Tuesday, August 6, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley. Thanks!
I read a couple of negative reviews about Ink, and I started off thinking this book would be bad. But it wasn't. None of the things I read in the reviews were true. And in fact I enjoyed it very much. It had a nice story that isn't overbearing with historical facts, too much world building or anything that could ruin the experience of the plot. There was mystery and action that really got to me so much that I stayed past midnight to finish the book.
Some bloggers say there wasn't enough Japanese culture interwoven with the story. In my opinion, there was enough. Just the right amount actually, so you wouldn't be left to grasp at straws, and you wouldn't be overburdened either.
So yeah, it was really amazing. I'm not saying there were no flaws, because there were. But hey, perfect books aren't that easy to come by.
Anyway, what I can say annoyed me a little was the stalker that Katie turned out to be. I guess she was just curious and out to hunt the mystery revolving around Tomohiro, but it still bugged me. I mean, she's a foreigner in a land she doesn't know the language of, the customs of, or anything really. And she just up and goes to follow this guy who seems to be super creepy in the beginning. Of course it's a thrill, and without her Nancy-Drew-type-of-curiosity-for-solving-a-case inclinations we wouldn't ever get to see the real side of Tomohiro and his story, but still. It was unsettling.
Also, Katie brought all those misfortunes over them both, but she only blamed Tomo. He'd been dealing with his burden on his own quite impressively, thank you very much. It was her side of the equation that didn't quite add up.
I definitely will be waiting for the next installment to come out, that's for sure! I can feel that Katie is going to grow as a character, and that gives me the jitters!
My rating is
Thursday, August 1, 2013
NOTE: I received this eARC thru Netgalley. Thanks so much!
Goodness, I cried on this one. Real tears and all. It was sooooooooooo good!!! I can't believe what happened, honestly! And this is by far the most emotional of the books in this series. I give it to the fact that Hunter, the lead male here, controls the element of the spirit. With him everything is ever about emotion.
There's so much anger, pain, devotion, hurt, passion and love in this novel, you have to read it for yourself to experience it all. I'm getting goosebumps right now, as I'm thinking about all the action and romance and just... everything really!
I did laugh in some places where the irony and sarcasm were too heavy to ignore. And I cried too but I'm not telling why, when or where. I'm just going to say that you will cry too. I mean, it's impossible not to, given all the drama.
Let me tell you, Hunter is not my favorite character in this series. Bad boy Gabriel is. But Hunter is right behind him up on the scale. It's probably because Hunter is so innocent at heart. He's being lied to by the people he considers friends and is told the truth by those he considers his enemies. I'm glad he figured out who is who in the end, because by one point I was ready to march up to him and slap him in the face. I mean, yeah it's complicated sometimes, but honestly - it isn't all that difficult to see the truth once you decide to look hard for it.
So with the Merricks on one side (who seem to be friendly, but are still his enemies) and the Guides & his father's secrets on the other, it's no wonder Hunter ends up making wrong decisions over and over again.
Even though Chris and Gabriel suffered a lot in books one and two, Hunter tops them both in this one. I'm not sure he'd be quite right in the heart and mind in the next book though and that scares me a little, because he sort of grew on me.
Of course I should say a little something about Kate as well. She was so livid and unpredictable all the time, I could hardly keep up on the same page as her! I didn't know what was truth and what was lie with her anymore than Hunter did. And I'm very sure she was the right girl for him. It wouldn't have worked with Becca. Kate was (or appeared to be) dangerous and definitely not someone to trust. In the beginning I wanted Hunter to avoid her. But the more he fell for her, the more she fell for him and that made her true colors be revealed. In the end, she wasn't all that bad after all.
I don't know which one would be the major character in the next installment of this series but I do wish it would come out sooner rather than later! I simply cannot wait!
My rating is
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
NOTE: I received this book through Netgalley. Thanks!
Well, let me begin by saying that I devoured this book. It flowed so well, I couldn't wait to reach the ending. But I can't say I was satisfied with the contents. In fact, I was a bit disappointed. Here's why.
The Truth About Letting Go deals with a girl, Ashley, who's father died of cancer. He'd been this consumed by healthy choices man, but the horrible disease still got to him. Which is why Ashley decided that God was mean, or just didn't exist - you know, because He let this amazing man die. I'd say 'man up and grow some balls' but you know, that's just fiction.
Anyway, so instead of going through the process of mourning her dad, what Ashley did was get angry and reckless.
You see, that's something I can't ever understand. I mean, she'd believed in God all her life (or at least that's what she said, and also she prayed and fasted hoping her dad would get better) and then one hardship comes her way and poof! All her faith is gone. Granted, it isn't easy to lose a parent, or a loved one in general, but a believer should know better. No matter that she's just a teenager - King David wasn't much older when he defeated Goliath, was he?
Throughout this novel all Ashley did was try to be someone she was not. And the only progress was that she figured she (partially) isn't that person and went back to normal. However, she didn't let God back in. That's sad, honestly. So truth be told, I don't know how to feel about her. One minute it felt like there was hope for her, then the next one she screws everything up. She was running hot and cold all the time and that just didn't make me love her.
Then there's Jordan. He had always had a crush on Ashley, but he was a good guy, who had intentions to be a pastor one day. So when Ashley sort of rushed him with open arms, there were two possibilities for him. I'm so proud of the way he handled it. And not only that scene but all of it. He didn't judge and was super supportive all the way through. What I don't understand is why he has feelings for Ashley. I mean, he fell in love with her because of what exactly? She just played him most of the time.
Enter bad boy Colt. Or wait. No. He isn't really a bad boy, though that's what we're told throughout the book. He's more like a joker, a prankster. Nothing more. Besides, his pranks were borderline stupid. I mean, what kind of a teenage bad boy would think that stuffing toilet paper in the school bathrooms would be fun? Anyway. This screams anything but bad boy to me. It screams weird, to be honest.
So in conclusion, I can't say this was a bad book, but it wasn't in no way perfect either. I did enjoy it though.
My rating is
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
NOTE: I was provided my copy of this book by Entangled Teen. Thanks!
The Summer I Became a Nerd is a book that focuses on the problem of peer pressure and fitting in opposed to being laughed at for who you are and what you like. It's also about growing up with the wrong kind of understanding of reality and fixing it so it could become right. It's about embracing the different and slapping the same ol' same ol' in the face. It was by no means brilliant, but it's simplicity made it nice and interesting.
There was nothing complicated in the plot, just the usual drama. Nothing more different than girl meets boy, they fall for each other, but their love feels impossible. That's quite alright though because the way the problem is resolved here is actually pretty nice. So, even though it was similar to many other novels out there, it also had a seed of its own.
What I really liked about this book was Madelyne's hobby. She was a comic book lover. To be honest, I know next to nothing about comics, but just like it usually happens, I learned a lot from this novel. Like the fact that there are different 'studios', like DC and Marvel. I honestly had no idea. Oh, and also there was all the info about the Life Role Playing game... that was awesome! I'd only heard of it before, but now I've got some inside info!
Something else that made me like the book was the morale of it - do not tell lies or you will find yourself in a situation you can't lie yourself from. Wise, don't you think?
Other topics touched by the author were real friendship and how it looks like; selfishness and how it can ruin just about anything; family.
Because of the mess Maddie made out of her summer vacation, I felt really bad for Logan, who had no actual idea of whatever was going on. He was being mislead by so many people without even realizing it, I just wanted to pat him on the back. I guess guys can be innocent and naive too. And well... some girls just sniff weakness in the air and hunt them poor boys down.
In conclusion, this is a light summer read that has enough drama (but not too much) to keep you busy.
My rating is
Friday, July 26, 2013
NOTE: I received this ARC from the author. Thank you!
For more of my reviews visit YA Story Teller
You know how there are books which, when you finish reading them, you like everything about them and you end up going over them again and again? And then there are those other books which, after reading them, you feel like you just wasted a good amount of time on them.
It's sad to say that in my opinion "The Year of the Great Seventh" belongs in the second category. I really wish it doesn't because the author is super nice, but ... it is what it is and I can't do anything about it.
So, my disliking of this novel began at the very first page and continued to the last one. I wasn't grabbed, you know? I even took notes in the margins of whatever was wrong, which has never happened before. *sigh*
There are several problems with the novel and here's the list I can remember:
1. Unnecessarily long descriptions, which are repeated two to three times in the span of a chapter. I thought this may be a one time thing, but no. It happens throughout the entire book. There are places where we're provided with information that doesn't concern us at all, and is repeated several times (re-worded, of course).
2. There's lack of time tracking. One moment we're in the now, the next (quite unpreparedly) we're 3 weeks in the future. Then we're given the short version of those 3 weeks (as if they weren't important) but it's clear that indeed they were important because it's in that time span that we could've gotten to know the characters and see how the relationships between them grow.
3. The entire novel is mostly (~80%) tell and only the rest is show. I am truly tired of repeating this, but here goes again: I actually want to see what happens to the characters instead of being told that such and such thing occurred. This is no freaking summary! When a girl gets together with a guy, I want to see it happen, not learn that oh, they've been together for the past month now. Seriously, what the h! This is the novel itself, so write it how it's supposed to be written!Nothing personal, Teresa.
4. The characters (and unfortunately I do mean ALL of them) lack depth, individuality, backbone, logical reasoning etc. The lead female, Sophie, doesn't ever react realistically in any situation. Nate, the bad boy, is more absorbed in himself than to pay attention to anyone else. Sophie's friends only think about partying and don't even know what's happening with her. In fact, that whole friendship thing feels a bit forced between them.
So, a little background here. Sophie has had a crush on Nate forever. Then he notices her and pushes her away. Then all of a sudden we're told they're together even though just a paragraph ago they were actively ignoring each other. And what do you know, an ancient Egyptian prophesy gets triggered by the sheer presence of Sophie near Nate. And to think that they'd been going to the same school for at least a couple of years... surely they had been in the same room at some point?
5. The supposed mystery/secret/whatever isn't very interesting at all. It wasn't explained understandably so I had no idea what was happening and why. I just felt kind of lost because everything seemed to be forced unnaturally together. There was no chemistry, if you like. No flow.
6. The writing style reminded me too much of National Geographic articles, where there's no emotion whatsoever. I think this is the main reason why I didn't feel any attachment toward a single character.
And here's where I am going to stop, even though there's a lot more to say. I just don't want to waste any more time on it. I'm really, truly sorry.
My rating is
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from the author, for which I'm beyond grateful.
Wow! Just, wow! I didn't expect this book to be such a black, but it left me speechless and wanting more! I'm greedy like that. Every chapter was full with tension and drama. Every page screamed that there was more, so much more in the next one. and I had to keep on going until I found myself at the end, eyes full with tears, heart racing in my chest.
Because River's Recruit wasn't just the next book. Oh, no. It was an adventure that left me breathless, it was like a fairy tale with elements of reality. It had me gasping in expectation at every corner.
Yeah, it was that good and I know I can't wait for the next installment to come out. So Charlotte, you better hurry it up!
So, here we're introduced into the lives of two very different people. Jonathan, who is an ex-marine (due to the fact that he's left with only one hand after his unit's car got blown up in Afghanistan); and River, who doesn't even live in our reality of this world. and then they meet in the midst of a snow storm that sort of placed them together for longer than initially intended.
When their worlds collide, neither one of them is left a choice but to embrace the card they'd been dealt. And what a card it is!
Outside of all the action, adventure, drama, etc., what's really interesting is River's world. Her community of people (kind of cult like) live isolated and outside of any technology and the like. Much like the Amish, now that I think about it. However, they have laws that are so severe, most of the punishments seem to lean toward death. That's how the Community control the people mostly - through fear of death. Understandable, isn't it? Family ties and family trees are respected more than anything. And of course, obedience is mandatory for everyone.
I really liked how the characters' names were almost all Biblical. Like Reuben and Issachar and others I can't think of right now. Out of all of them I really ended up caring for Reuben. He was just so amazing! He despised the severity of the laws but was well aware there was no way around them. If there was, he was definitely taking it. And he wanted the absolute best for River. He treated her like a daughter, even though if she'd been 'bought' by anyone else, she'd have been a concubine. Worthless and used up.
So, River. She was this wild spirited, but obedient to Ruben, young girl. She had a backbone and mad bow skills. Also, she always seemed to be able to see through people.
Jonathan warmed my heart too. H was such a sweetheart, knowing nothing about the Community but being determined to protect River with his life if he must. Brave, reckless at times, but always putting others before his own needs.
I don't think I need to go on. Really. You should've gotten the picture by now. This book is... an adventure you must not miss!
My rating is
Thursday, July 11, 2013
NOTE: I received this eARC through Netgalley. Thanks.
The truths that this book addresses are brutal and realistic, and I can't brush the feeling that they were screaming in my face. Weird, I know.
Too many are the girls who fall for the guy who gives them the stars, the who 'understands', only to end up hating themselves after an unexpected 'thing' happens. I don't know why that is, honestly. I mean, teens are quite educated about sex and the consequences (and complications) it may lead to. So why not be smarter about it?
I can't pretend that I know. I don't. Cassie didn't seem to know either. But she did know that the world is ready to screw you over the moment you give it the upper hand. Which is why she had a major attitude. it's why she didn't trust anyone. And it's why (after what happened) she was sent to the camp for straightening out girl delinquents.
If only it were that simple. If only fate didn't meet her up with a girl who had no desire to speak, yet said volumes with gestures. If only there wasn't a camp leader determined to help while provoking Cassie to remember, to think and to analyze.
If only there wasn't a cute boy involved. Ben, who seemed to want to get close to her. Ben, who she went to great lengths to avoid and run away from.
Of course, Ben has his own story, but it's nothing like Cassie's. And while I was able to make a fairly good guess on Cassie's situation, Ben's was a complete mystery. He was really nice, well mannered and carried himself with a certain level of dignity. Not what you'd expect to see from a boy delinquent, is it? He seemed to know what he was doing, no matter what the obstacle was. Even with Cassie... he just seemed to know. I was attracted by his sensitivity toward her, by the challenge in his every word. And by the way he always seemed to be prepared to fire back at her.
With a dark mood and raising a thousand questions, Dear Cassie is definitely a book that every teenage girl should read. Perhaps then there will be less girls left with broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I think this is the first book I've ever read that lacks a stable POV. As in, the narrator gets in the head of everybody, even miniature characters who only have a line or two to share. I know, I know, this looks like a huge mess, but despite everything it actually works quite well. Perhaps because every single character is given time to express their inner thoughts and observations, and we're actually allowed to witness how the cogs in their minds work. To tell you the truth, it was weird at first, but once I got used to it, I saw the advantage - you get to know what everyone's really thinking, and that's just brilliant!
So, onto the story and characters we shall move. "Screwed" told the story of a very smart girl, Grace, who turned into goo in the hands of the school playboy Nick, and next thing she knew - she was pregnant. Then instead of going for abortion, she decided on adoption. Her super Christian parents turned hypocrites on her and kicked her out.
That's a very very condensed short version of it. But. It's not really the storyline that matters much. I mean, it's basic, it's been written before. It's nothing new. What's new and realistic and fresh are Grace's thoughts. Her experiences. The life lessons that she learns along the way. Here are some of them:
- One can be a genius in school and still be pretty stupid in real life.
- Condoms aren't 100% pregnancy-proof.
- Friends can try to help, but they can never take the place of a parent. Ever.
- A girl should never ever, ever put herself at the mercy of some guy who doesn't give a crap about her.
- A girl should always always, always think about the consequences of having sex.
And one more, and I always end up thinking about this when I read about teens having sex. Have you read "Anna and the French Kiss"? If you haven't, go read it NOW. If you have, you must remember this one passage where Anna explains why she hasn't broken the seal yet. It goes something like this: I will wait until I know that the man I am with is the man I want to be the father of my children. You know, in case something goes wrong. It's not the exact words, but it's the exact meaning. So. Think about that.
I know many girls won't take this book seriously and would discard it as irrelevant. It won't happen to them, right? But it does happen, unfortunately. And I think you should just sit down and for a day give a crap about Grace and her huge problem, so that it would never turn into your problem.
Anyway, I want to say that Grace, with her decision and behavior, won me over completely. She stood her ground and was so astonishingly brave the whole time. Yes, she was bothered by the stares and whispers at school. But she never give up on what was right. She thought things through and made up her mind based on rational analysis, not based upon people's opinions. For that, I'd like to high-five her.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.
Can I say that I really enjoy reading about hot snarky reapers? I really do. Starting with Tod and then Finn and now Dante, I just can't get enough! Their stories are, of course, way different, but the guys are all strikingly swoon worthy, and it makes you want more and more, and ... more.
So, here we meet Dante. He's a collector, a.k.a., a reaper for the bad guy. He calls him Bossman, which is funny, really. God here is referred to as Big Guy. And that was just hilarious! I cracked up laughing the first time I read it. Anyway. Dante's voice is bright and strangely compelling. As the narrator, it's easy to get a hang of his thoughts and emotions and the way they change as the events unfold. He's spent the last two years working for downstairs(as he calls it) and he hasn't regretted a single second of it. In fact, he largely enjoys it.
Until, of course, he meets Charlie Cooper.
Now Charlie is his special assignment. As in, bring her in and he gets a promotion - a really big one too - out of the dark confines of hell. But Charlie is no ordinary girl. In fact, she's so far from ordinary, that she manages to warm up the heart of a ruthless reaper such as Dante.
Then there's that mysterious person, who appears out of nowhere to stalk Dante and (perhaps) cancel out his seals... Could this person be Charlie or someone else entirely?
As the story unravels and guilt seeps into Dante's mind and heart, he realizes one thing. A world without Charlie would be as nice to live in as hell is. So, he just has to figure out what (if anything) to do about it.
All that is good and swell, but I just kept on feeling that something was missing in the story. Like why was Dante presumably Bossman's closest collector? And was he really? Also, how could Dante trust Bossman when he knows full well what and who he is... And Charlie... what she did was sort of selfish and she never gave off vibes of selfishness. It just wasn't like her to do such a thing. But then again, she was doing it for Dante, so yeah. The reason why Charlie was thought to be so important felt foolish. It was way too insignificant in my opinion, to actually matter in the great scene of things.
Anyway, I enjoyed The Collector very much, and I think you will too. So stop reading reviews and just go buy the book. It's worth it.
My rating is
Monday, July 8, 2013
Oh my goodness! This was one cruel cliffhanger!!! It got me so reeled up, I even dreamed of Allie and Zeke!
Anyway, as my readers know by now, I don't love vampire fiction. In fact, I so much dislike it that it borders on hate. But
Julie Kagawa has once again managed to blow my wits to bits. I L-O-V-E-D The Immortal Rules so darn much, I just couldn't help but red The Eternity Cure too. But I can't say that I loved it. Oh, no. That would be highly underestimated. It was amazing! So beautifully written, so mysteriously woven with twists and turns that you could hardly see coming! I was pumping with adrenaline the majority of the time, not knowing what to expect lurking behind the corner!
Dark, consuming and overpowering, is what I'd like to call it. It makes you forget the reality around you. And it makes you want to scream(not beg) for more.
I was in love with Alison and Zeke from book one on. Here, I was left wondering if they'd ever make it to 'togetherland'. It's pure torture to tell you the truth. Julie is getting pretty good at torturing her readers it seems. It's unfair and freaking amazing at the same time!
Anyway, let's talk characters:
Alison: I was so happy she didn't turn into a bloodthirsty vamp, even though actually, she was one. She carried the hunger inside, but she also learned to subdue it, to control it. I was proud of her. And her loyalties lied in the right places - with the right kind of humans, with her sire, and with the love of her life (or death).
Enter Jackal and all dark, overbearing etc. situations are turned into impossible sarcastic jokes and comments that had me laughing out loud. With Jackal it was always a love-hate relationship. I'd hate it if he has to die in the end.
Then there was Keenan (though I'm not sure if I spelled it right). He was just so noble all the time, that he earned a whole lot of points for it.
And then there was dreamy, brave Zeke... but how, when or why he appeared, I will not disclose. Gotta keep the suspense going, right? Go read it for yourself.
And it gets
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Now this was a spectacular book. I loved every word of it. It got my attention from the very first page and didn't let go until the last one. Very impressive. Realistic, complicated characters who seemed to jump out of the page and into my world. I loved the romance, the action, the history. It's definitely on my to re-read list.
This one book held a very good story, which took me to an alternative plane to our own. One that was pre-the Great Chicago fire. Things were quite different in that world. Among us humans, there were Shadows, who presumably wanted to take over the world.
There was, of course, a girl, who was too ordinary, a bit friendless, orphaned and abandoned before a firehouse in Chicago. And a cute guy, who's after her for things she can't even understand. He's from the past, she's from the present, but they meet and their lives will never be the same again.
Conn has come into the present with a mission. He has to terminate Darcy. But for some reason, he can't. And she's falling for a guy she's never seen before. A guy who seriously seems to be stalking her.
Then, when Darcy finally decides to put her attraction into action... wham! It turned out that she wasn't who she thought she was her entire life, and well... Conn wasn't who she thought he was either. A lot of distrust, spying, conspiring and reconciling later, perhaps they might get a chance at 'together'. Or not...
I really loved Darcy's friend. And that's becoming a rare thing in books nowadays. But they were awesome and hilarious and I loved them. They were loyal and smart and had a bunch of tricks up their sleeves. Without them this story could've gone terribly wrong. Without them the world as we (or they) knew it, would've probably turned into a dark, dystopian place.
In other words, I enjoyed the Shadow Society immensely. I'm just sorry I didn't review it earlier, but... you know. Things happen.
I give it
NOTE: I got the eARC of this book from Entangled Teen. Thank you guys!
Well, crap. After picking up this book I realized I remembered close to nothing from "Inbetween", the prequel, and I found myself hoping that they won't be too dependent on each other. Thankfully, my hopes didn't not remain just that. In fact, whenever there was a reference to Finn and Emma's story (and yeah, I had forgotten their names too so I had to look them up. Oh, the shame!) all needed details were thoroughly explained for the sake of us highly forgetful readers. Honestly, thanks for that.
Now onto the story at hand.
Firstly, I would like to say that I greatly enjoyed "Blurred". It even kept me awake at night and whispered to me, begging me to pick it up when I was otherwise occupied. And how could it not?
Cash was too swoon-worthy to be true! Yeah, he had been a player most of his teen years, and yeah, he was constantly irritated at his dad, but on the inside he was a good boy. He wasn't an overachiever, just your average guy, who was talented with the brush. And other things. I just wish I could see his paintings. The way they were described, I get the feeling they'd be all powerful and mind-blowing.
Anyway, I can't imagine going through what he went through in his last days while keeping an appearance that everything was normal. That kind of thing takes a lot of strength of character. And Cash was nothing if not strong. It must've felt like hell, feeling death seep into your body, slowly conquering it, not giving you room to breathe... Gosh, I just wanted to hug him!
Thankfully, he wasn't alone. Not all the time at least. He was left in the dark on a lot of things, but at least this one reaper girl, Anaya, wouldn't leave him alone for too long. At first, to her Cash was just another job, and a means to an end. But then slowly, inescapably, he turned into something, someone much more special.
In the end, everyone had to risk everything not knowing if they'd even accomplish anything with their efforts.
And that's all I'm going to say. If you enjoyed the Souls Screamers, you'd definitely want to indulge in this series.
I give it
Thursday, June 20, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.
When I was about 7% into the book, I wrote this in my review notebook:
"Wow! I didn't expect this one to pull me in as completely as it did! It so much reminds me of Maria V. Snyder's writing style and the main character, Eve, reminds me so much of Avry!"
Well, after this wonderful beginning, things got a bit sloppy. I really enjoyed the story - it was entertaining, exciting and had its unique elements. It had action and very good world building. The writing style was pretty nice too, although it could do with some editing.
The characters however... I was disappointed by them. How unrealistic they acted at times. it really bothered me.
Like Eve for example. She was just perfect in the first couple of chapters. She was lively, protective and caring. She was taken with her duties, she had set her own boundaries.. that sort of thing. Enter West. He's new to the group of survivors who live in Eden. And Eve doesn't trust him. But her reactions don't follow her thoughts at all. I mean, you can't distrust and dislike a person one minute, and then let him kiss you the very next one. For goodness' sake, she should've at least slapped him or something. But no.
West continued his advances and I got to dislike him even more. Not only because he was doing it so he could make it hard on Eve to make a choice, but also because he hadn't been invited to do it in the first place. Not even once. Eve didn't initiate a single kiss with West, a single intimate moment, but he still kept pushing himself on her! I call this abuse. Especially since she didn't know how to properly react in the first place!
And finally I want to talk about Avian. I LOVED him from the beginning. He was quiet, mature and brave. He had his eyes wide open and he wasn't afraid to put his heart out there for Eve to decide its future. In my opinion, he was and will always be the right choice, because he was trustworthy and passionate and I couldn't help but admire his strength of character. Also, he was no boy, unlike West. Oh no. Avian was a man. He wasn't manipulative with hidden agenda. I just wish there was at least one intimate scene between Eve and him. It would've made a great escape from all the darkness of the world.
My actual rating is 3.5 stars, but I decided to round it up to
Only because of Avian.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
NOTE: Thanks to Entangled for letting me read this amazing book!
The only other book I've read by Cindi Madsen is All The Broken Pieces. It was so good, that I just had to request to read this one too. To tell you the truth, I'm glad I did, because it definitely didn't disappoint.
Act Like You Love Me is a very light read, full of romance, memories and realistic characters. It had me laughing and crying. There were places I felt extremely overjoyed, and scenes that literally made my heart clench. In other words, it was amazing.
Yeah I know that the story wasn't super unique. There was boy meet girl and they developed an attraction that morphed into love. Nothing new, I know. But it was written and thought out in such a sweet way, it definitely deserves the praise.
I couldn't not feel sympathetic with both Sawyer and Brynn. They'd both had their fair share of complicated high-school lives that had marred them for life. But when they meet again as adults, fate demands a do-over. That do-over, even though there were absolutely no adult scenes, got my blood boiling. I never new that simple kissing can do that to a person, but it did! And I liked it! Which makes me think I should go back and read the other Cindi Madsen books in the Accidentally in Love series.
Oh, and on a minor scale, you'd be surprised by what a mother would do to keep her son close to her! Just get to read the book and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Well, taking in account that I was very disappointed by the previous installment, I didn't have very high hopes for this one. I even decided to wait it out, and pick it when I was sure I was ready for it. But guess what? All that preparation was futile. It didn't really prepare me for what I got.
With All My Soul exceeded whatever high expectations I might've had! It was brilliant, it was mysterious. It was nicely written, nicely thought out. Nicely done overall. Or no, wait. Nicely isn't a strong enough word to summarize my laughter, my tears, my expectations, my hopes for this one. Oh no.
Let me say that Rachel Vincent has once again outdone herself, and I am very very glad about that. Because seriously, we all know how much expectation we, as readers, put into the final installment of a long series. That's like, a lot. We want it to be perfect, brilliant, and in other words - so good that we won't be able to stop thinking about it for at least a week after we've read it! We want to re-read it and cry and laugh every time!
Believe me when I say that I sure will cry and laugh the next time I decide to read it. You will too. If you followed Kay and Tod and Nash, Emma and Sabine and Sophie all those years, you'll be smitten with this one book. WAMS was a thrill ride. A roller-coaster of emotions. Unreachable highs and ultimate lows battled for attention and they sure got it.
So Kaylee... for the first half of the book I thought that all those years we'd spent with her, she hadn't really changed. I mean, the girl always got someone else in trouble for the sake of protecting her soul. Not that she intentionally did it, but you know. And don't get me wrong. I get it. I wouldn't want to hand over my soul to Avari (or another demon) either. But the last quarter of the book made me realize that Kay has indeed changed. So much in fact, that I have to say I was impressed by her. Because of Kaylee, I want to congratulate Rachel: You've done an excellent job with her. Thank you! You have no idea how much this means to me!
And Tod... is still the same smart-mouthed reaper you just can't NOT fall in love with. Unfortunately, I'll always be team Nash. Always. Not that I want him to be with Kay. Oh no. But he's more my type of guy, so yeah :) Sabine is one uncommonly lucky girl.
That would be all. For a spectacular end of a series, THANK YOU AGAIN, RACHEL VINCENT.
I'm sure you can guess my rating... It's
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.
Well, where should I start? This is one of those times when I don't know what to say. Well, I do but.. I... umm...gosh. It's hard to write a negative review, but *sigh* I gotta do it anyway.
So here goes...
In this book we meet Ever, this absolutely gorgeous girl, who has no idea how beautiful she is. Too cliche, but you know. Anyway, she's lost her best friend (Frankie) just last year, but he stayed on as a ghost, who almost never speaks. Well, most of the time he's brooding, and in the beginning I had no idea he was a ghost. I thought I was not getting the story right. Well anyway. So Ever's always been in love with him. How totally tragic, right? Well, if it weren't so cliche, a.k.a the impossible love, and if it weren't so badly written I might've actually liked it.
Then the picture enters Toby. He's the lovely, yet bad, boy who moves in next door. And check this out - Ever gets to fall in love with him only after a couple of
But that's not all. Oh no. Tighten your panties because there's more.
Now the picture enters Toby's evil ex-girlfriend who besides being a total slut is also a witch with some mojo skills. That got the whole picture confused beyond proportions.
Several things struck me as insanely stupid, here they are:
1. Frankie never calls Ever by her name. Instead he calls her Dollface. I could seriously gag right about now.
2. Ever umm.. went to bed.. with Toby on the night of her dad's funeral, and then broke up with him.
3. The scene with Ever's friend and her mom and crazy boyfriend blew me off. No realistic reaction from even one of the characters. If you get to read it, you'll see what I mean.
Okay, that's enough I think. All in all, the book flunk my expectations pretty bad. I don't think I'd be picking up the next one in the series, not after all that I mentioned above.
My rating is
My review of this book is a courtesy to Netgalley.
I've always loved books/movies with stories about the witness protection program. I don't really know why, they just intrigue me. All the needs to change one's identity, getting to start over... new life, new place, that sort of thing.
That's why I really enjoyed TRFD. Although I could feel the numbness spreading as I read fake-name Meg's account of her life, I was still pretty intrigued by the whole process of up and just getting a whole new identity. As if your life before never was. Fascinating, isn't it?
So in general, I should say that this was a light, fast-paced read that, for a while, snuck me into the mind of our heroine, a.k.a. the girl with many names but just two faces. It was a truly captivating story, that held my attention from beginning to end.
I felt so incredibly sorry for Meg and especially for her little sister (who is at this point called Mary). Each move, each change of identity took its toll on them to the point that they could hardly remember who they really were anymore. Mary felt it especially bad, melting more and more on the inside, going deeper and deeper into her shell of depression.
I did NOT like the girls' mother at all. I mean, in this dreadfully difficult situation the family was in, all she could do was get herself drunk into oblivion. Gah, seriously? Is that really the best she could do? I was disgusted with that woman. Instead of trying to help her girls, she drowned in alcohol. Selfish, selfish, selfish!
The father impressed me though. He was trying really hard to keep the family going. It was difficult on him, being the only sane parent, but he did a decent job, so he definitely gets points for that.
Now the guy. Ethan Landry. I kept on thinking about laundry all the time his last name came up. Never mind. So Ethan. He's super nice, super handsome and super curious guy. Of course, he's also the only one to figure out the new girl (Meg) and her mysterious past. No insta-love here, but there was insta-attraction, which is totally not the same thing. Also, good news is that Ethan was actually worth all the praise he got in Meg's mind. He wasn't just some dumb jock that threw smart sarcastic comments. No. There was actually substance in him. I know girls would love him, I sure did!
So, to wrap it up, if you enjoy reading about stunningly good (but also light) mystery, relationships that actually matter and sweet romance, this will definitely keep you satisfied.
Oh, and just let me say that those rules that each chapter begins with are absolute killers. I laughed reading them!
My rating is
Monday, May 27, 2013
NOTE: The eARC was provided by Netgalley.
This was one absolutely spectacular story with amiable characters, marvelous sights to mind-see and great conflicts to work through. I'm happy that Grave Consequences not only met my expectations but very well exceeded them. As a follow up to Glamorous Illusions, I'd been afraid of how Mrs. Bergren will continue with the development of the story and characters, but now I know there was no need to worry.
I was up for the Grand Tour adventure as soon as I started reading Glamorous Illusions, and now that I've finished Grave Consequences, I can say that I'm thirsty for more. I hope there's a third book to end off the tour, because I'm really looking forward to reading about all those great castles, fancy palaces and gorgeous nature sights that Mrs. Bergren enticed me with!
Now, let me plunge a little deeper and say something more about the characters and the events that took place. I'll try to keep it as spoiler free as possible.
With all that said, I want to mention that there were lots of events that seemed foreshadowed, but I couldn't really figure them out until the right time came for them to occur. Like the appearance of Art Stapleton, Cora-and-Pierre and Cora-and-Will relationships, Nathan Hawke, etc. I mean, it was easy to guess when there was something fishy going on around a person, but you could never guess exactly what was happening until it happened. That was nice. On one side the reader isn't really kept in the dark, on the other - there isn't all that much revealed to drive to boredom.
So, let's say a little about Cora. Our dear miss Kensington, the newest one, is little by little growing into the family. She's getting to know and care for her siblings with their ups and downs. She's also getting to know herself as someone other than the Cora, the poor girl from the Montana dry field. She's getting to know herself as a wealthy man's daughter, as someone who can mingle into society. And she's grown into a woman who can love, a woman who can explore her heart, and a woman who trusts God one hundred percent of the time. I admire her for that.
William McCabe was a nice guy, whose heart betrayed him by falling in love with Cora. Of course, Cora is off limits for too many reasons. But as the tour went on, things progressed and became even more complicated. And Will had to develop a strong character and will in order to keep himself sane and out of trouble. Not that it worked in the end, but still.
If I'm to keep this review spoiler free, this would have to be the end of it. If I managed to intrigue you, then go ahead and grab a copy of Grave Consequences - I assure you, you won't be sorry. I definitely am not.
I rate this book with
Thursday, May 23, 2013
NOTE: I received this eARC from Netgalley.
This is one fantastic book! I loved it from cover to cover, and will be sure to re-read it.
I can't think of a strong enough word to describe the story in this novel. Perhaps phenomenal, or brilliant? I don't know but it was both of those and so much more!
After reading Pushing the Limits, I was expecting something grand from Katie McGarry in this one, and Alas! I'm not disappointed at all.
There was supertastic passion, there was hot-bordering-on-mad romance, there was real friendship and true loyalty. There was also a terrifying drug addiction, domestic violence and problems that could make your head spin and your heart beat hard in your chest. No wonder I enjoyed every second of it.
I think it's safe to say that Dare You To was better and even more satisfying than Pushing the Limits. The characters were as realistic and believable, and sometimes even more so - I mean, I felt like they were the next door neighbors that I was secretly spying on!
The first chapter met me with a cocky dude (Ryan) who was ready to do anything when he was dared to. Including getting the goth chick (Beth)'s phone number. Well, let me tell you the truth - that made me dislike Ryan right then and there. A good smack on his face would've made me happy. So when Beth held her ground and put him in his place, I wanted to high-five her! Brave, brave girl!
However, when the next chapter rolled in (and pretty much all the rest of the book until the very end), I felt a bit disappointed in Beth. She's pretty, she's daring, she's bad-ass. And she's smart, really. Yet, even though a saving boat comes to her(in the face of her uncle) to grab her and pull her away from her miserable life, she decides that no, staying in the mud with all the violence, the drugs and the unknown dangers was better for her. How extremely stupid! Don't get me wrong, I get it - she loved her mom, and wanted to get through the problems with her. But goodness! There just HAS TO BE a reality check somewhere, right?
Good thing that no one actually left her to do things on her own. Which is why I got to love Ryan. He lost the cocky attitude, the know-it-all face, and all the things he had as a rich boy. And he just stretched his hand toward Beth and offered her himself. That was so especially romantic! I mean, he changed for her, he even put himself in danger for her. Now that is what I call a guy in love. May the earth be blessed with more guys like Ryan.
And, if any of that wasn't super awesome by itself, I also got a glimpse of Noah and Echo too! I just can't wait to read about Isaiah and his story next! Woot woot!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Many thanks to Elise from MIRA INK for giving me the egalley of this one.
This is by far one of the best New Adult novels I've read lately. It ranks right up there with Abbi Glines' Sea Breeze series. So, if you enjoyed those, you're sure gonna love this one too.
The plot is really nice and simple. There's a tough girl with a past she is running away from. There is also an awesome guy, who hasn't had it all bright and sunny either. There's also a bet. And a very, very sweet punch in the face, that sort of put the wheel spinning.
I can't say that the story is particularly original, but somehow that doesn't really matter. So what if it's boy meets girl and they fall hard for each other? There is no insta-love, so that certainly helps too. Besides, Hunter isn't some bizarre lunatic with a fantasy for male dominance (where most other fictional males are always so commanding, gah!). Actually Hunter is pretty sweet and I liked his love for music and his fierce protectiveness of those he loves. He has his loyalties figured out, and believe it or not, they're in the right place!
Taylor, too, is pretty down to earth. And what I liked the most about her is that she isn't some sex-crazed, boy-depraved idiot, who just can't wait to get laid with the first random guy she meets. Seriously, I've had enough of that scenario to last me a lifetime. In fact, Taylor had real brains in that head of hers, which felt rather refreshing. And so I liked her. I mean, who wouldn't like a girl with actual substance? A character with depth and realistic personality?
The friends on both sides were also super realistic and awesome. They had lives of their own and actually gave great advice when asked for it. Oh, and none of them acted like sex-depraved cats during mating season. Thank my Lord in the highest heavens!
So yeah. If you're into New Adult and still haven't checked this one out, I think it's about time you do. It's worth every single dime.(or penny)(or cent)(or whatever currency you use)Period
My rating is a clean
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
NOTE: This is an eARC I got from Netgalley.
This is a nicely done piece of work, that takes the reader on an adventure packed with lots of action, sci-fi elements and of course, teen romance. Taking this book in your hands, you better be prepared for a journey of self-discovery, which may or may not take you where you intended to go.
Mila 2.0 started off just as any other book. Girl moves to new town because of some family tragedy. She meets, of course, a boy, a gets attracted to him. But that's where the similarities end. Because Mila really isn't just your average 16 year old girl. No, she's actually an android (an intelligent humanoid robot), who didn't turn out as machine-like as the military had planned. That piece of new information pushed the story into an unstoppable streak of action that continued until the very last chapter.
What impressed me very much was that the author did a very good job incorporating the machine with the human inside one body and mind.
However, there was a huge weakness that I can't just bypass. Every other page (or at least one out of three pages) had to do with Mila's inner struggles of how she wasn't truly a human. Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. At least I think I do since I don't have the actual experience. The girl had all the human traits you and I have. Then all of a sudden she finds out that all of that just doesn't matter in the least. She eats - so what? She cries - so what? She loves - whatever! None of that matters. All the emotions and bodily functions in the world won't take the machine out of her.
Surely, if I found out the same thing was true about me, I'd probably react the same way - denial, hurt, disbelief, yada, yada...
But, there's just a certain limit for all that, which a reader's mind can take. The constant repetition of how sad and angry Mila was that she wasn't an actual human; the continuous denial of her functionalities... it just nagged at me so much! Every time Mila went on a streak of self-loathing, self-wallowing etc., it irritated me to death. Because of all those countless repetitive paragraphs, I wanted this book to just end somewhere and release me from the torture.
In relation to that, I also want to say that this story could've very well been squeezed into less than 400 pages. It was just too long for a debut, series start and a teen book. I was ready to put it down about half-way through.
I won't say more, because it's hard to keep this review spoiler-free as it is.
In conclusion, Mila 2.0 isn't a bad book. It's actually a good one, if you have the patience to pass through all the repetitions. Enjoy!
My rating is
Friday, April 26, 2013
NOTE: I received the arc through Netgalley.
I don't want to insult anyone, but I must say what I think, so I should say that this book was mediocre, average and closer to 'ok' than 'good'. I gave it an extra star because it was informative on a lot of choir related stuff I didn't know, because there were funny moments that cracked me up, and because it was fast-paced, so it didn't require too much attention.
One thing I definitely liked was the writing style. It was light, and I really liked all the (inclusions), which were sometimes funny to read. In my opinion, those (inclusions) were creative.
I didn't like how unrealistic most of the characters were. I think only Brad felt believable the entire time, and perhaps Reece Malcolm as well, so I liked those two a lot. But besides them... well...let's just say that everyone was either too cliche, or an obvious attempt to escape the cliche.
Here's what I mean:
-Devan, the narrator/lead female was so shy and absolutely kind and selfless most of the time, I thought she was too shallow as a character. Also, she didn't see herself as someone special, when she's this super amazing singer or whatever(cliche, no?). I mean, real people have shades, depth, you know? With her, everything was the same. I can't remember how many times she wanted to say something, but didn't. It got boring. At the end, we're supposed to think that she's changed, grown, because she found it in her to lash out at her mom and the guy she liked? I don't know. It just sounds superficial.
-Sai was definitely not my favorite character at all. He was supposed to be 'oh-so-good', you know, in looks, and he was so 'absolutely nice', no one could actually hate him. Right. But in truth he just played two girls and they both responded at his beck and call. He wasn't a jock, but then again, does it really matter who the player is?
-Elijah was by far better than Sai. At least he was honest. And I hated it how things were doomed to not work between him and Devan from the very start.
-Travis was too full of himself; Mira was absurdly judgmental; Lissa was someone who only made me want to gag.
Another thing I didn't like was the fact that the reader was expected to know all those musicals, plays, and songs. To have at least heard of them and watched them once or twice. To know who the characters were and what happened in each scene. If you haven't (like me), you'd think that you're left out of the inside jokes half the time. It was annoying.
So, in conclusion I can say that the story needs to be worked on. It's got some serious flaws. But other than that it's a quick, silly read that can take your mind off of everyday life for a bit.
My rating is
Friday, April 19, 2013
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley.
I don't know why I was expecting to be amazed by this novel. After all it's just a POV re-write of Beautiful Disaster. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't like it, it's just there's nothing much new in it.
There, I said it.
I guess it's all my fault, having high expectations and all that. But in my opinion, it's either read Beautiful Disaster, or Walking Disaster. Just don't read both. They just overflap most of the time, and it gets sort of boring.
Also, for some reason I really liked Abby's POV better. Most of Travis's alone scenes weren't anything spectacular, though I did enjoy the epilogue. That one was definitely something I hadn't come to expect. Other than this though... same characters, nothing new. And since it isn't a continuation of the series, none of them actually grew to be more mature.
So, I really don't know what to say about this one. I wanted to read it, but now that I have, I'm disappointed. Perhaps Jamie should've just written several short chapters here and there inside Beautiful Disaster, that would be from Travis's POV. It would've worked out much better that way.
Which makes me believe this POV separation had nothing to do with the story and EVERYTHING to do with commercial purposes. Sales are the big boss, right? Or was that readers..?
Thursday, April 18, 2013
NOTE: I received the eARC from Netgalley.
For I while I wondered why the heck I'd even requested this book. But when I actually got to it, I realized I'd made a good choice. And the more I read, the more I liked it.
Actually, 15 Days isn't your regular book full of cheesy romance and perfect situations which lead to this absolutely awesome relationship between the characters. On the contrary, this book reeks of originality, funny (in an ironic kind of way) situations, impossible hardships. It's targeting social problems, family problems, and yeah, some romance. And yeah, there's a morale!
In my opinion, what made the book so good were the characters. They had unique personalities, were driven by their thoughts, emotions and life circumstances. All in all, they acted realistic, which felt pretty darn good.
So, I'll start of with Laurence. Dude, if a boy could ever be so responsible, resourceful and caring, this world wouldn't be in such a huge mess! When his mom just up and left, he took matters in his own hands. For a while I'd wondered why he didn't have a job, or go find one, but well... he was just 15 and apparently in the UK that's not considered old enough to work. Also, if he'd gotten a job, who would've cared about his little brother, Jay? Goodness, Laurence was just fifteen and all the responsibilities that fell over him overnight were heavy enough to crush anyone. But he held on for entire two weeks!!!
Sure, half that time he and Jay were starving, dirty and sick, but they survived, so that's what matters in the end.
I'm not sure why Jay was so disobedient and continually insisted that nothing was 'up to Laurence'. It annoyed the crap out of me after the 3rd time. I believe if I were in Laurence's place, I might've slapped Jay on the mouth or something for being so stubborn. But then again, he was just 6 years old. And besides, it's not really Jay's fault that he wasn't raised to be obedient and nice.
It's all come from the mom (who just left them to take care of themselves) and dad (who's never to be found).
To be honest, I felt for the mom. I mean, she was a single mom, who had to care of 2 boys. And she had no one to help out. But dude, if we look at the statistics, isn't that the case of like 25% of the female population? You turn left and you see single moms. You turn right and they're right there to poke you in the eye. So no, lady! Even if I feel for you, you're not right to abandon your kids! What would happen if all single moms just up and left, huh?
And last, but not least, I want to talk about Mina - the girl with the huge heart. She sure won me over, and with that Jay and Laurence as well. She was amazing both in attitude and caring.
Okay, so you have to actually pick up the book and read it for yourself if you got intrigued. I'm telling you, it's worth its money.
Monday, April 15, 2013
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley to review.
Firstly, I would like to say that I requested Crimson Frost before I even started reading this series. So then I decided it was about time I gave it a chance. But, as some of you may remember, and if not, just check out my review of Touch of Frost, the very first book flunked my expectations. I was too disappointed to even express my feelings properly.
So, naturally, I decided that I should just abandon all attempts on the Mythos Academy.
And yet, when I saw Crimson Frost on my Netgalley shelf, I thought: "Why the heck not?" I mean, even if it was bad, it couldn't be worse than book one, right?
Truth is, that I was surprised in two exactly opposite ways.
On the positive side were several things:
1. It turned out that skipping the two books in between didn't affect my understanding of the events so far. So yay! I was up to date with no reason to go back and read books 2 and 3.
2. The story had actually progressed nicely over a span of several months, and I saw that finally, after three whole books, Logan and Gwen were on their first date. Wow!
Unfortunately there were negative sides too:
1. The descriptions were too long, to the infinitesimal detail, which wasn't interesting to me, so I found myself skipping over them most of the time. Because, honestly, I remembered quite well from the first book what the Library of Antiquities looked like (and other places too). There was no need to describe every small detail every time Gwen entered the place. After the second time around it just got boring. I don't know about other readers, but I'm certain I don't need to be reminded where each shelf and case and statue stood. Besides, that's quite irrelevant to the story.
2. The author's research on the Bogatyr warriors wasn't accurate. They weren't Russian warriors, as she said they were. They were Slavic and Mongolian knights, who fought while horseback riding. No two swords and whatever else Alexei was supposed to be fighting with. You may wonder why I'm even mentioning this, but I hate it when an author includes half true info about things that exist in the world. I mean, either do it all the way, or don't do it at all.
About the characters, here's what I have to say:
*Gwen* has grown into a slightly more bearable person. She was quite annoying in the first book, but I see that she's progressed. She isn't completely dependable on others and stuff. However, she's still lacking some sense of logic.
*Logan* is still this freaking super warrior, but he's also quite messed up on the inside. He seems to be quite strong, and yet unable to deal with guilt even when he's been forgiven for things he wasn't accountable for anyway.
*Alexei* I guess was nice and all that. I did totally want to smack him on the head when he didn't bother to defend Gwen, but oh well, he had his orders and such.
Anyway, with all that said, I still think the novel was good enough. I don't think I'd be reading on though.
My rating is
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley to review.
I'd heard lots of awesome things about Catherine Fisher, so I requested this book, all excited and full of great expectations. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed.
Firstly, until about half way through, nothing really interesting happened. We were just introduced to the characters and some of the circumstances. Nothing special, nothing to grab my attention. Perhaps that's why it took me an entire week to finish this novel. It just didn't do it for me.
Secondly, the mysteries around which everything was revolving, weren't something absolutely out of the blue. No one really behaved outside of their character, which bored me. I mean, I would've wanted to see someone growing out of themselves by the end of the story, but no.
Venn was still the same guy, who cared about no one else and nothing else but getting his wife back.
Jake was the same rash boy who only cared about his father.
Sarah was perhaps the only mysterious character, who we didn't know anything about until the very last page.
And Gideon is my favorite of the lot. I hope they manage to find a way to help him out.
In conclusion, I want to say that the writing style was good, but the story isn't all that original. Also, the characters didn't really make an impression on me, so I can't say I'm thrilled by The Obsidian Mirror.
My rating, unfortunately, is