This book was alright. I held off on doing this review for a few days, and I already lost the few things I had to say about it -- the book, while deceThis book was alright. I held off on doing this review for a few days, and I already lost the few things I had to say about it -- the book, while decent, was not exactly memorable aside from the dark subject matter.
I didn't really care for any of the characters. I mean, I didn't dislike them, it's just that not a single one elicited even the most mild of emotions out of me. That's how I felt about the entire book -- I have a weakness for gritty young adult books with dark subjects, but the only reason I finished this was because I started it.
Shouldn't a book about something so serious, and so personal to many of the people reading it, force emotional reactions? Shouldn't I be feeling disgust towards the dad? Or sympathy for the main character? Or anything beyond boredom and apathy?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a necessarily a horrible read. I'm sure for some people, it's a great book. I just didn't have any connection with it, and for me, that's always more disappointing than reading a flat out horrendous book....more
I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popuAlso on Ink & Tea Reviews.
I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popular girls. So a book where the main character is one of the mean girls? Even though it could go so terribly, terribly wrong, I am immediately intrigued.
And thankfully, Some Girls Are got it so very right.
Regina Afton is one of the most popular girls in school, being the best friend and second-in-command of Anna Morrison, the school’s queen bee. Her clique is deliciously vicious – they start rumor campaigns, they destroy reputations, they ruin lives. Regina and her friends are those girls that everyone loves/hates. However, one party changes Regina’s social status overnight, when Anna’s boyfriend comes very close to raping her. In her desperation, Regina goes to the only person she can, Kara, a frenemy and member of her clique. This was the wrong move, and Kara takes this opportunity to ruin her reputation by convincing Anna that Regina had sex with her boyfriend behind her back.
So begins Regina’s exile from her friends.
One of the things that makes me want to gush is that Courtney Summers doesn’t make Regina a good person. She’s not the unwitting accomplice to Anna Morrison’s alpha bitch, she doesn’t have a change of heart, she doesn’t decide that she wants to be a better person. She’s just a mean girl that we can sympathize with. And we sympathize with her because Courtney Summers makes these characters real. They’re three-dimensional, and they’re unforgivable, completely bad people, and I love them.
When Regina decides she wants to take Anna down, it’s not to save other students from her reign of terror, and it’s certainly not because she thinks it’s the right thing to do. It’s because she wants revenge. Some people were disappointed with the fact that Regina doesn’t morph into a good person, but I am so glad, and it seems so much more real that way.
Right after Regina loses her spot at her lunch table and with Anna and the others, she becomes anxious – she can’t be alone, so she sits next to Michael, a boy she has bullied in the past. Michael might be the only decent person in this book, and even then, he can be kind of a jerk at times – although he is completely justified. Michael seems indifferent (if a little irritated) by Regina’s presence at first, but it doesn’t take a lot for him to blow up at her and her self-centered audaciousness. As anyone can guess, Regina and Michael end up having a romance. I’m not convinced that it’s a completely functional relationship, but that might be one of the reasons I loved it so much. Their chemistry was palpable, their issues were real, and I couldn’t help but route for them to get together and somehow, despite their multitude of problems, make it work.
The other characters – from Regina’s ex to Anna herself – don’t make it easy for Regina to be happy, with or without Michael. This book is brutal, and those girls are downright abusive. Not only do they torment Regina emotionally, but there’s a good deal of violence, as well. Anyone who is a fan of three-dimensional douchebags, good contemporary young adult, or high school dramas, or just a plain good book with wonderful prose and great characters, should give Some Girls Are a chance. ...more
I wanted so, so much more from this book than it gave me. I expected an epic sister relationship, baThis review is also seen on Ink & Tea Reviews.
I wanted so, so much more from this book than it gave me. I expected an epic sister relationship, badass girls, horror, creepiness, some sort of monster-of-the-week type of format, and a new favorite book. I was so let down; I was given very little of what I was looking for.
Sisters Red is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. The main characters are Rosie and Scarlett March, two teenage werewolf hunters. Scarlett is scarred – like, actually scarred, not typical YA fantasy scarred – from an encounter with a werewolf in her childhood. She lives for the hunt, and she loves nothing more than killing the wolves. Rosie, on the other hand, mostly hunts because she feels like it’s her duty, and because she feels like she owes her life to Scarlett. They are close with a fellow hunter, Silas, who is close to Scarlett’s age, and like Rosie, does not live for the hunt.
I actually loved Scarlett and Rosie. I thought they were great characters, and I loved them together, even when they weren’t getting along. They were both flawed, three-dimensional characters, and I am far more attached to them than I am the book as a whole. I thought werewolf hunting sisters was a fresh take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. Really, the premise was so promising, and with such awesome main characters, how could this book end up so dull?
First off, isn’t this supposed to be a horror book? I don’t see how it is! It never picked up the pace. Basically, Scarlett (and sometimes Rosie) go around killing werewolves – known as fenris. But it’s never challenging – even when they are in danger, you know they’re going to win, you don’t feel like anything is at stake. I like being on the edge of my seat, irrationally scared of the outcome even if, logically, I know there are 100 more pages left, so the characters obviously live. This book didn’t give me that suspense that is so integral in a horror book. Nor did it give me any creepiness in place of suspense.
Which brings me to my next point: the fenris were SO bland. The fenris were all interchangeable, which made for very uninteresting villains. I didn’t expect woobified, angsty wolves – I didn’t even expect any of the fenris to get a whole lot of depth -- but a weak villain makes for a weak book. Briefly, it seemed like we might get something more than the rapey, bland fenris with guttural growls (seriously, how many times was “guttural” used in this book?) when we meet a character in Rosie’s tango class, but we never see him again. What a wasted opportunity.
The actual plot takes a really long time to develop, and when it does, the book doesn’t get any better for it! Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas (who Rosie has developed feelings for), are looking for something called a “Potential”. A Potential is a person who can be changed into a werewolf – and all the wolves are looking for him, too. So this new plot is unveiled, and…what? They mostly spend their time talking about how they have no idea how to find him.
During this time, Rosie and Silas develop a relationship behind Scarlett’s back. I was actually glad when Rosie and Silas finally got together – not because I cared for their relationship, but because I was glad Rosie got what she wanted. Actually, their relationship was kind of boring. While Rosie and Silas are enjoying happy make-out sessions, Scarlett is spending time with her true love: hunting. Now, I quite love Scarlett, flaws and all, but there was a very problematic aspect in Scarlett’s narration. She finds these girls she dubs “Dragonflies” – they are pretty, giggly, and blissfully unaware of the supernatural around them. She resents them, she considers them vapid, stupid, and she actually says (well, thinks) that they are bringing on any attacks themselves. She completely victim-blames, and I saw nothing in the text to indicate that we weren’t supposed to agree with her.
The plot finally thickens in the last few pages of the book, and there’s a bit of suspense when we’re unsure of if Rosie’s going to get out of a certain predicament and if they’re all going to survive. (view spoiler)[I was a bit bummed that they do all survive, although I was happy for Rosie’s sake, because it seemed like a bit of a cop-out. I was extremely displeased with the conclusion of Sisters Red – Rosie and Scarlett split up, and Rosie goes to live with Silas. The sisters should have stayed together! This was supposed to be seen as a happy ending, but I hated it. (hide spoiler)]
Although this book wasn’t quite up to par, I will definitely be reading the sequel. Depending on how I enjoy that will determine whether or not I’ll continue reading Jackson Pearce’s works. I’m hoping Sweetly will succeed where Sisters Red failed, but I’m not going into it with super high expectations. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I’m settling on 2.5 stars for this book, although I’ve been unsure of how to go about rating it. It had an effectOriginally on Ink & Tea Reviews.
I’m settling on 2.5 stars for this book, although I’ve been unsure of how to go about rating it. It had an effect on me, which makes me want to get it three stars off the bat, but then there’s the problem that I didn’t actually like it all that much, which made me consider giving it a lower score. So I’m going for the middle, but even that doesn’t satisfy me.
I think my main problem with the novel was that of the writing style. Something about it just didn’t jive with me, and I felt the dialogue was forced and stilted. It is incompatibility of the writing style and my preferences that prevented me from getting fully absorbed into the story, and is the (main) reason this novel is getting less than an average rating.
So, Living Dead Girl is one of those contemporary novels about rape and abuse. The victim is “Alice”, who was kidnapped during a school trip by a creepy fellow named Ray. Ray is violent, off his rocker, and has mommy issues, occasionally giving snippets of his past to Alice. Although Ray claims to still “love” Alice, she is no longer the ten year old she was when he obtained her, and he is trying to hold on to her youth by under-feeding her, getting her shaved, and putting her in too-small clothing. These efforts are in vain, and Alice feels that he’s going to kill her soon, as she’s growing out of his preferred age.
This is one of the bleakest novels I’ve read, even of this genre. This is not a book to read if you want a happy ending, if despair and suffering and abuse without end turns you off of a book. I would only tell you to read this if you’re really into young adult contemporary abuse novels, like me.
Also, important to mention is that Alice is not the average fictional victim, and she’s certainly not a heroine. She doesn’t long to see her family again, she longs for death. She has not become a good person, she has become cruel and bitter. She uses sex to hurt others, and she craves to break people so that they’re as messed up as her. At one point, Ray decides to obtain another little girl, and Alice is more than willing to pass off her messed up situation to someone else. This cruelty in Alice does not bother me, and I actually found it to be refreshing and new, but I’m sure it would upset many.
Although I didn’t actually like Living Dead Girl, I would say it’s worth giving it a try and seeing if it’s more your style. With that said, I probably wouldn’t read anything else by this author. ...more
Deathless is my favorite book that I've read recently. Deathless is the story of Marya Morevna, a Soviet girl who is taken by Koschei the Deathless. TDeathless is my favorite book that I've read recently. Deathless is the story of Marya Morevna, a Soviet girl who is taken by Koschei the Deathless. This is a romance, albeit a twisted, dysfunctional one -- although the dysfunction is not, in any way, glamorized or made out to be something it's not.
The characters are very intriguing, especially Koschei, Baba Yaga, and Marya, who are all well-rounded with a hint of mystery. Ivan is a realistic sort of character (for a fairytale, at least), but I kind of hated him and couldn't wait for him to (inevitably) leave.
Whether you know the tale or not, Deathless lets you know how the book is going to end, and it doesn't detract from the story at all. And even though you know what's going to happen, you hope that against all odds that it will go differently, just this once.
Deathless seamlessly wraps Soviet history (capturing the desperation, war-torn country, and quality of life) together with a quintessential Russian tale, and anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in Russia should give it a read....more
[NOTE: There are mentions of rape in this review, due to the way it was handled being insanely problematic and jusOriginally on Ink & Tea Reviews.
[NOTE: There are mentions of rape in this review, due to the way it was handled being insanely problematic and just wrong. However, the book does not show graphic rape, and just alludes to the fact that it was a possibility for Deuce, and was in Tegan’s backstory.]
Look at that synopsis! How could I have possibly resisted? Unfortunately, Enclave didn’t really live up to the promises of the synopsis, the hype, or my expectations. With a heavy heart (I am really disappointed that this wasn’t a better book), I am giving this book only 2 stars, as it lacked in many of the most important areas and occasionally made me want to rage.
The horror was as good as could be expected from a low-quality young adult dystopian novel, not exactly bone-chilling but creating a decent amount of suspense. I also liked some of the characters, finding them to be interesting and almost believable, although they did tend to lack in some way, as if they wanted to come to life as three-dimensional characters but were just prevented from doing so by the author. The love interest, Fade, was a lovely character, and perhaps was the one that was given the most depth. I also liked Tegan, a young girl who has suffered through horrible things.
And that’s pretty much the extent of my praise.
I had trouble warming up to Deuce, although she does (almost – there are a few problems I will touch on in a bit) get better after becoming disillusioned by the government of the Enclave. Still, it was hard to sympathize with her. I have no problem with unlikable protagonists or characters with great flaws, but a good author can make the audience sympathize with them and care about them despite their assholery. This was not the case here, where Deuce grated more often than not.
The first half of the book is regarding the Enclave and Deuce’s disillusionment with their methods. The second half consists of adventuring outside (these people have somehow lived underground without proper nutrition or sunlight, but I suppose one must suspend their disbelief to an extent) after being exiled with Fade. Topside, Deuce and Fade meet Stalker, a clever, but savage rapist and gang-leader. He seems like a great antagonist, somewhat charming, interesting, but utterly unforgivable in his actions.
He almost becomes a love interest to Deuce.
He’s a SERIAL RAPIST! And no, it’s not some dysfunctional thing in which Deuce is just a masochist or has to reconcile her attraction to him with his being a horrible person or whatever, it’s like there’s just a sudden BACKTRACK. Deuce and Fade go from finding him to be this horrible RAPIST, to excusing his actions and forcing Tegan (one of his victims) to deal with his presence. At one point, Deuce thinks something to the effect of, “if Tegan isn’t over what happened to her yet, there’s no hope for her.”
Really, Tegan is seen as weak, as she “let” guys rape her, and is even weaker for voicing the fact that Stalker is a horrible person. And then, as if to just force this problem to go away, Tegan is suddenly seemingly totally over everything that happened and is willing to hang out with Stalker with the rest of them. I think, perhaps, the author was making this dastardly villain, then decided he was pretty cool, so HEY LET’S JUST THROW A RANDOM LOVE TRIANGLE IN HERE AND MAKE HIM NOT REALLY SUCH A BAD GUY EVEN IF HE’S A RAPIST.
Yeah, it’s just disgusting.
Some of the minor characters are little more than cardboard cut-outs, especially the women, who Deuce is very critical of. She thinks “Breeders” are useless and tends to think of most women as victims. This novel suffers from the horrible pseudo-feminism in which the only women who are worth anything are “strong women”, which only consists of women who can kill things. Nevermind the fact that MEN who can’t kill things aren’t devalued, and the male breeders are not, by any means, looked down upon in the narrative nearly in the same way as the women.
Enclave is an interesting, albeit unrealistic, take on the apocalypse, but there are just far too many really problematic aspects (from the treatment of women to the low quality writing) to make it an enjoyable read. I’m not sure I could recommend it without some serious guilt or a big ol’ disclaimer about Stalker, Tegan, and Deuce’s really disgusting views on things. With that said, my utter masochism and desire to see if this series will get any better will probably cause me to eventually read the second book in the series. From there, I’ll decide if the series is worth sticking with. ...more
As others have already said, the first part of The Superiors is not as strong as the rest of it. The writing seems a little shaky, perhaps unsure, butAs others have already said, the first part of The Superiors is not as strong as the rest of it. The writing seems a little shaky, perhaps unsure, but the prose picks up a flow closer to the middle. Despite this slow start, it's certainly worth giving it a read, especially if you like vampire books without a lot of romance.
The take on vampires in The Superiors is something I've heard of before, although it's not quite mainstream -- vampires are in control of society, with human being treated poorly and being used as blood slaves. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, which was the initial reason I decided to read it.
The books has several point of views, with Draven, a somewhat lower-class vampire, being the main character and usual POV. The others include Cali (the human girl that Draven becomes fixated on), Byron (a friend and superior of Draven's), and Ander (the antagonist). If multiples POVs bother you, this might be relevant to you, although Draven's chapters tend to be the longest and most relevant to the story.
At several parts of the book, I found myself fearful for the characters, eager to see what was coming next, and feeling whatever the characters were feeling. It was a very compelling book, and it was very easy to become attached to the story.
One of my major complains -- a complaint I have with many books -- is that (with the exception of Cali), the female characters were rather periphery and undeveloped. Whether they were humans, neighbors, or co-workers, the non-Cali female characters existed to be sexual partners, to create tension, or to otherwise move along the plot and feelings of the male characters. They were generally completely defined by their relationships with the males, whether it was with Ander (the humans he owned), Draven (the women he slept with), or Byron (his family). ...more