I love afterlife books. I think people's different thoughts on what the afterlife could possible entail are really interesting, and so I was really exI love afterlife books. I think people's different thoughts on what the afterlife could possible entail are really interesting, and so I was really excited to read Level 2. Unfortunately, upon reading it, I was sorely disappointed.
The two things that really make a book for me are the characters and the emotion. Of course, it has to have an interesting plot as well, but those are the two things that Make a book for me. Unfortunately, this book had none of that.
No emotion. Unlikable characters. A strange "no-plot" feel.
The plot was kind of a weird mish-mash of memories and the rebellion. It didn't seem to flow, and the memories didn't seem to come in any real order, chronological or otherwise. Sure, sometimes there was obvious "I have to face this memory now," and then she faces the memory. But most of the time, there wasn't any reasoning behind it - that I could tell at least. And sometimes - fairly often, actually - the memories didn't seem to forward the plot. As I was reading it, it almost seemed like the author was like "Let's insert this memory in here because I have nothing else to put!" The rebellion itself was kind of boring, truthfully, with attempted interesting action-y stuff that wasn't very interesting nor action-y.
The characters all seemed pretty one dimensional, especially since most were only characterized through flashbacks. The fact that they were characterized through flashbacks themselves wasn't the problem, it was just that the flashbacks weren't very dimensional in themselves. I thought Felicia was annoying, bitchy, and over-dramatic, and Neil was so perfect, it was disgusting. Throughout the book, I don't think there was a single flaw shown in him. And it. Was. Awful.
And then we come to the part of this book that frustrated me the most: There was no emotion in this book. Maybe it was because of the strange dystopian feel this book had, or maybe not. But in a book like this, there should be emotion. Especially in a book like this, there should be emotion. But there wasn't, and it was strange at best, and annoying at worst.
All in all, this was a miss for me. Will I check out the second book? Maybe, maybe not? Should you check out this book? I think that's up to you. ...more
Everything about this book - from the cover to the summary - led me to think this wasn't going to be anything special; just another typical science fiEverything about this book - from the cover to the summary - led me to think this wasn't going to be anything special; just another typical science fiction-romance book. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be so much better than that.
For one, this book is extremely fast and extremely addicting. It kept me reading hours past my bedtime, until my dad came in and turned out the light on me.
Altered was also extremely uncliche. The plot twists and surprises, which I typically guess correctly on within the first 50 pages were actual plot twists that actually surprised me. Maybe that was because my brain was half asleep due to how late I was reading it, but then again, maybe not. This book was more interesting than I ever would have thought, and I'm extremely excited for the second book.
The one thing that I disliked about this book was the romance. The romance was predictable and cliche, and I didn't feel their relationship at all. I found myself wanting to skip past the romantic parts to the much more interesting fight scenes and such - which there were a good amount of, by the way. Anna and the boys can't seem to stay out of trouble no matter where they are, and the fight scenes were awesome, even without the swords, daggers, and magical abilities I typically prefer. But, anyway, (I love this book so much, I'm going off on a tangent!) the romance was the worst part of the book, and I'm kind of cringing imagining this author trying to hype up Sam's and Anna's relationship in the next book.
Besides that little hiccup, this is a great action/adventure and scifi book I would recommend to just about any YA reader!...more
I was pretty excited to read this originally, but I read the prologue and literally rolled my eyes.Check this review out on my blog!
Actual Rating: 3.5
I was pretty excited to read this originally, but I read the prologue and literally rolled my eyes. It was pretty cliche in the beginning (Your parents were taken/rebels/killed too? Join the club!) but it quickly picks up, and just keeps getting faster and faster until slowing down at the end.
It was cliche and predictable only a few instances throughout, most of the time things were new and intense, and extremely enjoyable. There were also several completely unpredictable curveballs thrown in there - something extremely rare for me, considering the amount of this genre I've read.
One thing I really disliked in this book, however, was the author's attempt at romance. That was probably the most predictable and cliche part of this book, and subsequently the worst. It was obvious what was going to happen in terms of Alenna's relationship with Liam, and the romance seemed flat and forced without any real spark or chemistry between the chemicals.
Another thing I disliked was how the author wrapped so much up into neat tiny boxes. This annoyed me for multiple reasons: 1. If you're writing a series, you should leave at least a few loose ends to wrap up in the coming books. 2. A book - a really well-written book - is supposed to be believable, even if it's a fantasy book. Life doesn't wrap up into neat, nice little boxy. Life is messy and bloody and chaotic. And in a dystopian book especially, one would think they would see more of it. But many things - who the Monk was and the reasoning behind it and everything, what the Monk wanted her for and wanted to tell her, who she was, why her and Liam were even together - it all had a nice neat little explanation. And while some readers like that, I found it annoying and unbelievable.
This book also is not particularly memorable. I read it a week or so ago, and even now, many details and big things - like the main character's name! - escape me. It is, all in all, a fairly average dystopian book. Recommended for fans of dystopians who want a world that is fairly new and different. ...more
The one thing to say about this book: it's an extremely quick read. I was finished in one sitting of two hours. The paCheck this review out on my blog
The one thing to say about this book: it's an extremely quick read. I was finished in one sitting of two hours. The page count itself is pretty short, yes, but also just the way it is written lends itself to be finished quickly.
I think the urgent quality of the plot is definitely a part of that. Things start off seemingly with the ending: Ethan De Wilde, who was kidnapped from his suburb when he was seven, has been reunited with his family after nine years through the Child Protection Services. But then he goes home, and things go from bad to worse, relationships build and break, and then BAM! it's finished.
And the ending... I've seen a lot of people on Goodreads complaining about the ending and how it was too abrupt and left too many questions unanswered. And I agree with that, to some extent. It was an extremely abrupt ending that slapped you in the face and left many questions unanswered, unless you were intelligent enough to piece together small clues throughout. Too-small clues, in my opinions. (view spoiler)[ Who is Ethan, then? is everyone's question at the end. I had no idea either, until I went to the book group in which I read this book for, and the people who understood it told us that Ethan is actually David, Ellen's biological child. I didn't get that until they told me and explained it to me multiple times. And even now, I'm still not sure I like that twist and that explanation. (hide spoiler)]
I thought that the summary was somewhat misleading. With the last line "But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable." I thought that it was going to have a paranormal twist of some sort, even a small one. And that kind of threw me off as I was actually reading it and found that it was pure realistic fiction.
I feel like I should probably forewarn you about how dark this book is. It's extremely dark and scary, and it's not for someone who gets scared easily. It's for someone who wants to think, and who wants some well-written realistic fiction and real-world problems to do so.
Realistic fiction is not my genre by any means, but realistic fictions and dark, thoughtful story fans will definitely enjoy this one!
I've never liked werewolf books. Ever. Every single werewolf book I've read, I've been less than impressed with. I'mCheck this review out on my blog.
I've never liked werewolf books. Ever. Every single werewolf book I've read, I've been less than impressed with. I'm not typically an animal fan, and so I guess I don't see the attraction of a human turning into an animal. So I didn't think I was going to like this book. But I did, much more than I thought I was.
The summary doesn't really do this book justice. It doesn't make it sound as interesting or well-written or just as great as it actually was. This was a great, interesting, riveting, amazing, fantastic, addictive, wonderful, etc., addition to an over-saturated genre. And maybe I've read too few werewolf books, but I though the way the myths and rules of the werewolf world were entirely unique as compared to everything else I have ever heard of or read.
But of course, this is a YA Paranormal Romance book. And of course, that means that it contains a love triangle. Shay, the mysterious new human boy who doesn't act human, vs. Ren, a werewolf who has been Calla's preordained mate since they were tiny. And though it was still a love triangle, with all the necessary parts, including sexual tension, confusing, fights (physical, mental, and emotional), and some (okay, more than some) make-out sessions. And yet, it didn't feel like the stereotypical love triangle. Andrea Cremer, it seems, is one of those authors who can put new life into a WAY overused plot point. And I loved it.
All in all, a great book I would definitely recommend for someone looking for some great Paranormal Romance! I can't wait to read the next book!...more
I read the first book a few months ago when I was in a non-reviewing period, and I didn't reallyYou can read this review on my blog!
Actual Rating: 3.5
I read the first book a few months ago when I was in a non-reviewing period, and I didn't really like it that much. This book is just .5 of a star better than Under the Never Sky.
I don't think that's necessarily because this book and it's predecessor are bad, because they really aren't. I think my main problem with this series is the lack of emotion in it. It's written in 3rd person, switching between Aria's and Perry's POVs, and while there are a few 3rd person books that I can actually feel in, this book isn't one of them. As I was reading Through the Ever Night, I felt like an impartial bystander, an audience member at a movie or play - I knew that this book wasn't real, that the things these characters were going through were only imaginary. I didn't feel at all in this story, and that majorly detracted from my enjoyment of it.
That being said, this book does have some cool things about it: I liked the relationships being created in this book, despite my hard time with the actual emotion of them. I thought the characters in themselves were better fleshed out and characterized in this book then the first one, and I felt myself beginning to actually know Roar, Aria, Perry, and the others.
Even in a genre that is quickly becoming oversaturated with originality hard to find, Veronica Rossi makes her world just as interesting as it was in the first book. The inside world of the pods isn't really grown much in Through the Ever Night, mainly because it takes place outside. The outside is grown, and we get to learn more about the clans and their rituals, prejudices, and way of life. I thought that this was one of the more interesting parts of the story.
I think a lot of readers will still like this book, from the romance and drama to the action-y scenes and dystopia to the little bit of paranormal brought to the table with the outside peoples' heightened senses. If you're a fan of romance and dystopia, I would recommend this book. But if, like me, you read a book for the emotions, I'm not sure how much you'll like it. ...more
This book was great. I was pretty indifferent going into it, and then when I saw that it was in third person POVCheck this book review out on my blog
This book was great. I was pretty indifferent going into it, and then when I saw that it was in third person POV - which I typically dislike because I don't feel as connected to the characters while reading third person - I felt a bit of foreboding. Like an "Oh no, I'm not going to like this book" feeling. But despite the fact that it was third person, I still really liked it.
This book can fall under a few different genres: romance, mystery, paranormal, even some could count it as almost realistic fiction. Because everything in this book was very subtle: it wasn't a paranormal book, or paranormal romance or paranormal mystery. It is a variety of genres, with emphasis not being placed on a particular genre, but just the story as a whole. And because of this, it can attract a variety of readers with a variety of tastes.
And looking at the genres as separate, they were each written very well in themselves. The romance was definitely both swoon- and aw-worthy, the mystery was wonderfully laid out, and the paranormal portion was explained well. And no matter your preference, the suspense and addictive quality of this book will keep anyone reading!
This is the first in a four-book series, but I'm intrigued to see what is coming next, because the way that this book was neatly tied up at the end would make me think it was a standalone, if I hadn't know better.
No matter your tastes, I would definitely recommend picking up this book!...more
I heard this book was amazing. Every review I read, every person I talked to who had read it, saidCheck this review out on my blog!
Actual rating: 3.5
I heard this book was amazing. Every review I read, every person I talked to who had read it, said it was amazing. So maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe it just wasn't my type of book, but I was disappointed.
One of the main reasons I think I didn't like it that much was because of the characters. I didn't connect with them. I felt like I didn't connect with anything in this book. I felt removed and separate from the story and the characters the entire time I was reading it. And that was a majorly hurt my level of enjoyment as I read this book.
I also thought, based on what everyone else said and reviewed, that the writing of this book was going to be great. And the writing of this book was good enough I guess. The way it was written definitely fit the story itself But it wasn't riveting, and I've read books that were much more interesting and suspenseful.
And it wasn't that this book wasn't interesting. The premise was unique and interesting and I loved that about. And it wasn't that this book wasn't suspenseful. There was a ton of suspense in this book. But once again, I didn't feel the expense and the urgency of the characters and the story because I wasn't connected.
So, yes, I'm extremely disappointed. I felt like this was a great book if only I could - to use the word one last time - connect. But despite all that, I would still recommend this book. I think many others will enjoy it, or at least find it an interesting book to think about. ...more
I picked up this book for two reasons: the cover looked cool, and the author was coming to talk and sign in my town in a few months.
... I still don'tI picked up this book for two reasons: the cover looked cool, and the author was coming to talk and sign in my town in a few months.
... I still don't really have any other reasons for reading it.
For one, this book had an extremely slow "start". And by "start", I mean the first half of this book. I was indifferent and disinterested until about page 140 out of 357 pages, and then things (finally!) began picking up. I'm not sure why that was, exactly. There was action, and there were things happening that should have been interesting, but they just... weren't. It took 140 pages for this book to actually start.
This book was also fairly predictable. All the "big reveals" and "twists" and such, I caught almost immediately, at the barest amount of foreshadowing. Maybe I've read too many YA books, but the amount of predictability and cliche used in this book was just awful.
Now, I don't want to say that this book was totally awful, either. Skimming the reviews on here, I'm seeing a lot of "creative"s and "unique"s. And I don't disagree with that. This was a very unique and creative world, with the world being made of a weave. Of course, it wasn't the first time I've seen weaving being such an integral part of the story, and related to life and reality and the world. So it was creative... to an extent.
The one other thing I actually liked with this story was the prose. The writing itself was actually really good, and I found six quotes in this book that I really liked (The average per book for me is about 3 or four.) The way she strung words together was great.
So, that's my personal opinion. But I think this is the type of book that (judging from the amount of fours and fives I see here) it really depends on the reader. Try reading it for the writing, and the world. ...more
In the first book, Michelle Hodkin weaves a deliciously creepy web of a story that gorgeouslyCheck this book review out on my blog!
Actual Rating: 4.5
In the first book, Michelle Hodkin weaves a deliciously creepy web of a story that gorgeously walks the line between reality and fantasy. And in this book, she does it again, only better. In the first book, there were a lot of problems with the way things were written, many parts that weren't laid out in the best way or passages that made little to no sense to me as the reader. In this book, she manages to keep the surreal quality while not having as many Wait, what? passages, though there were still a couple.
Another thing I loved about this was how much everything grew: from Noah and Mara's abilities to their relationship, to their characters themselves. You began to actually meet the characters, begin finding out who they were, and their reasoning behind many of their actions. Some of the whys of the previous book were answered as well, while leaving the reader with enough information to help them begin to understand, but withholding more in order to keep them guessing, and the tension and questions high. And while I thought the romance in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer wasn't particularly well-written, Evolution definitely made up for it.
Another thing about this book: it's more than 500 pages. It felt like 350. I've read books that didn't even pass 450 that felt like 800. It is completely compelling and addictive, just as much, if not more so, than the first book. It was a good thing it was break week for me, because otherwise it would have been torture trying to go through classes with this in my backpack.
I can't wait for The Retribution of Mara Dyer, coming out Fall 2013! (Can't find the specific release date, unfortunately.)...more
The best way to describe this book: gorgeously creepy.
It's kind of an oxymoron, I know. But it's true. This isnCheck this book review out on my blog!
The best way to describe this book: gorgeously creepy.
It's kind of an oxymoron, I know. But it's true. This isn't a book you want to read in the dark, or in an empty house, or if you scare easily. And despite the fact that you shouldn't be reading it late into the night, that doesn't mean that you won't. Because this is a book that is addictive and impossible to put down.
One of the main things that made it that way? How it danced along the line between reality and illusion. You didn't know what was real or what wasn't. As Mara's family questioned her sanity, you did as well. You never knew if something was a hallucination or dream or a symptom of Mara's PTSD OR not, and that not knowing drove you to keep reading in an attempt to find out.
On the other side of that, it was also often confusing when the lines blurred to much. Many times I would have to read a part several times before I understood what was going on, or wouldn't understand it even after the repeated readings. It was frustrating, and majorly subtracted from the story itself.
The story could have been laid out better as well. There were some points when I did not agree or understand why the author put a particular realization, memory or character "milestone" of sorts. It also detracted from the story by making me wonder why she put things in the places she did, especially since I didn't think it made much sense in the grand scheme of things.
However, the more technical aspects didn't matter when some of the other great things this novel was able to do: it turned the cliches used in just about every YA novel - the mean-jealous-promiscuous-girl, the hot-guy-that-everyone's-in-love-with-who-actually-turns-out-to-be-nice - into non-cliches. It made them interesting again, or at least interesting enough that I wasn't rolling my eyes at it.
Noah's and Mara's relationship was great while fitting the story in terms of how much and how little romance there was. It wasn't the best written, but it was still fitting to the story.
This wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, but if your looking for an addictive read and love being creeped out, I would definitely recommend it.
I've heard of Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I've just never read her. If this book is any indication, that was obviously a mistake on my part. Every Other DayI've heard of Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I've just never read her. If this book is any indication, that was obviously a mistake on my part. Every Other Day was amazing. Simply, flat out, amazing.
I don't typically like books where there are all paranormal/fantasy creatures together - faeries and witches and vampires and werewolves all at the same time are just a little bit too much for me - but in this book, it made it almost better than if it was just one species. Of course, it incorporated many creatures I hadn't seen used in an "every paranormal species" book, and others that have been used way too much that weren't even mentioned in here. The many different species added mystery and suspense as to what some creatures were, or what they would face next.
Kali and her voice in this novel made for an extremely enjoyable read. Kali was absolutely kick butt, and I can't think of another character that could rival her for the title of Best Badass. Maybe Tris, from the Divergent trilogy, but that's it. And that, my friends, is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Her voice was funny, interesting, and didn't let the reader go for one moment. If I hadn't had the annoying thing called "life" getting in the way, I would have happily devoured it in one sitting, and would still have yearned for more.
The supporting characters were just as interesting and well-written as Kali. They each had unique personalities and qualities and quirks that made them believable and enjoyable. I laughed every time Skyler said "We can call up [brother's name] for that!" or drew in a quiet breath every time Zev spoke.
Another thing was, I felt this book. I grew concerned every time one of Kali's friends was in danger, I shared Kali's sense of victory whenever she won a fight. I shared the character's sadness when one of their friends - and an important, wonderful character - died. And that is how, in my opinion at least, you separate the great from the best.
Books about death - and the afterlife - are very interesting, but they are often hit-or-miss. This was definitely a hit.
First off was the voice. RothBooks about death - and the afterlife - are very interesting, but they are often hit-or-miss. This was definitely a hit.
First off was the voice. Rothenberg managed to create a character with a funny, enjoyable voice who had just the right measure of funniness that she seemed like a typical high school girl, but wasn't cliched, shallow, or just pathetic. Brie dying of a broken heart could have easily made her seem all three, but Rothenberg managed to have such a cause of death be believeable and stir our sympathies, instead of our disbelief. Adding Brie's preexisting heart condition and the fact that her father was a cardiologist, and Brie dying of a broken heart was absolutely perfect.
There were three subsets of supporting characters in this book, and each subset was beautifully realistic and relateable:
Brie's best girl friends added a layer of supporting characters that all girls will be able to relate to: the absolute best friends that know you better than yourself, those that always have your back no matter what. In her friends, I could see some similarites in my own best friends, lending to their believeablility.
Brie's family was wonderful as well: even if they're a little to-good-to-be-true at first, they are ultimately a believeable, well-written family.
And then, of course, we come to the boys. The characters that the book is really formed around. And of course, you can't mention the boys without mentioning the title. Both Patrick and Jacob seem like believeable boys - maybe too-good-to-be true, but each had one major fault that made them human and made them more believeable. The title also changes because of the boys. At first, you think the title is referring to one thing, one pair' history, but then at the end you realize that the title is referring to a different thing completely. I find that really clever and intelligent and I applaud the author for being able to think of such a thing.
An amazing, wonderful book. Put this one at the top of your 'to-read' list!...more
I've heard a lot about this book, and so was very interested to read it for myself. However, it didn't turn out to be as good as I thought it would beI've heard a lot about this book, and so was very interested to read it for myself. However, it didn't turn out to be as good as I thought it would be. This book was fairly predictable, the writing wasn't anything special, and I feel as if the characters weren't real enough. I wish she had delved more into the troll abilities and such, because the new and different type of paranormal creatures was basically the only thing this book had going for it. It wasn't bad... but I wouldn't say it was a great book either. For anyone who likes paranormal romance. ...more
I've never read Frankenstein. I mean, I know the basic story; everyone does. But I just thought I'd tell you that I have never read Mary Shelley's claI've never read Frankenstein. I mean, I know the basic story; everyone does. But I just thought I'd tell you that I have never read Mary Shelley's classic, so I may not understand all the allusions to the original.
I didn't think I would enjoy this book very much. I only read it because the cover looked simply amazing and there were a couple of really cool quotes in the summary and on the back cover.
How wrong I was.
I loved the characters in this. Victor was a very interesting character, a personification of the animalistic characteristics of human nature: passion, violence, instinct, pride. On the other end of things, his twin Konrad seemed to be a personification of the qualities that make humans human: intelligence, charm. And then Elizabeth seemed to be caught in the middle, a mix between the human and animal natures, between Konrad and Victor. I also loved how independent and strong Elizabeth was, so unusual for a woman of that time period. (During the French Revolution.) All the other characters were well developed also, but those three, as the three main characters, really stood out to me.
I loved reading about the alchemy involved in this, and how the alchemy (and science) was influenced by the time period, and vice versa. I've never really been able to find any (good) books about alchemy, and it was really well explained and interesting to read about in this book.
This book was really well-written, there was no turn of phrase that needed editing. I greatly respect Mr. Oppel!
I greatly recommend this book to fans of alchemy, Frankenstein, male protagonists, and/or historical fiction! ...more