Update 11/14/2012: Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are turning this beauty of a book into a movie??? Holy crud, this is going to be epic. ____________________...moreUpdate 11/14/2012: Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are turning this beauty of a book into a movie??? Holy crud, this is going to be epic. _______________________________
What an outstanding debut novel by Susan Ee! Don’t be fooled by the pretty glittery cover, or even the title of the book, or the fact that people are calling this young adult, or the fact that you think ‘ooh! It has angels in it!’ so you automatically think of something like this:
This is dark fantasy straight up, nothing cute or froo froo about this. And MAN was it awesome!
This was a marvelous novel that hooked me from the beginning. From the very first page you’re thrust into the gloomy post-apocalyptic society that Earth has become since the angels of the apocalypse invaded 6 weeks ago. The main character Penryn is in charge of protecting her seven year old paralyzed sister Paige and their schizophrenic mother. Penryn’s purpose in life at this point is to do nothing but protect them and she’s completely devastated when her sister is kidnapped by the angels. She proceeds to do whatever necessary to get her sister back and get her back quick when she resorts to teaming up with another angel, Raffe, and makes a deal with him so he will take her to the angels aerie.
Pendryn is a total badass and I loved her. She could totally hold her own, she knew what it took to survive… she was one tough cookie.
High Points Okay, so, with most books these days where there’s a side story that involves a ‘romance’ it usually tends to sway towards instalove. I. Hate. Instalove. It’s corny, irritating, and it makes me want to pull my hair out. I am pleased to inform you all that I did not hate the way Penryn and Raffe’s relationship progressed; it ended up being quite realistic and believable. *phew* What a relief.
About the last 20% of the book, things started happening that were CRAZY! I mean seriously dark twisted crazy ass shit. No morphing into a YA teenage melodrama here yippee! I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just leave it at that.
The ending was well timed and it wasn’t a cliffhanger that made me turn into a crazed madman that made me need to know more NOW. I mean the book has to end somewhere and I think that was an appropriate place to do it. I did end this book and proceeded to frantically search for any future released dates of book 2. Alas, I failed to find any but I will definitely be on the lookout, no doubt about that. There are several questions that I’m dying to have answered (view spoiler)[primarily why Penryn can wield an angel sword. I mean really WHY?! (hide spoiler)]
I’d like to take a moment to thank Michelle for not only convincing me to read this but also loaning it to me. You’re the best. :)
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In Just One Day, Allyson and Willem meet for one memorable day before getting separated. In Just One Year, the tw...moreMy Black Sheep Rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
In Just One Day, Allyson and Willem meet for one memorable day before getting separated. In Just One Year, the two spend the following year searching for one another before finally succeeding. But did they get their happily ever after?
All be warned: there will be spoilers.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this series in general but was so thrown by the ending (or lack of ending) in book two that I knew I had to pick this up regardless. Allyson and Willem never generated any warm fuzzies for me but I still wanted to see what happened to the two of them in the end. After finishing Just One Night I have to say, they (author? publisher? whoever made the call to publish this.) should have left well enough alone. The two get their happily ever after, but Just One Night only manages to showcase Allyson’s creepy stalker obsession with Willem (I’m sorry, but who travels the globe searching for a guy she spent a single day with?) and Willem’s creepy foot fetish. I’m not joking. Did he obsess about her feet in the other books? Because if he did I must have blocked that shit out because, ew? For only 43 pages there were an obscene amount of foot comments. Here are several examples:
‘Allyson is sitting on the sofa, her sandals off, neatly placed under the coffee table. (The sight of her bare feet. What this is doing to Willem’s blood pressure. She might as well have taken off all her clothes.)’
‘It all feels like a dream and yet as natural as breathing. This is what you do. Put Allyson’s feet into your lap.’
‘They are on the stairs and she is under him and he’s got that wrist of hers in his mouth (finally!) but it’s not enough, he wants all of her (the feet!) [...]‘
“...Allyson is sitting next to him, and with everyone jammed at the table, she is right up close. And then she slips off her sandals under the table and sort of nuzzles her foot against his. He loses his appetite, for food anyway.”
In addition to the creepy foot comments there was one ‘memorable’ scene in particular where Allyson was behind Willem on the bike he was riding and she decides to make out with his back, I guess since his mouth wasn’t available.
‘She can nuzzle against his back and lick his vertebra if she wants to. (She does, so she does.)’
‘Willem is just desperate for it to end. He is so full of wanting that it is painful and Allyson keeps lifting his shirt and licking his back, which she shouldn’t do while he’s riding a bike because he might pass out. (But she shouldn’t stop, either.)’
This is the fourth Gayle Forman book I’ve read yet was the poorest showcasing of her writing skills. The point of view was often unclear and would switch up at random without any section breaks resulting in a strange disjointed feel to this short tale. Plus, I’m not sure what was up with the strange sentences she decided belonged in parenthesis for no apparent reason.
Just One Night was intended to give fans the happily ever after that was lacking in Just One Year but it just didn’t do it for me. It failed to create emotional resonance I would have expected for two people that spent the past year searching for one another. Maybe it’s because I can’t look past the creepy feet comments or the fact that it seemed to be about nothing more than the two sleeping with each other. Maybe it’s because I never cared for their story or either one of their characters but I didn’t feel there was anything truly romantic about this love story.(less)
Angel Crawford was your typical white trash chick with a pill popping addiction living with her alcoholic dad in Lousiana. That is, until she...more3.5 stars
Angel Crawford was your typical white trash chick with a pill popping addiction living with her alcoholic dad in Lousiana. That is, until she woke up in the hospital after being in a car accident with no memory of what had happened to her. She finds a note addressed to her telling her about a job that she is required to take or she’ll end up dead… thinking this is a note from her parole officer and that she’s being threatened with jail she opts to take the job instead. The job turns out to be a driver for the Coroner’s Office.
Angel starts noticing odd changes like how she’s somehow able to stand the sight of the dead bodies when before the accident she was squeamish from just the sight of blood. She also starts noticing that the bodies have a pleasant scent to them… ’The smell was like chocolate and cookies and biscuits and gravy and everything else that was delicious.’ That’s when she realizes that what was smelled so positively tasty were brains and only zombies ate brains. Bodies start turning up all over town with their heads missing and it begins to look suspiciously like a rogue zombie just trying to get his next meal. Angel thought she had figured out who the killer was when he turns up as the next victim.
Angel was a very realistic character and instantly likeable for me. The story had this underlying sadness with Angel staying off the pills, being able to hold a job, and finally getting her shit together… she just had to die to do it. And between the mysteries of who turned her into a zombie and who was leaving headless bodies all over town, it had me scrabbling to finish just to find out if my guess was right. (I was right! Yay!) The ending was good, (minus the slightly corny part when she kind of OD’d on brains) and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.(less)
Kate sits in wait for her husband to come home from work and ends up having a conversation with a neighbor. His tale is of heartbreak and loss but of hope as well.
Waking Kate was a fabulous albeit quick introduction to Kate and sets the scene fantastically. It left me highly anticipating the upcoming release of Lost Lake (and also made me extremely curious about Butter Coffee!) http://www.foodwoolf.com/2013/06/butt...(less)
“Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my”….. INDEED.
Highly recommended that you read book number one, ‘Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Betw...more4.5 stars
“Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my”….. INDEED.
Highly recommended that you read book number one, ‘Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between’ prior to reading this book or my review. You have been warned! :)
The Renfield Syndrome picks right up from the cliffhanger that ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ left us all with. But all is not right in Kansas, oh no. Rhiannon is now 101 years in the future after making a deal with the demon Zagan in order for him to forgive his deal with her vampire lover Disco. In a nutshell? The world 101 years in the future is one insane crazy ass place where all kinds of creepy crawlies have decided to come out and play… and they’re not limited to just the nighttime. Rhiannon has to find Disco in order to fulfill her debt to Zagan and she only has a limited amount of time in which to do this.
This book was one wild rollercoaster ride. It seemed like every other page Rhiannon was kicking someone else’s ass… and it was great! She’s evolved into one serious badass chick. I thought ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ was awesome; ‘The Renfield Syndrome’ was the perfect continuation to a great story. Fortunately for my sanity, the ending to this book wasn’t as huge a cliffhanger as much as the first one was; however, it still managed to leave you wanting more.
As other readers have stated, it’s pretty damn near impossible to really talk about the book without revealing anything that’s vital to the story. Honestly, the majority of the book needs to be experienced first-hand so I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. So what are you waiting for, go pick this one up… you won’t be disappointed.
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog! (less)
Indexing was first released as a Kindle Serial and was a bi-weekly mini-party every Tuesday considering how eagerly I awaited...moreMy rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Indexing was first released as a Kindle Serial and was a bi-weekly mini-party every Tuesday considering how eagerly I awaited the latest installment. The first episode is epic and I can’t even begin to express my love for it. The introduction to this fairy-tale world was perfection. It got a full 5 stars from me and set the bar extremely high for the subsequent stories. This fairy tale world was extremely similar in scope to the graphic novel series ‘Fables’ but in comparison I found the characters were more vibrant and witty and infinitely entertaining. Each Kindle serial, for the most part, managed as a stand-alone and didn’t leave you too exasperated with having to wait another two weeks for more. I say ‘for the most part’ because something happened around episode 8 (out of a total of 12) that took the series into a total nosedive, but I’ll get into that more in a minute.
The ATI (Aarne-Thompson Index) Management Bureau is a covert government agency that monitors fairy tale manifestations and prevents them from getting out of control. According to Wiki, "The Aarne–Thompson tale type index is a multivolume listing designed to help folklorists identify recurring plot patterns in the narrative structures of traditional folktales, so that folklorists can organize, classify, and analyze the folktales they research." This index system is used as the basis for classifying manifestations that happen in the real world, where children are born predisposed to being a Sleeping Beauty or a Snow White or even a Pied Piper. If unleashed, their fairy tale influence could wreak havoc on the world. All manner of fairy tales are covered: Peter Pans and Cinderellas, Donkeyskins and Beautiful Vassilisas, a Mother Goose, Wicked Stepsisters, Billy Goats Gruff, The Showmaker and the Elves, etc.
So what worked well? Personally I loved the combination of fairy tales and urban fantasy that ultimately made up this story. It was imaginative and creative and really enjoyed the details that went into this. Each individual was given a bit of back story although I believe this could have been further expounded on to showcase their growth. While I didn’t end up preferring one character over another, they all as a whole really added life and charm to this story.
In the end though, I was left ultimately disappointed. When thinking back on the story as a whole, I think it was easy to overlook the choppy feel of the writing since we’re only given bits and pieces at a time. If read as a whole I think it would have been far more obvious and apparent that the story lacked a fully fleshed out plot and was really rather feeble. It didn’t feel as if it was planned as a full novel and was instead planned out as each episode was written. Ultimately, the ending felt strange and disconnected from where it seemed like the story was going and left me with far more unanswered questions than I like.
Episode 1 - 5 stars This is not only immensely entertaining but incredibly original. LOVE THIS. Episode 2 - 4 stars Episode 3 - 3.5 stars Episode 4 - 4 stars DUN DUN DUN! All other episodes wrap up rather nicely but this one had an unfortunate cliffhanger. And I only get an episode every 2 weeks? GAH. Episode 5 - 4.5 stars Episode 6 - 4 stars Episode 7 - 4.5 stars Episode 8 - 3 stars Episode 9 - 3 stars Episode 10 - 2 stars Episode 11 - 2.5 stars Episode 12 - 2 stars(less)
A short story of regrets, doubts, and learning to play the cards dealt to you in life.
My initial thoughts was that this story reminded me of the movi...moreA short story of regrets, doubts, and learning to play the cards dealt to you in life.
My initial thoughts was that this story reminded me of the movie Where the Heart Is, although maybe not quite as dramatic. April gets pregnant at 17 by her high school boyfriend Ryan. When her mom finds out she starts planning their wedding immediately, but that day never comes because her mother has less than 2 months to live.
Taking a stroll down memory lane 10 years later, April looks back thinking of everything that could have been but will never be. She worries that she never lived up to who her mother wanted her to be. Amid her recollections of the past, she waits for her 6 year old boy to get off the bus from school. When he's not on the bus and she can't find him at school, she's forced to put her life into perspective.
Predictable but cute short story that made me interested in taking a look at more of her stories. (less)
“We all have a past. Some people just can’t let go of it.”
Ross and Claire are newlyweds, honeymooning in Scotland when tragedy strikes. Shortly befor...more“We all have a past. Some people just can’t let go of it.”
Ross and Claire are newlyweds, honeymooning in Scotland when tragedy strikes. Shortly before the two are due to leave for home, Claire becomes ill and ends up in a coma in the hospital. Ross becomes completely overcome with grief, unable to come to terms with what is happening and ends up in an accident and blacks out. He wakes up in the year 1333.
‘I marvel at the fact that I haven’t broken out in hives. Apparently, not only has my eyesight improved, but my allergy to horses hasn’t transferred to this time period, either.’
I blame Outlander on my time-travel obsession. I also blame Outlander for my high expectations when it comes to time-travel. I’m able to count on one hand the amount of time-travel books that managed to work for me. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. There weren’t any special stones or portals that sent Ross back in time, instead he was run off the road while riding his bicycle by a semi and tumbled down a hill. He woke up in another time in completely different clothes with renewed eyesight and a curious lack of his typical allergies. Instead of going back in time as himself, he went back in time and took over the life of one of his ancestors (à la Assassin’s Creed, just replacing the Animus with a grassy hill). It worked yet it didn’t and was cause for some serious confusion later as the story develops.
The historical aspects of this novel were well-done and felt very authentic but the incorporation of time-travel bits and a modern man in a medieval world felt clunky and strange. The biggest issue I had was with Ross, the main character, and his complete lack of a spine throughout the entirety of the novel.
‘I’d signed up for a fencing class during my freshman year of college, but during the first session my impulse whenever my opponent thrust his rapier at me was to roll up in a ball on the floor and cover my head with my hands. I quickly switched to bowling class.’
He improved somewhat as the novel progressed, but he was an irritating character from the beginning which made it difficult considering the entire story was told from his point of view. We’re given past glimpses into his childhood that were clearly meant to provide reason behind his meek and submissive personality but it still didn’t work for me. The time period did succeed in maturing him and turning him into a ‘manly man’ but even then there were passages that were clearly meant to show his character development that were slightly ridiculous.
‘Somewhere a lamb, trapped in the ruins, bleats. I slow, keening my ears, and finally see it, its pink nose pressed between the bars of a wooden fence that has been pushed over. The small building next to it is still on fire. Adam sees it, too. He glances at me, shrugs in pity and goes on. A gap opens up between us and I dark after him, the lamb forgotten.’
If this was intended to show his growing manliness it was a big fail. The character was a total coward, completely spineless and while he was a little less cowardly by the end he failed to generate any sympathy from me and his plights.
The romance(s) were a big hot mess. We’re first introduced to Ross and Claire who are on their honeymoon yet Claire is constantly making fun of him, all in the name of playful teasing of course, and their spark couldn’t light a campfire if their life depended on it. When Claire becomes ill, Ross is distraught while contemplating life without her but it felt more like he was distraught about just being alone and didn’t have anything specifically to do with Claire. He wakes up in 1333, already resigned to the fact that he’s going to lose Claire and it immediately became oh! I have a wife here and another chance to love. The icing on the cake is the simple justification at the end, explaining everything with a pretty bow on top. It was a bit too perfect for my liking.
In the Time of Kings is a historical fiction romance with a time-travel twist but was lacking in both characterization and romance. The historical fiction bits strongly showcased the authors abilities and will appeal to fans of the genre.(less)
“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It...more“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”
Anne of Green Gables was written in 1908 yet the magic of this childhood classic continues to charm readers over 100 years later. Even at 28 years old, Anne managed to charm me. Yes, this is actually my first real read of Anne of Green Gables. I read The Secret Garden and Little House on the Prairie but somehow managed to miss out on the story of Anne, a spunky, chatterbox of a redhead with a knack for getting into trouble. I have no doubt I would have adored her then as I still managed to do so now.
Anne’s story is a simple one but full of heart. She was living in an orphanage for many years before she was finally put on a train and sent to Prince Edward Island where she was requested to assist Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, a brother and sister that lived on a farm in Avonlea. Immediately upon her arrival, she finds out that the duo had actually required a boy and that she wasn’t needed and would be sent back to the orphanage. She becomes determined to win them over so as to not be sent back, and succeed she did. Matthew was instantly enamored by this interesting child but Marilla was much more stubborn.
“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
Anne is clearly the protagonist of the novel, however, I found myself paying a lot of attention to Marilla and the transformation that she undergoes throughout the novel because of Anne’s presence. Anne grows up and matures as any child is expected to do but Marilla is truly the one that changes, and definitely for the best. Marilla is a stern woman who sets out to teach Anne how to be a proper young lady and not to be so fanciful all the time yet it’s that fanciful nature of hers that slowly breaks down Marilla’s harsh demeanor. It’s a gradual breakdown but by the end of the novel she is able to admit to her love of Anne, how proud she is of her and how happy she is that she came into their lives. It was truly touching to not only see the benefit to Anne because Marilla and Matthew chose to take her in but how she in turn equally changed their lives.
Details of Montgomery’s early life reveal that she was the inspiration for her character Anne. Montgomery’s mother died when she was just 21 months old from tuberculosis and her father sent her away to live with her elderly grandparents who resided in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Their manner of raising her was strict, such as Marilla’s manner was at first, yet their demeanor never lightened in the time she lived with them. The story of Anne is clearly how Montgomery wished things could have been for her yet despite her difficult childhood, one good thing clearly came out of it for Anne would have never existed without her experiences.
Big thanks to the girls over at The Midnight Garden for hosting this read-along as it was well past time I got to know Anne Shirley.(less)
When local teenagers start disappearing from the various shifter communities, old rivalries get put on the back burner in order to stop this from continuing.
Fray is a leopard shifter and a semi-pro mixed martial arts fighter. To sum it up: she’s quite the badass. Highly independent and extremely sarcastic I grew quite fond of Fray. After finding out that more teenagers are disappearing, her and her family realizes that someone needs to look into this to prevent any future kidnappings and it needs to be Fray. She teams up with a vampire/investigator to find out why these kidnappings are happening and who’s responsible.
I really enjoyed this introduction novella. I think it presented a good picture of what’s to be expected in this upcoming series. This has a surprisingly interesting plot with strong and likable characters. I also enjoyed the underlying story of overcoming deep-seated prejudices and learning how to overcome those challenges to complete the common goal. I think I would have enjoyed it a teensy bit more if it was longer and the author was able to dive a bit deeper in respects to world-building. Character development was spot on though. Recommended for you UF fans out there.(less)
This is a super short novella by the author of 'Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.' I think I made the mistake of reading this novella prior to reading her full-length novel, but oh well.
This story revolves around Ashley (who is apparently introduced in 'Hold Me Closer') and her childhood friend Matt. Regardless of me not knowing more about the characters prior to reading it was still a fun little enjoyable read.(less)
Sara Teasdale wrote Love Songs in 1917 and received 3 awards for it: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry...moreSara Teasdale wrote Love Songs in 1917 and received 3 awards for it: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America. It's a beautiful collection of poetry that I'm so thankful to have stumbled upon.
My absolute favorite:
"I Am Not Yours"
I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon, Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright, Yet I am I, who long to be Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love--put out My senses, leave me deaf and blind, Swept by the tempest of your love, A taper in a rushing wind.(less)
Intriguing introduction to the full length novel by the same name. I would definitely be interested in continuing, the author's writing was quite vivi...moreIntriguing introduction to the full length novel by the same name. I would definitely be interested in continuing, the author's writing was quite vivid and kept you enthralled in this different world. Definitely worth trying!(less)
I won a copy of this short story off of LibraryThing; however, I don’t actually recall entering it. I still figure I should be courteous and give the...moreI won a copy of this short story off of LibraryThing; however, I don’t actually recall entering it. I still figure I should be courteous and give the author the review she requested in exchange for a copy.
As I said above, this was a very short story, only about 10 pages tops. The story is about Marcia and Joe, together for 4 years and married for 2. Suffice it to say Marcia and Joe don’t have the best of relationships. The opening of the story introduces Marcia as she’s ‘taking care of herself’ in the bathroom stall at work. The POV then switches to Joe who is in the middle of making restaurant reservations because he knows the only way he can get his wife to have sex with him is if he spends hundreds taking her out to dinner and buying expensive champagne. As Joe puts it, “Tonight he’d make love to her for the first time in nearly a month and he was eager to have sex with someone other than a woman whose last name was jpeg or gif.” Bottom line, I found this more sad than comedic as I think the story’s intentions were.
The Good I enjoyed the author’s writing style. She kept it interesting, intriguing, and I’d be interested in reading more from her.
The Not So Good The whole sex in a dumpster? I don’t know but… it didn’t do it for me. It ended up being more funny than steamy. And for the record, that is a TERRIBLE waste of a good pat of butter. LOL I would be interested in continuing the story and seeing how Marcia and Joe’s relationship progresses. (less)
Pushing the Limits is a contemporary YA story about romance and friendship and dealing with loss. Echo was involved in an accident with her mother but...morePushing the Limits is a contemporary YA story about romance and friendship and dealing with loss. Echo was involved in an accident with her mother but the trauma was so strong that her mind has blocked it completely. All she wants to do is remember, but is she strong enough to handle the truth? Noah is still dealing with the loss of his parents in a house fire and is struggling to survive the foster care system. He was separated from his two younger brothers and all he wants to do is obtain custody of them so they can all be a happy family again. Echo and Noah have both suffered in life but are complete opposites of each other, yet they fall for one another just the same.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: YA contemporary is not my go-to genre. This book sat on my shelf for years because lets be honest, that cover screams nothing but high school! romance! angst! drama! to me. I was surprised that while the romance (and yes, all the angst and drama one could ever hope for) is a major part, the story possessed a depth I was not expecting. Echo and Noah were individuals that had been forced into growing up sooner than necessary due to incidents in their life and Pushing the Limits is their coming of age story that treads the line between YA and NA and will be well-liked by fans of both.
Pushing the Limits was entertaining and I read it fairly quickly, however, it didn’t manage to generate much in the way of opinion. I was overall a bit indifferent about Echo and Noah’s story. While I appreciated the complex and separate side stories of both characters, it was all too melodramatic for me in the end. The romance was given some time to develop so instant love wasn’t a real factor, but once the romance started it, the seriousness between the two progressed at the speed of light. There were the obligatory ‘I love you’s’ thrown around and the constant use of ‘babe’. While the characters stories possessed depth I didn’t feel that their romance did. The story suffered in pacing during the second half and would have benefited from a trim in length as it only succeeded in adding more of the already abundant melodramatic flair. Excessively long yet still compulsively readable, it disappointed by ending too predictably. I seem to have nothing but negative things to say, yet I did enjoy the read overall. It’d be worth it to give the author another shot to see how she progresses as a writer.(less)