At the end of May, I was pining for this book. I mean, I wanted this book so bad. Doesn't it just intrigue you reading this little bit? It certain snaAt the end of May, I was pining for this book. I mean, I wanted this book so bad. Doesn't it just intrigue you reading this little bit? It certain snagged me. Then I saw it wasn't coming out until the end of September. I was sad. Then I saw it was at BEA and I thought to myself "WHY, OH WHY am I not there?". More sadness.
BUT THEN. Oh yes, then. THEN, I was at ALA Annual and there she was. Mara Dyer. And she was mine. I read this book back in July and let me tell you what - I'm STILL wild about it. There is sassiness, snarkiness, love, flirting, MYSTERY, and just a tinge of that teenage angst that makes me so happy.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer follows our protagonist as she tries to understand what happened when she was the sole survivor of a collapsed building. Mara, along with the reader, slowly starts to figure out what exactly happened that night and what's going on, at the same time as some murders seem to be occurring. This book reminded me very much of The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson minus the Sci-Fi aspect.
If you're looking for a "psychological thriller with a paranormal twist", this is your go-to Fall book. I woke up at 5AM to get reading in before work if that tells you anything about how AMAZING this book is. Oh and yes, I called dibs on a fictional character and this is my proof....more
Sigh, I was really really excited for this book. And I really wanted to like it. But I just..didn't. I feel like it starts out confusing and just keepSigh, I was really really excited for this book. And I really wanted to like it. But I just..didn't. I feel like it starts out confusing and just keeps that trend going throughout the entire book. The jargon and term words are used as though this was a sequel to a book and poorly explained. By page 50, I still had no more insight to this world than page 1.
Most of the time I would be right in the middle of a scene and think to myself 'What is the point of this book?'. Whenever that happens, you know that things are bad. I didn't understand why Violet had such a big attitude or chip on her shoulder and while Elana tried to make Jag seem super sexy and mysterious, I only found it strange that Violet would suddenly give up 5 years of loving Zenn after a week with Jag. Sorry, but love doesn't work like that. I felt like Violet was trying to be "bad" just for the sake of trying to be bad. It felt forced and only irritated me. Was I suppose to be cheering for her?
Overall the writing aspect of it was great. The descriptions and the actual writing was some of the better work I've seen this year. But I felt like Elana was trying to make this dystopian novel and Violet so much "different" than what is out there right now that it made the book turn out odd. The ending? I get where she was trying to go for the whole "OMG!" twist, but I just thought it was trying too hard.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh. But really, I had to force myself through this read.
You'll like this book if you love all things dystopic and don't mind what feels like an incomplete book....more
So, Rhine and Gabriel are on the run. Rhine is desperate to get back to New York City and reunite with her brother, Rowan. Fever is the journey that RSo, Rhine and Gabriel are on the run. Rhine is desperate to get back to New York City and reunite with her brother, Rowan. Fever is the journey that Rhine and Gabriel make to try and get to New York City. Will they be successful and even if they are, what will happen once they get there?
I was a little bit afraid that Fever was going to be too much of a “middle novel”, with nothing but fluff in the middle and the “boring” stuff that happens in the second book in a trilogy. But, boy, was I wrong. This book is an intense ride that will have the reader on the edge of their seats wondering who can be trusted and what will happen next. Where Wither was a little more of getting to know Rhine, Gabriel, and all of the other characters – a little bit slower with the pacing, Fever is the perfect pace and you get to see Rhine in a different light than you saw her in Wither. She’s stronger and I grew to like her more and more as Fever progressed.
Surprisingly, the “love interest” took a backseat to her trying to find Rowan (for me atleast). In the first novel, I wondered “Linden vs. Gabriel”, but in Fever all I wanted was for Rhine to find Rowan. This is a sign of true character development on Ms. DeStefano’s part. I cared about the main character independent from anything and anyone else.
The ending was good but I find myself not caring what happens in the next book....more
The FINAL book in The Curse Worker’s Series! What will happen to Cassel? What will happen to Lila? I NEEDED TO KNOW. And I found out.
Black Heart was aThe FINAL book in The Curse Worker’s Series! What will happen to Cassel? What will happen to Lila? I NEEDED TO KNOW. And I found out.
Black Heart was a great ending to the story of Cassel, Lila, and the crew. Loose ends were tied up and people, essentially, got what was coming to them. Did I like it as much as the first two? No, but that’s because it felt like not enough stuff was going on. It wasn’t as thrilling as the first two and I guess that usually happens in the final book of a series. I wanted more from Black Heart but let me be clear that I still loved this book.
Cassel really comes into his own in this book. I don’t know quite how to describe it but he goes from being “baby bird brother” to a REAL MAN. And I’ve enjoyed watching him learn and grown over this series.
I recommend this series to all readers, especially if you’re looking for something VERY unique and yet, can be paralleled with our world today....more
I loved just about everything about this book. It had everything I was wanting. Witty and hilarious main characteA Polynesian Jewish girl? Yes please.
I loved just about everything about this book. It had everything I was wanting. Witty and hilarious main character? Uh huh. Interesting plot? Mmhmm. Mythology? Yep.
I think one of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was the diversity of all of the characters. The group dynamic was spot on. Each character was unique and brought something different to the table. Some people might think that there are "too many" backgrounds, but I couldn't disagree more! I thought that was what made it interesting and for me, drove home the idea that all religions and types of people can and do co-exist. Plus, I think this gave every reader out there a character that they could identify with.
I especially liked the flashbacks to explain everyone's background (what happened to them before they came to Blackwood Academy). I don't usually like it when POVs hop around but this was a great way to explain where they came from (and foreshadow what god/goddess they were) without getting mushy or unrealistic (because honestly, what teenager is like "yes, I don't know you but I'm going to tell you about my awful past." Answer? None.)
Of course I can't review this book without talking about Eve. Is she good? Is she bad? Is she just playing devil's advocate? Eve is Ash's sister but what does "sisterly love" mean? As an only child, this is hard for me to understand, but I'd like to think it's similar to how I feel about my best friends! Eve was tricky and though I didn't quite understand her, for the majority of the book I did feel sorry for her. Also, can I just say..that tennis match scene was one of the best scenes I've read in a while. I was loving it.
Ultimately for me, Wildefire was about a teenage girl believing in herself and finding out what she was made of and who she was. And I loved it....more
This was one of the best debut contemporary novels I have ever read.
For the most part, this book is about Cullen; how he's feeling about "that damn bThis was one of the best debut contemporary novels I have ever read.
For the most part, this book is about Cullen; how he's feeling about "that damn bird", the loss of his brother, and his overall life. John Corey Whaley seems to have this uncanny knack for being able to have Cullen talk about himself in third person without seeming like a total douche. In fact, I found it rather charming the way he always said stuff like "When one sees..". So strangely, even though this book is written in first person and felt personal, it was still more like a story being told to the reader - like the use of full names for people who are Cullen's best friends. Maybe it's because Cullen doesn't like to let anyone in, including himself? I'm still not even sure how Mr. Whaley (do his students call him this, I wonder) managed to do this. But I absolutely loved it.
There is also another story going on simultaneously; outside of Cullen's life. And this, at the beginning of the novel, confused the heck outta me. It is the story of a college aged missionary and how he affects his college roommate. I was thinking to myself, "What the heck does this have to do with Cullen?" And about 85% of the way through the novel, I gave a BIG pat on the back to John Corey Whaley. Yes, these two stories do, in fact, have to do with each other.
Some other things that I loved about this book: The ridiculous accuracy of what it's like to grow up in a small southern town. (I'm from North Carolina and so I know what this is all about.) and the theme of second chances. (I appreciate the title of this book so much more now that I've read it.)...more
As you know, I absolutely adored Ash and the gang in last year’s Wildefire, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed Embers and Echoes as well (even if lotAs you know, I absolutely adored Ash and the gang in last year’s Wildefire, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed Embers and Echoes as well (even if lots of my favorite characters weren’t really in this book. Sad Sasha!).
Karsten Knight took us away from the boarding school setting and brought us to the “sizzling beaches of Miami” and I enjoyed the setting change. It helped me visualize how much change has gone on in Ash’s life since she figured out that she was a reincarnated goddess. And while I enjoyed new characters – hello, Wes – I missed the old ones too! It was interesting trying to see how the overall arc was being formed in this sequel and I enjoyed this book’s arc standing alone. Also, can I just say that I think Karsten writes such high action scenes SUPERBLY. I felt myself on the edge of my seat and couldn’t wait to see what the next blow/punch/action was going to be. I loved it. And OH MY, the twist and turns and WHAT THE HECKs.
This book is high intensity and does not suffer from “middle book syndrome” at all. I can’t wait to see how this all ends....more
Bittersweet takes us into the life of Hudson Avery, former figure skater and current Cupcake Queen. She lives in a small town and is bursting to get oBittersweet takes us into the life of Hudson Avery, former figure skater and current Cupcake Queen. She lives in a small town and is bursting to get out and explore the world. But what is she willing to sacrifice and who is she willing to push out of her life to make her dreams come true? And are they really her dreams or is she feeling nostalgic for her seemingly perfect past?
My first Sarah Ockler book! I have Twenty Boy Summer on my bookshelf but haven't read it and after reading Bittersweet, I bought Fixing Delilah for my kindle. I love Sarah's writing style. It was like the words came off the pages and enveloped me. And oh my goodness, the description of the cupcakes at the beginning of each chapter made me crave cupcakes like no other!
Now on to the actual book part! :) I really really enjoyed getting to know Hudson. She was a little selfish, but hey, what 16 year old girl isn't? Am I right? There were times when I wanted to wring her neck and other times when I just felt so bad for her and wanted to tell everyone else to JUST BACK OFF and let her be a teenager! I couldn't imagine trying to juggle all of the things that she does. There's a bit of a love triangle, but I was okay with it. Mainly because I could see how it was a natural part of the plot. It didn't feel forced and worked well.
If you've got a hardcover copy of this one, there are some technical issues but I'm happy to say that the paperback version will have technical figure skating changes! :) ...more