I've just finished posting my review of the first book in this series (Slammed), so I feel I've made myself fairly clear as to my feelings about theseI've just finished posting my review of the first book in this series (Slammed), so I feel I've made myself fairly clear as to my feelings about these characters. I love them. They are amazing. I feel like I could be besties with Lake and Eddie TODAY. No questions asked. We'd meet, we'd be sarcastic and witty. It would be love at first biting come-back. No joke. The problem would arise when I decided to fight Lake for Will. He's just... kind of wonderful, really.
So, moving on...
This second installment is told exclusively from the view point of Will, and I almost always find this to be a useful literary device. At the very least, I, being female, am always game to see how the other side "lives." The danger here being that the author is female and--let's face it, ladies--how often do we really understand what our men (or any men) are thinking? However, I believe that Colleen gets it as close to perfect as any female ever will. I particularly love the journal entry wherein Will decides to be flat-out honest and say what's really on his mind... "Sex. Sex, sex, sex..." Hey, at least he was honest, right?!
If any of you are worried about adult content, I felt Ms. Hoover handled it exceptionally well. As an adult reader who read the 50 Shades books LONG before they obtained their recent notoriety, I could have handled a little more adult content, but I realize I'm not necessarily the intended audience for this jewel of a novel. I'm ok with that... I just have the hots for Will--as previously stated.
Since I don't like to give much away--and because I really should get some work done today--I'll close with this: Don't put away the Kleenex just because you finished SLAMMED. You're going to need to keep them handy.
That is all.
(Nice work, Ms. Hoover. Another "butterflying" great book!) ...more
When I first purchased this book, one of the reviews on Amazon.com said, "I dare you to read this book and not cry..." Considering that I'm generallyWhen I first purchased this book, one of the reviews on Amazon.com said, "I dare you to read this book and not cry..." Considering that I'm generally someone who cries very easily, I figured I was prepared so long as I kept the Kleenex close by. Wow. I was so NOT prepared.
Without giving too much (or anything away), please allow me to introduce you to Will and Lake--or Layken.
Lake, having just faced a deeply unsettling personal tragedy, finds herself uprooted in the middle of her senior year of high school--in Texas--and moving with her mother and younger brother, Kel, to MICHIGAN. Oh, what is an angst-ridden, eighteen-year old to do?! Enter Will.
Will is an intelligent, handsome, irritatingly responsible guy who just loves slamming (performance poetry for those of you who are equally unenlightened). He lives directly across the street from Lake's new home in Ypsila-somthing-or-other, MI (no disrespect intended to Michiganites who may or may not be reading this review). Almost as soon as Lake masterfully backs in the U-haul, their paths seem destined to collide--or intertwine.
As their younger brothers (Will's brother is Caulder) become the best of friends inside of five minutes--like kids do--Will and Lake look at each other and feel a similar instant bond that neither was looking for or prepared to deal with. Instead of following the "does he, doesn't he... will he call?... should I call? Does she like me?" path that a lot of YA romance novels seem compelled to follow, this pair seems to immediately acknowledge the futility of trying NOT to acknowledge their mutual attraction.
And then.... disaster!
As I said, I don't want to give anything away, but, man... this book just really got to me. There were parts where I laughed out loud (much to the surprise of my quiet-as-church-mice co-workers), parts where I cried until my face was all red and snotty, and parts where I wanted to reach into the book and backhand both of the leading characters. It was AWESOME.
Now, I may have given the impression that Lake is somewhat less interesting than Will, and that was not my intention. She's younger than Will, and she hasn't had the same experience as he has--not when we first meet her, anyway. So, the fact that she occasionally stomps her feet and acts like a... well, like a teenager... that just makes her more REAL. More believable. She's feisty, loyal, loving, intelligent, and is possessed of what Will will later refer to as an "indomitable will." She's occasionally selfish (but aren't we all?) but generally quick to realize her missteps and make honest and earnest attempts to correct them. She's, in a word, great.
With a supporting cast of characters who are nearly as captivating as Lake and Will, I promise this book will tug your heartstrings, remind you of the truly important things in life, and teach you to appreciate the moments that form the fabric of our too-short existence on this Earth. After reading this book, I have definitely gained a deeper appreciation for the people in my life and the simple fact that none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. ...more
I knew it! I knew there was something different about Clara! In this amazing sequel we learn just what her mother's been afraid to tell her about herI knew it! I knew there was something different about Clara! In this amazing sequel we learn just what her mother's been afraid to tell her about her purpose and her past... And I'm NOT going to give anything away!! You'll just have to read it. As I mentioned in my review of book 1, this author has a wonderfully real and rich writing style that I find highly entertaining. Definitely an enjoyable read. I recommend reading this book only if you've read book 1. Otherwise, you'll be totally lost. They are BOTH worth reading for so many different reasons. ...more
If I weren't completing this review on the relatively tiny keyboard on my iPhone, I would likely wax poetic about this book. I loved it! The charactersIf I weren't completing this review on the relatively tiny keyboard on my iPhone, I would likely wax poetic about this book. I loved it! The characters are so real! The relationships are difficult, but that's the real part, you know? Relationships ARE difficult. The writing was well above average, and the editing was WAY better than what I've seen recently. No pesky distractions involving spelling, syntax or punctuation. Huzzah! I've already purchased (and read) the sequel. More to say about that later. SO in love with this series!!...more
As previously mentioned in my status update, you might not want to read this is you haven't read the book. Fair warning!
I was offeredOK, here goes...
As previously mentioned in my status update, you might not want to read this is you haven't read the book. Fair warning!
I was offered the chance to read this book, and I jumped at the opportunity. Having grown up loving all things vampire--and nursing a whammy of a crush on Lestat, whom I was determined to find and marry--I've recently discovered other paranormal creatures who are equally swoon-worthy. Topping That relatively short list (for me) are angels. So, of course, the title of this book peaked my interest.
The Positives 1. I REALLY like the main character, Taylor. She's a smart-mouthed, independent, free-thinking female who places just enough emphasis on maintaining control of the relationship to showcase her issues with maintaining said independence. She also maintains what I'd imagine to be a healthy balance between her schoolwork, her friends and her budding romance. She just struck me as a "healthy" girl--mentally, emotionally and otherwise. 2. I also liked the way in which the MAIN girl wasn't the ONLY girl in the story. Too often in YA paranormal romance/fiction, the female lead finds herself torn between two drop-dead gorgeous men while her seemingly attractive and perfectly acceptable best friend gets passed over. It's stimulating if you identify with the main female, but it can certainly detract from the supporting characters with regard to their viability and believability. In this story, bubbly, supportive, boy-crazy Sam gets to share in some of the spotlight without dividing the loyalties of the reader or distracting from the main event--AKA The Angel Agenda and the developing relationship between Gabriel The Reluctant Soldier and Taylor The Fearless Pawn. 3. Aside from the comments I will list below, I found the author's writing style to be generally pleasing, if a bit stilted, and easy to read. The reader is given enough detail to paint a viable mental picture of the characters and scenery without being drowned in excessive detail which would ultimately limit the reader's ability to create a cast of characters (and stage upon which they will play) that is comfortable and vivid for her/him. For me, too much detail keeps me from really engaging in a story; however, the same could be said about too little detail--it's a fine line that this author seems to have learned to walk.
Initial thoughts included some offhand notations involving grammar and punctuation. Secondary thoughts revolved around some rather odd product placements within the story (ex.: "when she had checked the blue digital numbers on her iHome alarm clock..."). Tertiary comments surfaced at about the time our heroine is attacked by a gargoyle which she comments looked like "a tyrannosaurus Rex from the Mesozoic era." This was just one example of prose which seemed a bit too stiff and over-formal. Were there t-rexes in another era? Did theyblook different from their mesozoic brethren, and, if so, what were the differences? Can you see how this would be distracting? The final, and perhaps most vexing, problem I had was a comment made by the questionable Gabriel as he is rationalizing his involvement in the Angel Agenda, as I like to call it. Maybe I misead it, but my understanding was that, on one page, Gabriel says Dionysus would never harm a human, not even for science. Then, not by long after, Gabriel admits that the Angel Agenda revolves around harming all humans and Dionysus is the mastermind behind the operation. This probably seems minor, but it really threw me for a while. I was left trying to figure out exactly who to root for and exactly how pissed off at Gabriel I should be.
All in all, a pleasing read that left me excited for the sequel....more
I love this series, and I absolutely adore the characters in this book. Reed, Evie, Russell, Zephyr... Even the strangely named Buns an George... TheyI love this series, and I absolutely adore the characters in this book. Reed, Evie, Russell, Zephyr... Even the strangely named Buns an George... They are all like family to me now. I love them all. Strangely, I am also pulling for some of the new villains in this most amazing sequel--everyone loves a bad boy with a soft spot, you know? I have one MAJOR critique, however: Russell's "southern accent" ticks me off. I was raised in the South. I have lived in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. One of my oldest friends is from West Virginia. Two of my dearest friends live in South Carolina. A co-worker of mine is from North Carolina. NO ONE I know speaks like Russell. I don't know if Asheville is supposed to be the home of some fringe dialect I've never heard, or what, but Russell's ridiculous use/overuse of "y'all" is borderline insulting. "Y'all" is the contraction of "you all" and, generally speaking, we southerners use that to refer to more than one person. We don't use it more than once (ok, maybe twice) in a sentence, and we rarely (if ever) use it to refer to the individual to whom we are speaking--as in one person. That just makes no sense to me at all. Consequently, I find the portion of the story told from Russell's perspective to be very hard to read. I imagine those people not familiar with a southern drawl will find it to be nearly incomprehensible. I find myself re-reading Russell's spoken bits trying desperately to figure out exactly what sort of drawl the author is going for. I'm coming up confused, needless to say. I cannot imagine what Russell would sound like in "real life" because his way of speaking (and, oddly enough, writing) is completely foreign. Not only does this cause drag in an otherwise fast-paced narrative, but it seems to further the widely held opinion that anyone from the South will be forced to butcher the English language--no matter how pure of heart or intelligent they are--by the tragic fact they happened to born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line. I mean, really?! Ok, I'm stepping off the soap box now...
Overall, I loved this book and can't wait to see what happens next! I laughed, I cried, I despaired, I rejoiced, I lusted... It was the whole buffet of emotion all wrapped up in an exceedingly well-written (soap box episode aside) novel that kept me anxiously turning pages from beginning to end. Definitely worth reading!...more
So. Freaking. Good. I bought this book a while back, and it kind of got lost in my kindle library. I started to read it, and I just could not put it dSo. Freaking. Good. I bought this book a while back, and it kind of got lost in my kindle library. I started to read it, and I just could not put it down! The author successfully created a new world that somehow felt believable while remaining foreign or "other." The characters are interesting, believable and totally relatable. I sincerely hope there is a sequel in the works!...more
I find it interesting that the review of this book tend towards one extreme or the other--you either love it, or you hate it. Personally, I greatly enI find it interesting that the review of this book tend towards one extreme or the other--you either love it, or you hate it. Personally, I greatly enjoyed the story and the writing. Perhaps the character development was a bit lacking, but certainly not to the point that I couldn't relate to June and Day (the two main characters of the book).
One thing I think people should keep in mind when reading this novel (and, perhaps, all dystopian fiction) is that, as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't expect the characters to think, act or react in the way that a reasonable and/or prudent person would in a similar situation in contemporary times. The other option is to try to completely place yourself I their shoes. If you can do that, then I think the actions (thoughts, feelings, relationship development, maturity level, etc.) of the characters in this book should make quite a bit more sense. Shorter version: you can't compare June and Day to other fifteen-year olds you may know--or think you know. Also, considering that this book targets teen readers, you have to take into account that most teens think they know everything and are mature beyond their years. I know I did when I was that age, and I am consistently reminded of that long-forgotten paradigm when dealing with my two younger siblings. Had the author written this book from the perspective of an adult's view on what teenagers SHOULD think and feel at their age, the book would not have been well received by its intended audience (in my opinion).
I usually grade books on how interested I was, how much they made me feel and whether or not I want to read the next book in the series--whether or not there is one. With this book, all I can say is that there had BETTER be a sequel! After all, we need to make sure Tess is ok. We need to know if Eden is still alive and, if so, what they Republic plans to do with him. More than anything, I want to know what life is like in the colonies--is it better or worse? Are the colonies the "flip side" of the coin, or are they similarly frightening?
The only real negative I can give is that I am left wondering WHY there are two separate nation states within what I'm assuming was once the continental U.S.. Then again, maybe, as fifteen-year old kids living in a society clearly ruled by propaganda, fear, and the illusion of a democratic government, maybe June and Day don't really know what happened. Still, some more information on the subject would likely have rendered a more rich and textured backdrop to the story. Otherwise, I would say that this is one of the better books I've read in a while, and I remain befuddled by some of the more scathing reviews.
**Aside: if you liked this book, you'd probably enjoy the movie "Equilibrium."**...more