After reading and loving three YA westerns last year, I expected Revenge and the Wild to be***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
After reading and loving three YA westerns last year, I expected Revenge and the Wild to be another winner but sadly, I was let down. I went into this book expecting my mind to be blown and was ready to fall in love but that didn’t end up happening. Instead, I was very disappointed.
One of the biggest problems with the book is that it isn’t very consistent. This could be because I am reading the eARC as opposed to the final copy but while I was reading the book, there were many details that would come out of nowhere and left me feeling confused. It seemed like things were being pulled from thin air and there wasn’t a lot of consistency throughout the text.
The main character was an okay human being and I liked how independent she was (without having to crossdress to be free) but I hated the way her alcoholism was treated in the book. For starters, I would have liked a better background but also just a more realistic struggle with alcoholism. I didn’t want it to be something that was meant to add to her character, I wanted the alcoholism to be explored and given the attention it deserved. Instead, it just became a deus ex machina and that was really disappointing.
On top of that (if you heard me rant on social media you might already know this) this book puts forward a very uncomfortable idea of sex. The main character describes sex as a gift to be given and that was not something I was okay with. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting your first experience to be special but the way this scene was written made the main character seem extremely passive. As if, her enjoyment was not important at all and it also seemed to imply that a sexual encounter is not worth having if it isn’t super special. THAT IS A LIE and definitely not what I would describe as sex positive.
So, going back to the main character. Every guy seems to be in love with her? I wouldn’t necessarily describe the situation as a love rectangle but there are a lot of men vying for her attention even if she is clearly in love with one of them. I didn’t understand that but I am also just generally opposed to every guy being interested in the MC. There is something very off-putting about that.
The ‘main’ romance in the book was actually pretty decent until the love interest--Alistair-- gives a shit explanation for why he was a douche for all those years. Then I was just like why?!?! It was the worst excuse in the entire universe and Alistair deserves to be punched in the face for his pathetic excuses.
Moving on, the world building in this book was actually pretty awesome-sauce and I liked the way magic mingled with the wild west. There were some references to things that happened in real life which just helped add to the world. I will say that I do wish the storyline with the natives had gone another way. The author uses them to make many valid points but I would have been so happy if they were an even bigger part of the novel (especially since they contribute so much to the world of this book.)
The plot of this book did seem all over the place though. There seem to be a bunch of inter-related things going on but the various pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit together as well as they could have. There was also this twist at the end that just creeped me out. It could have been a really good twist but given everything else that had happened, I was seriously weirded out by it.
Would I recommend this book? If anything I mentioned in my review is off putting to you, you might want to steer clear but I do know that many reviewers whose opinions I trust have enjoyed this book so perhaps you might too!
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
Oh, Forbidden. I wanted to love you so much and I am sorry that this didn’t work out. I imagine, in an alternate universe, if you were more detailed and not so rushed, I could have loved you, but you weren't, and so our story must end.
My lamenting aside, I am really disappointed. There were so many interesting things going on in this book but everything was SO RUSHED. I wanted details, I wanted a build-up, actual character development, all of the things but didn't get nearly enough of any of them.
For starters, the main character was really hard to connect to. Whenever Josie did anything, she’d think about how improper it was and how much Mrs Chandler would disapprove. Mrs Chandler, by the way, isn’t even a real person. IT’S A BEHAVIORAL GUIDE for young ladies. I am all up for characters who aren’t traditionally strong and badass, but I don’t want to read about a character who cannot do anything without thinking about a behavioral guide. Even when she becomes ‘strong’ and ready to let go of all the stupid claims, she refers to Mrs Chandler. *shakes head*
Then there is the romance that comes out of nowhere. That is one of the things I was most excited about because I love me a forbidden romance but there was no romance. Sure there were ‘I Love Yous’ but there was literally no development. One minute she finds the guy sketchy and the next she cannot live without him? How did that jump happen? She even admits to not knowing him but somehow she can be in love and NOT know him? How does that even work?
This brings me to the love interest, who is mysterious but so mysterious we don’t find out anything about him. Also, I don’t think he and Josie ever have a conversation that is straightforward. It’s usually him being elusive, mysterious and vague and her falling for it.
One thing I did love about this book was that it is incredibly atmospheric. Right from the start, you can tell that something weird is going on. Something you don’t want the main character to be involved in, but it’s not like she can listen to us yelling on the other side for her to RUN FOR HER LIFE.
Then we find out what is going on behind the scenes and it is kind of really awful, but I wish we got more details. I wish the build-up was more clear, I wish there was more than just one scene where this awful thing takes place. I wanted more.
The same goes for the resolution to this conflict. Too rushed. Not detailed. Just plain sad.
The way the novel ended was really interesting and something I liked but because of the lack of details throughout the novel, it did not have the emotional impact on that it would have otherwise. I remained detached from the happenings of the novel with only the mystery keeping me glued to the pages. This book could have been great, mind blowing even, but it wasn’t because it was rushed. And hey, I like my quick reads but I don’t like them when it takes away from actual development.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
The only reason this book wasn't a nightmare for me was because it was strangely addictive and***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
The only reason this book wasn't a nightmare for me was because it was strangely addictive and it was more comically bad (in my opinion), than rage-worthy bad.
Grace is a young, rich, privileged, lady who chose to go to a boarding school in South Korea because she wants to get away from home. Then she proceeds to complain about all the things in Korea that are not up to her standards and how she misses home. Now, I understand cultural shock. Believe me, I do. But I have no sympathy for Grace. Especially since she chose to go to South Korea. If she was going to be so whiny, I would have advised her to choose a location more like the UK or Australia so could be far from home and not have to deal with language barriers and other cultural barriers. She does get a little better over the course of the book, but never enough for me to truly like her or feel bad for her.
Her love interest is also a douche. Talk about moody bad boy. Who even likes moody boys these days? (I am sorry if you do! I don't mean to offend you!) I don’t like moody. I don’t like boys who cannot make their mind up about whether or not they like a girl. And I certainly do not like boys who are assholes to girls they supposedly like. Jason does get better over the course of the novel but I never felt it. Why couldn’t he just be nice without, you know, having to fall in love to be nice? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Their relationship is also just weird and I never really understood that progression. Suddenly they were bffs and I never even saw them have any real conversations except for when they talked about music!
Let’s not even talk about all the ways this book can be offensive. That would be opening a can of worms I do not want to get into. Especially since it really just depends on who the reader is and how they interpret the way things are being said.
This is a book I’d recommend only to readers who are willing to overlook pretentious main characters (who admittedly do get better over the course of the book), asshole love interests and some clichés.
To conclude this review, I’d like to quote something my favorite character in the book said about American money.
“All the bills are the same color and have old white men on them.”
Passenger AKA the much awaited, highly anticipated time travel romance. I had hoped it would be everything I wanted, I had hoped I would swoon and die because cuteness, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Passenger was by no means a bad book, I just had a hard time relating to the character and getting behind the romance (which is kind of a big deal given that it is a time-travel romance.)
Etta is really my biggest problem with the book. It isn’t that she is fundamentally flawed, I just couldn’t get behind her as a character. Her privilege, growing up the way she did and in the century she did, is so blatant and her ignorance of it really bothered me. Being with Nicholas did make her realize that she was a 100x better off but sometimes she'd say something that didn't sound genuine. Like at one point, she mentioned that things weren’t that much better in her century because as we all know, the 21st century isn’t perfect but it didn’t seem like SHE felt that way but rather she was saying it because it’s the truth. She seemed to be parroting all the right things as she underwent character development but these revelations didn’t --to me-- imply she had grown as a character.
The romance could be amazing. Time-travel romances are some of my favorites and have the ability to make me swoon but this one wasn’t everything I wanted. I didn’t hate it. I just had a problem with the fast progression. The first day (or the second) they meet, someone tells Nicholas that he and Etta are soul mates (simply by observing one conversation they had.) That, to me, was weird. Then they fall in love over the course of a week and that didn’t work either. I will say that given the situation, the development is actually pretty decent but I didn’t buy into their love. I would have liked if they had developed strong feelings for each other but hadn’t yet fallen in love since I believe that would have been more realistic, but alas.
So, those two issues out of the way, I loved the world building in this book. Bracken did such a fantastic job with it and I love the details she made sure to account for. I love the idea of passages and I love the way she explains ripples in timelines and how she builds a hierarchy within the world of time-travellers. The dynamics between these groups of people is so important and it is so interesting to see the way their interactions can affect an entire timeline. ALSO THE WARS. THE HISTORY. YAAS. It was also really cool travelling to different places in time and it was clear that Bracken had done her research. Side note: When ‘we’ were in 18th century New York, I really hoped Hamilton would show up and then everyone could hang out and be BFFs.
The plot-line of this book is also engaging, although I do think the book got to be a little longer than it needed to be. At almost 500 pages, it was almost a pain to read sometimes because so many scenes could have been cut, and I wanted the fun stuff to start already.
The book ended on a very exciting note and honestly, my problems with the book aside, I am ready for the sequel given the cliffhanger. So...the book has a cliffhanger and this is the kind of cliffhanger I know will bother some people. I was mostly okay with it because I am--at the moment--optimistic about the future but you never know what could change.
So read the book, for it’s pretty cover if nothing else. Or don’t if you don’t want to. Who am I to tell you what to do with your life?
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...more
This book is sad. Not because it's actually a sad book but because it has the potential to be so much more. I felt sorely disappointed by this book beThis book is sad. Not because it's actually a sad book but because it has the potential to be so much more. I felt sorely disappointed by this book because I found it to be lacking. The premises was so intriguing yet we didn't get what we had been promised.
The book is set in a world where the people are stuck in an ice age of sorts and you can kind of imagine the kind of trouble that would cause. The poor tend to suffer from frostblight since they cannot get warm enough and the rich hoard heat credits. Sounds interesting? Yeah. And over time, the population has forgotten how to read and text speech is now what is being used to communicate with the population. Sounds scary? HECK YEAH! Unfortunately all these things that could have been further developed to make the world more solid and definite were only mentioned. Plus, the mythology fan in me was severely disappointed when the aspect of Atlantis was only mentioned. The entire book is based on them finding it yet we got nothing about it besides how awesome it was. More than a little saddening.
That isn't all though. The characters themselves weren't as well developed as they could have been. I don't know a lot about them and what I know kind of makes me shake my head. The two main characters, Wes and Nat, were just not that smart. When you get ready to plan some sort of adventure across a polluted ocean and you have the money to buy provisions, BUY THEM. Buy them so you don't resort to eating twigs and fishing a polluted ocean for fish that may or may not be poisonous. Think things through.
They are also supposed to be super smart. The weird thing about Wes is that in spite of all his experiences he doesn't seem to be the hardened solider one might expect. In fact he is pretty soft, he admits it himself! He is also a horrible leader, that he also admits. He's got the lives of his own crew to protect yet he is willing to take on extra passengers even if they have nothing to eat and taking on said passengers could lower all of their survival rates. Way to call the shots and make tough decisions.
These little things bothered me but what also bothered me was the fact that two fell into a serious case of insta-love. It seemed like insta-love was the norm in this book. I don't understand how they could have fallen in love so quickly, with so little to go on and so many secrets between them. I am sure love happens but at the same time, there wasn't enough development afterwards to make the insta-love believable.
The plot was okay. Okay is a sad word to use but really that's what it was. A bunch of random things happened and were not really elaborated on and the we never really got a lot of the answers. Of course, the author may be saving the answers for the sequels. I just feel like I wanted more out of this book than I got.
A lot of the plot seems to fly by and in a bad way. They don't face as many challenges as one might expect and on top of that, the major obstacle goes by in a matter of pages, not even a chapter, pages! It happens and then THE END.
I never really noticed them using the map all that much either which made me wonder how they got to their location in the first place. In fact, I would have imagined that having the map would have been useful but with the way things turned out for them, they didn't seem to have needed it.
All these little inconsistencies with the plot bothered me but I never really hated the book.
It's not a bad read, it's just it's not quality reading material either. The pages might fly by for you and you might love this book to pieces but that was just not the case for me.
If you're looking for a quick mindless read and are intrigued by this one, I'd say go for it, just don't expect miracles. ...more
I sadly, did not like Sweet Temptation as much as I hoped I would. I did like being with these characters again but over the past year, I have changed as a reader. Things I might not have noticed a year ago, stick out to me and that’s exactly what happened with this book. Before I go any further, I would like to warn you that the review will be filled with some spoilers for the Sweet Trilogy but I will refrain from mentioning anything major.
My main issue with this series is the way sex is dealt with in this book. Teen sexuality is dealt in a weird way in this series. Characters have sex, which is great but the main couple has to get married before they can have sex because otherwise Anna wouldn’t be pure. That sends so many horrible messages about sex. I appreciate that the two don’t dance around the idea of sex and know what they want, I’d rather that sex not be painted as impure if had before marriage.
That wasn’t it though. One couple who did have sex before getting married… they suffered consequences that affected their happily ever afters. What kind of messages do all of those things send about sex? Moreover, have I frightened you by mentioning sex a bazillion times?
I have never had too much of a problem with the way Anna was characterized. She annoyed me but I was always able to get past that and focus on all the cooler things that were going on. This time though, I felt like Anna was being painted as an ideal in a way that made me feel comfortable. Anna was considered pure so if you aren’t like Anna does that make you impure? Does that make you someone God wouldn’t love? Idk.
This book deal with religion and while I am not a religious person I wasn’t really disturbed by the things that were happening in this book until now. I think a lot of my issues just come down to the concept of purity put forward by this series.
Do I sound like a Lit Major? Maybe all the analyzing stuff in classes has gone to my head. Or maybe there are some real issues here that need to be discussed.
The real question here is that was Kaidan just as swoonworthy in his own book as he was from Anna’s point of view? I DON’T KNOW. I am glad that Kaidan didn’t sound exactly like Anna and had his own distinct voice but he was also cheesy sometimes.
I seem to have said so much off putting stuff that it might make you wonder, why do I even like this series? Why was this good brain candy?
It’s because Wendy has done such a good job in creating a world that is set apart from all the other clichés of Angels/Nephilim in YA. There is world building done beyond just someone mentioning the Lucifer fell and a bunch of angels fell with him. It is unique and that’s what drew me to this world.
On top of that, the way Wendy develops her plot arcs is just great. Romance does play a huge role in the books but there is also so much more going on. Friendships are forged, relationships are explored, etc. So even though I have a lot of issues and found bits of the books to be too cheesy, I still managed to enjoy the books.
Note that I received an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review...more
I am a party-pooper. Although a sad one since I am somewhat sad I didn’t enjoy this. There is quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and all my friI am a party-pooper. Although a sad one since I am somewhat sad I didn’t enjoy this. There is quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and all my friends who have read it so far have loved it so I feel like a complete buzz kill with my ‘hating’.
On the Fence, quite frankly, sucked. I went in expecting a friends-to-more romance and got something else.
For starters, I did NOT like the main character. I was cringing the whole time I was reading this book and was not the least bit amused. I think what bothered me the most was this whole normal girl vs not normal girl thing going on. I get that teenagers go through a phase where they aren’t sure of themselves, I went through it too but the whole changing yourself to fit in storylines have never worked for me. Perhaps it’s my fault but if I had known this book had a storyline that revolved around the character trying to change herself, I probably wouldn’t have read it.
My problem with this whole thing is that it seems to say that there is a ‘right’ way to be a female but there isn’t! Femininity isn’t defined by whether you are girly or not! I am neither girly nor a tom boy but I am no less female then other girls out there. I think what made this worse was that Charlie seemed to be the only ‘tom boy’ in this book. She was surrounded by girly girls who only seemed to care about make-up. The stereotypes started getting to me and I ended up being so annoyed. Plus I never understood why Charlie felt this need to hide things from her family. Why was she so embarrassed if that’s what she wanted to be? Didn't she understand that her family would love her no matter what? I mean seeing that she is such a 'family' person... I kind of expected more from her.
It didn’t end there though. The romance bothered the living daylights out of me. WHERE WAS THE SWOON I WAS PROMISED? Braden and Charlie’s romance is basically non-existent. It seems like one moment she thinks of him as a brother and the next he isn’t a brother to her. Did she have a crush on him before the book started? I have no idea because it was never said (or I missed it).
When the ‘other’ dude is brought into the picture things become even more awkward with Charlie sticking her head in the sand. She doesn't see that there is a reason why Braden does NOT like the dude while her brothers don’t mind him nearly as much. I never actually sensed sparks between them and while they didn’t lack chemistry, things seemed too rushed in the end. The L word popped out of nowhere. And I do say nowhere. Just because they have known each other forever doesn’t mean that they can pop out the L word and it won’t seem random.
The only redeeming factor for me is Charlie’s family. Her dad is a sweet heart and I cannot imagine how hard things must be for him. Her brothers are also incredible and so fun to read about!
I guess one could also fault the length of the book in this case because it did seem quite short in the end. It’s not a short book by any means but it did seem a little rushed. Things started getting good about 80% into the novel but just as I was starting to like it, I was drowned in a bucket of cheese and that ultimately killed the book for me. I only felt relief when I finished this book.
With all that said though, I do want to read The Distance Between Us because I think it might be more enjoyable for me as a reader and if not that, Pivot Point. I am not ready to give up on the author yet. ...more
Kiss Kill Vanish while fun, is actually a pretty weak novel overall. It’s entertaining and in***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Kiss Kill Vanish while fun, is actually a pretty weak novel overall. It’s entertaining and in spite of its length, a pretty quick read, yet it lacks a lot of things to make it more. More than just a fun quick read. It lacks good characterization and a strong believable plot.
The sad thing is that all of us who had buddy read this (Glass, Tanja and Emma) were majorly disappointed. We all had high expectations and while all of us gave it 3 stars after reading, once we got to discussing, we all kind of just exploded and ranted and it turned out, we had more bad things to say than good.
Instead of writing a review though, we wanted to go with discussion questions to help us organize our thoughts more. This will serve also as a way to reflect more on the discussion we had.
How did you feel about Valentina as a character?
Valentina was one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered. She was confused about what she wanted and in all honesty, no matter what her situation was, I'd always think of her as a spoilt brat. She seemed to be not only very condescending and judgmental but also largely hypocritical. Plus, I really just couldn't understand her. It made sense for her to run away within hours of experiencing a certain event, abandoning her family in the process, yet she found it hard to wrap her head around certain other things. She was such a messed-up character and worse, she never underwent any character development. At the end of the day, she was the same as she had been before. Not changed for the better or for the worse… and definitely not likeable.
Also, as someone who believed in justice, her character... really rubbed me the wrong way. She was a teenager and she needed to get off her high horse. SERIOUSLY. Her actions were childish and ugh I had to resist the urge to slap her in the face…. (I am not sure how that would be possible but still).
Was the plot well developed and believable?
NOT AT ALL. It was all over the place and not nearly as well developed as it could have been. Of course it was fun, books with the ‘on the run’ trope tend to be, but it wasn’t the least bit believable and that was what killed the book. There were too many loop-holes and too many conveniences and not enough explanations. Plus, Valentina was a pretty sheltered female lead in spite of her circumstances and she always figured everything would work out. She never bothered to actually think things through or flesh out her plans properly. She jumped into things without thinking and that really bothered me.
On top of everything, the ending was rushed. We got to the juicy bits and then BAM it’s over.
Was the romance more than a plot device?
Nope. The romance in this book was a total plot device. My feelings towards the love interest were pretty 'eh', too. It went from ‘omg please don’t tell me he’s the love interest’ to ‘awww how cute’ to ‘how pathetic’. This guy seemed to be too involved with a girl he knew almost nothing about. It was ridiculous. Plus, he did seem like her puppet: she would say jump and he’ll ask, "how high?" Some of his actions were clear indicators of that, but I cannot go into more detail without spoiling. Really, the only purpose his character served was to help the story progress and their romance was basically a plot device in my opinion. Well, it would be more appropriate to say Marcel’s character was a plot device. He didn’t really have any purpose aside from helping the story progress. He underwent one huge chunk of development, but now that I think back, I am not sure how believable that was, either. You cannot change overnight… even if it’s a result of a tragedy.
Describe Emilio in one word.
ZOMG (SEE TANJA.. I DID IT!)
To sum up?
Read this book if you’re not too concerned about the believability of some things and are just looking for something fun....more
The biggest downfall of this book for me was what made it unique: the bees (pun kind of intend***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
The biggest downfall of this book for me was what made it unique: the bees (pun kind of intended.. but is it a pun or is it not, that is the question).This book has a lot of things going for it, but the characterization of the bees made it almost impossible for me to enjoy it. It really sucks because the plot is interesting, the world building is marvelous, but the characterization of the bees really grated on me.
My favorite bit in the whole book was actually the prologue and the epilogue. That’s it.
I don't know where to begin because it's so hard to untangle my thoughts. I find myself confused because while I did NOT like the book, I can see that there are many aspects that are interesting
Flora 717 is a special snowflake bee. Flora bees are of the lowest order and tend to be sanitation workers, but somehow Flora 717 is different. For starters, she can talk which is most unusual for Flora bees. Morever, Flora 717 can produce royal jelly which is basically what they feed the new born baby bees. Basically, she can do everything and seems to be really smart (for a bee, that is).The problem is, I never could get behind her. She felt "too human" for a bee. All of the bees for that matter seemed human and this humanization of bees really got to me, seeing that BEES ARE NOT HUMANS.
Flora 717 feels love. She feels her heart swell with love, she has howled out her heartbreak and all of these words used to describe her actions and feelings make her seem too human for my comfort. That is the downfall of this book for me. Having bees as characters is great, but when they seem to read like humans instead of bees, there is a problem.
The bees actually say "amen". This is such an obvious humanization of the bees that it bothered the living daylights out of me. Why are the bees saying "amen"? WHY? Why do these bees have a religion that seems to be based on Christianity or Judaism (this is an assumption based on the fact that these bees say amen)?
What’s even weirder is that Flora 717 seems to have a love interest. It isn’t a romance but there does seem to be feelings involved in the way she acts around a certain Sir Linden and THAT is creepy. The first thing I did when I got a sense of this was laugh… really hard because in all honesty it is ridiculous in my opinion.
Characterization aside, I do think that the dynamics within the hive are interesting. Seeing all the roles the different breeds of bees play to keep the hive functioning is very interesting. I especially like that this book isn’t so much of a dystopia as it is about just being part of something bigger. At the same time though, I found myself wondering if it was fair that Flora 717 got more freedom than anyone else in the hive without ever having to deal with serious consequences. Although I have to say, it is appreciated that this book wasn’t about overthrowing the ‘queen’ and setting everyone free because you cannot do that. Bees need hives to survive and everyone will need to play a role to make the hive function. I also really liked the queen. I think she was a very interesting character and I really liked seeing the role she played.
There were so many elements to the world building worth mentioning, but I don’t even know how to begin to do so. There is devotion, the mother’s love and all these little tid bits about the inner workings of the hive which were so incredibly fascinating, but at the same time, there were TOO MUCH INFORMATION. I found my mind wandering and sometimes it was just so hard to focus because I was so tired of all the information being thrown at me.
The plot was just decent as well but the problem was the bees made it impossible for me to enjoy it. I wonder: if the same story had human characters, would it have been more enjoyable? The plot is incredibly slow paced and it picks up at times, but will will slow down again as Flora 717 returns to her routine. The weird pacing actually works in this case, but I didn't really care.
This book does have a lot going for it but sadly it didn’t work out for me. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something different, but if you, like me, will be bothered by the humanization of the bees, I’d say skip it....more
This book was sorely disappointing. It had a lot of potential and there were some truly e***This mini-review has also been posted on The Social Potato
This book was sorely disappointing. It had a lot of potential and there were some truly enjoyable moments but on the whole, I felt let down.
Let’s start with the main character. I cannot count the number of times I facepalmed or rolled my eyes as a result of her stupidity. She was so desperate to be accepted and I never quite understood that. Especially in the beginning when it seemed that all she wanted was to be accepted by her father, who quite frankly was an ass. She barely knew this guy and he was incredibly rude, and yet she kept on seeing it as her failure when he acted so rudely towards her. Then there was also the fact that she wasn’t all that smart. I mean, someone had to tell her that what she was feeling was grief and there were times when it seemed like during her time in Siam, she was completely isolated from civilization when that wasn’t the case, at least from what I understood.
Then there were a lot of other times when there weren't enough details or other times when certain things were mentioned only to never be brought up again. Another thing that also really bothered me was the kimono. THE KIMONO IS JAPANESE, NOT THAI (Thailand was called Siam back then). I mean, I am obviously not 100% sure, but then Google said so. You might wonder why I am so riled up because she could have obviously still gotten it there, but the kimono was supposed to represent an item from her previous home and that it was NOT.
Don’t even get me started on the romance… it had instalove written all over it and, moreover, the love interest was about as interesting as a brick. I was a lot more intrigued by his cousin, Edgar.
The mystery is basically what made this book interesting and I really did like the way the author entwined details of Poe's works into the novel. I thought a lot of those things were neat but the mystery was simply not captivating enough for me to want to give this book a higher rating. I felt like the twist was pretty obvious although admittedly, it was a pretty interesting one.
There were a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of the book and even with all my problems with this one, I definitely plan on reading the sequel, if there is one. I am hooked....more
Amulet of Elusion is more of a skeleton than an actual book. Reading it was.. not fun. This book had an interesting premise which was the only reason I could actually tolerate reading on. Had this been a first draft, I would have been impressed, as it is, it wasn’t.
The only thing working for this book is the concept. The characters are iffy, the romance is weird and the plot is rushed and the world building? Well I have no idea about the world building. It’s just the idea of amulets and how they work that really intrigues me, even now.
Caleb is basically the perfect guy. He is hot, modest, smart, kind of rich and oh he likes helping people. Except he is horrible. He is self-centered from what I see. When he helps a kid and realizes how bad the situation was, his first thought was, “This kid really does need my help”. I am sure that is supposed to be a good thing but no. Hell no. The kid needed help, not YOUR help. And any guy who chains a girl up so that she doesn’t get herself killed while he goes off to fight, especially when she is actually powerful and could help, is not a wonderful guy. He is a fucking nightmare. He is also the kind of guy who emphasizes someone’s beauty above everything else. When he is telling everyone about ‘his girl’ he emphasizes her beauty because that is what is most important. Yes, you’re DEFINITELY the kind of guy I want as a life partner (they get married). Let’s not forget his policy about not fighting with women. Even when it’s to train him so that he doesn’t fucking die. Nope, not going to take this shit seriously. He is way too cool for this. I wanted to bitch slap him right then. Your chivalry is going to get you fucking killed, sure respecting women is important, showing them courtesy is a good thing but have some limits dude.
Our wonderful female lead, what’s her face Alexa is no better than her lover. For starters
“Caleb is my husband. It’s his job to protect me now.”
That was what she said to her foster parent when she tried to be ‘overprotective’. She is incapable of making smart decisions and rushes into danger without thinking things through. She is TSTL. When she learns that she is a speshul snowflake, she barely questions anything after the initial shock. Let’s not forget someone always needs to save her pathetic ass.
Both these characters feel like checklists or just lists of characteristics. They don’t feel like real characters. Just a bundle of characteristics. Their backstories don’t feel like stories, they feel like facts. There is no emotion involved, or if it is, it’s more rational than emotional. Her parents died and she is supposed to be sad about that, she is, but I don’t feel it. I don’t feel anything. I have no real connection to her. I feel a mild annoyance towards her but that’s about it. The same goes for Caleb, I cannot even bring myself to hate him because I just don’t care. I am annoyed, pissed, but at his actions not his character. His character does NOTHING for me.
The secondary characters were just… there. Like her best friend tagged along but she has a beau back home and what about her father? What? They all seem to fade into the background when it comes to Alexa and Caleb for they are the center of this stories. The secondary characters serve no other purpose than plot devices.
The romance though. Oh dear. *shudders* I was so excited about the fact that a relationship already existed but that theory was shot to hell pretty soon. Sure they were in a relationship but they knew NOTHING about each other. Not their middle names, not where they came from, not about their families, NOTHING. Yet in spite of this, they claim to be in love. How do you love someone you know nothing about? Oh and then moving on to getting married. That took everything a step too far. That’s just moving way too fast. You can love each other and still be in a dangerous situation, marriage won’t change anything. Seriously. Now I have nothing against marriage, but really they should have waited before taking such a huge leap.. I mean they JUST declared their love for one another. I cannot even. *storms out*
The plot is just.. bland. Things happen, more things happen, one after another. Like some sort of to-do list. This happened? Check. Next thing. Check. Check Check Check Check. *cricket noises in the background* At one point, I felt like I was reading some sort of ultra-dramatic soap opera. Everyone has seen this story a gazillion times. Orphaned girl, secrets being kept, girl super special complete with a prophecy that declares her so. Let’s not forget she is supposed to save everyone. Did I mention she was speshul?
The world building made no sense to me. Ivy (the overprotective guardian) mentioned that she searched the whole kingdom for Alexa when Alexa decided to ‘screw it’. Is the kingdom small? Big? What? Everyone is confined inside for their own good until they become adults? Again … what? I have no idea what was going on with the world building and after a while I no longer cared to figure that tangled mess out.
I’d say something about the only good thing about this book, the concept of amulets but at this point I don’t care. The intriguing concept of amulets does not make up for everything else that didn’t work. I may have read this fairly quickly but I simply don’t care about this book. I was surprised when it ended.. and when I say surprised, I mean in the best way possible because I was miserable and really did not want to continue reading.
In the end this book is just not something I would recommend. It did not do anything for me and didn’t read like a story but instead like a fact book, a fictional fact book at that but still. There was no emotion rolling of the pages, I didn’t immerse myself within the world. A text book would have been more interesting....more
Vivian Divine is Dead is so bad that it’s almost comical. I was craughing after finishing it.***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Vivian Divine is Dead is so bad that it’s almost comical. I was craughing after finishing it. No joke. With its clichés and "coincidences", this book is like a big fat joke. This is something that would be a million times better on TV than on paper. When you write a book, it’s important you close all the loop holes or at least attempt to. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this book. What we have here instead are dramatic twists that are so predictable they just make you want to bang your head on a wall.
Vivian Divine came from a perfect family. Her mother was voted Hollywood’s most beautiful woman 3 times in a row. Her dad's one of the best directors in Hollywood and she herself was the youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar. She had a perfect boyfriend and a beautiful best friend (throw in some self-image issues, too, when she compares herself to her bff) but then her mother died (6 months before the start of the novel) and her father tried to commit suicide. They are trapped in a bubble of grief and no one can seem to catch a break. Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend (there’s that trope), her life is in danger (ooh, another one) and now she must go on the run (YAY! Another one, too).
The one thing extremely off with the situation is how her bodyguard lets her go off on her own into the wild without any backup. NO ONE lets celebs go on the run on their own, never mind a celeb who's not even an adult (she is like 16!). I cannot believe Vivian never questioned that. She must have lived a VERY sheltered life.
Which is kind of evident from the fact that Vivian doesn’t even understand the seriousness of the situation she is in. The police may or may not be trying to hunt her down and she is on her way to another country to take refuge, yet she still manages to be self-important and goes around expecting everything to be handed to her on a silver platter. Welcome to the real world, hon. But you know what? She is not ‘that’ bad; she realizes that the real world is completely different because like there are people who go to churches with enough gold to buy Beverly Hills but cannot afford to buy shoes. So, so sad. *sigh*
Vivian Divine also feels like people owe her. She commands people to help her, strangers that have no obligation to do so but should because she ‘wants’ them to. *shakes head*. She is a flip flop of a character. I cannot actually decide what the author wants us to feel. Are we supposed to like her or are we supposed to be annoyed? Hell, what does Vivian even want herself? I GOT NO IDEA because she cannot make her bloody mind.
The author tries to create a contrast between the environment and where our main character comes from, but the author takes it to the extreme, like to the extreme-extreme. It’s kind of ridiculous.
Her family is surprisingly normal (like before everything went down the shitter) and I have no idea how I feel about that. On one hand it's a positive portrayal of families and doesn't follow the 'bad parents' stereotype (except her dad is overworked and doesn't give her enough time) but on the other hand, I feel like it just seems so weird that they are these famous Hollywood people and yet they appear extremely normal. This could be a result of my own bias but I definitely found the normalcy somewhat odd.
That wasn't the only thing that struck me as odd, though - the romance was off-the-charts weird. It was horrible. For the first day there seems to be hope that you might see a somewhat developed romance, but then the next day the L words are thought and it’s just like a wtf moment. This book has a tendency to make you go:
Chloe would look pretty damn awesome as the cover of the book. That also happened to be my reaction to the plot. Plot? What plot? This is a soap opera with dramatic twists that can be seen coming from MILES away. It’s not so much unpredictable as it is question mark inducing.
Vivan seems to arrive at the right places and strangers always seem willing to help her. She even compares this to how ‘back home’ people won’t help an old lady cross the road and everyone seems to be nice here. Wait, wait, hold on a second; is this supposed to be the real world because where the fuck is the real world? COINCIDENCES LIKE THESE DON’T HAPPEN.
With all that said, the ending was actually pretty nice. I said that. Go ahead. Throw stuff at me (I have a tendency to do this). I was surprised by it but it did nothing to redeem the book. The book still sucked and I wished I could have my time back.
In all honesty, I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. It’s a waste of time and unless you’re really bored and cannot find any books to read, skip this and read something that’s been on your shelf since the dawn of time....more
This book can be summed up in one word. Boring. It was so painfully borinThis review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Actual Rating 2.5
This book can be summed up in one word. Boring. It was so painfully boring that I, who claims to be a night owl, went to bed early. I just couldn’t bother anymore. I made it to the end and I was happy that it was over. The thing about this book is that it doesn’t really have any other major flaws, it just didn’t click with me and I feel like it’s definitely a case of ‘it’s me not you’ when it comes to this book.
This is a story about two twin sisters who get separated, have to overcome some scary ass obstacles with the help of their respective companions and then they reunite. That sounds fun yeah? Well it’s BORING AS HELL. Or it was for me at least.
The story starts on the eve of Ashyn’s 16th birthday. She will have to go into the Edgewood and free the spirits of the dead but something is wrong. Dreadfully wrong. *cue drum roll*.
I really don’t know where to start with this book. It’s always hard to review books that are mediocre because you never know what to say. I feel no enthusiasm about this book and am probably not going to be reading the sequel either.
This book is written in dual pov and when you absolutely hate one of the characters… you’re in for a long long time.
Ashyn is a pretty decent character but Moira on the other hand… yeah, I hated her. The problem with the twin sisters is how the author portrays them. One is brave, outspoken, realistic (in her opinion) and everyone (especially the guys, like her more). The other is silent, a romantic and presented as someone who is not as brave . I am pretty sure you can guess which one I liked better.
Moira, in my opinion, was rash and needed to stop acting so weird. She basically had Ashyn on a leash. She told the guards to not let her go anywhere and they ‘followed’ her orders even though both the sisters have the same status. I just don’t get it. Who is Moira to restrain her? Moira can go off fighting but Ashyn needs to be ‘protected’? EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE THE SAME BLOODY AGE? Nope. Nope. Nope.
The problem isn’t only Moira. Her POV in general holds no interest for me. I have to listen to her ‘being the bigger person’, worrying about her sister, being badass but on top of that I hate her companion. Gavril is a douche bag. He is the passive aggressive dude with who you can never tell if he likes you or not. He completely ignores Ashyn and is always pulling on Moira’s (metaphorical) ‘pig tails’. This isn’t 3rd grade. You don’t need to be a douche if you like the girl and it isn’t cute when you constantly threaten the girl. There are lines that need to be drawn if you want to go down the passive aggressive lane.
Ronan on the other hand just makes me sad. He had so much potential but for some reason his character fell flat. Ideally, he is the perfect character in my book but for some reason, I cannot feel the enthusiasm I should be feeling. He is a thief, he didn’t live a perfecty life, he is goal oriented, he is sharp and I could go on and on about why he is awesome but I don’t FEEL the enthusiasm I should be feeling about his character.
The romances were bleh. Ronan and Ashyn’s romance was developed but they lack chemistry. There is some but not nearly enough to make me want to jump up and cheer them on. Gavriel and Moira’s romance on the other hand just feels icky. There is chemistry but… *shudders*. Their romance just doesn’t seem healthy to me.
The world building was wonderful; I really loved how the author developed the monsters and the forest and everything else. The whole atmosphere of the book was eerie. It was creepy but the problem was that the potential of this book remains unrealized.
The plot is not developed enough for me to even be able to enjoy the fantastic world building. Things happen. They fight creepy creatures and then they do more stuff. There just isn’t enough happening to keep me hooked.
I am starting to think that Kelley’s YA is just not for me. I have a soft spot for The Darkest Powers trilogy but even I realize that it’s not a masterpiece. I just don’t think YA is Kelley’s forte. I LOVE her adult books but her YA’s tend to fall flat in comparison which really is a pity because she always has such wonderful ideas.
This book is full of potential and I am sure there are people out there that will love it but this one is clearly not for me....more
Are you religious? Do you think you’re better than everyone else because you***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Actual Rating 1.5
Are you religious? Do you think you’re better than everyone else because you have ‘faith’? Do you like preaching to other people? Do you like shoving your religious opinions down someone’s throat? Do you like forcing your religion on to other people?
If that sounds like you, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If those things get on your nerves like they get on mine. Run. Run for your lives.
This book is publicized all wrong. It’s misleading and someone really should mention the religious aspect because I know a lot of readers will feel the way I do. Pissed off.
What’s even worse is that this book had some real potential. It could have been great but it wasn’t. It had the basis of good relationships and no romance and a somewhat creepy aspect but it all went down the drain with a nightmare of a female lead.
If I didn’t know that Jane was the female lead, I seriously would think she was some sort of cult leader who would turn out to be an antagonist. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. She judges everyone around her using her religion as a basis, because the fact she goes to church, like a good little girl, makes her better than everyone else. I bet if it were up to her she’d convert everyone. She has no respect for other people’s opinions. When Tyler ‘rejects’ religion, she doesn’t believe him and in her mind goes on and on about the time he was saved. She also feels sad when she cannot feel God. No I am not kidding. Her inner monologue consists of how God loves everyone and that everyone can be saved. Now I don’t want to offend anyone who is religious, I wouldn’t have minded the book so much had the religious aspect been moderated but as it is, I felt like I was was being preached at the whole time I was reading this book. I respect other people’s opinions and expect mine to be respected as well.
One of my biggest issues was that no adult gives them due credit, so like all the other teens out there, they solve the mystery on their own. YAY *sarcasm* What is up with adults never understanding? The parents aren’t necessarily portrayed as the bad guys; which is appreciated, but why don’t they ever listen to the kids?
The teens don’t show an ounce of normality. You have goody two shoes Jane, sunshine Holly (well she IS dead), shy but wonderful musician Tyler, rebel chick Leigh Ann who is sad she was thrown out of church for having blue hair. The characters actually listen to gospel music. Am I really supposed to believe that teens are USUALLY like this? I actually thought the author might go somewhere with this and give Jane a taste of her own medicine but no. Everyone ends up happy happy at church. YAY.
The relationships are surprisingly decent. You have a main character who truly mourns her friend instead of latching on to her boyfriend now that he is available. The boyfriend actually loved his girlfriend, they shared a good relationship and he mourned her. He was heartbroken. There is no romance in this book, it does have a good focus on relationships and sadly that happens to be the only positive thing.
The writing takes a little getting used to. Jane is always talking to her best friend, Holly in her mind. That’s basically her inner monologue… it’s definitely different and it doesn’t always work but I can see why the author wrote it the way he did. It was to emphasize the friendship between the two.
The ‘horror’ part of this book is a complete and utter mess. It is all over the place. There are no explanations. Jane had a dream that told her where to find Holly’s grandpa but there was nothing mentioned about the dream after that. For a while I even thought that the way Jane could feel God would lead up to something paranormal but it didn’t. Even when it leads her to ‘prophesize’ so many things. I am surpised by how literally the main character takes the bible, like how she immediately jumped to conclusions when a fish coughed up Holly’s ring and matched it up to some sort of prophesy. I am not sure she would survive in the real world. This isn’t some book that follows in the steps of Stephen King, in fact for the most part I wasn’t scared. The horror was a fail. We know things but nothing really happens. Those incidents aren’t connected in a way to give us a scary atmosphere.
One of the biggest things that pushed me from mild annoyance to full-fledged anger was the jab taken at other culture/religions. Saying something like this (quote below) won’t make me laugh. It may not cause direct offense to me but what is wrong with you?
“….Banned in all those Islamic countries ‘cause women kept ripping off their Burkas and going wild and shit.”
Do I care that the person who said it was probably an immature little shit? NO I DO NOT CARE. Saying things like that will not win you any points.
So in conclusion, if you don’t like someone shoving religion down your throat, avoid this book....more
NOTE: I have not read the first 4 books in this series. Also, some of the thi***This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages
Actual Rating 2.5
NOTE: I have not read the first 4 books in this series. Also, some of the things I say may offend some people. Read at own risk and keep in mind that I am not trying to victim blame.
Good morning, evening or whatever time of the day it is in the part of the world you live in.
I’d like to welcome you to the second episode for my talk show where I interview people who don’t exist in our idea of reality.
Before we get started, it would be a good idea to summarize what happened so you aren’t completely lost. Take Me Home for Christmas is about a young mother, who has been in an abusive marriage for the past 14 years. When her husband dies, it comes to light that he was running a scam and basically talked almost everyone in the town out of their money never mind the fact that he left his own family in a state of bankruptcy. People are being awful and basically storm through her house and take everything they can find (with her consent). Her ex-boyfriend, who she cheated on, comes in as a knight in shining armor offers her as a job as his housekeeper/cook/assistant because he pitied her. Things become awkward and he starts a relationship with one of his friends which we all know is set to be doomed.
*walks onto the set* *sits down* *takes down yarn and needle*
Rashika: Oh this? I thought crocheting would help me get a grip. It helped me get past the parts where I wanted to bang my head on a wall and seeing that we’re going to be inviting the whole gang, I thought I’d need it. At least I am sober this time. Isn’t that a good thing?
Rashika: Why don’t we welcome the gang onto the set.
*A bunch of people walk in.. some are holding hands.. some are looking at someone who is in a relationship with longing*
Rashika: Ted and Sophia were the stars of this book right?
Rashika: Why don’t you all take a seat. This could take a while.
Rashika: Now that all of you are seated, I have to ask, if some of you thought that Sophia was being abused by her husband why the fuck didn’t you try to help her? If you didn’t believe her excuses why didn’t you bother to find out more, to see if there was something you could have done? Why?
*they all look around awkwardly*
Rashika: And Ted, this is the woman you’ve supposedly been in love with for the past 14 years of your life, why didn’t you do anything? Why did you believe the excuses she gave when you should have at least tried to find out more. You of all people. *shakes head*
Ted: I didn’t know okay? I was too angry. I didn’t want to see her or talk her lest I decide to forgive her. It would make my life miserable.
Rashika: Well you sure didn’t have a problem making someone else’s life miserable.
*turns around to see Eve staring at Ted with a look full of longing*
Ted: I am sorry. I didn’t want to. I was trying to move on. I am 34, I couldn’t spend the rest of my life lusting/loving a woman who was no good for me.
Rashika: Of course you couldn’t. I appreciate you tried to move on but dude, you could have spared your friend. She deserved better.
Ted: She does. I agree. And hopefully she’ll find someone better.
Rashika: Yup. So, why do you love Sophia so much?
(quote taken from book)
“But, oddly enough, it wasn’t her beauty that drew him to her. Not entirely. It was the vulnerability in those big blue eyes- and the way she was trying to show her love for Alexa, despite her difficulties”
Rashika: Ah I see, so you like being her savior?
Ted: Umm are you going to ask us more questions?
Rashika: Give me a minute. .....
You do realize you didn’t really complement her personality as much as you did her beauty.
Rashika: You tots blew it, she wanted you to complement her personality. Her husband was a douchebag and she was basically his trophy wife, how dense ARE you?
*Ted looks around guiltily*
Rashika: I’ll ask Sophia stuff now. So, Sophia, what century do we live in?
Sophia: That’s an odd question. The 21st of course.
Rashika: Then why was it so hard for you to do anything about your situation? Why, for the past 14 years, have you been stuck in a marriage that is a nightmare? You hated your spouse and he had physically abused you, bad enough that you feared for your life. Before you talk about how he was a good father, anyone with a pair of eyes could see that he was NOT setting a good example for Alexa. Why could you not do something about your situation?
Sophia: I was afraid I wouldn’t survive if I tried to get away. And even if I did get away, he would never let me see Alexa again. He would win. Plus, I was getting what I deserved.
*gets up and walks around*
Rashika: So you thought you could turn to the bottle. That would help Alexa right?
Sophia: Stop it. Stop being so judgemental. I was the biggest victim.
Rashika: I am not saying that you weren’t, you definitely were but your lack of a backbone was really annoying.
Sophia: I try okay. I do the best I can. I am so grateful to Ted for helping me out. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t know what I would have done. And the same goes for Eve.
Rashika: Oh I know what you would have done; you would have let yourself and your daughter starve to death because you’re so incapable of helping yourself out.
Sophia: Excuse me?
Rashika: Why do you need a Prince Charming to come along and save you?
Sophia: I got myself on my feet for your kind information. I worked as a housekeeper and did all these things for him. I even took typing classes.
Rashika: But you did all that so you could impress him didn’t you? Like a kicked puppy who only wanted to be loved.
Sophia: Is there something wrong with that, after the kind of life I lived for the past 14 years?
Rashika: Yeah, the fact that you are incapable of doing anything on your own. You will always need someone to help you out.
Ted: Back off okay? I helped her because I couldn’t stand what she was going through.
Rashika: So, charity right?
*awkward silence* *crochets during the silence*
Rashika: So you guys, great friends. Really. Oh Ted, I got a question. Why did you like not move on for 14 years?
Ted: Because I was still in love with Sophia.
Rashika: But 14 years… that's kind of long. And you were just a kid, how could you not have been in a proper relationship since then? Is that even healthy?
Ted: I CANNOT COMMIT OKAY?
Rashika: Okay. Calm down man. Hey Alexa.
Alexa: Hey lady
Rashika: So like how did you not know your dad was an asshole who abused her mother?
Alexa: HE ABUSED MOM?
Sophia: YOU HORRIBLE WOMAN!!! HOW COULD YOU TELL HER THAT? SHE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO KNOW.
*crochets while waiting for everyone to settle down*
Rashika: Can we continue?
Sophia: I am not letting you interview my child.
Rashika: Now you don’t get to make that choice do you? So shut up.
How could you not see the signs Lex? You’re 13. You know your dad basically controls your mom’s life. How do you not see it?
*Alexa runs away crying*
Sophia: Look what you’ve done.
Rashika: What had to be done?
Sophia: Did you invite us on this show to insult us?
Ted: You horrible woman.
Oh. Cool. I was just going to talk about how I liked that she actually did decide to stop being the victim and stood up to the asshole sheriff but whatever floats her boat.
So what did we learn guys?
We learned that women will probably always need a dude to fall back on because, Prince Charming and that crocheting can be very therapeutic and can prevent a self inflicted head injury.
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you had a great time.
Before I wrap this up though, I just wanted to say a couple of things. While it may seem like I didn't enjoy the book at all, it did have it's moments. I did laugh and it was a fairly quick read. My main problem lay with the fact that Sophia was completely incapable of helping herself. She always needed someone to give her a push and could not stand on her own feet. Her daughter was more responsible than her and that is just embarrassing. The fact remains that in spite of all my problems with this book, it was relatively enjoyable and I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, light read. ...more
I am borrowing this image off of Angela who in turn got it from Anna
This image is perfect for Tally (who is totally unworthy of that name. I am sorryI am borrowing this image off of Angela who in turn got it from Anna
This image is perfect for Tally (who is totally unworthy of that name. I am sorry but Tally from Uglies was so awesome). She is so goddamn ANNOYING. She constantly whines. Is incredibly possessive and cannot seem to make up her goddamn mind. Does she want him to be her friend or her lover? MAKE UP YOUR MIND. Grr. Yes I know she had a traumatized childhood and all that jazz but I don't understand her behavior. I know she is scarred but no. If I remember correctly she got a degree in psych or something along those lines so shouldn't she at least rationally try to understand the root of her mental scars, to at least try to understand it wasn't her fault? Even if the irrational side of her refuses to let go, shouldn't the rational side of her have some sort of understanding? I just don't understand her. At all. She has got to be one of the most annoying female leads I've encountered.
Clay wasn't all that much better. He was obsessive to the extent that scared me. Before you point out his animal instincts and what not, I didn't feel the same way about Lucas, his possessiveness was still within bounds, Clay's possessiveness goes beyond 'acceptable'. I felt like he was objectifying her. Making her seem like some sort of possession instead of human.
The romance between the two made me yearn for a normal romance. I am getting tired of all the angst out there. Why cannot we just have a book where two people are already in a healthy and loving relationship and have to deal with other problems that don't concern romance? *sigh* That's probably asking for too much.
This book, despite some of my major issues with it, was still enjoyable. I was not a huge fan of the characters but the world is so interesting. I cannot help but enjoy it in spite of everything. ...more
LOL Never again MY EYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS What a mess.
-people falling in love within a week -thinking about marriage in that same time span -stupid alpha malLOL Never again MY EYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS What a mess.
-people falling in love within a week -thinking about marriage in that same time span -stupid alpha males (they gotta be done right and this book failed) -the chick falling in love again with a guy.. who she had a crush on in high school who basically took her virginity and ran off -a grown man thinking the best sex of his life (before he went at it with the same chick as an adult) was when he was 18... that bothers me.. I am not sure how most people will feel about it. The same goes for the girl. Again she was a virgin. -A girl whose been emotionally abused finding love out of nowhere. Dude at least let her trust people again before making her magically fall in love with one of the dudes who in a round about way was one of her kidnappers. I DONT FUCKING CARE THAT HE NEVER INDULGED IN THE ACTUAL ABUSE. HE WITNESSED IT AND DID NOTHING and basically 'did not understand why she would do that to herself'. Fuck you man. -Bad mystery -Bad everything
Basically if you're even contemplating reading this, read it for the laughs, not because you're actually going to get something out of it. ...more
You know what sucks? When you know the author of a book is a really nice person but you end up***This review has also been posted onThe Social Potato
You know what sucks? When you know the author of a book is a really nice person but you end up absolutely hating the book. I was looking forward to this one, the premise was intriguing and well the cover was amazeballs, so yes, when I dove in, my expectations were high, but when I read the book, they hit rock bottom. This book was awful. It pains me to say that but less than 10% in and I was counting down how much longer it would take me to finish it.
I think one of the biggest drawbacks of this book is its length. The final copy has around 250 pages and well that doesn’t do the book any favors. Everything is crammed into those pages. Events occur one after the other with no real emphasis put on any of them. For example, her mother dies and she cries but thats about all we see in relationship to her mother's death. Also, I felt no connection with what was going on in the book and the characters did nothing for me.
Sia is one of the worst characters I’ve encountered. She is impulsive and never thinks things through. She never thinks about how her actions would affect people or if her plans would even work out. She is incredibly self-centered in that way and honestly, I think she had everything bad that happened to her coming. I really did not like her character. She was not brave, she was not smart. She was STUPID. She was IMPULSIVE and really, she was a clueless teenager given the situation she was in. She basically goes along with people she just met because she assumes they’ll be safe since they don’t look like they could do her much harm. Honey, did no one teach you that looks can be deceiving? Hell the cover of this pretty book was deceiving.
Mace is just as stupid. He ‘chooses’ Sia because he saw something special in her but is surprised when she doesn’t readily jump at the chance to join a revolution. Yeah, when you pick people of the street without actually getting to know them, you’re probably going to be in for a shit load of disappointment son.
Did I mention Mace’s stalkery habits that are waived off because ‘at least he was being honest’. Yeah no, if a guy is following you around and you aren’t even aware of it, something is absolutely wrong here.
None of the other characters are developed enough for me to even say anything about them. For the most part, they didn’t even register on my radar. I could say that I enjoyed the fact that Sia and her dad shared a good relationship but really I didn’t care. I was completely detached from the book and the characters and just everything.
There are 15 days to live. 15 days until she and everyone else in her sector will be dead and she has already embraced that. Now that isn’t a bad thing, what is a bad thing is how her will to live makes an entrance overnight and that to because of guy she JUST met. I get what the author is trying to do here but because of the length it becomes an issue and it almost seems like the character underwent a personality transplant, and honestly the end result wasn’t someone I could like. It didn't make Sia a more enjoyable character, if anything, it made her a bigger pain in the ass.
The romance in this book was a nightmare. My insta-love alarms were set off and they were ringing really loudly (ouch). I mean seriously. She started having feelings for him without even having a decent conversation. The two times the conversed before she becomes aware of her feelings, he was basically trying to get her to join a rebellion and she ran/hid away from him EACH TIME. How does she suddenly care for him? At the rate they are going, they’ll probably be married in a couple of days (after the end of the book).
Both the villains and the rebels have no sort of logic to them. The villains are evil for the sake of being evil. When you find out their reasons for doing what they were doing, it just feels so fake. Oh, I am going to only pick the cool humans to hang out with me. Nobody else is worth it. Ugh. I am such a special snowflake. Stop. No seriously. If there was a legit reason as to why they were doing what they were doing, their actions would have been easier to swallow. The rebels were just wannabes. I can see why they feel the need to rebel. Obviously. But there are only 20 rebels in total. And they’re going to have to fight against cyborgs. Pray tell me, how they’re even going to survive. Yeah they mentioned recruiting more people later but uh. No. If they were talking about saving themselves they would have thought things through and would have been more organized but as it is, they’re just a rag tag group of wannabes.
The world building sucks. These citizens were closed inside the walls for some reason and are now going to be killed for another. I have no idea why any of this happened/is happening (well we do know the reason for the latter but as I mentioned earlier, it all felt very fake). This book was a very odd sort of dystopia where I didn’t even understand the basic mechanics of how the government worked. The world building had a lot of potential from what I saw but it needed so much more development.
The plot. No let’s not go there. Everything is so rushed that I can hardly discern the plot from the tangles of everything else. It’s not paced well enough and really, I just didn’t care about what the hell was going on. Hell I was practically rooting for everyone to die instead of getting the happy ending they all desperately yearned for.
The ending is probably the best part about the book, I liked how the author ended the book with an open ending giving us the choice to imagine what would happen afterwards. Not that I actually cared. I was just happy the book was over.
I am sorely disappointed by this book and really it sucks that I didn’t enjoy this more. I really wouldn’t recommend it to anybody unless you’re looking for a quick read to help you catch up on your reading challenge....more
If this was supposed to be a pro-feminist novel. It most definitely failed.
Here is what the message seems to be: -All men suck -Women are miserable poweIf this was supposed to be a pro-feminist novel. It most definitely failed.
Here is what the message seems to be: -All men suck -Women are miserable powerless creatures who will probably be left with no choice but to die.
This isn't the best thing ever, it isn't every feminists dream. Hell everything that happens in this book; her awakening, is a result of her falling in love with a guy and not being able to have him.
Edna doesn't read like a mature women who opens her eyes to the world around her and realizes the unfairness of it all, she seems more like a child who will throw tantrums and cry when she doesn't get what she wants, which in this case is a guy. Now I don't want to seem like a man hater but do you see where I am going with this?
Perhaps as a modern day reader I won't be able to understand this novel and revel in it's glory but to hell with that. Jane Austen's novels were written in the EARLY 19th century and were still more pro feminism than THIS book. Yes Jane Austen's novels took place in a different society (and time period) but you get the idea.
I can see why this book wasn't very successful. With a self-centred character who had an awakening based on love and who essentially did nothing? Bah Humbug....more
Fuck this book. The characters were horrible The romance was horrible and don't even get my started on the mystery. The real murderer was so random thatFuck this book. The characters were horrible The romance was horrible and don't even get my started on the mystery. The real murderer was so random that it pissed me off. I like it when mysteries are unpredictable but this was just pathetic. Ugh. Not to mention all the inconsistencies that were overlooked. Bah Humbug. I don't think I can pick Brenda again for a while.
I believe this is my second DNF review. I really tried to give this book a* This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Warning: Rant Ahead
I believe this is my second DNF review. I really tried to give this book a chance instead of just bailing out but by the time I got to 36% nothing seemed to be working for me. I did not like this book. In fact I made more notes in the 36% I had read than I usually do for an entire book.
Right off the bat the setting is one of my biggest issues. I don’t know much about Camelot and while I really like King Arthur’s legend, I don’t actually know anything about the city so I cannot comment on that but what I can say is that this setting reminds me of why dystopias stopped working for me ages ago (with a couple of exceptions of course). Everything is BLACK AND WHITE. There is good and there is bad and there seems to be no grey in between. What more is the backwardness of the whole situation. I’ve seen a couple of other books do this and I think it’s time to address this issue. Why does the future seem so backward? We’ve all come so far and personally, I find it hard to imagine that we would turn back to our ‘Victorian’ ways of treating women like crap and all the other things that come along with it. That just doesn’t happen. These are humans we are talking about; we are all obsessed with progression. To add to that, let’s not forget the whole ‘learn from past mistakes’. We all know how that worked out in the past don’t we? Which is to say it didn’t work at all. Don’t tell me they don’t expect a revolution when that is exactly what happened the last time around.
The main character was a mess. She has been given a so called privilege any girl in this kingdom would want. Let’s start with that. So somehow she is the only one who understands the true evil behind this so called honor while the other females are incredibly dim-witted. There could be an explanation later on in the book but there was nothing in the first 36%. Moving on, so again, she is a speshul snowflake and gets chosen by some sort of magic, of course, the prince does explain why he chose her and HOW he chose her; she seemed to walk in a certain way that made her stand out and because she was different. How do you deduce that by basically watching someone on your camera thingo? For reals man? I’ll get back to the prince later, but back to the girl, she is extremely RECKLESS. There is a thin line between smart and stupid and she is DEFINTIELY stupid. She basically asks the maid for help. Did she even think twice about the consequences? What if she had decided to report her, she’d have been as good as dead. Let’s not even talk about her insta-lust and her tendency to trust the Prince’s first knight. She thinks the prince is ‘evil’ but trusts his first knight. Please.
Going back to our lovely prince, he is your usual cliché. ‘I DON’T WANT TO BE A PRINCE, I WISH I WAS NORMAL’. Shut it. While you’re at it, please man up. Seriously, he is getting married so he can avoid his princely duties. Let’s not even talk about him, let’s talk about his loyal and faithful NOT first knight. I cannot even. Seriously. So somehow, this guy, who has sworn to protect his prince, is already attracted to his wife and is basically helping her escape. Well then, we know where his loyalties lie don’t we? Let’s hope that if I were ever a prince, he wouldn’t be my first knight because I am sure I wouldn’t be able to count on him.
The romance had just started to develop when I DNFed this book but there were already tons of problems with it. For starters the goddamn insta love. I hate insta-love from the very bottom of my very black heart, what I hate even more is the love triangle, but funnily enough the love triangle wasn’t really much of an issue since we all knew who she would choose even at that rather early point. Going back to the insta love; seriously man. They just met, like the first day, and all these cheesy things are being said. I am just going quote and let you guys decide, now remember it has only been a day.
“…and the heat of his body sends a current zipping along my skin.”
That quote was actually FROM the day they met, when she should have considered him her enemy.
“That’s the first I’ve seen of your true smile.”
There is so much more I can say but I am just going to sum up everything in a couple of words because I am too riled up at this point to go into more details.
Here is a brief overview of everything; you have our wonderful main character, Zara, who pretends to have a backbone but she is actually a mary sue who needs to be saved, probably from herself. You have Prince Sebastian who is a poor baby; he doesn’t want to be a king you know? You have First Knight, Sir Devlan Capra who is so loyal it hurts. Add in a bad romance and shaky world building and there you have it. ...more
This book is a big fat joke and I really wish I hadn’t been drawn to it because of it's pretty c***This review has also been posted onTangled in Pages
This book is a big fat joke and I really wish I hadn’t been drawn to it because of it's pretty cover. I should have learned my lesson but I never do. Plus I decided to not read any of the reviews which could have prevented me from wasting the painfully long time it took me to read this book.
At first there was some potential. The first couple of pages made me think this book stood a chance and could either blow my mind or go down the drain. It took the latter path. The first time I knew this book was a goner was when the main character referred to her friend’s appearance as ‘the whore look’. Slut shamming right there and it happened so many more times. There wasn’t only slut shamming though, there were so many instances where female characters were mocked for various things.
Melissa falls under the teenagers that I’d like to slap category. She is self-centered and insensitive. She yells at her father and brother all the time and goes so far as to publicly humiliate her younger brother. Sure it was an accident but just because you’re fucking stressed doesn’t mean you have the right to take your anger on whoever the hell you want to. Melissa, like any other annoying ass teenager out there, swoons when she encounters a hot guy. Never mind the fact that the government thinks she is an insurgent and will most likely arrest her.
The insurgents are stupid. They are supposed to be rebels. They support the dragons and you know what? These shit heads aren’t rebels. They are kiss-assesses. They kiss up to dragons and try to win their favor. I am not kidding. The dragons are apparently self-sufficient so I don’t even understand why they need humans to help them. I don’t think the dragons even care. Like seriously. This is basically what the insurgents are like when it comes to dragons.
They fawn over them but aside from that, they don’t know shit.
The James dude, the love interest is equally as annoying.
“Probably. I don’t know. If you don’t face death every once in a while, how do you know how to live?”
It reminds me of a book I read a while ago, The Wicked We Have Done. The book referred to this ideal as Chaos Theory and because of the events of that book, his ideas don’t make me think, they just piss me off. No. Going out of your way to look for trouble is only going to end up with you being dead. There is something known as self-preservation and I am not sure James has it. Thankfully though, he doesn’t play a major role in this book so I didn’t have to put up with his stupidity for too long (this also means that there wasn't much of a romance so yay for that too).
A lot of the instances of slut/woman shamming aren’t exactly portrayed in a negative light. They are supposed to come across as jokes but they didn’t. For example, this
"Claire, whose hairy legs could be very well belong to a sasquatch..”
I didn’t laugh. I might have if I was the sort of human who thought that all women should shave their legs because otherwise, they’re just disgusting freaks, but as it is, I DON’T! Melissa also called her friend at the ‘camp’ a whore, and of course it was playful because she is one. She uses her body to get alcohol. If you cannot tell, I am being sarcastic here. Instead of mocking and making fun of her friend, she should try to help her. If she is so dependent on alcohol, then there is obviously something wrong here. But no. The world revolves around Melissa and no one else matters.
There are other completely insensitive instances in this book. Like this one.
"..sitting all retarded in the restroom”
This sentence was used to refer to a girl who just died and they were trying to think of things to comfort themselves so that they wouldn’t feel so bad about her death. I cannot even. I seriously cannot. SO MUCH RAGE. SO SO SO MUCH RAGE.
The book is way too fast for the first 1/3rd of the book with things happening one after the other and no time for readers to digest what is going on. The next 2/3rds slows down and kind of reminds me of some odd mix between The Program and The Hunger Games except with dragons. These kids are sent to Antarctica to be reconditioned so that they aren’t ‘dragon friendly’ anymore. The government is completely evil and for what reason I don’t understand. Of course humanity is going to freak out if a bunch of dragons came out of nowhere. Humans are not required to accommodate them. THEY SHOULD. They definitely should out of common courtesy but dragons are the strange species here and not humans (or the animals that inhabit the planet). Their presence could result in fractures in the ecosystem and a whole heap of other problems so I am not sure why the government is seen as evil (and also portrayed as evil in a very cartoonish way). Things are not so black and white and shouldn’t be portrayed as such.
Also there is a weird TV show in this book which is why I said Hunger Games. These people are made to dress up and kill dragons to entertain the dragon hating public. *rolls eyes*. I don’t even know what to say to that.
The world building is very weak in this novel. The dragons came out of nowhere 15 years ago (the dragons don’t remember where they came from either), they are digging a giant pit in the middle of Kansas. Why? Also the dragons themselves make no sense. Their reproduction techniques remind me of flowers which just makes me go huh? On top of that, the ‘baby’ dragons remind me of giant puppies. The dragon in one scene goes so far as to ‘lick’ Melissa’s face a bazillion times. What? WHY? The adult dragons just reminds me of stuck up humans. We’re talking about dragons here and as someone who loves dragons, I am annoyed. There was a LOT of potential here for developing interesting dragons but the potential just went down the drain.
I ended up skimming huge chunks and even then it took me ages to read. This book dragged on and on and made me rage and even writing this review kind of makes me angry. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you’re sure you're be able to handle it. I am pretty sure I won’t read the sequel unless I am feeling masochistic and decide I want to know what happens from this point onwards.
Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change....more
I ruined a perfectly good reading streak by picking this book up. I suppose I should have known that I couldn’t get lucky for so lon Actual Rating 1.5
I ruined a perfectly good reading streak by picking this book up. I suppose I should have known that I couldn’t get lucky for so long (since my luck is absolute shit) but I hoped that I would be wrong.
Let me start with the namesake of the book, Adam. HE IS SO SLOW. Forget everything else he did. He knows how Abbie got pregnant because their mutual friend Justin told him. Some dude came around for 3 weeks, got Abbie pregnant and went back to London. Which was exactly what he did. How many men does he think slept with her and went BACK to London like he did and around the same time he did! It was just baffling seeing that he was all nice to Henry never suspecting that the kid was his own. How stupid does someone have to be to not get that? And he didn’t find out using his own wit, oh no, Abbie had to tell him, even with the fact that they kind of hung out quite a bit before she told him. And when she told him, he lost it and got all high and mighty on her about keeping his son away from him. Never mind the fact that he actually left HER with the promise of coming back for her when he was ready. It’s not her fault he never contacted her, plus seeing that he was some rich ass dude, she was right to think that he didn’t want her meddling in his affairs and ruining their reputation. Despite everything at least Abbie FEELS guilty and apologizes, I don’t see him doing that at all, only using her guilt to manipulate her. With everything going on with Abbie, you’d think his ‘assholeness’ only extends so far but it turns out, he was pretty much an asshole when it came to his first wife as well. It’s not even because of what happened with Pete, I understand that, what I don’t understand is the fact that he married her when even she knew it would never work out b/w them. It’s not fair to her that she never got to spend her time with someone who would love her. In fact what’s worse is that only a couple weeks after she died, he fled, although I’ll give him credit for knowing that what he did was wrong.
We also had a doormat in this book; in fact it was the main character whose name was Abbie. It makes me want to cry to see a character like her, she is so WEAK. So so so weak. The book starts off at a charity event which she went to so that she could tell Adam that he had a son yet as soon as she sees him and sees how awkward things are between them she freaks and decides to tell him ‘later’. Wait so she didn’t expect any awkwardness at all? How dumb do you have to be to not see that coming? At least she doesn’t take a huge ass time to tell him after that one mistake. Even with all that, I was still ready to give her a chance to improve but things just got worse from there. Adam would just have to snap his fingers and she would be willing to do anything. He tells her that either they can go to court or she can move in with him. So she moves in with him, a guy she barely knows but shares a past with, boy isn’t THAT such a wise thing to do? When did people become so smart? There is also this scene where they are discussing character differences b/w men and women and how women complicate things and men keep it down to Earth and she agrees with him. I almost cried. How can someone hate their own gender so much? She even agrees to go to London with him to visit his family; I mean take HENRY to visit the family. Yeah sure. That’s just such a smart thing to do isn’t it? But then again, it is Abbie so I shouldn’t really expect much. Abbie also thinks that Adam has great self-control, so wait, when he was manipulating her and being all angry and blaming her, that counts as great self-control? Well I guess since he didn’t punch her in the face at all, he probably DOES have great self- control because I wouldn’t have been able to hold myself back.
I am not even going to mention Pete; Henry however, deserves a mention. I am a little confused about how a 3 year old can be so intelligent, when I was 3, I could barely talk never mind bake cookies. Maybe I am just jealous of a 3 year old I don’t know, but I cannot really imagine a 3 year old knowing where everything is in the kitchen and measuring everything out, never mind being able to reach the kitchen slab. The one thing that made me like Henry initially was the fact that he was actually vary of Adam, but that changed too.
As you can tell, there wasn’t much of a plot, only angst. Things did get better for a couple of pages, I was even considering giving the book a 2.5, but then the author dumped a whole lot of cheese on us. The only good thing I can come up with about this book is this quote
“And do you think you’ll get a guarantee from any man that life will always be dandy? No guy will give you that. He doesn’t exist. But even though I bring loads of uncertainties into your life that doesn’t mean I don’t have a whole swag of redeeming features to make me the perfect guy for you”
Okay never mind I take that back, I seemed to have missed the part where he says SWAG. Wow. Umm does that even make sense? A whole swag of redeeming qualities. Let me google that. Nope.. I didn’t see anything in the first 3 entries to help me out there.
The ending is bleh. SPOILER ALERT. She gives up everything for the guy so that they can have their happy ending. Woohoo and then when she finds out she is pregnant and he wants to put off the whole party thing so that he can help her out, she disagrees. And says something like
“Happy wife, Happy Life”
I cannot even. Someone please stop me from making decisions like this. I am only making my life worse. I am rather thankful though because I didn’t know there was a book before this when I started it and if I had I would have read it and I probably would have hated myself even more.
Me: Everyone seems to be loving it, perhaps I should give it a* This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Me: This book sounds interesting
Me: Everyone seems to be loving it, perhaps I should give it a shot.
*picks book up*
Me: This is funny ha ha ha
Me: Why is everyone so immature?
Me: What the hell is going on? I don’t understand anything. I am confused. I am lost.
*after finishing the book*
For people who don’t want to bother reading my rant review here is a short summary of the book. It’s about a bunch of supposed adults fooling around, never making good decisions and getting attacked all the time for some inexplicable reason.
From this point on, please read at your own risk.
Rage Mode: ACTIVATED
When I first heard about this book I thought I had found another potentially good New Adult. I was so off the mark it is not even funny. This may not be your typical New Adult but believe me when I say it was BAD.
After the first couple of chapters our female lead loses her mate, at first she has the right reaction and I felt like there was hope (I hate books that involve those kind of situations, they do NOT work for me), but after that, if you were to ask me who Dominic was, I would reply with DOMINIC WHO? And not in a good way because the main character has essentially forgotten about her mate who died like a couple months ago. Where is the GRIEF? Oh sure they bring it up a couple a times, but she is already getting laid and she says she is sad and yadda yadda yadda but there is a different between SAYING and FEELING and I did NOT feel any sadness coming off of her.
Most of the reviews I read mention how amazing and wonderful Erza was and here I was feeling nothing. I didn’t give a rat’s ass about him. I couldn’t care less.
Hell I didn’t give a rat’s ass about ANY of these characters. They were all flat and let’s not forget incredibly immature. What are they 12? When I say all characters I MEAN THE KINGS AS WELL. The whole situation seems to be a joke to them. None of the characters are capable of taking anything seriously. At first I thought the relationship between the kings and their prodigies was interesting, refreshing even, everyone likes an adult who has a good sense of humor, but as the story progressed and the Kings did nothing to prove that they were actually worthy of their positions, I started to see how incredibly immature they were as well.
Going back to the characters, why the fuck is everyone so beautiful? Everywhere you turn that’s what you hear. I cannot count the number of times someone told Lily she was beautiful or the number of times Lily described someone as beautiful. STOP. NO. BEAUTY IS NOT A CHARACTER TRAIT. NO. IT’S A PHYSICAL TRAIT AND IT DOES NOT MAKE ME LIKE A PERSON BETTER. Hell if you describe a character as beautiful, the first thing I think is that they are shallow. I wasn’t that far off the mark seeing as there was NO DEPTH to these characters. And of course, they think it’s a good idea to do dangerous things that could get them killed because well, they want to rebel. YOU’RE FUCKING ADULTS. ACT LIKE IT. They also didn't seem to have any respect for the kings.They'd talk about how they'd get revenge on the kings who were trying to teach them a lesson because they had made bad choices that could have gotten them killed.
Let’s talk about the world building, or the lack of it. There is a mother mentioned, who died, I don’t know anything else about her. A war is mentioned. What caused it? There is a rift between the coms and the mysticals. What the hell is that about? Something about an awakening, which I don’t understand at all. There was a mating process mentioned but then again I don’t get that either. There were even castles mentioned but they seem to appear out of nowhere. I have no idea where these people live, how they live or ANYTHING ELSE concerning the world they live in.
This book was marketed as a paranormal romance, where is the romance? This book basically focuses on the friendship of these characters and nothing else. There is no plot. Half of the time I don’t even know what’s going on except for these kids fooling around. There is no conflict therefore there is no resolution.
With everything I am babbling on about, you might wonder why I still gave the book 2 stars instead of 1. This is because I was not raging through out the book, it was enjoyable until the ending; the ending activated my rage mode and made me lose it. The ending stood for everything I hated and because I need to rant and cannot spoil, I shall use spoiler tags and a lot of swearing of course.
(view spoiler)[ The ending ruined the book for me, it would have been a solid 3 and perhaps a 3.5 had the ending been pulled off well enough but it was such a complete and utter mess that I basically lost it. Killing of Jack and Pearl’s mates? Smart move. SMART MOVE. How many fucking mates do you want to kill? What’s the point of even bringing them up when all you’re going to do is kill them? I liked the idea and how it was presented in this book but everywhere you turn, someone seems to have lost their mate. I figure this was actually done as a set up for the romance in the next book. The author will push Jack and Pearl together and Erza and Lily. Woopidy do. EVERYONE GETS THEIR FUCKING HAPPY ENDING. I love the friends to lovers trope but this just takes what I love and smashes it into pieces. Their friendship was probably the best thing about the book and now the author wants to take it and turn it into a romance. NO. Why would you do that? Why cannot they just fucking remain friends? Hell why do all of them need to be involved in a romance with each other? Erza and Lily would have been easy to swallow but the Jack and Pearl situation? Hell no. It’s too fucking easy and messed up. (hide spoiler)]
The book, obviously, because everything else that happened wasn’t enough, ends on a cliff hanger. A horrible one that is to say because there is no fucking conclusion, even with cliff hangers you got to give us some sort of resolution but there is none because there was no conflict in the first place. We have no idea what was happening and we have no idea what will happen.Nothing interesting was revealed, we don’t understand why people are attacking them; we basically have nothing. This book was like the second book syndrome except that this was the first book.
You ask if I am willing to read the sequel and I say no. No because the sequel is not worth wasting my time over, the only redeemable thing about this book will basically be destroyed in the sequel and I cannot bang my head over a book that obviously will NOT work for me and will end up pissing me off more than anything.
If you don’t care about world development, character development or a plot and just want something funny, read this. If you do care about those things, run.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
(after talking it through with Giselle I decided to lower my rating.)
Actual Rating 1.5
Before I say anything else, I should start off by mentioning that the shelving of this book is a lie. If you’re looking for a gothic book to read, turn around and leave. This is not gothic. This is chick lit mixed with some paranormal.
I went into this book with high expectations. Yes there were tons of mixed reviews but the cover, the synopsis, and the OPENING of this book all hinted towards something that I would love. Let’s not forget the witches though. This book promised us a different spin on witches. Something scary. Something gothic. But NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. We did not get crazy old witches that lived in houses covered in ivy, we got friendly old grandmas that were overly protective.
Fear not though, that’s not why I didn’t like this book. That was just the synopsis, shelving, and cover telling me lies. It was a major disappointment to be reading a chick lit-ty book but that was not why I didn’t like this book. There were multiple other reasons why I couldn’t enjoy it.
For the most part though, this book isn’t awful, it misleads you but if you know what to expect you might like it more than I did.
The witches are original (perhaps overly so with the amount of time they spend ripping their body parts off), there are curses, and the teenagers aren’t all that annoying (this completely depends on perspective because rationally, I can see that they aren’t as bad as some but goddamn they rubbed me the wrong way). The author puts a large amount of emphasis on healthy relationships between females and the love interest. Despite of its being a cliché, it's actually pretty sweet.
The old lady in this book is actually the grandma of our main character. She is an adorable old lady who puts curses on the guy - who our main character has had a crush on forever - any time he asks her out, smiles at her, or even tries to give her his number.
This book is jumpstarted when a guy, surrounded by darkness, arrives asking for her mother - the mother who died 10 years ago. Something is wrong here and she is right. The guy has been cursed in such a way that it allows the person on the other end to spy on them. The person who cursed the guy is super evil and could possibly be the same person who murdered her mother. It was intriguing enough and the book initially grasped my attention, but then it became the same ole thing where a good idea goes down the drain due to poor execution.
The premise for witches is original. I have to give the book that. Magic does not come from inside the witches but rather from earth/nature. Witches only have the ability to store the magic inside them which is what makes them different from everyone else. I actually enjoyed this spin on witches. I get the feeling I've seen this premise elsewhere but it's still rare enough that I deem it original.
This book reminds me of one I read back in middle school,Once Upon a Curse. The difference is that while both of them are very fluffy and full of curses, I had a lot more fun with Once Upon a Curse than I did with House of Ivy & Sorrow and if I were to re-read it, I’ll bet you, I’d still enjoy it. What House of Ivy & Sorrow fails to is provide us with a good plot. The solutions border on unrealistic and while I understand the conflict, I have no idea whether the characters do.
I think the first time I realized I wouldn’t have a good time was when I was introduced to the love interest, Winn. Now he isn’t a bad guy but then at this point I am too fed up of clichés to even care. He is the most popular guy in school, all girls have a crush on him, he was dating an older girl until they broke up. All that jazz. What makes him different however is the fact that he is a farmer boy. That’s right. Uh huh. Way to throw us off that cliché. Anyway, it’s GLARINGLY obvious that he is hiding something. Even if our female lead spends a huge chunk of time denying that.
The friendships went over the top. Can you believe that’s actually an issue? Aren’t strong/healthy relationships between females a good thing? YEAH BUT NOT IF THEY'RE SHOVED DOWN YOUR THROAT (keep in mind… IMO). I am not sure the fact that they have no sense of self-preservation is a good thing. Her friends readily agree to protect her in spite of the danger involved. They are almost adults, shouldn’t they think things through? Yes, they are best friends, but what they are being asked to do is no minor feat. What is wrong with them? And also, Kat. Kat, goddamn you, girl. Who do you think you are ordering Jo to let Gwen in on her secret? IT’S HER SECRET. YOU DON’T GET TO TELL HER TO SHARE IT. EVEN if the girl is her best friend. Nope nope nope.
With all that said, I realize I have said nothing about the star of our book, Jo. She is perhaps the most beautiful girl in her school and went from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. She is elated when the guy she has been crushing on forever shows some interest in her. I actually don’t have much to say about her. I just find her to be an annoying pain in the ass (some of the decisions she made later on in the book did not sit well with me), but at least she values her friends and family and that is a huge plus in my book.
The other relationships consist of the ones with her family and the one with Winn.
The relationship she shares with her grandma and then later with her dad are definitely the highlights of this book. Without a doubt, it’s absolutely adorable and I love how when she realizes her grandma is keeping a secret, her first response isn’t “OHMYGOD HOW DARE SHE”, she realizes her grandma is probably keeping a secret to protect her and so she doesn't poke and prod. She respects her grandmother's decision. The appearance of her dad was quite obvious.. right off the bat so I wasn’t the least bit surprised by that revelation but I did enjoy watching the two become more comfortable in each other’s presence.
Surprisingly, in spite of the high school atmosphere, this book does not focus on the romance.The relationship between Winn and Jo was already in the works before the book started and it progressed nicely from there. Winn was a sweet guy (sometimes overly sweet) and was always there for Jo even though he could tell she was hiding something. His jealousy wasn't infuriating and was instead kind of adorable even if it made no sense.
Levi was one of the most interesting characters in this book, he is clearly a good guy but because of what he is, he borders on the edge of bad. He cannot help it, it’s part of who he is and he cannot change that. No matter how much he wants to. He cannot stop that craving.
The idea behind what Levi is is not as solid as it should be, something that happened later on in the book kind of shakes the basis for what he is and it makes no sense to me how one could be bad and the latter turned out to be good (if you've read the book you'll understand, it's so hard to express myself without being spoilery so I am sorry for the vagueness).
The plot becomes the biggest weakness of the novel. Yes, they were trying to save her grandmother; yes, they were trying to kill the guy. However, I didn’t think our characters understood why they were doing so. Were they doing this for revenge? Or were they trying to protect the rest of the witches from the evil? I don’t think it was clear to the characters either and ultimately that affected how I felt about how the book was wrapped up. The pacing wasn’t that great either. For the first half of the book, nothing really happened. Things speeded up in the second half, but again, the plot was not strong. The conflict was weak and there wasn't much depth to anything.
The book itself was very fluffy and the atmosphere was very ‘high-schooly’. This book, for me, was another case of wonderful potential but bad execution and really I just wish I would learn not to trust covers because pretty covers lie.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read something about witches but wants something very light and fluffy....more
Must. Stop. Reading Books I won't like. I make myself miserable. Why? Why did I read this? Do I hate myself so much that I feel the need to be punishedMust. Stop. Reading Books I won't like. I make myself miserable. Why? Why did I read this? Do I hate myself so much that I feel the need to be punished? I cannot take it anymore. Read this if you are into the angsty relationship stuff with serious communication issues. I DESPISE romances where people cannot communicate.