest thing, yet hilarious to me, about Midnight Sun is when Edward watches Bella sleep.
I was repulsed by myself as I watched her toss again. How was I any better than some sick peeping tom?
LMAO, you fucking aren't! This book is a Stalker's Handbook. In five easy steps you can become the best stalker eva!
Step 1: Wait until you beloved and her loved ones are fast asleep. It would be uncool to be found snooping around your one true love's house during some ungodly hour. This is especially important if there is a loaded weapon on the premises.
Step 2: The window or entry of your liking may creak. Don't forget to bring along a can of oil! This is imperative to your stalking success! You must be unseen and unheard. Like a ninja...a really creepy ninja.
Step 3: Watch your honey bunny sleep. Maybe she's dreaming of you. Stay awake, lest you miss the action. For maximum effectiveness drink a 5-hour energy drink. By all means, snoop around her room. This is your show. You run this!
Step 4: Leave before the stalkee awakens. I can't even begin to tell you how awkward it would be if you are discovered!
Step 5: Congrats! You have done it! You've stalked your soul mate! Now repeat these five steps again and again to receive your Jedi Master level of stalking badge.
Edward loses his mind and everybody knows it:
The star of this book for me was Emmett. He always said what everyone else was thinking. The "voice of reason," if you will.
"Kid's lost his mind." "Lost his mind, poor kid." "This is getting weird." "You sound like a crazy person, do you know that?" "Exactly like a crazy person." "You're pathetic."
And my favorite part is when Charlotte and Peter (Jasper's vamp friends) come to visit and Edward is there in a corner looking crazy again.
And they all sort of stare at him, yet Emmett sums it up perfectly, "Madman."
Oh and I can't write a Twilight review without throwing in a few hits at Bella. I just love it how Edward knows she has got to be crazy, but still wants to be with her. Maybe he finds it endearing like her inability to stand on her own two feet with out her face kissing the pavement. *shrugs* I really don't know what goes on inside the head of Edward. There is one part where he sits down and questions her sanity. He even goes as far to think about having her institutionalized:
How was I supposed to protect someone so...so...so determined to be unprotected?
She possesses zero self-preservation skills. Give up, Ed.
I supposed that I could arrange for her to receive the best care available... Carlisle would have the connections to find her the most skilled doctors, the most talented therapists. Perhaps something could be done to fix whatever it was that was wrong with her, what ever it was that made her content to sit beside a vampire with her heart beating calmly and steadily. I would watch over the facility, naturally, and visit as often as I was allowed...
I now truly believe both of these clowns are meant for each other. Crazy is as crazy does.
Even though I may have liked Twilight and Eclipse at one point, I feel the same way I felt about Midnight Sun the first time I read it, "Is this a parody? This can't possibly be legit. It is? Bahahahaha! Somehow that just adds another layer of LOL'ing!" If you are looking for quality YA literature, this ain't it folks. Run away! If and when this book is ever finished and released, it will only be good for one thing:
(view spoiler)[ That pic is so creepy...it's perfect!(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh, man. Did I fall asleep again? It's not my fault. Really, it isn't. If only Crossed had just a little bit mor...more Psst...Stephanie. Wake up, it's over.
Oh, man. Did I fall asleep again? It's not my fault. Really, it isn't. If only Crossed had just a little bit more action and a lot less poetry, it would have been able to keep my attention focused on reading the book instead of hitting my REM cycle. That's not to say I didn't entirely enjoy Crossed, but it also didn't live up to my expectations.
Crossed picks up where Matched left off. Ky had been sent away to the Outer Provinces and Cassia is currently residing in a girl's work camp. In this installment she travels to the Outer Provinces to find Ky, while he somehow escapes the Outer Provinces to be reunited with Cassia back in the Society. A few new discoveries are made regarding the Society and an apparent rebellion called the Rising. Along the way, enough poetry to give Maya Angelou a headache is recited and flashbacks to Ky's past are also included.
I had high hopes for this book mostly because I did enjoy Matched. I enjoyed the "Do not go gently" theme and Condie's poetic writing style. But for some reason it just didn't work out too well for me in Crossed. I liked how the PoVs switched back and forth between Ky and Cassia. In fact, I am a fan of that particular style, when done correctly. However, in this case I found it difficult to tell who was who. Cassia and Ky's voice sounded exactly alike to me. I found myself flipping back to the beginning of the chapters to confirm who was narrating. Because of this I slowly felt myself becoming disconnected from the characters even with learning further details about Ky's past.
The Characters: One thing I did enjoy about the book were the introduction of the minor characters. While traveling to the Outer Provinces to find Ky, Cassia teams up with a girl named Indie. At first I really liked Indie because she was brave, sharp, and determined. But around 77% of the book she seemed too sneaky to me and I didn't appreciate her lying to Cassia about the Rising. At one point she even (view spoiler)[asks Ky to travel with her to the Rising and leave Cassia! (hide spoiler)] She also steals from Cassia and Cassia has the nerve to ask, "What else has she been hiding? Does she even think we are friends?" Umm...Cassia? Someone who steals and lies is not a friend. I do think she created an interesting dynamic to the story, but I'm not entirely sure I liked her as a character.
Ky also travels with two other companions: a boy named Eli who reminds him of Bram (Cassia's younger brother) and Vick. I actually liked both of those new characters very much. In fact, they were my saving grace for this book. To me they seemed to be the only two characters that actually expressed realistic reactions to things. Eli asks questions that should be asked and Vick gets angry when everyone else is maintaining unrealistic calmed facade. I didn't like how Condie (view spoiler)[killed off Vick. His death was the reason why Ky and Eli decided to stay put long enough for Cassia to catch up to Ky (hide spoiler)]. I felt she did that to attempt a realistic reunion for Cassia and Ky. I didn't buy that for one minute because it seemed very deliberate on Condie's part and forced.
Cassia and Ky irritated me to no end, especially Ky. He knew about the Rising since Matched and never told Cassia. I was willing to accept that until he continued to try and hide his knowledge after their reunion. He was extremely selfish in this book. Not only that, but his explanation as to why he didn't want to join the Rising didn't make much sense to me and it ultimately almost breaks them up. After they have traveled all that time endangering their lives, they almost throw it completely away. Unbelievable. Cassia is no better because she waits until the last possible moment to confront Indie and Ky. Great. Just great. Another complacent heroine.
Condie does manage to keep Xander in the picture despite his small page time. Both Cassia and Ky think of him often and have flashbacks involving him. And it also appears that a love-square may be forming. Yes, feel free to >insert eye rolling here<.
The Prose: There are a few quotes that I really loved in Crossed. Like this one:
Everyone has something of beauty about them. In the beginning for me, it was Ky’s eyes I noticed, and I love them still. But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys—why he walks like this, why he closes his eyes like that—you can love those parts, too, and it’s a love at once more complicated and more complete.
I think Condie is gifted with writing some truly beautiful passages. However, when the entire book is filled with your characters sitting on rocks reciting poetry every few pages, my patience tends to fly out the window. One minute I'm reading Crossed and the next minute I'm:
A) Falling asleep
B) Getting distracted by squirrels
I'm not even sure where the climax was because I was just that bored with the plot, characters, everything. It was like watching the Peanut gang's parents go, "Blah, blah, blah, blah." LOL. Maybe I fell asleep at that part. It really wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.
The World Building: I was hoping to see more world building in this installment, but I was once again left with many unanswered questions. Who runs the Society? How are these rebels slipping in and out of the Society if the Society has such a strict eye on things? Who put Ky's name into the Matching pool? Where are all the Provinces located? Several are mentioned in the book, but I have no idea where they are located. I feel this series could really use a world map. Speaking of the world, is the Society located over the entire world? The way it is described seems like it's only in one part of the world. What in the world is the Warming? It's mentioned in Crossed, but it's not really explained well. Are there no gay society members? So many questions, so little time, and so little fucks of mine to give. I hope these questions will be answered in final book, but at this point I won't hold my breath.
I'd recommend this book to strong supporters and fans of Matched. If you felt Matched was just an "ok" read for you, chances are you will be disappointed with its sequel Crossed.
Poetry inspired by Crossed!
Roses are red Violets are blue This book may bore you And put your ass to sleep too!
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Need series has been a guilty pleasure of mine since book one due to the highly entertaining dialogue, the very unique characters and story line C...more The Need series has been a guilty pleasure of mine since book one due to the highly entertaining dialogue, the very unique characters and story line Carrie Jones created. After all, pixies aren't a paranormal creature I see a lot in the YA genre. Couple that with the use of Norse god mythology and you have a truly original series. All that being said, I do not think this was a strong conclusion, but I did still enjoy myself along the way.
Sometimes what I really dislike about reading a series while they are still being written is the lengthy waits. By the time I get to the next book, I can barely remember who each character is or their background. This is especially frustrating when the novel picks up directly or shortly after the last book ends. But Jones handles that fairly well with small recaps on the important info that happen in the previous novels. So even if it's been a year or more since you've read Entice, rest assured that you will most likely be able to keep up just fine.
Endure opens with Betty still missing and Nick still not very accepting of Zara being a pixie. It's a trying time for her and she has her share of FML moments, but I never thought they were over done. I think everyone is entitled to their own pity party when your boyfriend can stand the sight (and smell) of you. Zara and the gang have a lot on their plate in Endure since Frank is causing even more trouble trying to bring an end to the world. And then there is Astly, who Zara isn't entirely sure how she feel about. But unlike other heroines, Zara pushes her personal feelings aside to deal with the real matter at hand -- saving the world. I loved that about her because for once we have a heroine that realizes they have a job to do instead of moping around crying about her love life. But this comes as no surprise to me as I have always loved Zara as a main character. She's smart, compassionate (yet not to the point of having no self-preservation), and hilarious.
Still, there are a few things that irritated me a bit:
Nick -- I really don't know what happened to his character over the course of this series. But I don't like it. To put it bluntly, he was an ass in Endure. Straight up. Zara went to Valhalla to rescue him. She changed into a pixie for him, which she was strongly opposed to at first, and what does the little prick do? He completely shuns her because she is different. Later in the novel, a situation arises where she becomes human again and he has the nerve to show interest in her! Thankfully, Zara is a smarter than the average bear and does not accept his advances.
The Norse mythology -- It went right over my head. At first it was interesting in the pervious books because it's not often done, but it got more and more complicated. This book is only 262 pages and I don't think that was enough time to properly explore it fully. Somehow Zara is the key to stopping the apocalypse by freeing Loki, but then she's not supposed to free Loki because that actually starts the apocalypse?? I was very confused. I don't even think the characters knew what they were talking about. In fact, it's pretty clear they didn't considering the Norse gods were always correcting them on their information. Their response?
It seemed like a rather convenient excuse to explain away things that aren't fully explained in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I think it's pretty accurate for modern teens to find out everything they need to know from the University of Google. But it's another thing entirely for them to fully believe everything they read as much as was done in Endure. It was like:
"Oh noz! How do we stop the apocalypse?"
*fires up Google*
Go on and push it. I know you want to...
The Ending -- It really felt like Jones was just on a mission to hurry up and end the series. Overall I'm happy with the ending, but not the process in which it arrived there. But I really believe that it mostly comes back to things being a little too convenient for Zara and her friends.
However, even with those issues and not fully understanding the how everything connected together, I still was able to enjoy the novel. As for who Zara ends up with, well, let's just say I think fans will be very happy with the outcome. I know I was. ;)
ARC was provided by Bloomsbury via NetGalley. Thank you!
***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the bo...more ***Please note: It's been a while since finishing this book and I did not include many details in this review.
Initial thoughts after finishing the book:
Somebody get Stephenie Meyer on the phone because this is how you add onto a trilogy without completely screwing your characters over. This is how you make a semi-insta-love relationship awesome. This is how you end a love triangle. And this is how you write a freakin' book!
4 stars seems too low and I think I love Iron Queen a little more (which I gave 5 stars). So actual rating is more like 4.5 stars. Full review to come!
Thoughts after some time had passed:
Wow, I can't believe I'm saying this, but this book didn't hold the same magic as books 1-3. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it, which is why I think it belongs with my 3.5 star books.
I am an Ash girl through and through. You cannot begin to imagine how excited I was to receive this as an ARC from Netgalley! I seriously did a major happy dance.
In this installment, we find Ash set out on his final adventure: to travel to the End of the World to find a soul. Without one, he will never be able to step foot in the Iron realm. Besides Puck, Ash finds himself accompanied by a few surprise companions and of course, the Cat. This book seemed to be slower paced that the others, focusing mainly on a lot of character development. I think it's fair to say by the end of the book you will know as much about tAsh as you did about Meghan. And that's saying something considering she had three books in her POV and Ash has only one.
I gobbled this book up, attempting to savor every moment. As usual, the banter between Puck and Ash was awesome. Julie never disappoints with her character dialog. In this book we really got a chance to have a deeper understanding of Ash *and* Puck, which was a really nice bonus. We learn more about Ariella's death and Ash's vowel. We also get a chance to see just how much Ash loves Meghan. And he truly does since he travels to the End of the World for her. The world building was once again awesome. You could easily picture the scenes described.
So, why was I not feeling the magic as much? I think a big part was because I really missed Meghan. I didn't realize how much she shaped Ash as a character in this series until she wasn't a major player. She does make some appearances in this book, but this is virtually *Ash's* book, told by his POV.
The ending was a happy one, but I think I prefer the ending in The Iron Queen instead because it was just a very emotional ending. The Iron Knight did have me tear up a bit, but The Iron Queen opened the flood gates.
So, if you loved the Iron Fey series definitely give The Iron Knight a go!
*Sigh* Do you know how you are really excited about a book and you have this feeling you are going to LOVE it. But soon as you start reading it you sta...more *Sigh* Do you know how you are really excited about a book and you have this feeling you are going to LOVE it. But soon as you start reading it you start to wonder if you have received the same copy as others who fell head over heels in love with it? Well, that is exactly what Wildefire was for me. I have a confession. I totally fell for the hype with this one. I really wanted to love this. Even when I felt like giving up halfway through, I continued on in hopes that it would get better. But, alas, for me, it did not. Did I hate it? No, that wouldn't be fair. Saying I hated it would put it on the same pathetic shelf along City of Fallen Angels and Marked and Wildefire wasn't *that* bad. But, was I disappointed? Immensely.
I gave this book 2 stars because while I didn't really like it, there were a few things I did like. So, I'll start at the good.
One of Wildefire's best qualities was the diversity of ethnicities. In the beginning, I'll admit I had trouble keeping up with who was who. The plus side to this is that it caused me to Google images of people from different cultures to get a better visual picture in my mind.
Ashline and her sister Eve are both Polynasian
Ade is Haitian
Rolfe is Scandinavian
Lily is Japanese
Raja is Egyptian
Ok, so don't laugh. *snicker, snicker* But as I was reading this book it kind gave me flash backs to Captain Planet.
GIFSoup We're the Planeteers! You can be one too! 'Cause saving our planet is the thing to do!
Other than the diverse cultures, I found the banter between the characters funny and entertaining at times. But, it was hard to determine who was speaking unless Knight told me who it was. Every character was snarky and it seemed like their personalities often times just blended together.
And that is pretty much where my warm fuzzies for this book ends. Ready for the bad? NOTE: This part may contain spoilers.
Our story begins with Ashline Wilde in a confrontation with a classmate over a boy. At first, I really liked her. I thought she was spunky and a strong MC. However, that image of her quickly died as the novel wore on. But before we even get to her, let's start off with asking why the Principle was just standing around in the first scene of the book with a student sprawled out on the ground unconscious? Hmmm? He might as well have stayed in his office for all the good he did. I don't care that he was scared of Eve, can we at least help the poor girl up?! If you are wondering if this book has more of these irritations, the answer would be, "Yes, yes it does."
Let us continue our discussion of Ash. I spent most of the novel asking questions that Ash should have been asking herself. It was quite frustrating. For example, it seems she just accepted her sister's weird powers in the beginning before she even knew what she herself was. I didn't find that very realistic. She didn't even question it. Another example would have to be the love interest, Colt. First off, any book that proposes insta-love with me already gets on my bad side. I don't have an issue if there is a mystery or reason clearly behind it and the MC actually *questions* it (that's the key point here). But, it was like, they meet in a bar one night and he is completely captivated with her. Ok-tay, fine. I can get with that. But then he shows up randomly at her tennis practice (major stalker vibes). To giver her credit, a day or so later she does ask him why he is so interested, but he gives her the most creepy, stalker answer ever. He borderline tells her, she has given his life new meaning and she just accepts it and decides to go out on a date with him.
As for the other characters in the book, I didn't really connect with them. I would have liked to see what happened to make Eve the way she was. What was the catalyst to her wild behavior? The rest had relatively small parts. I thought we would see more of them considering their whole mission to save the world and all. But there was no saving. Not even a small attempt. The book compromised of classes, shopping, visits from psycho big sis, a date and school dance. Oh and what the hell! Let's throw in a fight scene at the end.
OK my biggest beef with this book: (huge spoiler) (view spoiler)[Why didn't Raja bring Rolfe back when he died? I don't understand that. (hide spoiler)]
The cliffhanger was OK. I kinda figured it was headed in that direction. I will check out the next book in the series because I'm curious to were Knight is planning on going with all this. This series has a lot of potential. It would be wrong to give up so soon.
ARC was received through Simon and Schuster's galleygrab program.
More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Quick, someone get me chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!
I should have known that w...more**spoiler alert** No, GoodReads.
How about NO FUCKING STARS?
Quick, someone get me chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate!
I should have known that when Lauren Kate blurbed this book I wouldn't like it. No, wait, that doesn't fully express my hatred for Starcrossed. How about this:
After reading this shit storm of a book I feel like I should go straight to my book shelf and give "Catastrophe": Hush, Hush, "My Eyes, They Bleed!": House of Night, "Kill it with Fire!": Twilight, and even, yes, "Are You Fuckin' Kidding Me?!": Carrier of the Mark all 5 glorious stars.
This is the worst book I have ever read.
Why, oh, why did I read it? I should have listened to the Fates (Kat, Paige, Phoebe). They warned me of this, but I didn't listen. I almost ALWAYS agree with them on books. Why did I think this would be a different story? I will never doubt your wisdom again, ladies.
This one time I let myself be influenced by another popular reviewer who claimed to absolutely love this book. I was conned! Fooled! Bamboozled! Hoodwinked!
The only logical answer is that Hades himself was behind the plot to fry my remaining brain cells. *rubs chin* Yes, that must be it. I've been trolled by the Lord of the Underworld himself.
ARE YOU HAPPY?!
ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY NOW?!
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?!
Y-y-you heartless bastard.
This review will not be nice. No one will be spared. Not even the children.
*flips through her notebook*
Good thing I took plenty of notes then. Hahahaha!
Dear, Gandhi! It was terrible! Immediately when I started to read, I felt my eye balls start rebuking me. "Noooooooooo, don't make us! You are evil! You are heartless! Why do you hate us! We've been good to you!" I'm not exaggerating when I say this was amateur at best and eye-bleeding bad at worse. The book is littered with ridiculously simple sentences that remind me of a children's book. "See Helen Spot run? Helen Spot can run fast! Run, Helen Spot. Run!" Metaphors and similes exsit for a reason. Let's use them. But that's not event the worst of it. There were countless pages of info-dumping as well. SHOW DON'T TELL! And the dialogue...OMFG. It was painfully obvious that they were trying entirely too hard to sound like "hip" teens.
"What the holy hand grenade was that?"
It felt goofy as hell.
"Unbefrickinglievable," Hector cusses quietly into the silence.
I just wanted to shake them. Shake them all.
The plot was a damn mess. Basic run down:
- Lucas and his Brady Bunch family move to the neighborhood. - Helen and Lucas almost kill each other. - They break curse/spell/whatever and fall in love over night. - Oh noz! Helen is in danger. - Helen suddenly becomes a sex kitten. - Lucas denies her advances. - Helen wonders if he is gay. Contemplates sex change.
"...she decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it."
- Demi-god training. - Oh, but wait! Now, she is invincible! - "Sex, please," says Helen. "No means no, Helen. It would destroy the world!" Lucas cries. - Shit happens, people die. - "OMG! So we won't destroy the world after all! I'm horny. Let's do it," Lucas declares. *rams tongue down throat* "Ew. We are first cousins! We can never be together! Fuck our fuckin' life!" she whines.
Keep up Hades!
Angelini tries to confuse the readers with her many plot twists, but all the plot really does is run around the mulberry bush chasing the weasel. There was nothing clever about it. I could tell that I was supposed to be like, "Whoa! My teeny little brain never saw that coming!" IT NEVER HAPPENED!
Let's play Name That Sue! But first you're going to need a few clues about her personality:
- I'm super beautiful, but I don't notice it! - I'm the "last" person in my family. Woe is me! - I'm so powerful and useless, love me! - I'm so selfless. Here, let me love you! - My characterization has been used over and over in tons of books, but I have super speshul powers! I'm kewler than them! Answers: Black Hole Sue, God Mode Sue, Sympathetic Sue, Anti-Sue... my god. It's too many Sues to count! It's a Thirty Sue Pileup!
Helen is an idiot.
Most of the novel she's running around with twinkling stars in her eyes and clueless to everything that is happening around her. She is beautiful in every way. So much so, that it is normal for people to just sit and stare at her. Everybody loves her and the world kisses her ass every chance it gets. Her favorite hobbies include going grocery shopping, cooking for her dad, doing homework, and personal hygiene. Oh hey, Bella! I didn't see you there!
The moment Helen and Lucas stop attempting to end each other's life, they immediately start holding hands and declaring their love for one another. (Oh, insta-love! How I hate thee!) She's never had a boyfriend or been kissed until Lucas and his family move into town. There is just something about Lucas that brings out everything in Helen. And I do mean everything. Her entire life she has had all these powerful mystical powers, but she never knew about them because whenever she would use them unknowingly in front of mortals she would get a nasty bout of menstrual cramps! Little does Helen know that her cramps were a cursed placed on her by her very own mother. But it was totally for her protection. Of course. *eyeroll* If that isn't some bullshit, I don't know what is.
So anyway, with every new plot twist, Helen seems to get a new power. Which basically means she keeps getting more and more useless. All she does is say, "Oh, but I don't want to hurt anyone! Even if they are trying to kill me, I can't justify their deaths!" Are you kidding me? She has no sense of self-preservation.
"I knew if I started blocking him he'd just get angrier, and then I would eventually have no choice by to hit him so hard he wouldn't be able to hit me back."
Go on and let it out, Hades!
That was during a SELF-DEFENSE session. How is it that a character can be so powerful and do NOTHING with her powers? What is the point?!*breath in, breath out* Sorry, guys. The stupidity makes it hard to breath. Thankfully, one of the other characters noticed this madness and said:
"She'd better get it in her. Because I don't want any of the people I love to die defending her lazy ass."
That was the only good part of the entire book. >_>
Then I hit the next chapter and Cassandra has a sword aimed for Helen's head and she JUST STANDS THERE.
Cassandra swung her sword. In that millisecond Helen knew she'd had a good life, because she suddenly loved it so much that she could have wept with gratitude. She'd had amazing friends, the best dad in the world, and a strong, healthy body...
I thought she was going to finally die! I was like, "Yes! KILL HER NOW! Doooo iiiittttt!" And you know what happens? She levels up out of nowhere!
Why won't she roll over and die already?!
So now she's invincible and can't be killed by any weapons AND she's the most powerful demi-god. REALLY?! >Implied Facepalm<
Yet, believe it or not all those things I could have semi-forgiven and gave this book 1 star, maybe 2 for good effort. The biggest problem with this book: It's SEXIST. This book offended me on so many levels, it's not even funny. Let me count the ways:
Causal jokes about domestic abuse:
"I'll just tell him you abuse me," she said with a shrug. "And I'll tell him you like it," he teased back. That shit is not amusing. AT ALL. Lots of women suffer from domestic abuse every day and Angelini pokes fun?! What messages are we sending our young girls? That this is romantic banter? This is why young girls think it is okay to tweet crazy shit like they would let Chris Brown hit them any time. This is why we are seeing people happy about him singing songs with Rihanna. We need to speak up against this. IT IS NOT OKAY! OMG, I'm so angry right now, I'm seeing red. RAGE.
Use your powers in the kitchen!:
Everything about Ariadne was so feminine and round and lovely that Helen simply couldn't imagine anyone hitting her. "Do you guys do this to each other often? The fighting, I mean." Ariadne was shaking her head before Helen had even finished talking. "No. We spar together to stay in shape, but only the boys really fight, and only when they need to get something off their chests."
WHAT?! The only reason why they fight is to stay in shape? THEY ARE DEMI-GODS!!!!!
"Now go to sleep," he ordered.
Come again? He what?! Oh, hell no. Let a guy come home and start ordering me around. I've got two words for him:
He kissed her neck and said he was sorry over and over, but try as she might, he wouldn't let her face him. She began to feel like she was being used.
"Is Zach after you?" Lucas asked with wide eyes. "Oh, not really. He wants to talk to me about something, I think," Helen said as if it wasn't important. She shut her mouth before she could say too much. "Yeah, I'll bet," Lucas said with a sneer, his blue eyes turning nearly black as he sensed her untruth. Is there any reason for Zach to think that you might be single?"
At this point he never even asked her to be his girl friend! He goes throughout most of the book just holding her hand, but telling everyone else they don't really have a relationship. And then he pulls this line:
"Are you trying to make me jealous or are you just so frustrated that you're already looking for someone else? Someone who would give in to you?"
I just... can't.
Women should be held to high standards and oh, yeah, they're evil:
"A lady never cheapened herself by using foul language."
"He had sworn to remove the feminine evil of the cestus from the world so that all men could control their lust.
Yup, thats right. It's totally a woman's fault a man can't control himself. I can't believe women have been fighting for RIGHTS just so we can write about this kind of stuff! Around 80% this book gets super ridiculous with making Helen and her mother out to be "semxy sex pots". Helen is so damn useless powerful and horny that she pretty much starts playing Lady GaGa's Love Game, trying to take off Lucas' clothes at every opportunity she gets.
Let's have some fun this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick!
I suppose this is what she is supposed to look like:
I can see you staring there from across the block with a smile on your mouth and a hand on your HUH!
There are a ton of other problems with this book, but I've wasted enough of my life with Starcrossed. I probably have enough anger and quotes to write a damn book myself. I just... can't. I'm offended this was written. I offended that it was published. I offended people think this is okay.
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about ov...moreActual rating: 3.5 stars
When I first found out Kagawa was journeying down the vampire path, I was nervous. I mean, vampires have been written about over and over in the YA world and I wasn't sure what could be added. I had imaginary conversations, pleading with her, "Julie, are you sure you wanna do this?" And in all her awesomeness she pretty much told me, "Steph, chill. I got this." Do you know what I love about Julie Kagawa? I love how she can take a completely overused paranormal creature like fairies or vampires and create a whole new spin on them. Just when I was starting to lose faith in the Children of the Night, The Immortal Rules comes along and makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about vampires.
The Immortal Rules tells the story of Allison Sekemoto living in a future where most of the human population was killed by a disease called Red Lung. But that's not the only problem. Vampires now rule their world and have caused the human race to become their pets, scavengers, and monsters themselves. And let's not forget about the Rabids that stalk the earth just waiting to take a bite or two out of a human. Allison hate vampires, but when faced with the choice of death or becoming that which she has always loathed, she chooses the latter. When she flees from New Covington, Allie runs into a group of humans. She decides to travel with them, hiding her true nature from them as they travel searching for Eden (and yes, there are Christian themes in the book), a human city not ruled by vampires. She's always thought being a human was hard, but she quickly learns that being a vampire isn't exactly a walk in the park either, especially when you're wanted.
The best thing I loved about The Immortal Rules were the vampires. These aren't the cute sparkly vamps that try their hardest, fighting their nature, by feasting off animals instead of humans. Oh, no. These bad boys are vicious killers, just like unlike 'em! It is made very clear early in the novel that vampires have to drink from humans in order to survive and that one day Allison would kill a human no matter how hard she tried not to. Hell to the yeah. Real vampires! They're back!
That's what I'm talking about!
I also really enjoyed the creativity in this novel. Do you know what happens when Underworld and The Forest of Hands and Teeth have a baby? The result, if you didn't guess, is The Immortal Rules. It was a really cool mix of both flesh-eating, zombie-like creatures and bloodsucking vamps, surrounding poor, defenseless humans. Kagawa wasn't afraid to kill her characters off and show Allison some tough lovin'! I really hate when authors attempt to give every lovable character in the book a "hall pass" from death. The impact of the scene and story usually suffer, but not here. People died, viciously. Such is the way of the circle of life.
My biggest and only issue with the book was the extremely slow first half. It just felt like it dragged on and on. I just wanted to bang my head against a wall. And because of that, I can't give this book 4 stars. However, where the beginning was boring (to me at least), the second half makes up for lost time. Because this is another thing I love about Kagawa: Her action scenes and endings are kick-ass. I was getting major Underworld vibes from Allison and it was awesome. Every time she cut someone's head off, I got ridiculously giddy. I'm not lying when I say the second half saved this book.
Characters: In the beginning I really disliked Allie. She and I weren't getting along very well because she had an attitude and personality that gave Oscar the Grouch a run for his money. I get why she was like that, but that didn't mean I had to like it. Thankfully, by the end of the novel, I did end up connecting with her. It was very subtle and snuck up on me. Of course, it didn't hurt that she was a badass, katana wielder either. "Useless," she was not! Kick some ass, she did. Lol. Okay, I'll spare you with my Yoda talk, but seriously the second half was a lot of fun.
Zeke, the love interest, was just okay for me. He was very sweet, caring, loyal, all those things you love to see in a person. While I did like him, I feel like I need to see more of him it the next book before I make up my mind.
Kanin (P.S. was that derived from "The land of Canaan?"), Allie's mentor was my favorite character. We didn't see a lot of him and that made me a bit disappointed, but things are looking up for more page time in the next novel.
So overall I did enjoy the novel and I'm looking forward to book two. It looks like Kagawa is planning on kicking it up a notch, so she can count me in. ;D
*A note on the cover: DISLIKE! Allison is of Japanese descent. Thus, the girl on the cover disappoints me for obvious reasons. -_-
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because it's not very memo...more Actual rating: 1.5 stars
Oh, geez this is awkward. I've just finished Destined and can't find a single thing to say about it because it's not very memorable.
No wait. It's all coming back to me now. Mmmmmhmmmm. Let me get my glasses for this one.
Ah, that's better. And yes, there will be spoilers.
I'll be honest and admit that the Wings series has been of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's not the best written book I've ever read or the worst for that matter. But it had a level of entertainment that kept me around till the end. At least that's what I tell myself because as I dove into Destined I just couldn't help but think how incredibly boring it was. And that greatly disappointed me since I was just looking for a light, fluffy read. Instead I was left with a story cornier than a box of Kellogg's cereal.
So very, very corny.
So the plot is a simple one. We all knew based on the ending of Illusions that Yuki would eventually escape with Klea and go after Avalon. She also happens to have an entire army of trolls ready to bust the doors down. That leaves David, Laurel, Tamani and Chelsea to race to Avalon and warn everyone. Fantastic. It was a fine beginning with promise. Unfortunately, that promise died when we are introduced to the biggest cop out I've read in a long time. Jamison asks David to fight against the trolls using Excalibur. It was truly a Disney movie moment. I knew at that moment it could only go down hill from there.
"David, with the name of Kings," Jamison said formally,
"It's time to discover if you are the hero Laurel has always thought you to be. Will you join us in defending Avalon?"
It seemed that they were *thisclose* to breaking out in song and dance. Then David had his Sword in the Stone moment and was told nothing could hurt him while he wielded Excalibur. And I do mean nothing. If someone were to strike him with a sword, it would conveniently miss him. Or if someone were to shoot him with a gun, the bullets would just drop in front of him. Not even poisonous AIR could harm him.
David had no previous fighting experience, but all he had to do was swing the sword and trolls would just die on the spot. He went all deus ex machina throughout the entire book.
And that's when I lost all desire to finish the book.
Everything was was just too carefully placed and never felt organic to me. The Queen orders Jamison to stay out of the fight, but when she finds out he's disobeyed her she doesn't do anything. Jamison gets taken out during the battle early on and forced to rest, but when the gang goes up against Yuki, he appears out of nowhere ready to assist. Speaking of Yuki, she turned out to be the biggest disappointment of them all. She supposedly has the ability to kill other fairies or at least be really powerful. But she was pretty much useless.
Of course with any battle there are deaths. I feel the impact of a character death is at its greatest when I actually care about the character that's dying. Duh, right? Well, there are two characters who are killed that the reader is familiar with, but I never really felt any kind of sadness for them. Laurel and Tam cared deeply for them, but they weren't around enough in the previous books for me to grow an attachment to them. They were expendable characters.
Another reviewer noted that with everything that was going on, and there was a fair amount of action, it actually felt like nothing was happening. I've been pondering how that's possible and I believe it's because there didn't appear to be much anticipation or build up to any of the scenes. At least I didn't feel any. I just went through the motions of finishing the book to be able to say I completed the series. There was exactly one part where I felt a twinge of emotion and it's where Tamani thinks he sees Laurel die and goes off on his own to kill Klea or be killed by her. But before those feelings get a chance to develop, Laurel goes running after him. End scene. That left me so angry!
Then my biggest pet peeve about YA novels starts flying around left and right. The whole, "I can't live without you!" trope. I really hate when that's used because it gives off the appearance of teens ready to end their life over a boyfriend/girlfriend. They're in the midst of a battle for Avalon, saving other fae's lives, and they start wondering why they would bother if the other were to die. Ummm... because your friends and family are still in danger?!
Then we get to the ending where there is a deadly toxin seeping into the land and killing Tamani courtesy of Klea. It's up to Laurel to save not only Tamani, but all of Avalon. And she's all:
"She wasn't sure if it mattered if the toxin infected her. Was her life worth living without Tamani? Was the risk worth one last kiss? One final embrace?"
So, you're just going to forget about Avalon then?
"He had to be alive. She wasn't sure if she could live another moment if he wasn't with her. What did any of this matter if, in the end, she was too late to save Tamani?"
Whew, sorry about that. I started seeing red again.
The ending was your typical "... And they lived happily ever after" in true Disney fashion. In hindsight, there were casualties, but none that anyone cared about (I find it interesting that Tamani never went back to check on his niece after she lost her mother! O.o Laurel was more important, I guess.). The only thing that mattered is that Tamani got to be with his one true love forever and ever. The end. Lame.
So, I guess if you enjoyed the first three books, you'll probably enjoy this one to some extent. But for everyone else, I wouldn't go into this one expecting much. Overall it was a big ol' pile of MEH.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!
Puck is my favorite character in The Iron Fey series. So you could just imagine my delight when I first heard about this novella. Honestly, I could barely contain my happiness.
In this novella Prince "Ice-boy" Ash and Robin "Puck" Goodfellow embark on a new adventure. But first, they have to find a certain cat, Grimalkin. Unfortunately, the exiled Muse Queen comes to call in a favor from Prince Ash. She asks for them to sneak into the Summer Court and steal back her "Violin," which was apparently stolen from her by none other than the Summer Queen herself. In the midst of all this, Puck finds himself with the dilemma of betrayal. This little mini-quest comes complete with action and comic relief and will be sure to have you wanting more!
I can't wait for their complete adventure in the next installment The Iron Knight!
If I had to describe this book in one word it would simply be: sweet. I was a little skeptical that this book could draw me in and keep me there in su...more If I had to describe this book in one word it would simply be: sweet. I was a little skeptical that this book could draw me in and keep me there in such few pages. But I am happy I gave it a chance.
Camille is the story of a young girl living in England who hunts werewolves alongside Dr. Bennett, her guardian. Together they hunt beasts by night, but desperately continue to search for a cure by day. This endeavor becomes even more important when Camille and Dr. Bennett encounter Nathaniel Strider, whom Camille falls deeply in love with.
I really love Camille. She is a very strong heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind or go after what she wants, despite momentary lapses in courage. She, at first, is hesitant to attempt to bring Strider into their home as a test subject to further their cause. She knows in the end they would have to destroy him with a silver bullet and knowing their prey personally would only fully complicate matters. However, she agrees. But what she did not expect to find was not only a fragile friendships, but also a love story, inching it's way to a tragic end as it creeps closer to a full moon. Don't be fooled by the length of the story. It is a tale of self discovery and fighting for love even though you know in the end all that will remain is a broken heart. I was pleased with the ending and it left me with a satisfied smile.
I chose to give Camille 3 stars because I do wish it could have been longer. Perhaps the YA world has me accustomed to longer novels. But I find, the longer I am in the character's world, the easier it is for me to connect with them.
All-in-all, it was a very satisfying, enjoyable read. :)
One of the first questions I ask myself when I'm reading a dystopian novel is, "Could I ever live in this world?" I can easily answer no for Eve. I ca...more One of the first questions I ask myself when I'm reading a dystopian novel is, "Could I ever live in this world?" I can easily answer no for Eve. I can see this book having two distinctive effects on people: horrifying them and completely turning them off or intriguing them just enough to keep them reading. I'm happy to say I fell in the latter category.
Eve lives in a world that has been devastated by a deadly Plague leaving countless children orphans. As a result, the country is in disorder and the people, desperate for a solution, allowing one man to rule as king, whose ideals for rebuilding, prey on the most innocent members of society. Girls, or sows, are sent to Schools where they are taught men are evil and manipulative only to graduate and be forced to conceive child after child to help populate the world. Boys, on the other hand, are sent to labor camps where they work long hours, their innocence stolen before it even had time to begin. Eve learns these awful truths the day before she is set to graduate and she does what anyone in her situation would do. She runs.
Things I loved
The premise of the book is a disturbing one. Connecting with the minor characters was something I didn't expect would happen. I couldn't help but think of my own children as I read it. To think society would ever slip that far and abuse our children...it bothers me. It bothered me on the same level that the Hunger Games did with children battling it out to the death for adult entertainment. So, for that Eve kept me turning page after page because as a mother my heart broke for the kids in this book. There was one scene in the book were a little boy asks Eve what love is and she tells them:
"Love is just caring for someone very deeply. Feeling like that person matters to you, like your whole world would be sadder without them in it."
That was just very heartbreaking for me. For a 6-year-old not knowing what love is. Like I said, it bothers me. But not in the bad way where I would want to stop reading. Instead, in a way that made me stop and be very thankful for what I have in life.
The writing style was pretty good, in my opinion. I could even pick out a few quotes that I thought were lovely like this one:
The stream was the only hand that touched me, the wind the only breath that blew the dust from my eyes. I learned the strange art of loneliness, the weathered yearning that swells and passes, swells and passes, when you walk a trail alone.
I also really liked the love interest, Caleb. You know how the love interest always pulls the card where his controlling over protectiveness is romanticized as loving concern? I didn't find that here. Caleb was a sweet guy. He took care of Eve and her friend, Arden when they had nowhere to go. I could feel that he really cared for Eve. There is one part of the novel that spoke volumes about his character to me. Eve was staying with Caleb and a group of other "stray" boys and they were just about to go on a raid the guard’s outpost. Caleb doesn't think it's a good idea that she goes:
"What if I still want to go?" "Then you'll go," he said. "But I wanted you to know the danger."
That quote made me so happy because YES, let's tell the heroine of the danger, but YES, let her decide if she wants to proceed or not.
Things I disliked
I think we all saw this coming from me: The world building. Unfortunately, I had trouble with the believability that America could sink so low as to do away with democracy, liberty, and basic human rights in such a short amount of time. It's only been sixteen years and Americans have reverted to enslaving their children? No, just no. Furthermore, if the goal is to reproduce as fast as humanly possible, why aren't the adults (who live comfortably in the city) charged with having children? Why only the orphan girls? Not only that, but again, and this seems to be something I'm saying a lot lately, but what in the world are the rest of the human population doing?
Besides that sketchy world building, there was one big thing that I really disliked: Eve. Eve had exactly three "modes" in this book: 1)Saw dust for brains 2)Too stupid to live 3)Selfish. She goes through the novel making the worst decisions possible that either ended up getting someone else hurt or killed. I get that she was sheltered all her life and that perception of the real world had been tampered with, but why no common sense? Petting a wild bear is suicide. It does not in any way, shape, or form resemble Winnie the Pooh. It's time for a wild life lesson:
If you saw a grizzly in the woods, would you immediately think of this guy?
Maybe I'm missing something here. Do they look related to you? No? Not even distant cousins, twice removed? Now, I'm no expert, but to me it looks like one of these bears is about to rip a clueless girl a new one, while the other is only a danger to himself of overdosing on jars of honey. How does that saying go again? Oh, yeah. Eve was a few french fries short of a happy meal. At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but she didn't seem to get any smarter as the novel wore on. For example, her relationship with Caleb. You all know how the YA romance goes. You've got to have something that breaks the couple up. Eve gets into an argument with Caleb about wanting to stay with him instead of traveling to Califia (the shelter). He reasonably tells her he would like that, but since the king is after her, she would be safer at the shelter. You know what Eve does? She throws a tantrum and calls him selfish. -_- And that is the scene I lost all my respect for her. It was frustrating! I just wanted her to use her brain just once! That's not really asking too much is it?
Yet, somehow I was able to enjoy this book. Again, mostly thanks to the minor characters and Caleb. The ending leaves us with a cliffhanger you knew was coming. Let's just say it left me angry and leave it at that. Even stranger is that I really do want to check out the sequel. Huh.
-My book starts with me moving to a new location and starting at a new school.
-I live with just my dad, but do...more Let's play a little game of:
WHO AM I...
-My book starts with me moving to a new location and starting at a new school.
-I live with just my dad, but don't worry about him, he's not important. In fact, you'll barely notice he exists at all!
-I quickly make friends at my new school. I'm not sure why everyone likes me. I'm not remotely interesting.
-I've never had a boyfriend before meeting my love interest and for some reason people at my school find that hard to believe.
-As soon as my love interest catches my eye, I can't get him out of my mind. He's the mysterious type, but he only has eyes for me. He quickly becomes my boyfriend and we fall deeply in love. *swoon*
-My boyfriend happens to have a sibling who simply adores me. How could she not, I'm so awesome! She has a super special sight too. P.S. her name starts with an "A."
-My b-b-boyfriend---sorry that was me swooning again; he's so super howt *giggle*---also has another sibling that doesn't seem to like me at first. They are always glaring at me! It unnerves me. But I can get through anything with my boy toy by my side! Oh, and P.S. their name starts with an "R."
-My boyfriend just happens to save my life with his mysterious powers. At first when I confront him about it, he plays it off. It really upsets me. It just wasn't fair!!!
-He later tells me that he can't stay away from me any longer and soon after he takes me to his home to really introduce me to his family.
-I find out he's been stalking me for a while. But it doesn't bother me. I find it incredibly romantic.
-*Psst*, if my boyfriend and I were to have a baby, it would be some strange half-breed child.
-Randomly out of nowhere I'm kidnapped by a Tracker. I'm not sure where he came from because this book is all about me and my one true love.
-When I'm not hanging out with my boyfriend or getting abducted, I can be found brushing my teeth, eating cereal, doing homework or cooking for my dad. Oh, and I hate being the center of attention. I'm so selfless.
-By the end of my book, I end up in the hospital.
So....who am I?
If you guessed Bella Swan you are correct! But if you guessed Megan Rosenberg, you are also correct! Don't bother looking up to the top of the screen. This is indeed a Carrier of the Mark review or as I like to call it Twilight 2.0 or better yet, Carrier of the Twilight or Twi-remix or Twilight goes to Ireland or, or, or...okay you get the picture. And no, I'm not kidding all the above actually happens in this book.
I feel like I need to start saying how sorry I am to Leigh Fallon. Truly, I am. You see, I'm in the middle of re-reading the Twilight series and as a result, I am hyperaware of the Twi-likeness this book has. I was really eager to get my hands on Carrier of the Mark, but you have no idea how disappointed I am in this book. So, it is with a heavy heart that I review TwilightCarrier of the Markagain.
Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan Megan Rosenberg moves to Forks Ireland after her dad, Charlie Caleb, accepts and new position at a yacht club. On her first day at school she notices a mysterious boy, named Edward Cullen Adam DeRis, staring at her. She literally cannot stop thinking about him for the rest of the book. I'm not going to retell the book here, but if you've read Twilight just sprinkle on a little Air Bender, add a pinch of Captain Planet, and toss a creepy baby on top and you pretty much have the recipe for Carrier of the Mark. Instead, I'm going to be pulling a few select quotes with commentary pour moi.
Adam randomly confesses his feelings to Megan after have several staring contests:
They told me from the very beginning that it wasn’t safe to ‘consort,’” he said, slightly wincing at the word, “with you. But I’m not strong enough to stay away."
Now where have I heard that before?
He heard the change in my tone. His eyes tightened. "I don't seem to be strong enough to stay away from you..."
A little PDA action:
I put my hand on Adam’s face and felt along his cheek and down along his jaw, reveling in the softness of his skin in comparison to the light stubble. He closed his eyes. “You have no idea how good that feels,” he murmured.
That sounds so familiar...
"Do you mind?" I asked, for he had closed his eyes again. "No," he said without opening his eyes. "You can't imagine how that feels." He sighed. I lightly trailed my hand over the perfect muscles of his arm, followed the faint pattern of bluish veins inside the crease at his elbow.
Rosalie Rian doesn’t like Megan at first:
“Rían has a tough time accepting who we are and our purpose...I think he’s just finding it hard to accept that you would opt in when you have the chance to walk away.”
Now, who had the same issue?
He sighed deeply. "Rosalie struggles the most with… with what we are. It's hard for her to have someone on the outside know the truth. And she's a little jealous...You're human." He shrugged. "She wishes that she were, too."
There is a Tracker following Megan:
It’s been years since we have even seen a tracker in Ireland.” “Is that what the guy in the theater was? A tracker?” “I think so. We can’t be sure at the moment, but he fits the usual profile. There’s something different this time, though; he’s getting around our defenses. We just don’t know how he’s doing it.”
Funny that's just who was following Bella too.
"He's a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He's a tracker!"
Love interest serching for a way to protect heroine from the Tracker:
“Don’t apologize. I hate to see you hurting like that. Please believe me when I tell you that I will make you safe.”
Didn't Edward promise the same thing in a very similar situation?
"Soon, as soon as I possibly can. I will make you safe first." His voice was hard.
A bad guy was snooping around Megan's room and house. Adam has his family guarding her, but somehow they manage to slip through:
“Someone was in her room, for Christ’s sake. In her room!” “But I don’t think he was still there when Megan got home. If he had been, he would have acted right then and there. I’d say her Mark was sensing that he’d been there earlier.” Rían shook his head. “How is he getting around our senses? We’ve always known when the Knox are close. This is bad.”
Can't seem to put my finger on it..oh wait, I can.
“He was in her room, Alice. He could have still been there — waiting for her.” “I would have seen that.” Edward threw his hands up in exasperation. “Really? You’re sure?” Alice’s voice was cold when she answered. “You’ve already got me watching the Volturis’ decisions, watching for Victoria’s return, watching Bella’s every step. You want to add another? Do I just have to watch Charlie, or Bella’s room, or the house, or the whole street, too? Edward, if I try to do too much, things are going to start slipping through the cracks.”
Oh, but the similarities don't end there. Right after Adam reveals his feelings to Megan, the very next day he takes her to meet his family. And if you remember that is exactly what Edward did after he revealed all his feelings to Bella in the meadow scene (Confessions, chapter 13). Aine Alice, Adam's sister also has a "sight." Fionn Carlisle is Adam's adoptive father. Adam admitted to stalking Megan just like Edward did to Bella. Megan confides in her best friend, Caitlin, in math class. What do you know? That's the same place Bella confided with Jessica at. Both Adam and Edward's eyes change color (interestingly, both share the same original color: green).
I just couldn't get past all the Twilight references. I'm honestly baffled at how this book got published with all the shocking similarities because Carrier of the Mark reads just like a Twilight Fan-Fic and not a good one. I'd give this book a freakin' "A+" for following the "Twilight book disaster" recipe to the T, but an all around "F" (FAIL) for YA literature. I went though several different emotions while reading this book: shock, disbelief, finally settling on anger. Anger? Yes. Did the author sit with her editor over tea and crumpets with their Twilight copies on their laps pulling plots, quotes, and carbon copies of the characters? Did they really think no one would pick up on the similarities?! Well, I'll tell you something. My Twilight copy is open on my lap right now and I am NOT AMUSED one bit. This is something I expect from the usual offender Cassie Clare, not a debut YA author. And, man, I feel so bad writing this review. I absolutely hate giving a 1 star review to debut authors, but wow. I'm just blown this even saw the light of day.
And what's a Twi-Fan-Fic without insta-love? This book has plenty of that and co-dependency. Keep in mind they have been dating for 2 weeks. Let me count the ways:
"I feel like I could take on the world when I’m with you.”
I felt a new confidence building. I could take on the world with him by my side.
This felt so real. It seemed like my future was suddenly very clear. I had a whole new purpose—and it all revolved around this boy by my side.
Everything else paled in significance. I could not live without him. As much as it upset me to hurt the others, it was nothing compared to the stabbing pain I felt when I thought of being parted from him.
And the more time that went by, the more I realized I could not live without Adam.
WTF. I'm so tired of co-dependent relationships! Is it a wonder why young girls think they need a boyfriend to survive? Are these the ideals we want our youth to grow up learning? I don't take issue with Megan being in love, but reading the statements above disturbs me. The entire book revolves around how in love she is with Adam, so don't expect much of a plot in this book. The major conflict in the story comes out of nowhere and ends before it even begins, just as it did in Twilight.
And, OMG the mythology. It will make your head spin. We learn most of the world through god awful info-dumps. I read those pages over a few times and I still don't understand. Perhaps if the author showed the reader instead of telling us, maybe I would have been able to keep up. The only thing I think I understood was that Megan is Carrier of a specific gene that would enable her to produce children to bear the Mark. Since Carrier's are rare the Order (a society that "looks after" the Marked) specially selects the Carrier's mates. I suppose being gay is out if you are a Carrier, because you have a duty to produce babies! Anyway, apparently it is forbidden for Adam and Megan to be together because if they have a child it could destroy the world. Yeah...I don't get it either. Once finding that out, Megan decides she doesn't want to be a Marked one anymore and help save the world. She wants to be with her Romeo. 'Cause being in love is more important than the safety of the world, donchaknow. And, please don't get me started on the whole 25-year-old pregnancy. I can't even.
Fallon, you had all this potential. The setting was perfect: Ireland! And you wasted your descriptions on Megan eating her wheaties and putting on her red Converses? *points to face* This is me not giving two shits.
Oh, Cynthia Hand, how could you do this to me? I feel like this book should come with at least a warning....more Hallowed is out! I can't wait to re-read it!
Oh, Cynthia Hand, how could you do this to me? I feel like this book should come with at least a warning. Something along the lines of:
WARNING: This book may cause readers massive amounts of fangirling/fanboying. Do not be alarmed if you encounter symptoms of swooning, emotional instability, and immediate depression after reading.
Yeah...cause that's exactly what happened to me. Many of you may remember that I expressed in my Unearthly review how I was initially reluctant to read this series. Angel PRN books seem to be the worst of the worst in YA literature. So you can imagine my happiness when I come across this gem of a series. If there were ever a reason needed as to why I voted for Cynthia Hand's Unearthly as Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, it would be Hallowed. If you were thinking that Hand couldn't do it again, you were wrong!
First off let get this off my chest because it's seriously bothering me:
"This beautifully woven tale will appeal to fans of Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Aprilynne Pike."
Excuse me while I hurl. Are you kidding me? Stop it. Please. Do not lump this series in with those sorry books. Hallowed, for starters, has a plot. The characters have real depth. The love interests aren't trying to kill Clara. What it should have said was: "For fans of real YA PNR literature." *Breathes* Okay. /end mini rant.
I think it goes without say that I loved this book. I stayed up past 4am to finish this it. Once again, I could not have predicted the outcome! There are so many plot twists and mysteries revealed and it's not what you would expect at all. And I have a sinking feeling that Hallowed is sure to upset quite a few fans...
If you think I'm going to sit here and feed you spoilers, sorry kids, not gonna happen. However, I can tell you some of the things I LOVED about Hallowed:
The character development Fans will be happy to know that we do indeed find out more about Christian, Clara's mom, Angela, Jeffery's purpose and last, but certainly not least, Tucker Avery. *Cues the swooning*
Clara's mother definitely sees more development. And at first I found myself really irritated with her for keeping secrets, but by the end of the book, I couldn't bring myself to be angry at her any longer. We were left with so many unanswered questions at the end of Unearthly, mostly thanks to Clara's mom, but rest assured, many are answered. And of course, with more answers we get even more questions.
The love triangle I'm sure you saw that coming, as did I, but here's the thing: I liked it. I usually hate love triangles because I find them a bit played out and predictable. But it worked so well in Hallowed. This probably has something to do with the fact that Hand wrote these characters so well. Their relationships are very believable and heartbreakingly realistic. We see a whole other side to Christian and Tucker. It's rather easy to love them both because they both care deeply for Clara and respect her. There are no semi-abusive love interests here. How about that? ;)
The prose, the pacing, and the plot I never thought I could come to love the use of present tense prose, but I felt it was so perfect. We are really able to connect with Clara on another level because of that, especially everything that she goes through in this book. And she goes through a lot. The simple sentences and Clara's ramblings really helped me feel everything Clara felt. The pacing was a bit slower in this book than the last, but again, it works so perfectly. Hand gives us the opportunity to let it really sink in. The pacing just goes hand in hand with the plot, which too is very subtle. At first you become eager to get to the end, but you will come to dread it. So beautifully written.
The dialog Cynthia Hand, you are so slick and I love you for it. Those Twilight burns you put in there? Oh, yeah, I think you know how brilliantly awesome that was.
Before I moved here, I never got the whole love-triangle thing. You know, in movies or romance novels or whatnot, where there’s one chick that all the guys are drooling over, even though you can’t see anything particularly special about her. But oh, no, they both must have her. And she’s like, oh dear, however will I choose? William is so sensitive, he understands me, he swept me off my feet, oh misery, blubber, blubber, but how can I go on living without Rafe and his devil-may-care ways and his dark and only-a-little-abusive love? Upchuck.
Yup, that's pure win right there.
The ending It was so heartbreaking. Clara just didn't get a break in this book and I felt for her so much. I just wanted to hug her. And at the end I felt like I needed a hug. Hand, you had me crying at 4am! I can't believe you went there in this book!! I mean, seriously, I was having a fit over here:
Disbelief: "NOOOOO!! She did not just do that! NOOOO!"
Depression: "How will I survive until 2013? I'm doomed. Doomed, I tell ya."
Cynthia Hand tore my heart out and made me eat it...
There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invinci...more There are so many great things about this book. How Hannah manages to cram them all into 272 pages is just amazing. After falling in love with Invincible Summer I was excited to read this. It's the first LGBT novel I've ever read so I didn't know what to expect. All I can say is that I loved it.
This book takes place during the Beltway Sniper Shootings, almost exactly a year after 9/11. The story follows Craig and Lio while they deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks and the current threat.
I remember exactly what I was doing September 11th, 2001. I was in 8th grade in my science class waiting for the bell to ring. I hated that class. Except that day, the bell rang and my teacher told us to stay put. Over the next hour, the PA system received an extensive workout when student after student was called down to he office to go home early. My teacher looked scared, but they weren't allowed to tell us anything or allow us outside of the classroom. Thankfully, my classroom was located right above the main entrance to the school and I was able to see loads of parents running in and out the school. I seized the first opportunity to yell out the window and ask a man what was going on while my teacher wasn't looking.
Me: "Hey! What's going on?"
Man: "They are attacking the U.S.!"
Me: "WHAT?! WHO?!"
Man: "I don't know. They hit New York and The Pentagon."
My heart literally sank. My first thought was, "OMG. My father." I ran from that classroom to my mom's (she worked at my school) and she immediately told me, "He's fine. He didn't go into work today."
I have never been so scared in my life.
And then the Sniper Shootings started one year later. My school cancelled all outside activities. Maryland lived in fear of white vans. I asked my dad not to go to work every morning. In hindsight, that was actually an unrealistic fear, he would be fine traveling to D.C. But we were scared. It was a scary time. Even though I didn't live in Montgomery or Prince George's county, we all knew it was just a 35-40 minute trip up the beltway for it to happen in our county, our neighborhood.
Hannah, you rock. I felt it.
Craig: Craig is black, sensitive, and loves his animals. You can't help but to love this guy. He over analyzes everything, but I didn't find it annoying. He was simply endearing. I wanted to hug Craig every time he cried. I loved his "voice" in this book. He thinks in run-on sentences. And you would think it doesn't makes sense, but there is something about Hannah's prose that makes it perfect.
Lio: Lio is a quiet, cancer surviving boy. It's too bad he doesn't talk because, man, this kid is funny. Thankfully, the PoV switches back and forth between Craig and Lio. I'd venture to say, he provided most of the comic relief in this book.
A few funny quotes from Lio: "I hang up because I sound like a jackass and that shit needs to end."
"He's babbling on about his first date, and his first car he drove to go pick her up. And how in his day they didn't have these fancy electric car window openers, you had to crank them down by hand. God, I want to crank my head off right now."
"Maybe she doesn't have any friends? At least that's something we have in common. That can be our conversation starter. Too bad I'm the official conversation finisher."
"I'm not even sure if there are any fabulous Jew or homosexuals at our school, but rest assured that if there are, I will find them. By Friday they will be my babies. Mark it."
"Plus, I'm a tough little son of a bitch, and don't you forget it."
SIDE NOTE: Lio seems to be the only character who realizes that they are in Maryland and not D.C. For whatever reason, I really appreciated this. Perhaps its just my Maryland pride (Go Terps!).
What's interesting about both boys is that regardless on how 9/11 screwed them up, they were not initially afraid of the sniper shootings. Craig essentially thinks he is invincible as many teenagers at his age do. He just doesn't believe he will get shot because he is *Craig*. Lio, on the other hand, counts on statistics, believing it is almost impossible that it will be him that gets shot. In fact, he measures tragedy simply by the amount of deaths. At first, I couldn't understand this logic. I mean, I was *scared* and I didn't even live in that county.
However, as the novel wears on and their relationship grows their perspectives change. Craig fears for Lio because he realizes anyone at anytime could get shot regardless of who they are or how invincible they feel. Likewise, Lio fears for Craig because he realizes you can not measure a tragedy by numbers. A life is a life and when it happens to you, it is 100% every time.
Beautiful. Craig is left so broken after his last boyfriend, Cody, went nuts and treated him badly. He struggles with allowing himself to heal and allowing himself to give away his heart to Lio. At the same time he is afraid of breaking Lio. Lio fights for Craig. He is much stronger than Craig gives him credit for at first. Hannah wrote this so well. She had my heart breaking in all the right places.
It flowed so well. Little things like words repeating three times reminiscent of the title (ie, "Lio, Lio, Lio" or "maybe, maybe, maybe") added charming character to the novel. Craig thinking in his choppy run-on sentences and Lio's short fragments were perfect. I found that very special and realistic because honestly, who speaks in complete, full sentences in their head? It was perfect and helped me get the full impact. Even though Craig seemed like a jumbled mess of words he somehow never said too much. And though Lio didn't like to talk, somehow his short phases were so profound they hit home every time.
I feel so honored to be able to read this a full year before it comes out. But you can bet your bottom dollar I will most definitely be purchasing a copy when it hits shelves April 17, 2012. And so should you.
ARC was received through Simon and Schuster's galleygrab program.
I was really, really excited to read Ashfall. I've been devouring dystopian novels left and right recently. I'm always itching...more Actual rating: 3.5 stars
I was really, really excited to read Ashfall. I've been devouring dystopian novels left and right recently. I'm always itching for my next fix. Seriously, I think I have a problem at this rate, I might just have to check myself into some sort of program. Ashfall is a bit different from the current slew of dystopian novels. For one thing, it is written from a male PoV. These seem to be in slow supply these days, sadly.
Ashfall tells the story of 15 year-old Alex traveling from Cedar Falls, Iowa to Warren, Illinois after the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park unexpectedly erupts.
Let's pause for a bit:
If you are like me and didn't really pay close attention in school about volcanoes, or skipped science class, or slept your way to graduation (view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)], you may be asking, "What is the likelihood of a supervolcana erupting without notice?" And I would tell you, "How should I know?" But thankfully, this discussion was hashed out over at Anila's review in the comments for your viewing pleasure. Mike Mullin was even kind enough to pop in and answer a few questions.
Back to the review:
So, what happens when a supervolcano erupts? How much damage does it cause? It causes tons of damage! I have to give it up to Mullin because he did some serious research for this book. Alex was able to hear the volcano erupting for days and he lives over 900 miles from it. Enough ash to cover a car on the street fell in his state. Animals died from breathing in the ash. People were starving from lack of water and food.
Alex couldn't walk on it, so his journey is done primarily on skies. On his way to Warren, Illinois, Alex encounters some true crazies. BUT Alex knows Taekwando! Until the eruption he has never had a reason to use his skills against a person for survival. But as we all know disastrous situations have a tendency to bring out the worse in a person. As a scared kid, he is forced to used his skills in the beginning. However, as he grows throughout the novel he does not hesitate to do what he needs to. I found myself shouting: Truly, I promise, I'm not a violent person
Ashfall was very realistic in depicting the populace's reaction to the eruption. At times it was really graphic. This book had the ability to make me feel ashamed of the human race at times.
The one negative I can think of, that ultimately is the reason why it did not receive 4 stars, is that a good chunk on the beginning felt slow to me. The book opened strong and I was really happy to see that, but hit a small plateau.
Alex is at one point traveling on his own for days. As a result, there are pages upon pages of inner dialog. But I persisted! Thankfully, the book picks right up after Alex meets Darla. One thing I really loved was that Alex and Darla were neither over powerful or weak. The characters, settings and situations were all very realistic.
There is a bit of romance in the book and I think it was very well done. It was a breath of fresh air to see romance brewing from a male PoV. I read one review where they say all Alex does is think about sex. He does think about it, but I don't think it was an unreasonable amount. You can really tell how much he cares for Darla.
For a first time author, this wasn't bad at all. So, if you are into Dystopian novels, you should check out Ashfall. I know I'm really looking forward to the sequel.
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Ultraviolet was such a pleasant surprise! I've been thinking about this review for a few days because it's hard to say something about it without givi...more Ultraviolet was such a pleasant surprise! I've been thinking about this review for a few days because it's hard to say something about it without giving too much away. It's one of those books that you just have to go in knowing absolutely nothing. So, I will try my best to keep this short and sweet. :)
Ultraviolet is about a girl named Alison who ends up in a mental institute after she has a psychotic break, during which she confesses to murdering a fellow classmate. What makes this book so cool is that she has synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon, which allows her to see sounds and taste colors.
The way Anderson wove this beautiful story had me mesmerized. I fell in love with the way Alison described the world in her senses. I seriously felt like I was watching the Aurora Borealis while reading Ultraviolet.
The plot was solid and left the reader to catch up to the mystery surrounding her classmate's death. I really enjoyed that because it added to the suspense. I will say that the plot twist was a tad predictable. There was quite a bit of foreshadowing going on, so it wasn't hard to see where things were going. BUT that did not stop me from really enjoying this book and the ending did surprise me.
Things were tied up nicely in this book at the end, but in this case I'm really hoping there will be a sequel. And I eagerly look forward to any other books from R.J. Anderson!