**spoiler alert** This one is a 3.5 for me. I would give the first half of the book three stars, and the second half four. I did enjoy seeing the cont...more**spoiler alert** This one is a 3.5 for me. I would give the first half of the book three stars, and the second half four. I did enjoy seeing the continuation of Seth and Aislinn's story, but I got tired of the setup of the story in the beginning and then the many conversations reiterating the problems faced by the characters. I didn't feel that the story made any progress until Seth made his choice. It remains to be seen if Seth made a good choice. I didn't think it would be, but as things went on I started to see some potential in it. I look forward to finding out what will happen, although it looks like the fourth book in the series, which won't be out until next year, will once again be focusing on a side character.
Note: This series is for OLDER YA, bordering on adult.(less)
I didn't expect to like this as much as Wicked Lovely. I'd read reviews of people who didn't like it nearly as much. I knew that it wasn't about Aisli...moreI didn't expect to like this as much as Wicked Lovely. I'd read reviews of people who didn't like it nearly as much. I knew that it wasn't about Aislinn and Seth. I couldn't figure out why Leslie needed a whole book of her own - based on her small part in Wicked Lovely. I also don't plan to ever get a tattoo, so I thought the tattoo parts would be so far out of my realm of experience that I wouldn't be interested.
I was wrong! Once I got past the first few pages of setup which were too long and confusing, I really started to get drawn into the story. I liked Leslie much more than I expected, and hoped she would be able to figure out solutions to her problems. I even came to like Irial, and I cared about what happened to him. And I was also quite interested in all of the details about tattooing! Now I understand a bit more why people might choose to have tattoos and what a tattoo can mean for them - even though I will never make that choice. And really, isn't that one of the great things about reading: learning about and vicariously experiencing things that you will never experience in real life?
I enjoy being immersed in the world Melissa Marr has created, and I look forward to getting back to Aislinn and Seth's story in Fragile Eternity!(less)
This was my first time winning a Goodreads First Reads giveaway! And what a great book for my first win! The illustrations are gorgeous and interestin...moreThis was my first time winning a Goodreads First Reads giveaway! And what a great book for my first win! The illustrations are gorgeous and interesting. I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a Caldecott contender. I found new and interesting details every time I looked through the book.
The story is also very fun! It's an answer to a question posed in one of Aesop's fables. A group of mice have an idea to minimize the danger of the cat, which is to tie a ribbon with a bell around the cat's neck. The flaw in the plan is brought out by an old mouse: "But who is to bell the cat?" In this book, a mouse and his friend, Brown Bat, live in a castle with a princess and eight cats. Mouse decides that in order to have the run of the castle, he needs to bell the cats. He must then use his wits, determination, and creativity to figure out how to bell the cats.
This would work great as part of a lesson on fables or as an idea for a writing prompt. Students could be asked to write their own answer to the question: "But who will bell the cats?"(less)
This pulled me right along and wouldn't let go because there are so many unanswered questions! The reader doesn't know any more than Thomas, and I kep...moreThis pulled me right along and wouldn't let go because there are so many unanswered questions! The reader doesn't know any more than Thomas, and I kept reading and reading to find out the answers! Thomas remembers almost no details about his life before he woke up alone in an elevator box that takes him to a place called the Glade which is inhabited by a group of young adult boys who also don't remember their past. The boys have organized themselves according to a strict set of rules and tasks all designed to keep them alive while they attempt to find a way out of the Glade and its surrounding maze.
James Dashner has crafted a fascinating and frustrating story! I'm wishing now I would have waited to read any of them until the third (final?) book comes out! I see the second one, The Scorch Trials, just came out.
My one complaint (besides being kept in the dark as much as the characters in the story!) was the frequent use of statements like: "Thomas had no memory of his life before the Box, but he was positive he'd finished the worst twenty-four hours of his existence." Those statements made me feel like the author wasn't quite sure how to deal with characters having such a limited memory of past experiences. The idea is intriguing, so I wanted him to really go with it!(less)
A lot of reviewers have compared this to Twilight. While there are a lot of similarities, I think Maggie Stiefvater's story of wolves and teen love do...moreA lot of reviewers have compared this to Twilight. While there are a lot of similarities, I think Maggie Stiefvater's story of wolves and teen love does manage to have some unique ideas. I really liked the first person narrative and how it switched back and forth between Grace and Sam - although there were a few times I got confused and had to go back to the chapter heading to remind myself who the current narrator was. I also really liked that she included the temperature at the beginning of each chapter. Such a great idea for a story that hinges entirely on the temperature! I see that there will be a sequel next year. I thought the book stood nicely on its own, but I will definitely want to read any other books set in this world with these characters.(less)
I liked the premise of this a lot, and thought I would really like it. But it was much too slow in the beginning and read too much like a memoir. I wa...moreI liked the premise of this a lot, and thought I would really like it. But it was much too slow in the beginning and read too much like a memoir. I wanted her to get on to the action/mystery portion of the story! Once that happened, the story started to move and I enjoyed it much more. It made me want to reread some Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It's been much too long since I read any.
I'm giving this four stars even though 3.5 would be more accurate. The first really dragged for me and was about 2.5 stars for me. It slowly worked its way up to 3 stars and was at 4 stars by the end. I would be interested in reading more in this series sometime, but probably not right away.(less)
I knew it was a mistake to start this so late at night! But I told myself I would just read for an hour or so and then stop and get some sleep. Sleep...moreI knew it was a mistake to start this so late at night! But I told myself I would just read for an hour or so and then stop and get some sleep. Sleep didn't happen until I had finished the book. I absolutely had to find out how it ended! There were times while reading that I really didn't like the book. I felt like I was there, witnessing the events, and some of them were just not very pleasant. But I was still compelled to know what happened! I think the author has done an amazing job of portraying a zombie apocalypse. I definitely wouldn't want to live there, but I was rooting for the survivors all the way!(less)
Excellent! This is well-researched and well-written. I have never before understood so well and in such detail what the soldiers at Valley Forge suffe...moreExcellent! This is well-researched and well-written. I have never before understood so well and in such detail what the soldiers at Valley Forge suffered. I loved the quotes from letters and journals at the beginning of each chapter. I also found the author notes at the end to be very informative.
I did have a hard time caring about Isabel like I did in the first book. She seemed different and distant somehow. But that didn't ruin my enjoyment of this book at all. If you've read and enjoyed Chains, you definitely need to read this one. Even if you haven't read Chains, this is a great book to read. Highly recommended!
A favorite quote, one of the soldiers in Curzon's company speaking of Valley Forge: "This camp is a forge for the army; it's testing our mettle. Instead of heat and hammer, our trials are cold and hunger. Question is, what are we made of?"
Another favorite quote at the beginning of chapter XLVII: "His excellency today appealed to the Officers of this Army to consider themselves as a band of brothers cemented by the justice of a common cause." -General Orders of George Washington, Valley Forge(less)
Wow. I loved this. I didn't want to put it down! This surprised me, because after River Secrets, the series was going just slightly downhill for me. I...moreWow. I loved this. I didn't want to put it down! This surprised me, because after River Secrets, the series was going just slightly downhill for me. I still loved all of the characters, but I didn't think there was really anywhere else for the story to go. I was SO wrong! And now I would love at least FOUR more Bayern books! Or really anything else Shannon Hale wants to write - particularly for young adults. I would love to go back and revisit the entire series again. So many books, so little time!(less)
While I can appreciate Margaret Atwood's skill and writing style, I found this book unpleasant to read. I really didn't enjoy being in the world she c...moreWhile I can appreciate Margaret Atwood's skill and writing style, I found this book unpleasant to read. I really didn't enjoy being in the world she created. I know Atwood didn't intend to create a "pleasant" world, and she definitely succeeded. And while I appreciate her writing style, I also didn't enjoy it. Not knowing much in the beginning is okay, but that isn't okay at the end. I'm not saying others shouldn't read this. This is a dystopic novel that will make you think. But it is also disturbing and unpleasant. I generally like reading dystopia, but unfortunately not this one.(less)
I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I didn't like American Gods much and expected that this would be pretty much the same for me. It wasn'...moreI didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I didn't like American Gods much and expected that this would be pretty much the same for me. It wasn't.
Of course Neil Gaiman did one thing that is guaranteed to make me start the book with a smile on my face - he dedicated it to me! I always like that.
I also really liked the characters and the solutions they found for their problems. I especially liked Maeve Livingstone and Daisy Day.
So, if you are looking for a well-written, VERY different type of retold fairy tale (or more accurately a retold myth) with some great characters and an interesting plot, this is the book for you.(less)
A nice enough read, but like other reviewers here have mentioned, I kept finding elements that were VERY like elements from other fantasy stories. Of...moreA nice enough read, but like other reviewers here have mentioned, I kept finding elements that were VERY like elements from other fantasy stories. Of course all stories are going to have some elements in common with some other story, but this just seemed to have a LOT of them. The funny thing is, I did enjoy the story even while thinking, "Hey, that's just like in Harry Potter," or "Hey, I bet Cassandra Clare is a Buffy fan." I liked the characters and will probably read the second book in the trilogy one of these days.
One thing that made me laugh: I always knew when a demon or Forsaken was waiting to attack our group of heroes because the lightbulbs in the hall or room would be burned out, forcing our heroes to walk through some scary darkness right before the attack. Okay, not EVERY time, but more than once!(less)
This wasn't a favorite, but I did start enjoying it more about half way through. I think I finally got used to Liz's character - and about half way th...moreThis wasn't a favorite, but I did start enjoying it more about half way through. I think I finally got used to Liz's character - and about half way through is when she started to grow up a bit. She was such a whiny teen for the first half!
I do think this could be a great book for sparking some discussion about the afterlife and making the most of the time you have in this life. It certainly made me want to discuss those concepts with others.
There were some things that really bothered me about "Elsewhere," though. Probably my least favorite thing about that world is the concept of growing younger or living backwards. That is just such a strange thing and made for some really weird situations in the book. I believe we will continue to progress in the life after this one. Growing younger and eventually becoming a baby again just doesn't fit in with my belief system at all.
I did really like the concept of dogs in heaven and the fact that humans and dogs can communicate! That's something I really hope for in the next life.
This is for older YA since there is some discussion of sex. Liz spends time observing family and friends from observation decks in Elsewhere. She views her parents having sex (ew! why?) and also sees a best friend lose her virginity. It isn't a huge part of the story, but it is there. Again, I say, why?
So while I did start to enjoy this more during the second half, this isn't really a book I recommend - unless you are looking for a book that will spark some discussion and thoughts on the afterlife.(less)