The Eye of Minds had so much potential - a gamer holding players hostage in a game? yes! - but it felt very underdeveloped.
Was this a bad book? No. Was it really boring? No. However, it just wasn't what I expected... and not in a good way. The characters had personality, but it felt superficial. I couldn't understand why the government would choose Michael and his friends, Bryson and Sarah to try and track down a dangerous criminal in cyber world. I guess it became apparent later on that Bryson and Sarah actually possessed hacking skills, but Michael? Why Michael? They must have been getting desperate. He kept on going, even when things turned nightmarish. I guess that's a good quality to have. Anyway, I did enjoy the relationship between those three. Even though they had never met before in real life, there was a great sense of loyalty in the group. Their banter was cute too. As for the villian Kaine, well, not too much is explained about him (figure that's coming in the second book). He seemed like a formidable foe, though.
The frustrating part about the plot was that it was in fact intriguing, but underdeveloped. It was like Dashner was trying really hard to make his complex ideas simple. It backfired as I would have liked more details. But at the same time I was getting confused during certain parts. As you can tell, it is hard to please me. The variety of worlds and scenes that the trio visit was amazing and it was very easy to visualize them. It was a crazy set of events they went through. Cra-zy. The pace really picked up by the middle of the book and it totally engaged me. A couple times my butt was even on the edge of my seat. And the twist at the end was surprising! But even when things were explained towards the finish it was hard to comprehend how everything fit together.
I suggest The Eye of the Minds to readers who enjoy books that center around gaming (obviously) because in that regard it lived up, as well as those who like adventure. There was a lot of that! It's still under debate as to whether I'll be reading the second book....more
Birthmarked is not your average dystopian. Although it has the traits of one (independent, brave female heroine, unjust future society, rebelling etc.Birthmarked is not your average dystopian. Although it has the traits of one (independent, brave female heroine, unjust future society, rebelling etc.) it felt different.
The respect I had for Gaia was unmeasurable. You had to hand it to her... she delivers babies at sixteen years old. Yeah. Plus, she was ostracised her entire life over her appearance (she had a burn scar on her face). This girl was just about ready to do anything for her family. I admired her strong will and resolve. For those who are wondering, yes, there was romance. However, it was a slow build up kind of romance since a great deal of trust had to be built between them. A more realistic version, yeah? The chemistry wasn't a bunch of fireworks for me, but their relationship was endearing. It also was not the centre of the story. I managed to locate another book that puts more emphasis on family. How nice! I found her romantic interest very intriguing. His character was the type of person who fits the phrase "there is more than meets the eye".
Maybe it was just my lack of concentration or I'm not adept in understanding a more complicated plot, but at times I felt lost on the reasoning behind this futuristic-world-that-I-kept-picturing-as-set-in-medieval-times (fail on my part). I loved the idea of "advancement" (it was new and exciting), but the underlying reason for it all was a bit fuzzy. There were so many needless details, I wish they would have been directed instead to the world building. The pace was rather slow because as I said, details were there. It never became overly dull, though, since there was always that suspense as to what was going to come next. It felt like a long, eventful quest. The ending reminded me of The Giver (read it and see why).
I'd recommend Birthmarked to readers who can tolerate a slower pace, who enjoy an on the side sort of romance, and just want to read a different sort of dystopian. ...more
Filled with determined, sharp minded characters and plenty of action to go around, Legend will be the cause of those piled up dishes and overflowing hampers.
At the beginning we get to experience two extremes of Lu's dystopian society, namely the elite's lifestyle and the slum's lifestyle through alternating POVs. June lives a very privileged life and over time realizes the flaws in her world. It was great that she wasn't blinded by what she was taught from a young age and had the maturity to properly questions things. It was apparent from the start that June's a genius - she sees every detail and makes conclusions based upon the information she gathers. I had great respect for her. As for Day, he is the male version of June - ability wise. Very intuitive and clever, his character is like an onion (giggle). He has many layers to him. Both June and Day were amiable (Day more so) and easy to root for, but I must say they came off as much older. I kept on picturing them at like eighteen, not fifteen. I would also like to note the relationship between June and Metias. It was so wonderfully sweet and well portrayed I was completely heartbroken for June! Actually, instead of centering the plot on romance, Lu decided to focus more on each one's family. That was very refreshing!
The beginning was a little slow for me but it picked up quickly. It progressed at an excellent pace, always holding my attention. The Republic was explained adequately and the issues beneath the surface were interesting to uncover. Going in directions I wasn't anticipating. Questions were answered and situations were wrapped up, yet it was easy to see there is a lot of adventure still in store for Day and June. Everything is set up nicely for book two!
I'd highly recommend Legend to dystopian lovers who enjoy dynamic characters, a family oriented plot, slight romance and of course action. It was a solid dystopian and I can't wait to read the next one!...more
Pivot Point is a winning combination of colorful characters, a well executed and intriguing plot, sweet romance, and a touch of the not-so-ordinary.
It's been a long time since I have met a protagonist I love as much as Addie. It felt like I was the main character - her mouthiness and bookworminess fit like a comfy sweater. I became immersed in her life/lives and could completely get behind her. The comments and decisions she made never caused me to roll my eyes or bang my head against a wall. As for the rest of the cast, well, they practically walked off the page. Each individual was equipped with their own personality and somehow in a group setting it all worked like magic. The relationship between Addie and her best friend Laila was perfection. Their witty conversations had me smiling from ear to ear. And get this, parents are present and actually play a part! No joke.
Now, romance. The unique approach (chapters that alternated between her two options) snuffed out any love triangle business, but still allowed us to see the best of both worlds. To be honest both guys didn't seem that special at first. But it soon became apparent which one I was going to root for - Trevor. Their relationship was wonderful because at first Addie was just looking for a friend - a best friend actually. Trevor fit the bill. They got along really well a friendship resulted. Only after did it grow into more. I like 'em slow budding romances. As for Duke, he was charming and kind to Addie, but he had nothing on Trevor in my opinion.
It all felt so realistic (except for the "mind abilities" of course) because the conversations and situations were natural. The plot was dynamic and never slow. Despite having no trouble putting it down (gasp), my interest was still there. Weird conundrum. I will be one to admit that the world building could have used some work; however, I didn't see this as a bad thing. Instead of information dumps, we got subtle slips. Soon a bigger picture was formed from all those hints. I loved the gradual submersion into the Compound world. Regarding the alternating "options" - do not be scared. It switches smoothly and will not leave you in a cloud of confusion. Amazing, but true. Even when the two seem to intertwine slightly. I am relieved to have the second book standing by - that ending left me wanting more. How heartbreaking her decision turned out to be, but it proved just how well grounded Addie was. She does not shy away from sacrifices.
I highly recommend Pivot Point to everyone - readers who enjoy relatable characters, "super hero powers" (read it and you'll see the inside joke), romance, and exciting plot. Seriously, give it a go - you will not be sorry! ...more
Sadly a mouth drooling cover can be misleading. The Elite has a firm footing in its plot, but the characterization of the main characters was insufferable.
Many have loved this book to pieces, others want to shred it to pieces. I'm in the middle. America as well as her two love interests had me doing serious eye rolling. No joke, I think I sprained my eyes. America was so indecisive and immature it was sickening at times. As soon as one guy did something wrong or wasn't showing her enough affection, she ran to the other and was all like: okay, I'm going to be with this one. Then, her feelings would shift again. Gah! Both Maxon and Aspen are pining away, letting her walk all over their hearts. Poor fellows. They both deserve a girl who can be loyal to them. America does have redeeming qualities which made my feelings towards her so conflicted. One minute I couldn't stand her and the next minute I was cheering her on. Her compassion towards others was endearing and I'll be the first to say she has guts. I liked the complicated nature that surrounds the other girls. Their characterization was done extremely well.
The plot itself was solid. Without the political situations popping up in between I would have become bored, though. So appreciative of those scenes as well as the projects the girls had to do. That was entertaining. The history of the world America lives in was explored, which I really enjoyed. It added substance to all those wishy-washy thoughts America had. The pace was good, it picked up during the rebel attacks - I was flipping pages faster. It seemed like America had made a decision on what she wanted to do at the end of the book. For that I was grateful.
I would recommend this book to readers who don't mind indecisive characters, enjoy romance, and appreciate beautiful covers. Even though I can't stand America most of the time, I do want to see what comes out of all of this!...more
WARNING: Do not read in public spaces. WARNING: Side effects of reading this book include, but are not limited to: giggling, uncontrollably laughing, shrieking, face-palming, sighing, and squealing.
Have you watched the movie "She's The Man"? If you answered yes, you will have a perfect idea of what to expect. Swap the soccer ball for a pen and paper and you have Natalie. A budding actress and journalist wannabe. Natalie was awesome. Despite her experience in the acting showbiz, she made blunders here and there and everywhere in her role of Nat. Misplaced giggles, delayed reactions, and too much enthusiasm. She had strengths as well as weaknesses and had a lot of learning to do about relationships. I could totally relate to her. Natalie's two besties were there from the start to the end and their involvement was priceless. They made a great trio. As for Emilio, he was cute. However, he wasn't swoony. The chemistry between him and Natalie was obviously hindered (the whole being a dude thing messed it up), but I thought the connection between them could have been stronger. The conversations between them were great and I really did like him. It just was lacking a spark or something.
The way it was written could not have been better. The voice of Natalie was perfect. Perfect. Not annoyingly girly, but very much a teenage girl. The plot itself wasn't all that original, predictable even, but I don't think that's a downside. I picked up the book expecting just that, so I wasn't disappointed. It was hilarious and just what the doctor ordered to lighten my mood. The pace was steady, the whole story very engaging, and the message that came in at the end made it more than a fluff kind of read.
I highly recommend Babe in Boyland to readers who enjoy a hearty laugh, a sweet romance, a totally relatable protagonist, and a good time. I assure you, at the very least, you will be left with a smile on your face!...more
It was intriguing that Ven is a clone of Raven but her personality differs. She has more coThe Bookworm is Here!
Imitation is an all around solid read.
It was intriguing that Ven is a clone of Raven but her personality differs. She has more compassion and isn't as shallow (thank goodness). I respected her choices because she doesn't act rashly and put others in harms way. However, she also doesn't passively accept the role she's been given (yes, the attempt she makes fails, but its the effort that counts). Even though Ven is not a tough heroine, it was nice that she knew what she wanted. Linc was traditional (if that is the term for it) in his role of love interest. To be expected, this tall, dark and handsome bodyguard is a perfect ally for Ven. I really liked him, but wish they would have had more relationship building page time. It definitely was not insta-love, but a firm foundation was missing. Secondary characters like Titus and Daniel were developed nicely. It was awesome how there wasn't a clear distinction between good and bad guys! It had me conflicted at first.
I understood the general concept of the dystopian world and thoroughly enjoyed learning about Imitations (cloning is new to me). The world itself wasn't expanded on, but the description of Twig City was clear. My attention was held. The pace was almost the same from start to end - it never picked up, but it was never slow. There were twists and revelations. Imitation ends in a way that most first books do. Not wrapped up, but cut off at a suitable spot in the storyline.
I recommend Imitation to readers who enjoy dystopians. It's not exactly a memorable read, but is satisfying if you crave sci-fi!...more
Put away your assumptions and predictions about Every Ugly Word. They probably won't match up to the real thing.
Every Ugly Word was not at all what I expected. Meaning it was not one of those "issue" books. The ones that are really heavy and hard to digest. You feel like you are wading through deep water. With the addition of obscurity and mirror magic it made the story feel a lot lighter, but the message still remained. The effects of bullying are astounding - and not in a good way.
I really empathized with Ashley. I felt her helplessness, hopelessness and experienced the nightmare that was her life. The fact that she kept going and getting back up proved she was strong inside. A quality that reached through the pages and affected me deeply. Her best friend Matt at times was exasperating, but he really was the only one who truly cared about Ash. Bonus points to him. Their friendship was strong because they both stood by each other during the rough times. And like any realistic friendship, it had its less-than-stellar moments. However, they worked through them and by the end both became more mature.
I cannot divulge any specifics regarding the POV or plot as it would ruin the mistique. However, I can say that I loved how the two alternating point of views were handled. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. As I was flipping pages I was unaware of becoming hooked, it just happened. There is an underlying mystery to Ashley's story that will keep you remarkably engaged. Then, there is the fact that you are left questioning her sanity and her credibility. It felt almost like a thriller at times (slightly). As for the whole seeing her twenty-three year old self, that part was confusing. I like the ingenuity of it, but there came a point where I felt lost on how it all fit together. I just threw up my hands and kind of accepted it as it was.
I highly recommend Every Ugly Word to readers who enjoy mystery, romance, page turners, and of course a heavier topic. Give it a chance and see what you think!...more
There is no doubt that Jessica Day George knows how to put her own spin on a classic. She accomplishes it in such a way that you at timeReview on blog
There is no doubt that Jessica Day George knows how to put her own spin on a classic. She accomplishes it in such a way that you at times forget she based it on a Grimm tale!
I remember reading the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses many times in my old worn-out fairytale book when I was young. It was delightful to see how Princess of the Midnight Ball took the main ideas of the original and fleshed it out. I couldn't quite forge a deep connection with the characters because of the way it was written. However, they are very amiable and I did care for them. Galen was not brooding or arrogant, he was humble and kind. He had manners, wasn't ashamed of his skill at knitting, and yet he was not in the slightest a pansy. Instead, he was the perfect hero - one the girls needed. The princesses were a bit hard to keep track of, but I enjoyed how they acted like typical sisters. Rose was obviously my favourite. She was family oriented and did not stick her head in the sand regarding their situation. When the time came, she was prepared to do something. As for the rest of the characters they each were given personalities that fit.
I wouldn't call Princess of the Midnight Ball fast paced, but it was engaging. Events flowed nicely together and as expected things turn out in a way that will curl your toes in contentment (I hope that isn't a spoiler). It is a fairytale retelling after all. Again, the spin that is used (namely, the curse the girls are under) makes so much sense and provides a strong basis for the rest of the story. I loved how pieces of the original tale would pop up in between the expanded portions of the book. Very cleverly executed!
I highly recommend Princess of the Midnight Ball to readers who enjoy Grimm tale retellings, fairytales, princesses, princes, originality, and of course sweet heros. A quick pleasure read at its finest!...more
Everblue had the potential to be great with its own take on the mermaid world, but it fell short in quite a few ways.
Ashlyn, Ashlyn, Ashlyn. It was easy to relate with certain aspects of her personality, especially the timid side. However, as time went on I sadly came to a point where I didn't care what happened to her. (On a bit of a side note, I have no idea what the synopsis means by her "doing something drastic to find them", I don't remember her doing anything. She was a complete bystander.) Her initial crush on Fin was cute and her loyalty to Tatiana endearing. The biggest issue for me was the lack of relationship development . Not enough page time to get a deep connection or understanding of her friendships with these people. There is only one scene with Tatiana and Ash in the entire book. I couldn't get a feel for why they were friends - there wasn't even a childhood flashback.
Same goes with the romantic relationship between Ash and Fin. In the first half they have one brief interaction. There were no real reasons given as to why Ash and Fin had a crush on each other other than the obvious physical attraction. Then, later on when things get a bit more interesting with their relationship it feels so forced. They may have known each other since childhood, but it totally felt like insta-love. On a positive note, it was refreshing to see two sets of parents in the picture! The character that I loved most was Ash's father because he was so understanding and caring. It was beautiful.
The mer society was interesting and sufficiently developed. Aspects such as the "promising" were very loyal to mermaid lore and made Everblue stand out from the crowd. However, the first half of the book left me waiting for something - anything - to happen. Even after the pace picked up slightly and more substance was added to the plot, it became a chore to finish reading. That really saddens me to say. The dual POV's (Ash and Fin) were done well and it was great to see the difference between worlds.
I (don't know if I should) suggest Everblue to readers who like mermaid tales. It is important to mention that many, many people love it and I am in the minority. So, the choice lies with you. ...more
Rebel Wing may initially feel like a "been there done that" sort of book, but in truth it is well written and highlights the importanceReview On Blog
Rebel Wing may initially feel like a "been there done that" sort of book, but in truth it is well written and highlights the importance of finding one's identity and independence.
Aris has guts. Posing as a man is one thing, but transforming into a solider is another. The training described is hard - especially for her in her weakened state. It impressed me how this girl who had been treated as a broken doll pushes herself to do the incredible. Her personal growth is astounding. By the end of the book she becomes an independent woman. It is refreshing how the romance doesn't overwhelm the book. Yes, it is the inciting force for her to join the Military, but that changes. She comes to realize the bigger picture and how she can make a difference. The rest of the characters were varied and fulfilled their respective roles (friend, commander, potential love interest, etc.)
The dystopian world is described very well, namely the sectors and dominions. The biggest indicator that it is futuristic is the technology, but I appreciated that it is not far fetched. Rebel Wing is engaging and keeps a steady pace. The chapters alternate between two seemingly parallel stories, which proved to be intriguing. One was Aris' story and the other showed what was going on politically. It definitely enhanced the whole experience.
I highly recommend readers to give Rebel Wing a chance, especially those who look for a strong female lead. You may be surprised. ...more
The third instalment of the Lunar Chronicles packs a punch with the addition of new characters and a thickening plot!
I admire Cinder and Scarlet's tough personality, but it was a nice change to meet Cress. I personally relate to her. She's socially awkward, lacks self confidence, and is a hopeless romantic. I feel like she's an underdog and I always love rooting for the underdog. Then, there is Thorne. I've never met a character quite like him before. His statements are blunt, yet charming. He is not one you would think of as funny, yet he had me laughing more than once. His, well, special, situation in Cress made for quite the bit of entertainment. Together, Cress and Thorne made such a cute duo. It was awkward at times, but my heart melted at the subtle things, like how they both relied on each other. I hope their relationship is taken farther!
Again and again, Marissa Meyer flaunts her writing abilities. It's amazing to see how everything is coming together, all the details she left behind in the previous books and I can assure you the fast pace continues. The multiple POV's has always been a trademark of sorts and I've always appreciated them. It gives immense insight in to what is really going on. However, at times I am so curious to see what happens with one character that I have to restrain myself from flipping ahead. This was the case with Cress and Thorne.
I highly recommend the whole series to readers who search for adventure, action, romance (like three couples worth), dystopian settings, and of course that hint of fairytale retelling!...more
Equipped with an intricate plot and interesting characters, Scarlet is sure to hold your attention!
Chapters alternate between Cinder, Scarlet, Kai, and even Queen Levana. Scarlet is fierce and determined, qualities I admire in a heroine. Her travelling companion Wolf was a puzzle and as his personality and background pieces came together it gave me quite a shock! Cinder was as sassy as usual and her travelling companion provided almost comic relief. When all these characters met and their adventures collided it was pure awesomeness.
Meyer strikes a wonderful balance between originality and her chosen fairytale. She ties select characterstics from the tale, but puts her own twist on them. The creativeness shines through. A quality made even more evident as the series continues. The beginning and even middle felt a bit slow to me, however, the last quarter was very intense! The world that Meyer has created is like a web and we've only traveled through half of it.
I recommend Scarlet to readers who enjoy action, suspense, and creative plots. I'm anxious to see what happens next!...more
Breathtakingly unique Kill Me Softly is pure genius. It is sure to take you on a magical journey that you won't forget any time soon!
Kill Me Softly caBreathtakingly unique Kill Me Softly is pure genius. It is sure to take you on a magical journey that you won't forget any time soon!
Kill Me Softly can easily be compared to the show Once Upon a Time as they both feature a fairy tale town, quirky residents, and mysteries that seem to hover in the air. Cross goes old school by bringing back the original Grimm tales and yes, they are grim. A decision that I very much appreciated because it adds weight to the story.
Mirabelle was not easy to get emotionally attached to as I found her to be mean (poor Freddie) and immature (she's fifteen after all). However, I liked her sass (especially with a certain someone) and the personal growth she underwent. The supporting cast made Beau Rivage come to life. It was entertaining trying to figure out which fairytale each one was from. As soon as they were introduced I played a little game with myself: who were they really? By far, though, Blue was the greatest person in the book. I loved him! There was so much more to him than snarkiness and blue spiky hair. He genuinely surprised me. Mira and Blue together sent butterflies to my stomach!
The world Cross created was something I've never quite experienced before. Writing from a different perspective than first person was a wise choice. As the reader I felt like I had been dumped in a strange town myself and had to slowly try to piece things together. Nothing was quite right, but no one explained things fully. I waited and waited for someone to tell me what was going on. And even after the big revelation the plot had a few more hooks. I was entranced, flipping pages well past midnight just to find out the truth behind the residents of Beau Rivage and to see how it all unfolded.
I highly recommend Kill Me Softly to fairytale fanatics and anyone who enjoys originality. I will definitely be looking out for any sequels!...more
Read all that was available on Pulse It (about one third)*. Seemed okay, but not at all what I was expecting! If it happens to land on the library sheRead all that was available on Pulse It (about one third)*. Seemed okay, but not at all what I was expecting! If it happens to land on the library shelf, I might pick it up, but then again I might not.
*For this reason I did not give a rating because it seems unfair to judge it. ...more
Gayle Forman works her magic again in Just One Day creating an unforgettable and inspiring story that will have you grinning, tearing up, and pining fGayle Forman works her magic again in Just One Day creating an unforgettable and inspiring story that will have you grinning, tearing up, and pining for more.
Allyson is very down to earth and easy to identify with. I greatly respected her and her journey of self discovery. I have often wanted to be an alternative version of myself or a different person altogether (her Lulu is quite similar to my Lulu: witty, bold, adventurous...) so I could understand her motivation and desire. However, she irritated me in the latter part of the book because she pushed everyone away. It's not that I don't know why she did it, but it just made me shake my head. Willem was just what Allyson needed to break out of her shell and discover who she truly wanted to be. Their connection was palpable, but not instant. I wish we could have had more than just one day with the two of them - it was an adventure that I could read about for an eternity!
The writing was beautiful as to be expected from Gayle Forman. It was endearing and thought provoking, but it took a considerable time to wade through it. Some parts were page turners, but for the most part I had to pick at it slowly. The Shakespeare references/theme throughout is brilliant as it adds a dash of sophistication and deeper meaning. I loved that aspect, as well as being in Paris (enter fan girling here)! It truly felt like I had an adventure in a foreign land - it was awesome. The ending leaves room for imagination... and the little girl in me thinks they lived happily ever after.
I would highly recommend Just One Day to lovers of contemporary, Parisian adventure, self discovery, and of course a sweet romance! I will most assuredly be reading the companion novel!