This book had a really slow start. I almost gave up on it in fact. But I pushed through and ended up with a story that was rather fun to be part of.
WThis book had a really slow start. I almost gave up on it in fact. But I pushed through and ended up with a story that was rather fun to be part of.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow has an Inkheart feel to it. Characters from stories come to life both inside and outside of the fictitious settings. But there is a certain twist for sure. I enjoyed the folklore elements the story developed as the plot progressed. I also really enjoyed the characters, even if I felt some of them were a bit bland.
I think it's really hard to write a story with multiple main characters and give them each enough qualities that make them stand out individually. I have to admit, I do not know much about the Bronte siblings' personal lives, so I really can't say how accurate any of the character traits are. The synopsis hints at Branwell's madness, but you don't get a prolonged glimpse into that in the novel. Sure, there are certain events that contribute to his cloudy thinking occasionally, but it is short lived. For me, the depth was missing (and this is just one example).
I do, however, enjoy the writing. It was modern enough to keep it from feeling stilted, but still maintained elements of the time period to make it believable. I would recommend this one for any fans of the Inkheart series for sure. ...more
Not sure about this one. But then again I was not sure about Wuthering Heights either. If I'm being honest, I spent most of my reading time confused aNot sure about this one. But then again I was not sure about Wuthering Heights either. If I'm being honest, I spent most of my reading time confused about what Ms. Bronte was talking about... and Stone Field was pretty much the same experience for me.
Cat is definitely unstable. Stonefield might be a bit off as well, but I think I would lean more towards he's driven mad by intense emotions. Since this is a very character driven book, let's discuss some of the characters: Cat, Stonefield, the preacher and Effie.
Cat is a lunatic. Period. Probably suffering from PTSD of some type, causing her to really behave in some crazy ways. Everyone copes with grief differently, so it does (kind of ) make sense that her guilt and grief drive her mad. Stonefield, on the other hand, seems more intentional. (Side note: I am also not convinced that he did not take advantage of Cat's mental state to get what he wanted earlier in the novel.) His race is questionable, but given the time period it's a pretty good guess that he's Native American (there was a hint about the Trail of Tears). I wanted to like both of these characters, but I never really could connect with them. Cat boasts extreme devotion one minute, then acts like a spiteful ex-girlfriend the next moment. Stonefield was not better, as he showed his very selfish side often.
Effie, on the other hand, came across as pretty straightforward. Her role was unique being that she was a minority during a time of slavery. Not only was she a minority, she was extremely intelligent and raised to be no one's inferior. Probably not the most historical accurate given the Southern location of the story, but it did make for interesting contrast to Cat. Effie and Cat were best friends, and much of the story relied on Effie to tone down Cat's craziness.
Finally, there is the preacher. Gag. I just can't even come to terms with him, but he was creepy! Again, I felt that he took advantage of situations to get what he wanted. (i.e. he claimed God told him to help Cat). I don't think God told him anything about Cat. I think he was a horn dog that saw her and knew she was a bit unstable and decided to work those situations to his advantage. He really wasn't a very likable character.
Overall, this one was intense at times and blurry at other points. It's a roller coaster of a ride and can be challenging to keep up with. But if you know the general gist of Wuthering Heights, you know how the story will end for Cat and Stonefield. ...more
Lies We Tell Ourselves was something very unexpected. When I read the synopsis I thought it was a historical fiction book... and it was... but...
ThereLies We Tell Ourselves was something very unexpected. When I read the synopsis I thought it was a historical fiction book... and it was... but...
There is a very big 'but' that caught me off guard. And if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I felt about it.
As a time piece, this book is great. Powerful. Full of everything that is needed to be completely believable. My heart races as these kids walked into the high school. Every jeer and taunt made me grip the book with white knuckles. I was fully submerged in what was happening, and I loved every minute of it. In fact, I even told a former co-worker about the book because this is the period she likes reading about the most. But when I got to the twist, she was like, "What?!"
And that's where I got stuck. I tried to push past it, but it didn't work for me. I just kept going back to how believable that twist might be. I know that special relationships were not mentioned during this time, or at least not written about openly, so I tried to factor that in. But I just couldn't make myself believe that it was real enough for the historical context. Don't get me wrong, though. The author did an amazing job making everything seem real. I'm just not a huge fan of historical fiction to begin with, so it doesn't take much for me to turn against it.
For me, omitting the twist would have made this book perfect. But taking away the twist would have changed these characters drastically. I cannot say that the book would have held the same power and emotion if they were written differently. Sadly, I stopped reading the book about 75 pages from the end. ...more
Don't be fooled by others telling you this book is not worth reading, because it is! I was instantly curious when I saw it was a modernized retellingDon't be fooled by others telling you this book is not worth reading, because it is! I was instantly curious when I saw it was a modernized retelling of one of the best books ever: Rebecca. But it's not just a straight up retelling, the author still manages to make Suspicion an unique story of its own.
First of all, there are definite similarities between the two books that will make fans of Daphne Du Maurier's book happy. Creepy English estate that seems to be hiding a secret, insecure main character, plotting hired help, and ghost sightings are all present and accounted for. But this version of Rebecca also has fun references to pop culture and a supernatural twist.
Many reviews don't seem to appreciate the characters, but I have to tell you, they really fit with the classic. In the original, the narrator is never confident. She's always questioning the love and intentions of her new husband, while feeling like a second rate citizen compared to the memory of his late first wife. What kind of retelling would change that? It only makes sense that Imogen is constantly feeling Lucia's presence surrounding her. And if your maid and head housekeeper keep telling you how awesome your cousin was, wouldn't you feel like a cheap replacement? Maybe she was a bit naive with her love of Sebastian (especially since she claims to have loved him all her life and she's only a teenager), but it still fits with the feel of the story.
My only complaint is that the supernatural element was not developed more. Imogen is pretty special, but we never get a real look into why and what she can do. That part of the plot really fell short. There were glimpses here and there of what made her unique, but they never went anywhere. Well, except to make the ending pretty dramatic, but that felt a bit odd and rushed.
All in all, though, I thought it was a great page turner. Suspicion kept all the key elements of the classic, Rebecca, while making the story fresh. I loved the modern twists and references, which kept it from feeling stiff and dated. ...more
Let's pause for a fan girl moment, please. I have loved Jennifer Estep's books since I stumbled across the Mythos Academy series years ago. When I sawLet's pause for a fan girl moment, please. I have loved Jennifer Estep's books since I stumbled across the Mythos Academy series years ago. When I saw Cold Burn of Magic a while ago, I really didn't think it could be as good as her mythology based novels, so I waited to read it. But when I finally got around to reading it, I knew within the opening chapter that I was wrong for putting it off.
I enjoyed this book so much!
It's fast-paced, full of smoldering romance, and a super kick-butt female lead.
Books that drag on bore me. I'm like a little kid. I want something awesome to happen in the first chapter and never stop. Well, Cold Burn of Magic did not disappoint in that department. The story is told from Lila's perspective, which is fantastic. She's full of snark and sass, which I fully enjoy. She's also incredibly resourceful, given her trade, and that makes for very interesting plot twists along the way.
If you've read the Mythos Academy books, you know what I mean by smoldering romance. One of the things that I like about Ms. Estep's books is that there is no love at first sight nonsense. But if there is, the characters are horribly resistant to it, so it takes a long time to develop. Needlesstosay, there is a lot of tension between Devon and Lila. Knowing how the other series played out, I can guess what will ultimately happen between these two, but that's okay. I enjoy the ride just the same. Even when you know what might happen in the end, sometimes just getting there is half the fun.
Cold Burn of Magic ended up being one of those books that I did not want to put down once I started it. In fact, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning so I could finish it in one sitting. And as luck would have it, because of my awesome procrastination skills, books 2 (Dark Heart of Magic) and 3 (Bright Blaze of Magic) are already available for my reading pleasure. So, yay me for getting to finish Lila's story without publishing delays. ...more
The Golden Braid is perfect for fans of fairy tales! While the synopsis promises a story like none you've read before, I don't think anyone familiar wThe Golden Braid is perfect for fans of fairy tales! While the synopsis promises a story like none you've read before, I don't think anyone familiar with Rapunzel is going to be overly surprised by this version. But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it all the same.
Ms. Dickerson does an excellent job of creating a believable setting and complicated characters. One thing that does differ greatly in The Golden Braid is Gothel herself. Her possessiveness and manipulation of Rapunzel was emotionally compelling because it oozed with signs of mental illness. I often found myself torn between believing that she was pure evil and that she was pitiful because of her delusions. As her story unfolds, it's clear to see how it directly affects Rapunzel's story. And for that, I would say The Golden Braid is unique.
I have not read anything else by this author, so I cannot speak to how it fits in with the other books as The Golden Braid seems to be book 6 in a series. I read it as a stand-alone novel, and it worked nicely. All the plot pieces wrapped up in the end in a satisfactory manner. The book's pacing was adequate as well. There were moments where the action slowed down to give the characters a chance to develop, but it never slowed too much. It was constant and compelling, which allowed me to finish the book in one sitting. That's always a bonus. ...more
The Night Parade was such an unique story! I was worried it was going to be a bit slow, but it really ended up being fascinating. It reminded me a bi The Night Parade was such an unique story! I was worried it was going to be a bit slow, but it really ended up being fascinating. It reminded me a bit of A Christmas Carol, with the three visiting spirits, but don't think it's a retelling. It's not.
Saki is your typical bratty, self-absorbed teenager. She does bratty teenager things until she accidentally summons a spirit and evokes a death curse.Participating in the Night Parade is her way to save herself. But then something happens. Each night, she learns a bit more about the spirit world. She meets interesting guides and creatures through her struggles.
The imagery is so vivid in this book. I felt like I was walking along the Pilgrim's Path trying to reach the Midnight Prince right along with Saki. While the message and story was great, I think my favorite element of this book is the Japanese culture. I know nothing of Japanese culture, but here I was reading about ceremonies and beliefs that fit perfectly in this tale. It was just wonderful.
I have a feeling this book is going to pop up a lot. I fully expect to see it land on many school reading lists in the upcoming years. ...more
It's going to be sad to say that in the two short weeks since I've read Crewel, I can't remember much about it. That being the case, this review is goIt's going to be sad to say that in the two short weeks since I've read Crewel, I can't remember much about it. That being the case, this review is going to be short and sweet since it will only focus on what I do remember and not too much on the gritty details.
* Crewel has an interesting concept that can be a bit complicated at times. I found some of the descriptions confusing and muddled, but I still enjoyed learning about Spinsters.
* The antagonists in this book are terrible. And by terrible, I mean you will hate them because they are all sorts of evil. I give points for having villains that you hate instantly.
* I'm pretty sure there is a love-triangle, but it was a bit hard to figure that one out. Jost is my favorite so far because he has major motivation for being where he is. Erik is just there.
* I read through the majority of the book just enjoying the story. Then I realized it's kind of like a dystopian? Who knew. I had no idea! Once I realized that, I wished the idea of what civilization was like that lead to this new way of life would have been explored more. Of course, the ending leaves it wide open to be explored in book 2, and I already requested it from the library so I can figure things out.
I'm not really happy how the book ended. Seems a bit convenient and rushed. Oh well. Many readers will probably enjoy the story (as a story). ...more
Oh, this book. Man. The Elite was (not surprisingly) just as predictable as The Selection. However, there were a few surprises in this one. One characOh, this book. Man. The Elite was (not surprisingly) just as predictable as The Selection. However, there were a few surprises in this one. One character manages to find herself in a tough spot, and that did surprise me a bit. There was finally a depth to someone in the character to make them not seem as flat.
But Maxon and Aspen as still awful-- and America's constant flip flopping is not helping. Maxon wants America. That was established in The Selection, except even though he says he'll wait for her, he really won't. He's working on a back up plan. But don't worry. He tells America that and she's okay with it. Because, you know, everyone is okay with their future husband keeping his options open. As for Aspen, he's still being a pig. It just bothers me so much that he assumes America still wants him after how he acted. But then again, America doesn't really say she doesn't want him. Indecisive characters are so annoying.
I know how The One will end. Each books sets it up perfectly and does nothing to alter your expectations. Maybe they aren't meant to. I still keep reading. I have no idea what pulls me to these books, but I want to see them through until the end. ...more
Fun to read right from the start! The Eighth Day is a middle school Sunshine State Reader for the 2015-2016 school year. I usually pick a few books frFun to read right from the start! The Eighth Day is a middle school Sunshine State Reader for the 2015-2016 school year. I usually pick a few books from the list to read during the year so I can help out with our middle school book club. Luckily, I can say that I have not been disappointed with what I've read this year so far!
The Eighth Day is so full of action that it's hard to put down once you start reading. Jax has issues to work through, but it's nothing compared to his legal guardian's life. Talk about complicated. Add a mysterious girl living next door and you've got yourself quite a mystery.
Oh, but the real mystery begins when Jax discovers there is an eighth day in the week that only a select group of people know about. Why? Because that day is part of King Arthur's legend.
This book did such a great job incorporating elements of one of my favorite tales into a fresh spin on middle grades fiction. It is geared towards younger readers, so don't look for deep themes that leave you questioning life at the end of the book. You won't have a life changing experience. But you will have a great time reading The Eighth Day. I highly recommend it to all middle school kids and fans of Arthurian legend. ...more
What can I say about Mechanica? It exceeded all expectations. You can't tell from here, but that cover glows. It's beautifulThis book has everything!
What can I say about Mechanica? It exceeded all expectations. You can't tell from here, but that cover glows. It's beautiful and perfectly captures this tale.
Plus, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella with magic and fairy folk? AND a strong, determined heroine? OMGee.
Mechanica- or Nic- is great. She shares many similarities with the original, neglected and poorly treated Cinderella, but she is also unique. She's witty, brilliant with machines, and has a purpose for her life that she is working so hard to achieve. I love that. There will be no waiting around for a prince to save her (or will there be?).
I am not sure what it says about me to love Jules as much as I do. The way the author described him gave him so much personality that I imagined him like a real animal. I wanted a tiny pet horse for myself.
I loved the writing in Mechanica. Every page was filled with prose that created such an extraordinary world. I wanted to be sucked in to Nic's life and experience her world. The descriptions were rich and dripping with detail, but they weren't wordy. It was the perfect combination. I flew through this book because it had me captured from the start. I did not want to stop reading. From what I can tell, there might be a sequel? It sure ended that way and my hopes are high that we will get to revisit this land and characters soon....more
If you are a fan of sci-fi and adventure, this book is perfect for you.
I found that it had elements of intrigue and end-of-the-world chaos that wouldIf you are a fan of sci-fi and adventure, this book is perfect for you.
I found that it had elements of intrigue and end-of-the-world chaos that would appeal to Divergent fans. But would I consider this a dystopian? No.
I found Tabula Rasa to be an extremely quick read-- I finished it in a few hours. From the start, it was a page turner and that helped keep me reading. There were several twists along the way that I enjoyed, too.
My only complaints are fairly minor. First,, the author delivers the perfect outcome, which I find to be annoying. I feel there are some books that need to have the unconventional ending to be whole, and this is one of them. Also, I am not too keen on stretching concepts to use at a later point just so the plot can wrap up smoothly. I felt that Tabula Rasa did this on several occasions, which disappointed me.
The concept was interesting and I felt original. The plot felt a bit abrupt at places, which enhanced the iffy-ness I have about the love relationship between the two characters. I just can't say I bought into it. Because of the abrupt nature and piecing together of seemingly unimportant elements, there were a lot of unanswered questions about who/why Angel gets help. The author tried to fill the reader in, but that attempt turned into a massive info dump.
Overall, I can see Tabula Rasa appealing to a certain type of reader. I'm a bit picky when I read outside of my preferred genre, so it was okay for me, but not one that I'm going to praise for years to come. ...more
Morgan Rhodes is going to make me bankrupt. First she starts with a 6 part series that I love, and now there is a spin off series that is just as goodMorgan Rhodes is going to make me bankrupt. First she starts with a 6 part series that I love, and now there is a spin off series that is just as good.
This series keeps the magic elements I loved from the Falling Kingdoms books, and amps it up a bit. Not only do we get a glimpse into Mytica pre-Falling Kingdoms, but we also get a dose of the modern world and a new set of characters.
These characters are also full of surprises. I loved them all! It's so hard to pick a side, because character is unique. I am always skeptical of alternating points of view, because I fear the characters will sound the same. But that is never the case with Morgan Rhodes' writing. Every character has a unique voice and personality. The chapters tell a part of the story that is unique to that character. Then, when you begin to wonder how it all comes together, BAM. Every plot line mingles together and becomes one incredibly brilliant plot twist. Morgan Rhodes has never been afraid to kill off favorite characters, so there are plenty of shock factors in ABOSAT.
Of course, also in typical Morgan Rhodes fashion the ending is left wide open for the next book (The Darkest Magic) and we have to wait until June 2016 for it. ...more