I don't believe I ever reviewed Born Wicked. I think it just read it from the library in the midst of a bunch of review books, so I don't think I got...moreI don't believe I ever reviewed Born Wicked. I think it just read it from the library in the midst of a bunch of review books, so I don't think I got around to it. But I loved the story. I loved the atmosphere and setting of the story. It's so Puritan *not actual Puritans though* but to a even bigger extreme. There's just something about that type of reading backdrop that really gets me.
Ok so Cate is a fabulously strong main character. She's so loyal and stubborn when it really matters. There is a lot riding on her magic, but when circumstances begin to bring Tess into it, the stress only doubles. It would be a relief for her to just carry it on her shoulders if Tess was spared. Ms. Spotswood decided not to allow that for Cate, *or me, the reader, that was weeping on her bed* but the plot was just SO GOOD!
I got all the feels throughout the story. I yelled a lot at the Brotherhood for being so misogynous. The level they took their drive to stamp out women's voices took ignorance to a whole new level. There was a scene in the story involving books that I really cried over. It was a serious boo-hoo session.
Cate's sister Maura. Oh. My. Goodness. Can someone give me permission to just shoot her in the head so Cate doesn't have to?? I mean how obnoxiously prideful and ignorant can you be?? Cate goes to great lengths to repair the damage to their relationship, but Maura is way too caught up in herself to be much help for that.
Throughout the story, Cate really grows as a character. There is so much development, and I was really excited to see the risks she begins to make to change the Sisterhood's position for the better in a way that helps, not harms. Her relationship with Finn? Swoon. Yep, he's a wonderful fella to have in a life. Which brings me back to Maura. OOOOOOOOoooooo! I can't believe her. Ms. Spotswood broke my heart into pieces with that ending. *My lips are sealed though.* (less)
Ok I should really start this review saying that I actually despise Shakespeare. My Brit Lit professor was also an expert in Feminist Theory. It wasn'...moreOk I should really start this review saying that I actually despise Shakespeare. My Brit Lit professor was also an expert in Feminist Theory. It wasn't a good combo, and I obtained a few perspectives that ruined Shakespeare for me. All that to mention that I didn't realize it was a retelling of Hamlet until I had started it. I was hooked at that point anyways. I read some recaps of Hamlet to get the gist. I may despise Shakespeare, but I love Dot Hutchinson.
Now I can't vouch for the original version or the perspectives, but it seems to be that Ophelia didn't get much of a voice. Even though she was a bit "mad", I found her perspective to be beautiful and lovely. The fact that she leans more towards the crazy side brings out the beauty of an unreliable character. The scenes between Ophelia and Dane are palpable with raw emotion, chaos, and rides a turbulent line between pain and pleasure. Despite Dane's flaws, and there are many, the reader can't help but sympathize with him. Ophelia chooses to absorb the pain that Dane expresses in many different ways, many in ways that threaten to destroy each of them.
The writing though. Oh my goodness the writing. The writing just flows in an endless stream of gorgeously constructed phrases. Still there was this control. As I read, I knew she knew what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. So I know that Ms. Hutchinson's style is just absolutely fabulous. The story is full of delicious word play that I read over and over at times. My mom probably got tired of hearing me yell "Listen to this line!" over and over again. There are just some kinds of written word that need to be shared with everyone around even if they don't appreciate it the same way.
Low Points: Ophelia's relationship with Dane is a very abusive one. You can excuse it and picture it in many different lights, but it was what we would classify as abusive. I'm not saying it really subtracts from the book, but it is a hard topic to read.
High Points: Gorgeous writing A great modern version of Hamlet Gives Ophelia the voice she deserves Who Should Read It: Shakespeare fan's will probably appreciate it and fans of sad books. I'd also recommend to fans of Laini Taylor because of the similar style. (less)
I'm going to do everything in my power to keep myself reigned in and keep this review short. That is hard for me to do with Ms. Hawkins's books. For...more I'm going to do everything in my power to keep myself reigned in and keep this review short. That is hard for me to do with Ms. Hawkins's books. For me, I thought this was a great conclusion for the Hex Hall books. I have to limit what I say so I don't give things away.
The book picks up around where Demonglass left off. Sophie had left to go find her mother. Cal had told her that her mother was with the Brannick's *a group of monster hunters* so that's where the story picks up. She finds that she doesn't know where her father, Cal, Archer, or Jenna are. It was a bit of a pickle. Plus, she is a demon looking for her mother with a group that tends to hunt demons. It had all the makings for a horrible situation. Waiting for Sophie though is a very interesting discovery. It definitely threw me for a loop.
The characters, as always, are incredible. Sophie's sarcasm and snark are irresistible for me as a reader. I just want more and more. I thought this was one of the funniest of the books. It also was action-packed, full of twists and turns, and kept me on my toes. The love triangle between Cal and Archer was really hard for me because I really loved both of them. Sophie does make her choice though.
There was something really sad that happens in the end though. Really sad. The last few pages did help me get closure on the series. All in all, the book is an awesome conclusion to an awesome series. Low Points: While the book was action-packed, at times it just felt too rushed. There was a particular scene at the end of the book that was this huge action scene and a huge part of the plot. It took up only about five pages. That's just crazy. I also did not like how the love triangle was solved in the ending. I felt incredibly bad for the one not picked.
High Points: The humor, of course. Sophie is such a kick-butt character, and she is loyal and willing to get herself into all kinds of problems. Jenna and her friendship with Sophie is one of the best bff-relationships ever.
Who Should Read It: Readers who still haven't finished the Hex Hall series should jump on that. (less)
Why I Loved It: When radioactive poisoning was a huge threat during the Cold War, people started taking a little blue pill called Radiasure. The thing...moreWhy I Loved It: When radioactive poisoning was a huge threat during the Cold War, people started taking a little blue pill called Radiasure. The thing about this whole pill is that it started causing mutations in DNA. It wasn't seem much at first, but when a generation started to having children with strange features like pink skin or weird hair or special abilities, the effects became more apparent. After a time, it became even more and more obvious. Now people liked to use Radiasure to increase their power. And just like any kind of drug like that, power becomes wrapped up in the pills.
Powerful criminals then start manipulating the people with special abilities and fighting for control of the pills. Fiona's father is one of the biggest crime lords, and she was born as the first invisible person in the world. Sadly, that makes her a pawn in her father's hands. I mean an invisible person is every crime lord's dream come true. Her father's ability is that he is able to pretty much make women do whatever he wants them to do. Which makes manipulating Fiona and her mother, a telekinetic, so much easier.
Living as a pawn of her father, she didn't exactly live a normal life. When her mother decides that she really wants to escape, Fiona has to learn how be normal. It's not really easy to be normal when you are invisible. I mean I'm sure it would seem weird seeing a walking set of clothes. Plus, being the only invisible person in the world and the daughter of a well-known criminal tends to follow her.
The story was quite interesting. I know that there were a couple of things that bothered me while I read, but the story really was captivating. The friends that Fiona makes in her learning to be normal, as normal as you can be when you are invisible, are incredibly interesting. I really enjoyed getting to know them. Fiona's two brothers were interesting as well. Graham was a jerk and Miles was wonderful. And the boy that Fiona ends up falling for has a power that is just what Fiona needs.
I found that the novel was well-thought-out and quite interesting. I love reading books about people with super powers. Some people might get all focused on the science, but that's never really been a problem for me. I found Transparent to be funny, with sweet and sour moments, and a concept that I found incredibly interesting. Granted, I was just looking for some light reading. It was what I needed at the time.
Low Points: There wasn't a massive amount of world-building, Fiona could be a bit rude and selfish at times, her mother is treated poorly at times considering how much of a victim she really is in the story.
High Points: Super powers, mafia-type world, Miles *awesome big brother*, some super friends, and a really sweet romance.
Who Should Read It: I think people who love the whole super powers things and the Oceans movies would appreciate the book. (less)
Why I Loved It: In all honesty, I should say before my review that I don't know much about Zelda Fitzgerald. All I really knew about F. Scott Fitzgera...moreWhy I Loved It: In all honesty, I should say before my review that I don't know much about Zelda Fitzgerald. All I really knew about F. Scott Fitzgerald was just from reading some of his work. My love of Midnight in Paris is what made me click request on NetGalley. My enjoyment of this book has nothing to do with accuracy of the historical information.
I wasn't sure what to expect in this book. The time period though is such an interesting time. The 20's? It was just interesting time in our history. Prohibition. The first world war. New York. And then the book goes into Paris and other parts of France, Italy, and other places. I love books that allow me to explore the world outside the great state of Texas. I really thought that the author did a great job of capturing the blurring world that Scott and Zelda faced.
As a story, the book was pretty awesome. The story was powerful, and I felt all these crazy swirling emotions throughout Zelda's fight with her world, her role as a woman, and the wife of a great and troubled writer. Living in the world now, I can't imagine what it must have really been like for women. Many people would be disappointed to find that I am not really a feminist. But I do understand that it's hard to criticize a world in which I didn't live. I really appreciated the character that Zelda represented.
Many would really appreciate the relationship between Scott and Zelda. There was a lot of love there, but there was also a bit of toxicity. The relationship was just as bad for them as there was good. Watching them love each other and yet slowly tear each other apart was incredibly heartbreaking to witness through the pages. Seeing the different characters that we have come to recognize through their work in the book was also really interesting. Characters like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Gerald and Sara Murphy, Ezra Pound, Picasso, and many others fill the book. I really appreciate that kind of thing.
I know that my review isn't a super clear image of what the book is. Let me try to summarize. Zelda Fitzgerald was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a great writer from the 20's. She was also a dancer, an artist, and a writer herself. She would discover so much about who she is throughout the story, but she is also faced with the conflicts such discoveries have with the role that women were to play during that time. As a daughter of the South, Scott promised her a world of adventure. Still at the end of a tumultuous adventure, even in the midst of mental instability made worse by misdiagnosis, she kept a strength and dignity that I respected. The story is powerful and emotional and the writing, to me, was beautiful. It's a great story, and it makes me want to read some biographies and read some of Zelda's work.
Who Should Read It: In all honesty, I would recommend this to those who love historical fiction. I can't vouch for historical accuracy, but it was an interesting story. With the new Gatsby movie coming out, I thought the book being published was great timing!
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Kiersten White is becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes these books that are so totally different and unique but with this common writing th...moreKiersten White is becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes these books that are so totally different and unique but with this common writing that is just fabulous. In Chaos, the figurative language is just gorgeous. Isadora thinks in these beautiful scenes that makes you wonder if she too is a poet like the love interest in the book, the beautiful and Greek Ry a.k.a. Orion. He is wonderfully Greek with the most beautiful eyes. The thing is that Isadora is very Egyptian. Actually, she is so Egyptian that her mother is Isis, goddess of life, and her father is Osiris, god of death. I don't know how you are on your history, but Egyptians were not always fans of the Greeks. But that's not even the problem. The problem is that Isadora is tired of spending her life under her mother's thumb. I mean, she's a goddess. She tends to know everything. Mothers can be hard on any teenage girl, but a goddess for a mother? Yikes.
Considering that I tend to immerse myself in books with Greek or Roman Mythology, it was really nice to read some Egyptian mythology. It was really interesting. Even though Isadora drove me crazy at times, I really admired her as a character. She was tough and strong and she had this amazing creative side that could transform the space around her into whatever her mind could come up with. I can't tell you how much I admire interior designers. I pretty much adore to HGTV shows. Anyways, off that rabbit trail, the book has a great sense of foreshadowing the whole time which leaves you waiting to see what horrible thing could happen. It builds intensity like crazy. And I loved it.
Who Should Read It? I'd recommend this one to anyone who appreciates mythology wrapped in a modern package. It was fabulous for that. This is a great quick read for those who love books that keep you on edge. (less)
When the author sent me the summary of the story with her request for me to read it, I thought it was actually really interesting. Agreeing to review...moreWhen the author sent me the summary of the story with her request for me to read it, I thought it was actually really interesting. Agreeing to review like this isn't something I normally do. The story was also short *like 65 pages* so that made it easier to agree to. Anyways, I sat down to read it in one sitting, and the story was actually a decent and interesting read.
The town is actually kind of isolated in it's thinking. I had a hard time really getting a grip on the time period because of this, but it wasn't that big of a concern for me. Hannah, the main character, sets up the town pretty well for you to visualize it. The idea is that some strangers come in, associated with the church, and basically have these false pretenses. Their true reason for being there is actually incredibly creepy, and the solution is still a bit sad.
All in all, I have never quite read a story like this one. The writing was decent, though there were a few parts that could be fixed up. Editors tend to do that kind of work though, so I think the plot and storyline have huge potential. Considering it was only 65 pages, there were a lot of places that kind of seemed rushed. I know that sounds like bad things, but in all honesty, if the author were to expand on a few things and makes this novella into a novel, I would seriously buy it. I think just expansion would fix a few minor spots and really make this into a great novel. Hannah's relationship with the outsider in the beginning when she is starting to fall in love with him for example. I wanted more. I wanted sweet moments. I wanted to really understand how she had fallen for him.
Still the plot was intriguing, the ending satisfying, and the writing good. I enjoyed reading the story, and I look forward to see what the author does with it in the future!(less)
I'm going to approach this review like I promised myself I would always approach a review. And with that being clear to myself and you, here we go:
The...moreI'm going to approach this review like I promised myself I would always approach a review. And with that being clear to myself and you, here we go:
The element that comes out more in this book that I really liked was Travis's relationship with his family. If you read Beautiful Disaster, you know that there is some family interaction, but not much. While the family interaction is still not super present, there is more. Those relationships were a nice touch.
After that though? This book and I did not see eye to eye. I should say that I didn't love Beautiful Disaster. It was addicting and I had a train wreck kind of experience with it. I couldn't put it down, but afterwards I kept thinking man that is a screwed up relationship. I understand why people loved it so much, but it wasn't completely for me. So why did I read Walking Disaster? Well here's the thing. In Beautiful Disaster, I thought that Travis was overwhelmingly temperamental and immature, and verging on emotional abusive with controlling behavior. Nothing good, right? Well I thought that maybe seeing the story through his perspective would make me understand him better.
Well I did understand him better, but I think I hated him more at the end of the book. I'm sure there are relationships that are exactly like Travis and Abby's. They are probably full of disfunction, girl's with broken hearts over their pasts, and guys who feel the need to be controlling and get violent when they have a broken heart. But I don't want to celebrate such relationships. And I sure don't want to romanticize such relationships. I am not one of those people that believes that we have people we can't survive without. We can. And things happen. There is grief and then there is obsession. All in all, being in Travis's head just made me feel like he was more selfish and immature that I had thought. I kept feeling like the book was trying to convince me that there were things inside him that had him so messed up, but I felt like it didn't really translate well all the way through. And it just seemed to excuse his behavior that for me was inexcusable. Don't even get me started on Travis's attitude towards the women he slept with other than Abby. It made me incredibly angry.
So all of that? Not so good. My other concern was that as a book, Walking Disaster was just not that well-written. Beautiful Disaster's writing was actually good despite my concerns about the content. I could appreciate the writing. This book was missing so much that made the first one good. First off, in my opinion this should have been a stand-alone. I really think you should be able to read this book and still fully understand the events that happened in the first book. Not so much. I mean the way the books were approached, I was expecting that. The book depended too much on telling and way less on showing. There is a big difference with an author saying I felt sad compared to the author that describes the character to the point I know that they are sad. It makes a huge difference for me as a reader. Unfortunately, it seemed to have more of the telling side. I also thought some pretty big parts of the plot of the first book were skipped over.
All of that is just my opinion. If you were a die-hard fan of the first book, you will probably love the second one. I understand that it all just comes down to taste. There are books I love that some people think I'm crazy for loving. I get the appeal that people have towards the series, but unfortunately I am one of the ones that hated this one.(less)
*ATTENTION* If you have not read the O'Malley series, you are not allowed to read this review. Stop. Back away, and go to the nearest library/bookstor...more*ATTENTION* If you have not read the O'Malley series, you are not allowed to read this review. Stop. Back away, and go to the nearest library/bookstore and get Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson. Start reading. There are six more books after that for you to consume!
I am so thankful that Dee Henderson decided to give her fans this. Jennifer was probably my favorite character in the O'Malley series. She was all heart and generosity. As a doctor, she is incredibly able to know each of her patients intimately. She takes the time. Seeing her in this book brought that to light even more. I feel like I know Jennifer so much more. And Tom. I just love Dee Henderson's love stories.
The book has Dee Henderson all over it. It was so beautiful with that feeling I only get from her! The relationship that builds between Tom and Jennifer is truly beautiful and unusual for these days. I want that so much. The story really gives you a look into how Jennifer started her belief in God, her love for Tom, and how she begins to deal with her cancer. She is such a fighter.
Considering I always felt like she was the heart of the O'Malley stories, I think this little prequel is so beautiful, and I know that I laughed and cried as I read. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to delve further into the story. Now I just need to make some time to reread the rest of the books!
If you have not read the O'Malley series, I am going to insist that you at least check them out. They are truly incredible and riveting!(less)
Ok from page one, I was laughing out loud. In fact, I was laughing so hard that I had to read the first couple of pages to my mom, who was also began...moreOk from page one, I was laughing out loud. In fact, I was laughing so hard that I had to read the first couple of pages to my mom, who was also began laughing out loud. Possibly, many people wouldn't enjoy the book half as much as I do *I have seen a lot of 3-Star reviews*. Still, I found the book to be one of the funniest books I have read so far this year.
Izzy is a sorta-hypochondriac, not that she recognizes it. She is constantly worrying about what is wrong with her. She is probably trying to avoid the fact that her mother has a rare form of cancer. Plus she is running out of time to create a kick-butt art portfolio. Her best friend really wants a huge chunk of her free time for the school musical. And as always, there is a boy, though all may not be what it seems.
Maybe I am just a fan of snarky humor. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed the book as much as I did. I understand what it means to be clueless. I got Izzy. I really understood her crazy which is probably why I loved the book. Now granted, I'm not a hypochondriac. I probably don't worry enough about what's wrong with me. Still, when I've had people I loved get really sick, I wanted to do anything to make them better. And I definitely wasn't always able to see things right in front of my face during high school. Izzy may be quite the naive character, but it works.
I will say that I kind of knew where some things were going, and it was like watching an upcoming train wreck. I wanted to scream at Izzy, but still I loved her. A lot of girls will understand what it's like to be Izzy when it comes to her new-found love life. And so many of us can relate to the high school issues she faces. The book is a bit overwhelming because Izzy is facing so much. I can understand who it may be too much for some people, but I just rolled with it. The Symptoms of My Insanity is full of laugh-out-loud moments, clever wit, and relatable characters that are easy to love.
I sincerely recommend this book to any book lover who really enjoys contemporary and snarky humor and can handle the book drama. It's a pretty fabulous read! (less)