I really wanted to love this book. The concept was intriguing, and when I saw it in the library, I snatched it up, ran home, and started reading it riI really wanted to love this book. The concept was intriguing, and when I saw it in the library, I snatched it up, ran home, and started reading it right away. Unfortunately, that little bit of excitement I had from finding it at the library finally was the only exciting part of this whole experience. The book just fell flat. The plot was flat, the characters were flat, the supposed mystery was flat, the "action" was flat, the "romance" was flat. Flat, flat, flat. *yawn*
My first problem with this novel is that every character was a self-centered, stupid jerk. Decker was the worst friend ever. I wouldn't have been friends with him. But Delaney was a pushover, so that was fine. And Delaney, who was supposed to be sooo smart, if a little fat (which apparently made her hot, according to her... though she complained about it all the time but refused to work out - basically doing as much damage as an anorexic character would because not being active at all is unhealthy, too), keeps doing stupid, bratty things. She storms off in the middle of a freezing cold forest after drowning and almost freezing to death, for instance. She's just stupid. Carson is a manwhore, but that's okay and everyone loves him. However, Delaney judges Tara constantly because she's a whore. Sexual double-standard much? I mean sure, she's probably just jealous, but still. Very catty. Troy was also stupid, and I still don't know what his issue actually was. Anyway, moving on.
The pacing was slow-as-molasses, and the supposed suspenseful parts weren't at all suspenseful. There really was no big mystery, and for such a unique idea, the plot was extremely predictable. The romances were all annoying, and of course, motivated by self-centered reasons. Needless to say, this was not a feelgood book. I spent most of the novel hating everyone and being bored. I asked myself on more than one occasion if it was over yet. Turns out it wasn't. Also, the ending didn't answer any questions really. I mean sure, one thing happened, but it didn't answer a question. It was just an action that had occurred several times before and led to various forms of disaster. So what would happen this time? Well, no one knows. A few things were tied up, but at the end I was left with two feelings: "This is very ambiguous" and "so what? This book did not speak to me at all."
All of that being said, Miranda's writing was fairly good and the idea itself was a unique and interesting one. I just feel that it wasn't executed as well as it could have been. I will try another one of Miranda's books because I feel that she does have talent. It just wasn't fully utilized in this book, I think. I'm sure some people will love this book, and it didn't have a lot of the annoying YA trends like insta-love or superhero vampires. It just didn't work for me. I'd say check this one out from the library before buying it. ...more
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton is an incredible debut novel that sets up what is sure to be an exciting series. Ellie, our heroine, is a well-aAngelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton is an incredible debut novel that sets up what is sure to be an exciting series. Ellie, our heroine, is a well-adjusted, financially well-off teenager... or so she thinks. Once her power is awakened, strange things begin happening to Ellie, and poor Marshmallow (her car) always seems to catch the crap end of her battles with the reapers. Her mother is incredibly supportive and very rational. She's the kind of mother that every teenager wants, but no teenager has. Her father, however, is a nightmare.
Ellie's friends are believable and funny, and even though they have no idea what is going on with her, they still try to be supportive. Kate and Ellie's friendship is displayed wonderfully throughout the novel, but even though Kate has been Ellie's best friend since Ellie was born, Will is the only person who really knows her. Will is her protector, and he has been with her for thousands of years. He knows Ellie better than she knows herself, and because of him, she is able to continue her fight to protect humanity.
Angelfire is one of those novels that I lost myself in. I could not put it down either time that I read it. Ellie grows as a character, and by the end of the book, I felt that she was actually comfortable in her own skin. Her relationships with her friends, family, and Will also change over the course of the story, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with them next. While the novel ends nicely, and there are no obvious cliffhangers, there are still some questions left unanswered. Throughout the whole book, there were hints that something is amiss with Ellie's father, but that question wasn't answered in Angelfire. I hope that it's answered in Wings of the Wicked, which is due out on January 31, 2012.
I enjoyed Nightshade quite a bit. The cover is obviously gorgeous (probably my favorite cover of all time), and Calla is an amazing heroine. However,I enjoyed Nightshade quite a bit. The cover is obviously gorgeous (probably my favorite cover of all time), and Calla is an amazing heroine. However, I cannot stand Shay. The song "Don't Be A Girl About It" by Kelly Clarkson keeps coming to mind when I think of Shay. Ren, on the other hand, is wonderful.
Calla saves Shay from getting killed by a bear and then is plagued by him everywhere she goes. She broke th rules to save him, and she is terrified that he will tell the Keepers (basically witches who are in charge of the wolves) what she's done and she'll be killed. Of course she's curious about him because the Keepers treat him as if he's important, and since her entire destiny has been decided for her by the Keepers (she's betrothed to Ren and destined to be co-alpha of a new pack), she wants control over her own life. Because of this, she can't seem to stay away from Shay.
To me, Shay comes across as a pansy. He's weak. I mean I know he's human, but he's an overly emotional twit. Thankfully, Calla is a strong character. After Bella Swan and the 900 other weak-minded/emotionally dependent characters that followed her, Calla is very refreshing, and I like the fact that she saves Shay repeatedly and not the ohter way around. However, Shay is just clingy and overly emotional. He got on my nerves a lot.
Ren is a lovely character, and he embodies all of the characteristics that a hero should have. However, Shay, I think, is supposed to be the hero. Yucko. Ren is brave, strong, and hot. He's also loyal to Calla and would risk his life for her. Shay, on the other hand, cowers behind her every chance he gets.
Calla reminds me a lot of myself. That's probably why I could relate to her character so well. She's a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, and she is not a romantic at all. She's very practical, and until Shay comes and mucks things up, she is content with her decided future. I do think it's good for Calla get gain her own freedom and make her own decisions. I just feel that associating with Shay is a bad decision.
My irritation with Shay aside, Cremer has created a wonderful world, located in Vail, CO, that is dark and somewhat terrifying. I don't mean ghosts jumping out at you terrifying, I mean terrifying because of the society Calla lives in. Her every move is dictated by the Keepers who use Wraiths (think evil spirits) to torture those who go against their rules. They decide who marries whom, and the women of the pack can't touch a man until they are married. Going against that rule would get the women tortured or killed. Furthermore, the Keepers can basically force anyone in any pack to have sex with them, and there is nothing that any of the wolves can do about it because of the Wraiths. The Keepers have absolute power, and it has corrupted them absolutely.
In the novel, there are a few phrases that are worded awkwardly, such as, "Did he hit you with his flesh or a weapon?" But over all, the entire story was well-written. The awkward phrases made me give this book an A- because they stood out and distracted me momentarily. Awkward phrasing and Shay aside, I loved this book. The story itself is fantastic, and I could not put it down until I finished it. You will be kept on the edge of your seat with this one.
Unearthly is a refreshing novel in a genre that is overrun with cliches. I thoroughly enjoyed the well-developed characters, the complex story line, aUnearthly is a refreshing novel in a genre that is overrun with cliches. I thoroughly enjoyed the well-developed characters, the complex story line, and the idea of an angelic purpose. However, the novel is in present tense, and you all know how I feel about that. Furthermore, I feel that a few of the characters could have been a bit better developed and that certain scenes dragged a bit. Over all, though, I really liked this book. Clara, her mom, and brother, have to move to Wyoming from Northern California to fulfill Clara's angelic purpose. Clara is a likable narrator, and I couldn't help but relate to her quest to find and fulfill her destiny. I think we all feel like that at some point in our lives, though maybe not to the extent Clara does since her destiny is an angelic calling. If she doesn't fulfill her destiny, she risks becoming a Black Wing, which is a miserable, evil fallen angel. That point could have been made a bit clearer in the beginning, but by the middle, I got the gist of everything. Throughout the book, the reader learns the rules of the angelic world as Clara does. This sometimes leads to confusion on the reader's part, but over all, I think it works well. The characters, for the most part, are very well-developed. The only two that I feel are lacking are her brother and Wendy. Wendy is absent a bit much to be well-developed, though I get a pretty good sense of who she is, and Clara's brother is kind of a cookie cutter teenage boy. However, the rest of the characters are unique and dynamic. I especially enjoyed both Tucker and Christian. This is the first time in the history of YA love triangles that I actually LIKE both love interests, and I'm actually pulling for the human and not the supernatural. There's just too much to love about Tucker NOT to be on his side. While Christian may be all dark and broody and pretty, Tucker is bright and caring and adorable. Both characters are genuinely good people, that much is obvious, but Tucker is just such a good friend and boyfriend to Clara that I decided that I like him the best. Angela is okay, but for some reason, I don't full trust her. She didn't DO anything to make me not trust her. I just don't. Whatever. Maybe I'll find out later what my problem is, haha. Clara's mom is a good mother, that much is obvious, but I wonder what all she's hiding. The pacing for the story is excellent, and once you start the book, there's just enough action to make sure that you finish it very quickly. Things aren't always constant action or drama, but there's enough mystery surrounding Clara and her purpose that it keeps you engaged in the story. I also really liked the descriptions of Wyoming and all there is to do there. I never thought of Wyoming as being a particularly interesting state to live in, but it seems that if you're the outdoorsy type, then it would be heaven. I've seen pictures of the state, and it is beautiful. I'd love to visit one day, even though I'm not at all outdoorsy. There are bugs outside, you know. Over all, I'd recommend this book to anyone 12 and over. It's a pretty PG rated read, and the story is enthralling. I am looking forward to reading Hallowed next.