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)
***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!
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!
NOTE: Please do not hit the spoilers if you haven't read the book. It will completely ruin the ending for you!
It's the season of innocence, fu...more NOTE: Please do not hit the spoilers if you haven't read the book. It will completely ruin the ending for you!
It's the season of innocence, fun, laughter, all the things it means to live. For Chase McGill, summer is his constant in his ever changing life. When everything is falling apart, he feels he can always count on summer to be there. Taking place over four summers at his family's beach house, Chase finds that even his summers can not go untouched by change. It is during those summers that he looses friendships, his innocence, and his ideals of a family.
I don't usually read a lot of contemporary novels. Most just don't seem to fascinate me like fantasy or paranormal does. Though, maybe this may have something to do with the fact that I have the attention span of a gnat. Any who, this book really spoke to me. I could entirely relate to Chase and what he was going through, mostly due to the fact that I myself have experienced it (view spoiler)[ The tension between his parents, ultimately leading up to their divorce and the death of his young brother (hide spoiler)]. I cried because the emotion was that raw for me.
The setting was entirely convincing. I could picture the beach, the boardwalk, shops, the sand, and the beach house. Hannah Moskowitz made me feel the summer.
The characters were also well written. By the time the novel was halfway done, I could easily tell who said what without being told. They were pretty realistic for the most part. However, there are two things that bothered me. (1) Chase and Noah quoting Albert Cumas. One or two quotes here and there I could believe. But these teenagers were, at times, quoting paragraphs. Word for word. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact they would actually do that on summer vacation. I don't even remember attempting to use that part of my brain during summer break. But I just let that slide and went with it. But then Gideon, their deaf, younger brother asks Chase to read him some Cumas as a bedtime story. At age 8. At that point, I'm like, "C'mon!" (2) At times Chase didn't feel like a male POV. Most notably when it came to the relationship with his older brother Noah. He seemed a bit clingy at times. However, it was refreshing to read a male POV.
Those two issues are relatively small and the book is still a really good read. I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the book that really spoke to me:
"When you're grieving, the times you're happy are so much more tragic than the times that you aren't. Because being happy feels fake and it feels temporary and it feels meaningless. And hating being happy is a shitty way to live."
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"]>(less)
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.
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"]>(less)
Well, that was something I don't read everyday. I don't think I've ever read a book that had the ability to make me laugh out loud on one page and cri...moreWell, that was something I don't read everyday. I don't think I've ever read a book that had the ability to make me laugh out loud on one page and cringe on the next. When I first picked up Sh*t My Dad Says, I had no idea it originated from Halpern's twitter page. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I can see why the twitter page, which compromised of random quotes from Halpern's dad, would be a hit. It's just the right amount of comic relief you may need while wasting precious hours of your life scrolling through twitter. It's sort of like following Yoda, Darth Vader, Snape or my personal favorite, Lord Voldemort, on twitter.
His tweets are mildly offensive, but admit it. You lol'ed, didn't you? So, in that context the quotes found in Sh*t My Dad Says are funny. But what happens when you put it all in one place? The short answer is simple: It's not very funny. Okay, wait. Some of the quotes are funny and in the beginning I did laugh quite a bit, but as I got further and further into the book, the novelty wore off. What was once humorous as an occasional tweet, turned into just a very vulgar book.
My biggest issue with Sh*t My Dad Says is that most of the quotes were directed towards Halpern when he was a child. This did not sit right with me at all. Cursing at and shaming children is wrong on so many levels and I failed to see the humor in that. It totally killed the entertainment factor when his dad is directing the F-bomb at his young son left and right. And I was sitting here waiting for an adult to correct this guy, but it didn't seem like it was anyone's issue but mine. It was very shocking because if my dad had said half of the things Halpern's did to me, I would cry a river. I'm not saying his dad didn't love him or care about him, but wow. I just don't understand how someone could show so little respect and talk down to a child like that.
So as far as I'm concerned, these quotes would have been better off remaining on twitter and not in a book. Sh*t My Dad Says is the perfect example of the age-old rule: If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successfu...more Actual rating: 4.5 stars.
Show of hands. How many of you were worried about Kagawa returning to the Nevernever with a spin-off of an already successful series? *raises hand* I mean, let's think about this for a minute. The Iron Knight concluded and it seemed everything was "happy happy, joy joy," right? But then there were whisperings in the wind of a spin-off and I found myself saying, "What?! NOOO! NO, Julie! I forbid it! Ya hear?!" At the time the saying "Don't beat a dead horse" was running through my head and I was so nervous about this new endeavor. If I'm being honest here, spin-offs usually suck big time. But just like in the case of The Immortal Rules, Julie Kagawa has put me in my place saying, "I got this, YO." And boy, did she ever! The Lost Prince is everything I could want and more. With fresh new characters, cameo appearances and a new evil threatening the Nevernever, how could anyone resist?
Before I begin, I need to get something out of my system.
PUCK!! I LOVE YOU!
What? Don't judge me!
Remember the little boy from The Iron King? Meghan's little brother? Did you ever wonder what happened to him and his family once Meghan had gone off for good with her Ice Prince to rule in the Nevernever as a Queen of Faery? That's just what The Lost Prince does. And let me tell you, Ethan Chase is not what I expected. The years of being tormented by the fey and losing his sister to their world has made him a very bitter and angry person. Honestly, I don't blame the guy. He has to constantly look over his shoulder, attempt to pretend They don't exist so as not to draw attention to himself, push people away so they don't catch the eyes of The Good Neighbors. It's a lot of responsibilities for anyone, let alone a teen boy (and yes, he actually sounds like a teen boy). But this is what he has had to endure all his life hopping from school to school due to "bad behavior." Unfortunately for Ethan, the fey just can't seem to stay away from him and he ends up on a quest to save the Nevernever.
The plot was brilliantly done. The characters were brilliant. This book was >insert any positive adjective here<!!!! But what did I expect from one of my favorite authors? Exiled fey and half-breeds from the mortal world are disappearing thanks to a new breed of fey. Something even worse then the iron fey?! *gasp* I suspect I know exactly who the Forgotten are if I remember a certain scene from The Iron Knight correctly. But even as someone who has followed this series very closely, I have to admit, I have no idea what direction it could possibly go.
The one thing I was worried about most with this spin-off would be comparing the old characters to the new characters. I LOVED the trio in the original series. Meghan, Ash and Puck were the perfect blend of romantic tension, banter and comic relief. And they all do make cameo appearances (Did I mention how much I love Puck?), but this isn't their story. It's Ethan, Kenzie and Kierran's. I really think fans will really enjoy the new trio and it seems like Kagawa has us in for a world of hurt with them too. I mean, I bawled by eyes out so hard with The Iron Queen. Whenever I go back to read that last scene I fall to pieces. But it feels like that could come a lot sooner with The Call of the Forgotten. MY EMOTIONS! Kagawa, stop being so awesome all. the. time! Wait...
And you know what? Even if you haven't read The Iron Fey - which you'd better go do if you haven't *gives dagger eyes* - you could still follow along easily to this story. For those who have been waiting for a certain Cait Sith (no relation to the cat pictured above, of course) to guide you back through the Nevernever, this will merely feel like a continuation from the original series. And you noobs? There are a few rules you must familiarize yourself with: Never make a contract with Them. Show no fear when dealing with the Fair Folk. Don't draw attention to yourself. And as Grim would say, "Do try and keep up." Welcome to Faery.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Want to win an ARC of The Lost Prince? Head on over to Cuddlebuggery Book Blog for a giveaway and other fantastical things.
Until the last ten percent of Tempest, I was resigned to giving it one lonely star and, for once, not having even an inkling to pick up its sequels. I...more Until the last ten percent of Tempest, I was resigned to giving it one lonely star and, for once, not having even an inkling to pick up its sequels. I truly believe some people will be captivated with the story Julie Cross has woven together because it's not a bad book, it 's just not a good book either. In all honesty, this is more of a 1.5 star book simply reliant on the principle that it just wasn't for me. However, it really doesn’t fit on my 1.5 star shelf, which is home to some pretty crappy books and Tempest doesn't really deserve to be there among them. Plus, I'm feeling very generous today.
The year is 2009 and Jackson Meyer is your typical college student. He has a beautiful girlfriend named Holly who adores him and an awesome best friend named Adam. He also happens to be the son of a pharmaceutical company CEO, making him an incredibly rich kid. Oh yeah, and he can time travel. He seems to have everything he could ever want until one day mysterious people show up and shoot Holly. Suddenly, Jackson finds himself stuck in the year 2007. As Jackson struggles to find out his way back, he learns truths about his past, present and a possibly disturbing future. What he used to consider a weird ability now seems to have a lot more power over the world's future. Talk about pressure.
Tempest and I got off to a rocky start. First off, I want to say I loved the premise. Time travel is always a difficult topic to cover since there are so many "rules" and loads of possibilities for confused readers. For the most part, by the end of the novel I did feel like I had a pretty good understanding of Cross' universe. However, my issues with this book lie with certain events in the storyline and the characters.
Plot Events: Tempest starts of very quickly with you immediately learning about Jackson's abilities and a few of the rules. In other words, Tempest got down to business. From the blurb, I knew Holly was going to get shot and I knew Jackson would wind up in 2007. What I didn't expect was for it to happen so soon in the story. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but it felt like the story and the plot were taking off before I could connect or care about the characters. When the mysterious men show up in Holly's dorm room looking for Jackson and she's accidentally shot (view spoiler)[and later we find out she dies (the blurb says this much, but I'm hiding this 'spoiler' anyway) (hide spoiler)], I found myself asking, "Wait. Is this where I should care?" Sadly, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My gives-a-fuck-o-meter was at a steady zero. In any case, that entire scene seemed entirely too farfetched. Who let those people into the dorm randomly? Why would Jackson and Holly's first reaction be to attack the people when all they did was ask a question? I don't understand. 2009 was only two years ago, but I'm pretty sure we weren't attacking people who asked us questions.
But despite my initial turnoff I continued reading and found that I really like Jackson's sister, Courtney. I was a little sad when she (view spoiler)[tells Jackson it was her that normally visits him (hide spoiler)] and it wasn't explored more. That would have been really interesting and added another layer of intrigue. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm not sure what the point was in the whole Courtney sub-plot. Was it to make Jackson a more sympathetic protagonist? Hmm...FAIL. Unfortunately, just when I thought the plot was about to actually pick up, this book gets really corny. When he gets stuck in 2007 he affectionately renames that Holly as "007." Yes, this is a good as any place to *facepalm*. Then, Jackson becomes some makeshift time-traveling CIA agent battling the "Enemies of Time."
It all went downhill for me at that point. I was already have a hard enough time connecting with the characters before Jackson became some super speshul badass agent.
With regards to the time traveling, for the most part I kinda sorta understood it, but when they started getting into "time-lines" and "alternate dimensions," they lost me. When Jackson is stuck in 2007 why didn't anything he do affect the future when he got back to 2009 (view spoiler)[since that was considered a full jump (hide spoiler)]? Add that to the fact that Jackson is constantly jumping from 2007 to 2009 back and forth every few pages, and it gets pretty hard to remember what the hell was going on. The few times where he did stay in one year long enough for me to catch my breath, he is having a flashback to either...you guessed it...2007 or 2009.
The plot was also very predictable. I knew exactly what his dad was hiding. By the time the big plot twist came up I remained unmoved in my boredom.
I think one of the biggest issues with this book is that the characters were underdeveloped. Many times it felt like Cross was so eager to get to "the good parts" that she didn't spend enough time writing believable dialogue and characters.
One part that really bugged me was when Jackson had the conversation with his teacher about dropping out of school and getting his GED. He basically says he's going to drop out and she pretty much goes, "Okay." What teacher would react that way? None that I've had. She didn't even ask him why he wanted to do that:
She laughed again. “That can’t be true. So . . . will I see you roaming the halls soon?” I forced back the disgusted look I knew was about to take form on my face. No way was I going back to high school. “Probably not. I’m thinking of taking my GED, just tired of the whole high school scene.” The waitress dropped off my dinner and I picked up the fork and stabbed a spear of asparagus. “Actually, I gave my dad an ultimatum, public school or GED. He’s leaning toward the GED.” “Public school isn’t that bad. I went to one, and look how I turned out," she said.
Ummm...WHAT? Her reaction is child's play, however, to his father's.
“I want to talk about you dropping out. I understand you have your reasons for coming back from Spain, but at least consider returning to Loyola.”
I'm sorry, who is the parent here? Please consider going back to school? Oh, no, no, no, no. This is pretty much the last time his dad has the "school conversation" with him and Jackson never does go back to school. Anyone else see how unrealistic that is? Please tell me I'm not the only one.
Holly and Adam. Who are these people? The girlfriend and the sidekick. Once again more stereotypes. Can you guess what Holly looks like? She's a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty perfect in every way. You know, like a real life Barbie Doll.
Jackson treats her like crap and she still continues to forgive him and then sleep with him. Nice. That's the perfect message to send to girls. Adam wasn't much better of a character. He was a nerd/geek/>insert any other insult against a computer techy<. We really never learn anything else about him. I don't even remember his last name. SMH. I just love the smell of FAIL in the morning, don't you?
As I mentioned before the dialogue also was unrealistic. The characters are supposed to be 19 in 2009 and 17 in 2007, but they always felt younger to me, especially Jackson. No doubt some parts were meant to be funny, but I never once cracked a smile.
Jackson (he gets his own section):
I was really excited to learn the story is told from a male protagonist, but I quickly discovered that Jackson isn't really a guy. But wait, Stephanie! Julie Cross said Jackson is a male! The author said he is therefore it must be so, right? And to you sheepies I would reply, "NO."
Jackson sounds like he's trying to be a guy, but I never found his voice to be very convincing. Most of the time it felt like he was trying too hard to prove that he did, in fact, have a Y chromosome. For example, there is a scene in the novel where Jackson and Holly are on the verge of having sex and she mentions she's "never done this before." This immediately turns Jackson off for two reasons. One, because he is afraid of hurting her and for this reason:
The idea that she might not enjoy this was turning me in the other direction. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been with a virgin, even just messing around. Maybe never.
Now, in this flashback he was 17 and maybe it's just me, but that statement gave me pause. At 17-years-old he's had sex with so many girls that he can't even remember if any were virgins? Not only that, but he also says the longest relationship besides Holly he'd been in lasted a month (and the girl was out of the country for two of those weeks). How did Britney put it? Faking like a good one, but I call 'em like I see 'em. I know what you are, what you are, baby. Ironically, I read this scene to my husband to gather a male perspective and the first thing he asked was, "This is supposed to be a guy?" Exactly. I may have been able to accept those things if that corresponded with his apparent personality, but it didn't. It's almost like Cross tried to write a character with these stereotypes (I'm a rich man-whore, but it's gravy 'cause that's what boys my age do!) and at the same time make him a sensitive and caring boyfriend to Holly (but I'd never do that to Holly because...because...because...I just wouldn't, okay?). Boy don't try to front. I...I know just *just* what you are-are-are. I suppose we are to assume (hahaha, see what I did there?) Holly sparked this change in Jackson, but there was nothing remotely special about her that made me go, "Okay, I see it." I could never understand what was so magical about her to cause that sort of change in his personality, especially since he was not a very good boyfriend to begin with. You are concerned enough for her to not hurt her during sex, but not concerned enough to not flirt with other girls or deceive her 2007 self into liking you? Womanizer, woman-womanizer, you're a womanizer. Oh womanizer, oh you're a womanizer, baby. So, no. I did not buy their relationship. If anything I was wondering why Holly, who did seem like a smart girl, was with him in the first place.
The Ending: (This part may or may not contain mild spoilers)
Two words: Thrown together. I did not understand it at all. The sad part is, I finished the book two days ago and I can barely remember the fine details of it. BUT the one thing I do remember is Holly and Jackson's "It's too dangerous for us to be together! I love you so much, I have to break up with you so the bad guys don't use you as a target!" moment. Look, this plan NEVER works. If it didn't work out for Spiderman and Mary Jane, then it's damn sure not gonna work out for you either.
And of course this book happens to have a major marketing campaign and the rights for a movie, with Summit Entertainment no less, have been optioned. I'm left asking, "Why?" This book didn't make me laugh, cry, or even frustrated. I had zero emotions running through me. I had my 'Dark Knight' face on the entire time I read this.
I've added the next books to my shelf, but if I'm being honest here, I'm not sure if I'll ever read them.
*sigh* Oh, well. We win some, we lose some, right?
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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sometimes you read books that are visibly bad. So bad, in fact, that they make you want to throw yourself head first out a window, but you keep on reading and reading. You might even feel yourself losing your will to live about halfway through. But somehow, by the end of the book, you end up liking it anyway because it entertained you. The badness was just that entertaining. Then, there are other books that are really good books, but just do nothing for you. Anna Dressed in Blood was the latter for me. There was nothing wrong with this book. It's just that ghost books and I don't get along. I typically stay away from only two paranormal creatures: ghosts and zombies. I probably would have never picked this book up on my own, but I figured I'd give Anna Dressed in Blood a shot for two reasons: 1) It came highly recommended to me from several reviewers and 2) The last time I read a zombie book (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) I really enjoyed it. So I was hoping to have a similar experience. Unfortunately, I didn't.
The three biggest issues I had with the book:
For the most part I did like him, but in the beginning I found him to be a bit conceited. When he first arrives in Thunder Bay, Ontario he walks around the school like he's way too cool to be there. To his credit, I guess he really is. I mean, he kills ghosts for a living. But the way those girls just fawned over him, like he was some Grecian god, was just a little over the top.
I make my way to her table, seeing eyes growing wider as I do. Ten or so other girls probably just developed instantaneous crushes on me, because they see that Carmel likes me.
Then there was the issue with him being the only one able to kill ghosts. He kept repeating, "I'm the only one who can do this" and I kept asking, "Oh, yeah? Why? Why, Cas? What makes you so speshul?" Yes, I realize he comes from a long line of ghost busters hunters, but why his family? What makes his bloodline different from anyone else? I needed background info and I never got it.
Anna Dressed in Blood. I was told to read this book with the lights on. Usually, I scare very easily. I wasn't scared one bit while reading. At first, when Cas "runs into" Anna, I was thinking, "Uh, oh. It's about to go down." And for a minute it did. (view spoiler)[Anna tore dipshit Mike in half. (hide spoiler)] I was shocked and even more shocked that I liked it. I was starting to think that everyone who recommended me this book was on to something. Anna. Oh, Anna. Why couldn't you remain scary?
This is what I wanted from you:
I wanted you to run around angry, strike some fear in people's hearts, make me afraid of the dark for a few nights, tear some shit up.
But this is what I got instead:
For some odd reason you didn't have the urge to hurt Cas, which is never explained. Again, why is this kid so speshul?
This is honestly where the book started to lose me. Killer vindictive girl running around killing people? I can handle that. Cas going all "goo-goo eyes" over a dead girl? Yeah, um...it didn't work for me. But who am I to judge? If Cas likes it when Anna makes her eyes go black, her veins crawl up her arms, her deep, neck wound opening up to create her flowing blood dress, calling her "My Anna", then that is totally his business. I just didn't see where that relationship was supposed to be headed. (view spoiler)[Then they made out on the front porch of her possessed house and all I could think was, "Ewwww..." (hide spoiler)] It was different, I'll give Blake that, but it just didn't work for me.
Other things that bothered me:
I did not understand the mythology behind Cas' knife and the villain. It went straight over my head. I felt maybe that part could have been explained better. However, I suppose it's entirely possible that my little, simple brain could not grasp the complex explanation given. Maybe.
Cas' mother being so accepting of her son's profession. If your husband is killed while ghost hunting, wouldn't you try everything you could to have him not go down the same road?
Thomas' grandfather says he wanted Cas originally to kill Anna because she was acting different. I thought that was going to be significant to the plot, but we never found out why her behavior had initially changed.
I took issue how the kids in the story had so little empathy for their friends who were killed. When (view spoiler)[Mike (hide spoiler)] dies, Will makes up a some half-assed story about him walking home alone (bold is mine):
“We tell the cops that we drove around for a while. Then...got mad about Carmel and Cas and got out of the truck. None of us could stop him. He said he was going to walk home, and since it wasn’t that far away, we didn’t think anything of it. When he didn’t show at school today, we figured that he was hung over.”
But then when the police question Cas and Carmel a few days later (I've taken his name out due to spoilers)...
“You are aware that...lived at least ten miles from the area you’re talking about,” Officer Roebuck said. “No, I didn’t know,” I reply. “We tried to stop him,” Carmel pipes up.
Now, I'm not sure if that inconsistency was on purpose, but Will is supposed to be this guy's best friend. He wouldn't notice that the story he made up was off? Most of the time in the book it felt like the kids were too busy about getting blamed for a crime that they never took time to care that someone was murdered.
1. I thought Carmel and Cas were going to end up together. I was happy to see Blake didn't go for that very easy trope.
2. Anna's story was very sad and made it easy to be sympathetic towards her.
3. Never saw the villain coming. He was confusing, but unpredictable.
All in all, I would still recommend this book to other people because the biggest reason why I didn't love it was because I just don't like ghosts. *shrug*
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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
First, a cavet: This review will...moreWhew. So much WIN I can hardly stand it!
Girls rule and boys drool!
Oh my sweet... just gimme the next book now!
First, a cavet: This review will probably be the most unhelpful review you might ever read because nothing I say will do the book justice. I'll just use this space to ramble and hopefully it makes some sort of coherency.
I remember the first time I heard about Melina Marchetta and her special fragrance of awesome she regularly emits whenever she publishes a novel. I had seen reviews of On the Jellice Road, Saving Francesca, and The Piper's Son popping up left and right in my GoodReads feed all proclaiming that this woman was the cat's meow. But still I resisted the urge to hop on the Marchetta bandwagon for whatever reason. I was the Grinch sitting comfortably on my hill watching all the citizens of Whoville fangirl.
Yup, that's me. Especially when writing a 1 star review.
Finally, my co-blogger, Kat Kennedy, shook me fiercely and demanded I get off my ass and head to my local library. Naturally, I did exactly as she said because when the Boss Lady gets bitchy, you don't ask questions. Unless, of course, you don't happen to favor your head. *shrug* Your choice. Always your choice.
So, I stared at the book when I got home and silently told myself, "This better be good or I'm going to troll the shit outta Kennedy's review." It wasn't a threat, it was a promise.
At about 15% into the book, I completely forgot about my vow to make her previous trolls look like cute bunnies.
At about 25% in, even though I checked the book out from the library, I purchased the Kindle edition for my iPad so I could read late into the night while my household slept.
At about 35% in, anyone who attempted to talk with me while I was glued to the book was met with silence or a growl. My husband made the snide remark that the iPad would be permanently affixed to my forehead if I remained in "that ridiculous reading position."
This is actually a real photo taken by my husband for mockery at a later date. Don’t worry. Vengeance will be mine!
At about 40% in, while at the bookstore, I raged because they didn't have Finnikin in stock. What the hell was their problem anyway?!
Somewhere between 50-100%, my husband began to worry I would run away to Australia and proclaim my love to Melina Merchetta. I won't pretend the thought didn't cross my mind.
Its been quite a long time since I added a book to my "All Time Favorites" shelf and out of all the books that reside there none ever truly came close to competing with my number one favorite: Harry Potter. Until now. Oh my god, this book was amazing!
Melina Merchetta, you humble me. This is one of the best books I have ever read. The rich world building. The realistic characters. The heartbreaking romance. You created a world I never wanted to leave.
Authors please take note. THIS is how you create a believable world, societies, and cultures. THIS is how you write a strong female character. THIS is how you show the unfair treatment of women in a society, having a heroine rise above, and yet your book still proudly waves its feminist flag. THIS is how you create memorable minor characters. THIS is how you write from a male point-of-view without him sounding like a wannabe. THIS is how you write an epic book.
Badass, Marchetta. Badass.
A piece of advice from the hard-to-please, Grinch of Book-land: Read this book. It is amazing, fantastic, brilliant and everything in between. When US readers get their hands on Froi of the Exiles, and later this year Quintana of the Charyn for those lucky Aussies, I'm sure GoodReads will resemble nothing short of gnats flying into the bright, blue light. And I will be proudly be one of them.
*clears throat* Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.
So, yes this review was probably not helpful, but I hear there is a giveaway for a signed copy of Froi of the Exiles up on Cuddlebuggery! (less)
A Monster Calls has to be the most inventive book I've read this year. And I find myself struggling to put in words how much this book has touched me....more A Monster Calls has to be the most inventive book I've read this year. And I find myself struggling to put in words how much this book has touched me. But it did. If you haven't read A Monster Calls, I suggest you immediately purchase it. Don't read the e-book because you would miss out on the amazing artwork. This book is stunning. Masterfully written and beautifully drawn.
I remember the first time a book made me cry like this. I was in eighth grade in my English class, sitting under my desk in the back of the room reading A Walk to Remember. If you've read that book you will probably understand why I cried. I'm naturally an emotional person, you see. I cry easily if I see another's suffering. At the time I was fortunate enough to not have yet experience the feeling of losing someone close to you. Unfortunately, I know that feeling all too well now and that is the reason I was initially afraid to read A Monster Calls. I saw my GoodReads friends reading and reviewing the book, but I couldn't bring myself to add it to my shelf. I had an idea of where it could take me emotionally, and it's not a place I choose to visit. I keep those memories locked up and tucked away. But this book made me remember. It made me remember the phone call. It made me remember the shock, the pain, the regret, the denial, the limo ride, the funeral, the casket, the anger, the depression, the trials. It made me remember my brother, who on some days I choose to forget because it's easier that way. Maybe that sounds horrible, but it's true. It's an awful truth.
So, how do you write a review for a book that makes you remember? How can I describe in words how unbelievably vulnerable this book can make you feel? How do I explain the beauty of the frailty? I simply can't. My advice would be to go into this book blind. You have to or you risk doing a disservice to yourself, this book and the wonderful story within its pages. I suppose you are just going to have to trust me when I say A Monster Calls is beyond amazing. It's about loss, acceptance, grief, facing your fears, and letting go. This book made me laugh, made me think, tore out my heart, made me cry, and healed me. I hope, no, I know it will do the same for others...
*I almost dropped this down to 1 star, but then I started reading Starcrossed and realized that wasn't fair.
What a disappointment.
I was looking for a new Paranormal creature to love and thought that could be found within the pages of Lies Beneath. But you know what I found? The same old story we've all read before over and over again. The truth is this isn't a badly written book, but there is nothing special about it that sets it apart from your usual Young Adult fair (I wish I had written my review as soon as I finished the book because it is very forgettable). Take out the mermaids and inset your favorite paranormal creature and you'll find you've been around this rodeo before.
Lies Beneath tells the story of Calder White, a merman, who along with his three sisters, attempt to plot a man's murder. The man, Jason Hancock, is believed to have been the cause behind their mother's death, so naturally they seek revenge. In order to get closer to Hancock, Calder stalks Lily Hancock hoping to befriend her and earn her father's trust. What happens next? He falls in love with her, of course. And the rest, as they say, is history.
This book could have been amazing. It had an interesting premise with evil mermaids that have the ability to transform into human bodies. So if you were wondering how it was possible for mermaids to reproduce... well, there's your answer. Unfortunately, Lies Beneath failed to follow through on a few issues:
Why, oh why do Young Adult authors continue to go down the insta-love path? Before Calder even gets a chance to have a real conversation with Lily, let alone get to know her, love was already being mentioned. It's one thing for him to be physically attracted to her, but an entirely different for his sister to suspect him being in love after just one encounter. They had absolutely no time to develop a relationship, so where did all this magical love come from?
Perhaps some people find it incredibly romantic to be stalked by a paranormal creature. I'm not one of them. I don't care that Calder was stalking Lily because he was on a mission to murder her father. He was a creeper. He literally does nothing but stalk her the entire book. Where does he sleep? In her backyard. Where does her work? At her job. Does he do anything else in the book besides follow Lily around or think about Lily? No. I think her only changed his clothes once or twice throughout the entirety of the book because he is too busy watching Lily day and night.
Then there is the whole business of him finding her delicious. The mermaids in Lies Beneath feed off of human emotions because they can not create their own. So they lure humans into the water and kill them by sucking all their emotions out. I'm going to let you be the judge on if you would like a guy to think of you in this way:
"I'd be trapped with her right at my side for the next several hours--her radiating that succulent sweetness into the air. Tingling on my tongue. Begging to be consumed."
"Once or twice I had the urge to scoop her up and dive over the side of the ferry. But there were too many witnesses."
"What do I look like?" "It changes, of course, depending on your mood. Today you look like melting orange sherbet. Delicious."
How is that romantic? It is disturbing! Why is this continually romanticized in Young Adult novels? Is it because it's "totally romantic" they way he chooses the girl over his cravings? No, just no. I don't buy that. I will not accept that.
I did not like him at all. Conceded, cocky, pig-headed. I'm not sure why these particular traits are always relied upon when writing from a male PoV, but I grow tired of seeing the same reincarnated characters over and over. When Calder first starts to stalk Lily, he is shocked she isn't immediately taken by him because he's gorgeous and girls usually always fall at his feet without any effort. Of course. But Lily is different and is not impressed with him. So then we have Calder attempting to figure out what's wrong with her because she isn't trying to peel her panties off like everyone else with a pair of ovaries (view spoiler)[even his sister! (hide spoiler)]. Gimme a break!
Then there was a really odd scene where Calder is under the sea talking to a dead guy pretending that it's his father. Huh? O_o
I predicted every plot twist well before it happened. Nothing surprised me in this book and I think that is partly because the foreshadowing was poorly done. I feel like they were a little too obvious allowing the reader to figure out what was going on before the characters. This was not irony. Instead, it made the characters appear slow and caused me boredom. I can't even say I'll be picking the sequel up because the ending left me with no desire to continue on with this series.
EDIT: I recently found out book two is told from Lily's pov, so I'm more inclined to give the sequel a shot.
Would I recommend it? No, probably not because I have a feeling this book is one of those "hit or miss" titles. But, I will say that if you are a fan of Hush, Hush, Twilight, Evermore, and Wings this may be up your alley.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog including a Review War of Lies Beneath!["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)
Well, well, well. Here I am yet again eating my words. A year ago, when I read Legend, I complained about the world building....more Actual rating: 4.5 stars
Well, well, well. Here I am yet again eating my words. A year ago, when I read Legend, I complained about the world building. Mind you, I did think it was a fast-paced, exciting read, but it felt incomplete as a dystopian novel because I couldn't fully visualize how the society fit into the world as a whole. By the end, I was left with so many questions about how everything functioned. I felt like Marie Lu was purposefully keeping secrets from me just to string me along to book two. Well, I supposed it did work and to my immense delight, it was well worth the wait. And I loved it.
Instantly, I noticed a change from Legend to Prodigy. The biggest being the change in my opinion over the two main characters June and Day. Originally, June and I didn't mesh well, but in Prodigy that situation was flipped. It was Day that was the new thorn in my side for the majority of the book. From the beginning, June warns Day of the Patriots and their leader, Razor, but Day, blinded by his hatred of the Republic for destroying his family, fails to heed her warning. A part of this is due to doubt of June's loyalty being placed in his head from other Patriots and his best friend, Tess, who is not ashamed to show her dislike for June. And just when I thought I had it up to *here* with him, he wised up and took action. The "old" Day that warmed my heart in Legend was back.
June, on the other hand, I liked very much. I thought her character growth was a vast improvement from Legend because she's clearly learned from past actions. In Prodigy, she is more aware of the corruption in the Republic and is therefore able to pinpoint wary situations. Yet, the thing she struggles with the most in this sequel are her feelings for Day and how their relationship could possibly work out given their backgrounds. Can they remain together even with the knowledge that June's actions in Legend resulted in the murdering of his family? Are they simply too different for it to work being from opposite economic classes? And then there's Anden, the new Elector Primo, whose interest in June was shown in Legend and apparently still holding firm. Wouldn't it just be easier to be with someone like him? That's the predicament June finds herself in. And while it may sound rather angsty the way I've described it, I never felt it was overdone to the point of instant "headdesk-ation."
Another improvement was the world building. And with that, I'm now wondering if I'm often too hard on first books in dystopians. I'm noticing a trend with world building becoming more pronounced in the second books in series when I usually prefer some sort of set-up to the story. (Perhaps this is just my high-fantasy mind kicking into gear.) But everything came together nicely here. We found out how the country was split into two separate ones. We find out how the outside world views the Republic. We find out what's going on in the Colonies (though, I would have loved to hear more about them). Sure, I would have loved to know a little of this during Legend, but I have to say, I've enjoyed the ride thus far.
Finally, there's the ending, which I will warn other readers, does end in a rather disturbing cliffhanger. *sniff* In my Legend review, I complained about the illusion of Day and June's invincibility. N-n-not so in Prodigy. *hiccup*
Okay, okay. I admit it. I was a teensy bit emotional. But only for, like, five seconds (plus an hour or two...maybe...). And now I'm secretly cursing myself for ever complaining in the first place. Why? WHY?! WHY?! OH, GOD. WHY, DO AUTHORS KEEP DESTROYING MY FEELINGS?! First, I was in a bit of shock. Marie Lu wouldn't do that to me. I mean, she had built up the anticipation perfectly throughout the entire novel. I thought ALL THE THINGS were going to be okie-dokie.
*We interrupt your regularly scheduled review for a moment of angst*
/end *moment of angst*
(Er... Sorry, that was weird.)
So then when I finished the book and was LEFT ON THE BLOODY CLIFF, I was like, "Marie... no.... you, evil genius... no..." So basically, Marie Lu has me hook, line and sinker. I'm completely enthralled in this series and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Do you hear that? That's the sound of me eating my words. Girl of Nightmares truly surprised me. I'll be honest and say I wasn't expecting to love or even like it because originally Anna Dressed in Blood and I didn't get along. While everyone else ran around screaming high praises for it, I was left on the side lines. And I hate being on the sides lines. No matter how much I tried to love Anna Dressed in Blood I couldn't. It had too many open ends and I'm of the belief that even when you are reading a series each book must stand on its own merit. So I was disappointed, but I also wanted to give the second book a try because regardless of my initial reservations, it wasn't a bad book. And after that fun interview we did, I was convinced to try again. So imagine my delight when I started reading Girl of Nightmares and discover how much I was enjoying it. When I finished I felt like I had been on one epic ghost-busting adventure. And it was awesome.
Girl of Nightmares takes place six months after the events in Anna Dressed in Blood with Cas attempting to get on with his life without Anna. Unfortunately, that's not going so well for him since he continues to witness Anna being tortured in his sleep and while he is awake. I'm not going to go off and describe the blurb for you, but I will say Cas gets to the bottom of EVERYTHING in Girl of Nightmares.
Everything that I complained about in Anna Dressed in Blood were addressed in Girl of Nightmares. The plot is solid with no inconsistencies that I could see. In fact, I really loved the plot because there wasn't a dull moment. That partly has something to do with there being a lot of loose ends to cover: the mystery surrounding the athame, where Anna went, Cas' background, ect. Despite there being so many issues needing to be addressed, I never once felt like Blake info dumped or rushed through explanations. It was all very smooth and engaging. I didn't want to put my book down, but well, I have kids, so it was unavoidable. And that made me cranky. Also, this book was creepy! Do yourself a big favor and do NOT read the "Suicide Forest" scene late at night. *shudders*
Don't ask, just obey...
The characters have seen a considerable amount of character development, most notably being both Cas and Carmel. Cas is no longer the cocky little prick who all girls fawn over like he's God's gift to womenkind. In Girl of Nightmares he is a broken character struggling to let go of Anna. He obsesses over it constantly to the point where it interferes with his ability to ghost hunt. This was a Cas I could easily sympathize with and I wanted him to find a way for both Anna and him to be happy. As for Carmel... I can't really say much without giving away huge spoilers, but she was a badass. You will love her.
The best part of Girl of Nightmares was the hilarious dialogue. These characters feel so real to me because Blake has sat down and given them so much personality. Laughing is pretty much a given when reading Girl of Nightmares. You can't get around it. But that's okay because you want the humor when you in the midst of being scared shitless.
The ending was perfect. I can't say anything about it because I refuse to ruin the book for anyone, but I think fans will be very happy and satisfied. Or not. Who's to say? Lol.
But I would like to share with you a piece of wisdom. After finishing Girl of Nightmares I happened to learn one big lesson:
Reading this book in the second floor hallway right above the stairs at night, while my entire household was sleeping soundly, wasn't one of my best ideas. Learn from me.
This ARC was generously given to Kat and I by Kendare Blake. This in no way swayed my views of the book. In fact, I think she was expecting me to dislike it, but she'll just have to settle for my glowing review!
If there is anything good coming from the newer crops of dystopian fiction these days it's one thing: Evil, ravenous vampires are back. With books lik...more If there is anything good coming from the newer crops of dystopian fiction these days it's one thing: Evil, ravenous vampires are back. With books like The Immortal Rules and now The Hunt, YA thiller fans are sure to be pleased by this turn of events. I know I am. Unfortunately, The Hunt failed to WOW me on that factor alone.
In a nutshell, The Hunt is like an inverted Immortal Rules with a Hunger Games-esque twist. Instead of our young, male protagonist, Gene, being the only vampire among humans, he is one of the only humans living in the lion's den. In order to pull this off he must shave off all his body hair, clip his nails, polish his fake fangs, and bathe rigorously every single day. In addition to the intense grooming, he must suppress his basic human mannerisms such as laughing, sweating, singing, flinching, clearing his throat, ect. when in contact with "people." All of this is done because Gene lives in a world where he is considered a "heper," barely a step above a farm animal. In order to survive he has to hide who he truly is or risk being eaten. So when he is chosen for the Heper Hunt (think Hunger Games arena), you can only imagine his uneasiness. "Awkward" is an understatement.
The Hunt has a lot of potential because regardless of how I feel about it I can't deny that it's creative. It features an entirely different spin on vampires that both intrigued me and weirded me out. It's also very readable and easily holds a reader's attention. I also felt myself enjoying Fukuda's prose as well, especially when Gene thought of his past memories of his family. That's the main reason why I ended up giving the book two stars instead of one. But like I said earlier, that alone won't win anyone points with me.
*sigh* I feel like a broken record saying this, but if we are going to write a dystopian novel, please supply some background info. I don't need to know everything under the sun, but I'd at least like to know how your world ended up in its current cesspit state. Is that too much to ask? How did the vampires come to take over the world (literally)? Where did they come from? They managed to eat almost ALL the humans? Why did Gene even bother to try to blend in with vampire society? Why not run away? Have vampires taken over the entire world or did only the U.S. go to hell? Again. Is the rest of the world still partying like it's 1999? Why does Gene know so little about his world? Did the humans - excuse me, hepers - not pass any knowledge of their histories down to their children? So many question, with too few no answers.
I think I hated almost all the characters in The Hunt, but Gene? He takes the number one spot on this here shit list. My biggest issue of the book resides with him because he was an idiot. A very selfish idiot. At the Heper Institute (where the hunters stayed and "trained" for the Heper Hunt) he begins to go thirsty since vampires don't need water, but there was a lake right in front of him the entire time. He talks about it and never thinks to go drink from it when the vampires are sleeping during the day. *facepalm* The plot twist - if you can even call it that - was so easy to guess, but guess who was incredibly shocked? Ding, ding, ding! Gene. And no, this was not a case in dramatic irony because everything that was revealed to the reader, Gene already knew. Hell, he's the one who narrates the story!
But that's not even the half of that. I could deal with a slow main character, but what I couldn't deal with was his "I'm better than these dirty hepers!" attitude. When Gene first arrives to the Heper institute and finds out the heper can talk, read, write, comprehend things, he is blown away. Shocked! This does not compute. I just wanted to yell at him, "YOU ARE A HEPER! If you can bloody do it, uh duh, so can they, genius." But it gets worse. Gene knows the hepers will be hunted, but they don't. Does he tell them? Attempt to help his people? NO. He just goes on business as usual, thinking that once the hepers are sent out to their deaths he can sneak away. That made me so angry. These are your people - perhaps the last humans alive - and you are going to sit and let them be eaten without doing anything about it? No, instead, you drink their water, eat their food and work their deaths into your escape plan. (view spoiler)[Even by the end when Sissy ("Head Heper in Charge") tells him, "We don't abandon our own" all he is thinking about is Ashley June. Not one single shred of remorse for his original plan to lead them to their deaths. Unbelievable. (hide spoiler)] Cast him out of the human race. He is not one of us.
I mean, what did he expect he would do after the Heper Hunt? Go on living in his fake life where he could die at any moment? Who would want that kind of life? That makes not sense. If the world happens to end with vampires devouring humans and I'm left with an idiot like Gene, I'm tripping him as I run from the vamps. And don't get me started on Ashley June. She was just as bad as Gene and can die in a fire for all I care.
The Hunt reminds me a lot of another book I've read called Glimmerglass. Not because they are similar in plot or anything, but because the reader must abandon a certain amount of logic and "just go with it." If anyone is familiar with me, they will know that it takes a lot for a book to convince me to "just go with it."
A list of things Fukuda expected me to buy:
-Vampires only eat bloody meat and can't stomach other foods except for ice cream. Wait, what?
-Gene never got sick from eating raw bloody meat.
-Gene has learned to suppress basic human instincts like smiling, laughing, coughing, squinting, flinching? How the hell is that possible? So what happens when Gene gets sick? He stays home? And what would be his excuse for not being in school? The vampires don't appear to fall ill in this world.
-Sex by armpits? I'm sorry, that one, while creative, was a little too hard to swallow. Or were they making out?
Before she could regain her footing, I shoved my elbow into the socket of her armpit. The way I had read about in books, seen in movies. I had her. Her body tensed in anticipation as my elbow locked into her armpit. And just like that, her body lost all tension and softened. I swiveled my elbow in long, luxurious circles, and her body moved in rhythm. Salivary wetness slivered between and around her snarling teeth. I concentrated hard after that, keeping up with appearances, making sure that the snarls came out in the right fevered pitch, that my body oscillated with enough passion and frenzy.
-Vampires couldn't tell Gene was a heper just because he shaved all his body hair off. Really? He still had hair on his head. Does that somehow smell different than facial, leg and arm hair? If they could smell the hepers in the dome even when they weren't sweaty, then they should have been able to always smell Gene is school.
It left me dangling of the edge of a cliff with three words. *tries to repress a very human sigh* *doesn't work* *LE SIGH*
I'm sure there are a lot of people who will love The Hunt. It's different, interesting, creative and action packed. And while it didn't really work out for me here, I'm tempted to check out book two to see where the story goes. But as I say in the rest of my two star reviews, the next book can hang out on my "You're on Probation" shelf.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
More reviews and other fantastical things at my blog 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"]>(less)
OMG. THIS BOOK. I held off reviewing Charm & Strange for one reason: I have no idea how to review a book like this. It’s a psychological thriller...moreOMG. THIS BOOK. I held off reviewing Charm & Strange for one reason: I have no idea how to review a book like this. It’s a psychological thriller that leaves you completely confused until the very last pages. There were literally times where I thought, “Okay, this is dumb” or “WTF am I reading?” But wow. I was left in pieces by the end and I think I might have finished the entire book in one day, which is a feat for me with kids running around all day. I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I’d recommend this one for more mature YA readers, as it does cover a sensitive subject.
There are so many feelings inside me right now, but I can't quite bring myself to mold them into anything else but giant SOBS.(less)