The first one was better in the sense that it was more straight up horror, but this was still good for a continuing series where you have to have charThe first one was better in the sense that it was more straight up horror, but this was still good for a continuing series where you have to have character investment....more
A really interesting and eerie book. Another that I picked based more on the cover than anything else, and I don't regret it in the slightest. The ploA really interesting and eerie book. Another that I picked based more on the cover than anything else, and I don't regret it in the slightest. The plot plays on the Japanese archetype of the 'girl in the well' a-la The Ring. Interestingly, the book highlights the human side of the specter and how she entangles herself in the fate of a teenage boy. There's no romance plot line,more like a protective relationship, which I liked quite a bit. It read really easily and I didn't like putting it down. Smart, interesting, and just creepy enough to be entertaining....more
Forever searching for my spirit character that dresses like Cather and snarks like Reagan. Finally I would find myself in fiction incarnate. I startedForever searching for my spirit character that dresses like Cather and snarks like Reagan. Finally I would find myself in fiction incarnate. I started off really really loving this book. It resonated with some of my own college experiences. I'm still the resident nerd and fandom geek, but now in a doctoral program. I could fully identify with the introvert anxiety in a situation built to force new experiences on teenagers that Cather has to go through. The reading was light and cute initially. My interest really started to wane over Levi becoming a more prominent character. Truth be told, before he turned into a douche I was really rooting for Nick based on personal tastes. I'm a sucker for paisley accessories. I really just got to the point where Levi was more of a distraction from the twins character growth than anything. Also I kind of just thought the odd fascination with his hairline was just such a weird thing to focus on. But alas, my major complaint is the recurrent theme of needed a male character to fully draw Cather out of her clearly tumblr based lifestyle. She only needs to get a boyfriend to be normal. I acknowledge that doing so involves significant personal growth to a certain degree, but I disliked that it became the defining relationship in her life. She didn't really get to branch out fully in her own way and find other friends and grow in that area as much as I would have liked, even though it is displayed well in her changing relationships with her family and estranged mother. Basically I was much more impacted by the beginning of the book, and when it became another story about a girl ultimately needing a boyfriend to push her into a normal life I got hella bored. I just want female characters that can push themselves to do it. There is some wonderful diction and dialogue mixed in since the focus is creative writing and it makes for some very lovely passages to read. But like I said, a cute and quick read. Shout out to gingerhaze's super cute cover art too!...more
This book did not live up to my excitement for reading it. It was okay, but it reads like the diary of a teenage girl who happens to see fairies and mThis book did not live up to my excitement for reading it. It was okay, but it reads like the diary of a teenage girl who happens to see fairies and might have an evil mother but only as an afterthought to being a teenage girl. Not like in a really entertaining way like BTVS, either. It's written like diary entries, which is less annoying than it sounds in the context. I was really most frustrated by the lack of any real plot development. It was basically 'teenage girl reads a lot of books and mentions the titles and authors in passing but doesn't do much else except see the occasional fairy' for the entire book. There is a minor confrontation with witch mom at the end of the book, but that's all. No resolution because there's no conflict or plot points to resolve. I probably wouldn't recommend....more
My major problems? There's no vet school in South Carolina and there's no way a teenager could properly care for a Parvovirus puppy without at least hMy major problems? There's no vet school in South Carolina and there's no way a teenager could properly care for a Parvovirus puppy without at least having worked in a vet clinic. I don't know many teens that could work an IV set or properly dose antibiotics. It's just beyond marginally possible that dog could have survived. ...more
I enjoyed The Hunger Games a bit more than I expected to really. I thought it was a quick, light, and interesting read even though I was a bit thrownI enjoyed The Hunger Games a bit more than I expected to really. I thought it was a quick, light, and interesting read even though I was a bit thrown by the writing being in first person present tense. That was weird. I liked Katniss and Peeta. Collins wrote a very sweet, albeit, simple little love story woven in amongst the action. I'd ship it. I expected the Hunger Games to be more quickly paced but found that I like the fact that it was not one continual attempt to kill people after another. It was just as much or more about survival than it was about killing people or winning. While I did like the book, I fail to see what has inspired the almost fanatical fanbase. I will read the next two to find out what happens, but I don't get all the hype. I can honestly say I have read many more emotionally engaging books....more
I was absolutely delighted when the author offered me a free ebook copy in exchange for my honest review of her work. I must say that on the whole I wI was absolutely delighted when the author offered me a free ebook copy in exchange for my honest review of her work. I must say that on the whole I was impressed. I loved how much the reading stretched even MY vocabulary and I'm in a doctoral program, read constantly, and did pretty darn good on the GRE! I had to look words up more than once a chapter sometimes and I was thrilled that someone writing in the YA genre is opening the intellect of her audience, even if it was unintentional on her part.
With that said, I felt a somewhat strange attachment to Laila, the main character. While I don't feel that I related to her directly, I did spend a great deal of time worried about her. That probably has something to do with my life being nothing like getting to run off and join the circus. Our early exposure to her life is not a pleasant one and she has an unfortunate past when we meet her. I was rooting for her so hard when Marvelle accepted her to the circus because I wanted her to get out. Making friends came next and I was glad to see that there was a diversity among her companions in both personality and gender. My favorite friendships are BrOTPs that are a boy and a girl. Too often in books it seems like two adolescents can't just be friends because they are the opposite sex. The dynamic of the friendships worked well too, going through the ups and downs of a real friendship. Also, THANK YOU to the author for not losing the friendships in the face of the relationship storyline. No one likes that girl in real life, so I would have hated it in a lead character.As for the relationship, it evolves with one of the sideshow acts 'The Disappearing Man' who in real life is a boy named Dex. (For some reason when I read the author's description I continually pictured him as Ben Whishaw playing Q in Skyfall. Not bad at all Laila!) I wanted to like Dex, and I did, but I never really felt like we got to know him that well. There's still more books for that though. And I never could figure out the point of his surprise related character coming into the book so late, but okay I guess. In the beginning I felt that the author was overly descriptive to a fault, like she was trying to put so much symbolism and set into it that it was irritating. I found that by the middle of the book it got a lot better and by the end descriptions of the Polarity performances I was quite happy. I enjoyed the story overall, and while the ending is brutal to read in many ways it did set up a lot of potential story for the continuing series.
Now, on to what I didn't like. I had one really big problem that kept bugging me when reading this book. I could not wrap my head around the timeline at all. Historically, it made no sense. The book description bills it as the 1920s. This fell to pieces in my head when there is ample reference to drinking throughout the book. Prohibition was in place from 1920 to 1933. Laila tells the circus owner that she is 16 at the beginning of the book. A magazine article in the story lists her birth year as 1902, which comes out to be 1918 when the story begins. Even if we understand that at least a year passes between Laila's leaving New York and her return as the star of the show, she is still at most 18. While drinking ages varied between states before 1984, the legal age in New York pre-1919 was 21. It just made no sense. Why did they need to be of age to enter the side show and yet Laila and her friends are regularly exposed to alcohol with complete freedom? I know it's picky but I have a hard time believing a book if I can't believe its timeline in alt history. Also, while I adore the old Big Top idea of the circus (one of the reasons I wanted to read this book) I often felt like the author got turned around between what were supposed to be tents having interior settings that came across like permanent structures. Once again, a personal thing for me. I'm very setting oriented sometimes. And while I am so thankful to the author for the free ebook, I will say that there were a few grammar mistakes as well as some duplicate pages in my edition.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. I would recommend it to those who are fans of 'The Night Circus' only a bit more toned down. It reads quickly and was great to fill in time between classes....more