Okay, where do I start? I had mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I liked it, because it had some cool mythology in it, and of course, anyoOkay, where do I start? I had mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I liked it, because it had some cool mythology in it, and of course, anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how I love books with mythology in it. So ther'es that. I also like a good love triangle, and I also love the stories where girls get the guy that they've always crushed on but who never noticed them before. So far we're all cool.
But then, when the bracelet breaks at a party, all the sudden the boys can see her and she's no longer invisible. As it turns out it has some sort of spell on it or something that keeps her from being "seen" by boys. So she's always been rather unremarkable to them where they either don't notice her at all, or forget her immediately. I didn't like the fact that Blake was one of the ones who couldn't see her, and that after her bracelet stopped blotting her out, now he notices her. That just kind of bothered me. I wanted him to see her before. So I guess that hits upon my biggest problem with the story... the shallowness of her relationships in the story. Even with her friends. There just didn't seem to be a lot of depth there.
I did like where the story is obviously going. There's a danger to her that her bracelet was protecting her from. There are some hot guys who are created to go after her and kill her, etc... And once she and Blake got together, I did like their relationship.
The book read very quickly and had great pacing. So the author really did a good job pulling you in and moving the story along. I am definitely going to read the next book so I can find out where things are going to go from here. All in all, even with some slight disappointments, I did enjoy the story and will be picking up the next book. ...more
I waited a very long time to read this story, and I was really hoping that it wouldn't disappoint me because I had built it up so much in my head baseI waited a very long time to read this story, and I was really hoping that it wouldn't disappoint me because I had built it up so much in my head based on the summary. I shouldn't have been worried. My Life Next Door was exactly what I expected, and more.
Samantha's home life with her mom isn't a bad thing, but her mom has some firmly held prejudices against large families like the Garretts, and she's a politician so her time with Sam and her sister is limited and sometimes seems superficial. It's not hard to see why Samantha would have been drawn to life over the fence when she spends so much time watching the loving chaos that comes from the Garretts home. There were times, when hearing Jase describe the way strangers in a grocery store treat his mother, asking questions like "You know there's birth control," that I had admit to having once shared a similar opinion of families that have so many kids. But seeing this awesome family interact together, their love for each other, and how fun and loving they were, made me take a much different view. They were quirky, caring, fun, and so loving with each other. You had to love them. And the scenes where Samantha interacts with them are some of my favorites in the book.
Her relationship with Jase is so sweet and endearing. This guy comes from a wonderful family who loves each other, and being the product of that, he has an amazing character. Sweet, gentle, responsible, and with an indefinable quality that really opens Samantha up and makes her realize what she's missing. And for her part, Samantha was quiet at first, but opens up and fits right in with the Garretts. She's strong enough to know what's right later in the book.
There were times in this book when I just wanted to grab her mother and shake her until her teeth rattled. This woman was judgmental and hypocritic so much that it was hard to see her redeeming qualities, even if she did have them. But I had to remind myself that people make mistakes and that it's possible to be redeemed from them.
I can't really say anymore without revealing too much for those who haven't read the book. But suffice it to say, this book had a wonderful mix of intrigue, romance, mystery, and a little humor. It was a perfect summer read, but with a little something extra that made it more than just a summer book. There were some great life lessons here.
The authors writing was beautiful and engaging, and I flew through these pages and was disappointed when it had to end. This was really a great book. ...more
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, as it was unlike anything I've ever read. It had a very sci-fi quality to it, which I'm typically not a fI wasn't sure what to expect from this book, as it was unlike anything I've ever read. It had a very sci-fi quality to it, which I'm typically not a fan of, but I was pleasantly surprised. The book doesn't take place in space, but on earth, yet there is definitely an otherworldly quality to the story and things taking place in it.
I found this to be an extremely unique story, and it actually drew me in rather quickly for me not to have been a fan of sci-fi-ish type things. It had a dystopian feel to it though, since it does take place in the future, and since I love dystopians, it brought me in rather quickly. The author's writing was engaging, as well, and she had a way of drawing you in with suspense, and with that technique some good authors use, which is to dish out only so much information as you need to have, and then leave little bread crumbs thereafter for you to discover. That worked for this book very well.
I don't really want to say why Jackson is hovering over Ari because it will kind of give away an element of the story that is more fun for one to discover on one's own. Suffice it to say, it was a bit surprising, and I enjoyed the connection these two forge from there. These two people are definitely an unlikely pair, but I loved them. Ari was my favorite character because she's smart and strong, and cares for others, especially toward the end of the story where she begins to have some strong disagreements with the way things are going on around her.
The book definitely had a Romeo and Juliet aspect to it, and it also had a great underlying message of acceptance rather than prejudice, greed taking over a person's better judgment, that will more than likely be a common theme throughout the series.
I'm definitely looking forward to the second book. I enjoyed the author's writing very much. I'm already a fan of Melissa West, but it was nice seeing such a unique story here. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoyed Jennifer Armentrout's Lux series. Very unique! ...more
I'm slow on reading this book, I know. It came out a little over a year ago, but this is one of those that I thought I'd just hold onto it until it waI'm slow on reading this book, I know. It came out a little over a year ago, but this is one of those that I thought I'd just hold onto it until it was closer to release date of the second book. That way the wait isn't quite as painful. Either way, I was very happy with this book.
I knew next to nothing about the story other than the summary...which is fairly accurate, as far as it goes, but there's a lot more to it than what's mentioned in the summary. First of all, I'm a fan of Earth-destruction type books, and movies. Any time a Deep Impact, Armageddon, or The Day After Tomorrow type movie comes out, I'm the first one through the theater. Books...same thing. I can't get enough of this type of story, so I'd be pre-disposed to like it anyway just for that aspect. Add to that the fact that it was really really unique in another aspect (one I won't tell you of because I don't want to ruin things for you), and I was pretty engrossed from the beginning.
I love the characters, especially Janelle. One of my favorite heroines in a while because she was uber smart. Her father's an FBI agent, and she definitely inherited the man's analytical skills. I love reading characters like this and watching them work out details, uncover clues, and slowly figure things out. She was so intuitive, but also brave and selfless.
Ben was a good match for her, as he is smart, sweet, and brave as well. So the two of them seem to fit really well. I loved the slow build of the romance... there was no rushing here, and it made it more believable to me.
This was definitely a very unique story, and I don't feel like I can really go into more detail than that without ruining it for anyone who hasn't read it yet. But it had me engrossed... the pacing was absolutely perfect. I found myself flying through pages. The suspense heightened everything to the point where it felt like the last third of the book just blew by.
Naturally, this ends with a cliffhanger that had me gnashing my teeth and getting misty-eyed. Thank heavens I waited until only a couple weeks before the sequel's release date before reading this. If I had to wait a year for the sequel, I'd be really upset!! Great book. Very inventive. ...more
Pretty Crooked was such a cute story. I loved having a break from the the "sky is falling" type stories I've been reading to just sit back with a lighPretty Crooked was such a cute story. I loved having a break from the the "sky is falling" type stories I've been reading to just sit back with a light, fun read. This book definitely delivers that.
The idea of having a Willa be like a modern-day Robin Hood was a cute one. At times I was a little appalled myself over some of the stunts she pulls. I tried to push that aside though and just enjoy the story without worrying about whether or not the motive was pure enough to forgive her actions. But I won't pretend it didn't give me some pause now and then.
Willa was a good character. I liked the fact that she cared about others and didn't want to see them be made fun of or hurt. Her heart was definitely in the right place, even though her actions were wrong, no matter what the motive.
The romance was cute and sweet, and all in all, I found that the story had a great mixture of humor, seriousness, romance, and a little intrigue. The author's writing was engaging and the story fast-paced. A great book to read when you just want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. ...more
Great debut! I was snapped right into this story from the first page and it didn't let me go until the last page. It left me begging for more. SherryGreat debut! I was snapped right into this story from the first page and it didn't let me go until the last page. It left me begging for more. Sherry has led a sheltered life, and I mean that literally. I can't imagine living four years in a bunker with only your family members as company. Sherry and her dad have to leave in order to find food, because the family is out, and they venture from the bunker hoping that the world above has changed.
The concept of this story was truly unique for me. It's the first dystopian book I've read that approached things from this angle, and I found it all the more thrilling and scary because I could really see this happening. It was strange, yes, but is it really such a stretch of the imagination that something like this could happen? I don't want to say what because I don't want to give anything away, but it was just so fresh and new. There were moments of complete eerieness in this story. I found myself wanting to turn the lights up during several scenes of the story.
The characters were great. I loved Sherry as the main character. This is a sheltered, somewhat pampered girl who is now thrown out into a dangerous world, but she's so brave and willing to throw herself even further into danger in order to save people she loves. Joshua was amazing. I really loved his character and how he sort of mentored Sherry into this new and freaky world.
Toward the end of the book, there was a very big surprise that took me completely off-guard. I never saw this coming, and it really hitched the suspense up even further and I just can't wait until the sequel comes out so I can find out what happened. Wow! Great job Susanne Winnacker. ...more
This story surprised me on a couple different levels. First of all, the story is told alternately between then and now. I thought, at first, oh boy, tThis story surprised me on a couple different levels. First of all, the story is told alternately between then and now. I thought, at first, oh boy, this is going to be confusing. But the author handled this switch back and forth so skillfully that it didn't pull me out of the story or confuse me at all.
Gabby is faced with some challenges here and earns a new strength as she journeys through this situation. I love watching a character's journey as they grow and change to meet what's happening to them, and you definitely saw this with Gabby.
I wanted to kick the crap out of her mother on more than one occassion. In most scenes Gabby has with her mother, I just couldn't help but think that some people don't deserve to be, and should never be, parents.
There were a few surprises in this story for me, some I saw coming, and some I didn't. Bottom line, the story was very good, a fast read that kept me interested. The author's writing style was so good... I love this kind of deep-heart narrative that really strips barriers away, where you truly feel like you're in the person's head. Some of the writing was so beautiful.
A great debut by author Ann Redisch Stampler. Definitely someone to watch for! ...more
When I first started reading this story, I was pretty certain I knew where it was all going. I had it pegged, knew the romance, had things predicted iWhen I first started reading this story, I was pretty certain I knew where it was all going. I had it pegged, knew the romance, had things predicted in my head, etc. How wrong I turned out to be. The author managed to really surprise me more than once here.
First of all, the characters. I felt so bad for Ana, especially at the beginning, but I loved how she didn't let her past or her circumstances completely throw her into pity mode. She still has fears, but she fights through them and is able to be brave. She's also a lot smarter than I gave her credit for at the beginning of the story. The author kind of layered her personality throughout the entire novel rather than giving you the full picture up front. So bit by bit, you were able to discover who she is and grow to like her even more.
I liked the love interest... although for once, the romance was really not central for me. I was really enjoying watching the conflict play out and seeing where things were going to go for Ana. Not that the romance wasn't welcome. It certainly was.
The ending did leave me hanging and wanting more, but that's really a good thing. All in all, this was a fast-paced read with good writing and an inventive story that I haven't seen too much of lately. With the YA writing market kind of glutted with dystopians right now, this was a welcome change from what I've already read. This author managed to bring something new. Great story! I really enjoyed it. ...more