A good book but I felt that it wasn't quite strong enough as the final entry on the Belles series. So much of the novels have been dedicated to Bill M...moreA good book but I felt that it wasn't quite strong enough as the final entry on the Belles series. So much of the novels have been dedicated to Bill Monroe's senate run that I really feel that one final book that covered whether or not he won the election would really offer more closure than this one did, as well as whether or not Mira ever does give modelling a try, and see Izzie really come into her own (view spoiler)[now that Zoe's moved on and Grams has passed away. (hide spoiler)]
Still, overall another fun entry in this universe and I am sorry that this is the last of the Belles books since reading Belles books was the reading-equivelant of eating a cupcake <3 (and is anyone else disappointed that no one tuned into an episode of Family Affair or rented Pretty Young Assassins? ^_^)["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Another solid entry in this series - definitely one of the strongest entries in the 'Lying Game'. The twist at the end was almost-unexpected, and some...moreAnother solid entry in this series - definitely one of the strongest entries in the 'Lying Game'. The twist at the end was almost-unexpected, and some of the details stunned me as well.
I liked it, however my tolerance only expands to one more book to wrap up the mystery. If this series extends again, I think I'll just hit Wikipedia like I did for Pretty Little Liars. (less)
I have been DYING FOR THIS BOOK AND THIS SERIES. I have focused on the release date with laser-like intensity.
So, was it worth all the giddy anticipat...moreI have been DYING FOR THIS BOOK AND THIS SERIES. I have focused on the release date with laser-like intensity.
So, was it worth all the giddy anticipation?
(view spoiler)[ :: It doesn't start off as strongly as Blake's beloved Anna Dressed in Blood books; it wasn't as thoroughly compelling. However, by the time that we're realizing there's more to Aiden than meets the eye, you are in for the long haul.
:: Athena and Hermes are amazing. Poseidon makes a fantastic monster. I'm hoping Artemis manages to make it to the group safely, because we could use an allied sister to temper Athena.
:: Hera as a villain is rather overdone in this genre. Cassandra, honestly, was irritating and kind of whiny, and Henry and Andie needed more build up - I also thing their parents needed a stronger presence. I thought Cassandra just needed to be more human - with aspirations and goals. It doesn't help that the name Cassandra is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
:: Odessyus and Athena? Glorious. More. Perfect. Flawless.
:: Poor Aphrodite. And Demeter's fate? Ew.
:: Overall? Awesome, excellent and I wait on tenterhooks for the next book in the line up, but maybe doesn't quite hit the Anna Dressed in Blood level of oh-em-gee incredible. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Why are people and characters named Mirabelle always the most highly irritating people known to man?
Anyway, wow, that has to be the most irrita...moreOh god.
Why are people and characters named Mirabelle always the most highly irritating people known to man?
Anyway, wow, that has to be the most irritating and disappointing book of 2012. I've just finished it, but here are a few points:
- You are given very little sense of who Mira is. Basically, Mira's parents are dead and she's being raised by godmothers. That is it (and I'm sorry, if that isn't a shining beacon of which fairy tale Mira's life is based from, you aren't paying attention.)
-The most recognizable fairy tale characters are info-dumped and disappear or have very few features in common with who they are meant to be; there isn't any obsessive apple behaviour and I rather felt sorry for Rafe since the way the characters treated him vs how he was depicted were two different things. The blurb builds their fairy-tale behaviour entirely. Their appearance and exquisite beauty is pretty much the extend of how you know they are fairy tale characters.
- Somehow, the plot managed to be too thin to sustain and too rushed. The end just happens.
Honestly, this story needed to be longer and more carefully written, if the plot hadn't been so insubstantial. The mythology used had the potential to be interesting, except it wasn't examined nearly enough.
Honestly, the cover and blurb set a totally different tone to what this book actually is. If it wasn't for a few aspects of potential Nightmare Fuel, I'd say this book is written for younger readers.
Oh man, the cover and the sypnosis. I was hooked and so psyched. The cover is a beautiful piece of work.
But the story. Oh man. Another reviewed compar...moreOh man, the cover and the sypnosis. I was hooked and so psyched. The cover is a beautiful piece of work.
But the story. Oh man. Another reviewed compared it to Twilight, and yes. Absolutely.
(view spoiler)[- I felt that the world building was slim, at best. Very little of the kami powers and the relationship to the ink was actually explored. I also find it thoroughly strange that Katie would simply be entrusted to her aunt in Japan. I thought child protective laws required that Katie and her guardian would be required to remain in Katie's country for a certain period of time. I don't know.
- The supporting characters were bland. Yuki and Tanaka were dull placeholders that did nothing. They could be replaced with a yoyo and the plot wouldn't change. Aunt Diane and Katie interacted like roommates. There was so little relationship there.
- Katie irritated me. I was so disappointed she turned out to be a special snowflake instead of a normal girl mixed up in something crazy. She just had no self preservation skills and became obsessive about Tomo very quickly. Tomo was bland and dull - super interesting and brooding with magical powers and a whiny, obsessive 'special' girlfriend? Twilight. Jun's 'twist' I guessed early in the book. I guessed his role during his first appearance.
- Insta-love pisses me off. How about actually getting to know each other? My kingdom for a YA series where the romance is plotted well!
- I find dictionaries for foreign language words at the back useless (of course, it may just be that way in the ebook); stick the in the front. I found it slightly irritating that some words were defined within the text (like the passage about 'purin pudding' that made it clear that it was a Japanese item but giving the English speaker something to work with) but many others weren't. It pulled me out of the story, honestly, since I had to scramble to find context for many terms. (hide spoiler)]
An absolutely compelling idea poorly executed and underwhelming that happens to be packaged beautifully. I'd skip this unless you have a burning desire to relive Twilight against a Japanese background.
I'm sorry, but I was kind of disappointed with this. I was so looking forward to it, but it fell flat. Caro wasn't likable enough, Hannah's issues see...moreI'm sorry, but I was kind of disappointed with this. I was so looking forward to it, but it fell flat. Caro wasn't likable enough, Hannah's issues seemed both convoluted and spread too thin, and many of the characters reacted how the author needed them to react rather than a more realistic reaction.
Caro didn't need two best friends because of the slim role they both played. A lot of little bits and pieces included were wasted, as they were never mentioned again. The science project came out of nowhere, really. We needed more set up for Caro's discovery of it.
Luckily, the religious aspect is treated respectfully and doesn't feel too much like preaching. The story telling was technically fine, but again, the characters needed more depth and the details needed to be removed or wrapped up.
An interesting concept that seemed both rushed and not substantial enough to sustain the entire book. (less)
A slight departure from other Sarah Dessen books, it was no less satisfying. Reading a Sarah Dessen book is much like curling up with a much-loved fri...moreA slight departure from other Sarah Dessen books, it was no less satisfying. Reading a Sarah Dessen book is much like curling up with a much-loved friend and chatting.
i like Emaline as a protagonist (though, not much of a fan of the spelling of her name) and I always love Dessen's supporting characters, like Morris and Daisy. There are buckets of references of characters from previous books, which I adore.
Another wonderful Sarah Dessen book, it only breaks my heart that I have to wait more than a year for another Dessen book.
This book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I g...moreThis book made me cry at the end, not for any specific plot reasons, but because Sydney is my home and I knew all the places this took place, that I got to connect with it more than I usually do with the usual generic-American location.
Beautiful prose and a story that I wish beyond anything else could have been dragged out for longer; one of the plots that I cheerfully would have read over two books. (less)
This was my first mermaid book. Much like vampires and zombies, it's not really something that interests me. And this book didn't convince me otherwis...moreThis was my first mermaid book. Much like vampires and zombies, it's not really something that interests me. And this book didn't convince me otherwise.
The writing and characters were solid, and Tricia Rayburn tells a story reasonably well. But it was just a whole host of little things that niggled. The fact is, this story starts off with a distinctively Sarah Dessen air to it.
(view spoiler)[- Vanessa isn't a bad character. I have nothing against Vanessa, except her name didn't seem to suit her at all. It was hard pinpointing her age until it was stated, since she did seem younger in her mannerisms.
I disliked that Vanessa discovered she was a 'siren' in the end. And I found the whole 'Charlotte Bleu' thing bizarre. We needed more - maybe see Vanessa's father's point of view and how he ended up with Vanessa. It seemed to me that the 'sirens' tended to want to keep their own close by. And what was Charlotte Bleu's relationship to Betty and Raina?
- Justine. I found the circumstances of her death irritating. I would have preferred it that Justine worked out what Vanessa was and started digging, and was murdered for that, which would reinforce the girls' tricky relationship.
- I hated the name 'Big Poppa' - it jarred on the page and pulled me out of the book repeatedly.
- Simon was awesome. It was nice to have actual science mentioned, rather than hand-waved away with magic for once. Simon was kind of an awesome love-interest, except for the ridiculous conversation at the beginning between Justine and Vanessa about how good looking he is.
- Caleb would have done better with more page-time, I think.
- Paige. God, talk about a character with bad luck. She was kind of dumber than soap, though, slugging all that salt water and being five months pregnant in five weeks.
- Raina and Zara were kind of generic bad-mermaids.
- Betty was awesome. As was Oliver.
- The ending suffered from a not-Earth-logic scenario. A lake/beach in Maine freezes over in summer and the locals are all 'awesome, hot chocolate and ice skates for all!' Hell no, every single health and weather authority would be all over that. And again, Simon's not stupid but Vanessa adds salt to her hot chocolate and claims it's 'vitamins'? Puh-lease. (hide spoiler)]
I honestly would have preferred a contemporary YA about Vanessa working at Betty's the summer after her sister kills herself, and making friends with Paige. I think it would have been a more satisfying ending.
Overall, nothing that would encourage me towards the mermaid genre, but not a bad book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I finally, finally got around to reading this series, after putting it off. Honestly, I love Greek mythology but my experiences with YA mythological h...moreI finally, finally got around to reading this series, after putting it off. Honestly, I love Greek mythology but my experiences with YA mythological have been insipid, unlikely romances with feeble plots and flat characters.
As I suspected, The Goddess Test ended up being no different. My kingdom for a strong plot with strong characters!
(view spoiler)[ Kate was vaguely sympathetic at the beginning, and I think I would have enjoyed her story if it had been a contemporary novel about a girl dealing with her mother dying. By the end of the book - and then the series - Kate absolutely reeked of a Mary Sue. Ugh. What is with these female protagonists that have no aspirations in life?
Dylan, Ava and James both had inconsistent characterisations - Ava got the raw end of the deal, often falling to be the scapegoat to keep the plot moving at the cost of a balanced character. Calliope was so cheerful and sweet, it was pretty damn obvious that she was the murderer.
Diana, Kate's mother, was frankly a train wreck. Diana should have died for Kate. Simple as that. By making Diana Demeter, and live at the very end of the book not only takes away all of what Kate's self was based upon, as well as her sacrifices, and calls into question Diana's morality as well. Seriously, Kate's entire fucking purpose was to be a wife to Hades (Henry wouldn't have been the name I picked him. It was jarring.) Surely I can't be the only one horrified by that, let alone the fact that Hade's first wife was HER SISTER?! Seriously, based on that alone, the feminist movement is DOA.
Henry was Bland-Hades-Romantic-Interest Stereotype 1 - brooding, dark-haired, handsome and roughly the same physical age as the beautiful protagonist. There was nothing there, just a good looking guy that Kate had to pledge herself to, at the RISK OF HER LIFE, without knowing him at all. And yes, I get that he healed Ava, but she then dies at his warning, so, in her eyes, I'm pretty sure he shouldn't be more than Giant Creepy Dude.
I felt that the Tests were terribly underwhelming, and I admit I was hoping for something along the lines of the labours of Heracles rather than the seven deadly sins, which based in the Catholic church and to me, don't really fit something based in Greek mythology. I think the plot definitely needed the tests to be a more obvious task that built character and allowed the plot to progress. I was bored, honestly, when I realised that the tests were going to be things that we weren't aware of. The plot was so thin that some action would have made a serious difference. Instead, it was just a lot of sitting around in an expensive house with good looking people.
I found the names jarring, honestly, and difficult to remember which of the side characters corresponded with which god. Ava for Aphrodite was a good choice, but I think Henry would have been a better name for Hermes rather than Hades.
I did like that Eden didn't actually exist. That was kind of cool, though explanation of how the illusion - the people of the town, the students in the high school.
Unfortunately, this was a good, albeit thin, idea that wasn't executed to its full potential, and really didn't sustain itself through three books. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, this trilogy does emulate Twilight to the point that it's hard to ignore. Whilst with a few intriguing ideas that never pay off, it's another insipid, ultimately forgettable YA fantasy with another hopeless female lead that feels the need to devote her life to the bland male romantic interest. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)