The narrator is amazing. She easily is able to flip back and forth from female voices to male. She also has not probably doing the really howt scenes.The narrator is amazing. She easily is able to flip back and forth from female voices to male. She also has not probably doing the really howt scenes. Also, also, don't listen the real howt scenes while driving. This audiobook should come with a warning.
Reasons why I liked it:
- Very well researched. The author did a great job bringing the time period to life. - Developed and interesting characters. They feel real and all leave me with conflicted emotions. They're created with such a complexity that at times I either loved them or hated them. - Detailed writing made for a great audiobook. It's possible I could have gotten bored of I had read the print instead. - Excellent plot. I'm eager to find out more about the stones and how the time traveling works. Also, I'm wondering how Claire's involvement will alter history. - Solid romance. Though I had a few reservations about Claire and Jamie's relationship, I quite liked them together in the end.
Things I didn't like:
- The spanking scene. It's not because it happened, but Jamie's reaction to enjoying it. No matter how much I think of it, it bothers me. However, I'm thinking that may be authorial intent: For us to question societal influences of different time periods and its effect on human behavior. - Too detailed at times, so much so, that it detracted from the scene. - I don't buy Jamie's overnight transformation from Virgin Boy to Super Freak.
Bottom line: I really enjoyed it and will be continuing the series. If you are interested in tackling this book, I highly suggest the audio version (the narrator is excellent) as it can drag a bit on the less interesting scenes.
This is going to be one of those rare times where my rating isn't very indicative of my personal feelings of the quality of a novel. (Savor this momenThis is going to be one of those rare times where my rating isn't very indicative of my personal feelings of the quality of a novel. (Savor this moment because I don't see it happening too often.) Here's the thing about Neptune's Tears: if you are a veteran Sci-Fi reader, chances are it will be lacking in complexity for you. However, if you are a noob to the genre or a younger reader or a reluctant reader, this novel may be perfect for you. Unfortunately, I don't fall in the latter category and I don't think I'm a part of the target audience for this book, but I can still see a lot of redeemable qualities for Neptune's Tears.
- The writing isn't bad at all. Even though I mentioned I think this book would be great for younger readers, I didn't ever feel like Waggoner was talking down to the reader. This was especially evident with the science she used to set her world up and the descriptions. The world is described in a clear manner without info-dumping on the reader.
-Neptune's Tears features a diverse group of characters. One thing I really love is when a book has other nationalities or cultures present. So many times in YA lit it's the usual all white cast with the occasional token character. But this book takes place in London and has a variety of nationalities present. In fact, the main character even travels to Indonesia later in the book. It's apparent that Waggoner wanted her book to be more of an accurate representation of the world in the future, and the best way to do that was to actually include the rest of the world.
- The plot moved along swiftly and the twist wasn't predictable. Looking back at my reading experience, I'm a little surprised that I didn't see the plot twist. There were a few times when I wanted to DNF Neptune's Tears, but I was very interested in seeing what David's big secret was, so that kept me reading until the end.
What didn't work out for me:
- The pacing was entirely too fast. There were times when I long stretches of time had passed by, but I didn't realize it because the story moved at such a rapid pace. This caused the most issues with the romance. One minute Zee and David are meeting and the next they are falling in love. At first, I thought it was insta-love and I HATE insta-love 99% of the time, but then I realized a few months had gone by later. I felt like the book could have used better transitioning and been smoothed out more in that department. Also because the pacing was so fast, there were pages where it should have been interesting but weren't because the scene felt like it was stuck on a weird Fast Forward type setting. It was like I was skim reading a book without skimming. That, in turn, led to boredom.
- The world building wasn't very complex. This is a personal preference, but in order for me to be fully sucked into a world, I need a lot more details. Neptune's Tears gives the reader the basics, but I don't feel it fully tapped into its potential. I would have liked more info on what it meant for Zee to be an Empath. How did this skill emerge in the future world? (Speaking of the future world, I would have like more info on that in general.) If falling in love was so discouraged if a person was an Empath because it negatively affected their job, why was Zee and David's relationship seemingly the exception? There was so much that was left unsaid and the author generally stuck to things that only pertained to Zee. And that would probably be fine for some readers, but I require a little more.
- I couldn't relate to the characters. I'm not sure what it was, but these characters did nothing for me. I think this might go hand in hand with things not being as fleshed out as I usually prefer, the characters included. Everything was strictly on a need to know basis as it pertained directly to the story and plot with very little wiggle room. I never really felt I got a good sense on who Zee was as a person. What were her likes besides her job and David? What did she like to do for fun? For me, there was no real substance. There were simply these characters and they live in this world and, oh hey, here is the plot. Bam, wham, thank you, Sam.
The bottom line? I really believe this novel could have used an extra 100-150 more pages and if things had been more detailed, I could have really loved this one. That being said, I do think Neptune's Tears would be perfect for reluctant readers. It's short, has a decent plot and not overly complex.
Be warned: This review does contain mild spoilers.
You know that feeling when you are expecting one thing out of a book and it completely delivers someBe warned: This review does contain mild spoilers.
You know that feeling when you are expecting one thing out of a book and it completely delivers something else, and not for the better? It's the kind of situation where you expectations completely sabotage your reading experience. That's what happened with Unremembered and I. Technically, there isn't anything wrong with the story. I fairly enjoyed the writing style and the characters, but in the end it's not very memorable. It reminds me a lot of a few other sci-fi novels I've read recently: Origin andEve & Adam. They all feature people created by science in some way or another, each with varying degrees of complexity. I'd situate Unremembered somewhere in between the two.
The premise is what really drew me in. Seraphina is found at the scene of a plane crash with no memory of how she got there or anything from her past, including her name. As the novel wears on, the reader and Seraphina learn more and more about her past thanks mostly the Mysterious Boy that she feels drawn to. In the beginning, I was really enjoying it because it was intriguing. However, once the romance manifested and consumed the plot, the original excitement I had began to die off. There is a scene where the love interest, Zen, is more focused on her remembering him instead of other memories I felt were a bit more important given her situation (AKA, bad guys are after her and she doesn't know why). Apparently, he didn't feel that was important, which struck me as odd. Sure, he told her the basics, but his main priority was her remembering their love. Yes, this is me rolling my eyes.
The other thing I took issue with was the whole, "Zomg! Science is evil! It will destroy our love!" (view spoiler)[One plot twist reveals that they time back to Shakespeare's time because they wanted to be in a time period where Evil Science couldn't taint their love. (hide spoiler)] The whole Evil Science is something some reviewers took issue with Jessica Khoury's Origin. I didn't because I felt like Origin only addressed the evil of what a few particular scientists were doing, whereas Unremembered lumps all of science in as evil. So if you had issues with Origin, it might be best to skip this one.
And let's not forget these are teenagers claiming their love transcends all things a la Romeo and Juliet. It's the whole, "They won't let us be together, let's run away" plot, when what you think you're getting is a novel that is more than just a tragic love story. Zen is the only boy Seraphina meets. Her life experiences are severely limited because of what she is and most of their romantic interactions take place through brief flashbacks. This made it really hard for me to believe in their love and connect on that level. Not to mention, external forces are not the only things that complicate relationships and are generally not what tear couples apart. Unremembered creates this illusion that their love would be perfect if it weren't for Evil Science.
And my final issue? Predictability. I had almost the entire plot figured out in the first 25%. I knew exactly why Seraphina ran away. I knew exactly where she ran away to (that one was incredibly obvious). I knew where she was from. I knew what she was. (BTW, what's with the purple eyes? I thought it would be relevant in some way, but it seems it was thrown in just for kicks to make Seraphina even more speshul than what she already is. But all it did was paint a gigantic Mary Sue marquee on her forehead.) The not-so-subtle plot twists helped to kill any left over excitement to finish the book. But I did, and was equally as underwhelmed with the ending.
In the end, I find myself agreeing with Emily where she says Unremembered would be best suited for newer YA Sci-fi readers. It's swift and fairly action-packed, making it an easy read. It just doesn't do it as well as other sci-fi novels.
ARC was received via Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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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 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?
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