I loved the fact that Nevernight was an adult book. Sure, the main character is a "young adult", but INOSE GRAZE
Things I Liked
An adult fantasy book
I loved the fact that Nevernight was an adult book. Sure, the main character is a "young adult", but I personally wouldn't class the book as such. It's definitely an adult book with a young main character.
There are f-bombs, c-bombs, and more.
There are extremely detailed sex scenes.
And of course, gruesome murders.
This book is graphic and vulgar. But that's one of the things I liked most about it. It really cut through all the bullshit, restraint, and filters that are often in YA. (I love YA, don't get me wrong, but there's also a lot filtering, fade to black, etc.)
These assassins don't play nice
It's not uncommon to pick up an assassin book and then never have anything interesting happen. No murders. No brutality. Just a few clean fights.
But Jay Kristoff had no problem killing people in Nevernight.
There are plenty of murders.
Plenty of gore. Things got messy.
Nevernight doesn't sugarcoat the life of an assassin. PEOPLE DIE. IN THEIR SHIT AND VOMIT.
Like Hogwarts for assassins? Sure.
I loved the boarding school set up. Dormitories, "professors", no wandering the halls after hours, classes on how to fight, poison, steal, and seduce... It's just an environment that I always enjoy in a book!
Mia + Shadows
Mia has some kind of shadow power/gift. She can kind of control or manipulate the shadows. It's a really cool part of the book. It's still a bit of a mystery in Nevernight, but will clearly be explored further later in the series.
It's so quotable
Every other line in Nevernight is something I was itching to tweet about or quote on Goodreads. The book is so beautifully written. Here are a few of my favourites:
"People often shit themselves when they die, did you know that?"
THAT IS THE FIRST LINE OF THE BOOK! O_O
"The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone's hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear."
"'Never flinch.' A cold whisper in her ear. 'Never fear. And never, ever forget.'"
"Iron or glass they'd asked? Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head. She was neither. She was steel."
"Hmm. I appear to have misplaced the fuck I was about to give for what you think."
"your brain and ovaries seem to have switched places."
"The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow."
"The dark around them was not only angry. It was hungry."
Throughout the book there are footnotes that provide more detail on people, objects, or events that are mentioned in the normal story. At first I quite liked these. They were interesting and sometimes just kind of funny. But as the book went on, I found myself skipping them most of the time.
They didn't feel necessary to the story (though I guess that's a given since they're footnotes).
I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not reading them.
I think they just offered more detail than I was interested in.
This book is long and the footnotes just made it feel even longer. Plus some of the footnotes are several paragraphs and go into extreme detail in a way that didn't really add to the story.
The footnotes were an interesting addition, but I lost interest and patience with them after a while.
Although I liked the book, I wasn't addicted.
It took me about twelve days to read Nevernight. The biggest thing that says to me is that while I liked the book, I wouldn't say I ever got hooked or addicted (until maybe the very end). I was happy to keep reading, but I never felt like I NEEDED to keep reading, you know? I didn't really think about the book when I wasn't reading it.
I liked it a lot, but I think for me it was missing a little X factor that would have really kept me hooked and felt inclined to give it a five-star rating. But despite that, I fully expect Nevernight to be a five-star book for pleeeenty of other readers. It truly is a fabulous book!
Pretty awesome! I adored the romance and the time travelling was cool. Somehow the ending felt a bit anti climactic though, which is weird when you coPretty awesome! I adored the romance and the time travelling was cool. Somehow the ending felt a bit anti climactic though, which is weird when you consider what happened......more
My only complaint was that it did feel a bit "fluffy" at times with regards to the romance (which is weird, given the events of the story). Sometimes it felt a little bit silly, I guess. Less epic and more like fun entertainment, which is still perfectly okay. It just felt like a book that you can't take 100% seriously....more
Loved it! Awesome history and adventure. The romance was so-so. If I'm being honest, I hoped it would be more BIG and EPIC and ALL CONSUMING. But it wLoved it! Awesome history and adventure. The romance was so-so. If I'm being honest, I hoped it would be more BIG and EPIC and ALL CONSUMING. But it was suuuuuper small and in the background, if you know what I mean.
But still an awesome story! Just missing a bit of extra oomph....more
DNF'ing for now. I doubt I'll pick it back up again, but I don't want to officially write it off completely.
I got like 150 pages in and just wasn't feDNF'ing for now. I doubt I'll pick it back up again, but I don't want to officially write it off completely.
I got like 150 pages in and just wasn't feeling it. It wasn't a bad book, but I couldn't click with it. There was no attachment, I didn't feel super invested, and I just had no desire to keep reading....more
I started out LOVING The Fire Artist. The idea of elemental magic as a performance art—almost like a spNose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips
I started out LOVING The Fire Artist. The idea of elemental magic as a performance art—almost like a sport actually—was very interesting. Then you bring Genies into the mix and it's almost like baseball and steroids.
Then an abuse element was introduced. Aria's father tried to force her to become a fire artist by burning her and trying to convince her that it didn't really hurt. Obviously that's horrible, but I thought it was a really unique and interesting way to introduce abuse. He never hit her, but he was so desperate to have a family full of elemental artists that he tried to force her to become a fire artist. Very interesting!
But then when she's recruited, things went downhill for me. The whole fire artist thing was put on the back burner while the romance dominated.. and the romance was pretty insta-lovey. (view spoiler)[There are two ways a genie can get his freedom: by the wisher wishing the genie free, or by the wisher falling in love with the genie. The latter is really tightly policed to weed out infatuation and crushes; it has to be true love and supposedly that's never happened before. But then naturally it happens in this book for the first time. But the romance itself wasn't LOVE. It was a crush. They knew each other for like a week. Sorry, but that wasn't love at all. That put me off the romance. (hide spoiler)]
I think I just thought the book would be a lot more epic than it ended up being. In fact some of it was just pretty silly (view spoiler)[(I mean, her dad gets eaten... by an alligator) (hide spoiler)]. The whole thing came down to a half-baked romance. It would have been cooler if there was some kind of epic, elemental war.
Overall it was okay, but I think it could have been a lot better, especially since it started out so great!
On another note, the synopsis pretty much sums up 90% of the whole story, which is why I put some of it in spoiler tags. Luckily I didn't read it right before I read the book, so it wasn't totally ruined for me. But keep that in mind if you're considering picking this up.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Before we begin, I need to set down some terminology for my review. As you probNose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips
Let's clarify some terms
Before we begin, I need to set down some terminology for my review. As you probably know, the book Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is two books in one, told in alternating chapters. One story is that of Darcy, a soon-to-be-published YA author. The story is about her selling her book, doing rewrites, and drafting the next book in the series. The other story is about Darcy's book. We actually get to read it. However, just to confuse things, that 'story within the story' is also called Afterworlds.
From this point on out, please abide by the following definitions:
This book — Refers to the 'real' published book Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.
Afterworlds — Refers to the 'story within the story', which is the YA paranormal book that Darcy writes.
This book had a lot of potential. For the most part (except towards the end), I liked the contemporary, YA author story. It was cool to watch an author go through the world of publishing. But, for the most part, I hated the story she was writing (Afterworlds).
The paranormal ghost story (Afterworlds)
I hated it. Every single time I got to one of these chapters, I asked myself the same question:
Can I skip this chapter? Will the book still make sense if I don't read the whole 'Afterworlds' part of the book?
I never did skip a chapter, but much to my dismay, I could have. Now, looking back, I'm screaming at myself for NOT skipping because IT WAS POINTLESS! Even at the end, the Afterworlds part of the book never actually felt important. Everything still would have made sense if that part of the book was stripped out.
I don't like ghost stories
To be fair, I never gave the Afterworlds part of the book much of a chance. I did like the first chapter with the terrorist attack, but once it turned paranormal, I wasn't interested anymore. But, I think a large portion of that is on me: I don't like ghost stories. That's just a preference I have. Some people don't like sci-fi, some don't like contemporary, some don't like romance... I don't like ghost stories. And Afterworlds was definitely a ghost story.
Lamest Twilight-inspired romance ever
But on top of that, it was also a romance... sort of. I got the idea that it was supposed to be a romance. Lizzie meets a "hot, shiny boy" and gets a bit gaga for him.
Even in that awful moment, I could see that he was beautiful. He shone somehow, as if sunlight were breaking through the mist, just for him. He was one of those boys with a perfect jaw, who looks stunning when he's clean shaven, but just that little bit more handsome with the barest shadow of stubble. Afterworlds, page 24
They never really have a "we are now dating" or "will you go out with me?" moment; they just kiss a few times and then suddenly that's the norm. It was horrible! It was so insta-lovey, but without any actual love. It was more like "insta-kiss-and-now-our-lips-are-glued-together-but-we-aren't-in-love". How's that for confusing?
His lips pressed against mine, and a wave of heat floored into me. Afterworlds, page 31
Look at that: first kiss on page 31. And that's after like two chapters of the contemporary story (so more like page 15).
Is there a personality in there?
But for me, I think the worst part of this Lizzie/Yamaraj romance was the fact that YAMARAJ HAD NO PERSONALITY!!! The guy was such a polite, faceless blank slate. He had no emotion, no personality, nothing! He just existed, spoke a few words now and then, and sparkled like a Twilight vampire.
The contemporary "YA Author" story
I started out quite enjoying the "YA author on the rise" part of this story. I thought it was really cool to see a young author enter the world of publishing. I loved reading about the "YA drink night" she was invited to, receiving the notes from her editor, being on deadline. I have no idea how accurate it was, being that I'm not an author myself, but it was fun to read about nonetheless.
Then a romance kicked in.. out of NOWHERE! I didn't see it coming. There was no build up, no flirting, no hints, nada! Then it just slammed into the story full force. For a while, that turned me off the contemporary part of the story because at first there was just no chemistry; it was so insta-lovey (again). Eventually it did win me back over.. for a while.
The fact that I hated the paranormal story weakened the book overall
Really disliking the paranormal "story within the story" made me like the "YA author" story even less. The YA author part was about this girl writing, selling, and publishing her book Afterworlds. At first I loved this because it was so interesting to read about an author's journey through the publishing world. But as the book went on and as I read more of Afterworlds, I began to hate Afterworlds more and more. That made it almost awkward to read the contemporary part of the story. How could I be excited with Darcy if I hated her book? Had I actually picked up her version of Afterworlds at BEA (without the contemporary YA author chapters), I would have DNF'd it. It almost made me laugh that she sold her duology for $300,000 and it was a freaking shit book.
Then as the book came to its final 100 or 200 pages, I realized two things:
1. Sometimes it felt like the romance had a bigger focus than the writing/author part of the story, and that annoyed me.
2. Darcy was young and immature.. and that annoyed me even more.
Why did the romance have to take over?
This is rare for me to actually say, but I was pissed that the romance started taking over. The big, central conflict of the story wasn't really about writing or publishing; it was about the romance having a hitch. Ugh.
Darcy is too young and careless to be living on her own
And Darcy started a pathetic spiral down into "idiot" territory. At the beginning of the book, her sister gave her a budget. She had $100,000 from her advance and two years to live in New York. Her sister said: spend $x on rent and $x per day on living (food, etc.). Well, Darcy did the following:
Got an apartment out of her price range (like $1k per month over or something)
Ate out at expensive restaurants like EVERY FREAKING NIGHT. So she went waaay over her "spend $x per day on living" budget. Seriously, have you heard of cooking?
Missed her writing deadlines and begged for extensions.
Missed her uni deadlines.
Missed her lease renewal deadline.
Seriously, is she trying to prove to the world that she's too young to start a career and live on her own? Her lack of common sense and independence started to really piss me off.
Give me another book about the life of an author
I absolutely LOVE that idea for a book, and there were certainly bits in this book that I enjoyed. It was a lot of fun to read about the writing process, meeting (or missing) deadlines, having ARCs for BookExpo America, and so on. But I was disappointed to see the romance take over that awesome part of the book. And even more so, I was disappointed to find that half the book was both boring as shit and completely unnecessary.
It saddens me to say this but I think I'm just too old for this book or something. I couldn't connect with the MC or her reasonStopped reading at 46%.
It saddens me to say this but I think I'm just too old for this book or something. I couldn't connect with the MC or her reasoning at all. I just saw her as a silly little girl, rather than being able to relate to her. Maybe the book would be more enjoyable for people more her age....more
I ADORED this book! Kelsea was the best queen ever. The girl was a total badass and really stuck to her guns. I adored all the characters and4.5 Stars
I ADORED this book! Kelsea was the best queen ever. The girl was a total badass and really stuck to her guns. I adored all the characters and was actually surprised at how invested I got into all of their stories.
My only gripe: WHAT IS THE BLOODY CROSSING?!?! It was thrown in here and there but never actually explained. It drove me mad....more
The Jewel was an awesome book! ...until the romance. But more on that later. ;)
I really loved the plotNose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips
The Jewel was an awesome book! ...until the romance. But more on that later. ;)
I really loved the plot in The Jewel. I think it's definitely similar in vibe to The Selection (which it's being compared to). However, my feelings about it are the total opposite. In The Selection, I adored the romance but didn't care much about the rest of the plot. In The Jewel, I adore the plot but hate the romance. The Jewel has a lot of political/royal scandal.. and it's fascinating! Everyone is basically frenemies. The royals invite each other over for tea parties and dinners, but they actually hate each other and plot against each other.
Also, the whole idea of surrogates was HORRIBLE! ..but in a good way. Like obviously it was sad and disgusting, but that's what made the book so interesting. I mean, the girls are bid on at auction, purchased, given collars, walked around on leashes, compared as if they're trophies or trading cards (bragging about "stats" or talents their surrogates have), etc. That whole part of the book was really disgusting, but fascinating. I was outraged and felt so sorry for Violet! I love that the book got me so riled up.
My only gripe with the plot side of things was I didn't fully understand why the surrogates existed. It was only briefly explained why the royals couldn't have their own children. The author explained how their children died early or were sickly, etc., but I didn't fully understand WHY.
But then somewhere around page 250, the romance kicked in.. and it sucked. Violet meets this guy Ash, they exchange about two glances, then his lips are on hers, then they're making out, then they're saying "I love you". They have like three interactions, zero conversations, and they're already in love? Waaaa??? I was really disappointed because there could have been a lot of potential with this romance, but it was easily the weakest part of the book. I didn't connect with it at all. I went from being addicted to The Jewel to kind of making a "wtf" face at it while reading.
I was pretty devastated to have my love for this book plummet so hard, because up until that point, I was ADDICTED. I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours. I loved it so much, then the romance just sucked! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!
But the book is still worth reading, even if just for the cool plot and crazy political scandals. The different houses of royalty are constantly plotting against each other and it's pretty crazy what lengths they go to!...more
Dragons blending in with society to take over government/military/organizations
Dragons in disguise assassinating humans
Dragon politics, hierarchy, and structure
Epic dragon battles and wars
Dragon training programs
Here's what Talon actually was:
Largely about a teenage girl living a 'normal' teenage life (or pretending to)
Beaches, parties, the mall, boys
The girl happens to be able to turn into a dragon.. but that doesn't mean she ever does
Very little information about the dragon history, politics, or hierarchy
Sort of a forbidden romance, but Ember doesn't actually realize it's forbidden so it doesn't feel like a forbidden romance
As you can see, it's not quite what I imagined.
Remove dragons and you get the exact same story
This was my number one problem with the book. If you removed the dragon aspect from Talon, you'd still have the exact same story. Why? Because although Ember and her fellow dragons are dragons, they can turn into humans and they spend the ENTIRE book in human form. Or, at least, I can count the number of times they shift into dragon form on one hand. There is a bit of dragon talk, but not much.
The bulk of the story is about Ember's mission, which is to blend in with humans. This results in most of the book reading very much like a normal "teenage girl romance" book. We read a lot about Ember going to the beach, making friends, going to the mall with said friends, commenting on which guys are hot, etc. But every now and then we'd get a small snippet to remind us that she is a dragon (like "Surfing is almost as great as flying!" or "I wish I could shift and nom this asshole but I'm not allowed to.").
I think I just so desperately wanted an epic dragon book and instead I got a semi-typical teenage girl book with a small dragon element. Like, "I'm playing the part of a teenage girl but I COULD shift into dragon form if I really wanted to. Remember that." Meh.
The romance wasn't bad
It wasn't fabulous or earth shattering and I never got excited feels, but the romance wasn't bad. There is sort of a love triangle, but not really. Ember and Garret have a slow-brewing romance, which was really nice. Julie Kagawa spent a lot of time slowly building it up, so I came to like it, even if I didn't love it. They did have a few cute moments!
Then there's a third leg: Riley, the rogue. However, he isn't in the book a whole lot (compared to Garret) and I always got the impression that Riley liked Ember more than she liked him. So it wasn't a full on, in your face, annoying love triangle. Also, Riley could get a bit rapey at times:
"We belong together, you know it as well as me. Say you'll come with me. Tonight." "We just met." Ember sounded very human then, like she was trying to convince herself. "I don't even know you, really." "This is instinct, plain and simple. Human emotion has nothing to do with it. Stop fighting it. Stop fighting me."
Yeah, Ember, stop fighting it. Just give in. You'll enjoy it.
Overall, it was very 'okay'
Talon wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I wanted FIREWORKS and FIREBREATHING and TOTAL EPICNESS! I was excited just at the idea of dragons in YA! FINALLY! But what I expected and hoped for wasn't what I got. It's really just a "teenage girl meets forbidden boy and falls in love while defying secret society" kind of book. You could strip out the dragon aspect entirely and still understand it.
I'm not necessarily giving up the series, but I'm not super excited to move onto the next one either....more