**spoiler alert** Huh. I think this book singlehandedly restored my faith in the YA genre.
A book that has well written action scenes, a plethora of d**spoiler alert** Huh. I think this book singlehandedly restored my faith in the YA genre.
A book that has well written action scenes, a plethora of different characters and moral gray area with some strong inner ethics guiding the main character and plot? I didn’t think authors of teenage books were capable of doing that anymore. I found Tris, the main character, to be very complex for a sixteen-year-old girl. I loved her, and that was probably because of how unlovable she was. She had a very refreshing voice (this book is in first person) that is honest, reflective, smart and even occasionally funny in a sarcastic kind of way. She was not cute or sweet or innocent but she was *capable*. You could take her seriously. The same could be said for her love interest, Four. He’s not some sappy poet that goes around living for the sole purpose of the heroine, moping whenever she so much as gets a paper cut and blaming it on himself. The romance was okay, not the best, but I was able to buy it. They didn’t just sit around looking into each other’s eyes making speeches of who loves who more. I looked forward to their scenes together, my favourite scene being Four’s fear landscape scene which was amazing, especially during his claustrophobia.
The only reason I can’t give this a perfect rating is because of the stupid climax. Up until that point, I was completely enthralled by the story – I could not put it down. Tris wasn’t an idiot: I actually liked that she realized that in difficult situations, you have to make difficult decisions. She had no qualms shooting Will because she knew it had to be done. Cold, but understandable. She kept saying that every second she wasted another person died. And then. And then she decides that her stupid boyfriend is an exception to this, and decides she can’t live without him and lets him shoot her. She was willing to let her whole faction die ... because she couldn’t shoot her boyfriend. I would expect this from the average wet noodle heroines but NOT Tris! And of course, love saves the day. Excuse me while I throw up in a hat. (I’m not exactly a romantic)
Other than that, though, I really enjoyed this one. Did I mention the author is only 22 years old? This should make most college students froth at the mouth with envy. She definitely has a lot of natural talent. And one last thing: This should NOT be compared to the Hunger Games; they aren’t alike in the least, besides being in the same genre. I actually preferred this one, as blasphemous as that may sound. ;) ...more
This book would have been more appropriately titled “City of Angst”. I mean really, what kind of crap was this? I knew there’d have to be relationshipThis book would have been more appropriately titled “City of Angst”. I mean really, what kind of crap was this? I knew there’d have to be relationship trouble because there were all these couples Cassie had to deal with, but it was TOO MUCH and COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY . Who’ve we got again? We’ve got:
- Clary and Jace: Who seem to have some pseudo-epic romance. Yes, those two weeks it took you to fall in love is comparable to the months/years it takes for people to ACTUALLY get to know each other. And yes Clary, claiming that you care more about your pretty boyfriend than curing world disease or hunger is romantic, not so unbelievably selfish and stupid that it shouldn’t even be put into this shallow teen book. Do they have anything in common? Really? Do they ever have fun? Because it seems all this “love” story consists of is making out, crying and cheesy speeches. That isn’t a relationship, and shouldn’t be deemed “epic”. - The Simon/Isabelle/Maia triangle: Probably the least angst-y, but still ridiculous. It was so out of character for Simon to two-time, it had to have only been put there for one reason: for filler. It was so obvious who he’d pick, anyway. Still, there were moments it was quite amusing. - Maia and Jordan: For crying out loud, this is getting out of control. What did this add? What was even the point of these two characters, anyhow? They were a waste of space. - Alec and Magnus: Alec had never really been a front runner character, but I knew his personality well enough from the first three books to know he was not this whiny or immature. Once again, pointless drama to show that no couple is perfect, everyone has problems. Yes. You’ve shown us that Cassie. Repeatedly. It was just so hackneyed because you knew Alec wasn’t like this; he’s much more of the quiet, mature type. Although it did bring up a pretty valid concern in their relationship: Magnus is immortal and Alec is not. It’ll be interesting to see how that’ll play out.
The only romance that wasn’t insane was between Jocelyn and Luke, but y’know, they’re ADULTS, so that wouldn’t be any fun. After all that crazy, it’s amazing there was any plot at all. It was a weak one, but there was one, something to do with demon babies and Lilith. It was clear this book was made solely on making more money, because this was such a different story, having nothing to do with the Mortal Instruments anymore, even though this book is still under that series. It was still somewhat entertaining – as always, there were a few witty scenes and quips – but this book wasn’t relevant. All the characters became whiny little self-absorbed bitches – their people were dying, there are babies being kidnapped, and they didn’t even really seem to care all that much. All that stuff took a backseat to relationship drama. To be honest, I’m being generous with the three stars but despite my hatred for romance, Simon being the main character helped matters a bit, because his sole purpose wasn’t having a girlfriend. Luckily for me, the next book doesn’t come out for quite some time. Maybe I can forget how eye-roll inducing this was by then. ...more
The blurb says: Mason would die to be with Rose... Well that's just silly. If you die to be with someone, you wouldn't be able to be with them, causeThe blurb says: Mason would die to be with Rose... Well that's just silly. If you die to be with someone, you wouldn't be able to be with them, cause you'd be dead! Plus, like everything else in this book, that's such a melodramatic statement.
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what the big deal over this series is. It’s recommended all over the place, the star average for this is really good, and it’s really popular – maybe I got my hopes up too high? I read the first one, was indifferent to it, and then I heard about this series everywhere. It was a series that got better as it went along. There was character development. The heroine was multi-dimensional. Good, strong romance. Interesting characters. So, after a year, I picked up the second one to see if I had missed something and ... eh.
On one hand, I do see some positives, like the vampire lore. Most paranormal teen books are painfully simplistic, and I’m glad to say this book does have some world building going on here. I know nothing of vampires, so when I was researching fictional creatures and came across the types of vampires that were in these books, I was quite impressed. Using real mythology to work in your story and giving your own twist on it in a modern setting? Not bad, Mead. If I’m being painfully honest, I thought she just made those words (Strigoi/Dhampir etc) up completely. But hey, come on, some authors don’t even know what happens to vampires when they walk into the sun, not naming any names.
And .... that’s pretty much what I liked.
I have to laugh when I hear the characters of Vampire Academy being called complex or “deep” – I mean really. Come on. Read a real book. I get what the attraction to Rose is – big mouthed, outgoing, snarky – the exact opposite of the whiny dish mop YA heroines we’re used to, amirite? No, let’s instead make her ANOTHER stereotype and now she’s oh-so-original! Don’t actually bother to make her a three dimensional character, that would be SO MUCH WORK. Just make her the exact opposite of the dish mop heroine, and teens will totally fall for it because she’s so speshul and different – except they DO fall for it! URGH. Rose is just so exaggerated I don’t even really hate her; there’s not enough of her to feel much of anything for. She’s just too obnoxious, too loud, too self-absorbed to really be taken seriously. And to top it off, she’s kind of an idiot. This girl is some kind of guardian for a PRINCESS and she’s about as slow as a heard of turtles racing through peanut butter. Mead has a hard time planning surprises well, because nothing comes off nearly as shocking as it is intended because any semi-discerning reader is smarter than Rose. The secondary characters are all right I guess – I like the witty remarks and all, although none of them make me laugh out loud. Still, it’s nice to have a group of teenagers speaking like teenagers for a change without quoting Latin and Shakespeare. Except Dmitri, who’s about as fun as watching “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” without a bathroom break.
Speaking of which, this series is soooo predictable. Can someone please tell me why all teen authors do this? I wouldn’t mind a love triangle, I really wouldn’t, if there was actually a point or at the very least a surprise along the way. If we have three interesting, complex characters, and you like all three of them, then a love triangle can make you ache for them. If you have a hard time choosing between the two boys (or girls, I suppose, but you never see a girl-boy-girl love triangle) then that’s a sign you did it RIGHT. If you don’t know who the girl is going to pick because both boys are so awesome and she sincerely loves them both, then you’re doing it right. WHY DOES NO AUTHOR EVEN ATTEMPT TO DO THIS? Answer: because that would actually require some tough decision making.
How do YA authors REALLY write love triangles? You’ve got the main girl, the soul mate, and the poor other guy who you know is going to either end up miserable and alone, dead, or hooking up with some secondary character you barely even remember the name of by the end. I haven’t even read the rest of the series and I don’t have to – I KNOW Rose will end up with Dmitri. I know it the way I knew Bella would end up with Edward, Clary would end up with Jace, Ever would end up with Damen, Luce would end up with Daniel, Tessa with Will (view spoiler)[ Having finished The Infernal Devices, I'm eating my words on this one and saying the love triangle was actually fantastically done. However, I still firmly, wholeheartedly believe that if Tessa had been forced to woman up and CHOOSE one (misunderstandings and wedding engagements aside), she would have chosen Will. (hide spoiler)], Donna with Xan ... just a few off the top of my head (some of these series aren’t done and I have no intention on reading them, but trust me, I KNOW – I HAVE NEVER BEEN WRONG YET). Even the Hunger Games, which on most days I think is a good series, was painfully obvious with the love triangle – did Gale ever really have a chance? The author can never help but hinting at who her favourite is, and when you know who the favourite is, you’ve got who the girl will end up with. When you know who ends up together, it’s boring. It makes the angst pointless and annoying to read because you know everything is going to end up alright. She’ll end up with the lame, mysterious, brooding guy, because she always does. Screw the guy with a personality and sense of humour.
(Sidenote: Have you noticed the readers always seem to like the underdog guy? I wonder why that is. Maybe the author is so busy trying to make everyone love the brooding guy, and she isn’t trying to make the other guy swoon-worthy, that his personality comes out easier. Because Brooding Guy never seems to have a personality.)
The writing is terrible by the way. I know, I know, it’s written in the narration of a rather dimwitted teenage girl, but it’s still irritating. The prologue, explaining the story so far was so corny I was grimacing the whole way through. It gets a bit better after that but everything is explained – unfortunately – through Rose, so naturally, it’s all telling, no showing, explaining the most obvious things, the vocabulary never extending past that of a sixth grader and ruining sentimental moments with cheesy, misplaced comments only a stupid teenage girl would say.
Look, it’s not the worst book in the world (silly, “Marked” is!) but I can’t slog through what, four more of these? I know what’s going to happen in the end, so I don’t see much of a point in going through hackneyed, predictable trials of these bland characters when I KNOW. Will Rose and her mother reconnect? Will Rose's father be revealed? Will Lissa end up a powerful royal? Which boy will Rose end up with? Will good conquer over darkness?
Gee, I have NO FRIGGIN IDEA. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
First of all, I can't believe the average on this is so high. This book is just not that good, very aveOkay, I’m starting to get a little annoyed now.
First of all, I can't believe the average on this is so high. This book is just not that good, very average in every way. Maybe to someone who hasn’t read the author before it wouldn’t be too bad, but if they have read the Mortal Instruments, it’s quite obvious that she doesn’t have that many ideas in her head.
As I’ve said about the Mortal Instruments, this book isn’t bad. It’s a fun story with quirky characters and tons of magic and that’s great. But seriously, Clare has got to stop using old characters and plots. Will is exactly like Jace (who is exactly like fanfiction Draco), and I have no idea why people are insisting that they have any differences in personality whatsoever. I wouldn’t say Tessa is too much like Clary, but that’s because she doesn’t really have a personality at all. She’s that very typical-YA female, that’s introverted, tragic, pretty-but-doesn’t-know-it and loves books (seriously, why does every heroine in YA like to read? Self-insert much? It’s not a bad thing to be bookish, but from my experience, not that many people like to read. It’s just a cheap way for the reader of the book to attach to the character, because, hey, they like to read too!).
While I liked the interactions between the family, besides that, I found the dialogue very stilted. The way Jem talks in those long, flowery passages just isn’t realistic – people just don’t talk like that. He still is my favourite character from this book, though. It’s really too bad Tessa probably won’t end up with him. (I’m guessing the maid, because she loves him? It would kind of work out.) His character is refreshing in this huge bunch of caustic, tough characters.
I’ll probably buy the next one, just because I’m a tool when it comes to Cassandra Clare.
... And one last thing - her parents were killed in a carriage accident? Really?...more
**spoiler alert** This’ll just be a review for the whole Mortal Instruments trilogy:
I’m a little biased about these books, so I’ll just try and put th**spoiler alert** This’ll just be a review for the whole Mortal Instruments trilogy:
I’m a little biased about these books, so I’ll just try and put this into perspective – when I was 13/14 I was one of those rabid fangirls that adored Cassandra Claire’s fanfiction. *hangs head* I know, I know – but they were addictive. You know what I’m talking about, it’s that same reason all those haters of Twilight bitch and moan through all four books but you know what? They keep reading, because it has that *quality*, and they can’t stop. Except Cassandra Claire’s fanfiction did it even better. Anyways, when I found out she had gotten published, the fangirl in me squeed for joy – surely a published book would be far better than a fanfiction, right?
Look, the Mortal Instruments weren’t bad. In fact, they’re far better than most young adult crap that’s out there – it has an actual plot for one thing. That’s probably why its average is so high. The problem is though, I know Cassandra Clare can do so much better. Yes, I am fully aware that she plagiarized the fanfiction, and that’s not a good thing. It was a pretty pathetic and stupid thing to do, but I figured she had enough talent to stand on her own, and maybe learn from the mistake. The thing is though, she’s leaning on it. She’s using practically the same name, and because I know that fanfiction so well, I can tell she’s using the same characters, and a similar plot.
Jace is obviously Draco, so much so that it kind of annoyed me. I wouldn’t have minded if she had made him as awesome as Draco in the fanfiction, but he was sort of a diluted version. While Draco was hilarious, Jace was kinda funny, and where Draco was tortured, Jace sort of had that annoying-teen-angst thing down, and while Draco was classy and intelligent, Jace was ... not. The rest were the same – they were all shells of the Harry Potter characters she created, and were all lot more clichéd and predictable. I knew Valentine so well because he was so much like Voldemort. Isabelle was sort of like Rhysenn.
It’s really not that bad though. The pace is pretty fast, and there’s a lot of magic, which I love. While I knew from the moment I found out Jocelyn had been married to Valentine that he had to be Clary’s father, it was still a fun ride. The banter was funny and all those interesting places really painted a nice visual picture in my head. There seemed to be a good balance between the social drama and the action stuff. It just ... doesn’t have the addictive-ness.
Maybe, and I know this is probably false hope, that Cassie is just writing a cardboard story to gain a fanbase, and once she’s in, she’ll go back to that angsty goodness. Anyway, I realize there’s nothing actually wrong with using characters you’ve used in unpublished fanfiction, so I’m giving it an unbiased four stars. ...more
I'm not an insane Hunger Games fan, but there's just one thing I want to applaud here that everyone seems to harp on (especially with all the Hunger GI'm not an insane Hunger Games fan, but there's just one thing I want to applaud here that everyone seems to harp on (especially with all the Hunger Games buzz lately):
I get pretty annoyed when people get all bent out of shape about the ending of this book because of Katniss's breakdown. As if this somehow negates her as a "strong female character" (and don't get me started on how this phrase in itself annoys me).
I call bullshit.
The fact that this girl, this CHILD, was able to hold it together through her father's death, having to support her family in poverty, surviving two sets of Games and being the figurehead of a freaking war at the ripe age of seventeen proves how strong she is. The fact that she reached her breaking point because the person she loved most in the world - her innocent little sister - doesn't make her weak. It makes her human. If she had had any other reaction I would've thrown the book across the room, because Katniss's reaction was how real people behave. And then you know what she does? She picks herself up again, shoots Coin (which was incredibly smart on her part)and settles down to live as happy a life as she can. Because that's what "strong" people do.
I see movies with stereotypical kickass female protagonists that kill all the bad guys looking sexy the whole time without any signs of distress over it which, usually, are movies written by men. I read books like "Graceling" in which the main character kicks a lot of ass and doesn't like dresses but hates other women and can't have a functioning relationship because marriage is for weaklings. These characters aren't strong. They're caricatures.
I'm so glad Suzanne Collins had Katniss get depressed and drug herself up and suffer over her loss. It made the ending that much sweeter when she was able to be happy again.
Don't get me wrong - it's fine if you don't like Katniss because of her personality or her lack of agency in certain parts of the series (especially this book), but not liking her over that? Ridiculous, in my opinion.