Where do I even begin? Anna Dressed in Blood is unlike any book I've read, at least of those in the YA genre I am so fo...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
Where do I even begin? Anna Dressed in Blood is unlike any book I've read, at least of those in the YA genre I am so fond of. I picked it up because the main character was named Cas. Why is that? Because Cas(tiel) is a character on a show I love, love, love, called Supernatural. That, and I love a good ghost story. To be honest, that's all I thought this book was going to be: a good, entertaining ghost story. I was pleasantly surprised that it was so much more than that.
Cas is only seventeen but he's had to grow up faster than any seventeen year old I've ever seen. He's moved around his entire life, he's been to dozens of schools in the past three years and has never really settled down. His mother is a white witch and his father is a dead ghost hunter. On top of all that, Cas has taken over the family business and hunts ghosts too. Soon Cas and his mum arrive in Thunder Bay, Ontario. (I was SO EXCITED to have a book take place in Canada, you have no idea.) Cas is in town to hunt and kill the ghost of Anna Korlov, also known as Anna Dressed in Blood. From the get go he knows that Anna is different.
Cas is very, very likeable. Even though he seems a little too-sure of himself sometimes, a little cocky and a little more than arrogant, he is good at what he does. He has a devil-may-care, recluse attitude and while at times it got a little grating, it's realistic for him and his situation. His father died when he was seven years old. From then on it was his mother and him, all alone, traveling from town to down like gypsies. His mother loves him, and he loves her, but it was hard raising a son on her own. He's more or less alone. He stays away from people because the way he sees it, he's in town for the job alone and when he's finished, he'll be gone. There's no sense in getting tied down with friendships that won't last, people to care about that will forget him (and vise-versa) when he leaves town. It's a lonely job, but he's resolved in that fact. He feels that there is nothing else for him to do. That isn't to say he doesn't meet people along the way. He's met people close to his situation, contacts to keep that give him tips and such, but he's never really had friends. That is, he's never really had friends until Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay is different in every way. Soon, he meets Thomas, a mild telepath that quickly attaches himself to Cas's side. There is also Carmel, the queen bee of the high school; popular, smart and of course beautiful. I loved them. Thomas is the geeky, shy sidekick who isn't really all that brave but he swallows that and does what he has to do for his friends. Carmel also isn't your average queen bee. She has more depth than the average queen bee, popular girl you see in a lot of books, shows and movies. As we get to know her more we see that she's smart and quick to adjust to the insane, supernatural situation she got herself into.
Then there's Anna. Oh, Anna. She's supposed to be the villain. At first, we're supposed to hate her, right? This ghost that slays everyone that comes into her home mercilessly. This murdered girl that is a malicious ghost. We quickly find out that she is so much more. She's afraid. She's alone. And above all, she doesn't want to be doing what she does. Something happened to her, something so terrible that I was ready to throw my book across the room and scream WHY in the middle of the night and wake up everyone in my building. I loved her so much. I also loved the relationship that her and Cas have. It's slow and steady at first. He doesn't even realize the feelings that he has for this dead girl but he quickly becomes fiercely protective of her. I was really rooting for them.
Kendare's writing was phenomenal. Absolutely beautiful. The imagery was so fantastic that you think you're there. The atmosphere is perfect; spooky when it needs to be, absolutely dreadful and horrific when it needs to be and light when it needs to be. The prose is so rich that you'd think you were watching it on a screen or actually in the story. You're so afraid that you have to take a moment to pause and repeat to yourself 'it's just a book, ghosts aren't real, breathe, man.' Fat lot of good that does. Anna Dressed In Blood will leave you on the edge of your seat. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The book gave me chills and made me turn on all the lights when all I had to do was go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The book is engrossing. It is unique and gripping and original. You'll find yourself accidentally up until 5 in the morning because you have to know what's coming next. (You will also be looking over your shoulder and wish the sun was up). I've never read a book that has gripped me this much. Anna has quickly become one of my favorite novels of all time. Everyone needs to read this book. If you're looking for a spooky ghost story, read it. If you're looking for a book about family, read it. If you're looking for a book about what friends will do for each other, read it.(less)
Whenever I see something about cons or con artists, my mind immediately goes to the tv show LOST and Sawyer. LOST was o...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
Whenever I see something about cons or con artists, my mind immediately goes to the tv show LOST and Sawyer. LOST was one of the best television shows of all time and Sawyer was one of my favorite characters. I'm always intrigued by stories like these and I was interested to see how a book about a young con-artist and her life would go. Well, I thought it went great.
Sadie's life is anything but perfect. She grew up in a trailer on a resort island full of rich people. Her dad was in prison more often than not. Sadie has had it hard but she has made the best of it. She dreams of getting out, of going to college. She was accepted at Berkley in California which see sees as a brand new start, a whole new life. She had saved up enough money by doing what she calls small-cons, cons that hurt virtually no one and that also have a low likelihood of her getting caught.
Sadie is left with nothing after her mother drains her bank account. She has no college money, no out. She needs to figure out a way to make a lot of money fast or she will lose her spot at Berkley. She has an idea for a con that could get her a lot of money quick and she enlists her best friend to help her but the only problem is the con could cause a lot of collateral damage. There are a lot of emotional ties to it for everyone involved and it has the potential to end badly.
I loved Sadie. She was burdened by circumstances. All she wanted was a way out, to be someone and make something of her life. She is a big dreamer. She doesn't want to be stuck and realize twenty years down the line that she hates who she is and where she is. While these cons that she does, even the little ones, can be dubbed bad or sketchy or wrong, she does it with a moral code. She has a reason, a drive, in her and she will do that and do her best not to hurt anyone in the process. I admired her through all of the book, during the con and all the other things she was going through because while she at times felt lost she still knew her end goal.
While there were many aspects of the book that you could see coming from a mile away I still enjoyed the ride. Some plot points were obvious but that didn't take the enjoyment away. There were also twists to those obvious points that I enjoyed. It was like the author said "I know you know how this is going to go but you don't really know *flirty wink*"
This book had everything I want in a YA contemporary novel: romance that wasn't the driving force of the plot, an interesting plot with well rounded characters and a wonderful ending with twists and turns along the way. You won't be disappointed if you pick this up. (less)
The cover was the first thing that got me. I know, I know, don't judge a book by it's cover but sometimes it's really h...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
The cover was the first thing that got me. I know, I know, don't judge a book by it's cover but sometimes it's really hard not to! The striking eye and the half face close up really suckered me in. I jumped at the chance to be able to review Initiation.
I was completely unaware that this was actually a prequel series to Imogen's first series - The Bonfire Chronicles - which apparently centers around Faustine, the demon-human hybrid that the main character in Initiation, Cordelia, is entrusted to mentor and protect. But I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
Initiation reels you in and hooks you from the very first line. Trust no one. Immediately I was captivated and I wanted to read and read and read until I was finished, but alas I had to work. I was immediately intrigued by the storyline. I am a sucker for any boarding school kind of story but especially the supernatural kind. I thought it was very interesting and original that there was more than two supernatural species that call the Academy home. There are demons, vampires, witches, shifters, and even hybrids. I wondered how Imogen was going to do it and she did a fantastic job.
I will say that Initiation is not for the squeamish. They are teenagers and they are supernatural. Regular human teenagers can be vulgar at the best of times but throw into that them being supernatural and there being animosity between some species and, well, hormones flying around, and that is a recipe for sex and violence, which there are plenty of in Initiation. While the sex isn't exactly described, it is still very much there.
Cordelia is a strong lead. She is a full blooded demon. She has good characterization but the one thing that bothered me about the book overall was the love triangle. While her and Jagger have off the charts chemistry I didn't like that she was a) hot and cold with him and b) cheating on her boyfriend Quinn. I understood that she was torn but the cheating thing just really rubbed me the wrong way. That said, I still really like her with Jagger.
There are plenty of great characters in this book besides Cordelia. There's Jagger, Quinn, Faustine, and many more. A way Imogen kept people on their toes was that if you're a student at the Academy, you cannot ask another paranormal what they are. That creates a lot of mystery and intrigue around characters.
Initiation is chock full of action, suspense, romance and all around bad-assery. If you're looking for a page turner that will keep you hooked, Initiation is the way to go! (less)
I always say that it's nearly impossible to write a review for a new book in a series without spoiling. It is. I will do my best to be vague but to th...moreI always say that it's nearly impossible to write a review for a new book in a series without spoiling. It is. I will do my best to be vague but to the point about things. This review may be short but it will be without spoilers.
Did the wait for Book 2 in the Bloodlines series kill anyone else? I know it killed me! Richelle does not disappoint in the second. If anything, Richelle exceeded any expectations I had for The Golden Lily. I knew I would enjoy it. Obviously, I would enjoy it, but to me a good book doesn't just make you feel good; it makes you want to hurl it at a wall sometimes because you're just too overwhelmed and invested in the characters, whether they make good or bad decisions. This is what The Golden Lily did to me.
Sydney was as amazing as ever. She's still a great alchemist but she's growing and changing. She's straying slightly from the cut and dry alchemist mindset. She's becoming friends with the moroi and dhampirs she has to protect because of her job. She's beginning to care about them. She's beginning to see that everything is not as black and white as she was raised to believe. She's still slightly uptight and stubborn at times but it's wonderful to see how far she has come. I can't wait to see how much more she'll grow and change as the series progresses.
Then there's Adrian. He is by far one of my favorite fictional characters ever. He's not perfect but that's probably why I adore him so much. He has flaws. Quite a few of them, actually. But somehow that makes him all the more endearing and amazing. He's also grown so much from when we first met him in Frostbite. Adrian is someone you root for; in The Golden Lily especially.
The dynamic that Syd and Adrian have is fantastic. They are so genuine when they're around each other. Adrian let's his walls down around Sydney and allows him to see the real him. Sydney is funny and light around him when she's usually in serious alchemist mode. You really root for the two of them. (and for Sydney to realize that Adrian is so obviously in love with her but that's another issue entirely!)
I thoroughly enjoyed The Golden Lily. I read it slowly because I didn't want it to end. I am not prepared to wait 7 more months for the next book in the series. The Golden Lily is action packed, emotional and just down right awesome. Fans of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, the first in the series, will be pleased with this book.(less)
I'm always weary of reading the sequels to the first in a book of a series that I love because I'm worried it won't wow me as much as the first one. T...moreI'm always weary of reading the sequels to the first in a book of a series that I love because I'm worried it won't wow me as much as the first one. This wasn't the case with Shift. I enjoyed it so much that I read it even faster than Shade.
Shift was all about new thing, discoveries and decisions. Aura was the same girl as before but... different. Grown. Especially by the end of the book she really came into her own. She knows who she is now in more ways than one. Aura is a character I know will stick around with me even after I finish the series entirely. I can't even put my finger on all the reasons why I love her so much but I really, really love her. She just seems so real to me. She has things she wants, she has her fears and her insecurities and she makes mistakes. She makes a lot of mistakes. (Ok, maybe not that much but there are a few). But she learns from them and that's the biggest thing. She learns and she grows and she does a lot of that in Shift.
Aura is faced with so much in shift. She finds things out about her mother, she finds things out about her origin and all the while she is battling how she feels about Logan, about Zach and everything in between. Not only that, she has to deal with the DMP and how they're closing in on her and even Zach because of the secrets that they have been uncovering.
Then there are the two boys: Logan and Zach. I love them both so much. They're both very different from each other. Logan is the energetic rockstar with a big heart and while Zach also has a big heart he is more subdued, quiet and collected. (But he's "no' a bloody saint"!) For a while, I had no idea who I wanted to root for. Logan and Aura are so tragic and full of angst, which I am usually a sucker for but Zach and Aura are just as full of angst. Logan has grown so much and he deserves to be happy but he's a ghost; there's no happy ending there. Zach is one of the new beginnings I mentioned (don't worry that's not a spoiler).
Shift was well paced, well written and full of awesome that had me up until 5 in the morning at one point reading until my eyes threatened to fall out of my head. I cannot wait to read Shine, the conclusion of the series.(less)
I won't lie, it's the cover that first drew me in. I was excited over all of the purple. but then I read the synopsis and I knew I had to get my hands...moreI won't lie, it's the cover that first drew me in. I was excited over all of the purple. but then I read the synopsis and I knew I had to get my hands on it the second it came out, which I did. I tore into it immediately. I went slow at first because I've been busy but also because I wanted to savour it. I've been doing that with books lately; trying to make them last as long as possible but honestly, that doesn't work. I breezed through the last 150 pages like hellfire.
Slide is full of real characters with real problems and a touch of the supernatural, which is Vee's ability to "slide". If she touches something someone has left an emotional imprint on, she can slide into their heads and see life through their eyes. Pretty freaky, right? Or cool, depending on how you look at it. I loved Vee. She knows who she is but she's scared. She pushes people away before they can get too close. A lot of us do that, I know I do. She was well written. She's a teenage girl. She has her issues, her insecurities and her secrets. She's clever but not to the point where she conveniently figures things out and everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow. I also love the boys! Rollins and Zane are different from each other but Vee loves them both in her own little ways. I won't go further because to do that would mean I'd have to spoil but believe me when I say I loved them both!
I do, however, wish that Vee's SLIDE ability was fleshed out more. How did she get it? Why? What is it, exactly? That isn't really explained it just kind of... is and that bothered me a little bit. I hope Jill goes into it more in the second book. The history of it, how she got it, why, are there more people with the ability? It was kind of weird that there is this supernatural ability in a very real-world setting but I'm a sucker for that so I kind of just let it go and figured the author will talk about it more in the second book.
The book was well paced and kept me hooked. Slide is a book to read if you want a light read, with good mystery, great characters and a very likeable main girl. It's a book to read if you're a fan of the short-lived show Veronica Mars. All in all, I came away smiling. I look forward to the next one in the series! What would you do if you could slide? Who would you want to slide into?(less)
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this. It has everything I love: dystopia, a good romance, and a great mai...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this. It has everything I love: dystopia, a good romance, and a great main character. But I put it off, and I put it off. Finally I decided to dive in. I'm glad I did.
At first, I was a little uncomfortable with the world of Delirium. Let me explain. A world without love? A world where it's viewed as a disease? I can see why but it still makes my stomach turn. It's baffling to think of a world without it. What about all the music, all the books, the movies, the television shows? Love is a big part of the world, an integral part, and to have that gone? "Cured"? It's insane. Inhumane. Wrong. But that's the world of Delirium. And people seem happy with it; to walk around as living zombies with veils over their eyes. They live in a fog. They don't even love their children. When they scrape their knees, they don't ask them if they're alright and wipe away their tears. They bark at the child to get up. It's insane to me, to imagine a world like that in Delirium. Lauren Oliver weaved it well, though. I could almost imagine being in it, being in Portland, surrounded by the boarder, fenced in like an animal. I'd like to think I would be a resister, or maybe even an Invalid on the other side, living in the Wilds.
In the beginning, I wasn't keen on Lena. She seemed to be trying to hard to fit into the mold of who she thought she should be; quiet, happy for the cure, obedient. She was trying hard to conform to who society needed her to be but she's not that person. It was nice to see her grown and come to realize who she was, and who she didn't want to be. 'I'd rather die my way than live yours' is something she says towards the end which really made me absolutely love her. I can't even imagine being in her shoes, having to choose which life to live: the one she wants to or the one that everyone around her expects her to. Lena is well written. She's someone a reader will really root for.
Alex.... I don't know where to begin on him. He had me the second he appeared in the story. Alex is a fantastic male lead. He opened Lena's eyes to the world. He showed her that the life the Cureds lead is no life at all. He showed her that there is more. Their romance is fantastic. It's a steady, realistic build up and then it just grips you and you find yourself hoping, praying and making deals with crossroad demons that they get a happy ending.
Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job. Her writing is absolutely stunning. I ended up with dozens of sticky tabs poking out of my copy because there were just so many quotes that I wanted to remember. She also does a fantastic job of creating a dystopian world that seems real; a world that could be a reality sometime in the near or distant future. It creates a sense of foreboding and unease that I talked about in the beginning. To live in a world where you cannot love, in a world there people cannot love you; it's a horrifying idea. Love is what makes us, shapes us. Whether it's romantic love, familial love or the love you have for a book or a movie or a song. There is none of that in this world. Lauren did such an amazing job that you could close your eyes and almost be in that world. She made it so that you felt like you could visit this world and feel the unease, see the fog in people's eyes. Some dystopians feel unrealistic and silly; this is not one of them. Delirium was a thrill ride that left me on the edge of my seat. Don't even get me started on the ending! I need to start Pandemonium right away.(less)
What I really enjoyed about Hunting Lila was that it had a just the right mix of mystery, suspense, action and romance. Add to that the paranormal/sci...moreWhat I really enjoyed about Hunting Lila was that it had a just the right mix of mystery, suspense, action and romance. Add to that the paranormal/science fiction element and I was reeled right in. I won't lie, the first 100 or so pages took me a while to get into. I thought there was a bit too much of Lila pining over Alex, going on and on about how in love she was with him, how hot he was, how she was always daydreaming about him, etc. It got on my nerves for a while. I couldn't help but wonder how Lila was going to end up a kick ass heroine when she wouldn't stop pining and whining. I was glad to be proved wrong not long after. Lila is a great character. She's just a girl who lost her mum too young and was torn from two of the people she loved most in the world. She was alone for so long and to me, that's a factor as to why she was so adamant and borderline obsessive with her feelings over Alex. She just wanted someone to love her back, and not halfheartedly like her father who is never there. She loves so hard that it consumes her to the point it did in the beginning of the book and to a lesser extent in the end.
By page 150 it was un-put-down-able. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a curl up on the couch on a rainy day with a light read that likes to smile but also likes a bit of action. These are characters you root for, even the secondary ones. I love Suki so very much (so very, very much). Demos is a badass, Rachel is cringe worthy and I'd definitely want to be friends with the rest of Demos' gang.
I'm excited to see how much Lila grows in book 2. In book one, as I said, she was this lost girl who was in love with a boy for most of her life who was an ocean away. Now that she has a better grip on who she is and what she is I can't wait to see what Sarah has in store for her.
The book was a fun, light read. It was like I was watching a teen action movie in word form about a girl with a telekinetic ability that was in love with a boy just a little bit out of her reach. The entertainment value was high on the scale and that's what I wanted with this book, to be thoroughly entertained. I came away satisfied and wanting to read the second book right now. (less)
Shade was one of those books that keeps you up until 4am reading until you can't possibly keep your heavy eyelids open...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books.
Shade was one of those books that keeps you up until 4am reading until you can't possibly keep your heavy eyelids open. It's also one of those series that will bring the fangirl out of you; I know it got me hook line and sinker early on. It was nail biting, page turning and oh my god, oh my god worthy.
Aura Salvatore is a great leading lady. Part of the reason I loved Shade so much was that it felt so real to the life of teenagers as some other YA paranormal novels out there even though the premise is so supernatural. Even though the story revolved around ghosts, the Shift and other mysteries it was still true to life. Aura is in every way a normal teenager. Shade doesn't skitter around the subject of sex. In fact, it tackles it right on and makes the reality of how scared girls are to give up their virginity even with the boy they love a forefront in the story. You just don't see that in a lot of the YA books out there, even though it's very much a part of teenage life. Aura is very, very real. We probably all know an Aura in our lives, or knew, or knew of one. She's sensible but insecure. Snarky and sarcastic but kind. She knows who she is and has a good head on her shoulders. I just loved Aura to bits.
Then there is Logan. (For some reason I pictured him as a young Tyson Ritter - but blonde, obviously - but that is neither here nor there - I just had to mention it!) Sweet, kind, diva streaking... dead Logan. Logan is an ambitious rocker with big dreams. Music is his life, but so is Aura. Their relationship is so genuine; it is far from perfect but they make it work and are so in love. Even after his death, their love is still there, even if it's killing Aura, and re-killing Logan.
In comes Zachary. Can I have my own Zachary? I would like my own Zachary. I love both boys but nine times out of ten, the accent will win me over. He's a Scottish sweetheart. He has his secrets and he's guarded but him and Aura immediately hit it off. He fell for Aura and she likes him too but with the issues of ghost!Logan, he's willing to step back and wait (even if he's "no' a bloody saint").
Besides the amazing characters, this story is very original. A phenomenon known as the Shift happened. People born after the shift can see ghosts of the dead but people born before the Shift cannot. How cool is that? Cool and freaky. I don't know if I would be able to handle seeing ghosts all the time, even if there are ways to deter them. Jeri Smith-Ready wove an original and haunting tale. I need to devour the rest of the series soon.(less)
Wow. That one word describes how I feel about Shine, the conclusion to the Shade trilogy. I devoured all three books in about a week and a half and I...moreWow. That one word describes how I feel about Shine, the conclusion to the Shade trilogy. I devoured all three books in about a week and a half and I can honestly say I already want to go back and re-read it all. Shine absolutely blew me away. I was expecting to have a few loose ends not tied up because that's what happens generally; the author likes to leave the reader hanging because they can but not Jeri. Every little loose end, everything, had closure.
I was wondering how Shine was going to be like without Logan because he is such an integral part of the story but I wondered for nothing. Logan was in it, not in the way some might think but he had a big part in Shine and Aura's journey in it. It brought tears to my eyes to see how far Logan came from where he started as a diva-esque, energetic near-rockstar to the grown, mature guy he became at the end. My sweet, precious Logan.
Sometimes I wanted to scream and throw the book across the room, not because it was bad but because of all that poor Zach went through and how powerless Aura felt, no matter how hard she tried to help and all that she did, to help him. Even still, when they were together, I always had a smile on my face because they are just so adorable together. They play off one another so well, they work together so well. They are truly meant to be together.
The way Jeri wrapped up the Shift had me pleasantly surprised. I was expecting one route but when I saw how she wrapped it up, the way she ended it, I can't see anything else happening. It was perfect.
I could gush and gush about this book but to do so I would have to bombard you with spoilers so I will leave it at this: Shine had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. It was heart pounding and nail biting, heart warming and heart breaking. It was the perfect way to end a trilogy. It was everything you would want in a series finale. The Shade series has a permanent spot on my favorite shelf. (less)
Fateful had me at Titanic. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with the tragedy of the Titanic. I was obsesse...moreOriginally posted @ OMFG!books
Fateful had me at Titanic. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with the tragedy of the Titanic. I was obsessed with reading books about the survivors and their stories. I was obsessed with watching television specials on the Titanic. I was even obsessed with the movie. Everything. About. The. Titanic. I mean I grew up close to the story; my grandmother told me every April when the anniversary rolled around that her mother was supposed to be on it. In short, I have always been drawn to the story of the Titanic. When I saw that someone had written a YA romance on it, I was intrigued. Then I saw that it had werewolves too. That's when I got slightly confused. I had no idea how on earth an author would weave werewolves into such a real thing as the Titanic.
The premise is a very unique combination of historical fiction and paranormal. It has the potential to be done very well or horribly, horribly wrong. It has the potential to be cliche, predictable and boring. The doomed Titanic plus the lowly servant girl plus the damaged, haunted, broken but handsome - don't forget handsome! - rich gentleman who turns out to also be a werewolf could equal up to be pathetically obvious, boring and a waste of time. However, I am pleased to say that Claudia did it well.
Tess is a ladies maid for the Lisle family, a wealthy bunch who are all arrogant, sour and horrible all save for Irene. Tess has been in service since she was thirteen years old. She views her coming journey on the Titanic as a fresh start. Once she arrives in America, she wishes to start over, to quit her job witht the Lisles and use what little money she had saved all those years to start a new life, a better life. Tess is driven. Tess is strong. Tess is everything I would want to be if I was in her situation.
When Tess meets Alec on board, she is thrown for a loop. She is inexplicably drawn to him but she knows she has no chance with them. She is resolved in that fact. It just cannot happen: she is a servant girl and Alec is the son of a millionaire. But they are drawn together. Tess knows that Alec has a deep, dark secret and she soon finds out what it is; Alec is a werewolf. I thought that Gray approached the couple in a realistic way. At first, Tess is afraid of Alec, of what he is. It wasn't the usual 'OMG! he's a werewolf but I lurve him so much!' we usually see in these types of situations. Tess fought the fear and soon she realizes that Alec is so much more than the monster he thinks he is. She fights for him. She puts her life in danger for him. She loves him very much. A few of their scenes brought me to tears. Their romance is so raw and genuine that I was rooting for them the entire time.
I sometimes forgot they were even on the RMS Titanic because they had so many problems to deal with that I couldn't help but wonder how on earth Gray was going to wrap it up in time for the ship to sink. She did that wonderfully too. At about 70 pages left, I had to keep pausing to let myself cry. I think Gray handled the sinking wonderfully. There is nothing like crying about a book at 4 in the morning.
I loved all of the characters in this book - well, not Lady Regina, Mikhail, or Layton but I digress. From Irene, to Ned, to George, to Myriam and the old Norwegian ladies. I was a complete wreck about each and every one of them by the end.
I'm not sure exactly what I expected when I began Fateful but I don't believe it was much. I was wrong. The story of Fateful is a captivating one. It is a story of love, of loss and of tragedy. It's a story of endings and new beginnings. Most of all, it is a story of hope. Of being able to face even the most terrifying things and be all right in the end. Of having the resolve of knowing you did your best, all you could. Fateful was a beautiful read, one I know I will pick up again.(less)
I was a little surprised when I first found out there was going to be a Teen Wolf book. As a gigantic fan of the show I...moreORIGINALLY POSTED AT OMFG!Books
I was a little surprised when I first found out there was going to be a Teen Wolf book. As a gigantic fan of the show I was both excited and weary. Sometimes tie-in novels aren't exactly... good. The general issue with them, I find, is lack of proper characterization, poor plots, whacky ideas and a whole bunch of other things. Sometimes with these things it's like the author only half-watched the show and just wanted a nice paycheck. Then I saw that this was going to be written by Nancy Holder. I remember her from my Buffy and Angel days. I absolutely loved her 3 book Buffy/Angel series called Unseen.
Before starting I was wondering when the events in the book would even take place. The show is in the middle of it's second season right now. Would it take place then? Would it take place somewhere during season one? How would she fit it in? It's not really a spoiler to say, so I will tell you: the events in the novel take place right after episode five of season one.
I'll start off with things I liked about the book. Nancy's characterization was spot-on. She got Scott - if you haven't watched the show he's the main character/protagonist shall we say - right on the money; a little naive, completely in love, coming into his own, caring and strong. She even got Stiles spot on, and he is a hard character to put to print because he's so animated on screen. I was really worried how that was going to turn out because Stiles is my favorite character but he just seems that he would be so hard to write because of all his mannerisms and eccentricities, but Nancy managed to do so wonderfully.
We got a look at every character we had met up until the point it takes place in the show in the novel. There are blurbs of the Argents, Danny, Stiles, Lydia, etc. I thought it gave us a good, rounded out look at how everyone was feeling about the events of the book; the sudden disappearance of Jackson. He goes missing and all that there is to say where he's headed is a vague note that Lydia found. Up until about a little over halfway, the story revolves around everyone trying to find Jackson, which makes sense.
But then, suddenly, we are hit with Derek Hale flashbacks. At first I was really enjoying them because I thought it gave a nice look into his past, something we haven't been able to see in the show thus far. We know he lost his family in the fire, we know that only he and his sister Laura survived. The audience just hasn't really been shown much of Derek's past. Laura was even featured in the flashbacks and she was never shown in the show at all, save for a ten second bit right before she was killed. I really loved that. Then I felt the flashbacks started to take away from the general story of the book. They started to feel long winded, drawn out and it was easy to forget what else was happening in the book because there was just so much of the flashbacks. However, I will still say that I like them, there just could have been a little less of them.
I really loved how Nancy was able to throw small things in about character's lives and their pasts. In the show we never see Scott's dad; we don't even know much about him, just that him and Scott's mom are divorced. We see him for a moment in the book and I think Nancy's take on him was a realistic one. We also know little of Stiles's mother. All that the audience knows is that she is dead. How, why and when is unknown. There have only ever been two mentions of her in the entire show so far (once alluding to Stiles's panic attacks after she died and another when his father mentioned that he missed her) but in the book I was hit by Stiles's sudden reminiscing of her by such a simple thing that was going on. It was realistic that anything and everything would remind him of the mother he lost too soon. I also thought it was very creative and realistic of how the author thinks she might have passed away.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. I truly believe that this has a little bit of everything for all of the fans of the show. It was action packed, well written and something fans should be proud of. Nancy must be a fan of the show herself because everything was just really fantastically done. I really hope she writes more Teen Wolf novels. I know I will definitely read them.(less)
I hadn’t even heard of this book until I accidentally got the third in the series (Charmfall) at the library. Immediately I tracked down the first two...moreI hadn’t even heard of this book until I accidentally got the third in the series (Charmfall) at the library. Immediately I tracked down the first two and got reading.
I thought I would like it just fine but I honestly wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I figured it was just another YA Paranormal school book because there are a lot out there. Boy was I wrong. Firespell is a well crafted, spellbinding world that had me longing to hop on a plane or a train or a bus to Chicago, stat. Parts of the book are a love story to the city.
Firespell is a page turner. When I say it’s face-paced, I mean it’s fast-freaking-paced. There is not one dull moment from the Brat Pack pranking Lily to Lily and co. getting chased by Reapers to the very end. It’s a tornado of action, to put it mildly. It’s a sharp, nail biting thrill ride until the very last page.
Add to the action the characters and you have a wicked novel. I fell in love with some of them, fell in hate with others and only the strongest of books can accomplish that. I will be starting Hexbound not soon enough.(less)
When I first saw this book at Chapters, I hadn't really heard anything about it. I read the tag line and I read the fla...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
When I first saw this book at Chapters, I hadn't really heard anything about it. I read the tag line and I read the flap and I thought to myself "really? more vampires? like this?" and put it right back on the shelf where I thought it belonged. The YA market is over saturated with vampire novels. Some are good, some are jokes, and some try to hard and end up crashing and burning before page 100. I made a snap judgement and thought Team Human would be one of the latter books. How silly of me! When I got home I saw a few people say how great it was, people whose opinions on book I trust, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. At worst it'll be a waste of time but a good laugh, right? Then I found out it was a parody of sorts. A realistic spin on Twilight. A book that focuses on the best friend as opposed to the girl so blindly in love with cliched handsome, gentlemanly old vampire.
Not 20 pages in, I was in love with Mel. She doesn't like vampires. No, she really doesn't like vampires. The vampires in Team Human can't laugh. They can't go out in the sunlight. They can't do much of anything except brood, drink blood and stick to their side of town called the Shade. However, she never really met a vampire until Francis enrolled in her school. He's every cliche you can think of: handsome, broody, chivalrous and perpetually stuck in the 1800s, with old school manners and an old school mindset. Eyeroll, right? To top it all off, Mel's head-in-the-clouds, serious minded best friend Cathy falls in love with him. Cathy and Francis are hopelessly, sickeningly in love - think Edward and Bella. Mel is Not Amused. She tries and tries relentlessly to tear the couple apart, to get Cathy to see the light so to speak but it just doesn't work.
Mel is great. She is the very human contrast to the vampires. She is loud, she laughs like he's her job. She jokes. She is the overbearing at times but she is loyal to a fault; she will do absolutely anything for her friends even if it might not be what they want (re: the Cathy situation). She has the best of intentions for Cathy, though, as well as her other friend Anna. Cathy's vampire romance isn't the only issue going on in New Whitby that Mel is tied up in. She is also trying to help Anna find out what's wrong with her mother and what happened to her father.
I love how the authors juggled both situations; the very real and scary drama of what Anna was going through and the over the top vampire romance of Cathy. They were able to poke fun and show that vampire romances are not as glamourous and fun and romantic as people believe. There is a very real chance that you will die - or even become a zombie! - during the transition process. It was a nice twist on the traditional vampire lore.
Not only was Mel fantastic, but the other characters were as well. Anna is the quiet, beautiful daughter of the Principal whose father went AWOL. Cathy is the head-in-the-clouds, serious minded best friend who is in love with a vampire and wants to become one. Kit is the guy who grew up with vampires. Ty is the ex-boyfriend but good friend. Even Mel's parents, brother and sister were fantastic and we only got to see them a handful of times.
Team Human pleasantly surprised me. It has wonderful, face-paced writing with characters you cheer for. It has a fantastic, real and ballsy heroine that makes her mistakes but hey, at least she realizes she does in the end, right? It's not just a story about vampire/human romance. It is a story about friendship and the length that friends will go to help one another. I enjoyed it immensely. (less)
I start a lot of reviews off with I finally read this book! But... it's true. I finally read this book! After hearing s...moreORIGINALLY POSTED AT OMFG!Books
I start a lot of reviews off with I finally read this book! But... it's true. I finally read this book! After hearing so much about it and hearing great things I thought I'd finally dig out my copy and read it. I absolutely LOVED it. I breezed right through it. Forgive me if, during this review, I break off and fan girl. It was just so, so, so good.
First of all, I absolutely love fairytales. I grew up with Grimm, Hans, Disney movies and any fairytale I could get my hands on. I've been iffy about fairytale retellings in the past, and have read some less than mediocre ones but I went into Cinder with an open mind. I was glad that I did.
Cinder is every part original as it is fairytale. It keeps the essentials, the bare bones, of Cinderella: There is a Prince charming, Cinderella's step-mother (and family) are deplorable and terrible human beings, and there is a grand ball. But there is so much more to the story than the fairytale. Cinder is unique all on it's own, only using the essence of Cinderella to propel it forward. The characters in Cinder obviously have much more dimension than the fairytale as it's a full length novel. But it's more than that. All of these characters - good or bad - are so very human. In such a science-fiction, fantastical world, there are very human characters. Even Cinder, who is over 36% machine. It was easy to forget that Cinder was part machine unless she was stating it. Adri and Pearl, Cinder's step mother and sister, can be called evil, rude and deplorable human beings but they're still so human that it's hard to hate them. Adri blames Cinder for her husband's death, all of her problems, and takes it out on her. Pearl is nothing but mean to her but they have their reasons.
Cinder is absolutely awesome as well. She is treated absolutely horribly by her so-called family except her youngest step-sister Peony. A life like that could make someone bitter, resentful and cold but Cinder is the opposite. Cinder is selfless, kind fo everyone but she does have her wits about her. She's fiesty, she's got a great heart - even if it's part silicon - and most of all she knows how to take care of herself because she's all she has.
Prince Kai is just so... there are no words. I loved him to pieces. He is seriously Prince Charming incarnate. He isn't what you think the only son of an Emperor would be. There is no arrogance in him, no rudeness to the regular, every day civilians. There is an air of arrogance to him but it's nothing like what you'd expect. He loves his people, he's sure of himself, he's charming, witty and feels as if he's one of the normal civilians. He is superb.
The plot is a little predictable at about the halfway mark, but that doesn't make the story any less entertaining and enjoyable. I quite like being able to pick up on things, figure things out and be able to go AH-HA! in the end. Meyer's world building was phenomenal. There was fantastic characterization, great wit, great relationships and a great ending. While it was a little bit of a cliffhanger, it didn't make me rip my hair out as other cliffhangers usually do. I cannot WAIT to read Scarlet. I am soooo looking forward to the rest of the series as well.(less)
Let me start off by saying this is one of the most brilliant YA debuts I have read in a while. I absolutely adored this novel. It has everything I wan...moreLet me start off by saying this is one of the most brilliant YA debuts I have read in a while. I absolutely adored this novel. It has everything I want in a dystopian read: fast paced, originality, great characters, lots of action, and lots of feelings because of said characters. The world Price weaved was scary. Like a lot of dystopians you’re left with a sense of foreboding. This world, or something like it, could actually happen in the future. Near or far, it’s hard to tell, but it’s a possibility. The world of Starters is especially unnerving because it seems so realistic, so like something that could happen down the road. A world gone mad because of war, a country cut off, half it’s population dead. You’re either really old (an Ender) or a minor (a Starter) and if you’re a Starter with no living relative, you’re doomed to live in the streets or in prison like Institutions. Scary, right?
Then there’s Prime Destinations: a company where the unclaimed minors can go to rent out their bodies to wealthy Enders. Yep. They rent out their bodies. They take over for however long they pay for. They walk around as a teenager while their real body is safe at PD’s headquarters. The book opens with Callie walking in. She needs money to take care of her sick brother and if she rented out her body to Prime, she would have more than enough for a house and food for a year for them. But she’s reluctant at first. She’s weary of the contract, of everything but in the end she has no other choice.
But then Callie wakes up… the rental is not over. She wakes up in the middle of a nightclub and is able to communicate with the renter. That’s when the ball gets rolling. That was when I thought wow this book is going to be hard to put down.
I’ve read a few reviews that have said some of the characters don’t have chemistry. I don’t see that. I think there are things to develop and flesh out more with certain characters but it’s a series. What about Michael, for example, but I’m sure things will be developed further in book two. I also hope we learn more of Callie’s backstory in book two. I don’t think we got too much of it. There was some, and enough to kind of tide me over, but I really want to know more.
All in all, Starters was fantastic. However, the massive cliffhanger made me want to claw my face off because I’m not sure how I’m going to wait for the second instalment.(less)
Ho-ly crap. This book. THIS BOOK. I loved it so much I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to write a coherent review. I'...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
Ho-ly crap. This book. THIS BOOK. I loved it so much I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to write a coherent review. I've put it off for days in hope of gathering my thoughts but that didn't work, I just fangirled more and immediately started book two. Forgive me if I go off on tangents, start fangirling, and possibly key-smashing. With a side of gushing. Lots of gushing. Ok. Here we go.
To be honest, it sat on my shelf for a while. For reasons I'm not even sure of myself I put it off. This past week, leading up to the release of book two I decided why not? I've heard amazing things from friends, read a few less than stellar reviews, seen great things on Tumblr... I had to find out what all this hype and talk about was myself. I love creepy things. I've been a horror movie junkie since I was about 8 years old. (Hah, no wonder I turned out so... fantastic.) Add romance to that and you have a book I want to get my hands on.
Right off the bat, Unbecoming brings out the creepy factor with the much loved Ouija board. At a birthday party. Yes, it's been done before many times but that's because it's effective. It sets the atmosphere, the tone, and from then on it's one big, creepy, dark mind game of a ride. It's a captivating story. From the summary, you're not sure what to expect. Halfway in and you're still not really sure what's going on but it holds you because of that. You have to know. You have to find out what the heck is going on. Is it really all in her head? Is there something bigger at play? What. The. Heck!? I wouldn't be surprised if a thunderstorm started up where someone cracks the book open to add to the spookiness.
I loved Mara. She's a complex character. She has so many problems. More problems than most her age do. Her best friend died in a terrible accident, along with two others. She packed up and moved to another state, far from home. She's starting at a new school. And that is just the iceberg. Mara has a great, dry, witty sense of humor. She needs it with everything that she's going through. All she wants is to be normal; to be better. A lot of people would be able to relate to that if you take away the supernatural part of the book and I think that was really great.
When the romance started with Noah (swoooooon!) I was a little jilted and upset that the creepy factor and a lot of the mystery kind of dropped of to establish it. But then I fell in love with Noah. Talk about a fictional guy-crush. And then we found out that Noah is linked to the mysteries surrounding Mara. At least one of them, anyway. What's fantastic about Mara and Noah is that it wasn't the love at first sight, insta-love, insta-make out scenes. There was a believable lead up. There was a slow build up with attraction, banter, and everything you want in a great romance. Which is what they are. I just - man, oh man, I warned you I would start to flail around. Noah on his own is fantastic: British (!!!), hot, wonderful and basically everything you'd want in a guy. Yes, he has a past and a bit of a reputation but the more I really learned about him, the more I fell in love with him.
Mara Dyer. By the time you finish the book, you're still not entirely sure who she is but that's the great part. It makes you hungry for more. You're in for a doozie with this one. There are great characters with great characterization. More than that, there is actually family in this. It's rare to find a YA novel where the protagonists's family is at the front and centre of everything but Mara's mother, father and two brothers are a central part of the story. There is a fantastic romance. Most of all, there's a jaw-dropping twist. If you love creepy things that make your skin crawl sometimes, that make you want to sleep with the lights on, that make the hairs on your arms stand up then The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is right for you. Michelle Hodkin came out of the gate with a winner. Just make sure you buy book two because you're gonna wanna tear right into it after finishing Unbecoming.(less)
I have been with this series from nearly the beginning. I got into it around book 4 and was hooked ever since. I love all of these characters so much...moreI have been with this series from nearly the beginning. I got into it around book 4 and was hooked ever since. I love all of these characters so much that I can't bare to see it end. Ever. Even if it jumps the shark (some say it has but I don't think so) I want it to continue on. I've read it for so long these characters have become a part of me. That said, I'm going to try really hard not to give away any spoilers so forgive me if this is a little vague in parts.
Caine continues to spin an original tale of vampires when, let's face it, with all the vampire books around is a hard thing to accomplish but she manages to do that even twelve books in. Black Dawn is as nail biting as the last. You're taken on an emotional roller coaster that at times makes you close the book, put it down and whisper "No, nope, nu-uh..." over and over again until you reluctantly pick it up again and put your emotions through the ringer. Black Dawn has a lot of those moments.
Caine also keeps the readers on their toes because she changes up points of view in certain chapters. Like in Last Breath and Bite Club, we see the world of Morganville from the eyes of Shane, Eve, Oliver, Michael and even more, maybe unlikely characters. It's interesting to see how certain characters are without Claire's perspective clouding judgement. Some are better than perceived and some... much worse. I was especially dropping my jaw at Naomi's POV chapter in particular. Wow is all I will say. I hope we get a Myrnin chapter in a future book because I'd love to see how his mind really works and how he feels about Claire.
Black Dawn will keep your on your feet until the very last page. Heck, the last sentence, and it's going to leave you marking X's on calendars and counting down the days until Bitter Blood comes out.(less)
What a fan-freaking-tastic sequel! After loving the first one so much, I had high expectations for Evolution. I'm happy...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
What a fan-freaking-tastic sequel! After loving the first one so much, I had high expectations for Evolution. I'm happy to say that it blew them away.
I wasn't sure that it was possible, but Evolution was even creeper than Unbecoming. There was everything from someone watching Mara sleep, to handmade dolls that popped up out of nowhere, to trudging through the Everglades in the middle of the night with creepy crawlies all around, a creepy psychic at a circus, and many other creepy, scary things you can think of. Definitely do not read this book with the lights off, I'm telling you.
Noah was as amazing as ever. I fell even more in love with him in Evolution. He has secrets of his own, problems of his own, but he's ALWAYS there for Mara. He's always looking out for her, always trying to keep her safe. While it doesn't always work because of reasons that I won't spoil, it's endearing and wonderful. The romance fit. Noah fits. It wasn't just there for the sake of having a love interest or the sake of having a romance. All of it is woven together perfectly. You'll be left with your jaw dropped going 'holy shit!!'
We still don't really know what Mara or Noah are. We don't really know the hows, whys or whens of their powers but we do get some answers, some ideas. The answers, the tidbits, that we do get are very intriguing and I'm excited to see how that all comes to a climax in the final book in the trilogy.
All in all, I absolutely adored Evolution. It was creepy, page turning, stomach churning, pulse raising and nail biting. It made me scream, cry, throw my arms around flailing and then some. It was just so good. Fans of the first will be blown away. And if you were a little weary of the first, I'm sure that Evolution will win you over.(less)
I'm not going to lie... the gorgeous cover is what originally drew me in. The font, the crows, the placement of the gir...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
I'm not going to lie... the gorgeous cover is what originally drew me in. The font, the crows, the placement of the girl and the negative space... it is just a simply gorgeous cover. After reading the synopsis I was interested, but I wasn't sure if I would love, enjoy, or even like the book at all. I was pleasantly surprised. I had heard of Kate's other novels but I have never read them because they didn't sound like my cup of tea. I wasn't sure what to expect of Shadowlands. I thought that maybe it would be your cut and dry crime/suspense novel but I was blown away. There is the crime and there is the suspense but there is so much more to it than that.
Right out of the gate, I was creeped out. The first chapter is told from the point of view of Steven Nell and it is not a good point of view. It made my stomach turn and my skin crawl. It makes you root for Rory all the more even though we haven't even met her yet. I've never read a YA thriller that has been so intense right away and it keeps it up throughout the whole novel. There are short chapters from Steven's perspective peppered throughout the book that give a startling feel to the reality of Rory's situation. Not to mention it makes you squirm all over again. The man is vile. He is a killer and will stop at nothing to finish what he started.
The town reminded me of a mix of the town from the TV show Haven and the TV show Harper's Island. It's a vacation town set on a picture perfect island but something is... off. Rory and her family are sent there after she is attacked because the FBI put them in the Witness Protection Program. The town is picturesque with perfectly mowed lawns, a General Store, white picket fences and everything you would want to see in a cozy island town in South Carolina. But the locals are strange. Some wear leather bracelets like they are in some sort of secret club or society. There is a creepy fog that rolls in out of the blue all the time and blankets absolutely everything.
Things are not right and Rory catches on right away. Sometimes she thinks it's just her situation messing with her but things are off. Tristan, a local, is spying on her and she has no idea why. Krista and Joaquin - Tristan's sister and his best friend - are also acting very strangely around her and she can't figure out the reason. So Rory is plagued with not only her attack and attacker - she is haunted by him - but by the things that keep happening in town. It is a mystery that had me guessing the entire way through. I'm very good at figuring out what is going to happen but I was shocked - shocked! - by the ending. It was absolutely brilliant. There was suspense the entire way through and after knowing the ending, you could pinpoint the little clues Kate left but at the time I had absolutely no idea. It was such a brilliant thing that I never saw coming and that made me love the book all the more. The revelation! I mean, wow. Kate was absolutely brilliant about giving nothing away of the massive reveal. I am still baffled and blown away by it. I put the book down and just repeated "What!? WHAT?!" over and over again to myself for minutes after.
I'm curious to see where Kate is going to take the revelation since Shadowlands is the start of a triolgy. I hope to learn more about the town. The how and the why for one. And the locals. Ah! I already can't wait for the sequel and who knows when it will be released! Shadowlands was gripping and will literally leave you guessing right until the very last page.(less)
I first stumbled upon Oppression on Goodreads and I thought hallelujah! More Greek mythology on the YA scene! I've had an infatuation with it since I...moreI first stumbled upon Oppression on Goodreads and I thought hallelujah! More Greek mythology on the YA scene! I've had an infatuation with it since I was a kid. I bought all the books (well ok, borrowed from the library) on the Gods and Goddesses that I could find. Remember those kids books? The ones with the big, pretty pictures and blurbs of text? I loved learning about the different Gods and Goddesses and what they did. Artemis and Nyx were my favorites. I knew I had to get my hands on this book.
Immediately, I connected with Elyse. Sometimes I had to go girl, are you me? I've always felt a like a loner, an outsider, and yeah I had my first kiss pretty late down the line too. Elyse led a sheltered life, she only had one friend growing up but she's a feisty one. She has spunk coming out of her pores. She stands up for what she believes in. She's my kind of girl. Then there's William. W o w. The boy is adorable, first of all. We all need a guy like William. He's kind and he's caring. He's the guy every girl deserves to have. He loves Elyse so much all he wants to do is protect her. While Elyse fell for William rather fast, and things became serious fast too, I think it fit. I'm a believer in love at first sight and William knew who she was long ago. He was waiting for her and I think Elyse connected with that. Their relationship took off from there. It was fate. Literally! He's a good guy with a good heart. Dang it I want my own William!
And what a great supporting cast! I felt like I was hanging out with people I knew while I was reading their shenanigans. They bickered and they fought but they made up only to bicker again. They're a very endearing bunch. Then there's Anna, who I was rooting for the whole way through. My heart broken when we found out... something (no spoilers!) so I'm glad of the outcome.
Then there's the rich mythology Therrien created. The world of Oppression is phenomenal. There's the slow aging, the fact that the Gods and Goddesses weren't really Gods or Goddesses at all, but "Descendants". Each has powers that they get from their bloodlines. For example, if someone is the descendant of Aphrodite, they have the power of persuasion; to make someone do anything they want. Jump off a bridge, fall in love with them, shoot someone in the face. I wish there had been more powers and bloodlines to learn about but I'm sure they're coming in book two. Honestly, I wish I was a Descendant. How cool it would be, right?
Oppression is the perfect blend of action, romance, fate, and general awesomeness. Everyone should pick up a copy! (less)
I have heard great things about Amanda Hocking’s novels. I have yet to read the Tyrelle series but I plan to soon. I’ll...moreORIGINALLY POSTED AT OMFG!Books
I have heard great things about Amanda Hocking’s novels. I have yet to read the Tyrelle series but I plan to soon. I’ll be honest, the cover of Wake is what drew me in at first but the mythology aspect to it is also what hooked me. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Wake.
As much as I was eager to read Wake, it took me a little while to get into. I liked Gemma, I liked Harper, and I liked the other characters but it took me some time to really get into the story. Even then, I seemed to read Wake at a slower pace than other books. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I just had a hard time connecting to the characters. There’s Gemma: the younger sister who is driven but also has a rebellious streek to her. Then there’s Harper: the older sister who feels almost motherly to Gemma because of a tragedy that happened that took their mother away from them so she was left to basically raise her sister. Harper is over-protective, practical, more mature than most people her age and a little reluctant to live her own life. I still felt something was… missing with all the characters. They had little depth. I hope that was only first book jitters and they will become more rounded as the series progresses.
I also found that the pace of the book was a little too speedy. It was difficult to get a grip on a timeline which probably added to the disconnect to the characters. We know it was happening in the summer but it was really hard to tell how much time had passed from the time Gemma had met the sirens to the end of the book. It left me feeling a little confused.
I will say that Amanda Hocking is fantastic at world building. The sirens were absolutely beautiful but so, so creepy and so, so aggravating that you just wanted to reach in and slap them a few times. The setting she created was beautiful. It was as if you were right there in the water, or at Bernie’s Island or the library or any of the other settings in the book.
Though the book has a few flaws, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Amanda spun a unique tale, I’ll give her that. I will definitely be continuing the Watersong series!(less)
I finally read this book! After hearing so many things about it I finally ordered a copy and started it the second I co...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
I finally read this book! After hearing so many things about it I finally ordered a copy and started it the second I could. At first I was a little worried that the book wouldn't live up to all the hype it was getting but I was pleased to find out that it lived up to all of that and then some.
It begins with Katy arriving at her new home in West Virginia. It's a fresh start. She knows absolutely no one but her mum. They are both trying to move on from the death of Katy's father. Then she meets one of her next door neighbours, Daemon. He's arrogant, rude, smug but also very, very hot. She immediately takes a disliking to him. I was taken from the get-go with him. I'm just a sucker for that kind of fictional guy: a complete jerk but you know there's a reason for it. You know there's walls and you just want the female lead to slowly chip away at them and inevitably tear them down. I'm a complete sucker for that. Dee came in next, Daemon's twin sister. I fell in love with her immediately. She's a light compared to her brother's thunderstorm personality. Katy immediately hits it off with her and they become quick friends.
I thought that Katy being part of the book blogging world was such a riot. It was great to see the references peppered throughout, to the vlogging weekly update of what she got, to the Waiting on Wednesdays posts, and the anxiety that giving a less than stellar review brings. I love that Katy had her own established hobbies and they didn't falter or die out as the book went on. They were still very much a part of her even when the action started to happen and the alienness started to take over her life.
The chemistry between Katy and Daemon was off the charts. Katy is sassy, if not as sassy as Daemon on a different kind of front. She doesn't take any of Daemon's shit. She may be a little shy, but she's constantly flipping him off, insulting him right back when he insults her or pisses her off and I just saw a lot of myself in Katy. That's probably one of the big reasons that I liked her so much. I finally found a girl with my mouth, sass and shyness. With the same interests. Who is quipping with a super sexy guy. Fan-freaking-tastic if you ask me. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who related to Katy so much. I think that's one of the best things about Obsidian; a lot of people will be able to relate with Katy in the best ways.
Then there's Daemon. Oh, Daemon, Daemon, Daemon. Like I said before, he's arrogant, he's rude, he's smug, he's obnoxious, he broods a lot but he's also very hot. He's the perfect bad boy. He's mysterious, with a bit of a temper and he's fiercely protective of the people that he loves but he never resorts to violence against those people if he loses his temper. Sure, he takes it out on the big bad Arum, but he has to. It's life or death when it comes to them. Daemon quickly made his way to the top of my favorite fictional boys. He's a keeper.
Aliens are not something I usually read about, or even watch in movies or on TV. I was a little hesitant at how that was going to translate onto page, and how the plot was going to work but I'm really glad I took a chance. It reminded me a lot of the TV show Roswell, a show I loved growing up. It's not exactly the same by any means, I just felt like the two had a lot in common. Obsidian humanized literal out of this world creatures. There was the perfect blend of action and adventure plus the romance and the friendships.
I have to warn you that if you start Obsidian, you'll want to clear your schedule. It captivates you from the very beginning and you'll find yourself up until 5:30 in the morning (seriously, it happened) wanting to find out what happens next even if you'll be a member of the walking dead the next day. There is romance, there is action, there is a unique plot... everything you'll want in a book. I need to go out and get book 2, stat. You won't regret picking this up.(less)
Werewolves are in. At least, they're on their way to being so. With shows like Teen Wolf and characters like Jacob Black in Twilight (hmph...) and Tyl...moreWerewolves are in. At least, they're on their way to being so. With shows like Teen Wolf and characters like Jacob Black in Twilight (hmph...) and Tyler Lockwood in The Vampire Diaries (yay!) they are on the up and up. I loooove werewolves. Love, love, love them. I love all the lore different authors and show runners come up with. I love how human aforementioned authors can make them, how real and how damaged. There are so many things to do with werewolves that depart from the cliched scenario of American Werewolf in London. All of that in mind, I was really excited to start Hemlock.
Hemlock came out of the gate original; the werewolves are out of the werewolf closet. Lycanthropy is a disease. The US government announced it twelve years ago. The public knows, and the public are afraid. The government set up 'rehabilitation camp' which is code for werewolf prison. The camps are deplorable, the conditions sickening. People infected are afraid. They do their best to hide and sometimes it works but they live afraid. And sometimes, they are caught. There is a group called The Trackers. They are basically horrible, ignorant versions of hunters like Sam and Dean from Supernatural or the Argents from Teen Wolf. The Trackers are everywhere. They aren't a government agency so they aren't held back by their rules. They work with law enforcement but they believe they are above it. They are savages.
Then comes in our protagonist, Mac. Her best friend, Amy, was murdered by a werewolf. A white werewolf, which are very rare among people infected with Lupine syndrome. Mac feels lost. Since Amy's death, her other two best friends have drifted. Jason has become reckless and a little bit of an alcoholic. Kyle has become distant. Add to that the fact that Amy's killer was never caught and it's no wonder Mac feels the way that she does. She has to get the nightmares to stop. She has to stich her life back together; all of their lives. She thinks the only way to do this is to investigate the murder herself.
From there the story snowballs. There are so many (awesome) plot twists that sometimes you could blink and miss them. Sometimes my jaw dropped, sometimes it was pretty obvious what was coming. But that didn't make it any less awesome.
Now there are the characters themselves. Like I said, Mac feels very lost and alone too. I found her very likeable. I was rooting for her. I was rooting for her love life (which I won't spoil but wow!) I was rooting for her to find Amy's murderer and just about everything else that she does. I. Love. Mac. I loved everyone else, too. Kyle is just... there are no words. I don't want to spoil anything but I will say he's been through so much. He's lost too but he has such a good head on his shoulders. All he wants to do is protect Mac and everyone else that he cares about. Jason is broken. Ever since Amy's death and everything else that he's had to deal with he's broken, damaged. But he's trying. Maybe in all the wrong ways, but he's trying. The secondary characters like Trey and Serena were amazing too. By the end of the book I wanted to have a big group fuzzy werewolf hug with all of them.
Peacock established a great base for her werewolf lore and took it from there. There was action, there was heartache, and there were moments that made you smile. Hemlock had everything I wanted in a werewolf story and then some. I wish book two could come out sooner because it ended on such an oh my god but! note. It was so, so great. Any fan of Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries or other werewolf movies, tv shows and novels will enjoy Hemlock.
And another reason to love it? The author is Canadian!(less)
I'm not sure what book people read when they say it was meh, or they say that there was insta-love. It takes a special kind of book to make me feel li...moreI'm not sure what book people read when they say it was meh, or they say that there was insta-love. It takes a special kind of book to make me feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest and sent through a paper shredder and still make me come away loving it.
A Need So Beautiful made me cry from probably the last 70 pages on. Let's start with what I liked about the novel, shall we?
The whole premise, the whole idea of the novel is a new spin on the Angel lore - if that's even what this is, it's hard to say for certain. The idea of The Forgotten. A messenger of the light, if you will, whose destiny is to help people she's compelled to - her Need - and to bring light to their lives until she fades away. Until everyone she's ever known, ever loved, ever met, forgets she even exists. Her existence will literally be erased once she's gone.
I really loved that Young skipped the whole boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl skip off into the sunset idea. We come into the book with an already established relationship between Charlotte and Harlin. I loved that. I was so glad to see how much they loved each other, the plans they had for their future and we even got to see their first kiss. But then they just went and broke my heart. I also loved the supporting characters, even if we didn't see much of them. I loved little Alex and the insite we got into him, if brief. Mercy and Sarah. Young did a fantastic job of making me care for the little guys.
As great as the writing is, I'm not sure when these characters suddenly took a vice grip to my heart. One second I'm reading along, liking everyone just fine, and the next I'm halfway through the book and the tears are just rolling down my cheeks. Literally. I had to put the book down a few times to catch my breath and clear my blurry vision so I could actually continue on. A book hasn't made me cry this much since I read Never Let Me Go.
A Need so Beautiful made me think what I would do if I was in Charlotte's shoes. It made me wonder what would happen if I was a Forgotten. Would I accept my fate? Would I accept that my parents, all of my friends, anyone I've ever known would simply forget I existed? Go on like I never was at all? People - I - ponder that on a normal level. People toy with the idea of how long their memory will last after death. Who will remember you until they die? With who will you become just a fleeting memory? A whisper? Was I ever really anything to begin with? It's tough to think of that, but this book is all of that on a whole other level.
People need to read this book. It's beautiful and I'm sure the sequel, A Want so Wicked will be just as heartbreaking, if not more.(less)
The first book I read in 2012 was Daughter of Smoke and Bone so it's only fitting that I close this year out with it's...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
The first book I read in 2012 was Daughter of Smoke and Bone so it's only fitting that I close this year out with it's sequel.
Wow is one word that perfectly sums up Days of Blood and Starlight. It just blew me away. The pace was a little slow in the beginning but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. Laini's prose is just wonderful. It paints such a vivid picture in your mind of the characters, the world, what's going on and everything else. Laini definitely has a gift for words. It felt like Eretz was a legitimate real place and if you found a portal and a way in, you too could visit it.
The new characters in Days are an interesting bunch. There is Ziri and Sarazel just to name a couple. Some get more page time than others but they are all wonderful. But there are also the old characters that we learn so much more about. Zuzana and Mik have a big part and I absolutely adored them. They were light in Karou's darkness. They brought humor and loyalty when Karou needed it most. We also get to see more of Akiva's brother and sister Liraz and Hazael. They became more real than the two soldiers we had met in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There were new depths to them, flaws and wonder, that I thought was great. I really adored them by the end of it. There is also Thiago who is as vile as ever. There was one point in the novel that made me nauseous. I've never wished a villain dead as much as I wanted him to die. He is one villain I don't think has any redeeming qualities. Vile, vile man. Laini did an amazing job with all of these characters, making them feel so real and three dimensional that you had strong emotions for all of them.
I enjoyed that we got to see different perspectives from some characters - some fleeting - in different chapters of the book. It just rounded out the overall feel of the novel as a whole. You got to see the Hintermost, Astrae and the human world from all these different perspective with all these different emotions and experiences that just created a great experience for the reader.
Days of Blood and Starlight was absolutely exquisit. There is so much packed into it, so many twists and turns and surprises that you're not going to want to put it down. It will make you laugh, cry and maybe even want to throw it across the room. It's a wonderful gem and I already want the sequel. What a cliffhanger!(less)
I happened to be browsing around Chapters when I stumbled upon this book. At the time, I had far too many to buy and fa...moreORIGINALLY POSTED AT OMFG!Books
I happened to be browsing around Chapters when I stumbled upon this book. At the time, I had far too many to buy and far too little money so I had put it back on the shelf and walked away. I went back and got it the next day because I regretted it. I love a good necromancy story and there aren't many out there in the YA sphere. The only other one that even came to mind was Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series.
I was hooked from the start. These days it's rare for me to know I'm really going to love a book from it's first page but Silence did it for me. The writing style is fantastic and fresh. Michelle had a way of weaving words together beautiful to create the dark, interesting world of the book. I flew through the first chunk of the book. I began to pace myself because Silence was one of those gems that I didn't want to read too fast because then it would end.
The characters in Silence were fantastic. There's Emma - the lead - who has been through a lot in her life. She's lost two people that she loved very much: her father and her boyfriend Nathan. After Nathan's death she shut down, pulled away from the world and the people around her. Even though she is still very much grieving, she's still so very strong. She puts her friends and family before herself. She's even willing to put strangers before herself sometimes. She's been through so much that you sympathize with her and begin to really feel her pain and sadness. The other characters were brilliant as well. They each had their own distinct personalities and ways that they fit into Emma's life. Allison and Amy are vastly different and yet they fit into Emma's life in their own ways. Ally is the quiet girl on the sidelines. She is definitely not an outcast but she is fine with where she stands in the social sphere of Emma and her other friends. Amy is the queen bee. She's headstrong, stubborn and she throws all the parties. Out of all of Emma's friends, I liked Michael the most. He is a high-functioning autistic boy. He is no burden to his friends. They are very protective of him. They help him day to day but that's their norm; they wouldn't have it any other way. He's especially helpful in all the supernatural things they are now knee deep in. He sees things in black and white. While others might try to explain the ghosts as a trick of the mind or rationalize it because they're afraid of the unknown and the weird, Michael sees it as 100% truth because he saw it with his own eyes and it is now his reality. The group of friends was such a thrill to read about. I found myself wanting to be one of them too.
It was nice, for a change, that the story didn't focus on a romance. There were romantic aspects such as Emma's love lost with Nathan, and a spark with her and Eric but by no means was it a central plot point and that was very refreshing. The first installment of the series focused more on the necromancy, what Emma was, who Eric and Chase were and the lore that will surely take off in book two and beyond.
Silence was by far one of my favorite reads this year. I love how Michelle tackled real life problems in such a supernatural setting. It was the perfect blend of fantasy with reality and it worked brilliantly. There were many mysteries that were revealed slowly as opposed to one big reveal and I thought that was a great way to keep the reader going and guessing. I cannot wait for book two to come out. Michelle has me hooked.(less)
Beautiful Disaster is not my usual cuppa tea. I like contemporary but generally I stick to fantasy, sci-fi or dystopia....moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
Beautiful Disaster is not my usual cuppa tea. I like contemporary but generally I stick to fantasy, sci-fi or dystopia. Beautiful Disaster is far from any of those things but still I took a chance on it. I'm a sucker for the bad boy story, what can I say.
One of the things that I liked about Beautiful Disaster is that it is well written. I've seen a few reviews that state otherwise and I can see where they are coming from but I do not believe that is the case. Beautiful Disaster is told in first person. The narrator is Abby Abernathy, a 19 year old woman. With that in mind, I think the writing style is realistic. It's from her viewpoint, her mind. She's fresh to college; trying to start a new life, trying to get away from her past. I don't think any of us would think so eloquently in that time of our life, especially with all that Abby went through and is going through.
That said, Abby is a hard one to get a grip on. At first I was very fond of her. She seemed like someone you might know in real life. She has a bit of a dark past that she doesn't want to shed any light on, but she's fun and caring and everything you'd want in a friend. But when she met Travis, and as their relationship rolled along, she became a little intolerable. Her constant see-sawing when it came to Travis and her feelings nearly drove me nuts. I saw where she was coming from most times, but it still grated my nerves. I loved their beginning. I loved how they were friends but there was this thing between them, this unmistakeable sexual chemistry where you just knew they would end up in each other's pants. But it dragged on and dragged on and Abby got completely hair-pullingly aggravating. But like I said, the more she see-sawed, the more I became annoyed with her.
Travis is another story. I really, really liked him. He's your typical bad boy: he has a short fuse, he is covered in tattoos, he will totally mess someone up if they so much as look at him or someone he loves the wrong way, even by a fraction but deep down he has a bigger heart than most people. There were times that he also annoyed me but they came far less Abby's annoyances. Some of his actions were rash, some of them definitely overboard, boarding on completely ridiculous but I guess that comes with the kind of relationship that Abby and Travis had.
At times, reading Beautiful Disaster felt like reading a soap opera. Events, odd but memorable character names, and even Travis and Abby's relationship to an extent paralleled even the most ludicrous of soaps but at the same time, I couldn't put it down. One way or another, Beautiful Disaster is a gripping roller coaster ride that will leave you breathless until the very last page. I'm excited to read Walking Diaster, which is this book but told from Travis's POV.(less)
Sometimes the sophomore book in a series falls short. A number of things could happen: the author get lazy, it doesn't...moreOriginally posted at OMFG!Books
Sometimes the sophomore book in a series falls short. A number of things could happen: the author get lazy, it doesn't live up to the hype of the first, it just somehow ends up falling flat in every way possible or it simply sucks. Pandemonium is not one of those sophomore books. It was fantastic. It lived up to every one of the expectations that I had.
I love how the book was split between going back and forth NOW and THEN. It really showed all that Lena had gone through, her feelings from start to finish and the roller coaster she'd metaphorically been on. Lauren didn't simply do a time jump and suddenly Lena was all strong since losing Alex and crossing into the Wilds. She wasn't suddenly this new person. We saw how she was truly gutted, how she sometimes wished that she to had died while crossing instead of losing the man she loved. We saw her gradually grow and heal, even when she was in the NOW sequences. It was something I haven't seen done before.
In Pandemonium we also meet some new characters. There is Raven, Tack, Hunter - a few more - and of course, Julian. They are all fantastic and play a part in Lena becoming who she is now: brave, strong but also, underneath it all, a little bit broken still. You can be strong and broken at the ame time. Hell, I think you can only admit that you're broken if you're strong. Julian is Lena's new love interest and in many ways, he helped her mourn Alex and to heal. In no way has Lena let go but she's moving on.
Pandemonium doesn't lack action scenes. At points I was on the edge of my seat, fighting sleep, just to see what happened next. There was no way I was going to go to sleep or head back to work until I knew what was going on. Pandemonium is a brilliant mix of action as well as a very human story, as well as the dystopian element. Pandemonium will not disappoint you. It's one of the best sequels in a series I've read in a while.
I will say this: I wish I had read Pandemonium closer to the release date of Requiem because the cliffhanger is big. Very, very, very big. Huge and hair pulling and oh my GOD, it's big.(less)