Wow. If I Stay pulled me in and didn't let me go. The reader discovered the story with the main character Mia, as the bits and pieces were put togetherWow. If I Stay pulled me in and didn't let me go. The reader discovered the story with the main character Mia, as the bits and pieces were put together, memories were remembered, and decisions hid around the corner. I couldn't put it down. I finished this book in a day. I could have finished it in a sitting, if life would just stop getting in the way.
I am not typically a fan of ghost/out of body experience stories. I don't know. Maybe because I read too many bad ones when I was younger. Forman redeemed this for me. In If I Stay, Mia and her family have been in a car accident, but she can't remember it. First she is driving along the Oregon road with her family, next she is standing next to her body, the car torn apart.
As the story unfolds, Mia's memories intermix with her present as she watches the doctors rushing to save her life. Her parents are gone. She has no idea if her brother survived. And now she must decide: Go, or stay?
I will admit it: I cried. More than once. Even typing this now and remembering some of the scenes, I am getting choked up. It felt so real, so innocent. Mia's relationship with her boyfriend was simple and real. Nothing amazing or crazy, but so much like my own past relationships I couldn't help but relate. Her relationship with her family was refreshing: She loved them. There was no teenage angst. No mean or crazy or missing parent. Just a family.
And, might I add, Forman got Oregon just right. I couldn't help but chuckle at the cracks on weather.
At times the writing wasn't the most amazing in the world. Sometimes the memories might have dragged, or slowed. Sometimes I wondered why she was even remembering that piece to begin with. Regardless of all that, I couldn't not love this book. It touched my heart and left an imprint in my memory.
And then I ran to hug my kids, and to tell my husband to drive home safe. I highly recommend this read. Especially to those who love to tear up. ...more
I tried reading this book a year ago. Got a few chapters in... then stopped.
A year later I decided to give it another shot. And read it in almost a daI tried reading this book a year ago. Got a few chapters in... then stopped.
A year later I decided to give it another shot. And read it in almost a day.
The City of Bones is a world of magic, of demons, of family ties and frustrated youth. Bouncing from moment to moment, you wonder when the characters get time to breathe as they battle to stop bad from getting worse.
This may sound strange, but I loved the supporting cast. While Clary was alright (firey red head intent on saving her missing mother), and Jace's snarky personality kept me intrigued, I was more pulled in by the people that surrounded the two. Alec, and his secret love. Isabelle, with her beauty and glares. Magnus Bane. Oh Magnus Bane, you have me intrigued.
Simon... he was boring. I didn't mind at all when he left the scene. But his love was admirable.
I loved the idea of the Shadow Hunters. Part human, part angel. Created long ago to keep the demons at bay and the monsters of the world under control. Their bodies are covered in runes to keep them safe, leaving permanent scars as a reminder of who they are. They fight. That is pretty much it. And the humans don't even know it.
I believe almost every fantasy/horror creature is mentioned or makes an appearance in this book. I loved seeing them all mesh and combine, everything existing together. Werewolves, vampires, fairies, demons, warlocks... Take your pick.
The story sped along, though near the end did feel rather long and I couldn't believe everything I had just read was in one book.
Now, speaking of the end. I do not post spoilers on here... But the end. I did not like a part of it. There is a twist in the book that just made me go "Really? You are really going to do that to the characters?" then mega eye roll as a certain big hit movie trilogy came to mind with the same twist, one I never liked. Sorry to be so vague. You will get this when you read the book.
Now, I have read many posts and rants about Cassandra Clare merely being a FanFic writer, and City of Bones is a total rip off. Yes, I will admit: While reading it, I did think much of Harry Potter. This was before I even heard of Claire's FanFic days. It does feel similar. There are other stories as well that you can see the likeness too. People seem to have an issue, major issue, with this.
Me? While the lack of total originality was a bit of a bummer, it also is the way the world works now. Every great work seems to be inspired or based off of another. I enjoyed City of Bones. It was a great story, with minor flaws, and even more promise. I honestly don't care where the inspiration came from.
Small rant over.
All in all, I did like this book. There were things here and there that bugged me (Again though, I can't spoil the read for you. Just know they are there...) and that twist at the end. But regardless of those things, City of Bones was a great read. I plan on reading the rest in the series, and you will no doubt hear about it when that time comes....more
The Replacement is an eerie, dark tale about monsters that live underground, missing children, and secrets. Yavanoff spins a tale that is so strange aThe Replacement is an eerie, dark tale about monsters that live underground, missing children, and secrets. Yavanoff spins a tale that is so strange and intriguing, you can't help but dive in and let the dark mysteries engulf you. Then... just when you expect the explosion of a crazy, messed up world... it falls kind of flat.
Sad, I know.
I had high hopes for The Replacement. Come on, this story line is gold. Children go missing, replaced by monsters who die shortly after. And Mackie, the male main character, just so happens to be one of those monsters. He survived. Against all odds. Except now, sixteen years later, he is dying.
And only the dark world he came from is able to save his life.
I loved the darkness. The nonstop unsettling feeling. When I read this synopsis, my mind went wild with where this book would go. So, what happened?
The majority of the book talks about Mackie being sick. Or getting sick. Or thinking about getting sick. I get it: He is allergic to iron and blood and church. (Something, I have to say, I still don't fully understand...) But he was just so... weak. I understand weakness. No one is perfect. But Mackie didn't have weakness: he was just weak.
Secondary characters. Roswell was awesome. Almost too awesome. Perfect and smart and caring and handsome and... we get it. Then there is Tate. Oh Tate. Tate is the female interest. And to be honest... I could never get a fix on how I felt about her. She was angry. Then seductive. Then pissed off. Then kissy. Now, I get that teenage girls are fickle, especially when their younger sister has gone missing and has been replaced with a dead monster. But still... I honestly can't say I liked Tate.
As far as world building goes... it was there. Just not as much as I craved. I would read entire pages and find myself wondering what just happened. I would reread sentences trying to grasp what the character was trying to say. As soon as I met the underground people, I wanted to be in there world and their world alone, but it never happened. I loved the idea of this story. Gosh, I adored it. But the execution was...
Why on Earth a town would just sit around for generations, as every seven years children were swapped out for look alike monsters who would just croak... it is beyond me. I never was able to grasp what made the town so amazing that everyone wanted to stay. I would get out of dodge, fast.
(NOTE: This book likes the use of the "f-word" and has a few semi-sexual scenes as well. For those of you who prefer to stay away from that content, here is your warning.)
Yavanoff has skill. I will give her that. To think of this story, to let your mind go there, is quite something. I am very curious about where her writing career will go, and will definitely be following her along the way. As for The Replacement... it was decent. Not amazing, not horrible. It didn't take my breath away, but I didn't throw it across the room either.
If there is a sequel ever, I am not sure I will read it. Still, The Replacement was a nice fix for a semi-horror craving. I liked it. For maybe some reason I can't fully explain, I liked it. The plot and writing is what saved it from a lower rating. I would love to give it more, but the monsters might get me....more