Loved loved loved it! Not the most beautiful or smooth of writing styles, but it told the story just fine. Not sure if there will be4.5/5 (I round up)
Loved loved loved it! Not the most beautiful or smooth of writing styles, but it told the story just fine. Not sure if there will be a sequel as there was a big question that was left unresolved, but overall very satisfying. Tyra frustrated me a lot but I also never really hated her, so that's good. I think I read a query for this for feedback during writeoncon a few years ago so it's thrilling to see fellow authors succeeding!...more
^ i spelled it like that because frankly if i wrote goooooooooooooood it would look like go for a**STARRED REVIEW**
^ i spelled it like that because frankly if i wrote goooooooooooooood it would look like go for a really long time and that's mentally confusing. not sure if gawd is better.
anyways! wow. amanda effing sun is trying to murder me. i have no effing idea how i survived the wait for RAIN (hint: i didn't. i had to get an ARC or else i would've died. thank you first reads thank youuuuuuu!!!) but RAIN makes the wait for the third book f****** IMPOSSIBLE. GOD(S). THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK. I CANNOT ACCURATELY DESCRIBE MY FEELINGS.
I love this book so much i wanna eat it and let it settle in my stomach and then do some weird book dance or something idk i just gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
^that was really weird. but anyways. onto what i liked about the book: (SPOILERS FOR INK BELOW, BUT NOT FOR RAIN)
-I had thought the ending of INK was a bit anticlimactic, but oooohhhh boy am i glad she stayed. -TOMO TOMO TOMO TOMO TOMOHIRO COME HERE YOU -^ i swear i'm not that shallow. Tomo undergoes a lot of growth in this novel and we get to see him depending on Katie and realizing that he isn't alone. And that is just a phenomenal shift. -Katie has to figure out her priorities and must struggle through lies and facades to protect herself and those she love, and that means she gets in some pretty deep trouble with some people you reeeallly don't wanna mess with. -What Tomo says to Shiori about the thing. When you get there. Ahhhh yes. I was just like OH TOMO YOU GO TOMO YOU TELL HER. YES TOMO -We find out some INSANE history and hypotheses in this book and it is FABULOUS. I cannot overstate how happy I am about Japanese (and accurately described.... *cough* "City of a thousand dolls" and my billion hatred seeds for it) culture and mythology being so thoroughly described in a YA book where the market is saturated by white gurlz. Nothing wrong with Caucasians, just.... DIVERSITY MAN. Now we just need someone to do that for the Chinese... like I know there are some out there but most of them take place in the US... hmm... I should get on that.
Annnnd I could go on and on. But the thing is, I loved how I could smell the cherry blossoms and hear the furin and see the ink flow and feel the earth rumble and live with the characters as they despair and evolve and realize that they aren't alone.
I love it. I love it all. And now someone PLEASE for gods' sakes give me the third book as soon as Amanda Sun is done writing it and stuff....more
Note: This review is written by my brother, not me. Our views may differ on this book. However, he is an 11-year-old boy, so he is the target audienceNote: This review is written by my brother, not me. Our views may differ on this book. However, he is an 11-year-old boy, so he is the target audience for this book and therefore in that situation his opinion, in my belief, matters more than mine. Also, the following text was copied and pasted off of my blog, so some formatting and links may have been lost. Read the original here.
I would rate this book four out of five.
The characters: Ben is really freaking cool. He was way ahead of Peter, who was already ahead of everyone else. Sasha is okay but I think she was acting sort of bossy and I don't really like bossy people. Peter is actually kind of immature because there will always be someone who is better than you and so you should just try to do your best instead of whine about it.
The story: The plot is very interesting and cool but I'm just wondering... why did it take 160 pages for things to get really interesting? The beginning felt so slow and the book would be five out of five if the beginning didn't take so long to get good. I can stand the characters because everyone makes mistakes but I am not very patient. I am glad I read on though. I do think the plot is cool because it tells you how Ben learned Actuation and how and what the Quantum League does what it does. I think that what a really smart thing that the author did was how in the beginning I didn't know who was the antagonist and so that led to a lot of mystery, which I really enjoyed....more
Original can be found on my blog here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and most links have been lost.)
Talk about creative! My br**3.5 STARS**
Original can be found on my blog here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, formatting and most links have been lost.)
Talk about creative! My brother and I've both been big fans of Scholastic's multi-author series, and this one, Spirit Animals, is no exceptions. Let's have my ten-year-old brother take it away first:
Roark: This book was just so... COOL. The main characters got the Fallen Four spirit animals, which is so cool. They each had better spirit animals than other people, which is really interesting because they must be awesome to have such cool spirit animals. I also really liked the plot because it tells you a lot about the spirit animals world, which is very fascinating**. It is also good because it switches from person to person so I can get more information from different places.
I think the characters are awesome**. Conor learned how to use his spirit animal faster than everyone else, which was cool. Abeke was the first to learn how to turn the spirit animal into a tattoo. They're all smart, maybe not like Meilin but, while Meilin is the best fighter which is cool because she's a girl [my sister is really good at Kung Fu but my friends don't believe me because she's a girl]***, everyone else can fight well in their own awesome way. Rollan, lastly, is my favorite because he is so funny.
Overall, I give this a 5 out of 5.
Me: Since I'm just a tad above the targeted age range and the complete opposite of my brother, I can't sing praises for Wild Born without a few (or, I suppose, one really big) reservation(s).
First off, though: Brandon Mull is excellent at world-building. I found it fascinating how he managed to twist four cultures into a cocktail of a world that, though anachronistic, surprisingly retained many of the elements of each culture when it would've been much easier to neglect their foundations. I enjoyed running on a South America-like street with Rollan, being pampered (ephemerally) in an Asian palace with Meilin (Since I'm Asian, the discrepancies in the Asian worldbuilding stood out to me more than the other ones did; still, it is a commendable effort on Mull's part to make it as reminiscent of Asia as possible without compromising the story's overarching world), shake with terror in a Medieval England-esque surrounding alongside Conor, and hunt through wild forests with Abeke that brings images of Native American tribes to the mind.
Yet where he excels, I also reluctantly found fault. Mull's writing is... dull. Quite dull.
It feels plain, especially in the first few chapters, full of telling and detached emotion. It is only after about 50 pages in that I really began to see the characters for who they were. Even then, oftentimes I found myself not exactly enthused--though certainly not unwilling--to dive back into the Spirit Animals world because something about the writing just didn't necessarily captivate me. It missed a spark; a touch of something magical, to fit in rightly with its exquisite world.
Still, I didn't care much about the writing's obtuseness after a while because the action and any scene, really, was just so entertaining. The characters were written exceptionally well in regards to their authenticity. I saw a lot of myself in Meilin, and laughed far too loudly at Rollan, and I could appreciate the humbleness of Conor just as well as I admired Abeke for her bravery. Each character could hold their own, and because of that and the excellent world-building, even with the writing being flat, the plot never ran too slowly.
The verdict? If you stick with the book through its rough beginning, you'll likely find yourself flipping the pages quickly--and if not quickly, then at least satisfactorily. After all, it's not every day you get a middle grade that mashes all the charming bits of the age group together in quite the inventive and ambitious tale. Besides, the spirit animals are, as my brother would say it... SO COOL.
*I received an ARC copy provided by the publisher in an exchange for an honest review. No monetary or otherwise beneficial supplement was exchanged. **He didn't actually say that. He said cool. I had to change his vocabulary up, I'm sorry. T.T ***He didn't include this in the actual review that he handed me, but he had mentioned it to me before and I thought it was a very valid point. ^.^
Oh! Before y'all ditch this post--Scholastic is doing this cool (GAH! Now I'm turning into my brother!) thing where you can actually play an online game set in the Spirit Animals world hand have your own Spirit Animal. I think it's very innovative, and you should totally check it out here....more
Goddamn. Despite all my usual reservations about urban fantasy paranomals, i effing loved this book. But I should've known from its author's name thatGoddamn. Despite all my usual reservations about urban fantasy paranomals, i effing loved this book. But I should've known from its author's name that I wouldn't be disappointed. STIEFVATER4LYFE...more
Note: Read the original here. Due to copy-and paste, some formatting and links have been lost.
I adore Rainbow Rowell. I adore Cath.**STARRED REVIEW**
Note: Read the original here. Due to copy-and paste, some formatting and links have been lost.
I adore Rainbow Rowell. I adore Cath. I adore Reagan, Levi, Wren... I so very much adore this book.
It is a beautiful thing, to be in love with someone. Maybe that's why we are all fangirls/fanboys to a certain extent, because whether that someone is fictional or real, they give us something we don't give ourselves: a purpose. I'm not saying that you need someone else to be fabulous, but I think all the book nerds out there know what I mean when I say that reading a good book feels as fulfilling to us as an embrace might feel to a lover's heart. So with all that said, it's pretty clear that Fangirl was written for fangirls. And Cath's love for Simon Snow, for a life that is not her own, is a sense of desperation and dependency that we've probably all experienced at one time or another.
That's what makes this book such a successful coming-of-age story, I think. Because it explores common themes of growing up and letting go and finding yourself that everyone can relate to. Rainbow's spear-like wit and melodramatic but certainly real characters make this adventure.
Fangirl is a wake-up call, a bubble bath, a barrel of Butterbeer, a view through the Hubble Space Telescope half-blocked by someone else's arse.
It's that sweet stingy freezing real sun-speckled composite of being yourself, but also being more than yourself. Because that's what growing up is, isn't it? To become more than yourself. To be a superhero, really. I mean, why else would you be asked to calculate the wave function of the Schrodinger equation????? (Seriously though, fml.)
In the end, Fangirl is worthy of its title. With an incredible cast of characters who each vary in personality but all hold the same, so very human depth of hurting, and writing that is both refreshing and complementary--the setting flares to life and the dialogue drips of sarcasm and weary, hopeful naivety--I couldn't be prouder to call myself a Fangirl fangirl. ...more
I liked it. I think the thing that surprises most people about this book is that it has a grittier edge to the love ride than books like ANNA AND THEI liked it. I think the thing that surprises most people about this book is that it has a grittier edge to the love ride than books like ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I know the cover looks incredibly cute and fresh and that is this book as well, but I think it explores the fluctuality (not an actual word, but you know what I mean) of human nature (especially teenage human nature) so well that the love isn't as perfect as we expect, and that can be a bit, well, disappointing. Also, there is one big twist at the end that isn't exactly difficult to guess, though I wouldn't say it's obvious. Either way the novel was still enjoyable and I loved the London setting.
so i am sort of fascinated/obsessed with the world in this book. I find myself constantly seeing warnings of it in our society everywhere: corporate-oso i am sort of fascinated/obsessed with the world in this book. I find myself constantly seeing warnings of it in our society everywhere: corporate-owned future (cough cough Amazon), segregation between the rich and poor (cough cough recent Supreme Court ruling), racial prejudice (cough cough life), etc. And while this book truly was engrossing, I thought that some of the character development was too rugged and rushed, and one minute this guy is a total jerk that you wanna kill, and the next he is supposed to be this super sympathetic bad-guy-turned-hero character who you're supposed to love but can't because, wth, how did he change so quickly? I also had problems with some of the out-of-the-blue plot lines which, while they made sense, seemed placed more there for the establishment of another plot line rather than to progress the story. Otherwise, though, I loved the story and how absolutely gritting it was. It was like a modern Brave New World, especially with the whole "Sydney Carton" naming system that you also see in BNW for Lenina and Marx.
Verdict: me likey. me fascinatedy. me thumbs-uppy....more
Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting may be lost.)
First off, I should probably make the caveat that I'm**1.5 STARS**
Original is here on my blog. (Note: due to copy-and-paste, formatting may be lost.)
First off, I should probably make the caveat that I'm not typically a fan of boarding school stories. But Scholastic was really kind in sending me this book, and it had a fun-sounding premise, so I figured... why not?
Oh, why not indeed.
It should be mentioned that this book wasn't all bad. Anne Applegate captures the life of a boarding school quite well--although, I can't speak from experience, only logical deductions. But I like that Cam really develops her character throughout the novel. I also thought that the twist was one of the cleverest ones I've read in a long time.
Unfortunately, there isn't much other praise I can sing.
Alright, look: this is probably just a personal thing. But from the synopsis (and the first few chapters alone) I guessed the twist in this book. But I'm an avid Greek mythology fan, so perhaps I should've lowered my radar just a bit when factoring that in. It' still a great revelation, just... The mystery was the only thing going for me and, once I cracked it, I had to force myself to keep on reading.
Also, gosh I know I'm so nitpicky, but the insta-love...
Cam could've thrived with her friends! But she's so obsessively in love with (view spoiler)[Mark (hide spoiler)]--I know, I know, I understand the hormones and all. But her relationship with Mark plays such a major part in her coming to terms with what's happened to her, I just wish it wasn't so quickly skimmed over and instead developed more realistically, yanno?
It's not that I didn't like Cam. It's that her voice was too inconsistent. I know that the teenage years are a growing and changing time (see above GIF), but having your eighth grade character say "creeptastic" and- actually, why don't I just give you a quote? (It's sort of a "big" spoiler, though, if you get it.)
(view spoiler)["There is haunting and there is visitation. The former involves your neediness and desire to be healed, and as I said, it damages. The latter involves your ability to deliver healing to the one you contact. A visitation is a gift to another that may damage you."
THAT, my friends, is probably my major issue with this book. The fact that it "dumbs down" the protagonist. Look, my cousin who's in third grade understood that sentence the guy said just fine. I really, really wish Cam wouldn't respond to everything with a "I'm new to this world and wow shiny what?"-type of attitude.
And the worst part is all the potential this book had. A boarding school full of intrigue? Prepping for something that is a new twist in an overfilled genre? Middle school protagonists? FRIENDSHIPS! :D And, from the beginning of the book, actual parents?
But to my deepest regret, none of those potentials were fulfilled.
Even the friendships. Read the first chapter and I dare you not to hate Lia. I literally was like this:
I felt so bad for Cam, but somehow in the end everything is just magically solved and it just depresses, depresses me, because there was potential for so much character growth and all that just fell incredibly flat and cliché. And though Cam became a better person at the end, I didn't really see the transformation occur--and I didn't see even a hint of development for so many other characters at all, even though they had a perfect opportunity to learn from their faults. Isn't that what makes a book triumphant? The beggar finding the hero inside?
Overall, this is one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write. I'm sorry that it's not the best review I've ever written--this is one of those books that you just don't know how you feel about. Because there's so much potential and you sort of idolize that premise but the way it just flops breaks your heart.
Give this book a try, if you're into boarding school and Pretty Little Liars-esque stories.
But if my feelings are anything to judge off of, don't expect a phenomenal tale.
"Eleanor..." "Stop. Don't say my name like that. It only makes it worse." "Makes what worse?" "Everything," she said. He was quiet. She sat up and wiped he"Eleanor..." "Stop. Don't say my name like that. It only makes it worse." "Makes what worse?" "Everything," she said. He was quiet. She sat up and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "Do you have a nickname?" he asked. That was one of his tricks, whenever she was put off or irritated--changing the subject in the sweetest way possible.
I think I live for this book. (Read the book. You'll get it. What I just did. But also, why I did what I just did.)
You know, there are plenty of faults with Eleanor & Park. In the beginning there was a lot of switching back-and-forth between current events and reflections of past circumstances, but it was all written in a way that I couldn't tell where one began and where the other ended. It was a bit confusing, and once I got the POVs (Point of View) switched up because Eleanor and Park, in spite and perhaps because the book was written in third-person, sounded so similar. Not their personalities, of course. Just the narration.
But that only happened once, and honestly, I don't freaking care.
You know, it's weird. I used to think that the St. Martin's editors and I had really drastically different tastes, because all of the past books I've read with St. Martin didn't exactly top my favorites list. But you know what, that was stupid of me to judge an entire imprint by twenty or so books. And what better way to prove myself so so stupidly wrong than with Eleanor & Park?
I had insanely high expectations for this book. As in I couldn't touch a book for three weeks while waiting for E&R to arrive on my doorstep because I wanted it in my heart so badly, I'd already carved out a little nook for the characters, and I didn't want other protagonists stamping their ways into my heart, into that little home for Eleanor and Park, before they could. I'd heard raving reviews from friend after friend, so I knew this had to be at least as good as Anna and the French Kiss, because otherwise those weeks of coveting these two characters I hadn't even met would've been another shameless stupidity of mine.
But god is this book beautiful. Like I love it so much I want to soak it up and eat it and drink it and roll myself in it. I know, I sound like a pig. But there's this... magnetism about Eleanor & Park, a story so real and alive that there is no way I could possibly refuse their love or their sincerity.
This novel isn't just a flourishing, exotic punk love story, though. The book would've been that much duller without Eleanor's rad stubborness, or her family's fight and collapse, or Park's defiance, or his family's acceptance, or the comics, or the music, the music. There's something kicking and punching in the heart of every character, and if you listen close enough, you'd hear the heartbeats of Park's dad, or of Ben, of Maisie, even Tina and Steve, the bullies. There is so much to be discovered between the pages of Rainbow Rowell's masterpiece that it would take years for a cartographer to chronicle Eleanor and Park's love and their beautiful, terrible--absolutely irresistible explosion.
You have to let yourself go with this book. You have to let it get to you in places you don't even dare peek within yourself. That's the only way to feel the softness of Eleanor's hands, the wild green eyes of Park, the chemistry that lights something on fire even if they simply looked at the other. The strings that thrum beneath the book's skull and the sappy love songs that pound at nodes of perfection, here and there.
I am so, so glad and privileged to have read this book. So, so glad....more
Actual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, some formatting and links may have been lost.)
This review is written by my ten-yeActual, full review: Original is here. (Note: Due to copy-and-paste, some formatting and links may have been lost.)
This review is written by my ten-year-old brother, who I figured was perfect for reviewing this book since he's in its intended demographic and loved Adam Blade's Beast Quest.
The Characters: Max is a smart, brave boy, and his ability to learn quickly makes him a very admirable hero. I didn't necessarily like Lia, the princess of Merryns, because she got angry very easily when Max couldn't understand her. Though I guess anyone could have gotten frustrated in that circumstance. Rivet the robodog was awesome. He could chop through metal and talk and do all these cool things. Mostly, I really liked the characters and their developments.
The Story: The plot was good, except it seemed a bit of the same storyline as Adam Blade's other book, Beast Quest. It was almost as if Deep Dive is an underwater version of Beast Quest with different characters. Yet I still liked the story because it introduced some really interesting elements that I didn't expect, adding in awesome technology with some really cool ideas.
The Writing: The writing was P-E-R-F-E-C-T (my sister's transcription). Adam Blade used words I didn't know and made up some really great terms that I thought was totally awesome.
Overall: If you like action, you should read Deep Dive. It has some really great action scenes and also pretty epic characters. ...more
I really really liked it. Writing was awesome as always, and I could feel the frustration, see the city. My mind wasn't blown, though, so**3.5 STARS**
I really really liked it. Writing was awesome as always, and I could feel the frustration, see the city. My mind wasn't blown, though, so I gave it 3 stars. But that's okay. I think you can love something without being in love with it, right? So that's my rating. Go Jay!
...and I really, really want KINSLAYER. Now. :(...more
The Creature, Frankenstein, Walton--they are all the same. Elizabeth, the father, Margaret--it's like there are specific personalities and they are alThe Creature, Frankenstein, Walton--they are all the same. Elizabeth, the father, Margaret--it's like there are specific personalities and they are all categorized into one of those groups. I find this is perhaps the most common thing with young writers: the merging-together of people. And I think that it's both wonderful and questionable. Do we not all judge people based on stereotypes? Aren't we all so wrapped up in our own lives that we are incapable of recognizing the small details that changes one from the other, except in cases in which love and happiness tumbles past our horizons? I feel like this type of characterization was very appropriate for this novel, seeing as how it is told from the point of view of a wretch.
You know, this still remains one of my favorite curriculum books. Surely it makes me angry, and surely I often sigh at the melodrama, but the intensity of this book cannot be denied, nor the ways it expresses the fragility of human existence. It's not a masterpiece, I don't think. Rather, it is more of a... a type of desperate narration, if you will. The characteristics exhibited by the characters are all fundamental constituents of us, too. Everything starts relating to FRANKENSTEIN after a while.
Overall, I thought that this book was thought-provoking and perhaps a bit tedious. But the writing flows well, and the ideas comprehensible. The pacing is erratic, but the obsequious ways through which the characters bend to the plot are predictable in the most horrifying ways possible. Honestly, the only problems I really had with it are problems that are mirrored in many books today as well: the twists that should've been obvious, and characters that never tried hard enough.
But the ending was nice. A lot of people didn't like it, but I think it really emphasized how everything can change, that nothing is what we think it is, and that's a very appropriate way to close off the theme and gloominess of the story.
(Also, as a personal side-note, Percy Shelley is such a butthole.)...more
I really enjoyed this, and the author's writing--it's so beautiful I can't. (that's right. ending sentences with verbs!)
I thought the story was very wI really enjoyed this, and the author's writing--it's so beautiful I can't. (that's right. ending sentences with verbs!)
I thought the story was very well-crafted, but when I reached the end I thought for sure that I was only halfway through the book. I would've loved to see Carey develop more and see her and Ryan grow, as well as Nessa, but it's like the story just suddenly halted for no reason. It kind of disoriented me and I don't find myself wishing this often, but I do wish that this book was longer. I guess that just means I can't get enough of Emily's words. :)
Despite the times the book made me shed tears and made me "aww", there was... something about it that distinguished it as a debut novel. I'm not sure why. The writing is, like I said, truly fantastic. I think it's because this book lacked an antagonist. Maybe it was their mother, maybe it was the world, but there were so many possibilities and obstacles that none really got developed, and so when Carey overcame an obstacle, I didn't really feel the impact of it. I mean, the biggest hurdle for her to jump over is telling people the truth about Nessa, but that's barely touched upon until the last 30 pages or so (I might be estimating this wrong, but it's approximately that length, I think). Thus this constant shifting of dangers rendered the plot a bit flat, a bit bland. This is exacerbated in that none of the obstacles really get solved. Adapting to the new world? We see hope, but we don't really see how it turns out. Telling the truth about Nessa? Once more we see hope, but not what results. The mystery of the mother? No actual conclusion as to where her life led her, just a simple nod of acknowledgment that disappointingly did not create the impact and emotional strength that I had expected.
So I guess I do know why this book felt like a debut novel despite its great characters and amazing writing: the plot was too unfocused and sporadic.
Still, I highly recommend this book. It retains a haunting, melodic quality to it that I will be referring back to for years when in such a mood. And the characters are truly remarkable and realistic, if not a bit predictable. (But that's what to be expected with contemporaries, right?)...more
This novella was just... so scary. Not in a Stephen King way, but in an emotional, physical way. Beth Revis is amazing. BuFreaky. Creepy. Unsettling.
This novella was just... so scary. Not in a Stephen King way, but in an emotional, physical way. Beth Revis is amazing. But I'm just so... shaken right now. Maybe I'm just a scaredy cat? I don't know....more