I'm sure we are all familiar with Melissa Marr. She is the bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and is known for her delectably fluid writinI'm sure we are all familiar with Melissa Marr. She is the bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and is known for her delectably fluid writing style. She has established herself as a fantasy author, however her newest novel, Made For You, falls in the contemporary genre. I read Wicked Lovely some time ago, but did not continue with the series. (This was during my less serious reading days.) However, I was very interested to see what this author had up her sleeve in the realm of a contemporary story-line. Made For You did not disappoint, and I am sure Melissa's die hard fans will be extremely pleased with the result. This book delivered the same edgy and slightly dark writing style as her fantasy work, while also excelling in its realism. Knowing that the plot of this story is possible, definitely had me cringing. Made For You is creepy folks. Just plain creepy. And once you start reading the compelling nature of this book will have you up late.
If I ever have a chance to attend one of Marr's signings, there is one question I just have to ask her. Were you picturing Collin Hanks in his role as Travis Marshall when constructing the Judge's character? The Judge is the antagonist of the story, or a.k.a., really crazy-obsessed killer. In fact he has his own mini chapters. So, you really get to see just how loony-bin this person is. Multiple POVs is something that worked really well for this book. The majority of the chapters are from Eva's point of view, but you also get to see the story from her best friend's perspective and, of course, from the aforementioned bad guy, The Judge. For most of the time you do not know who The Judge is. This person could be anyone. There are clues along the way, and I really enjoyed being able to play the guessing game.
Marr really did a superb job with these characters. Eva is the star of Made For You. The princess of her town. She could have an inflated ego, and be a snot, but she isn't. This made me really happy. Her love interest, Nate, is a stand up guy. They fit together like ham and havarti. And THE JUDGE. If I haven't made my point yet, this character is CREEPY. And, as far as the romance goes, I loved it. It has a presence and gives readers just the right amount of sweet without overtaking the fact that this is a THRILLER.
There is not a whole lot I would change about Made For You. The story is well fleshed out and really gives readers that darkness we sometimes crave. I suppose I would have liked to see things from Nate's perspective. In fact, Grace's POVs could be switched for Nate's entirely. Not that I didn't like Grace's character, I did. But Nate has a more prominent role to play. I would also say that the ending, as a whole, is a bit anti-climactic. Or maybe abrupt would be a better word. There is so much build up to the big reveal, yet when you get there, you really do not have much time to marinade in it. The book is over a couple short chapters later. I think I wanted a bit more for the grand finale. Or at least an epilogue?
This was supposed to be a "mini-review." Guess that didn't happen. As you can see, I really enjoyed this book! GO READ IT. ...more
* ARC received from the publisher (Feiwel & Friends) in exchange for an honest review *
I have been having so much fun with my reading lately. Some* ARC received from the publisher (Feiwel & Friends) in exchange for an honest review *
I have been having so much fun with my reading lately. Something I have desperately needed. Angelini is another author that I used to read, but haven't thought much about in a good while. I recall her Starcrossed series fondly, but it feels forever ago. That being said, I am so happy she has gifted us with a new book. And unlike her mythology filled priors, the Worldwalker trilogy is all about being magically delicious. And by that I mean, there is magic, witches and cuties. Sadly, Trial by Fire has been nesting on my shelf since I got my ARC signed at ALA... LAST YEAR. This should not have happened. Because, despite my hesitation after succumbing to some on-the-fence peer reviews, I had a hard time putting this book down. There are so many things I enjoy in it: Witches, multi-versing, earth based magic and of course, slightly complicated romance. Plus, it puts you in constant adventure mode. You can so easily envision being in Lily's shoes. What would you do if you were pulled into another universe? Who do you trust? What is this other Lillian's ultimate plan? Angelini's brain produces it's own magic when it comes to world building. The alternate version of Salem in Trial by Fire is both wonderful and dangerous. This world's hierarchy is nothing to be trifled with either. The concept of a world literally being run by witches, both their power and the by-product of it, is fascinating, while also sensible. Although, I am still on the fence about whether I would give up on plain 'ol USA to enter a world in the middle of a magical battle. (What am I saying... Of course I would!) And what is exceptional about this Salem 2.0 is the obvious display of imagination. The imagination aspect of YA always boggles me. I feel like the older I get, the more I forget, I used to think I was a unicorn. And yet, some authors seem to gain more imagination the older they get.
I suppose my only hang up with this book is that I did not feel overly attached to any one of the characters. I was OK with both Lily and Rowan, but I am kind of thinking that if they existed individually, outside the sphere of romantic interests, I would feel even less for them. At times Lily just seemed to make obstacles look too easy. For someone who, a very short time ago, did not even know magic existed, Lily excels at even the highest level of magic with practically no training. However, she does have one of the most solid support systems imaginable, which makes her successes more feasible. Juliet (her sister) is loyal to a tee and comes to Lily's aide despite the inherent danger she faces by doing so. Lily also gains the allegiance of not only Rowan, but two additional cuties--no spoilers!--who turn their group into a magic powerhouse.
SIDE NOTE: There are in fact many, there are many instances of instant-ness in this book. Usually I would be bothered by this, but for some reason Lily's insta-love, insta-success and insta-acceptance of disembodied voices *Refer to the beginning of the book* went unnoticed until I sat down to write this review. I think my enjoyment of this story came from the adventure, not necessarily the character building or the need for perfection. Honestly, reviewers need to remember to enjoy what they read (also while keeping in mind the target audience. In this case TEENS, people.) Get lost in the world, not nitpicking whether or not someone would instantly do anything. I mean isn't good to see someone excel in the areas of romance and power every once in awhile? I sure wish I could... END SIDE NOTE
I was considering going into the end, but I would rather not spoil anything. So, I will just say that it lacks a nail-biting cliffhanger, but produces a satisfying, "Thank goodness this is only book one." In my opinion super crazy cliff hangers bug me. And with this ending, I have high hopes that book two will have a well founded story-line. ie: no book two syndrome!
This book is fun. End of story. Trial by Fire is a solid piece of YA fantasy. I see this book being a sure hit with teens. Don't let the neggy reviews that are floating out there put you off. If you typically like stories with these elements, this book will not disappoint. ...more
** A copy was provided by the publisher (Swoon Reads an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group) in exchange for an honest review. ** "Ahhh, s** A copy was provided by the publisher (Swoon Reads an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group) in exchange for an honest review. ** "Ahhh, so adorable!" is the first thing that comes to mind. I had trouble with this review, because it is easy for me to get overwhelmed by the cuteness of a romance and overlook the actual substance of a book. And man, I just love Gabe and Lea. Their relationship is exactly what I would hope for and unfolds so perfectly. Plus the amount of supporters their romance has, yea, everyone should be so lucky. Hmmm. Do I sound a bit jelly? I was a bit concerned with the amount of POVs in this story. Multiple POVs is something that really works or really doesn't. In this case I would say it works really well. Experiencing Gabe and Lea from their peers and other outside perspectives makes it that much more real, since they truly have an objective view of the relationship. The only thing I was hoping for was getting to hear their thoughts directly at least once. Maybe slipped in at the end, to kind of tie things off? I suppose, I would have connected more to Gabe and Lea if I had the opportunity to hear what they had to say, from an inside perspective. But I suppose the squirrel made up for that, although somewhat unnecessary as he was. I've had to think hard of the things that I had issues with. It's like deep down I knew they were squirming around, but over-all I adored so much about this book that I didn't really want to bother with them. It was such a fast and warming read. Easy to root for characters. But nevertheless, here they are. One of the more important POVs is that of Lea and Gabe's creative writing teacher. She is a lesbian, which gives her a liberal edge. However, despite her love for the same sex, she has a nasty opinion of one of her female students--who also happens to like Gabe. She spends a good deal of her POVs expanding on this hate and trying to drive this girl away from Gabe. Sweet as it would be to have a teacher who cared that much about my relationship succeeding, I did not like her automatic hate for this slut girl. I also was left with the feeling that I knew Lea much better than I did Gabe. And I really wanted the story to expand on Gabe's accident and his feelings afterwards. I know Lea's strengths and weaknesses, but apart from his social awkwardness, I do not feel like I could accurately describe Gabe. Overall, this is a read that is quit worth it. Especially if you are in need of some pick-me-up cuteness. A Little Something Different is just what its title implies. It is different and enjoyable. Reminds me of what I would want to read while I am home alone on Valentine's Day....more