I got to read an advanced copy of The Only One and, having discussed parts of the book with Vernon beforehand, I was excited going into it. The subjecI got to read an advanced copy of The Only One and, having discussed parts of the book with Vernon beforehand, I was excited going into it. The subject matter is one close to my heart so I could relate (unfortunately) to a lot, if not most, of what main character Melanie was going through. In that aspect the book was a tough read, as it brought back a lot of memories, but in another way, it was also cathartic. It was also easier to connect on an emotional level to Melanie and understand a lot of her thought processes during that time.
But back to the story. I liked Melanie already from The Only Exception, and was eager to read about John Boy, since we all know I'm a sucker for muscles. The characters didn't disappoint. The 'opposites attract' theme in these books felt a bit more natural here and I loved the things that connected them in a way they didn't connect with others (sorry, no spoilers here!). I also like that the final resolution wasn't quick, as many tend to be in books these days, but instead they had to go through their own separate issues to work things out together.
And, of course, I gotta give Vernon props for her ability to write the kinds of romance scenes that send shivers through your body - in a good way. Normally I read right over love scenes because they typically read the same, but both The Only Exception and The Only One gave me something different, so I hung on to every word from beginning to end. :)...more
This was another great read in the series. I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to find out what happened. I especially loved the end (I won't givThis was another great read in the series. I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to find out what happened. I especially loved the end (I won't give it away!) since it shows how more of the original Pan story came to be, which is what I love most about the series.
My only complaint is Molly. I'll just say it - she was a friggin idiot throughout most of the book. Tink is right for once. It's weird that the one who doesn't grow up, Peter, actually matures some and learns something, while the one who does actually get older, Molly, seems to constantly revert back to her "I will do whatever I want regardless of the consequences" stage. I get that she's hard-headed and all, but come on, girl. I hope she is wiser in the next book. ...more
Another great read by Alexandra Lanc! I love that the story was consistent with Clara Claus, though I did find myself royally confused as to which JacAnother great read by Alexandra Lanc! I love that the story was consistent with Clara Claus, though I did find myself royally confused as to which Jack Frost was being talked about. That was my own fualt though for not being a thorough reader :).
I definitely sympathized with the Sugar Plum Fairy and enjoyed getting to hear her side of things. If I knew her in real life though, I would have told her to get over it as far as her hatred of the NEW Frost. Tough love, Fairy!
I can't wait for the next books in the series. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to Clara and Jack. ...more
I won a free copy of GODS & MONSTERS in exchange for a review. I’ll start by saying this is completely my kind of book. Even though I don’t believI won a free copy of GODS & MONSTERS in exchange for a review. I’ll start by saying this is completely my kind of book. Even though I don’t believe in God or the Devil, I absolutely love stories about them. Demons, monsters, possessions, etc. - all fascinate me, so I was hoping for this book to do the same. I wasn’t disappointed. Every short story offered something unique and exciting. The reviews for the stories are below. Overall, the writing professor and author in me did have some nitpicky things to point out, namely errors in hyphenation, semi-colons, numbers not being spelled out, and commas before a character name. But luckily, these weren’t too distracting to the narrative. Anyway, on to the reviews, which may contain spoilers, so fair warning (I shortened the story names but they should be easy to follow).
“Divine” One thing that impressed me on this story was that it stays in the present tense throughout. That can be hard for an author to do, as most end up slipping back and forth between past and present. So, good job. I’m kind of confused on the ending as far as who came out of the sky (meaning, why he came out there instead of the other direction), but I just went with it and I still enjoyed the twist.
“Chamber” I love the eerie, creepy feel to this story. And even though there’s a distinct lesson to be learned in the end, I still really want to go into the tank/chamber. The story makes you want to know more about what he sees, to experience it for yourself, even if it drives you mad.
“Chopper’s” This story reads to me like a horror movie, which is awesome. Like the earlier story, it’s just creepy and gives you that perfect sense of discomfort.
“Love” Keeping with the title, I love the descriptive language. Imagery is a major plus in this story, really putting you, the reader, right there in the middle of the quest to save his loved one. I’ll admit that I don’t know the references made throughout the story, but that’s okay. Even not knowing them, they don’t detract from the story.
“Breath” This one started out as my favorite, but then just got too confusing. For starters, one of the names shifts from Jess to Jesse, and then the POV goes haywire. I know the changes in POV were done intentionally, but I don’t think it worked. Ultimately it read like three different people wrote one story without ever consulting with one another. There were too many character shifts that disrupt the flow. That being said, it starts off spectacularly and the beginning is still one of my favorite sections of the book as a whole.
“Last Straw” I got a feel of The Lottery mixed with The Reaping, which was awesome. There was a heartbreaking death scene that not only clutches the heartstrings but also reveals the hypocrisy of the townspeople - and the hypocrisy of religious zealots. One line really stuck out to me - “the real word hiding in the basement of his mind.” It’s so visual and captivating.
“Moving” This is my favorite story. Being a tattoo lover and someone with an overactive imagination, the story fits well in my warped mind. The visual is truly awesome, and skin-crawling with the thought of a tat coming alive. I would like to see a bit more buildup to the moment of his freakout, just to really cement the reader in that moment of panic, but overall, I loved this one.
“Unlikely God” This story had everything for me. It reminded me of my time in Ecuador, both the setting/imagery and the sense of spirituality that’s so alive in the Amazon. The transformation scene (or, torture scene) was one of the most gruesome that I’ve read in recent history, and I’ll admit, it held my attention. Personally I would have ended this story with the line of it being time to “come home,” but that’s just me.
In summary, this is a must-read for anyone who loves a book that puts a shiver up your spine. I haven’t read any of Rollo’s other works, but I can almost guarantee I’ll be checking out his other titles. ...more
It's no secret that I'm a Percy Jackson groupie, so I was beyond excited for the Mark of Athena. This may be my favorite of any Percy Jackson book. IIt's no secret that I'm a Percy Jackson groupie, so I was beyond excited for the Mark of Athena. This may be my favorite of any Percy Jackson book. I like that they are older, not only because they are having more adventures but also because the relationships grow and develop more (plus pre- and early-teen romances kind of creep me out, so it's nice that they are now about 16/17).
Riordan is one of the few authors who can actually pull off telling several different stories at once. He does a great job in giving each character enough time for the reader, without muddling up the plot. I like that his characters aren't perfect; they doubt themselves, recognize their flaws, and are relatable in the sense that they aren't perfect. They may all be demigods, but they are also just people trying to figure it all out.
I hope to see more of Percy and Annabeth in the next book(s). I admit, I don't care that much about Jason and Piper since I'm all about the Greeks, but I suppose I'll tolerate them :). I'm glad Nico is back, and Leo always gave me a good chuckle (and I rarely laugh when reading). I also hope that Riordan recaps a bit more. I can't remember everything that happened in previous books but there are times when he alludes to important moments and I draw a complete blank. ...more
**spoiler alert** First of all, Sebastian Cole has the coolest freakin author name ever. I am jealous, and seriously considering stealing his name for**spoiler alert** First of all, Sebastian Cole has the coolest freakin author name ever. I am jealous, and seriously considering stealing his name for a book character. Sebastian Cole. How can a name like that not produce an awesome book?
But I digress. Sand Dollar is not my usual read, and being the cynic I am, there were parts I had trouble getting through. Noah's language, for one. Do men really talk like that? Do they really show such public displays of emotion? I don't know.
I also felt like his love for Robin, at times, felt forced because I don't really understand why he loved her. She was a pretty awful person for most of the book, and he wasted a lot of his life essentially being her stalker. Again, I'm a cynic, so this kind of fairy-tale love is a hard concept for me to grasp. But hey, it's a story, so I went with it.
BUT, things changed at the end. In a good way. I was really interested in the revelation about Robin's condition, and while I still think she was pretty crappy most of the time, I started to sympathize a bit more. I was also happy to see their reunion mainly because it pissed off Noah's family so much (seriously, Miriam is a terrible person. I have no love for her at all).
One of the reasons I gave Sand Dollar a 4-star rating is because of the end. When a book makes me feel a range of emotions - even if one of those emotions is completely hating a character and then deciding maybe she's not so bad after all, or that another is creepy and desperate but in the end simply an embodiment of true love - then that's a good thing. I’m still not sure if I fully came around to liking Robin, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because, like I said, I like the emotions that came from the book. I finished the book pleased with the way it ended and imagining Noah and Robin's new life in heaven.
Speaking of heaven, I knew this book was about God going into it based on the reviews. I was a little hesitant because I'm not exactly a religious folk. I do love stories of epic battles between heaven and Hell, angels versus demons, but lighter love stories with God? Not really my thing. I am happy to say that the religious undertones are very slight, and that Cole tells the story with God in a way that isn't preachy or corny. It's simply a man's first and last conversation with God, and it works well. ...more