How awesome does this sound: the Prince Charming we all know and love isn't one man, but an entire family. T...morethis review will go live on the blog10/11
How awesome does this sound: the Prince Charming we all know and love isn't one man, but an entire family. The Charming title is passed down from generation to generation - and these men aren't your everyday Prince. They're highly trained assassins, capable of taking down the toughest dragon and nastiest witch.
While pregnant, John Charming's mother was bit by a werewolf. John came into this world as the one thing his family was trained to hunt: a monster. As a child John showed no signs of being anything other than human. Perhaps it was a fluke; John might just be safe after all. Unfortunately, puberty struck. If you think it's hard on humans, well, you can imagine what it was like for John. While he doesn't sprout fur or fangs, he does have a heightened sense of smell and strong urges to kill. So far he's managed to keep a low profile, working at a bar and leading a rather ordinary life. That is until the day a vampire walked into the pub.
I wanted to be head-over-heels for Charming. This book sounds like it would be the ultimate Leah Novel; it has all the makings of a story perfectly suited for me. Sadly that wasn't the case. I'd like to think I'm fairly lenient to the start of new series. I understand there's a certain amount of world-building that needs to be done, especially for sci-fi/fantasy. That said, Charming was nothing but one massive info-dump - usually right in the middle of a big action scene.
I made it roughly halfway through this one before setting it aside. Charming was by no means a bad book - in fact I quite enjoyed it! I plan on revisiting it one day when I have more time (and patience) to devote to Charming's world.(less)
Sky Jumpers was available as a Read Now on netgalley and y'all know I can't pass up a good Middle Grade. Sad...morethis review will go live on the blog10/11
Sky Jumpers was available as a Read Now on netgalley and y'all know I can't pass up a good Middle Grade. Sadly I didn't make it more than a few chapters in before setting this book aside.
World War III nearly wiped out civilization. A small settlement was formed in White Rock, Nebraska - in a large crater - and has since flourished. The war was devastating, not only wiping out nearly every bit of technology, but also leaving behind deadly pockets of gas known as Bomb's Breath. Many people have died after walking into the gas, yet the kids view it as a toy. Leaping off cliffs and into the gas - holding your breath, of course! - slows your fall and feels like flying.
There was far too much going on in the chapters I read. All technology has been wiped out in a matter of years and it's up to 12-year-old Hope's class to come up with new inventions. There was some cliff-jumping, lots of exposition detailing the loss of technology, and a large info-dump explaining that this poisonous Bomb's Breath was actually the result of a green bomb - US citizens learned their lesson after WWII and created a 'green bomb' in an attempt to save people..? I didn't get it.
Perhaps I didn't read enough - admittedly I stopped about four chapters in (though that was a sizable portion of the less-than-200-page book) - but Sky Jumpers just didn't cut it. I had a difficult time grasping the idea of this new world and, quite frankly, didn't care enough to read about the new inventions these children were creating.(less)
Between that beautiful cover and - hello - SHANNON HALE, Dangerous was one of my most anticipated releases of 201...morethis review goes live on the blog3/4
Between that beautiful cover and - hello - SHANNON HALE, Dangerous was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014. Unfortunately I could only make it 147 pages in before throwing up a white flag and quitting. How is this from the same author of Princess Academy and The Goose Girl?? The only explanation I can come up with is that Hale has five books coming out this year. F-I-V-E. Clearly that had something to do with the lack of quality of Dangerous; this is not the Shannon Hale I know and love.
Maisie Danger Brown (yes, that's her real name) enters a sweepstakes on a cereal box for astronaut camp. Much to her surprise she wins and it's there the story goes downhill. Within 20 pages we have already met the two love interests (and she's already made out with one of them!). Had I known Dangerous was going to be a romance I wouldn't have bothered. Maisie's dream is to become an astronaut, yet once she meets Wilder, she can only think about him, her dream totally forgotten. Jonathan Ingalls Wilder (yes, that's his real name) is awful. He's dripping with wealth and despite his groupies that follow him everywhere, Maisie has somehow caught his eye. Get a load of this charmer:
"A home-schooled, black-eyed Latina." He whistled. "You are turning into a very ripe fruit for the plucking."
This comes from their first conversation. Wilder flip-flops with his feelings: he can't get enough of Maisie, yet any time she proves to be smarter than him, he immediately turns cold and starts chatting up another girl. What a guy.
The camp is run by a brilliant scientist I couldn't stand. I think she was supposed to be an aloof, head-in-the-clouds kind of scientist, but instead, she spends all of her time juggling. The greatest mind of our time, folks. She managed to build the Beanstalk, basically an elevator from Earth to an asteroid. Five campers are chosen to make the trip - Maisie, Wilder, Smart Asian Girl Who Likes Slushies, Beautiful-But-Mean Redhead, and French-African Boy Whose Cursing Is Bleeped (yep. bleeped.). While in space these five kids get to see alien artifacts and wind up absorbing their powers. Now instead of being human caricatures, they're human caricatures with super powers. Redhead turns into a Juggernaut-esque behemoth and can't stop eating. Slushie Girl can shoot things from her palms. Maisie discovers an ability to understand technology and build. The first thing she builds? A robot arm, thus rendering her disability (she only had one arm) completely pointless. Why bother having a disabled character if you're going to give her a special robot arm?
Things Happen (a fight breaks out and characters die) and the kids are on the run. Once Maisie's back home I lost any interest in Dangerous and judging from the reviews I've read, I didn't miss much by not finishing. Dangerous was SUCH a disappointment. Every single character was a personality trait rather than a person. Maisie's best friend Luther exists for the sole purpose of being another love interest. In his first scene Maisie comments on "how muscley" he's become - 7 pages into the book. There's a page-long joke that goes nowhere. All of the other campers virtually vanish once these five gain their powers.
Although the camp is for anyone 12-17, the writing felt more like a beginner's chapter book. Very short and simple sentences and any kind of explanation regarding space or technology is glossed over. Also, I'm still unclear as to when this novel takes place. At first I assumed the present day, but now I'm wondering if maybe it's set in the future? The characters discuss the Rolling Stones and the Beatles though so I'm not entirely sure.
If Shannon Hale's novels hold any kind of nostalgic feelings for you, do yourself a favor and avoid this one.
We were quiet, two tiny specks glued down by gravity, peering at a universe that didn't notice us back. The quiet and dark made me feel mysterious and stilled, a thing that glints in the dark, an object that can only be understood by careful study. Something like a poem.
When I first heard about The Paradox of Vertical Flight I was intrigued: an 18-year old & his 21-year old ex jus...morereview goes live on the blog9/16.
When I first heard about The Paradox of Vertical Flight I was intrigued: an 18-year old & his 21-year old ex just became parents, the baby is named Socrates, and they take off for Grandma's house. That's certainly unlike anything I had ever read before! I allowed curiosity to get the better of me and was horribly let down.
Jack and Jess were a summer fling. Once her college friends came back into the picture, Jack was cast off to the side and it wasn't until she found out she was pregnant that she got back into contact with him. Now the baby has been born and Jess made the decision to give him up for adoption. Initially Jack was on board. Once he saw his son however, his feelings changed and he jumped out a hospital window with his newborn baby.
Whatever. I can totally get with wacky, slightly unrealistic plots. While Jack's extreme irresponsibility made me cringe (leaving his HOURS-OLD son in a sink while he uses a public restroom, for instance!), what ultimately made me put this book down 45% of the way through was the writing:
"Overthrowing the patriarchy is not incompatible with romanticism, Jack."
This gem is taken from a conversation Jack and Socrates have. Socrates the baby, not the Greek philosopher. Also, Socrates is the one who offered up this statement.
Existential angst about the pointlessness of our mundane existences, case in point, the immutability of school schedules.
These are just a few examples of the overly-pretentious writing. At first I thought it was just how the book was written, but after seeing the author's 'review' on goodreads as well as his blog, I've realized it wasn't the book. I also learned the author is only 22. Hopefully he'll cut the crap soon and simply write. He definitely has potential - this novel could have been so much better! - but for now, I have to walk away.(less)
When I first came across this book and saw it was likened to Redwall…oh man. I was all over it. As I was reading it however, I realized that the only similarity lies with talking animals as the cast. And that’s only a small portion of the characters in The Rifts of Rime. Only select species (wolf, squirrels, ants, etc) were chosen by the Wealdened to become Quickened. They were granted intelligence and the ability to speak and write, recite poetry and craft songs.
I wasn’t expecting this book to be quite as violent as it was, especially for a middle grade novel. Granted, there were plenty of deaths in Redwall, but I don’t remember anything quite as graphic as depicted in The Rifts of Rime.
The characters were wonderfully written and I loved the poems and songs. Unfortunately, despite the numerous action sequences, this book just didn’t work for me. I had wanted so badly to enjoy it, and in certain parts I did, but overall, it was a bit of a letdown. However, even though it wasn’t for me, I can easily see younger readers devoured this book.(less)
Sigh. I was SO ready to love this book. I'm a huge fan of both biographies and history and, while I'm not very familiar with medieval France/Joan of Arc, I was very eager to read it and learn more.
Unfortunately, I was extremely misled by the title. The Secret History of Joan of Arc? Nope. More like, The Secret History of Every King, Queen, and Duke in Medieval Europe. In the introduction, the author mentions that Yolande of Aragon, Joan's biggest supporter, was born decades before Joan, so I wasn't expecting Joan to show up on the first page. I knew there would be some history prior to her birth, but I wasn't expecting it to take up the first half of the book. It wasn't until page 99 that Joan finally makes an appearance, and even then it's only sporadically; the story jumps right back to what various kings were up to.
The biggest strike against this book - and what ultimately led to its DNF status - interestingly enough wasn't the lack of the title figure. Instead, it was the writing. The author clearly spent her time researching. Unfortunately, her writing wound up being very dry; she had gone into painstaking detail recording every movement and action of the characters.
That's not to say the book wasn't interesting. There were parts I tore through and I'm pleased to say I learned quite a bit!
Sadly, despite my high hopes, The Maid and the Queen just wasn't for me.(less)
I’m a big fan of serial killer novels (it’s probably best I don’t run around blurting that out in public…) and the method in which these girls were ki...moreI’m a big fan of serial killer novels (it’s probably best I don’t run around blurting that out in public…) and the method in which these girls were killed & displayed was completely unlike anything I’ve read before.
The Pleasures of Men is a classic case of a great plot but a terrible execution (aka Matthew Pearl syndrome). I recently discovered Kate Williams has written multiple non-fiction books and I’m open to trying those. The writing in The Pleasures of Men is definitely not suitable for fiction; it really shouldn’t have surprised me that Williams is a notable historian.
I gave up with this one early on after a few attempts at starting it. Even though I desperately wanted to enjoy this book, it just didn’t work for me. I was thoroughly confused at times. The story is told through Catherine’s eyes, yet there were many times where I wasn’t sure who the narrator was or just what was going on.
Despite my best efforts, The Pleasures of Men & I just weren’t meant to be.(less)