it seems that the other reviews seem to be for the full anthology, even tho this is just meant to be the Elemental Assassin short story. so, for your...moreit seems that the other reviews seem to be for the full anthology, even tho this is just meant to be the Elemental Assassin short story. so, for your information, that is what I am reviewing.
It was wonderful and great to see time between Gin and Bria. Even better seeing Bria more open, easier, about Gin and her past. Of course they run into trouble, and this had a bit of a horrific story packed away in there, but it made it that much more effective.(less)
Kia Valentines is a tall, nerdy, quick-witted teenager who doesn't mind the fact that she's never had a boyfriend, or that she's a total dork. She's n...moreKia Valentines is a tall, nerdy, quick-witted teenager who doesn't mind the fact that she's never had a boyfriend, or that she's a total dork. She's never really noticed guys anyway (and prefers to go mostly unnoticed around other people), and as far as being a total dork? She's proud of it. Kia's unapologetic attitude for who she is may possibly be the most refreshing thing about her. Then, of course, we get the girl-meets-boy, and Kia turns to goo. Complete, utter goo. And who can blame her, considering what Adam looks like. Only one problem – he's her best friend's brother. What's also refreshing is he falls just as hard for Kia, and isn't afraid of it. He's not the typical book boyfriend (okay, so technically he never is the boyfriend in this book).
Airicka Phoenix has a great knack for writing characters, and even though I've only read one other book of hers (besides this series), I feel confident in saying it's her understanding of the characters that is what draws me to wanting to read more. The characters feel like real people; Kia is a part of me, I see so much of myself in her (I'm sure that's a good thing). But the other characters are relatable, and even the bully isn't one-dimensional, evil and mean and bitchy for the sake of it because the story called for a bitch character.
The book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, and I waited until the second book was out until I read more than a dozen or so pages. But once I started reading it for good, I was hooked, I couldn't put it down. I finished in less than three hours, and man, did I laugh a lot! Some was at things meant to be funny, others at things I recognized in myself ten years ago. Not everything is hand-delivered to you, so if you don't like having any mystery about details, this isn't your book. You're meant to think. But Kia and her antics (just her klutziness alone) will have you laughing, and she is the reason for reading this book. (less)
Adam knows now that Kia is the girl behind the mask. And he's not going to let anything stand in the way of how he feels about her - not even his sist...moreAdam knows now that Kia is the girl behind the mask. And he's not going to let anything stand in the way of how he feels about her - not even his sister. Good thing Kia feels the same way.
The conclusion to the story between Kia and Adam volleys back and forth between narrators, which was a little jarring after having just finished the previous book, but it works so well for this book. I don't think this book would have worked had Kia been the sole narrator, partially because it's not just her story anymore. We're introduced into Adam and Nessie's family, and you can see just how lucky Kia has it with her mom and Joanne. Nessie really does seem to be completely victimized by her parents, who just think that if they push push push that she'll turn out to be the robot they expected. Well we all know how much that doesn't work. I think this is just another reason Adam tells Kia he's not going to push her. He knows what it feels like and has seen how it's destroying his sister.
I had a slight feeling of dread while reading (I definitely expected some sort of Cruel Intentions ending with Nessie), but I'm glad for the resolution things came to. I definitely enjoyed reading this. Kia and her klutziness, while fictional, are good to see because I'm totally the same way, and I like reading characters who are flawed. Even better, Kia embraces her flaws and what makes her human. Her makeover in the first book was a positive experience - it has made her more confident (as much as a shy, nerdy bookworm can be) and wasn't something that backfired. That was something that in a book like this, with so much focus on self-esteem and having aspects of heavy bullying, could have turned out to be a wrong move. Not here though, not with these characters.
Some of the best lines I've read in a few books were here. Airicka has such strength in writing realistic characters you want to know, I think I would read anything she writes.(less)