I saw Darynda Jones recommending this on Facebook AND it was free, so who am I to argue with such serendipity?
I have to echo others who've already mentioned the similarities to the set-up in the Chicagoland Vamps series, such as the heroine being turned against her will, the various Vamp houses vying to win her over, and the head vamp of her chosen house is even called Ethan! BUT, the tone is so completely and utterly different (light, witty), it really didn't bother me at all. I'm also impressed by just how much worldbuilding was included considering the light-hearted writing style.
Shattered Secrets is an excellent, unpredictable and highly entertaining YA novel from an author not afraid to take the road less t...moreThe truth will out.
Shattered Secrets is an excellent, unpredictable and highly entertaining YA novel from an author not afraid to take the road less travelled in her storytelling. Centred around the imagined existence of two opposing supernatural factions, it's a good versus evil match to the death. But as is often the case, the hard line between good and bad is often blurry when you examine it more closely, and no one is ever all one or the other.
Having read another of Krystal Wade's books, I'm getting the sense that with her, no character is ever quite safe. Not even the major players. She's kind of ruthless at killing people off, which keeps you as a reader right on the very edge of your seat. And here was no different. There were plenty of OMG moments, and you were always wondering what could possibly happen next.
Shattered Secrets is a true YA - age appropriate, with nothing too sexual. Instead of that tactic, you are kept glued to the pages by the mystery, which was really enjoyable and although similar in theme to books I've read before, it was still unpredictable in its plotting.
Another thing that will keep reader's attention was the interesting relationship dynamic between main character Abigail, and childhood friend Derek. Although their relationship is well established, they're at the start of a new phase, with slowly emerging romantic feelings that were too cute to ignore.
Overall, a highly entertaining and fast paced read. Ideal for fans of authors such as Jennifer L. Armentrout.
4 Stars ★★★★ ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.(less)
This is my first book by Lauren Oliver, although her other works have been on my radar for quite some time. My first impression is that I...moreDon't panic.
This is my first book by Lauren Oliver, although her other works have been on my radar for quite some time. My first impression is that I like the writing style, particularly her metaphors, and her characters are certainly interesting, flawed and unique, and overall the story was gripping and entertaining. In this instance, however, although I enjoyed the story, I almost want to mark it down a star just to show my staunch disapproval of it. I'm just not sure it's a good idea to fictionalise something so dangerous, or to imply it somehow made Heather realise her potential, or made her a better, braver person for the rest of her life. When what it really was was reckless, stupid and pointless.
What am I talking about? Well "PANIC" is the name of a game that seniors in the town of Carp begin each year the day after graduation. It starts with players announcing their intent to participate by jumping of a cliff into freezing water. Thereafter, each remaining player is challenged to further, more dangerous tests, and the goal is to not panic, to hide your fear, to be the fastest, the bravest (the deadest), until only two remain who then participate in Joust (playing chicken in cars - AWESOME! *Double thumbs up*).
At first, the tests didn't seem too bad - walking across a plank between two water towers. Although still dangerous and with the potential of falling to your death, it was at least a "test" of your fear of heights, etc. Later, though, the challenges became less of a test, and more pot luck - Russian Roulette with a loaded weapon to the temple... I mean, what?
I think I best move on now because although I clearly found lots to get annoyed about with PANIC, there was a lot to enjoy as well. And that was mostly all down to the characterisation. The book is told in alternating third person between Heather and Dodge. The other two main characters in their little foursome, Nat and Bishop, didn't narrate, which I thought was odd, actually, since Heather and Dodge were not each other's romantic interest. What they both were, however, were complex, somewhat troubled individuals, each with a fascinating story to tell. Heather's home life was hectic and unhealthy, and she had self esteem issues surrounding her height - feeling big and bulky around all the tiny, dainty girls. Dodge, on the other hand, was a rather messed up young man with nothing but revenge on his mind.
You might be wondering about the romance, then, since I said Heather and Dodge were not each other's boo? Well, in many respects, I think it would be truthful to say there was no romance in panic. There was a love interest for each narrator, sure, but no romance scenes in the way I'm used to reading them. No time was dedicated to pursuing that line of inquiry - It all went on in the periphery.
I think it's safe to conclude that I'm conflicted in my overall feelings about PANIC. Some of it was great reading, and other parts of it, although still entertaining, made me stark raving mad. Which is how I've ended up settling on a rather wish-washy, largely unhelpful rating of 3.5 stars. I would say, though, that if you're already a fan of this author's style, you will probably enjoy it because I could see that shining through even the murky, icky stuff I didn't like, and it only made me more curious about her other books.
3 Stars ★★★1/2 ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.(less)