While the premise of the story was great, I found the Camden's writing style extremely distracting. There was great potential for this book, but it alWhile the premise of the story was great, I found the Camden's writing style extremely distracting. There was great potential for this book, but it all went to waste.
Most historical romance novels are pretty predictable in that you can guess the happy ending, but it is how the authors write the journey to it that makes the novels interesting. In this case, it all seemed barely patched together, and the characters were flat and had nothing that made me really root for them.
In addition, the whole (view spoiler)["yay, you can change a man through religion and Jesus Christ!" thing was a huge turn-off for me. If I had known that this was going to be that sort of book, I would not have started it at all; it was made into that much more of a struggle to wade through by the preachiness of it. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was terrible and a complete mess. While the premise was very promising: girl discovers she has powers and is sent to a mysterious, all-excluThis book was terrible and a complete mess. While the premise was very promising: girl discovers she has powers and is sent to a mysterious, all-exclusive boarding school - it continually fell short of delivering.
I found the book dull and uninteresting, and the supposed "heroine "was maddening. Every female character who isn't Dancia is portrayed as either a villain or annoying. She chooses to dislike people for indiscernible reasons, and treats her friends terribly. She claims that it's because she's "different" and tries to blend in. The author tries to give Dancia more sympathy points by having her bemoan that she's never had any friends and alienates herself because of her "power", which leads to her wearing nondescript clothes and doing stereotypical tomboy-esque things. Girls who do otherwise in the novel, such as Allie, who is - gasp! A *cheerleader*! Of all the terrible things to be! - are, as I said before, portrayed in a negative light. I was a tomboy growing up, and still am, and cheerleaders and their whole crowd do not sit particularly well with me, but the way that the author wrote it so that everyone fell into their identified stereotypes was just ridiculous.
More infuriating was that Dancia was so in looooooooove with Cam that she let all of her decisions be based on her eternal twu wuv for him. *eyeroll* I was getting really irritated of clogging through page after page of Cam said this, Cam said that, I love Cam, Cam is perfect - it was like Twilight all over again. So much for building a strong female protagonist. The only reason that she is attracted to him in the first place is Cam's good looks - this is frequently stressed, although the author attempts to add in how Cam is kind, caring, and understanding - to be honest, I found it all a little creepy(view spoiler)[, especially how it seems like Cam is manipulating her with his power. (hide spoiler)]
Let's not even begin on how terribly Dancia treated her friends, even Jack, who was the most interesting character. The moment that Cam said something about Jack, Dancia completely forgot her friendship with him and let what Cam said dictate her actions. (view spoiler)[I did feel sorry for Jack, but that went out the window once we found out that he stalked Dancia. Twilight symptoms, again? Talk about creepy portrayal of romance.
I'm sure that the next book is going to take the course of Dancia finding out that the whole organization is actually bad, and that Jack is off to join some rogue group and they'll eventually clash, blah blah blah. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book had an interesting premise but it certainly failed to live up to the expectations that it raised. Overall, the characters are extremely blanThis book had an interesting premise but it certainly failed to live up to the expectations that it raised. Overall, the characters are extremely bland and there is noting that really goes on in the book. The almost 500 pages that this book used to tell the story definitely could have fit into half the length. The plot wasn't particularly exciting or interesting, and it took more than half the book for any action to happen (and when it did, it was stilted and dull).
I feel like the book was weakened by Dixon trying to focus on all twelve sisters, despite it being told from the point of view of Azalea, the eldest. I don't think her writing is strong enough (at this point, anyway) to include so many characters; it felt like she was just cramming them in to add some substance or interest to the novel. ...more
This is the worst book of the year that I've read so far, and definitely one of the worst of all time. I was less than a quarter into the book and I aThis is the worst book of the year that I've read so far, and definitely one of the worst of all time. I was less than a quarter into the book and I already started to skim through it, signifying just how bland it is.
The characters are bland, flat, and boring. Their names (America, Aspen, etc. Could you get more unoriginal?) border on ridiculous. The heroine, America, is one of the most irritating and whiny protagonists you will ever encounter.
This is clearly another book trying to cash in on the Hunger Games dystopian wave. In fact, the author calls it “Hunger Games meets the Bachelor”. *gag* There are clearly lots of attempts to make it Hunger Games and bleakly dystopian. People are hungry, there’s a caste system that’s VERY similar to the Hunger Games districts (instead of coal, fishing, and mining, you have artists, farming, and royalty).
But there’s really no attempt by the author to build on this caste system and make it truly something that flows and fits with the world, like Suzanne Collins did so well in The Hunger Games. Why do some people seem to think that caste = dystopian?
There is also an attempt at a Caesar Flickerman-esque host for the broadcast of the competition, makeovers for the girls, and 'yay cameras zooming around'.
30-something girls competing for the hand in marriage of a prince doesn’t really scream dying and fighting, to be quite frank. The proper description for this is “Bachelor meets a wannabe Hunger Games”.
I don't get why so many YA authors right now seem to think that a love triangle is one of the key formulas to their books? It's getting a bit ridiculous.
Most disturbing is the rampant misogyny all over the place. Girls are supposed to remain virgins before they get married in this world. However, they sign a contract when they enter the competition to marry the prince that says that he can do ANYTHING HE WANTS WITH THEM, despite this rule. The prince is portrayed as completely oblivious of all that goes on, portraying just how great he is when he finds this out.
There's a part early on in the book which features Aspenlosing his temper at America because she gave him food (he’s from a lower caste level and is constantly hungry), literally saying something like “I’m the guy, I’m supposed to be the provider, you’re shaming me.” Really?!
And we wonder why exactly this book is so terrible. Hmm.
In conclusion: don't read this book, it's utter rubbish. You'll save yourself a lot of hair-pulling and eyebrow raising at the pages. I'm completely put off by it and don't intend to read any of the author's other things (maybe for trolling purposes, but that's a bit of a stretch, too.) ...more
While the premise of this book is great - a girl who finds herself in need of cash for college is invited to use her math skills at poker - the actualWhile the premise of this book is great - a girl who finds herself in need of cash for college is invited to use her math skills at poker - the actual result was something much less interesting, with none of the promised high stakes or intrigue that the description spoke of.
I found the book to be slow and the characters incredibly flat, especially the main character. The plot was mostly extremely predictable, and it took about half of the book for the girl to actually join the poker club and try her hand at using her math whiz to play poker.
I don't expect perfection from YA, mostly just fun and light reads, but this was a chore to get through. The entire book seemed to be a morality lesson from the author: (view spoiler)[ don't cheat at cards, because you will eventually get caught and your college prospects will be screwed over. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was definitely the weakest of the trilogy; I couldn't wait for it to be over while reading it.
I think this book suffered from the main charThis book was definitely the weakest of the trilogy; I couldn't wait for it to be over while reading it.
I think this book suffered from the main characters: the heroine is a complete shrew who spouts strong view of religion and reform. Those two points are common among characters of the Regency set, but in Isabel the author attempts to foist "extreme" views so that it's of conflict to the hero, who has opposite viewpoints. The hero is someone we've heard and seen in the past few books, but he's a bit flat as a character.
Tessa Dare attempts to bring a conclusion to the trilogy but not only including the story of Isabel and Tobias, but by including a subplot between Joss and Hetta and the ongoings of the characters of the first two books. To be honest, I found all of the substories much more interesting, and I would have gladly read a book about Joss and Hetta over that of Toby and Isabel. It was fun getting to see all of the characters again (Grey, Lucy, Sophia, Jem), and I looked forward to their appearances and part of the story much more than what the main focus on the book should have been.
It was a mess of a book to trudge through, but really only worth it for the substories going on. ...more
Sherry Thomas' Fitzhugh trilogy has been a bit of a disappointment. The stories lack her usual style, and seem to be written by someone else entirely:Sherry Thomas' Fitzhugh trilogy has been a bit of a disappointment. The stories lack her usual style, and seem to be written by someone else entirely: the characters are flat and ridiculous, the dialogue is stilted and awkward (and quite unfitting of the time period they are supposedly depicting), and the overall storylines are either completely preposterous or plain mind-boggling.
Tempting the Bride is, without a doubt, the worst of the lot. I'm usually a sucker for historical amnesia stories, but this one was just so terribly jumbled that nothing about it was remotely redeemable. Helena and David are barely tolerable most of the time, and seeing as they are the main characters, this doesn't exactly make for a pleasant read.
My biggest complaint about this book was the dialogue. I'm pretty sure I winced every time the characters opened their mouths - that's how bad it was. The sentences were either clipped, awkwardly phrased, or entirely unfitting of the time period. The so-called "erotic novel" that David penned was a snoozefest that had some of the worst writing I've ever seen: how he could ever manage to get that published is beyond my imagination, and just speaks volumes about Helena's judgement as a publisher if she finds it exciting or ~innovative.
The sex scenes were quite boring as well. They were extremely clinical and formulaic in their descriptions, and I wasn't even remotely interested in them. Thomas can write an alright love scene, as shown in some of her previous books, but the ones in her Fitzhugh trilogy have been painfully bland.
All in all, I hope Thomas' writing improves. I don't know if the two-year gap between this series and His at Night had anything to do with it, but she has been sorely lacking in delivering engaging and wonderful historical romances. ...more
This installment just continued the terrible wave of plot and writing from the previous installment, but the last 25% of it actually made a sort of coThis installment just continued the terrible wave of plot and writing from the previous installment, but the last 25% of it actually made a sort of coherent sense that I feel it warrants an extra half a star in the rating. There's actual plot involved that's interesting, and some emotional depth, but that's about it. Of course, the side characters were the most interesting part of the book, and it was just frustrating to read the constant putting-the-alphahole-on-a-revered-pedestal feelings this author clearly has.
For example, this is something the hero actually says 46% into the book: "It is a proven fact that females have smaller brains, and sometimes their thinking is hampered by their inferior ability to apply reason." Seriously?! My mouth literally dropped open; I couldn't believe an author would have the audacity to put that in or even have her hero, who we are supposed to be ROOTING FOR, say that! It doesn't matter that he was talking to the butler, or that he was trying to figure out where his ~speshul snowflake beloved and his aunt were, that is such a disgusting thing to say. Seriously...
The whole interaction between this couple was so unhealthy. Frankly, I was disgusted. The girl seriously kept on saying she would hold her head up and not be bullied by him into ordering her about, but once he came in, any resolve went out the window and she would concede to him. It was stupid and just utterly ridiculous. Just because he was acting as her temporary guardian did not give him the right to make outrageous demands on her, especially since he just HAD to prove he was the alphahole male are town.
There's a part when he forbids her to read a pamphlet that's been published, even though he hasn't even read it, on the grounds that everyone is saying it's inappropriate. Honestly, the amount of misogyny in this book was just disgusting. All these angry feelings are definitely making me take away that extra half-star I added, because the main characters have NOTHING to redeem themselves with.
I'm worried now about Amy as the focus of book three, she's such a wonderful side character and friend, and hopefully she won't be ruined by an awful storyline or writing. ...more
This book went from alright to weird to downright terrible. I did my best not to judge it by previous adaptations of the "East of Sun, West of Moon" fThis book went from alright to weird to downright terrible. I did my best not to judge it by previous adaptations of the "East of Sun, West of Moon" fairytale, East and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, both of which I'd liked enormously. Unfortunately, East frequently just oozed that "trying too hard" flavor. The main character, Cassie, was supposedly portrayed as an ~independent and kickass speshul snowflake, but the choices she made frequently came off as bizarre and were extremely off-putting to me as a reader, and depicted her instead as a confused and immature young adult.
In addition, the whole bestiality factor was just creepy. I know, I know, this fairy tale has the girl going off with a giant polar bear and having a human body come into her bed every night, but the way that the original tale and other adaptations dealt with it have been much better. At least in those versions, the girl at least SEES HIS FACE and INTERACTS WITH HIM IN HIS HUMAN FORM frequently (even if, bedside-candle-and-face-revealing scene aside, it is in the latter half in the troll kingdom). This is not the case here, where Cassie barely even sees him in his human form, with the exception of when he holds her from behind (and she can't even see him) and when she turns on the light. I don't know, man, the thought of having sex with a huge polar bear doesn't squick her out, especially since the only thing she calls him is "Bear" the entire book? I guess she's just into that stuff, but it's super creepy and squicktastic. Let's not forget the fact that when she goes to the troll kingdom, he's IN HIS POLAR BEAR FORM and IS IN IT THE ENTIRE TIME and when she DECLARES HIS LOVE FOR HIM AND HE LOOKS AT THEIR BABY HE'S STILL A POLAR BEAR? Good gods.
Let's not even talk about how this ~grand love story involves him messing up her biological clock AGAINST HER WILL, WITHOUT HER PERMISSION, like when he doesn't even care that she doesn't want to get pregnant, so he "fixes" the fact that she's on the pill and makes sure she's impregnated with his baby? I don't even want to talk about how disgusting and problematic that is and how Cassie seems to be over it in twenty minutes.
As for the plot: ... no. I think Durst tried too hard to create something unique and different, and it just turned out to be kind of boring. Truth be told, I was suffering from second-hand embarrassment from how awful it was. The mythology and lore she attempted to make was bland at best, and the entire plot went from bad to just downright awful. The second half of the book literally made no sense, and the whole introduction of Father Forest and that plot-line was just weird and felt very out of place.
Overall, a huge disappointment and a letdown adaptation of one of the most interesting fairy tales. ...more