Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wait for You by J. Lynn

Wait for You
Good Reads Summary
Wait for You by J. Lynn
Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

And just when I’d given up on books of this type, there’s Cam, confident yet sweet and there. He was the best part of the story even if he wasn’t the point of it. Parts of this are “been there and done that” the choice of besties especially, one gay one and another more sure than lead herself, but both that’s fine. Of course there’s the lead herself with a sad past that’s determined a lot of from where she is to how she is as well as. Then there’s the opposite with Cam, who despite things he’s not proud of, still shines.

Given all of them together, I found myself not rolling my eyes as I normally would have; the guy was just that good. NO, but really, this one reminds me a lot of Tammara Webber’s Easy with its girl of the sad past with cool guy helping her through it along with a string of secondary characters who I found myself liking more and more with each thing out of their mouths. The secondary characters balanced out the drama that could have been with genuine cute funny bonding friendship moments between her and them. But really, I like them because they made me laugh, crude words and drool-y declarations about Cam notwithstanding.

And though guy-helping-girl-work-through-(numerous)-issues has been done to death already, I found myself not minding so much in this one. The guy’s whole shtick is cool and confident and god’s gift to girls, but you know what? J. Lynn (Armentraut) does cool cocky male leads in such an endearing way. That instead of me wanting to punt kick the guy, there I was curious about what he’d say next. But what’s better? The girl! She gave as good as she got while not bothering to be what she wasn’t. And what she was, was unsure, lacking in experience so that she felt true in what she was learning and what she was feeling and not put on/ pretend-unaware.

As said, this one reminds me a lot of EASY, less the drama and maybe that  why this one worked for me. Yes there are some minor fail moments, and yes there are one or two overused instances  that it could have done without. But overall? This was OK.  Then, the guy? He was charming.




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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward
Good Reads Summary
The Ward by Jordana Frankel


Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I was confused about the how’s and the where’s… the where’s especially. So. yes.. I was confused, and yet, I liked it! Mainly because Ren and her inner voice made me like it. She’s funny and doesn’t see things as others do. Her main thing is being there for a sister who’s not her sister. And it’s that which makes for a sweet connection because now we know why she does whatever she does. And this girl? She does plenty of crazy things here.

Still, there’s a lot to take in minus the details that could have helped make sense of things. There’s the racing bit and Ren feeling odd one out. There’s the Washed out world split between have and have not’s. Then all those secret under cover goings-on that certain someone’s (several someone’s) were part of. And all that has Ren smack in the middle.

I liked the racing bit as it only set her apart from other YA heroines more,  only more, because she’s already different given the secret she has to keep. Hold up… she’s got several secrets in fact. Keep her sister safe. Do some snooping. And then keep her other secret safe, as well. Then there’s that’s unrequited love thing that’s partly predictable but not that big a deal, as it isn’t the main thing here *thank the gods.*

I think I’m meh over this because there were too many things going on at once. Well, I was all meh till’ things started coming together. Before that though were we to piece this apart, we could have gotten more meat out of Ren’s story (stories?) Her racing and being the only girl? Good one. Her being in a world that’s been washed out, split on the one hand with people who are living the life and on the other people who are diseased? Even better… but smoosh them together the way they were, ? Well, neither half was given the attention it deserved. Too bad... but not terrible, either.

Thank you, Edelweiss!




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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2) by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)
Good Reads Summary

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


it's no secret, i am a julie kagawa fan girl. that said, i'm not blind to what this sequel lacks... or has too much of: it's over long, slow paced and with very little happening in the first half. i found myself bored despite allison being a newly made vampire searching for so and so. bored, despite unexpected allies and the not as unlikely enemies. there are a lot of people here.. but little going on. from one place to another, she's faced with enemies (some old ones and others, a different sort). also there's the one she finds company with. talk of uneasy alliances! funny how she's no  choice but work alongside the same... all the while holding back her natural ways. that is, holding back her more monstrous tendencies. wait. that's not funny at all... and sadly, it was not as scary as it could have been. a lot of what happens, a lot of her doubts are rather obvious ones. just ask, what would a newly turned vamp be asking herself? well, she ask those... repeatedly:

there's a lot of denying who you are on her part and insistence on others that she do the contrary; so many instances that it felt redundant... and thus the boredom.

the excitement enters close to last third, but that was almost too little too late for me. but then again, i did say 'almost'. two certain someones reappearing brought forth more something than just her inner conflict. and that? that was a relief in the midst of all the boring travel-fight-nit really-funny banter going on with her and her unlikely ally.

though the ending packs a hell of a punch, a lot before it had pointed to it going down that way. so, yeah... the ending: not that big a surprise. what surprised me was that it took so long to happen at all.

one may ask, where's the love for julie in this one? look... i love her stories, but  that love doesn't blind me. i was bored is all. now, i still am going to read the next one. first, because there's kanin. kaniin and allison together always have me wondering. theirs is more than a mentor-student connection; whatever there was, it's been taken steps higher with events in this one. second, because i hope the next one is better... an i bet i will, i mean crazy vampire master with thoughts of new slates? Plus, the company he is keeping? Yup, you can bet your ass I'm reading on.

thank you net galley!




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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Golly, I just re-read my review for the first book, and well, can I say… vague much? All my references to him’s and her’s, to someone changing with then without certain someone’s? Well those him’s and her’s, then those someone’s? Well, they’re back in this one… but not completely the way they used to be.

New places, new people, plus more monsters will likely do that, right? 

Things simply feel different this time around with more of Alina and Mal together. Said fact is mostly a good thing… except that there was something, or someone, missing; the Darkling is here but not here. Yes, his is one of those present absences. Things do work out though…somehow, because Alina is still figuring things out and Mal is still swoon inducing hero-in-the making, but not seeing Darkling here as often as we did, with his confusing and complicated contributions. Well, that was a minor (major) let down. But not completely because him not here was a major thing in what Alina did and didn’t do.  (It made for some frustrating moments on her part, truly it did!  But it’s all good.)

Because there’s the introduction of new people, one of whom read a lot like Depp’s Jack Sparrow, irreverent and cocky but actually so much more than what I’d initially thought. The guy injects the humor in this one while attempting to be like the Darkling, (the latter being with his confusing combination of charming and terrifying.) And yes, he even sometimes succeeds. ‘Sometimes’ because while he does numerous things well, the Darkling shoes are pretty big shoes to fill IMO.  And again, it’s all good… because there are a couple of others who make things interesting even older folks making reappearances: all them add complications that came out of nowhere… so many in fact that I ended up reading this through the night. It was that good.

Thank you, Net Galley!!!!

***

It's book like these that make me happy for net galley.
There were tears there, close to the end. No, really.

Review when I can get myself together…


4.5/5



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Friday, February 22, 2013

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Transparent
Good Reads Summary
Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not bad, but not as epic-wonderful as the X men-Godfather combination that this could have been. With that frequently alluded comparison in mind, well, you can bet your ass my expectations were way up there. Except TRANSPARENT was less that and more lost-girl (looking for a friend but unsure on what to do when it’s there.) So we have a girl who’s funny in how suspicious she could get, one with the unique condition of being invisible, and one whose part of a crime family whose head is hell bent on using her for his scary, scary purposes.

So here’s the good, and the bad/crazy:

I liked Fiona, just not all the time. In fact, I liked all of them, just not all the time. The girl on the run made the story not just about her and her superpowers, but also about her figuring out her place and whom to trust. Of course, there were those authentically scary moments with a brother, I still can’t figure out. It's moments like the latter that I enjoyed because it is what I was expecting with a 'Godfather’ comparison... as in, that dude is off his rocker, he could do anything! Better still.. there’s more than one of those in this one!

Sure, there are some logic fail moments, like invisible girl, why you no hide? Or choice of name and re-location site people on the run... but like I said a good portion of this is her fitting in (or not fitting in) because how could she, really? A lot about a girl trying to find her place and maybe even finding it ‘till the scary men from her past showed up… then things got interesting, in the scary kind of way.

The best part is the people.

You’d think I’d get a bigger kick out of the special powers that they all had, like the Scent mimic, telekinetic and super strong dude… but no, it’s the people who had those abilities I enjoyed more. OK, OK so maybe I got a kick out of both, but still, the people she’d found herself with? They brought out the funny I needed, Carlos and his skeeviness, especially, not a page went by without him sticking his foot in it trying when too hard to be suave. OR the other brother with language skills barely making a peep… they’re all walking contradictions, the lot of them, and yet together they work.  The whole ‘we’re not bad, we’re just misunderstood thing is basically their banner but they make it work anyway.

Another thing that I enjoyed is how some of them are the dis-likeable sort. Yes, I’m talking of Seth. She goes out of her to paint him as not so attractive, not all that, and too mean, too ass-ish in demeanor. So it’s inevitable what happens (view spoiler)[ending up together!  (hide spoiler)] because they’re exactly the same. She’s secretive and keeps people at a distance, as did he. Except where we know her reasons, discovering his made him even more. 

Then there's the whole crime family angle... her brothers have me asking so many questions!

Thank you, Edelweiss!



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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Legacy (Night School, #2) by C.J. Daugherty

Legacy (Night School, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Legacy by C.J. Daugherty

In the last year, Allie’s survived three arrests, the death of a friend and a family meltdown. Along the way she lost her faith in everything. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It’s the one place she’s felt she belonged. And the fact that it’s brought her real friends – and introduced her to Carter West – hasn’t hurt either.

But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are more dangerous than Allie could imagine. The students and teachers are under threat, and Allie’s family – from her mysterious grandmother to her runaway brother – are at the centre of it all.

This time, no one will save her. This time, Allie’s going to have to save herself.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

And we have a winner! By Book One’s end, I had come away feeling like I’d wasted my time. I felt like I’d read the same thing in tons other books before a much better way next to nothing. It wasn’t a terrible book per se, I just didn’t love the absence save of anything nothing new in it. I mean: New girl. New school. Secrets to Uncover. Plus a love triangle that’s immaterial given one of the guys being the obvious wrong choice. Me picking this up at all, is a surprise, but with February Sequels in full swing, I figured why not, right? And see now, this is me, pleasantly surprised.

Not so simple anymore. Everything gets turned upside down: Allie, the love triangle, the school even. You’d think HEA for her in the love department right? Except not… Because in this one, the love but goes every which way. So much so that I didn’t know who to root for and when I did I’d change my mind again. And the school, friends and not friends being settled you think it’s all good there, too, right? Only it’s a no here too. Because as far as conspiracies and plots go… well it’s thickened here. We see what the baddy is after and maybe even the why, but we’re just not that sure. Plus, with Christian finally made an appearance, well my questions on that end are settled only to have more questions take their place

Plus all the new people coming out and making things even more interesting like young girl genius and the father dude, who read so kick ass, well, it’s a wonder that I stopped to sleep at all. Then add in all the old people who still managed to get me feeling that one of them must needs be strangled! OK.. sometimes more than one of them and all of them together! They could just be so wrong sometimes. Carter, I’m looking at you. And Jo. Jo JO. JO… what’s to be done with you.

Allie’s is still a screw up going eyes open head first into trouble, and I liked her more for that because her doing what she was kinda/sorta did make sense. She’s not just girl screw up getting reformed in this one rather she’s just girl screw up screwing up for the right reason, if there is such a thing.





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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Wild Awake
Good Reads Summary
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.9999 of 5 stars

Some may feel that there’s whole lot of nothing going on in this one, save a spoiled bratty girl unable to cope doing brattier and brattier/more and more insane things with each moment. And sure, all that’s there, but for me it’s more than that... I personally think a moral at the end is not the thing that makes a story ‘good.’ Wild Awake reads a little like Out of Reach (the latter seemingly with no point/“lesson” either, with the bad having occurred and becoming the (not so) simple matter of going on, picking up the pieces, then fitting them together.)

Wait! I had a point when I started this. I suppose if there’s but one “something” to take from this, it’s not just the grief that goes unrecognized, or the love that she thinks she has for a certain someone, or even that new connection unexpectedly made available to her (well, OK all those are vital aspects, of course) but in this one, it’s the people that count: what they do and how they do it that does (maybe the why, not so much.) (incidentally, I enjoyed both this one and Out of Reach) because where OoR has a girl coming to grips with what’s become of her brother and not simply about her opening her eyes to the suckiness/goodness of people… well,  WA touches on that too.

Kiri’s dutiful daughter, the good best friend doing all the right things.

‘Till that phone call because what she discovers knocks her off her stride, which she doesn’t quite get back through out her story. It’s this that has her doing a number of things that have her feeling more and more random and odd and out there for me. Internally, she’s not quite sure about what to do, how to do or why to do anything. So she’s spiraling out of control, but at the same time, she meets these people a little… No, a lot like her: off their stride, one way or another.

Kiri’s all over the place.

And how all over the place was she? She does everything/anything/most in such a direct manner, that her actions read bigger and slightly improbable. It’s what allows for connections to  be made, wherein the strength of her story lies. These links she makes plus what she does and how she does things because she’s not in that right place (yet). All those make for an intense read. Everything happens in the now, is fast and big and sudden. But, there’s a touch of sad too, given the way she’s dealing shifts to her not dealing, obvious with how fast and out of hand things turn. So this has one main thing,  something, a lot of things going on:

Grief? Yes.  Love? Yes.  Coming to terms? Self-Discovery? Yes.  and  Yes, too. It’s not quite the mess I think I’m making it out to be because Kiri’s voice is spirited, it goes up and up and up then down and then back again. It’s unsettling, really, I couldn’t settle on one feeling for her because she wasn’t settled either. We’re right smack at the beginning of her Thing (as both she and Skunk put it). The not knowing it for what it is then maybe seeing it AND eventually recognizing it for what it is… that’s what made this a touch sad, even with all the craziness going on.

So, thank you, Edelweiss!





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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Exit Kingdom (Reapers #2) by Alden Bell

Exit Kingdom (Reapers, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell

In a world where the undead outnumber the living, Moses Todd roams the post-apocalyptic plains of America. His reprobate brother, Abraham — his only companion — has known little else. Together, they journey because they have to; because they have nowhere to go, and no one to answer to other than themselves.

Traveling the bloody wastelands of this ruined world, Moses is looking for a kernel of truth, and a reason to keep going. And a chance encounter presents him with the Vestal Amata, a beguiling and mysterious woman who may hold the key to salvation. But he is not the only one seeking the Vestal. For the Vestal has a gift: a gift that might help save what is left of humanity. And it may take everything he has to free her from the clutches of those who most desire her.


My Thoughts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What some mysteries reveal are truths so mundane they blast wide our own ludicrous vanities.
Moses Todd is many things. In Reapers I had him pegged as warrior with a code, seeking balance in a way he knew. Here he is that, but more too:  from on-and-off violent man to accidental philosopher, a man of few words, deeper thoughts and rigid code. Then, him as brother watching out for brother, and watching as he did, was not at all blind to the younger’s faults (because there are many faults in that one, in both of the actually) He reads a lot like Tom Imura… only better as he’s less preachy instead more questioning… then resigned to what needs be doing.

It’s not so complicated if we look on things as he Moses does: people have roles. His just happens to watcher for his brother (Beyond being my brother, he says, I don’t give a damn what you are.) and while not blind to the faults of his brother, Moses tempers things somehow… and it’s this that a bit depressing, in a resigned way he’s just waiting for a reckoning. And seeing things as he does, he also recognizes the roles all have, both good and bad, (I don’t got the answers for everything, he says. Sometimes you do things just cause they need to be done by someone and there ain’t nobody else around.)

So were they all just waiting for a reckoning? Or was it as the whore felt, the reckoning had passed and now’s all a matter of surviving. And all the while I’m feeling, ‘Deep thoughts, these people, secreted philosophers disguised as prostitutes and crazy men.’ because the lot of them say the craziest, yet truest things:

Now everything’s backwards. You plant life in the earth – call it death if you like – but it gets spit back up. Maybe we’ve fed he earth too much. Maybe it’s lost a taste for us.

It’s harder to die than you think. The world, it conspires to keep you alive.

You see now? Moses Todd asks. You see? It ain’t about what you think it’s about. All the wandering, and the mad pursuit, all the spinnin cycles of life and death and death and life over and over until you ain’t but a dizzy headed creature roamin the plains. It ain’t about anything but one thing. Drollery. You fights and you create life and you fight and you destroy – and some times in the middle somewhere you happen to love. But it all comes down to ridiculousness.








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Monday, February 18, 2013

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1) by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not that difficult to get into. It’s a hot book and they're both an emotional mess, some of the dram read more plausible then others, but at least there more than one quote worthy line in it, but for all that I’m not its biggest fan.

The emotional upheaval (and there is that here) sent things to unexpected heights. I was never really sure I could get behind him or her. Neither of them are angels and both admit the same... to an extent, at least because points in it have them seeing the reasons they have for being the asses that they are. it's the last that has them going from wanting to kill the other, to wanting to make things better. the round about on both their parts had me fearing whiplash.

Anyway, she’s the bad guy, but so is he... but not completely either. Some moments stretched my patience others moments felt authentic.

•    Her back and forth with him of do I screw him over or just screw him period? Was… um… I don’t know. Curious?
•    Him doing the same, was…I don’t know. Fitting?
•    Then, them on the run from basically the same kind of trouble was stretching things too to much…

But then those flashes into both their pasts and all those points of view from “the girl's"... Why, I could see some more of the real in this one. Yes, I'm going to read the next one, but yeah… this one was just, OK.






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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Time is running out for Rhine in this conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Chemical Garden Trilogy.

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Hmmm…

I’m not sure how I feel about this ending, granted I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first nor the second, this conclusion is different: right in some respects then not quite that in others. We finally begin to see reason behind every wrong thing Rhine and her sisters have had to endure. Some of it in fact I’m still getting my head around because I was (still am) waiting for the other shoe to drop, but there were explanations for most questions I had, could have had, should have had about Wither then Fever.

Her past, a bit clear but less so than every one’s reasons for doing what ever it was they were doing. It’s the second that has her seeing beyond the labels that their actions have her putting on them. She sees beyond what she feels for them to more of the why’s of everyone: consider, the girl seeing all of them as more than just the misguided girl looking for -and needing- a place to belong, or the creepy ass guy looking for someone to love him back, or the terrifying monster of her nightmares. It’s clear they’ve each got reasons, but knowing them a little more didn’t make me dislike any of them any less. But, at least I understood them. Wait. At least, I was beginning to understand them…

It’s with this same understanding that Rhine starts to think more then act more cautiously. It’s not all knee jerk, but think before you leap, though I do confess, some of her thoughts about their justifications had me reeling. Add that it’s not just me who’s reeling: they all are! Linden reveals a side of himself that’s less creepy (still creepy though) in the attachments he’s made, and how he’s grown given moments (milliseconds though they may have been) of conflict and questions on who was deserving of trust.  Vaughn is not just her monster, but a man driven as most. Or Rhine for that matter, she is not just girl who’s lost her optimism... just like Madame from the creepy ass carnival is more than that too. All of them are like that!

The curious (even disappointing) thing is how things still feel incomplete to me. How her brother is put into this story and what he’s been doing in the mean time. Putting them together as brother and sister became more and more difficult considering they had very little in common especially how they acted/reacted. Where she’s doubtful and suspicious… he was not any of those! There’s a reversal in ‘disposition’ (ha!) considering her memories of him and her, with her the optimistic and blindly hopeful one and him neither of those things.

It’s an interesting/different ending, as we see them less the baddies and just people capable of good (no matter who small that good may have been) and yet still… hmmm.

Consider me split.




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Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Prey (The Hunt, #2) by Andrew Fukuda

The Prey (The Hunt, #2)
Good Reads Summary
The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Prey… I was not the biggest fan of book number one, but this… this one felt different to me. I enjoyed the scarier feel of things in this just as much as I was all ick over the same. There’s the quaint picturesque village that’s at first glance the haven they’d been after, when in truth hiding some pretty nasty things (obviously the mere mention of villages and what not had warning signs going off for me) but that wasn’t my biggest issue in this one time around. Mine was having already drawn the obvious conclusions… I really didn’t see the need for the same be spelled out. I knew it already after all, and well, must everything be spelt out?

Now that aside, we go to a shift in the trouble they’re facing, or at least an addition to the same. Were they safe? Not quite, not at all, as they’ve questions unanswered and mysteries to solve whilst being on the run. And when they do get to where they’re going, well you see there’s more to consider. As mentioned when one factors in far flung communities previously unknown warning signs should be going off already … and for some of them (those that counted at least) indeed there were those warnings, but the odd thing is how they react. As in, not at all. They were all wait and see… and I just didn’t get it. One horrific discovery after another, then one particularly horrific thing done to one of their own, and they’re all still practically sitting on their asses. Waiting… a waiting that made no sense given what they knew and the scarier things they suspected.

And what of the things they knew? Well, the monsters in this one aren’t just the fanged kind. We see things we want to un-see or at least imagine things we’d rather not want to imagine at all. The set up here had me thinking of both Wither and Once and all those other YA dystopians but here it’s less about some vague scary future they want to avoid, because that the thing being avoided in those other books is the reality in this one. The way things are set simply had my skin crawling.

Interesting and skin crawling turn of events

3/5 




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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)
Good Reads Summary
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.


Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

At last!

If like me, you were wondering over the connection between Adrian and Syd, well, wonder no more! It’s clear what he sees in her. In fact at every possible moment he waxes poetic about her being the flame in his darkness, and though that particular turn of phrase might have your gag reflex kicking in with it sounding too sappy-sweet-corny, personally I was glad... because gone was Adrian the Mopey/Moody. What I loved about him in VA was his easy confidence, his ability to charm (me) even when he was goof; that version of him is back and with a vengeance, might I add. He’s less the guy getting over a Rose, and more the charming easy going fellow who had charmed me before.

And why?

He’s all about Sydney now. Him saying so time and again is what made more believable the connection between the two. I really couldn’t see what he saw in her with all her little hang ups about being too big or her needing so and so’s approval. Here he describes her in a way that’s not at all untrue but most definitely flattering. Basically, I could see and was buying the idea of a ‘them’ now.

Better is how the story is really about them this time and less about people from days stories gone by. It’s not ‘that dude from way back’ when, but more of us seeing them and their story together.

And what a story it was!

Interesting, how Sydney and magic come to play in this one. If the scary mentor type is not enough, why not throw in scary power hungry ___-stealing witch into the mix? How Sydney’s sucked into that particular mess to begin with was a bit of a stretch, but it was interesting nonetheless as it’s what allowed the girl her to explore more of what she’s so unwilling to explore.

Then come to the idea of exploring,

Sydney of old is completely absent here. Follow the leader? Not quite. She’s become more than just stick in the mud goody-goody with innumerable hang ups. Sure she’s alchemist but she’s also one with loyalties of the unconventional type… those and those doubts and questions that need answering? All that have her following a path toward another just like her in Marcus Finch. Only was he like her, really? I worried over possibilities of triangles with his introduction… when I shouldn’t have. How he plays into the story opens up even more avenues for her and the story.

All said, this was fast, easy fun, and finally… after the first two installments: electric.





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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

The Reece Malcolm List
Good Reads Summary
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mostly smart and cute but then sometimes not so smart and not so cute as well; I be contradictory yet again! Loving this comes as a surprise to me mostly because I didn’t know what to expect… what it does, however, is read funny, fast and almost always authentic. All that plus it leaves me smiling (smiling hard.)

I’ve been on GR some time now and come across one or two curious questions, one in particular has me wondering still. Given the popularity of YA with the adult reader right now would it be a fair assessment that more and more authors are throwing issues for the YA lead to deal with, issues that are likely beyond the scope of the intended YA reader to not connect with? I do get where the question is coming from, what with all those for seventeen-and-up’s being so common. Really now, I too want a youngish something or other with the rockin’ bod and locks to die for (growing up, all I had to pick from were guys unfamiliar with the concept of combing.) 

It seems a valid point as some scenarios people come up with feel more than unrealistic, yet there are other books too that have me hoping the next read will be like it (or be better than it even,) as those reads that hit everything just so. Those that contain emotion and experience and “real sounding” individuals with the people being people and more often people being screwed up people. Reece Malcolm falls under the second… and that’s precisely why enjoyed it.

Never mind the whole famous mother, separation and ‘woe is me’ sounding little orphan Annie that things could have been because this read so far from that. She read smart girl who knows who she is and what she could do… in certain respects at least, as there were moments too of her being unsure and insecure. I enjoyed that contrast. First take the girl who knows what she likes and how she stands apart and knows her strengths using the same to get where she wants to. (Smart, see?) Then factor in her in boy world/social world that had the ‘cute’ factoring in. Sure, I didn’t dislike her being so terrified almost all the time as being fearful of not saying the right thing and feeing as if she’d imposed on one all or any of them  felt like the things most likely to be true.. but the things she said, and the things others had me reading at a steady pace.

At the core of this is the whole family you’re born with vs. family you choose thing. At first, them together read awkward and new… as it should have. But, there’s progression there as well, with girl doing things she shouldn’t have, so that she (and we) learn more and more. Some not so nice things some other things that were. There’s a rightness in seeing that certain people are just people not larger than life so and so’s. There’s also a truthfulness in the feelings of mistrust and regret when it comes to others. She’s not all sunshine, for sure, but she’s not all sad all the time either. If there be one fly in this one, it’s that she’s chock full  of “like’s” and “seriously’s.” The girl did not let a sentence pass without using one of those.

Of course, there’s he with the rest of them, they read surprisingly believable…  that life for new kid need not be so hard (at least all the time) and that those hard times (if any) come from less dramatic sources than mean girl or hot boy! They all read normal… some ambitious, some overdramatic, some going through sadder things than she. Then all them together?  I could picture them.

This was so cute and though I would have typed, “..that I have no words” that’s not true at all.

3.5/5




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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

tick

tick

tick

tick

tick

it's almost

time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Shatter Me was OK. I felt the whole superhero feel, more interesting than all those strike through across thoughts she had. And the twists of what she could do, more interesting than the flowery way a moment was described. So you’d be surprised by how things are presented in UNRAVEL ME:

The odd comparisons are toned down, the linking of one image to the next not as common. You’ll also find Juliette more capable of straight talking than you’d think possible given her purply introductions in Book One. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. And even when there were moments such as those, moments that had the angst flowing  over time, well there’s a balance that… wait for it... Kenji allowed. So, yes… this was a good sequel, dare I say even better than the first, or perhaps it was less frustrating? Because wading through her words to get to the core of it, not so difficult this time around. Plus…wow. Mafi certainly knows how to write those twists in, doesn’t she? 

On two things, I’m iffy:

First, Juliette’s got two modes going for her, and though mopy then  mopier seems appropriate, that’s not the case. Mopey then confused seems more apt. It’s the emotional I could have done without…so it’s the confused side that had me wondering right along side her. The second was all Adam and all the sads his and her situation brought about, that is when shirtless boy wonder was present because the boy was less present this time around… and when he was well, oh the angst, more than palpable.!

On other things, I’m unsurprised:

Warner- Juliette-Adam. You’d think I’d be over them by now… except their particular brand of confusion is done in such an exciting way. Was it necessary, bringing things up that level? Yes… because the complications for Adam and the sads you feel for him. Then the (OK I, lied) the surprising sympathy that the situation calls out of you for Warner… and wow, didn’t I say this was complicated? I didn’t? Well, it was! And I do love me some complications.

Then other things, I loved:

I love KENJI, straight up bottom line, no doubt about it, love the guy. Sure, Juliette got some unintentional laughs out of me, but with her and Kenji things balanced out. There’s a rightness struck between Kenji’s straight talking no nonsense moments to her flowery tongue. She’d angst, then he’d cut through the crap. I loved that! I love all those tense emotional bits cut short with Kenji’s snark; the number of wins per page in this one soared because of him (and that’s even when he’s being preachy.)

On Warner, it was less love, more curious. There’s a surprising sympathy his situation had me feeling for him as well as confusion for feeling the same at all. Needless to say, he is more than who you think he is: not a monster all the time, after all. The same boat.. feelings of being beyond redemption and all that, plus too many secrets and then all those revelations that hints at there being more.

3.999/5




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Monday, February 11, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

truth be told, i wasn't the biggest fan of Cinder's. despite the new feeling that particular fairy tale retelling had going for it, all of them failed to act outside the parts they had. evil step mom was evil and pitiful cinder was... pitiful.

i'm happy to say that's not the case here. for  a split second there, and only god knows why, i thought this was a snow white retelling. this tells you two things about me: i might have been living under a rock these past months and i still don't read blurbs. past that teensy (embarrasing) moment of confusion on my part, this was good. scarlet is no cinder... though cinder's improved leaps in this one, too.

(scarlet! even the name hints at it.. and not subtly, either..  mah brain, where you gone?!)

anyway, scarlet kicks cinder's ass (the books not the characters.) it's faster paced; she's tough as nails and takes no crap. also, she backs up her words with action. then all that's tempered by a sense of loyalty.. that lands her in the crosshairs of some unknown baddy. so, enter the wolf. mysterious guy, an unknown quantity... but not really, because let's face it: settle who she's based on (gack! the embarrasment!) and you can pretty much predict how things are going to progress and the role wolf's got.

then cinder, what she's in and what she's up to. frankly, i enjoyed this version of her.. especially the funnies with new people and not so new others.

i enjoyed this!  mainly because the story is executed so beautifully: faster, funnier, more exciting, and even romantic at the most inconvenient of times. Plus the two stories  going on at once and how everything's happening at the same time for scarlet, cinder, kai and others, well...  it all gelled for me.

very very fun, this one.


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

More than just about nun assassins, Sybella’s past is shades darker than Ismae’s. It’s a slow tale though with her detailing the who and the what and the when and later the how *sob* bit by bit, but it was good too because how her history is laid out, we know precisely who she is and what she’s suffered. So that her doubts and mistrust? All that makes sense, but still there’s more. Everything she’s gone through, is what’s led her to where she is; she’s driven to somehow right the numerous wrongs done (to her, and to others) so that at the start we have a woman more than capable, but with little things coming out, these have her doubting her worth, doubting her place, and questioning things she’d not before considered.

Then there’s that unexpected ally given a likeness between them, in who they are and in what they do as well as a matter of fact way that both of them are in the need for them to fulfill their roles. How about this,

You know how I like Terrible so much? Not for being the perfect hero matching up seamlessly with the perfect girl, but because of the ways he looks and for him being upfront about what he does and why he does it. Well, I’ve found someone like him in the Beast here. It’s his imperfection that pulls her (and me) in. And then there’s the balance between them, how she’s equally imperfect I how dark she lives her life. Sybella is so much like Ismae only… darker and thus sadder. 

And if thinking of Beast has me recalling Terrible, then she has me thinking of Chess. Nothing any of them go through is easy. She’s in a bad position and doing what needs doing; then there are those moments that have her questioning positions and rightness and wondering of… things. It’s all her questions piled up on her past that have her coming out as more than just nun assassin.   There’s a surprising sensitivity in her that you’d think burned out of her from everything else, but it’s not. Instead she swings from being decided, then being unsure all the while scared but hiding it in what she does and how well she does it. 

But scared of what precisely? The monsters in this live up that descriptive. A father who’s ambition has him doing the most terrible of things and the people around him doing things the best they can to cope. And it’s in this, that a sadder more twisted thing develops.

Dark, this one... and I liked it

And Thank you, Net Galley!!!




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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Broken by Susan J. Bigelow

Broken (Extrahumans, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Broken by Susan J. Bigelow 

In a post-war future world where First Contact has been made, humans are colonizing the stars, and the nations of Earth have been united under a central government, Extrahumans are required by law to belong to the Union. When a young man with visions of the future sets out on a mission to define the course of human history, he encounters a devastated former hero, a fascist dictatorship bent on world domination, and the realities of living in a society where affiliation is everything.

Broken figured she was done with heroics when she lost the ability to fly and fled the confinement of the Extrahuman Union. But then the world started to fall apart around her, and the mysterious Michael Forward entered her life, dangling the possibility of redemption and rebirth.

Michael Forward can see the future, but all he wants is to escape the destiny he has struggled against all his life. When the moment comes, though, he finds he can't refuse. Now he needs the help of a homeless ex-superhero to save a baby who may be the key to humanity's freedom.

Monica had a good life with her large family, until two strangers and a baby showed up at her door. Now her family is gone, her life is in ruins, and she's on the run from the law.

In a time of spreading darkness, when paranoia and oppression have overtaken the world, can three unlikely allies preserve a small ray of hope for a better, brighter future?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This starts of with typical enough boy in-over-his-head then gets more interesting with each introduction. Where ‘Broken’ is as Broken does and then yet another ‘Extrahuman’ (superhero in other words) behaves just as you’d think *read: full of himself*.

Better though is the there being no need to shake any of those standards off; they’re central to everything here. Him, being in over his head is most of what’s going on has us piecing who he is together with where they are and who the rest of them are. I enjoyed the kid though, him cobbling things together as he was and being all fly by the seat of his pants, made for jarring transitions, still more jarring considering each his flashes of could-be’s (as well as Broken’s flashbacks.) I suppose that sense of confusion he was going through, we go through as well because more often than not, those moments came out of nowhere. And that was good… well, at least: different.

And as he’s making sense of things and doing what needs be, he encounters all manner of people… some one dimensional in how good/bad they could be, others more interesting in the conflict they make possible. It’s Monica who springs immediately to mind when thinking of that last; all those questions and all her asides about God and afterlife whatnot. I felt an ‘Oh come on!’ coming on every time she’d open her mouth. Then other aspects had me raising my brow, him and a certain someone specifically had me slightly icked out (OK, more than slightly, if I’m being honest here) mainly because things went from 100 an hour to 0 in a blink… it was another of those jarring shifts.

Some others aspects too left me wanting more, particularly the world they’re in. I  liked it. The different lifestyles, the different super power… and the funny (not so funny, really) reversal of positions as well as the varying reactions of all because of those. Some go crazy, some go for the different and in the midst of that: boy, in over his head meeting a do-gooder who’s lost all sense of good. Then the both of them making head/tails of what is and meeting this and that then coming out stronger and a bit more aware. Except it’s Broken’s being broken that’s the better part. As burnt out goody good looking for a way out but failing time and again, she kept things interesting with each attempt described in very specific detail. Think Heroes and its cheerleader, but replace the latter’s sense of curiosity with the former’s sense of loss… and things get interesting (to say the least).

Thank You Net Galley!




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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her
.

My Thoughts  
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have only myself to blame. What was I thinking picking this up when I’d read two of this author’s contemporaries and was anything but impressed? Truth be told I came away from those thinking there was nothing new to them, rather pedestrian romances with little to offer. I could say the same for this one too… Though pedestrian paranormal romance is a mouthful, isn’t it?

So humdrum, why? It’s hots at first sight for the both of them, only to shift to deny deny deny on her part. Give way to chase for the kicks of something different and then a very blegh declaration of “undeniable” pull between them. Then admissions of the different sort. And yeah.. I’m not a fan. But first,  the guy has everything going for him… and the girl falls for him (but denies it.. a fact that annoyed me no end!) Then the secrets then the discoveries then reactions that read odd and out of whack leading to a situations that required someone be rescued.

And I could have stomached all that too.. but damn those awkwardly phrased declarations that had this one read too much like a friggin’ old school historical romance! I mean he says ‘brute’ for crying out loud!




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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World
Good Reads Summary
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear--part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify--and he's always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.

He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

Reminiscent of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" in the intensity and purity of its voice, this extraordinary novel is a love story, a legal drama, and a celebration of the music each of us hears inside.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


So, here’s the thing: I’m almost afraid to say anything bad about this book. Is it because the lead is sweet? Is it because the story is sweet but not all sweet all the time that I’m finding that same feeling after reading Perks of Being?

Marcello is third person referring, open and innocent but not unaware. He has his choices and a definite plan, is determined to do things one way as he sees thing a certain way no others will ever get. In fact, it’s less about his descriptions of Internal Music and ‘special interests’ and more of his doubts over things as well as his questions and learning to be in the oft referred ‘real world’ that have him standing out. Because he is so different that he reads open, unsullied, questioning, and not necessarily unaware… but perhaps... uninvolved?

It’s this last fact that has his father pushing to become more involved. And involved he does become as more and more people are touched one way or another by his presence. The kid is endearing, stands out in how out of place he felt and could act yet still he manages to connect with so many people in such deep levels. It’s surprising. And I’m sorry… I found myself not quite buying it.

-Is the story sweet and uplifting? Yes.
-Is the character innocent, questioning and open? Certainly.
-Must he be the medium through which people make certain realizations? Yes.
-Do I have problem with this? No…erh.. maybe?
Surely, it’s not always the case here mind you. As it’s a two way street with him learning the rules of the oft referred ‘real world’ while others make realizations given his (un)expected deep, deep  observations that come out of almost every other moment of interaction with him.
-Anyway, does his portrayal play into some stereotype I cannot put my finger on? A little… it just feels boxed in all this good coming out with the help of the unsullied. Sure, it’s not a bad idea, and sure it does happen, but still...

What did resound with me is the more specific relationship between a father wanting what’s best, thinking he knows the only way to go about it and a son who sees things a certain way and asks questions. It’s Marcello’s asides on trust and believing in and the line that distinguishes the two that kept me going.

Overall, this was an OK read.




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Monday, February 4, 2013

Asunder (Newsoul, #2) by Jodi Meadows

Asunder (Newsoul, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Asunder by Jodi Meadows

DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Asunder.. holy moly! But I was bored. It’s taken me three, four (?) days to get my act together and get my thoughts on this one down. And I’m drawing a blank, so I’m trying to remember what I liked in the first one that had me hand-shaking-excited to finally get this sequel. And I recall, thinking it different wit its idea of souls and groups and people all so familiar with each other and reactions to the different. Sure the romance was present (when is ever not?), but I think (and I’m not a hundred percent here) I thought not badly done either, as for the most part, Ana was doing what she had to do. It’s her world that was stand out for me though taking this and that and smooshing them together in this world of deities, reincarnations, unknown enemies and baddies of the basic kind.

I liked all that…  yet, now I’m hard pressed to name one thing that’s wowed me in this one:

Ana and Sam, theirs a love so strong… yet it bored me. Her doubts about being enough; his doubts about doing the right thing; and everyone else weighing in on them being who they were for each other: I was bored. I might have liked the role the others played and the mess that was bound to follow but frankly… I was never fully engaged in any of it. Then when all the “scary” started to happen, one would think, ‘At last.. something exciting.” sadly, no… still bored here. Or when new people (not so new really, considering who they are) come into the picture, and you  think maybe just maybe something new is coming. Well.. still no. I just wished there was more of the mystery of who ANA was and what she was to do.

And when my wish is fulfilled.. lo! I’m still unimpressed. She read too gody-goody for me. Thee’s just not enough contrast in her for me to root for. The extent of her ‘problems’ felt superficial.. and when it wasn’t that, her reactions felt too pat. See a problem, feel the need to make it right. Not bad a reaction, over all… but there’s something lacking in her (them?) to have me excited over her decisions or even have me over possible outcomes.

Now then ending though, there was more conflict in that that anywhere else in the book. What do I mean?  For the whole book, we know who the bad guy is and who the good guy is. It takes little to figure out, as they’ve each got a role to fill. X are good and Y are bad… and it’s all just play acting for the most part. But the ending, when there’s hurt of the emotional type, it’s that which has them being more what they were being for the most part.

2/5




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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Prodigy by Marie Lu

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Both June and Day are not who I recall them to be, and that’s a good thing for one of them but a bad thing for the other one. That aside, the biggest thing that had me grinning in the first books were all those mad crazy action scene,  of leaping off buildings and making a getaway. Prodigy thankfully gives that and more (think fighter jets, people.)

On the people. I liked and didn’t like the new sides they were showing. Where Day was all about action and doing the crazy thing in the first book, here he’s plagued with doubts and I liked him less for it. Think HEA after everything, and well… not quite.  June’s much better though because doubts of her own, they’re questions not just about him and her and belonging to together (though there was some of those, too) for her there’s asking, and questioning over other bigger things. For her it’s not just about him and her, and thank god for that. The doubts they had, and the little insecurities that sneaked up on them? All those thing are not necessarily out of place given what’s been done to and by both; and certainly, those raise the level angst on both their parts…but there’s to be something more, right?

And there was: we know more of the word they live in. We know who is who… but like them knowing who to side with is the kicker. It’s in this bit that may be allies show up, who don’t necessarily act that part. It’s here when conspiracies and plots are uncovered and you’re still not a hundred percent on getting things right. There’s always someone else knowing something more and it’s them piecing all that together and deciding on what to do that had me on the edge.

All this was very, very entertaining, even when I wanted to smack some sense into people paying attention to what other people were saying. Even when I wanted to smack people for almost being swayed by some others but still… that ending,*tiny sob* So, Prodigy was better than I was expecting considering I was on the fence over the first one:

-I like the about face a couple of them were going through.

–I like that things weren’t always so simple.. far from that, both of them complicate matters with their constant wondering over things past. For June, it was for the better, for Day not quite that. And all that’s fine though, because in the middle of their w-angsting we see the world they live in and how’s it come to be, the question now is what’s next for them.. all of them?

3.5/5





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Friday, February 1, 2013

Small Damages by Beth Kephart

Small Damages
Good Reads Summary
Small Damages by Beth Kephart

It’s senior year, and while Kenzie should be looking forward to prom and starting college in the fall, she is mourning the loss of her father. She finds solace in the one person she trusts, her boyfriend, and she soon finds herself pregnant. Kenzie’s boyfriend and mother do not understand her determination to keep the baby. She is sent to southern Spain for the summer, where she will live out her pregnancy as a cook’s assistant on a bull ranch, and her baby will be adopted by a Spanish couple.

Alone and resentful in a foreign country, Kenzie is at first sullen and difficult. She begins to open her eyes and her heart to the beauty that is all around her and inside of her.(less)


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading Small Damages was different... with not much actually going on in the present save recollections of the past and considerations of what should be... what could be? It's reminiscent of Martin and and her I Know It's Over and other books...those one and this filled to brim with the soft sweet bitter and hard. Plus people being people, choosing and having choices made for them.

You're unsure about the narrator in this one, about
- the who she is...
- the what kind of girl she is...
- and even the who they all are to her.

In the end though despite not being sure about loving/liking/disliking or even rooting for her, we find things out,.. find her out. And like pictures slowy gaining clarity, we see things through her eyes and hear through her words. And her voice? it held nothing back: angry at some and disappointed in others... sometimes both at herself, so that there's an unavoidable honesty to her. 

Better still: I liked how there were parallels with her and the rest; it's not just about the dilemma she's in, but the things that led up to it. Doing it that way, made all of them more real. She's not just a girl dealing with a decision, but one who takes with her everything else: a father she loved best, a mother trying, and friends... with them she's more but less too as she proves herself able to be selfish and bitter.

..Simply because she's not perfect.

None of them are.
And that right there? ...That's what's perfect.



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