Holy crap, did I adore this book! I started it immediately after The Hunger Games, and carried it with me everywhere (to work, to a weekend camping tr...moreHoly crap, did I adore this book! I started it immediately after The Hunger Games, and carried it with me everywhere (to work, to a weekend camping trip) until I finished. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started it. I thought maybe it'd be a little boring after what happened in The Hunger Games. After all, no matter how cruel and despicable the Games were, how much more exciting can a plot get? The book jacket description only said something about the Victory Tour so I thought that's what the majority of the book would be about. But I was totally thrown into a loop by the events that occurred... and I loved every second of it. It made me furious, sad, scared, and excited, all in the best way possible. I never thought I'd be a Hunger Games nerd, but I'm officially converted. (less)
I'm one of those people who saw the movie first before reading the book (which I hardly ever do). Honestly, I tried reading this book a couple of year...moreI'm one of those people who saw the movie first before reading the book (which I hardly ever do). Honestly, I tried reading this book a couple of years back when it was crazy popular, but I never got past the first couple chapters. It was too boring. I couldn't even bring myself to stick through it to get to the good stuff. I saw the movie and liked it enough to want to try reading the book again. And guess what? I loved it! I couldn't put it down. The "boring" parts now made sense, and gave a lot more explanation. It gave a clearer picture of the dystopian society that America has become. I think it was done very well that it was almost believable. I hear a lot about how this premise for this book was taken from popular books years ago, but that doesn't make it any worse in my opinion. It was still thoroughly entertaining and Collins is a master storyteller. I'm definitely going to read the rest of two books in the trilogy now to find out what happens. (less)
Honestly, I didn't think this book was thaaaat creepy. Maybe I am just desensitized by now. Yes, it is a creepy scenario that the children are locked...moreHonestly, I didn't think this book was thaaaat creepy. Maybe I am just desensitized by now. Yes, it is a creepy scenario that the children are locked into a room/attic for years with only the horrible grandmother to to depend on for food. It is weird how the brother and sister fall in love and have urges for each other... but after all, they are in their prime teen years and have been locked up with each other for years. Totally understandable, right?(less)
This story is told in reverse order, starting on the one-year anniversary where we meet Ann broken on the floor after the worst beating yet.. and endi...moreThis story is told in reverse order, starting on the one-year anniversary where we meet Ann broken on the floor after the worst beating yet.. and ending on the day they met when everything was perfect. The author says she chose to write it this way so we don't judge the decisions she makes. However, when we start at the point-of-no-return, there is no gradual build up of tension, and that edge of your seat suspense, until everything comes crashing down. The only thing that kept me flipping the pages was wanting to know when the abuse started and how they met. I thought the story got less exciting as it went on (or went back?), especially after an explosive first few chapters.
What I liked about this book is that it was hard to hate Connor even though I wanted to. We learn why he is this way, even though it's still unforgivable! As the author wanted, it was hard to pinpoint an exact time where it all went wrong. So that's probably why Ann didn't know when it was time to end it. I could also understand why Ann loves him so much, because he made her feel loved when she felt invisible. But I am angry with her for sacrificing everything else in her life for him. I guess I don't really understand that.(less)
Ommmmgggg! 5 stars because a book has not knocked me over the head like this in a lonnnng time!!
I only decided to read this because all the reviews s...moreOmmmmgggg! 5 stars because a book has not knocked me over the head like this in a lonnnng time!!
I only decided to read this because all the reviews said there's a HUGE twist. So I picked it up to see what could be so interesting about a story about a group of popular mean girls... what could be done that has not been done a thousand times already. Wow! It did not disappoint!!!! The first 2/3 of the book dragged on and honestly, was pretty boring and pointless. But don't give up... stick with it and find that everything you thought you understood will be turned completely upside down!(less)
Lucy's mother's twin (who was separated at birth and grew up an orphan) knocks on their door one day. The family takes her in and teaches h...more3.5-4 stars
Lucy's mother's twin (who was separated at birth and grew up an orphan) knocks on their door one day. The family takes her in and teaches her proper etiquette, buys her new outfits, and hires her a tutor. Soon, Aunt Helen has the manner and grace of her mother. I did wonder if she had any cruel intentions, especially knowing that one twin gets murdered. When Lucy finds them one murdered and one alive, she cannot tell them apart, but is relieved when the one who's alive says she's her mother. Is it really the mother or did Aunt Helen take her place after learning how to be exactly like her?
From here on out, I was expecting a more sinister feel to the story. I was expecting to be creeped out and driven with confusion about which twin is which. But I didn't really get that. There were some tense moments that made me wonder, but I thought the book was more about daily life in Lucy's household that spans over a few years. The murder doesn't even take place until halfway through the book. Half the book was about acclimating Aunt Helen to their life, and the other half was a love story between Lucy and the boy next door, because it seemed like she was more concerned about her love life than solving the truth of the murder. But even though it wasn't quite what I was expecting, I still enjoyed it a lot nonetheless!(less)
It seems like I haven't been picking the best books to read lately... or maybe I've just gotten more picky. I honestly don't understand the rave revie...moreIt seems like I haven't been picking the best books to read lately... or maybe I've just gotten more picky. I honestly don't understand the rave reviews for this book. I was really hoping to like this book as well because it sounds like Gossip Girl meets 1920's. Books about scandalous lives of teens are the ultimate guilty pleasure reads. However, I found this book to really be quite dull. Nothing too exciting happens until the last few chapters. But I guess in that era, many of the things they did were considered scandalous, even if they are not anymore by these days' standards.
I also couldn't make myself care too much for any of the characters. If I had to choose a favorite, I would pick Letty because she was the only hard-working girl. Her adventure in New York was the only one I cared about. I wanted her to step out of her shell and find success in the spotlight. The other two girls were hard to like because they pretty much did nothing all day, and felt entitled to a life of luxury.
And just to be extra picky, it also grated on my nerves the entire time that the short name for Thomas Hale was spelt "Thom'!!
The only thing that makes me want to continue reading the series is that suspenseful foreshadow in the prologue - "one would be famous, one would be married, and one would be dead". I am interested to know the fates that will befall each of the main girls (and I have a feeling it is not going to be what I suspect), but I'm not dying to read the sequel anytime soon.(less)
Ariana is the resident good girl at Easton, the prestigious private HS. She finds herself trapped in a snowstorm with the bay boy over winter...more3.5 stars
Ariana is the resident good girl at Easton, the prestigious private HS. She finds herself trapped in a snowstorm with the bay boy over winter break, instead of being in Vermont with her perfect boyfriend. She gives in to his advances and finds true happiness in his arms. But someone is stalking them, and she's scared that her infidelity will get back to her friends and boyfriend. Furthermore, they are not allowed to be on campus during break and face expulsion if caught.
I am a huge fan of the Privilege series, and I have grown to really like Ariana in those books, rooting for her even as she is killing people left and right. I was excited to finally read this book to get insight into her character and see how it all started. It does a good job of giving the background story, and I was riveted throughout. But I didn't like Ariana at all in this book! I was disgusted at her actions. I also thought the scenarios were a bit over the top, and her reactions were too dramatic. I guess it's hard to sympathize and understand her actions, when only expulsion from school and getting caught cheating on her boyfriend are at stake. Neither will be the end of the world in my opinion. In the Privilege series, it is easier to wish her success when failure meant being thrown back in jail.(less)
It is refreshing to read a book about normal high school students. None of that paranormal or dystopia stuff that dominate the YA section nowadays. Th...moreIt is refreshing to read a book about normal high school students. None of that paranormal or dystopia stuff that dominate the YA section nowadays. This kind of book is why I miss regular, good YA fiction.
At times, this is a very frustrating book to read. Sam and her friends are SO annoying that I want to punch them. Their lives revolve around drinking and hooking up; they do horrible things to everyone "less" than them, and don't care about the consequences. But sadly, this is the way many teenagers behave. Oddly, while I'm appalled by them, I still cared about them. We get to see Sam grow up, and we come to understand why Lindsay is the way she is.
I really did enjoy this book and could not stop reading until I got to the end. I had to know how Sam gets out of the nightmare of re-living the same day over and over (I'd go insane! I think her actions on some of the days are very realistic). But when I got to the big dramatic conclusion, it left me with a "wtf just happened... that's it?" kind of feeling. I don't believe that her actions will really change anything for the better as the real world continues on. Oh well... (less)
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, since I usually don't read YA paranormal romance. I've always thought that YA romance with the...moreI enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, since I usually don't read YA paranormal romance. I've always thought that YA romance with the whole I-love-you-so-much-even-though-we-just-met thing is cheesy and annoying. It kinda was in this novel, but the other cool events that take place make up for it.
While I think the concept of time travel is intriguing, it confuses me. How can Michele change the past and rewrite history through actions that don't even happen until she goes back in time? Does that mean that 100 years ago, Philip had Michele's future self visiting him all along even though she wasn't even born until 84 years later? Time is presented as having multiple time periods existing together, and actions in each one affect the other. It is cool, but confusing. For example: did their songs exist all along, even though she just wrote them while traveling back in time? If they did, then couldn't she have heard them on Lily's records while growing up? Or did the songs magically appear on the records after she rewrote history? Thinking about it gives me a headache. But I like books that make me think long after I've finished reading.
I did not like the ending. I was happy with the story ending without the last little section. Again, it could be because I do not like cheesy YA romance too much. But the author threw in one last twist, which I did not care much for. I will read the sequel though to find out what exactly happened, and have some of the other loose ends answered. I'm interested to know the story about Michele's dad, and what her grandparents are not telling her. (less)
This series is the most satisfying guilty pleasure read. Throughout the book, I was torn between wanting Ariana to have the perfect life she's dreamed...moreThis series is the most satisfying guilty pleasure read. Throughout the book, I was torn between wanting Ariana to have the perfect life she's dreamed of, and of wanting her to finally get what she deserves for taking all those innocent lives (with the exception of Kaitlynn). Kate Brian kept me guessing throughout the whole book and I had no idea what would happen! I felt satisfied with how the series ended. It is amazing how she has created a character who readers actually sympathize with and root for, despite her being a murdering psychopath. I am truly sad the series has ended!!(less)
I waited a few days after reading to review because I needed to let the book sink in. I fell absolutely in love with the idea of the book based on the...moreI waited a few days after reading to review because I needed to let the book sink in. I fell absolutely in love with the idea of the book based on the cover, title, and the promise of creepy vintage photographs. The first couple of chapters sucked me right in. As I read on, the book took a different turn from what I was expecting (although I'm not completely sure what I expected). I guess I expected more like a paranormal haunted-house mystery, instead of a fantasy novel complete with time travel, shapeshifters, and running from monsters (and of course, peculiar children). These days, I am not too big of a fantasy reader, and it took me a while to get on board. However, I enjoyed it very much and will continue to read the sequels should this become a series.
I read this book on my nook, but after flipping through the actual book, I know that this is a book I NEED to have as a hard copy. Maybe I would have given it 5 stars if I had read it in its hardcover format. _____ *Review add-on* So it's been a month and I'm still thinking about this book... I recently had the chance to purchase this book at a discounted price, and I debated for a long time whether I want to spend money owning this book just yet. This is when I realized I rated it too high (originally 4 stars). I wanted to love this book so much that I hyped it up in my mind; but really it was the idea of this book that I loved rather than the actual story. And when I had the chance to flip through a hard copy, I was smitten mainly with the beautiful book presentation. But if I were true to my feelings about the story and re-read value, I'd only rate it 3-3.5 stars, which is still a solid rating in my system. While enjoyable, I was ultimately disappointed by the very fantasy approach it took.(less)
My favorite teenage psychopath is back in another installment of the Privilege series (which I like wayyy better than the Private series). However, af...moreMy favorite teenage psychopath is back in another installment of the Privilege series (which I like wayyy better than the Private series). However, after 4 action packed books (especially the 4th one!), I found this one to be kinda dull and more like a filler book. Lexa slowly breaks down after the aftermath of Kaitylnn, and Ariana spends the whole book trying to keep an eye on her while dealing with with some romance issues of her own. Nothing that exciting really happens until the last 30 pages or so, but it ends with a great cliffhanger. I hear that there is 1 last book in the series so I can't wait to see how the whole thing wraps up! (less)