Loved the landscape illustration, especially the cover! I could see the traces of every brushstroke on every page, and it's a delight to read. But the...moreLoved the landscape illustration, especially the cover! I could see the traces of every brushstroke on every page, and it's a delight to read. But the story still leaves quite a little bit to be desired. (less)
When something goes wrong, it is always the ones who are different who are blamed.
I have to admit that before I started the book, I already had high hopes for The Rose Throne. I mean, look at the cover! (I'm a little superficial when it comes to pretty covers.) The coloring, the girl (whom I suppose is Princess Ailsbet), her facial expression, the details of her hair! And the words in the blurb paint the book in such a great light that it is hard to resist. Princesses, magic, kingdoms, love, rivalry? It's a no-brainer for me!
Now that I've read this book and thought it over, I'd say that it isn't bad. It's riveting, fun, mysterious, but at the same time it does disappoint me to some level. Now, I am not going to summarize the story, as 1) I have come to learn that summaries aren't ever 100% accurate and in fact often times misleading, no matter who writes it and 2) I read this book a month ago, so things aren't as fresh for me right now. Thanks to my notes, however, I know how to go on and where I'm going with this.
First things first: this book is slow. I'm usually not someone who likes slow books, and even though I tend to finish every book I read, my attention span and tolerance are very limited when it comes to slow-paced books. But that's not necessarily a bad thing; a slow pace allows for a great story building, only when an author knows how to make use of it. And unlike other books I've read that stretch the story aimlessly for far too long, The Rose Throne makes a good use of its slow pacing and develops its story well. This book also takes a lot of time to digest--a quality I'm not generally quite fond of. Initially, the magic terms (e.g. taweyr, neweyr, unweyr, ekhono) were confusing me a lot, and that was a bit frustrating. The author did not exactly give a clear definition to these terms, but you can infer from the context and story, and yes, that took time to make sense.
The story was exciting and fun, and I think the author also did well on the characterization of Ailsbet and Marlissa, but not really of the other minor characters. I really enjoyed the wit of both princesses and their unique characteristics. I'm not going into details here, but let's just say that I enjoyed this book a whole lot.
One thing, though, is that I really wanted to appreciate the twist near the end of the book, but think it isn't very well executed. It didn't feel grand. I didn't see it coming; it just felt like the author couldn't decide what to do next, so she threw in this twist out of nowhere and hoped for the best. Well, I didn't like it, and I found it disappointing for a good book to suffer this bad twist. I think it took away the energy it was building up. And I also wanted to like the ending, but something feels off. After the awkward plot twist, things were quite awkward until the end. And I was consequently underwhelmed.
After such an ending, there has to be sequels. And I still would definitely read other books in the series, as I enjoyed this book and I'm curious to know how it all will turn out.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
Sometimes it's hard, impossible even, to know how much magnitude a choice holds until it is al...more(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)
Sometimes it's hard, impossible even, to know how much magnitude a choice holds until it is all over.
Duncan Meade enters the Irving School a senior this year. As a school tradition, each senior gets their own dorm room without having to share it with anyone. On the first day of school, each senior will go to the senior hall and find their room; and in the room, there will be "treasures" left behind for them from the previous senior who lived there. Duncan has one fear: he is afraid to find out if the smallest room in the hall belongs to him. And of course, it does. The treasures the previous owner, Tim Macbeth, leaves behind for Duncan is a note and a stack of CDs. Those CDs play the recordings of Tim's story for Duncan as the "meat of your Tragedy Paper," which is the Irving School's senior English paper to be handed in at the end of the school year.
The Tragedy Paper started out, for me, as intriguing; I was curious to see how the connection between Tim Macbeth and Duncan Meade would play out. Would it be, you know, like Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which Macbeth kills Duncan? Or would Tim Macbeth share the same tragic flaw with Macbeth, and Duncan the receiving end of that flaw like King Duncan? Or what? Of course, I was expecting the use of these two names to have some significance. I have been taught in Literature class that a text alludes to something like this, it is saying something implicitly, and you should find what it infers. But it looks like this book falls flat in that department, because as far as I know, the only function of this allusion is only to tell the reader: Hey! This book is a tragedy because its two main characters are named after the two in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth! Hmm. Right now, in my head, I can even see my beloved Lit teacher hold up her index finger in a warning manner, and hear her say her favorite disapproval: "Nonono."
Again, I don't seem to share everyone (who's read it)'s enthusiasm about this book. Some say that it's "deep" and "profound," but I honestly don't see how that can be. It's not like I suck that much at reading between the lines and critical thinking; how about it's just meh? 90% of the book is about Tim told, narrated by Tim's recordings which Duncan listens to; while Duncan's part takes up only about 10%. And this makes me wonder why it has to be written this way. Not only does it bother me that the book doesn't just simply tell Tim's story--which already is the focus, if not the entire meat, of this story--it has to have Duncan as a medium (why bother?), but it also irritates me that, knowing very well Duncan's function is only to hang around and play the CDs so we can listen to them as well, the book tries so hard to have Tim affect his romantic life--in a way trying to make a connection between them when it's strained and uncalled for. If there'd been some believable and close connection between them for the recordings to have their natural effects, I would've believed it and appreciated it more.
In the end, I'll say that The Tragedy Paper is not a bad book, but there are a lot of things that I personally didn't like. The ending, for instance, felt too contrived in the way that it is steered into a tragedy pattern, which I understand since I get it, the point is that this book is a tragedy; but I still didn't like it that much. And the effects Tim's story has on Duncan are to me a little too unbelievable. I'd love for it to have more substance, and if the switching between two points of view is going to be this unbalanced and the connection this strained, how about no switching at all? I'd be happy to read Tim's story alone as the whole book without Duncan having a voice in part of the narration. That's just me. For the most part, I enjoyed Tim's story and wanted to see how it was tragic and how it would end, but once I did, I felt greatly underwhelmed. Still, as I said, it's not a bad book. It has good potentials but it's just not my cup of tea. 2.5 stars.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
I love Ash when he's with Meghan. Seriously, that boy knows how to be excessively sweet and stay so desirable. I feel sad that this is the last Meghan...moreI love Ash when he's with Meghan. Seriously, that boy knows how to be excessively sweet and stay so desirable. I feel sad that this is the last Meghan and Ash book. I'll miss them quite terribly.(less)
Puck narrates this short novella! I didn't expect that at all! This allowed me insights into his brilliant mind--who'd have thought playful Puck can h...morePuck narrates this short novella! I didn't expect that at all! This allowed me insights into his brilliant mind--who'd have thought playful Puck can have all these thoughts running around in his head? It seems people don't take him seriously because that's the way he wants it to be. This little adventure is, as usual, a lot of fun. I love him. <3(less)
You've become a major player in this war. You're balanced on the edge of everything—faery and mortal, Summer and Iron, the old ways and the march of progress. Which way will you fall? Which side will you choose? When I read The Iron King and The Iron Daughter, I felt they had a great potential but weren't quite there yet, so they both got four stars from me. I didn't expect the third installment, The Iron Queen, to surpass the previous two, and that's why I was so blown away by how truly amazing this one is, which I didn't see coming at all. This book is much better than the first two and that made me believe that this is Julie Kagawa at her best.
The story picks up instantly where book two leaves off: Meghan and Ash's exile from the Nevernever. Meghan thinks that she won't be bothered by the fairies anymore, but she's dead wrong. Iron fairies are still roaming the mortal world looking for her, because the false king believes that by killing Meghan, he'll get King Machina's power. At the same time, the false king's army has been getting stronger and attacking Summer and Winter. And Meghan might just be Nevernever's only hope to defeat the false king and restore peace.
The first half starts off pretty slowly and maintains its pace throughout, which made me a little impatient. But when the second half starts, things pick up fast and remain fast until the end, which I loved. I read the second half all in one sitting, and I really couldn't tear my eyes away. Julie Kagawa gives me excitements after excitements after romances after heartaches after sadness after excitements. I said in my reviews of the previoustwo books that the fight scenes for me felt somehow lacking. However, in this book, Julie Kagawa gave me everything and then more. It was breathtakingly fun! Fun fun fun! Best fight scenes in the series are in The Iron Queen. Epic battles. I loved it. With everything thrown my way, it was indeed difficult to stop. I swallowed it whole, I took everything in all at once. It was delightful.
The characters are more developed in this book, fully formed. I liked Meghan more now, seeing her grow from a feeble helpless half-breed to a strong warrior deserving to be Queen. And although I couldn't make up my mind earlier, I'm now Team Ash. That boy does crazy things to my stomach, let me tell you. He's so cute, like, he makes me bury my head in my pillow and squee endlessly, come up for air and then bookmark those lovely scenes. And hot scenes, because, well, they're so hot. But my being on Team Ash doesn't mean that I don't like Puck now. I still do, but less than Ash. Poor Puck, getting his heart ripped out and stomped on. He'll continue to make my heart ache, I'm sure. Grimalkin still amuses me endlessly with his wits and sarcasm. Bad kitty, as Razor says. Razor is so cute.
And if anything is to be said about Julie Kagawa's writing, I'd repeat it: this is Julie Kagawa at her best. I don't know how she does it, but she pulls it off beautifully. Her words make the story flow very smoothly and reinforces the story very well, making us see things more clearly and feel things more intimately. So charming.
Apart from all the fun it gave me, this book made me shed a lot of tears (oh, Ash). And I loved every minute of the journey I traveled with Meghan. I hope it's only getting better from here, as I am now ready to take on the next books.(less)
Because if I was going to play in the Unseelie Court, I had to be made of ice. No, not ice. Like iron.
In The Iron King Ash kept his word to help Meghan on her quest to the Iron realm, and now Ash expects Meghan to fulfill her end of the bargain by going back with him to the Winter Court. Meghan gladly goes with him to the place where being a Summer fey is something to get you in trouble. And on top of that, she's Oberon's half-breed. All the more troubles come her way. Ash has to act cold and distant, and it's killing Meghan to think that after all they've been through, Ash is just going to walk away, saying none of that was real, that everything was just his way of making her come here. Just when Meghan thinks that she's defeated the Iron King Machina, and that there is no more threat to the Nevernever, the Winter Court is attacked from within by the new Iron King's soldiers. Blamed for the death of the oldest Winter Prince and for stealing the Scepter of the Seasons, Meghan has to prove herself and the Summer Court innocent by getting the Scepter back before Winter starts war with Summer, which can bring the end of the Nevernever, and the start of the Iron realm's ruling power.
At first I felt a little underwhelmed by The Iron Daughter because there was so much running around but nothing accomplished. I'm not saying that it was too slow, but the story just felt all over the place with no clear direction to me. I also felt that the novel was too focused on the love triangle. It is without a question heart-rending, as I can't really pick one myself (as I said in my Iron King review, I keep changing sides) but I wanted more than that. I was prepared to give this book 3 stars when there still wasn't much going on, but when the plot came together nicely I changed my mind. When actions started it was pretty much heart-stopping, and much much better than the earlier parts. I felt terribly sad and cried at the losses that come to pass, and the choices the characters have to make. Feelings are made very clear in this book and it tears my heart open. Sacrifices always get me, and those present in this book ate at my heart.
There are lot of things I liked in this book. I liked how the clues dropped in the first book played out in this one, but not to the full extent. I feel there's still a lot coming to be revealed and unraveled, something grand waiting to jump out at us once the puzzle pieces fall together. And I can't wait for that to happen. I want it to be epic. My love for the characters grew as I got to know them better, especially Ironhorse. I've grown to love his BOOMING VOICE and his loyalty. Ash is as usual a heartthrob. And Puck is just hilarious and adorable. Grimalkin is, well, Grimalkin. But sometimes I didn't like Meghan. She only stands there and is protected and isn't really doing anything on her own. But I also understand that this character is still being built up in the progress, not yet completed. I can't wait to see her when she's her true self. I didn't like that strange things happen but no one asks questions. They just accept it, but why? I would question a lot of things, were I those blind characters. This is one of the things I felt isn't very neatly done. You don't answer questions just to show the answers in an epic way later, but it still doesn't change the fact that you refuse to acknowledge issues that need to be addressed when they come up by ignoring them altogether (and probably wishing we don't catch that). Another thing is that the book says Meghan's power got sealed, and it must take Oberon or Mab to undo it. But then near the end, Meghan uses her power openly, so here's the question: When does it become undone? I don't think it ever does. Tsk tsk.
When I finished this book, my heart was racing. What an ending! My heart ached for Puck. I could feel danger looming ahead. This was almost amazing, but it wasn't there yet, sadly. I actually liked the first book better. With all these questions hanging in the air and clues that still need to be played out, I hope the third book is better!(less)
You would do anything to find your brother—put yourself in danger, bargain with the enemy, give up your own freedom—if it means saving him. You'd likely do the same for your friends, or anyone else you care about. Your personal loyalty is your breaking point, and your enemies will certainly use it against you. That is your weakness, princess. That is the most dangerous aspect in your life.
I picked up The Iron King because I was given an ARC of Julie Kagawa's The Lost Prince, which is a new series within the Iron Fey series. Not that I would've never done so if I hadn't got The Lost Prince. Actually, I had wanted to read this series for a long time, but never got around to it. I'm glad that I finally did now, because the first book is so good already!
For some unexplainable reasons, I've been unable to greatly enjoy books lately. I'm not sure if it's because of me or the books. Anyhow, I was a little afraid that if it's the former, reading this at this time might not be a good idea. But it wasn't the case at all. As it turned out, I enjoyed this a lot more than the books I recently read. Although I don't usually read fairy books, I think I'm in love with fairies now, thanks to The Iron Fey series. I plan to read a lot more fairy books from now on.
Where do I begin? I just adore almost everything in this book. Meghan Chase, 16-year-old, is an outcast at school and has one best friend: Robbie Goodfell, who always calls her "princess." But of course, she doesn't know that he means it literally, as she is, in fact, the Princess of King Oberon, King of the Summer Court in the Nevernever. Meghan doesn't discover this until one day her good little brother Ethan is kidnapped by fairies and is replaced with a changeling that wrecks the house. Learning about fairies and that Robbie is actually the playful fairy Puck in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Meghan decides to enter the Nevernever to try to bring Ethan back home with Puck's help. But once she sets foot in the fairy land, more troubles come her way.
To say that the story kept me on the edge of my seat all the time would be quite an understatement. I couldn't do anything else. I had to read. I had to know. It's exciting and refreshing and thrilling and enchanting. I love the Nevernever world building where everything looks beautiful and magical, where creatures jump out at you and try to eat you, where cats talk, where things are vivid and alive. I love how the story gives me one thing (Ethan's abduction) which leads to another (trying to find Ethan in the Winter territory) which leads to another (Ash) which eventually leads to the Iron realm. There's always something hidden waiting to come up, and I love that it's not predictable, not clearly stated in the first place. The adventure is more than fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed Meghan's journey.
The characters are the life of this book, I believe. They're very well crafted, and I love them. Meghan is a likeable character. She cares a lot about her family and she puts them first. A lot of times she makes difficult choices in their favor, putting herself at risk. I like that. Robbie/Puck got me since he first appears in the book. He's that playful, humorous, ever-smiling person you want to have as your best friend. I love when he's trolling just as much as when he's dead serious and heartfelt. Prince Ash, Puck's competitor in the fight to win Meghan's heart, didn't make me like him instantly like Puck did. He's cold, distant, and I'd say intimidating. But along the road, Ash grew on me to the point where I love them both equally and cannot pick one, therefore I resort to siding with whoever is in the scene or is speaking. They both made my heart flutter and my stomach flip, I become that giggly girl I used to be when I was 14 again. Fun times. I'm sorry Grimalkin, even though you warn Meghan (and me) to not fall in love with Ash ("Do not lose your heart to a faery prince. It never ends well."), I did anyway. And I also love you, Grimalkin, for your indifferent attitude, your tendency to appear and disappear at will, and your belief that "I am a cat" is a correct answer to any questions. You are adorable.
Good writing is hard to come by these days. If you ask me about the writing, I'd say it's SO GOOD. There was never a moment when I felt like the narration weakened the story, or annoyed me, or could have been better. To put it another way, the writing reinforces the story very well. I love the way the author describes the abstract, especially feelings—she made it look like the easiest thing to explain, and it's so to the point and beautiful. The words flow smoothly and the use of figurative language in the book impresses me a lot. So, kudos to that and all the elements that make up this book! It's a wonderful read!
PS. There are a few things that I didn't like about this book, and so I didn't give it 5 stars. I'm not going to delve into it, because these are quite minor. But one big thing is that the fight near the end doesn't feel grand enough for me. It hardly stirred any emotions in me I wanted to feel at all. The scene which is supposed to be a climax feels too much like an ordinary scene when it should be grand, and amazing, and heart-stopping. But this problem aside, this book is a delight to read. (less)
I have no father. I have no mother. Then you came along and everything changed.
Uses for Boys majorly caught me off guard. I started this book thinking it would be just another YA Contemporary about troubled teenagers. In the beginning it does feel like one; but then the story takes a totally different turn from what I expected, and led me along a road I would've never taken if it I had known any better.
Anna grows up with no father. In her early childhood, her mother would tell her again and again that Anna is all she ever wanted, and Anna loved the idea. It was bliss, until her mother starts going out all the time to chase after new husbands, one after another, and then she has no time for Anna anymore. Growing up with no father and as good as no mother, Anna turns to the people who give her attention: boys. All of a sudden boys start talking to her, saying that she's pretty, flirting with her, and Anna goes along with it, giving them all they want, one boy after another, just so she can have their company.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it's quite entertaining. If it were dull, I would've hated it, but it wasn't, so I went through it pretty fast. It has an easy narrative style, like a person talking, rather than a well thought-out piece of writing like other novels. The story is divided into a lot of parts, and each parts come up pretty randomly, so it isn't always predictable. And that's agood things. But on the other hand, the subject matter is quite discomforting. The book talks about sex pretty bluntly, and I feel weird reading this in the words of a thirteen or fifteen year old (I don't remember which one). For a young girl her age, Anna is very experienced with boys, (view spoiler)[having slept with 4 or more (I lost count), not to mention that she got pregnant, and had an abortion (hide spoiler)]. I didn't enjoy watching someone let her life slip away like that for no good reason other than to feel loved.
Her mother is partly to blame, I get that. Negligent parents do a lot of damage to their children. And we can see how Anna's mother affects her pretty clearly. She would say that she cares, but then she never shows it. What kind of mother lets her child quit school and move out at 13 to live in a boyfriend's apartment? As hard is it is to imagine, I know there are parents like this out there.
In a way, I think I understand that this book just wants to "tell it like it is" with no fancy fabrications, no glorifying, no denouncing. That would explain why the narrative is this way, and why Anna doesn't acknowledge any of her actions to be anything (not the right thing, not the wrong thing, not a mistake, not anything) other than things she feels like she has to do. Trying so hard to impress, Anna willingly falls victim to her so-called friend and boyfriends, and this is very common among teenagers. Like Anna, they're not always likeable, and don't always know right from wrong. We can judge all we want, but it's also important to understand them, why they are the way they are and why they do the things they do. To me, Uses for Boys is a story that speaks of real teenagers with problems. Even though the book falls short of plot and denouement, it's quite an easy and enjoyable read, unless you're put off by dark, discomforting stories with (too) many sex scenes.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Everyone here wants to do something in the abstract, but to get anywhere, to find a way to fight them, we're going to have to gamble everything.
A pretty refreshing read! And All the Stars, thankfully, isn't one of those YA dystopian books that are pervading the market. It's not post-apocalyptic; it's takes place during an apocalypse! Yay!
Interesting as it is, I'm not sure if I understood everything this book threw at me, because honestly, I skipped a dozen of pages. I must say that the writing is very good. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the words made up the story. The story itself started out nicely, and I was like wow wow wow wow. But after a while the excitement died down and I was bored. Again. I should mention that I'm bored by a lot of books recently. I don't know anymore if my boredom results directly from the books being boring or from my newly-developed inability to enjoy anything. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I'd say the latter. But seriously, it's got to be because of the books too, right? Maybe it's just that I have been reading boring books, so I don't enjoy it, so I'm bored.
Anyway. Good writing, nice ideas. Is it alien invasion? Not sure, but it's the most likely. I like the skin color change idea. Midnight blue with stars? I'd love that. However, the book felt too long to me. Like way too long for its own good. There are parts where nothing really happens at all and everyone's just sitting there and watching their skins go blue or green, or walking out of the hiding place and walking back and whatever. It felt boring at times because of the tedious long-winded narration of nothings after nothings. And when something really does happen, it's awesome. Like fighting aliens and science talk and something like that. The drawback is that there are too few of these. I wish the book were more action-packed.
The romance in the book is quite unexpected, but it's pretty nice. (view spoiler)[I loved that Fisher isn't the real Fisher since we get to know him. And I understood what Madeleine feels like when she knows it's not him, when she becomes unsure who she's really in love with. (hide spoiler)] I like the way the characters are all mature, even the younger ones are mature. Each of the characters is outstanding in their own ways and I like that. There's a character named Noi. I almost flipped when I saw the name 'cause I just knew that she must be Thai. I mean, no one writes about Thai people, only Thai food. So it's a little surprising to find her among the heroes, the Blue Musketeers. (view spoiler)[And I loved the alien-turned-hero Theoden, or whatever he is. (hide spoiler)]
Fight. Always fight. No matter how impossible the odds, no matter who you've lost, how you've been hurt. If there doesn't seem to be a way out, look for one. If you seem to have come to an end, start afresh. Never, ever give up.
In the end, I have to admit and remind you that I didn't understand everything. There might be some things I missed that could have changed the way I felt about this book. But the point is that this is the way I feel now. And while I don't love it like the others seem to (out of 17 ratings so far: 13 five-stars and 4 four-stars), I did enjoy it to certain levels and found this to be a very refreshing read. A good choice if you want to escape mainstream fictions!
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the author for review.
First thoughts after finishing the book: Normally I'd give two or less stars to books that bore me (because it's a crime). And I'd give four stars to books that are well-written. But this book? No stars yet. I need more time to process. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Seven-hundred and thirty days since the only guy I've ever loved died in my arms, followed me home from the hospital, and never left my house again.
Prior to the beginning of the book, Ever and her best friend and crush Frankie has got into a car accident that ended up killing Frankie but not her. Ever came home that night with Frankie's ghost, and his ghost has been around in her house ever since. Frankie's ghost is not only visible to Ever, but also to her father, mother, and best friend Jessie--they all can interact with him. Ever is still pretty much in love with Frankie until a new family moves into Frankie's old house. When she meets Toby, things start to change.
Now, the book blurb sounds really appealing, don't you think? I read the blurb and was interested, because it sounds dark and dramatic. But the book itself doesn't quite measure up. It's not that I'm disappointed, because disappointment would suggest that I have an expectation that isn't met. I didn't have any expectation. I finished this book annoyed and irritated. I didn't like this at all and couldn't see anything good in it, to say the least.
I hated that the pages are filled with nothing going on. Dates, make-out sessions, lying, blushing, sneaking, etc. All these don't quite contribute to anything! Not even the plot! I didn't even like any of the characters. Ever seems to me a very annoying person. The fact that her father's death doesn't bother her enough to talk about it or be sad about it bothers me to no end. After his death, she cries a bit and goes right back to being obsessed with boys. Are you kidding me? The best friend Jessie is a flat character whose only function is as Ever's personal cheerleader. And Toby, oh Toby, can you be any more cheesy? Sent on a job and falls in love with that job. Jeez.
In the end, I don't even know what this book is really about. Ghosts? No, not really, since the only ghost we see in the story is Frankie, and not that much attention is paid to him. Which leads to another disturbing question: why is he there at all? I mean, what's the significance? What's the point? You know, the whole ghost thing never fits seamlessly into the story. It always made me feel like it's out-of-nowhere and awkward. The whole book reads like a contemporary book, but then the ghost shows up and goes all "What's wrong, Doll?" or "dollface" or whatever, and then it's just weird. The ghost thing is displaced and everything else is very poorly done.
The most frustrating part of this book is when, near the end, something else ENTIRELY is introduced into the story that changed the book's direction. There has been no foreshadowing or anything, so this thing coming into play is just very forced and contrived. Like the idea just occurred to the author and she thought it would be fun to put it in the book, and then she did, and never went back to edit the whole book to make room or drop hints for this thing. You know what I mean? It's just bad. So throughout the course of book, the story kept changing genre directions, and it's more than annoying. Contemporary? Paranormal? Fantasy? WHAT? And then before I could answer, it abruptly ended, which totally caught me off guard. Excuse me? Is this supposed to make me feel like I'm hanging off a cliff and dying to read the next book or something? If so, I'm sorry to say that it unfortunately backfires.
Although this book sounded like something I might enjoy, it was the opposite. There's nothing about it that I enjoyed. The writing is mediocre; the plot is... wait, what is the plot?; the characters are weak and flat. I'm not glad I read it. If anything, I'm glad I got it over with and wish to have nothing to do with it ever ever ever again. Take that, Ever.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
No one knows why some girls have the gift. There are theories, of course. That it's passed down genetically. Or that girls with an open mind can see the weave of life around them at all times. Even that it's a gift only given to the pure-hearted. But I know better. It's a curse.
When I finished Crewel last night, I was caught in such a whirlwind of excitement that I spent the next two hours thinking about it. It was a fun read!
Crewel is about 16-year-old Adelic Lewys--extraodinary teenager trying to do everything she can to appear the opposite. The story is set in the world of Arras, which is a new world on top of Earth after its end. In Arras, girls who have the ability to weave invisible threads of time and matter are retrieved as Spinsters. Adelice is qualified as one. When she's taken in, Adelice learns more about what the threads can do (create lakes and mountains and people, for example), and what Spinsters can do to them (rip the threads to kill people and destroy buildings, etc.). What Adelice doesn't discover until later is that her exceptional ability to see the invisible threads with her bare eyes also sets her apart as a Creweler.
I don't think there's much to say about Crewel considering that I had a lot of problems with the world-building of Arras. I mean, I liked the idea of another world built on top of war-torn Earth, but honestly, I don't think it was built strongly enough. I could see holes in it everywhere and my questions multiplied as I went on reading. And I couldn't wrap my brain around the government and social ranks in Arras to understand it. Most of the time, really, I just didn't know who's bigger than who and who does what. This is to say that the world-building is not flawless, and I'm not sure if it was believable enough for me either.
As for the story, I have mixed feelings. While it was exciting in some places, it bored me in others. I liked the mystery the author creates when "Creweler" is first mentioned. The pacing was okay. But the glamorous parts about glamorous clothes and glamorous cosmetics of the glamorous Spinsters couldn't bore me more. The romance was good . The girl-hate annoyed me sometimes. It was just silly. The characters are okay. I didn't like any of them especially. I felt like the book started out good, and then everything went statically okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, and then things picked up really fast and suddenly in the last pages. That's why I said I was still excited when I finished it. That's the only parts in the whole book that could excite me.
All in all, Crewel is a fun read. Despite the problems I had with it, I found the writing very good. The ending left me wanting to know more. Perhaps I will like the story more if the next book answers my questions. Looking forward to it!
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
I'm going to London to find the rabbit hole. Even though I'm scared gutless of where it might lead, of...more(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)
I'm going to London to find the rabbit hole. Even though I'm scared gutless of where it might lead, of who's waiting inside for me. Of whatever I'm supposed to do once I'm there. I have to go.
Is there a better way to end 2012 and start 2013 than spending time immersing yourself in the enchanting Wonderland of Splintered? No, I don't think so. Even though I've never actually read the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, I was still able to catch up with this retelling of the famous and beloved classic, and came away liking it a lot.
Alyssa Gardner believes she's a descendant of Alice Liddell. And she believes that the females in her family are cursed; they hear bugs and plants talk. Alyssa is afraid of becoming like her mother, who is in an asylum--"mad," dressed in a pinafore and refusing to eat anything unless it's served in a teacup--and her grandmother, who, believing she could fly, jumped out of the window to her death. Splintered's Wonderland is a few notches crazier, darker, more horrible, and more twisted, and Alyssa needs to go there to fix Alice's mistakes and put an end to the curse that haunts her family once and for all. But what she doesn't plan is for Jeb, her best friend and secret crush, to get dragged along into this. As they enter Wonderland through the rabbit hole, they take on a journey to do something they didn't intend to, and become involved in a business that is not theirs--a business that, unless carried out successfully, will keep them in Wonderland forever.
What I liked about this book is its captivating spin of the original Wonderland story. As a member of this generation, I cannot help but know about the young Alice and her Wonderland. I believe I have seen a Disney film once when I was little, but I'm not sure; and I saw Tim Burton's film starring Johnny Depp the first week it came out in cinema (I enjoyed it but I didn't think it was that good). So yeah, I do know about it even though I've never actually read the book. Splintered still maintains some things from the original: Wonderland, the Caterpillar, Queen Red, White Rabbit or Rabid White, the Mad Hatter or Herman Hattington, and of course the Alice legend. But they're not entirely similar; Splintered takes an interestingly dark turn, paints Wonderland in a light that is anything but wonderful--a place full of monsters trying to either eat/kill you or use you.
In the latter category belongs Morpheus, a netherling moth (not sure what that is) who somehow grows up with Alyssa. Now, this is an interesting character. Words used to describe him depict him as a sexy, seductive and sensual being that draws Alyssa to him and influences her, rendering her unable to think straight. I think A.G. Howard did a really great job forming this character and choosing words that reinforce his personality, because man, is he hot *fans self*. I could feel his charms permeating the air even by just reading his dialogue, seriously. This is one of the characters who isn't always likeable but always enjoyable to read about. He's, in his own words, mysterious, rebellious, and troubled--"the qualities women find irresistible."
One of those women, besides myself, is Alyssa. I enjoyed it when she doesn't know how to feel around him. But I also liked Alyssa when Morpheus isn't around. Normally she's brave, smart and a little mad. A truly likeable protagonist. Girls that kick ass. Jeb is a delightful character as well. I found the IloveyoubutI'mwithhersoIcantakemymindoffofyou thing way too cliché, but I'll take it because Jeb is just so sweet and always says the right thing and and makes me swoon and everything. But in comparison to Morpheus, he unfortunately pales as a weaker and less interesting character.
On the whole I really liked this book. The writing is fantastic, the characters pleasant, and the story very entertaining. Quite action-packed, this book is a wonderful read. If I were in any position to judge, I would say that this is one interesting interpretation of Wonderland and a very well-done retelling of the classic, not to mention very well thought-out. It's thrilling, with plot twists here and there to keep things unpredictable and exciting. If you're already a fan of Lewis Carroll's book, you won't want to miss this! Or even if you're not, you won't want to miss this either!
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
Hurting is better than forgetting. As I haven't really been a fan of paranormal books, I started Brok...more(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)
Hurting is better than forgetting. As I haven't really been a fan of paranormal books, I started Broken with little to no expectation. After the first few pages, I was hooked. The prose was very delicate and wonderful to read; it sounded poetic. I loved the way the author described things in beautiful metaphors, as it really got the message, tone, and feelings across, embedded within those words. I was deeply impressed, but it didn't take long for things to go the other way around. In this case, I think it's best to quote Markus Zusak of The Book Thief: "Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness." And I don't mean the character's, I mean mine.
Things started to get bad after Emma, forever pining after her dead boyfriend Daniel, meets the new boy Alex. Then the teen girl instinct kicks in and she gets obsessed with him, saying how he makes her feel and how she shouldn't feel that way, asking questions along the lines of why-does-he-make-me-feel-this way and what-does-he-mean-by-saying-that-or-looking-at-me-like-that, which I can't really stand. This continues for pretty much the rest of the story. What's worse, Emma is obsessed with some of the sentences Alex says, and would repeat it again and again and again. I know the function of those sentences and Emma's need to repeat it, but really, the tireless repetition is a little uncalled for. It's like the writer doesn't trust the reader to be smart enough to pick up on the foreshadows, and it's a bit trying too hard to keep the whole story unified. It's too much for me, and after a few times it really started to bother me.
The plot is predictable. So predictable that I felt like it was pointless to read this book at all. There are more parts I disliked than parts I liked. And even though I really did enjoyed it in the beginning, I lost patience with it after a while and had to force myself to finish it. I mean, of course, the romance has to be so sappy that the boy is willing to do anything to be with the girl, and say something like "[My heart] doesn't beat for me. It's for you" even if they've known each other for two weeks. And of course, the boy has to be so messed up that the girl thinks it's attractive. And of course, the boy has to remind the girl of the dead boyfriend and echo his exact words and make her heart confused. And of course, the girl has to be so confused that she keeps a distance but pines for him anyway, 'cause apparently she can't live without him. These are only some examples of the worst cliches ever. Yawn.
In some ways, Broken is so bad that it reminds me of Twilight. Although Broken has better writing (only in the beginning), they're both made of uninteresting characters I don't care about, plots I don't like, romance that makes no sense and I have to roll my eyes at; overall books I can't stand. I think they're on the same level of bad paranormal romance. So readers of Twilight might enjoy this better than I did.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
There was only one reason I could ever feel that way with anyone. I belonged to him. It was then that I knew. Without a doubt in my mind, without worry of what others would think, and having no fear of mistakes or consequences, I smiled at the words I would say.
Who would've thought that I would like Beautiful Disaster as much as I do? I'd read a lot of negative reviews; but then I'd also noticed even more positive reviews. Curious, I started reading, expecting the worst, expecting to turn a page and start hating it, but it never happened. Actually, I ended up liking it -- which totally caught me off guard. I finished this in three sittings with sore butts and a slight backache. I literally couldn't stop reading. This has to be one of the most addictive books I've ever had a chance to read!
I blame it on my inner hopeless romantic. I am drawn to the ideas of love that is no good and can't work but can't be stopped. I don't even know where I got this from; it's like a chronic disease -- I can't seem to shake it. For some very strange reasons, I am in love with the idea of hopeless love, just as I am in love with heartbreaks. Though I'd hate to have to deal with this kind of love in real life, I love to read about them. And Beautiful Disaster offers me no less than that, and still a lot of fun.
It's easy to see why some readers do not like this novel. It has some of the elements that I don't like at all. To illustrate this, I hate clingy boyfriends. The kind that has been fine all their lives until they meet you and suddenly they need you to breathe. The kind that is overly jealous and will take down anyone that lays their eyes on you. The kind that goes crazy when they don't know your whereabouts and won't stop calling you until you talk to them. The kind that has your name tattooed on their skin. This is Travis, and this is insane. Normally behaviors like this would have turned me off immediately, but for some unknown reasons, I became even more engrossed in the book. I think this may be because in other books, such demeanor is simply annoying and off-putting, but in this book, it is scary like hell! It made my heart race, fearing for Abby if Travis happens to lose it, which happens quite often too. Poor minor characters who get beaten senseless. Travis's violence made me wince every time.
But I don't hate Travis. I don't know how exactly I feel about him, maybe just scared? And I definitely don't find him cute or attractive. I think he's an interesting human being who seriously needs anger management and needs to tone the over-protectiveness and jealousy down big-time. But I understand why he's like this, or at least I think I do. There's someone I know who had never been in a relationship before, and when he had his first girlfriend, he messed it all up by being -- just like Travis but without the violence -- clingy, jealous, and overprotective, because he really didn't know how to act. Could this be the case with Travis? Probably. He's never needed anyone before but when he needs Abby, it scares him, so he tries to keep her closer but it only pushes her away.
Abby, the narrator of the story, is a likeable person. I think she's smart. She knows better than to be involved with someone like Travis. Basically, he is the human form of everything she runs away from in the past to be at Eastern. But even so, despite trying to be his friend, she can't help but be attracted to him too. For whatever reasons. I found myself agreeing with a lot of things Abby says and a lot of her decisions. Travis is stupid, and he doesn't always know what he's doing, but that doesn't mean it's okay. I respect Abby for standing up for herself and leaving him when she has to. I didn't think she's being difficult, I thought she's being right. The best way out is always through, as they say.
Their on-and-off romance is more than interesting. It's many things together: heartbreaking, painful, scary, terrible, sweet, beautiful, and disastrous. I didn't always like it, but it's definitely entertaining to read. Travis is so hopelessly in love with Abby that he has his nickname for her (Pigeon, which I find a little stupid but it didn't bother me) tattooed on his wrist, which is a little extreme in my opinion, but he can be real sweet at times, too. And Abby, who's so determined not to fall for him, finds herself doing exactly that. Sometimes it seems like their relationship is doomed to fail, but the fact that it still keeps going because their love can't be stopped satisfied my inner romantic more than I can explain. It would send electricity through me (I'm not kidding. I really felt it.) and make my chest tighten, unable to breathe for a second. It was an awesome experience. Some of the words Abby says are spot-on, which I totally loved. For instance: (view spoiler)[
If I gave in, either he would change his mind about Benny, or he would resent me every time money could have made his life easier. I imagined him in a blue-collar job, coming home with the same look in his eyes that Mick had when he returned after a night of bad luck. It would be my fault that his life wasn't what he wanted it to be, and I couldn't let my future be plagued with the bitterness and regret that I left behind.
(hide spoiler)] This broke my heart. It's so precise, and I could feel the bitterness dripping from these words already. She loves him against her better judgement, and she isn't afraid to make a decision she believes is right even if it's going to hurt them. Wow, Abby. I really like her. Even though this is not how the book ends, I think I would've liked it more if it had ended this way -- bittersweet.
Having said all that, I don't think there's anything much to add. I really enjoyed Jamie McGuire's writing. It's true that I wouldn't have liked many things in this book, but because it is well-written and beyond entertaining allowed me to overlook its imperfections. Expecting the worst, I surprised myself when I realized I liked this book a lot. I almost didn't pick it up as I hesitated, and now I'm glad that I read it. I recommend this for readers of contemporary romance. And maybe older audience, because it has sex and violence in it. I'm looking forward to reading book two, Walking Disaster, which isn't a sequel but only Beautiful Disaster told in Travis's point of view. It should be interesting.
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
There is a whole unknown world that exists around us, side by side, and no one knows it is there. Except for a few. A very rare few, who can see what...moreThere is a whole unknown world that exists around us, side by side, and no one knows it is there. Except for a few. A very rare few, who can see what no one else can. And the spirits of this world can be helpful or harmful, friendly or wicked, but above all, those who see the invisible world are constantly trapped by it. They will always walk between two lives, and they will have to find a way to balance them both.
When I finished this book almost three weeks ago, I decided I wasn't pumped about it enough to write a review. You see, since I had neither praises nor criticisms, there was nothing worth saying, right? But since the day I finished the book, I couldn't help but feel bad for leaving it without saying anything. I felt I owed the original Iron Fey series that much to at least say something instead of just letting it pass me by.
I had high hopes for it. I did. And I guess everyone did, too. The Iron Fey series has been unimaginably fun, and after four main books, I'd grown to adore the Nevernever and everything in it. I remember Ethan, that little boy who was so quiet, who could see fairies, who was mature even when he was 4 years old. Well, he's grown up now, and he's changed. Broody Ethan hates the fairies' guts, which isn't very surprising since he thinks they took his sister away from him and made her their Queen, making it unlikely that she would come home. Ethan lives his life in fear of Them. He keeps a low profile, making sure to never attract any unwanted attention. His plan was going quite well until Kenzie St. James wants to be this tough guy's friend, and until Ethan accidentally looks straight at a fairy, and now They know he can see Them. Ethan then gets involved, involuntarily, with a new kind of fairies—the "Forgotten." And that leads him to the Nevernever, the place he never wants to set foot in, ever. But there he is.
I liked that this book brings back the old characters; it's a delight to see them all again. Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, Razor, and what a surprise, Keirran! And he has a love interest! Honestly, I didn't particularly love the story. I felt it was quite mediocre, like The Iron Knight, only a bit better. I din't instantly like Ethan with his brooding nature, nor Kenzie with all her contrived enthusiasm to have something to do with the fairies. I think their characters are a bit too much, too constrained. Possibly to achieve sharp and clear contrasts between them, you know, opposites attract and whatnots. I had a hard time believing anything in this book, including their relationship development. One minute Ethan doesn't one to have her around, then another he wants to kiss her. As I said, it felt unnatural.
Admittedly, I was greatly disappointed. I was expecting mind-blowing, earth-shattering, but I only got alright and mediocre. A letdown, if I may. I guess I had my hopes up too high. Still a fun book on the whole, though. Looking forward to the next book!
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
I decided I couldn't keep on going anymore. I don't have enough tolerance and patience. I've read 5 stories so far and none impressed me enough to enc...moreI decided I couldn't keep on going anymore. I don't have enough tolerance and patience. I've read 5 stories so far and none impressed me enough to encourage me to go on.
Read: As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry: Didn't like. It's a little confusing and not that well written.
Sing a Song of Six-Pence by Sarwat Chadda: I liked this! It's deliciously dark and the writing is graceful. I felt shaken a bit by the maid and her story. This one is good.
Clockwork by Leah Cypess: A very good spin! I liked this one too. The beginning is inviting, and the ending reinforces the story well. Favorite quote: I am a clock with frozen hands. A whisper out of time.
Blue by Sayantani DasGupta: I didn't really understand this. The story inking thing is lost on me, but I do like the idea and its creepiness. Favorite quote: It is a tale that lives beyond the telling. [...] As if awakened from an infinite slumber, I finally am. I can finally be.
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delaney with Max Scialdone: Seriously? Not good at all. It tries so hard to be funny when the mood doesn't support it. No. Just no. And the story is confusing and not compelling to me at all.
Still not read Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier I Come Baring Souls by Jessie Harrell The Lion and the Unicorn Part the First by Nancy Holder Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling Candlelight by Suzanne Lazear One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney Those Who Whisper by Lisa Mantchev Little Miss Muffet by Georgina McBride Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil A Pocket Full of Posy by Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg The Well by K.M. Walton The Wish by Suzanne Young A Ribbon of Blue by Michelle Zink(less)
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review.
You must listen to what I tell you. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin, to learn the skills necessary for survival.
While Throne of Glass didn't manage to get me hooked right from the beginning, it sure did capture my heart by the end of the book, leaving me craving for more. I wasn't really surprised at my blankness, as I normally don't expect myself to hit it off with fantasy books right away. There's this part of my brain that keeps doubting the credibility of things presented, that continually asks me if I really believe what I'm reading, or if the story is good enough to keep me going and suspend my disbelief. As Throne of Glass progressed, it proved itself worthy along the way, and at one point I couldn't stop reading even though I could barely keep myself awake. I just had to finish it! And then I did, but I had to take a nap in my German class the next day and had my teacher woken me up three times.
Needless to say, this book is fantastic.
Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien, a deadly 18-year-old assassin with a pretty face. Celaena is renowned as "Adarlan's Assassin," which is why the Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, has to track her down to find her as a slave in Endovier, and offer her an opportunity that might be what she needs most: freedom. But of course, freedom isn't given for free. The Prince, in return, asks that she agrees to be his "champion," to compete with other champions in a fight-to-the-death tournament organized by the King, and she'll be given freedom only after winning the tournament and serving the King as his royal assassin for 4 years. If she doesn't win it, she'll either die or go back to serve a life sentence in Endovier just as she is now. Celaena takes the opportunity, moves to the King's castle, and this is where the fun begins.
One does not simply mess with "Adarlan's Assassin" Celaena Sardothien, but entering the competition as jewel thief Lady Lillian Gordaina, she's often overlooked and underestimated. As strategies, she has to play down the smarts and try not to outperform anyone in training, fooling everyone that she's nothing special. Although she doesn't like the strategies, she has to do as the Prince and his Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, say.
Now, I have to say love triangle was the least of my expectations, which is why I was surprised when the Prince shows interest in Celaena. I didn't like him much at first, but Dorian Havilliard has his ways to win you over. I couldn't help but have a soft spot for him. There were times when I liked Dorian for his charms (he's such a flirt!) more than Chaol, who's always so silent and distant, but sweet and caring nevertheless. Both are awesome characters. Most of the time I was just glad that I didn't have to be the one choosing. I love that Celaena doesn't spend much time pining for anyone. I love that she can make a decision for herself, and that she's not afraid to end things that might get in the way of her getting what she wants most. A determined, hard-headed, kickass heroine. That's Celaena Sardothien for you.
I love Celaena. She isn't what I expected a female assassin to be like. She's funny and loves to tease people, especially the girls in the castle trying to win Dorian's heart. I found myself tremendously enjoying her character. I love that she's smart and seems to know a lot about things she does (killing, for example). And my, she loves reading and clothes! Haha. Hard to believe at first but it makes her character more interesting. She's so seriously kickass and I love it.
Apart from the characters, I also enjoyed the story very much. You can't tell from looking at the cover or reading the blurb that there's magic in the story! The mentions of magic in the beginning of the book didn't strike me as anything until "Wyrdmarks" and Nehemia, Princess of Eyllwe, start becoming involved in the story. And then, wow, bam! Blood, murders, secret passageway, ancient tomb, spirits, more secrets, mysteries, weird creatures, Wyrdmarks, more Wyrdmarks, ancient sword, whoosh, bam, bam! Haha. It's so much fun. Hardly anything can be said without the possibility of ruining your pleasure in discovering it yourselves, so I'll leave it at that.
Full of mysteries and actions and just enough romance, Throne of Glass has exceeded my expectations in many ways. The ride was more than enjoyable; it was thrilling most of the time and also sweet at times. There are still things that are left unexplained in this book (mostly about Celaena's destiny) which I can't wait to find out in book two and three. The world-building is very well-done; I totally believed it. The narration in 3rd person (which I normally don't like) works very nicely with the story as the view isn't limited to any character's limited knowledge. Sarah J. Maas's writing is wonderful and although I'm not really a huge fan of fantasy books, I'm already impressed and looking forward to the next book in the trilogy. For some reasons, I know she won't disappoint. This is a great read. I'd recommend Throne of Glass to anyone! (less)
We hiked through the sparse woods, making our way carefully down the beaten path we had created that summer, the summer of the mariposas.
I gave this book two stars because I neither hated it enough to give it less, nor liked it enough to give it more. So what happened here? Oh, I merely tolerated it. Being given two stars is just as bad as one in terms of mental health if you use my rating system. It's not bad, but it doesn't stir anything within me except for never-ending, terminal, utter boredom. The kind that can drive me crazy, kill me, make me fall asleep within 3 minutes, and make me so bored that I want to cry because there's nothing else to do, and because I blame my chronic cannot-not-finish-books disease that's slowly killing me and damaging my happiness. With that said, I assume you now understand the way I feel about this book.
I don't want to say anything much, simply because I don't really care enough about this book to want to talk about it. As a student of literature, I am fascinated by the idea of reading Homer's the Iliad and the Odessey one day. So when I saw that this book claims to be a retelling of the latter, I was deceived into wanting to read it. But honestly, it did not feel like it, it was not a retelling if you ask me. It annoyed me and bored me and annoyed me and bored me endlessly. The five girls took turns irritating me rather than made me like them. The journey wasn't fun. It dragged on and on and on and on. It could've ended much earlier than when it does. All I wanted to say is that if Homer's the Odessey were remotely anything like this, I'd stay far far away and never look back.
The moment I finished this book I let out a big heavy sigh and almost cried. It would be tears of happiness. Not because the book made me happy, but because I was happy I got it over and done with. It's still a wonder to me, 2 days later, how I brought myself to finish it. I was tolerating it for so long, putting it down and not wanting to pick it up. It asked so much from me and I didn't even want to spend any more time reading it. It's true that I didn't hate it, but it bored me so much that I wanted to die. And that's worse. Now I can move on with my life. Finishing it felt like an accomplishment in its own right, and that's about the only good thing that came out of reading this book. It's just not for me.
------------------------ I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)
"On occasion patients have dreams while in their coma. And you seem to be one of those special situations. These dreams can mix fantasy with reality, and memories of people and places sometimes jumble within these dreams."
In my opinion, Reflection is, in one word, different. It was a totally different reading experience for me. A good different too, I might add. I haven't had that many chances to read books involving coma--in fact I remember having read only one, If I Stay. So reading Reflection was kind of like trying something new.
I was unsure about it at first. I'm not a fan of confusing shifting perspectives, and this book has a lot of those. Most of the time I didn't know if I was reading it as it happens the first time, or reading it as Heather recounts her memories to the doctor. I didn't know this until like past halfway through the book, when I decided that it must still be the recounting. But confusing as it was for me, I coudn't stop.
It didn't take me long to finish this book, mostly because it was so addictive. I wanted to know more, needed to find out what's happened before and what will happen after. It was all very interesting and exciting to hear Heather talk about what she remembers about her first 6 months at college. Shitty friends, good friends, her crush, etc. There were some elements that seemed supernatural, but they turn out to be her coma messing with her memories.
In a PRS [Persistent Reflective State] coma the brain responds very differently than when it's in a typical coma. The first distinction has to do with memory.Unlike a common coma where the brain is stagnant, in PRS the brain works overtime, distinguished by overzealous brain activity [...] As it does so and the memories are called back to the surface, the mind begins to then live out those experiences, as if for the first time. To the mind, these prolonged dreams, 'reflections' as we call them, are current and real, as if living a life through the mind, but with experiences that have already occured in a person's life. As the mind sorts through memories and lives them out, sometimes it mixes people, places, and even adds imaginative experiences as it would in a typical dream, filling in parts that it cannot remember.
Not knowing what is real and what isn't kills Heather, and it killed me too. I was eager to see Heather out of the hospital and find out whether the romance with Nick was real. But there are shocks along the way. For Heather, the memories of those 6 months seem like just yesterday; but for everyone else, it has been 2 years and 7 months. Everyone has moved on without her. Everything has changed.
Reflection leaves me wanting more. Its ending is a good one, preparing us for the next book. I can't wait to read Reaction and see Heather fight to win back what she has lost. This is a very good read!
I received a digital copy of this book for review. (less)
How is it that civilization evolved the ability to shuttle someone to the moon, but other than capturing its excruciating details in every medium, it hadn't come up with anything to guide women through heartbreak? This is a story about a 17-year-old girl, Max Scott, who runs a company of her own called Ex, Inc. With the help of Max's two friends, the company helps girls all over New York get over their exes. So far Max is the guru of heartbreak, until she sees Hugo Tillman, the guy who dumped her years ago, in the neighborhood. And then this proves to her that she isn't really as over him as she thinks she is.
I liked the idea of this book. I thought it was very promising and that it would be a fun read. And in a way, it is. I expected it to be a YA novel, but it turns out to be chick lit with YA characters. Now, my experience with chick lit novels in the past has told me that I don't tend to like them that much --there are only a few chick lit books that I have given the maximum of 4 stars to. And while I liked Over You enough, there are some things in the book that kept me from fully enjoying it.
In the very beginning, I had a problem getting into it. To begin with, I'm not really a big fan of third-person omniscient narration in chick lit, and this is exactly how the book is narrated. What's more, the run-on sentences (some are 7 lines long!) with lots of punctuation marks make me constantly lose track of what's being said. This wasn't fun. The progress was slow and I was annoyed more than anything. But after a quarter of the book, it became less difficult for me. I'm not sure if this was because I'd already got used to it or the writing really was better. Still, I wasn't impressed with the writing, to say the least.
There are many ways the book could have been better. Especially in the character department. While they're fun to read about, they don't have much depth. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. Max is a good character, but I'm not sure if I liked her. She's portrayed as strong, confident, and someone who knows exactly what she's doing and doesn't let anyone mess with her. But years ago, she's been broken too. Max's breakup with Hugo, as revealed later in the book, is very miserable and involves goose shit. I liked how she thinks she's fine until Hugo comes back into her life again and she loses her cool. That's as realistic as a relationship can get. But I don't like the way the book makes Hugo a jerk. I mean, Max is seriously not over him and she loves him so much still, and when they have another shot, the writers decide to make him the biggest asshole ever so that she realizes he's not for her and so she can easily make a decision to go back to her present love interest and easily get over Hugo. What I'm trying to say is, after all the crying and pining, if he's really that much of a jerk, how come she doesn't realize it until now? But that's not the point. The point is that I find it a very bad plot device -- one that weakens the conflict in the story and makes everything too easy. Hugo is an important character because he makes all that Max think she is come crashing down. Hugo could've had much more depth to his character and be used to make Max doubt herself even more before she finally gets over him, which would make the story much more powerful.
Bottom line: Over You has a very promising idea and is a light and fun read, but it could have been much better.
I received the digital version of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher for review. (less)
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
This book is very hard for me to review.I've been trying to find the words to say...moreA digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
This book is very hard for me to review. I've been trying to find the words to say about this book and it seems like I still can't find anything worth saying. I enjoyed the book, and that's about it. I don't really have any opinion on the book, partly because it isn't all that memorable to me. Not the kind of book that makes me sit and think about it after finishing. This one's more like the come-and-go to me. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and now that I've finished it, I don't really have anything to say about it, I just let it go.
Knee Deep is about Ronnie who finds herself in a love triangle. She's been with her boyfriend Shawn forever, and he's all that she knows. Luke is their mutual best friend, who's sweet and relaxed and comfortable to be around. But lately Shawn hasn't been himself, or his "old self", the guy Ronnie fell in love with years and years ago. Her teases and jokes can make him suddenly rigid and glare at her now these days. Ronnie's tired of having to worry about him and not knowing how to act around him without doing something wrong anymore. She doesn't even know what's wrong. Shawn doesn't tell her anything except that he's stressed and his father's stressed and his family's stressed. Ronnie puts up with everything, even when glaring turns into angry outbursts and into grabbing and bruises, believing that things will get back to how they used to be if she gives him enough time. At the same time, Luke and Ronnie get to spend more time together because they're in a play together. She finds herself feeling something she shouldn't with her best friend.
This isn't the most original plot ever, but "I'm a sucker for stories that involve best friends having a chance at more." (Quoting the author. Yes, me too.) So I wanted to read this and see how it'd go. And yes, I found the same old I-feel-like-I-can-just-be-myself-and-comfortable-around-him, and the why-do-I-feel-this-way-he's-my-best-friend thing. There are a lot of sentences similar to those in the book and at one point, it really got too much. Would it be so hard to just admit that you're in love with your best friend? Instead of saying you don't know why you feel this way, or that he's just Luke? I guess I wasn't really impressed with Ronnie trying so hard to pretend to not acknowledge her feelings.
What surprises me is the abusive part, which I totally didn't expect. She should run, but she doesn't. She doesn't want to rock the boat after being together for so long. I really don't know how to feel about that. Of course, it's stupid, she should leave him, but I also understand that when you're in a relationship for that long, you're afraid to change things, to cause even a little change in how things are, and you want to hold on and believe that it'll be okay soon. Ronnie must feel like that, and we can't really blame her, can we?
I wish I can say this book made an impression on me. It didn't. I enjoyed the moment of reading, but after that this book just became one of the books I'll soon forget about. Some parts of the book bored me, but some were really good. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked Ronnie and Luke, but I didn't feel connected to them.
While reading, I kept comparing Knee Deep to Sarah Dessen's Dreamland, which is the best book involving abusive relationship that I've read so far, which I seriously loved. The violence in Dreamland is more disturbing and much stronger. It sent chills down my spine. It felt more real and cruel, and that made me so into the story. Knee Deep just falls short in comparison. I think this is one of the reasons this book left me kind of underwhelmed. It's not strong enough.
Well, I told you I don't really have anything to say about this book. Yeah, it's enjoyable. It's a good read, but that's it. Again, I seem to be the minority, as everyone else who's read this book seems to really like it or even love it. I don't know if something's wrong with me, preventing me from liking this book as much as everyone else. I find it okay, mediocre, not something special. It's not for me. Sorry for the honesty. If you're looking for other books by Jolene Perry, I'd suggest Night Sky. I certainly enjoyed it more than this book.(less)
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review.
First of all, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous book cover! I fell in love immediately with this book just by looking at it. But of course, looks can be deceiving, and that what looks pretty on the outside just might be rotten on the inside. Like this book, for instance.
Temptation is a story about Rose and Noah, two love birds who can't be together. After her mother died, Rose and her family move from the city to a farming community called Meadowview. There she meets her new neighbors, Noah Miller and his family. At first sight they fall madly in love. It should be simple, right? Boy loves Girl and Girl loves Boy, they should be together! But they can't, because Noah is Amish, and he's supposed to find an Amish girl and marry her. He's not supposed to fall in love with an "English" girl. Their families and lifestyles keep them apart, but all these differences can't stop them from trying to find ways to be with each other.
I'll admit that I'm a sucker for hopeless love that just can't be but happens anyway. This book should be my thing, shouldn't it? Yeah, I thought so too, but sadly, I ended up hating this book, which is something I totally did not expect.
I have spent many days trying to think about what I liked about this book, but nothing came up. I really did try. All that I could think about was how I had to push myself to go on with this book, how I always wanted to put it down as soon as I picked it up, and this story annoyed me.
So what are my problems? Well, the characters! Of course! They ruined everything for me. Since this story is narrated in both Rose's and Noah's points of view, we readers get to know their every thought. Rose sees Noah as a totally drop-dead gorgeous hottie whom she can't take her eyes off. But Noah really comes across to me as a selfish being. He's manipulating in that he comes up with ways and ideas to make Rose do what he wants. Like suggesting pregnancy so that their parents might make the marriage happen. And threatening her that their relationship will be over if she doesn't become Amish. Please. The ideas totally disgusted me. Rose is 16, she can't be thinking of getting married, let alone getting knocked up just so she can be with him! And Rose, poor girl. She's so senseless. There are times when she sticks up for herself and gets angry at Noah's hurtful words, which is good, but she eventually lets him have his way. Just a kiss and then she forgets everything, including the fact that she has a whole life ahead of her, too. Oh, did I tell you how manipulative Noah is? Yeah. That boy gets what he wants, and she gives it to him. I couldn't stand either of them. I hated both characters as much as it is possible to hate a fictional character.
The plot of this story sounds really good. It's a kind of plot I usually fall for and love. But this one? Not at all. The idea of "love" in this book seems kind of ridiculous. To me, it's not so much "love" as "lust". They see each other for the first time, they check each other out, and then THEY FALL IN LOVE. Right. It wouldn't sound that incredulous in other context, but in this one, with both shallow, conceited characters, it feels wrong. When she says she loves him, or he her, I just wanted to barf. The fact that this relationship moves too fast annoyed me too. What's the hurry? And no, it's not romantic. I can tell I found absolutely nothing romantic about this book. Everything they do either seems selfish or is a means to another end.
The ending is totally disappointing for me. I kind of expected Rose to wake up and know what a mess she's in, and do the right thing, but of course she has to go and piss me off again. The incident near the end of the story, the one that changes things, would have seemed romantic for some readers. You know, how do I live without you kind of romantic. But for me, it shows nothing more than that Rose is too lost in the haze of fear and the freshness of the incident to make a decision that will be best for her.
Am I planning to read the second book? Maybe. The excerpt of the first chapter of book two, which is included in this book, already tells me that there'll be lots of problems coming. All I want to know is how far Rose will go to do the right thing. But really, I don't care anymore. It'd be great if someone just tells me how it ends, because I really don't want to waste my time getting pissed off at them anymore. Totally not worth it.(less)
"Hey, look. It's that girl. That rape girl, right?"
After Adam's raped Valerie and her mother's told the police, Valerie is labeled the "rape girl" and a liar. Her friends turn their backs on her because they either really don't believe her, or they just want to still be on Adam's side, the popular people side. Valerie is torn. She's the victim, but people treat her as if she's the guilty one. She's separated from class and can't show her face in public, while the rapist still lives his life normally as if nothing's happened. What's more, Valerie is blamed for making up a story that will keep Adam from his becoming a missionary. This is ridiculous.
While I was drawn to the heavy subject matter of this book at first, I regret to say I didn't like it. I didn't feel connected to Valerie at all. This is probably because the author didn't allow us readers to get to know her that well within the limited 126 pages. Yes, this novel is very short, and that's the problem for me. There's hardly any tension to feel at all. And although this is a young adult contemporary, I feel like Valerie's voice isn't strong enough. It sounds like a teen voice, as in a 13-year-old teen complaining about life or something like that. I could hardly feel anything from her words. If anything, I think she's only telling a story without showing us how she feels. It's hard to like a character when she doesn't really allow us to feel her emotions, in my opinion.
I won't argue that it sucks. Being raped and still getting treated like the wrong one. And having to go through all those tests, rape kits, interrogations, and everyone's whispers and stares are no fun. Your life changes even if you're the victim. I know, it sucks, it's terrible, it's infuriating, and it definitely isn't fair. But I have to say that the book doesn't portray it that well and is well-developed enough for me to like it. This isn't the best story about a rape victim either. In the end, it still remains unclear whether or not Valerie can put it behind her and move on. But honestly, I don't care about her enough to want to find out.
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. (less)
A digital copy of this book was provided by JKS Communications for review and blog tour.
Let me begin by just saying I did not like this book. I honestly don't know why I was interested in it, because reading the provided summary just now, I realized that it's not the kind of book that I would normally read. I have no one to blame but myself for this part. Lessen learned. Always make sure the book is something you really want to read before committing yourself to it.
In this review I'm going to be brutally honest. There are a lot of things I didn't like about this book, and sadly, none I liked. While this book neither enraged me nor bored me, reading it was a bad experience for me, and I didn't think the book was even well-written, so I had to give this book a lonely one star. It simply isn't my kind of book.
First of all the problems I had with Turquoise is this: the narration. I didn't like the way the book is narrated in the present tense when it really sounds more like a recount of the past. I found that maybe the past tense might be more fitting. This annoyed me a little bit.
The biggest problem is the undeniable fact that I didn't like the story. It touches on Turkish politics, which is always a sensitive subject. I normally don't enjoy books involving politics to begin with. It also didn't help that I have no background information about Turkish politics. It just failed to interest me. The love story isn't even interesting. Love at first sight? Alright. Constant obsession? Understandable. But that love is requited? I didn't buy it. And all these fusses about marriage and love affair? They exhausted me. This book did.
There was also a problem with the characters. Honestly, I didn't like any of the characters. I can't even try to tell you about them or even the main characters because I really had no idea what they're like. I didn't know them. Plus, there are simply too many characters to keep up with. I finished the book not remembering anyone but a few main characters. The other characters are just names without faces, who come in here and there to keep the story going, coming to visit, only to disappear and come back almost a hundred pages later or something like that. The way the author tells us about them doesn't make them at all memorable. They're flat and lifeless. And there are just too many characters. Much more than I find necessary in a novel.
Not only did an excess of characters prevent me from enjoying the book, but also the constant switching of places. It seems the characters in this book are always going from somewhere to another. From this house to that, this city to that, this country to that. They move all the time and I found this very confusing. I didn't know where they are most of the time, and at one point, I decided I didn't care anymore.
And the length. My God, the length! 456 pages is no joke. I think I wouldn't have picked it up had I known it is this long. (Lesson learned!) I had been reading this book thoroughly and attentively until I was around 64% of the book, then I just lost my patient and skimmed all the way through until the end. I have to say I saw the "resolution" coming. Waiting for your partner to screw up (when you've been secretly misbehaving all the time) and using it as an excuse to end your marriage and then flee. As if your misconducts have been justified. Classic.
To sum it all up: I didn't like this book. I wish I hadn't read it at all. It's not for me.
I received the digital version of this book from the publisher for review.
This book isn't really what I expected it to be. Of course, I wasn't expecting anything religious. My first impression was that this is a story of a girl who's chasing her dream. This kind of stories always gets me. It fascinates and inspires me to see people fight so hard to get to where they want to be and become who they are. I thought that was what this book would be about. But no, it's far from it, actually. I don't know why I didn't see it coming, seeing now that this book is in the "religious" category in my book catalog. Maybe I did know it and already forgot that I knew. All the more reason to be careful with choosing books from now on.
As I'm not a big fan of religion-based books, this one didn't leave that much of an impression. But don't get me wrong. It's not bad. The story is kind of fun, and it remains light throughout the whole book. Too light, in fact. I have to say that I find it a little disappointing. There isn't much conflict going on here, nor surprising twists and turns. There's also very little excitement. This is a very forgettable book for me.
I find the characters in this book so very incredibly flat, even the main characters. Kara, who's a sweet girl, good at heart, and an aspiring actress, remains that way till the end. And so does Chad, perfect boy. Eternally good. The evil characters remain evil. While I can see how a normal girl can be attracted to a pop star, Chad's attraction to Kara doesn't feel believable to me. It's accurate to say that I'm not very impressed with the characters.
The only thing that changes in this book is Kara's belief in God. She starts out as a non-believer, but people she hangs out with (Addy and Flora) are Christians, so they try to influence her. Is "brainwashing" too harsh? Maybe. But it really did feel that way for me. There's no reason for you to shove your belief in people's faces and try to convince them to share the same belief. It was irritating for me. Despite the brainwashing and God talk, Kara still remains skeptical for some time. She asks all the questions atheists ask, and that's good, because it seems believable. I was happy that she doesn't jump into it right away and convert, at least not then. But of course, something happens and then she changes her mind in an instant. I guess her change of faith is to be expected, since this is a christian book, but the manner in which it is done is so sudden and in no way believable.
To me, neither is this book inspirational nor interesting, but it's not bad either. It's a little fun, an overall okay read, and that's that. (less)
I received the digital version of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review.
"Love shouldn't exist but it does. It's the biggest anomaly, some might say the biggest defect, of the whole human race. But it's the most beautiful anomaly. I understand that now. And I would give up anything for you, even if you don't feel the same way. Because I love you."
In Glitch, everyone lives underground in the Community because they're told that the surface is dangerous and deadly. Everyone has a v-chip at the back of their neck that connects them to the Link. When they're connected, they zone out and become a drone; they don't think, don't notice beauty in things and they don't feel any emotions. This is so that order can be maintained in the community where everyone serves a purpose. Order first, order always. But what happens if something is out of order? Someone like Zoe? Zoe starts glitching. She is somehow disconnected from the Link and she can think for herself and feel emotions unfamiliar to her. These behaviors are anomalous and need to be reported, so that they can fix her. But Zoe is reluctant. She wants to be fixed so that she doesn't have to live in fear of possible deactivation if they find out, but she also wants to embrace all these human things. She still wants to feel, to think, and to draw. Watching people go on being drones, she realizes that this is nothing but slavery, and together with a few others who malfunction like her, she will struggle to free herself from the Community and claim the freedom that's been taken away from everyone.
This book didn't start out as an easy read for me. It starts with Zoe telling us about a day in her life which includes drawing, breakfast, going to the market and telekinesis. I feel that the author didn't do well enough with the world-building for a dystopian book, so it was really confusing for me for a long while. I didn't get why everyone has to live underground, and how exactly the uppers rose to power, and how the society is run. I didn't get how it is that people live underground and take subways from housing units to school or whatever. I mean, I used to wonder a lot what it'd be like if we all could live underground. I was in Singapore earlier this year and had fun exploring its little underground city. It's so huge and it's so endless. But even as huge and endless as it is, I doubt it could house a nation of its own like in Glitch. So I had a tough time trying to believe this. Plus, the description didn't help. I found it lacking and confusing a lot of times, especially when it comes to describing Zoe's room. From the narration, I came up with at least different five versions of her room, each for a different scene. One time, the bed looks like this and stands there; another time, it looks different. I don't know if it's just me or it's really the way it's written that's so confusing, but reading this really did annoy me.
And sadly, the confusion wasn't the only thing that prevented me from fully enjoying the book. I found it off-putting that Zoe doesn't know words that have to do with feelings and emotions. I would've been okay if she doesn't know any of those words at all, but she does know some of them, which is hard to believe, because why would she know these and not those? She doesn't know, for example, "sorry," but she knows what "embarrassed" means. Huh? In the society where nobody feels anything, isn't it supposed to be just as likely that she doesn't know both words? And how come does Adrien, the main boy, know them anyway? I don't buy it. While Zoe seems to not know a lot of words, Adrien seems to have a few favorite swear words. And of course, he has to say at least one of those words in every sentence he utters. 17 "shunting"s and its variations, 13 "crackin'"s (mostly crackin' hell), and 13 "godlam'd"s. Whatever they mean. But seriously? Aren't they a bit too overused? Are they supposed to be his signature words or what? It's irritating to have to see them appear over and over again.
In a way, this book reminds me very much of George Orwell's 1984. There are the upper-class men who live luxuriously and tell lies, and there are the lower-class people who believe those lies completely, who serve a purpose in the society, who just don't know any better about anything, who think whatever they have is all there is to life. And then there are rebels who think they can make a change. I regret to say that I find all the characters incredibly flat and I don't even like any of them, but I don't hate them either. Zoe is boring for most of the book, constantly getting into troubles and having to be rescued by Adrien, her prince on a white horse, who seems to be shunting sweet and all but swears too godlam'd much. Did I mention there's a love triangle? Oh yes, there is. Zoe, Adrien, and Max. Now, Max is a friggin' psycho. He's had a crush on Zoe ever since he started glitching, and when he finds out that Zoe is also a glitcher, he's very happy because now he can tell her she's all he's ever thought about (creepy much?), force her to make out with him and ask to see her "genitalia" (he really asks her that) so they can explore "pleasure." Awkward? I thought so too.
Anyway. Despite everything I've said, the book starts becoming a lot more fun later in the second half. And that is why this is another one of the love/hate cases. I can't say anything much about the fun without including spoilers, so I won't. But let me tell you this: this book is a huge troll! One minute it's clear this is the bad guy, that is the good guy; another minute it's reversed, and the next minute there's someone else claiming to be the good guy, and everyone else is the bad guys. WHAT? It's this uncertainty that makes reading it fun. It's extremely action-packed near the end of the book, which is something totally worth reading. I had to hold my breath and I couldn't take my eyes off of the pages. It messed with my head so much, but I had to know! So that night I ended up going to bed at 2 AM or something. It was exhilarating.
In the end, I can say that I definitely don't love this book, but I like it enough. It's true that I struggled with the world-building and mostly everything about the book, but I found the action parts to be such awesome fun. And while everything else just falls short, I can still manage to give this book three stars. It's enjoyable, and surely not something special. Like many other love/hate cases, I can't really say if I would recommend this book for anyone. It was an okay to good read for me.(less)
An e-copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher.
"That's what love is like—it's mysterious and far away, and we can never even really touch it—never hold it tight at the same time, never let it go. But we can hear it sometimes, honey. Like music. Music from beyond the moon."
The first thing I have to say about this book is that I'm glad I finally got it over with. Had it been a wonderful read? No, not really. Was it more like a sleeping pill? Yes, yes, yes, definitely! After 20 days, an end was put to this misery of mine. Who'd have thought a 266-page book could take me this long to finish? This book is incredibly boring. There, I came right out and said it. Am I being harsh? Maybe. But if I were a reader looking for the next book to read, and thought this book might be it, that's what I'd want to know. There are a lot more better ways to spend your time than with the wrong book, trust me.
Music from Beyond the Moon started off pretty amazingly for a book that could literally bore me to tears. It's 1924 when a baby boy is abandoned by his mother in the backyard (I think) of a house owned by two southern women in a place called Love-Oak in Florida. The women, Fiona and Glory, take him into their home and give him all the love in their world. They give him a name (Victor), love him and raise him like he was their own. But the plot isn't what I'm talking about here. Here is the one thing I liked about this book: the writing. I could see vivid details of what was going on. I could feel the emotions coming out of the characters. I loved that. The author's words are very well chosen and they form these amazing sentences. Oh, her writing is gorgeous! I'm a sucker for good writing, alright.
Here's my favorite: "Her thoughts are like wild birds flying blindly around a cage they didn't know was there."
I loved the way her words are strung together. It's kind of sad that that's where the compliment has to end. However good the author's way with words may be, I can't like her book if the story isn't well written, and that's definitely the case. I lost interest as soon as 2% of the book was over. That's just about how good the book is to me. That's a little before the part where the author started making the book so off-topic and lose its focus on the story that it was hard for me to try to understand why she did this. That's where enjoyment ended and "tolerance" started.
There are quite a number of problems I had with this book. The author seemed to have written everything about every one of the character, which is quite over the top. Do I need to know how the lives of everyone were before the book starts? Of course not. Most of those things are totally unnecessary. So many stories about the past of these characters are put in the book that it made me wonder what this book is really about, and whom it is supposed to focus on. I understand that the past needs to be told in order to shape the future, but it really wouldn't be that difficult to cut out the mumbo jumbo and unnecessary sub-plots, would it? That would have made my reading much easier and more comfortable. This book has a problem staying focused on the main plot, and that's very annoying. It leads you off-topic for what seems like 20 pages and that makes it hard to get back on track, and you don't remember anymore what was happening before that. When a book is written in this manner, it usually gets a bye-bye from me.
The message of this book to me is pretty clear. Since Music from Beyond the Moon is a book about love and the tragedy it brings, its makes you see how love can break you and how terrible something as wonderful as love can be. Heartbreaking stories of each character are told one after another: A woman who thought she knew love but didn't; a good girl gone bad loving the wrong guy; a mother who had to go; love between two young people that just can't be; etc. Sometimes I could feel their pain, but most of the time I was annoyed instead. I would've really liked this book if it hadn't been for the way it was written.
So here's the bottom line: I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.(less)
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review and book tour.
Girl I’ve loved, girl I’m falling for. Now that they’re both in view, the problem is clear.
This is the second book written by Jolene B. Perry that I've read. Night Sky is an addictive read, which explains why I was hooked since the very first sentence all the way until the end of the book. I enjoyed it very much.
Night Sky is told by a male narrator, Jameson. Jameson has a best friend named Sarah, but she doesn't know that he's been in love with her for three years. His heart is broken to see Sarah get together with Eric. That night while he's driving home, he spots a lost girl and offers to give her a ride home, which happens to be just across from his. That's Sky, and so begins their relationship. Sarah and Sky couldn't be more different. According to Jameson, Sky is all tall, dark and angles. Sarah is all smooth, short and soft curves. Jameson finds himself becoming addicted to Sky and craving her presence more and more, but his feelings for Sarah are still left unresolved. Being with Sky, who insists on brutal honesty at all time, makes Jameson realize that he's falling head over heels for her in a way that's not the same as his being in love with Sarah.
There are a few things about this book that impress me, but let's just start with the fact that I really like its story. I'm glad that this book isn't just about a love triangle, about a guy trying to figure out who he wants to be with, because it definitely felt deeper than that to me. There are family issues that send shudders through me. It felt so real! And there's this thing about "honesty" in this book that really makes you think. Yeah, why can't everyone just be honest? No more guessing and over-analyzing for anyone else. That would make life much easier, wouldn't it? But if you think some truth might scare someone away from you, someone you care about very much, would you say it anyway?
Initially I didn't get this honesty thing about Sky. I didn't see why it's so important, but near the end of the book I understood. And I loved that the foreshadowing is followed by such a twist. I loved that I didn't even see the twist coming and that it isn't just out of nowhere. It didn't feel forced, and it comes at just the right moment. That's one of the great elements in this book.
Another wonderful thing I have to mention is that the male narration feels so natural! Forced and unnatural narration is a big turn-off for me. At first I had my doubt, because not a lot of female writers can really pull that off. But after I've read this book, I have to say that Jolene B. Perry did an awesome job with the narration! It's so believable, the things Jameson feels and says and does are the things that guys feel and say and do. I didn't have any problems with it at all. Throughout this book I saw how Jameson gain maturity, come to terms with his problems, and finally figure out what he really wants. I found myself going along with him like it was the most natural thing in the world.
While I enjoyed Jameson's storytelling, I can't say I liked Sky. Sky is a Native American who comes with mystery and leaves with mystery. She wears next to nothing most of the time. She accepts a stranger's offer and jumps into his car; she strips down to black panties and jumps into his pool. I'm not sure if it's because of the way she's written and portrayed or because I just don't like girls like her in the first place. Although there are some things that I couldn't grasp about her, she's nice enough in the story that it didn't really bother me.
However, I think Sky, among other things, did slightly affect my overall liking towards the book. I think this book is 'good', but it's not what I'd call 'great', as I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't see any quotes memorable or outstanding enough to highlight. Night Sky is well-written with dramatic plot twists, great character developments, and natural, enjoyable narration. If you're a fan of coming-of-age stories, I recommend this book to you. There's something about it that's very addictive and the next thing you know, you might still be up at 2 AM, caught up in this book like I was, unable to put it down. (less)
This is a story about a girl with a stellar vocabulary who is four years away from college and a year and a half away from a driver's license. About a girl trapped in a hostile universe where the virginity clock is ticking down--relentlessly--with zero consideration for her extenuating traumatic, lifealtering circumstances.
Let me start off by saying that this book is not for me. From the start, I knew that I wasn't going to like it much. Throughout the book, the story failed again and again to interest me. It's just incredibly boring This is one of those books that I won't want to pick up again once I lay it down.
Which is, to be honest, quite unexpected. I know Rose has lost her father in the war in Iraq. And I tend to love books whose main character's father is dead, which I can totally relate to. But most of the time I was annoyed by Rose. Her character isn't all that believable to me. She is supposed to be angry as described in the blurb. But no, she feels pretty normal to me. Just any other normal teenager who's pessimistic and sarcastic and annoying. Rage issues? Please, what an overstatement. It's just a way to make Rose sound more interesting, I guess, but it's so deceiving. She does have angry outbursts but only no more than 3 times, and they are nowhere near rage issues. She claims to be very smart, but I really couldn't see how.
The other characters in the book are also just as, if not more, annoying. There are your typical mean girl named Regina (but is nowhere near epic as Mean Girls' Regina George), the best friend who can only talk about "doing it" without protection with her boyfriend, and the crush--oh, the unattainable crush who's with someone else but plays with Rose's heart anyway and then quits by saying he's not for her. Hmm. I'm not sure which one of them I want to punch first.
Frankly, I feel like this book is maybe for the teen age group. It really didn't do it for me. There are a lot of things that I really don't like in the book that feel immature and childish. Girl drama, crush drama, best friend drama. None of that really interests me. And in the end, I could say that the plot really goes nowhere. No character development, that's for sure. I couldn't feel the climax, if there is one. The story just goes on and on, and then abruptly stops. Seriously. I emphasize, abruptly. And then? Oh, there'll be book two! Haha, well, too bad I'm not impressed enough to want to stick around when it comes out. This is a very forgettable read for me.
I received the digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.(less)