Yes yes yes, "never judge a book by its cover," I know, I know. But can we just PLEASE sit here for a minute and appreciate that AMAZING ar...more4 1/2 stars
Yes yes yes, "never judge a book by its cover," I know, I know. But can we just PLEASE sit here for a minute and appreciate that AMAZING artwork. LOOK AT IT.
Sara Etienne's debut novel will knock your socks off. I'm serious. Etienne's mastery of storytelling and remarkable characters will not allow you to put this book down, and if you do, you're stuck wondering how it's all going to end.
Faye is tricked by her parents into enrolling into Holbrook Academy which caters to students who are "special." Faye's talent is that she has visions. She can see into your past just by making eye contact which causes people to grow nervous around her. At Holbrook, she is able to find a group of peers who accept her as they struggle to figure out the mystery behind their crimson strained hands.
This plot will have you reading until you get closure. There is no guessing what is going to happen next, you think you know what's going on and then the author throws you for a loop which is just fine with me. While the "finding comfort in dead animal bones" is not as prominent in the plot as the blurb makes it out to be, the plot is still interesting and confusing, but a good confusing.
Sara captures Faye's voice perfectly through the use of the first person narrative. The readers are able to understand her desire to rebel, the feelings she has for the mysterious Kel, and how her visions are affecting her. Faye often experiences the feeling of being taken over by tidal waves which is portrayed so vividly that the action does not sound imaginary at all. There are other instances where you the reader are right along Faye as she comes to terms between what is right and what is wrong, and you're just as distraught as she is.
About 60 pages into the novel, I had this fear that Sara would gloss over the secondary characters in this novel, thankfully she doesn't. We get background information on nearly on all of the characters, even the ones that play the antagonist role, which really makes the reader see this world in shades of gray instead of black and white. Faye's group of friends are interesting and they each have a distinct voice whether it is vegetarian Maya or Comic-Con enthusiast Zach.
The romance wasn't overbearing, it did not steal from the overall plot. Kel was an engaging and mysterious character who excites Faye and scares her at the same time because he is hiding something as well. Their romance is very secondary to the mystery of Holbrook but still ever present.
During my read, I did find myself confused at times, not because of the plot but rather the writing style. I felt that some of the connecting dots were missing. There was instances where I had to flip back a page or two to make sure I didn't miss anything, and then infer what happened between actions. Also the entire novel takes place in one week which is a LOT of action to occur in such a short period of time. When I was reading I assumed that the novel took place over at least a month. I feel like that was entirely way too much action to jam into one short week.
Overall Harbinger was refreshingly unique with a plot that will captivate you. I strongly urge you all to look for this novel when it hits shelves in February. Many thanks to Sara for sending me a copy, it was a great read!
I recommend this novel for fans of young adult mysteries, and those who enjoy stories told in a school setting.
Banshee Charmer is a short and exciting novel revolving around a spunky half-bansee cop who takes a case very seriously when her partner becomes a vic...moreBanshee Charmer is a short and exciting novel revolving around a spunky half-bansee cop who takes a case very seriously when her partner becomes a victim of a supposed extinct race. Allee takes the reader on a fun ride that has me wanting the next installment!
Keira McLoughlin is not your average cop. She is half banshee. Her partner is not your average woman nor is their killer your average nutcase. They're all related to the paranormal in some way. Self proclaimed "self god," Aidan Byrne aids Keira, or Mac as her friends call her, in an impossible case that has claimed the life of Mac's witch partner.
Tiffany Alle's novella is an exciting first installment which looks to be a really fun and really sexy series. The book opens up with Mac investigating a peculiar crime scene that points to the fact that it may have been committed by an "oh-dub" or otherworlder. The plot moves at an engaging pace with the right amount of romance sprinkled throughout. I do wish that more information was revealed about Mac, especially her upbringings. Even though the novel is Banshee Charmer,banshees have very little to do with the plot which took me by surprise. Allee also added in bits of information and appearances of other paranormal creatures which added to the Otherworlder's growing world. Although the plot is fairly predictable, I was still enticed by Allee's world and Mac's voice.
Mac is your average female cop: Spunky, a sailor's mouth, and a very tough cookie. All of these qualities make her a very fun character. I really liked Mac because of how well she criticized herself. Usually when a character finds herself falling helplessly in love with a stranger while her friend's murder is plotting I would criticize the hell out of her: Mac beat me to it. She knows she is being irrational and that her budding relationship with Aidan should not be a priority and her internal conflict make her seem even more real. Some of the secondary characters are shallow meaning that they are not as fleshed at as I would expect from a novel, but I'm assuming that this novella is setting up the environment and the characters for future installments.
Given that the the novella is told from Mac's perspective, her voice is everything you would expect. Full of revenge, naughty words, and surprising lust for a sexy stranger. While there is not a lot of character discovery regarding Mac, it is fun to be just as left in the dark as Mac is as she struggles to find her partner's killer.
This novella was a godsend for me, after having read primarily young adult novels for the past 6 or so months, it was good to read a more mature novel (with sexy time :p). The Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series seems really promising and I can't wait to see Allee's world grow.
I recommend this for everyone who wants a short read full of mystery and a budding relationship. (less)
I got swept up in the hype, that's the only way I can explain my indifference to this book. With Crossed coming out, everywhere I looked wa...more2 1/2 stars
I got swept up in the hype, that's the only way I can explain my indifference to this book. With Crossed coming out, everywhere I looked was something mentioning Matched: twitter, book blogs, good reads, everyone and their mother was talking about. Given the description, Matched seemed to be right up my alley so I was happy when I got in the mail, then one thing happened. Delirium happened.
I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't stop comparing Matched to Lauren Oliver's Delirium which I have a soft spot for and sadly Matched didn't match up (ha. ha. ha).
Matched is told from the perspective of 17 year old Cassia Reyes who is eager to have the government reveal her future husband. She is ecstatic to find out that the future love of her life is no other than Xander, her best friend since forever, but when she goes home to review the data she doesn't see Xander's name on her Matched profile. Cassia must choose between what is safe and what she wants as she begins to question everything the Society dictates and see the world for the first time.
The overall plot was solid, but I was not interested. There was never a moment when I was dying to find out what happened next. Even though the story moved along at a steady (and maybe sometimes slow) pace, I felt some actions happened entirely too quickly. I would have loved to get to know some of the characters (besides Cassia) better, but they were glossed over to pave way for the love story. I felt that Condie's world got the short end of the stick as well, I would have loved an in depth introductory rather than spend most of the novel on 'the Hill.'
The love story was more of a love triangle which I have come to the conclusion that I do not like. Cassia may or may not have romantic feelings for Xander, but it's obviously that she is falling in love with Ky quite quickly. None of the love stories were developed; her and Xander's arc was based on the expectations that they were in love, while her and Ky's romance was based on a series of passed notes and drawings. I didn't buy it.
Condie mistake was making things too 'flowery.' The romance, the writing, it was all overdone in my opinion. Condie writing is very poetic which does not seem suitable for a 17 year old girl. Even the romance was done too poetically. Cassia falls in love with Ky based on his scrap pieces of paper and drawings which he uses to describe to Cassia his past. It seemed forced, like Condie was trying to make this the next literary classic, I would rather that she tone it down a bit with the language and have the kids fall in love the old fashion way, by hanging out. .
I realize that I pointed out a lot of negative aspects about this book, I didn't hate it, I was just bored with it. This is partly the fault of Delirium which I kept longing for while reading Matched. I know it's not fair to Matched but I can't help how my brain works. I may pick Crossed up out of sheer curiosity.
I recommend this novel for those who are interested in a story centered around a love story and also those who are fans of dystopia.(less)
There are many things being said about Michelle Hodkin's debut novel, some praise, some disappointment and some general confusion. I think my reaction...moreThere are many things being said about Michelle Hodkin's debut novel, some praise, some disappointment and some general confusion. I think my reaction was praise sprinkled with a bit of confusion.
Mara Dyer and her family pack up and leave Rhode Island for sunny Florida after three of her friends are crushed to death in an asylum. Yep, crushed to death. Mara was there with them when she building collapsed and somehow is the only survival which brings about a lot of raised eyebrows. But even hot boys, mean girls, and new friends can't distract her from the consequences of surviving that fateful accident.
This novel is mostly a mystery with hints of the paranormal which, hopefully, will be explained in depth in the sequel. Mara sees things, she also sees dead people which was a bit creepy even reading about so this book definitely has the "do not read right before bed time" feel. I found myself getting frustrated along Mara Dyer as she tried to differentiate between reality and hallucination, and honestly, some of them are tricky because the story is told from Mara's point of view so there is always a good amount of doubt with the narrative. The story was a quick read which kept me entertained at almost all sections of the novel. I say almost because I felt that the story began to drag towards the end, I was almost tempted to flip to the last page just to see what not it would end on. Although the ending is definitely an eyebrow raising cliffhanger, I was expecting more given the novel's strong start and middle.
The characters were all interesting. Mara, I found, was very interesting. I did not relate to her, but I understood her confusion and anger at times. Noah was something else. That boy is perfect and usually I hate perfect characters (especially the romantic interest) but I couldn't help but love him. He was loyal, sarcastic and for a fictional character, he was hot. I think I found Noah so attractive because Mara's voice makes Noah sound so appealing.
Michelle Hodkin writing style is the closest I've seen to that of a teenage girls. It's angry, mopey at times, confused, and has a general desire to punch things and people in the face every 5 seconds or so. I also enjoyed the amount of doubt that Mara puts into the readers head, there were some realities that Mara almost had me believe was a hallucination because of the doubt that she tackled with. I thought Mara was a great narrative, she gave us all of the information that he had, and the writing style was very fun, quirky at times.
Mara Dyer is a roller coaster ride of mystery as she comes to terms that she may just be responsible for her best friend's death. The characters are appealing and the writing style is enough to keep the audience engaged long enough to add the sequel to the To Be Read list.
I recommend Mara Dyer for those who love a paranormal mystery with a high school love story. (less)
Kenya Wright's debut novel is a refreshing breath of air that will suck you into Lanore's world with each turn of the page. Lanore Vesta is a Mixie or...moreKenya Wright's debut novel is a refreshing breath of air that will suck you into Lanore's world with each turn of the page. Lanore Vesta is a Mixie or a Mixbreed. She lives in the shady part of town with her childhood best friend and survives each day by avoiding the Pureblood who detest the the existence of mixed Supernaturals. Her days of laying low come to an end when she witnesses the murder right in her neighborhood.
I loved the creativity and originality of this book! Wright creates a complex world full of social inequality, conflict and jargon. In a world where Mixbreeds are considered second class citizens (with their own bathrooms and everything) Lanore is one of the faces of a group that fights for Mixie rights. The thought of a killer targeting Lanore is thrilling enough (and gruesome!), but the complex and detailed world make this book memorable.
The characters are all strong, independent and fabulous creations. I totally fell in love with the Bad-Boy-But-Big-Softy MeShack. Lanore is a great heroine who knows when to fight battles and when to back down. She is strong, loyal to her friends, a fighter for Mixbreed rights and she can set people on fire, what's not to love? Kenya also introduces her audience to a variety of secondary characters who are just as interesting as the front runners. We follow Lanore are she dances her way through vampire galas and we watch her struggle to communicate with Rebel Shifters.
There is a SLIGHT love triangle in this book and I am extremely torn about it. While I am not the biggest fan of love triangles, I felt myself really struggling to pick who I wanted to be with Lanore (and I stand by my decision!) and was becoming more and more frantic when Lanore shied away from the path I picked for her.
For a debut author, Kenya' writing style is well polished. The story is told from the perspective of Lanore Vesta and Kenya does a great job of making her both likeable and seem very real.
Overall, this exciting first installment of the Habitat series is everything a novel should have: a thrilling mystery, a likeable set of characters with a world so vast that I just need to know more. Kenya Wright urban fantasy novel will be an instant favorite for fans of the genre!
Recommended for: Fans of the adult paranormal/urban fantasy genre. (less)
Eve is such an interesting novel! Carey writes the story from the point of view of Eve; she's top in her class in New America and is obviously every t...moreEve is such an interesting novel! Carey writes the story from the point of view of Eve; she's top in her class in New America and is obviously every teacher's favorite because of her obedience. That is until a fellow classmate warns her that everything she has been taught is a lie. She finally learns for herself the the King of New America nor his subjects are to be trusted and escapes the only home she's ever known for a world she was told to fear.
Innocent Eve is so much fun to have as a narrator. There were points in the novel where I wanted to strangle her for being so naive, and other times where I was touched by her innocence. It's really easy to put yourself in her shoes: a young girl tentatively finding out that the people she thought she could trust were manipulating her. I absolutely loved her as a character. Sure she made some unwise decisions but there was a reason for that. There was a reason for everything she did: she is written as a newborn child trying to find her way in a strange, new world.
Speaking of Carey's world, I loved it. Everything was so descriptive and all of the secondary characters were so charming. Each had a voice, it was easy to form a connection with each character. Some you hated, some you pitied, and some you wanted to learn more about. It's obvious that Carey took her time to write this because there were no corners that seemed cut.
The love story between Eve and Caleb was adorable and innocent. I fell in love with Caleb's dedication to Eve as well as how frustrating it their relationship was. Their love was exactly what I would expect between two teens who had never known the opposite sex. Innocent, scared, and confused at times.
I would also like to say that the ending ended on a much slower note than it started; it seemed too peaceful of an ending for such a hectic journey. I would have loved a more action packed ending.
I recommend this novel for anyone who loves a good dystopian novel. Can't wait until the sequel!(less)
I want to start off by saying that I have never read an angel novel until now and I'm afraid that this book has ruined me for all other books in the g...moreI want to start off by saying that I have never read an angel novel until now and I'm afraid that this book has ruined me for all other books in the genre. This book went above and beyond, it was young adult but dealt with some pretty mature themes. Without further ado, on to the review!
Karou is an eccentric 17 year old with a knack for telling elaborate stories about fictional characters, except they aren't fictional. Karou's "other life" is filled with impromptu trips to Morrocco, collecting teeth from gravediggers and being coddled by a half snake half woman by the name of Issa. What is she? Karou has no idea, until she meets the Angel Akvia who seems to have all of the answers and wants to destroy her makeshift family of misfits.
Karou's world is a colorful and detailed treat that will enchant any reader. Having been to Prague myself, Taylor's description of the fairy-tale like city and spot on, and her "elseworlds" paint a perfect image for the imagination. This felt like a fantasy novel given intricate detail of the characters, their history and their world, it was like stepping into an entirely different (and believable) world; I'm pretty sure it was Laini's creativity with her characters and the worlds that she created for them which grabbed and held my attention until the very last page.
The writing style was engaging with some chapters only being a sentence and others a series of phrases which are explained later on in the book. Her descriptions were so interesting and the interactions felt true. I mean, how are you not drawn into phrases like "once upon a time, an angel lay dying in the mist. And a devil knelt over him and smiled?" Taylor is such a brilliant storyteller, every description, every action, every utterance flows and paints an image, I don't know how else to explain it besides perfect.
The romance took a while for me to get into until the story progressed and more information was revealed, the really felt for our characters. Speaking of characters, I love all of the characters. Whether the character is an enigma or a mysterious amber eyed stranger, you understand them, feel for them, and even sometimes forget that they do not exist outside this novel.
Overall if you like novels with fantasy elements and an intricate plot/world, read this book. It's fantastic, it's more than fantastic, it's ENTHRALLING and I needed the sequel yesterday.
I recommend this novel for those who enjoy young adult novels with major fantasy/magic themes with a budding romance story. (less)
This book gave me such a high after I turned the last pages. I LOVE books like that, books that make you feel something once you set it down...more4.5 stars
This book gave me such a high after I turned the last pages. I LOVE books like that, books that make you feel something once you set it down. As the description reads, Lena lives in a world where love is a disease and the government has found a cure to rid the mind of all emotions, love, hatred, fear, pain, nothing.
What I love about this book is that it builds. Lena's background and idea's build. Her friendship with Hana builds and her relationship with Alex builds. Oliver slowly introduces her characters which I love. It seems like nowadays authors will give a character a name and expect the readers to love him or her from the getgo. Not Oliver. She lets the love blossom and then she makes it something extraordinary with the very last page.
Oliver also makes you think with this novel. I thought a million times throughout my read how often I use and experience the word love. The idea that is so forbidden in her world made me fall deeper and deeper into the book.
What I also love is that Ms. Oliver has made this world completely hers down to the very last detail. She tweaks religion and adds nursery rhymes to make this world seem real. Which I think is just beautiful.
The only negative piece I would have to say is that she does get a bit wordy in her descriptions. I'm happy that she took the time to creatively explain how the sea salt clung to Lena's hair, but there were some instances where I felt like she could have done without 5 or so words.
Forgotten is the creative tale of a high school girl who forgets the day every night she goes to bed, but interestingly enough she remembers the futur...moreForgotten is the creative tale of a high school girl who forgets the day every night she goes to bed, but interestingly enough she remembers the future. While this book did not blow me away, it was a cute and really quick read.
London Lane has a secret that only she and her best friend know, she knows the future and has NO idea what happened in her past, because of this condition she must leave note after note for herself to remind her of what has happened that she should be prepared for. Then she meets young Luke Henry who she does not remember from her future but would like to know.
The plot was very straight forward with little side stories, I enjoyed the overall plot of how London copes with not remembering her past, it reminded me a lot of 50 First Dates. It was especially interesting seeing London's reaction to Luke every single day after they start dating, because the only clues she has regarding their relationships are the little post it notes that she leaves herself every night. The plot started off very simple, but then got ahead of itself. Cat Patrick introduced new conflicts (one 60 pages from the ending) and it became overwhelming. I feel that Cat had a lot of great things planned for this book but not a lot of structure.
Regarding the characters, I felt that they could have used some more depth. The novel is told from London's perspective and she does not seemed overly concerned with describing the other important characters to her audience. It felt like every other student that was not a major character in the novel hated her for practically no reason whatsoever which bothered me. Also I felt absolutely nothing for Luke because he was never described, all I know is that he is "hot," but I don't know what makes him so "hot" to London. The most interesting character by far was Jamie and I feel that she should have been present a bit more in the novel because her storyline was so interesting.
This last section ties in with the previous section, the writing style made this book a really quick page turner but I did not keep me engaged. Everything is very dry when it comes to London's voice, she only remarks on what happens such as a door knocking, a friend whispering, a kiss. There is no emotion behind her descriptions.
Overall this was a very interesting read if you want a book that you can go through very quickly, but in my opinion not very memorable.
I recommend this novel for those who love high school love stories and novels that are told from the first person narrative with a female character was a mysterious past. (less)
It's a good sign when the only reason I will put a book down is when my boyfriend sleepily mumbles something about it being late and that he can't sle...moreIt's a good sign when the only reason I will put a book down is when my boyfriend sleepily mumbles something about it being late and that he can't sleep with the lamp on. Forbidden was definitely worth the lack of sleep (and lack of productivity in my day), I was completely captivated from page one!
The Whitely's have an unusual family set up. The dad has uprooted and found a new family in Australia, the mother has all but moved in with her lover Dave and the two older siblings are forced to play the role of mommy and daddy to the three younger siblings. While they are busy sorting out who will pay the bills, cook dinners on certain days and then go tackle their own school work, Lochan and Maya fall in love and test the limits of how far they can go.
I love edgy topics, I love anything society deems forbidden and this seems like the ultimate taboo so I had to get my hands on it. First off, Suzuma has such a way with words it's breathtakingly beautiful. The descriptions are so poetic and the emotions are so raw, the reader will fall in love within the first chapter. Suzuma has this amazing talent where she can make the reader feel uncomfortable with the topic in one chapter, then have the reader cheer on the characters and feel for their love in another. It took me a while to figure out how I felt about the topic because Suzuma will make you uncomfortable, which I appreciate as a reader.The alternating perspective is always interesting in books, but the reader experiences it to the full effect with this book. With the alternating perspective we find out how both Maya and Lochan react to their secret love affair, how it affects their social lives as well as their role at home.
These tragic characters also continue to pull at your heart strings hours after you turn the final page. Lochan and Maya are such selfless characters, they do everything in their power to ensure that their siblings have a (semi) normal childhood even if it results in a nervous breakdown or utter exhaustion. Even though the audience is aware that these two lovers are headed for a dead end, you can't help but hope with them that they will get their happily ever after, away from the prying eyes of society. What I like about these two characters is that they both understand the consequences of their actions. They both know it's frowned upon, even though they don't understand why; they even go as far as to explore the psychological reasons why they are together. They aren't stupid, they know the dangers, but they can't stay away.
If there was a guidebook on how to do incest correctly, Suzuma was on point all throughout the novel. The book is edgy but filled with a lot heart. I recommend this for people who are willing to explore such a taboo topic with an open mind, and those who don't mind shedding a few tears throughout the novel. (less)
I picked this book up because I love time travel and because of its fabulous reviews. Two days later all I can say is that it has potential....more2.5 stars.
I picked this book up because I love time travel and because of its fabulous reviews. Two days later all I can say is that it has potential.
My main problem with this book is that the author did not know how to write feelings. I felt absolutely nothing for the characters, except for maybe Lily who had the most personality. It isn't only the characters who need tweaking, the emotions between the characters are so...flat. I never felt that Michele had a close relationship with her friends, the relationship with the housekeeper was awkward, and I don't know what to say about the awkward semi-distant relationship with her grandparents. Even her love story was boring. Philip was a two dimensional hottie who lived pretty much only for her. I would have loved to SEE more about his life, not just his life with her.
Also the book jumped around way too much. Towards the end I felt like she was going back in time every day. It would have been great if she balanced the time travel with Michele's modern day adventures. More about her life with her distant grandparents, her school life, anything! The book also could have used some more balance in the past. There wasn't enough time to get to know the people she was visiting because of all of her ridiculous time traveling.
But like I said, the book has potential. The story is a good idea it's just that the delivery fell flat. If the author can better hone her writing skills I'm sure I would love the next book to come. (less)