Wow. I gotta tell you... this is one of those books that just grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. I had such a wonderful, enjoyable t...moreWow. I gotta tell you... this is one of those books that just grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. I had such a wonderful, enjoyable time reading this book. When it was over, I was so sad that it was over. The story was great, the characters were great, the writing was wonderful. It just had it all. And yes! It had mythology... but one of the most unique twists to traditional mythology that I've ever seen. I was so intrigued and sucked in by this concept. What a breath of fresh air this book was... so very different from everything else I've seen.
Nikki was a great character. I cared so much about her and what she's been through. You couldn't help but love her and you also couldn't help but understand what drove her to make the choice that she did. And wow, what a choice it was. I wasn't sure what to make at the beginning of the story. The author starts in the middle, which at first, I thought was going to be a mistake. You have a girl waking up in this place called the everneath after 100 years with no idea how or why she got there, and knowing nothing about her except that for 100 years she has forgotten everything about herself and her life, except the face of one boy. The more you read this book, there was absolutely no question why Jack's face would be the one thing she remembered. Jack...wow. I'll stop there because if I start gushing I'll end up giving things away.
This book was absolutely perfect. The pacing was great, it read so fast. The writing was just beautiful, the characters, everything was exactly how I like it to be. I can't wait for the sequel.(less)
When I first started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Although it does kind of start out wih some action, surprisingly, I had a tad bi...moreWhen I first started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Although it does kind of start out wih some action, surprisingly, I had a tad bit of trouble getting into it at first. I'm not sure why. I'm so glad I stuck with it though. This book turned out to be fabulous.
The whole idea that no soul is born to be brand new, that all souls are repeatedly endlessly and that, grown, the people remember themselves throughout centuries, was so unique. I've never read anything quite like that in a dystopian, and it has dragons too! So really it's somewhat of an interesting mixture between dystopian and fantasy. Whatever it was, though, worked for me.
I love the relationship between Ana and Sam. The majority of the story is actually between these two characters. You would think this would make for a boring book, but quite the contrary. These two carried the story off just fine. Their scenes together, their building affection and feeling was so compelling to read. The external conflicts, while welcome and well done, were actually secondary in a way.
Jodi Meadows has employed excellent world-building here, and I found myself truly enthralled. I'm eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. Her writing was fast paced, and often beautiful. A wonderful debut. (less)
I had a little trouble getting into this one like I hoped I would. Perhaps it was the fact that the book was written in verse and I've never really be...moreI had a little trouble getting into this one like I hoped I would. Perhaps it was the fact that the book was written in verse and I've never really been a fan of that style of novel. It's more distracting to me than engaging. Another thing that kind of pulled me out of the story is that it was a tad bit predictable to me. There was a love triangle... and I kind of knew that one side of the love interest was going to go anywhere, and then boom, I'm right. And then coincidentally, things change to put Marcie back where she was, there's a little conflict there, and then boom, resolution.
Marcie was really the only character in the story that I really felt like I knew. Everyone else was sort of like looking at a picture... a little flat and two dimensional. I really wished I could have seen a bit more depth in some of those other characters.
Lastly, the conflict in the story was based mainly on a big misunderstanding, in my view. So I never really felt like there was a mounting level of emotional buildup. All in all, I admired the author's ability, but the book fell a little flat for me. (less)
Wow, this was completely different from what I expected. I'm not sure why, but it brought something a little bit more than what the summary predicted...moreWow, this was completely different from what I expected. I'm not sure why, but it brought something a little bit more than what the summary predicted for me. Yes, Delaney is now drawn to the dead, and it's so sad to watch her agonize over this as she discovers that she can sense people who are about to die and that there's not much she can do about it. My "predictable" radar was going off when she met Troy, because I really saw the whole "guy with similar issues swoops in to save the day" thing about to happen, but the author led us down a completely different path. I was pleasantly surprised.
I really wanted to knock Delaney's parents upside the head. The fact that they believed some of the things they did about her really shocked me. I felt so bad for her that they would make these assumptions and be so difficult with her, all in the name of protecting her. But it was true to life, that I guess I understood it. I can probably imagine some parents reacting the way they did.
The romance in this story was perfect. It is slow to build, slow for me to even figure out actually, but then again, when it finally becomes obvious where the story was headed, I wanted to bomp my forehead and say, "no kidding. Where have you been?"
This was such a unique story, and I found myself really sucked in and on the edge of my seat. So many things were going on and it kept you so engaged. The writing was fast and thoughtful, and the characters so real and endearing. I had to love it. Looking forward to more great stories by Megan Miranda. Great debut!!
Let me just say that this book grabbed me from the start. I had so been looking forward to this one coming out as I had heard so many great things abo...moreLet me just say that this book grabbed me from the start. I had so been looking forward to this one coming out as I had heard so many great things about it, the cover was intriguing, and the summary sounded amazing. From the first page, I really was sucked in. The pacing kept me going, and it definitely proved to be one of those books that kept me reading late into the night when I should have been sleeping.
Faye was an awesome character that I just felt bad for from the very first page. To have your parents dump you at a strange school in the way they did... wow. I can't imagine how it must feel, but the author did a great job dealing with her emotions towards her family and pretty much everyone who has always treated her like something was wrong with her. It was sad. Kel was definitely a compelling male lead that I thought was great. The pairing just seemed to work, and the suspense in the story kept the two moving toward further danger.
About two thirds into the story though, things began to fall apart for me a little bit. I could almost pinpoint the exact moment even. Faye was sitting in her dorm room puzzling over what to do with the little bit of information she has managed to collect regarding what's been happening to her at the school... then suddenly she's outside and something else is happening. There was really not much explanation as to the lost time between the dorm room and outside in the woods. And then to make matters worse, strange things start happening to the plot from that point on. I found myself very confused as to where we were, and what was happening. It was so quick of a scenery/event change, that it jarred me from the story and I'm not sure I ever really made it back completely. And I really wasn't sure that I bought into Faye's reactions toward the end of the story.
It was unfortunate that this happened so near the end of the story, because that was the last impression I was left with. But the story really had me for two thirds of the way, so I'm hoping that if there's a sequel, I'll be able to move right back into the story and pick up comfortably.
On another note though, the author's writing was tight, action-packed and very compelling. She's a talented writer and did a great job creating characters I cared about. (less)
As far as debuts go, this one was pretty unique. Although I've seen the magical boarding school element before, as well as zombies, what Michele Vail...moreAs far as debuts go, this one was pretty unique. Although I've seen the magical boarding school element before, as well as zombies, what Michele Vail managed to do here was to create a unique new setting for those two elements. I loved the idea of using Egyptian mythology here as a means for explaining zombies and the magic that is the big focal point of this new series. You don't see Egyptian mythology used a whole lot in YA series, so this was definitely a plus, and very interesting.
One of my favorite elements in this story was Molly herself. This was such a cute, funny, quirky character. I just enjoyed reading her narrative, despite what was going on in the story. It was a funny place to be, and she had such a cute way of looking at things.
Rath was a pretty good "bad boy" character that added some interesting sexual tension to the story. Although his part of the story has been a little overdone, in my view. The girl falling for the hot teacher is something I've seen a couple times before, but I think the author saved it by not making the attraction immediately mutual. It took a little bit of time for the reader to be able to tell that Rath was into her too. So that helped. Also unique was that Molly remained confused for most of the book on which guy she should be with. She gradually worked her way up to this realization, but at the same time, her feelings for the guy are not 100% reconciled by the end of this story.
Bottom line, I liked the characters, and Molly's new friends. Liked the romance aspect, and loved Molly. The only complaint I might have is that when it was all said and done, I didn't feel like very much had happened in the story. It seemed like for all those pages, all those characters, etc... there were very few actual events that occurred. It didn't put me off, however, as I know this is the first in a series, and this book was largely setup. I am looking forward to check out the next installment. A very good debut.
I've read a lot of mermaid stories, but it's very rare to find one that has a merman rather than a mermaid, and it was one of the things that made thi...moreI've read a lot of mermaid stories, but it's very rare to find one that has a merman rather than a mermaid, and it was one of the things that made this story interesting. Mer people, to me, always carry a very feminine stigma to them because so much of the folklore and fiction written about them is about a female being a mermaid, but Galen and his friend definitely shake the foundations of that thought process. Galen is a masculine mer prince, after all.
I was pulled into this story from the very beginning. Emma was a wonderful character. She's cute, kind of a goof, and extremely loyal to her friend. It was so sad watching her reaction to her friend's death, but when she meets Galen and Rayna, things began to get even more interesting as she realizes she has a destiny that is going to bring her into this underwater world that she never knew existed.
One of the strengths of this story was the characters... they all had their individual quirks and personalities, but I have to admit a slight sway toward the boys. Galen and Toraf were amazing. I loved how sweet, gentle, and sexy that Toraf was, and I just wanted to bonk Rayna in the head for not seeing how great he was and for always fighting him. But at least Emma and Galen's awesome sexual tension made up for that.
The story had some great conflict, and although it ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger, it definitely reeled me in even more. No pun intended. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.
Wow. This was such a compelling read for me that it was hard to concentrate on dissecting anything for potential review... I was too sucked into this...moreWow. This was such a compelling read for me that it was hard to concentrate on dissecting anything for potential review... I was too sucked into this world. The story, the characters, the emotion, the writing... everything just worked. This is one of the best books I've read in a while.
I fell in love with Echo Emerson as a character immediately. Her past, what she had been through, and her memory loss was so sad to watch. This is a girl who has been through so much, has no memory of it but is left with impressions that she's suffered something traumatic. What must it be like to know that something this bad had happened to you and that someone you thought you could trust was involved? And was I the only one who wanted to just kick her dad in the butt through most of the book? He pissed me off so badly that I just wanted to dropkick him!
Then let's talk about Noah. Oh, Noah. I can't tell you how much I loved this character. So much of the time you read stories where the author was trying to create a "redeemable" bad boy, but he just comes off cocky and mean. Noah was a great bad boy because not only is he the kind of guy your mama wouldn't want you to hang with, but he's got a heart and is so protective of the people he cares about. And he has his own story. He wasn't just the obligatory romantic male lead to Echo's story. The dual story here was fascinating, and it caused this book to be an utter page-turner, where every single page reveals something new and has you on the edge of your seat. These two together, to me, was pure magic. How Noah is able to bring Echo out of herself was so poignant and amazing.
Katie McGarry has done an absolutely amazing job with this story. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite books of 2012 so far. Extraordinary debut, and I am an instant fan of Katie Mcgarry.
Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!! OMG, OMG, OMG!!! This is, hands down, one of the best books I've read in a while... which says a lot, because I feel like I'v...moreOh wow, oh wow, oh wow!! OMG, OMG, OMG!!! This is, hands down, one of the best books I've read in a while... which says a lot, because I feel like I've been on a great book kick lately and I have literally loved just about everything I've read lately. But this book just knocked my socks off. What a debut!! I can't believe a first time author wrote this, but then I guess I shouldn't be surprised by some of the awesome writing talent out there.
Wendy Higgins has managed to create a book here that not only entertains and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but really makes you think. The first sentence of the summary says it all: "What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences?" Yeah, what if? Can you imagine what it would be like if this was your daughter and she found out she was part demon, part angel, and she lived in a world where others like her were forced to "work" each night promoting the seven deadly sins?
Seeing into the "behind the scenes" struggle between good and evil was amazing, a struggle that goes on right over your shoulder each day as good and evil representatives battle unseen for your thoughts and how you will look at the world, and whether you'll envy your friend's new dress, or lust for someone else's boyfriend. It really made you stop and think.
The characters in this story were so interesting. Jay was not just the obligatory guy best friend. There was something so special about him, and how he loves and cares for Anna without any romantic interest at all was so sweet and endearing.
I loved Anna... and not because she was perfect. She has weaknesses, and they're bad ones. She works hard to stifle them and to do good things instead. There's innocence about her, but also a worldliness that was somewhat sad. Her influence on Kaiden was so sweet, especially considering his character! He was one of those characters you just had to love, despite the fact that they do bad things. Then again, one could argue that he can't help the things he has to do. He was strong, sexy, hot, but he had a heart too, even thought he's not supposed to. I found myself really cheering these two on. Their scenes together are sexy, and the tension between them was intoxicating where you just couldn't stand it!
Quite a few other characters are introduced, but I don't really feel like I can say much more without giving away too much for those who haven't read the book. This is the type of book that you just need to discover for yourself. It was brilliant, beautifully written, fast-paced and just a whole lot of awesome!! It packed an emotional punch that just left me breathless. Instant Wendy Higgins fan here! I can't wait for book two. This book was amazing! (less)
I have to agree with the last sentence in the Goodreads.com summary. Travis was just an amazing hero. I love military guys, first, but second, I just...moreI have to agree with the last sentence in the Goodreads.com summary. Travis was just an amazing hero. I love military guys, first, but second, I just loved Travis in general. I loved getting to watch from inside Travis' head as he tries to come to grips with what he saw in Afghanistan, what has happened at home while he's been gone, and then the possibilities of what can happen for him while he's home. I love stories told from the male perspective, and being in Travis' head was alternately uncomfortable, sweet, sexy, and brave all at once. You really felt like you knew him so well, and although he has flaws, there is so much great about him that you just can't help but fall in love.
Harper seemed like the perfect thing for Travis. She was strong and tough but also light-hearted and caring. I think she was exactly the right thing for him at exactly the right time. I loved watching this relationship develop. It was sweet, sexy, and progressed at just the right times.
Some of my favorite scenes in the book involved Travis' Marine friends. These guys were great, and it was amazing to watch the rapport they had. It was really awesome getting a chance to see into the comraderie that our military guys must have together. It was one of my favorite aspects of the story.
There were a couple parts in the story that really get to you, but they were great. All in all, this story was just one of those simple, but perfect, stories that you're glad you got to read. The authors writing was direct, simple, but beautiful at the same time. Before I knew it, the story was over. This book was definitely worth the read and is one of my favorites of the summer.
I had been dying to get my hands on this book, because based on the summary, this promised to be a really amazing read. And let me tell you... it was....moreI had been dying to get my hands on this book, because based on the summary, this promised to be a really amazing read. And let me tell you... it was. I loved it from the first page. Again, we have a contemporary situation that's really true to life, as I'm sure that this has happened before. The author did an amazing job dealing with this sensitive situation and making Quinn sympathetic.
Quinn's character was the real driving force behind this book. Her personality, her choices, and the journey she takes in the story. She's kissed her boyfriend's best friend, and did so in a smallish town where everyone knows everyone else, and where her boyfriend is considered a hero being a military man serving overseas. The way people treated her was absolutely unforgiveable. Especially when they are unfairly judging her. Of course, she's holding a secret that, if she told everyone, would completely clear her name and make people ashamed for treating her the way they have, but because she made a promise, she won't tell anyone. You have to love Quinn on so many levels for being able and willing to take such abuse, knowing that you could tell them off if you wanted to. But she chooses not to. She has integrity, and she's protecting someone else.
It was so hard to watch her go through that though. She's a heck of a lot stronger than I would be in that situation, being able to keep a secret while people hate her. I loved her for that. There's only one person in the whole book who doesn't judge her and treat her like a paraiah and that's George... a much older man whose a military retiree. I loved her relationship with George... and this was actually my favorite aspect to the story.
Was there romance? Yes, a little. But in the end, the book didn't have the closure that I would have liked. Despite that though, it was beautifully written, heart-wrenching, and very emotional. Quinn finds herself during her journey, and it was a great journey to watch. A beautiful book. (less)
For some reason, I don't find many stories out there about witches. There are plenty of vampires, werewolves, angels and demons, but not nearly as man...moreFor some reason, I don't find many stories out there about witches. There are plenty of vampires, werewolves, angels and demons, but not nearly as many witch stories. So A Witch In Winter was kind of refreshing for me.
I loved Anna as a heroine. She was kind of cute, and was exactly how I would picture a girl her age. So much of the time, I read stories where the YA heroine is portrayed as being super smart, brave, resourceful, etc... and I always thoroughly enjoy those stories. Sometimes, though, it's nice to just meet an average-seeming teenage girl. And to me, that was Anna. I liked her and her relationship with her father, and it was interesting to see her trying to build relationships with some of the girls around her. Once she finds out what she is, I didn't admire some of her early choices though. Attempting to do things on your own when your first trial of witchery had gone so wrong probably wasn't such a great idea, but there again, she was acting her age.
Seth was a great character, and I understand that the premise of the story is that she's accidentally put a love spell on him that supposedly causes him to love her, but at the same time, the insta-love effect in the story kind of disappointed me. Even though we're supposed to believe he would have loved her that quickly spell or no spell. But at least once they are together, I truly enjoyed their relationship and thought he was a great guy.
The big showdown was the best part of the story, to me. Very compelling. This proves that Ruth Warburton knows how to write some really suspensful scenes. The book came together for me and I thought this was a pretty good debut. Very enjoyable.
The concept for this story was cute and interesting. It was a sort of Teen Witch (the movie from the early 90s) meets Mean Girls. And these girls are...moreThe concept for this story was cute and interesting. It was a sort of Teen Witch (the movie from the early 90s) meets Mean Girls. And these girls are definitely mean to Molly in this story. They're absolutely ugly and such bullies.
The true depth of this story comes from what being beautiful does to Molly. There are some changes to her personality, and they aren't all good. The question is whether or not she'll be able to find herself now that she's beautiful.
I found the idea of Hudson liking her to be somewhat unrealistic. He never liked her before she became beautiful, so for him to like her now seems to be rather superficial on his part. Even if that could be explained away, I had an issue too with the fact that when Molly begins to change, Hudson has a problem with it. Yet, he's been hanging with mean girls just like her for years. So I was left wondering about him being so wishy-washy.
There were definitely aspects to the story that I enjoyed, but all in all, I felt a lot more could have been done with it. I would have rather Hudson had liked her before she became beautiful. Or perhaps there could have been another guy who loved her all along just the way she was. The concept was good, but for some reason, this book fell a little short for me. (less)
I wasn't sure I was going to like this one because I figured it would be kind of zombie-esque and it would turn me off, but surprisingly, I found myse...moreI wasn't sure I was going to like this one because I figured it would be kind of zombie-esque and it would turn me off, but surprisingly, I found myself really loving it. You couldn't help but feel bad for Seraphina. Anyone who has a bit of a conscience would probably find it difficult living on for many years knowing that your life meant the death of someone innocent. So it isn't surprising that Seraphine wants out.
I thought it was so sweet how she begins to really love and care for the family of the girl whose body she now inhabits, even as she feels guilty over the fact that her very presence in their lives means that their true daughter is dead. And her growing thing with the guy in her life.... yeah, that was interesting too.
All in all I found this to be a really wonderful, thought-provoking debut by Avery Williams. Her writing kept me interested. It was thoughtful, beautiful at times, and the pacing kept me going. I knew bad things were going to happen later and the author did a great job leading you up to that point and making you really care about Seraphine and what's going to happen to her next. A great debut and a great start to a new series. Looking forward to the next installment.