***If you haven't read The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, there be spoilers ahead!***
Unique, mysterious and heartbreaking. Anne Merchant proves***If you haven't read The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, there be spoilers ahead!***
Unique, mysterious and heartbreaking. Anne Merchant proves even the darkest of souls can be selfless when it comes to saving the ones you love.
Right when Anne Merchant thought she had Villicus beat, she's cruelly ripped from the mortal world and forced to return to Wormwood Island, where the residents are anything but living. Even though Anne's the only student attending Cania Christy who is selectively different, she can still be put in her place by blackmail. Her actions have not only backfired on herself, but her father and Ben as well. Her father is now forced to do the same work as Ben's father, and Ben is now forced to attend the school and compete for the big V as well. And for those of you naughty readers who are breezing through my review before reading the first novel, the V doesn't stand for what you think it does, obviously. :)
But Anne's problems don't end with being nicknamed Murdering Merchant by her heckling classmates. Villicus has been replaced by yet another headmaster, one who has way too much interest in Anne and scheduling special mentoring sessions to occupy her time. But with Ben's time ticking away until graduation and him making no effort to win the elite prize, Anne must do the unthinkable to force him to try, and the repercussions are even worse than she anticipated. So the return of a lost friend couldn't come at a more opportune time, though her reason for being there is bittersweet.
With the arrival of a group of unusual female teachers, it doesn't take Anne long to realize who they are, and as she does what she's told and begins to look more closely at everything around her, she begins to realize there's a bigger game at play, and that Anne herself has a history that could unravel Cania Christy's very way of life on a permanent basis.
4.5 dreamcatchers. If you read the first, the second is even better. If you haven't read the first novel yet, check it out. For a while you'll think their competition is downright silly until you learn what they're really competing for, then it all seems to make sense why they go about it the way they do. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how the final installment of this paranormal trilogy plays out, and whether or not Anne will be able to fix the heartbreaking nightmare we're currently left with.
ARC provided by BenBella Books for honest review. ...more
Maddie's never been a true fan of seeing the random numbers on everyone's foreheads. Especially once her father died on the exact sa3.5 dreamcatchers.
Maddie's never been a true fan of seeing the random numbers on everyone's foreheads. Especially once her father died on the exact same day that matched the sequence on his forehead. Now riddled with guilt, she moves forward always wondering if she could have some how stopped his death had she only understood what she was seeing. These days, she's a teenager who accepts money to tell people their death dates. When a client comes in asking about her daughter, Maddie realizes it's her son she needs to worry about, with a death date just a week away. Unfortunately, the mother takes her remark as a scam and leaves in a huff, calling Maddie a fraud. Even more unfortunate, when her son goes missing and dies by means of torture, she's quick to poke the finger at Maddie, who now becomes the number one suspect in his murder, despite a bunch of evidence pointing elsewhere.
Her lawyer uncle runs interference, but Maddie is unable to keep her death dates to herself like he asked. When she spots that her best friend's crush is going to die soon too, he becomes obsessed with finding a way to save her, which only drags him into the suspect pool as well. With her alcoholic mother falling apart even more than usual, the teachers and students turning on her at school and the FBI breathing down her neck, Maddie finds it exhausting to keep her head above water, especially once the serial killer begins taking an interest in her.
I'm not really sure if I'd go around telling strangers their death dates if I had that special ability. Would you? Neither would Maddie, but thanks to her alcoholic mother, they needed the extra money to make up for all the vodka bottles. Bad luck really, because it's responsible for spotlighting her gift to naysayers and doubters and attracting attention where she could've gone without. Gotta feel for the girl, especially when she continually tries to get her mother to beat her addiction just so she won't have to continue doing the readings.
As for the serial killer, I guess I found it a bit unrealistic that the FBI would focus so hard on as Maddie as a suspect when it was clear that the evidence was screaming someone else did it. Not to mention she was just a female teenager with good grades and not a strike of red on her permanent record. I guess I could've found their interest in her more plausible if at least some of the evidence had a legitimate chance of being left by her before testing results came in... I don't know. It seemed discrimination drove their investigation instead of the hard facts, which I don't see the FBI doing against a teenage girl. This lack of realism is the main reason I've docked it a little in the star department. Otherwise, it was a pretty good read that kept my attention, and I think most people will find it an enjoyable quick read with just enough mystery to keep you guessing.
ARC provided by Disney-Hyperion for honest review. ...more
First off, I'll admit I haven't read the first in this series, but I didn't let that deter me from diving right in. I loved Jessie's3.5 dreamcatchers
First off, I'll admit I haven't read the first in this series, but I didn't let that deter me from diving right in. I loved Jessie's sarcasm, especially in the first quarter of the book. Her snarkiness seemed to fade a bit from there, but she occasionally graced me with something sassy to lift my mood. Her boyfriend Lukas is recovering from being Wrath's b*tch for way too long, forced there by his crazy ex, and is now under the tutelage of Jessie's Father in hell, but can go back and forth freely. Well, mostly freely like Jessie, who finds herself being sucked into hell every the demon she's now in servitude to decides to beckon her to his semi-creepy side to do a job for him.
While checking out something for her family's demon agency, Lukas' crazy ghost of an ex goes mental and ends up setting loose a demon that had been trapped. And since Jessie's family had a hand in putting him there, he unleashes his vengeance on every member of the Darker family and the ones they love. Who will survive his wrath before he can be trapped again?
A Darker Past started off strong and was a decent story, though it began to drag for me about half way through. I think that might've just been me though. I was enjoying Jessie's sarcastic thoughts so well, that when her sassiness began to fade a bit, it made the story come off a little more ho-hum for me. But I think most people who like this genre will be more than happy with Miss Accardo's world of demons. And romance lovers will be sated with the lustful-yet-still-respectful relationship between Jessie and Lukas, who find being similar in the fact that they're both demon-newbies just a little stressful on the ole love life.
ARC provided by Entangled Teen for honest review. ...more
Eh...Bleh. This just goes to show that not all publicity is good publicity, because I see the ratings are going down, down, down... It's mildly entertEh...Bleh. This just goes to show that not all publicity is good publicity, because I see the ratings are going down, down, down... It's mildly entertaining that the book cover has a moose being strung up, because it's similar to what the author's done to herself.
So you got one-starred and someone didn't love your baby as much as you did. No author is immune to that. Let me repeat. NO author is IMMUNE to that.
I'm actually very upset for the blogger. She's entitled to hate a book and say whatever she wants about it. She's even entitled to lie about her identity. If there's any truth to the stalking she did to the author, I'd love to see the actual proof. Surely there are screenshots of this so-called awful behavior if she's guilty of it, right? Until then, all I see is bad (and criminal at times) behavior by the author. Can you say restraining order?
Reading one-starred reviews can really burn. If you find you can't handle them, for the love of sanity and rational thinking everywhere, don't read them anymore. Especially if that essay documenting every mentally unstable act you did the past several months is the result. ...more
Hmm. Anomaly was just okay for me; didn't love it, didn't hate it. I will say that I enjoyed the geekiness of Josie and the way she c2.5 Dreamcatchers
Hmm. Anomaly was just okay for me; didn't love it, didn't hate it. I will say that I enjoyed the geekiness of Josie and the way she could refer to stories like Star Wars and Thor and compare them to the new version of her everyday life. I also liked that her superpower involved pushing and retracting objects in and out of existence. Definitely a cool ability to have. But the storyline of girl with new abilities training and falling for her hot new trainer has become a bit of a bore for me - I've read it too many times already, so it made the story really drag on until the last fifteen percent. She just spent way too much of this novel learning how to push things into reality. I prefer to read about spontaneous conflict, not the manufactured kind to teach a new skill.
Give it a go if you like, and so long as you don't go in expecting to be blown away, you'll probably be content enough with Anomaly.
ARC provided by Entangled Publishing for honest review....more
Ella's life wasn't completely easy. Her father died in a terrorist attack and her mother has an incurable illness that's slowly withe3.5 dreamcatchers
Ella's life wasn't completely easy. Her father died in a terrorist attack and her mother has an incurable illness that's slowly withering her away. Ella soon learns that her mother's invention - a machine that allows users to relive their happiest memories - no longer works to give her mother peace. So Ella doses herself with an insane amount of nanobots to allow herself to hook up and help her mother through the process. But now her body seems to be able to do things she never should've been able to, like staying underwater for way too long without breathing.
Once the government realizes what Ella can do with her mother's machine, they enlist her help to read the mind of a man they suspect is aiding a terrorist organization. The internal hacking leads Ella to the name of a man who used to work for her father, who is also suspected of leading the terrorist group. But when Ella finally comes face to face and mind to mind with him, she discovers the awful truth - that not only does that man have intimate moments of the two of them together that she can't remember, but that he nor the government leader she's been aiding are what they seem.
I really enjoyed Beth Revis' Across the Universe books, so I figured I'd probably really like The Body Electric too. This dystopian society relies heavily on technology to advance their lives, hence the nanobots circulating their systems. Ella thought she had a relatively low number, but soon learns that she has way more than she thought possible without suffering from bot brain, which basically makes your body go kaput. And once she learns it's probably because of her own father's research, her life will never be the same.
Reading through this, there were a few things that were obviously coming, and a few things that actually surprised me - and I'm hard to surprise. I think my one dissapointment was with the ending and its lack of closure on the romance front. It was left in a way that wasn't satisfying for me. These two characters had a past and I would've liked to see them acknowledge it a little more and choose a path before cutting me off, but other than that it was a pretty interesting novel. So if you're into mystery science fiction, this is a pretty good one to pick up.
ARC provided by Scripturient Books for honest review.
Important girl can't remember she used to date the rebel leader? Sounds a lot like Mystic City. I'm in......more
Ichabod Crane's descendent has returned to Sleepy Hollow, and the moment she does, residents suddenly become victimized by beheMore like a 2.5 for me.
Ichabod Crane's descendent has returned to Sleepy Hollow, and the moment she does, residents suddenly become victimized by beheadings. And the residents aren't shy about showing their distrust of Ireland and her familial connection to their small town. But when a mystery dude from the past shows up and her dreams start becoming a little prophetic, Ireland Crane is forced to believe that maybe, just maybe, those murdered were selected on her behalf.
I thought I was really going to like this, as I love the Sleepy Hollow storyline in general, but I guess I felt this particular version was lacking as I read through it. I will say it's got a pretty cool cover, which is what drew it to me to begin with. Crane takes readers back and forth between Ireland's present to the past with what happened on Ichabod's end, and I dare say I actually preferred Ichabod and company to the modern day story. So much I would've liked to have had the first book dedicated to the past and a second following up with Ireland, just so their stories flowed more smoothly. I wasn't a huge fan of how someone from the past awakened in the future as the Horseman became active again, because it was too similar to what's been done with the popular TV show. But I will admit I enjoyed Rip's character immensely. He definitely stole the show from the alternating main characters.
Though it was an interesting story, I felt several things were left unanswered. Like why did a Crane have to return to Sleepy Hollow in order for the character responsible for the Horseman to suddenly make itself known (I'm using it to hide the gender). Did Ireland's presence set off a chain reaction? Did it need a Crane around, or did he or she just want to inflict more pain on that family, for messing with it in the past? I didn't think Ireland being there had anything to do with the magic that was needed to perform the spell it was working, so I'm just left to wonder why this particular spirit didn't try the spell whenever it wanted, long before a Crane ever returned, because this second time around, the Horseman didn't seem controlled by this individual. Or was it? It wasn't clear as I read through. Also, I found the romance a bit underwhelming, both between Ichabod and Katrina and Ireland and Noah. Ichabod and Katrina seemed a little silly, but given the historical time, their behavior and attraction was probably pretty close to what happened back then, so I found myself forgiving that they seemed ready to have each other soon after meeting. But that's no excuse for Ireland and Noah, who hardly interacted at all before he confessed his willingness to love her despite the evil lying within her. I don't know...just this day in age, it screams insta-love and was just put there to make the two time periods mirror each other. And Noah is so nonchalant about suddenly sharing a bed even though the Horseman could rise as she slept, no matter how much she claimed she had a hold on it. I sure the hell wouldn't be able to sleep so easy! Or in the same house! And I'm not even sure of what to make of the fiancé Ireland left behind. Forget me asking why she was ever involved with such a snooty douche to begin with, but what relevance did all that drama have to the storyline, other than giving the Horseman someone to play with? All this so-called romance was just plain frustrating.
If you're into Sleepy Hollow or other suspenseful horror stories, might be good to go with Crane. Lots of people have four and five-starred this, so don't let my ho-hum-ness deter you from checking this out. It certainly had some moments here and there that were pretty entertaining.
ARC provided by Anchor Group Publishing for honest review....more
Kennedy Waters would love nothing more than to hide away and pretend she wasn't directly responsible for releasing a horrible demon from his entrapmenKennedy Waters would love nothing more than to hide away and pretend she wasn't directly responsible for releasing a horrible demon from his entrapment, but unfortunately, no one will let her - including the other members of Legion and Andras himself, who continually kills girls who resemble Kennedy. The Legion is at least willing to share in the mistake, but Kennedy is stubborn to let go. All they can do moving forward is to figure out why she hasn't gotten her mark, so the Legion seeks out clues to Kennedy's family past.
(view spoiler)[Turns out her family lines clash - she's both Legion and Illuminati, and though she wants nothing more than to be Legion with her newfound friends, it's impossible to taint their line with Illuminati blood, so what's an Illuminati girl falling in love with a Legion boy to do? And to make things even more difficult, Andras has taken possession of someone who's become dear to her heart. (hide spoiler)]
Unmarked was another quick read by Kami Garcia, but lacked a little in the action department compared to Unbreakable. It was good to get a better idea of where this series is going, but I didn't feel this installment was written in a way that resolved anything other than learning why Kennedy didn't get her mark, which happened long before the story ended. I don't know...this novel and it's direction was just weird for me.
ARC provided by Little, Brown for honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Keira Nolan seems to face the problem most teenagers do in high school. No, not the ghost thing, but the part where she always had such a crush on oneKeira Nolan seems to face the problem most teenagers do in high school. No, not the ghost thing, but the part where she always had such a crush on one guy she didn't realize there was another worth having until it was too late. Jimmy was the star athlete every girl wanted, but it was his artistic brother Dan who had eyes for Keira. And when her best friend tried to kiss her for that lovely game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, Keira blurted the stupidest thing possible - next thing she knew, she'd lost her best friend and the guy she aparently had a thing for.
A few years later, Keira's finally inheriting her late grandmother's gift - the ability to see dead people. And her first official ghost sighting? None other than Jimmy himself, who can't remember how he died, nor can he seem to keep himself grounded the farther he travels away from Keira. So not only will Keira have to help Jimmy figure out how he mysteriously died, but he's begged her to tell his brother he's still around. Wouldn't be such a feat if he didn't hate her so much.
It's been a while since I read a YA book that was this cute and kept my attention because of that. Don't get me wrong, the story was simple and I figured out right away why Jimmy died, but it didn't bother me moving forward with the novel. Let's just call This Is Your Afterlife simple and sweet. If you need a light, easy read that'll make you smile and come down from one of the more emotionally heavy novels out there, this is your gem.
ARC provided by Bloomsbury Spark for honest review....more