Alright, yes, I admit… it’s November 2011 and I’m just now getting around to reading this. I was extremely skeptical about this one regardless of the glowing reviews. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from a YA paranormal romance book about angels. I can’t even count how many issues this book could potentially have… but I decided to read this at the perfect time because I was totally in the mood for something exactly like this.
The Storyline Clara always thought she was a normal sixteen year old girl living in California with her mom and brother until her mom tells her that she has angel-blood. Her mother is half-angel which makes Clara a Quartarius: a quarter angel. Clara’s initial reaction is to refuse to accept her mother’s announcement but she is ultimately unable to deny the truth.
”My neck still tingled when I remembered the way she’d said “humans,” like the word suddenly didn’t apply to us.”
When she begins having visions which her mother informs her is her ‘purpose’ being revealed to her.
”In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees…”
In her vision she sees a boy surrounded my forest and flames and she feels that it’s up to her to save him. Unable to discern where this vision occurs she begins piecing it all together and finally determines that it’s in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Clara’s mother stresses to her the utter importance of completing her purpose that this is the reason she was placed on this Earth, and they at once pick up their lives and move to Wyoming. The first day at school she sees him; the boy from her vision whose name is Christian.
The Main –Character My main issue with your typical YA paranormal romance book is the main character, or more often than not, the heroine. I found that not only did I not have the urge to slap Clara, but by the end I actually kinda liked her. Shocking, I know. This is the one line that got me:
"I just need to be mad for a little while, okay? I know it might not be the most mature thing, but there it is."
Thank you! Finally, someone admits to their immaturity, which in my book makes it okay if you’re not living in denial. Clara was quite the independent girl who even though she did develop quite a crush on Christian it wasn’t overkill and in essence her obsession did still revolve around her purpose which made it acceptable.
Also? (view spoiler)[The fact that Clara actually ends up falling in love with the RIGHT boy was quite the shocker. Usually it’s the other way around and the girl picks the complete shit-head over the good boy. (hide spoiler)]
The Writing This was an extremely quick one day read for me because I simply couldn't get enough. A light, refreshing read that didn't come off as corny or immature (which I think is quite the accomplishment considering the subject: angels). Speaking of, my aversion to angel books in general tends to be because the author fails to handle the religious aspects of angels quite well. I'm happy to say that Cynthia Hand did a spot on job. The author also did a fabulous job of building up the mystery behind Clara's vision and it had me intrigued and fully engrossed.
Final Thoughts So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? The ending was not as I had hoped for. Personally I think it was a really messy ending that left too many questions and not enough answers. It wasn’t even really a cliffhanger per say, more like a… to be continued. (view spoiler)[I really wish the purpose would have been explained more. So Clara failed. What the hell was her purpose anyways and how would she have known that she didn’t complete it? And Christian’s an angel-blood too? Okay, so I kind of saw that one coming, but… he’s having visions too? About the same thing? But they still have no clue what they’re supposed to do but they still feel like they clearly failed? Yes, I realize I’m not making much sense but that’s the state of my mind right now as I try and contemplate the book before diving into the second one. (hide spoiler)]
I have in my possession the second book Hallowed, but I’ve decided to give myself some time to really think this one over and maybe try and work out some of the questions I’ve got bouncing around in my head. (Thanks for the idea Wendy :D)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’
Countdown iInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’
Countdown is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to truly understanding the Newsflesh world. You don't get to read anything about Shaun or George or even Buffy, but you do get a glimpse into the life of Amanda Amberlee, the creator of the cure Dr. Alexander Kellis, and of the group responsible for unleashing it onto the world, ‘The Mayday Army’.
Once again I’m astonished at the ability that Mira Grant has in world building. Even with a short story, she does a phenomenal job at pulling you right in. She makes you feel as if her world truly does exist and that you need to remember to grab your shotgun before leaving the house to protect yourself from the zombies waiting outside. This short story made me love the first two Newsflesh books even more and also made me just a tad bit crazier over my desire to read Blackout. (As if that was possible).
Mira Grant? You're amazing.
’When will you Rise? And the world gave itself an answer: Now. Welcome to the aftermath.’...more
'That I am your heart's secret fills me with song. I wish I could sing of you here in my cage. You are my heart's hidden poem. I reread you, memorize'That I am your heart's secret fills me with song. I wish I could sing of you here in my cage. You are my heart's hidden poem. I reread you, memorize you every moment we're apart.'
This was a real shocker for me that I enjoyed it as much as I did. For one, this has been on and off my TBR shelf several times as I would occasionally decide that this is simply not for me and I have no plans to read it. But go figure a few months later it pops up on my Goodreads timeline, I take another glance and decide it may be worth a shot. Thanks, Wendy, for giving me that final push. :)
I was actually quite touched by Helen and James' relationship/connection (at least I was once I overlooked their questionable acts). Helen had been Light (a spirit) for well over a century and not once spoke to anyone that entire time and had never quite realized how desperately she craved the company of another. Their feelings for each other were instantaneous yet it thankfully managed to not feel akin to every other insta-love situation these days in YA literature. Helen and James have their own special situation and instead of calling it insta-love I would consider it more of an extreme fascination with one another as they are the only ones of their 'species' as they called it.
I know that I should have been repelled by the whole concept of human's walking around 'empty' just ripe for the taking for deceased spirits. That their soul can be absent, drifted off to a new place, while their body remains living its life. It really was a creepy concept/possibility but what honestly scared me the most were Jenny's religious extremist parents. Before Helen came along, she watched Jenny for some time as she simply went through the motions of life without exuding any sort of emotion. Being so constricted by your family, being forced to obey and follow such rigid rules, and forcing their religion into every facet of your very being? Now that's scary.
This is one of those books where the writing truly took my breath away. It flowed so beautifully and was a real delight. I loved how she kept Helen's speech true to form considering she wasn't from this day and age. That type of extra little touch really helped make this a very special book.
This is a novel about love but it's mostly about learning to forgive yourself for the very reason Helen and James were still on Earth to find each other was because they hadn't relived their final moments in order to forgive themselves for the actions they made. This was a wonderful, mature, YA novel with hints of romance, paranormal, and learning to find peace.
'Your mind will never lose anything forever that's worth keeping.'...more
'I think the sun is a flower, That blooms for just one hour.'
Fabulous little short story. There have been numerous comparisons to Ponies which I believ'I think the sun is a flower, That blooms for just one hour.'
Fabulous little short story. There have been numerous comparisons to Ponies which I believe are a fair comparison, although I didn't enjoy Ponies nearly as much as this one. I feel this was due to the only major difference being the lack of remorse for actions made (in Ponies).
So my reading sci-fi is completely out of character and if it wasn’t for the recommendations of trusted individuals I never would have picked this up.So my reading sci-fi is completely out of character and if it wasn’t for the recommendations of trusted individuals I never would have picked this up. Regardless of this being set completely in space, this is definitely what I would consider sci-fi-lite. The world building is sufficient enough without boggling my mind with excessive detailing which I appreciated. Fortune’s Pawn was absolutely fantastic though. I can’t remember the last book I read that was so freaking exciting, and I don’t say that lightly. It was so thrilling my mouth was hanging open in several scenes, I was flipping pages at lightning speed and I made sure to limit my blinking so as to not miss out on precious reading time. You know that moment in a relationship where you can look back and remember when you fell in love? I remember the exact moment I fell in love with this book and how I got so damn excited I put the book down and yelled:
I wish I was exaggerating. My fiancé looked at me like I was a complete nutter.
The battle scenes were thoroughly exhilarating and the absolute best part of this book but this book would be nothing without Devi Morris. She’s a mercenary and a total badass but she’s far from perfect. She makes silly decisions because of love but they’re all credible and realistic decisions. At no point did she turn into some weak-willed chick just because she had a crush and I’m so very thankful that the romance didn’t completely overpower the story. It was the perfect balance. And speaking of Rupert...
I don’t care if his name is funny, Rupert is fabulous. He’s a total badass just like Devi but he’s much more subtle about it; less flashy. Their romance is blended well with the story and mystery so it didn’t fell like yet another unnecessary romance showing up when it never should have been invited. When I think back, they fell for each other pretty quick it seemed but the feelings of insta-love weren’t there for me (*phew*). There was some major relationship drama going on though, a constant push and pull between them. “I love you! But I can’t, I’m dangerous. Oh, but I love you! I have no self control!” If I hadn’t been so completely enthralled I would’ve been raising my eyebrow at this. It’s not revealed the details as to why he’s so dangerous so I’m hoping his secrets and “danger” better be really freaking dangerous to justify this dramatic time wasting nonsense because those two are pretty fabulous together.
One more lovely thing about this story that’s worth mentioning is the fabulous secondary characters. Hyrek is the ships doctor who is also a xith’cal, an alien race, and he’s got a super snarky sense of humor I immediately loved. There is Devi’s partner Cotter who was a big meathead that was always good for a laugh, Caldswell is the mysterious captain with a bucketful of secrets and Devi’s roommate Nova who totally reminded me of Luna Lovegood. It was a wonderful cast of characters.
There have been comparisons to Firefly, Alien and even Battlestar Gallactica. Well, I suck and haven’t seen a single one of those (I TOLD YOU I don’t do sci-fi) but the one thing I can compare it to is Ann Aguirre’s ‘Sirantha Jax’ series. Devi reminded me a lot of Sirantha (but Devi quite a bit more of a badass) and the storyline was much more thrilling, so if you enjoyed that series you’ll absolutely love this. Suffice to say, this is going on my best of 2013 list and I’m immediately starting book two. Boy am I so very fortunate to have it available. Upon completion I felt like running around flailing my arms like a crazy person so I hope my thoughts came out in a sensible manner. Read this book, people....more
‘Gladys took a bite of her brownie, and a slew of flavors flooded her taste buds. The sweet, melty butterscotch offset the bitterness of the chocolat‘Gladys took a bite of her brownie, and a slew of flavors flooded her taste buds. The sweet, melty butterscotch offset the bitterness of the chocolate, and the hint of nutmeg gave the whole thing a kick.’
Gladys Gatsby is a sixth grader that loves nothing more than experimenting in the kitchen. From entrées to pastries, she loves cooking anything and everything. During her latest kitchen experiment involving crème brûlée and a blowtorch, her family’s kitchen curtains went up in smoke and her family finally put a stop to her kitchen shenanigans. When she enters a writing contest in school, her entry ends up in the hands of the Dining Editor at a prestigious New York newspaper and she’s offered a job as a food critic. Keeping it a secret from her family while still completing her assignment is starting to seem to Gladys like an impossibility.
‘...tender duck breast swimming in a lake of tea-infused gravy, with a side of slender asparagus stalks dipping their tips in at the shore.’
Readers will fall in love with precocious Gladys. Her parents prefer take out, rarely using their kitchen, so Gladys never knew what good food truly tasted like. Her eyes were opened to good food when her Aunt Lydia, visiting from France, took her into the city to show her what a real restaurant is. From that point on she started keeping track of her food experiences (including the bad ones) in a journal. The descriptions of her family’s attempts at cooking were hilarious and cringe-worthy but her descriptions at her more positive food experiences will have you salivating.
‘Their flavors will send your taste buds on a trip around the world: the Moroccan cake features pistachio and cardamom, the Chinese cake has green tea and sesame seeds, and the Belgian cake has chocolate and… well, more chocolate.’
All Four Stars was completely worth all four stars. This endearing middle grade story will have your taste buds dancing. Much of the story is spent on Gladys’ use of subterfuge in keeping her parents from finding that she’s still cooking (sans blowtorch) but the rest of the pages are full of delectable descriptions of delicious foods that will have you reaching for something tasty to munch on so having something on hand may be wise....more
I was ridiculously hooked to this book from the very first page. Great characters, excitingInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
I was ridiculously hooked to this book from the very first page. Great characters, exciting storyline, and more important an original storyline.
Storyline McKenzie is a hot commodity in the faerie war. She’s a shadow reader who is able to track faeries that fissure out. She’s been assisting the faerie King since she was 16; it’s now been 10 years. For those past 10 years McKenzie has also been pining over Kyol, the king’s swordsman, who is forbidden from being with a human. They share kisses and private moments but they’ve never gone further as Kyol’s loyalty to the King keeps him from doing so. McKenzie herself has been loyal to the King for the last 10 years and when she is abducted by the faerie rebels and discovers pertinent information that’s been kept from her for all these years her loyalties begin to divide.
Single Issue The emotional bonding with a captor or an abuser known as Stockholm syndrome was referred to in this story after McKenzie began having feelings for Aren. I felt that the fact that she could have had Stockholm syndrome would have been better left implied rather than stated so bluntly. Also, do victims even realize they have Stockholm syndrome? McKenzie kept referring to it almost like it’s a third person. Open for discussion on that because I'm really not sure.
’Damn this Stockholm syndrome. There’s got to be some cure for it.’
Other than that, I really didn’t have any problems with this story.
Thoughts I’m sure we all know by now how much I despise love triangles and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. This one wasn’t the worst by far; I believe it was one of the most well-handled love triangles I’ve read to date.
I loved the originality of the story. I feared that this would end up being a variation of the Iron Fey series, just with adult alterations. I ended up being quite wrong in that assumption, quite wrong and pleasantly surprised. I also loved how it wasn’t your typical badass heroine stories where she’s unbelievably powerful, super-hot, and can kick everyone’s ass. This was not the case. McKenzie may have had a super awesome power that came in handy and made her super important to a large number of people, but she was still vulnerable and real. At first I was kind of irritated at the fact that she seemed to be a major weenie, but it made the story and McKenzie more realistic in my opinion.
I look forward to the next book in the series coming out. The author already released the name of the next book in the series… ‘The Shattered Dark’. Sounds fabulous! I can’t wait! :D...more
I read the occasional short story but I can’t for the life of me remember the last one that really stuInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
I read the occasional short story but I can’t for the life of me remember the last one that really stuck with me. This was the most brilliantly written short story I think I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I have several Graham Greene novels on my plan-to-read-someday list but I do believe those will be moved up the list; I was blown away by the power of his writing in this extremely short story. He was able to successfully establish an ample story and a potent relationship in a little more than 3,500 words. Bravo, Mr. Greene.
'As a twin he was in many ways an only child. To address Peter was to speak to his own image in a mirror, an image a little altered by a flaw in the glass, so as to throw back less a likeness of what he was than of what he wished to be, what he would be without his unreasoning fear of darkness, footsteps of strangers, the flight of bats in dusk-filled gardens.’
Twin brothers Peter and Francis have been invited to a birthday party that Francis does not wish to attend.
”I’m afraid of going. I won’t go. I daren’t go. They’ll make me hide in the dark, and I’m afraid of the dark. I’ll scream and scream and scream.”
Regardless, the twins still end up attending. What follows is so terribly shocking and tragic. Suffice it to say, the ending left me breathless. Thank you, Wendy. Without your review I don’t believe I ever would have read this.
I'm not clear what went wrong here. Mindset? Narrator? Storyline? I have no idea but I couldn't get into this one to save my life. Will have to try anI'm not clear what went wrong here. Mindset? Narrator? Storyline? I have no idea but I couldn't get into this one to save my life. Will have to try and pick this one up at a later date....more
Okay so at first glance, for some reason I totally thought this was one of those books for teenage girls about 'finding themselves' in the cold, cruelOkay so at first glance, for some reason I totally thought this was one of those books for teenage girls about 'finding themselves' in the cold, cruel world. hahaha Silly me. Yes, I didn't even realize this is the girl from The Office.
This was a cute, quick, funny, and quite enjoyable read....more