Amber was a foster child shifted from home to home, unsure where or who she came from.
The one thing Amber did know was that she was differe...moreMy Synopsis
Amber was a foster child shifted from home to home, unsure where or who she came from.
The one thing Amber did know was that she was different. See, every three years something happened to Amber. A burst of power that she couldn’t control, a surge of energy she couldn’t explain.
Amber has never let herself become attached to anyone because she is convinced she’ll lose them because of these surges. But Gabriel has loved Amber since the moment he laid eyes on her years earlier and he is now ready to prove it to her.
Nearing her eighteenth birthday, and her next scheduled life altering power surge, Amber will learn that these explosions of power are the least of her worries.
Amber learns that she is not human, or not entirely human, and she doesn’t belong on this earthly plane of existence. She destined for greater things; to be with the sisters she never knew she had, in a world she never knew existed.
The catch is that Amber is not willing to give up the love she just found.
Why I loved it
I love genre mashing. I love High Fantasy. I love Science Fiction. I love love. I love karate knowing, sword toting, emotionally constipated heroines.
Becoming is a great combination of everything I love in a book, especially strong female lead. Amber is closed off and cautious, it takes her years to admit her feelings for Gabriel but when she decides she loves him, she loves him with everything she has. They are equal partners and look out for each other. I love that.
Don’t get me wrong, their relationship is in NO WAY boring or lacking passion. Even though Amber and Gabriel go overboard on the PDA, I love them and they have a relationship built on all the things that really matter. I am tired of YA relationships implying that PASSION equals unbalanced or border-line abusive pairings.
I also loved how Thomas created an extremely complex world but kept the plot simple enough that it wasn’t overwhelming but engaging enough that I had to keep reading.
The Daughters of Saraquael Trilogy is unique and refreshing. It is perfect for anyone wanting something a little different, but still hitting all the things you love about YA!
What I could have done without
Sometimes the descriptions were too flowery for me. I am not overly feminine by any stretch of the imagination. Clothes, makeup, interior furnishings and anything pretty don’t really appeal to me. That being said, this is entirely personal preference and her descriptions were beautiful, well written and perfect for fashionista readers unlike myself.
Things that didn’t bother me but may bother you
Becoming has a lot of POV characters. The story seems to be told by whoever is closest to the action. This doesn’t bother me, I read so much and so many different things at once that I don’t have trouble keeping it straight. I also think in this particular case, the constant shift in POV gave a better and more rounded view of the world Thomas created. I also know that some people really don’t like multiple POV stories… so I include this only as a heads-up.
The other thing that I am very good at that some other readers are not is Suspension-of-Disbelief. There are some moments where you really have to put aside your understanding of the world and just trust the story. This is not a book for realists, this is a book for people who love to live in the worlds authors create for us and have faith that all will be explained. I did not find anything about this book confusing, but I can see how some would.
I LOVED it. I have the next two, Central and Foretold and I look forward to reading them soon! (less)
Lucy Sullivan is gifted, and after the death of her parents she returns to the Donovan Circus. There she hopes to find a new home and have a safe plac...moreLucy Sullivan is gifted, and after the death of her parents she returns to the Donovan Circus. There she hopes to find a new home and have a safe place to showcase her talent as a Firestarter, but trouble follows Lucy to the circus when a troupe member turns up dead and all eye’s are on the ‘new girl’. Lucy must learn to trust herself and her new friends in order to clear her name. As she struggles to learn the truth, she ends up uncovering secrets from her own past.
I originally gave this debut novel by Liz Long a 3.5 out of 5 because while I really liked this book, there were a few things that kept me from loving it. As Goodreads doesn’t do half points, I thought about what to do and decided that the originality of Long’s story deserved the credit so I bumped it up to 4.
Why I liked it
I’m really surprised that there aren’t more paranormal stories set in a circus. It’s an exciting world with so much potential for evil, secrets, betrayal, power and love. Long’s story definitely has all of those things and I was never left hanging but always wanting more. There is a fine balance between confusion and intrigue and while I thouht I knew what was going on Long did a great job of throwing a couple good twists and turns to keep me guessing.
Lucy was great. She was real; believable. What I loved most about her was that she has always known what she is. This wasn’t a story about some doe-eyed little girl who thought she was ‘normal’ and then discovers she was the key to saving the world. Lucy is a hard working, powerful, albeit emotionally constipated, Firestarter and she knows it. What she doesn’t know is just how powerful she really is.
Most of the supporting characters were well developed as well and each one had a very distinct personality.
The love triangle
In the real world, love and lust are two very different things.
Love takes work, real effort to make it last. Love is an investment that two people make in each other. Lust is just simply attraction. Lust has a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude where you either act on it or not.
In Gifted, we have two viable but different men. The adorable, affectionate, caring boyfriend type and the super-mega-sexy, emotionally closed off, aggravating, clothes-ripping bad boy.
And they both want Lucy… What’s a poor girl to do?
What makes this love triangle different and successful is that Lucy recognizes the reality of the situation and what it really comes down to is for her to decide what SHE wants. It becomes another obstacle Lucy must overcome to be more comfortable with who she is. She understands that while these boys offer her two kinds of affection, ultimately she really doesn’t need either of them. She wants them, but for different reasons.
Yes, the whole stars aligning soul mate crap is nice to read every once in a while but it’s refreshing to see a love story that I can relate to. Realistic.
Don’t get me wrong, Gabriel and Keegan are definitely worth the read…
Why I didn’t love it
The first issue I had with Gifted was lack of tension in the high action scenes.
I enjoyed Liz Long’s cheeky humour and easy-going writing style tremendously (it’s different than what I normally read) but I felt that some of the more serious moments in the story were brushed over with humour or rushed.
Sexual assault is a serious trauma and I didn’t feel as afraid for Lucy as I should have. I didn’t feel like there was enough fear… I know Lucy is a compression can of pent up emotion but I felt like I needed more tension in the writing.
Some of the more action packed scenes also lacked the tension to make them brilliant… they were exciting yes, but not nail-biting.
The second issue I had was dialogue, and this could just be a personal opinion thing (I am a stickler for dialogue) but I found the dialogue to be WAY to explanatory. It was the one thing that consistently pulled me out of the story, a couple times to the point of frustration. I felt like they just talked too much and explained to many things instead of letting the action show me what was happening.
Even though you can tell this novel is a debut, I still would recommend it to fans of paranormal, comic books and super-heroes. It’s a X-men meets Heroes meets Wonder Woman type story.
I would recommend a 16+ readership due to smoking, swearing and sexual violence. Technically I would not place this under the YA category, but New Adult
All in all, Gifted was fun, funny and a really great concept for a story. Liz Long has great potential as a writer and I have no doubt that the next Donovan Circus novel is going to be super kick-ass! (less)
Other than paying this book vague praises like I LOVED IT and AMAZING and OMG BATMAN I am really stumped at how to review it.
My Heart for Yours is pow...moreOther than paying this book vague praises like I LOVED IT and AMAZING and OMG BATMAN I am really stumped at how to review it.
My Heart for Yours is powerful but easy to read. It’s heavy but fun. It’s controversial but not preachy.
Anything I tell you will give away something that you must discover on your own. This book is a journey to heal old wounds, come to terms with what life has given us and to find the strength to stand on your own.
I loved how I never really knew who to blame; I never really knew who the ‘bad guy’ was or who was the one who really screwed it all up.
I had the plot figured all out. I knew what was going on. I thought it would be predictable. I was right, but in my assumptions I took a major wrong turn. I was still surprised by how things happened.
What this book taught me is that people are not always what they seem; That nothing in life is cut and dry or black and white.
It taught me that even when I know where life is going I have no idea how it’s going to get there.
And when I finished crying and started laughing, I threatened to kiss the authors…
This book gets a solid 5 out of 5! I may love Sebastian more than Miles from Looking for Alaska…
Sebastian Hawkins always gets what he wants, especially the girls. As the self-proclaimed ‘Hook-up Doctor’, Bastian anonymously helps girls get their dream guy… get them, not keep them. See, Sebastian only does hook-ups. That love crap isn’t for him. Not after what he’s seen his mom go through, breakup after breakup.
Then Bastian realizes something… You don’t get to choose when you fall in love, or with who. It happens no matter what and it scares the shit out of him. He also realizes when you fall in love, you totally lose your game…
WHY I LOVED IT
Boy POV can be tricky when written by a woman. First, Nyrae Dawn is not a guy. Second, she’s not a teenager. Third, none of that really matters because in my opinion she nailed it.
Bastian’s voice is so clear and so distinct it instantly transported me back to high school, where 90% of my friends were guys. Bastian reminded me of them 100%… I even found myself remembering certain situations in my own high school days and rolling my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.
The supporting characters Aspen, Pris and Jaden were also crazy realistic. They way they interacted with each other, how they spoke, their attitudes, the utter confusion about the opposite sex at that age was believable.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT IT
… ? I’m sorry, what was the question?
Other than the 2 spelling mistakes I found, this book is everything it claims to be. In all honesty, if you are intrigued by the amazing cover (what a cutie) and the blurb than you will not be dissapointed. If the title and the blurb doesn’t intice you then you shouldn’t read it. It really is that simple…
So rarely is a book everything it promises to be but this one is. And more!
I am so excited to get my hands on the companion novel What a Boy Needs told from the perspective of Bastian’s BFF… and Jaden may change my mind about whom I love more… I’m fickle when it comes to my fictional men, what can I say.(less)