You guys. I just really liked this book. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that it was the best book I’ve read within the last few months. Which iYou guys. I just really liked this book. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that it was the best book I’ve read within the last few months. Which is not to say it was perfect, because I had a few issues with it, but I just got so sucked into this book and had no desire to put it down.
Meg has got issues, that’s for sure, what with her drinking, drug use, low-cut shirts, authority issues, illegal activities, panic attacks, and blue hair. And yet, for whatever reason, I immediately connected with her. I think it’s something in the way she’s so honest with herself and with others—she doesn’t BS her way around or usually let others get away with it either. Plus, she’s got this smart-aleck mouth that I can’t help but admire.
John’s got his share of issues as well, although it took longer for them to become obvious. He’s got his anger management problem, and his bridge obsession, and his tendencies towards jealousy and pettiness. But I liked him too, for the most part. He does one thing at the end that really pissed me off, and he never totally worked his way back into my good graces after that, but I just try to pretend like that part didn’t happen so I can go on liking him.
Honestly, considering both Meg’s and John’s issues, I’m a little worried about the future of their relationship. They both have this tendency to poke at each other’s sore spots and lash out without thinking. But I really want it to work out for them. And since they’re fictional, I have every hope that it does.
I was a little disappointed in the very end, though. I feel like the resolution fell slightly flat. The rest of the book was full of tension and drama and barely restrained passion, so I felt like the final resolution was too quick and calm and easy in comparison. It just didn’t seem to fit Meg and John, I guess. I did like, however, that it was Meg who puts things back together in the end. Not a girl to wait around for others to do things is our Meg. Yet another reason I loved her.
Overall, like I said at the beginning, I was a total sucker for this book. I’ve been in the mood for teen drama lately, and this book definitely fit the bill. But what I like about it was that it wasn't just drama for drama’s sake—there was unexpected substance and sincerity to the story and the characters too.
I'm getting more into this series, I think. I still like Mercy better than Anna, but overall, the whole Alpha and Omega bit is growing on me. Not thatI'm getting more into this series, I think. I still like Mercy better than Anna, but overall, the whole Alpha and Omega bit is growing on me. Not that I disliked it before or anything--it just never quite clicked like the Mercy Thompson series did. But these books are just so well written and so engrossing that I can't help wanting to read them. ...more
So here's the thing. I rather enjoyed this story, but now I'm like, what's left for the full length novels? Because it seems like all the best tensionSo here's the thing. I rather enjoyed this story, but now I'm like, what's left for the full length novels? Because it seems like all the best tension between Anna and Charles has already been resolved, and we all know romantic tension is the only thing that keeps me reading half the time. Also, what kind of name is Charles for an alpha wolf? "Charles" is a little too urbane and dashing to suit, I think. Anyway, despite my hesitancy, I'll give "Cry Wolf" a shot and see how it goes. ...more
**spoiler alert** So this is one of those books that I feel didn’t quite live up to its potential. It really had some awesome things going for it, num**spoiler alert** So this is one of those books that I feel didn’t quite live up to its potential. It really had some awesome things going for it, number one being that it takes place in ancient China. On top of that, it has some Chinese mythology and fantasy elements going on, which were pretty fascinating. And I really liked the storyline with Zhong Ye, the bad guy, and thought that whole thing was cool in a creepy way.
But . . . the writing never quite won me over—it never seemed to gain any real depth or insight. And honestly, the conversations usually came off as pretty trite to me. Plus, Ai Ling had a tendency to annoy me, which never bodes well for my opinion of a book. Although, I am willing to admit that it might just be a personality clash for me rather than any true flaw in her character. But really, the thing that annoyed me the most about the book *spoiler alert* is that Ai Ling gets all hot and heavy with the bad guy but doesn’t even hold hands with Chen Yong, the dreamboat. I mean, what’s up with that? It’s probably really superficial of me to care, but I need at least a tiny hint of romantic resolution in my stories, and I definitely didn’t get it here. *end spoiler*
Overall, I thought the book was alright, but I’m not sure if it would’ve held my attention if it hadn’t had all the cool Chinese stuff going for it. I’m fairly tempted to check out the next book in the series to see if it improves—because I do think it has potential. Also because I need me some romantic resolution.
Fun. That’s how I’d describe this book. A whole lot of adventurous, girl-power fun. It’s not unlike Charlie’s Angels, if Charlie’s Angels happened toFun. That’s how I’d describe this book. A whole lot of adventurous, girl-power fun. It’s not unlike Charlie’s Angels, if Charlie’s Angels happened to take place in a steampunk Victorian England. But this book one-ups even the Angels, since the Friday Society girls handle their own mystery solving rather than relying on a man to give them directions. And that’s kinda the point of this book—the three girls, who are assistants to famous men in their day-to-day lives, don’t need men to make their plans, solve problems, and kick butt when it comes to their crime fighting. The blurb on the cover flap pretty much says it all: “An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns and the heroines who use them all.”
Cora, Nellie, and Michiko are pure awesomeness. They each have their own set of talents that come together to make them an unstoppable team—Cora and her problem solving, Nellie and her ability to get out of tricky situations, and Michiko and her fighting. And what I love most about them is that they never really doubt their own worth and skills. Despite living in a society where women are second-class citizens, these three girls know they’re intelligent and don’t let others convince them otherwise. Not a group of shrinking violets, these three. Just take a look at the cover art. At first, I wasn’t that fond of the cover, but after reading the book, I think it captures the girls and their attitude perfectly.
The only thing that semi-annoyed me about the book was the writing style. This is probably just me being nitpicky, but the writing came off as a little too informal. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing that’s more casual, and I do think a casual style fits this book—it’s just that I think the book took that style a little too far sometimes. Occasionally, I felt like I was trapped in the movie Clueless or something, and things that would sound normal if they were spoken didn’t always come across with the same fluidity when they were written down.
Overall, a light, adventurous mystery filled with awesome girls kicking butt. I’m definitely interested in finding out what these three get up to next.
The thing is, I went into this book already knowing how it ends. So I was bracing myself for the ending from practically the first page. As a result .The thing is, I went into this book already knowing how it ends. So I was bracing myself for the ending from practically the first page. As a result . . . I wasn't nearly as miffed at the ending as I was expecting to be. I was actually kind of fine with it, actually. Sure, it wasn't the ending I would've preferred, but all around, it all came together a whole lot less depressingly than I was expecting. I feel like my expectations were so impossibly low that the book couldn't help but be more or less a pleasant surprise.
So, actually, it wasn't the ending that resulted in the two-star rating. It was the fact that aside from the parts of the book with Becky and Felix together, the rest was so impossibly slow. And boring. I honestly did not care one bit about Becky's perfect Mormon-mommy lifestyle. I just really didn't. So I felt like I was dragging myself through the pages just to get to the next scene with Becky and Felix. Because, boy, do those two have chemistry. And they're witty in that wonderful way that only fiction characters can be--always spot on, with just the right timing and delivery. But since Shannon Hale wrote the scenes between them so ridiculously well, it was always a let down to be forced back into Becky's day-to-day life.
All in all, I think my general thoughts are basically, "At least it didn't suck as much as I was expecting." Which is more than I can say for some other books I've read. ...more
At first I was a bit daunted by how long this book is--562 pages for what's essentially a romance seemed a bit much. But by the time I'd finished theAt first I was a bit daunted by how long this book is--562 pages for what's essentially a romance seemed a bit much. But by the time I'd finished the first chapter, I was a goner and I didn't look back once. This became one of those rare books that I found myself thinking about even when I wasn't reading it. Because Grace and Vaughn are so painfully real. Both of them are far, far from perfect, and they say and do so many hurtful things to each other. And there were so many times when I just couldn't see how things could possibly work out between them--and not just work out between them, but work out between them in a way that I could believe. But the wonderful thing is that although Grace and Vaughn can bring out each other's worst, they also bring out each other's best, and when they're not arguing, they manage to help each other be a little better than they were. Their relationship isn't about what's easy or cute or smooth, it's about them coming to care for the other person along with their flaws instead of expecting them to change. It's about them knowing each other's annoying bits, problems, and bad habits and deciding that they're worth it anyway. It's rather beautiful, actually.
The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was that, while I liked that Vaughn is a flawed, difficult character, there were one or two times when he came perilously close to crossing the line into unacceptable behavior. He did a few too many things that I wasn't sure I--or Grace--should forgive him for.
Obviously, this book isn't always easy--the characters can be quite frustrating at times--but I think, in the end, that made me like it all the more. As the reader, I had to work hard to reach the happy ending, but that effort made the final resolution mean so much more than it would've otherwise.