I went into this one without having read the synopsis, because I've learned that this is the best way to e...moreThis was nothing like what I was expecting.
I went into this one without having read the synopsis, because I've learned that this is the best way to enter a book. I did have some vague recollection, however, of what the story might be about because of what I'd seen on YouTube. What I saw on the web was about how this would be a slightly creepy read with a touch of the paranormal. What I DIDN'T know was that this would also be one of those stories where the narrative is split into two different voices, one from the past and the other from 2012.
Did I enjoy this story? To be honest, it was a bit bland for me. I enjoyed it in the sense that it was an intriguing topic and slightly different in its approach to a genre that the young adult age group has basically wrung dry. The storyline, however, felt like something that was being dragged out. There were times where I found it so hard to get back into the story, simply because it just didn't quite grip me.
Some of the major issues that I had with this one were the editing (it seems that the editor was afraid of commas), the protagonist and her friends--there's a particular part where the protagonist, Colleen, gets told off by a friend for how she treats another friend, which is such a load of bull crap once the road knows what really happened--, the interludes (I know, it IS interesting to see what happened back during the Salem Witch trials, but honestly, it was frustrating having to go back and forth), and the last few chapters, which were just brutal to get through.
I DID enjoy the mild romance that plays out in the novel and how it doesn't overtake the storyline. I also enjoyed how the mystery just keeps you guessing all the way through. For all of my complaining and nitpicking, I will say that Katherine Howe knows how to create a good mystery.
Will I read something like this again? I don't really know. I think it's just a case of reading the wrong book at the wrong time.
I recommend this one to anyone who likes a good mystery that has a solution you might not see coming. If you enjoy the Salem With trials, then you might like this unique take on history.
Well, for starters, it is indeed very VERY creepy. The characters are almost all anti-heroes with a false sense of...moreWhat can I say about The Merciless?
Well, for starters, it is indeed very VERY creepy. The characters are almost all anti-heroes with a false sense of purpose. While there may or may not be paranormal forces in this novel (must...not...spoil...this...book), the fact that HUMANS are capable of such horrendous things, is terrifying in itself. We're constantly asking which character is the bad guy and if they're all bad guys in their own twisted way.
The pacing is very quick once it gets into the heart of the novel (young girl, tied up, and covered in blood--it's in the synopsis!), and it's very hard to put it down.
The concept is terrifying because it plays on such a huge societal (and controversial) theme: religion. I'm not much of a religious person, but even I can see how terrifying the quote on the back of the novel is: "Forgive us, Father, for WE have sinned." It forces the reader to question if humans are as bad as demons, or if demons are a creation of negative human mentality. When all else fails in our world, why not say that the person we see as slighting us is possessed? Atheists may have a field day with this one, while other religious readers might feel terrified because of the idea that the very thing they fear may be coming to life within these pages.
The ending is definitely one of those endings that doesn't sugarcoat everything, which is perfect. If the rest of the novel is a dark and chaotic tale of sins and damnation, why does the ending have to be happy and peaceful?
While I wouldn't exactly call this a horror novel, I would definitely label it as a psychological thriller, or suspense. This is only horror to those who allow it to be terrifying, and this is suspenseful for those who see that humanity might just be as dark as demons.
The minor issues I had with this were editing, some small issues with continuity, and missed opportunities with some of the characters. At the beginning of the novel, it felt like things were being rushed, just so we could get through the whole introductory part of the novel. If the characters were drawn out a bit more, then this story could have been truly horrifying.
I recommend this to anyone who's into young adult novels with a darker theme. If you're looking for that next gory, heart-pounding, stomach turning story you've been craving, then check this one out.
A very light, fun summer read! Very fluffy and a bit too quick and random with its romance, The Beach Lane series, book one is far from perfect, but a...moreA very light, fun summer read! Very fluffy and a bit too quick and random with its romance, The Beach Lane series, book one is far from perfect, but a great poolside read!
At first, I was intrigued by this book and the story it promised.
Then, everything fell apart as the story did just what the 14 year-old runaway hated...moreAt first, I was intrigued by this book and the story it promised.
Then, everything fell apart as the story did just what the 14 year-old runaway hated: the novel became more heavily transfixed with what was happening to the distraught mother, rather than the missing girl who was in obvious danger. While I understand that the mother had many secrets and that police always turn to the parents first as suspects, I thought the whole thing was a bit too much.
P.S. What the hell was up with that random quasi-love interest, anyway? He wreaks havoc, shows his true colours, then just disappears after he admits that he loves the mother?? This book was just all over the place. I'm not too ashamed to say that I skimmed a bit while reading this. The mother's chapters were just so bland and full of selfish thoughts, and woe is me issues. Just, ugh.
There was so much potential for the daughter's side of the story. I almost wish that the whole book showed her perspective only. Much like the parents in the novel, this book focused more on the parents' outward appearance and how the reader would see them, rather than the daughter's story.
As for the conclusion--I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it.
I don't really recommend this to anyone, but if you want to read an interesting take on an inappropriate relationship, than I recommend reading the daughter's chapter's only.
Crazy! I'm so behind on Archie that I didn't even know this existed until I saw it at work!! This was, of course, awesome! The artwork is completely d...moreCrazy! I'm so behind on Archie that I didn't even know this existed until I saw it at work!! This was, of course, awesome! The artwork is completely different, too.
I did enjoy some aspects of this one, but mainly I felt like it was a bit boring, condescending, and a bit pretentious.
The female character is a push...moreI did enjoy some aspects of this one, but mainly I felt like it was a bit boring, condescending, and a bit pretentious.
The female character is a pushover that doesn't really grow a backbone by the end of the novel (unless you count words, since her thoughts were still as treacherous as ever). The father of the child is a complete asshole that got away with so many insults and obvious putdowns that I don't know how the protagonist still loved him, and he was disgusting. His character, though obviously realistic in some cases for some people, felt so over the top to me. He sounded more like one of those bullshitting anti-heroes from contemporary greats way back when writing was done on a typewriter, than a person that we would run into on the street.
The writing was bland and at times a bit too dense, making it easy to lose interest. By the end of the novel, I just wanted to skip chapters just to see what was going to happen once the baby was born. Of course, much like the rest of the novel, I was left wanting more a real resolution to the obviously flawed collection of relationships that the protagonist had.
I understand what the author was doing and I give her props for her ability to create metaphors and explain the beauty of literature, but her characters were less than great. I don't know if the protagonist was supposed to learn something by the end or not, but it was completely anti-climactic to see how everything ends up.
Of course, I don't expect a perfectly happy ending, but this was just disappointing. Maybe it's because I'm one of those girls who would never let a guy treat me like this protagonist is being treated. Or maybe, I just couldn't connect with any of the characters because they sounded like copy-and-pasted versions of what past anti-heroes would (try to) sound like today.
I feel like the story was more about her mom's past, then the project itself. It was almost like the project itself was just skimmed over at the end,...moreI feel like the story was more about her mom's past, then the project itself. It was almost like the project itself was just skimmed over at the end, which made this one drag a bit. I'll admit that it helps with understanding why she did the project in the first place, and I was even amazed with some of the super intense things that have happened in her life, but it was still all a bit boring at times.
It's a good book if you like people who have an interesting past and message to share with the world, but it's not something I will read again.
Very, very quick read that will have you on edge while you read about Davey's situation out at sea. I'm terrified of sharks, so reading this really go...moreVery, very quick read that will have you on edge while you read about Davey's situation out at sea. I'm terrified of sharks, so reading this really got me all nervous--thankfully, it's a middle grade book, so nothing too bad, really. Great quick and entertaining read!
I received a copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review
I can understand why so many people would love The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden. It has the allure and magic of New Orleans, the morbid fascination that one gains when a story takes place in a nonfiction post-disaster setting, and of course, vampires and brooding romance. I did enjoy Arden's novel for the most part, but at times it felt difficult to continue reading because of various reasons.
Adele, the protagonist, is a girl who returns to New Orleans with her dad after the hurricane that destroyed the beautiful city. I found her to be a tough character at first, keen on getting back to her old life and desperate to not go back to Paris, where her mom had immediately shipped her off to boarding school. Though she was artsy and opinionated, there were times where she just annoyed me. For example, what is it with girls and going all Bella and Edward and ignoring the good guy in front of her for the bad guy who has admitted that she should never trust his kind?
I will admit, however, that the pacing is pretty good, for a huge book. Compared to all the other books I've read this year, this one took the prize for being a brick. Unlike other tomes, however, this one used its size well. It allowed for Arden to fully develop her story and not leave any gaping plot holes behind. I liked the development of Adele's ancestor's storyline and I felt that it was well integrated into the story. She also offered enough unanswered questions to lead us to a sequel, which has already been announced.
What I didn't like so much about the size was how quickly my attention waned. I constantly kept going to other books, just so I could get pumped up to read again. So, despite Arden's novel being a good book, I felt like the size kind of turned me off at times. (But that could just be because I was on a deadline.)
The French mixed into the dialogue was fun and it reminded me of just how much French I can somehow understand. It added a bit of authenticity to the storyline, making it more lyrical and realistic, unlike other novels that have Spanish text that is completely awkward and grammatically incorrect.
The Casquette Girls IS a good read. Save for the moments where I was annoyed and imagined that I was reading a Twilight adaptation set in New Orleans, I almost always wanted to know more. When I finally truly got into the book (this happened around the halfway point), I couldn't put it down. The characters, whether I liked them or not, were vibrant and added colour to the text.
Will I be reading the sequel? I'm not sure. I'm not much of a sequels person, but who knows? For the moment, however, I'm pretty satisfied with this one and if it weren't for all of the unanswered questions and hints for more developments given in this installment, I think this could have been a standalone book.
I recommend this one to lovers of the weird, dark, and spooky. If you like vampires that are on the cheesy side, yet inspire a bit of fear, then you might like this. Adele is a strong character, but like many vampire enamoured protagonists before her, she does have a soft spot for a particular vamp. (less)
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review!
A Lamb in Wolfe's Clothing (now titled Waking Wolfe) by S.L. Shelton was one of those books where you jump in hoping for, at the very least, a semi-entertaining read, but instead end up craving more after turning the last page. Shelton's debut took me by surprise and I have to say, it was awesome. I'm one of those readers who are always interested in the action genre but never actually get around to reading it--yeah, well, this is a book that definitely fed that craving. Never lacking in the action department, impressive twists and turns, and an intelligent storyline made this one a thrilling read.
Scott Wolfe (Yep, that's not a typo on the book cover!), the protagonist, is a savvy computer guy who knows where he stands both at work and in any of his romantic relationships. Except for the one he's currently in. When his world is suddenly invaded by a terrorist attack that included his (recent) ex-girlfriend, he takes it upon himself to go all James Bond. What ensues is an unforgettable and incredibly dangerous adventure that includes intense knowledge of technology and an intelligent mind set to accomplish almost anything.
At first, I was a bit wary of the narrative, since we're passed around from one character to another, before finally stopping on Scott and his current predicament. I appreciated how Shelton introduced the other characters in third person, while keeping Scott's narrative in first person because it allowed for us to connect emotionally with him, while keeping an almost professional connection with the other characters.
The character development was good, since we learn a bit about Scott and his relationships with the people around him, especially his girlfriend, Barbara. I find that it's important to note his romantic relationship, so that we can compare it to another relationship he forms while on his adventure. The contrast will bring to light some clues as to the state of Scott's emotion (which he seems to not have a firm grasp of.)
I find it ironic that Scott is a walking brain, yet he can't quite grasp the concepts of a relationship. This stilted and sometimes confused view he has of the people he bonds with kind of transfers to the reader, since we don't always know what to expect from him. As a result, Scott ends up being an oddity to the reader, just as he is an oddity to those around him.
The adventure itself is exciting. I loved learning more about Europe and how Shelton has us see even the least likely of people as allies. All of the usual cliched crutches that authors of the action genre fall on are abandoned as Scott fights back against a system that is constantly trying to push him down. We already know he's a genius, but he isn't perfect and the conclusion shows us as much.
I recommend this one to readers seeking an action-packed novel that takes place in Europe. This is the first in a series and I can't wait to read the next installment and see what dangers Scott puts himself into next!(less)