I got this ebook free a while ago and am on a kick to clear off the many free books I've added over the last few months. This book intrigued me becaus...moreI got this ebook free a while ago and am on a kick to clear off the many free books I've added over the last few months. This book intrigued me because it's self-pubbed and has over 13k ratings on GoodReads with an average just under 4 out of 5 stars. That usually helps me out with books I'm on-the-fence about reading.
Overall, I thought it was a good book. There are things that I thought were done really well and other things I thought needed work. The ending is a *total* cliffhanger .... so I'm on the fence about whether to keep going with the series. I'll have to check out other reviews to decide.
WHAT I LIKED 1. Gemma's voice. The story is told in first person and I really liked being in Gemma's head. A lot of her thoughts and internal reactions to things, people, comments around her. She felt very authentic and real, not a character who was written and every thought carefully planned and edited to feel real.
2. The story was interesting. I was curious about what was up with Gemma, Aislin, and Alex and all the weirdness going on.
3. The author is a good storyteller. I enjoyed reading the story and was always interested to get back to reading after taking breaks.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE 1. Show, Don't Tell! The book starts with Gemma going through this huge change of having feelings after living her while life without any feelings. But I was really only told this information, not shown it. I think we should have seen some time of Gemma not feeling, or just starting to feel in order to understand what that was like and how overwhelming it must be to suddenly have all these feelings whirring inside. I think it would be a HUGE and distracting experience, but it didn't feel that way. It just comes across as emotional hormonal normal teenager. It seems like Gemma just takes it in stride. Show me how one day something doesn't bother her but the next day the same thing creates this big emotional response and how new and hard that is to identify and deal with and how it rocks her world.
2. Insta-Love. Gemma has Insta-love/lust with Alex and I'm not in love with that in books, generally. It would have felt more natural to do what I pointed out above and have Gemma focus on the feelings (electricity, heat - not love/list) and how that is affecting her and being confused by Alex's actions, and then growing into a natural attraction that then gets quashed, etc.
3. Paranormal. The paranormal elements of the story need to be hinted at and glimpsed at earlier in the story. You know that something is "off" with Gemma, but you don't know what it is until a big info-dump conversation. And it's totally not what I was expecting ... And not in a good way.
4. Competing Paranormal Elements. There are too many paranormal elements that don't seem to go together .... too many, as in I can't think of an element that was not mentioned ... maybe werewolves? Although I guess the creatures in the woods could be werewolves maybe? It feels like they are competing with each other rather than working together and enhancing each other, in addition to a new and potentially very interesting myths about falling stars.
5. Guessed it! Once the mythos are partially explained, I started guessing at a few key parts of the story. They were pretty obvious to me and I'm not usually a reader that guesses the mystery or even wants to. I like to go along for the ride and believe whatever the author puts in front of me. I'll wonder about this or that, but it usually not more than that.(less)
Fun, light, very humorous, and super quick to read (I read it this morning, start to finish). This is sort of Men In Trees (that tv show from about 5...moreFun, light, very humorous, and super quick to read (I read it this morning, start to finish). This is sort of Men In Trees (that tv show from about 5 years ago) meets the Mercy Thompson series (by Patricia Briggs). (less)
I've seen this book pop up a lot and it was also recommended by GoodReads because I liked THE DEMON KING series and GRACELING.
Did not finish part-way...moreI've seen this book pop up a lot and it was also recommended by GoodReads because I liked THE DEMON KING series and GRACELING.
Did not finish part-way through CD 6 of 10.
WHAT I LOVED: It starts out as a fantasy with a princess in a castle. My mind immediately goes to England, Scotland, or somewhere in Europe when I encounter this setting. But NO! This was more of a Mexico / Yucatan / Central America setting and I loved the change.
I also loved how the author didn't pause to explain to me this setting. I think it could have been easy to stop and do a lot of world-building because many readers would automatically jump to a different location in their heads while reading. But NO! The author never stops, yet it is crystal clear very quickly where the story takes place because of character names; the names of things the author touches, sees, or wears; the names of countries or political groups; how the main character feels as she goes about her activities - ie: hot and sticky while traveling through the jungle; etc. The author did a FANTASTIC job with this.
I also thought it was curious to start a YA fantasy with the girl getting married. And I really liked Alejandro in their early interactions. I was afraid he was going to be killed at one point and it made me so nervous and I *really* hoped that he wouldn't die.
THINGS I DIDNT LIKE & WHY I DNF'd: Alejandro turns out to be not so great. So far he's not an evil villain, just a total jerk, and I was totally disappointed by that realization.
After a very promising start, the book sort of plateaus and nothing really happens that invokes high or low emotion, or much emotion at all. The princess is kidnapped so there is potential with that turn in the story, but then she just accepts the reason for it and is okay with it and wants to help. Hmm.
There isn't any real romantic element to the story, which is sort of "duh" if she starts out married but the husband turns out to be an adultering jerk who ignores her.
And the story was really focused on God and the princess's relationship with Him ... Not necessarily a bad thing, but it just wasn't doing anything for me in terms of enhancing the story or the characters, etc.
Very disappointing. Reading other reviews, the series doesn't seem to get enough better to make me care to keep going when I already have a stack of books that I *am* excited about waiting for me.(less)
I really loved this story. First, the narrator was awesome. I'm going to have to check out other books she has narrated....more4 stars or 5? I can't decide!
I really loved this story. First, the narrator was awesome. I'm going to have to check out other books she has narrated. A narrator can make or break a book - and a good narrator can definitely tilt my experience more positive or negative than I would have thought if I read it myself. And since Heather was on the 3-star side of this story (but still liking the series and telling me to read it), I'm wondering if the narrator skewed me more positive? Or maybe the things that bugged her just didn't bug me? I don't know. Definitely the book was not perfect, but the imperfections didn't distract me from thoroughly enjoying the story.
Yes, it was a long book (20 CDs), but again, the narrator made it all so enjoyable to listen to that I didn't care if things got too detailed or if the pace of action slowed a bit.
I loved all the characters, especially the personality of the house! How fun that an ordinary piece of background becomes such an integral part of the story. "Are we expecting visitors? The house thinks we are - it added an extra room next to the bathroom."
Can't wait to dig into book 2! I wish there was a date and title for book 3 .... so far the internet says the author is still working on the writing of it. :(
I'm always up for a good Pride & Prejudice re-styling. This was fun and I was constantly tying new characters and situations and conversations to...moreI'm always up for a good Pride & Prejudice re-styling. This was fun and I was constantly tying new characters and situations and conversations to the Austen-inspired original. Cute, fun, quick read.(less)
Still loved this one. The first 2 books are good, but things really start to come together and get messy in this book. All the s...moreSECOND READ: 6/8-11/14
Still loved this one. The first 2 books are good, but things really start to come together and get messy in this book. All the setup in the first 2 books is important in setting the stage for books 3 & 4.
I hate the the title (another book that i wont tell my husband what I'm reading). A fun quick historical romance. I really liked how the characters ev...moreI hate the the title (another book that i wont tell my husband what I'm reading). A fun quick historical romance. I really liked how the characters evolved from start to finish. I loved that it took place in Williamsburg & Annapolis and was set Just after the revolutionary war.(less)
I'm not finishing this right now ... I'm not in the mood for the mood of this book. If someone else reads and and raves about it to me then I'd probab...moreI'm not finishing this right now ... I'm not in the mood for the mood of this book. If someone else reads and and raves about it to me then I'd probably pick it up again. It was good so far, just so heavy and emotionally draining ... which, given the situation it UNDERSTANDABLE!!! I'm just not ready for that right now.(less)